Monday, December 14, 2009

Xmas is next week!

I need to catalog my needles. I don't know what I have and in what UFO it's currently hanging. I can't determine and obtain the other needles I need unless I do this. One more thing to add to the to-do list.

I also am discovering that I have problems with most patterns that involve a lot of YOs. It's like I have a mental block keeping track of patterns with a lot of stuff in them. A shame, but I suppose I'll be a happier knitter focusing on what I do really well. Not to say I won't keep trying to increase what I know, but I know where my comfort zone is.

Forest Canopy Shawl is progressing slowly. I've had to rip back to the 2nd repeat lifeline 4 or 5 times now, but have now managed to get to the halfway point in the repeat, so I am optimistic.

I still need to put something mindless on the needles for when I just can't seem to follow the yo, sl1-k2tog-psso stuff in the FCS.

Last week, I got back on the bandwagon of exercising and eating right. I'm using heart rate training, getting on the bike for 30 min 3x per week and doing yoga for weight loss 1x per week and doing a 10/10/10 on the bike/rowing machine/elliptical.

Going to do that again this week, and adding C25K workouts on the elliptical after the bike. Eventually, want to get up to 2x/wk yoga for weight loss.

Did well on food tracking last week, and when I got on the scale on Saturday, it said 4 lbs gone. I won't get that every week, nor do I expect it, but it was nice to see. :)

My inducement to workout? I can't knit in the evenings unless I've done some sort of workout, unless I'm injured or sick. It worked well last week.

I'm going to bring workout clothes to work and do workouts at work during quarter-end close, so that I don't muck up the good foundation I'm setting here.

When we go to Iowa next week, I can bring workout clothes and do bike/elliptical, probably, and once we get to Denver, I can go for 60 min walks every day and that will tide me over.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

projects!

My second Clapotis found its way to its home, in scenic San Bruno, CA. California's in the middle of a cold snap, and it seems that something snuggly to wear such as a Clapotis is a Good Thing. Glad you like it, tk.

I went to find yarn with her in mind, knowing she likes oranges and browns, and the autumn colors in this one are nice. She's been one of my best friends for 10 years now, and I wanted to make her something that was one of a kind.

I have now cast on for the forest canopy shawl twice. I now have a 3rd start on the needles, and am hoping it'll work this time. I'm having a hard time getting the pattern in my head, so I may be missing yarnovers or something. I may not have chosen the best yarn for 1st lace project, but I'll keep at it. It's also not easy to un-knit, so I guess I'll learn to knit more slowly/carefully. I need to get a mindless project on the needles - I was exhausted last night and wanted mindless knitting, but all of the projects I have on needles are complicated for me.

I should start a basketweave blanket or something. I seem to have more luck when not knitting for myself.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Finished Object!!

Knitting, knitting, knitting! Haven't been working out or watching what I eat, but I have been knitting!

My second Clapotis was finished yesterday.
There are more photos up on Flickr:
I'm casting on for the Forest Canopy today. Cast on last night but managed to mess up near the end of the setup rows. So, I took it all apart and will start over again tonight.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stitches and stitches and stitches.

Hey, it's December tomorrow!

I haven't been posting regular updates... but I have been knitting!

I'm feverishly working on my 2nd Clapotis, and am about halfway through the straight rows section. I'm trying to finish that so that I can start on my first lace shawl, the Forest Canopy, which I am making to wear to a wedding next May.

Also on the needles is a Sooper Sekrit project that I really need to put the hammer down on to complete by May.

Sean's socks are on the needles, but pending the completion of the Sooper Sekrit project.

I survived the crazy month of October at work, and we went to Puerto Rico in mid-November for a long weekend to celebrate. PR was wonderful and I highly recommend it, particularly the western-coast town of Rincon and the Lazy Parrot Inn on hwy 413.

We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. Our friends danRay and Panda were in attendance, as were my in-laws. danRay made a beautiful turkey, and Sean and I made side dishes and Mom brought pie and kolaches!

Good thing about having company - the house looks a lot cleaner! Now to keep that up!

Sean got a new workbench - he's getting into electronics again, as well as r/c airplanes - he's building his own r/c airplane now. I have been working on beginning electronics projects too, which is fun.

We're definitely keeping busy.

This coming weekend, we'll be in the greater Milwaukee area, which will help my homesickness. Might be in Chicagoland next weekend, not sure, and we'll be doing Iowa/Denver over Christmas and the week after.

Looking forward to 2010, also. 2009 hasn't been a bad year, but it's been a tough year. Onward!

Monday, October 5, 2009

In it to win it!

Still knitting, mostly. Work's starting to eat my life again, but that'll be over soon enough.

I had a wonderful birthday - came in to work in the morning for a few hours, and my office mates had decorated the whiteboard outside my cube for my birthday. I left at 11:30, and met up with Sean. We went and he flew airplanes and we visited with friends, and then we ran some errands while listening to the Twins game on the radio in the car, got service arranged on my new (to me) iPhone (eee!), and then went to Great India in Brooklyn Park for dinner, which was *so* good. And Sean got me into their kitchen to see the tandoor. :)

Then we came home and I was mellow and helped Sean pack.

Got up at 5 am yesterday, took Sean to el aeropuerto (he -is- in Mexico, after all), and came home. I sat around like a lump all day yesterday. I had to rip out and restart the sekrit project, due to my inability to currectly knit a seed stitch border the first time through. I'm now halfway back to where I was when I ripped it out, so that's good. Watched the Twins game yesterday and cheered on the boys to a win in the 162nd game of the season.

I rooted for the White Sox to beat Detroit, which they couldn't pull off, and so the Twins will go to a tiebreaker game tomorrow @ the Dome. If I didn't have year-end stuff at work, I so would have tried to get tickets to the game.

I'm looking forward to tracking the game tomorrow at 4 pm Central.

Also looking forward to hopefully getting in an hour or two of knitting on the sekrit project tonight. Might also get some knitting done on Clapotis #2 during lunch this week, maybe. Probably no progress made ont he socks till Sekrit Project is done. Sorry, sweetie.

So, still here, still knitting, still trying to keep my wits about me. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Updatey.

WEll, the Magic Scarf referred to in the last post is hereby off the needles for another sekrit project. I bought the yarn for it yesterday and cast on. I can't wait to show you the finished result. .... at some later time, when it's done. :)

I've got the Clapotis in my bag for quick knitting here and there, and this new project is primarily an at-home project.

It was raining so hard in downtown Mpls this morning that I could barely see. It's 8:30 am and it's so dark outside it looks like dusk-veering-toward-the-blackness-of-night. Hello, fall!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Knitting update

I now have project #3 on the needles (4, in you count the Mitered Squares blanket, which I haven't worked on in a long time). I bought some Hempathy yarn, which was originally scheduled for the Clapotis I now have on the needles. But the yarn wasn't lending itself well to the Clapotis application. I tried a few other things, none of which worked, so now I'm making another Magic Scarf (Crazy Aunt Purl's inspiration), in stripes of my MC, CC, and both together. I hope it works. It'll be a faster knit, even though it's DK yarn on size 3 needles, because it's just knits and purls and making sure my squares are 10x10.

Clapotis work continues during lunch, as I can. Socks, well, I need to get to the socks. Maybe the weekends can be for socks. :)

I'm in a knitting phase. Probably because the weather's getting colder and I love snuggling inside my warm loft space, knitting away, while the wind howls outside.

Sean's home from VA on Friday night, and though I have to work on Saturday, I'm hoping to be able to get out by 2 so that we can go to the AT&T store and get my plan set up for my new (to me) iPhone. I'll have to change the phone number I've had for the last 6 years, since AT&T will only port your phone number if it's ported within the same local area as the # itself. If I had a way to port it in 262, I totally would, as changing one's phone number is a PITA. But, I shall do it, because I want the iPhone that badly, and 612 is where I'm at.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Photo update of the current projects on the needles!

