Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

Hope everyone is having a fun Halloween!! I have to say, I've had better. My FAVORITE part of Halloween is seeing all the little kids all dressed up and having fun. (I realize as I write it that that sounds a bit creepy, but really, it's all on the up & up!) When I was of trick-or-treating age, I always waited to go out so I could hand out some candy, especially since the parents of the REALLY little ones bring them out before it's even dark. I was SO excited to have a real house this year. We didn't get much in the way of trick-or-treaters in my condo in Vermont. So how many do you think came to my door today? Well, after the 1st 90 minutes (kids are only allowed to go around from 5-8PM in our town) no one had yet come. I was majorly bummed. Then I got a group of 3 kids. . . then about 15 minutes later a group of 6 kids (including one of the neighbors) came. They were awful cute, particularly the little girl who was Wicked Witch of the West but couldn't say trick or treat without spitting out a mouthful of dots she was already eating! But 9 kids is a pretty lame showing. And I could hear them on the block over from us, but I think we suffer from being on the 'old people' street. Only 1 other house on our block had the light on, so not worth it for most kids to come down. Big Bummer :(

On the plus side, it's almost my birthday!! Jake was wrapping my presents and he let me peek now that they're wrapped. I know what these are, for the most part, but I know he has something else to surprise me, so I'm excited. FEDEX also stopped by when I wasn't home, so that must be a gift, too :) YAY! Right now Jake is in the kitchen whisking up the custard filling for my banana cream pie. . . SOOOOOOOOOOO excited to eat it! (it has to sit overnight, thus the making it today.) He even splurged on REAL vanilla bean. . .let me tell you, they are POTENT! I could smell it a good 6 feet away from it.

So, yeah, if anyone wants some candy, please stop by. . . we have LOTS of leftover tootsie rolls, caramels and air heads!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween is Coming!

I love carving pumpkins. Please don't confuse that in any way with me being GOOD at carving pumpkins. . . my artistic ability pretty much ends at triangle eyes. I find the whole thing fun, nonetheless. I especially like playing with the pumpkin guts!

Yesterday, Jake & I went to buy our pumpkins to carve. The church I *thought* had a pumpkin stand, did not, in fact, so we ended up at another farm market. Pickins were relatively slim, given that it was only two days to go, but we found two we liked. I picked mine because it looked like a skull and I wanted to make it a pirate. Jake picked his because it was nice and round :)

We were very careful in cleaning out the pumpkins, as we wanted to roast the seeds. . . YUM!

Jake, being the 'get it done' kind of guy, dived right in with the carving. I, on the other hand, spend a lot of time 'planning' (it's not fair to call it procrastination!). I really wanted to make a pirate, but how to translate that onto a pumpkin was totally lost on me. After about 40 minutes of drawing samples on paper, I gave up on the pirate, and just went for a scary pumpkin.

Here are the results.
I'm jealous, Jake's pumpkin, with all his grapefruit-spoon-wielding flesh scraping, photographs great in the dark with the candle!
Mine not so much!

We tried to get a picture with the dogs, but, as usual, no cooperation from Jimmy Ray!

And the most impressive thing about the upcoming Halloween? I've had the bag of Halloween candy since October 11. . . and it's still fully intact! That's no small feat for me. Is it bad I'm secretly hoping we get no kids so I can eat all the candy?

Crisis of Conscience

OK, so I left out one thing from my previous Nashville recap. I learned something at the SWE conference that has me torn. Kitchen Aid, one of my absolute favorites, is owned by Whirlpool. You will recall my rant on Whirlpool following the washing machine incident and my vow that I will never patronize one of their brands again, which is why I bought an LG machine, since Whirlpool makes Maytag and Kenmore, too. Now, must I boycott Kitchen Aid, too?!?! I just don't know if I can do that. I mean, I already have the mixer, but I still want some attachments, and I like some of their other appliances. I spoke to the Whirlpool folks, and they admitted that their Whirlpool customer service side is a problem. Ironically, their Kitchen Aid customer service, which sits in cubicles NEXT TO the Whirlpool service staff, wins accolades ever year. They share training, so apparently Kitchen Aid staff, being a 'premium' brand, actually take customer service seriously.

So, while I contemplate this conundrum, I will share this with you. . . 20% off any KitchenAid purchase before November 30. Use event code EVENT20 from this website.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nashville Recap

I'm back! Well, we're back! Thankfully, we're back uneventfully. . . no travel problems (which is saying a lot these days!), we even got home early by getting on standby on an earlier flight out of Charlotte.

The SWE conference was so much better than I expected it to be! It's been several years (well, OK 7) since I've gone to one, I'd forgotten how empowering it is to be around so many people so similar to me. I sometimes convince myself I'm crazy about work situations, because my boss tells me I'm overreacting, or simply because I don't have another pre-30 technical professional ANYWHERE in my organization. . . . all the way up to my Vice President! I can't tell you how comforting it was during the Keynote breakfast, when the woman sitting next to me said "Well, I see you have the blessing/curse of looking young, too. Have you found any effective ways of getting people to take you seriously without spouting your resume?" HALLELUJAH!! I'm NOT crazy!! I'm not reading too much into things!! When people (read: 50+ year old men) see me and the first questions they ask are not-so-subtley designed to figure out if I just graduated from college, they really ARE having a problem taking you seriously and want you to justify your qualifications. It was like a huge weight coming off my shoulders. Phew!

