Tuesday, August 31, 2004

NJ/NY pt. 2

Now before I continue on with the Stash Enhancement goodies, I had a really great surprise waiting for me when I returned from my trip...

Norma, on reading of my continued frustration with my sweater FOs sent me this wonderful gift:

It includes all the makings of a relaxing evening (except the willing attitude): Candles, Tasty Herbal Tea, and a Very Good Book. Plus (best of all) a very encouraging note card about the importance of process.

Thank you, Norma, this is just what I needed! Can I just say again, what a great week it has been?

So, how did you answer yesterday's question? You are in New York City, it's Saturday, and the yarn stores close in an hour. So you can only visit one (I know, the horror) which one would you choose?

I chose SchoolHouse Products.

Het-Heru in a shop sample. Click here for a bigger shop shot

The first surprise was how small it was... After walking throughout the crowded streets of the city that never sleeps, I don't know, I expected it to be like as big as a city block or something.

The second surprise was the cashmere. I didn't know that cashmere is not super soft "on the ball"... Don't laugh. I guess I just assumed it would be. So the very nice saleswoman explained the washing and blooming process patiently to me. And she assured me that the exquisitely soft scarves and hats on display were in fact the same fiber in balls (not scratchy per se, but not the fiber equivalent of shea butter either). Huh.

Of course I bought some.

Well "some." Or a little more than a pound. Who's counting?

Also, there were some really great hand-dyed colorways in various silk and cashmere blends, so I grabbed some of that. The color is truer above, the skein below is quite a bit more "dusky" or subdued. And I am a sucker for Italian imports, so I grabbed a few skeins of this great dk chenille in cream and black as well.

Whew. After that we got stuck in the rail system for a while (thanks to the Republican Convention there was much "rerouting" going on), and chatted it up with some of the couple hundred cops we saw in the station (please be kind, I was hot, tired, and bloated). Actually, there was no chatting. I just wanted to remember how damn many police there were in one spot.

And eventually, even little H had had her fill.

All in all, great week. Great trip. I am so glad I found C and she lives so close! She is a caring, vibrant, and interesting person. And I am a much better person for having known her all these years. Now we just need to get her hooked on knitting!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Home Again...

What a great week!

Last week was wonderful on so many levels, I was very sorry to see it end. I will be trying in the next few weeks to find ways to maintain that energy. First, the first part of the week, a business trip, went well. Then, my oldest and recently rediscovered friend, C, and her amazing family shared a bit of their joy and jostled some of my dour sobriety in the best possible way. To see how long I have known her, click here. She is on the far left, I am in the middle. Our friend Sash is on the right. We are in the 7th or 8th grade here (notice the cool shaker sweaters) and had already known eachother about 5 years. I know, it's a really blurry picture. But that's what I've got.

And yes, if you have waited forever for the page to load with all the pictures, there is knitting content included!

Grandma's Shawl (this was technically pre-trip, but I owe a pic):

click here for another view

Pattern: None, 5x5 rib, knit lengthwise, on size 15s
Size: Really Long
Yarn: Outback Mohair in Marengo, and a Lang mohair-micro blend in a Camel color in the fringe
Started: August 9, 2004
Finished: August 22, 2004

My first pair of socks, as modeled by C's youngest (and most precocious), Het-Heru:

Pattern: Basic Dutch Heel Sock, as taught by Marietta, at Woolwinders
Size: Little Girl size
Yarn: Plymouth Encore in a Multi-Red
Started: August 16, 2004
Finished: August 24, 2004

Her oldest, the ever compassionate Amon:

(He has an order in for green socks, with red on top.)

What do we have here?:

Wanna closer look?

Mostly the same as above except they are my size.
Yarn: Aurancania Wool in Black-ish
Started: August 19, 2004
Finished: August 29, 2004

We took a super fast trip into NYC, just long enough to get some yarn (say it with me: C rocks) and have some lunch with her excellent big sis in the East Village. If you had only 3 hours in New York, and could only go to one yarn store (with only an hour til closing), where would you go?

Answer tomorrow.

Now that I am back in touch with her, I envision more trips to New Jersey (and hopefully slightly longer trips to NYC so I can visit other friends as well).

Monday, August 23, 2004

Old MacDonald hadda fair...


Just a quick note, as today is very hectic. I am leaving on a business trip tomorrow morning and have about a squillion things to do at work. I likely won't post again until next Monday.

