Monday, December 28, 2009

2009, in review

Let's have a brief review of 2009 - since Thursday, honestly, I probably won't be in any condition to make a coherent post.

Finished objects:

First pair of Eesti Trail Socks for my father...

Who knows how many pairs of baby booties...

Baby headband with changeable flowers...

Dishcloths out the wazoo...

Embossed Leaves Socks for my niece...

Socks for me - but of course no pictures. And my Sonnet!!! How could I forget...

Failures? Well... Not calculating gauge correctly on Sonnet and running out of yarn not once but TWICE.

Successes: Knitting my very first sweater. Knitting lots and lots of socks. Learning to knit around a puppy!

Learned: how to do colorwork. How to correctly calculate gauge.... maybe! The kindness of Ravelers and fellow knitters. The importance of giving of myself when I have enough to give, so that I might be empty and open to receiving when it is another's time to give.

Looking forward to 2010!
My goals related to projects for others... finishing my father's second pair of Eesti socks. Completing my brother's Eesti socks. He's picked excellent colors and I'm excited to beginthem. A pair of booties for each my brother and his wife. Stranded colorwork Christmas stockings for Bradley and Carlina. Socks for my mother. Socks for my brother-in-law, if he's interested.
Goals related to my own self... to finish my Branching Out. Knit more socks for myself! Move the buttons in a bit on my Sonnet so that I can wear it.
The skills I want to learn... more stranded colorwork. How to do mitered squares so I can join the blankie club!
Skills NOT to learn: how to spin. Getting into the whole world of yarn creation is WAY OVER MY HEAD. And dyeing yarn. I love picking other people's color creations; trying to create my own? HAHAHAHHAHA. That would REALLY open the door to madness!!!

Well, that's it for now. 2009 was an awful wretched year. AWFUL. Too many people died; too many people moved away; too much loss and too much grief. Twenty-ten had better be an amazing year... I'm going to be doing my part to make it so.

Monday, December 14, 2009


It is with great pleasure that I announce the completion of my father's first pair of socks! These socks are my first attempt at colorwork other than simple stripes. The socks are GIANT - they come up to my father's knees - and very very warm. Alpaca does that! I have already cast on for his second pair; these will be brown and cream. Here are two crappy iPhone pix:
Those are the completed ones... it's hard to see the colorwork, I know, but it's there. I'll get a better picture soon, I promise.

Also transitioning from WIP to FO this week is a big presentation at work. The firm is hosting a CPE (continuing professional education) for our clients, and some of us employees are lucky enough to get to present. I am one of them. Can you HEAR the excitement???!!! Cause it is SO NOT THERE!!! I think the CPE is a great value for our clients but I am not exactly thrilled to be one of the presenters. Well, one way or another, it'll be over on Wednesday.

Oh crap, the puppy is trying to be Superdog again, so I have to run... Hope everyone had a good weekend and has a very good week.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


It's a wonderful thing and an awful thing all at the same time. Some time ago, I signed up for the MobileMe service from Apple. For a while now, I've used the Google sync service to get my calendar from work onto my phone and saved my contacts into Outlook here at home. Well... MobileMe is over the air, immediate, and not dependent on one of my personal computers. Getting it set up was pretty easy, except for the part where my contacts were duplicated and triplicated! I also realized that my music was stored all over the place: on my external hard drive in two different places and one place on my laptop!

Trying to untangle the mess only made it worse - no surprise, right? I think I finally have it sorted. iTunes is running in the background, adding all my music BACK to my library. I had to reupdate all of my applications, but I haven't lost any of my music (crossing my fingers). For a couple of days, I thought all of my U2 music was gone, and I was ready to punch something, hard. BUT! I found it.

Technology and knitting go hand-in-hand as well. I don't like reading from charts; it's hard for me to keep up with the correct row, and going back and forth from knitting to chart to count gives me a headache. Being a numbers nerd, I have a tendency to use Excel to convert a chart to text-based instructions. I've read on Ravelry that there are some sites out on the web that convert charts to text. Being able to get in touch with other knitters around the country when I ran out of yarn for my Sonnet would have been impossible if I wasn't online. Drooling over the beautiful sock yarns today in KnitPick's e-mail wouldn't have happened! I love how so many knitters embrace technology to make it easier to indulge our interests.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Tonight marks my first sale on my ArtFire shop!! My friend J.I. commissioned a pair of baby booties in green and white for a friend/relative's baby (can't remember right now which she said). I tried to find matching green buttons but was not able to find the right shade of green. Here are a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure.
I hope the recipients like them! I am sure they will...

The puppy is being a holy terror. Saturday, he nipped my upper arm, on the back where it's sensitive and delicate, and I have a nice bluey-purple bruise there. He got the outer edge of my right hand tonight; that will be fun tomorrow when I'm typing and writing all day at work.

This past Saturday, I ran in the OUC Half-Marathon and 5k. I have been training for the half-marathon for a couple of months, but the longest run I'd managed had been 8.7 miles. My knees ache and hurt a lot when I run, but I had hoped that lifting weights in addition to the running would help. Wellllll... it didn't. By mile 9, I was dying. Of course, mile 9 is where the hills started - bricked hills, at that. Did I mention that it was cold (relatively speaking) and raining? Yeah, it was. About 60 degrees (hey, I did say relatively speaking) and misting, at a minimum. EWWWWW. Not fun. Bradley brought Jack and they were waiting for me at the finish line - that was one of the best things I've ever seen :D For now, I'm done with running. I'm taking a break this week from exercising (other than chasing around the steeenkeeeng dog) and am allowing myself to have 'bad' foods if I want.

