Saturday, August 30, 2008

Something Blue?

So I picked my dress, but to order it I need shoes (it is made to length since you can't hem the lace). I despise most 'bridal' shoes because they are a) low heeled, b) dyeables and c) boring. I don't want matchy-matchy shoes and Jake even weighed in that he thought dress-colored shoes would be lame.

Shopping today I found these:

I love them, but they are pretty dramatic and will DEFINITELY be noticeable.

Even though a friend already gave me a 'something blue' (yes, even though the entire wedding is non-traditional, I'm wicked superstitious, so I'll be doing the old/new/borrowed/blue thing AND wearing a penny in my shoe!), I'd tell most people that is why I'm wearing the shoes (easier than "I really just didn't want ivory ones!).

So, really, honestly & truly, what do you think? Too much or can I pull it off?

After a photo session with Jake tomorrow, I have not 1, not 2, not 3 but 7 FOs weaved/blocked totally DONE to show off!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rain, rain. . .

Go away. . . or come, but please stop with this 'maybe it's gonna rain so it's cloudy and gloomy all day' crap!

It hasn't rained in like a month, but leave it to me to summon it forth by shelling out $30 Sunday to get both Jake and my cars washed. But while a mere 60 miles west they got scads of rain (4+ inches!) we've mostly just been spit on. Really, we could use the rain, so I'm not trying to be a whiner, but I'm tired of no sunshine! Rain and get it over with already!

Needless to say, this weather is still not lending to photography, so none of my projects to share yet. Instead, I'll show you a 'to come', based on a this email exchange yesterday.

12:04:41PM Jake: 'I need a cardigan sweater please'

12:22:20PM Carly: 'Why is that, Mr Rogers?'

12:25:01PM Jake: 'Because it is freezing cold in this building'

12:28:15PM Carly: 'Well, by the time I finish one the heat will probably be on at work.'
(he he, that could even be optimistic, it could be NEXT summer!)

12:40:14PM Carly: 'Something like this?' (photo taken from Knitpicks here.)

12:58:00PM Jake: ' I like it. Go.'

So, this will be OTN soon. As soon as I pick a yarn, that is. It's shown in mainline, but I'm not so fond of a nonmachine washable cotton blend (as I am the laundry doer!). Swish would work, but I think 100% wool might be too hot. I like the idea of a wool/cotton blend, so I'll be checking out WEBS and Elann to see what might pop out at me. Of course Jake says it has to be 'not too scratchy' :) Anyone have a suggestion?

I have to say I'm actually looking forward to it. I always need something I can knit without thinking about OTN and I haven't had anything simple since I finished Picovoli.

Wedding things are starting to come together nicely. The location is set. Plane tickets are purchased. I've talked to several choices for photographer, florist (why are flowers so expensive?!), dinner locale and hotel. FSIL is working on making our invitations (seriously, isn't that cool of her? I'm stoked for hand made invites!) I'm not having great luck finding an officiant, but thanks to Ravelry I learned that Unitarian Universalist Ministers will typically perform ceremonies for folks who aren't in their congregation and there is one in Napa, so that might work. I'm going this afternoon to try on the dress again with Jen for a 2nd opinion. I need to find shoes, and Jake needs to start talking to tailors about making his suit, but all in all I'd say I'm more comfortable with it being just 7 months away! (I know it sounds like a long time, but it's not really!) I'm getting excited for my shower, too! It's crazy early to avoid having to drive in snow back to Michigan, so it is October 18!

The weatherman says it is supposed to be sunny again Monday, so hopefully I can share what I've been knitting and finishing recently!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New round of PRGE!

So, as I am hopelessly addicted to swaps, I signed up for the next round of PRGE. If you are not my partner, feel free to ignore this post, as it is my questionnaire :)

1. Why did you join PRGE? I love this group!
1.a. Have you done other swaps? Yup, many, check out my posts with 'swap' Are you doing other swaps right now? I may do the next Malabrigo Swap on Ravelry, but nothing else planned.

