Wednesday, December 27, 2006

it's been a long month...

The month of December has not been very easy on me. I've been fighting low-grade sicknesses all month thanks to the random swings in the weather. I haven't had time during the week. Plus, I've had an overwhelmingly blah feeling about the holiday season this year.

Now that Christmas is over, I'm looking forward to the new year. I usually have a very optimistic view of the upcoming year. I haven't decided whether I will create resolutions for 2007. It's the time of year to consider another Yarn Diet...perhaps, I will join the "Knit From Your Stash 2007." The new year will definitely see Apartment Therapy Redux...At very least, I will pick up where I left off. If I come up with any good knitting-related resolutions, I'll put them up.

Oh well...I hope everyone has been enjoying the Holiday Season! See you in '07.

Friday, December 01, 2006

arrested development...

I feel like there are a lot of things that will be put on hold. It's not that I don't want to keep moving forward...I just feel like there are too many external forces working against me right now.

Apartment Therapy update: For all of the effort that I put into this project, I don't see myself gaining any ground. AF is still working overtime. Even though he's okay with me doing the therapy he won't let me buy furniture and decorations that I need to really feel like things are changing. He knows that we will be buying things, but he wants to give his input and okay. On some levels, I can respect that since it's our money and our apartment. He's more messy than normal, so there's more clutter collecting than less.

If we don't go shopping this weekend for entryway items, I will be printing out pictures and ordering something online. I want to buy a bench, coat hooks, and a small bookcase...These three things will help complete my "Landing Strip."

In further apartment news...I have new windows, but the maintenance people haven't put the air conditioners back in place! Since they are fairly large window units, all of our furniture is still out of place. I asked the office about it, and they said they hope to have them done next week. NEXT WEEK! That's nearly three weeks after changing the windows.

Knitting update: I had to practically restart Gatsby. I ripped the second sleeve because the picot edging didn't match the first sleeve...It's one of those things that no one would notice except me. I also restarted the body of the sweater when I noticed that I hadn't changes to the larger needle size after the picot edge. I had been wondering why the back piece looked so small, and wondered if it was going to fit when I was done. The sizing looks much more realistic now.

Finally, I managed to finish some of my projects and take pictures. However, as you've probably noticed, I haven't posted these pictures yet. I think this will be at the top of the weekend's to-do list.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

the cure week 3.0

I successfully finished everything in week 2 by Saturday at 9am. I finished cleaning the kitchen while waiting for groceries to be delivered on Friday evening. I went through the last two cabinets and put some seldom-used storage containers and baking sheets in the out box. Saturday morning, I cleaned and wiped down all of the counter surfaces again. In the two weeks of working on the kitchen, I have created two outboxes. So far, I haven't needed to pull anything out of the outbox.

This Week's Assignment:
Bones-
1. Vacuum, dust, and mop throughout apartment
2. Clean your entrance and related closets
3. Arrange to have all repairs taken care of in the next 3 weeks
Breath-
1. Declutter your entrance
2. Move all old mail, catalogs, and magazines to the Outbox
3. Look into what you need to create a Landing Strip
4. Cancel unused subscriptions
Heart-
1. Identify cool rooms and warm rooms
2. Apply the 80/20 color rule
Head-
1. Cook two meals at home
In order to keep the momentum going, I went straight into week 3. This week's focus is the entryway. AF and I are lucky in that we have a distinct foyer in our apartment. Unfortunately, we're lacking the items in the foyer that will make the space useful. I know that I want to add a bench to this area, so AF can take off his dirty boots right inside the door instead of tracking dirt all the way to the sunroom. I would also like to have some hooks for guests' coats and lighter jackets.

I started by emptying the bookshelf that is already in the foyer, and moving it into the far corner. This should make more room for a bench. I was also able to weed through the books and magazines from the bookshelf. A lot of the magazines went in the trash, but the books are sitting in an Outbox.

We have decided to forego the "housewarming" party. AF will be working every Saturday for an indefinite time...I'm going to continue the apartment therapy, but I won't stress myself out by adding party planning to the mix.

Friday, November 17, 2006

pattern search...

Be on the lookout for any patterns similar to this lovely:


Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

I'm not exactly sure why I like this sweater...I'm usually not a big fan of longer, tunic-style sweaters, but I'm really diggin' the girlie factor.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

the cure week 2.2

The workers installed new windows in the apartment on Monday, even though it was cloudy and sprinkled most of the day. Unfortunately, they will come back later in the week to re-install the A/C units in the dining room and bedroom. We moved most of the furniture back into the dining room yesterday, but there are a couple of pieces that will have to wait until the A/C untils are back in place.

I will do my best to complete week 2 by Friday...Including a nice, homecooked meal Friday night! That way, I can start week 3 on Saturday morning. Week 3 is one that I know will be difficult, but I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

the cure week 2.1

Week 2 needs to be extended. Even with a long weekend, I wasn't able to make as much progress as I wanted. I got off to a good start last week. Then, we got the notice that our windows would be replaced on Wednesday, so we had to move everything 4 ft away from the windows to make space for the workers...I know that 4 ft might not sound like a lot, but there are several windows in the apartment. Everything ended up in the middle of the apartment.