Slowly, slowly, I pick up the camera again. Thanks to my knitting projects, anyway. Saw a beautiful sunrise and gorgeous late afternoon clouds, but my commutes to/from work haven't afforded me a good place to get the shots I want yet. I should start carrying the camera with me again, though. Can't get any shots if the camera's at home.

One of my birthday presents from Sean is a gorgeous new Nikon flash. It came today, but I won't open it till Saturday. As it turns out, I'm getting a new (to me) iPhone from a friend, thanks to Sean, so that's also part of my birthday present, the phone and the AT&T activation (and the breaking of my T-Moblie contract).

So, I opened up this post to post photos! Only 2, but still. One photo each of the current progress of the projects on the needles (Clapotis #2 and Sean's socks).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's done!



My first Clapotis is done!

The next one will go on needles either tonight or tomorrow. :)

I can now turn my attention to Sean's socks, secure in the knowledge that I finally finished another project!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Clapotis - working on decrease rows!

I'm knitting my little heart out on my Clapotis.

I finished the straight rows last night and am almost through the first pattern repeat on the decrease rows. Hoping to make similar progress on the shawl tonight. It's heavy, and will hopefully be warm in my cold office.

Now I need to find yarn in the right colorway for my next, lighter weight Clapotis. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Small update

I've temporarily sidelined the socks for Sean, in order to complete the Clapotis and have that one off my WIP list.

I'm into the last repeat in the straight rows, so I'm hoping to finish the straight rows this week and then do the decrease rows over the weekend to finish it this weekend. Then I can block it. Hoping to get a photo of it once it's blocking. Then once it's dry, I'll have Sean take a photo of me wearing it. With all that egyptial cotton being knitting on size 6 needles, it's going to be a heavy shawl. Which is precisely what I wanted.

Then I can get back to my sock obsession. And start another Clapotis! :) :) :) :)

Been fighting the fatigue/fibro for a couple of weeks now, but have managed to keep to relatively sane eating, and so my weight's at least not going up. I worked out last night, 25 min on elliptical, 15 on rowing machine.

I need to clear off the floor of my office to move my desk to the other side of the space, so that I have room for setting up the bike trainer for the winter. Then I can do 10 min each on the elliptical, rowing machine, and bike trainer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Progress!

I wrote this last night, and am posting it today!

I finished my first pair of socks! I could easily have cast on 10 fewer stitches per sock, as they are a bit big, but not unwearable! I'm so excited.

I am turning my sights to knitting a pair of socks for Sean. I have a nice fingering weight Opal self-striping yarn for the socks, and though I learned to do my first socks cuff-down 2-at-a-time on magic loop, I'd like to do my 1st pair of socks for Sean as a toe-up 2aat on the magic loop.


I was looking at doing the magic cast on, but that was failing miserably, so I am now trying the turkish cast-on. My first attempt at it failed, but I think I see what I was missing, and I should be able to be successful with the turkish cast-on tomorrow when I am not tired. ETA - found a version of the turkish cast on that works and I'm now working toe increases on Sean's socks!

We went to see Regina Spektor Friday night at the State Theatre. Regina was awesome. Her opening band was Little Joy, which is a side project of the drummer from The Strokes, and they were quite good as well. looking forward to getting their cd.

We went to the hobby shop yesterday, and Sean bought helicopter parts and a new airplane to fly. We went back today and got some things straightened out, and he's now heading off to an airfield somewhere on the northwest side of the metro, and I'm at home, poking along at socks and probably going to take a nap because I'm not feeling that great, surprise, surprise.


Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm still here!

Have I really not posted since July?!?!?!

Wow. Well, it's been a busy summer. I just finished the 4th of my 4 sock knitting classes - I took a class @ The Yarnery w/ Jean Christensen on how to knit 2 socks at once w/ magic loop!

I love it!!!!!

I have about 10 rows left on the toe decreases and to do my kitchener stitch, and my 1st pair of socks will be done. Hoping to do that yet today, tomorrow at the latest. I'll find all the bad cell phone photos I took and take a nice one with the D80 and post 'em up this weekend!

I'll be casting on for socks for Sean this weekend!!!

I'm so happy to have found a sock knitting method I love! dpns and I are not friends. the end. I think that once I get started on his socks, I'd like to make a concerted effort to finally finish the Clapotis, and then I can devote myself fully to socks for a while.

Otherwise, we're heading into year-end at work... FY09 ends 9/30/09 and I won't surface till sometime in November. Hoping to do a long weekend of R&R in Puerto Rico in mid-November to shake off the year-end cobwebs.

Things continue to go swimmingly well for Sean and I.... :) We begin the birthday celebrations (his is next week, mine's 10/3) tonight with a Regina Spektor concert and dinner at the decadent 112 Eatery. And next week, we're going to another performance, which is still a surprise.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The State of the Kelly - June edition.

Well, hello there!

It's been almost a month since I posted! Eek!

Of course, quarter-end close got in there and messed things up for a few weeks. But we're on the other side of that now, and it's a race to year-end, which means October will be a crappy month. :)

But I've actually started knitting measurably again over the last few days. I thought I irreparably broke my Clapotis in May @ the Seattle airport, but I finally took it out of its bag the other day and found out it was salvageable - it's got something goofy going on, but no one else will notice it.

So, I made good progress on it over the weekend. A little more than halfway through the scheduled straight rows, and I just might be able to extend the straight rows based on the amount of yarn I have. Or make myself something else out of the leftover egyptian cotton yarn.

I've got a couple of other projects on the needles, and need to get back to socks one of these days. I really want to take a class on doing 2 socks at once, either on 2 circs or magic loop - I just don't like dpns, and I get bogged down with one sock at a time, and that's making me not knit socks. So, I typed that, and then went, found a class, and signed up. 4 Wednesdays, Aug 19, 26, Sep 2, 9, I will be learning how to knit 2 socks at once, magic loop style. :)

Our new elliptical machine was delivered to our house this morning. It's in the box, and likely won't be assembled till we have time this weekend (Sean's actually in MN this week, but will be way too busy to help with that project), but at least it's in our abode. I got out for a nice 6 mi bike ride on the Cedar Lake Trail this morning, thanks to Sean's gentle suggestion that since I didn't have to rush off to work right away, I had time for a bike ride before starting work at home.

I had a dr appt this morning about this exhaustion issue. Now that all the tests have been run, including a 12+ hour sleep study, we have ruled out everything, and it comes back to fatigue, and likely is tied to the fibromyalgia stuff. It's not usually how my fibro has manifested itself in the past, but it appears to be doing so this way this time.

I have recommendations - 0.5 mg of Melatonin at 5 pm daily, trying to get to sleep about an hour earlier than I do each night, and a book recommendation, to help with guided relaxation and other techniques to turn off the brain weasels. :)


He's a young doctor, but very bright and personable. I have hope that I can get some relief from this fatigue without sedative medications. I'm going to stop and find melatonin and get that book on my way home tonight.

There also may be a component to this fatigue that is job-related, so I continue to try to work on that angle. I'm also considering potential career shifts, and we'll see where that takes me. I might take a class in a different discipline this fall, just to see what I think.

We're preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Ann this coming weekend. She's either staying for 1 week or 2, depending on how she feels. I'm looking forward to seeing her. Sean's going to be busy with work, so she's going to be stuck with me a lot this trip, but I think she'll manage. It'll be good to see her!

So, that's the state of the Kelly, more or less. Still laboring under crushing fatigue, but still happy with my life in general, and determined to still find ways to enjoy what I can.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Never a dull moment!