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, tap dance, tuna & avocado maki, spending time with my newly planted flowers in the morning (deadheading, watering, etc. . I find it surprisingly relaxing!)

2.a. Do these things allow any hints into your personality for your punk pal? I guess they must, but not something I could necessarily articulate :)

3. What are your three favorite things that you have made with knitting/crochet?
I adore Maude, even though she isn't finished (just needs buttons, so realistically I could wear it now if I wanted).
The Summerlin Dress I made for Addi.
Anna's Endpaper Mitts

3.a. What do you tend to make with knit/crochet?
I make a lot of socks, though oddly I do not wear socks as much as I can help it. Whenever possible I wear flip flops or sandals or go barefoot!
Due to my slow knitting, I tend to only make small projects for gifts, but I like making tops for me!

3.b. What do you hope to make (or complete that you have started) someday?
I'd like to get around to making a real shawl for myself soon! Most recently I fell in love with this one.

4. What five things would you love to see in a swap box someday? Why? A skein of STR from the Raven series, these stitch markers, something unique to where my spoiler lives, something made by my spoiler just for me!, something totally unexpected (like a million dollars!).

4.a. What do you hope to never see in a swap box again (or ever)? I guess really only something like OBVIOUSLY used. I heard of someone who got a skein of yarn half rewound around the original ball from use AND stained with chocolate! Otherwise, I appreciate the thought that goes into these type of things and even if something ends up not being my cup of tea, I can share with someone it is!

5. What are your three favorite yarns?
I just recently got to knit with Socks That Rock and I'm addicted! It's hard to get out here on the East Coast, though.
I love Malabrigo (worsted, lace and silky merino - not so much anything thicker).
Berroco Ultra Alpaca rounds out the top 3 :)

What are your three least favorite yarns?
KnitPicks Essential (or anything else that splitty - like the Mama Llama bamboo I'm using right now!)
I don't have much use for 100% acrylics.
I've not had good experiences with Lorna's Laces sock yarns.

5.a. Do you like solid, self-striping, or multi-colored yarns? For socks, I like all of the above. For anything else, I lean toward solids and semi-solids most often.

5.b. What are your favorite colors? What are your favorite colors to knit with?
Greens and Reds are my favorites, though I really do love nearly all colors. I prefer more heavily saturated colors than pale ones. I think I've knit with every color under the rainbow, so no particular favorites to knit with.

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!)

6.a. What yarn do you hope to one day try and why?
I guess I'd have to say Woolmeise, but I am not the type who will stalk the Loopy Ewe to try to buy it, so I'll have to wait years for the buzz to die down.

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

7.a. What are your favorite tv or movie charactors?
Hmm, I really like Goren on Law & Order Criminal Intent, but I'm not sure I'd say I have any 'favorites'

8. What are the five things you look forward to every week? the weekend!, waking up early on Saturday (I love having a productive day!), Sunday night FOX TV, planning out what I want to cook during the week, going out for cocktails

8.a. What do you do during your week (ie - work, take care of three kids, race walk)? work, go to the gym, try to remember to feed the dogs dinner before 9pm, attempt to keep the hamper from overflowing and other random house stuff, knit while watching TV, go to bed by 10pm :)

9. What do you collect?
dust bunnies & dirty dishes - me + housework = not the best of friends
9.a. What collects you? Really, I try not to have much in the way of tchotchkies or other nonessential 'stuff' because my house is cluttered enough! I do love cookbooks, though :)

10. When is your birthday? November 1
10.a. What is your favorite holiday and why? My birthday. I am an only child, so now that I'm grown up it's the one day where I can get away with everything being about ME! (OK, OK, I make it like the whole WEEK about me!)

11. Do you have any wishlists? One on amazon, but I don't really keep it current and it is flooded with like every knitting book I don't have, so not so much useful.

11.a. Do you have a "favorites" collection anywhere that your pal should know about? Etsy faves are here. Some are sold, but many are things that get relisted. Those that don't give you some idea of my preferences, anyway.