Unfortunately, it rained last Wednesday...hard. Since they weren't able to work in our apartment, AF and I decided to just live with things as they were instead of having to move it again. So, we've been living with any even bigger mess that is currently taking up most of the living room.

The window work was rescheduled to today...I hope the weather improves.

Week 2 progress:
Bones-
1. Fix one thing in your apartment yourself
2. Clean your kitchen from top to bottom and throw away old food

I made a lot of progress in the kitchen early last week. Unfortunately, when the windows were delayed everything fell apart. We moved lots of items out of the "dining room" and kitchen and haven't been able to put them back in place. I did go through all but two of the cabinets and have put several pieces in the outbox.
3. Buy a water filter and use it
Breath-
1. Run your hands over every wall in your apartment
2. Clear space for an Outbox
3. Clear one surface and use the Outbox
Heart-
1. buy fresh flowers
2. Determine your style
Head
1. Find a new recipe and cook one meal at home
I meant to cook dinner at home on Saturday night. However, I got a mid-afternoon call from a friends who was in town for the weekend, so that plan went out the window.
2. Choose a date for your housewarming
AF and I aren't all that hot on focusing on a housewarming. Unfortunately, we will be right in the middle of holidays when we finish the 8-weeks. And, he just found out that he will be working a lot of overtime between now and the new year. Good for the savings account, bad for home improvement.

Monday, November 06, 2006

actual knitting content...

I managed to finish the first of my UFOs over the weekend! (Sorry for the lack of pictures...I couldn't get any good light last night). I finished a new scarf, just in time to pull out the winter coat. I thought it was very fitting, since there's been talk on Grumperina's blog about what the proper scarf length should be. I usually like a scarf that is as long as I am tall...

For this scarf, I had decided to just keep knitting until all of the yarn was gone. That was a mistake! When I finally got to the end, my scarf measured a full 7.5 feet. Much too long for my 5'4" frame. I unraveled it to 60", and it's perfect!

I will be tackling the smaller unfinished projects first. This morning, I grabbed my unfinished sock to knit on the bus. I only have 8 pattern repeats and toe shaping to complete this project. I will make sure I can get it done before the weekend. And, with any luck, the next pictures that I post on the blog will be taken with my new camera!

the cure week 2.0

We're done with week 1. Yesterday, we walked through the apartment and made a list of things that need to be fixed. Thankfully, we won't need to do most of these ourselves. We'll probably ask the management company to take care of most of them.

We decided that the best object to get rid of was our old vacuum cleaner. We received a nicer one as a wedding gift. So, I put a sign on the old one, along with the rest of the bags that we had for it, and AF put it down in the trash room. Hopefully someone in the building will see it down there and get some use out of it. Everything else that we decide to give up will be dropped off at the Salvation Army. The old stereo gets to stick around a little longer. Every time AF says he's okay with getting rid of it, he finds some new excuse why he feels like he should hold onto it.

This Week's Assignment:
Bones-
1. Fix one thing in your apartment yourself
2. Clean your kitchen from top to bottom and throw away old food.
3. Buy a water filter and use it
Breath-
1. Run your hands over every wall in your apartment
2. Clear space for an Outbox
3. Clear one surface and use the Outbox
Heart-
1. Buy fresh flowers
2. Determine your style.
Head
1. Find a new recipe and cook one meal at home
2. Choose a date for your housewarming

Friday, November 03, 2006

the cure week 1.1

AF and I decided that weeks will run from Monday through Sunday. So, we will have a couple more days to finish off the first week of the cure. This one has been easy.

Week 1 progress:
Bones-
1. Make a complete list of repairs and solutions
2. Vacuum and mop the floors
Breath-
1. Take one item in your apartment and put it outside

AF and I talked about what should be put out, and we agree that it's probably a good time to get rid of the old stereo/8-track/turntable that used to belong to this grandparents. His father brought it from Michigan the first year AF and I lived together, because AF said he wanted the turntable...even though I already have a really nice one. It sat in a closet for two year because we had nowhere to put it. When we moved into the new apt, AF insisted that we put in the sunroom so he would have a radio to listen to...I hesitantly agreed to this demand.

We'll last Christmas, we decided to fire her up and listen to grandma's old LPs. We put on one of the records with Chrismas music, and turned on the stereo, only to rind that the damned turntable doesn't even work! Our best guess is that it was locked for shipping, but after 15 minutes we couldn't figure out how to unlock it.
Heart-
1. Buy fresh flowers
Head-
1. Sit for ten minutes in a part of your home that you never sit in
2. Look into Earth friendly cleaning products
We're still debating this point. Unfortunately, our Safeway doesn't have a very large selection of friendly cleaning products.

new Interweave!

I got my copy in the mail this week, and I really like this issue. Of course, I always think that their Winter issue is the best of the year. My favorites include the Arctic Diamonds Stole, Enid Cardigan, and Nantucket Jacket. If you don't have the issue, check out the preview. Hopefully, this will serve as motivation to finish all of my UFOs!

Monday, October 30, 2006

the cure week 1.0

This Week's Assignment: Get your hands on a copy of the book and read through page 69. This gives you all the ground work and gets you started with the interview and short quiz on the health of your home.
The Cure officially started this weekend. Both AF and I have gotten through the reading the interview, and I've taken some before pictures.



The entire tour is here.