OK. I think that's all I have to say--- oh wait, regarding the socks for my dad: I'm working on shaping the gusset on the second sock. I am quietly and unobtrusively enforcing Papa-Puppy time so that they can bond and I can get some knitting time ;-)

Next week I should have the pictures of my dad's finished socks. I can't wait to show them off!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


.... I do not has them. A puppy has eaten them!!!

He's gone from a tiny little lapful to a total lapful. His name is Captain Jack and he is a total boob pirate.

Oh wait, did I say that out loud??

Definitely not a dog person. Definitely not a kid person. My temper is too hot, and it's just ... I'm not ready for the 24/7/365 commitment.

And I hate the time suck away from my knitting!

I knit three washcloths for my mother for Christmas and packaged them up with some wonderful Burt's Bees soaps and hand salve. I made a neato flowered shirt for my oldest niece, based on a Martha Stewart wedding pattern...
She's a minor, so I've hidden her pretty young face from all the internet creeps! I made hair ties for the two younger nieces in pretty purples ----

WHOA something else I'm not used to is the MALODOROUS STENCH that emits from this dog's rump!!! I think I am going to VOMIT. ARGH!!!! He's worse than Bradley!

Anyways. So, all the knitting for Christmas gifts is done; now I can get back to knitting on my daddio's socks. I've finished the second sock's star chart, so now I get to zip through the rest of the sock. YAY!

Monday, November 2, 2009

More travelling!

This time, we are travelling with friends up to a cabin in the North Carolina mountains. The weather is supposed to be a little cool but nothing really frigid - low 60s during the day and 40s at night. Perfect knitting weather! We will also be close to my alma mater, so I am excited to stop by and see the campus again. It's been seven years since I've been there, but it looks like the campus hasn't changed much.

When I visited my family last week, I was able to pick up a Knit Kit and was SO glad I had it. No hassle at the airport, and I had everything I needed for the plane and once I got there. When they first came out in pink and beige, I was very excited about the idea but not enthused about the colors at ALL. I was so happy to see the black kits come out and am very glad I was able to buy one of them.

I bought most of the yarn tonight for the next commission, but I'm having a hard time finding the colors the buyer wants for the last set of booties. I am going to check online and order tonight so the yarn is here when I get back from the trip. I'll have plenty to work on on the trip - the first two sets of booties plus my father's socks. The drive is gonna be a long one so I should have plenty of time in the car to knit. Bradley is gonna love driving my Mini in the mountains! Although thinking about it, considering how much alcohol is going with us, I might need to take some bulky weight yarn so I can KUI on a scarf or two!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Man, I've been bad with the posting. Life has been busy!

Bradley is bricking up the old windows in the living room. The living room was originally a porch but was enclosed at some point. The windows that originally looked out of the bathrooms and master bedroom were blocked on the bathroom and bedroom side, but were left open on the living room side. We want to cover the wall with corrugated steel, so he's bricking them up to provide sound insulation. It's a relief not to worry about noise anymore!

My Sonnet is finnnnnallllllly finished! We visited some of my family this last weekend, and getting it finished was my #1 goal for the trip. I need to run it through the dryer to get all the cat hair off of it - Pax found it and made a bed on it, so it's been accented with pretty white hair >.<

Next project is a commission that's still being detailed out, but I'm still chugging away on the socks for my father. Dad used to do IT work at a sock manufacturer, so when he tried on the completed first sock, he tried to suggest ways to tighten up the foot. I got some giggles out of the conversation because knitting socks on a machine at, oh, probably a billion stitches a second is completely different than hand-knitting socks. He can be grateful that someone is *hand-knitting* socks for him! :-D I know he is glad to be getting them and was just trying to be helpful so I'm not offended at all - just amused :D

Well - it's time to go do some more chores around the house, so I'm out. HOPEFULLY I will be able to post on Monday with fun updates from the weekend!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

sock obsession

I love socks. LOVE. I love the speed, the portability, the tempest in a teacup-ness of socks. I can learn new knitting techniques on a small scale; try outrageous patterns or colors -- or BOTH! -- in one little item. One of my favorite designers is Hunter Hammersen, and you can find her sock designs at I am drooling over several of her patterns while I work on the socks for my father... I really like the Bines pattern, although I'd probably make them a little taller than her pictures. I have some lovely green variegated sock yarn that would be perfect for those. The Popped socks totally catch my eye - the sinuous curves of the pattern make me want to use a green yarn, something close to a Slytherin color. The Propitiate socks actually remind me of the beach, and I have a lovely blue cotton yarn that would be good for those. My next dilemma is finding a pair of brown work shoes that I can wear socks with; my dress shoes are too snug to wear socks with - only hose.

As far as the socks for my father - I've turned the heel and am working on the foot. I think I've gotten the foot long enough to start the toe decreases, but I am hoping to get Bradley to try it on so I can be sure. His foot is wider than my father's but about the same length. Hopefully I can take some pictures while he has it on (as long as he doesn't run as soon as I pull out my camera).

A coworker has commissioned two baby headbands; they are going to be adorable. I have to learn how to crochet for the flowers that will be attached to them, but no worries; crochet can't steal me away from my true love of knitting.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Is crafting a hobby for you? What defines a hobby to you?

