Sunday, June 29, 2008

I can haz winter?

I'm so over summertime. I refuse to go outside until I get so cabin-fevered that I take the dog for a 30-minute walk and we return and collapse in a heap, both of us panting, and I again vow to never leave the artificially cooled apartment. Repeat.

I've been really cranky lately and I know the heat has something to do with it. I really, really, really missing running. And I refuse to get up at 5 a.m. to run after going to bed at 1 a.m. I just can't do it. I'd get run over by a car, running while half asleep. So I guess I'll just have to substitute it with the gym, which is not the same (as much as I want it to be), until it gets to a more reasonable temperature circa September or October.

I've been knitting lots, though - on my brother's sock and on this:

loooove this sock

I love it so much. The colors are mesmerizing, I can't put it down. I'm a little worried about it being too tight - I cast on 68 stitches on a size 1 needles. We shall see. Socks on DPNs are so impossible to try on.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

my first yarn club

I have been wanting to try a club for a long time but I've never felt the desire to pay $220 to join the Socks that Rock Club (FYI, for those who don't know, that gets you six skeins of yarn in the club - and patterns to be fair - while the same amount could get you 10-11 skeins without all the foofaraw that goes with it. I'd rather get more yarn, but that's my choice and it's not right for all). Anyway. A few weeks back when I saw a post on the Knitterly Things blog about a new sock club starting, I decided to give it a whirl. Only three months, reasonably priced, etc. And she's a Pittsburgher, which in my extreme loyalty to the city made it even more 'right.'

So my first shipment arrived Monday, and I loooove it:

Vesper Sock Yarn Club, June 2008

The colorway is Lovely Lollipop Sky. It's my first self-striping yarn, can you believe it? I think I might make a pair of Jaywalkers with it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

a productive weekend

I have some more FOs to show! Big surprise, it's more baby boy knits:

socks for the twins = done

Finally finished the Lorna's Laces multi socks for my co-worker who's having twins soon. She's home for the duration now so I'll have to give them to her husband (also a reporter - very convenient). I'm glad I finished them before she gave birth!

I also made a hat from that blue Malabrigo I picked up the other day:

baby hat = done

It's for my co-worker Brian's wife who's having a boy in November. I knit this hat in one day - my first one-day knit EVER. Can you blame me? It was my first time knitting with Malabrigo. I took this puppy to the beach and knit the whole way through "Get Smart" (which was very funny and much better than the reviews I've read).

I made a little mosaic of all the blue knitting I've done in the past few months, check it out here or at flickr for the details.

so many baby boys

I might have one more boy knit in me for the recipient of the Malabrigo hat - probably a pair of socks from the leftover LL. And I'll find out in a few weeks what the next pregnant co-worker is having. (She thinks it's a girl.) I am surprisingly not yet fatigued of all the baby knitting. I think it's because they generally go so fast.

Last night I made something that didn't involve yarn - peach cobbler.

peach cobbler

It was suuuper yummy and I don't even like peaches that much. Josh was really happy, though. Hopefully he won't have to wait another year and 10 months of dating to get another peach cobbler outta me!

Friday, June 20, 2008

a productive day

Yep, today was productive - I made a tomato and mozzarella salad (YUM) and pico de gallo based on this yummy recipe I saw linked to on Shannon's blog:

yum, pico!

It's not as juicy as I would have liked, and I had to substitute lemon juice for lime, but it's still pretty yummy. I think I need to mush up some of the tomatoes to make it a little runnier next time.

I also finished the cowl for my friend Lori:

finished cowl

Aaaaand this was all before I was called into work overtime tonight (five minutes before the shift started!). I was binding off when the phone rang, so I threw the cowl in my bag and weaved in the ends at work. She seemed to really like it, so I'm happy! I took the photo of myself wearing it amid running around the apartment like a crazy person while getting ready for work. In about 15 minutes, I changed out my pajamas, did my hair and walked the dog. WHEW.

Here is the yarn I bought at one of my LYSes on Wednesday (first, two photos of Malabrigo, then some Plymouth DK for skully socks - my first colorwork, yikes!