I attended some great sessions, a lot centered around 'what do I want to be when I grow up' themes. I feel so much more motivated to take charge and REALLY find a new position. It's so not worth being so cranky about my day to day job! I milled around the career fair for a few hours Friday, exploring what companies do business nearby, in case I run out of options to switch positions within my current company. I also got some cool swag from career fair exhibitors. My favorites? This little bag from Honda
, which is the perfect size for a small project bag and, with no zipper, I can hold it on my arm to hold the yarn without any concerns about snagging it. This much bigger bag from Kellogg is going to be an awesome addition to my current collection of grocery bags. I felt a bit scummy just going to Kellogg to snag a bag, since I wasn't interested in talking to them about a position, so I made them a deal. Here is me posing with Tony the Tiger. . . and here is me following thru with my end of the deal --> Go HERE if you are interested in looking at job opportunities with Kellogg!

I ran in to several old friends, which was so nice to catch up. I also met another knitter! I was supposed to meet up with Jen, who I met on Ravelry, but I got distracted by the friends I had caught up with. While knitting before the 'Motivation, Procrastination, Inspiration' session started, Miriam came over to show me she was knitting on socks, too :) Of course, in addition to trading cards, we traded Ravelry IDs :) Unfortunately, our speaker made us (well not just the two of us, everyone in the session) put everything away except a pen & paper to have a very interactive session. Not before 4 of the girls sitting around me asked for quick lessons, though!

Jake got in kinda late Friday. . . flight delays, big surprise! We went out to dinner near Vanderbilt, then went down Broadway to listen to some music. And, if you've been to Nashville, you know there is live music. . . EVERYWHERE. Every single bar has a band playing, so we just picked one that was less crowded so we could sit and hung out for a while. Saturday I wrapped up conference events, while Jake slept in :) Then we walked around exploring the sights and shops downtown Nashville. Here is the view from the Shelby Street Bridge. . . on a lovely day, I might add! And I learned that this building, which I always had thought was R&C, and was something to do with the recording industry, is actually L&CLife & Casualty Insurance. The name made Jake chuckle. . . more in the context of the 'Life & Casualty Building' and how it is determined what you get upon entering the building. . .he he :)

Jake & I both bought cowboy boots. . . these are mine, his are unavailable for photograph, as they are on his feet at work! We wore our fancy new boots out that night for Sushi, followed by more fabulous music. I have to say, I'm not a country music fan in general, but I love live music, and every single band we saw (5 in total) was amazingly good, but the best was the Travis Mann Band. Seriously, if you are in Nashville, you need to check them out!!

And, finally, knitting. I carried the Imagiknit scarf with me thru the conference. .. easiest to knit on without paying attention. I knit while standing in lines and while waiting for sessions to start. I knit in a few sessions that weren't ones I needed to take notes in. I made a lot of progress, but again, not picture worthy, as it looks the same only longer. On the flight on the way out, I made progress on the endpapers, but ironically, on the way back, it was so friggin' cold in the airport and on the plane, that my fingers just about froze trying to knit, so I was resigned to magazine flipping with my hands firmly drawn into the sleeves of my long sleeve shirt! I have 3 more rows to knit before I split off the thumb.
I can't wait to finish so I can wear them!! I also joined this KAL to show off my mitts, thanks to all the love from you all on my last post :)

Lelah and my seeded rib socks made the trip to Nashville, but unfortunately, they did not see the outside of their ziploc bags.
Phew! That was a long one, but now we're all caught up! After work today we are going to get our pumpkins so we can carve and roast seeds. Yay!! And of course, the most exciting thing? My birthday is only 3 days away!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Short post before a Short break

So just a quick post before jaunt off to Nashville! I can't even tell you how excited I am!! And, I 'met' a girl on Ravelry who is also going, so I think we'll be meeting and knitting at some point. Fun! I also found out my collegiate chapter is having a UM-SWE alumni breakfast, so I'm hoping to meet up with some girls I haven't seen in ages.

I haven't narrowed down yet what I'm taking with me (that would imply I've packed, which I have not yet started).
Here is Lelah . . . ..the Cotton-Ease is kind of driving me crazy. . . it squeaks randomly. . . just every so often, enough to keep me guessing. I hope I can make it through!

Here is my first finished endpaper, LOVE IT (well, finished if you don't count weaving in ends)! I've slowed down on the 2nd. .. , though I hope to finish it in Nashville.
I've been working on Laura's scarf, but it still looks the same, just longer :)

Yesterday, Kim & Chris made it down for dinner with Kayla. Of course, I had my camera and took no pictures, but trust me. . . she's a DOLL! She's got Kim's curls and Chris' red hair! Dinner, well the eating portion, was not so great. The restaurant came on high recommendations and it was pretty. . . . right on the Chesapeake Bay, but both Jake and I weren't enamored with the food. This was made up for, of course, by the great company. It was so nice to catch up. It was also made up for with outstanding cheesecake :) (hush hush . . . I shared with Jake! and I ate scallops for dinner!)

I don't expect to be on much posting or blog reading while I'm away, so I'll 'see' you all next Monday!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gotta Love Ravelry

OK, I have a confession to make. When I FINALLY got onto Ravelry, I was underwhelmed. I guess there was no way around it. After all the blog hype, it really couldn't meet my expectations, right? Well, I'm starting to come around. Friday I went in to look up Cotton-Ease. My SP11 sent me a skein and I was curious what people had made with it. On the first page of projects, I found this. I fell in love! Unfortunately, the green of the cotton-ease I got from SP wouldn't look good as a wearable on me, so this meant a trip to Michael's to pick up some more ;) I'm doing the top two-tone, taupe on the lace part, light blue on the bodice. So where, other than Ravelry, can you find this kind of enabling?!?!

