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!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

April 26, 2008

Nope, not Christmas. Right now. I am LOVING this weather – sunny, blue skies, warm…you couldn’t ask for better weather. Plus everything is so green right now – all that rain we had in early spring has really paid off. Our cherry tree is almost done with its blooming, but our pink dogwood is about to be full bloom and it is just gorgeous.

I sat outside and knit for a bit earlier today – this is my view from the bench in the backyard:

Not bad, eh? You can just see the dogwood peeking out on the left. And our crappy, patchy grass on the bottom – having two dogs that love to chase does not do wonders for your lawn, let me tell you. And that’s Ruby chilling in the lower left corner. The dogs are enjoying the weather, too –

That’s Miss Ruby (or as I’ve been calling her lately, Rubo-Tuber – I think I’ve mentioned before my silly dog nicknames – fortunately, they both answer to about anything) – and Petey:

We let them out and they run like crazy around the yard for about 60 seconds, go pee, then flop on the grass and chill.

And hey, guess what? It’s picture time, kids!! How about some pretty sock yarn?

On bottom is the Online I mentioned last post – I just love those colors. On top is some of the new Kureyon sock yarn I picked up in Cincinnati yesterday – I was there for three days for work and thought it would be a damn shame if I didn’t hit a yarn shop! One More Stitch on Madison, by the way, if you are in the area. It’s a really nice little shop – lots of needlepoint supplies in addition to a pretty good yarn selection. Lots of Rowan and other higher end yarns, and some stuff I hadn’t seen anywhere else (that of course I can’t remember now).

I wanted to try the Kureyon sock even though I’d heard mixed reviews. I just love their colors, and the scratchiness of it doesn’t bother me too much. What did was the $19 price tag – that’s kind of a lot (for me) for a ball of sock yarn, but I decided to splurge and treat myself. Now I have to pick a pattern – I’ve been preliminarily nosing around on Ravelry and can’t really decide what to do. The OnLine I’m going to just do a simple K3P1 rib, but I want something with a little more visual interest for the Noro. Maybe Broadripple? I’m a little scared of the Chevron socks since my Jaywalker experience. I love the look of the Jays, but they were just not elastic enough.

Speaking of socks, I have a decent picture of my first finished Canterbury Cable Sock:

It’s kind of hard to take a picture of your own foot! I really like this sock – it’s good and stretchy and really comfy – the Treking Pro Natura is really soft – the bamboo content, I’m guessing. I’ve got a couple inches of the cuff done on the second one.

Now, my early progress on the Montego Bay Scarf I blogged about last time:

This picture is kind of shady, so the colors aren’t coming through great, but it looks like it’s going to do that zig-zaggy flashing thing that variegated yarns seem to do. Plus these colors are really kind of not me. I pretty much have a no-yellow rule in my life (yellow+olive skin=jaundice, at least in my case), and this has more yellow than I thought it would. But – it kind of looks like something my mom might like – so it might be destined to be hers. We’ll see.

I’ll have some more project photos to post next time – don’t want to spend them all in one post!

A question for anyone who has made Tempting and might be reading this, or who has more experience knitting clothing and with ease – I am precisely in between two sizes – the first size is for a 32″ bust, the second is for a 36″ – I’m a 34. Should I make the 32 for two inches negative ease, or the 36 for two inches positive? I’m thinking the 32 since it is ribbed and stretchy – but I don’t want it to look too stretchy! I’m certain I will have to add length, because I’m tall and long waisted, but that is easy enough.

Late Monday

April 22, 2008

This entry will be short and sadly, picture-less (at least no new pictures). My mom is borrowing my computer, so I have no ability to upload new pics.

So tell me if this ever happens to you. You run across a project – not even a new one, but one that’s been kicking around for a while, say on Ravelry or in an old magazine – and all of a sudden, you MUST KNIT IT. Right now! That totally happened to me this weekend. I ran across someone’s Montego Bay scarf on Ravelry on Saturday – I don’t even remember whose right now, or I would link to it, and even though I’ve seen it a hundred times and never particularly wanted to knit it, but for some reason, I felt like I had to start on it that instant. And here is one of the fun things about Ravelry – I was able to review my stash and see if anyone else had made Montego Bay out of anything I had.

