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 :)