12. Do you have any allergies or health related conditions that your pal should know about? nope
12.a. What drives you nuts?
oye. . too many things to list, but primarily people who drive like a**es (realize that is relative. . for me, it is driving slow in the left lane, swerving due to texting or fumbling for a bag to find cell phone. . things of that nature!)

13. What do you do for work and what do you do for fun?
I work for the 'man' i.e. a Fourtune 20 Company as a Program Manager
For fun I knit (duh!), dance, play with my puppies and sometimes go to concerts.

13.a. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Less about worrying I would fail, more about worrying if I could make a comfortable living, if salary wasn't an issue, I'd do something in community outreach or with animal rescue.

14. What would you like your pal to know that is not covered here? I am getting married in April and am trying to plan my wedding. I am petrified that we will show up and it will be a rat infested awful place! (I'm planning a wedding 3000 miles away where we have never visited!) It keeps me up at nights! Also, in my packages, I love when there is something I can share with Jake and/or my pooches - we have 2 dogs, Zosia & Jimmy Ray.

14.a. Are you excited for the contests or will you just pretend that they do not exist? Contests are fun! I've had good contest karma recently, too :)

My previous PRGE round questionnaires are here and here.

What I Knit on my Summer Vacation

Oh, I was all set to tell you all about the many things I actually finished in New York, but the weather is crappy and overcast and not photo-friendly, so it will have to wait.

In other news, I'm 99.9% certain I've chosen a new wedding gown. What do you think?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Software Engineer, Anyone?

So, anyone out there a Software Engineer and in or willing to move to the White Plains, NY area and looking for a job? For months I've been getting emails about 7 openings with my company. Of course, there is a recruiting bonus for me :) If you're interested, leave me a comment with a way to contact you and I'll send you the details!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


First, the new edition of The Inside Loop is up! This is the great UK publication that gave us Maude (ahem. . . that is nicely still waiting for buttons to be sewn on. . . ahem) I really like both this cardigan and these socks!

Second, I heard about this new yarn club The Color Co-op. I'm torn about signing up. I like the idea of multiple dyers (which is the thing I like about the Woolgirl club, you get a taste of different people!) but rather than one dyer each shipment, ALL of the dyers dye each month and so you will get one of six options each month. You will get one shipment from each dyer in the 6 months. I'm a little worried that my inner 6 year old can't handle it. I mean, that is a LOT of opportunity for pouting that you didn't get the yarn you like best! At least if a yarn you get in a regular club is not your taste, you just chalk it up to a club, but when you can see 5 others. . .. I may have to pass and sit out, though it seems like a great list of dyers.

If anyone decides to sign up, let me know!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Q is for Quinoa

Seriously, what else can I come up with for a Q?!

This is the Quinoa that is in my pantry.

In my opinion, this is the most useless and tastless grain know to man! It was purchased for a blackbean tart recipie in one of my Mark Bittman cookbooks (I highly recommend him!). The filling was delicious, the quinoa crust, ICK!

Of course, I am too cheap to throw it away and I figure there MUST be something edible I can do with it, I just haven't found it yet. If anyone has a suggestion, I'd love to hear it!

And, with that, I'm ABCaught up! Yay!

P is for Puppies!

Come on, What else could P be for me (except maybe Pooches or Pains in the butt?).

They were lying together super cute, then Jimmy Ray saw the camera and tried to run, so solo shots it is


and the ever elusive Jimmy Ray (trying to take refuge behind a baby Azalea bush!)

O is for Oops!

Well, really this could be 'Oops, I totally got behind in the ABC-along'. While this is true, I have a real Oops to show in photo.

That nice dent in my downspout is courtesy of one of my apparently more frequent moments of total obliviousness. We have lived in this house for 22 months. I have parked in the same spot since we moved in (Jake claimed the 'better' spot in the drive since he actually takes his car out regularly.) Never before did I have a problem with depth perception (that seems like a better excuse than I just am a total ditz sometimes!), but two weeks ago, I hit my house.