Turns out I had some Gossamer lying around (Caribbean colorway) that I thought might be a good fit, so I cast on Saturday night. First on size 6 needles, and I decided that made the resulting fabric too stiff, then on size 8s, which was much better. I’m very much not used to working with variegated yarn, however – the pooling that is occurring is slightly worrisome to me, but I am trying to just go with the flow and see how it turns out.

I also sneaked into the yarn shop last week while on lunch – I managed to only pick up a skein of sock yarn – some ONline Supersocke in a self-striping blue. I really wanted the bright orange, but decided that would be impractical.

I’m also thinking about FINALLY casting on for Tempting – I bought this:

ages ago for that very reason. It’s the time of year when I could actually wear it, so it’s not a bad idea. But all that 2X2 rib – it sounds kind of exhausting!

And that’s all for now – it’s late and I’m tired!

Now with pictures!

April 12, 2008

Hey, I have some knitting to show! How about that ubiquitous Lace Ribbon scarf that everyone is knitting?

I haven’t worked on this in a couple of weeks – the weather turned really warm and gorgeous, and I lost all my impetus to knit a scarf – even a “spring” scarf. But we’re supposed to have a cool snap this weekend, so maybe I’ll pick it back up.

I’ve been wanting to knit a pair of super-cozy and warm footies to wear around the house – I’m one of those perpetually cold people, and I use a space heater most of the year. So I found a pattern in the new book Knitalong by Larissa Golden Brown (Socks 101) that looked like it might work with some leftover Malabrigo I have lying around. The progress so far:

I don’t have enough in any one color to complete the pattern, so these are probably going to be total Frankenstein socks. That’s Vaa and Stonechat (I think), and I have a partial ball of a navy blue that will go in to the next sock. I am fully aware that these will pill like crazy, but I don’t care. They are soooooo soft and I can’t wait to pull them on!

Finally, I started the Flame Wave Socks from Favorite Socks in the recommended yarn (a rarity for me), Cascade Fixation.

Knitting with Fixation is…interesting. If you’ve never used it before, it’s cotton and elastic and verrrry stretchy. Figuring out what tension to use has been tricky, and for some reason, I have been dropping stitches like crazy. I never drop stitches, so I’m totally blaming it on the yarn. It’s really soft yarn, though, and is knitting up quickly (when I’m not fixing dropped stitches) since it’s sport weight. After perusing other pairs on Ravelry (how much do you love that you can do that now?) I followed a couple of other knitters’ suggestions and am doing yarnovers instead of m1s for the increases. It makes a lacier, prettier sock (IMHO), and I do yarnovers a lot faster than m1s. How much, by the way, does that ball of Fixation look like an apple? After I started knitting these socks, I got an incredible craving for Granny Smith Apples, and got a few the next time I went to the grocery.

Also, I don’t have a FO picture, but I finished the first of the baby cable socks I mentioned post before last. I’ve decided to name them – since I did sort of make them up. Henceforth, they will be known as the Canterbury Cable Socks – since I knit a large portion of the first one on the train to Canterbury. I have also cast on for the second one, hoping to one day have a complete pair of socks to wear, instead of just singles.

Yep, I’ve totally got the sock knitting bug again. I’ve queued up a bunch of new patterns in Ravelry, and having dreams of handpainted sock yarn. I’m dying to try Socks that Rock…but $19 a skein for 360 yards. I’m not even sure if I can make a pair out of one skein – I have pretty big feet. But, oh, the colorways. I may sneak by the yarn store after work today and see what they’ve got in pretty sock yarns.

Speaking of work, I have to be there in an hour and still have to feed the dogs and get ready! Happy weekend!

Rules are (sometimes) meant to be broken

April 8, 2008

So, I kind of have this unwritten rule in my blog-house – I don’t write about work.  I like to keep those two parts of my life separate.  Pretty much everything else is fair game – I write about my husband, my dogs, my family, and of course, my knitting, but not about work.

Until now.

Yup, that’s me and the Yarn Harlot.

One of the most fun parts of my job (as a marketing manager at a large independent bookseller) is getting to meet lots of really cool authors.  In the seven years I’ve been there, I’ve met some pretty famous folks (Jimmy Carter, Loretta Lynn, Paula Deen) and some of my all time favorite authors (Barbara Kingsolver, Neil Gaiman, Jasper Fforde, to name a very few).  This past weekend was way up there – I got to hang out with the Harlot!  I’d already worked with her a couple of times at a yearly book festival we do, but this time she was at MY store.   And it was a blastl!