I cast on for Lelah last night watching the UM-Illinois game. Clearly this was too much for me, as after casting on THREE times, I still had problems. I had fresher eyes this afternoon and just completed the 1st lace repeat. Nothing picture worthy at the current time, though.

Yeah, and golf. . . . .I had my first golf outing today. It wasn't as bad as it could have been. . .my best hole was 6 strokes (legitimately) on Par 3. That doesn't sound so bad, but I will admit there were two holes that I actually lost count of my strokes, and another that we bent the rules on. I had a pretty good time, though, until the end when we had another pair right up on us and I was very stressed feeling pressured to get moving. Jake, as always, was insanely patient with me, which I needed or I would have given up on the 2nd hole!

Now, Kim, Chris & Kayla will be here for dinner tomorrow, then I'm packing and off to Nashville! Can't wait! Hope you have a great week starting, too!!

Friday, October 19, 2007


OK, Remember how I just wrote how great my upcoming week is going to be? Umm, yeah, it just started! My mailman just brought me package #2 from my Secret Pal. I really was speechless when I opened it. The first thing I saw was these beautiful potholders.

This picture really doesn't do them justice, they are divine. My pal said it is a vintage pattern from the 40s that both her mum and grandmother had. I really can't get over them. They are crocheted in two pieces, joined by the starburst and the edging. WOW, right!?!?!?

The potholders are because the overall theme is cooking. The other goodies in the package were a darling cookbook, measuring spoons and a canvas shopping bag that she cross-stitched! Seriously, where do her talents end?!

Then, to round out the package, of course there is yarn! One ball of cotton-ease in (what else!) GREEN and a hank of Finnish lambswool. The wool is so wonderfully soft. . . I think it might have to be turned into gloves or mittens, if I can find another yarn that is worthy of being paired with it.

I'm so grateful for having such an amazing pal! Thank you so much! I can't wait until you're revealed so I can drool over pictures of your knits!



GAWD! I'm so tired of hot weather! It's in the 80's and HUMID today. . . next week it is supposed to be record highs again. It is LATE OCTOBER, this is just ridiculous. It is supposed to be cool and crisp, not A/C weather!

OK, Enough complaining.

I'm very excited for the coming week. First off, I'm going out DANCING tonite! (not with Jake of course, he doesn't like dancing, but Susan does!) Then tomorrow, I'm playing my first official round of golf (9 holes at a Par 3, but still). We have friends coming down to Williamsburg this weekend, we're meeting them for dinner Monday. I haven't seen their daughter since she was like 3 weeks old, now she's 18 months!! Then Wednesday morning I head off to the SWE conference in Nashville, TN. I'm scoping out yarn stores and hope to have time between conference events to stop by. I also think I'll have good down time for lots of knitting! Friday Jake is coming in to Nashville so we can hang out for the weekend. Jake wants to buy cowboy boots, so shopping will be fun! And to top it off, we come back and it's Halloween and then my Birthday. Can't get much better, right?!

Knitting wise, I finished the first endpaper mitt and have the cuff done on the 2nd. I knit up a few more repeats on Laura's scarf, too, but I haven't started anything else. Sorry there's nothing exciting enough for photographs!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Works in Progress

OK, I really need an eBay intervention! I HAVE to stop buying random yarn! I made a new purchase last night, but at least this one is worth wile (unlike the 3 more balls of cotton I bought. . . but it was only $2 for 3 balls!) I got a bag of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in (what appears to be) a gorgeous red. With shipping, I paid $44, so I think $4/ball is pretty good, and it's slated to be used for Tempting. Very excited, I think it's so lovely. . I just hope I don't get bored with that much ribbing. (And, if anyone has a suggestion of what to make with 2 skeins of pink tweed mercerized cotton, let me know. . .it was $3, so it ended up with me!) See, I really do need someone to just shut off my eBay account!

In other online news, why is it when you NEED a coupon, none come to your inbox. I normally get like 2 coupons a week from JoAnn. . . either free shipping or 40% off an item. Jake is (most likely) going to be buying me a blocking/ironing pad, cutting mat and rotary cutter for my birthday (we went to JoAnn Sunday for me to point out the ones I want). I told him I'd give him coupons, but NO, apparently there is a conspiracy against me getting one now! Selfish, I know, but if he saves money it means he buys me something else :) Two more weeks to look for a coupon. . . .

On to knitting. I'm totally in a knitting zone right now, loving nearly everything I'm knitting (not counting my halter top which I continue to ignore and my purse that STILL needs a lining sewn in). First, the endpaper mitts:

I didn't feel like messing with the italian tubular cast on, so I just learned a 'regular' one using waste yarn. I was impressed, got it on my first try, but I can't say I think it's that much stretchier than a long tail cast on. I do like the fact that it's thicker, though, and looks like a small seam on the cuff. I realized after I did about 10 rows of the pattern that I was using the colors opposite of how the pattern does, but I actually like it better (for me). In general, I like that the pattern is so striking by having the cuff and the main background contrast, but I think I'm more likely to wear them being a little more subtle. When I finish, I plan to make a pair for Jake's sister for Christmas. .. she works for a Hockey team in Alaska and spends lots of time in the rink. Seems to me these would be very handy (no pun intended!)

I started a Mason-Dixon baby kimono for Tricia's baby, Addison. Tell me how I have to go UP two needle sizes for my endpaper mitts, but DOWN two to do the kimono? I'm knitting both on Size 4s. I'm hopefully sizing this up to 12 months, but the pattern is pretty vague on how to change the sizes, so I hope it works out. It's looking a little big right now. . . .

