Monday, March 31, 2008

Mail Call!

Today was a good day! Well, partially, and it's not over, but you know what I mean. Technically, today should be a bad day, as there was an unfortunate incident involving a friend and my work laptop that ended with a busted hard drive. This means I am computer-less for the next 3 days while it gets sent out to be repaired (downside of working at home, no tech support!). While this sort of sounds like a free vacation, it is the last day of the quarter, which means I will have a LOT of catching up to when I get the computer back.

Nevertheless, the mail man brought me lots of goodies!! I got the new Yarn Harlot book from Amazon and the Merino I bought after the doggie vet excursion. I'll post pictures of it when it's a nicer day to capture the color. It is absolutely GORGEOUS!! And so soft, so glad I bought it!

I also got my package from my PRGE spoiler!! KnitKat! And wow-o-WOW did she spoil me! The
box was chok full of goodness. Firstly, a cute doxie card with an awesome sticker inside (the ninja sticker). This is particularly appropriate as I am currently infatuated with Ninja Warrior :) There were Trader Joe treats for the pooches and a 'Smart Women Stay Organized' desk kit. Somehow I think she noticed my ABC-Along 'C' entry :)
Then comes yarn-y goodness! You'll notice these 3 skeins came complete with matching candy! Now, must I wait until I knit them to eat the candies?? The center pink is Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock (which I love but never buy because the variegateds all lie and look pretty in a skein and then like poo knitted up! but this is a semi solid and can't do that to me!) The green and dark pink are Mirasol Yarns T'ika, 100% Pima Cotton. So nice and soft!
Rounding out the package is a ball of Louisa Harding Jasmine, which you can't tell in the picture, but is is GLITTER yarn! Oh yeah! Really nice grey with silver twisted through it! A keychain of a sweater-in-progress, Burts Bees Lip Balm (got left out of the photo shot as it went directly in the purse), a fun button, Nerds and yummy, delicious, need to hide it from myself so as not to eat it all at once Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate & Mint Candy!

Thank you so much, Kat! This package totally rocked!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Thanks to everyone's good thoughts on the knitting bag. It did turn up, wedged between the two dog crates currently in the kitchen. Don't ask why the crates are in the kitchen, my house is a big mess due to construction. Don't ask how the polka dot bag got between them, as I can come to no logical reason for it. The important thing is it is found. The more important thing is that Jake is fabulous beyond words. Look what came home with him from work!
Aren't they pretty?! Yellow roses are my favorite, and nothing says spring like Tulips. Who would've though to put the two together? He's good like that when he picks flowers for me! These are actually my Valentine flowers, he said. We didn't do anything for Valentine's this year, not that we ever do much, but I do usually get flowers. And I love getting flowers, but I can't think of any good reason to pay $100 for roses on February 14 that you can buy for $30 any other day of the year! Seriously, they are that expensive! Several years ago in Vermont, Jake had 18 long stems delivered to me at work. . .. cost him $160!! Then I had to figure out a way to get them home without killing them from the shock of the frozen temperature outside. All in all, being surprised after a crappy day of travel with pretty flowers is WAY better than Valentine's, no matter which way you slice it!

OK, now for WIPs. First up is Maude. As I said yesterday, I'm a little worried about this being big. I'm knitting the small, which should fit given the pattern-directed bust measurements, but I just can't shake the feeling I should have done XS. Maybe it's the fact that for Sizzle I need to knit smaller than the bust size says in the pattern, from what I've figured out from others who knit it up. It's too small to get anything out of trying it on yet, I have 2 pattern repeats before you split for the sleeves which is probably the logical place to try it on, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I absolutely love the color, which makes me happy, too!

Now, what I'm naming the Baltimore socks (simply because Stansfield 196 just doesn't have a ring to it!).
The pictures don't do it justice. The color, amazing. The yarn, unbelievable! Honestly, I really don't gush this much, but I LOVE this yarn. I want to buy everything dyed on this base yarn. It has the springy-ness of Koigu, but the twist is tighter. We'll see how it wears when done to make my final determination of everlasting love, given there is no nylon in it.