I got to meet lots of Ravelry folks (Artsluvr made us all nametags), see everyone’s WIPS, and hear most of Stephanie’s talk (I was working, after all, so I had to dash out a few times) – she’s absolutely hilarious – as I’m sure you know from reading her blog, plus smart and sarcastic and inspirational.  Slowgraffiti did a raffle for Doctors Without Borders with a truly awesome prize basket with gifts from Magpie, ReBelle, and other local vendors and we raised nearly $600 – I’m very proud of my fellow knitters.  I enjoyed meeting all the ones I met, and wish I could have talked to every one of you!  Thanks for making my event such a huge success!

I Aten’t Dead

April 3, 2008

(props to anyone who gets the above reference)

No, I’m not dead – just considerably negligent in posting of late. Last weekend I was out of town (went to my Grandmother’s in Illinois with hubby and the dogs – you haven’t lived til you’ve seen a 110 lb dog and a 50 lb dog try to co-exist in the backseat of a Camry for 300 miles – Ruby pretty much just perched on top of Petey) and the weekend before, just busy. Plus work has been supernuts lately, so there you have it.

I have been knitting – I don’t have much photographic proof, however. But here’s what’s been on my needles of late:

1. The Shetland Triangle – I really am enjoying knitting this. I got through the requisite number of rows required for the body, and decided I had enough yarn for another repeat. I told hubby I was playing chicken with my yarn – I’m pretty confident I will have enough, but I’ll be ripping back otherwise. If you want to see a really pretty version of this shawl, check out StitchyWitch’s – it is gorgeous. I’ve got to save up my pennies and get some Handmaiden yarn – I’ve been itching to try Seasilk. Maybe a birthday present?

2. Veronik Avery’s Lace Ribbon Scarf in the spring Knitty – pretty much me and everyone on Ravelry cast on for this right after Knitty came out. The pattern calls for sock yarn, which would be nice and light, but I had a random skein of Silky Wool in navy that I thought would be pretty, and Magpie just happened to have a second skein in the same dye lot (even though I bought the first one months ago – how often does that happen?), so I thought it might be fate. I eliminated two repeats, after casting on and knitting for a foot just eliminating one. I think it was just too wide with 44 stitches. I don’t have a picture yet – hopefully next time. I think it’s very pretty in the Silky Wool, though – slightly more rustic looking than the original.

3. And, just today, I got the hankering to knit some socks. I really wanted to cast on for a pair of these – the Super Simple Short Sock from Radiant Twist, with some Knit Picks Palette I have lying around, but considering I have three single socks either finished or on the needles, I decided to make myself work on one of those. I don’t think I’m ever going to finish my second Jaywalker – the socks are adorable, but just not very stretchy and kind of big on me. I love the Waving Lace socks, but that was more complicated than I wanted to get into, so I went back to my London socks:

As I’m calling them, since I took them with me to London. It’s kind of a made up pattern – I’m just using a basic sock recipe with Baby Cable Rib from the first Barbara Walker Treasury. That photo, by the way, is totally craptacular – I tried to Photoshop it into submission, but it’s not much of an improvement.

Some random knitbits…

I recently bought two skeins of Cascade Sierra at ReBelle – this is a lovely nice light cotton/wool blend. I got a gorgeous rich periwinkle color – I’m thinking a nice spring scarf but can’t decide. Any suggestions?

I also caved and bought five back issues from Interweave Knits that I didn’t have. I ended up purchasing Spring 2006 (why I didn’t have this one I can’t imagine), Fall 2005, Summer 2005, Spring 2005 and Winter 2004. If you buy four you get one free, which essentially means free shipping, so I thought, why not? If I got them on E-Bay, I wouldn’t get free shipping, plus I would rather my money go directly to Interweave. I ordered them yesterday – I can’t wait for them to get here!

And a couple of other random bits…

I started reading a new blog after finding out the author was coming to my store for a signing – Half of Me by the PastaQueen.  It is amazing – girl has lost almost 200 pounds the old-fashioned way – through eating better and exercising.  Check out her progress photos – you will be knocked out.   Plus they do a super-cool rotate-y thing when you click and drag on them!  Her blog is just flat-out fun, and so is the book – I totally recommend them both.

I also started using bloglines this week – I had been using My Yahoo since I have yahoo email, but it was just too doggone slow – plus it didn’t even load all the blogs half the time.  Weak.  So far I’m pretty pleased.

