Monday, June 25, 2007


Boy, I totally suck at keeping this updated.  I keep waiting until I have more pictures to post, but I realized that at the current rate, I wouldn't post for the next month or so, which is unacceptable.

Things are going well.  I have a job starting in the next couple of days in Benefits Administration for a manufacturing company that makes cutting blades for chainsaws.  I'll have to check and see if Worker's Comp is included in the job description because that is liable to keep me busy all by itself :)  This is a temp to permanent position, but the company was really enthusiastic about me coming on board and really really really wants it to work out, so they may buy out my contract earlier than the 6 months allotted if they decide I am a good fit.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is a good company to work for.  If it works out, and they provide good benefits, I'll switch J and I over to their policy - J's insurance is very expensive, and not all that great.  In the meantime, I am technically employed with a temp agency, which means I submit time cards and get paid on a weekly basis, which is pretty cool.  Oh, and this position pays more than what I was making in OC, which is even better :)

The weather has been nice and cool up here, in the 60s and 70s.  It gets up to the 80s for a couple of days, then goes back to cool and rainy.  We have learned that it pays to go out when it is rainy, because EVERYONE comes out of their houses on sunny days!  I know, we're not normal.

Actually, we do have pictures from this weekend, they just need to be uploaded from the camera.  I can tell you we went to OMSI on Saturday for the Body Worlds 3 show, and toured the submarine used in Hunt for Red October!  We then tried to go to the International Rose Test Gardens without success (because of the aforementioned sunshine and the obscene number of people out and about).  We did manage to find an excellent sushi place in Lake Oswego which will be our new go-to place for good fish.  On Sunday (a rainy day), we made it over to see the roses and to the Japanese Garden across the street.  It got quite damp, which reminds me that I need to keep an umbrella in the car at all times :)  We were done by 2pm, so we looked at some of the million dollar homes in the West Hills for a bit, then decided to go wine tasting.  So we headed over to Helvetia, in Hillsboro.  We finally found some good Pinot Noir!  We were able to fire up the big wine fridge for the new case of wine we purchased.  We ended the day at Sandoval's Mexican Restaurant (about a block or so from our house), and I had some really good chicken mole.  It was a very good weekend that seemed long for once.

We'll get those pictures updated so you can see the gardens, and some other things we snapped along the way :)

In terms of knitting, I once again cast aside what I was working on to start my Rockin' Sock Club sock for June. The yarn is gorgeous and the pattern is really easy. I'm still working on my mom's jacket. I had hoped to get it finished by her birthday (July 1st), but I don't think that will happen. I'll keep trying :) At the very least, I want to get it to her by the beginning of August, so she can wear it on vacation.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I spy a Harlot....a Yarn Harlot

I happened across the webpage of Powell's last week and what did I see? The Yarn Harlot was coming to do a reading there on Friday! I just had to go, to see what the fuss was all about.

So I made a trip all by myself into downtown. I got to the area of the bookstore at around 5, and wandered the area on foot. Lots of cool stores to check out, and of course I had to do some shopping at Powell's as well :) I had to move my car (I'd parked in one of the 90 minute spaces), and managed to score a parking place beneath Powell's by some stroke of luck. Then I went to dinner at P.F. Chang's, mainly because it was close, and I could sit outside and people-watch. By the time I was ready to head back over to Powell's, it was 6:45 and I thought, "Excellent - plenty of time to find a seat!"

I was so, so wrong. I found a seat on the floor. I don't know how early people got there, but I will have to plan accordingly for next time.

I did meet this really nice woman and we chatted pretty much the whole time. Unfortunately, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask her name - duh! So, if you are reading this blog entry, drop me a line!

I didn't have a decent camera with me, so I took a couple of pics with my cell phone (sorry for the crappy quality):

There had to have been at least 450 people there. I tried explaining this phenomenon to my husband and his friend, but as non-knitters they just didn't get it. Kinda went along with Steph's presentation for the evening :) It was all definitely worth the trip.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Some pictures

This is where we live. Quite cute, in a rowhouse kind of way. Our neighbors are friendly, and there aren't a lot of screaming children around. Yay!

And this is the view outside our back door. And yes, that is a house out in the green belt right behind our place. It's all good.

Here's a similar view. Did I mention this was taken at 9 o'clock at night? The days are super long right now - sunrise is at 5:30, but it is light long before then. This is still freaking me out a little.

My favorite room of the house right now. It was even bigger than what I was expecting. And there's even a pantry!

I think I forgot to tell you that we went wine tasting out at Willamette Valley Winery over the holiday weekend. Poor J was totally exhausted - he didn't figure this out until he was nodding off behind the wheel on the way there. We still had a great time - you really can't go wrong with juicy lamb burgers and wine. Yum. I was less than impressed with their wines. They were good, but what they called Syrah was really more like Zinfandel. I'm so used to the inky, punch-you-in-the-face CA syrahs that I was a little disappointed. But you can't beat that view. Lordy, it was beautiful out there.

In other news, I'm almost done with the first Grasshopper sock. I decided to do the knee-high version. After some mild mental retardation, I think I have the pattern down pretty well, and the second sock should go much faster.

Lastly, we'll end with a picture of a fat, happy, stoned kitty:

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Yesterday, we were pondering what to do this weekend.  Then J gets a call from our friend James, who happens to be in town for a wedding!  Yay, somebody we know!  :)  I hadn't met him in person yet, so I was excited.  We ended up meeting him, his friend Jim and friends of Jim in SE Portland at this Vietnamese restaurant off of Hawthorne.  Mmmmmm - good good food, and lots of it.  Prior to meeting at the restaurant, J and I took the opportunity to stroll around and check out that little area.  I'm in love - that is definitely one of the areas I want to consider when we start looking for places to buy.  It was mostly older Victorians and bungalows.  Hawthorne itself is very funky but cool, with a lot of hippies, goths and punks.  And what store do I manage to find right off the bat?  This one.  Reminded me of Ipso Facto in Fullerton, but with much more reasonable prices.  And parking around there wasn't too heinous, even for a Friday night.  Plus, we saw a hearse drive down the street, so I took that as a good sign.

