Ten days is a long time...

Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm back! I've been back but it's been buuuuu-say! I had to find a flapper girl dress for my Halloween costume, which I did in record time on Friday afternoon. First thrift store I stopped at had one for $7.50, then it was unpacking and knitting up a cloche hat (alright, alright, I ended up crocheting it because I SUCK at knitting hats) and starting the laundry (in order to felt the cloche hat - I DO have priorities here.) Anyway, I won't bore you with the details but I will have a pic once I get my hat back from my friend's house who hosted her annual Halloween bash. Once again it was so. much. fun.

The trip went well and I actually got all knit back up to where I was on the shawl before I frogged. Looks great and I *think* the darker color is going to be okay. Well, it's going to have to be actually. Since it's a half and half thing I think I can live with it. Then again I haven't laid it out in the sunshine again lately to see it's fully glory.

I also knit a little on the ugly sock for my son and had a Yarn Harlot moment at a restaurant in Rapid City. After ordering and knitting away on the sock for a few minutes I realized that I only had a $10 bill in my pocket and my meal was a little more than that. Thankfully the server was very sweet and gracious and the manager thought my idea to work it all out was great (still not sure why a manager at a classy restaurant wouldn't have a plan for this in the first place.) I left my cell phone and knitting bag (with ugly sock and grandma socks) at the restaurant, walked back to my hotel and got more money and drove back and paid... and left my wonderful server a nice hefty tip.

While I was gone I received word that my blog has been accepted to the Knitting Blogs ring. Hooray!

Pictures forthcoming. (of the knitting, not the blogring)

Taking a trip...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Well, well, well. The Wave and Shell Shawl and I took a trip the other night. A trip you may know well. On the way there, we picked up my son and enlisted his help. Yes, it was a trip to the frog pond where 10 year old boys smile with glee as they get to rip out rows and rows of beautifully knit objects and knitter's cringe at the thought of reworking 3 hours of stitches.

I wanted to do some cool arrows and text-on-picture action but I didn't have time for that at home last night because I was sewing Luke Skywalker's pants*. So you'll have to peek into this photo to see my silly mistake.

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If you look up the shell rows (note: they're actually upside down here in between the vertical rows of YOs) you will see two nicely spaced rows of garter stitch at the top (bottom in this picture) of each shell. Then, all of the sudden, three pattern repeats from the top there are four nicely spaced rows of garter stitch at the top of a shell... where there should only be two of course. I've worked the math and realized this must have happened at knitting group last Sunday. I must have done a few rows on the shawl before I left, then started the pattern repeat again when I got there. Damn. So we ripped.

I wouldn't have been so anal [maybe] if it had been for myself or someone else but my grandma is the queen of perfectionism. She used to make those giant crochet doilies and if she was like an inch from being done, but she noticed a mistake back at say, row 10, she would rip ALL the way back and fix it! So yes, I know she would love a gift from me even with mistakes but I'm determined to make it perfect.

And the other picture for the day is Kurt's ugly socks. Boy oh boy, when you let a kid pick out his own sock colors you gotta watch out. But he loves the colors and will treasure these socks until his feet get too big for them (and maybe even after that).

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I plan to bring these and the shawl along on the work trip next week. If anything, it will keep me busy in my hotel rooms since I know now that I'll be going alone. Long story. It's okay, this just means I get to crank up the music while I drive across two states. But unforunately, no knitting while driving. Or goofy shenanigans with my supervisor.

* My sewing skills must have improved in dormancy because I finished the top and pants to Kurt's Halloween costume in record time and they both fit on the first try. Hooray! Now I just have to find a dress for me to wear. I'll make sure to post pictures of the day when all is said and done. But until then, au revoir!

Almost forgot! Here is a pic of the darker blue colors in the second ball - just a garter stitch stripe in this pic. I'm beginning to think it will look alright since it does happen about halfway through but it sure is darker.

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Katie needs

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Alright, alright, I finally broke down. Google your name and the word needs to find out what YOU need. Here's what I need:

Katie Needs IV fluids
Katie Needs To Go.
Katie needs a Project Manager
Katie needs help with feeding and drinking but she does manage to use the litter
Katie needs a C-section
Katie This lovely, gentle girl is in need of a new home.
Katie needs to talk to her friend
Only Katie needs our financial support.
Katie needs your help with vocabulary words to win.
Katie needs to get a grip.

This is an update, named update

Currently listening to: The Velvet Underground - "Who Loves the Sun"

My grey sweater may be done for. I washed it in the washer again and dried it with the other clothes for an hour or more. And it looks... better, but not as good as it did before this mess. It's too big. I mean, my point for making the next size up Ribby was so I could wear it over long sleeve shirts and still be comfy - my other one fits too snugly for that. So I guess it still serves it's purpose but it sort of looks like crap while doing it. The sleeves are back where they should be though so that's good.

I'm thinking I must get to work on new sweaters for myself once I'm done with my projects for others. Kurt's socks (in such and atrocious colorway I MUST post pictures once I get them done up a bit) and my Grandma's shawl, which is looking lovely. Except for the change in colors in the second hank. I should post pics of that too. The dark blue in the new one is waaay darker than the dark blue in the first one. I haven't decided if I can live with it yet.

In other news, I'll be gone almost all next week - traveling for work. I'll try to post the pictures before I leave so I can show all the progress I made when I get back. Well, that is if my supervisor gets to come with. If not, I can't very well knit and drive at the same time. But I would turn the music up really loud and sing like an idiot all the way to Rapid City.

