Saturday, June 30, 2007

Wildlife update

I was just sitting outside, drinking my first cup of coffee, when I noticed a bit of movement to my left. Now here in Georgia, that bit of movement is usually some sort of stinging insect, but this time it was a hummingbird. I see them occasionally at the butterfly bushes, which is what this one was checking out. They are so amazing to watch. You could almost see it thinking as it hovered there, looking at the coneflowers and butterfly bushes. Nope, no food here this morning. It zipped off. Between the late freeze and the drought, not much besides the coneflowers are blooming here. The coneflowers have gone quite crazy, but the rest are mostly dormant. I've thought about putting out a hummingbird feeder, but since I know they are a lot of work with the at least weekly cleanings and such, I haven't. I do wonder how they are doing in the drought. I have seen rabbits in my yard drinking the water I leave out if I get up early enough. Perhaps an Internet search on hummingbirds and a trip to Petsmart are in my future.

Mystery Stole 3's first clue was released yesterday at 7:00 a.m. I printed it while in the shower, looked at it briefly, then went to work. I started it last night around 8:00ish, and was able to complete about 23 rows. I had to tink (unknit) a couple of rows because I would get to the end and be a stitch short. I've not knit lace enough to just look and say, Oh, that yarnover is missing. I'm sure I'll be that good by the end of it. It's much easier to do than I imagined, and it looks pretty good. I really do like my beads. Tomorrow is Sunday which means I'll have time to take pictures and post them.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Needles are finally here.

Sometimes you just have to wonder about the Postal Service. Quite frankly, I've had few complaints about them over the years. However, I am one of those people who will track her purchases several times a day because I am impatient. My Knitpicks order left Ohio on 6/21. From there it came to Atlanta on 6/22. On 6/23 it was in Charlotte (WTF!?). Today, 6/28, the package finally arrives. I really don't understand why it needed to take the trip to South Carolina. Anyway, I hope my needles had a good time while they toured the southeast. I know I've always enjoyed touring the southeast. I'm ready for the Mystery Stole 3 to start (which must be why I hear Magical Mystery Tour cueing up in my head)

Apologies for the short post, but I really need to get more than 2 pattern repeats done on the UT blankie. I want to get finished with it in order to start the stole & Jesse's Flames.

And one final thing! I am so excited to find that Whole Foods now carries Ben & Jerry's Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream. I had a hair appointment tonight after work, so I couldn't buy any. Tomorrow I'm taking the cooler with me so my ice cream won't melt on the way home.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Check this out

I heard about this site while listening to 99X on the way to work this morning.
It was too funny. Some of the cats really do look like Hitler with big ears.

Only 2 more days until the Mystery Shawl 3 posts the first clue. I swatched last night and will post as soon as I block it. I hope I'm not repeating myself. I've seen a couple of people I know posting on the list. I'll have to work on the UT blanket tonight to get enough done to take the weekend for lace knitting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Yay! Beads!

Obviously my beads arrived yesterday. Since I spent the day in Athens, I didn't get a chance to play with them until after dinner. I ordered 3 colors from Bead Wrangler after holding the Zephyr up to the computer screen to see what might look good with it. The mushroom is a lovely grey color, but to me it seems to have a warmer undertone unlike most greys which are cooler. I tackled my swatch while watching Hell's Kitchen, during which I discovered several things. Although I really tried not to, I adore the very pointy tips of the Knitpicks Options. I was using some Addi Turbos that I had in the size 4, and the blunt tips were driving me crazy. I also discovered don't work on lace while watching a TV show that you really do need to watch. I messed up the lace swatch several times. Finally, I decided which beads I like best, and it wasn't the clear crystal ones that I thought it would be. Both Keith and I like the #284, brass lined copper rainbow beads. They are subtle, and still show up. I'll have to post the swatch once I really do it. I frogged the one from last night since it was just a mess. I'll redo it sometime today. Hopefully my size 4 Options tips will arrive in today's mail, and I'll be one happy camper.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A big thank you

I just want to add a great big thank you to Laura from the Mystery Stole 3. She is the one who set up the blog ring, and has been helping me get the button added to the link. Yes, in a past life I could reconcile bank statements for small businesses to a penny, but could not for the life of me figure out how in the world to add a picture to a blog ring code. I've added her blog to the sidebar, especially since she describes herself as a Georgia Peach.

Another picture Sunday

Here are some of the pictures I promised and some new items.
This is a close up of Claire's quilt. I'll have to get Keith to help me take a better picture later. I was getting too many shadows on the larger picture. Note the Hello Kitty fabric. I had that fabric long before Brecca got pregnant. I'm machine quilting "stitch in the ditch" which means I'm sewing along the seams. Done properly, it doesn't show. Done for the first time by someone who hasn't been near her machine in awhile, it shows a little bit.

Next up, progress on the UT baby blanket...

