Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer rushing

OK. I owe y'all some pictures but they are not coming just yet. The month of May has been a little bit chaotic, it feels like, but the next five weeks or so should be a little calmer. Hopefully, I'll get some pictures taken and posted.

Work has been up and down, but no complaints as I still have a job.

I participated in Boobquake by wearing a pretty shirt to work that was cut a wee bit lower than I'm usually comfortable wearing in the office. I was amused to later read the "clarification" from the cleric regarding the relationship of women's clothing to seismic events. He should have said, "I am afraid of women and do not want them to be equal to men!" I was also completely amused to hear the justification that Mr. Rekers offered for his employment of a gay escort while traveling overseas. Instead of trying to have people believe that he was actually hiring the kid to carry his bags, he could have just said, "Okay, I've realized I can't deny it, I like other dudes. And excuse me while I figure out how to reconcile that with my ENTIRE LIFE SO FAR." Why have we not heard anything about a raging atheist such as Christopher Hitchens secretly attending prayer meetings? Oh, because he actually believes what he professes. I would be much more forgiving of someone who said, "Women and their power and their gender scare me. Help me understand and accept them." Someone who tries to blame my bikini-wearing for earthquakes is going to be mocked into oblivion. Same thing goes for a person who can't figure out their sexual identity. "I think I like guys and it freaks me out because that goes against everything I was taught," is a much better response than "HE WAS JUST CARRYING MY BAGS AND MASSAGING ME IN LONG STROKES OVER MY BUTTOCKS." REALLY? You expect ANYONE with half a brain to believe that??!!

It boils down to integrity. If you have the guts to say, "Hey, I knew hardly anyone who wasn't white growing up. Teach me about your culture and show me that you're like me under the brown skin..." that's all it takes. Just be true to yourself. Have the 'nads to admit who you are. Don't keep acting like it was an accident you've slept with three different dudes in two weeks... OWN IT. I really don't care what your number is, but if YOU bring it up, and if YOU act like it needs justifying... well then it sounds like YOU have a problem with your own actions. NOT ME.

Wow - I have NO IDEA what ketchup bottle just exploded there. Ahem. This was supposed to be a nice post about how excited I am to be working on the Austrian Socks from the 25 Favorite Socks from Interweave... how I love the red yarn - it's AslanTrends Santa Fe in a gorgeous red colorway. The stitch pattern is complicated and keeping me on my toes. I am reluctantly learning how to read charts. The leg pattern is over 36 stitches; the total number of stitches on the leg is 72, spread over 3 dpns. Having the leg pattern repeat twice over 3 needles is REALLY confusing to me as a new chart reader. I've ordered fixed Harmony circulars from KnitPicks in sizes 1 and 0; when they arrive, I can transfer the sock over to the 1s and magic loop the thing until I become more comfortable with the chart.

The funny thing about the yarn is the dye is rubbing off on my needles. I'm using the Clover Takumi bamboo needles, and the tips of them are turning pink! A friend of mine had this happen with BLACK yarn - her fingers looked sooty after a knitting session on the sweater she was making. The dye isn't showing up on my fingers, but I would wear it as a badge of honor if it did! This yarn was a gift from my friend KD; she traded me 3 skeins of this yarn for preparing her taxes this year.

Well - I have a few more chores to do and hopefully some knitting to get in before crashing tonight.

OH here's another ketchup bottle to stomp on and explode: WHAT IS UP IN THE GULF. I am adding BP to my list of companies not to patronize. My heart breaks for all the beaches that are going to be ruined - all the fishermen and locals around the Gulf Coast who are going to lose their livelihoods... what that's going to do to the local economies. I am working so much harder to get to bed at a decent hour so I can get up in time to ride my bike to work. I don't care if it's Florida heat... it takes just a few minutes to clean up at work and if that means just a little less gas used, I am totally okay with being a little bit rumpled at the office. That's part of my personal journal towards integrity: living the values that I say I hold.

