Friday, December 23, 2005

Holiday knitting

At last, some pictures of things I am working on.

The bears:

The one on the left is for our friend's baby, made out of Cashmerino Superchunky in Rose. I had to double the yarn to get the right gauge. The flash on the camera made the stuffing look more apparent than it actually is in real life. The white bear is for my sister, and knit with Blue Sky Bulky Alpaca. She loves bears, especially polar bears. And what self-respecting polar bear would go outside without their scarf?

So, I had some yarn leftovers. I still can't figure out how I ended up with 2 skeins of the alpaca left. It will be a question for the ages. So, I whipped up a couple more items:

I've talked about the scarf before and its tendency to shed. But isn't it purty? And the fingerless gloves have already paid for themselves. I always have cold hands, so I carry them with me everywhere. And they are SO soft.

And, the project I am working on now:

I am on the 7th repeat of the first half, and I love this pattern. I also love the way the leaves pop up (heh, I almost typed "poop"). I keep showing my husband this phenomenon, but he is less than impressed.

Today, I wrap gifts, clean up the house a bit, go to the tattoo/piercing shop to get retainers for my body piercings (so I don't get felt up by airport security), and possibly go to a holiday party tonight.

I'll be in Victoria, BC from the 27th through the 31st, so you probably won't see any posts for at least a week (but really, is that so unusual?) So, I hope y'all have a smashing holiday, and that you get everything you wished for :) See you next year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Thoughts on Yule and Knitting Content

When I was growing up and still going to church, Christmas was my favorite time of year. I loved the presents. I loved working at the Christmas Tree Lot at my church. I loved taking pictures with Santa. I loved singing carols in choir and going to the Christmas Eve service. I loved playing handbells for the same service. And I loved hunting for and decorating the Christmas tree for the living room. Church was such a huge part of my life until college that most of my memories surround church.

Ever since my spiritual path veered away from Christianity, the holidays have been difficult. I can still celebrate parts of Christmas that are really more "Yuletide" oriented - the food, the decorations. But there is a part of me that misses all the other stuff that went along with the Advent season at church. Strangely enough, these other things weren't overtly "Christian". I would feel like a hypocrite singing carols, however. I believe that Jesus was a real person and had a good message, but Son of God? I don't believe that anymore. And I believe that a lot of people have twisted his words to inspire hate and war, and I can't be a part of an organization that promotes that. Jesus was a cool dude, but Paul was full of shit.

So what am I babbling about? I don't know. I'm trying to figure out how I feel about this time of year. I'd like to start a new tradition of having a holiday gathering, with lots of food, cookies, wassail, and spending time with our friends. That, to me, would be the best gift. I never understood the idea of posting your list, and then getting everything you ask for. Although my mom was good at being creative, and still has the knack of finding the perfect gift (J has experienced this firsthand every Christmas). I just don't like the materialism, and the stress of trying to find that perfect gift that the recipient may not even want (this has happened to me more than once).

I am still trying to figure out what this holiday means to me. It has changed so much over the years. And this is the first year that I've had time to sit and think on it. This is what I've come up with so far:
- celebrating the cooler weather and the change of the seasons. Or at least pretending if you live in CA like me.
- spending time with family and friends
- reflecting on the past year for inspiration and lessons learned, and looking to the year ahead. Face it, the only reflecting happening on New Year's is your face in the toilet bowl. Or maybe that's just me.

Ooookaaay. On to some knitting content!

Being the knitting slut that I am, I have once again started new projects, casting the old ones to the side like so much garbage. I do have a couple of FO's (which is where using your imagination is going to come into play, since I have no pictures yet). I finished the Bobbi Bear for my sister. I used the Blue Sky Bulky Alpaca in Polar, and some black Cashmerino Aran for the eyes and nose. Since this bear is for a 40 year old, I am not worried about it getting dirty. However, my gauge must have been a little off. The pattern calls for 6 skeins of yarn, and I only used 4! So, I broke out my size 35 turkey basters, cast on 8 stitches, and knitted myself a big garter stitch scarf with fringe. I'd estimate it at 55-60 inches in length. The Blue Sky Alpaca is so poofy that it made a pretty solid fabric. It sheds like crazy, but I love this scarf.

We had a work party on Saturday, to put together walls for our SCA encampment. One of the couples brought their baby, were watching me knit the bear, and expressed great interest in said bear. So, of course I had to get a few skeins of Cashmerino Superchunky to make a machine washable version of the bear. In rose, because this baby is crazy about pink. Note to anybody wanting to knit the Bobbi Bear in this yarn - you will need to double the yarn. The pattern calls for more of a polar weight yarn, so just something to keep in mind. It is turning out splendidly, but I ran out of yarn after doing the ears, and I just have the arms left, so I will need to grab a couple more skeins to finish. I think they (and the baby) will really enjoy it.

And, um, I'm also working on the Backyard Leaves scarf in Cashmerino Aran. I have fallen under the spell of this yarn. I had to pry a skein of the Superchunky out of my husband's hands. He normally doesn't care much about yarn in general, but he sure loved how soft it was. And the shine! Gorgeous stuff.

I also feel the need to bare my soul and list those projects that I have cast aside. Read 'em and weep:

- Irish Diamond Shawl - is reclining gracefully in my knitting bag. There are no problems with it, I just need to get the gumption to pick it up again.

- Socks for my friend, Mary - need to be frogged. I tried them on, and I could barely get them around my ankle. Seeing that Mary has larger ankles than I, I will need to increase the needle size. Luckily, this pattern is easy, so I forsee no problems in re-knitting these socks.

- Turtleneck Shrug - Yawn. So boring. And itchy in the Kid Classic! Maybe I should make it in the Cashmerino, and my obsession would be complete.

- Scoop du Jour - will be frogged. I can't imagine what I will use this yarn for (Wool Ease). I'm spoiled, it seems so rough to my fingers now. I don't think I would ever wear it.

- Vintage Scarf - will be frogged. I messed up the cabling at some point, and I wouldn't be able to find my place in the pattern again, anyway. I am fascinated with the yarn, (Touch Me) though when I start it again I won't knit with the bamboo needles. Major stickage occurred.

- Mariah - how can I forget dear Mariah? I tried to be a smarty-pants, and knit a second sleeve up to the same point as the first, so I could do both at the same time. Unfortunately, I picked up my size 6 needles instead of the 7s, so the gauge is off by quite a lot. I need to frog the second sleeve portion and start it over.

My stash has grown to biblical proportions by leaps and bounds, so I really need to figure out what projects to do with the yarn I already have.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Thanks Secret Pal!

It took me a week, but I finally took pics of the box that I got from my Secret Pal!

As you can see, I got all sorts of goodies. And there's another box on the way! Yay! And yes, I did thank my Pal by email this week.

This secret pal stuff has been fun, but sometimes life makes it hard to keep up. Because of my jury service, I got really behind on sending stuff out. I hope that my last box I'm sending out will make up for all of that. Because of the unpredictability of things around here lately, I'll sit the next SP out.

I also have a couple of pictures that I owe to this blog. First up, here's the first sleeve on my Mariah:

I'm very proud of that knotwork!

And here is the first sock of the pair for my friend:

I really like the colors, and I hope she does too.

Lastly, here is a pic of my Bobbi Bear in progress:

I've done the body, the butt, and am working on the first leg.

I've gotta go, but I will update with more pics around the house this week. I leave you with our fall colors from the grapevines in the backyard.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


My mind is racing with all the decorating possibilities of our home. So I've consulted a few sites, like Gothic Martha Stewart, for some design ideas.

Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, I am not going to paint bats on the ceiling or drape lace over the lampshades (unless *cough* J requests that sort of thing). But I've come up with a couple of good ideas:

- Decoupaging our lampshades with rose petals. I think that will be a pretty way to display our garden's wares in a more permanent way. I could also press some lavendar or something for the kitchen lamp, mix it up a little. I'm tired of our plain white shades!

- Using our little white bookshelf-thingies in the garage as a side table next to the large bookcase in the living room. I could paint it black, drape a pretty scarf over it, and put one of our directional desklamps in that corner so I can see my knitting/reading/whateverprojectI'mworkingon at night, without disturbing J in his corner of the room.

I'm also thinking about colors to paint the walls. We know that we want to do some sort of sage/burgundy thing downstairs. J wants deep red for his office. I think I want a greyish violet for the craft room. I'm undecided on the bedroom or the bathroom. And I kinda like the kitchen the way it is. Maybe I'll just drape some fabric over the window over the sink and call it a day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


We had a wonderful weekend visiting George.  Only one of us in the group got sick (no, not J or I), and there was much wine tasting, laughter, and poker playing.  I just wish we could have stayed longer!  The vineyards are so beautiful this time of year.  And yes, we brought home enough bottles to fill those spaces that have been nagging us recently.  We also joined another wine club for Koehler Winery.  Gotta have a little variety, right?

Thanksgiving was nice and quiet, and the food was good as usual.  Because of our trip, I wasn't able to fix my own turkey last weekend, so I'm doing it this weekend.  This is the last Saturday that I have free until the end of the year.  The 10th is the 3DC work party, the 17th is the Victorian Dinner, and the know.  I'm looking forward to the turkey pot pies and the turkey stock that will result from my labors on Saturday.