After filling our bellies, we toddled over to Dots, a little neighborhood cafe/bar a few blocks away.  I didn't have any of the food (even though the jalapeno fries looked pretty spectacular), but we had a couple of drinks and hung out for a little while.  In our travels, we came across the Baghdad Theatre, which is the only one locally playing Grindhouse, so J and I will have to go very soon so he can finally see it.  It's in the McMenamin's chain, so it will only be $3 and we can order beer and food.

After the bar, we drove James into downtown to meet up with the rest of his friends who came for the wedding.  We ended up at Saucebox, which is this upscale restaurant/bar with a DJ.  Again, we didn't order food, although what everybody else ordered looked pretty good.  By that time, J was getting really tired, and we wanted to give James a chance to hang with his friends, so we bid him adieu.  All in all, we had a great time hanging out and talking with James, meeting all of these interesting new people, and finally checking out areas of Portland that we hadn't seen yet and taking some of the mystery out of getting around this town.

And I love that all of this is only 9 miles away from our house.  It's like having all the best parts of Orange, Fullerton and L.A. right in our backyard.

I'm still unpacking.  The books are almost done, except for my smaller bookshelf.   We are using our coffee table as our entertainment center, since the old entertainment center bit the dust in the move (our fault, not the movers).  We'll still be able to use the shelves that came with the center, but I think they are going downstairs in the office.  But we are very nearly finished.  Most of the boxes I've come across just need to go to the garage.  Once things get straightened up a little more, we'll take some pictures.

And we've been shopping.  Our toaster oven was on its last legs, so I tossed it before the move.  We got this one to take its place.  This is the weirdest toaster oven I have ever seen, but it works great!  We also ordered new phones and a microwave, which have yet to arrive.  And today we are buying a bed (most likely just mattress, box spring and frame) for the guest bedroom.  Gotta take advantage of those Memorial Day sales.

On the job hunt front, I've had a couple of phone interviews so far, but nothing yet.  Maybe next week I'll get more calls, after the holiday weekend.

I also managed to unpack my needles yesterday, so I am totally cheating on my Dr. Who scarf and knitting on my Grasshopper socks for the sock club. I am loving the Silkie yarn! I'm going to make the knee high version, but I'm going to see if I can squeeze them out of one skein, since I have small feet. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back online!

I don't even know where to start, but I'll give it a shot :)

Our drive up was fairly uneventful. We didn't hit much in the way of traffic, and I think we only had to stop for gas/snacks about 4 or 5 times. This drive was a major milestone for me - I've never driven for more than a 2 hour stretch. You can imagine the Grapevine was a bit of a challenge for me, but I managed to pull through. The first day (Saturday), we made it to Redding by 6pm. At that point, we decided to go for broke and push ahead to Roseburg, OR before settling in for the night. I'm still not too sure whether that was a good idea or not. We made it there safely, but that meant driving through the Shasta mountains and through the major hills on the border of Oregon. This is challenging enough during the day, but we were driving in pitch blackness by the time we crossed the border and beyond. We rolled into Roseburg at about 11pm, and I was never happier to see a hotel bed! J was fortunate, in that Lenore has that Caddy suspension and steering. The steering on the Benz is so stiff, I was fighting it through the winds in the Grapevine and the whole trip up, so I felt like I had Popeye arms. But I was awfully proud of myself for getting through the drive like I did. Then it was only a quick 3 1/2 hour drive the next day to the Beaverton area, so we had time to relax and drive by the property management office and our home for a look-see before the next day. Oh, and to hit a McMenamins for lunch as well :)

Tangent - am I just a big nerd for liking McMenamins so much? I was so utterly charmed by this little chain on our first trip, but I wonder if I am making a big deal, when they may just be the local answer to TGI Fridays? All I know is that they serve good food and great beer.

The cats acquitted themselves pretty well on this trip and managed not to kill each other. They didn't even pee outside of their litter box in the crate! I love my girls :) We smuggled them into the hotel in Roseburg because we were unsure of their pet policy, and kept them in their crate. We did let them out in our hotel in Lake Oswego, and they seemed to enjoy the opportunity to roam, cuddle, and hide behind the bed. We kept them in their crate during the move, and finally let them out in the afternoon on Monday after we had things sufficiently situated. They seem very happy to be with us, but I think they also miss J&M, because they've been yowling a bit :(

Tangent #2 - I highly recommend the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lake Oswego (which is also about 10 minutes away from our house). It was really nice, Embassy Suites quality, and they had a surprisingly lenient pet policy ($25 flat fee per night). It was only $108 per night with our AAA discount, and I think the rates might be even lower than that in the winter.

Monday was fortunately not as crazy as we feared it would be. We got to the property management company early, and they were able to get us in before our appointment time, so we got out of there at about 10:10. We zoomed over to the new place, and the movers had just pulled up to the house. We took a quick run through the house to determine where stuff would go, and started directing traffic. Whilst this was going on, we met two of our neighbors and talked to them for a little bit. They seemed to be about our same age, and they both have young-ish children. They both seemed okay with the hearse too, although they didn't understand too much WHY we have one, but that's to be expected :) At about 1pm, Comcast showed up to do their thing, and they left at about the same time as the movers, around 2-2:30. The rest of the day was spent rearranging some of the furniture, setting up computers in the office, getting the cats situated, and having a much deserved bottle of wine to celebrate the end of the move. Last night we slept in our own bed, and I was close to unconscious until about 5 this morning. Best night's sleep for the past few weeks!

Some observations about the house - we have lots of room, but the master and guest bedrooms upstairs are tiny, which sucks. I think we can still fit both of our dressers in the room, but we'll need to be creative. The guest room will be able to handle a bed, and that's about it. Yet both rooms have walk in closets! The mind boggles. I love that the W/D are upstairs, so I don't have to haul laundry around. The layout of the house is interesting - you walk into the garage and through the door, and the office area is on the right. There is a sink in the office, which apparently counts as a half bath, and there is piping in the closet for a shower (which gives new meaning to the term "water closet", har). You walk up half a flight of stairs, and that takes you to the landing at the front door. Up another flight, and you are on the second level, which consists of the living room, dining area, kitchen and breakfast nook. This floor is enormous, and I love having a big kitchen and living room. No bathrooms on this level, though - they are all on the third level with the bedrooms. We will take a lot of pictures, and I will point out some of the other oddities at that point.

