Thursday, November 29, 2007

In a Muddle

Is it possible to have ADD only when it comes to knitting?

On Sunday I cast on a hat to match the scarf I knit for John, while the Callista tank was blocking. I thought hats were supposed to fly off the needles, but for some reason that's not happening.

The book is Hip Knit Hats. The pattern is called "Skip." The yarn is Malabrigo worsted weight merino in the Azul Buscando colorway. Needles: Size 9 dpns.

By last night I was in a dither over the tank top I want to make for our vacation. So last night I put John's hat aside and cast on the tank.

The pattern is mine. (I'll provide the specs upon completion.) The yarn is Callista in the Desert Rose colorway.

To satisfy another obsession, I'd ordered some Socks that Rock for a Chevron Scarf. The STR arrived on Monday. Right away I wanted to drop everything and wind those suckers into cakes, but I haven't done it. I've been good.

That's lightweight STR in the Lapis and Fire on the Mountain colorways.

Then, to complicate things, I had a birthday. Teresa is an enabler of the first order, so she arranged with Susan at the Ball and Skein to have me pick out a skein of Dream In Color Smooshie as a gift. It's taking every ounce of self discipline I've got not to jump in the car and drive over there to fondle the DIC and pick out a colorway IMMEDIATELY. (Thanks, T! Seriously. What a great gift!)

I've got to get a grip.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm a Slow Learner

Two years ago, Dave and I planned a trip to Israel. At the time I took stock of my wardrobe and decided I needed a few tank tops. Since I am me, I bought yarn to make the tops instead of the tops themselves. About 6 weeks before our departure I realized I wouldn't have time to make all of the tops I'd planned on, so I ended up buying a bunch of tank tops anyway. At the time I told myself:
Susan, let this be a lesson to you. If you need clothes by a certain deadline buy the clothes. DO. NOT. BUY. YARN. INSTEAD.
Here we are 2 years later, and Dave and I are planning another vacation in a hot, sunny climate. When we first starting talking about this, I reminded myself of my vow to just buy what I was going to need for the trip instead of planning to knit like a fiend. I've been shopping ever since.

However, since I am me, I've been knitting, too.

So last week, while all of you were knitting wool scarves, hats, and cardis, I whipped up another tank top with Callista in the Peacock colorway and my improvised pattern. This time I made the tank a little smaller width-wise and widened the shoulder straps a mite.

I have yarn for 2 more tanks.
That's more Callista - in the Cafe Creme and Desert Rose colorways. Will I ever tire of knitting the same tank over and over again in the different Callista colorways? Who knows? I sure love wearing them.
I also have some winter-weather knitting to get on with. It's REALLY HARD to decide what to knit next.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What I Did Over Thanksgiving Break

This past week definitely had it's highs and lows - what with the visitation and funeral for Kim. Thank you all for your kind words of support. Your thoughts helped a lot.

On the fun side of things, John came home and Dave's family came down for Thanksgiving dinner. This is becoming a tradition, and Dave and I are still getting it down. We aimed to have dinner hot on the table by 6:00 p.m., and everyone sat down at 6:06 p.m. Not bad. The food wasn't bad either.

I took time to count my blessings - and there are many.

I gave John his scarf. He was pleased with the length (86 inches), and he agreed to pose for a pic.

As you can see from his expression, he finds it amusing that his mother has a blog.

On Wednesday I went to see Mama Mia.

I've seen it once before, but I loved it every bit as much the second time around. If you get the chance to see it, I highly recommend it. I went with a friend who was skeptical because she's not an ABBA fan, and she loved it, too. Don't worry, I don't really qualify an ABBA fan. But I will admit to owning their greatest hits CD, which I tend to play right before and after I see the musical.

This afternoon Dave went for a workout, and I was listening to ABBA and knitting when he got home. He quickly disappeared into the computer room. Later I stuck my head in to say I was finished listening to the CD and he could open the door if he liked, but he insisted on keeping it closed - "in case I relapsed."

Once Thanksgiving was behind us, the week ended peacefully. I was able to finish 2 more of those mysteries I'm now addicted to, and I got some knitting done. I was hoping to have an FO to show you, but it's on the blocking board so I'll leave you in suspense until tomorrow or so.