Other assignments for the week include:
Bones-
1. Make a complete list of repairs and solutions
2. Vacuum and mop the floors
Breath-
1. Take one item in your apartment and put it outside
Heart-
1. Buy fresh flowers
Head-
1. Sit for ten minutes in a part of your home that you never sit in
2. Look into Earth friendly cleaning products

Thursday, October 26, 2006

new project (non-knitting related)

The apartment is still waiting for new windows. As I mentioned, this was the latest excuse letting things slip into a chaotic state. Even though our unit isn't schuduled this week, it's time to concentrate on making the apartment more appealing (and livable).

AF and I moved into this apartment last November, and were quickly occupied by the Holiday season. We painted before moving in the furniture, but didn't really take the time to organize everything. The closests filled up first, in a technique affectionately known in our household as a "landgrab." So, needless to say AF stuffed everything he could into closest to get it out of sight and out of mind. (To be honest, it's been on my mind!) Now, with wedding gifts, we have even more stuff and nowhere to put it.

Fast forward through the Holidays, and the new year. The next big obstacle came in March when we set the date for our wedding. Getting things out of boxes took a backseat, and we learned to live with random items in corners. We even forewent our Spring Cleaning ritual.

Even without the windows done, it's time to make my move. I'm joining the Apartment Therapy Fall Cure. I'm getting a late start, but better late than never. Fates be willing, I should be able to finish the overhaul in time for New Year's! I can't think of a better way to start 2007.

I have already gotten the book and done the first reading assignment. AF says he's on board! Hopefully, I can get him to do the reading and take the quizes this weekend.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

back to normal?

Not yet, but soon.

The wedding is over, and everything went very well. However, the work isn't done yet. There are still a few bills to settle, notes to write, name change, pictures to go through, etc. It's good to be home, but the apartment still looks like a cyclone hit it. My apartment management company is changing the windows in the entire building. So, we haven't put much effort into putting stuff away because we have to move all of the furniture for them to do their work. Our apt should be done this week, and I already have an apartment improvement plan in mind.

I have started knitting again. I had wanted to take a small project with me on our honeymoon, but I never had time to put anything together. I'm glad I didn't. Once I got to the airport, British Airways had signs clearly stating that knitting needles were not permitted on flights through London.

Right now, I'm working on a scarf for myself. And, I've managed to finish a small project that will remain secret for a couple more days. Once I'm done with the scarf, I think I will devote a lot of my time to UFOs. Also, by the end of the month, I need to decide if there will be any holiday knitting/craftiness.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

please excuse me...

I'm feeling a little rusty. I know that it's been nearly a month since my last post. I also know that there aren't too many people out there who are reading this blog...But, for those who do, I thought it was about time I wrote something.

A quick knitting update: I have finished my shawl! Thanks to the freakish rains that hovered over DC a couple of weeks back, I got the pleasure of getting 3 days off of work due to flooding. One morning, I took the time to block my shawl. I didn't make it as large as the dimensions on the pattern, but I'm happy with the results. (I might go back and re-block it to make bigger).

I also managed to finish all of the knitting for Crinkle. As a reader, I'm sure wondering what this project looks like. Unfortunately, I have no pictures to show you. You can either use your imagination, or you can visit some other bloggers who are working on this project. As long as I don't get too far off track, I should have time to block this project on Sunday.

I still have two other UFOs that I started this year. One is Butterfly. The other is a pair of socks that I started back in May. I will likely finish both of these before I start anything new.

Friday, June 16, 2006

a quick shout out...

Last night, we had our league picture taken. I got to see Miss Priss, who not only knits, but is also a member of the RollerGirls. I happened to discover her blog a while back while searching for DC knitblogs, and have read it off and on ever since. Well...earlier this month while at a league meeting, she introduced herself, and completely called me out on being a blog stalker. Unfortunately, she hasn't been able to skate since we got the closed space.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a minute to send her some love! Hope to see you Saturday!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

i'm spreading myself a little thin...

but, I haven't started burning the candle at both ends...yet.

I have been getting a little bit of knitting in, mostly on the bus ride in the morning. I started Crinkle sleeves-first...you know how that goes! I managed to finish the first one last week, and I am now about a third of the way up the second. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to prove it.

My Lotus Blossom Shawl is still in a holding pattern. The bed is the only surface that I will be able to use to block it. The problem is that I can't find the enough time when the bed is empty to get the job done. Last Friday, I was out the door at 9 am to meet my maid of honor to talk about planning a bachelorette party. Needless to say, I was motivated enough to pin out my shawl that morning. Then, I factor in the fact that AF will sleep as late as humanly possible! So, it's pretty hard to find time on a lot of weekends. I just have to be patient.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

another new start...

Friday afternoon, AF and I drove down to North Cackalacky to see his sister. With my shawl off the needles, I knew that I would need to find something to occupy my time while in the car. So, I turned to my faithful "1st 6 of '06" only to find that there was only one more project left to start, Crinkle. I know that I still haven't finished Butterfly, but I was in the mood to start something new.

I kind of cheated...I didn't do a swatch. I know it might seem a little cocky for me to say this, but every time I've knit with Rowan yarns and the suggested needle size, I always get gauge. So, I had no reason to think this project would be any different!

chart 6, complete...