The people up here are interesting. Totally laid back, friendly, and can't drive worth a shit. There's no real road rage, but there's a lot of eye-rolling when somebody gets cut off. There doesn't appear to be a lot of speeding, at least on the surface streets. It is gorgeous and green, even in the crappy parts of town. Where we live? Totally not a crappy part of town. In fact, it is more like Newport Coast. And apparently we live about 3 miles away from their version of South Coast Plaza. And yet, no real Nazi Germany aspect to it (yet, knock on wood). And at least in this area, most people are not from around here, either - our neighbors are from Boston and New York, respectively. And there are tons of Californians as well. But we're still getting our registrations changed and new license plates as soon as we can manage it.

Oh, and the rain. Rain rain rain. I love it :)

If you made it through this rambling entry, congratulations! Believe it or not, I've left a few ranty things out that I will let J cover, because I want to leave him SOMETHING to write about ;) We miss and love everybody in CA, and we'll update often with all the weird and wonderful things we encounter here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The final stretch

If any of you thought that, because I am unemployed, that I would get some form of a break this week, you would be wrong. I've been doing the last of the packing during the day, then some more at night after J gets home. Yesterday I taped and labeled most of the boxes, which is a chore in itself. Today I packed up the rest of my closet, but didn't tape up the box because I may still need some of those clothes for when I pack for the trip. I'm going through the office and garage today to see if there is anything else that needs to be packed up/taped. These two areas are primarily J's domain, so I am still a little unclear what he plans to do with some of it, but I will do my best.

We're scheduled to close today. We also have Eddie and some guy coming by to take away the spa and one of the big potted plants that apparently is dead. Can you tell I don't have a green thumb? ;) And I love how these people are making us do stupid stuff like getting rid of the ponds and this plant. They could have just done a bulky item pickup with the trash people. Whatever - I'm getting over it.

I can't quite believe that we're only going to be in this house two more nights. It's weirding me out a little bit. I've been concentrating so much on making sure we have a place to live and getting everything set up that I really haven't thought much about the fact that, "Oh crap! We're leaving!" I know I've said this many times before, but it still hasn't hit me yet, even with all the boxes packed up. Probably because we haven't even seen the new place in person, so it doesn't seem real to me yet. And I've been dreaming of OR for so long that THAT doesn't seem real to me either.

In other news, we had a good time at J&M's on Saturday for his mom's surprise b-day party. As usual, J and I were totally oblivious to the drama going on right before our eyes, so we probably had a better time than most everybody else. But I think that N. was surprised, and she was mostly just happy to see her sister who flew out for the occasion. It was also the last time that we would see A&L before we leave, and I admit to getting a little teary on the way home :)

Sunday was Mother's Day brunch with both families, and we had a good time. We'll see J's folks the day we move, and I have some glasses to drop off with my parents at some point, probably tomorrow when J is home, so we'll see them once more before we leave.

Oh, and on the job hunting front, I have a phone interview this afternoon with a company in Camas, WA. It would be an hour commute, but the job is exactly like my previous position, except without the stock admin stuff (yay!). So, fingers crossed for me. It would be great to have something waiting for me when I get up there.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Is That It?

Today is my last day here at work, and it appears that I'm going out with a whimper. My boss is out sick today, and everybody else is leaving at noon, so I will too. I even printed out my own exit paperwork to complete - heh. Comes with having an HR job, I guess :)

I did get a lovely breakfast potluck yesterday - scrambled eggs, devilled eggs, sausage, waffles, fruit, the yummy potatoes from the Jazz cafeteria (I will miss my breakfast quesadillas). Not to mention donuts, cake, and enough baked goods filled with poppy seeds that I started to wonder if they wanted me to fail any impending pre-hire drug tests. It was small, quiet, and I got to say goodbye to all the people I work with on a regular basis.

The packing continues and continues and continues. We have one more dish pack to fill, and then it's just smaller boxes of things to pack up. We're most concerned about the garage, but I think we can get a lot done in there this weekend.

We had the final walk-through yesterday afternoon, so I'm sure I'll hear today how that went. The new people have made such strange requests on stuff they want us to get rid of. Thank goodness our realtor is there to fight these battles for us :)

We also had a very nice going away party last Sunday. Wwe had so much fun, and it was really nice to see everybody together. I still can't quite believe that we won't be seeing our friends when we get up there. It will be a shock when it all finally hits me. I'm still in "roll with the punches" mode until all of our arrangements are complete and realized.

I'm sorry for not writing in here very often as of late. This will change once we get up north, since the computer will suddenly become even more important as my mode of communication to the outside world. I know a lot of you understand this well.

Not a lot of knitting to report, as you can imagine. Still slogging on the scarf when I am not packing and making arrangements. I did finally reach the halfway point, and I will be turning right around and doing the stripes in reverse order, so they mirror each other. I think it appeals to J's retentive tendencies :) I just wish now that I had done the original pattern in the first place. No time for regrets now, and I'm sure as hell not starting over!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Well, poo

The sweater didn't fit :( I should have listened to that small voice inside that said, "Maybe you should go up to the next size...". I will wait until we get up to Oregon, order about 10 more skeins, and start over. There is no graceful way to alter the result as is, but that is okay. Not like I'll have a whole lot to do once we get up there (aside from the job hunt, that is).

Everything is pretty much set up for us up there, we just need to finish our packing down here. This Friday is my last day at work, then we move at the end of the next week. We sign paperwork and take possession of the house on the 21st. I'm excited and stressed out all at the same time.

Still working on the Dr. Who scarf. That's about all that my poor pea brain can handle right now.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Off to Mom

I sure hope she likes this!

I also became a member of the Slogalong, because of this:

I am only at about the halfway point. But this is helping to keep me sane right now.

Things are moving right along (har har). We supposedly had the inspection on Friday, but we haven't heard anything back yet as to what needs to be done. I imagine they will have some questions about the lights - we have an X10 system in our house, which just means that we have our lights hooked up in such a way that we use keypads and remote controls to turn them on and off. We are taking the X10 with us, so they will just have normal lighting when they take over.

We also bought some dish packs and glass packs, and packed up all of our glassware (except for some essentials) yesterday. It felt good to get so much done. 84 wine glasses! The mind boggles.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Just trying to keep my mind occupied

The inspection is today. I don't think they'll find anything major, but we've been unpleasantly surprised before. I just hope whatever is on the report can be fixed in 2 1/2 weeks.