For those of you who keep me honest, I also kept to my workout schedule. I've been working out 5 times a week - 45 minutes at Level 1 on the LifeCycle. My goal is to be able to ride 45 minutes at Level 2 routinely, but it'll be a while before I can do that.

Tomorrow it's back to work.

Monday, November 19, 2007


My co-worker and friend, Kim, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday morning. We weren't close friends, but I really liked her.

Kim had a wonderful and unique sense of humor. She could and often did make us laugh until we cried.

She was an advocate for victims of domestic violence for 13 years, and she was part of the fabric of our agency. There is no way to communicate the enormity of her loss.

I'm really going to miss her. We all are.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Socks Socks Socks

Knitting nothing but socks makes Susan a dull girl, indeed. But here you have it:

Yarn: Dream In Color
Colorway: Deep Seaflower
Needle Size: US 0
Pattern: Simple Socks from The Purl Stitch by Sally Melville

Comments: LOVE them!

I finished the Deep Seaflower socks on Saturday and cast on another pair with Fleece Artist. I've looked all over the yarn label but have not been able identify anything that indicates a colorway name or number. Sorry.

All was going well until I took the Fleece Artist with me in the car, when Dave and I ran errands. That was when I discovered I don't much like this colorway in natural light. Since I am all about self indulgence and instant gratification, this project was moved to the back burner posthaste. (FYI: per Webster's New World Dictionary 1988 ed. 'posthast' is one word. Who knew?)

So Saturday afternoon I cast on another pair of Dream In Color socks, this time in the Ruby Red colorway. OMG! You have to see this colorway for yourself to appreciate it. I just love the deep reds.

This is sock number 2. I'm just about ready to begin the heel.

I have to keep reminding myself that for me the whole point of sock knitting is to keep things mindless. There are so many cute sock patterns out there... like this and this.

In the meantime, I'm constantly reminded of one of life's basic lessons: There are only so many hours in a day. Over the past few months I've taken up blogging and gone back to reading for pleasure and working out. All of these activities cut into my knitting time - hence there is less to blog about than I originally thought there would be. Such is life.

In the workout department, I am sticking to my plan. My goal is to get back to where I can ride the LifeCycle at least 45 minutes a day at Level 2 resistance at least 5 days a week. Ambitious, no? To keep myself honest, I am tracking my workouts on the blog. If this bores you to tears, just skip over it. I promise not to quiz you on it later.

Workout Time: 33 minutes 45 seconds (75% of my goal, timewise)
Resistance: Level 1 most of the time, Level 2 just briefly
Calories Burned: 170

Workout Time: 35 minutes
Resistance: Level 1 the whole time
Calories burned: 170

We'll just see how well Ms. Instant Gratification Who Is All About Self Indulgence does in the workout department.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Something Old, Something New

This weekend Dave bought me a new seat for my LifeCycle.

I’ve had the LifeCycle for about 12 years. I used to ride it religiously, but over time the old seat became uncomfortable.

The new seat is contoured for greater comfort, so I’m out of excuses.
Riding Time: 30 minutes
Setting: Level 1 (Lowest)

Riding Time: 30 minutes 30 seconds
Setting: Level 1
Calories Burned: 150
Calories Consumed: About a Bazillion - We went to Outback last night.

This weekend I also discovered I can knit a sock and read at the same time.
As you know knitting, like working out, is an exercise in self discipline:

Socks Started: 2
Socks Abandoned Before Completion: 1 (I'm not crazy about the colorway of the first sock. It remains to be seen whether I'll finish the pair anyway.)

Stay tuned for pics...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Just Another Tribute to the Yarn Harlot

I was particularly amused by the Yarn Harlot's post yesterday. She was frustrated because life in her household was "boring" for the moment, and she couldn't think of anything interesting to blog about.

The stars of late night comedy - Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jon Stewart, et. al. have teams of writers. When the Writers Guild of America goes on strike these successful comedians at the pinnacles of their careers resort to reruns.