How did I do at the fair? Well, I submitted three pieces for judging in the handknitting category, and I got three ribbons! That's pretty good.

Salt Peanuts - 2nd place
NQ Colinette Poncho - 3rd place
Knotwork Scarf - 2nd place

I was happy. I could talk at length about my demo session, but I will leave it at: "Glad I did it, probably once was enough."

I am not sure if I will enter again, but I have a year to decide. The fair seems to judge on qualities that I do not tend to focus on. A cross-stitcher that I demo-ed with was intimating at all sorts of intrigues and politics tied to the ribbons. My response: Not Interested! But overall it was fun, and I will get a little check worth of winnings (not enough to really be worth cashing, but worth displaying artfully with the ribbons).

And of course, before I go, gratuitous Alpaca pics:

click for a kiss

I got some of Nicolodeon's (above) wool. Also his buddies Conan, who is chocolatey and Maisie who is orangier (they didn't get to come to the fair). Maybe a nice Peruvian stranded something. Ideas? I have about 400 yds.

I also finished Grandma's Shawl last night, but you will have to wait for glamour shots until next week. Tonight, I have part two of my Woolwinder's socks on circular needles class (recommended!) and then lots of packing.

See you all when I get back!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Fall Ideas

Since Fridays are for Ideas... And since my favorite season, Autumn, is just around the corner... Here are some things to do to celebrate it!

In the Fun for Kids and Adults dept.:

In the Get Out of the House dept.:

  • Camping! - If you can take the time off, this is a great time to go camping. The cooler weather makes camfires, sleeping bags, and s'mores all the more welcome!
  • Hiking - In case you are too busy to take a few days off to camp, take a few hours and go on a hike. There is bound to be a good trail close to wherever you are.
  • Fall Festivals - The apples, squash, and crafts, oh my!

In the Quiet Night at Home dept.:

  • Cooking and Baking - Now that it isn't a thousand degrees in the kitchen, try out a new recipe and celebrate the season.
  • Reading - What better time to curl up with a good book in front of the fire.
  • Knit Something Wooly! - Put that pink cotton tape and funky rainbow railroad ribbon down! Time for sweaters and scarves and mittens galore! Bring out the tweeds, the fiery reds, the deep golds, and finally: all the Bulky, Chunky, Wool!


Autumn -- overlooked my Knitting --
Dyes -- said He -- have I --
Could disparage a Flamingo --
Show Me them -- said I --

Cochineal -- I chose -- for deeming
It resemble Thee --
And the little Border -- Dusker --
For resembling Me --

~Emily Dickinson

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Thursday quickie

I had a great time at the knitting meetup last night! Some highlights from among the many great women and knitting:

Lara was telling hilarious stories about bikini waxes and women taking their clothes off in inappropriate places.

Sarah swapped a bucket's worth of cotton and some great yellow superwash (nephew #3 needs a binkie!) for some stamping gear. AND showed us the most adorable Anouk EVER.

Kate showed us her beautiful Berella sweater WIP.

A knitter (who's name I didn't catch) worked on a lovely mitered baby blanket in sage with a clever little pocket at the center (for a teddy bear)... Cool knitter, if you are reading this post, tell me your name!!

(And, while Michelle couldn't make it, she sent her tidings and assured us she had not given up on the meetup.)

In Travel News
I will be in New Jersey for most of next week on some business and some pleasure. I will likely not post at all while I am away.

In Weekend News
I will be demonstrating knitting at the Fair this Saturday from 11-2. I get to sit and knit for three hours and then hang out with the sheeps and goats and wander the farmer's market for the rest of the day for free! I hope to snap some pictures while there and get them up before I leave for Joisey. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and keep me company.

In Sock News
I love knitting little toddler-sized socks on two circular needles! Pictures and a class report later...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Thank you all (or, 3 cheers for more College and less Jr High)

Where to begin? I have had too much good life karma, I should have known to expect deficiencies elsewhere (like knitting). First, to those who expressed concern for my knitterly conviction: Fear Not! I am still a total addict. My sock class has inspired me, my nephew's sweater gives good knit, and Grandma's shawl is in the final inning.

I just need to slow down and enjoy the process more. I have been racing some unknown knitter (who keeps winning) and getting sloppy and frustrated and down for not being better/faster/whatever.