Finally, Jake's socks are finished! But I haven't gotten a picture of them on his feet yet, so nothing to show, but I'll have one to post this weekend! Hopefully this weekend I can also post all my new recessed lighting that Jake and David plan to finish up Saturday! Yay!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The case of the missing Knitting Bag

Where are Scooby-Doo and the Gang when you need them?

Yesterday was a marathon day. It really began Tuesday at 2pm when my boss told me to plan to head to Baltimore Wednesday for meetings. Now, normally I drive when I have to go up, it's easier than driving to the airport, waiting at the airport, flying, getting a rental car. . . etc. However, given the meetings were supposed to run 11-4, the thought of leaving Baltimore at a time that would park me on 495 during DC rush hour made me go hunting for a plane ticket. The upside, Southwest flies to BWI and last minute fares aren't crazy. The downside, the only Southwest options were a 6:10 am flight or a 10:35 am flight. No matter how much I tried, I couldn't convince myself I could be on time for an 11am meeting leaving Norfolk at 10:30, so it was a 3:45am wake up call for me to get ready and get to the airport for the early flight. This also meant I was going to have 3-ish hours of downtime, arriving at 7am and not having to be thru post security and ready for my meetings at 11. You know what that means, right? KNITTING!

I spent Tuesday evening deciding what to take with me. I decided to take Maude, since I was going to spend down time at Panera. And I took my new yarn from Little Dog Designs and More Sensational Knitted Socks to start a new sock for me, given Maude would be a little unruly to work on a plane. I also toted The Knitters Book of Yarn with me, in case I needed a break from the knitting.

I started on my sock at the airport. I was surprised at 5am I could start it with no mistakes (but it was an easy toe, I definitely would have messed up short rows!). Unfortunately, one of my Sz1 Takumi needles found it's way under my bum and got broken :( But, I still have 4, so it wasn't a huge deal. I finished the full toe while flying, then switched to Maude at Panera. Progress through the lace is a bit slow on the rows with double decreases, simply because I don't pay close enough attention. This led to multiple small sections of frogging. The Zephyr doesn't hold up all that well with the frogging, which makes me nervous about the whole project. I'm knitting a size small, but have this little voice in the back of my head that is second guessing not doing an XS. When I try it on, if it's too big, I will want to redo it, but I'm not sure how the yarn will react!

For the trip home, my 5:15pm flight got delayed to 6:40, so I had even more down time and was able to finish the first full pattern repeat on Maude and get a full pattern repeat on my socks. I decided on 'Stansfield 196' and I LOVE it. I love the yarn even more (It's the 2-ply superwash merino)! Seriously, it's to date, my favorite sock yarn. It's incredibly soft and springy with a nice tight twist. The color is amazing. I can't say enough about it. I want to be knitting on the sock now, or at least show you pictures of my progress . . .. but I can't because I can't find my knitting bag!

I know I took it off the plane. I know it was in my car on the drive home. I do not remember if I carried it into the house, but I have scoured the house and my car this morning and the polka dot bag has done a disappearing act. I've looked EVERYWHERE! In rooms I didn't even go in yesterday, in the back of my truck, in the garage. I know I was tired, getting home around 8:15pm after my early morning rise, but how could I totally blank?? My purse and portfolio are on the entry table. It seems like I would have put the bag down there, too. My only explanation is some knitting phantom saw how nicely both my socks and top were knitting up and wanted them.

My mum would tell me to pray to Saint Anthony, but given the fact that I haven't been to church in ages, it seems a little selfish to turn to it now only to find my knitting! So, instead, I'm going to try to forget about it for a day, and hope Scooby-Doo tracks it down in the meantime.

Monday, March 24, 2008

They're done!!

The never ending socks are done (hopefully!) I just need Jake to try on sock #2 to ensure it fits before I close the toe. I seriously thought they'd never get done, but since I ignored my homework this weekend and I knit while watching a few movies after dinner yesterday, all of a sudden they were done!

I'll post pictures assuming they fit and I finish them up tomorrow.

Things calmed down here Saturday morning and it ended up being a nice, relaxing weekend (perhaps avoiding homework added to the relaxation!) My plan is to go to school early to work on some homework before class starts. I usually knit until class begins, but since the sock is done and my only other WIP is Maude, which isn't so travel friendly, I have no excuse. Of course, I could cast on for another sock. . .. he he!