I don't think of knitting as a "hobby". I don't feel like I have a "hobby" - I love to knit, to pick out colors and fiber contents and patterns, and then watch something grow off my needles. It keeps me from fidgeting; it helps me pay attention and hear more of whatever I'm listening to. If I can't do something with my hands, I zone out and tune out whatever is going on around me. Or fall asleep.

I have been wanting to read more lately but haven't made the effort to get to the library. I've also been wondering about the Kindle, but found out from a friend over on LJ that Amazon has a Kindle app for the iPhone. Downloaded it last night, picked a book to sample, and yep - I'm hooked. I'm definitely signing up for the mobileme subscription next payday; if I have this much of my life on this little piece of glass, plastic, and metal, I do NOT want to lose it. My knitting counters, a Kindle app, four different e-mail accounts, my Facebook & Myspace accounts... yeah, I need to be able to wipe this thing if I ever lose it. I'm wondering if I can get knitting books on the Kindle app, or if it would be worthwhile, given the screen size.

Anyways, this post was supposed to be up yesterday but I got swamped and forgot.

Who's on Twitter? Anyone?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pattern Problems

So, I have to confess to spewing a lot of bad words over the weekend while working on the Eesti Hiking socks for my dad. The pattern isn't right in the book, so I found the corrections on Interweave's errata pages -- but THOSE were wrong, too!!! I was quite unhappy that I had to keep searching online and on Ravelry for what other people did to correct the problems.

Turns out, what you have to do is increase and decrease 10, not 8, stitches on rows 4 and 19. THEN you repeat the entire star pattern, just like it is marked in my version of the book - but NOT like it's indicated on the "corrected" chart on the website, which has you repeating only 2/3 of the pattern, not the full star band.

Once I figured out the problems, I was able to sail right along. My knitting style is Continental, and I grew up knitting English, so I was able to do the colorwork relatively easily. Slowly - but easily. I tried to use Continental for both colors, but I couldn't get it to work very well. I need to do some more reading/you-tubing to find out what I was doing incorrectly. I finished the colorwork last night, so now it's onward with the rest of the sock.

I'm still in love with the yarn, thankfully, even though the chart has a lot of loathing now. At least I have it figured out now, so the next sock and the other 2 pairs I'll be doing of this pattern will be MUCH easier.

Friday, September 18, 2009

quick update from real job

WHOA SLACKER. That's all I have to say!

The 9/15 deadline passed us this week, and now we're focusing on the 10/15 deadline. Yay. Except not really. Whatever. Can't get into work stuff on a public blog... am too paranoid about all the people who get fired for decisions/posts about their jobs.

Uh, house stuff: the door frame to the garage is finally finished. Just needs to be painted and then that little project will be done. Then we can move on to painting the office area. I think we might be working on the corrugated steel wall in the living room first; once we get that up and see how it works with the floor, we'll have a better idea of what colors will be most appealing. We've also been looking for a kitchen table. I've hit my limit for not having one so it's time. We measured the room and hopefully will hit Ikea for some inspiration this weekend. The kitchen and eating area have such dark wood that we're pretty firmly set on a glass/metal table. Adding more wood would probably make it far too dark in the room.

Knitting: finished a set of garterlac dishcloths: 2 red and 2 yellow. Next set will be lime green and brown. Also started on the Eesti Hiking Socks for my father. The City Tweed heavy worsted yarn is delightful! I love the way it feels and knits up. Doing colorwork is interesting - stripes aren't that hard, and I'm about to begin the star pattern tonight.

Well - gotta get back to the real job. Booooo!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer's end

Summer in Florida doesn't end at Labor Day. No, the hot weather and afternoon thundershowers continue well into September; maybe in October, we'll see some lower temperatures. It's not time for me to pull out long sleeves or sweaters yet, and definitely not time to pull out the wool yarn -- unless it's for a Christmas gift or something special!

This past long weekend was a lot of fun. Laughing, playing, story-telling and story-making with friends! A small group of us went out Friday evening for some social time; Saturday, Bradley went diving for lobster with some friends down in West Palm Beach. Saturday night I ate lasagna with my friend LB - she makes delicious food! Sunday was cooking out by the pool, cannonball contests with friends, and then general silliness as the night progressed. Yesterday, we lounged around - I knit, and Bradley snored away while Anthony Bourdain showed us some great places to eat in Chile, the Rust Belt, and Sri Lanka.

I finished the first of the Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks, and I'm not sure what I think of the way the toe looks. My office-mate really liked it this morning when I showed her, but I'm not convinced yet. These socks are for me, so it's entirely up to my mood whether I rip out the toe and re-do it. I am thinking right now I'll wait until I'm finished with the second sock to decide on the first toe.

Then, I cast on Criminy Jicket's Garterlac Dishcloths in a pretty buttery yellow cotton yarn. Definitely a learning experience - I have a new cast-on method in my arsenal now, along with learning how to entrelac. The yarn calls for size 7 needles, but I didn't like how open the stitches were, so I frogged the whole thing and started over with size 5s. In my recent KnitPicks order, I bought a pair of the new Zephyr tips - in size 5 - so I decided to try them out with this pattern. I really like the needles, although I'm convinced I'm going to break them. They are a little more flexible than I'm used to; the Clover bamboo DPNs I use are flexible but I know that bamboo bends quite a bit before it breaks. Plastic/acrylic? Not so sure where the line is between bending and breaking.