I'm strangely drawn to the orange/pink combination. I plan to do the sleeves in all pink, then pick the striping back up on the front panels.

I got the Malabrigo I ordered on Monday (seriously, I can't believe I ordered Friday afternoon and got the yarn Monday). I really really love this yarn! The colorways still skeined are Red Java and Azul Profund, the balled is Burgundy.

At SnB last night, I cast on with Burgundy for one of the Christmas scarves. It's skinnier than I'd ideally like, but if my math is right, it will come out close to 8 feet long, so it can be wrapped multiple times. I still like it better than being as wide as the one I knit for me.

I think that's it for now. . . Zosia has a Vet appointment and I have to battle morning traffic (yay for working at home and not dealing with it regularly!).


ps - I know I still have to put up a pic of my sweater. . . I've worn it now, but Jake's photo skills are somewhat lacking and none are post-worthy, so I'll try again later!

Monday, October 15, 2007

My first colorwork

Boy, did we have a busy weekend! We (finally) got around to having a party Saturday. I say finally because all summer we said we were going to have people over, and every weekend ended up being booked by us or someone else. . .so our summer BBQ turned into early fall. . . . oh well! It was wicked fun, I love having people to the house, and we got to see some folks we haven't seen in quite a long time.

Because of the massive house cleaning and preparing for the party, I didn't get a lot of knitting in, but I did manage to swatch for the Endpaper Mitts. I finally got my KnitPicks order Friday, I'm using KnitPicks Essential. I ordered 4 colors because I couldn't decide on the combination I wanted. I settled on Pine for the MC and Fawn for CC. Of course, right? Who was I fooling thinking I wouldn't use green. . .

Unfortunately, by swatching, I mean FOUR TIMES! I always start with the 'recommended' needles, so I had to finish the first Seeded Rib sock to get my Sz 2s free. Sz 2 was way too tight. .. and I'm not normally that tight a knitter. I felt like was knitting pretty loose being my first time working with two colors, I found it hard to hold the yarn tight. It didn't pucker, so I can't explain it, but I went up to Sz 3, still too tight. . Sz 4, just a little tight. . Sz 5, WAAY to big! Since the pattern says they are supposed to be snug, I'm going to work on the 4s and hopefully they will fit. The two colors isn't as tricky as I thought it'd be. I wanted to try the 'knit one color continental and the other English' method, but it just seemed really natural to me to hold both colors in my left hand and alternate them knitting continental. The only thing I'm finding tricky is keeping the tension on the yarn consistent on both colors. Try as I might, the yarn on my middle finger just stays looser. I suppose it will get better with practice. Now I'm on to learning the tubular cast on to get really started!

Finally, in online yarn store news, I discovered Lambikin's Hideaway. (the URL makes me chuckle because for some reason I read it as lamb-bikini). Anyway, I was looking for the best price for Malabrigo online (Christmas gift scarves!). I knew I could call Imagiknit to order for $10.95, but I wasn't in the mood for chit chatting, I just wanted to order online and Imagiknit didn't have any colors I wanted in the online store. So I googled and checked around. Most places are $13-$15 for Malabrigo, and then shipping, but Lambikin's is $10.95 like Imagiknit and very reasonable shipping ($4.60 for USPS Priority Mail). So I chose 3 colors and placed my order. The best part. . . . honest to gosh. . . . one hour and 4 minutes after I got my order confirmation email. . . I got a 'Your order has shipped' email. That fast!! Talk about responsiveness! You should check it out :)

Sorry for the long post with no pictures :( I'll post my Better Sweater, finished sock & Mitt progress tomorrow.

Here's to a great week!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

People are strange

So fall has finally arrived, and the crappy part of our house is in full effect. That is the part that comes from having 7 pine trees on our property and at least 7 on neighboring property that pretty much RAIN pine straw this time of year. After work yesterday, Jake and I spent just under 3 hours raking the backyard and bagged 26 lawn bags full of pine straw (and pine cones and dog poop). We put it out on the curb (breaking the rules, trash day isn't until Monday!) and now, in the course of 2 hours, 2 different trucks have stopped in front of my house and loaded up their beds with bags. I find this odd. Jake says people like pine straw for mulch. . . but I say if they like it and want it, they can come rake it up! Anyone willing? The lawn will need raking every week from now to December!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

(no creative title today)

So, first off, polyimide combined with superwash wool. .. . doesn't shrink! So my undulating ribs will be undulating their way to a new home. Jess called dibs first, so I'll bring them to Daily Grind Saturday AM. You can try them on, and if they don't fit, Romelda, it's all you :) At least you know they are easy care, now, LOL! If warm water and high heat dryer don't shrink them, they must be able to take anything. (Note to everyone. . . Schoeller + Stahl is VERY durable! And it has a nice combination self striping-but-not-too-much effect). It's kind of rough out of the ball, but the LYS was right that it softens from working with it, and definitely after washing. I'd like to knit a pair of socks that FIT for me with it :)

In knitting news, I had to frog the heel of my Jeezny Cricket socks. The whole time I was knitting I thought the heel flap looked a little big, but never took the time to count stitches. So when I completed 36 rows and went to turn the heel, I finally saw I had too many. I probably could have left it and adjusted in the gusset, but instead I frogged. I got it reknit and heel turned successfully while watching ANTM last night. It was the makeover show. . . always my favorite!

