Archive for May, 2008

Weekend Wrap-up

May 26, 2008

Now that was a good weekend!

It’s funny, lots of people asked us what we were planning for our big tenth anniversary weekend – apparently you are supposed to go out of town or do something fancy. All I wanted to do was hang out at home with my husband and dogs for two days in a row (we normally only have one day off together per week) and enjoy the beautiful weather – and that’s exactly what we did!

Saturday was a big lazy day – mostly we just hung out in the yard, played with the dogs, and chilled out. We had a delicious dinner at Jean Farris Winery – I highly recommend it (and have the Guwerztraminer – difficult to pronounce, but a delicious sweet white wine). We had Chateaubriand for two – yum, yum, yum. One big hunk of meat with Bearnaise sauce and lump crabmeat – one of the many reasons I’m not a vegetarian!

And Sunday was our big do stuff to the house day – again, probably doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to many people, but I always love that first spring day when it’s time to fix up the yard and house. We made two trips to Lowe’s (you can never seem to get it all in one trip, can you?) and did the following:

1. Re-mulched in the front of the house

2. Trimmed back the jungle in the back of our yard

3. Replaced our ghetto front porch light with a much nicer one

4. Planted some flowers – a lily plant in the back yard and some Balloon Sentimentals out front (I had never seen these before, but they looked pretty in the picture)

5. Potted a habanero plant and an aloe vera plant (I historically have a brown thumb so it will be interesting to see how all these plants will work out!)

6. Put on a new gutter-extender thing so hopefully rainwater won’t pool in the front of our house any more

7. Did some experimental fencing in the back of the yard in an attempt to keep Ruby from jumping the fence

I think that’s it – I may be leaving out a project or two. I was rewarded with a sunburn for my efforts – I’m fairly dark complected and don’t burn easily, so I always forget to put on sunscreen when I’m going to be out in the sun a long time. The back of my neck is really red; hubby keeps teasing me and calling me a redneck.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend – and I hope anyone reading this had a great weekend, too!

Quickly, quickly

May 24, 2008

I feel kind of silly that my last full post was entitled “Saturdays are for blogging” and I didn’t blog last Saturday, and this will be a very abbreviated post!  But I have a good excuse – as I mentioned in my last entry, this is mine and hubby’s tenth anniversary weekend (the official day was yesterday) and we’ve been chilling out and enjoying the beautiful weather and each other’s company all day today.  And tonight we are going to have our celebratory dinner at Jean Farris Winery, which I’ve been wanting to try forever.  So the FO update on Shetland Triangle will have to wait.

But, oh – here’s a tiny new FO:

I determined last night we need some new pretty dishrags up in here, so I cast on for this sucker at about 11:00 p.m. and finished it up early this morning.

Pattern:  Petal Dishcloth by Hazel Schrock

Yarn:  Lion Cotton-Ease

I love how in this picture it actually looks like a flower:

I’ve decided since making it that it another another one just like it in lime green are going to go to our totally awesome neighbors who gave us a pretty basket of impatiens for our anniversary.

And one more thing – check out Ridiculous Obsession for a super-easy contest – just tell her what you like about summer and you are entered!

I’m it!

May 21, 2008

I got tagged! It’s my first ever tag, so please excuse my excitement. IWishIWereBuffy tagged me for a fun one – I’ve been seeing it on a lot of the blogs lately.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

Getting ready to get married. This is a fun question for this week, as my 10 year anniversary is this weekend!

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

1. Take Ruby to a photo shoot. For real! Ruby, our little dog, a rescue from Woodford Humane Society, has been chosen to be a featured portrait in the 2009 Limited Editions Calendar – I am ridiculously excited about this.

2. Go to my mom’s to pick up a pork roast. Fully cooked. She made one last night, but has since determined she has a gall bladder infection and doesn’t want to eat pork.

3. About eight million things at work that I won’t even go into here but that mostly involved getting caught up after spending the last couple of weeks planning a big event.