Jeez, I have lots more stuff I want to talk about, but I have got to run.  On the plate for next time – season finale of Lost, good books I have read recently, and more!

My new favorite hat!

March 15, 2008

Pattern: Lace Hat #26 from Holiday 2007 Knit Simple (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Oxford Grey

Needles – Size 8 circs & dpns

(sorry about the not-so-good pictures – rain, bad lighting, operator error, etc)

I essentially finished this hat in ONE DAY, y’all. That never happens! I cast on for it last Friday night, and then sat on my couch, watched ten episodes of Sports Night, (which, by the way, is one of the best sitcoms ever and you should totally watch it) and knit and knit and knit and knit. Hubby was working, so I knit and watched tv to my hearts content – and it was wonderful! It was, as you may recall from my last post, the biggest snow we have had in forever, so it was a good day to do so. And we were going to a party that night (yes, we did make it) and I really wanted to have it finished by then. The pattern was totally easy, very intuitive, and super-pretty. The finished hat in the magazine did not have a ribbon, but did suggest threading one through the eyelets – I just happened to have some black velvet ribbon lying around, and tried it out, and really liked the results.

So I wore this hat to my party, and something unusual happened. All my friends, of course, know I knit. None of them do, but they’re all aware I do. One of them complimented my hat, and asked if I made it. I replied in the affirmative, and suddenly, I was getting showered in compliments! Even from the guys! And everyone was so impressed that I had made it with my own two hands! It was very gratifying to have something that I made complimented so nicely.

I also decided I should have matching fingerless mitts (or hobo gloves, as hubby calls them), so I cast on for one and finished it up last week:

I can’t post a pattern link, because I essentially made it up. I just knit some rows in the twisted rib, then several rounds in the double eyelet pattern, doing the EZ thumb trick after a while, then did a few more rounds of the twisted rib and cast off – totally easy. And, I’m a tiny bit impressed with myself for coming up with this without a pattern! Now I just need to not have SMS (Second Mitt Syndrome) and cast on for the second one!

Other projects are continuing as well – the Shetland Triangle lacks only the last repeat and the border before it is done (this picture is totally blurry and not very good, but I want to show progress!):

Each row seems like it’s taking forever now, of course, but I will finish up one day!

And, I broke my yarn fast again today – I went to Magpie Yarn to drop something off for the owner, and actually needed a second skein of Silky Wool (well, I only had one skein, and what good is that?), and of course got caught by the 40% off bin. I was almost seduced by some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky, but I’ve heard that stuff pills like a mofo, so I went for three skeins of 1824 Cotton in a kind of slate blue. Have no idea what I’m going to make with it – I just couldn’t let it stay there! Any ideas?

I’m thinking about the Lace Ribbon Scarf in the new Knitty for the Silky Wool -it’s written for fingering weight, but I think it would be pretty in this yarn. There’s one on Ravelry already in Silky Wool, and it’s very pretty.  Mine is navy blue, which I think would look great in this pattern.  Hey – it’s not a hat!  I need more things that are not hats!

Chinese Buffet of Doooooom…

March 10, 2008

I don’t know why, but I love the Chinese buffet. Give me rows of shiny, lukewarm, mediocre Chinese food and I’m as happy as a clam. Or a shrimp – which I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in tonight. Yes, tonight hubby and I went to the #1 China Buffet – the source of my current discomfort. I am soooooooo full – why do I do this to myself? Every time we go, I tell myself not to fill up so much – have one less crab rangoon, three or four fewer Chinese donuts (oh, man, I love those things – I dump a couple extra sugar packets on them) – but I cannot do it.

And I always eat the same things in the same order. First platefull is the appetizer-type food – and the stuff I eat the most of. Crab rangoon, fried shrimp, sweet and sour chicken (without that red sauce, though), something our buffet calls “Rainbow Cheese” but I always call “Rainbow Fish” because of the kids book by Marcus Pfister (seriously, how they came up with this name, I don’t know – it appears to be primarily made of imitation crab, butter, and cream cheese), home fries (no, I don’t know why the Chinese buffet has home fries, but they are mighty tasty) and frog legs, if they have them, which they don’t always. And I have to have my special dipping sauce -2 parts duck sauce, 1 part spicy mustard, dash of soy sauce.

Then, I hit the main foods table – a bit of veggie lo mein, some steamed rice with mushrooms and oyster sauce, a dumpling, and usually some random chicken thing. And one piece of sushi, so I can convince myself again that Chinese buffet sushi is not good.