{{sigh}} Somedays it's more like junior high ("must do things 'right' to fit in"), and some days more like college ("who the hell cares, I do what I want").

In the meantime...
This post is all about giving thanks.

To Jen, La, Evelyn, Jessie, Kae, and Nancy,
THANK YOU for the support and kind words about the Eyelet Cardi. I do consider it a great accomplishment. And I do love the color. I just forgot for a minute (so your reminders were well-received). Never underestimate the value of your comments here. They totally made my day.

To My Secret Pal,
Thank you SO much! Woo!! How did you know your gift of cotton/wool with the littlest bit of stretch would come the day after my first sock class??

That blue will make GREAT socks! And the book? Perfect timing! I really wanted to get a copy of this before I knuckled down into Xmas gifts.

To my Project Team,
(Not that they read this or anything.) Remember all those long, tedious meetings? My consultants are from the UK, and of course, soccer came up at one point, and I said that obviously my favorite team had to be Chelsea (whether they are any good or not, right?)... Well, in honor of all of my hard work organizing and documenting the proceedings :

(You must excuse the no-makeup, no-smile, it's-really-early-stop-screwing-around-and-just-take-the-damn-picture look about me.)

I have done a bit of creative photo-shop editing on the second one, so you can't see the letters exactly... but it is my last name. All 18 letters of it (it's hyphenated, so the first half is on top, and the second half is on the bottom). I am number 7, which is the "striker" (the player who kicks the goal in at the end of a play). I dig that. The shirt seems huge, but I have been assured by many that it is supposed to fit like that.

It was a very unexpected and super-cool thing. It totally made last week.

To Monica:
Thank you for de-stashing the dreamy Colinette Mohair my way! I love it!

And lastly,
To the person searching for "compulsive knitting" + help + anonymous... I am sorry my site was the only one returned, and I hope you found what you needed with different keywords (unless it was you, Sweet Baboo, looking for help for me, in which case, fuggetaboudit).

And for whoever was searching for knitting dingbats, I hope you meant the little font tricks like: ♥, and not fruites de loopes. (Again, unless it was my Sweetest Baboo Ever, in which case, it is not a problem, it is just knitting. Lots of people do it every spare minute of the day. And lots of people can't stop stashing yarn. And anyway I can quit whenever I want. I just don't want to.)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Eyelet Cardigan

The knitting on the Eyelet Cardi is done, with modifications.

Click here for a bigger pic, and here for a detail of the neckline.

Pattern: Eyelet Cardi, from Bonne Marie Burns (who gives great pattern support)
Size: Who knows? (I used the 6.5st/in numbers, in an Ex Lg)
Yarn: Elann's Endless Sonata, Burnt Orange (13+ skeins)
Started: April 29, 2004
Finished: ... not quite til the ends are in...

I have been foiled again. It looks kinda big, huh? Sort of wide...? Well. It is. While I was very careful to check that my gauge was spot on at 22 st/4 in while working the sleeves, I apparently never checked it once on the body, because every random sampling I took after the fact was exactly 20 st. Exactly.

I didn't notice the whole hugeness thing until the neckline. It was WAY too big to only pick up 100 or so stitches and I scrambled to try to find the cause. I was convinced I had screwed up the decreases somehow. Unfortunately, I read patterns very closely. [I just need to start pencilling in little tidbits like "check your gauge right now" and "are you still making gauge...? Are you sure?" throughout the patterns going forward. ] Anyway, in the end, I checked the damn gauge.

Since the neckline was [is] huge, I added five rows of ribbing to hold it up. I also added a couple of extra garter stitch rows to the fronts to help with the curling factor. (I am certainly not going to go through the heartache of grosgrain ribbon at this point.) The neckline looks ok, for being sort of spontaneous.

I haven't found a bit of decent advice about the ends, so I am taking it with me to my sock class tonight to ask the fine folks at Woolwinders for advice. I will post any good info. I also may throw the thing in the washer/dryer and see what happens...

In conclusion, it is a very roomy sweater. My stitches grew straighter by the row, and overall, I am pleased with the way the actual knitting looks. ...But I am mostly crushed. I have so many sweaters planned, but am obviously cursed with my inattention to detail. I had already started a small sweater for nephew #2. It has no shaping, so I am going to see if I can manage to get it at least mostly right. That, and stick to scarves for adults for a little bit.

Friday, August 13, 2004

That's right..... More IDEAS!