Well - time to leave the computer and get back to reality. See you Thursday!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor day labors

This time of year at work gets busy. Many people are surprised - "I thought accounting was busy only in the spring!" I wish! The returns that were extended the spring are due in September and October. I'm in good shape with the returns assigned to me; almost all of the CIRA entities are out. CIRA = Common Interest Realty Associations. Homeowners' associations, timeshare associations, condominiums, etc. The rules for them are weird(er) than normal, so all of the ones the firm prepares come to me. I was even able to handle a surprise addition of 15 entities a month away from the deadline with grace.

The knitting is going well. I'm almost to the toe decreases on my first Diagonal Cross-Rib Sock. Then that one will go into hiding while I start on my father's socks. The Fox shows I watch are starting this month, which means a lot of time planted in front of the boob tube, which means a lot of time to knit.

Balancing the time to knit for the Sirens and myself is going to be a challenge. I need to be sure I can produce and meet my commitment to them, but I also have projects promised to my family members (like the socks) and things I'd like to make for myself. One way to juggle everything is to have a day dedicated to each part of my life, with certain things fitted in every day. Say, do 30 min of chores every day, gym on M/T/R/F, and then fit in a personal knit night, a Sirens knit night, a sooper-sekrit project #2 night, a bum around night, and a night to be flexible or do things with my honey. Then that leaves the weekends wide open for house projects or catching up from the week.

Tonight and last night, my honey has been finishing the door frame for the door to the garage. He is also going to put in the baseboards, and then it will be time to PAINT. I can't wait! The walls are a bland tan with an interesting set of horizontal stripes around the room, which I'd like to leave. So we need to find a blue that we like... he's nixed green since there's a lot of it in the slate floor and he's concerned it would be overwhelming. I am looking forward to getting some sample tubs of paint and having fun patching the wall with colors.

Monday, August 31, 2009


My Sonnet is nearly done! I remembered to toss it in the laundry that my wonderful B does, and I was able to lay it out flat for drying. The sleeves evened up and the material feels wonderful. I need to brush up on seaming, and then I'll be ready to get it together.

I've learned how to Magic Loop! My friend RS at the nearby knitting group showed me the technique on a hat, and I tried it out a few weeks later on a sock. I'm working on the Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks from Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave in KnitPicks Essential Tweed in Ash. I LOVE IT. I love this pattern, I love magic looping, I love this yarn... SO PLEASED.

The yarn for my next project is here. I'm going to be working on two pair of Eesti Hiking Socks for my father. Same book, also a KnitPicks yarn, but this yarn is City Tweed HW. I have picked out some great colors to use, and the yarn is so soft. I'm finishing the first sock above before I start on these... so it's a good thing we have a lot of TV to watch ;)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Home stretch

I am so close to finished with the Sonnet! The last package of yarn arrived in the mail late last week, and after all the birthday parties, I was finally able to wind up a ball and graft it in Sunday afternoon. I am so so SO grateful for my fellow Ravelers! I've reached the top of the second sleeve; for about an inch or two, I simply knit - no increases or decreases. The decreases go quickly once they begin. I'm finally home for the day after my evening Pilates class, so I think I'm going to make a small bag of popcorn, turn on a DVR'd TV show, and FINISH THIS SWEATER! Hahahaha. OK. I will start seaming tomorrow - but the KNITTING will get done TONIGHT!

Then I can order the yarn for all the socks I have in my queue and work on knitting up some goodies for the Sirens. :D

Ahhhh life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Slammed summer

Well - I'm in the crazy part of summer. Many of my friends and coworkers have birthdays this month, and it's the last full month before the September 15th deadline. Which means that my stress level increases dramatically!

I'm so close to finished with my Sonnet but I have run out of yarn YET AGAIN. I'm very close to finishing the second sleeve, but have another 2-3 inches at least on it, plus all of the seaming to do. (Insert groaning & moaning here.) Thankfully, Ravelry has saved me YET AGAIN. I am so grateful for the kind-hearted knitters out there willing to sell me a skein or to mail me their remnants of the same dye lot. Next time, I will do a much better job of calculating how much yarn I need for a project.

I need to get working on the socks for my family members. Christmas is coming!

Well - I gotta get back to work; just needed to think about something unrelated for a minute or two to clear my head.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not a lot going on in my world, lately; been trying to be more active around the house and get things done rather than turning on the TV and getting sucked in. From the looks of my to-do list, though, that hasn't really been happening lately!

I'm training with some friends for fall 5Ks, and I am proud to report that I did massively better on Tuesday's run than I have in a while. I was very pleased since I had been so sick a couple of weeks ago and then spent this last weekend in New Orleans carousing with a girlfriend. Sickness (including a fever) + all sorts of indulgences should not = better run, but somehow it did. I am looking forward to today's run; hopefully, we'll have some rain this afternoon or at least some cloud cover.

I'm almost done with the first sleeve of my Sonnet; I reached the point where I begin the cap of the sleeve. I hope the second sleeve is faster than the first; I am sure it will be since I won't have the discouragement of thinking I'm out of yarn. That really messed with my motivation! I have a lot to do at work today so I'm out.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer's nearly over

Summer's nearly over and I'm back from my big vacation for the year. A girlfriend and I went to New Orleans to visit another friend for a long weekend. We had a good time and saw lots of beautiful scenery. When going through security, I didn't have any trouble with my knitting needles - I just had to chug about 16 ounces of water as fast as I could because I'd forgotten my Sigg bottle was half-full. I dind't get much knitting done other than the flight - we were going going going the whole time.