Well, about 24 cumulative miles into riding my new bicycle (a beautiful Trek 7.3wsd), I have officially christened it.
I was somewhere between 1-2 miles into my ride with Sean this morning, on the W River Parkway Trail. The sun was shining brightly (boy, was it humid and warm at 6 am!) through the trees, and I came up on a tighter curve in the trail more suddenly than I wanted. Sadly, I responded to that realization by jamming on both brakes. I felt myself starting to go over the top of the handlebars, but managed to lean to the side enough that I took a header that way. Bruises and scrapes on my leg and arm, and a pretty owie neck and back sprain, but I got back up and finished the ride, going 6.37 miles this morning total, since I was sore, but nothing was broken, and if I was going to ride the ~2 miles back home, I might as well ride a couple more and finish the ride. :)
I'm going to run a couple of errands after work and then go home and climb into bed. My body's screaming at me to let it rest, and so I will. Maybe a hot bath if I can stay awake long enough.
I learned about shifting my bike this weekend.... now I need to learn braking, apparently. Well, I learned the lesson - when needing to stop quickly, don't put on both at once vehemently!
I scraped up my arm, and that'll bruise a little...



And I scraped up my leg too, and the bruise is going to be quite spectacular!




I think either the handlebar or the shifter caught my leg as I got tripped up on the bike.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Also, this one thing...


DSC_0365, originally uploaded by empire74.

This was taken in Hawaii. We got these stuffed Iiwi birds from the Haleakala visitor's center. They chirp like Iiwi do. Sean fell in love with them. I adore this photo - it captures so many of the things I adore about Sean, from his propensity for being silly to the kindness in his eyes to his slightly mischievous nature.

Hawaii Photos are posted! Not much knitting, though!

I'm not dead! I'm just not posting much. I'm not knitting much.... I knit a little on a square of my Mitered Squares blanket last week at knit nite, and that's about it. I think about it, and want to knit, but then my hands don't feel like doing the actual work. Hrmph.

This past weekend was good - we went with a friend to the Farmer's Market in Mpls Saturday morning, and then she helped us find tennis courts and a way to bike to Theo Wirth from our house, and we played tennis and biked home, and there was cooking, and on Sunday, I cooked Sean breakfast in bed for Father's Day, and also cooked a nice tilapia picatta for dinner.

So in the absence of knitting-related stuff, I posted photos of our trip to Hawaii!

Here are the links to my Flickr sets:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/empire74/sets/72157620162709751/
These are the photos I took with my pocket camera. I also posted these to Facebook.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/empire74/sets/72157620274586440/
These are the photos I took with my trusty Nikon D80, including the stars @ 9000' at Mauna Kea, the helicopter ride over Hawaii (now with active volcanoes), and other awesome things.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bring out yer dead...

This is a short entry to let you all know I'm still here!

We went to Hawaii and it was awesome. Then on the way home from Hawaii, I seem to have acquired Deth Cold 2009, and have been down and out since returning from the Aloha State.

I'm vertical today (mostly), and at work, and am hoping to make a post about the vacation (with photos) this weekend.

Still alive, barely, then.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Excursion!

I went to knit nite last night! It was good to see Becca and Janelle, and sit around listening to Janelle read to us from Wikipages on US military uniforms. I kind of fell down the wiki hole when I got home, and I made sure to share the love with Sean, knowning (a) his penchant for falling down the wiki hole and (b) the military. :)

Dunn Bros on W Lake St is, indeed, a most excellent location to sit and knit for a few hours. I got a few rows done on the Clapotis (need to remember to put another ball or 2 of that yarn in my bag for the trip!) and also started another mitered square for that blanket.

Had a lousy night's sleep due to how hot it was in our place when I fell asleep, which happened later than usual. It cooled off nicely overnight, but the wind was strong, and was blowing the blinds all over and making a racket, which woke me up every 5 min.

In a good mood today though - tomorrow's Friday and Sean might be home tonight! :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Catching up is hard to do!

So, I haven't posted in a while. Things have been moving along. We have 3 days till we leave for Hawaii, and I've started packing, and need to get sunscreen tonight. Sean tans; I freckle, burn, peel, and still have White Legs of Doom. I'm in favor of skipping the "burn" portion of my usual equation.

I've been working on the Malablanket as I get a moment, and it's getting bigger. Soon, it will need new circular needles as a home, because it's knit in the round from the center out. I think I will get a bit done on the Clapotis on the plane on Saturday.

Sean left for Chicago for the next couple of days, but it's been nice to spend the evenings with him the last two nights. We just watched movies and he did some work stuff, but it's still nice to fall asleep next to him.

My working out and diet stuff is going pretty well. Workouts are going quite well, actually. I'm planning on doing workouts on the mornings that we're not likely to already be doing serious hiking/exploring activity - especially once we switch to the resort during the latter part of the week. I like how I feel mentally with the workouts happening in the morning. The elliptical and I are definitely good friends.

I'm still battling the fatigue, but I'm pushing through it, and hopefully my visit with the dr on June 15 will shed some light on my sleeping issues.

It's very windy out right now. It'll be nice to have it cooler here for the next few days.

Friday, May 8, 2009

So Glad It's Friday!

Good morning!

It's been a good week here, Chez Berry. Last night, I got 95% of the outstanding laundry done, with the only loads left being the mattress pad for the aerobed and the bathing suits/n00 clothing articles I got for Hawaii.

I got my workout in this morning - 35 min on the elliptical xtrainer. Next week, I'm shooting for 40 min. Onward and upward!

I get to see Sean tonight, which always makes me happy. It's been a while since he's been gone for a whole week! I figure he'll be a tired traveler tonight, between long days in meetings and busy nights telling stories with his comrades. Apparently, we may go to visit Philly in June - I might get to see my old stomping grounds for the first time since 2001!.

[The backstory: in early 2001, I was engaged, and my then-fiance found a contract gig working for a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson near Philly. We lived for 8 months in an extended stay america, planning our wedding, and becoming addicted to Indian food. We almost moved there, then ended up moving back to WI after the wedding so that I could go back and get my accounting degree at UWP w/ in-state tuition. I have wanted to go back there and see if my favorite Indian restaurant is still there. I think being out there was the happiest point of the 6 years that followed....]

We leave for Hawaii 2 weeks from tomorrow! I am sure the 5 people reading are sick of hearing the countdown. But I've never been there!

Finally, in knitting news - I have put the Totally Autumn blanket into hibernation. I just can't manage that pattern right now - it's sad, but it's the way it is, and struggling through it won't be any fun. I want to be able to enjoy making that one. I did find a nice blanket that I can handle, though. Technically, it's a baby blanket, but I'm just going to make it big enough for us. It starts in the center, on dpns, and works its way out, eventually landing on circular needles. I think it's going to suit the Malabrigo nicely. I'm calling it the Malablanket!

Hoping to make more progress on the Clapotis this weekend, as always. We'll see how that goes. :) HAve a great weekend! I need to get out my DSLR and get the photos off the card this weekend, so I can take an honest photo of the Malablanket and post it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One Step Closer....

I had the sleep study done. I ended up sleeping for 12 hours from 11 Tuesday night till 11 am Wed morning! It was a dark, quiet room. And I slept. Not necessarily well, but for a long duration. The techs said I was up and down a lot in the night, and such. I don't meet the criteria for apnea, and don't need a cpap. However, I got a lot of sleep..... and still woke up feeling fatigued and like I'd been hit by a bus. They kept me through the afternoon for testing during naps, and I was out of there by 2:30 and stopped @ the grocery store on my way home.

I now have a follow-up appt scheduled on June 15, where they'll tell me the results of the study and the treatment options.

Got a little knitting done, a few rows on the 4th straight repeat on the Clapotis. I'm still struggling with the Malabrigo yarn. I just need to spend some time concentrating on the Totally Autumn pattern and I think I'll get it. I just didn't do so well at keeping track of where I was on the row the other night. Still half-tempted to make a Top-Down Raglan Sweater out of it. I'm undecided.

Got up at 5:45 this morning and hit the gym @ work, and did 30 good, solid, intense minutes on the elliptical xtrainer. I love this machine. It feels like running to me, without the impact of running. I'm going to try upping the time I spend on the machine next week by 5 min, going up 5 min/wk until I'm at 60 min.

16 days till we leave for Hawaii! So excited!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yay it's Tuesday!

Still no knitting last night. I should get some in tonight though. I am planning to knit and read this evening after they hook me up to the monitors @ the sleep clinic. I have my pillow packed, and Yertle will accompany me for the evening.

Sewing class #3 last night. We cut out pattern pieces last night. And I got one seam sewed on the handles of my tote bag. :) Lots more actual sewing to come next week.

I seem to be in a rhythm with this exercise thing. I rode 2.25 miles on the bike Saturday, 4.6 miles Sunday, walked for 45 min @ lunch yesterday, and this morning, I came into work early and did 33 min on the elliptical xtrainer. Amazing how the prospect of eating better/exercising/losing weight comes into focus when the doctor finally makes clear to you that it's not just for your dress size anymore, but that if you don't make those healthier changes, you're losing time with your loved ones.

SparkPeople is a great site though... being able to track food and exercise and other things helps to keep me accountable to myself. It's great because you can just use it to track things, or you can get involved with the teams and discussion forums if that kind of support/motivation works for you. You can tailor it to what you need, and that's great. Also, Sean's such a wonderful source of support. He's willing to eat my experiments with fish, and is fine with cooking at home more (and healthier) and eating out less.

Monday, May 4, 2009

1st Weekend in May!

Despite my usual best intentions, I didn't knit much this weekend. I ended up frogging the first attempt on the Totally Autumn blanket, and I'm not yet sure where that's going. I'll figure it out. And I didn't even take my Clapotis out of the bag.

But I did finally acquire a bicycle. Yes, another one. But this one's different. I can ride this one. And I did. I rode it the 2.25 miles home from Freewheel, and then yesterday, we rode it from 4th St & Portland to 34th & Bloomington, and from there to the Lake/Midtown light rail stop. 4.6 miles. Not a lot, but it's more exercise than I've been able to handle in months. So, 30 min of exercise M-F it is. I figure I'll walk for 30 min @ lunchtime today.

I have sewing class tonight, where I'll be cutting out fabric pieces for my tote bag. Exciting! And tomorrow night's my sleep study.

Sean's heading to Boston for the yearly sales meeting, so I won't see him till the weekend. I'm sure he'll have fun in Boston. And Shepherd's Harvest is this weekend! Not sure what day we're going, but it'll be fun!

Friday, May 1, 2009

There's good news all around...

Kindle has been located. It was by the turntable in the living room, where I set it down the other morning, distracted by re-enveloping the netflix movies to go back. Yay!

Cast on for the Totally Autumn throw last night, with my lovely red-blue-purple Malabrigo Merino Worsted yarn. I think this is going to make me very happy.

I'm hoping to make good progress on the Totally Autumn throw and on the Clapotis this weekend. And to do my May square for the Mitered Square blanket.

I think Sean and I are going for sushi for dinner and then to see the Wolverine movie. Yay date night!

Also, results back from the doc - no blood sugar issues (which is what I was worried about), no mono or lyme disease. But I do have borderline high cholesterol, so I'm going to revamp my diet and try to exercise as I can until I can get back to serious exercise. Got a couple of good books last night on lowering cholesterol through diet, and Sean says "Bacon and eggs are out for breakfast; muesli and skim milk are in!" Actually, it's oatmeal that's in, with Cheerios a close second. :)

Looking forward to my sleep study next week. I get to sleep in a sleep # bed for the first time. :)

Also? Looking forward to the weekend!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grr. Argh.

I finally made it to a knit nite last night. The Beat Coffeeshop was quiet and rather a comfortable place to sit, and chat, and do crafty-type things. I finished repeat #3 of the straight rows on my Clapotis, so that was nice.

I am currently frustrated, however. I seem to have misplaced my Kindle. :(

I went to pull it out last night at KinhDo for dinner, and it wasn't in my backpack. I went home, and looked, and it wasn't in the usual places. I figured it might have been left at work, buried under folders. No such luck.

I clearly remember having it Monday night, as I was sitting in the parking lot of South HS while I was waiting for my sewing class to start. And I think I had it Tuesday night, reading for 0.2 seconds before I went to sleep. And I think I had it yesterday morning, over by the iMac, as I was cleaning my glasses. But it's not by the bed, the iMac, nor is it in my backpack now.

Since it's not at work, all I can hope is that I set it down somewhere in our house, and I just need to find it tonight. I hope so... if I've lost it, that's not good. It's not a cheap item. And losing expensive things makes me crazy, and not in a good way. It's the hard thing about all the neat portable gadgets that exist.... they're easier to lose because they're so mobile. I'd been so careful with it. I'm going to be distracted all day until I can get home and find it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yay!

I had sewing class #2 last night. Still low pressure, and we did no actual sewing last night. We did, however, cut out pattern pieces and spent most of the time picking out our fabric choices for the tote bag we're making. Mine's in shades of dark red and tan, and I can't wait to actually start working on it. Next week, we cut out fabric pieces from our pattern!

Also, I found out today that we're going to Hawaii at the end of May! Sean's been a very good boy this year, and he gets to go to the sales club meeting this year (this year's version of the one we went to in the Bahamas in January 2008, when we got engaged), and I get to go with him!

And it's conveniently during the week after Memorial Day weekend, so instead of taking the Friday before Memorial Day off, I'm working that, and taking all of the rest of the week after Memorial Day off. It will be quite awesome.

Still working on the Clapotis, slowly. I'm hoping to make some good progress on the pattern tonight.

I might also cast on for a Sekrit project. We'll see. I went to Bella Lana last night and found some nice yarn in some excellent colors and thought it would make a great Sekrit project. We'll see how long it takes me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Last weekend in April.

It was a good weekend, if a bit short. I got some napping in while listening to NPR yesterday, and I finally got to give my FIL his FIL scarf. He seems to like it quite a bit, so that makes me happy. Sean got a photo of Dad (wearing the scarf) and I. Once I get a copy of it, I'll post it. We also got him a Bose Wave Radio for his birthday, and he loves it.

I got to work on my Clapotis a little, also. I'm into the 3rd repeat of the straight rows. Last night, I almost had a minor disaster... I'm using interchangeable needles, and the needle tip that I was starting to knit from came flying off , which meant I dropped some stitches. in a section that didn't have them intentionally.

In times in the not so distant past, I would have gotten pretty upset and made that known. But Sean and I have talked about that, and I'm working on finding ways to channel that flashpoint and focus on solving the problem.

I didn't use profanity once, and instead of stomping around and flailing and getting upset, I instead managed to rescue and reknit all the lost stitches back onto the needle. It's definitely progress, and it makes us both less crazy. It also makes me more productive. OF course, I also had a lifeline in place. If I hadn't been able to get the stitches back on, I had put in a lifeline at the end of the increase rows so that if I did have to rip back, it would only be the straight rows. Still. It's progress, and I am happy to see it.

I kind of woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, for no apparent reason. And I won't get to see Sean for the few minutes he stops by the house this evening to pack and run to the airport because I have my sewing class tonight. I'm kind of hiding out in my cube here at work today, since I just don't really want to talk to anyone. It's not usual for me, but it's just being one of those days. I'm not having a bad day, but I am having a hermit-y kind of day. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Omg, a photo surfaces!

It looks like I have survived another quarter-end! Hooray!


Also, last night, I stayed up too late and finished the increase rows on my clapotis. Here is a crappy cell phone photo. someday, I shall get a photo with my shiny Nikon. Until then, here's what I could reach easily at midnight. 107 stitches on the needles.



Now I start the straight rows, where I intentionally drop stitches. I'm great at unintentionally dropping stitches. We shall see how I do with dropping them on purpose.


I went to see Dr Emily on Monday for my annual physical. Aside from testing fasting blood sugar levels (which may or may not be an issue, though they haven't been before) and cholesterol (which is probably high), she's testing for lyme disease and mono, due to the continued severe fatigue I'm feeling. And I am scheduled for an overnight sleep study on May 5, to see if anything shows up in my brainmeatz overnight that might explain things. The melatonin helped me make it through quarter-end intact, but the exhaustion's still there, and I know that the melatonin use is only a short-term answer.


