Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry Christmas!

brother and sister

I'm back from my trip to Ohio to surprise my brother when he got home from basic training for leave. He definitely didn't expect me. It was a very fun, very sleepless weekend. I got to see my parents' new house, which is nearly done and totally gorgeous. I can't wait for them to move in.

I also got to meet their new-ish dog Husky. They took him in after their neighbors in South Carolina couldn't keep him anymore. He is huge (about 90 pounds) and very mellow. I can't wait to see how Gracie turns his world upside-down in a few days when we head up there for a week. Here is Husker Du:

close-up of Husker Du

It was a fabulous weekend and I'm extra psyched for our trip there this weekend. I am hoping for lots of knitting time (to finish my coworker's Old Shale scarf - pics to come soon - and to work on something for me, finally!).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

blah food poisoning

This post goes out to a certain restaurant that I am almost certain gave me food poisoning from its guacamole. Josh got it for me around 9 p.m., so maybe it had been sitting out for a while. Whatever the case, I've had a horribly upset stomach, chills, and was afraid I was going to barf for quite some time last night. It's eased off this morning, but I still am getting these waves of nausea, so I'm going to skip my six-mile run today. I hatehatehate skipping runs, but I don't want to get (even more) sick before my trip this weekend. I might try to squeeze in a run (even if it's only a few miles, not all 6) at the shiny athletic facility at my mom's college tomorrow.

I'm so antsy for my trip. I've been running around doing errands, and that helps keep my mind off it, but now it's almost here! I hope my brother is totally surprised. Cross your fingers for good weather and flights that are on time! (I'm connecting at LaGuardia on the way up and Philadelphia on the way back.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

wide awake

163/365: wide awake

This photo is a couple days old but it fits my mood perfectly. I have been lying down for an hour but my mind is racing - about finishing my brother's Ohio State mittens (which are nowhere near being done) and starting a cowl or scarf for my co-worker, B. Right now I am oh so enamored with this Monkey cowl on Ravelry. But maybe I want to make an Old Shale cowl. Oh, the choices!! I hope to pin this down before I head to Ohio in six days - I can't really work on my brother's mittens around him (or my dad, since he got the same in blue/gold), and I don't want to bring the scarf-y project and realize I'm working on really wrong-sized needles.

But anyhow ... I have two FOs to show. My family exchanges ornaments every year, and I bought some for my parents, but I couldn't find a good one for my brother. So I made one!

FO: ornament for my brother

I knit it in less than a day (and almost less than one episode of "The Biggest Loser." ha.) out of Koigu scraps. Maybe next year, I'll make some for my Mom and Dad. I'm thinking of colorwork itty-bitty stockings...

Also, my dad's mittens are finished.

FO: Pittens

Click the pic for yarn-y details. I'm really pleased with them. They softened up great in a bath of water and V05 shampoo (I have some wool wash but can't find it right now!). I wish I could master the jogless join for striping colors, though.

And, of course, I've been busy loving my new camera. Mostly I'm taking pictures of Gracie and FOs I can't show because the recipients read this blog. But that's OK! Since I can't sleep, I'm going to work on a post to save for publication after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

oh. my. goodness. (or, early Christmas!)

Josh and I exchanged presents early - well, he got one of his three gifts (the other two are at a friend's house and in an Amazon warehouse somewhere, waiting to be shipped). He loved his MST3k 20th Anniversary DVD set. He is obsessed with this show. He spent 10 minutes looking through all the goodies, including the statue of Crow T. Robot. I think he liked it!

Josh and Crow T. Robot

What prompted early Christmas was a 10-day return policy on my gift. I had a feeling I knew what it was, and I was right ... a digital SLR!!

I have been saying for ages that I wanted to start saving for a Nikon D40. And he went and bought me one. I think he spent too much money, he promises he got a good deal on it. But I am just jumping around with excitement. I was so happy I cried. Seriously.

so happy I cried!

I've attached the camera strap and the battery is charging. I'm treating it very, very gingerly - I'm kind of afraid of it, but I'm going to head to bed now and start reading the manuel. Eeeeee!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

hooray weekends!

This was a three-day weekend, thanks to the quirks of our scheduling system at work. I'm on a monthlong rotation of having Saturdays and Sundays off - but I had this Friday off, too. I've been busy baking cookies (chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip) - about 8 dozen of them, for a work surprise down the road - under the tutelage of my kitchen supervisor who was hoping I'd drop something her way. Sorry, pup.

my baking helper

I made dinner tonight, too - a roast in the crockpot, green bean casserole (Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic gives it some extra zing) and corn.

I finished the second Pitt mitten (Rav link) for my dad and blocked them tonight - they're sitting on the washer as the dryer dries a load of laundry, so they should be dry very quickly. I've already cast on for a pair for my brother (in scarlet and gray for Ohio State). I don't think I'll have any problem finishing them - the pattern works up really quick, and I'm going to stick to all my notes from the first pair so I won't have to come up with a new stripe pattern or anything.

Here's what's left on my Christmas knitting list: my brother's mittens, and a cowl or scarf for my co-worker. (I've abandoned the idea of making a hat for my boyfriend, as he's always warm and it's rarely cold enough to need a hat here. And, um, I've done all my shopping for him and am running out of time for knitting gifts.)

I bought two beautiful skeins of sock yarn at my new favorite Etsy shop EVER, Fearless Fibers. What can I say, there was a sale, and I was feeling a little shortchanged from my trip to Pittsburgh. I only bought sale yarn, and it's amazing yardage (550 yards) for the price. Pictures will come soon enough. But seriously, check it out for some gorgeous laceweight and sock yarn.

I've saved my big news for last - I just booked a plane ticket to be in Ohio two weeks from now, so I'll be there when my brother gets home from basic training for his Christmas break. We are keeping it a surprise to him. To say that I can't wait for this trip would be a huge understatement. The day after I booked the ticket, I got a letter from him saying he is having a tough go of it, so I'm really glad I booked the ticket. He said he's not good at shooting a gun (and is worried about having to repeat basic training because of it), he's not close with anyone in his platoon, that sort of thing. So yeah, I can't wait. I'll be there for three nights, back in Virginia for five nights, and then back up there for a visit. Whew.