Because Fridays are for ideas.

This has to be a quickie, because the last of the meetings (for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!) starts shortly.

In the PONCHO dept.:
They are all the rage this fall... If you don't want one (and how could you not want one??), you must know a teenage girl who will just die if she doesn't get one. Here are some easy, yet gorgeous poncho patterns. I need to figure out how to fit all of these into my list of to-dos.

  • From our own amazing Stephanie, the lovely Mission Falls Poncho.
  • Knitty knew the poncho explosion was coming, all the way last fall! Check out the easy-as-pie Villa.
  • If you haven't checked out Berroco's free pattern archive, you are missing out! My current favorite (I am picturing Big Wool, or Manos or something) is the Loretta Lynn.

In the For You or Your Secret Pal dept.:
Handmade stitch markers! So beautiful and so useful! Plenty of your fellow knit-bloggers are selling them at reasonable rates.

That's all I have for now, I'm late - I'm late - I'm late! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Is it Friday yet?

I wanted to post a picture of Cardi's almost complete yoke today, but I woke up late. Maybe tomorrow it will be a picture of Cardi's finished yoke!

In the meantime, I will post some stash pictures.

First up is the knitting basket. All current projects on any pair of needles needs to fit in here if it isn't on the go with me.

Clockwise from the Creamy Esperanza (which is only cast on, not really a WIP yet), there is the blue wave scarf, the mittens (that need some of their ends weaved in), the Premiere for the Shell-That-I-Haven't-Started-Yet, the remaining Elann for Cardi, the cast on for a Nephew #2 sweater, and underneath them is the longest scarf ever (on hold).


Then, there are the totes.
  • Totes in the den. Top is "charity" knit stash, acrylic worsted mostly; Middle is all wool all the time, used to call it the felting stash, but since I have never felted anything (yet) that is sort of misleading; bottom tote is the "gift" stash. I have better yarns in small quantities for hats, scarves, mitts etc. (And yes, there are a couple items off to the side that don't fit in the totes, but I am not yet willing to admit that I need another one.)
  • Totes behind the couch. These each contain one or two big projects worth of yarn. There is one full of peace fleece for an Everyday Cardi, one full of GGH Goa for a Boogie, one with Patons wool for a Dolman Revisited (IK 2003 winter?), enough Uxbridge Tweed for something... etc.
It's not too bad, eh? I mean, I have seen worse...

And now, hi ho hi ho.... (At least I have a knitting group meeting tonight!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The only thing in the world that matters today...

Yesterday, at 2:50am, my little sister had a baby!

Alexander, 9lbs, 8oz and 21.5 inches long

He looks gi-normous to me, but I wouldn't know about such things. I do know I am sending her some fuzzy yarn for insomnia scarves, some pampering things, and some cash.

His big brother hasn't met him yet, but we expect fireworks when the little king finds out that his house is no longer a monarchy. However, judging by the way big brother follows his big brother, I think in time they will be inseparable.

In far less important news, here is a picture from my Capitol walk.

Click here for a shot of the moat-building.

I also snapped a great shot of one of the fountains... Something about it reminds me of how these Business Process meetings make me feel, but I am not sure if I am the horse or the rider.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Rock beats scissors

And shawl beats cardi:

cardi-eating shawl

The shawl is a simple 5 stitch rib on size 15s. I am using Outback Mohair in Marengo, and am on a desperate search for a nice ribbon yarn for the fringe. I KNOW I should have searched for this elusive tape BEFORE casting the thing on and finishing two-thirds of it... But that would take some of the fun out of it.

If you have seen the Marengo in person, and know of a good ribbon (I am thinking along the lines either of Tagliatelli/Rowan or Zen/Giotto) that matches its apparently very difficult colorway, let me know!

I did pick Cardi back up last night when I ran out of balled mohair. In doing so, I discovered that my eyelet row appears to be two or three inches too high. I am ok with this (now) as long as it doesn't mean that I have put the thing together wrong from the start.

So, if you have done the sweater tell me this: the stitches that were bound off on both the body and the sleeve should line up when they are connected, right? Meaning that the only seams I will need to sew will be the underarms?

If that is true, then I think the problem is that I measured the 4 inches (after the join, before starting the eyelet row) incorrectly. I measured 4 inches along the raglan seam, not straight up from the "armpit." Since a diagonal is always shorter than two sides but longer than one, my eyelet row will be right under my freakin' chin. Which will be FINE. G*damn geometry.

