Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Last night, D came over and helped me fold, stuff, and sign Christmas cards. Oh yes, I am lucky! They may be late, but at least they will be in the mail before Christmas.

Things will be pretty quiet here over the next few days, which is fine really, because most of the people who read this blog will be seeing me over the next few days! I'm looking forward to seeing all of you, especially the Little Guy and all the Nuts!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Am The Noisy Neighbor

Yup. It's me. I'm the person up at 7 a.m. traipsing all over my hardwood floors in my hard-soled slippers and driving you nuts.

Okay, maybe not driving *you* nuts, but the poor guy downstairs who had to come tell me to be quiet.

"Oh gosh yes", I am too loud.

Here I've been for the last two years, thinking my building was so quiet, and it isn't. It's just that *I* am the noisy one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brrrr!

It is mighty cold here in Minnesota. The bank said it was -5 this morning. It sure felt like it. It is the kind of cold where the snot freezes in your nose. I'm sitting here in my cube with my Fetching fingerless mitts (ravelry link) on and my Shadow Scarf wrapped around my neck, and I couldn't be happier.

I'm diligently working on my second mystery sock. Well, I don't know how diligently. It sure is taking me a long time to finish it and I won't let myself start something new until that is done. In the meantime, my new sock yarn is just sitting there looking sad and lonely and lovely. Sigh.

So, the Little Guy does not like to have his hair washed, and as of late, he doesn't like to take a nap either. Last weekend, he lay in his crib chatting away to himself, refusing to sleep. Gigi went in and told him, "If you don't take a nap, I'm going to take you downstairs right now to wash your hair". Apparantly, this had worked a few days earlier.

Apparantly, it was never to work again. The Little Guy stood up in his crib and started jumping up and down. "Yay! Wash my hair! Wash my hair! Yay!"

Gigi was shocked, but she picked him up and took him downstairs. She laid him down on the kitchen counter and as soon as the water hit his head, his whole little body tensed up. He pursed his lips real tight, squeezed his eyes shut, and whimpered a little bit. But he did not cry or kick and scream like he usually does.

Gigi said it was like he was thinking in his little head, "I'll SHOW YOU!"

No nap that day. I'm not sure how naptime has gone since then. Gigi, care to comment?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yay! Rain Boots!

I came home from work yesterday and there was a package outside my door. My first thought was that it was another Christmas gift for the people who don't live in my apartment anymore. Last year I got a pecan pie.

I opened up the box and found these (yes, it's a horrible picture...and yes, I am wearing gnome pajama pants)!Some rain boots from my friend, Jenn! I have been wanting some boots like this. In fact, just a couple days ago I saw a bunch of rain boots outside Practical Goods on Randolph Avenue and thought about how I really needed to get some rain boots. (Click on the word "practical" above. I think it is funny that that particular website had the best description I could find of the store)

I have a vague memory of telling Jenn this summer that I wanted some boots, and perhaps she mentioned she had an extra pair. Or maybe I am making that up in my head to explain the sudden and unexpected arrival of rain boots on my doorstep. I really don't know! She didn't include a note, so I am left to my own speculation.

Regardless of why she sent them, I am very excited! Thank you Jenn! I can't wait for the next rain storm!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shopping Spree?

Last year when I went to the No Coast Craft-o-Rama, I came home with a bunch of fun goodies.

This year, not so much. Perhaps...okay, no perhaps about it, I DEFINITELY should not have waited until after my Arabic dance class and lunch to go. I didn't get there until nearly 2:00, and it was so crowded I immediately wanted to leave. No amount of crafty goodness can make me want to hang out in a large crowd.

Lucky for me, the first booth I came to was for Fiery Lion Designs. I finally got my necklace!

I have been wanting something from them since I first saw them at the St. Paul Craftstravanza two years ago, but have always held back because I've been trying to be frugal. This was sort of a "job well done" gift to myself for paying off my debt.

My one other purchases was this pair of earrings from Falling Forward.

I thought they were lovely, and a steal at $9.

Then I just had to get out of there. I escaped to Target, where things were much more relaxed. Next year, I will go first thing Saturday morning, dance class or no.

I'll try to take some better pictures when there is some natural light in my apartment!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sigh.

My sister called me this morning to tell me she has been checking my blog daily to see if I have posted my purchases from No-Coast Craft-o-Rama. She sounded so sad.

I've just been so busy lately. No time to post.

To make matters even worse, I missed my blogiversary. Yup. I started this blog a year ago on October 26, 2007. I missed it by a lot.

So, let's go back in time and see how it all started, shall we?

My First Blog Post

Gigi says perhaps she will do some guest blogging! I hope she does!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ho ho ho...

Last night the Little Guy called me and we had a lovely conversation. He had seen a new show last night and wanted to tell me all about it. It had a scary monster, a snowman, a lion, an elf, and some reindeer.

Yup. He saw Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for the first time last night. The fun version with Burl Ives as a singing snowman and the Island of Misfit Toys. It was so cute to listen to a 2 1/2 year old describe it.

He did not mention Santa Claus.

Also this morning, we got some information about the state's budget deficit. This worries me, being that I work at a public institution (the largest in the state for that matter). No, I'm not worried about losing my job. I'm worried about all the students here. After all, I work in the financial aid office and I see how much of a struggle it is for many students to pay tuition as it is. With such a shortfall, what will the impact be on these students?

I'll try to focus on good things, like the fact that the No Coast Craft-o-Rama is this weekend. I myself have recently come out of a personal budget deficit, and plan to (frugally) reward myself with some goodies this weekend. I'll post about it on Monday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Pair of Warm Feet

These are the socks I knit for Kathy, my step-mom. I don't really have a better picture at the moment. I finished them up just in time to give them to her on Thanksgiving.

The pattern us just a simple garter-rib stitch. I used a German Twisted Cast-on, a Strong Heel (can't find a decent link explaining this), and a rounded toe. Done on two circular needles (Addi Size 1). The yarn is Cinnamon's Dye Pot. The label said Cinnamon's Dye Pot Kona Fingering. The colorway is wineberries.

This yarn was a gift from a fellow Raveler. I sent her something from my stash and she surprised me with this lovely yarn. Very soft! I wish the socks were for me!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday After A Long Weekend

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and surprisingly, I had no pumpkin pie. My step-mom figured my mom would have it at her house, so no pumpkin pie at the noon Thanksgiving. I'm not sure what my mom's reasoning was, but there was no pumpkin pie at the 5 p.m. Thanksgiving either.

Perhaps I should have brought pie.

I had a pretty lazy weekend. I did manage to make a pair of odd looking mittens for the Mitten Fairy.
They are made of Classic Elite Yarns Bazic Wool in Sunflower (a superwash wool). I used the Family of Mittens pattern from the book Holiday Knits. That one thumb turned out kind of wacky. I guess mittens aren't my thing. I'll head over to the Yarnery to drop them off after work today. Hopefully my goofy looking mittens are accepted.
I have added a couple new things to my stash. This lovely Lorna's Laces Organic Sock Yarn....
And some Cascade Yarn Sassy Stripes. These will make some socks with some nice, thick stripes!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good Thing I Have Health Insurance

Wow. Last night when I got home my Explanation of Benefits from Health Partners was waiting for me. I've been patiently awaiting this to see just how much my eye surgery cost.

Services for just the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist were $594.33 and $927.41, respectively. I'm not really sure why one is so much more than the other.

The surgery was $6,762.03.

My appointment the day after surgery was $125.20.

The two appointments I had earlier in the week, with my primary care doctor and the opthamologist were $220.00 and $387.00.

And none of this includes the appointment I had last week or the one I have in two weeks.

So far, fixing my eye has cost a whopping $9,016.27! Of that, I have only had to pay $18.72 for eye drops and $30.00 in co-pays. That's it.

Thank you U of M for a good health insurance plan!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Well, then...

My sister was giving me a hard time about not posting recently. It's not that I have nothing to post...it's that with it being dark before I even leave work, I haven't been able to take pictures of my recent knitting accomplishments (unless I want to use my flash and have the pictures look horrible).

What about over the weekend, you ask? Hey...I was way too busy over the weekend watching DVDs of the West Wing and picking out an appropriate algebra textbook for a 35 year-old (me) to take photos.

ALGEBRA? What's up with that? Maybe there will be more on that later. Given the fact that I'm also watching a show that has been off the air for several years (while my friends all watch Lost and Heroes), I'm not sure I want to admit how much more of a geek I am.

Quick knitting update: I finished Mystery Sock #1 and am almost done with Kathy's Sock #2. Kathy's socks will be presented to Kathy on Turkey Day, and perhaps she will wear them in early December when she has her eye surgery. I wore hand knit socks to my eye surgery, and I think that was the key to success. That or the Yale and Harvard educated surgeon.