I am unsuccessfully stalking the mailman for my KnitPicks yarn. . . . I really want to start the mitts. OK, I admit this longing to start the mitts is to avoid the fact that it's like 2 months to Christmas and I really haven't started Christmas projects yet. I need something else on the needles to distract me from feeling a lot of guilt. . I'm just not inspired enough to do gift knitting. But I've heard now, that Knitpicks takes FOREVER. My box shipped on 10/4. .. how can it possibly take that long? Do they use Pony Express?!?!

While the mailman didn't bring my knitpicks yet, he did bring me my PRGE contest package and my Breast Cancer stitch markers from Sunne. What a great hostess, eh? The package has 2 skeins of Araucania Atacama Alpaca, voodoo head stitch markers, yummy bath salts, iron on skulls, and a skull do-rag!
Here's a close up of both sets of stitch markers (the pink w/ beads is a row counter). Sunne makes really, really nice markers. . . I totally suggest checking out her shop!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Birthday Fun!

So apropos! I was reading my PRGE spoiler's blog and she had this posted, so of course I had to do it! [with my commentary inserted... ..why I chose purple, I can't say.. . .I can say I had to avoid green!]

Birthday Calculator
1 November 1979

Your date of conception was on or about 8 February 1979 which was a Thursday.
You were born on a Thursday under the astrological sign Scorpio.
Your Life path number is 11. [ummm . . .. this says I'm easygoing. . . . maybe I just haven't found that part of myself yet!]

Your fortune cookie reads:
The greatest gift is love.

Life Path Compatibility:
You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 4, 8, 11 & 22. [Jake is also an 11, so I suppose this is good]
You should get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 3 & 6.
You may or may not get along well with those with the Life Path number 9.
You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 1, 5 & 7.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2444178.5.
The golden number for 1979 is 4.
The epact number for 1979 is 2.
The year 1979 was not a leap year.
Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 1/28/1979 and ending 2/15/1980. You were born in the Chinese year of the Goat. [Interesting, since I had to milk goats in the summer when I was with my dad. . .. . coincidence? I think not!]

Your Native American Zodiac sign is Snake; your plant is Thistle.

You were born in the Egyptian month of Tyby, the first month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil). [alright! enough with the fertility! Karen told me my green obsession is good, because green represents fertility. .. so either a lot of money or a lot of babies will be coming my way. Short term, at least, I'm REALLY pulling for cash!]

Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 11 Heshvan 5740. Or if you were born after sundown then the date is 12 Heshvan 5740. [I was born at 6:47PM and my mom plays it in the 3-digit lottery for me every year! In Fall in Michigan, this was definitely after sundown.]
The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is which is12 baktun 18 katun 6 tun 6 uinal 14 kin
The Hijra (Islamic Calendar) date of your birth is Thursday, 10 Dhi'l-Hijjih 1399 (1399-12-10).

The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 15 April 1979.
The date of Orthodox Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 22 April 1979.
The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 28 February 1979.
The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 3 June 1979.
The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 10 June 1979.
The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Saturday, 22 September 1979.
The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Thursday, 12 April 1979.
The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 27 February 1979.

As of 10/10/2007 6:56:06 AM EDT
You are 27 years old.
You are 335 months old.
You are 1,458 weeks old.
You are 10,205 days old.
You are 244,926 hours old.
You are 14,695,616 minutes old.
You are 881,736,966 seconds old.

Celebrities who share your birthday: [Who are most of these people??!!??]
LaTavia Roberson (1981)
Aishwarya Rai (1973)
Jenny McCarthy (1972) [So my new haircut was destined by birth, huh?]
Fernando Valenzuela (1960)
Lyle Lovett (1957)
Dan Peek (1951)
Larry Flynt (1942)
Gary Player (1935)
Stephen Crane (1871) [Yuk! I hated the Red Badge of Courage when I had to read it in HS!]

Top songs of 1979
My Sharona by The Knack
Bad Girls by Donna Summer
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? by Rod Stewart
Reunited by Peaches & Herb
Hot Stuff by Donna Summer
I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
Ring My Bell by Anita Ward
Babe by Styx
Too Much Heaven by Bee Gees

Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 3.99412915851272 years old. (Life's just a big chewy bone for you!)
Your lucky day is Tuesday.
Your lucky number is 9 & 11. [Nope. . . I'm sticking with Lucky #8 for me!]
Your ruling planet(s) is Mars & Pluto.
Your lucky dates are 1st, 10th, 19th, 28th.
Your opposition sign is Taurus.
Your opposition number(s) is 6.
Today is one of your lucky days!

There are 22 days till your next birthday on which your cake will have 28 candles.
Those 28 candles produce 28 BTUs,or 7,056 calories of heat (that's only 7.0560 food Calories!) . You can boil 3.20 US ounces of water with that many candles.
In 1979 there were approximately 3.1 million births in the US.
In 1979 the US population was approximately 203,302,031 people, 57.4 persons per square mile.
In 1979 in the US there were approximately 2,152,662 marriages (10.1%) and 1,036,000 divorces (4.9%)
In 1979 in the US there were approximately 1,921,000 deaths (9.5 per 1000)
In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.
In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.

[I guess Americans and Aussies are the big users of this little quiz!]
In 1979 the population of Australia was approximately 14,602,481.
In 1979 there were approximately 223,129 births in Australia.
In 1979 in Australia there were approximately 104,396 marriages and 37,854 divorces.
In 1979 in Australia there were approximately 106,568 deaths.

Your birthstone is Citrine
The Mystical properties of Citrine
Citrine is said to help one connect with Spirit.

Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Yellow Topaz, Pearl, Diamond

Your birth tree is [who knew there were birth trees!]

Walnut Tree, the Passion
Unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egoistic, aggressive, noble,
broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition,
no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often
admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, no compromises.