And Sean started yesterday morning in Minneapolis, flew to Chicago on the omg early flight, flew to Cleveland on a late flight, and will fly back to Minneapolis via Chicago tonight. That doesn't beat his craziest week, where he was into and out of a different city 4 days in a row (something like Chicago to St Louis to Nashville to Des Moines and home), but it's a lot of time in airports.

I'm taking the Friday of Memorial Day weekend off to get a 4 day weekend. Still trying to figure out where we want to go. I'm torn between someplace I know and love and places I've never been that contain people I know and love. We shall see. We're a last-minute decision sort of duo.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

quick update

Haven't done a lot of knitting this week... did get a little done last night while talking to Ann online.... I'm now further ahead on the Clapotis (by 3-4 rows) than I was when I messed up the pattern before. I haven't worked on any mitered squares either.

I'm hoping to get some good knitting time in this weekend. I think I have the whole weekend off, and it's sorely needed. Between the craziness at work the last few weeks and the whirlwind weekend in New England last week, I would love 2 solid days to putter around and relax.

I should have some more photos up soon - tonight, if I can stay awake long enough to get the camera on and shooting photos. :)

And thanks to the people who're reading this! I'm over 100 site visits, and that's awesome to see! I hope to return to marginally interesting posts about knitting and my other crafty pursuits soon. Oh, and I start my lern2sew class this next Monday night!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New England girl goes home again!

No knitting has been done since my last post. I had a whirlwind couple of days at work, leading up to the weekend, and I am so exhausted from work that I spent my time at the airport and on airplanes just reading, as much as I could, given my lack of concentration.

But we had a wonderful weekend in New England. Pauline and Amos are married, and their wedding ceremony was beautiful, and Sean and I spent most of the reception on the dance floor, which was awesome.

And today, we drove 2 hours each way to spend 5 hours in Maine! We got to meet Athena Jane, who's the most beautiful daughter of one of my best friends (we've known each other for 30 years this September), and relax in their wonderful home.

We tested the limits of the rental car on the way back to Logan, but Sean made his flight, and I got home about a half-hour ago.

I didn't get a chance to grab dinner before I left Boston, and so I'm drinking a well-deserved beer for dinner. :P And I'll be in bed soon. I'm tired. And I'm a bit anxious about work tomorrow, and the next few days before the senior staff financial review.

I'm mostly trying not to think about work. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

... And starting anew!

But.... all of this is building character. I'm back through the setup rows, fairly quickly this time, and that puts me back where I was before I started last night.

I'm going to be smart enough to recognize how exhausted I am and not push to try to do the first repeat of the increase rows. :)

Maybe tomorrow.

Fail.

The last post was hubris, plain and simple.

I promptly came home, after another 12+ hour day at work, and managed to get the 1st two rows of the repeat backwards, and I tinked back the 2 rows, and then ended up off by a stitch, and then I dropped stitches off to the point that they've unraveled and I just can't see how to put it back together.

I'm so exhausted I can't even get upset. All I'll do is print the spreadsheet again and start over again. *sighs* I wish I hadn't messed it up, since it was going so well, and I was having fun, but maybe it'll teach me to knit the right rows.

I should have known better than to tackle this pattern tonight. Blah.

Movin' right along....

I finished another one of the increase row repeats on the clapotis while talking to my stepdaughter on IMs last night. It's becoming a lot easier for me to keep track of where I am in the middle of a row of the pattern - and the spreadsheet I have makes it so easy!

I have a feeling I'll make more Clapotis' as gifts. :)

I think I'll probably work on mitered squares in the airport/on the plane over the weekend, mostly. easier to mindlessly knit. I'll have the clapotis with me, though, because sometimes, I just need to work with that beautiful egyptian cotton yarn!

So looking forward to the weekend.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Photographic Evidence!

Here's a photo (genus: cell phone, species: crappy; someday, i'll go get the D80 and put the 18-70 lens on it and take a photo using it!) of my tiny little Clapotis-to-be:



There is satisfaction in doing something right...

I did it! With help. But I successfully knitted the set-up rows and the first repeat of the increase rows of the Clapotis!!

I found a spreadsheet, thanks to Ravelry, that allows me to check things off and has ending stitch counts for the end of each row, and is laid out such that I can follow it. I am so excited! This is fun to knit!

Hurrah!

Lern2Knit

I ran to 3 Kittens Needle Arts 15 minutes before they closed yesterday, since I was down at MSP dropping Sean off at the airport, and got some beautiful Egyptian Cotton yarn. With that yarn, I started the Clapotis last night. And then started it again. And a few more times. And now, I have no Clapotis on my needles. *sighs*

I don't know why I can't seem to follow patterns. Everyone else does. I'm so frustrated. I'm not giving up, and I'd like to state, for the record, that I did not blow up, use profanity, or otherwise comport myself in anything other than a dignified manner last night as I frogged and re-started the Clapotis many times.

This, my friends, is progress. But still, the fact remains that despite the photo in this post, I have no Clapotis on my needles. But at one of several points last night, I did, in fact, have section 1 completed:

But I can start again tonight. And keep going until I can figure out how to do it right and have the right # of stitches on the needle on any given row. I got all the way to row 8 or 10 of section 2, and then made a mistake. Maybe I need to get better at fixing mistakes, since all I can see to do, when faced with the wrong # of stitches on the needle, is to start all over again, since there are ssks and k2togs and ktbls and kfbs pfbs and I can't figure out how to work back through them. I know how to do them, which is a nice feeling. I read the pattern, and I know what all of it means. I just can't seem to translate it well into the stitches on my needles.

So, tonight, I will again attempt to get solidly into section 2 of Clapotis. Maybe I also need to re-type the pattern into something easier for my brain to process. I get lost in the k1s and the ktbls when I read it in a row (just don't visually process it well anymore), so maybe if I rewrite the pattern in an easier format for me to read, it would help.

I finished another mitered square yesterday (that makes 3, though I have no photo of #2 or #3 yet), and cast on for another one.

I'll figure this out. I just need to find the ways that work for me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The descent into the tunnel of the device networking mines...

No photos in this entry, sadly, but I will try to take a couple later tonight.

Month-end for March and quarter-end for Q2 starts today, so I'll be pulling lots of 8pm-9pm evenings and working Saturday. I likely won't make it to knit nites or anything else (boo!) for the next few weeks, but in the little bit of time I have between getting home and going to bed, I'll be knitting.

I'm hooked on mitred squares! :) And with any luck, I'll have enough of the Noro left that I can make us a blanket from the same yarn Ann's is made of - but it'll look different. I think the mitred square idea will find its way into a baby blanket that's long past due for Athena Jane, my niece (she's my best friend's little one, and Rose and I are as close as sisters).

I knitted another square last night, while watching episodes 10-13 of The Wire. I'm now caught up on season 4, and Sean took season 5 with him to Chicago. He'll be home late Thursday night, so I can try to sneak in some season 5-watching this weekend. I still need to catch up on most of season 2 and some of season 3. Season 4 was absolutely fantstic, and I can't wait to see Season 5. I'll be sad when it's over. Then I'll have to find some other long-running show to start watching from beginning to end.

I'll throw up a hand when I'm back in the world of the living, at the end of April. :) Will update as I can.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Yay for Noro stash! Boo for being a klutz!

I'm a wounded knitter this evening.

But I had 14 skeins of Noro waiting for me here at home, which was very nice. I cast on for another square. And read how to make my own blocking board, which I'd like to do soon.

But back to the wounded. I was at the gas station after work, putting gas in the Audi, and I put the nozzle in the gas tank and started the gas pumping. I wanted to walk around the other side of the car, but the front of the car was close to the back of the car in front of me. So, I tried to step over the hose leading from the pump to the nozzle and the car. And failed, miserably. My heel wouldn't quite clear the hose, and I tumbled over the hose, landing on the ground. I managed to avoid breaking my wrist, though it's very sore, and my left hip took the brunt of the impact, and it's sore.

I'm such a dork.

Tomorrow, I shall take a photo of my Noro stash that arrived today. I should do it now, but I don't feel like it.