Also, I had some plans to go to MS&W with Jake to visit some friends up in Baltimore. Given his still-in-flux work crap, he doesn't have the vacation to do that. As consolation, we planned last night to head to the mountains in May to go to the Sedalia Spring Fiber Festival. Well, OK, I will be going to the festival, Jake & David will be nearby fly fishing for the day! But it will be a fun little get away. Hopefully on Sunday before we head home we can visit some other mountain towns. We're considering buying a cottage next year to have a little get away!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

3.5 oz Dark Chocolate + 2*20lb Dogs = $250 Vet Bill

Yesterday sucked :( My boss was much more demanding than normal, leading to a VERY long morning. I wanted to try to take the day off, as we have friends coming in from out of town and the house needs a cleaning, but that did not happen. At noon, I went upstairs to shower (finally) only to discover that the bar of Hershey's Extra Dark - 60% Cacao chocolate slated for box #2 to my PRGE pal that had been sitting with the yarn on my sewing table was gone, the only remnants were the torn label shreds. CRAP! I hadn't been upstairs since 8am, so I had no idea when the dogs ate it. I called the vet. My vet had no doctor in the office today, so they referred to me to another vet. I called, they told me to use Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) to try to induce vomiting. The best part, and I'm not making this up, I was told to 'pick them up and spin them around' after giving them the H202 to get them to vomit faster. Now, take a moment to make a mental picture of me first fighting with the dogs to get them to ingest 2 teaspoons of H2O2, THEN spinning them around the backyard, with the added bonus of the spinning also making me slightly nauseous. I got Zosia to puke, but no luck with Jimmy Ray. So I call the vet back, who, when I tell them the amount of chocolate, informs me it is a toxic level and I need to take the dogs to the Emergency Vet. On the way, I get stopped at BOTH a train AND a drawbridge lift, all the while panicking my dogs are going to start seizing or something.

We make it to the Vet, my dogs get rushed in back and I sit, and wait, for a good 40 minutes. They finally call me back to talk to the vet, who tells me they got both dogs to vomit and put charcoal in their bellies to help absorb anything that may be left. While the dogs have no symptoms they suggest leaving them for monitoring and an IV flush. . . . at a cost of $800 minimum (more if I didn't come back in 12 hours, which would have been 3am). I learned the danger they really worry about with chocolate is the caffeine gets their doggie hearts all worked up and that leads to problems. Now, I love the dogs, but the emergency vet isn't all that far, and we were going to be home all night, so I opted to 'observe' them at home rather than leave them. That left me with a bill of $250. Yuk! This is nothing compared to Sara's sister, though, whose dog was hit by an errant, angry old lady. Check it out here, she's having a stash sale to help pay the vet bills (not too much left, but check it out).

Then, of course, I was stuck in rush hour traffic coming home from the vet. Jake was working on installing some recessed lighting that turned into a total cluserf*ck and forced me to go to Home Depot unattended. They never fail to make me feel like a total idiot when I come with a list of things I don't really know. Jake calls it a junction box, I ask for a junction box and they say 'Oh, you mean a SQUARE BOX?'. Come on, now, is that necessary?

I get home, then have to figure out something to make for dinner and my house is still filthy and I have a crapload of homework to do before Monday. Oh, did I mention there are going to be 10 people coming over for dinner tomorrow, too? We are the house for all single friends to come and have Easter dinner (this happened at Christmas, too). Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind, but with my house being a disaster, homework breathing down my neck and a friend visiting with his 70lb yellow lab, the last thing I really want is to try to figure out how to feed 10 people at my 6 chair dinner table :)

On the plus side, the 3 lights (of 6) that Jake got installed look amazing. The pooches are doing fine, no issues through the night and the Vet said past noon today we should be all clear. But, the stress of it all led me to break my vow. I read on Claudia's blog, then a string on Ravelry about how amazing Jaeger Extra Fine Merino is and it has been discontinued. So, I bought a bag :) Good deal on eBay, though, $45 for 10 balls. The color is Elderberry. I think it's really pretty. No pattern ideas yet, but it will become some sweater for me :)

Now, I should stop blogging and go do my homework, huh?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

PRGE Contest

So Sunne, Hostess with the Mostess of the PRGE came up with a super idea for a contest! Our spoiler has to tell us their 3 favorite (punk) songs. The (punk) part is optional. Then we have to match up a pattern or yarn to each song!