Things are moving right along. We did secure a lovely rental townhouse in the Beaverton area for a very reasonable price. We've found movers. We're starting the process of switching all of our email addresses to our gmail accounts. We have a party planned at the local English Pub to send us off in style and to tell our friends goodbye.

I manage to find moments when I think, "Oh my god, what the hell are we doing, leaving everything we've ever known and everyone we love?" I have to remind myself that other people (including our parents) did just that, at about the same age. I'm sure it was scary for them too, at first.

In project news, my mom's cardigan dried beautifully, and I will take it up to her on Sunday to try on. I'm crossing my fingers that she likes it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In Search Of....

A rental. That's what the name of the game is around here. We currently have an application in for a place in Beaverton, so all 2 of you that read this please keep your fingers crossed. I won't bother describing the place until we receive confirmation that we actually got it, so you'll just have to wait :) I swear, about 50% of my stress will go away when we get this rental business settled. Once we have an address, we can start setting up utilities, movers, etc.

We also have a couple of moving companies coming out in the next couple of days to give us estimates. These are larger, well-known companies, because I have heard far too many horror stories about these shady movers that hold your stuff hostage for more money, and I just don't want to go through that madness. Well, who does want to go through that, actually?

We also started packing this past weekend. We did the bookcase in the bedroom, a good portion of the office, the spare bedroom, the linen closet, and the cassette tapes and VHS tapes (yes, we still have these horribly outdated things because we are old school like that). Oh, and I packed up the Dicken's Village stuff, too.

I am also having to think about what I want as a job, as I'm updating my resume. It seems that a lot of the positions are for "HR Generalists", which includes the things I am doing now, and also "employee relations" duties. This means that I would be the person that an employee would contact if they are having issues with their manager or their department, or they are just having issues in general. Do I want to deal with other people's issues? I already do that to a certain extent with benefits administration, but I still manage to keep behind the scenes for the most part. I may need to compromise, but at the same time I don't want to end up hating my job.

Oh yeah, I didn't mention that we did sign the escrow paperwork on Thursday, so that's why everything is all full speed ahead around here :) I also gave notice at work, and my last day is May 11th, which will give me about a week before the move to tie up any loose ends.

And there's been crocheting. I finished Mom's sweater. Did I bother to take a picture? Of course not! It is blocked out in the spare bedroom, and it seems to be taking forever to dry. I'll probably turn the fan on it tonight to speed up the process a bit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Could it be?

It looks like we've finally sold the house. We signed the paperwork last night accepting an offer, and now we just need to sign the escrow stuff, which should be in the next couple of days. We didn't get everything we wanted, but we'll have enough for a good down payment on a new place when we are ready to buy.

Now comes the nightmare of arranging movers, packing, cleaning, and oh yeah, finding a place to rent. All in less than 30 days (!!!). But that kind of stress I can handle :) It's not all The Glass Is Half-Empty around here, I promise.

This time, I won't be mentioning anything to my work until the big paperwork is signed. I've been living in limbo at the job since the last time we thought we would be in escrow - no merit increases, no stock option grants, no goals. My boss appreciates what I do, but he didn't expect me to still be here, so he didn't budget for me.

There's crocheting going on around here, too. I have one more 3/4 sleeve to go, and I will be done with my mom's cardigan. I think. I am praying fervently that it will fit her. If not, I think I'll be able to expand the border bands down the front out a couple more inches on each side, and that should take care of things. But I will have her try it on first. I think she'll really like it, and I think I will make one for myself :) It's very pretty. You'll have to take my word for it now, but I'll take pictures of it soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Short N Sweet in progress

Here is where I am so far. I love how this is turning out! This is 5 balls worth of the Shine Worsted, I think. I haven't really been keeping track - I thought it was 6 balls worth, but I found an extra ball of yarn in my knitting bag last night, so I still have a little more to work with before my new supply of yarn arrives.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm over it

I'm over all this house-selling bullshit. I want my life back. I want to be able to sleep in until 1, or sit around in my PJ's and do nothing all day if I don't want to. I want to get on with it, already.

Now that the poopiness is out of the way...

I've unceremoniously dumped my current projects to focus once again on mom's cardigan. I decided to model it on the Short 'N' Sweet bolero from Stitch N Bitch - The Happy Hooker. I'll just make it longer, so it hits at about the hip, and extend the sleeves down to just past the elbows (per Mom's request). The KnitPicks Shine Worsted works really well for this pattern. I just need a buttload of the yarn for my alterations! I've gone through 6 balls, and I just ordered 15 more. Thank gods the stuff is cheap :) If I have any leftover, I'm sure I will find something to do with it. Progress pictures soon - I am on the body of the sweater, just past the armholes. I probably have about 4 pattern repeats or less to go before I reach my destination. I am blowing through this thing so quick, I may have it done in another week or two. This all depends on how soon the extra yarn shows up at my door.

Thank goodness for knitting and crocheting. It is helping to keep my mind off of things that just depress me.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Presenting my STR sock from the first kit of the Rockin' Sock Club!

Inside out:

And some detail of the foot so you can see the extent of the pooling:

Crazy, crazy pooling with this stuff. I was going to make these for a friend, but now I'm not sure that she'll like these with the colors like this. I will run this sock by her and see what she says.

Aw crap - I just noticed my picture sizing is totally jacked up. I'll fix it when I get home tonight.

But, I have to say this is the easiest pattern. Contrary to some other experiences, I had no problems with construction, and the fit is awesome - no tightness in the legs or ankles. I started with size 1 on the toes, and it seemed like they were too big, so I ended up with size 0 for the toes, foot and heel, and moved up to size 2 for the leg. Perfect.

I just found out from my husband that he buried a St. Joseph's statue in the yard at the end of November. This is about the same time that any interest in our house dried up. So poor St. Joe is getting dug up tonight :) My agent did indicate today that there is a very serious party that is trying to get together financing so they can make an offer. I've heard that before, so I'm not getting the ol' hopes up.

Friday, March 09, 2007

What I've been up to

...besides being sick. Ugh.