Over the weekend, I will whip up a pair of mittens to donate to the Mitten Fairy at the Yarnery. Then I will start this.

Oh, and I finally checked out Twist Collective. I think I love this and this. And this is pretty cool too. How have I never known about this website? online magazine? Whatever it is, I love it.

The Little Guy had tubes put in his ears today. He came through with flying colors! Yay!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Too Lazy To Post Tuesday

(I like the Too...to..Tue in the title!)

Obviously, I'm not too lazy since I am posting. I am lazy in the sense that I just wanted to share some links, so there is not much of my own content.

My sister, who is a mom, reads several "mommy blogs". She's the one who turned me on to dooce, who is so famous she was on the Today show a few months ago. She also reads Mom to the Screaming Masses. I don't read this much (ever) but since I am staying with her for a few days, I spied it on the Macbook. In the post yesterday, she gives recipes for flavored liqueurs. Cool! My step mom makes her own amaretto. Maybe she will post her recipe in the comments.

Sara B. sent me this link months ago. I just think it's such a great story, and I saw this security guard the last time I was at the Minneapolis Public Library. He looked shorter in person, but then I remembered that in the picture, he is standing next to a little kid. There are some really good people out there!

And last but not least, the Yarnery now has a Facebook page! I joined. You should too!

Monday, November 17, 2008

How Did I Do?

Weekend Knitting Accomplishments

1) Ribby Cardi Zipper - A total bust. I didn't even touch it!

2) Finished the foot on the Mystery Sock and downloaded the final clue...the toe!

3) Cast on for Kathy's Sock #2 and knit 3 rows so far.

4) Yarn Purchase at the Yarnery. Semi-successful. I didn't see anything that screamed at me, "I am the yarn for your sweater!" which is odd because there was much beautiful yarn there and everyone was so helpful. My mom did get some yarn, so it wasn't a total loss. Afterwards, we drove over to Borealis Yarns, where I got More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch and the booklet, the Magic Loop. Happy Birthday to me!

I am spending the next few days with my sister and the Little Guy. Her hubby is out of town, so we are living together, for a bit, just like in the old days. Except with a toddler.

The Little Guy was up and talking to himself in his crib for a bit this morning. When his light goes on, he knows it is time to get up, so he will then call out, "Everybody! Come in!" This morning he called out, "Come in, Mimi!" Awww....how cute is that?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gonna Get Me Some Yarn

I have big knitting plans for the weekend. This morning as I walked to the busstop, I decided this weekend I want to:

1) Sew the zipper on my Ribby Cardi. I finished the knitting in FEBRUARY.
2) Complete the foot on Mystery Sock #1. Here is where I left off with it before my surgery. I feel sort of so-so about this sock. I like the stitch pattern, but am not so crazy about how the yarn is pooling.

3) Cast on for Kathy's Sock #2.
4) Go to the Yarnery with my mom on Sunday (she has never been there!) and buy some birthday yarn to make this (ravelry link). I know, my birthday was two months ago. It's taken me some time to decide what I wanted.

Mom didn't really go for the "eye surgery yarn" idea. Oh well.

Speaking of my eye, it's doing much better. Vision is still blurry, partly because my eye is dilated I am sure. The gas bubble in my eye disappeared overnight, so I no longer have to wear my bright green wrist band. Yay! It was getting annoying.

Last night D and I went to the Longfellow Grill for some grub. We are both too lazy to cook. I shouldn't say that about him. I am too lazy to cook. The macaroni and cheese there is REALLY good.

Afterwards, we stopped in to Corazon, a fun little gift shop, kind of like Patina or the Bibelot Shops, but with better greeting cards. I bought this one.

And the inside:
So true. So true.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Happened, Mimi?

That is what the Little Guy asked me Saturday night when he saw me with my eye patch. He then gave me his blue puppy and put a floor rug over me.

So cute...meaning the Little Guy...obviously not me. See below.

I was very lucky in that I did not have to spend my weekend in face-to-the-floor position. That was a possibility, but the opthamologist/surgeon told me I didn't need to do that. I trust him because he went to Yale and then Harvard Medical School.

I spent the better part of my weekend laying around with my eyes closed. I had a hard time keeping my good eye open, so I listened to a lot of Minnesota Public Radio and asked D for a report on the book he is reading about Abe Lincoln. Good times.

The surgery went well. I had scleral buckle surgery done. They also injected a tiny gas bubble in to my eye to push my retina back in place, so I get to wear a lovely bright green medic alert bracelet until it dissolves. No nitrous oxide for me or I could go blind! Oh, and I have two stitches in my eye. Scratchy!

My eye is still pretty swollen and I have eye drops that keep my pupil dilated, so vision is not great yet. I go back next week for a follow-up, but from what the doctor saw Saturday morning it looks like it was successful.

Plan on some knitting content soon! I did no knitting this weekend, but got a little done before the surgery.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's About Time For Some Change!

YES!

As I rode the bus home last night, I passed many groups of people in the street, waving signs, yelling and cheering. The excitement was...exciting! I can't remember ever being so excited to cast my vote before!

I was lucky that I did not have to wait in line at all to vote. I was in and out of the polling place within 5 minutes. I didn't watch much of the election coverage because I went to bed pretty early. First thing I did when I got up though was turn on the TV and do a little dance around the living room.

Yes, I am pleased.

Tomorrow is the big day for me...eye surgery. I'll post as soon as I can to let everyone know how it went. Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Monday, November 3, 2008

You Cannot Knit When Your Pupils Are Dilated

You can't. Really. I tried.

I had an interesting day, and not in a particularly good way. On the other hand, I know it could have been worse, and I'm thankful.

Ha ha ha...how do you like my soap opera style writing? Ya know how in soap operas it always takes about an hour for someone to actually TELL something.

Well, for about the last week, I've noticed the peripheral vision in my right eye has been lacking. It was a bit troubling to say the least. This morning I went to the doctor, and after waving her hands around in front of me, she decided I should go see the opthamologist and get an MRI and maybe see a neurologist for good measure.

Yikes!

First stop was the opthamologist, where there was more waving of hands and wiggling of fingers (the technician's, not mine) which determined that indeed...no peripheral vision.

The the dreaded dilating of the pupils. I tried, I really tried to knit for a bit, but after about 5 minutes, the world was blurry and bright and I leaned back and shut my eyes.

In a bit in came Opthamologist #1 who was very kind and as I described my symptoms to him said, "Well, let's check it out, my friend". Sort of like John McCain.

He shone that really bright light in my eyes, looked around a little bit, wrote some stuff down, and told me I had a retinal detachment. Lucky me though, their retinal specialist was in the office today!

Opthamologist #2 came in and did the same thing. Then he did it some more while shoving my eyeball all over the place. Ugh. Not comfortable. I whimpered at one point.

Then he said, "Surgery", and my chin quivered a bit, kind of like the Little Guy right before he cries. Unfortunately, he's leaving the country tomorrow and just in case there was a problem, he didn't want to do it today and then be far, far away. He also told me I did not need an MRI. No brain problem here. Just my retina detacthing from my eye. Come on retina! It isn't enough that my vision is so horrible I have trouble finding my glasses when I set them down?

Thursday morning I have an appointment to have eye surgery. Of course, I'm a little scared and I have all kinds of questions. The only question I thought to ask today was, "Can I go to my tap dancing class tomorrow?" The answer was no, I should avoid activities where I bounce around.

The opthamologist described it as "urgent, but not an emergency". He also drew a nice picture showing me how the retina is detached from the bottom of my eye. So, I need to have surgery soon so I don't go blind in my right eye.

On the bright side, I get to make like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop and say, "It's not a tumor!"

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Geocaching

Yesterday was a beautiful day! After my Arabic dance class, I decided it would be shame to stay inside so I called D to see if he was up for some Geocaching. Of course he was!

We headed down to the walking path along Mississippi River Blvd in St. Paul. I love my neighborhood and just one of the reasons is being within walking distance of the river and the walking/running/biking/rollerblading-get-knocked-over-by-a-130lb-Newfoundland path (a story for another day).

Just off the main path, a few feet into the woods, is another hidden, more woodsy path. It was there we found the caches.

We found several DinoCaches. In the very last one were three new caches, with a note letting us know we could take one and hide it somewhere. We just need to use "DinoCache" in the title. We took one called Apatosaurus because it reminded me of Judd Apatow. I found the first one and I was so excited!

We did a lot of traipsing through the woods. There is a fairly steep gorge (well, it some spots it is a sheer drop off) down to the river, maybe 100 feet below (I am a terrible judge of distance, so don't quote me on that). In some spots, I thought the trail was a little scary, so I became the nagging girlfriend, telling D, "Hey! Stop looking at stuff on your iPhone! Stop it!"

We also found two caches left by Pack 67. The first one was the only one we had trouble with. It was also here that I discovered I had left our pen in the last cache. On Well.

There were still a few Dinocaches to find. Here is my model-geocaching pose with one of them.

The final cache was hidden in a treacherous spot. Well, I thought so, but I'm afraid of falling down, so...my tolerance for treacherously hidden geocaches may be low.

All in all, we went 5-for-5 with the caches, much better than our experience last weekend. In case any of you are interested, our geocaching "handles" are Gustie97 and OleGal96. I think we should call our team "MIAC Rulez" or maybe "Two dorks from small, private, Lutheran, liberal arts colleges in southern Minnesota who Geocache". You can search for us on the geocaching website.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Woo-Hoo!

Ooh! A snake!

Wednesday, D and I headed to the Timberwolves season opener. The Wolves won, which made us both very happy.

On the way, we stopped at the plaza outside the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis. They have a very unique courthouse plaza, with some very fun art. I couldn't' find anything online about the artist. I just think they are too, too cute!
I've seen these little guys in passing while on the bus, but this was the first time I was able to see them up close and join them.

A few of them are mowing the mounds of grass.
Taking pictures....

Helping out a friend....

Or just lazing around.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Dream in Knitting

Last night, I dreamt I was knitting some wonderful socks. They were very brightly colored, a variegated yarn, soft and smooshy. The pattern appeared to be either Jaywalker or Monkey. I think the yarn was one of these. I was knitting on bamboo DPNs.

In the dream, I was actually knitting about five or six pairs of socks, but I didn't want to work on any of them. I was digging in my closet and kept finding more and more socks, until I found the ones described above and thought, "Ah...here is what I want to work on".

I think this is a sign.

The dream seems to have been inspired by two things: one would be this post from the ADD Knitter. See the Monkey Socks in the upper left corner? Very similar to my dream socks. The other would be the time I spent yesterday perusing the fibery goodness at Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I took a class on sleep and dreaming in college and I firmly believe that every dream can be traced to something that happened to you that day.

Tonight I'll probably dream about this blog post.

Despite my dreams, I'm not going to run out and buy some Socks that Rock yarn because I am on a yarn buying moratorium. If someone else wants to buy me yarn, go right ahead!

I am working on two pairs of socks right now. The "Socks for Kathy", and the Socktoberfest Mystery Sock. I am done with Clue #1. I am using some KnitPicks Sock Memories in Cape Cod.

In other news:

Lunds and Byerlys have the BEST caramel apples ever.


Timberwolves season opener is tonight!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Today, D and I headed to the "real America"...my hometown of Anoka, MN. At least I think it was the "real America"...I sure saw a lot of Michelle Bachmann stickers, and I heard someone say an Obama presidency would lead to Communism. I felt almost as uncomfortable as I did when we hung around the RNC.

We were there for the Anoka Halloween Parade. Yup! My hometown is the Halloween Capital of the World. Gigi and the Little Guy were there as well. We also ran in to some old friends from high school. We had plenty of time to chat because the parade is about 3 1/2 hours long. That is a lot of Halloween.

It was the perfect day to wear my Gloria cowl and Fetching mitts.

I bought the Little Guy this Halloween Balloon. Look how proud he is of it...well, I guess you can't really see him.

After the parade, we did a little geo-caching. I found this teeny-tiny cache.

We admired the confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers.

Then we hightailed it back to the big city, the "un-real" America, where I can safely shout "OBAMA! OBAMA!"

Yay Me!

I have returned from the UMACRAO conference where I was the recipient of a lovely shiny plaque.
It's the Exemplary New Member Award. I was very, very excited to receive this, and although I do not like to toot my own horn, I wanted to share.

Now, this is a knitting blog, so if anyone could help me come up with a knitting related way to say, "toot your own horn", I'd be much obliged.

I celebrated with the martini pictured. I then ordered a second martini which took up residence my lap. Eergh.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quiet Time

Things will be a little quiet here over the next few days. I'm off to the Upper Midwest Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Annual Meeting. Try saying THAT five times fast!

I cast on last night for a cowl to go with my Fetching mitts. I have plenty of the Manos left. So far, I am experimenting. I cast on 100 stitches and have started doing the same cable pattern as Fetching. Knit 4, Purl 1 ribbing for 4 rows, then a cable row. I figured I'd do that twice and then knit straight for a while, and then finish with the cable pattern.

I pulled it off the needles after I had done one cable round plus a few rows, and it seems to be going okay so far. The cables really shrink the circumference, but it still fit easily over my head and seems to be a good witdth around the neck. WE'LL SEE. I've never made something up as I go along before, so....could be disastrous.

Oh, who am I kidding? It's a cowl.

I also purchased this pattern yesterday: Matilda and Tillie. The pattern calls for Peace Fleece, which I happen to have in my stash. I think this hat will look great in the bright red I have.

I am thinking of buying this pattern as well: Pleated Ballet Flats. They are just so cute! I don't think I have anything in my stash for this though.

With the weather getting cooler, all I can think about is knitting!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Perils of Not Checking Guage

The Josephine hat is complete and isn't she cute?

Pattern: Josephine by Julia Riede available on Popknits.
Yarn: Rowan Calmer
Started: October 14, 2008
Finished: October 18, 2008
Size: I used the pattern for the infant side, but this is definitely a toddler sized hat.

Too bad she is way to large for anyone under the age of 2. That is what happens when you don't knit a gauge swatch. Usually with baby hats, I don't much care. It will fit at some point. Problem is, I don't really want to give a hat to someone who hasn't even had the baby yet and say, "Here! Here is a hat your child can wear when she is 3". I'll have to knit something else.

That's not the only problem Josephine and I had. We had quite the disagreement while I was doing the shaping on the brim. The hat insisted that I had knit where I should have purled, and even though I didn't remember this, I had to admit defeat and pull my short rows out and start over. My level of frustration at this turn of events surprised even me.
Regardless, it is a lovely hat. I had some really cute pictures of my nephew, the Almond, running around at my dad's house yesterday wearing it. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted almost ALL of my pictures from my memory card. I'm just so sad about this, because there were cute pics of the Almond and the Walnut and the Little Guy. Now they are all gone.
I've also started again on Kathy's socks and got a few rows done on that this morning while riding in my limo...err, the back of the bus.
We had a lovely weekend here in the Twin Cities. My weekend was packed with activities: geocaching, Arabic dance class, visiting with my grandpa, beer with friends, and a meeting of Team On Tap to discuss our trip to Ireland, March 12 - 23.
The highlight, however, was when a random sheep wandered past my dad's backyard. Sure, at one time...maybe 100 years ago...my dad's house was in the country, surrounded by farms. That hasn't been the case for quite some time. We aren't sure where the sheep came from, but he disappeared between two homes and down a hill. Hopefully Little Bo Peep finds him.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Knitting Ambitions

The last time I verbalized my knitting plans, they all went horrible awry. Okay. I'm totally exaggerating there. I just wanted to use the phrase "horribly awry".

You may remember my summer knitting queue (or not...I barely remember it myself). How did I do on these projects? Review time...quiz to follow.

One Skein Wonder: Done! In fact, I did two!
Gloria Cowl: Done!
Nothing But A T-Shirt: Done...in October...significantly after summer. In all fairness, I did call it my "Summer and BEYOND Knitting Queue"
Synesthesia Socks: Done! Finished in the summer!
Kathy's Socks: Have been started. I've set them aside until I see her again and can have her try them on to see how sizing is going.
Josephine Top: Abandoned.
Sockapalooza: Well...it hasn't happened yet!

Looking this over, I realize I did very well, actually. I am still terribly disappointed in the Josephine top though. I really want to knit that. I made a bad yarn choice and so now will have to wait until I can buy some yarn I like better. Considering that I am saving every spare penny for my trip to Ireland in March, I don't anticipate casting on anytime soon.

That also means that my Fall/Winter knitting must be done from my existing stash which in turn means I will be working on small projects.

Right now, I am making an octopus using the pattern in Kath Dalmeny's World of Knitted Toys. I'm planning to gift this to the Pecan, who joined all of us on Monday. The Pecan also surprised us all by being...a boy! I'm using some of the yarn I bought to make the Josephine top, so it will be a kohlrabi colored octopus.

I am also working on this hat for a co-worker having a baby. I'm using leftover Rowan Calmer from the Nothing But A T-Shirt.