I need to start with the holiday shopping.  I got some decent suggestions from my dad for his Xmas list.  My mom will be a little more difficult, but I will come up with something.  I already have something I'm making for my sister.  When asked, J's parents gave a resounding "I dunno" to the question of what they wanted, so we will be flying by the seat of our pants once again.  And don't even get me started on his sister...  Yeah, I'd said that we were going to have a talk with the families about not exchanging gifts this year, but it was too late by the time we made that decision.  So we'll suck it up this year and have that discussion with them at the appropriate time (on, oh, Christmas Eve or something ).

In preparation for the work party on the 10th, J and I are going into a cleaning frenzy.  More accurately, one hour of frenzy each evening before collapsing on the couch to watch our DVR-ed shows.  We need to clean up the guest room and the office, bag up our clothes for the Salvation Army to pick up on the 8th, and generally spit-shine everything so it doesn't look like we're complete pigs.  Since there will be two people (at least) spending the night, I suspect we will have to move the litter boxes into our bathroom and make the "hall" bathtub presentable upstairs.  Man, I hate cleaning.  At least we have a decent vacuum now.

We are also trying to decorate and make it look like somebody actually lives in our house.  We've already been here for almost two years, and have done nothing to the decor.  For starters, I bought some curtains and valances from Target.  They are cotton velvet, and the valances have beads.  We put them up last night, and they look fancy.  I love it!  Maybe one of these days we will get around to re-upholstering our dining room chairs.  And painting.  At least we have pictures on the walls. And we need to find a good place to display the Dickens Village collection. Hi, I'm 80 years old! If I had a front porch, I'd be out there shaking my walking stick at all those damned kids. If I wasn't knitting something.

Speaking of knitting, I am in an ennui. Good thing I only have one project to finish before the holidays - Bobbi Bear for my sister. Which means I should probably get started on it again, eh?

But I digress. I must retaliate for the Paul McCartney Xmas music from the other office with some Manheim Steamroller.  Back to work...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Introducing...The Great Pumpkin!

(Morrigan is all "Village of the Damned" in that first pic)

Okay, so the pictures aren't nearly as bad as I feared they would be. Now don't get me wrong - I think Stephanie is a brilliant designer and I love how this sweater came together. But I don't think bulky yarn is right for my body type :( Which is a bummer, but the sooner I come to terms with it, the better.

Oh and didja notice I'm doing the Rachael?

Now I am back working on the Mariah sweater. I think that I will start the other sleeve, get to the same point that I am on the first sleeve (row 31), then work on them together so I can really crank them out. I really love doing the cabling, and I am at the point in the pattern where I only need to glance at the chart from time to time to make sure I am on the right row for the increases. The design is really intuitive.

I hope everybody has a Happy Thanksgiving, and eats lots of good food this weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Nice weekend

I had a very nice weekend. Friday we did nothing for once, which was great. Saturday, our friends Meg and Craig came to visit from Fallbrook. We went out for sushi at Wasabi and drank way too much beer and sake. Yum! It's been far too long since we've had sushi, and I forget how good and inexpensive that place is. And it was really nice to spend some quality time with Meg and Craig. With 5 kids, they don't get a lot of quality adult time, so this was good for them.

Sunday, we got up early and went to breakfast at Johnny Reb's with John and Mary. We sat out on the patio and probably pissed off a number of people with our obnoxiousness. It is trouble when we get together - our "inside voices" tend to find their way outside. Tact just goes flying out the window. I had a lovely meal of chicken fried steak, scrambled eggs, biscuit, and cheese grits. They had to roll me back out to the car. But we did manage to make it back home in one piece. We then started the laundry, and I went grocery shopping. By that time, our friends Randy and Ginger had arrived. Randy and J went to work patterning some slops for J's Border Reiver outfit, while Ginger read and I knitted on my cardigan. We then went to dinner at Cosmo's, where I had some of their yummy Gnocchi. I love how I was able to hit all my favorite restaurants this weekend :)

And yes, I did finish the cardigan. Lemme tell ya, bulky yarn and big boobs do not mix :( It turned out great, but it makes me look HUGE. For the sake of this blog, I will post pictures so you can witness me looking like the Great Pumpkin. I had to make one change - Lion Brand Thick and Quick doesn't block worth a damn, so the button bands were rolling like crazy. I put the buttons on, and it didn't help. So, I grafted the button band with the button holes to the other side of the cardigan, so I would wear it like a pullover, but it has a faux button band going down the front. It turned out very nice. Maybe if I have a friend that has no boobs, I can gift it to her. But this is the last time I am making a sweater out of big yarn. I have learned my lesson.

I'll take some more pictures later of my other two projects - the sock and the Mariah sleeve. I'm into the foot of the sock and about 5 inches into the sleeve. Both look pretty spectacular. I should have those pics up this week, but don't hold me to it.

So, I have all of this heathered green Wool Ease yarn. I've tried making two sweaters out of it, but get bored to death with each pattern I try. I think I'll try a third pattern - Klaralund. I love the shape of the sweater, it only has 4 pieces, and the stitch patterns change enough that it should keep my interest. Plus, this sweater wouldn't make me look like the Goodyear Blimp. I don't like the feel of this yarn very much, but I don't want to just toss it. And I think the drape would be just right for this pattern.

So, to totally change the subject. J brought this up yesterday - after two years, we haven't really settled in to our house. The craft room and office still have boxes and aren't organized. Same with the garage. So, since we are having a big work party on December 10th where people will be spending the night, we need to clean up some of this stuff. We are also going to decorate a little more. Target has these velvet curtains and valances on sale for $24.99 and $14.99, respectively. These would not only look kickass in our living/dining area, but would help to keep the heat out in the summer. Plus we will need to decide if we are painting and which rooms get painted. We are so used to moving every two years, it's weird to think we will be here longer than that.

The rest of this week should be pretty nice. I only work three days this week. Thursday is Thanksgiving at my Mom's house, with both sides of the family. Friday, J is having some sort of work party at our house, so I'm hoping to get some more knitting in. And Saturday and Sunday we are visiting George in Santa Maria. I'm looking forward to that little vacation!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Insert Title Here

I think we had originally planned this to be a lazy weekend, but things never quite worked out that way. Now we have plans for tonight and the whole day tomorrow. I shouldn't bitch too much - I like spending time with my friends. I just like having time to myself, too.

I finished the scarf about two weeks ago. Just got around to taking pictures of it Thursday night. Here 'tis:

I love the length and the colors. I'm not sure when I'll wear it, though. Probably when we go to Victoria BC in December. Surely the weather will be cold enough up there! We don't get real weather here in SoCal.

I haven't written here in a while because, frankly, I'd been too lazy to take pictures. I should just write, and not worry about it. I'm absent too long, and people stop checking here for updates. And I do love my comments when I get them :)

So, things have slowed down around here since October, which is a blessing. J and I will celebrate Thanksgiving next week with our parents, then go up to Santa Maria on Saturday to visit our friend George and go wine tasting. Specifically, to Andrew Murray. They are having a big open house and BBQ to celebrate their harvest. Yum, yum, yum. I can't wait!

I have been knitting all this time. I, uh, dropped everything I had been working on when the kit for Glampyre's Bulky Cabled Cardigan came in, in Pumpkin. ADD knitter, anyone? I am such a slut when it comes to my knitting projects. I love the pattern, and so far it seems like it will fit. I've finished the body, one sleeve and half of the other sleeve. I just have the button bands and seaming of the sleeves to go, and I will be done. One problem - the kit provides 6 skeins of yarn, which is supposed to cover up to the XL size. I made the Large, because I wanted a close-fitting cardi. But I still had to go last night and get more yarn. My second sleeve was going to eat up the last ball. I don't think my gauge is out of whack, but who knows. I just hope that it looks okay on me - I don't want to end up a giant orange Michelin-woman in this thing. If it works out, I wouldn't mind making another one. It's a very clever and (hopefully) flattering design. I'll just know to get 7 balls of yarn next time :)

And I will pick up my other two projects that I had cast aside - my Mariah and my socks. The Mariah sleeve is coming along beautifully. It's so hard to work on at night, being a charcoal yarn. I really need a light in the corner where I sit in the living room.

So, I'll try to write here on a more regular basis. Just so you know there's more in my life than just knitting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Because if everybody else jumps off a cliff, apparently so will I...

Check out our Frappr!

If I have any readers left, add yourself. I wanna see your bright, shiny faces on my map!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Everybody else is doing it...

The meme everybody's been talking about!

What is your all time favorite yarn to knit with?

Well, "all-time" is relative, seeing as I just started knitting a little less than a year ago. I'd have to say Koigu, with Noro Silk Garden coming a close second. Both produce such a soft fabric.

Your favorite needles?

Depends on the project. For socks, I love the Addi Turbo 40" (I use the Magic Loop method). For heavier projects I love my Denise interchangeables. And I love my bamboo 14" straight needles for projects when there is little chance of me putting somebody's eye out.

What is the worst thing you've ever knit?

Unfortunately, I think it's the green sweater. I like the pattern and the sweater itself, but it turned out so heavy and HOT in the Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. I may do it again, but with the yarn the pattern calls for. I doubt that I will ever have the opportunity to wear it. We'll see, though - the weather hasn't really gotten cold yet.

Your most favorite knit pattern? (Maybe you don't like wearing it...but it was the most fun to knit.)