A finished pair of Jaywalkers! Here are the details:

Jaywalker, a pattern by Grumperina
1 ball of Regia Surf in the Bonbon colorway, with quite a bit left over (god bless tiny feet).
Size 2 US needles

I loved the pattern. I have some other yarn that should stripe really nicely, so this pattern will be perfect for that!

Approximately a 1/4 of a scarf. This is gonna take a while.

It kinda freaks me out that the colors are so accurate in these pics. Weird.

Friday, March 02, 2007

I finished my socks...

But I totally finished them WRONG. I decreased to a total of 14 stitches instead of 28 before I kitchenered the toes. Whoops. At least this is something that is easily remedied, so I will take pics after fixing the toes.

I am now working on the incredibly boring scarf. The color changes are holding my interest, at least. I do feel guilty that it will be spring by the time this scarf is done, but I can't help it if the sock yarn is calling me!

Speaking of which, the first box of the Rockin' Sock Club should arrive any day. I suspect they are filling the orders as they were placed, which means I will be dead last. Oh well - I am totally looking forward to my first experience with STR! I'm trying to stay away from other sites that have posted pics of their shipments already, so I don't spoil the surprise for myself. I'm also withholding judgement of the colors until I see the yarn myself. I'm not a big fan of blue. I owe a friend of mine a pair of socks, so they can always be for her if I don't like the colors :)

Still haven't sold the house, and it looks like we will need to lower the price, which sucks ass. We'll live. I'm hoping we (or our friends) win the Mega Millions tonight, so I don't have to worry about the house any more. Good luck with that!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I'm turning into a crappy blogger. Honestly, I haven't done much knitting recently - I've been reading more books (true crime, specifically), which cuts heavily into my knitting time. I did just turn the heel on my second sock last night, so I'm over halfway done now. I haven't touched the scarf at all, but I think I will work on it this weekend, because it is so mindless.

I did get a few new fibery books:

Domiknitrix is great, and I especially adore the charts. I was disappointed because it seems that a lot of their patterns only go up to a 40" bust, which is about 5" shy of what I need. Maybe I can adjust the patterns a little bigger?

Naughty Needles is simply awesome. So many patterns that I want to make! Especially that bikini on the cover. I WILL make it work for me! Problem is, the yarn has been discontinued, and is only available online. I should probably snatch some up soon before it disappears forever.

Stitch N Bitch - The Happy Hooker is a great, great book. I really want to learn how to properly crochet again, and it looks like I will be able to with the instructions and illustrations in this book. The patterns are also super cute. Plus, there is a shrug that, if I can manage to expand it into a long sleeved boxy cardigan, would work perfectly for Mom :)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I kinda went AWOL there for a minute. Things haven't been super busy, and yes, I have been knitting. I'm splitting my time between the Dr. Who scarf and another pair of socks.

My ugly socks turned out spectacular - I'm so happy with the fit, and they are so soft and comfy. I started another pair, this time in the Jaywalker pattern and using size 2 needles. These socks are going to be the most technically perfect socks I've ever made. The pattern itself is so precise, and the yarn really shows off the stitches well. I've finished one and started on the second, and they fit like a glove. I'm using Regia Surf, in the Bonbon colorway. I love this yarn - each color has a subtle white thread woven in. I started getting this almost nostalgic feeling when I looked at my knitting, but I couldn't figure out why. Then it hit me - the colors remind me of Fruit Stripe gum! I'll take a pic of the sock soon and post it when I have a chance, probably later this week.

Last weekend, I got free tickets, through work, to Disneyland and CA Adventure. So we got our friends J&M to go with us, and we were planning to hit the Vineyard Room in CA Adventure for dinner. I had to go to a presentation at the Disneyland Hotel to score the tickets, so the others hung out at the Uva Bar in Downtown Disney to wait for me. I joined up with them later, and we ended up staying there for another three hours! It's like a little oasis from the screaming children and idiot adults. Plus they serve some fantastic munchies. Our plans ended up changing, partially because of the expense - our friends hadn't re-upped for annual passes, so they would have had to pay $65 each, just to get into the parks! Crazy. We also decided, based on the menu, to go to the Napa Rose in the Grand Californian Hotel for dinner instead, so that meant J&M didn't have to buy tickets to the park at all if they didn't want to. So, we made our reservations for dinner, and J and I went into the park and hit the Haunted Mansion, so we could at least get one ride in :)

Then we went to dinner. Oh. my. god. Everything was so good. I couldn't tell you everything we had (we had a prix fixe with wine pairing), but here is a sample menu for Valentine's Day this year that will give you an idea. Wonderful, wonderful place. I would love to be able to go back.

ETA: I totally forgot to mention - I had put myself on the waiting list for the Rockin' Sock Club 2007, and I was able to get in. They charged my credit card and everything! I can't wait to get my first shipment!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Boo hoo

I am depressed. Not clinically, but feeling really low all the same. Why haven't we sold our house yet? There's nothing wrong with it - it's move-in ready, as far as I can tell (aside from all of our crap that we need to move out), we have a jacuzzi, and a washer/dryer and new grill that are staying. Why does no one want to buy it? I really and truly thought that we would be gone by Christmas, and yet here we sit. Is it too late to bury a St. Joseph statue in the yard?

I have to keep reminding myself that there are many others in my position in our part of the country that have had their places on the market for 5 months or more. I'm sick of strangers coming into our house and looking through the cabinets when we aren't at home. Just this last weekend someone went through our medicine cabinet and took some old Vicodin pills that I had accidentally left in there. I am so over this whole process. We haven't had one offer in the past two months at least.

I need to snap out of it. Wallowing in my misery isn't going to help our place sell any quicker.

On the sock front, I've gotten through the heel and am now decreasing through the gussets. The way I'm going, I'll probably finish this up tomorrow morning. Yay, a new pair of socks! Then I think I need to concentrate on that scarf for J. He shoots daggers at me every time I pull the ugly socks out to work on them. I do find that the Denise needles cling a little too much to the yarn, so work on the scarf has been very tedious. I'll go through my needles and see if I have size 6 Addi's - those would be slick enough for the Merino Style.

Tomorrow is our open house, so we are escaping to Del Mar to do some minor shopping and dinner with my family - my Dad and sister's birthdays are next week. I'm looking forward to seeing them and getting out of the house! Sunday we will probably go out to breakfast at The Olde Ship in Santa Ana. They have really good black pudding - mmmmmm. I think I will also employ some "cooking therapy" on Sunday, so I don't just sit around and brood.