Actually, I finished the knitting for my Lotus blossom Shawl early last week, and finished the bobbled cast off last Friday. I just haven't had time to post until now. I would have to say that the cast off was probably the hardest part of this project, since you have to turn the work about 6 times to complete one bobble.

The shawl is how waiting to be blocked. I had hoped to do this last Friday before leaving town for the long weekend, but I just didn't have it in me. Now, I have to for another chance when the bed won't be in use. I don't dare pin it out on the floor...I just know that my cat will either claw at it, or try to chew on the pins.

Monday, May 15, 2006

charts 4 & 5, complete...

Chart 4 is the first of the "lotus blossom" sections. I finished it last Friday morning, but haven't had a chance to post until now. The blossoms are a little more fiddley, with a lot of S1-K2tog-PSS0s. I have lost track a couple times, but the mistakes have been fairly easy to fix.


Chart 5 is a lot like chart 4, so I didn't take an additional picture when I finished it yesterday...Plus, I was much too eager to work on Chart 6, the final chart. It's basically like charts 4 & 5, but it has a small border followed by a bobble-sprinkled cast off. I'm pretty sure I'll have the knitting done this week, but I'm not exactly sure where I will be able to do my blocking.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

charts 2 & 3, complete...

Just a quick update to prove that this is still a knitting blog. As of yesterday's evening commute, I have finished the first 3 charts of the Lotus Blossom Shawl. Of course, I jumped right into knitting chart 4, which is where the lotus blossoms begin. And, as further proof, I have pictures.



The shawl after the 1st chart.


The shawl after the 2nd chart.


Close-up of the "stem" pattern.

Monday, May 08, 2006

chart 1, complete...

The first chart of the shawl went by very quickly. In fact, I finished it late Friday afternoon. I snapped a few pictures, but haven't taken the time to upload them.

I have also made a good deal of progress on Chart 2. So far, the lace pattern that makes up the stems is pretty easy to follow. I'm about halfway, and already I'm wondering how long I will be able to take this project on the bus. When I finish this chart, I will have 195 stitches. It's definitely not the largest project that I've taken to work with me, but I don't think I will want to travel with it if it gets too cumbersome. Oh well, I'll see what happens.

So far I really like the yarn. It's very soft and has very little shedding. At the same time there is a bit of a halo.

Friday, May 05, 2006

i just need a little motivation...

It seems that I can't obsess over more than one activity at a time. For the last few years, knitting has had nearly all of my attention. Lately, as I've mentioned, knitting has taken a back seat. Last week, I finished a sock and had no interest in starting the second one. I don't foresee myself wearing wool socks this summer, now matter how many fashion spreads are showing women wearing socks with strappy heels!

So, how does a rollerskating, wedding-obsessed knitter get back into the swing of things? She starts a wedding-related knit project, naturally!

This morning, I had an itch to start something new. I opened up the cabinet to the stash, and staring back at me was the Peruvian Collection Baby Silk that I bought from Elann back in March. I bought it knowing that I would knit a shawl to wear on my wedding day. The shawl of choice is the Lotus Blossom Shawl from Fiddlesticks. I casted on right before leaving the house, and the rows are going by pretty fast, but I'm pretty sure that won't last long. This shawl is worked top-down, starting with 3 stitches and increasing to create a triangle.

I'm also excited because this will put me back on track for my 1st 6 of '06 that has gone neglected. One of the items on that list was to knit a shawl. Originally, I was going to choose from either the Flower Basket Shawl or Ene's Scarf.

Oh well, I hope everyone has a good weekend...Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

it's the year of the sock!

That's right...I said it. I'm started another pair of socks last week. It seems that socks are the only project that I can focus on given the amount of free time that I actually have.

I have traded leisurely Saturday mornings for dress shopping expeditions. I've traded my free-form, alternating Fridays for wedding planning. (Next month, these days will be used to design, print and assemble invites). And, I've given up one night a week to take on a new activity.

So, as much as I would like to sit and knit, I'm doing my best to stay focused on September. Thankfully, yarn doesn't have an expiration date!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

please don't take away my membership card!

I have not been much of a blogger lately. Even worse...I haven't been much of a knitter either. Guess what I've been doing on the bus these days. Reading! Some how this has become a better distraction for the ride in the mornings.

It's not that I don't want to knit. I just don't seem to be able to get into it. I suddenly have a bunch of things to coordinate, and knitting has dropped out of focus. I already mentioned the wedding. But, there's another milestone that I will be passing soon...The big three-to-the-0.

AF and I have been planning a birthday celebration. We've rented a cabin along the Appalachian trail in Virginia, and some of my friends will be joining us. Originally, I asked him to plan it for me. Unfortunately, between my desire to have exactly what I want and his laidback things-will-just-happen attitude, it became pretty obvious that I should "assist" in the planning. So, the last week has been spent working out the details of who should bring what. And, with any luck, it should be a nice relaxing weekend.

I haven't decided if I will bring any knitting out with me. I do, however, plan on trying to finish the book during the drive.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

updates...

Life has become hectic in a very subtle since picking a date for my wedding. I may be putting undue pressure on myself to get this thing planned, but I don't think so. But, just in case anyone is wondering, here's a recap...