As you can see, I've gotten a few more rows done. Keith says it's cute. I'm still not sure I'm liking it, but it's so much easier than the illusion knitting. It's also not just straight stockinette or garter, so it's not too boring.

I couldn't help myself. I got Charmed Knits yesterday from work. I also bought some Cashwool, a really lovely merino laceweight in a pale grey for the Invisibility Cloak. Darn Mystery Stole 3. I'm getting excited about the prospect of knitting lace with beads for the first time, so while digging around I found some Delica seed beads I had received as a gift. (BTW dear family, I do have a wishlist at Amazon. Please check priority since I really need 2 seasons of Red Dwarf.) Anyway, I had been thinking about the Invisibility Cloak done with some of the crystal Delica seed beads. Oh well, I have them now. I must, however, do some knitting for Keith. I've got the yarn for the Jesse's Flames sweater - just gotta get going on it. So much to do, too little time. There are definitely days when I wish I were a Hindu god with 6 or 8 arms. Think of all the knitting I could do!
Other than that, things are pretty quiet around here, and that's the way I like it. I did get to the gym on Friday and do the complete weight circuit except for one set of reps on 2 machines. I was running out of time and wanted to hit every machine at least once. I've got to figure something out about yoga. I enjoy my Wed. night class and don't want to give it up entirely for knit night at work. There is another yoga class Keith and I can both go to on Sundays, but it's 1 1/2 hours, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that. He says 3 different instructors for Body Pump (also known as advanced masochistic self torture in my book) have asked him when is his wife going to join him. I will admit he's looking good, but I've also gotten to listen to him groan, bitch and moan about it. I've gotten to watch him hobble around the house after a particularly tough night of lunges and squats. I think for right now I'll stick to cardio, weights and yoga.
I've been thinking about what to do for Honi's wedding. She wants something handmade and cozy. I've had some ideas, but none of them so far have seemed just right. I still have time since the wedding's not until November. Hopefully inspiration will hit me soon.
And that's all for today, folks!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Short update


I did get out the Bernina on Tuesday for a little quilting. The quilt is one that I started when I heard Brecca was pregnant with her second child. That child is now 2 or 3 (I can't remember right now). I got the top all pieced together before the birth, but never got around to quilting it. I have to other basted quilts ready for the quilting and binding too. I'd love to get this one finished so that Claire can enjoy it before she's a teenager.

I've done a few more rows on the blanket for the imminent adoption too. Nothing of my own was done yesterday since we're now keeping the shop open on Wed. nights for Knit Night. I worked 10 hours yesterday, and the only knitting I got to do was on a shop model. I'm doing part of a sweater. Today I completed it to where I get to start the armhole decreases and neck shaping. I'll tackle some of that at work tomorrow if time allows.

No pics tonight, but I'll make up for it later this week - probably Sunday.

I got my yarn for the Mystery Stole 3 today. It's Jaggerspun Zehpyr in the color mushroom. I went to Beadwranglers and ordered 3 different color beads to see which one will look best with this yarn. I've not done any lace knitting of this sort before, nor have I knitted with beads. I'm actually quite looking forward to it, for among other reasons that I get to work with needles that I'm comfortable with. The work sweater is on size 10 1/2's, and I've been complaining a bit because I really wanted to get back to my sock knitting. I guess I can't argue with the boss if she's letting me knit while I'm at work, but I just finished another project with size 10 1/2's, and quite frankly I prefer small to tiny needles. I've just always been that way. In cross stitch, give me the 22 count aida cloth. The details just look better.

Oh well, I have to go lift weights tomorrow. I did the complete circuit on Monday, arms only on Wed, and my glutes have been killing me. I know that means I need to use (torture) them again with the hip adductors & abductors. Who's the salesclerk with the funny walk? That's Eve after doing 30 reps of 55 lbs each! Who's the aging chick popping Ibuprofen? That's Eve with a bunch of achy muscles. At least the pain is paying off, and I'm starting to see muscle under the upholstery again.

On that note, good night! And may your dreams be as odd as mine. I dreamed Brett and I were Keith Richards illegitimate children, and something about flying to Italy to track him down. No more of Keith's spicy tacos 30 minutes before I go to sleep.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cute Japanese packaging

Oh, the trials and tribulations of looking for new skincare products. There are so many to choose from, but like Goldilocks, I must find the one that is just right. I've been using Peter Thomas Roth sunblock, and I like it except for the price. So imagine my delight after trying a sample from DHC that was quite nice and cost less. Always remember to read the sizes...

Yep, those are the full sizes of each. I calculated that it would cost me $92 to buy 4 oz of DHC instead of the $36 that the PTR costs. I'll use the DHC, but I won't buy it again.

