Tuesday, July 31, 2007

my first SnB

Yep that's right! I went to my first Stitch and Bitch last night. I went to Barnes and Nobles and knitted away with four ladies. They were very fun and very funny and I hope I can make it out there again (even though my work schedule makes it difficult). It is always really nice to go talk about nerdy yarny things with people who want to hear about it, instead of my dear roommate Lauren (who probably thinks I'm crazy for having so much yarn) and my dear boyfriend (who at least pretends to pay attention).

After last night's inspiration (two of them were making gorgeous socks with Koigu and Panda Cotton), I placed my first order at the Loopy Ewe - I got some Claudia's Hand Painted to eventually make socks for my mom (in the Steelers colorway!) I'm thinking they will be a Christmas present. I've been coveting that yarn forever, and I don't want it to disappear and I regret not buying it. I also got some Panda Cotton in Picnic - it's pretty reasonable for sock yarn, and Tasha (one of the SnBers) was knitting a pretty lacy pattern with some green Panda Cotton last night.

I think I need to state for the record that as of 2:35 p.m. July 31, 2007, I am on a yarn diet once again. I've been on a spree since the Fourth of July sale at Ewe Knit. I have the incentive of saving money for a trip to Charleston with Josh. We will have been dating for a year(!) come September, and I really should set yarn money aside for the B&B I booked. Plus, wouldn't it be fun to break the yarn diet in Charleston?? =)

Oh! And here are some project pictures so this post isn't completely bare. JJ and Lori's blanket is more than halfway done:

ripple blanket progress

And here is the not-so-secret knitting project:

new scarf project!

I am in love with this colorway. I stop every few rows to admire it, which isn't helping my speed, but ... it's just so darn pretty!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

secret project!

I'm working on a super-secret knitting project (well, I'm calling it that because I'm too lazy to take a picture of it). I think that every time I take a picture of projects, I end up frogging them:

I figured out ribbing!  I think.

close-up of colors

So I will hold off on taking a picture of this one. But I'll say this: It's not the yarn pictured above, and it's progressing much faster than any other knitting project of mine.

I just took advantage of my work's book sale for the first time ever and boy, what was I waiting for? I got all these books for $7.50:

new books!

Between finishing Deathly Hallows, my recent book stash enhancement and Shelfari, I am itching to read more often again. I was such a voracious reader when I was younger (seriously, I would borrow 10+ books from the library and return them, read, a week later) and I would love to pick it back up.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An actual conversation

Me (studying my fall scarf which has become a ribbed scarf): I'm going to have to rip this out.
Josh: Isn't there another term for ripping out?
Me: You mean frogging?
Josh: Yeah, that's it. You called it that the other day.

This is proof that a) he listens to me babble on about yarn and b) I need to keep him.

And yes, I figured out how ribbing works. Go me! I realize this is not a huge discovery for most knitters but man do I feel like a smartie pants right now. I am one step closer to my dream of knitting socks, and it only took several hours. I got the whole K2 P2 thing, but when I'd turn it around and K2, P2, it just didn't *look* right. Then I had a flash - knitting ribbing in the round is K2 P2, but I'd have to switch to P2 K2 in the wrong-side rows since I'm using straight needles. And ribbing looks like little strips of stockinette, so I'd have to switch on the wrongside rows.

I was so elated that I did an order at joann.com to get DPNs in sizes 000 to 3 (as well as some Patons Kroy sock yarn).

Friday, July 20, 2007

what I've been up to

1. Working out like a fiend. I am on a good streak, doing 45-60 minutes of cardio a day, aiming for five days a week. It is no matter that it's barely a weeklong trend. My pants are already a wee bit looser, and that is all that matters to me. I didn't get to go today, because ...

2. My car is spiffed up (well, its oil system and tires are.
I did my yearly inspection a week before things probably get hairy for inspectors (they're up at the end of the month), thinking I'd save time in the long run. Well, no. I showed up for my 11 a.m. appointment and was promptly told that everyone was going to lunch and that "it would be a while." Well, OK, I tell them I have to leave by 3 p.m. The car people tell me this is dicey. I forsee myself going to work, dressed in workout clothes with floofy hair. Josh picks me up and takes me to a nearby Subway for lunch (I played it smart with a turkey sub with sweet onion sauce). I had plenty of stuff to work on, because ...