Auggie (cat): I took her back to the vet last week and they seem to think her leg will continue to show improvement. She's in excellent spirits and has started chasing things and jumping more, but the leg is still weak. I stopped dwelling over my cat once I saw her jump up on the forbidden dining table. I figured that if she's well enough to get on furniture she's not allowed on, she must be doing A-OK. The vet also wants me to get a sonogram of her heart to see if her vaccinations brought out a pre-existing condition. I will probably see how things look in another week and think about getting a second opinion.

Knitting: I have another finished object, my Retro rib Socks. They're not the most spectacular looking project, but I'm glad I finished something. I also ripped out the 2nd piece of Butterfly. I strung the beads, and picked up stitches again. I'm about halfway through the body decreases, and hope to have this project finished by the end of the month.

Yarn diet: I cheated! I'm not ending the diet..I just made a calculated addition to the stash. Last week Elann released some of their Peruvian Collection Baby Silk, and I wanted to make sure I got some before they sold out. This will most likely be used to knit a shawl to wear at the wedding. Although DC is still warm in late-Sept, it can cool off at night.

Wedding: I am thinking of starting another blog, where I blab about wedding planning...

Monday, March 13, 2006

not so restful weekend...

Everything started out alright. Friday, I joined a friend and her roommates for drinks and dinner. I made it an early night because I had to get up the next morning and take Auggie to the vet. I've had my cat for a little over a year. She's been to the vet twice. Both times have been fairly routine. She does surprisingly well riding in the car. She's even really calm while in the vet's office. She gets her temperature taken, a shot, and she's done...So, I had no reason to think that this time would be any different.

Boy was I wrong! I guess my vet automatically adds expressing anal glands to the yearly routine. (If you don't know, I'm not gonna tell you.) This procedure made Auggie very nervous. Then came the three shots that she needed. She's never had problems before, so when the doctor warned of side effects, I thought nothing of it. But, it's a very good thing that I was listening.

When we got back home, I gave Auggie a couple treats and sat down to play with her a bit. She wasn't very keen on that idea. Then, she started itching her ears like mad. Then she would get up an walk a bit, but she'd kind of weave back and forth. Within 10 minutes of getting home she threw up. So, we rushed back to the vet...Thankfully, it's only 5 blocks away. Right as we pulled up, she got sick in the back of AF's car.

I rushed in while he parked. They took her out of the carrier and cleaned up a little. Then took her downstairs, where I wasn't allowed to follow, and gave her a shot of benedryl and a steroid. The kept her downstairs for about 30 minutes, while AF and I stood in one of the exam rooms wondering what to do. Finally, they brought her upstairs, drugged up and WET! Yup, my poor kitty dirtied herself so much they felt she needed a cleaning. Then, they had me sit with her for 15 minutes so she would calm down, then released her. We took our wet, stoned cat home and let he hang out for most of the afternoon. Try as she might, she really could walk anywhere. And, since the vet said she would be groggy, we didn't pay her too much attention.

Later in the afternoon, she got up and tried moving around again. This time, I noticed that she wasn't using one of her rear legs. It would literally drag behind her, paw facing upward...This is when I began to freak out. No one mentioned loss feeling in limbs. No one warned me that one of the side effects of vaccination could be paralysis! Thankfully, by the time I went to bed, the leg looked a more live...she was at least able to lift it enough to not completely drag it behind her.

On Sunday, I would pick Auggie up every once and again to try to get her to walk for a bit. She was still sluggish and unresponsive. At one point, I picked her up and she was like a dead weight in my arms. She truly was a sad sight. That afternoon, she started eating again and got some of her strength up.

This morning, when I got up, she came and met me at the bedroom door. It was a much slower walk than usual, but I was glad to see that she was responsive and alert again. I called my vets office as soon as they opened. I was told that the feeling will continue to turn in her leg, but if she's not better by Wednesday, I should bring her in. I was very relieved...Another one of the doctors even called back an hour later to re-affirm the advice.

Oh well, that was my weekend...hope yours was better!

Friday, March 10, 2006

another new project...

Last Friday, I started another big endeavor. But,this one is a bit different, and not really knitting-related. I've started planning my wedding.

AF and I got engaged last July, and have taken our sweet time about setting a date. At first, wanted to wait until we had attended the three weddings to which we were invited. Next thing you know, we decided to move into another apartment. That was quickly followed by the holiday season...See how this goes!?

Along the way, we managed to look at one site that would accommodate a small ceremony and reception. Both AF and I fell in love with the site, but put it on the back burner. Well, last Friday morning, I took my dad to take a look at it. He was also quite impressed with the space and flexibility that the it afforded. So, with his blessing, we put down a deposit.

The phrase of the week..."It's on!"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

current obsession...

Well, there are two actually. The first, socks! That's right, I'm pretty sure I've been bitten by the bug. I finished the first of my Retro Rib socks and cast on for the second one right away. Finally, a project that will fit in nearly every bag I own. All I need to do now is get over the funny looks that I get on the bus in the morning...What? You never seen double-pointed needles before?

My second obsession is the one of the Knitty surprises, Starsky. At first I was turned off by the belt. This one is 60+ inches long...But, I might be able to get over that since the rest of the sweater looks pretty rockin'. I will have to take a dive into the stash to see if I have anything appropriate. If I find anything, I might have to switch up my 1st 6 of '06...This one could bump Crinkle!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

it happened on a monday...