Lastly, I read some great body-philosophy over at Amy's. Check out her shapely tank post. It is beautiful. I want to write more about this, but the meetingsfromhell are about to start....

Monday, August 09, 2004

(tell me why) I don't like Mondays...

This will be another week filled with Business Process meetings. {{sigh}} I will likely not post much, if at all. And will, in fact, be lucky if I am able to drag myself all the way into bed each night rather than sleep wherever I drop on the floor. Maybe I exaggerate a bit. But it is exhausting stuff, these all-day meetings.

Saturday involved more adventures in Downtown DC. Including a visit to Eastern Market, and the lovely Stitch DC (a website is listed for them, but seems to be down). I took a few pictures, but completely spaced putting them on the server before I raced out the door. Doh!

And on Sunday, I watched The Station Agent. Great movie! Thanks again, Ann! It had a wonderfully light-handed sense of humor, and remarkable characters. It is well worth checking out.

At Stitch DC: I oohed and aahed over all of the big beautiful bundles of Manos, unabashedly fondled the Noro Daria and Gedifra Byzanz, picked up then put down then picked up and put back down some dreamy Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk... And finally settled on two skeins of Elsabeth Lavold's Silky Wool in a lovely sage green. It is already on its way to being an Opera Scarf. I completely and totally forgot I even owned a camera in the face of all that fibery goodness. It is a small shop, and their quantity of yarns is not yet staggering, but they have quite a bit of room to grow and a fabulous little outdoor knitting area. If I had been with a fellow knitter, the rest of the morning would have been spent right at that little bistro table.

At Eastern Market: In and around the South Hall, I ate a squillion peach and nectarine samples and came home with some of each (and also some super tasty blackberries and raspberries). There were very dear crocheted lacey tanks and shawls at several of the booths, and one vendor on the flea market side had some cute needle felted bags. I was too shy to take pictures of these, which in retrospect seems silly, but at the time seemed respectful. Next time I will try to remember to think of posterity and manners be damned!

On Capitol Hill: I did take a few pictures here. Because of the Code Orange status, there were police in cruisers, with dogs, check-pointing all cars driving by... all over. Very surreal, to be sure. There was quite a bit of construction going on around the Capitol building itself, and I swear, it looks exactly like they are digging a moat around it.

The walk was nowhere near as strenuous or as hot as last weekend. An incredible cool front blew through and the highs were just under eighty. How awesome is that? I mean, I wanted to hike like crazy. I wanted to pack up and go camping, or climb a mountain, or go horseback riding... Ah, but sometimes living so near the city (and stubbornly refusing to get over the terror of driving) has its own inconveniences.

On Knitting: Well, the boredom won out. Not only did I work a couple of inches with the Silky Wool, but I got much of Grandma's shawl/wrap done. I will snap that one for tomorrow, too. I will recommit to the Eyelet Cardi soon, I am certain of it.

In the meantime, if you are reading, please tell me your favorite thing to do to unwind from a stressful day (at the office or otherwise).

Friday, August 06, 2004

Fridays are for IDEAS

(We'll see if I can remember this all the way to next Friday...)

In the Gifts for Secret Pals dept.:
Check out Galison/Mudpuppy Press. They have beautiful (and affordable) notecards/journals for children and adults. Here are a couple of my favorites:

  • Travel Journal for Kids - How cool lookin' is this? Games and plenty of space for note-taking. (There is also a "Camp" version, and one for older kids.)

  • Organizers - I just got one of these from a friend, and love it already. They have a little accordian 6-pocket folder inside the front cover, and space for notes. Looks like it would be great for yarn or fabric snippets, and it's small enough to toss in a purse or knitting bag!

  • Recipe Notecards - Each note card features a recipe! (The Chocolate on the Brain set includes easy brownies, mousse, cupcakes, and Parisian Hot Cocoa - MMM!)

  • Specialty Journals - Know a birder? A wino (I mean oenophile)? Dreamer? New Mom? Help them record their most important moments with one of these gorgeous journals. (I love the Naughty Naughty Pets cover ~ It's almost worth getting a cat just so I can document her in one of these!)