I have to say, knitting has been such a blessing during this time that we've been trying to sell our place. Nothing like several projects to take your mind off of things! I think J is a little envious, because he doesn't have any projects to work on right now, and he likes to feel productive. I keep trying to teach him to knit, but he's not taking the bait (yet). Maybe I can con him into making me something to organize my circulars? He IS king of the sewing machine at our house.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Cue the calliope music

Now THESE are clown socks:

Now I know that I should take my knitting pics in the kitchen, because the colors here are very accurate. Maybe TOO accurate. Do you see why I couldn't take my eyes off of this yarn?

No, I am not done with the other one yet, I'm not quite that fast. I'm about a third of the way down the leg.

And I'm not going to bother with a picture of the scarf, because it is tres boring right now.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I fucking knew it

Guess what my husband found last night underneath the coffee table?

That's right, my other Denise kit. I'd looked behind all the books on my shelves, and emptied out the entire shelf underneath the coffee table. Except for my striped box where I keep all my correspondence. Sigh. I suppose I should be happy that it was located, and that I will never have to buy a needle between the sizes of 5 and 15 ever again. I am such a dumbass.

I was going to post pictures of my new Fetching gloves, my finished sock and the beginnings of the Dr. Who scarf, but my phone takes such assy pictures that I will need to wait until I get home and take pics with the real camera. So, no distractions from my dumbfuckery today.

Speaking of my finished sock, I shocked myself - I finished that sucker in 3 DAYS. I know that's a record for me. I guess that's what happens when you knit socks with size 3 needles. I started the other one, and I hope to finish it by the weekend. This is going to be the ugliest pair of socks ever. Just wait 'til I post a picture of it. Your eyes will bleed.

I've been stalking some other knitting blogs, because I always like to have new stuff to read online. I also like checking out other people's projects. And, let's face it - I'm nosy and enjoy reading about other people's lives. What I normally do is start at the beginning of the archives and read all the way through to the present. It's insane, but that way I feel like I'm "in the loop", and understand the references and private jokes that I come across later. I've talked about this before, but I'm still rediscovering old blogs and remembering all over again why I stopped reading them. Two in particular are entertaining in sections, but at the same time are overwhelmingly negative and snobby. I'm not always happy-go-lucky, but it takes a lot less energy for me to be content than it does to be pissed off about everything all the time. People like that have always been an energy suck for me. Therefore, it is exhausting to read these blogs. And I don't want blog reading to make me tired.

That said, I've discovered others that fell by the wayside when I stopped updating this thing, and stopped reading blogs for a while, and I still enjoy what these people have to say. Like this one. My type of humor, smart, a little angsty and funny.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Swatch? I do not know what this means.

Looking at the pictures of the sweaters I posted yesterday, I realized how fortunate I am that they turned out looking as decent as they do. You see, I don't swatch. I always want to dive head-first into a project, and damn the consequences. I convince myself that I am being "adventurous", rather than "just making more work for myself". What I find myself doing is knitting along on a sleeve, then measuring after several rows to see if I'm matching gauge with the pattern.

When I redo my Rogue, I'm going to be a good girl and knit a proper swatch to make sure I am getting gauge, since I was SO successful at making estimations on the fly last time (not). I'm also tempted to start Mariah over again - I am about 2/3 done with one sleeve, and I am not at all sure if I am getting gauge. I'll rip out my measuring tape before I commence any ripping.

On another note, here is my office, in the wilds of the Executive Floor of my building:

So open! To everything! I hate it. Thank goodness this floor doesn't get much traffic.

And a crappy pic of one Fetching glove:

I may give these away. They are actually too big for my Liliputian hands. I am making another pair for myself in a pretty cranberry color, and I eliminated one of the cable repeats, casting on 40 stitches instead of 45. So far, they are working out pretty well.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Night Owl

Notes on the Lace Leaf Pullover:

- I used a full TWO balls less than what the pattern calls for in my size. I bought 7 balls, and only used 5. And you can see how big it is.

- I would also change the sleeve cap. There are seven live stitches at the top that are grafted to seven stitches on the sleeve. I would increase the number of stitches at the top of the sleeve and at the cap, because those stitches are stretched to the limit to accomodate my shoulders (you can also see this in the pic in Loop-d-Loop, so it's not just me)

- I blocked the hell out of it from paranoia, and I really didn't need to. Next time I wash it, I will lightly block. It grows after wear, anyway.

- I love, love, love this sweater. And it really is worth it to use the yarn called for in the pattern. I got the yarn at Yarn Market.

I also adore this sweater - it is so comfy and wearable. I can't think of anything I would do to change this sweater. This would be really yummy in Cashmerino Chunky, IMHO. Although it would pill like mad.

And Calorimetry turned out nice, but as you can see I don't have enough hair to really carry this off yet. I think it looks quite fetching with my jammies, don't you?

I bound off my mom's poncho last night and there were two problems: (1) It's not long enough and (2) It's ugly. The Shine Worsted just isn't doing it for me with this design. I will have to think on this some more. Maybe I will have to dive into the murky waters of crochet after all for this one. God, I hope not. In the meantime it is sulking in my sewing basket until I can figure this out.

The title refers to the fact that I'm staying up later these days. I used to be such a night owl in college, staying up until all hours then bouncing out of bed the next morning. The past few years have seen me hitting the sheets at 9pm each night, and suffering through the weekends because I had trained myself to not stay up late. By 11:30 on New Year's, I thought I was going to die because I was so tired (granted, I had made about a 140 tamales that afternoon, so maybe I should cut myself some slack, yes?). That's just pathetic. So, the past few nights I've stayed up until 11. And guess what? I've been sleeping better, and I've had no trouble rolling out of bed at 6 the next morning. Plus I'm able to get a lot more done and I'm more fully rested before bedtime. I'm definitely making a habit of this :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So flighty

I'm posting here more than on my LiveJournal. The reason is that I have been so consumed by my knitting recently, and I'm fairly certain that my friends over there don't want to hear about it, at least not without visual aids. And sorry, still no visual aids here. I'll try to get some pictures tonight of the things I've been working on. Maybe I'll flash my stash, too. My camera just takes such crappy pictures, especially at night, so I'll have to fiddle with the settings until I find something that works for me.