Now that I'm back, it's time to settle down and start working on some super-sekrit projects I have going on! I'll have to find time to work on the socks for my family. For now - I'm off to work on my Sonnet and get it out of the way.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Scarlet Letter! Except for sickness.

Heh - yeah, not the scary red A, but the scary red X or SOMETHING that says, "Stay FAR FAR AWAY!" All three of us have been ill. B has been sick for weeks now; three of the strongest antibiotics on the market haven't fixed him. He goes to a respiratory specialist next Monday. C had a really bad fever Sunday and part of yesterday, but we've been able to get her back down to normal. Her chest is really congested, but at least she's not feverish any longer. I wish I could say that my fever wasn't too bad, but it was. Did you know that the "standard" 98.6F human temperature was arrived at by taking the temperatures of 10 random people off the street? At least, this is what I learned in college, so hopefully that's correct. Who knows what the real "normal" temperature is? Due to my own nerdiness and curiosity, I know that my normal temperature is between 97.5 and 98.0 - so if I'm at 98.6, I'm beginning a fever. My temp this weekend got up to 100.9. I was finally coherent enough to go to the doctor today, and they gave me a script for the generic Biaxin. Nasty nasty horse pills - two pills once a day with food. Yuck. I popped two with lunch as soon as I got home, and I am feeling SO. MUCH. BETTER.

In other personal news, I am working on conquering my fear of deep water. Since I was feeling so much better this afternoon, I put on my bathing suit and got in the pool. B had left his snorkel mask out, and I decided that now was as good of a time as any to start working on it. No one around to make me nervous! So I put it on, got in in the shallow end, and fell in love. Wearing contacts plus never finding a pair of swim goggles that fit my face well meant losing my vision underwater. But today - I could see everything! I could see exactly where the dreaded drain at the bottom of the deep end was; I could see the few oak leaves floating along the surface; I could see the water bug swimming along near the wall. The whole not being able to breathe underwater still skeeves me out, but whatever, I'll get over that. I had so much fun swimming around! I am such a dork but this has bothered me for so long - I am so happy to be making progress at defeating this fear.

I've finished the body of my Sonnet and am working on the first sleeve. Making so much progress on the sweater is the only positive part of being home sick from work for two days. I had to do a little modification to the basketweave stitch for the center panel up the sleeves, but it still looks nice. I can't wait to finish it all, seam it up, and toss it in the washer!

OK - I'm off to do some chores around the house since they've been so neglected over the past few days. Poor cats could use some attention, too.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Post-holiday Mondays

Okay, I'm learning how to post from my iPhone. This is a little awkward snd I'm not sure the formatting will come out correctly.

The Tour de France is on! Watching the stages in the evening means lots of time to knit. Except for tonight: I spent a lot of time knitting over the weekend, and my hands are a little crampy. Instead, I gave myself a mani-pedi :). I made a lot of progress on my Sonnet; I'm all the way around to the right front! The yarn I ordered should be sufficient - I was a little worried about that. Well - I'm off to bed. Today was a little rough and I'm not feeling super.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer travels

Trips are one of my favorite ways to accomplish a lot of knitting goals. The recent trip for a family reunion was a perfect example. We have a few more trips coming up, and I'm looking forward to finishing more projects while we are in the air or on the road. The body of my Sonnet is almost halfway finished! At knitting tomorrow night, I'll have one of the more experienced knitters, KD, help me make sure I'm accomodating the sideways stretch that will inevitably happen. I've already cut out two inches and think I may be able to cut out another inch in the center of the back.

With the crazy heat we've had recently, it's been hard to do outdoor projects. Bradley is fixing a toilet tonight, and hopefully soon we'll have the pool up and running. We have a quote from a pool guy, and we're just waiting on upcoming paydays so we can have the cash to fund the operations. Carlina's sunflowers have been blooming beautifully; she's been lopping off the flowers and bringing them in for us to enjoy.

Well - I think I'm getting some dirty looks so I should get going on my chores (one of which is quite enjoyable - knitting some more on my Sonnet!!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vacation & road trips

We spent this last weekend on the road. It was my annual family reunion, and seeing everyone in my mother's family was wonderful. The gathering was at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia. It's near Chattanooga and in the mountains - beautiful country up there.

I finished my Undulating Rib Socks on Saturday and cast on Sonnet! I was so pleased to finally start that. When I gave my sister and niece their socks, they were very pleased. Emily put hers on right away, but when Grace tried to put hers on - no luck. The yarn shrank in the wash :( Shame on me for not swatching them. I'm so disappointed. I suggested that she get them damp and slip them on carefully, and then let them dry on her feet.

My sister-in-law, brother, and father have all put in requests for socks. Mary and Kenneth are getting pairs of Padded Footlets; Kenneth is getting a pair of Eesti Trail Hiking Socks; and Dad is getting two pair of the same hiking socks. My poor Branching Out is going to be neglected, but thankfully, I have the counter app on my iPhone so I will be able to pick up where I left off. Kenneth picked out some beautiful yarn from KnitPicks - I can't wait to see how it looks and feels in real life.

The Sonnet is coming along nicely; I am using the piecrust basketweave instead of the box/moss stitch recommended in the pattern. I'm also cutting out an inch on each side since I have heard from every direction that the finished item will definitely stretch side-to-side. I finished about seven inches while we were on the road. I do love how Bradley doesn't mind driving...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Magic Time!