Malabrigo in Damask Rose

Malabrigo in Tuareg

future skull-y projects

Today I also bought the makings of peach cobbler - it's my boyfriend's favorite dessert and we always joke about how I never make it for him. I was going to make it tonight, but I had to work. Tomorrow it will be peach cobbler!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

it's my weekend again?!

Man, four-day weeks go by so quickly! Today I worked on a project for about half of my shift, and it flew by. Before work, I took a trip to one of my LYSes that I haven't visited in a while. (One of the two gender-to-be-determined work pregnancies is, indeed, a boy. So more baby boy knitting is ahead! I told my co-worker Laurie that it's up to her to break the trend!) Anyhow, I enjoyed the Knitting Corner's new selection - and managed to spend about $30 on some notions (and yarn for baby projects - including Mmmmmalabrigo!). Pictures will come soon.

So yes, it's my weekend. I have no plans for tomorrow except to work out, knit and listen to Tom Waits - his latest tour began Tuesday, and I'm a little sad it wasn't anywhere near me. I have goals - to finish the toe on the last baby sock, and to cast off on Lori's cowl. And Friday I am planning on the beach and seeing "Get Smart" at one of the local Cinema Cafes - movie theaters that serve yummy food while you watch.

What's *not* stated but will be happening nonetheless is a trip to the gym each of those days! If I may say so myself, I've been pretty good about working out - four days a week. 60 minutes of cardio two days, 30 minutes of cardio + weights the other two. I think it's pretty much a routine now, and I'm really enjoying it (except for the loud-mouthed smelly cigarette-smoking woman who seems to go to the gym at the same time as me and comment on EVERYTHING on the TV. But anyway).

Today I booked a plane ticket for my brother to visit for four nights in August. I'm already looking forward to it! I imagine we'll go to the beach a few times, cook some nice meals (and go to some seafood places) and it will be a blast. He is very deserving of a trip to the beach, this past year has not been the kindest to him. I'm so glad we are pals.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm getting my cowl on

cowl in progress

A friend is turning 30 on Sunday and for once, I planned ahead and knitted a birthday gift (well, it's not done yet but it will be before her birthday). She rides her bike to work so I think this will be good when the cold weather returns. I am using two balls of Artful Yarn Reality with really small needles (US 6) - I think the ball band calls for 10 or so. I just knit really loose, I suppose. I was inspired by this cowl.

I also cast on last night for a stockinette sock in STR Fire on the Mountain. I love it so much, I'm definitely keeping this entry short so I can knit a little more before work. The colors are crazy and I'm only on the ribbing. Photos to come, as long as the colors stay nice and don't pool too crazy. Well, even then I'll probably take a photo of it for posterity's sake.

Oh yeah! Saturday was WWKIP Day. I met up with Tiffany and Tasha at Starbucks for a few hours. It was great to have a three-day weekend, and a Saturday at that. I am nearly done with the baby socks for my co-worker who's having twins - I just need to finish the toe on the final sock, yay! That evening I went to the Tides game with Josh and two friends from work and knit on the cowl there (I got my tickets through the local knitting guild though didn't know many of the knitters around. What can I say, I'm shy around strangers!).

And one more thing ... check out my mom's Babette Blanket in progress! It's looking mighty fine.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Sooo yeah it's been a week (!) since I last posted. I'm sorry about that. I've been having some major left thumb/thumb pad/wrist pain over the past few days, so I saw my doctor today ... I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. (This wasn't before a trip to the ER last night after work when I thought I had internal bleeding because of some weird bruises in my left middle and ring fingers. But enough about that.)

I've been mondo-stressed about this thumb/wrist pain, it first felt like tingly throbbing (like when you shut your fingers in the car door) and has settled into constant achiness. I don't know if I overextended my thumb somehow or what. The nurse practitioner recommended anti-inflammatory, so I'm popping Aleve once or twice a day and I took it upon myself to get a new sticky bandage and I'll keep it wrapped while at work (which totally helped tonight) and any other time I'm using it. And I'm really going to try to cut back on using the computer at home (and, if I do, avoid using my left hand).

I forgot to ask the nurse practitioner about whether knitting is OK. I'm going on the assumption that if I feel OK, knitting is OK. Unfortunately I haven't felt OK in days. I have to wait until Aug. 1 to see a hand specialist, because that was the next available appointment, which stinks, but I'm really going to take good care of it and hope the pain lessens before then.