Monday, April 26, 2010

K's socks are almost done! I'm down to the start of the toe on the second one. I should have pictures soon. K has always had excellent taste; his care packages in college were the BEST. Godiva truffles + useful things = heaven to a broke college student. I still have (and wear on one of the three cold days a year we have here in Florida) a periwinkle blue sweater he gave me one year. The colors he picked out for these socks continues his trend of good taste: the main color is Snowshoe and the contrast color is Jacquard, in KnitPick's City Tweed (heavy worsted).

I have some sooper-sekrit baby projects to work on as soon as I'm finished with his socks. A coworker in my department is due in August, and I have some really fun ideas for gifts. She sent me a link to the nursery set she & her husband picked out, and it's simple and gorgeous. I've been mentally listing yarn possibilities that will be excellent matches for the colors.

Since busy season is over, the house has become cleaner and cleaner. The grout in the kitchen floor is almost back to its intended color, and I scrubbed away some serious frustration in our bathroom tonight. For now, the husb needs to get onto his computer, so I am signing off for now.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First week almost done

Monday... played around with the dog during the rainstorm.
Tuesday... shopping with my girl EB and then to knitting with my downtown group.
Wednesday... out with coworkers and friends to the Magic playoff game.
Thursday... to the dog park with Captain Jack and home to do some straightening and laundry.

... and now I can sit, and have a glass of wine, and knit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back to "normalcy"

Or as normal as my life gets!

April 15th has passed for another year. B and I spent the weekend in Fort Myers Beach, and ate more amazing Dungeness crab at the Smokin' Oyster Brewery. Before we drove down, we spent Friday afternoon at Orlando's own Gatorland! I had a lot of fun; science and nature are so interesting to me, and when you throw in kitsch and self-mockery, I have an even better time. B bought us the package that includes feeding the gators, riding on the train around the park, and doing the rookie wrangling! Yes, friends & readers, I SAT ON AN ALLIGATOR. Would you like to see proof?? Well, the fact that I'm typing with one hand should be proof enough, but --- ohhh. Photographic proof? Ohhhhkay, I guess I can do that...



Knitting, what's that?? Oh yeah. That thing I do with needles and yarn. I'll have pictures of that on Thursday. I'm exhausted and heading to bed.

Monday, March 22, 2010

march madness

...but not the basketball kind. I survived the 3/15 deadline in style! Now it's the time for the 1040 clients. A coworker's wife is nearly due with their first child, and I knit a cute pair of booties and a matching headband with interchangeable crocheted flowers. Thankfully, I'm almost done with J's pillow cover - I picked up the invisible zipper and some perfect wooden buttons to finish it up.

The yarn for my brother's socks has arrived, so it's sitting on the kitchen counter being an inspiration every morning and evening. I'm tempted to knit up a pair of socks for myself between J's pillow cover and my brother's socks, but... yeah. He's been waiting a few months for these, so I will start on his as soon as I get J's cover finished.

I've learned I am definitely not a dog person. Captain Jack is a cute bundle of energy, but I just don't have the patience for this stage. I really miss being able to sit quietly with the cats, petting them in between rounds on a project... the constant watching and frequent calls to the dog are wearing on me. I am so comfortable with our decision not to have children - if I'm having this hard of a time with a dog that I can crate when he's out of control, I can't imagine how difficult of a time I would have with a kid!!! [since you can't crate them and leave without getting Child Services called on you (with good reason, of course)] Especially a kid that could TALK. UGH. Definitely not my cup of tea.