4. Think about blocking my completed Shetland Triangle. I’d really like to say “Block my Shetland Triangle” but I know there’s no way I’ll get to it before the weekend.

5. Research invisible fences so Ruby will quit hopping our chain link fence and giving me a heart attack when she doesn’t come back immediately.

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Wow, I’m a big snacker. I’ll try to narrow it down:

Roasted Garlic Triscuits (I eat about three boxes of these a week)

100 calorie packs – I love these, too – my favorite varieties are the Pecan Sandies, Flavor Blasted Goldfish, Cheez-It Party Mix, and some others I’m forgetting

Light Twinkies (I just discovered these.  To me, they taste just the same as regular twinkies – ie, incredibly sugary with vaguely chemical undertones – and have like, half the fat and calories.

Rold Gold Honey Wheat Pretzels

Wasabi Soy Almonds

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Pay off our credit card debt. It’s not too bad, but I’d sure like to be shed of it. Also pay off our house and cars. Buy my parents a new house. Travel extensively (Europe for me, Africa and Asia for hubby). Donate a pile of money to my favorite charities. Buy lots of yarn.

5) Places I have lived:

Born in Belleville, Illinois. Moved to London, Kentucky when I was four, stayed there six months, then moved to Lexington and have been here ever since.

Thanks for the tag, WishIWereBuffy!

P.S. You may have noticed I sneaked in an FO reference in this list – I’ll post on it more fully this weekend!

Saturdays are for blogging

May 10, 2008

I seem to have settled into a “blog on Saturdays” groove – I would like to blog more often, but it seems like Saturdays are the only time I can squeeze it in. I usually work til 6 during the week – and by the time we relax for a few minutes, eat dinner, and walk & feed the dogs, it’s nine or ten o’clock and I’m not so into blogging. But I’m off on Saturdays (usually) and hubby works, so that’s my time to blog.

Today I’m not exactly working – but I get to do something really cool. My work does a “jeans for charity” every month – inspired by the Komen Foundation‘s jeans for charity that they publicize for breast cancer awareness month. We did that a few years ago, and it was such a hit, we pick a different charity every month and employees pay $5 to wear jeans to work (normally they are not allowed to wear jeans) and the proceeds go to charity.

So last month’s charity was the Primate Rescue Center – a local outfit that rescues and rehabilitates primates. They were kind enough to invite us out to present a check for our donation, so I get to visit! The first time I heard about the Primate Rescue Center, I thought, “huh? In Kentucky?” But it’s true – it is a nationally respected facility that does some amazing work with primates and chimps. I met with a representative from the facility who told me that most of their residents are rescued pets – unsurprisingly, after infancy, they don’t make such good pets, and adopting one usually means receiving an animal that has been forcibly removed from its mother, and placing it in a situation that is incredibly unhealthy – chimps and primates are very social creatures and need contact with other animals of their own kind. Check out their website to learn more – and I’ll fill you in on the details of my visit next week!

Not much interesting knitting has been happening this week – although I did pick up my Shetland Triangle night before last to work on it some more – I’m so close to done, but I needed a break. My mistake was picking it up to work on it on a day where I had to be at work at 6:30 a.m. and worked straight through until 6:00 p.m. Turns out lace when you’re tired is not such a good idea. I messed up somehow right in the middle of the shawl – and I could not figure out what I did. I think my clumsy attempts to repair made the situation worse, so I set it down to go back to when I wasn’t so tired.

Well, the next night, I tried to tink back to the spot of the foul, to use a football analogy, and still couldn’t fix it, so I tinked back another row (keep in mind that the shawl is now over 200 stitches across at this point) and STILL couldn’t fix it, so I had to rip back to my lifeline. I had gotten rather cocky at this point in the shawl, and my life line was TEN ROWS BACK. Sigh. That will teach me to move my lifeline more frequently. I would feel worse about it, but I’m really proud of this shawl, and really want it to be perfect, so I guess it’s not so bad.