Seriously. The Magic are in the NBA Finals and my husband doesn't know who I am anymore! LOL. He's very confused that I'm so excited about a SPORT!!! Staying up late to watch TV?? Even more confusing!! The husband of one of my knitting girls works for the team somehow, and she invited me to go with her to the game this past Tuesday while her husband had to work it. I had never been to an NBA game before, so for a Finals game to be my first experience was exhilarating!! We screamed and shouted and cheered our team on to a win. I'm watching the game from home tonight; it's interesting to see the differences between watching the game from the venue and on TV.

Earlier this evening, some of my girlfriends and I met for a planning session for our craft co-op. I can't share any details just yet, but we had an excellent brainstorming session and I'm freshly inspired!

The game is on right now, so I'm off to knit and cheer and screech - and hopefully not break any of my size 3 needles!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Bluesday

I love living in Florida, but sometimes the heat just kills me! Today was so muggy and hot, and I know it's only going to get worse in July and August. Thank goodness for a shiny new air conditioning unit. With all the rain we've had lately, all the hard work on the pool has evaporated - the water is murky and green again. Bradley ordered an automatic chlorine feeder that will go in the pipes between the filter and the pool; that will solve a LOT of our problems. He thinks he's found the slow leak - the pipes at the filter in the bottom of the deep end don't seem to be lined up. Of course, since the water has never been stabilized enough to get in, we can't get down there to see what the real deal is.

In my knitting world, I had a hard time not posting last week about the adorable little hats I was knitting for my friend Jen. She and her husband are having a baby soon, and I wanted to make some little cotton hats for the new one. Even though it's blazing hot outside, the air conditioning indoors could easily chill a little head! I made a blue one and a lime-green one, one out of 100% cotton and the other out of an acrylic-cotton blend - super convenient for new parents since they can both go in the regular laundry.

My family reunion is coming up in just a couple of weeks, which means I really have to get on the stick and fix the cuff on my sister's sock. I need to package up my niece's socks, too. The gathering is up in northwest Georgia, and we'll be driving (buying a pair of plane tickets plus renting a car would triple or maybe even quadruple the cost of gas). Nine hours in the car [one way!!!] will give me LOTS of time to get some knitting done. I think I'll be finished with my Undulating Rib socks by then, so I may take the yarn and start on the Sonnet I have planned.

Well - that's all I have time for tonight. Off to knit for just a couple more minutes, and then bedtime.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Heat & wool socks.

Yes, I'm mixing the two. Bad, bad, bad. However, since the A/C is fixed, it's not so bad to be inside and knitting with wool. The first of the two socks is almost done - I began the toe decreases last night. I don't find the pattern very impressive until the sock is on my foot - then I love the rib!

The Branching Out is coming along nicely. I have about 165 rows or so of it done. One of my internet friends makes gorgeous little flower pins - for both hair and brooches. I ordered a few from her, and I have a perfect mental image of wearing the Branching Out pinned with a lovely grey flower pin she designed.

Spent the weekend slaving over the pool. Not sure if the water is in balance, but the clarity is much improved. I vacuumed some of the debris off the bottom, and Bradley is out there now checking the Kreepy Krawler to see if it works. [Typing that really makes my skin crawl, but that's the actual brand name, so whatever.] I've just been requested to cook dinner, so off I go!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Sorry I've been MIA. I try to update on Mondays and Thursdays, but the past couple of weeks have been frustrating.

DayJob is on my nerves like an untuned piano - and that's all I can say about that.

Last week, my little family went to visit extended family in the Midwest. I wasn't comfortable trying to take my Branching Out on the plane, so I brought DPNs in 2s, 3s, and 4s, and a couple of balls of sock yarn. I'm making a pair of Undulating Rib Socks out of Favorite Socks in KnitPick's Felici. I bought a sock sampler from them a couple of months ago, and the colorway Schooner was included. Now that colorway has been discontinued, so I can't link to it. While on the trip, I cast on, frogged, re-cast on, and got most of the way through the first one. I'm working on the gusset right now and just love the pattern. The recommended needle size is a 4 for the cuff and 3 for the remainder, but my gauge was too large - I had to frog and restart using 3s for the cuff and 2s for the remainder.

For the first time, I'm working on two projects that I just love and can't decide which I want to work on! I think I'll continue on the Branching Out for a while since it's been hibernating for a while. The Felici yarn is mostly wool, which is not appropriate for Florida summers!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ah, summer

Time for lace and cotton and linen.

Finished my niece's socks! Got the buttons sewn onto my coworker's booties! I picked up Branching Out again - finally - but couldn't figure out what row I knit last. I ended up frogging it and restarting, and I'm so pleased with how it looks already. I made it through about six pattern repeats.

My friend SP finished her Sylvi and posted pictures of it today. I am amazed and in awe of that accomplishment! I know I can do it too - it's a pattern, a set of directions, and I'm good at following directions. That seems like such a mammoth project though... After I finish Branching Out and a few more socks, I think I'll work on my Sonnet. Maybe I'll be able to finish it in time for the chilly season ;)

In house news... the A/C will be replaced tomorrow. We requested several estimates, and the winner will charge us around $3,800. I'm so grateful for savings accounts and for both of us having stable, well-paying jobs. The pool is looking better and better - the chemicals we keep dumping in are working! This weekend, Bradley was brushing crud off the sides, and the brush fell off the end of the pole. It was clear enough that he put on a scuba mask and dove in to get it off the bottom. I was pretty grossed out and made him shower as soon as I realized what he'd done.