The songs sent to me by my pal:

#1 Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen
I can think of NOTHING other than Wayne's World whenever I hear this song. Among the many crass things that make me smile from that movie (and SNL skits) is the 'Sphincter Says What?' line.
Now that you're wondering where this is going, I give you, courtesy of IKs own photo (sorry it's blurry, I don't know what to do about it, if you want a non blurry version, check it out here), the 'Sphincter Sweater' aka Retrograde Pullover.

Checkout the Panopticon's humorous review here :)

#2 Lovely Rita: The Beatles
Lovely Rita, Meter Maid

. . . In a cap she looked much older
Hawkeye (pattern and photo) from KathernIvy.
And the bag across her shoulder
Andi Messenger Bag (Ravelry link), photo above is Ellyon's.

Made her look a little like a military man

#3 Golden Years: David Bowie

ArtFibers Golden Chai 100% Tussah Silk! Yum!

Also, for the first time in my swapping, I was a total doofas and accidentally posted a comment on my pals blog as me, instead of anonymous (and it was a totally obvious 'I am your spoiler' post, not something I could get away with just stumbling on as part of the swap!). Bollocks!

Monday, March 17, 2008

F is for Feet!

Actually, Freakish Feet in Flip Flops! There! Say that Five times Fast! :) OK, OK, a little carried away with F's. Since I was late with my E, I figured I'd be early with my F!

First, the freakish part. I spent 27 years on Earth thinking that my feet were terribly normal. I just assumed everyone's pinky toe moved independently of the other digits!
Jake always teased me about it, but I thought nothing of it. He likes to refer to it as my 'kickstand' as apparently sometimes when I stand barefoot he notices it out to the side for no apparent reason. Finally, I went to the podiatrist for something else and said 'So is it normal for my toes to do this?' Let me tell you, it is not good for your ego when the doctor laughs! So now I know, 'No' my pinky toes' ability to move on their own is the result of an extra tendon in my foot that happens in ~10% of the population. She said it is hereditary, so now I have to figure out which side of the family I got it from :) I contend it is a reason I was (am?) such a good dancer. . . helps with the balance:) I know other girls I danced with had toes like mine. . . I wonder if you sampled the dancing population if you'd find a higher incidence than in the general population?

Moving on to less self deprecating topics. . . the Flip Flops! These are my fun new Reef sandals, purchased with a 'sucker you in to spend more at Macy's' free $10 gift card that came in last weeks sale circular. I ♥ Flip Flops!!
The best thing about having moved to a warmer climate is the fact that I can get away with wearing sandals WITHOUT my feet being cold (I'm just not one of those 'wear your Birkenstocks even in 2 feet of snow' types that are so prevalant in Vermont!). I have nearly as many pair of flip flops as I do high heels, though I am most often found in my Reefs or my Havaianas! Stacey and Clinton would have my head for it (and so would my Chiropractor!), but they are soooooooo comfortable! If I never had to wear socks again, I'd be happy. Wait! Don't throw rotten fruit! I love me some hand knit socks, still, I just prefer bare feet to socks and shoes!

Finally, for some knitting content, I am B-O-R-E-D with Jake's socks. Not really the socks themselves, just the fact that that is all. I'm. knitting.! I'm waiting for my new Options to arrive before starting my other projects, and I am so NOT a single project kind of girl! This poor sock is suffering the fate of every other pair I've knit that the 2nd sock is knitting up with a smaller row gauge than the first. Sock #2 has 2 extra pattern repeats (10 rows) to make the same leg length. And trust me, if Jake took the time to count them, he'd never let me forget the socks are not exactly the same! This continued phenomenon is making me seriously consider switching to socks 2 at a time. . . but I really don't like socks on 2 circs! What's a girl to do?!?! I'm just finished turning, the heel now, so I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the never ending socks. Unfortunately, as I've tried on these socks, I have an overwhelming urge to turn my most recent Fearless Fibers purchase into knee socks for me!