Apart from the wrist thing, working out has kept me from blogging. I've been a good girl, going to the gym Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday. An hour of cardio on Mondays and Thursdays, 45 minutes Tuesdays and Fridays. I did some light weight work yesterday for the first time, and I'm going to try to make that a regular thing as long as my wrist cooperates. (And maybe it will strengthen it?? I must research this.)

The only downside is all this gym-going is making me tired and I'm not picking up around the apartment as well as I should be! Case in point - instead of doing laundry/vacuuming/cleaning as I normally do on my non-gym Wednesday, I went back to bed after the doc appointment and slept for two hours. Between my general tiredness and relieving the stress of the past few days, I think the sleep was much needed.

But enough about stress and wrists. It's my weekend, and a three-day one at that. I tend to prefer staying at home to going out, but today I am tickled because I got invites for a lot of stuff ... sushi tomorrow, the beach Friday (followed by happy hour with another friend), and a knitting afternoon Saturday for WWKIP Day with a pal I haven't seen in way too long! And I'm already going to the Tides game for KIP Day Saturday night with Josh and some friends and their adorable babe! And there is pick-up baseball before work Sunday. I think all of this will be a perfect remedy to the blahs I've had lately.

P.S. The debacle I mentioned in my last post? I worked out a temporary fix with the credit card company. They're lowering my rate to something much more reasonable, and it may go back to 0% after the next monthly review. So, yay. =)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This is me, failing:

I got a call from American Express on Monday saying that my account was overdue by about two weeks. This freaked me out because I am super anal retentive about my bills, always paying them on time, etc. I was in the middle of running errands so I drove home to check my paperwork. I paid it on time - I even had written down the confirmation number from my online bill pay through my checking account. So I investigated my bank account ... turns out I made the payment to "American Education Services" - my student loan provider. Not American Express. They're right next to each other, alphabetically, in the online bill pay center. Oops.

I quickly made the outstanding payment to American Express and called them back, and asked if this would affect my credit report and/or my 0% (introductory, till, oh, early next year) rate on the card. Well, my rate is now 17.99% and they said they can't change it. This means I'd be paying $600 in interest in the next six months before they can look at lowering it again. I actually cried on the phone with the woman, I was so upset. All the explaining in the world about the accidental payment to a similarly named company did nothing. I felt - and still feel - so dumb about it.

So now I'm going to investigate transferring my balance to a different company to get either a 0% rate or a low fixed rate so I can just keep paying down the balance like I've been doing. And once I figure out which is the best option, I'm going to put my game face on and call American Express and tell them "match it or lose my business."

And another example of me failing...
I had start-itis today and cast on for a simple stockinette cowl for a friend's birthday gift. I got out my Options needles, set it up, cast on, and found that the needle was too long. I had picked the wrong cable length. FAIL.

So I switched to a shorter cable, cast on, and found that I had too little yarn by about six stitches. FAIL.

When I looked at the needle, I actually had re-attached the needle tips to the same, too-long cable in the first place. FAIL.

So I got the shorter cable (and actually checked this time), cast on, and found that it was still too short. FAIL.

I dove into my DPN stash and found the same size DPNs, never been opened. So, I set it aside to let my temper cool, and I'll cast on later. One friend's birthday was yesterday, and another's is next week. I ordered a gift from Etsy for one friend, but someone's getting a late birthday present no matter what. I feel like I can never get ahead on knitting - I'm always days behind. Sigh.

My life hasn't been *that* full of fail, to be honest. I rejoined the city's fitness center last week and have been going very consistently, doing at least 50 minutes of cardio and then some machine/weight work. I feel a little guilty for not going today, but I went the past two days (even after the Amex drama-llama), and I'm going the next two days. Everyone needs a break. And I need to clean the apartment. I'm glad to be back in a gym routine, that's for sure.

Tomorrow's my only day off - I'm working Friday for someone and then next week, I will be off three days in a row. Sweet! That Saturday (the 14th) is WWKIP day, and I'm going to the Tides game with Josh, and my friend Janice and her hubby and baby. We got tickets through the local knitting guild so we should be sitting with other knitters. I am really looking forward to it!