There are 76 days till Christmas 2007!
There are 89 days till Orthodox Christmas!
The moon's phase on the day you were born was waxing gibbous.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

T-23 Days

So, my birthday is in 23 days. (That is November 1, if you don't want to do the math). I love my Birthday, though strangely enough, less now that I used to. But, it's still my favorite holiday. My least favorite part of my birthday, however, is the month I have to endure answering 'What do you want for your Birthday?'. I detest this question. Normally, I could have 100 things on my brain that I 'want', but when you tell someone you want it, you will likely get it, and that's a lot of pressure. There's lots of stuff I think I want, and never get, because, frankly, I just get by without it. Do I NEED a blocking board? Of course not, and I don't want someone to spend money on me for something I end up not using (or not using enough to justify the cost!). And so here I sit, and ponder, what to ask for. (Can you believe I love my birthday when I put this much pressure on myself!) I really DO need a nice, big cutting mat and rotary cutter to really work on my sewing. . . you can only do so much when you have to start with non-straight edges. Beyond that, I'm stumped. I think I'd like some sock blockers. . . and maybe one of those tube things that hold your DPNs when they are in use. . . but I just don't know! Anyone have a knitting or sewing related item they think I must have?

In knitting news, I finished my undulating rib socks. Problem is, they are too big. The first one fit when I knit it, and I knit the second one to match. . .and they are too big. I must have tried them on with swollen feet or something. Here is a picture of me trying to tell myself they aren't too big.

And an up close of the pattern, I really like it!

In an effort to 'save' them, I'm violating the cardinal sin of washing in warm water and drying in the dryer, to see if they will shrink. They are superwash, so they won't felt. But, the yarn is 75% superwash wool and 25% polyimide. . . . which I have a feeling will translate to 'will not shrink'. I wear a 7 1/2 or 8 shoe. . . so if anyone has bigger feet than that and wants to call dibs if they don't shrink, let me know!

It is 94 today, and so still no sweater picture. I may be crazy to put on wool socks outside for a picture, but certainly not a sweater! With the socks done, my only WIP now is my jeezny cricket socks. I'm almost done with the Eye of Partridge heel on the first one. I need something new to work on! I ordered yarn from KnitPicks to make the Endpaper mitts, so I hope that comes in the mail today! I was going to work on the MD Baby Kimono, but I can't get gauge with my needle options (who knew I only have Sz 6s in DPNs!) and so I have to wait to go shopping this weekend for needles for that. I want to get Bryspun needles, I really think I like them better than addi's, but the only store that sells them around here for sure is my least favorite, and I don't think I can bear a trip in there. Any of my local readers. . . do you know if Hook & I or Ewe Knit Kits sells the Bryspun needles?

Finally, in swap news, I got a new SP11 pal. The girl I was spoiling was removed. Thankfully I'd only sent her one package, but it had a beautiful skein of Malabrigo (the Paris Night one) in it and a handmade bag. She hadn't done anything yet for her downstream. And this poor downstream girl got an upstream that flaked out last round, too! So now I want to think up something extra special for her.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Stick a fork in me. .. .

I'm done!!
Talk about a productive weekend. . . I finally got around to finishing a bunch of projects. I am the queen of having the tiniest amount of work to do to officially 'finish' but I let it sit for ages. I'm trying to be better about that, though. BUT before I get to that, gratuitous puppy photos!

Since summer refuses to relent here in Virginia and it was 92 on Sunday, I took the puppies to the beach. We had planned a trip to the Outer Banks, but at 6am I wasn't up for it, so Jake went fishing down there with David, and I stayed home. There were way too many people there to really let the dogs have a good time. Typically this time of year the beach is pretty quiet and people are mellow, so off leash dogs don't bother anyone. Going to the beach is one of Zosia's favorite things. . . she's not a swimmer or anything, but she LOVES to dig in the sand! Even though they had their leashes attached the whole time, I think they had fun. I did let them run a bit, with leashes trailing :) Jimmy Ray really didn't want anything to do with the surf, but Zosia likes to go out up to her belly, then try to run out before the waves break.
I was happy to sneak a few pictures of Jimmy Ray (isn't he too cute!) He tried to run, but being leashed, he had to suffer the photography! Zosia, as always, is a ham :)

OK. . . on to knitting. So my finishing was spurred by Knit Out Day. I wanted to finish the Valery hat to enter it. It's chunky yarn and Sz 11s, so it's pretty quick, and I did finish. (please excuse the stuffed dog model, I didn't have a human head!) I had to bind off like 4 times to get one that wasn't too tight or too stretchy. I like the end product. ..hopefully David does too!

I didn't end up entering my hat, because, sorry to any guild members who may read this, but it was pretty lame and you had to be there to win and to pick up your hat an hour after judging. . . that would have meant staying at the event for 4 hours, and there was no way I was going to make it!! There were only two hats entered, so if nothing else, I would have gotten a ribbon since they were placing 3, LOL!

I am going to make the same pattern for Jake, but this time I'll go bottom up. I didn't like having to figure out a good way to close the hole in the top this pattern created. I also will only do two ridges for Jake. I got some very pretty Malabrigo on eBay (yes, I'm still stalking there!) that is a great green color, so I'll still have the grey top, but the ridges will be doubled up in the Forest colorway.

I got the ends woven in on My So Called Scarf. I will go to the post office tomorrow to send it away. Thank goodness! I really, really, really didn't like knitting this! I'm glad I'm not the only one, based on comments to my earlier complaints!