Lucky made her debut yesterday morning, when I wore her to work! After months of anticipation, everything went over without a hitch. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a decent picture of myself before running out the door...For some reason every picture that I took with the auto-timer made me look like a deer caught in headlights. The ones that I took while pointing the camera at myself came out blurry. I was able to snap a decent picture this morning.


Pattern: Lucky from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation

Yarn: Silk City Perle 3/2 Cotton, color Silver Sage. Bought this yarn from Elann a while back, but never figured out what to do with it. I was still on the cone, which meant there were very few ends to weave in once I was done.

Needles: size 3 (3.0mm)

Size: I made the size small. Although the size is correct, the sweater is a little boxier than I thought it would be.

I don't want to pass too much judgment about the pattern. I will, however, say that I would not knit another one. In the future, I will think twice about making a sweater that includes any tied neck/waistband. I'm not sure which part was worse, knitting the neckband or sewing it onto the sweater.

I'm pretty happy with the outcome, but it took a lot of effort to finish this piece. And, it looks like I'm done just in time for Spring!

Friday, February 24, 2006

has anyone (in the US) received their Rowan?

I go through this every time...I see the preview and get excited, only to be let down by how long it takes to get the magazine delivered. The website lists February 1st as the release date. I understand that that date is for the UK. But, today is February 24th, three weeks later, and there's no sign of the new Rowan.

When this happened last year, I considered buying a copy of the magazine at my LYS, and then selling the new club copy once it arrived. I also considered not renewing my subscription.

What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

another slow week...

I haven't done much knitting since last week, even with a four-day weekend. I managed to finish the first piece of Butterfly. I even picked up the stitches for the second. I started working the lace pattern for about 10 rows before I noticed that I hadn't strung beads on the new ball of yarn that I was using...I minor speedbump really, but I haven't been in the mood to rip back yet.

I also spent a little time with Lucky. After knitting 1x1 rib for an hour, I tried the sweater on. I'm still about 5 inches short on one of the ties. This has really become a chore. I think I'll be sitting down with a movie (for entertainment) and drinks (to numb the pain of ribbing) this weekend in order to finish it.

I even started something new, then quickly set it aside. Last Wednesday, I started the Retro Rib Socks from Interweave (Winter04). I got off to a good start, then discovered that I had left the pattern at work over the weekend. Once I got to the start of the heel flap I had to stop. I have the pattern back now...just have to get the ball rolling again.

Friday, February 17, 2006

short attention span...

I have a lot of ground to cover today. AF and I are having some people over tonight for dinner, and before they get here, I need to:

  • hem and put up the curtains we bought at IKEA in January
  • Hang icicle lights around the living room
  • finish putting away the laundry I did earlier this week
  • have lunch with my parents
  • make a trip to the grocery store to figure out what I'm serving for dinner

    But I'd rather be enjoying the great gifts that AF got me for Festivus.


    AF did a great job this year...He finally listened when I told him that I always keep an Amazon wish list. Now, I need to talk him into making me this for our entryway.


    Thankfully, I'm off today and have time to do most of this stuff. And, maybe, I'll even be able to work in some knitting time, too.

  • Monday, February 13, 2006

    what have i done to deserve this...

    Up until now, I have escaped all memes, for which I am glad. They are interesting, but I'd rather let them go the way of the chain email...Read and then ignored.

    The main reason I have never been tagged is because I haven't advertised to friends that I have a blog...This thing has always be for my personal edification. The one friend I have who reads my blog has finally interrupted the delicate balance! So, Maya, this is for you!

    Four Jobs I've Had:
    Budget/Program Analyst
    Internet Media Planner/Buyer
    Building Manager of Student Center
    Barista

    Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:
    Party Girl
    Nightmare Before Christmas
    Labyrinth
    High Fidelity

    Four Places I've Lived:
    Washington, DC
    Evanston, IL
    Bethesda, MD
    That's it...really!

    Four (or more) TV Shows I Love:
    Law & Order
    24
    Arrested Development
    CBS Sunday Morning

    Four Places I've Vacationed:
    San Francisco, CA
    Toronto, Canada
    Seattle, WA
    Outer Banks, NC

    Four of My Favorite Dishes:
    Peking Duck
    Drunken Chicken
    Shrimp w/ Lobster Sauce
    I really dig a good steak...

    Four Places I'd Rather Be:
    At home, in bed
    Tryst
    New York City
    knitting

    Four Books I Could Read Over and Over:
    Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
    Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris

    Four Albums I Couldn't Live Without:
    Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys
    A Storm in Heaven - The Verve
    The Bends - Radiohead
    Parklife - Blur

    Four Bloggers I'm Tagging:
    No one...this too will go the way of the chain letter. The buck stops here.

    Four Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
    Vacation in Greece
    Own my own house
    Run a craft-related small business
    Win the lottery!

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    hem frill...

    It didn't take long for me to start another project. It's especially easy becayse I already have them picked out and listed on the sidebar. The next item on that list is Crinkle, but I haven't received the new Rowan, so I couldn't start that.

    So, I moved to the next one...Butterfly! This was a pattern that I absolutely fell in love with when last year's Spring/Summer Rowan came out. Since it wasn't what I would call "practical," I put it on the back burner. But, now is the time!