I also cast on for Tempting – in the 32″, but haven’t done a whole lot on that. That’s going to be my tv/movie watching piece, and considering we don’t do a whole lot of either, that piece might take a while.

I purchased some yummy Cascade Sierra at ReBelle a while back with no clear idea what do to with it – I just loved the color (kind of a deep periwinkle) so much I had to pick up a couple skeins. I had been admiring some of the finished Lutea Shells on Ravelry and thought that might be a good use for it. They also had a beautiful lace scarf on display made with Hempathy – I had never used it before, and the pattern only took two balls, so I’m going to give that a shot one of these days. You can see the actual scarf that is in the shop here – I wanted that color, but it wasn’t available so I went with pink.

And, I finally finished this:

I cast off and blocked it and wore it this week. I have to say, I love the Shine. It is so nice and soft against the skin. I use wool all the time, and love it, but there is a little bit of an itch factor for me. I definitely wouldn’t call it an allergy, but after a few hours of wearing it, it’s noticeable. But the Shine, which is cotton and modal, is as soft and as non-itchy as it can possibly be. I do wish this scarf was a bit longer – but I was making it out of leftovers, and it was all I had. I definitely see some more projects with this yarn in my future.

I picked up the new IK at work this week – once I hear on Ravelry that subscribers are getting theirs or people are picking them up in the shops, I stalk the magazine shelves daily. It’s always an exercise in frustration, because we always get our copies a few days late, so I just make myself crazy. But it finally came in, and sadly, I’m not too excited about any of the projects. There is lots of colorwork, which is not really my thing, and I’m not generally to crazy about summer knits anyway. I do like the Drawstring Raglan – if not the $80 it would cost to make it in the required yarn. I’m going to see what folks sub on Ravelry that might be a little more cost effective. I also like a couple of the lace projects, but I don’t see me making them. I really don’t make much out of IK anyway – but I love to look at the picture and read the patterns!

I got new contacts this week – I had been out for some time (I wear one month disposables) and holding on to my last pair for way too long. So I went to the eye doctor, and found out that while my nearsightedness is about the same, my what used to be slight astigmatism is now far more advanced. And what a difference the new contacts make! It’s funny how you just get used to kind of not being able to see really well, and the huge change when you can. I really need new glasses now, too – I wear them pretty frequently, and now that I have the new contacts, the change is very easily discernible. But they are soooooo expensive – since I do wear them fairly frequently, I want nice ones, so we are probably talking a few hundred dollars here. Gah.

We’ve been blessed with another beautiful day today – sunny and 62 degrees is what my thermometer reads right now. I think it might be time to take the dogs for a walk – or, to be honest, time to let the dogs drag me around the neighborhood. One person walking two dogs with a combined weight of 150 pounds – I imagine it’s pretty entertaining to look at. Hopefully we won’t run into any cats or squirrels – both have a tendency to lunge at those creatures, and Petey can just about rip my arm out when he does. We really need to get them into training and teach them both to heel – one of these days, I guess!

Socks, Scarves, and…food.

May 3, 2008

Another sock down!

These are the Waving Lace (Ravelry link) socks from Favorite Socks by Evelyn Clark. Very pretty lace pattern, not too difficult to memorize – once you do a repeat or two, it becomes pretty intuitive. I started these almost a year ago, then they sat in the back of my truck for about six months. I don’t want to get too self congratulatory about finishing ONE though – because, again, it is ONE sock – my third completed single sock, and the whole reason I finished this one was so I could start another. I only have one set of size 1 dpns, and I wouldn’t let myself buy another pair. I think I’m finally getting the hang of kitchener stitch, which is nice – I don’t think I’ll ever really enjoy it, but I don’t dread it as much.

Here is what I needed the needles for:

I LOVE these colors! I’m just doing a k3p1 rib – keeping it simple to show off these awesome stripes.