Also done for a while, just needing a tie, is my wine cozy.

When finishing actually meant some knitting. . .. the Imagiknit scarf! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it! (this photo is with flash so the color isn't quite that bright, but it's close.)I'm constantly amazed at the simple act of blocking. This scarf is so not as impressive unblocked. . . the dropped yarn overs are bunch-y. Plus you get a TON of length. Before blocking this was about 50 inches, here it is stretched out blocking on a queen size bed.
The final size was about 76 inches. If I was starting over, the only thing I'd change is that I would have made it skinnier and longer. I would have done the pattern over 16 stitches rather than 26. It's a quick knit, so I think this would be a good gift project!

The last finishing came on my 'Better Sweater'. This was all knit, just needed blocking and buttonhole/button attached. This took all of 10 minutes, I don't know why I delayed for so long. I'm excited for summer to finally leave and have a reason to wear a sweater!! It's not sunny enough yet to get a good picture of that, but I'll post to ravelry when I get one. Again, the blocking stuns me how all the stitches really even out and look so much nicer. Right now, the only way I know how to block is with a spray bottle. I'm interested in learning the 'all wet' method that gives the yarn a nice wash, too, but frankly it scares me that it'll be too big a soggy mess and I'll ruin it!

Friday, October 5, 2007

post script to being a puppy. . .

While I love my puppies. . . they do try me sometimes. . . I just folded my laundry and thought, 'Huh, Jake must have done some wash' because there were none of a certain undergarment for me to fold. Knowing full well I wore a pair every day, I just thought they got washed without me. Until I came upstairs. . . . and looked under the bed Jimmy Ray fancies hiding under to find not one, not two but SIX pair of my underwear shredded. Apparently each night he is taking them out of the laundry basket and stashing them there. I guess we need a hamper that has a lid. . . . because that is pretty disgusting! But a small piece of me chuckles at the thought that my dog is trying to build a stash of his favorite things to rival my yarn stash. . . .

Good Night!

Oh to be a puppy

So I'm still mildly down from having a crappy day yesterday. . . but no matter how cranky I am, I can count on my puppies to cheer me up. I wish I could get cute pictures of them being themselves. . . but Jimmy Ray is petrified of the camera. He knows what it sounds like when it turns on. . . and he immediately stops whatever he is doing and runs upstairs to hide under a bed.

I don't know what sets them off, but out of the blue, they will just start to run around the house like crazy. Upstairs. . . downstairs. . . on the bed. . . off the bed. . . . pick up a toy. . . .play tug with the toy. They do this generally for a good 15 minutes. Then, just ask quick as they started, they stop running and settle in on the carpet for a session of 'face bitey'. If you have dogs, you know this game. . . .the dogs make these terrible growling noises while feverishly trying to bite the face/ears/whatever they can get of the other dog. I'm not sure what enjoyment they get out of it, but it endlessly entertaining to watch!

When they tire of face bitey, then they wander over to me (or whoever is closest!) and sit patiently waiting for a butt scratch or belly rub. . . . I guess it depends on their mood which they prefer. .. and they let you know. . . if you try to scratch their back, they will quickly lie down to roll over when it's time for the belly!

I think there is a lesson to be learned here. . . .

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wherein the universe tries to right wrongs. . . .

So today sucked. . .. until about 3PM. I really, really, really need to do something about my job. It makes me miserable. Today was particularly bad, and then the mail man came with a package!! It was from Angela, my PRGE pal!
Fun, right?!?! My package is great! 3 balls of WonderWool in pink tweed (I can already see a shrug in it!), a copy of 'Cast on, Bet's off' (a knitting mystery) on CD, a tape measure, ridiculously amazing Biscotti (chocolate on a bad day. . . . I couldn't wait until after the picture to open the box!) and a pirate project bag!

Pirate map on the outside, skullies on the inside!
Thanks, Angela!! You really made my day!

Jake had to unexpectedly work overtime today, so he got home late (and cranky). But, today is the last day of 12 months same as cash at Sears, so we had to go to buy my replacement washing machine. Unfortunately, the lovely sales associate told me that EVERY washing machine Sears sells is made by Whirlpool, except the LG. Seriously! The company that is now the bane of my existence makes Kenmore, Whirlpool and Frigidare! So, the LG it was. I got the non- steam version. . . . an extra $300 didn't seem worth a feature I had no idea why I'd use. My new new washer gets delivered Monday. Hopefully this one is here to stay!

Then, as I logged on to write this entry, I checked the PRGE site, and Sunne announced the contest winner. . .guess who it was? ME!!! Yay! Some yummy alpaca yarn and Sunne's stitch markers are coming my way.

So, I'm not sure that fun new yarn and treats are comparable compensation for the misery that is my job, but I'll take it!

Here's hoping to a better Friday, for you and me both!

ps- Seriously, go visit Sunne's page and donate to Race for the Cure!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cake for Breakfast!

Happy Day ... . leftover birthday cake for breakfast :) Sparkpeople be damned! I couldn't help it. . the cake was out of a box, but the frosting was homemade. . . . and even though I forgot to add the vanilla it was DE-LISH-OUS!!

So no knitting has occurred since I got back from KC. . . too busy with Jake's birthday. He did decide yesterday he doesn't like the camo-effect of the hat, so I have to frog and decide what to do. I think new green yarn for stripes is in my future!