I'll be making another Gloria Cowl using my leftover Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend from the Fetching mittens.

I'm still working on Kathy's socks and will see her this weekend, FINALLY!

And, I've decided to do the Socktoberfest Mystery Socks. I'm a little behind, but so far I've only printed clue 1 and intend to do this in bits and pieces and not peek ahead. I know I've got some sock yarn in my stash! Or I could raid my mom's stash.

For now, that is all I have planned. I'd really like to do something bigger, but I don't think I have the yarn for it. Sigh. So hard to save money.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Well, That's Fetching!

I'm sitting at my desk and I can hear the TV out in the lobby. Talking heads are discussing the presidential debate last night. I wonder how many times they will mention Joe the Plumber.

Wow! Look at this! You can already order Joe the Plumber t-shirts.

While I listened to the debate (I simply cannot stand to watch the debate...the glaring, snide smiles, and head shaking irk me), I finished up this:
Pattern: Fetching by by Cheryl Niamath from Knitty Summer '06.
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Manos Silk Blend, less than one skein!
Started: October 10th
Finished: October 15th

Sorry I don't have a picture of both. It's really hard to take pictures of your own hands.
I loved this pattern. Easy, quick, and I've still got an entire skein and then some of this yarn left, so I plan to make a cowl to go along with the fingerless mitts! I'll try to work on that over the weekend.
After work yesterday, D and I headed over to Brasa, a little rotisserie in Northeast Minneapolis I have been wanting to try. If you eat meat and live in the Twin Cities, get yourself over there. It's way better than those chickens you pick up at the supermarket.
I had the roasted pork plate. I got a mound of pulled pork that was juicy and flavorful. For my two sides I had the creamed spinach with jalapenos and the "special side" which was black eyed peas with bacon and cornbread. The black-eyed peas were creamy and had just enough small chunks of thick cut bacon mixed in. Nestled in the middle was a slice of corn bread. And the spinach...best I've ever had. The jalapenos gave it just a little kick.
D had the combination plate (chicken and pork) with a side of cornbread and honey butter, the spinach, and cheese grits. The corn bread was moist and sweet and the cheese grits were comfort in a bowl. Are you hungry yet?
We washed it all down with some Mexican Coke. If you've never picked up one of the big bottles of Coke from the Mexican aisle at the grocery store, do so. There is just something different about it.
After that, all I could really do was sit on the couch and knit, watch the end of Knight Rider, and listen to the debate. A successful Wednesday night.
EDIT: So, you see how after the picture my blog post is all one big paragraph? This is NOT how I formatted this. There were spaces between my paragraphs, and when I publish the post, the spaces disappear. I've edited about 5 times, putting the spaces back in, only to publish and have them disappear. Anyone know why this happens? How I can prevent it? It is the number 1 reason I am thinking of switching to WordPress or some other blog service. I find this so irritating.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Done!

I finished up the "Nothing But A T-Shirt" over the weekend! It fits my sister perfectly. Doesn't she look cute?

If I were to do it over, I would do the collar again (for a third time). I'm not 100% happy with the way the collar looks. I did a couple little things differently on the collar (I got the ideas from someone else's blog, but now you need a password to access that blog, so....). I picked up the stitches in the main color and then switched to the contrasting color. This helped with the "fang" problem I had before, but I had one less row of contrasting color, so the color seemed "short". Next time, I'll knit an extra row.

I also decreased 4 stitches evenly around the collar on the front and then increased again on the back. This was a suggestion from the other blog to make the collar lay flatter. This seemed to work pretty well.

I need to work on my seaming skills. Where the collar comes together seems a little wonky to me.

Other than that, the sweater turned out lovely and she seems to like it!

I liked working with the Rowan Calmer. It's incredibly soft. I would love to wear a sweater made of this! I was a little alarmed at how much the the color seeped out when I blocked it, but fortunately it didn't bleed on to the contrasting color. It also might be a little too stretchy for me.

I'm feeling pretty good about a finished object!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nothin But Some Side Seams

Squeee! It is almost done! I just have to sew up the side seams tonight, perhaps do a little blocking, and I will have an FO. So exciting.


I worked on this last night while I listened to the scintillating MN senatorial candidate debate amongst Al Franken, Norm Coleman, and Dean Barkley. I thought it was pretty interesting. I have to say, it was nice to just listen and not have to watch their facial expressions during the debate. Made the whole thing a lot more tolerable.