In the New (to me) Knitting Mag dept.:
In a desparate attempt to feed my knit mag habit (my Rowan membership is supposedly en route—I placed the order on July 16th, I mean hurry UP!) I picked up a copy of the British magazine: Knitting. I can't find any online info about it (how organized can they be with no website?!)

Many of the patterns were eye-watering designs (thanks, Jen!), but there was a great bag pattern made out of separate fan motifs that were sewn together into a small (but long, for needles) project bag. If you like to read 'em for the articles, there was a bit about Debbie Bliss that looked interesting.

In the Fun Facts to Know and Tell© dept.:
Check out all the Generic People at Fact Monster.

How about those wily clergy? (Note: this is a news story, courtesy of BBC.com about explicit behaviour- if such things offend you, don't click it.)

Wondering how to make little copyright symbols or type your blog entry in GrΣΣk? How about adding in some snazzy little dingbats, like ♥? The folks at WebDesignGroup are here to help. They have a lot of great links to bulletin boards, tutorials, and code standards the next time you need help or a sleeping aid.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

eCards!...and Eyes!...and Jazz!...and Toons!

Cardi's got eyes!

I am getting so bored knitting this thing that I actually packed two not-yet-started projects in my bag to take to the little knitting group this evening. I mean the eyelet rows were fun, but they were over too quick! Now my ADD is really flaring... First up is Grandma's Shawl, which I have even put up on the progress list to remind me that it is next. I also brought my Schaefer Esperanza because I could probably knock out my loop/hood thing this weekend if I really applied myself. Not that I am gonna but in case I do, I mean, I probably could.

I ask you: How much orange cotton string can one person take without beginning to covet fluffy pink mohair and chunky creamy white wool [she asks, plaintively]? About 78% of a sweater's worth, apparently [she grumbles]. But I am SO close! {{sigh}}

In the meantime, if you have not seen this cartoon, rush right out and put it on the top of your Netflix list!

and it's on sale, too!

I was so impressed with this cartoon, I can hardly stand it. Amazing Jazz score, beautiful, hand-drawn animation, hilarious slapstick (think Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin), a bit of satire (the Americans are universally hugely fat and the French Tour-de-Francers are all stick thin but for their freakish thighs and calves), and fantastic sound effects... I mean GREAT! There are only a couple of lines of dialogue, but you don't miss it! And, as if the music and the humor and the beauty of the drawings weren't tempting enough—the Grandmother knits! (Are you still here? Go rent this flick!)

...Oh, and Ann? Thanks so much for the Netflix recommendation! It was our first watch on our trial membership... I am already so overwhelmed by the convenience! (I added the Station Agent to my list, too)

Oh how I love Secret Pals!
My Secret Pal sent me a very cute eCard, thank you SP! She says has been reading up on me (which, as long as she is not Eff*Bee*Eye, is FINE BY ME) so in the interest of being even more helpful, here are some of the things I love: Did I mention Books last time? I LURVE books, and have an Amazon wishlist (under chelsea f-b). While I try not to buy the books from Amazon much ($$!), it sure is a handy way to keep a list... I am not always the greatest letter-writer, but I really like having interesting stationery on hand when the mood strikes me. I really like lavender, woodsy, and citrus scents. I am not so hot on heavy or fussy smells (like Freesia or Lily), unless they are musky/spicy (like Frankinscence or Sandalwood). Things on my wishlist: windchime for my porch, vase-like something to keep my pretty needles and hooks on display, sachets or soaps to put in my new dresser drawers (they are a little "wood stain" smelling). Please, no blank journals—I have about a million! There are so many cool designs, that I always want them, but then never fill them up!

[in a sing-song voice] ...I have also shipped off something to my secret pal... I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


I took a looksee at the latest knitterly meme (thanks, JenLa, Ann, Sondra, et al). Geek sheep, indeed!

You are a - Geek Sheep!

you're one l33t g33¦< 5¦-¦33p! No one understands a word you're saying, but you don't care. Bespectacled geek by day, fearsome DND warrior by night! Geek power ;)
Which flock do you follow?

this quiz was made by alanna

I find it very interesting that the geek graphic is the slowest loading —There must be a lot of us....

I will post some knitting stuff tomorrow. In the meantime:

Today's meditation:

grep '' /dev/null


Monday, August 02, 2004

Let's Knitting.

I always feel sad when the weekend ends, like "hey! we were just getting started!"

I did some good stuff the last couple of days and I guess I would like another couple of days of fun rather than of "cube." But this week holds possible fun, too. So, no whining here.