Meanwhile Stephanie cranks out post after post, full of good natured humor - the product of life with 3 teenage girls, Joe, a cat, Mr. Washie and a house full of wool. Shows you who's got the real talent, doesn't it?

Stephanie routinely sets the bar so high, she can give the rest of us knit bloggers an inferiority complex. Blogging has forced me to face a sad reality - I'm not that funny. :) Dave is the funny one in our household. Now if I could just get him to knit, he'd write a heck of a blog. ;-)

I'm making progress on the second Dream In Color Deep Seaflower sock. It should be done by tomorrow.

In anticipation, I had a little party with the ball winder and swift last night.

I'm considering my options, but so far I haven't decided what to make next.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Door Prize

Last night was Knit Night at the Ball and Skein, so Teresa and I hung out for awhile. Most of the usual suspects showed up. Jackie was there working on a darling baby sweater. Dana made an appearance and worked on a scarf knit with some yummy Mountain Colors Mountain Goat. She was wearing her fabulous Clapotis made with Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Indian Corn colorway. Carol was working on a fan and feather shawl or throw. Sally was new. She was working on a really pretty Log Cabin Baby Blanket in grown-up fall colors. There were other knitters with neat projects. I wish I could remember everyone’s name.

Theresa (#1? There are 3, so they’ve numbered them) introduced me to Socks that Rock. I’m going to assume she was just being kind. She probably doesn’t know me well enough yet to know about my obsessive personality, right? I’ve seen and read about STR on the blogs, but this was my first opportunity to see/fondle it in person. Yum. I. MUST. GET. ME. SOME.OF. THAT. S.T.R.

Susan, the proprietor, had a surprise for me. It seems that after I visited her shop on Saturday there was a drawing for door prizes, and I won a skein of Dream In Color Smooshy. Lucky me! Once again I had to pull out all of the hanks in the bin to see all of the colorways. A skein of Chinatown Apple followed me home.

I’m still knitting my second pair of socks ever, but I’ve already learned that a girl can never have enough sock yarn. Susan had some Interlacements sock yarn in amazing colorways in a big bowl on the coffee table. I might have to get me some of that too one of these days.

Monday, November 5, 2007

I Am Weak

Last week I dutifully worked on the Albatross Shawl. Every night. By Friday I had to admit that the Albatross was sucking all of the joy out of knitting. My diligence had not made a dent. The shawl had not noticeably grown in length, nor had the cake of yarn shrunk.

Knitting is supposed to be fun, right? I finally gave up. For awhile at least. I resovled to work on projects that give me pleasure and have a prayer of becoming FOs. To wit: John's Scarf and the Dream In Color socks.

The weather was sunny and mild on Saturday, so Dave and I took a drive in the country to visit the Ball and Skein. After we parked in charming Germantown, Dave wandered down the street to check out an auction. I popped into the B&S and explained to Susan, the proprietor, that I had to be quick before Dave came back. She was amused.

Susan is one of the most gracious yarn shop owners I've ever met. Seriously. She pulled out of all different colorways of the Dream In Color Smooshy so I could contrast and compare. It was heaven - sort of. It was tough to make a decision. It got tougher when I saw the Fleece Artist sock yarn.

In the end I bought a hank of DIC in the Ruby River colorway,

a second hank of the DIC in the Nightwatch colorway,

and a hank of Fleece Artist. I can't identify the colorway. Sorry. It's gorgeous, though.

No matter the temptation, I resolved to finish John's Scarf before working on anything else. I cast off last night, and after a good soak, pinned it to the blocking board.

John asked for a long scarf. I decided to go the distance and aim for 84 inches. From previous experience, I know that Malabrigo knit up in the woven stitch stretches quite a bit, so I cast off at 79 inches. Turns out I overshot a little. Once it was pinned out, it measured 86 inches.

This week is all about instant gratification. The minute John's Scarf was on the blocking board I picked up the second DIC sock in the Deep Seaflower colorway. This week it's all about socks and scarves. I wasn't kidding when I said I need a break from the dreaded Albatross.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Headline: Bush defends AG candidate Mukasey on Torture Stance

Given Bush's credibility, isn't he just the guy you'd want to defend you?

Then again, leave it to Bush to defend the indefensible.