For fun, anyone want to guess what sort of creepy google hits this title might bring?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

E is for Education

So I'm a day late. I had a really hard time with E, for some reason! I thought about Etsy, as that is my current obsession and I have lots of cute things purchased recently I could show off! I thought about Eggs, when I was putting away groceries. I thought about Eating, but that seemed obvious with how much we cook! I thought about Engagement, but I didn't want to give anyone false alarms :)

Then I went in my office this afternoon and saw my Diploma hanging, and the light bulb went off :) My ABC Along for E is Education.
This is my BSE in Chemical Engineering from University of Michigan (earned 2001). If I had to do it over, I wouldn't pick engineering, but I would most definitely pick Ann Arbor. I had such a great time going to a big school! I miss it terribly sometimes, but I made amazing friends there and have nothing but good memories!

This is my MS in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (earned 2004). I did this degree part time while I worked. I can't say it has done a lot for me, which is probably why the diploma lives in the envelope it was mailed to me in and has yet to be framed. That could also have to do with the fact I earned my degree without ever setting foot on the campus. . . all my classes were either Satellite feed to my company site, or online.

Finally, this is my current endeavor - a drafting table full of mess from this weekend's homework for Interior Design.

I am feeling woefully uninspired for Project 365 this week with the pooches, as they have been sick and keeping me up at night and are not all that cute!

ps - Sorry for the crappy photoshop job blocking out my last name!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I, Carly, Do Solemly Swear

to purchase NO NEW YARN** until such time as the house renovation is complete.

Yeah, seriously.

I told Jake, but for some strange reason I feel I'll be more accountable to the blog. Is that bad? I think it's just because, really, Jake doesn't care what I do with my own money, so if I buy yarn I don't need, it really doesn't affect him. Not that it affects YOU either, but you know what I mean.

I did a rough budget for what it's going to take to do all the work we've got planned, and let me tell you, it ain't cheap! We did plan on making some changes, so we have a good bit that we saved in lieu of a bigger down payment when we bought the house. But, even with the savings, the work is going to take a small bite out of our normal monthly budget, so I feel like I should not spend frivolously when the money could go into the house. Plus, if I look practically, I have more yarn for actual projects than I could knit for a while, anyway. I have the yarn needed for: Maude, Picovoli, Lelah, Sizzle, Retro Shrug Redeux, Tempting, a BSJ, Clara, Twinkletoes and a Hooded Baby Sweater. I also have plenty of sock yarn and will be getting WoolGirl and Mama Llama shipments from my clubs. If pressed, I could probably even come up with a couple felted bags and a shawl or two from the stash. My knitting time is going to be decreased as I will be having to actually WORK on the house, so it's not like this 'no purchasing' thing should be a hardship :) Let's be honest, come this time next year, I probably still won't have finished everything I just listed!

So there it is, out in the Universe to hold me accountable! Yipes!

**Does not include purchases made for others in swaps. (ps - I do not plan on signing up for a crazy amount of swaps to compensate, I swear!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

And so it begins (really)

When we shopped for our house, the formal living room looked like this.
Lovely pink faux finish, no? I realize paint would fix this, but the bigger issue was that the small family room behind the faux finish was too small a room to do anything with. And, it has a huge fireplace/hearth. My solution was to knock out the wall between the rooms to have one big room.

This was the same wall on the day of our closing. Jake got all the plaster and paneling off before we moved in to keep the mess down. Great idea, considering we were planning on going gangbusters on our remodel. You know what they say about the best laid plans . . .. suddenly it is February 2008 and we've been living with a stud wall for 16 moths. The funny thing is, no one pays it much attention! And I've gotten away with procrastinating for several reasons, primarily I had to select my new cabinet color before I could choose the flooring before we could actually get the wall ripped out. I'm good at making excuses to put things off :)

Well, yesterday, we began work. The stud wall is actually going to be taken out by a contractor because it is a load bearing wall, but the rest of the paneling is GONE (pay no attention to the gross 45 year old insulation, it's getting replaced)!