    Image hosting by Photobucket
    It took me a while to get the hang of the lace pattern. I'm used to patterns where you always purl the wrong side...not so in this case. It wasn't until halfway through the second "hem frill" that I can say I memorized the lace pattern. I just picked up the stitches for the body.

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    moving right along...

    I seem to have a bug in my bonnet this month. Or, maybe, this version of a Yarn Diet is really motivating. I've made my way through three of my "1st six of '06"...Yup, I'd like to present my Jaywalkers:


    Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina

    Yarn: Woolarina Merino Sock Yarn. I bought this yarn last October at the Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair. Orginally, I thought I would use it to make a scarf.

    Needles: size 2 dpns.

    Size: I started out making the larger size. I tried the sock on once I had finished the heel, and it felt fine. However, once I got a couple of inches into knitting the foot, I could tell that it was going to be much too big...I restarted the smaller size immediately.


    I have fallen in love with this pattern, and already have an itch to knit more socks. It absolutely amazes me that this is the first pair of socks that I knit! I think that I've decided that ribbed socks just aren't for me...Come to think of it, I never buy ribbed socks from stores. Why would I want to knit them?

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    a weekend debut...


    Pattern: Leaf Lace Sweater by Teva Durham

    Yarn: Lion Brand Kool Wool (50% Merino Wool, 50% Acrylic); color: Claret. I used exactly 10 skeins. I only had scraps left when I was done.

    Needles: Denise interchangeable needles, size 13.

    Size: I made the medium size because my gauge wasn't exactly 10 st per inch as the pattern calls for.

    I love the construction and design of this sweater. And, the Kool Wool is much nicer than I expected. It's very soft. The only thing that I would think about changing is the length of the sleeves. If I were to make this sweater again, I would shorten them by about two inches.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    what's my motivation?

    If I had to grade myself, today, I would definitely consider an incomplete. I haven't worked on Lucky at all. This almost-finished sweater is still sitting in a laundry basket, waiting for another 20-some inches of 1x1 ribbing. This is just one of my shortcomings:


    I have also neglected my Lace Leaf Pullover. This one has a few ends that need to be woven in before her grand premier. I did, however, find a nice button for the neck closure.

    socks revisited...

    Last April I made my first attempt at sock knitting...It was even one of my "resolutions" for 2005. I figured I would start with a basic sock just to get a feel for how things work. Using a basic pattern, I set out to knit a pair of 2x2 ribbed socks. Things were going really well, until I turned the heel. The pattern that I was following used a "Sherman Heel," creating short rows. This process was very fiddley, and it took three tries before I had what looked like a heel.

    I pressed on, even though I hated the way the sock-in-progress looked. I just wanted to go through the process. After knitting the foot, still in 2x2 rib, it was time for a "Sherman toe." I fought my way through the toe shaping, only to find that the sock ended up too long! I thought that I would rip back an inch and finish the sock. Well, I just couldn't. There were just something about the sock that I disliked. For nearly a year, that sock has been sitting in a bag, in my stash, waiting to be ripped.

    After seeing all the hubbub about the Jaywalker socks--especially the knit along--I've gotten the itch to throw my hat into the ring. I cast on the first sock on Monday, and just finished the heel this morning!

    Here's my progress so far:

    And, the heel up-close:

    So far, I'm absolutely in love with this sock.

    Thursday, January 26, 2006

    i'm waiting for a sunny day...

    I love my apartment. The new place has a small sunroom with three big windows. In the afternoon, the whole place gets flooded with really nice sunlight, making everything feel warm. Unfortunately, I'm not always at home in the middle of the afternoon, so I haven't been able to get any good pictures of my latest knits. I know I could use the flash, but my colors always come out wrong.

    I find it kind of unbelievable, but I finished the Lace-Leaf Pullover in exactly 7 days! Yesterday, during lunch, I grafted the top and bottom pieces together. It looks awesome. I bound off the two pieces of the body with waste yarn, then grafted the pieces together. This worked out really well. The problem that I usually have with Kitchener stitch is that I end up with a ton of twisted stitches. For some reason, I can't wrap my mind around which way you are supposed to go through which stitches. With both sets of stitches bound off, all of the stitches were in the correct orientation, and the action was just like grafting bound off edges. Once I was done grafting top to bottom, all I had to do was "unzip" the waste yarn!

    Oh, and in case you're actually wondering what happened to Lucky...She took the week off. After knitting 6+ ft of neckband, I decided to start sewing it to the body. Without the band, the sweater just falls off your shoulders and looks crap. I worked and worked, and worked some more only to come up short! That's right! And, not just a little short. The band made it up one side, around the back, and stopped about 3 inches down the front. Thankfully I didn't bind off before I started this endeavor. After a week of rest and relaxation, I'm ready to continue complete the nightmare.

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    faster than a speeding bullet...

    Last Thursday, I started my Lace-Leaf Pullover. Since then, it's been whizzing by. By Thursday night, I had finished the yoke and upper body. Right now, I'm 20 rows away from finishing the second sleeve! Perhaps this sweater will be ready for a weekend debut.