I can't pick just one. In terms of socks, I really enjoyed the Friday Harbor pattern (once I figured it out), and the Feather and Fan Socks from Socks Socks Socks has been really easy to memorize, and looks so pretty. I also really enjoyed the My So Called Scarf pattern. The stitch pattern itself makes a very interesting and beautiful fabric, especially with variegated yarns like Manos. And I'm really getting a kick out of the Mariah pattern. The knotwork is a lot of fun to knit!

Most valuable knitting technique?

Hmmm - I'd have to say the magic loop for socks. It's so easy and not as cumbersome as dpn's for me.

Best book or magazine?

Knitting on the Road is one of the best sock books out there.

No magazines have really stood out as my favorite. I really like Knitty - they have some of the best and most creative stuff out there.

Your favorite knitblogs?

There are so many - I have about 80 that I hit regularly. My personal favorites are Laurie, Stephanie, Jodi, JenLa, two Wendys, Stitchy, Margene, and Rachael.

Your favorite knitwear designer?

For socks, Nancy Bush. For other clothing, Teva Durham.

The knit item you wear the most? (How about a picture of it!)

All my socks, of course! And I wore my Clapotis a lot at War. It hasn't been cold enough yet to wear much else.

My court case ended last Friday. If you are interested, here are a couple of articles about the case. At least I can say it wasn't boring! I'm glad that it's over. It was really stressful being out of the office for so long, like I was split in two.

I finished my scarf, and will have pictures up this weekend. Currently, I am working on one of the sleeves for Mariah, and I'm to the foot of the first Feather and Fan sock for my friend, Mary. I tweaked the pattern a bit - I left out the garter stitch border between the leg and foot, did an eye of partridge heel, and used Grumperina's method of picking up stitches for the gusset, which turned out so nice looking, and no gaps! Pictures will be coming of these as well.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention - I got a most excellent package yesterday! I won a prize from the Give A Little drawing. 9 skeins of Rowan Magpie in dark blue! It is just gorgeous. I'm not normally much of a blue person, but this yarn has flecks of burgundy and sage green. This will be perfect for Rogue. I can't wait to get started on it now!

Back to work...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fallen off the edge of the world

So sorry I haven't posted in forever. The past few weeks have been crayzee. I survived War (SCA-style), and you can read about my exploits here.

I've also been on a jury. Whee! Yes, I got picked as an alternate for the damned jury. So, between that and work and War, I've been a busy bee. I am hoping that the trial will be over with at the end of this week, but who knows. We should find out more today about the court's schedule. I'll admit, it has been a very interesting case - murder is never boring. I'll share the gory details once the case is over.

In knitting news, I am still picking at the shawl, but it is nowhere near finished. So, I picked this up again:

It pretty much looks the same, but MUCH longer. I have exhausted one skein and started on the second. This will be the longest scarf I've ever owned, and it will be lovely. At the rate I'm going, I will have it finished this weekend. I hope it stays cold outside so I can actually wear it!

Oh, and Secret Pal? I have made good use of that Knit Pixie gift certificate. I purchased enough of the charcoal Bartlett Fisherman yarn to make Mariah, and some size 17 dpns for my Bobbi Bear. Thank you for enabling me! Not that I need help, but I do appreciate any and all assistance that I receive ;)

One upcoming project that I am looking forward to is making some of these. I will make some for my dear friend Karen, who currently only has one boobie. I'm awfully tempted to give hers a pierced nipple - fun!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sooner than I expected

Here are a couple of pictures of my Friday Harbor Sock:

I am SO happy with how this sock turned out. I was able to start the toe decreases right after I finished the last lace repeat, which is easy for me to remember for the future. The toe looks very strange in the second pic, but as you can see in the first, the sock fits perfectly :)

I had an adventurous dinner this evening. I made some mac and cheese, but using bechamel sauce and fontina cheese with nutmeg. Yum! That wasn't the adventurous part, though. That came when I cooked up the first batch of pasta. There were bugs INSIDE the pasta itself. Yuck! So I had to cook up a whole new batch, which took freakin' forever. It was so worth it, though.

Anywho, hopefully I will have a complete pair of socks for the weekend.

Jury Duty and War

I am cross-posting the next paragraph from my other journal (I'm lazy like that):

So, I had Jury Duty on September 21st. The good news is that I got out at about 11-ish, and had a very nice half day off from work. The bad news is that I have to go back on October 3rd for the actual jury selection. For a murder trial. I'm not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, the true crime geek in me is kind of excited and thinks it will be an interesting experience. On the other hand, I would be deciding somebody's future. Of course, I may not even get picked, so I don't have to worry quite yet. I do know that it isn't a capital case, and the jury wouldn't be sequestered, so that's good news at least. But it is expected to last the whole month of October. On the good news side, I would still get to go do my SCA War thingie the 7-10th, since I would still have those days off from the courthouse. Oy, I just hate not knowing.

Worse yet, knitting needles and crochet hooks are not allowed at the courthouse! *pouts*

I am cleaning up stuff at work and getting all caught up this week so I can be gone without the world coming to an end.

On to knitting content. I was seduced by a pattern, and cast my shawl aside temporarily. I am working on the Friday Harbor socks from Knitting on the Road. In Mountain Colors Weavers Wool. In the same damned color as Margene's socks. Look at the July 13th entry. I just fell in love with the colors for no apparent reason. My fascination with pink and other pastels this year disturbs me a little, but I'm just gonna go with it. People, I finished the first sock in 3 DAYS. This may not seem like that big of a deal to some of you, but I have amazed myself. Crazy! I am through the cuff and past the first repeat on the other sock already. I just love the pattern - I haven't been bored once since starting these socks! I will have pictures up this weekend of the finished pair.

I have to admit, the shawl is a tad bit excruciating for me. Thanks to the increases it takes me that much longer to get through each row, and I don't know how much longer I can take it. I have no patience! I am definitely not a process knitter (although I am enjoying the Friday Harbor pattern a lot, and can see myself making more socks in this pattern). I think I am bored with the shawl pattern too - it is very simple and repetitive. If I can get through the last 4 repeats, it might get a bit more exciting for me. But I doubt seriously at this point if I can finish this before War.

Speaking of which, J and I need to start getting our shit together for War this weekend. As usual, I have procrastinated on getting my garb repaired and ready, so I will be at the sewing machine for a portion of Saturday and Sunday. We need to wash our garb that we will be taking with us, make a trip to Costco to stock up on soda, water and Red Bull ('cause there MIGHT be drinking. MAYBE.), and start making a staging area in the garage/house of all the crap we need to pack for the trip (canvas tent, air mattress, candles, lanterns, etc.). I'm looking forward to the trip, but I hate the organizing/packing part.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Oh my god, she actually took some freakin' pictures!

It's true, it's true! I'm not messin' with ya this time.

So, here is the progress on my Irish Diamond Shawl thus far:

This picture highlights a single panel. No the diamonds aren't THAT fucked up - they just need some serious blocking to show all the detail. I have to say, this is a very well written pattern. The first motif has been very easy to memorize, and I haven't had to refer back to the chart since the first diamond row. I'm up to 10 diamonds in each section, and this part of the pattern ends with 15 diamonds in each section. Then it's off to the eyelet dividing section and the second pattern, which I believe has 2 repeats. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I'll be able to finish this in the next 3 weeks. But I'm not giving up yet :)

I also started on the Turtleneck Shrug from Scarf Style, but that is on hiatus until I finish this shawl. I'll provide pictures later, when I make some actual progress on it. I'm knitting it in Kid Classic, in a very tomato-ey red color.

And I finished my fall socks. Here they are!

You will just have to take my word for it that both socks are done :) I've already washed them once, and the Cherry Tree Hill does really well! I even threw them in the dryer, and they turned out fine. I will probably lay any future socks flat to dry, though. They retained their color very well, and they are SO soft.

I also have a new member of the family:

Heh - you probably thought it was another cat, didn't you?

I dearly love my iPod! It is a 40 gig refurbished model, and I already have exactly 2,900 songs on it. My husband already has an iPod and the iTunes library set up with all of our CD's ripped to it, so it wasn't too difficult to update my iPod with the songs. The way our computer is set up, J and I can separately log in to the computer, so it is like we are on a network and each have our own systems that can access the "shared drive". We each have our own Preferences set up, so I can select/deselect songs in iTunes to my hearts desire, without affecting the main listing of music. In a fit of insomnia on Friday night, I was up until 3:30am going through the list and selecting the songs I wanted, and deselecting the ones I didn't. J has about 7,600 songs, so I opted out of over half of them. All of the rap except for Beastie Boys, most of the metal, Rush, Prince, and assorted others went buh-bye from my list.

Now, I know many people name their electronic devices. I'm not normally one of them, but any suggestions are welcome :)

And the case? From "Fashion Fights Breast Cancer". All net proceeds go towards breast cancer research. A good cause, and a gorgeous case to boot!

On a totally different topic, the husband and I are going on an actual real vacation. We are travelling up to Victoria, BC the week between Christmas and New Years. I'm so excited! I have never been outside of the US, so this should be interesting. We went to the post office yesterday to apply for Passports, so I hope we get those soon so we don't have to worry about them. We are staying at Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa, which is a fancy-schmancy hotel with beautiful rooms, a full spa, 5 star restaurant, a brew pub and a wine bar! We may never leave! We do intend to hit the wine country on Vancouver Island, and to go to Butchart Gardens, which is only 2 km from the hotel.