The scary part is this now means we will have no fun for several months due to weekends spent working on the house. The list of things to do? Install new windows, take down textured ceiling and put up new sheet rock on ceiling and walls, tile over brick hearth, lay new tile & hardwood floors, install recessed and track lighting, paint & install new hardware kitchen cabinets (paying someone to do that!), install new tile counter top and under mount sink, install glass tile back splash. Of course, that is the list of known work. . . hopefully the list of unexpected jobs that sprout up during work doesn't get too big. Then, of course, we will have to paint, furnish and decorate! The workload and the cash outlay are a little daunting. I am hoping we can finish everything in 3-4 months (a) so I don't go crazy living in a construction zone and (b) so that we are done with the hard work before it is 100 degrees and 90% humidity in the middle of July! Wish us luck, you know, both to finish everything and to do it without killing each other!

And, because it's horribly logical, I hung up my new painting, just as construction is beginning. This is just it's temporary location, but isn't it fabulous? (OK, I know the real depth of the painting isn't going to convey in a photo, but just humor me and tell me it's gorgeous. . . and HUGE! I love that it's so big!)

Hopefully some knitting will get fit in with all the house work, I believe I will need it to keep my sanity. I made good progress on Jake's sock between a lazy Friday night and Saturday morning knitting group. New sweaters are on hold pending KnitPicks order :)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Meet Sheldon :)

Addi seems to like her new friend! (thanks for the photo, Tricia!) Even though I didn't take the photo, I think gratuitous baby pics are just as good as gratuitous puppy pics for my Project 365 :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

You are all enablers!

Didn't my last post tell you talk me OUT of buying the options? Instead, I get all comments telling me to do it! I am going to try out Hope's at YfB on Saturday, but I know I'll be buying them. The only thing stopping me from having bought it already is that I need a 16" for Picovoli and I only have Sz3 & 10 16". So, I will swatch tonite and then order the options and the 16" I need (probably Sz 5 or 6). I know, what's up with all the swatching?! I guess I've turned a corner (that, and Picovoli says 'remember, cotton blooms so be sure to wash your swatch'). I'm using Silky Tweed, not sure if that will temper the blooming, but I'm not taking a chance on a too big top!

In more exciting news, I got my Scavenger Hunt package today! My spoiler was Katie in New Brunswick. I love getting packages, getting packages from another country is even more awesome!

This is everything, if you want all the category details, you can check it out on the group blog here.
My favorite item: HENRY ROLLINS! Awesome, right?!?! Katie really spoiled me rotten, and I had so much fun hostessing! I'll be hosting again with signups in late April, so keep your eyes on the blog :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Should I or shouldn't I?

So here I sit, starting to swatch for Maude. I'm actually doing a real swatch, as I love this shirt and want it to fit when I'm done! The pattern is from the UK and so it calls for 3mm & 3.75mm needles in two lengths. The only thing I have is US 5 & US 6 i the right length. I'm swatching on my Sz 3 Addis. Measuring the way I normally swatch I'm at 8+ SPI vs the 9 required. I still need to knit another inch and bind off, though, so with more ribbing I think this will go down, which will push me up to a Sz 4, which I don't have. Now my dilemma. I am going to need to buy needles, regardless. SOOOOOOO, should I spend $19 + shipping to buy 3 sets of Bryspun needles (I really love these needles!) or should I bite the bullet and buy a set of options! I haven't actually used options, but everyone seems to like them. And, the whole "18 sets of needles" for $60 is quite compelling. With 4 cords, it also means I can start both Maude and Picovoli without buying 'more' needles. Normally, for $40 difference, it'd be a no brainer, but I have been spending money like no bodies business these days! I need to block Etsy, as I have bought over $100 worth of stuff in a week or so. I just bought Jake's leather notebook. I also bought my big piece of Art on Friday night, which wasn't cheap, either. Yes, I have tax return and work bonus money burning a hole in my pocket, and I'd rather not spend it all in 10 days! Yikes! What should I do?!?! Anyone totally love or totally hate their Options set that wants to weigh in with an opinion? I decided, at a minimum, I'm going to sleep on it and wait until Thursday when I get my PRGE pal, in case I need something from KnitPicks for them. Who am I kidding. . .. I'm gonna end up buying them. . . someone. . . talk me out of it!

