Thursday, November 29, 2007


What a few weeks ... I'm so ready for this trip to Pittsburgh tomorrow. I haven't mentioned this on here, but my brother and his fiancee ended their engagement last week. He is definitely doing the right thing, but that doesn't make it any easier or any less painful for him. Recent things have transpired, and they have made it even clearer that he has done the right thing.

As this relates to my knitting blog ... this means I have a half-completed monkey sock for someone I really don't want to see again. I think I'll keep on knitting and hope it fits me. I tried to make light of it, telling my roommate I'd regift it to her, but I don't think anyone wants them now! Ha.

I have to finish the toe of my second Steelers baby sock - the shower is Sunday in Pittsburgh. I think I'm going to sew it up right after I finish this blog.

Also, I've abandoned the idea of making socks for anyone but my mom before Christmas. Dad, roomie, brother - I'm sorry. You will get socks ... eventually. (At the moment, I'm actually relieved that my boyfriend hates to wear socks.) My new plan of action is to make hats. I bought some Patons Classic Merino and got to working on a basic 2x2 rib hat for my brother. I haven't gotten very far - maybe an inch into it. I'm hoping I make progress this weekend, though, perhaps when I'm chilling at the hotel with my mom Saturday night. We are spending most of Saturday tooling around Pittsburgh, checking out Knit One in Squirrel Hill and Bloomin' Yarns in McMurray (Oddly enough, it's across the street from my job at the Maxx in high school!) We are also going to see one of my favorite plays on Saturday night. My mom did some plays at this theater when I was in high school. It's a neat place.

I haven't hung out with my mom and gone out for the day in about two years. I can't believe it. It's unacceptable - but kind of hard to avoid, since we pretty much haven't lived in the same state (well, even the same house) since the summer after my freshman year of college.

I'm also going to dinner with Mimi (my mom's mom) and some family Friday night ... and I'm taking my Granddad (my dad's dad) out to breakfast on Saturday. I can't wait.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This is mostly a rewrite of a Ravelry post, but here goes:

Running lately has been a struggle for me - I've been going through a lot of challenges lately, family issues and the like, and I've found it hard to lace up my sneaks for training runs. I almost skipped Thursday's Turkey Trot 10K I had signed up for, but the weather was just perfect - about 70 degrees and sunny, even though the forecast called for rain and temps in the high 50s. In fact, it ended up being almost too hot.

It was a tough run. It goes to show I haven't been training as much as a year ago, because my internal clock was all off and I thought I was about 20 minutes slower than I actually was. Around mile 5, a nearby runner checked her watch, and she said we were at at about 1 hour 15 minutes. I thought we were at 1 hour 30 minutes, I felt like I was so slow! It made me hustle through the last mile, as much as I could, and I ended up with a time of 1:29:00, about seven minutes slower than last year's Turkey Trot, but I was markedly faster than any of my training runs this month, I discovered, when I checked out my times on That was a thrill.

Anyway ... I have been feeling kind of demoralized what with personal issues and I've been doubting my goal to run the Shamrock Half Marathon in March. Throughout the 10K I knew I was not as strong as I was a year ago when training to run this same race. Not to mention, I'm conservative about money and I was griping internally about the $70 entry fee. So by mile 4 of this 6.2 mile race, I was pretty much sure there was no way I was going to sign up for this half marathon.

I met up with some running buddies at the finish line, and Bethany had won a raffle prize - a free entry to the very same race I have been hemming and hawing over. Except she can't use it because she's moving to Australia at the end of the year. So she gave it to me. I was just so taken aback at her generosity and I really feel like it was some weird nudge from a higher being or something to get me back on track, to push through these tough times, and so on. I totally pulled a 180, my morale is up again and I haven't run since the race. I really believe in fate working in mysterious ways.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I'm going through some tough times right now ... I'm not going to delve into it here but life is kind of not fun right now. I'm skipping Thanksgiving dinner with my friends/co-workers (and am hemming and hawing on the Turkey Trot tomorrow morning) and staying home with my boyfriend. My Thanksgiving menu, you ask? Pulled pork BBQ on yummy bread and, for some semblance of Thanksgiving-ish-ness, green bean casserole. Sounds like a winner to me.

I'm missing my family a lot right now ... I saw them briefly in June at a family party in Pittsburgh. I keep reminding myself that I'll get to see my mom in a week and a half when I roadtrip it to the burgh for my cousin's baby shower. And my parents (and, with the latest turn of events, possibly my brother, too) will be visiting after Christmas. I can't wait.

Even though I'm feeling down, I'm thankful for so much this year. My good job, my parents, theJoshes in my life (boyfriend and brother), my true friends. Oh yes and my yarn-investigating dog:

Gracie, being fluffy

Friday, November 16, 2007

wow, a bunch of firsts!