3. I cast on a new scarf. It is gorgeous fall colors:

close-up of colors

I also took Lori and JJ's blanket (which is about halfway done!) and I was tickled at what happened. One of the auto place's employees, this big burly youngish (that is, my age) guy stopped as he passed by the lounge and was complimenting it and asked me about it. He said with a big grin, "Man, I always wanted to learn how to do that!" I think he said women in his family always knitted but that he wanted to learn, too. I told him he shouldn't give up. Really neat. And a really old man told me his grandma made him embroider when he was younger. =)

4. I made my first YouTube video. I'm very proud of the fact that it's been viewed 29 times.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I am in love ...

with my iPod! And I haven't even used it yet.

I've got about 6.2 gigs of music, (about 1500 files) and it was really fast to upload. I had no idea how the synch worked - I'm used to having to pick and choose which songs I want on my shuffle, but it automatically checks to see what's songs have been added or what names have changed (I was anal retentive and renamed my helter-skelter playlists to things like run.5K, run.15k, run.shamrock.) And it's only about 20 percent full!

Also, I got a bunch of podcasts at the iTunes store - I subscribed to some NPR: This American Life, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and Michael Feldman's Whaddya Know. Then I did a search for "knitting" and found there are a ton of yarn podcasts to be discovered!! It's a whole new world. I have no idea what's good, but I've subscribed to Lime & Violet, Knitters Uncensored, Knit Picks' Podcast and Crochet Unraveled. I don't know when I'll listen to them, because my commute to work is about seven minutes long, but maybe it'd be good to listen to while I'm working on my latest project.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The universe works in mysterious ways.

My last post talked about how I am unable to buy myself more than one thing at a time. Well, without going into much detail, I very quickly got over that speed bump. My iPod might arrive today (Thanks to Josh ... he is the best!) and I am very excited to swoon over it and upload songs to it and create the perfect playlists.

Last night I pulled out a couple of CDs I haven't listened to in about a year: the mix CD I pulled together after my semester in England, and a CD my then-friend Matt made that my roommates and I listened to compulsively during my senior year of college. I can still see one of my roommates dancing around with him, singing "Hotel Yorba" by the White Stripes. (I realize this was two and a half years ago, so I shouldn't be reminiscing as if I'm about to expire or something.) But it's funny how music can conjure up those things.

I think I'm almost over this bug I caught from Josh. I'm forcing myself to go to the gym today because I haven't been there in a week and a half (yikes!). Granted, I've been dogsitting and have been feeling pretty crappy, but still. Admitting that in a public forum is even more incentive, y'know? Then I plan on spending my day off watching my newly purchased movies (True Lies, Benny & Joon and Four Weddings & a Funeral) and crocheting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I want, I want ...

'Scuse me while I post my wish list of the moment:

Knit Picks Options. I really want to get more into knitting, but I'm limited by my needle inventory, which consists of mostly straight needles. I bought some gorgeous Manos del Uruguay yarn the other day to make a cool winter hat, but I can't find my lone pair of circulars anywhere. Knitting needles are more expensive than crochet hooks, so buying this set of interchangeable needles would solve a lot of my problems at a reasonable price. I've been reading lots of reviews, and they seem nice and pointy, they join well (and stay joined). So I'm basically sold, it's just that I can't justify spending $70+ at KnitPicks (obviously I'd buy some yarn while I'm shopping there, and oh yeah, books are 40 percent off right now) when I've got an Amazon order quickly approaching ...

I need to pre-order this:
I own all the HP books in hardcover, so this will complete my collection. I am very excited to read this, though it'll be sad when the series is over. I still remember when I pre-ordered OotP and it came to my apartment in Harrisburg in summer 2003 ... I had nothing to do, I knew no one there, so I just read and read and read.

To qualify for free shipping with Amazon, I need to spend about $7 more. After visiting Busch Gardens on Sunday, I instantly wanted to play Roller Coaster Tycoon again. I haven't played since, oh, high school or so, but I remember how addictive it was. So yes, I believe RCT3 might end up in my cart when I pre-order the final HP book.

Josh is in the middle of buying a MacBook, and Apple is running a deal for students where they'll throw in an iPod nano with a computer purchase. He might let me get in on the nano deal, but part of me wants to upgrade for $50 to the 30gig iPod. I'd be stupid not to, right?? I mean, I'd never buy one at full price, so ... I shouldn't pass this up. Then again, I only have 6.5 gigs of music, so I could easily just go for the free 4gig one. Then I'd feel guilty for inserting myself in the middle of his free nano situation.