Secret Pal is fun! I went shopping for mine this weekend. Don't want to say much about it publicly but I hope she likes what I got her. And that it's a big surprise!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I have pictures! Yesterday got really busy after I posted so I took the camera home last night and got some crappy pictures. It's SO HARD to get good pictures at night. Here's what I have:

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Grandma's shawl. Could NOT get a good picture of this no matter how hard I tried. Hopefull it'll work better once it's done and blocked.

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Finished socks and some of those lovely apples I've been raving about.

The other budgeting presentation was okay but the group was much quieter than the first and I was a little distracted for some reason and kept losing my place. Felt a little bit more like what I *thought* the whole experience was going to feel like. What didn't feel feel weird and uncomfortable though? Talking to my son about sex last night. It ended up being one of the easiest conversations in the world and I wonder why I've stressed about it. He's awesome and so much like me. He doesn't ask common kid questions like "how does the baby get OUT of there?" no, he asks "so what determines whether it's a boy or a girl?" and is fascinated about XX and XY chromosomes. The look on his face when I said we were going to talk about sex though... hilarious.

I think I need a second project to work on along with the shawl but I'm not sure what it will be yet. Socks for Kurt, fingerless gloves for Kurt, a sweater for me, who knows. Most likely socks though. Or gloves. It's so hard to decide.

One last note: I LOVE bamboo needles. And one more: I'm not sure about the name of my blog anymore. I really really liked it and now, not so much. It's so long.

Did I Shrink?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

So I washed my second Ribby Cardi. The grey one that I never posted pictures of. I wore it this weekend while helping a friend put up a chain link fence (this is more work than it seems like, just so you know) so I threw it in the wash on Sunday. I thought, "I'll throw it in the washer, like I do with my other one." They're both made from Wool-ease so in THEORY this would be fine. But somehow it was not fine. My poor comfy grey Ribby that I wear at work almost every day because it's cold in my office, is now HUGE. The already long arms now extend past my fingertips, the ribbing is completely stretched out so it hangs like a bag around my body, and it's so frumpy-ugly I could just cry. Well, not really but I am pretty pissed about it. I know the sleeves stretched because I layed it over the arm of the couch to dry instead of laying it flat (didn't want cat hair on it) and let the arms hang. But the rib-loss? Why did it do this?? And what can I do to make it better? Right now my tentative plan (even though I know I should never do things out of anger) is to throw it back in the wash and then pop it in the damn dryer for an hour. THAT'LL show it.

Either way, whether it lives or dies, I need a new sweater. A nice comfy (real) wool sweater. Maybe in a pretty orangey/nutmeg color since my stupid biceps have outgrown my old pretty orange sweaters. Not that I'm buff or anything but when you look like a toothpick all your life and then start exercising, clothes have a way of seeming much smaller than they used to be. That'll be my next budgeting-for-yarn project, I guess. I think I just have budgeting on the mind since today's the day I give two budgeting presentations to Head Start parents. The first went really well, the other is right after lunch.

The only project (?!) I'm working on right now, my grandma's shawl, is still beautiful but isn't growing very fast. I promise I'll take pictures today on my lunch hour and post them up later.

And here's a "hello" to Nerd Knits, who I'm assuming is my new subscriber - bumping my blog subscriptions to a healthy two. And yes, I am the other subscriber, I subscribe to my own blog. I just like to see what it looks like from someone else's point of view.

Apples and pickles

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Last week a coworker told us about some apple trees he has at a rental place here in town and said we could go pick as many as we wanted. Hell yeah! So we went, my son and I, and no we had never picked apples before. I had done a drive-by and saw that most of the apples were up high so we went armed with some grocery bags and... a hockey stick. You can tell by that statement just how "hockey" we are. Quite awhile later and after a nice little chat with one of the tenants and we left with one large grocery bag fun of apples. We made Apple Crisp, which was super delicious, but in all my weekends strange busy glory, we didn't get to make anything else yet.

However, on Monday, the aforementioned coworker brought his apple picker* to work to let me borrow. How cool is that? So we went back tonight after parent/teacher conferences and I loved the apple picker so much that I want to marry it. Or at least buy one for myself! I could hardly stop myself! I think I would have picked all night if my hands hadn't froze to the handle. Yes, that's right: froze. We had snow here last night! Luckily very little, less than an inch, because our neighbors on the western part of the state got 18-24". Eighteen to twenty-four inches IN OCTOBER. The first week in October! Yikes. A strange weekend topped off with a strange week.

I'm a little more long-winded when I post at home, no?

Last night we stopped by my LYS to find some shawl yarn. Choosing yarn is the hardest part of a project for me. Imagining the way things will look when completed is not one of my strong points so I stress about every possible color and yarn choice. But I went with my instincts on this one and chose a beautiful lightly variegated blue yarn - just one of the many recommended ideas by the patient lady at the store. It's Araucania Nature Wool, which I've never heard of but love almost as much as the apple picker. I wish I could show you a picture but, you know, I'm not THAT together this week. I actually got spontaneously sick with a terrible cold on Tuesday and then got spontaneously "better" on Wednesday after sleeping for almost 12 hours but I'm still a little tired, hence the quotes on "better."

Did I mention the wool was pretty cheap? What a bonus, huh? AND, it knits up in the Wave and Shell pattern so beautifully I can hardly believe it. But, alas, no pictures yet.

What I meant to come here and post about were all the great discussions about blogs, blogging, blog-reading, and etc. that I've been reading around blog world lately but maybe I'll save that for another day. Suffice it to say that I like my blog, plan to continue it, but don't be surprised if life gets in the way pretty often.

* It's a tool, I learned, with hooks and a basket at the end of a pole.