Anybody out there been to BC or surrounding environs? Any advice for stuff to do that time of year?

Anyway, I should get back to the knitting. I have to call in for Jury Duty this week. I really hope I don't have to go in - they will confiscate AND DESTROY knitting needles brought to the court house. Heathens!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Long Time, No Post

So sorry for the lack of material lately. There has been lots of BBQ-ing at Chez O'Donnell recently, so I have been recovering this week from all of the excitement. I am very glad that we only have plans on Saturday. I plan to do some major resting.

No pics, either. I know, pathetic. I haven't felt the need to photograph much. Perhaps that will change this weekend.

I finished my Cherry Tree Hill socks, and I am wearing them today. They are so comfy! However, I am getting major fuzz on the backs of my heels. Is this normal for this yarn? Just curious...I still love these socks, and I am overjoyed that they are machine washable!

I'm also still working on the Irish Diamond Shawl. I made a couple of stupid mistakes early on, but now I am moving right along with the pattern. I'm on the 7 diamond row - I will eventually build up to 15 diamonds in each section, so I have a ways to go. I have neglected it this week, because it's been so warm at night. The yarn is shetland, so it is a bit rough, but I have a feeling it will wash up nice and warm.

So, how about the new Knitty? Definitely an improvement on the last one. I instantly fell in love with Josephine. I am turning into what my friend Terri would call an "ADD knitter". I should make a button :) I love projects that I am able to turn out in a short amount of time. Socks are easy and quick, and sweaters with big yarn would fit the bill, too. Hence the appeal of Josephine. In fact, I will be using the Cashmerino Superchunky for this pattern, since I can't seem to find the yarn called for anywhere on the Internets. Any suggestions on color? I am torn between the very light pink, or burnt orange. Or maybe the purple? I don't want black - I have enough of that already. I think I'll be leaving the belt out of the pattern, too. They make me look thick around the middle, which I don't need any help with! I won't be starting on it until after mid-October anyway, so I have some time to figure it out.

We had our first successful Knit Night this last Sunday. Me, Terri, and Jan sat around and got to know each other. We had a really good time! I hope more people find us and get involved. One of the salespeople at Borders was VERY excited that we were knitting and planning on meeting there. I have never received a reception quite like that before! I'm used to being laughed at or looked at funny when I knit in public. Not that I really care - fuck 'em if they don't like it.

In non-yarn news, I am thinking about getting myself an iPod. I am really tired of the radio, and my CD changer in the car sucks. It would be nice to be able to carry my entire music library with me wherever I go. J already has an older 40 Gb iPod, so he would probably get the 60 Gb model, and I would inherit the old one. We'll see - I'm still pondering :)

I'm also doing some preparation for the upcoming War (that would be SCA, not Iraq). I was going to sew up a couple of chemises, but realized that I am really lazy and not at all good at the sewing machine, so I broke down and bought two full chemises to go under my Italian and Irish dresses, and a simple chemise to go under my gowns. Unfortunately, it looks like I will need to put in some time at the sewing machine after all. The simple chemise is HUGE - I will need to take it in by 2-3 inches on each side, all along both underarms and all the way down the sides. The other two were clearly made for somebody who stands 5'10", so I will need to take these up about 3 inches as well. Not a big deal, but still kind of a pain.

I think I'm all caught up now :) I'll make a sincere effort to get some pictures out there this weekend.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Give a Little

Better yet, give a lot! See that button off to the right? Click and see how you can help those in the Gulf Coast. Thanks to Margene and Susan for organizing this.

My Secret Pal has revealed herself as Lisa! Thank you for all the cool stuff! I am so looking forward to the next Secret Pal, it's been such a fun experience. I love getting presents from complete strangers in the mail, I've discovered. As long as it's not anthrax or severed ears. Just thought I'd make that clear.

No pictures quite yet - maybe I'll feel like taking some later this weekend. I'm working on the Irish Diamond Shawl. I'm only about 4 repeats into the first pattern, but it does seem to be coming together nicely. I hope I can finish it by October! I'm also working on my second sock in Cherry Tree Hill Indian Summer. This yarn is soooo nice to work with. I frogged my Traveller's Sock - it was coming out a bit too big, and I just wasn't feeling it. I'll try it again in the future.

We made a big purchase. We bought a grill! Oh, it's so purty! J bought it on Thursday night, and had it all put together, hooked up and working by 9:30. We're having a BBQ at the house on Monday, so I'm glad we have it! Not that we didn't have our difficulties purchasing the thing. Don't go to Lowe's in RSM for any big purchases. They sold us the grill, only to realize that they'd really only had one left, and promised it to another couple. So they sold it right out from under us! They called the store in San Clemente to put another on hold for us, refunded the money for the grill, and refunded about half of what we spent on accessories on a gift card. After spending 2 goddamned hours in the store! Shitty customer service! Luckily, when J went to San Clemente the next night, he had better luck. The manager was really helpful and was shocked at what an idiot the other manager was. J was seriously out of there in 20 minutes! Lesson learned - we'll go to our Home Depot for this stuff from now on.

I need to go clean the kitchen. Look out for some pics later this weekend :)

Monday, August 22, 2005

South OC Knitters

Attention all knitters who live in South Orange County! (Yes, I realize that only 2 people read this blog. Humor me, ok?)

Our knitting group wants YOU! Any new people that reside in South OC (Rancho Santa Margarita-ish area) or who dare to drive all the way down here are welcome to join our group! We meet every other week at the following location:

22372 El Paseo
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 MAP

I have put a link on the right side to our Yahoo group.

Don't be shy, people - we are not scary! There are four of us so far, so this group could get MUCH bigger.

Another half-assed post

No pictures this time, either. I know, I'm a bad blogger. I'm just too tired to care this morning. Mondays suck.

Anywho, an expected influx of cash this weekend enabled me to engage in some S.E.X. (Stash Enhancement Experience). I made my first trip to Velona's in Anaheim Hills. I made my poor husband stop on the way back from helping our friend to move. Wisely, he remained in the car with the air conditioning. Wow, this store has everything! It is packed to the rafters with every yarn you could ever want. Except for Koigu, maybe, but then again I may just not have come across it. The salespeople are extraordinarily helpful, and if you ask for a particular yarn, they can tell you exactly where it is. So, I got some Kid Classic in this color, some Kidsilk Haze in this color, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Indian Summer and Northern Lights, and a book for my secret pal. I got lots of other stuff this weekend for my secret pal, too, but I don't want to give anything away, in case she knows about this blog. I feel bad for not sending anything in the past month, so I am hoping this big box o' stuff will more than satisfy her :) In online S.E.X. news, I ordered my yarn for the Irish Diamond Shawl, and some more sock yarn - Cherry Tree Hill in Fall Foliage and Gypsy Rose, and Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool Quarters in Canyon and Crazy Woman. See, still expanding my color horizons :)

I'm still working on my sock, and the pattern is now coming along swimmingly. Yay! I have about one more repeat to go before I move on to the plain section. Of course, I had to cast on for another sock in the Indian Summer. I'm just doing a simple sock, making it up as I go using design elements that I like. I started it on Saturday, and I'm already down to the heel. I'm not normally someone that likes brown, but the purples, golds and oranges offset it enough in this colorway to really speak to me. I figure I'll work on this sock at work, and the more complicated one at home. Then when I get the yarn for the shawl, I'm dropping everything to work on it, so I can attempt to finish it by war. We'll see how that goes!

Ugh - I just discovered that somebody is spamming my comments. I'll delete those comments ASAP. What a frickin' pain...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Dip in the Frog Pond

Yep, I unravelled that sock I was working on. The pattern just isn't the right gauge with the Koigu. So, I'm doing Traveller Socks instead. I am quickly finding out that I am retarded with the way that I interpret stitching directions. The directions for a left leaning stitch are as such: knit tbl of the second stitch, knit the first stitch, slip both stitches off the needle. So, I knit tbl on the second stitch by sticking my needle between the two stitches and then knitting tbl. People, that is the wrong way to do it. Of course, you probably already know this. I finally figured out how to do the stitch the right way, but only after having finished one full repeat of the pattern. So, now I need to decide if I want to rip the sock up to the first 3 rows and start over. Sigh... I probably will. I'm getting really darned good at ripping stuff! I'm the Frog Princess! My husband just giggles at my frustration and retardation. I think he is starting to believe that this is more than just a phase, especially with all of the projects I have finished. I am lusting after the Socks Socks Socks book, and some more sock yarn. You can never have too much, right?

Last weekend was mildly busy. On Saturday we went to Del Mar Racetrack to watch the horsies and to see Cake perform on the infield. Good times were had by all, despite the fact that the lead singer was being kind of a whiny baby. At least the music was decent. He really likes his little noisemaker-thingie, though, the one you hear in the song "Never There". The one that sounds like a snake rattle? He played that during EVERY song. I think he was just being difficult.

On Sunday, we took J's sister out for her birthday. Nobody burst into flames, so it was a good night. You never know with her. She did keep repeating everything she said about 5 times, which got really annoying. Total Rainman, and not in the way that she is actually autistic.