What's next? Remember my horrible kitchen chairs? You can see one under the snoozing Brownie. Well, we went to Ikea a few weeks ago and replaced them, as well as bought a couple more, for less than $170. Gotta love it. They are sturdy pine. Nice, plain, basic chairs that if a cat scratches it up we won't have a fit. The cushions can be removed and washed! Here is one now.

Perhaps not the best pic, but I don't always have the best photo environment.

I had planned to catch up on some quilting today, but at the rate things are going, I'm not sure that will happen. See, I'm blogging right now instead of doing laundry. The housework just piles up. And even more fun is pet wrangling. You have to wrangle to put Advantage on them. Grab'em while they're groggy, put the Advantage on their neck and stand back. Someone told me that Advantage can cause temporary numbness where it's applied. That would drive me crazy too to go numb somewhere I couldn't reach.

Anyway, I've done some housework. I've cleaned the kitchen and both bathrooms. Trash is out. Litterbox cleaned. And there is a pedicure in my future.

As for the knitting, I didn't realize that Chris and MT were in the process of adopting their second child right now. I knew it was happening soon - time just slips by. Keith suggested I knit this blanket in UT colors. Bright orange and white. I had really thought about illusion knitting a big T on it, yet in the sake of not having to graph it all out, I decided on the pattern from the dishclothes. I think it looks like bricks. I'm not loving it, but it may be great for a kid.

I've joined the Mystery Stole 3 yahoo group. It's a pattern from You get clues every week except for the week that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released. She's giving a larger clue the week before so that everyone can stop knitting to read Harry Potter. I know I won't be answering the phone on 7/22. In fact, I'm making Keith stay home on 7/21 in order to receive my book from Amazon. I don't think Arlene will let me take the day off to wait for my book. I've never signed up for any sort of mystery knitting like this. It should be interesting. Check out her other designs.
That's all for now. Time to dig out the sewing machine and finish a quilt.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Musings

First of all, I finished the Malabrigo wrap that I was complaining about it being a knitting slog. You know, a never-ending project sort of thing. Finished, it's beautiful, and I won't post it again because it's a gift. I really doubt the receiver ever reads my blog, but as one never knows, it will have to wait.

Next, I taught myself the Turkish cast on for toe up socks with no toe seams. This is a fiddly sort of thing. The concept is easy, but the execution is quite another matter. Using size 1 needles and sock yarn, it probably took me about 15 tries before I had it both correctly done and to my liking. I did it correctly a couple of times, but it was much too loose. I'm working on some Cherry Tree Hill super sock yarn in the Magic Loop for any of you knitter's out there.

Honi asked me (and quite a few folks) about if she could ask one question, she would ask what makes a good marriage. It is an interesting thing to think about. My first thought was communication, followed by sex. When I asked Keith about it, he agreed to those two and added companionship. There it is, all the secrets to a good marriage in 3 words. Of course, having enough money, similar expectations and goals, and liking the same sort of pets helps too.

Hmm, I don't feel as much like posting as I did a few minutes ago. I'll muse more later.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Life goes on.

I had thought about calling this one the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but I'll save that one for another post.

The good news. Honi has set a date for her wedding. A big Mazel Tov is in order for her. I know she's excited about it all. I read her blog about dress shopping and such, and boy, am I glad it's not me.

The bad/sad news. Paige's mom died last week. She had ovarian cancer, but had decided not to treat it. She was able to stay in her home on the Cahaba River. There is a lot to be said for quality of life, especially when one has a terminal disease. Rather than compare her last months with Dolores' (who also died from ovarian cancer), I'll say the things I remember about her instead. I was unable to attend the memorial service since we're short staffed at work (vacation times for people). When I was young, I thought Beth, Paige's mom, was wonderful and strange at the same time. First of all, they always had all sorts of pets. Coming from a pet deprived household due to allergies of some family members, I always liked being over there where you didn't know what animals you might see. One time she had baby ducks inside her flannel shirt so they could stay warm! Also, they went camping. For awhile they had a big Winnebago in the driveway for their travels. I just remember that going to Paige's would always have an chance for some adventure that was outside of what my family experienced. After all, my folks took us antiqueing on the weekends. With Paige, there was the chance of something more wild.

The ugly? None, that's why I'm saving the title. Perhaps the knitting which has all been baby related these past couple of weeks. Definitely not for us. I am teaching a knitting class next month (if anyone signs up) where we'll put together a baby sweater. I feel quite strongly that I want to make what it is that I'll teach. Jennifer, my hairdresser, is having her second child. He's to be delivered by C-section on none other than my birthday, July 9. I've made some baby bibs for her.
I had this yarn in my stash. 1 is the bib from Mason Dixon Knitting while the other 2 are inspired by the book. I need to run them through the wash since the dye isn't the most color fast, then sew buttons on. After that, they're good to go.
And that's all for now. Other knitting is Keith's second sock and the neverending Malabrigo wrap.