    I usually don't knit bulk or chunky knits. Actually, this is the my first project on needles larger than 10.5. But, since I really like the look of this sweater, I thought I'd go for it. Knitting with the large needles has taken a little getting used to. They feel pretty big and clunky, and my joints feel a little sore after knitting for a while...I guess I should be glad this will be a quick project.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    first FO of 2006...

    Yup. I actually finished something over the long weekend. Unfortunately, it wasn't Lucky. I made a lot of progress, though. I blocked and seamed the pieces together. Now, all I have to do is finish the neckbang. At last count, the neckband is just under 5 feet long, which means that I will have about 20 more inches to knit.

    My 1st finished object of the year is Branching Out!


    Here's a close-up of the lace before blocking...

    Here's the lace pattern while blocking...

    The scarf is a little shorter than I would like, but I was limited to two skeins of yarn. The finished product is about 55 inches long. In the end, I decided to make two identical pieces and graft them together. I'm really glad I did. It gave me a little practice for my next project, which requires you to graft the top half of the body to the bottom half...Can you guess what's up next?

    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    inch-by-inch...

    That's the only way this neckband is going to be done. I've made it my bus knitting. Even though it's getting longer -- 30 inches at last count -- it still fit neatly in my bag. I have a three day weekend coming up, and with any luck, I can finish Lucky. If I'm motivated enough, I think I will block the other pieces tonight after work.

    Since the neckband is my bus-knitting, Branching Out has become home-knitting. So far, I have gone through about 3/4 of the first skein and I have 12 pattern repeats. As I'm knitting, all I can think about is the fact that the entire scarf is knit in one direction. That means that when I go to wear the scarf, the two ends will look different. (I know this isn't a problem for most people, but it seems to bug me) I've seen a lot of lacey scarf patterns that have you knit two halves, then graft them together. What do you think? Would that be too much effort for a simple scarf? Hmm...I'll decide when I get to the end of the first skein of yarn.

    In other news, I am becoming obsessed with the Jaywalker socks that everyone on Earth seems to be knitting. I can't believe all the great looking socks! And, most bloggers have commented that they aren't too difficult, even for a beginner. Now, my only problem is that my small needles (size 1 &2) are in sets of 4 not 5...Good thing my yarn diet doesn't include needles and notions, too.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    a sure cure for boredom...

    Over the weekend, I finished both sleeves for Lucky. I felt really good, thinking that I was really close to finishing this sweater. Well, I'm not! I still need to knit the band that goes all the way around the neckline, plus the ties. The pattern calls for about 6 feet of 1x1 rib...needless to say this will be no small feat. I casted on for this Sunday evening. As of last night, I had just over a foot done. How boring!

    What to do? Start something new! Yup, I cast on for Branching Out. I am using 2 skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush that I received last year in a Secret Pal Exchange. This stuff is super soft, and color is perfect. So far, I've made it through four pattern repeats.

    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    first seven of 2006...

    Gee, that title would be a heck of a lot catchier if it were the "1st six of '06". What do you think? Would it be cheating to change the rules? Really, I've barely even started my yarn diet...Okay, six it is!

    And, here's my list:

  • Branching Out
  • Lace Leaf Pullover
  • My 1st Socks (technically a UFO, but I might start over)
  • Crinkle
  • Butterfly
  • My 1st Shawl -- either Flower Basket or Ene's Scarf

    I'm not sure what order I will knit these in...I guess I'll decide as I go along. I'm pretty sure that I have yarn for each of these projects already in my stash. If I start a project and find that my yarn isn't working out, I will start looking for another project to replace it. (Depending on what happens this week*, I might go ahead and swap one of these for another project that I have in mind.) No matter what, I will not buy more yarn until I have completed six projects.

    *I'm waiting for yarn that I ordered early in December, before I even started to think about another yarn diet. Hopefully, it's just a Holiday Season-related mail delay.

  • Tuesday, January 03, 2006

    one last purchase...

    I've made up my mind. I will be putting myself on another yarn diet this year. But, before I start, I couldn't resist making on more enhancement to the stash. Sometimes, there are deals that are just too good to resist. This time, it's Lion brand Kool Wool for $1.25/skein. I got mine, now go get yours!

    I will be changing the rules this year. Instead of setting the day that my diet will end, I am going to pick projects to complete before I can buy more yarn. I am going to aim to complete seven projects, using only stashed yarn, before I end my diet. Why seven? Well, over the holiday, I started going through the books and magazines that I have, and came across at least 10 that I really would like to make (and wear). These range from small items like scarves and hats, to a number of sweaters. Sometime this week, I will be adding the seven projects to the sidebar.

    I'm not really sure how long it will take to make my way through seven projects. However, if I stick to this version of a yarn diet, I think I'll actually see the size of my stash decrease. Isn't that the point?

    happy new year!

    I'm trying to start off the new year on a good foot. I haven't decided whether I want to list resolutions, since I didn't go all that well with last year's. I'll think about it this week and decide what to do.

    Unlike Christmas weekend, this past weekend was very relaxing. I actually had a lot of time to sit and knit. I went back to work on Lucky and have made some progress. I'm done with both front pieces, and am nearly finished with the first sleeve. I keep trying to imagine this piece when it is complete...because the pieces alone don't really look like much.

    I can't wait to finish this piece...First, I could really use a new top right about now. Secondly, Rowan has put up it's Spring preview, and I will need a clear palate to start new knits.