This weekend we are helping a friend to move, J is finishing his tattoo, and we're having friends over on Sunday. And since we are getting our money this week, I am looking forward to a shopping spree of sorts, consisting of some new clothes that fit, and underwear that does the same. We already ordered our Dyson. Oh Dyson, how I love you. I look forward to ridding my home of all cat hair and yarn fuzzies. The stairs look particularly scary right now. Our current vacuum just moves everything around.

Ok, I'm about to head home and deal with the sock. Ribbit, ribbit...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Interesting Article and Randomness

It seems like forever since I've posted anything here, even though I know it was only last weekend. It's been a LONG week.

This is a cool article about blogging in general, and mentions knitting blogs in particular. Who knew this would be so huge?

We signed our lives away this week on a refinance, so we could pay off our vehicles and a couple other accounts. This will save us about $500 a month, and put some extra cash in our pockets. For yarn, maybe? (Yes J, I know. Shut up.)

Now that we won't be so poor, I am thinking about the holidays. I've said before that I don't like the idea of Christmas being so commercial, and feeling obligated to give presents to people. At the same time, I love being able to give people gifts that I've put thought and time into. We were going to tell our families not to do the big Christmas thing for us, because we wouldn't be buying gifts for anybody. I'd still like to make stuff for people, though. I'll have to think on this and see how I can get this to work in my favor.

This can also be tricky for my family - what could I make for them that they would appreciate? We don't live in a terribly cold climate, so scarves and mittens are out. My sister loves teddy bears, so that would be easy. Maybe an afghan for Mom. And felted clogs for Dad. Oh, er, I guess that wasn't too hard after all :) Sometimes I just need to talk things out to come up with good ideas.

I've already gotten a request for socks from one of my friends. They are so easy to make. I can crank out a pair in 2-3 weeks, which is a lot quicker than what I was expecting! Currently I am working on the Friday Harbor socks from Knitting on the Road. The pattern is a little trippy, but after frogging once I got into the groove and they are sailing along. I am doing these on DPNs, and they are working out pretty well (pictures coming soon). I am using the leftover 2 balls of Koigu from the baby blanket that I made. I thought the lighter color would show off the pattern better. Once our money comes in, I'll hunt for sock yarn for my friend and for my Mom. She deserves a nice pair. Maybe I'll do those instead of the afghan!

Another project I am pondering is the Irish Diamond Shawl from Folk Shawls. I'll make it, but I don't know when I'll wear it outside of the few SCA events that we go to. I'll need to get the yarn for it soon, or else I won't be able to finish it by the beginning of October for Great Western War.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Yes, I Have No Self Control

Oy, it has taken me so long to post this week. I have no excuse - I was just too lazy to download the pictures I had taken.

Secret Pal, I love you!

I got a pretty card, a vanilla rose bath fizzy, lavendar portable soap flake thingies, a cow measuring tape (moo!), some super-cute black cat bandages (with a free cat head that you can put on your pencil - squee!), and 4 balls of yummy Queensland Kathmandu in a dark purple (I think, I can't even tell looking at it), with flecks of burgundy and green. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I, on the other hand, am a crappy Secret Pal. I will remedy that in another week or two.

So, of course, I had to cast on for something with that yarn immediately:

The other one is on the needles. This is a cool pattern from Nathania. I did the banded version, not the individual fingers. My fingers are so stubby, you'd only see the tips out of the top. This is my first real project with cables, and I am very happy with how they are turning out. The color above is wildly inaccurate - it's kind of a black/purple in real life.

Then, my MIL gave me some unexpected money as an early birthday gift! So, I went to Yarn Lady, and got this stuff:

Mmmmm - Touch Me. No, really, that's the name of the yarn. Don't you just wanna, I don't know, TOUCH IT? I know I do - this stuff is the softest on earth. So, obviously I had to cast on for something with this RIGHT AWAY.

This will become the Velvet Scarf from Scarf Style. Yummy! And my camera actually captured the color pretty accurately on this stuff.

Oh, and I finished my socks. Wanna see?

Now I want it to cool off so I can actually wear them! Koigu is just so soft and nice against my bare feet. But not in 100 degree weather.

Oops, gotta go. My husband is taking me out to dinner for my birthday. Yay!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Frickin' Hot

And that's all I have to say about that. Hate you, weather.

I have many pictures today. Let's get started, shall we?

First, we have two more washcloths that I finished:

I'm really happy with how the flower turned out. I got cocky on the last two, and fucked up the middle. The middle of the last one turned out perfect. I think the bright ones are going to my friend, Terri. Her walls are lime green and orange, so I think her decor can handle it :) The first picture matches my decor very well - it's wine country-esque.

I also cranked out a couple of squares for a blanket to honor Kerstin's brother. I don't know her, and she doesn't know me, but I feel horrible that she is going through this. So this is to show that a stranger out there cares, and it will go towards a good cause. Check out this page if you also want to contribute a square. Here they are:

The second one is finished now, but my camera ran out of batteries before I could take a picture. It has a "J" in the center.

Aaaaand, I am on the final stretch of my first sock! I'm so proud...

I'm working on the ribbing, and will probably cast on for the second sock this afternoon.

Last night, we went to the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts to see the Pageant of the Masters. J and I have never been, and it was so cool. Some of our favorite contemporary works were featured, and it was neat to see how everything was recreated. It was a really neat way to celebrate our anniversary.

Oops, forgot to mention that - it was on the 13th, but we waited until this weekend to celebrate. 14 years together and 9 years married. Has it really been that long???

Things are quiet around the house today. I turned on the A/C, so I am a happy camper. I hope you all have a cool, quiet place to knit today.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Random Crap

Yeah, still no pictures. I'll put some up this weekend.

This week has been very weird and very hot. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

I was out sick on Wednesday with some fleeting stomach thingie. Luckily, I felt much better by the afternoon, so I was able to go to Colleen's knitting group that night. Oh man, that was so much fun. What a nice group of people! These are all people that Colleen works with. This time, everyone met at Cara's house. She only lives a few blocks away, which makes me happy. There was wine, laughter, and instruction - two of the girls in the group are just learning to knit. In other weirdness, I went to high school with Cara's husband. He showed up towards the end of the night, so we got a chance to catch up. Apparently, he went to my elementary school, too! I don't remember him, but he is 3 years ahead of me, so that doesn't really surprise me. He's just as nice now as he was then.

Cara is coming to Craft Night on Sunday. I will need to tell Dana about Craft Night, since she wants to learn to knit, too.

Thursday, we had a fire drill at work. I work in a 10 story building. I am in the HR department, which resides on the 9th floor. After traipsing down 9 flights of stairs yesterday, my legs are ready to fall off. If there is an actual emergency today, I am screwed. To add insult to injury, I am one of the "Floor Wardens" for the area, which meant that I had to don my bright orange hardhat, vest, bullhorn, flashlight, and employee listing. We are obviously expected to have 5 arms to carry all this crap with us down 9 flights of stairs.

But wait, there's more. It was about 1,000 degrees outside at 10am, and we had one person get heatstroke. Good times! Did I mention I also oversee the Worker's Comp program at my company? Luckily, the paramedics checked him out, and gave him a clean bill of health, so we just sent him home to recover. Next time, we need to have water, instead of donuts in the parking lot on a hot day. Somebody dropped a donut in the parking lot after the drill. When I left work, there was a huge swarm of bees on my way to the car! The excitement just never ends.

Here's a link to my other blog, where I discussed the latest doings in my department.

In more knitting news, I have put aside my Scoop Du Jour again, because it's too damned hot to knit with Wool Ease. So, I picked up my fetal sock to work on. I've made a huge amount of progress on it - I'm using Wendy's Toe-Up pattern, and am now past the heel and sailing along on the leg portion. I did a pretty good job on the heel, but it kinda looks like ass. It fits my foot just right, but it's a little more hole-y than it should be. I will have to explore different heel patterns, to see what I like best in the future. But I'm finally getting why people are so addicted to socks. It's like knitting a sweater in the round - you are creating something three-dimensional on your needles, without any seaming. It's yarn as sculpture! I have lots more sock yarn and a couple extra skeins of Koigu, so these won't be the last socks I knit. I'm also finding that I like the Magic Loop method of knitting socks. I was getting a tiny bit of laddering with my DPN's, plus it was kinda awkward. I am super quick with the Magic Loop. I won't have Second Sock Syndrome with this pair - I am eager to fix the mistakes I made with the first sock.

Sorry if this post was a bit rambling and stream of consciousness. But it's Friday, and I'm too tired to care.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Sound of Silence

Ahhh - blessed silence in my office today. The two other people at my end of the hall are out of the office, so things are very peaceful here. One of them has grandchildren, and loves to call them on speakerphone and coo to them all day. In fact, I end up hearing most of her conversations and comments because she is so frickin' loud. I can tune most things out, but it gets irritating after a while. I am glad that I don't have to put up with it today.

This week didn't start out so well. Because of some financial mismanagement on my part, we are a little short until Friday, so there won't be much fun or spending of money at our house for the next few days. But at least the mortgage and other important bills got paid, and this is what counts.

Anyway, enough with that, you want to hear about knitting!

I whipped out another washcloth, and decided to take a break from those for a little bit. Too much of a good thing, and all that. I started up again with my Scoop du Jour, and am making excellent progress. I finished the back and left front, and will cast on for the right front tonight. I was worried about size, until I blocked out the first two pieces last night. I think they will be plenty big enough. This stuff just rolls like crazy!