With the dog now crated for the evening (he was in that frenzy that children get into - too tired and strung out so completely hyper and out of his head), I can finally sit and enjoy a glass of wine and some knitting. Maybe even some cuddle time with Skye without a ball of fur coming and jumping on top of her... poor kitties.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Joys of routine

Busy season becomes a blinding routine after a few weeks. Wake up panicky that I've overslept - maybe I have, maybe I haven't, but either way, I'm awake and moving. Get to work, caffeinate, work work work, and then home. Hopefully at home, I can do a chore or two a night... tonight is vacuuming the floors and dealing with the cat boxes - and then some time to knit. Working on my friend's pillow cover is wonderful this season - the repetition of the basketweave is so relaxing at the end of the day. The yarn is smooth and soothing to my hands after dealing with papers and pencils and binder clips and the occasional paper cut. Then, bedtime, and up again to do it over again the next day. Soon, I'll wake up in the normal panicked state, and then realize, oh, wait, it's April 14th. One more day of madness, and then I can sleep all day. Until then, the basketweave pillow case and socks will take up my time and be my creative outlet.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hello friends...

Things are definitely getting busy at work. My CIRAs are coming in for preparation or extension, and the busy-season interns started today. I was at work till about 7 tonight, which is not bad, but I was determined to go to the gym and then to the store afterward. Since watching Food, Inc., I have been making dramatic changes to how I eat. If I can't ensure that meat is organic, I'm not eating it; I'm making as many of my vegetables organic as possible. No eggs if they aren't organic (to the point that I didn't buy any at the store tonight); no unorganic dairy products. I was pleased to see that my favorite coffee, Dunkin Donuts, is fair trade certified. So... grocery shopping is a new adventure.

In knitting news, I've finished my Diagonal Cross-Rib socks! I cast on a swatch for my friend JS' basketweave pillow cover, but realized she said she wanted regular basketweave, and I was swatching pie-crust. Oops! So, frogged the swatch and restarted it yesterday.

Well - since it's late, I'm off to bed. The dog was just going nuts, I'm betting out of exhaustion, and I am going to get my second wind if I stay up much longer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Knitters vs. Non-knitters

A friend commented to me on Monday that I shouldn't take my knitting into a work CPE because it would look really bad. I was rather confused about what she meant, but I realized she must think that knitting means I'm not paying attention to the speaker. Something that a lot of non-knitters must assume is that knitting takes a person's whole focus. Of course, something complicated - whether due to the pattern (like a lace pattern) or the yarn itself (I'm glaring at you, FunFur) - would need a knitter's focus... but for a simple, repeating pattern or stockinette in the round, knitting is as mindless as doodling. For me, having needles in my hands means I am happy to sit beside my husband while he enjoys his favorite tv shows. We will laugh and talk... he said the other day, "You don't actually watch tv, you listen to it!" I do watch, again depending on the pattern. If I'm turning a heel or shaping a gusset? Not so much with the watching. But the listening? Oh yes. I retain an incredibly greater amount if I have something to fidget with... I'm not fighting to stay awake! I can watch my hands and listen with my ears and everything is just fine. One day, I'll gather the courage to knit in the back row.

So, I've finished shaping the gussets in the second Diagonal Cross-Rib Sock and am on to the foot!! I'm very excited. Also, the yarn for my friend's pillow cover arrived. I'm a little concerned as the yarn is much finer than I was expecting. A gauge swatch will tell me what I need to do, though. It's the LB Collection Cotton Bamboo. I'm really looking forward to finally working with bamboo - although now that I type that, I think my friend J.I.'s hat that I finished was with bamboo yarn... Hm.

My friend B.S. in Pennsylvania sent me a huge box of acrylic yarn! I am not sure what I'll do with it; it all looks very old from the ball bands. I think it's from her fiance's mother's stash; the FMIL doesn't knit anymore and probably needs to clear out her old stash. Regardless, I love free yarn! I will find some uses for it, and I hope to get the story out of my friend about the source of the yarn.

OK - for now, I'm off to watch some more Castle and knit on my sock!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Things are definitely starting to get busier in my world. Full days at work and already one day over eight hours. Can't wait for things to really get crazy!

With the new officemates, I've been eating my lunch in the breakroom instead of at my desk. I've been taking my knitting so after I finish eating, I can pick up my project for five or ten minutes. Doing this has been surprisingly refreshing. I have a feeling that I will have to continue this throughout busy season.