In the past two days, for the very first time, I:

--called my credit card company about fraud on my account. Take that, lame person who used my credit card number to buy $93 worth of flowers in South Carolina and spent $20 on your pay-as-you-go phone. My credit-card company could not have been more helpful. Boo to your fraudulent charges! I honestly have no idea how someone got my number. The S.C. charge was about three weeks after I used my card ONCE in Charleston - to pay for the hotel. That doesn't mean the number was taken there. It's still scary, though. I'm glad it was resolved so quickly.

--took my dog with me to the bank drive-through window. I've always wanted to do this but never have because I didn't trust my dog out of her crate in the car - now I do, for short trips. The teller was nice and gave her dog treats. =)

--competed in the local WorldQuest competition, repping the newspaper with seven other journalists. Good food and some tough questions. But I came through with some big ones! I knew that EADS made a huge sale of aircraft to Libya, not Lebanon or Venezuela or ... some other controversial country. But I dropped the ball on the question about which foreign nation has the most companies working in Chesapeake. I *edited* this project, for chrissakes. It will haunt me for some time. We lost by two questions (argh!) and came in second in our division. Oh well. We got some nice steel insulated coffee mugs. And I ate some yummy meatballs and crab dip stuff.

--finished my first knitted hat! It's for baby Rookie (my cousin's pregnant and doesn't want to know whether it's a boy or a girl. They're calling it Rookie because they're big football fans.)

baby hat for Rookie

I'm also knitting wee black-and-gold socks. One just needs the toe kitchenered:

wee little sock

Like the matchbox for scale? Me too. Now I should go to sleep ... I pushed my long run back to tomorrow - I'm aiming for about 5.5!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the rav, it keeeels me

Ugh, where does my time go? I spend more time on Ravelry surfing around than I do knitting. This has got to stop. There are something like 40 days before Christmas, and there is no way I'm going to finish five pairs of socks before then. I've done 1 pair, and I'm half way done with another sock. I'm not even going to delude myself into thinking I'll somehow find time to knit four hours a day to get it done.

Also, baby knitting has taken precedence, as my cousin's baby shower is in a few weeks and I'm making black-and-gold booties out of leftover Claudia's Handpainted Yarn. I cast on for a baby hat, too, just for some stockinette sanity knitting.

I think my problem is that I only like to knit when I've got a chunk of time set aside. I'm not a "work a row here and there" kind of knitter. How can I change that? I mean, I don't even know if I want to. Argh.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

ahhh, weekends.

I love my weekend schedule (well, the lack thereof).

8 a.m. Alarm goes off, dutifully climb out of bed to prepare for the week's long run.
8:10 a.m. Walk dog in cold weather, curse about not being in nice warm bed.
8:17 a.m. Eat toast with butter and jam. Yummy - but not helping the not-being-in-bed situation.
8:35 a.m. Tool around on internet, still in pajamas.
9:05 a.m. Decide sleep is needed before embarking on a drive to Mount Trashmore. Alarm is set for 10 a.m.
9:15 a.m. Decide 40 minutes of sleep isn't enough ... set alarm for 10:20 a.m.
10:20 a.m. Alarm goes off, reset it for 10:45.
And so on ...

I finally made it to Trashmore by 12:30. Ran/walked three laps of the lake (4.2 miles, woohoo!). It was a good run - I had a boost in the middle, and then on the last lap I motivated myself by thinking about the fun that was ahead:

"America's Next Top Model," my robe made out of minky fabric, and my second attempt at homemade wedding soup (motto: more spinach, fewer noodles). And, oh yes, knitting.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

monkeying around

I am loving my monkey sock!

Monkey sock, first repeat done

I cast on Thursday night and, as of this morning, am nearly done with the second repeat. I modified the pattern to include no purls, a la this pair. It makes for a much faster pair of socks. I'm also making it a 10-row repeat instead of 11 (getting rid of the final row of all knitting stitches). It's a pretty fast knit, even for me. (I had to frog four rounds or so before I decided to do the all-knit variety ... picking up 64 stitches is pretty stressful.

I'm so addicted to the monkey that I'm going to take a really fast shower to squeeze in some more knitting time before work!

EDIT: I don't know why the photo is cropped so awkwardly. If you click on the photo, you can see a full-size version.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

knitting update

I finished my mom's socks! Unfortunately I haven't taken any pictures of the pair all finished. I'm so happy with how they turned out.

Aaaand I cast on for a pair of Monkeys! I'm using Thank Ewe sock yarn in Firedancer. They're for my brother's fiancee. I started with a stockinette pattern but lost all the stitches on one needle, so after frogging and much deliberation, I decided to go off the deep end and try Monkey. I'm not even in the actual pattern yet, just a few rounds into the cuff, but I'm loving it (k1tbl, p1) and think I'll use it on future stockinette socks. It just looks really smart and snappy. I'm hoping the pattern won't be too scary - I've read a lot of people who say Monkeys are really easy and fun, so maybe that will hold true for me, too. I've never done yarnovers, or ktbl, and never used a chart. By the end ... I should be a master, right?!