I suppose hitting a downspout is better than hitting brick. . . or the garage door, but now I have a constant reminder and a constant thing for Jake to poke fun at me about. He was able to pop it out somewhat, so it's not as bad as it was when I did it.

The worst part, I totally WAS paying attention and just, for some unknown reason, kept inching forward until I felt the bump!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Even though the day totally sucked, I am SO thankful I did not get chosen for jury duty! This is the trial I would have had to sit on - ummm, no thank you! I was nervous I was going to be picked, because at least half the people summoned had read the front page newspaper story this morning (note to self. . . buy paper if I have to go again!) but thankfully as they finally selected the jury they called the person three to my left and two to my right and I was dismissed. I still have 9 days of my jury duty term and apparently the Court has a full docket so there is a chance I will have to report again. . .let's hope not! If I do, at least I will be better prepared, as I made the horrific mistake of running out of yarn on my knitting project! I was working on the 2nd Baltimore sock and I didn't think there'd be so much down time (we were there for 8 hours before they selected the jury with only one potty break!) and since I started with the leftovers from sock one, I didn't think about grabbing the 2nd ball when I left this AM. Instead I had a LOT of staring at the wall time after I finished what I could.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yarn Goodness!

Random fact about me - I LOVE mail. I don't care what it is (so long as it's real mail - junk mail and credit card offers don't count), I stalk the mail man just about every day. I even enjoy getting bills. . . anything to open. So, for me, one of my favorite parts of vacation is the big 'held mail' delivery that happens the day after we get home. Yup - I'm weird!!

Yesterday was no disappointment when the mailman pulled up. I got TWO packages in the mail with yarn treats for me! I was expecting my latest Woolgirl Sock Club package but it wasn't there (shipped yesterday, so I have to be patient!). Instead, I got my prize from the last blog contest I won and a Swap bot swap.

First, gorgeous Vesper Sock Yarn from Knitterly Things in SerenDipitous colorway. Not a color I'd typically pick, but I think it will knit up lovely and I get a kick out of self striping colors, so I'll have fun with it.

Second, for the Green Yarn swap, Carrie sent me an awesome package. For the color yarn swaps, the only requirement is the yarn, so she really went above and beyond. The yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Greenlake. The cute sheepie bag is from an Etsy seller here :) The stitch markers are really pretty and very nice that they have varying ring sizes. Jake has apparently hit his limit of stitch markers, though, as when I showed him he said 'So, uh, just how many of those things do you need?' :)

I have a bunch of knitting to show from the trip to NY, but that will have to wait for another post this weekend.

The only downside to my trip is that I am back to square one with wedding dress shopping :( I stopped Wednesday at the store in Richmond to be measured and order the dress and she happened to have another dress by the designer in the mocha/ivory combination (I was ready to order sight unseen). OMG! It was so NOT what I wanted. It was a very grey based mocha, not a nice warm one like I thought, so it almost made the ivory lace take on a blueish hue. So, I'm shopping again. I'm so over trying them on, I just want to find one!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Winner (s) !

So I had 65 people enter the contest! Sheesh, that even outpaced comments on my engagement! (Yes, there are 68 comments, but a few people did not actual want to enter). So, I decided to choose two winners via the Random Integer Generator. The first run actually gave me the #6 twice. And while that might be fun for entrant #6, I didn't have giving two prizes to the same person in mind, so I ran again to generate just one number to get the second winner, #42 ;-)

That means congratulations to Laura and Abigail! (And a happy Birthday to Abigail, too, lucky day!)

Now, I'm off to check out your Rav pages, ladies, and pick your prizes :) I'll contact you on Ravelry for your address!

Thanks to everyone for visiting and entering!