Now that I've got my socks on the right sized needles and not pooling, I've lost all interest. I've become a flibbertegibbet (sp? hell, I don't know) with my projects. Instead, I was lured by the evil temptress Calorimetry and her promise of a quick knit. It was relatively quick - I managed to bust her out last night in about 3 hours. I changed the pattern up a little - I cast on 100 stitches, and made her more narrow, so it would be a more petite headband. Plus I was using the last of my Silk Garden from my Clapotis, and didn't quite have enough for the full size version. I don't know if it is my lack of hair (I'm kinda rockin' the white girl afro-puff right now), but it still turned out plenty big enough. I'll wear it more when my hair gets past shoulder length.

Next, I've started Knit and Tonic Wendy's Dream Swatch Wrap thingie, since I had one skein of the exact yarn that the pattern calls for - Alchemy Bamboo. I'll alternate between that and the sock for small fiddly stuff.

What I really need to work on is the poncho. I dropped it like a bad habit whilst dealing with the sock, and I should finish it because it is so damned close to being done anyway.

We've been getting a lot more activity with the house. Agents have brought people by every day this week so far, which is a lot more than in 2006, so I'm hoping for some bites soon. I've also had a flip in perspective in the past few days, since we've now had our house on the market for 5 months, with no serious offers so far. One of my work friends started talking about how her friend's house didn't sell for 8 months. Prior to now, I wouldn't have wanted to hear about it - don't harsh my mellow, man. Now, it makes me feel better that we aren't the only ones suffering in this stupid market. It feels like we're never going to get out of CA.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stash from Hell

I decided to go through my stash last night. My stash resides in our not-quite-guest room, the room we use to store all of our old craft projects, bolts and large rolls of fabric from the Fabric District, SCA garb, and whatever doesn't fit in the rest of the house. For the most part, it is actually very well organized, and easy to find what you are looking for.

My stash was the exception. It was cloistered in two woven lined hampers, but I had been careless. Remainders from old projects were intermingling (and sometimes FELTING) together. Just a disorganized mess. Plus, I am a little paranoid now about bugs eating everything. So, I got upstairs with my plastic ziplock bags and got to work.

After all was said and done, I was pleased. I managed to untangle some hellish knots. I found TWO sock yarns that I forgot I had. I discovered that my leftovers could make some decent small projects. And that my stash isn't TOO bad (yet). I bagged up my old acrylics and cotton yarns that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. I still don't know what to do with that stuff. But at least I know where to find everything now.

On a different note, I discovered yesterday that I can drink regular coffee. Yay! Probably only one cup a day, but that is fine by me.

Oh, and by the way - going down 4 stitches on the socks seems to have eliminated the pooling problem. Yay!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Groundhog Day...with yarn

Nope, still no pictures. I suck.

I'm down to the last ball of yarn for my mom's poncho. I think she will really like it. I will be interested to see how the whole thing washes up - I will toss it into a lingerie bag, of course, since it is essentially a big net :) There are some minor irregularities with the yarn, and I am crossing my fingers that they will be a little less apparent when the whole thing is washed. The russian join totally saved my ass with this project, and I will be using it with pretty much all of my future un-feltable projects.

Speaking of washing stuff, I threw my black sweater into the wash (the yarn IS machine washable). However, I failed to remember that the washing machine that we use tends to RIP UP undershirts and other unmentionables if they are just loose and not in a lingerie bag. So, my poor sweater had two holes, and all the woven-in ends somehow migrated to the right side of the sweater! Ack! Luckily, I was able to repair all damage to the sweater, and all seems well.

I started another project, since I always have to have at least two things on the needles at once. I only have 3 pairs of knitted socks, and I need more! So, I started a pair of plain stockinette socks, knitted toe up using the figure 8 method a la Wendy. I have knit the first few inches of these socks four times, and I'm thinking the fifth time will be the charm. The first go-around, I twisted the stitches on the end of the toe, so it looked like a little braid. Plus, I used size 3 needles (which is what my Cherry Tree Hill Supersock calls for), and the socks were enormous, and too loosely knit. So, I looked at Wendy's Toe Up Sock pattern, and she suggests a size zero needle. Fine. I started over, got the stitches right for the toe, and began the increases. I soon realized that this made a really DENSE fabric, which was a bitch to knit. So, I frogged back to the beginning again. Did I jump up to size 1 needles? No, that would have been smart. I went to size 2's instead, and ended up with baggy ankles again. Sigh....RIIIIIP. Last night, I started these over with size 1's. Now we're talking! The fabric is just the right tension and texture, the fit appears to be right on track. But, what's that? The yarn is suddenly pooling like a mofo. Arrrgh! I am going to try reducing to 56 stitches, to see if the yarn will stripe a little instead. Pooling doesn't normally bother me, but damn - I am knitting with the Fall Foliage colorway, and let me tell you, these are going to be freakin' clown socks as it is , and the pooling made it look like I was having fun with the fingerpaints all over these poor socks. I have never reknit a pair of socks this many times. Wish me luck on this latest experiment.

Incidentally, I am still in love with this yarn. When I started the socks, I brought them to work and set the yarn out just slightly under my desk, so I could gaze upon the colors all day long. I've been slightly unhinged with the love I have for this colorway.

No news on the house yet. Poop.

I'm also trying an experiment of another ilk. I'm trying to drink regular coffee. I love coffee beyond all reason. However, a couple of years ago it got so I could not drink the regular stuff - it made me sick to my stomach. Not long after that, I had surgery to remove my gall bladder and clear out some gall stones. I am convinced that my problems with coffee are linked to this, but I'm not sure. It has taken me the past couple of years for my digestion to equalize. Now that this has happened, I wanted to test the waters again. So far, so good - I'm working on half a cup of coffee, and my stomach feels okay and I'm not too jittery. Wish me luck on this, too - decaf just ain't the same.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rest in Peace

I took out the socks that have been marinating in my sewing basket for the past year, to see if anything could be done with them. I successfully cleaned off all the dried grass (that's right - I stuck them in my sewing basket, and promptly forgot about them), and ripped back to where I recognized the pattern and could continue. I then thought I should wind up the yarn into a nice ball so it would be easier to work with (duh). In doing this, I discovered many, many little ends in the snarl of Koigu. Did bugs get into my basket? Was it eaten during that long night out in the elements? Who knows. But I had to toss that skein, which was painful for me. Poor Koigu :( I shall have to check my LYS, to see if they have any others in the same dyelot. I still have the second skein, which I haven't touched, so I will have another pair of Koigu socks yet!