House projects:
- picking out paint for the living room
- tearing down the cabana
- finding patches of sunlight to nap in!

The cold weather the past couple of weeks has made me grateful for the warm scarves and socks I have. A little heater under my desk doesn't hurt either!

Monday, January 11, 2010


This weekend, I sorted through my stash and organized it all! Now, none of it's been put away, but I sorted it by fiber, mostly. Wools, cottons, and blends. Then I photographed it and worked on updating Ravelry (I'm amour over there, too), but I still have some work to do over there. Here are some of my favorites...

Any readers out there also on Twitter? I'm @siren_amour. Some of my favorite knitters & fiber-ers are... @blairqualls, @hipmountainmama, @islandjen, @simplytwisted, @siren_gardener, and @yarnharlot.

Well - I'm off to do some more knitting on my Diagonal Rib socks!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Insanity in ... 10... 9... 8...

I have the smelliest dog next to me! He had his flea medicine dose tonight and MAN the stuff smells. Of course, he loves his mumma and papa; Bradley's already managed to get the stuff all over his hands, but (touch wood) I've managed to stay clear of the stuff. It's doing a number on my sinuses - if the dang dog stays close to me for much longer, I am going to be high as a kite from the smell.

Oh, the insanity? That would be Busy Season 2010 looming over me. Bradley has already mentioned how he's not ready for it; he appreciates so much how I come home and we tag-team puppy patrol, and he is going to miss that during the crazy work hours. I will miss puppy time, Bradley time, knitting time, exercise time... but this too shall pass.

I got through the first 3.5 inches of the Diagonal Cross-Rib socks and dropped a needle size as instructed, only to realize that my gauge was off. At knit night last night, my friend R.S. reminded me that I didn't use a size 3 needle; I used a size 2 because I borrowed hers until mine arrived in an order from KnitPicks. DOH. I had to frog about 4 inches, but I chatted with the other knitters while doing so, which made it not so painful. I restarted on my size 2s and resolved to hunt for my size 1s... which I cannot find in circulars. I think I may just have never switched down a size but continued with 2s through the entire sock. I will measure my gauge after making this post and figure out what the hell is going on.

Oh, and puppy just zonked out on my leg. How sweet. (But still horribly smelly.)

In the course of digging through all my various knitting bags, I did find a scarf-ly thing that I need to finish; I will be working on that after I finish this sock if I have time before the yarn for my brother's socks becomes available.

What else... I will probably go to posting once a week during busy season, and they will likely be short, annoyed posts. Just a warning ;-)

Monday, January 4, 2010

new beginnings

I am zooming along on the second sock of the Diagonal Cross-Ribs. At my day job, some seating rearrangements were made, and I have two new officemates. Out of deference to them, I ate my lunch in the break room today - and after I finished eating, knit a couple of rounds on the socks. I foresee many more knitting lunch breaks over the course of Busy Season 2010.

The weather is unseasonably cold - it's been in the 30s for several nights in a row, and the forecast calls for a few more cold nights. I am glad I have warm wool socks to keep my toes toasty!

Off to do some chores; just wanted to make a quick update and add a new tag to my list!

Friday, January 1, 2010

welcome to the new decade!

I finished Dad's last sock today. I turned the heel last night as 2009 turned into 2010. Nasty weather today made it easy to sit on the couch and finish the foot.

My friend J.S. and I are in the process of ironing out a commission. She'd like a pillow cover; she found one she liked at Pottery Barn but didn't particularly like their price. We've been able to improve on their design, and currently she's deciding on a yarn.

While I wait for her to decide, I dug out the yarn to work on the second sock of my Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks. Took me a little while to remember where the first sock was after I found the yarn, but I found it. Can't find the remaining yarn of the first skein, but I'm sure it will show up eventually.

So, off to wind the skein into a ball and cast on... fresh start for a new year!