Then it’s time for dessert – and that’s all about Chinese donuts. Fried dough with sugar – how can you go wrong? Well, maybe by eating three of them…

Seriously, I feel like a beached whale…and soooooo thirsty. Perhaps from all that soy sauce, I don’t know.

We did make it to our party last night, despite the fact that hubby kept telling me we were taking our life into our own hands going out on the icy roads. Fortunately, the main roads were just fine, and nowhere was as bad as our own street. It just got plowed this morning. Of course, the temperature went up to over 40 degrees, so it’s practically all melted now.

And, I finished my lace hat – it is so cute, y’all. No pictures yet, but I’ll show and tell next time. I’m right now trying to make up some matching wrist warmers – wish me luck!

Snowed in!

March 8, 2008

Well, not really – but when I got up this morning, it looked like this:

Kind of ironic, since my last post was all about it maybe being spring! I knew, however, that it wouldn’t last – we ALWAYS get a few super-warm days then a real cold stretch in March. Last year, it actually came later – more like April, right after our dogwood (the tree in the foreground of the picture above) started to bloom. And of course, the freeze killed every single bud. I was so sad – I love that dogwood – it’s a pink one, and just gorgeous when it is in bloom:

So you can see why I missed it!

It’s not like the snow was a surprise this morning – the weather folks had been telling us for days that we might get dumped on. It was actually kind of funny, because they couldn’t say with any certainty whether we were going to get snow or just rain – and they were so frustrated! But by last night, we knew it was going to hit – they were predicting 6-10 inches of snow – which, let me tell you, is unheard of around these parts. We haven’t had that much snow in 10 years. I don’t think we have 6 inches yet, but it’s still snowing.

I spent the morning playing with the dogs in the snow – I don’t know if all dogs love snow, but mine sure do –

I took dozens of pictures, but most looked more like this:

…because they wouldn’t stay put! Apparently while chasing each other around the yard is always fun, chasing each other in the snow is waaaaaay fun. They are too much fun to watch – one of the true joys of snowfall!

The snow last night made me itchy to cast on a new project – not like I don’t have enough already. My first attempt were some Mitered Mittens (Ravelry link) – the may pattern from EZ’s Knitters Almanac. Not so good – I didn’t swatch – just cast on with some Wool-Ease I had laying around the house, then started the stripes with some random Wool of the Andes. Not only were they huuuuuge (they totally would have fit Sasquatch), the WotA is evidently a bit lighter than Wool-Ease. Who knew? So I frogged those, and started a lace hat (Ravelry link) from the Holiday 07 Knit Simple in the Wool-Ease.

Not much to look at so far, but I’ve actually worked a little beyond this now. I’m really enjoying this pattern – the lace pattern is totally simple – I had it memorized before I got to the end of the first round, and out of four rows, only one is patterned. Plus, the ribbing is twisted rib, which I’ve never used before, and I’m now totally in love with. My 1×1 ribbing always looks a little wonky and sloppy for some reason – but this twisted rib looks nice and crisp. I may sub it for 1×1 from here on out!

I guess I should have known I wasn’t done with hats – hopefully I can get this one finished while it’s still cold!

We are supposed to go to a birthday party tonight, but don’t know if we will make it out – depends on how the road conditions are. While I really want to go to the party, I have to say sitting home and knitting and maybe watching a movie doesn’t sound too awful, either!

Speaking of movies, I caught part of Grease 2 on Bravo today. I have no idea why, but I LOVED this movie when I was a kid. Way better than the first Grease. And I had a monstrous crush on Maxwell Caulfield. Anyway, I hadn’t seen it in years, so I decided to watch a bit. I checked in on it occasionally, between checking email, letting the dogs out, etc. And let me tell you, this movie is bad. I knew it wasn’t a good movie, but jeez. Memory is way kinder than reality! But, I have to say, it’s that good kind of bad – I totally enjoyed it and kind of revelled in its badness. The cheesy songs, the bad acting, the terrible dialogue – you just have to give over to it and enjoy the ride.

One more thing – I’m so glad daylight savings time ends this weekend! I hate it getting dark so early – I don’t usually get home before six, and in the winter, it’s already dark by then. I’d much rather walk the dogs in the light, thank you very much! But this weekend, with the time change, we’ll have til about 7:30 – yay! Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead!