Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

Tonight I watched Dirty Dancing with my sister and my niece. It was on the WE network. There were commercials. They edited the dirty words. It was still a great movie. Yes, I know. Shmaltzy. Still, I have always loved this movie and I could watch it again and again.

Work is going circumstantially well. The news is starting to filter through that I am leaving. It is a little sad. Like I said, bittersweet. Today, one of the agents told me that me and Boss are like Batman and Robin, always together and a force to be reckoned with. Someone else pointed out that there are only 3 people in our office (out of 21) that had been there longer than me. That doesn't seem possible to me. I guess I didn't realize how people see me. It is kind of nice to hear people say they will miss me and what will they do without me. I know that a certain amount of this is lipservice but I know, too, that there is some sincerity tossed it. I have so many loose ends to tie up.

Moving on.....

Perhaps I should have mentioned before now but I would really love to receive this:

and this:
for Christmas. I don't think I will because I have been so swamped that I didn't take the time to request them. Umm. The good news on the Christmas front: all of my wrapping is done except for my mother's clock and it is a beast so I am going to have to figure out a nice way to wrap it. My niece came over tonight and helped me wrap and we talked and sang sappy country songs. It was fun. I love my nieces and nephews. Such good kids. Whatever issues my sisters may have (or not have...hi sister!) they have wonderful, sweet, kind, loving, happy children. (and the youngest one even calls me his "wave-wit aunt" sometimes. I can't imagine who taught him to say that!!)

Back to the wishes....any variety of Addis. I only have a pair of 3s (16") and 7s (12"). But I love them. I am in search of projects that require these sizes because I want to use these needles.

Perhaps a skein or two of fancy yarn that I can't convince myself to buy...(Yes, I know, the Clip isn't all that expensive, comparatively, but I haven't brought myself to make a great big online yarn purchase. I am a real sucker for, you know, paying the bills.)

My birthday is the first of February. Maybe I will ask for an Elann gift certificate.

As a sidenote, if anyone knows a spinner in Northern California (let's say, within two hours of Modesto) or if such a spinner happens to stumble through here, please let me know. I am very interested in learning to spin but I have no idea what I am getting myself into. It is just that age-old knitterly longing.

On the very real chance that I don't get around to posting again before Christmas, I wish you all a very, very Merry Christmas. I am so happy to have "met" you all this year and hope you have a wonderful holiday, spend lots of time with loved ones and take a little time to relax and be joyful.

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Scoop

It is official.

I gave my two weeks notice this morning. Which is actually two weeks plus I will work half days at my current job and half days at my new job for a week after that. I have been a nervous wreck about it. It is a bittersweet situation. I have been at my current job for more than 7 years. I've cut my professional teeth in this job. Yes, I had jobs before this one but this is where I have been since I was 21. It was my first "real" job. This is kind of where I've learned to be a grown up. It is a wonderful job and I love what I do about 38 of the 45 hours I work in an average week. I love my boss and his family. I really enjoy working with our clients and for the most part, I like the real estate business.

Why, you ask, am I leaving this job? Money. Stress. Family (wanting to having one, that is).

I have been offered a position working for my father (who owns a manufacturing company) as his executive secretary. It will be more money from the get go with worlds more potential for growth (read: more money) in the long term. There will be more flexibility, more opportunities and less stress. After the miscarriage a few weeks ago, my doctor told me that the stress in my life was most likely a factor. I guess that was sort of the last strike. When my father called last week and offered me this position, I was torn at first but really, I knew in my heart immediately what my decision would be.

So this morning I gave my notice. We have a miniature planning meeting every Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. to talk about where we are on projects and what we have going on for the week. I gave him my notice first thing this morning. I was able to recommend someone to him who can potentially take my place and I wanted to give him all day to mull it over and maybe talk to her. He is interviewing her now. I am hopeful that they will hit it off because I would feel a lot better about the transition if I had an opportunity to train someone. I like my boss and I don't want to leave him in the lurch. Did I mention he is going on vacation for two weeks starting Wednesday? Yeah, not the best timing.

No knitting news. Well, not really. I finished the fun fur scarf over the weekend and cast on for a project that has been rattling around in my brain for a while. Yes, I cast on in utter disregard for the fact that I still have Christmas knitting to finish. I did a little shopping at lunch today. I finally found something for my HP and I also bought a couple of things for his stocking.

