Monday, February 28, 2005

I was seduced this weekend and I'm sorry to say I don't have any pictures of it...

Ok, now get your minds out of the gutter, I, of course mean seduced by a new project. Now normally this wouldn't be an issue but of course the sock I should have been working on has a deadline. I did end up ripping part of it out on Friday. I panicked about the yarn and the length so I pulled off about 2 inches. Then I put it down and didn't look at it until this morning. So not good. Especially considering I need to start the other one tomorrow to give myself the full 2 weeks. I am consoling myself with the idea that the second will go quicker since all the little issues will have been worked out on the first sock. Let's hope I'm not lying to myself.

What stole my heart? Well I shouldn't really discuss it because it's for my cousin but I will say that I gave up the original pattern for the baby blanket I was making and have switched it to this click here if you're not Ingileif. This works much better for the yarn I am using and it is so beautiful I couldn't put it down.

We also had a busy weekend. We went to a few open houses this weekend to get an idea of what kind of house we would like if we were to look for a house. I know that seems very vague but that's where we are at this point. We love out neighborhood so we don't really want to leave it, but a backyard and parking space would be nice. On the other hand neither one of is sure we want the upkeep of a house so a co-op or condo may be better suited to us. Either way we need more room but there is no timetable and therefore no urgency in our search which I figure is better.

We went to Linen and Things and did a bit of shopping. I bought some new drawers for my stash but I will show you that on Wednesday since I didn't upload the pictures of my stash organization project yet. There is something in the air, or on the blogs, it seems like everyone is organizing or culling their stash. I seem to have caught the bug as well.

I also bought something that I am almost embarrassed to mention.

I bought Roomba:

I have been wanting one of these since they came on the market. As a sci-fi lover and housework hater what could be better in my life than a robot that does my vacuuming for me? They were definitely too pricey when they first came out, but after they upgraded it recently the price dropped on a basic model. Imagine sitting on the couch knitting while this little disk whirls around your house vacuuming. My husband stopped laughing long enough to say he supposed it could come in handy. Well he wasn't laughing yesterday when we got home. We set Roomba to go as we left to see a few houses and when we came back the living room rug was lovely. It got under tables that I haven't gotten under in months, it was a very thorough job, far better in fact than the job I do with my upright. I am very happy with my little Roomba.

Now if I could get a robot to do the laundry...

Friday, February 25, 2005

I'm not feeling very happy about my sock. I think I am going to run out of yarn. I also find the cuff far too long. Now my personal preference is for a short cuff but my Sockapalooza buddy lists no such preferences, so I followed the pattern. It's an 8" cuff, now of course it can be folded over or worn straight but it makes me wonder if the length of it is what ate up all my yarn. I turned the heel last night and I am now in the foot decreases. I am going to keep going until I finish or run out of yarn, whichever comes first. Of course I only have a little over 2 weeks before the socks have to be sent out and it has taken me nearly 2 weeks to complete this see my dilemma.

Happily we got our tax refund yesterday so I went shopping through the Patternworks catalog. Ray has decided he wants a really long scarf, but he was concerned that it would get too boring for me. I found this yarn last night in the catalog and I think it will keep it interesting enough. I figure I can start it now and just work on it whenever I want until the Fall. Then finish it up in time for Winter.

I also decided to get the pattern and yarn for this baby blanket:

It's the Log Cabin Baby Blanket made with Sierra. I think I'm going all the way with this one and using the recommended yarn. I'm not in the mood to take the time to find a suitable substitute and I would really like to make a nice blanket for a friend of Rinaldo's who is expecting. I can't show any of the things I will be making my cousin's baby as she reads my blog. Can't spoil anything for her now can I?

Have a great weekend everyone...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Just in case anyone was beginning to doubt me. Here are pictures of the Sockapalooza sock:

Sorry this one looks so weird. I took it early this morning and it was really dark. I brightened it with my photo program but it looks a bit odd now that I see it.

Here's a much better close up:

The 2x2 rib is coming out very nicely. Overall I do really like the sock, I just hate how long it is taking me. I had been hoping to show you the beginning of a heel but I fell asleep on the couch last night so that's all I have. I am about 1 or 2 rows away from starting the heel now though thanks to the train ride. Our computer system here at work is down this morning so I'm thinking I might get a bit of knitting done at my desk for a change. How decadent...

I received an e-mail this morning from 34 Million Friends. I have donated to them in the past. Here is part of the e-mail:

In Honor of International Women's Day on March 8
Meet the Challenge - Add Your Voice and Your Dollar

On the 10th anniversary of the United Nations World Conference on Women - the internationally agreed roadmap for advancing opportunity, equality and health for the world's women - and to help commemorate International Women's Day on March 8, 2005, 34 Million Friends of UNFPA, a grassroots movement in solidarity with the world's women, is urging Americans to demonstrate their compassion and commitment to women's health and opportunity.

We are challenging 10,000 Americans to contribute at least $1 in support of the world's women by March 8.

"One dollar, says Lois Abraham, is a very low barrier to entry to become committed and to take a stand."

If you can take a moment to donate $1 and help women around the world.