I'm also pondering some future projects. Because of monetary constraints, I have been thinking about the type of yarn to use for my projects. I did some calculations, and it looks like it will be Wool Ease for me for a while. Maybe use that for the bigger projects (sweaters, etc), and save the expensive yarn for smaller projects. I have a copy of Fisherman Sweaters by Alice Starmore, and have been contemplating Aran sweaters for a while. I'd love to knit something for my husband. I had him look through the book yesterday, and got some ideas for a sweater. He really liked Inishmore and Inishmaan, with the "mock turtleneck" type collar. And I am partial to Kinsale for me. Now to just ponder the colors :)

I will update later with some more pics of the Scoop du Jour, and my finished washcloth.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The washcloths are so bright, I gotta wear shades

Oh yeah.

Here are the two washcloths that I finished:

Hoowee! See what I mean, with the eyeballs bleeding? And yes, the camera did capture the colors accurately this time. I'm in LOVE with these colors, though. What is wrong with me??? And I'm still knitting more out of different colors, because they are cotton and I have discovered that I love knitting with cotton. It's like crack.

Now I will distract you with some roses from the garden:

And our kitties rolling around in bliss in a patch of sun:

Oh, and the story behind the roses and the grapes. Here is a picture of our side yard. See all that green stuff on the left? Those are the grape vines and the roses. You will notice that there is a bare 2 inches of space between the fence and the low wall. The previous owner, in his infinite wisdom, decided to plant roses and grapes there. By some miracle of nature, they not only took to that small space, but flourished! We have about 2 varieties of grapes, and 3 different rose bushes over there. They are going crazy right now, it's so pretty.

Enjoy the warm weather, wherever you are!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Monday Monday

Oh weekend, how I miss thee!

I had a splendid, relaxing weekend. Did nothing except what was absolutely necessary. Which, of course, meant that I did lots of knitting.

In fact, I have two more FO's. But, since I am blogging from work, you will just have to wait for those pictures.

I have put aside my wool-ish knitting, since the weather has gotten so hot. I have gotten on a kick of knitting "useful" items. I picked up a pattern linked on Mariko's (Super Eggplant) blog for a dishcloth and scrubbie. They are a great and quick way to use up that extra acrylic taking up valuable space in your stash. And OMFG, do they work. That scrubbie scrubs like a motherf'er! I will never go back to using those cheap scrubbers from the supermarket. I've made sets in dark purple and sage green so far, and will probably make another set in burgundy. Yeah, I've got the whole wine country color theme happening at my house. J thinks I am a geek. Can we all say, "Duh!"

I'm also on a washcloth kick. I'd been itching to knit up the flower washcloth from Weekend Knits, 'cause it's just so darn cute. Unfortunately, the yarn shops in my area do not believe in stocking Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, and I didn't feel like paying $7 a ball over the internet. So, I took a cue from Missy (Knit Wit), and stocked up on some Lion Cotton and Sugar 'N Cream. Gotta love that $1.99 per ball! I managed to whip out two washcloths in a day and a half. What a fun pattern! It's especially fun in the Playtime and Summer Splash colorways - my eyes are still bleeding.

Which brings me to another subject. I seem to be having a love affair with color. Prior to knitting, I only liked dark, muted shades, and reserved the wilder colors for my hair. Now, I am knitting in neon bright colors and carrying a bright green purse. Are ya gonna revoke my Goth membership now? Or am I just "retro"? Feh, I'm too old for these labels.

On the home front, I got lots of gardening stuff done. I pruned back the grapevines, deadheaded the rose bushes, and created a lovely bouquet. Our roses and grapes are the most low maintenance plants that we own. They were already well established when we moved in. But they WILL take over our yard if we let them. Especially with the rains this year, they've been very well fed. I'll go into more detail in a future post on how we manage to have rose bushes and grapevines planted in our HARDSCAPED backyard. It's kinda weird.

And, last but not least, THANK YOU SECRET PAL! I love my gifts! I will definitely be starting a shawl out of the Folk Shawls book, but I'm not sure which one. There are so many nice ones. And I will enjoy the CD that you made me. Contrary to what was implied in my questionnaire, I am willing to listen to most kinds of music, except most country I cannot stand. I only enjoy Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash.

Back to work. Pictures soon....

Monday, July 04, 2005

2 FO's!

I've been a busy girl! I finished my braided neckpiece:

Please forgive the attractive pajamas. You're lucky I cut my head off. Bedhead is SO not pretty.

Pattern - Braided Neckpiece from Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham
Yarn - Polar by Rowan, in Blackforest, about 2 balls

This was a very easy and quick pattern. I completed it during my lunch hours at work this past week.

I also finished my Clapotis:

Morrigan obviously thinks it's very yummy :) I do, too!

And another pic, with flash:

I love the color I used - Noro Silk Garden in #205. I may actually get some wear out of it. And it washed up VERY soft. I blocked it very lightly, so it still curls a little around the edges.

So yesterday, I started another project - the Scoop du Jour from Bonne Marie. I have almost completed the 6 inches of ribbing at the bottom of the back:

I am using Wool Ease in Heathered Green. I had previously tried making another sweater with it, but messed up my stockinette - I twisted every other row because of how I was throwing my purl stitches. So, I unravelled what I had completed on the old sweater to start on this one. So, far, it is knitting up very nicely. Here is a closeup so you can see the color:

It refuses to be photographed. Up close, you can see individual flecks of yellow and blue. It's pretty cool.

This has been a strange weekend. Lots of activity mixed in with outright laziness. I'm glad that we had people over yesterday - this forced me to clean up the kitchen. I am a poor excuse for a hausfrau.

Oh, this is a great opportunity for me to pimp out my father-in-law, Howard O'Donnell. He is an artist. His medium is watercolor, and his subject matter is Maritime art. Check out the link - I know I am biased, but his work is really outstanding. He got a spot this year at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts/Pageant of the Masters. We are so proud of him! We attended the Artist's Preview on Saturday night, and it was very fun and so exciting for him. His work will be on display all summer. If you find yourself in the SoCal area, be sure to check it out! The festival has lots of great artists, using all mediums.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July, everybody!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I Got Nuthin

In terms of a title, anyway. I DO have pictures, however!

Behold, the Lace Leaf Pullover!

Forgive the fuzziness of the picture, and the sweater, too. I am in desperate need of a sweater stone.

Stats: Lace Leaf Pullover, from Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham
I used Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Grass, about 6 balls worth for the largest size and size 13 needles Changes to the pattern - I only did 4 pattern repeats on the sleeves, and as you can see they are just the right length. Your row gauge may vary. I also left live stitches on the upper half instead of binding off when I grafted the two parts together. I got a much more seamless result this way. Of course, my experience with kitchener stitch was limited, so you may have a different experience than I.

Here are a couple more pics of the sweater, when it was too long. Muy frumpy on me:

Note to self: chunky yarn makes me look, uh, boobilicious.

While I'm at it, here are a couple other works in progress. I am making some headway on Clappy:

I'm in the last repeat, and ready to move on to the decreases! I hope to finish this weekend, but you know how that goes. I am more and more in love with this colorway. If I ever break down and make Klaralund, I will probably use these colors. They are so gorgeous.

I've managed to add some length to my herringbone scarf as well:

And I am about 2/3 done with the Braided Neckpiece. This poor thing is in need of some serious blocking!

And now, for the end of this picture-heavy post.

These are my cats:

These are my cats high on catnip:

Any questions?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Will Jean actually have pictures this time???

The answer is no.

Time was NOT on my side this weekend, so I didn't have a chance to take pictures of the finished sweater. But it's done, and I'm finally happy with it!

I went through a Goldilocks process with this sweater. First it was too short, so I added several hundred rows. Then it was too long. So I undid the grafting on the bottom and took out almost a full ball worth of yarn. Now I am very happy with the fit! It was even better after I washed it - the stiff collar softened up considerably, so now I have a very comfy, soft sweater that I won't be able to wear for the next 6 months. Sigh...

I had a very busy weekend. Friday night, we went to Irish Mist up in Sunset Beach to watch Paddy Doyle's Boots. They do some great versions of Irish traditional songs. I love that stuff. Several of our friends decided to join us, and a fun time was had by all!

Saturday we went to our friends' new place in Fallbrook, and got to see all their new furniture. Their house is big and so incredibly beautiful. They need it, for 5 kids! They were doing the major portion of their move that afternoon. Everything was going great until the moving company decided to screw them over. The money wasn't the issue, but they were charged $200 more than the flat rate promised. And the owner was a dick, called M names over the phone, and made her cry. It was horrible. The moving guys had done a great job, and felt awful about what happened. It was a giant letdown for that day. So we went to Cask and Cleaver for a steak dinner and recovered over a bottle of wine :) So the day ended on a high note after all, and it was so nice to see them.

Sunday we went to visit our friend K up in Yorba Linda. She just had her mastectomy this past week, and I was shocked to see how active and well she was doing! Her coven did a ritual while she was in the hospital, and I can only say that it must have done something, because her rapid recovery is truly amazing. We intended to watch a movie, but ended up talking the afternoon away. It was an awesome visit.

Craft Night was also last night, and it was fun as always. I brought my swift and yarn winder so Terri could wind up all the new pretty yarn she bought recently from Knit Picks. It was nice to just sit at the end of the day and become one with the yarn.