The break-up...

I did not, as previously posited, get much knitting done this weekend.



But I can tell you this: The Lizard Ridge pattern and I broke up yesterday. On my 13th attempt at successfully completing row 4, which was failing miserably, I stopped and looked at it and said, "This is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. And I'm not concentrating well enough for this pattern to be fun and enjoyable. Time to find another pattern. Lizard Ridge, I think you're beautiful, but you're not for me right now."



Hours of searching later, I settled on Sarah Bradberry's Psychedelic Squares stockinette mitred square pattern. Because it looked accessible to me. I'm taking the Noro Kureyon I have and doing the entire square in the same skein of Noro, instead of the awesome stripes in hers, but i am using that pattern, minus the yarn-color changing.



And it worked. This is the first unblocked square, in Noro 219.




If I can find time this week, I'd like to cast on for a pair of socks for Sean. And I know that for easier, ego-boosting knitting, I can pull out the Noro and knit a mitred square for Ann's blanket.

The house seems quiet without her there, and Sean and I both miss her a lot. I suspect we'll see her more as the next couple of years goes on, which is perfectly fine with us. I may not post that much in the next few weeks.... second quarter close starts as of Wednesday morning, and it'll be all I can do to keep my head above water. But I will try to jump in once in a while and post whatever meager progress I can muster on my knitting.

Friday, March 27, 2009

heading for the weekend!

The sun is rising in the sky. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me!

No progress on the Lizard Ridge front. I didn't have to wait long to see Dr. Emily yesterday, so I only got a chance to do the 3 rows of stockinette at the beginning of the 8th iteration of the square.

But Sean, Ann, and I went to see Rent last night at the Orpheum Theatre! It was amazing! I've been a fan of the musical since it came out and became such a phenomenon. I'd never seen it, so to see it with the Broadway touring cast was fantastic!

We went to Palomino for dinner...




And this is Ann and I at the theater during intermission:


I'm so glad that I saw the ad for this performance before she got here so that I could get us tickets. Much fun.


We also had fun playing Guitar Hero: World Tour yesterday, and I'd forgotten how much I like that game. Because I have become obsessed with knitting.


We're heading to Iowa tomorrow, meeting her mom for lunch halfway between here and home. I'm really going to miss having her here. When she runs over and gives me a huge hug, I just melt. I don't want kids of my own, for various reasons, but I definitely don't mind being a stepmom.


I also got to spend time talking to Dr. Emily yesterday. Dr. Emily is who Sean was assigned to when he broke his ribs before Christmas, and so I went to see her too. She's fantastic. The biggest reason I procrastinated on going in to see the doctor over the last month, as this exhaustion thing has been getting worse, is because I was afraid that the minute the fibromyalgia came up, I'd be told that it was just related to that. Now, it may be related to that, but to me, it feels completely different than the usual hallmarks of fibro flare-ups that I get. So I want to make sure we rule other things out before we start treating it as another manifestation of fibro.


And she gets it. She said that she understands why I've been hesitant, but that she firmly believes that it's important to rule out other things before we call it fibro-related. They're running the tests to see if anemia or my thyroid are the culprits, and I should know next week if that's what's going on. And if those tests come back normal, she said we'll explore other avenues, like a sleep study, since I know I do have trouble sleeping.


It's such a relief to find a good doctor. I found a lot of not-so-good ones when I was trying to
figure out what was wrong 13 years ago and was diagnosed with the fibro, and it makes me a little leery.


So, here's hoping it's something easily treatable. I'm at a great point in my life, and I want to have the energy to enjoy it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's just short rows.... why is it so difficult??

Despite working on it for hours, the yarn and needles for my first Lizard Ridge square look the same as the photo I took yesterday afternoon.

I've started and frogged the square no fewer than seven times. I feel like a dunce. But I just can't seem to work the pattern repeats in row 4 so that I come out with 3 stitches at the end of the first 2 bubbles. Once, I came out with one, and another time I had four, but never 3.

I'm determined to figure this out. Plenty of other people have done so. It's frustrating, but I am determined. Especially since I ordered 15 more skeins of Kureyon yesterday. I have to do something with this stuff, and I'd like it to be the Lizard Ridge blanket. Grr.

I'm also -this- close to trying to start a Clapotis, just to see if I can do that any better than the Lizard Ridge. And another, probably more reasonable part of me, says that I should work on an easier project, given my current concentration problems. :)

I ended up just not feeling up to trying to wrangle the Lizard Ridge pattern in public, so I stayed in last night after I got home. When I walked in, Sean and Ann showed me the spoils of the day - they bought out the hobby shop (Ann was working on a model of a 1966 VW Beetle) and Costco (omg, Gummi Bears!) while I was at work yesterday afternoon. Sean cooked up an excellent fajita dinner, complete with awesome spanish rice, and I had a surprise in the mail.

Although it wasn't supposed to be delivered till today, my Amazon Kindle was also waiting for me at home yesterday. I'd had a chance to use Sean's, and it's quite shiny. It certainly takes up less space than books! I like it very much.

And today, I had some bacon, and the dashboard turtle made an appearance, and I got hugs from my wonderful husband and my super stepdaughter before I left for work. A girl could get spoiled by all this awesomeness. Oh, wait, I am spoiled.

I think that all the awesome things in my life are why it took me so long to hit this wall as regards how poorly I'm feeling. If I had super stresses in my life, I'd have hit the wall of frustration with feeling unwell much, much sooner. At any rate, I'm looking forward to my doctor's appt later today.... to at least start the process of finding out what's wrong is a bit of a relief, even though I know it's going to be a while before we know what's going on.

The terrible twosome is going to terrorize Twin Cities museums today, and then they're descending on the U tomorrow for an all-day extravaganza of tours and exploring. I have to admit, after this week, I really would love it if she ended up at the U. She'd be a few hours from her mom and home, and would get the full college experience, but she'd be close enough that we could help with laundry or make her dinner once in a while.

I'm also looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday. And our road trip to Iowa will be nice, too. The Audi is quite the comfortable road trip car. Okay, back to analyzing returns data. Weeee!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Genesis

I was going to work on the Lizard Ridge square over lunch, but Sean and Ann came and took me out to lunch instead. But here's a photo of the 1st 3 rows, and of the gorgeous Noro Kureyon yarn I found:


I'm just itching to get this first pattern repeat -done-. Want to knit. Must work instead. Bah. :P

Update...

I have a dr appointment tomorrow afternoon. Because I was sitting here, realizing that if I can get an appt for this particular piece of things Real Soon Now, then I should. Waiting till April 20 to combine it with my general physical is only going to make me crazy(ier?).

I have a list in my notebook of all the things I've noticed/have been going on, and hopefully this appt can be the beginning of some relief. Because I really am not handling this well. No matter how much I sleep, I'm more exhausted than I've ever been. I am equally exhausted when I can catch up on sleep, like last weekend, and when I can't, like all week this week when I can't fall asleep.

I have fibromyalgia, and at one point in my life, it was so bad that I pretty much dropped out of society. And this feels worse than the worst of my fibro symptoms. Just for scale.

As much as I want to go to Knittin' Kitten tonight, I may opt for going straight home after work - I need to save up energy for going to see Rent tomorrow night at the Orpheum with Sean and Ann. I can still work on the Lizard Ridge square at home. And I haven't been at home much in the evenings during the week for the last few weeks. Which has been great for my socialization, but I need a night at home.

Dragging.....

There is snow on the ground. Snow. SNOW. Welcome to spring, where snow is as common as 55F temperatures.

I finally hit the frustration wall with my health yesterday. I called and made an appointment for April 20 to go in and get a checkup. I may well call back today and see if she's got any openings yet this week for the more immediate need, which is to find out why I'm feeling so exhausted and like I have a low-level cold all the time anymore. I sat down yesterday and wrote out a list of the things I've noticed.