Here’s an interesting thing I’ve learned while making these socks. I have always used 5 dpns to knit in the round – I don’t know why, that’s just what I started doing and have ever since. But on these, I started with 4 – mostly because I couldn’t get the stitches distributed on four needles to satisfy me (I always try to have the same number of stitches on each needle – I don’t know why, especially with a pattern this simple, but it really bugs me to have an uneven number of stitches). So I started knitting with four, and then determined to get over my hangup about the even number of stitches and added the fifth needles. And guess what? I really liked knitting with four better – it seemed like there was less needles-in-my-way action than usual. So maybe this will be a permanent change – we’ll see!

I also have some (old) progress on the Lace Ribbon scarf – I haven’t worked on it in a couple of weeks, but I worked on it feverishly for about a week previously to that:

And a closeup:

I’m almost through the first ball of Silky Wool. This is a lovely pattern – it will be a very pretty scarf when finished.

And check out this bad boy – this has been my car knitting for almost two years now:

I have almost exclusively worked on it when working at offsite book sales for work – it’s just a plain ol’ feather and fan pattern in Knitpicks Shine Sport – it merely needs to be cast off and blocked. I should do that today – the evenings are still a little cool, and I might actually get some wear out of this before it gets too hot.

I’m seriously considering going to the yarn store today – there is not a bit of yarn that I need, I have more than enough projects to keep me going for quite some time – but we got our “economic incentive” checks yesterday, and while the greater majority of it will be going to pay off our credit card (sorry, W.), I think a little yarny goodness would not be out of order.

Our other treat for ourselves is going to be two meals out in a row. When hubby took a job for considerably less money but without constant travel about a year ago, one of our budget cuts was in the dining out category. We used to eat out about five times a week (seriously). So I started cooking lots more and we’ve saved a bunch of money. I have a rolling schedule of several things I make:

Spaghetti with Turkey Italian Sausage

Jerk Chicken

Tuscan Chicken Sausage Stew (this one is my favorite – so delicious and so easy)

Red Beans and Rice or Jambalaya with Turkey Smoked Sausage (the Zatarain’s stuff that comes in a box – it’s pretty good)

Broiled fish (usually Tilapia or Salmon)

(You’ll notice a lot of the turkey meats in there – I almost never cook or eat red meat. It started out as a diet thing, but I’ve gotten to where I prefer the turkey or chicken versions of meats)

And I’ll usually try one new recipe a week. And one night is frozen pizza night (we both love frozen pizzas – crazy, huh?), then one night a week we will hit one of our favorite restaurants. It’s always ethnic – either Mexican, Chinese (I love Chinese food and would eat it every night if I could), Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, or Indian (the last two rarely because they are more expensive).

But this weekend, we are eating out twice! We had Korean last night – a tiny little restaurant on Limestone called Han Woo Ri – any Lexington knitters would probably recognize it because it’s right next door to ReBelle – next time you are there and hungry, stop in, because it is DELICIOUS. Don’t go if you are in a hurry – it’s kind of slow. From what I can tell, Mom and Pop do the cooking, and they cook one order at a time. But oh, it’s worth the wait. I always get Pajeon – kind of like a pancake stuffed with onions, carrots, and squid. This time hubby got the Dol Sot Bibimbap (I think I’ve got the spelling right) which is a stone bowl that comes out steaming and full of rice, veggies, meat, and an egg, and you squish it all up with sesame and red chili oil and it cooks further right in the bowl. Plus we got some dumplings. All that for less than $30, and I was stuffed.

Tonight, we’re thinking maybe sushi – that’s a real treat because it is soooo expensive. But soooo delicious. My favorite is white tuna sashimi, but I like pretty much all of it. We usually get four pieces and four rolls; we both have our favorites. Hubby has to have a philly roll, and I have to have “white tuna delight” (california roll with white tuna laid over – I told you I loved the white tuna!), then we’ll mix it up for the rest.

I am totally getting hungry talking about all this food – I think I may have to go get some lunch!