So yes, I want lots of things but am unable to commit because I'm, well, a cheapskate.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

So, the blanket that's a house-warming gift for my friends the dog owners? It's progressing nicely, eight rows in. (Pattern is Soft Waves from "200 Ripple Stitches" - very easy to memorize, and very pretty. I can't wait for a whole pattern repeat - I'm doing six rows of blue, then gold.)

It's morphing into a housewarming gift tinged with sadness. My friend's father died unexpectedly today. They're on vacation, and now they're making their way to South Dakota to the funeral.

I'm not good at knowing the right thing to say ... I tend to talk too fast, or I say something dumb, and then I say something even dumber in my attempt to gloss over the first dumb thing I said. Sometimes I think the only thing I know how to do in a somewhat proper manner is crochet. So I'll be thinking about her papa with every stitch.

Monday, July 2, 2007

July 7 wrap - FO

I finished the July 7 wrap! I am coveting this multi-color Cotton with Rayon Ribbon yarn from Blue Heron. There's a teeny bit leftover - I might be able to knit a wee scarf from it, but it's doubtful. Here is a close-up of the burnt copper colorway:

And the whole she-bang:

It kind of reminds me of a Clapotis, something I would love to knit. I wish I had more excuses to wear large wraps - it's warm here a lot of the year. I think if I lived in Europe, I could totally pull it off.

What's next? I just started a small throw for the people I'm dog-sitting for. It's navy and will have some yellow accent stripes, matching the color scheme in their apartment. (I'm happy to report that this morning's visit went much better than yesterday's.)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I blame today on the full moon.

Sundays are reserved for sleeping in, as far as I'm concerned. But today I woke up early and decided to get a head start on my day. I would take Gracie for a walk around my 'hood, take her to a doggie play date at my friends' place (I'm dog-sitting till Wednesday) and even go to the gym and stop at the grocery store before I had to be at work at 2.

Grace and I set out on our walk around 10:30, the sun was shining, the wind was gusting. Gorgeous, I thought. We got to my friends' place, I tried to let myself in and found that the (newly cut) key unlocked the handle but not the dead bolt. I had the downstairs neighbor let me in around back, but I couldn't get their back door to budge, either. I called the other dog sitter (by way of calling Josh at work to get her number), but didn't get an answer. So I called Josh back and asked him if he wouldn't mind trying the door. I walk back to my place, cursing my weakness and assuring myself that as a guy, he would be able to unlock it (sexist, much?). Well, we drive back (too stressed to walk over at this point) and he couldn't get it, either.

This is where I reached panic mode and called the dog's owners. Nope, they hadn't tried the keys before they left. We were about to call the landlord (still no answer from the other dog-sitter, who we later found out was kayaking all morning) but Josh had an ingenious plan ... find a ladder (they're on the second story) and climb in through a window. We head back to my place, all the while contemplating our apartment-dwelling friends nearby. I decide to call a co-worker who owns a house a few blocks away. They're not in the phone book, and I presume it's because her husband is a TV reporter. I'm about to give up when I remember the Internets, and Switchboard provides their number. Mike answers, I have the hasty "Remember me from Thanksgiving? Sooo may I borrow a ladder?" conversation, and thank goodness, he has a ladder. We scoot over to their house, pick it up, and promptly break into the apartment after trying two windows.

After returning the ladder, we are seriously hungry. I've got 90 minutes before I need to be at work. I remember the pizza place a few blocks away has a $5 pizza special on Sundays. Sweet. We order with 75 minutes to spare, down our beverages, get refills, and watch customers who arrived 15 minutes after us get their salad *and* their pizza. The clock ticks by, and boom, we've waited 45 minutes for our pizza before our waitress tells us our pizza order got lost in the great beyond. Now I've got 30 minutes before I have to be at work, and I'm still sweaty and very hungry. (I'd like to take this point to point out that I am never ever bitchy with wait staff. They don't make enough money to put up with rude customers, I could never do their job, and I had to deal with enough rude customers while working retail in high school.) I kindly point out that we've been waiting a very long time, and I have to be at work in 25 minutes and don't have time to eat before hand. She kindly takes our sodas off the bill, and gives me a diet Coke to go. I rush home, cram a slice of pizza in my mouth, and take a two-minute shower. I'm five minutes late to work.

Tonight I head over to let out the dog, and a black cat crosses my path. The end of the street is practically foggy under the orange street light - very Stephen King-esque. I'm clearly creeped out.

Driving home, I see the full moon.

Coincidence? I think not.