I was absolutely exhausted when I left work yesterday, as it has been lately, and really just wanted to go home and sleep. Instead, I dragged myself to knit nite @ Borealis. I got there at 4:45, and made it till 6 before I left. No offense to the fine knitters at Borealis last night - I just needed to go home. I attempted to start one square of the Lizard Ridge blanket last night, but I messed it up somewhere, and started over. I'll get the pattern, eventually.

The goal is to have the blanket made by the time my stepdaughter, Ann, goes off to college (she's almost done with her sophomore year of HS). We shall see. I need to finish one of the 21 squares first, to make a true assessment of whether she'll get it when she goes off to college or when she graduates. :)

Knittin' Kitten tonight - it remains to be seen if I can stay awake long enough tonight to make it there.

So, I went home in a pretty down mood last night, and it was nice to go home and have my family there. I got lots of hugs from both Sean and Ann, and Ann & I worked on a project. It tested my new skills at dealing with frustration, and we did something awesome. When Sean and Ann were at the Science Museum the other day, she bought a ColorCube puzzle, and we put it together. I'll take photos of it tonight (we made the 3-D puzzle and hung it up over the sofa).

Today's not starting off much better than yesterday was, though. I managed to forget my purse at home, and I feel much like I did yesterday. No amount of caffeine touches this, though I keep trying.

I also want to get started on a Clapotis, but am still unsure about yarn. I have some beautiful Malabrigo that feels quite slighted at this point, but I was hoping to make a lighter weight Clapotis than that yarn. Maybe I'll just have to make one in the Malabrigo and another one later in a lighter-weight yarn. We shall see.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Completed knitting! Oh my!

It's finished! The FIL scarf is finished!

Becca and I had a lovely time at the coffee shop near my place, and I finished the FIL Scarf. 360 rows, 3 skeins of Noro Chirimen.

I think the Clapotis will be my next WIP, probably with my red/blue/black Malabrigo merino worsted yarn. And socks. I've got to keep up with the socks.

Sorry about the crappy photo - I was trying to take a photo with a 70-300 macro lens, in light and at a distance that won't allow for a clear photo. I'll take another one before I ship it off to my FIL.... but I wanted to post -something-. :)

I'm still working on the second FIL scarf, but I'm not likely to post another photo of it till it's done - it isn't attractive on my needles atm. But it should move along quickly, as it's all garter stitch.

I'm so excited to finally have a 3rd FO!

The invasion has begun.....

It was quite the busy weekend. I didn't have as much time to knit as I'd hoped, but got quite a bit of time in. I'm very close to being finished with the FIL Scarf! He tried it on, and we decided that 3 skeins was enough on the scarf, so I'm probably 50 rows away from being done, possibly less. I'm hoping to finish that tonight, and then I can power through the other FIL scarf, and send them both off to him post-haste. Here's a cell phone photo of the scarf:





Which means I'll be able to start new projects! I'd like to get Sean's first pair of socks on the needles, but I need to finish the other of my Ugliest First Socks Evar first. :)

I had a good weekend -- it wasn't easy to drag myself out of bed, into the shower, and off to work on this rainy Monday morning, knowing that the other 2 sleeping denizens Chez Berry were sleeping, and can go have fun today, but I'm so glad they have the week to spend together. I'll take a week off this summer and go do something fun, so it evens out. I need to start thinking of where I want to go.

We went to Eau Claire on Saturday, where we went bowling (I still can't bowl) and then stayed with my in-laws Saturday night. We found me a dress for the wedding I'm going to on April 11 in Boston - for $30! And it's a cute Little Black Dress!

We came back yesterday to go to see the one-act play Sweet 15 at Mixed Blood Theatre and it was fantastic. One of Sean's co-workers is on the board, so Ann got to meet the actors, and, even better, she and Sean were taken on a tour of the set by one of the stage managers. Ann's more into the technical aspects of set design and lighting and things than actually being an on-state actor.

We also went out for Vietnamese food, watched movies, and played games on the PS3 last night, too.

It was a very good weekend.

I'm looking forward to 3 nights of knitting this week, also. And Rent on Thursday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm rollin'...

It was a good day for progress on the FIL Scarf frontyesterday. I knitted for a half-hour before my sewing class, and then knitted for 1.5 hours while waiting for Sean's flight from Chicago. I got 30+ more rows done, which is a great boost. There is an end in sight! Not that I am not enjoying this scarf, but I'd like to give it to its recipient and move on to a new project.

Hoping this weekend and next week to make more progress on the scarf. Definitely should next week, with knitting scheduled for the coffee shop near my house on Monday night, Tuesday night at Borealis, and Wednesday night at Spyhouse. I'm not sure how much I'll get done on Thursday/Friday night, but there's the possibility of getting more knitting done on Saturday/Sunday whilst traveling to and from Iowa - but only if knitting in the Audi doesn't make me carsick. We shall see.

I'm pretty unmotivated today at work. Last night was another night of not being able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, and I'm just exhausted. I'm going to work through lunch today and leave at 2 pm.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Random Stuff

I'm up to about 330 rows completed on the FIL scarf. Made 30 rows of progress on the scarf last night @ Knittin' Kitten.

Yertle the turtle made an appearance at Spyhouse last night, and the knitting crew graciously agreed to this photo:


Yertle stayed close to my chai cup all night - the chai was warm (sorry about the fuzzy photo - I used my cell phone)!

I wrote this last night, but then I found Sean online, and forgot to post this. Boys can be distracting. :P

I have a class tonight at the sewing shop where I bought the sewing machine. It's a class on how to use my specific machine. I'm looking forward to it.

Not really knitting related! But there are photos of a turtle!

This is not exactly knitting-related. But I will be pursuing knitting later today, so that's close enough.

This morning, my very nice husband agreed to let me bring Yertle the turtle along on my travels. He's leaving tonight for a day in Chicago tomorrow, and I offered to let Yertle see Chicago. Instead, Yertle's stuck here with me in scenic (?) Hopkins, MN.

Yertle makes a fantastic dashboard turtle in the Audi. Here, he's helping my GPS unit (which needs a name... hm.) do its job, since it gets quite confused on the spiral exit from Ramp C in Minneapolis:


And here, Yertle's the all-important monitoring turtle. He's been supervising my product line and regional reports for February, and is fond of saying, "Yer doin' it rong."



Knittin' Kitten group-members, be warned: Yertle is coming to knit nite tonight, and my camera will also be there, to record the excursion. :) Yertle is already experienced in knitting QA on my FIL Scarf, after all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PS: to Becca

Also, Becca: We found a great Indian grocery and restaurant in Maple Grove, of all places, called Curry Up. Informal cafeteria style setting, but wonderful food! Lots of vegetarian options, of course. We must go sometime!

I ordered Vegetable Vindaloo, and it was so spicy! They also have a buffet Monday-Saturday, 11:30-3:30 ish.

One! One Sock! Ha-Ha-Ha!

Here are photos of my Ugliest Sock Evar. Soon, I shall have a second sock, which I started on tonight, to give me the Ugliest Pair of Sox Evar. :)

Still, it's a sock, and more than I'd previously been able to do. I'm hopeful that I will be able to more successfully complete sock #2 of this pair, so that I do the socks for Sean justice, when I get to them. Sean provided easy access to his photo studio & lighting setup for me to take these photos (we set up a 2nd mini-photo studio/lighting setup in my office, too, which is nice!). That's his hand modeling the sock in the first one. And he's holding the sock in the second one. :) Helpful boy are helpful. I am a lucky girl.


I'm likely to not work on the second sock for a bit though. I'd like to see how much of the FIL Scarf I can get through by this weekend. My stepdaughter, Ann, will be arriving here on Friday for her spring break, and we're going to see her grandparents this weekend. So, the more I can complete on the FIL scarf, the closer I'll be to giving that to him soon! I'm really looking forward to seeing Ann.