So, I forgot to tell you the strangest happening from KC. I can't figure out in my brain if there are really folks who are this naive, or just in denial. You be the judge. At the party I was introduced to a lady. Then I was introduced to her female roommate. Now remember, we are in the mid-West/Bible belt crossover area here. On the surface, really nothing unusual about having a roommate, until I was told 'Oh, yes, well she's just been around since we all can remember, I guess at least 20 years'. Hmm, I thought, that's interesting. .. then I noticed both the lady and the roommate are wearing rings on their right ring fingers. . . .but there are no husbands living in the house. Anyone else thinking 'roommate' is just a Missouri-acceptable euphemism? I mean, come on, who has a roommate who is just a roommate for TWENTY YEARS and, in conjunction, has never been married but wears a ring?!?!?!

So hope you have a good day :) Thanks for listening to my story. . .makes me chuckle to think about it. . . and makes me glad not to live there! (though you could argue VA isn't much more accepting of alternate lifestyles)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Presents for Everyone!!

Yay! Today is Jake's Birthday. His 'official' celebration is tomorrow. He asked me to cook dinner and invite a few of his friends over, rather than go out to dinner. This is Jake's stack of presents for the day (note the pretty ribbon.. . I never take this much time wrapping gifts, but I had the urge!)

He is a very lucky boy this year :) He got two books from my mom. A GPS for his car, new earbuds for his MP3 player from me and Wasabi peas and chocolate covered espresso beans from the puppies!

This is the not-as-big-a-mess-as-expected mess on my couter after making chocolate icing from scratch for Jake's cake!

This is my present!

My new washing machine. . . isn't it pretty?! (I will refrain from a tirade about Sears delivery service) HA! No picture. . . see, I actually wrote this before I had a chance to come back with pictures. . . .and now I've done one load of laundry and this Whirlpool Cabrio is GOING BACK! It ruined my bra. . . . worked the underwire right out of it. . . so much for being gentle! Now I have to pick a new new washer!

This past weekend, I was the present for my dad (isn't it scary how much we look alike!)

The trip to KC was interesting. Some aspects were better than I anticipated. Some sucked as much as I planned. I have to say it was nice to visit with my brother. It had been 9 years since the last time I saw him. . . he's grown up a lot and he and his wife seem happy.

I got LOTS of knitting done, both while flying and visiting.. . . lots of down time! I had a woman FREAK out at the airport here in Norfolk Friday morning, though. . she was appalled I could have pointy metal needles. I thought security was going to confiscate me after her showing, but everything else was uneventful.

I finished My-So-Called-Scarf for the Red Scarf Project. THANK GOD! I never want to hear of that pattern again. Now I just need to weave in the ends and mail off.

I frogged the spiral rib socks and restarted them as my 'Jeezny Crickets' socks in memory of my grandpa. I decided to make them anklets and I'm using the seeded rib pattern (totally stolen from Carrie's ND/Starry Night socks).

I cast on and currently decreasing the gusset on the 2nd of my undulating rib socks. For some reason my stitch pattern is off by 2 stitches as compared to the first sock. I don't know if the mistake was on that one or this one, so it will just have to live with being different!

I made progress on Jake's hat, too, but I'm not sure if I like it. Originally the plan was to have one stripe of the light green and two stripes of dark. I decided the colors didn't match the jacket well enough for that, so I knit them together. Well, now it looks too much like camouflage for my taste. . . Jake is debating if he likes it or not, which means I'll likely be frogging this.

Finally, I cast on for the 'Wavy Scarf' from Imagiknit with the Malabrigo (note. .. . the green colorway Cypress!). I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this looks!

When I got home from KC, I had some eBay yarn purchases. . . . fun! I will only show you this because the color is so pretty. . . .. it's called Persian Peacock. LOVE IT! (surprise. . . not a lick of green to be seen!)

And, finally. . . the moment you've all been waiting for. . . . the contest winner is. . .







JESSICA! Seriously. . . no funny business with picking someone I liked. . . fair & square out of a hat. Apparently all her crossed fingers worked :) So now, Jessica, you can't say you've never won a contest before :) I'll plan on giving the goods to you at YfB on the 13th, unless I see you beforehand, OK?

Thanks to everyone else for entering. . . . even though there are several of you who read my blog that chose not to enter. . . were you in cahoots with Jess?

Carrie - I want that Kitchen Aid story!

SP11 Contest #3

Here are my answers for Contest #3:

List your favorite:
Actor - Nicholas Cage
Actress - Jodi Foster
Animal - doggies, of course!
Band - Hmmm, currently a tie. . . . Avett Brothers (solely for 'Swept me Away!') and Social Distortion
Book - Fahrenheit 451
Bubble Bath - I don't take baths!
Candy - hmmm, where to start. . . I guess I'd have to say SweetTarts win!
Color - Red!
Flower - Yellow roses
Food - does dessert count as food? if so, creme brulee!
Lip Balm - softlips
Lotion - umm, that's an odd question. . . . Ii guess I don't have a favorite
Movie - Vertigo
Song - Swept Away [Sentimental]
TV Show - The Office
Vacation Spot - Anywhere but here!

Monday, October 1, 2007

I was going to tell you the contest winner. . . .

but then I found this from my PRGE hostess Sunne.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness. . . .and you can get some awesome stitch markers for donating to a great cause.

So, I will make you wait until tomorrow to announce the winner :)


Do not, I repeat, do NOT install this on your blog.

If you choose to do so, I cannot be held responsible for all the time you will waste being fascinated by the results.

I blame Meg for my new obsession.

ps- yes, I know I owe you a contest winner, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I am trying to get ready for Jake's B-Day tomorrow. . . I hope to post tonite.

pps- please don't point out the hypocrisy that I have time to post this, but not that. . . I am, of course, procrastinating from my 'real' job right now :)