We've been considering adding two new ani-pals to our little family - two dogs. Originally, Bradley wanted an English Bulldog. Being from Athens and UGA, I LOVED the idea. My only demand was that my beast would be a boxer. One of my earliest memories is of standing on the driveway outside my childhood home, looking up at the boxer my family owned - that's how I small I was at the time. I adore boxers! Well - Bradley saw a picture on of a mastiff and has now changed his mind - no more bulldog; he wants a mastiff. HA. My major primary concern is controlling the animal - those dogs grow to be twice my weight. A bulldog would be strong and stubborn, but it wouldn't weigh more than I do, and I could SIT on it if all else failed. A female boxer wouldn't be bigger than me, either. But a mastiff?? Those boys grow to be as big as Bradley!!! We'll see what happens. Right now, we have some immediate house expenses that prevent us from acquiring new beasts. We'll have to get puppies so that the cats can deal with them... there's no way we could introduce adult dogs (such as rescues) into the house with Skye the Amazing Attack Cat and Pax the Stupid Prey Cat. Puppies mean we will have to find quality breeders. I have a bit of a hard time reconciling that with my values; I feel so strongly about adopting pound puppies... but I just can't risk the history that some rescues have when bringing a big dog into the house. Maybe I can ease my conscience by making a big donation to the local shelters when we bring home the pups.

Anyways, I gotta get off the keyboard; my left pinky is being weird and painful when I type.

Friday, May 8, 2009


We haz it. Our A/C has been out this week, and the temperatures have been in the 90s. UGH. Needless to say - that means no knitting! I could barely get off the couch without breaking a sweat, so the idea of touching even cotton made me swelter. The poor cats had me so worried, but they didn't seem to be near heatstroke. On the suggestion of a friend, I wrapped each of them in a cold wet towel for about ten minutes to help them stay cool. I was very surprised that they each tolerated it as well as they did. Must have been a sign that they were feeling the heat too :(

The A/C was recharged with freon today, and we're having a new unit installed on Tuesday. Bradley got a few estimates this week and we are satisfied with what we're buying. The current unit is about 20 years old, so I'm not surprised that it quit.

Now that the house is cooler, I worked some more on my niece's socks. I need to get the buttons sewn onto my officemate's commissioned booties, but I'll probably do that on Sunday since I won't see her again until Monday.

I've been wondering how I'll block things in the new house - we don't have any carpet! I found some blocking tiles on KnitPicks, but I am waiting a couple more months before buying them. Most of the projects I'm working on right now are socks or booties, which can just get tossed in the washer and dryer. After I pick up Branching Out or cast on my Sonnet, then I'll reconsider.

I can't wait to finish these socks for my niece - I am excited to pick up BO again!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Quick post today, I hope...

First - from a non-knitting blog, a post which I had to bite my lip in order to avoid screeching at my desk at work: "Dear Economy", from Reactionary. If I don't LOVE it, I'm not buying it. So quit producing mediocre CRAP with the expectation that I will run right out to buy it. I do keep a list of quality brands - and of brands that produce shoddy, poor-quality goods. I will GLADLY pay for high quality, long-lasting products.

This past weekend was very productive. The husband got a lot of work done around the house - we went to the pool store and spent $140 on chemicals to get the water cleaned up. He will add chemicals every day for the next ten days, so we will have to wait at least 2 weeks before we can get in the water. I was amazed that the water turned from icky pond green to pretty blue overnight! But the water is milky and opaque - and now full of chlorine and acid and calcium, so it's definitely not safe to put in even a toe right now. He was a genius and fixed the wiring to the pool lights... I am so proud of him :)

I knit up my coworker's pair of girly booties and am almost done with the boy's pair. I meant to hit the craft store for buttons while we were out on our errands this weekend, but forgot. Will have to stop by tonight. I should be able to finish the boy's pair tonight and get them packaged for her tomorrow night.

I realized with our summer family reunion coming up, I need to get these socks finished for my niece and sister. My friends didn't come over Friday evening, so I couldn't get LB to pick out a pattern she likes... I'm tempted to make an executive decision and pick one for her, but the beauty of custom-made socks is just that - they are custom.

OK - gotta get some work done :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

To Do List

Tonight's to do list includes...
  • dealing with cat litter duty
  • confirming plans with the husband to visit family
  • gym time with the girls
  • dose the felines with Revolution
  • put inboxes from home into car to take to work
  • and knit.

Current commission list:

  • Socks for niece (almost done! finished the heel turn last night and will work on the gussets tonight. These will be a gift.)
  • Finish socks for sister (the whole too-tight cuff; also a gift.)
  • Coworker LPF: 2 pr baby booties - 1 girl (pink & lavender) and 1 boy (light blue & navy) [priced at $7.50 each; discounts start at 3 pair]
  • Coworker EMG: 2 pr baby booties - 2 girl (colors to be confirmed) [same price as above]

Commissions to confirm:

  • Coworker DDV: baby booties; will discuss over drinks Friday after work [price depends on quantity and yarn desired]
  • Socks for friend LB. She will be coming over with another friend Friday evening for Wii bowling so I will show her sock yarns I currently have and let her pick yarn and pattern. [price depends on yarn and pattern but will probably start at $10. Need to check on price charged to friend in winter to stay consistent.]

