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!