Urban Trekking
I met a woman, Elaine, who walks all over downtown for exercise. She knows all kinds of great urban trails, and on Saturday we walked from the Friendship Heights metro to the National Cathedral and back (5 miles! in the HEAT! and I didn't wuss out!!) I took pictures, but to save you the load time, I am only posting this small one:

Click the picture for another shot of the towers.

More photos:
Of course, I visited the gift shop, and got a little something for my Secret Pal!

The heat wasn't too bad on the way down, and there was even a nice breeze when we got to the Cathedral grounds. We sat in the garden for a bit and I worked a couple of rows on the Shell-I-Have-Not-Started-Yet (it was the lightest project I had). But the way back was quite a bit hotter and muggier. The stop at the corner farmer's market was VERY welcome. I got some of the best peaches and nectarines for me and some tart apples and hot peppers for my Sweet Baboo.

By the time we got back to the Metro, I was such a sweaty mess that the train ride home was actually cooling! But it was totally worth it. Elaine knows of some other trails in Bethesda as well as along the river. She is out every Saturday morning, so as often as I can I plan on joining her.

Personal Training
On Sunday I had a meeting with a personal trainer (my gym gives me a few freebies to suck me in to the exorbitantly priced service). Her name is Sara and she is very nice. This belies her obvious delight in kicking my ass via various free weights and torture machines. (I feel it today, and surely will be nearly paralyzed tomorrow... but it feels good to whittle away this buddha belly, even if by small degrees.) She has asked me how I can incorporate my favorite activities into ... well, more activity. When I told her that I what I lately love best is to sit and knit, she suggested maybe bringing some knitting to work on on the recumbent bike! Now tell me, if I could concentrate enough to knit, would I be getting much of a workout? AND what in the world would I want to work on in a sweaty ole' gym?!

Original graphics by "FAM" ~ It's ladies works!

Old Time mp3s
I also worked on another of her suggestions. I hate being stuck on those boring cardio machines for more than 30 minutes, and she has said I must do 45 minutes minimum, so to keep me interested, she recommended Books on CD—which for me is Books on mp3 (my little Rio is smaller than any CD player and holds much more music). I checked out Little Altars Everywhere, by Rebecca Wells from the library and ripped it to mp3 on Sunday afternoon. This morning on the Elliptical and Treadmill I listened to most of the first CD. Finally, I can catch up on my reading! I haven't yet learned to knit and read, so my must-read list is very long and getting dusty.

When I can't find a good book, I found a great resource for wonderful audio online: OTRCAT. They sell Old Time Radio shows on CD in mp3 or standard audio format, and many of the shows have a free downloadable episode. It is very hard to get bored while listening to vintage Abbot and Costello, or Burns and Allen. Plus, I beat Gypsy Rose Lee in guessing whodunit while listening to The Adventures of Ellery Queen. (I didn't know G.R. Lee was a detective either, but apparently she was a woman of many amazing talents.)

The site designers at OTRCAT include great historical tidbits on many of the shows, and the prices are incredibly reasonable for mp3 format disks (all 174 episodes of Burns and Allen will run you $20, while the relatively short run of Ellery Queen is $5). Regular audio disks cost a dollar less a piece, but hold about a tenth of the material (many new CD players can handle mp3 format).

And, yes knitting
Aside from the aforementioned few rows at the Cathedral, I did manage to get something accomplished on the Eyelet Cardi. She is over 300 stitches around with the sleeves added in, so the goin' is slow, but here are her first raglan decreases:

I will make sure the next picture is more legible.

Tonight is the Arlington SnB. I am hoping to get several more decreases done there, if the good conversation, amazing knitterly sights (including Linda's new FOs!), and tasty coffee treats afford me the time!

Also, a special note to my Secret Pal: rest assured, I like everything. I love books, and will buy them new only if I must. Like Norma, I love good used book finds. Like Greta, I take great comfort in rocks, especially if they come from a Special Place. I also hoard small-precious-things-of-a-wide-assortment, especially trinkets with stories attached to them or knick knacks that are thought-provoking. My favorite colors? Cool tones, from Blue and Green to Grey and Black, and warm Deep Reds, Rusts, and Ochres. I tend to avoid Pinks, Teals, and Lemony Yellows (but even those colors make good gifts for people in my life). See? You can't go wrong!