Well, lunch time means knitting time, so off I go.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

FO'ed up

Damn, it's really effin cold in my office today!

I was so close to finishing the sweater last night! Alas, I screwed up when I grafted the two pieces together and pulled the stitches waaaay too tight. I ended up with this VERY attractive ridge around the bottom third of the sweater - not the look I was going for. So I took out the grafting, and tried about 10 stitches very loosely, and I was still getting the ridge. The problem is that the pattern instructs you to graft the live stitches from the bottom section to the bound off edge of the top section. I can't get this to work for me without getting the ridge. So, I unbound the upper edge and put the stitches on holders, so I can graft the two pieces together the way it should be done. I should have the whole shebang done tonight! I tried it on, and it looks great!

One thing I noticed - I increased the pattern by a few inches to make the sweater more of a tunic. Both pictures in the book are a little misleading in terms of how the sweater is supposed to look. The first model is a size 0000, so the size small sweater looks huge on her. And in the second picture, the model is sitting down, so you can't tell anything about the fit towards the bottom. Since I am a size 14-16ish curvy person, the sweater is looking a bit different on me :) But it still works, and I can proudly wear it out of the house!

Once it is done, there will be pictures. I know how boring a knitting blog can be without pictures!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Me Me Me

1. I grew up very close to Disneyland. The fireworks would rattle our windows each night at 9:30.
2. Consequently, I would go at least 2-3 times a year, so it wasn't as "special" to me.
3. I was "raised" as a Methodist.
4. My sister and I would be dropped off at church each week. My parents only went on holidays, or during choir performances.
5. I was in the handbell choir, and the church choir.
6. I sang alto.
7. At one point, I was set to be a Methodist minister.
8. I was a religion major in college.
9. For many reasons, one of which being that I suck as a public speaker, I decided not to pursue the ministry.
10. I eventually left the Methodist church in particular, and Christianity in general.
11. Being a religion major opened my eyes to many different belief systems.
12. And I got sick of being told I was going to hell for being pro-choice, and supporting the right for gays to be in the ministry.
13. I had been heavily involved in the youth and camping programs all my life.
14. I eventually left it all behind, because I felt like a hypocrite.
15. I still miss the fellowship aspects of it terribly.
16. I would now consider myself a pagan.
17. My husband and I met at church camp in the 4th grade.
18. We didn't start dating until his senior year in high school. I had already graduated.
19. Many people would think that we married young (21). But by that time we had already been dating for about 5 years.
20. We have no children, by choice. We are much too selfish to procreate.
21. When I first registered to vote, I didn't know what I believed, so I registered Republican.
22. I'm now registered as Independent.
23. I hate driving. Driver's Ed was particularly traumatic for me.
24. I would have panic attacks behind the wheel, it scared me so much.
25. For that reason, I didn't get my license until I was 18.
26. My boyfriend (now husband) lived about 30 miles away, so this is what inspired me to drive.
27. I scored a 72 on the DMV written test.
28. I was very unpopular in junior high/high school.
29. I would often hang out by myself.
30. I was very good at any kind of arts and crafts.
31. I probably would have majored in art in college, but my parents discouraged it.
32. I did take a couple of art classes in college, but didn't really apply myself.
33. In fact, I did so poorly in college in general that I couldn't qualify for the Master's program.
34. I did meet Gwen Stefani in my painting class.
35. Since we both lived in Anaheim, we would carpool to class to work on our projects on the weekends.
36. This was during the recording of "Tragic Kingdom", so we got to listen to the demos in class.
37. She was a seriously cool and nice chick.
38. Not surprisingly, we lost touch after the band blew up.
39. College was a very positive experience for me.
40. I was still lazy as all hell about my school work.
41. I didn't really fit into any one category in high school. I was a little mod, a little goth, with a pinch of ska.
42. My mom bought my clothes, so let's just say my wardrobe didn't reflect what was in my little black heart.
43. In college, I was able to express myself. That's when I bought my first pair of Docs.
44. I still have my Docs, and couldn't imagine parting with them.
45. I should really wear them more.
46. I passed out when I got my bellybutton pierced.
47. It didn't take, so I tried a second time.
48. It didn't take the second time either, so I gave up.
49. I used to work for Piercing Pagoda in a booth in the middle of the mall.
50. I hated piercing babies' ears, because it always made the moms cry.
51. While I worked there, I acquired eight piercings in my ears (6 on one side, 2 on the other).
52. I now only have 2 on each side.
53. I have never broken any bones.
54. I bruised my arm bone once, playing handball with a flat ball. I never said I was bright.
55. However, my teachers seemed to think I was, and put me in the advanced classes.
56. Alas, they didn't know how little I cared for school work and how lazy I was (am).
57. In fact, if I could just work part time and knit the rest of the time, I would be much happier.
58. My favorite holiday is Halloween.
59. I love scary movies. The gorier, the better.
60. Psychological horror does it for me, too.
61. I love reading Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Poppy Brite.
62. Now that I have some disposable income, I am heartbroken that I'm simply too old/fat to wear the really neat looking goth stuff.
63. I still love going through Ipso Facto in Fullerton and drooling over all the gowns.
64. I used to go clubbing at a fetish club up in L.A.
65. This was only about a year ago.
66. It got too expensive, so we stopped going.
67. No, I'm not a part of the S&M scene.
68. But it's fun to watch.
69. I have 3 cats.
70. I didn't have any feelings towards cats growing up. I never had any pets.
71. I was scared of dogs.
72. Ok, I'm still a little scared of dogs.
73. Just the big ones, not the little ones.
74. After I got married, one of the first pets I had was a rat.
75. We named him Lazarus.
76. He turned out to be a she.
77. I cried when that damned rat died. (S)he was so sweet and cute.
78. We got two rats next. Two boys.
79. One turned out to be a girl, and they had 12 babies.
80. We gave two away, and the rest all decided to eat each other. So, no more rats.
81. All of our cats came from the animal shelter. I couldn't imagine buying from a pet store.
82. They are my babies. Babies that can feed themselves, poop in a box, and are very independent.
83. They are indoor cats, because of the coyotes in the area.
84. They are also all declawed.
85. We've had two named for goddesses of death and destruction: Kali and Morrigan.
86. I like sweet stuff, but I'm not really fond of chocolate.
87. Peeps are awesome. I buy tons of them during the holidays.
88. I love giving gifts and receiving them.
89. I used to love getting mail, until I started getting bills.
90. I had 8 credit cards in college, and no self control.
91. This resulted in me going into credit counseling.
92. I finally paid everything off about 6 years ago.
93. We only have one actual credit card now, and pay for everything else with our debit card.
94. We bought our first condo in 1998, and rode the SoCal market.
95. We now own a pretty decent sized house in Orange County.
96. There are times when I wish we were renting again, so we wouldn't have to worry about mortgage, property taxes, paying for repairs, etc.
97. Don't get me wrong, I love our house. Especially the kitchen and the open space.
98. My yarn loves the extra bedroom that is quickly turning into my project room.
99. I used to "play" in the SCA. We haven't gone to events in about 6 months.
100. I have lived all my life in CA, and only been to a few states to visit: Kentucky, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois and Ohio.

Too short

The sweater is too short. The sleeves are longer than the body, and I was really looking for a tunic type fit, so I will extend the length. And my experiment in reversing the pattern failed. The lace leaves at the bottom of the sweater looked "implied", and almost like a mistake. I must have ripped everything out and redone it about 5 times, and still couldn't get it to look right. So, I'll do one of two things - go by the example of the pattern and knit that portion from the bottom up and graft the two sections together, or just forgo the lace pattern altogether and knit plain the rest of the way down. Decisions, decisions...

The good news is that the sweater looks great otherwise, and the sleeves turned out just right! And J approves. He'd be the first to tell me if something looked half-assed. So, a couple more days, and it should finally be done :)

Not much other news. The party on Friday was a blast, and we saw lots of people that we hadn't talked to in a long time. On Saturday, we hung out with our friends Tom and Terri, and watched Revenge of the Sith. J ended up liking it, but I don't think he was totally blown away. Now we'll see if we can get him to go see Batman Begins...

And Sunday we took J's dad out to brunch, and had a really excellent time. We will have to hit that restaurant again - their brunch was fantastic! My dad went to Hollywood Park with my mom and sister to watch the horsies. I'm sure they had a great time - yesterday was such a beautiful day.

Ok, back to work. Hopefully we will have an FO by the end of the week!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Lace Leaf progress

I am about 2/3 of the way through the body of the sweater. Two more rounds, then I start on the lace patterns at the bottom and the ribbing. This sweater has come together so fast! All that will be left is to attach the sleeves and weave in the ends, and it will be finished. I will post some more pics of the sweater this weekend, possibly as an FO. This is my very first sweater, so I am excited!

On my lunch breaks, I 've been working on my Kiri shawl (pics also forthcoming for this one). This has given me good experience working from a chart. Being a very visual person, I love charts. I did have to refer to the written instructions, to suss out the pattern repeats for the second chart. Now that I have it figured out, I'm sailing along. I'm finding that I really have to pay attention when I knit lace. It's not like most patterns, where I can space out and watch TV.