I got to see the Little Guy over the weekend and he gave me a very nice birthday card, with a sticker inside. He loves stickers. I told him I wanted to wear it and I handed it to him to stick on my shirt somewhere. He promptly lifted my shirt and stuck it square on my stomach.


Because tummies are the place for stickers. Everyone knows that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Almost Back Where I Started

While I was away, I was able to get the Nothing But A T-Shirt almost back to where I was before I ripped the front and back all the way back to the beginning of the armhole shaping.

I need to attach the collar and then sew it up and it will be DONE!

In sad news, the Twins season is over. I'm so sad.

In better news, I listened to my first Cast On podcast yesterday! It was so cool. I also no longer need to listen to the crazy people on the bus anymore. My iPod is slowly being filled and so far contains (in addition to one episode of Cast On) lots of Wilco, Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo, the Jayhawks, Andrew Bird, Sarah Harmer, Weezer, REM, and a little Jane's Addiction. Good times.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Baseball, Pluto, and Rhinos

The AL Central title comes down to possibly two games. The Sox have to play a make-up game with Detroit tonight. If they lose, the Twins win the AL Central. If they win, the Twins and the Sox play Tuesday to determine who get the pennant. I don't think I'll be able to watch. Eeeeeee!

While at Disney, we spent Thursday at the Magic Kingdom, where we met some furry creatures named Pluto....

and Goofy.

We needed to see some more furry creatures so on the last day we headed to the Animal Kingdom.

That place is amazing. The attention to detail (which I learned all about at the Disney Institute) was incredible! In addition, most of the park is covered in shade, a welcome respite from the sun beating down on us at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

The best part had to be the animals though. First thing we headed to the Kilimanjaro Safari. We waited less than 5 minutes and were able to see so many amazing animals, pretty up close and personal.

After that,we headed to the Pagani Trail and saw several gorillas, just being gorillas.

What a difference from the zoo here where they just sit behind glass and look miserable.

We also headed to the Affection Section, where I got to say hello to a close personal friend, a sheep.

We were so impressed by the safari, we decided to go again. See these rhinos? I DID NOT use any zoom when I took this photo. They were THAT CLOSE to us. Probably 2 - 3 feet from our vehicle. It was just awesome.

Thankfully, the Animal Kingdom closes at 5. I don't think I could have handled another 12 hour theme park day. I have no idea how people with kids do it. We took a little bus/boat/monorail tour around some of the different resorts and Downtown Disney and then had beer and pizza back at the hotel.

I'm still acclimating back to life in Minnesota. I don't go back to work until Wednesday, so I should have some knitting progress to show soon!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me...A Couple Days Late

Note: This post is a few days late because I was so freaking tired after my days spent at Disney World I could barely brush my teeth, let alone login to Blogger.

So, Friday was my birthday! And my sister's birthday, too! Happy Birthday, Gretchen!

What was the first thing I wanted to do on my birthday? Open presents? Hop the bus to Epcot? Call The Little Guy and listen to his little voice say, "Happy Birthday" (which I did later and it was soooo cute)?

No, I wanted to turn on ESPN and watch highlights of the Twins sweeping the White Sox. It might all be a moot point after today, but oh well. It was cool.

Once that was done, I opened my gift from D. It was lovingly wrapped in a sock. Looky what I got!

Yay! An iPod Nano! Now I can download knitting podcasts. I can hardly wait. Here I am rocking out to it early Friday morning.

Sadly, I had to leave my little yellow friend behind and head to Epcot. First stop was Guest Relations soI could get a birthday button. Folks, if at all possible, celebrate your birthday at Disney World. Sure, it was hot and humid, but it sure was worth it.

Right away that morning, a group of custodial workers gathered around and sang "Happy Birthday" to me. The rest of the day was like that too. They sure know how to make you feel special there.

We also got to see our future! Look at us in spacesuits!

We had dinner at the Morocco pavilion. I chose this because they have a belly dancer. I got to dance with her...twice. The second time, our server, Balil, forced me up there since he missed me the first time. Let me tell you, wiggling your hips on a full stomach does not feel so good. Then I got dessert and a birthday song.

Of course we met up with some characters during the day as well.

It was a great birthday! I had so much fun, got to see fireworks, and got a really cool gift that is just waiting for some music.

I'll write more about my Disney World adventures tomorrow.