One more payment on my Citi credit card and then I can close that account!!! I'm so pleased.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Booked, again.

Foiled, again! Crap. My two officemates both want baby booties. I need to find a new pattern or mod one up enough to be my own... I don't feel comfortable continuing with the pattern I have now. I was feeling grumpy about my personal knitting time being taken away, but with the recent discovery that we will have to replace our entire HVAC system by the end of the summer, I really am not in a position to complain about something that will bring in some cash. To that end, I have created a price list in my Google Docs to help myself stay in a business frame of mind. Making some cash was one of the reasons I picked up knitting to start with - so I need to remember that, as well.

Finished niece's first sock and am about halfway done with the cuff on the second one. Spent a few hours knitting last night and made serious progress.

I have a lot of random ends in my stash that I need to use up. I sense some baby hats, booties, maybe some mittens coming soon!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Aaah... Life is getting back to normal. What a relief!

I've finished the commissioned baby blanket and woven all the ends. I will wash it tonight and make any last adjustments then. It's bigger than expected, of course, because I always forget how doubling the strands changes the size of the FO. DUH.

I had jury duty Tuesday, which involved a lot of sitting around and waiting. I took the socks I'm knitting for my niece, so I was able to make some serious progress on the first one. The security didn't have any problem on the way into the courthouse in the morning, but on the way back in from lunch, a different guard was manning the scanner, and I very nearly lost my two small crochet hooks. She didn't really like the needles, either, but let me go on through with them because I was a juror. So I finished the heel and gusset of the first sock and am working on the foot now. I am so glad to be on socks after that damn blanket! Something that shows progress much quicker - is much lighter-weight - and the yarn feels good on my hands.

I'm definitely sticking with small projects for the next couple of months - or rather, any big projects are going to be for ME. I want to cast on my Sonnet, finally, and work on my Branching Out. It will be a lovely scarf for the summer!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Well. Welcome to post-4/15 world. I can breathe again; I can leave work during daylight hours; I can knit again!!!

Current WIP listing:
  • baby blanket commissioned by coworker - absolute top priority!
  • socks for my niece
  • re-doing the cuff of my sister's socks
  • Branching Out for me
  • Sonnet for me
  • baby booties just commissioned by a coworker last night (need to e-mail her to finalize the details)
  • another hat & scarf set for my girl Becky (she lives in PA)
  • and some other friends who want socks.

I was reading something yesterday that helped me be more at peace with my Branching Out - I was concerned because it seems so undefined. The pattern author was talking about lace patterns and how sometimes the lacework can look like such a mess until it's blocked - and then, wow, amazing, the pattern reveals itself. I am looking forward to seeing it finished up.

I plan to do some serious knitting this weekend. Plant my round ass on the couch, watch some TV, drink some beers, and KNIT. Hmmm... I wonder if it is possible to bike on the trainer and knit at the same time... Hmmm...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

near the end

The end of this busy season has been really difficult and challenging. The firm I work for has made some changes that impacted our benefits and thus our motivation. Previously, the overtime we work in the spring is given back to us as paid time off in addition to our normal vacation allowances; if we chose not to take the time, we would see a significantly larger bonus. The change has completely revamped that system in such a way that it's nearly impossible to see a direct effect of our overtime. Why should I work so hard and so long in the spring if they won't tell me the benefits I get in return? I either want the money or the time, and right now, it looks like they're not giving us either. If I'm giving up time out of the prime of my life, I expect to be compensated for it. I do NOT want to be like the majority of the current partners here - all they do is work and work. There is MORE TO LIFE than work! I don't live to work - I work to live. I work so I can have money to go do things with my friends and family. I work so I can pay for a great house and a beautiful pool that I ENJOY. What do they do? They pay for their damn houses and barely get to use them or enjoy them.

I miss my knitting girls so much. I miss lazy spring Saturday afternoons by the pool drinking beer. I hate feeling bad for leaving work at 5:30 on Bradley's birthday so I can go spend his birthday evening with him. I hate not having the time to find the perfect gift for my mother. I hate not being able to take off work on my birthday.

Something has to change.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Busy season

Busy season this year has been rough. Bradley and I bought a house and moved in mid-February - right when work began to be busy. One project had to be done immediately: the carpet in the living room and office area *had* to be ripped up and replaced (we put down slate tile). The carpet was old, stained, and disgusting, and once it was out, the air in the house cleared. I found it really interesting how much of a difference taking it out made - I left for work on Friday morning, annoyed at the old stale smell, and when I came home that night, it smelled like a different house.

As far as knitting goes, I have been working on a few different projects, even though I've been a total slacker about updating here. I knit up 3 pairs of baby booties on a commission from a coworker. The same coworker commissioned a baby blanket, which is a little more than 1/3 done. My carry-along WIP is a pair of socks for my niece. I also finally remembered to throw the swatch for my Sonnet sweater into the laundry last night; I have to measure it soon to see how my gauge turned out. Honestly, I probably won't pick that one up until well after 4/15.

My CPA license was approved recently, and as a reward to myself, I bought a Namaste bag. I am not one to spend a lot of money on purses since I abuse them, and this was a big purse purchase for me. Not more than $100, but still - a lot more than my usual $15 Target purse! I love it because it has enough room to carry a sock project, my coupon book, and my book club book.

OK - gotta get back to work - just a few more days of the insanity left!