I also had a very good idea yesterday. I've been thinking on my plans to make a poncho, and I determined that I would probably never wear it. So, I've been wracking my brain for ideas of what to use my Inca Alpaca for. Then, a burst of inspiration - I will make the Braided Neckpiece from Loop-D-Loop. I need to check my book at home, to see what the yardage is for the pattern. I think I have enough, but I may need a couple more skeins. And I think it calls for bulky yarn, so I figured that I would just hold two yarns together.

I was just looking at that poor model in the picture I linked to - she looks like she needs a nap!

As usual, I'm getting ahead of myself. There are so many projects I want to knit! Knit Picks will probably get some business from me in the not too distant future - Mariah and Rogue are both screaming my name.

Tonight should be fun. My husband and his friends are holding a single malt scotch tasting at a friend's house. Although I am not much of a scotch drinker (owing to a night of puking after a past tasting), this should still be a fun party. I'm bringing some knitting with me, and my friend Colleen is as well. Knowing our group, we probably won't get too many strange looks - these are SCA people, after all :)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Lace Leaf Do-Over

Yep, I did it. I went and bought myself some Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Grass, and started over. This time I was SMART, and did a gauge swatch. Lo and behold, I got gauge on size 13 needles, and went to work. Here is the first sleeve:

Aah, much better. One thing I noticed with the pattern is that the sleeves end up waaaaay too long if I do as many pattern repeats as what is called for in the largest size. The main body of the sleeve should only be 19" before the shoulder shaping, and mine was going towards 25". So, I ripped back to 19", which comes out to 4 pattern repeats instead of 7. So I should be in good shape if I just do the 4 repeats on the other sleeve. I may have this done by next weekend - we'll see how things go. I will post more pics as I make progress!

And I do realize that I could have gotten the yarn online for cheaper. I had a bad day on Friday, dammit, and purchasing that yarn totally made my day. Not that I'm defensive or anything.

Oh, and I've made some more progress on Clappy:

I got a postcard from my secret pal yesterday - thank you! My husband picked up the mail and said, "Uh, you got an interesting postcard here..." Once I explained the secret pal thing, he was okay with it :)

J got his bike back. They spent 2 hours looking for a problem, and couldn't find one, so I am hoping that J was just being paranoid. We'll keep an eye on it and see what it does next.

And I got a surprise in the mail yesterday! I used to work for a clothing store as a manager many years ago, and had gotten notice of a class action lawsuit that was being settled. Apparently, I was part of the "class". So, I sent my info in, not really expecting anything. Yesterday, I get a check for $230! A small portion were the actual wages that were due back to me for lost overtime, and the rest were penalties. This will help out a lot with our latest financial stuff. This makes me VERY happy!

Thursday, June 09, 2005


I'm going to frog the Lace Leaf Pullover. I know, all that work for nothing. But I feel remarkably light and free after making that decision. I was knitting on it last night, and realized that the yarn for the body was, in all likelihood, really worsted weight and not bulky weight like what I need for the pattern. Ugh! I could see right through the damned thing, and it felt half-assed to just ignore it and continue. What I will do is make a trip to Joann's, get some skeins of the G-D Wool Ease Bulky, and start over. I will need to determine yardage, etc. But at least I will have a kickass sweater in the same gauge all over. And it won't be too warm, since I don't exactly live in the tundra.

So, no pics of what I have. Believe me, I am saving you from all sorts of cheesiness.

And who else feels inspired to buy a black leather funky skirt to go with that sweater, like the chick in the photo?

The Clap is still rockin right along. I'm really pleased with how it is turning out. I'm not sure if I will end up wearing it, though. Maybe I'll be more inspired when it is done.

Life on the home front is pretty quiet. J's bike is acting up, so he has to take it in (AGAIN). He has had no end of grief from the electrical system of his bike, so the battery won't hold a charge. Luckily, he got the extended warranty, so no money out of our pocket. But this, on top of Molly's health issues and J's root canal and new crown this past month, it's all too much. Enough with the drama, already! Drama can be very expensive!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Plugging away

I'm still going to town on the Clapotis. It's turning out pretty nice! I've done about 5 repeats on the center section, so I have about 8 to go before I get to the decreases. I am not exactly the fastest knitter in the world, so who knows when I will actually finish it. But it's turning out awfully pretty.

Yes, Secret Pal, I will post pictures this weekend of my progress on the Lace Leaf Pullover thus far. I put it away to work on the Clap, but I may pick it up again this weekend to see if I can get close to finishing it. Just need to do the lower half of the body, then test drive with the one sleeve I have completed. I'm hoping the sleeve will be fine, so I can finish the other one and attach them. Not that I could wear the sweater right now anyway! I am noticing that I may need to wear a tank top underneath - I question the salesperson who told me the yarn was Lamb's Pride BULKY. I don't quite believe her. Maybe it will full a little after I wash it.

And now, a detour.

I have become convinced that I don't belong in the corporate world. I'm just not that competitive, or a go-getter type of person. Which is interesting, because most of my friends and my husband need to feel productive at all times. I don't feel any such need. I am perfectly content to hang around all day and do nothing, with no guilt associated with my lack of action. I don't feel that I have to live in the lap of luxury. I just want enough so I don't have to worry about bills, and I can supplement my hobby comfortably. If there were a yarn shop that would hire me full time at $25 per hour, that would be a dream come true. But alas, I remember working retail, and as MANAGEMENT was only making $7 an hour, so I totally recognize that this is all a pipe dream. Therefore I will keep plugging away at my job, despite the moody coworkers and the knowledge that I am not agressive, and nothing is going to change that.

Enough wallowing in self-pity. Back to the grind...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Maybe I was on crack that day...

One of my earlier posts contained a rant about a yarn shop and the knitting group residing within. I reread the post, and decided maybe I was being overly sensitive. I did cruise by the shop yesterday, mainly to get a couple of pattern books and an Addi Turbo in size 2 to try my hand at the Magic Loop thingie for socks. There was nobody there, except for the person running the register. If I had my knitting with me and time to kill, I would have taken a seat right there with her - she was really nice and seemed kinda lonely. Truth be told, I was a little afraid to go back to that shop at first. I was so intimidated the last time I went. But that may just be my natural shyness and defensiveness at work. I think I will go back on Sundays and knit, because it is a really nice store, and so quiet. And I think I should give those other people another chance.

As for patterns, I picked up Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book One (they ran out of book two :( ), the Bobbi Bear pattern (which I will make for my sister - she collects teddy bears), my Addi Turbo, and a large half circle toggle-ish button for my Lace Leaf Pullover (whenever I finally get around to finishing it).

(sheesh, what is the deal with the parentheses today?)

I am also being lured by the siren song of Kiri, and the LYS happens to be fully stocked with many colors in the Kid Silk Haze. You'd think I didn't have all these other projects waiting for me to finish! I will try to exercise restraint for the time being, and finish some of the other projects I have started.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Baby Blanket

At last, she is fini:

The pattern is from Stitch N Bitch, using the Koigu PPPM in a colorway number I don't remember - lots of pastel blues and sea greens. As it turns out, the nursery will have an undersea theme, so this will fit in just fine. Oh, but I was bored to tears knitting this thing. Probably had something to do with the fact that I changed my mind on the color, the yarn, and the twisted stockinette. Otherwise, this would have been a pretty quick and easy knit. So I am glad to have the damned thing off my needles!

And do you notice the odd shape? This is where a swatch would have come in handy. At about the halfway point, I think I accidentally switched my Denise's from size 9 to size 8, and the stitches look tighter and better. Not being a perfectionist, I am not going to worry about it - the baby is not going to notice :)

Not much more to report. I'm concentrating on Clapotis now, because the pattern is interesting and I need that!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

FO's on the horizon?

Don't hold your breath. I have about 40 rows left on the baby blanket - I'm so close I can taste it. The problem is that I get bored after doing 4 rows of the thing. Maybe once I get to the seed stitch portion I'll begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I've also been getting some work in on the Clapotis. What is the correct pronunciation of that word, anyway? I read somewhere it was supposed to be "clap-oh-TEE", which would make it sound prettier and less like VD. I'm finally to the drop stitch section, so this should start to get fun. Whee!

I LOVE that tomorrow is Friday already! We'll be visiting a couple of friends who are in the process of moving down to Fallbrook. It will be interesting to see what a 3,000 square foot house looks like in real life. They need it, with 5 kids and all. 1,500 square feet just wasn't gonna cut it.

I've noticed in my posts the decided lack of profanity. If you knew me in real life, you would think this was very odd, indeed. Maybe it's because I write most of my posts at work, where I have to censor myself. Having an HR rep that could make a sailor blush would not go over well at my company.

I also have an LJ, but I am finding that I am updating here more. I may just start putting my personal stuff over here, along with the knitting.

Oh, and I am wrestling with myself over going to Yarn Lady on Saturday morning. It is their semi-annual Bag Sale, where the discontinued yarns are 50% off. I don't think I can keep myself away. Who needs things like soap, or cat food?

Response to La - yep, that landslide stuff is freaky weird. I wonder why it took so long since the last big rains?? That's the cool thing about living in RSM - we have no yards or hills, so there is nothing to slide off of! One thing I did learn from the whole rain experience was that I like it (without the mudslides). While all my friends were cutting themselves and writing bad poetry, I was enjoying my knitting, my cup of tea, and cuddling with the hubby and kitties. Yes, I am 32 going on 80, what of it?