I did finish Sheldon but I forgot to snap a picture before he got sent off to Michigan. Hopefully Tricia will send me a picture of Sheldon & Addi when he arrives. I believe he will quickly be renamed 'yaya' as Addi is apparently fond of only saying 'papa' and 'yaya' :) I finished my felted bag too, but I don't like the proportion so it's going in the donation pile. Jake wants to know why I've started something else (Maude) when his socks aren't done (sock #1 is fully finished, waiting to cast on #2) but I seriously need a break from that for a few days to psych myself up for another never ending sock!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Speaking of Swaps. . .

So, my downstream pal in my Scavenger Hunt got her package over the weekend. I'm always a little nervous about how they will be received, but Martha really liked it, so go on over and check it out :)

I really do have a problem with swaps! I love them so much, though and I had a lot of fun in PRGE last go-round, so here we go again with my questionnaire!

1. Why did you join PRGE? I love that this swap is a small group and you get to know everyone participating! And I love punk music, which is how I found this in the first place (I'm going to see Flogging Molly tonite! Yay!)

2. What are your five favorite things? (these don't have to be knit related)
cooking a nice dinner together with Jake, watching the dogs play and run around the house, listening to Prairie Home Companion, tap dance, tuna & avocado maki

3. What are your three favorite things that you have made with knitting/crochet?
My mom's Christmas Purse, Anna's Endpapers, Laura's Wedding Gift (all Ravelry links)

4. What five things would you love to see in a swap box someday?
Something to share with Jake and the puppies, These stitch markers (how cute can you get, really!?!), something unique to where my spoiler is from, a skein of the Raven series sock yarn from BMFA, anything to satisfy my sweet tooth!

5. What are your three favorite yarns? I'm really having fun discovering new yarns from Etsy these days. My newest discovery is Little Dog Designs. I haven't knit up the skein I have yet, but it is incredibly delightful and squishy! Malabrigo Merino Worsted (who doesn't love it!) and I'll give the #3 spot to Berroco Ultra Alpaca!
What are your three least favorite yarns? I don't like KnitPicks Essential, or anything else that loosely twisted so that it splits when you knit with it. I don't like 100% Acrylic unless it is for charity knitting and required. I'm also not a fan of novelty yarns.

6. What are your five favorite delicacies?
made from scratch brownies (with chocolate, not cocoa powder!), splurging on a pair of killer heels, a bottle of Veuve 'just because' and not for celebrating a special occasion, really thick, really rich cheesecake topped with raspberries, a Tangueray gimlet made by a bartender who knows how to make it right! (not too much Rose's Lime!)

7. What are your three favorite guilty pleasures?
Daytime Soap Operas (General Hospital), eating the batter from aforementioned made from scratch brownies, buying great shoes without owning a thing to wear them with

8. What are the five things you look forward to every week?
watching FOX Sunday night TV while Knitting, waking up early on Saturday to go to the gym, make breakfast and take the dogs to the park, FRIDAY!! (my job seriously wears me out all week!), sleeping in on Sunday with Jake and the puppies, trying to catch 'Best Week Ever' :)

9. What do you collect?
I'm trying to work on being less cluttery and simpler, so I don't collect anything really, anymore (unless you count shoes. . . I have a lot of shoes!)

10. When is your birthday?
November 1

11. Do you have any wishlists?
none active right now, but I do mark favorites on Etsy.

12. Do you have any allergies or health related conditions that your pal should know about?
None relevant to a swap package, unless you plan on sending me antibiotics!

13. What do you do for work and what do you do for fun?
For work I am a big 'ol boring project manager for a big 'ol behemoth 'Fortune 500' company (not so punk, I know). I'm currently sort of exploring going back to school to become an interior designer. I'm just taking one class right now. For fun, aside from knitting, I dance, cook and play with my dogs :)

14. What would you like your pal to know that is not covered here?
I am trying to be a more conscientious consumer these days. I try not to buy Australian merino because of mulesing. I also try not to buy yarns that have travelled from all corners of the earth before being sold (i.e. sheared in Australia, processed in China, sent to Canada for spinning, then Dyed yet somewhere else!).

ps - here is my questionnaire from last round, too.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Anne is having a contest for Malabrigo!

OK, Normally I don't spread the word so much, but, I adore Malabrigo :)

Anne is having a contest to collect blogs that publish their own patterns that aren't published elsewhere. Just leave her a comment with a link to a designer you like (free or for sale) and you're entered. Details are here. If you go, make sure you tell her I sent you :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

D is for Dance!