I got the last purchases from my Xmas money - a Lantern Moon sewing tote in dark purple and black, and a set of the pink Denise needles. I am very happy with both, and I promise to take VERY good care of this set of needles. I will probably find the others when we are packing to move.

Still slogging away on the poncho. I'm about halfway through the 3rd ball of yarn. I just don't enjoy working with cotton, although this stuff is very nice.

I've also been working on a crocheted cloche, but I realized something - I hate the texture, it's so rough! Silk and wool blend yarn should not feel rough. I found a pattern online for a knitted cloche by Marnie MacLean, so I think I will purchase it and make it. The yarn requirements are very similar, and I will be happier with this yarn in stockinette stitch.

Other than that, things have been very slow around the homestead. We'll have two open houses this weekend, so I'm hoping for some nibbles. I'm so sick of the waiting. We also need to get our fences repaired from the recent high winds, so we are talking with our insurance company and working with them to get a claim check. We also have to work with our neighbors, which I am not looking forward to. Oh well, the high price of home ownership.

Tonight, my husband will be at a whisky tasting thingie, so I will cook myself up a batch of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Ahhh, my idea of heaven.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Knit whore

I have too many irons in the fire, and yet things keep catching my eye. Like Henry VIII from Starmore. Fair Isle - WTF? No, I haven't purchased the kit (yet), but I will someday, probably after the move. Nothing like diving in feet first, right?

I'm working on my mom's poncho now. The Shine Worsted is working up very nicely. I hope my mom likes it - she's notoriously picky. I'm through the first two balls of yarn and I have 2-3 to go.

After the poncho, I will start on J's scarf. Maybe he'll actually get to use it! Yeah, right. Not 'til we move to Oregon, anyway. I'm very tempted to make the long version, just for fun.

I also have these other projects that are in various stages of completion:

Mariah - most of the way through one sleeve.

Socks - can't remember the name, but they are from Socks On The Road. Patterned cuff and plain legs, with little bitty cables running up the sides. One sock 2/3 of the way done. These are the socks that stuck to my clothes on a camping trip, on my way to the bathroom. Sat out overnight in the grass and the dew. Haven't touched them since, but I really should. I only have three pair of knitted socks, and I want more.

Rogue - technically done, but I am going to unravel and start over. I want to knit a size that will actually fit me. What a concept!

I also have yarn for several more pairs of socks and an Irish Diamond Shawl. And now this fair isle mini-obsession as of late. It used to scare me, just looking at those sweaters. Now I want some of them, and badly. I also just want to learn how.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Back to the grind

What a glorious vacation from work. I could have used another week to fritter the time away, but that just goes to show what a lazy ass I am. I was even too lazy to take pictures and blog.

I did manage to complete one large project around the house - cleaning out the pantry. I shudder to think back on all the expired food and crap that I would never eat that I threw out. Filled the black trash can outside all the way up. Let me emphasize, this was EXPIRED food, so I couldn't donate it or anything like that. I even reorganized the pantry, so I can actually find stuff. I came across so many things that I forgot I had that it scared me! Now it is a manageable size, and I won't have to throw out so much when we are ready to move.

Cleaning out the pantry got me thinking about food and what kind of stuff I eat all the time. I hate the idea of diets, but I wonder if there aren't substitutions that I could make in my regular recipes? More whole grains instead of white flour? Honey instead of refined sugar? I think I will need to do some more research. We have been eating more salads recently, which is good. And I would love to kick the diet soda habit. I'm fairly certain that it's really not good for me to drink as much as I do. I just need to find more reasonable substitutes, like tea.

Oh, and New Year's was a blast. This year, I tried the grand experiment of making tamales. The recipe I used said that I would net about 4-6 dozen tamales. 14 dozen later... no, I am so not kidding. We ran out of the pork filling halfway and had to use cheese. But they turned out great, and the Hispanic people at the party thought the gringa acquitted herself quite well. Now we have a freezer full of tamales. Not that I'm complaining or anything. J and I ended up spending the night at J&M's, and they put us in the guest room with our kitties :) I think we had at least two cats on the bed the entire night. It was sooo nice to be able to spend time with our cats, and to be reassured that they still knew who we were. The next day, I baked up a Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Strata for breakfast, and we had leftovers from the night before for lunch/dinner. We sat around in our PJ's and played video games for the rest of the day. Ahhh, so relaxing! All in all, it was a kickass way to usher in the new year.

As far as the knitting goes, I was ridiculously prolific during my holiday break between Christmas and New Year's. This is what I finished:

A pair of Fetching gloves
The lace leaf pullover
The basketweave v-neck
Two Odessa hats
Brioche scarf (my own design, using the Brioche stitch*)

Yes, I know there are no pictures. I will take pictures and post in the next few days. One comment about the lace leaf sweater - I had TWO leftover balls of yarn after all was said and done. So, I knit M (who is going to Wisconsin in about a week) a big, cushy scarf so she won't freeze. And I still have about 3/4 of a ball left over! Now, I knit very tightly, but this is freakin' insane. The sweater is plenty big enough for me, so I don't know what happened.

I also cast on and started my mom's Harlot Poncho, and I'm working on a crochet project as well - the Simply Cloche hat from Hip to Crochet. I'm not quite halfway and I just started it last night, so I will probably have it done by the end of the week. I'm making it out of Elizabeth Lavold Silky Wool DK in Graphite. Pretty, pretty yarn, and soooo soft to work with.

And yes, I shopped some more. I bit the bullet and bought another set of the Denise Interchangeables, in the pink this time. And a Lantern Moon tote. Somebody stop me.

*What is the brioche stitch? Let me share:

Cast on stitches in multiples of 3
Set-up row - YO, Sl 1, K 1
All other rows - YO, Sl 1, K2tog
Go until you get to the desired length. I recommend using a really flexible cast on and off for this stitch pattern.