Some Thursday Temptation

So I ran across this blog contest promoting a new natural dyed yarn line. I clicked through to check it out for my #1 criteria in trying new yarns. . . YARDAGE! I've gotten to the point that I simply refuse to pay $25 for yarn that will barely make anklets with skimpy 320-350yards when there are so many dyers who give you ample yardage for the same price. Anyhow, Yarn Sprout passes with the base sock yarn having 430+ yards and not the premium attached for the Natural Dye Processing you might Expect. I particularly liked the Good Girl color (though I am steadfastly NOT BUYING YARN right now. . . I have another yarn club shipment en route!)

So check it out, and you can pop over to the owners blog if you want to post about it and be entered to win a skein to try :)

I'm back!

Hi Everyone! We got back from New York yesterday evening and now I've got to catch up on work before I can sort through all things blog related. I'm going to choose a contest winner tonite via random number generator. I'll run with all entries received by 1pm Eastern, so you've got a few hours left to enter if you haven't yet! Then I'll post a winner, catch up for the ABC Along and a summary of my very rainy visit to NY (hint - there was lots of knitting!)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Contest Reminder!

Just a reminder! While I'm away in New York, check out this post and leave a comment to be entered in my contest. I'll choose a winner and a prize for them when I return on the 14th!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


So, as I alluded to Monday, I bought myself a little something ;) I've had it in my cart for a while at Woolgirl, but I finally had some positive cash flow to justify the purchase (thank you company stock!)
It's a Namaste Newport in Peacock and it's even better than I expected :) I love it already even though I haven't used it (but it will be going to New York with me!).

Of course, Since I was close to free shipping, I threw in some yarn for good measure (a little more than I needed but there was a sale AND I had a coupon!)

Miss Babs Yummy Sock Sport in Hemlock . I am very excited for a mostly solid color, I have several patterns queued that can't handle variegated.

Curious Creek Fibers Meru (silk/merino. . . rav link, as it doesn't seem to be on their website) in Art Deco. This is not exactly what I was expecting, I thought it would be more of a black/grey base with the other colors through. Though it is beautiful, I'm not sure what I can make with it with all that distinct color. I guess I'll decide after I just admire it for a while :)

In other news, I've finally made some progress on wedding things! The venue is nearly closed, the woman is writing up a contract for me now. Whadda ya think? If it all works out the ceremony will be outside in their rose garden followed by bottle and barrel tasting with a cheese pairing in the barrel room. I feel much less stressed being close to closed on a locale :) That means I'm safe to book a plane ticket! AND, in a nice twist of fate, at the mall yesterday we found Jake's wedding band for the rock bottom price of $50 :) We were not out looking for a ring, but we stopped at one of the mall stores to get my ring cleaned. The lady was a dutiful salesperson and said 'Oh sure, and you can take a look through the sale cases while I clean it!' And I look down and don't I see a ring very similar to the one Jake liked at Grannis. The Grannis ring was lovely but, even on clearance, was $700 :) This one had the same feel, so we asked to see it. Being a clearance ring, it was the one in the case or nothing, and it fit! It is stainless steel with a 14K gold inlay. I think a $50 band will probably qualify as deal of the wedding. Even my Plain Jane 2mm white gold band cost more than that! So, all in all I'm feeling much better about wedding planning so I don't have to stress as much! Yay!

So, we leave at 4pm to head to New York. I'll see you all when I get back and I'll pick a contest winner then, too!

And I leave you with a gratuitous puppy shot, since I haven't posted one in a while :) Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Talk about stick-to-it-ivness

When I was a wee young college grad at the tender age of 21, I entered the world of corporate America. Here I was met with mostly late-middle aged men. My tact for dealing with the age gap was frequently humor, particularly at the requisite 25th Anniversary cake-and-coffee events that would be held. I'd chuckle with the honoree and say 'You know, you've been working here longer than I've been alive'. Then one day I was talking with one of my customers, Ted. He told me he just celebrated his 45th Anniversary. I'll never forget the utter shock I felt. Who in the world can tolerate working THAT long? In what was probably an inappropriate comment, considering he was a client, I said 'Ted, I normaly joke with people that they've been working longer that I've been alive. You, however, have been working nearly as long as my PARENTS have been alive!' (My mum was 47 and dad 46 at the time). He's a very nice man and just chuckled and told me about how his daughter was in med school and someone had to pay the bills :)

Fast forward to yesterday. Ted is still one of my clients, though I support them in a higher capacity now. I called him with some 'good news/bad news' as we've been working on a product problem for MONTHS with still no solution. We had the usual small talk and when his response to 'How are you doing?' was 'Spectacular!', I said 'No one is spectacular on a Monday, what's got you in a good mood?' And he told me he had just left his 50th Anniversary celebration!