Happy Wednesday...

Monday, February 21, 2005

I have been tagged by Erica and Susie:

1. How much space is left on your Tivo or Comcast Box?

Maybe 5 hours, sweeps has really caused it to fill up quickly.

2. Have you ever bought a DVD of TV series and if so, which one?

Too many, I have the entire Buffy series, the first 2 seasons of Angel, seasons 1,2 and 4 of Coupling (BBC version obviously), the first season of Wonder Woman, season 1 of Homicide a Life on the Streets and the entire run of Firefly and Wonderfalls. Any others I will not admit to in writing...

3. What was the last TV show that you watched before reading this message?


4. List five shows you won't miss. Must see TV:

Veronica Mars, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Monk and Medical Investigations (it's been a really good season)

5. Name 3 people to whom you will pass this stick.

I'm not sure who to pass this on to so I am giving an open call, if you want to answer it consider the stick passed on to you...

Friday, February 18, 2005

I love hockey. I mean really love hockey. On my desk I have a Rangers puck and on my wall I have the little flag they gave away of the large flag hung up in the rafters of Madison Square Garden when they retired Mike Richter's number. I, of course am suffering a great deal at the moment. When the season was called of this week I was not surprised but I was very sad. I'm very concerned that the NHL can't come back from this. People here in the States barely notice that there is no hockey. Which doesn't bode well. However being a true hockey fan I enjoyed this piece in the Times today.

I think they should award the Stanley Cup to an AHL team or another league that I don't know about. It should be awarded for excellence in hockey, not monopolized by the NHL. Half of the NHL players are playing in Europe anyway and Scott Gomez is playing for his home team in Alaska (I love this guy, even if he isn't a Ranger). There is a site called Free Stanley that discussed the true meaning of the Stanley Cup and why any Canadian team that plays hockey should be eligible for it.

This rant on hockey is really meant to disguise the fact that I have no knitting to discuss. I have worked on my sock but as it is a 2x2 rib it is going slower than molasses. I have been swatching for the baby blanket but so far I'm not thrilled with the swatch so I'm not ready to share. Maybe the long weekend will bring some real productivity.

I just saw this on Stephanie's site so I decided to look up my own and saw that I got a nice review. It's fake but I enjoyed it anyway. If you have a blog look yourself up, who cares if it's real, it's an ego booster anyway.

Enjoy the weekend everyone...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Having finally finished Clapotis, I have been a good girl and started my sockapalooza sock...a few times in fact. I kept having issues with the start of it, but I have a few inches of ribbing now so I am comfortably underway. I'm not doing anything too fancy as it is only my second set of socks ever. I am using the pattern from the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. I am going to continue the ribbing across the top of the foot just to be different from the pair I made Avery.

I also finally bought more yarn for poor neglected Bob. I found a blue that seems to match his overalls, at least I think it's close enough that Ian won't notice the difference. I'm hoping to do a little work on him this weekend, but only if I have made significant progress on sock 1.

I also bought yarn for a baby blanket and started swatching for it. I have 2 friends who are expecting and most exciting of all, my cousin is expecting in late summer. My cousin lives in Iceland so I'm figuring I can really deck this kid out in good knitted clothes! So lots of baby knitting to come.

Enjoy the day!

Monday, February 14, 2005

This weekend has been somewhat productive. Rinaldo and I were both off Friday so we took the car in for it's inspection. This let to a great deal of time to work on Clapotis. Once that was done we picked up the boys and went to see The Heffalump Movie. It was Ian's first movie so we weren't sure how that was going to go. Oddly enough the Heffalump scared the heck out of him but just as he was about to really get upset and try to leave the regular characters, Pooh, Tigger etc., would come on and he would calm down. About 10-15 minutes before the end it got to be too much and he asked to go. Rinaldo took him out and Avery and I finished the movie. All in all it wasn't too bad and Ian has been on a Pooh kick all weekend.

I finished Clapotis Saturday morning and I decided it would debut in an appropriate venue.

I present The Gates:

The boys and I went downtown to check them out. They are really beautiful. The boys loved it. Ian loved to run through them and Avery liked chasing him through them:

Here is the lovely clapotis:

I have barely taken it off all weekend. Yesterday all the managers had to go in to do a practice inventory using a new scanning system (I won't tell you how badly that went) and I wore it most of the day. It's so much fun to wear. I used it as a scarf and as a shawl. It is larger than I'm accustomed to and if I make it again I will make it smaller but it's pretty cool.

I am off today to spend Valentine's Day with the hubby. I need to get going on the sockapalooza sock. It's only a month until I have to send it out.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The extremely talented Alison was kind enough to create a new button for me:

I figured the new blog look for the year also required a new button. I will not be retiring the old just adding the new one as an alternative. I love it, it's very bold, not unlike me I suppose.