I'm getting my ABC-Along posted just in time! My D is quite easy, and it is for DANCE!

I started to take dance lessons when I was 3. I took tap dance first, and still today it is my favorite. This is me, at my first recital at age 4. The recital theme was the Circus, my class was Cotton Candy and we danced to "Ain't She Sweet". My mother would be happy to tell you I was the only one in the class who knew the entire dance (and song - we sang in part)! I was not like the kid you often see who knows it and tries to get the other kids to do it right, I totally didn't care no one else was doing it right and just went on so that everyone was looking at me :)
I danced until my junior year of High School. Mostly tap and jazz. I tried ballet but never had the patience for it. I was also in the studio company when I got old enough to audition. I quit dance then to join the Pom Pon Squad at school, which was MUCH cooler than dance. In college, I took a few random dance classes - modern and such - NOT my cup of tea, I'm much more traditional!

I really miss my dancing. I was never much for sports, so dance was my thing that I was really good at. When I lived in Vermont, I found a studio that was laid back enough to dance at as an adult. I really loved getting back into it, and I met some great friends. Since I've moved to Virginia, I haven't been able to find a studio that fits my skill level and my style. I still have all my shoes, though, hoping - I keep them in my very first knitted object (Fiber Trends Felted Bag).
You'll even notice my ballet slippers in the mix (the small pink blob!), I've tried it again recently with much more success than I had when a child!

When I was little my dream was to be a Radio City Rockette. Too bad there is no way to add 5+ inches to me so I could meet the minimum height requirement :( Did you know there is a max height too? It's pretty cool - they have only a 4 inch height range so that they can make up the difference in headpieces the girls wear so they all look the same height on stage.

OK, enough nostalgia :) I did mention I met some great friends from dance, Brittany is one of them. Go figure, she's a tapper too! (You'd be surprised how often this actually comes up!). She is amazing (but too modest to admit it) and she is part of the Boston Dance Company (website isn't up yet but I'll link anyway so you can check back!). She came down to visit for a few hours yesterday, which was awesome. Seriously, how many people would be in DC, rent a car and drive 6 hours round trip to come visit? I say not many! It was so awesome to see her, I wish she could have been here longer than 8 hours, but we had a great time catching up and had a nice dinner. She also brought me good luck in shopping. I mentioned a month or so ago that I found an awesome painting, but the store worker couldn't negotiate. We went back yesterday, and I am now the proud owner of the piece, at 10% off. Admittedly, this is not the best negotiation, but it's something and so I'm pleased with myself. And, I had my Federal tax return burning a hole in my pocket, so spending the money wasn't all that hard! It was hard to get someone to admit they COULD negotiate! Two workers both told me 'We aren't a discount store'. I don't even know what that means, but luckily I asked for the owner and she was there. She also told me 'We have two sales each year, but we don't do anything to our prices.' I told her 'Come on, everything is negotiable'. And she said 'Well, ordinarily I wouldn't BUT we have to clean out the store to have the floors redone so JUST TODAY maybe we could do it.' SUCCESS! I'll share a picture of it when it gets hung up!

My February is for Finishing goals did not go all that well. The final count was officially 3 FOs, no new projects cast on. Unofficially, I'm going to try to wrap up Sheldon (half the applied I-cord is done) and sew the lining in my bag this weekend before I cast on for something new. Not until I do my homework, though :) Here are the two socks I finished. Unfortunately I wasn't enamored with either yarn. The pink/brown is Lazy Perry Ranch BFL and it was a bit rough. The green/yellow is LotusYarns and, while I love the dye job, the base yarn had a loose twist that made it splitty. She has changed her base to Louet Gems since, though, so I don't think that would be an issue anymore.

I got some really yummy yarn from Etsy, I'll share on another day, though, as this post is getting really long!

I leave you with my Project 365 puppy shot - Zosia insists on belly rubs. . . when she sees you walk into a room, she immediately takes this position! Notice her head totally looks indifferent like "Oh, I just always lay like this, I'm not trying to make you rub my belly!" :)
(I missed last week, sorry!).