Thanks for your good thoughts. It actually went more smoothly than I expected, and I didn't even cry. Which is practically a miracle because I am kind of a crier.

Bad news: The digital camera has gone amiss. I think I am going to have to send the little dog out on some convert ops to find it. No pictures today. Boo-whoo.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Knitting and Babies

In early November, I finished knitting a baby blanket for baby Michal, who is the daughter of my friends Melanie & Bryan. Melanie and I went to high school together when I lived in Arkansas and she is one of the sweetest, kindest, dearest people I know. Since I had moved to California well before she met Bryan, I have never met him but I am sure he is wonderful, too, or she wouldn't be married to him.

I was so excited to send the blanket off to Michal that I (woe of woes!) forgot to take pictures. Luckily, Mommy and Daddy understand the need for photographic documentation and so they graciously provided some pictures for us. (Granted, not the greatest pictures but pictures nonetheless. And with a baby!)

The blanket was knit using the most standard of standard patterns: the basic dishcloth, giant version. The body of the blanket is white Patons Be Mine and the trim was crocheted on after (using the full measure of my crocheting abilities) using Patons Allure in garnet. It is so unbelievably soft and easy to care for. I've knit other baby blankets from this yarn and, in spite of it being the lowly 100% nylon yarn, Be Mine is still great for blankets and the like. Babies love the softness, it is a quick easy knit and it holds up wonderfully to all sorts of baby spitting and drooling and washing.

Isn't she a cutie? I am working on arranging a trip to meet her in person. Hopefully that'll be soon.

Today my HP and I went and did a little Christmas shopping. Progress was made. I still have a considerable amount of shopping to do but I feel alot better about it now. I think I will actually have it all done before Christmas comes.

Today, the only knitting I've managed is a little work on a fun fur scarf. My sister, who is a brand-spanking convert . . . I mean knitter . . . bought one skein of lilac-ish looking fun fur and wanted to make something from it but got frustrated because she wasn't sure what do to with it. Freshly inspired by Laurie and her orange drop-stitched wonder, I took temporary custody of the fun fur and am working on a quick scarf. I am not holding out alot of hope about fun fur's willingness to be blocked.

If you are reading this before Monday, please keep me in your thoughts Monday. I'm stressed (and also excited) about it already. I'll let you all in on the news on Monday night (or maybe Tuesday) once I've gotten over that first hurdle.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

No News

Skeins of yarn purchased today: 2 (Honey if you are reading this, 0. I only said 2 to amuse my knitting friends.)

Knitting projects finished today: 1 (the ribbed hat)

New knitting projects started today: 3 (a pair of baby booties, another /*#%@! hat and a shawl)

Pictures taken of any of the above: 0

Elementary school band concerts attended: 1 (followed by one elementary school band sized headache)

Christmas cards mailed: 0

Christmas cards addressed: 84

Christmas cards remaining to be addressed: 6

Christmas gifts purchased: 8

Christmas gifts wrapped: 0

Comments to other knitting blogs composed in my head: 18

Comments to other knitting blogs actually composed and posted: 0

I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Mixed Messages

On the one hand, I have my Christmas tree up and completely decorating. I even managed to go out and purchase a new tree topper.

On the other hand, I haven't purchased even one gift. I have a husband, parents, parents-in-law, aunts-in-law, sisters, brothers, sister-in-law, brothers-in-law, and many nieces and nephews to buy for. That is just the family.

I have addressed all but about 10 Christmas cards. (This is momentous.)

I haven't done a morsel of Christmas baking.

I have Christmas stockings hung by the china cabinet with care. (We are sans fireplace.)

I have 4 boxes of Christmas decorations sitting untouched on the floor in our dining room.

Apparently I can't decide whether or not to be spirited this year. I am so busy with everything else that it is hard to get in the groove. There is so much going on - though nothing extraordinary. Just your run of the mill chaos like work and family obligations, feeling poorly and just wanting to rest and work . . . . it goes on and on. There are times that I wish I had lived in a different time. I think I would have made an excellent 1950's housewife.

Before I give in to the mournful cries of the pattern-challenged Calmer hat, I do have a little (and I mean negligible) something to show you. It is a sunglasses cozy I knit for my niece's Christmas. It is just a small sort of side gift. It is made from two strands of Lamb's Pride Bulky (from the scrap pile) held together. It knit up super super quickly even for me (I couldn't sleep Friday night so I sat up watching tivo'ed Law & Orders and did this little tidbit.) Here it is prefelting:

And post felting (with the sunglasses).

As you can tell, sometime between early Saturday morning and late Sunday afternoon, I lost my grip on the digital camera.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Questions & Answers

Thank you all so much for your kindness and your encouraging words this week. It has been a long week and it means so much to know that there are people out there thinking of me and praying for me. Thank you, thank you!!!

The last few days have been slow on the knitting front. I am still working on that hat I started on Monday but other than that, no knitting. (This hat kick is strange, considering a. I live in a place where it is seldom cold enough for a hat and b. I personally do not ever wear hats. . .) So now I need some input on this hat. I am making this hat free hand. No pattern. A friend of mind described something she wanted in a hat and I am trying to make that. It is a basic K3, P2 rib, knit in the round. This is fine for the body of the hat (and it is actually working up nicely and very cozy in that
Rowan Calmer I bought over Thanksgiving weekend) but when the time comes to decrease, how should I do the decreases? (Yes, I realize I probably should have figured this out before I cast on but alas, I did not. . . .) My thought is that when it comes time to start the decreases, I will:

1. *K2tog, K1, P2* repeat to then end of the round
2. *K2, P2* a round
3. *K2, P2tog a round
4. *K2, P1* a round
5. *K2tog, P1* a round
6. *K1, P1* a round
7. *K2tog* a round
8. *K* a round
Repeat rounds 7 and 8 until there are only a few stitches and then, you know, pull the tail through a bind off....a la a normal hat.

So does that make sense? Has anybody done a hat similar to this? Do you have any thoughts? I'd appreciate some input.

Super Secret Knitting (Related) Project

Some of you may remember my
super secret knitting (related) project from back before Thanksgiving. They have all arrived at their new homes now so I thought I'd show them to you. I was happily surprised at how the idea came together.

I had:

-some nice lengths of scrap yarns that are too long to just toss and too short to really do anything with
-some dowel rods
-some styrofoam balls
-some large beads and notions
-some friends I wanted to send some nifty little treasures to

So these were born:

Yarn ball & homemade needles Christmas tree ornaments. Ann temporarily decorated her ficus with hers. I haven't seen pictures of the others in their 2 new homes but I know they made it there. Somehow, I neglected to make some for myself but I still plan to. You could make these pretty much any size your heart desires. I happened to have some golf ball sized styrofoam balls so I used those for bases and ended up with yarn balls about tennis ball sized, maybe a little smaller. The "needles" for those who care, ended up about a size 4 or 5.

And because I am a sucker for the photographic evidence, I'll leave you with a few more pictures.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

Do ya'll remember this book?

I love Judith Viorst. I have loved everything I have ever read from her. In addition to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Viorst is also the author of Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday and the book of poems for children If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries (and a myriad of other children's books, too numerous to list). She has also written many books for adults including Grown-up Marriage: What We Know, Wish We Had Known, and Still Need to Know About Being Married and I'm Too Young to be Seventy. If you come across any of her books you should read them or read them to your children or encourage your children to read them.

I am having an Alexander-esque day/week. I haven't been sleeping well (which isn't really new but is getting ridiculous) and work has been inordinately hard and tedious and I really just want to stay at home and decorated my freaking Christmas tree and maybe knit a little. 10 days ago, I found out I was pregnant and today I found out that I am not anymore. Which is hard because I wasn't really sure we were even ready to have a baby and it wasn't planned but I had gotten my heart and mind into and was starting to be excited. It is painful and soul-sucking to find out that I can't even be pregnant right.

I am tired and I am grouchy. When I am tired, I lose my inner monologue. That filter that normally makes me socially adept and prevents all the thoughts that run through my head from coming out of my mouth. I just told a co-worker, who I don't really like but I normally manage to keep my disdain for at bay, to shut the hell up because no one really cares what he has to say anyway. I think I hurt his feelings.

To add insult to injure, yesterday I found out that I have a cavity. In nearly 29 years, I have never had a cavity. WTF?

I haven't purchased even one Christmas present yet and I have only signed and address 5 Christmas cards.

Oh, and I am in a knitting rut. I am knitting another hat. It is for a Christmas present. When did I get so slap-happy about hats?

Sunday, December 04, 2005


So there we go. A little kitsch for the Ok! What Next?? neighborhood. Thanks, Sister!

Yesterday we got out Christmas tree. We had to cut some of the boughs off the bottom so that it would fit in the tree stand so I used the branches to make a hanging for my front door. On the coffee table in the living room, it looked nice. On the front door, it looks kind of sparse. I think I may need to take it down and spice it up a little....

Floral arranging isn't really my gig.

Today's knitting: three rounds on the Rowan Calmer hat, about half a sleeve on my mother's Christmas sweater and I ripped out a baby blanket that was 3/4 finished because I've decided I don't like the colors after all. Call me indecisive.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hats for Haji & A Christmas Tree for Me.

Ok. So I didn't get the new scenery up yet but I will. Soon. Maybe Monday. I'll have to ask the sister.

Blogland is such a quiet place on the weekends but I decided to take a break from vacuuming up the pine needles and cleaning the microwave and show you the pictures of the finished hats that I am sending along with the stuffed animals to Laurie's friend Haji in Afghanistan. Here is the lovely little purple wool guy and his goofy green variegated acrylic cousin, with the fringe. The green hat was knit on the recommended needles. The purple hat was knitted on size 7s. I would not do that again with that yarn. It was a little too tight and made my wrists ache.

As a sidenote, both a furry moose dog toy (which the Sally refuses to play with) and an empty wine glass work out nicely for posing hats.

My handsome prince is over at my parents' house helping my long-suffering father put up the four (yes, I said four) Christmas trees. Mama is known for going all out for Christmas but this will be her first year with four trees. Lucky for me, Daddy and the HP brought my tree to my house before setting off with the others. For the moment, the tree is in the middle of the living room. See?

I'll let you know if it gets to stay there. You see that lamp-table over there to the left? It normally lives where the tree is now. We'll see how this works out.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. (Did you notice? I've managed - at least temporarily - to procure the digital camera!!!)

Oh, and because I am camera happy, here is one more picture of the purple hat, from the top. I just think it looks nifty from the top. So here you go.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Misty Watercolored Memories

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Welcome to another exciting addition of Barely discernible Photographs.
First up, we have actually photographic proof that the weather has - at long last - taken a turn for the better. Well, in my opinion better and at the very least, it has turned seasonally appropriate. All that sunshine and mild to moderate temperatures were about to push me over the edge.

Also, here is the hat from that dreamy purple variegated wool that is destined for Afghanistan. It is going to be a lovely little hat. It is just a plain old K3,P3 ribbing at the bottom and then stockinette in the round. Boring but quick.

I worked on it a few minutes at lunch today but, then the phone rang and somebody came in to see me and "Kristy, I know you are on lunch but could you just look at this one thing?" so I gave up and decided to get back to the relentless pile of work strewn on my desk (see?). I am nearly ready to start the decreases on the hat so hopefully I can finish this one up tonight.

Tomorrow we here at Ok! What Next?? (home of me - the world's slowest knitter) will be rolling out a new look, courtesy of my very talented sister. I am so excited to see the finished design and hope ya'll will stop by and let me know what you think of it.

Seriously, I am going to have to either commandeer "our" digital camera as my own or I am going to have to have to sell a kidney (hey - I've got two!) and buy one for myself. I am weary of the milky pictures.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Thanksgiving That Dare Not Speak Its Name

In order to protect the innocent (pictured at left), I will say only this about my Thanksgiving: There was a meal prepared by the grocery store then warmed in the microwave and everybody but me was in bed by 6:45 p.m. As in, in bed asleep for the night. I cried and called my mother.

On Friday, while still in the East Bay at my handsome prince's aunts' house for Thanksgiving weekend, I visited this fabulous store. It was so nice and good for my soul. My mother-in-law and the hp's two aunts (my MIL's sisters) went with me. They were exceptionally good sports about it, especially since only one of the three of them even knits. They didn't rush me and they let me touch and sniff and babble about the yarn for as long as I wanted. I don't think they even realize how sweet that was of them. (If you are ever in Walnut Creek, you really should stop in to Fash-ion-Knit. They have a great selection and everyone there - including and especially the Knitress pictured on the website - was kind and friendly and helpful and funny.)

On Thursday night, after everyone else was in bed, I read Laurie's Thanksgiving day post about her friend and the children in Afghanistan. So while I was out look at yarn, I picked up this bundle of wooly goodness

(pictured here with some Christmas ornaments I've been painting) and I am knitting a quickie hat to send along with the collection of stuffed animals and gently used toys I have waiting around for just such an occasion. I am knitting oh so very quickly on the new Addi-Turbos I also bought on Friday. I must say, I finally understand their cult-like following. They are dreamy.

Oh, I also bought 6 skeins of Rowan Calmer. Oh how I love the Rowan Calmer. This particular purchase (of the coral) is destined to be a sweater for a baby I know that is due on my birthday (February 1). I have been swatching but as I took this (awful) picture, I remembered that I should be working on my Christmas cards (see them there?). My goal is to get them out before Christmas this year. I know that doesn't sound like much of a goal but trust me, it is.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Ok! What Next?? button

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

LYS Envy

So green really isn't my best color but today I'm wearing it anyway. I am envious. . . jealous, even. Jealous of all those knitters who speak lovingly of their local yarn stores. Envious of knitters who have a favorite yarn and can just bop across town or down the street to a friendly, quaint little store and buy a skein or two. Jealous of knitters who actually know other knitters who live in close proximity and get together sometimes and knit. Where no one thinks they are rude for delaying a conversational response until the end of a row or a pattern repeat.

Last night, I visited a quilting and cross stitch store here in town that also carries yarn and knitting needles. I just want some cotton, people. Really, is that so hard? They have lovely $18 a skein mohair and some of the beautiful $45 and $50 a skein handpainted wool silk blend, blah blah. All I really want, though, is some Classic Elite Provence, of which I have only ever had 3 skeins and they were a gift. And also, as many skeins of this Clip as I can get my hands on. I want to touch it and smell it and, you know, embrace it a little, maybe, before I pay for it and take it home with me. This store, the one I visited last night, they don't have any cotton. Not one single skein of yarn in the whole place that is either 100% cotton or even greater than 50% cotton. Seriously. And it is one of only two (non-chain) stores within reasonable driving distance of me that carries yarn.

Professional athletes and men in public restrooms, I'm told, have envy issues. Somehow, though, I don't think it really compares to this terrible case of LYS Envy I have recently.

In the spirit of the season, however, I would also like to note that I am thankful for the internet. Late at night, when the house is finally quiet and no one is asking me what I'm doing and no phones are ringing and no one needs anything, I fix myself a cup of coffee or (well, yes sometimes) a glass of wine, and I make my way over to the WWW, my very own LYS.

It is located at the corner of Living Room & Kitchen. It isn't the fanciest establishment or the tidiest and sometimes the service is a little slow, but it is a great place. Pretty much, if there is a knitting magazine or a pattern or a yarn you want, you can find it there. If it isn't in the first place you look, just keep looking. If you can get it, you can get it at the WWW.

And all my knitting friends hang out there. Kay & Ann, who reminded me way back why I fell in love with knitting in the first place. Polly, who with the help of her French Market Bag gave me the desire and the courage to try the dreaded dpns; and Laurie, who loves the wine, too, and makes us all laugh a lot and cry a little sometimes, too . Then there's Laura with the new baby and Rhett with the thank you notes and Stephanie with the patient husband who poses in his partially knit sweaters. Oh, and Meaghan, who I've only just met but who knits beautiful things and has a real jones for felting, apparently. And all sorts of other knitters who I barely know or haven't even met, but they are there, too.

Really, I wouldn't trade it for a bricks and mortar LYS on Main Street.

Yesterday, I said something about a package I had sent to one of my knitting friends. My husband said, "Oh that was nice. Now which one is she?" and he didn't even pause to remind me that we wouldn't know each other if we met on the street somewhere. Such a dear, that one. Of course, ever since I hooked up with the the Stitch & Bitch group at the WWW, he doesn't have to listen to me talk about knitting as much. Really, it is a win-win situation.

Oh, and also, they don't mind the drinking of the wine while I shop.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Hoover Blanket (Dishcloth)

I have fallen in love with a baby blanket pattern. The Hoover blanket is beautiful and such a wonderful story. This is the blanket I want to knit for my own first baby while I am pregnant. I am not, however, expecting. And I have plenty of other knitting scheduled before that time is allowed to come. So, to feed my need for this pattern and to try my hand at this double knitting business, I decided to use this pattern (slightly modified, of course) and make a dishcloth for my mother-in-law for Christmas.

There are several reasons this is a good idea.

1. I had several skeins of Sugar 'nCream dishcloth cotton languishing in my stash and so this gives them a purpose - a reason for living, if you will.
2. My MIL is a knitter and so, therefore, will appreciate the effort.
3. I am an obsessive person. Once I get hooked on a pattern, I have to knit it. I must. It is like addiction. Knitting is crack to me. Now, if only it would cause some unexplained weight loss, our love affair would be complete.

These pictures aren't very good. The colors are not at all true. The garter stitch border is a deep, Christmas tree/grass green. The center is green (the same as the border) and navy and pale blue and purple variegated. It is very pretty.

It is very pretty and double-knitting is like knitting magic. I am fascinated by it. The pattern is also slow going. Part of my problem is that I am trying to do too many things at once right now (imagine that) and this pattern doesn't really lend itself to a lot of starts and stops.

Short weeks are great. The only down side is that even though I only have to be in the office for three days, there is still five days worth of work to do. Wednesday evening we are heading to my aunt-in-law's house for Thanksgiving. Sunday night I baked cheese cookies with my mother to take and then Thursday I am making sweet potato puffs. That will be my contribution.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Sunday is our one year anniversary. Hurray for us!! It has been quite a year. For everyone who told us that the first year of marriage is hard, no matter how long you'd been together before, harder than you could guess, you were right. And for everyone who told us that marriage is better that you think and more rewarding than you could guess, you were right, too.

By nature, I am a list maker and so, here is a partial list of things I've learned this year:

1. My handsome prince is a kinder person than I realized.
2. I am a harsher woman than I realized. And tougher than I ever wanted to be.
3. I can also be more sympathetic and more understanding than I thought.
4. I am a terrible housekeeper. If someone else will do it, then I will let them.
5. My friendship with my husband is better now than ever.
6. Our friendship is the best thing we've got because it makes everything else we've got better.
7. My HP is not very good at pretending he cares about knitting. Sometimes, though, he stops at the yarn stores when we are running errands and he doesn't ask how long I will be or how much I will spend. This is enough.
8. Until we got married, I was ambivalent about having kids. Not so much anymore.
9. Even though people warned me in advance that marriage is hard, I didn't believe them. Now I do.
10. There have been days that I wanted to drive away and not look back. There have been a lot fewer of those days this year than in years past.
11. I'm glad I married him. I'm glad he married me.

Here we are, November 20, 2004.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Really, I think "progress" would be too generous a term.

Do you see that? That is the 5th - yes f-i-f-t-h - attempt at casting on for a "super quick" "super simple" "little nothing" of a project. I am trying to make a tampon cozy (and no, I am not ashamed) for my friend's stepdaughter for a stocking stuffer. I have already made three of these in the last month or so. There is nothing to it. Seriously. Maybe an hour, hour & fifteen minutes of knitting. Maybe. And that is me, the world's slowest knitter. But for some reason I keep screwing this up. I am inept. So I cast on again, took a picture of the 20 little cast on darlings and decided to wait until tomorrow. I'm sick of fighting with it.

Yesterday, with a little guidance from Kay, I discovered Rowan. I am hooked. What beautiful, striking patterns and pictures and people. Perfection! How have I missed this until now? I have been knitting for several years. I'm not a salty veteran knitter nor a wet behind the ears newcomer. I have seen Rowan mentioned in passing. I have even frittered past a few pictures. Until yesterday, I had never taken the time to stop. To look. To consider. I love color and contrast and classic combinations as well as unexpected combinations. Looking through the magazine samples, it was like coming home for my wandering knitterly soul. (Ugh) Really, though. I am thrilled to have made this discovery. And now I know what to ask for for Christmas.

I have been trying to find a picture of me to add to this blog. When I read other people's blogs, I always search around to find a picture of them and I am always disappointed if there isn't one. Maybe I think I might bump into someone I know or perhaps I just like for my imaginary friends to have faces. Whichever, I feel like a hypocrite for not having my own picture. Thing is, I really really hate having my picture made so there aren't very many snapshots of me running around. I do have a pictures from my wedding . . . what do you think? Will one of those do or is that a bad idea?

For now, here is a funny picture of my twin sister, Katy, from our trip last month to Cambria. This is at the beach in Morro Bay. I told her to pretend like she had fallen in a pit. This is what I got. She is so funny.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Super Secret Projects and Who Hijacked Fall?

Last night there was no knitting. There was, however, a super secret knitting related project going on at my house. There was yarn and there were needles. That's all I can say for now. One day I will show you pictures and then you can say, "Oh yeah. That's what the super secret project was!" (I'm sure there are people everywhere waiting with bated breath.)

For now though, I must lament (like Laurie and many others) that there apparently will be no Fall in California this year. It has been "unseasonably warm". I don't even need a jacket. I am a product of the South. I am a big fan of the seasons. All four of them (even summer) because the seasons? They are a silent little reminder that all is right with the world. That in spite of all the other craziness, some things just keeping going around and around. Like the tide. (There is still tide right? No one is missing that, are they?) If things keep up like this, I will spend the next 12 months confused, waiting for the pre-Thanksgiving weather to show up.

The only good thing about this freakishly mild autumn we are having is that the trees are beautiful and the colors are lingering later. I guess that is the silver lining.

Here is a picture of the orange tree in the parking lot at work.

And then the yellow one off in the distance.

Try to ignore the blinds. They are the kind that are inside the window. I guess that is what I get for taking pictures from inside the office.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

And on the seventh day, there were Fuzzy Feet.

At long last, here are the finished fuzzy feet.


Post felting:

I was pretty pleased with them. I used Lamb's Pride bulky (I really should read patterns more closely. I was so enthusiastic to get them started and use up some stash, I didn't pay attention to the word "worsted"...)

The cuff didn't shrink as much as I would have liked. These will probably be pretty drafty. They are also a little on the short side (heel to toe). Tomorrow I am going to try them on the feet of their intended. We'll see then. I made them to the pattern (9 inches from the heel before starting the toe decrease.) I'll let you know after she tries them on. I am going to make a second pair for another friend for Christmas. She has narrow, smallish feet so I will probably knit these to the pattern, too. But if I ever make any for me, I will knit them longer so I can felt them more and hopefully snug up the cuff.

Pair #2 on the needles. I made the cuff 4" instead of the pattern's 3".

11/14/05 2:00pm Public Service Announcement: I delivered the red & black Fuzzy Feet to Courtney (with the small feet) and they are a little too short for her, too. She is going to try dampening them and wearing them around with some bulky socks for a few days and see if they will stretch back out enough to be comfortable. We'll see. The LP bulky shrinks more in one direction than the other so adjust accordingly.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Ball & Skein & More

In October, my sisters and I went to Cambria, on California's central coast. We had a wonderful time. It was one of the best trips I've ever taken. Relaxing, fun, interesting. We had a great time. We visited Hearst Castle (seen here in the distance)

And then we drove a little further up the coast on 1 and visited the sea elephants.

As you can see, they are very relaxed here, sunning themselves on the beach. We also went shopping at the antique shops in Cambria which was a lot of fun.

The next day, we went wine tasting and then my sisters went to another shop (they don't knit) while I went to the Ball & Skein & More (recommended to me by Inky), a great little shop with lots of (extremely pricey) treasures. I left with these:

Has anyone ever knit with bamboo yarn? I also bought these size 4 dpns. The shop owner suggested the bamboo yarn and the dpns would yield a lovely pair of socks. Maybe it was the two(ish) hours of wine-tasting preceding the shopping trip, but, umm . . . I don't knit socks. And out of bamboo? It doesn't seem that soft. . . Any thoughts?

I also got that skein of Fuschia Tahki Cotton Classic for an on going project, as well as three skeins of the Berroco Softtwist in that fabulous dark red. I don't know if they are going to not carry it anymore or what, but it was only $3.50 a skein and I really like it. I have no idea what it will eventually become, but it was too good to pass up.

And in the very best news, yesterday afternoon, after an exceptionally long week (month...summer/fall...) my Boss gave me the day off today. Even though it wasn't a scheduled holiday for us. Even though I don't technically have the vacation time. Even though there is still plenty of work to do. He just told me I could stay home today and that he appreciated all my extra effort recently. And I had actually done a great deal of catching up yesterday so I can take the day off and not feel guilty and worry about what isn't getting done. So, I'm off to watch Law & Order on tivo, finish up Fuzzy Foot #2 and drink my pajamas!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Someone get me a drink.

In the last two days: Pounds lost: -3 / Hours slept: 7 / Threats to have someone snuffed out: 6 no, make that 11. / Rows of Knitting: 14, of which 11 were ripped out. Yarn purchased: two balls of dishcloth cotton, to soothe my nerves.

I work in a real estate office. I am an assistant to a commercial realtor. Yesterday afternoon, a woman called and asked for Boss's voicemail. I put her through. Of course, I am the one who picks up his voicemail 90% of the time so, later, I listened to her message, got the information she needed and called her back. After I gave her the info she requested, she asked my why I had return her call when she had actually left a message for Boss. I explained that I am his assistant and I handle these kinds of questions, to which she said, "So is there anyway to avoid having to talk to you in the future or am I stuck?" I accidentally hung up on her.

So tonight, come hell or Martha Stewart, I am going to finish Fuzzy Foot #2.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Knitting Needles: A Still Life

I don't have any knitting pictures for today so here are my needles - well, most of them - hanging out on the entertainment center with the wilderness candle.

I haven't knitted much today. I did about 6 rows on Fuzzy Foot #2 and about 10 rows on a potholder I am knitting for my mother-in-law for Christmas. (I am doing a miniature version of a baby blanket I want to make. Just as a trial run. Is that neurotic??)

I've been meaning to stop at the book store and buy Ann Patchett's book Truth & Beauty butI haven't managed it yet even though I work less than 1/4 mile from Barnes and Noble.

I had an exceptionally long day at work and tomorrow promises to be equally soul-sucking. I really just want to stay home and drink hot tea and watch tv and try to get busy finishing up the Beach I'm knitting for my mother for Christmas. I'd really like to knit one of these for myself and relax in a bath with a glass of wine and a good book. For now, I will settle for a quick shower and a warm bed.

My first wedding anniversary is in 11 days. I feel guilty I haven't planned anything special.

Monday, November 07, 2005

For the Love of Fuzzy Feet.

So here is Fuzzy Foot #2, just after I finished turning the heel and just before I picked up the stitches around the gusset. As you can see, I used a circular for the heel flap. Other than that, I've been using dpns. The whole first FF was knitted on dpns.

After dinner, during a tivo'ed Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Hurray for Tivo! Hurray for Vincent D'Onofrio!) I picked up stitches and started down the Fuzzy Feet home stretch and polished off a bottle of wine because, really, what goes better with picking up stitches than wine? Nothing! A little wine, a few decrease rows and now we are here:

. . . only 3 more sets of the decrease rows, some toe shaping and then I'll be ready to felt. I think I'll pack my lunch tomorrow so I can knit for an hour at lunch time then be ready to felt tomorrow night. Ideally, I could felt tomorrow night. Realistically, it will probably be Wednesday or Thursday night. We'll see. For now, I think Fuzzy Foot #1 is have a cup of coffee and patiently awaiting a tumble in the washing machine. I hope the caffeine doesn't effect the felting process...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I am a co-designer! I think I've finally discovered how to put this in my sidebar....

Today I spent a little time knitting fuzzy foot #2 and a little time designing the square neck line for Ann's Perfect Sweater future search. As you may or may not know, Ann over at Mason-Dixon Knitting has been doing a Future Search to design the Perfect Handknit Sweater. Many of the basics, including the type of yarn (Cascade 220), have already been determined. Yesterday I went to my LYS (funny, they don't even list "yarn" as one of their product lines. Hum) and bought a single skein to do some swatching. You see, in addition to being the world's slowest knitter, I also have some gauge issues on occassion. I tend to knit super tight. I am in counseling for it. Anyway, I am eager to see the results of the hem tally and see this project progress. I intend for this sweater to be my first project of 2006.

Oh, I also finished this hat for my husband's aunt's birthday, which is the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. (Ahead of schedule, even!)

It is just a plain hold hat pattern, K2, P2 rib for 6 rows and the stockinette. It is knit from Berroco Lullaby in the Willy Winky colorway. For some inexplicable reason, I love this yarn.