I have actually decided that I really do border on being quite insane. I had Rinaldo making a ball out of the last of my four play for Clapotis. I was just finishing the second ball so it was overdue. I guess the Wonderfalls DVD was a little too much fun for him because about halfway through the skein he told me he had reached an impass. It was a huge tangled mess. Now for full disclosure I must admit this is what happened to me last time and that is why I asked Rinaldo to do it this time. Hoping he would have better luck. Frankly I needed Tashie, she seems to have the gift for never tangling yarn. I took over the yarn. I didn't finish it last night so what did I do? I took it on the subway with me this morning. I, of course, dropped it under a woman's legs and I had to go run after it as it was rolling away. I also didn't finish it on the train. So I continued to work on it at my desk, in between answering e-mails and placing orders. I have actually just finished it. Nuts right?

I did wash and block the skein of (poorly) spun yarn from last week's drop spindle class. It does resemble yarn a bit more but still pretty sad and pathetic. I finally tried some more last night (that's what I was doing while watching Wonderfalls, by the way everyone should buy this set and watch it, it's really, really good)it was only a little better. I have to say I'm not crazy about using the drop spindle (yes Alison, you did warn me). It feels a bit unnatural to me. I can't seem to keep the spindle going while feeding it. I'm curious to see the wheel she will be bringing tonight. I might like that better.

This was posted to the knitlist earlier this week and I loved it. Scroll down to the fourth entry. It hasn't happened to me yet but there a a few projects where I'd appreciate the help.

Now go buy or rent Wonderfalls...

Monday, February 07, 2005

Well the weekend is over and I don't have much to show for it. I made the foolish mistake Saturday of getting on the scale. I haven't so much as looked at it for months. I knew I had gained during my mother's illness but I didn't realize how much I had gained since she died. That does explain why I haven't been feeling very well lately. I suppose it's good that I've already been trying to do something about it, but frankly I got very upset by the number that I saw.

So rather than sit and mope I decided to take action. Avery started his fencing class Saturday. It is held at the gym here at work so I worked out while he fenced. I also brought my gym clothes today so Tisha and I will start going during our lunch hour again. We had been really good about doing that, but I pretty much abandoned her when my mother went into the hospital. There were so many things that were out of my control last year that I'm just realizing how many things I let slide that I should have been taking care of, including myself.

I have quite the dilemma this week. I have my knitting group tomorrow at Barnes and Noble, but I have my second (and last) drop spindle class on Wednesday. I'm definitely going to class, though I've been bad and haven't touched my yarn or my spindle since last Wednesday. I am just not sure it I want to spend 2 nights out in a row. We'll see how it goes.

Clapotis is slowing down. I was reading most of the weekend. I started and finished 2 really good and completely opposite books. Persepolis by Satrapi and Through Violet Eyes by Woodworth. Both amazing in completely different ways. I would really like to finish it before I start my sockapalooza socks but I'm running out of time. The socks are to be sent out March 15 and I want to give myself a month to finish them just to be safe. I better get with it and work on Clapotis religiously this week otherwise she will be tossed aside.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I had my drop spindle class this past Wednesday at Downtown Yarns. I'm not sure how well I am going to take to it but I did get finish a skein such as it is. Most of it is underspun but there is quite a bit that is overspun as well:

I will block it this weekend as my teacher instructed and we'll see how it looks. The homework is to complete a skein so I will try another one. I was getting better at it toward the end of the class. I had a problem with my spindle and when it was changed it did seem to help.

I also got to meet Susie. As you can see from the picture on her blog her spinning came out much better. We talked bookstores, clapotis and spinning so it was great fun.

I got this in the mail from Jody:

It's really cute. I don't think I want to wait until Christmas to hang it up so I think I will bring it to my office to put on my wall.

I also got my Knitters Without Borders shirt. Unfortunately Cafe Press' idea of extra large does not exactly agree with mine. Ian kindly agreed to model it for you:

And finally I got tagged for the music meme by Amy:

1.) Total amount of music files on your computer:

6.8 gigs

2.) The last CD you bought was:

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - U2

3.) What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

Dance of the Seven Veils by Liz Phair

4.) What are your five favorite songs and why they mean the most to you:

Tough call on this one as it changes depending on my mood.

Death on Two Legs by Queen
I love to play this song when I'm really pissed off about something or at someone. It just captures all those feelings and lets me vent by singing it really loud.

Extraordinary by Liz Phair
Mostly I love this song because it's how I feel about myself on good days and how I want to feel about myself on bad days.

Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac
It's tough picking just one Stevie Nicks song because so many of them meant so much to me at various points in my life, but this is quintessential Stevie. It captures best what is cool about her music.

Around the Way Girl by L L Cool J
L L does a lot of great songs and he is the most beautiful man on earth (and just as sweet in person as you would expect) but this song is special because he is praising the regular girl, not the supermodels or actresses but the girls from the block and you know he meant it 'cause he married his baby mama.

Hymn to Her by The Pretenders
Only Chrissie Hynde could do a song like this and make it so good and not hokey. It could mean many things but I of course take it as a celebration of the Goddess and it always makes me feel better.

5). What 3 people are you going to pass this baton to and why?

Ann because she's fun and interesting, so I'm sure her answers will be also.

Alison because she's a Bronx girl of course.

Susie because we're just getting to know each other and a person's choice of music tells you so much about them.