Why I feel this is blogworthy, I don't know. The fact that a man has worked for a company long enough to celebrate such a milestone. One few marriages even reach. No one at his company knows of anyone else who has reached it. I think that makes it mentionable (aside from the fact that Ted is one of the most genuine and kind and even tempered people I've ever med). His daughter has graduated, but he and his wife love to travel, and with 6 weeks vacation he goes on 3 big trips a year. He says retirement wouldn't give them the income to continue that, so he'll continue to work. The best part? The guy doesn't look a day over 50 when you meet him!

So Congrats to Ted! I certainly hope I'm as content at his age, though I'm pretty sure my contentment will NOT be in the form of having such longevity with my employer!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hello, Goodbye & (finally) the contest

Phew! Where has the week gone? I guess I left most of it in Iowa :) Iowa was an, uh, interesting trip. I've been to small towns. I've lived in relatively small towns. I was not prepared for Cedar Rapids, Iowa! I'll save you stories of the copious amounts of corn, but I did have an amazing meal at an unexpected spot called the Lincoln Cafe and a lovely visit to Crazy Girl Yarn Shop, when I wasn't working :) I waited out a rainstorm at the yarn shop chatting with Kelly and Nora and I left the shop relatively unscathed. . . . a few colorful and practical needle stoppers and a skein of Plymouth Sockotta. (sorry, you have to deal without photos today, it is already dark. . well, dusk!) My work events were fine, and I had lots of down time to knit during. I finished off another Malabrigo square and worked on Jake's socks. I stopped the socks where I thought some calf shaping might need to start, since I'm making them as high as the yarn will allow. I decided not to continue the pattern on the back of the leg, so it will be easy to incorporate some simple shaping into the rib along the back of the leg. I adore the Trekking yarn!! I really wish I had used it for me rather than Jake!

I made good progress on Goddess, too, though I was a little ambitious in packing ALL the yarn to go with me. Did I really think I was going to knit the ENTIRE thing in 4 plane rides?! Anyway, I've knit nearly all the front. Unfortunately, the 'mindless' part of this knitting isn't until the front and back are joined, as there is a lot of 'AT THE SAME TIME' waist and shoulder shaping happening together that requires some attention. We are going up to Jake's parents house Thursday until Wednesday, so between the car ride and no TV, maybe I can finish it :) Speaking of Jake's parents, you can read over here about the little scare we got on Friday! Of course, being several states away, we got mixed versions of what was happening all along, but thankfully it ended well with no real damage.

I mentioned several times I was trying to come up with a contest to pass along the good yarn karma I was having. The karma continues, as I won ANOTHER contest - maybe I should be playing the lottery :) Well, before I went to Iowa I had a contest idea and then I lost it, so this will be a really easy one. Leave me a comment and tell me something. Tell me anything. A random fact about yourself, your favorite yarn, to go take a hike, whatever. When I get back from New York, I'll pick a winner from the commenters. The prize - well it will be yarny, of course, but rather than a 'one size fits all' prize, I'm going to pick the prize after I pick the winner. I have lots of eligible yarns in my stash. .. maybe even some Malabrigo? :)

Hope you all have a great couple weeks. I don't know if I'll be able to post again before we leave and internet access is dial up at the future in-laws house, so pretty much non existant. (19.2 kbps?! are you serious?!) If my special package from woolgirl arrives before we leave, though, I'll be sure to share. I splurged on something fun that starts with 'N' and carries my knitting :)