She's a good kid, but really struggling with being 15, and I think she'll benefit from spending a week with her dad. Sean's a good listener, and a good advice-giver. I think he'll be able to provide some needed perspective. And they're going to look at colleges, since she's almost done with her freshman year of high school, and it's never too soon to start the process. We'd love to have her relatively close by, so that we could provide laundry service or make dinner for her once in a while. I know her mom will appreciate the week-long break, too. And we're going to see Rent at the Orpheum next Thursday!

I am working my way through a beer right now, in honor of St. Patrick's Day (I love St. Patrick's Day - my name's Kelly Ann, and my husband's Sean Patrick. We're a little Irish. (I'm also English, Welsh, Scottish, and Native American, but I've always identified with my Irish roots more than the others). )

It's time for bed soon, though. I've been feeling a little better today, but could use some quality sleep tonight. We've had the windows open since yesterday - love this weather. I appreciate a preview of spring, but I live in Minnesota, so I know the next snowstorm could be right around the corner! I don't take 40s and 50s for granted! Lola and I had fun driving with the sunroof and windows down, though. Whee!

Mumble...

Ugh.

There has been some half-hearted knitting, but I spent all weekend, plus yesterday, pretty dragged down by this not-feeling-well. I had hoped to be most of the way done with my Ugliest Sock Evar, and it's not too far off, but I didn't get to the toe shaping like I wanted to, and class is tonight. I figure I'll just start on the toe shaping/finishing to see how it's done, and worry about knitting myself a pair of socks that fits me later. :) I'd rather see how it's done, and then start a new pair at this point. I measured Sean's feet, so now I have measurements to make him a pair of socks. yay!

Frustrated by not feeling well, especially since it's felt like a low-level Something-Not-A-Cold. I probably should go to the doctor, but have such a non-specific list of symptoms (sinus issues, feeling nauseous yesterday (no, it's definitely not *that*), being utterly exhausted and not sleeping well) that it feels like it would be a waste of their time and effort because I'm not able to really point to anything really wrong, just a low-level not-feeling-well. Still, I guess can't see if there is something specific going on if I don't go in. I could wait till next week and get my annual physical at the same time, so that would be a good thing.

Was supposed to start my crochet class last night at Crafty Planet, but that was sidetracked by how I felt. Fortunately, I can try crochet again another time. It's probably for the best - with the sewing and sock knitting, I feel like I'm trying to tackle enough new crafts to learn. :)

I'll work on a photo of whatever the sock looks like later, after I get home. Have to have a beer when I do finally get home - it's St. Patrick's Day! And I'm Irish.


To close this entry:


Sean got a haricut on Saturday (he once typoed the word "haircut" in an email to me, so now I call them "haricut"s) and while he was at the salon, I was at home knitting a few rows on the FIL Scarf. Yertle felt the need to supervise (that's my laptop, with the knitting splashed across the keyboard, and Yertle inspecting the scarf):


Friday, March 13, 2009

Halfway Point!

I didn't make it to DKN tonight. I wasn't sure if I was going to go, given the week I've had at work, and the fact that I've been fighting... whatever this is. I'm not sure it's a cold, and I should probably hit the doctor's office next week to figure out what's going on.

I went to Freewheel with Panda and DanRay and one of their friends, where we figured out that a road bike Just Isn't For Me. I'll be going back there, possibly this weekend, to test drive some hybrid and/or commuter bikes. And I need to throw my current road bike up on Craigslist and sell it.

I came home and worked on the FIL Scarf. And, lo, I just hit the 50% completion mark! 2 skeins used, 300 rows knitted.

I'm thrilled to be halfway done, and I am optimistic that it won't take me another month to knit the second half. I'm having a blast with this scarf.

Of course, I can see that the sock knitting has the potential to take over my knitting life, and I'm starting my beginning crochet class this coming Monday, so I'll be trying to learn that too. Still, I hope that I can finish this scarf in a reasonable amount of time.

If I can concentrate enough, I should have time to work on the scarf more this weekend.


I'm excited though - I get to leave in a few minutes to pick Sean up from the airport. It's been a long week, and it'll be really nice to see him. And Yertle the Turtle! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So glad it's almost Friday!

I'm stealing Random Thursday from Becca.

There are no photos of knitting in today's post. The camera's here, but my photographic muse up and quit the other day, and hasn't come back yet.

I have a slight cold, and feel cranky, partially because of that and partially because it's been a rough week at work. I'm hoping I feel well enough to hoist a pint and get some knitting done tomorrow night.

Sean's scheduled now on a flight getting in from California at midnight, and I've offered to go pick him up at the airport. I'm looking forward to seeing him. It's been a long week, and I need a hug.

Also, in what's a strange, long story, Sean calls me "squishy girl" as a term of endearment (I think it's adorable), and a derivative is "squishy pants." Today, in an email, he referred to me as "mcsquishy" . . . and I instantly figured out that "MCSQSHY" would fit Minnesota's license plate requirements. :P I still like "AUDIBLE", and I haven't decided what I want to go with yet. I have time.

I don't, though, have time with the Civic. That has to get registered in MN, and soon. I should go in on Saturday and get that done. I think we want "CANHAS" or "LOLCAR". We love the lolcats Chez Berry. We speak in lolspeak all the time. It's pretty funny.

Becca and I had fun running around. She got yarn and we had way too much fun ogling beads. I got a bracelet kit, and will post photos once I have made the bracelet for myself. And we had great Indian food @ Best of India (where Sean and I went the night we first saw Lola).

I will put a photo in this post. Just not a knitting-related one. See, at dinner, Becca and I mentioned Chichen Itza, and then I came home, and the show "Warriors" was just starting on History International, about Mayan warriors. So, here's a photo I took of Chicken Pizza, as we've taken to calling it, thanks to our tour guide, who referred to it that way on our tour:



Also, apropos of nothing, I'm completely addicted to the new album by the group The Killers, called Day and Age.

Okay, I need to get some sleep, because tomorrow's not going to be an easy day at work either.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Socks: It's like learning a new dialect of the knitting language!



Okay, so I went to night 2 of my 3 night sock knitting class. This has got to be the ugliest sock evar. In fact, I might go so far as to rename this sock on Ravelry to The Ugliest First Sock Evar.
But. I'm making a sock, and the only way to get better at it is to do it, and we have to start somewhere. I turned the heel last night, which involved a lot of swearing on my part, because, as it turned out, the pattern was doing it rong. The pattern left out a K1 on my first row of decreases on the heel flap. That K1 was pretty important.
With the help of Joan, my teacher, we ripped out the sequence 3 times before she noticed what was missing in the pattern. But as an instructive device, I'll always remember that section with the K1 at the end before turning to start the next row of decreases. I think it'll click more when working on the second sock of the Ugliest Socks Evar, on my own.

I'm going to try to get all the way through the foot and the toe shaping to the last bit of the sock by next week, so that I can get help if I need it, and then I can start on my second sock if I have extra time.
I had plans to make my sewing machine cover this week, but it's been a week filled with activity. I got home at 9 from class last night, will get home around 9 from Knittin' Kitten tonight, and tomorrow night, Becca and I are going out to Bead Monkey. The 50th & France shops are having a ladies' night out, and we can make a free pair of earrings @ Bead Monkey, and I want to buy stuff for another beading project, so that I don't forget what I learned in my Elements class.

Friday night, Sean will be home from San Diego, and maybe I can at least get the pattern pieces cut out before he gets home, and work on the cover over the weekend.

I signed up for a Sewing 1 class yesterday through Minneapolis Community Education. It's 5 Mondays, and I'm think it will be a good class.

I also want to make more progress on the FIL Scarf this weekend. I'll probably work on the 2nd FIL Scarf tonight @ the Kitten, since it's all knit stitches, so I have to worry less about messing up.

I really need to crank through the FIL scarves, since I can see that sock knitting is going to invade my knitting life very soon, and I want to make sure I don't have so many projects on needles that I'm not making progress. (ha!)

In an update from lovely San Diego, CA:

Sean and Yertle got up yesterday, and got ready for work. Yes, Sean is a goofy kind of guy. He's charming, so he gets away with a lot of stuff. It's part of why I fell for him. Sean went off to the client site, and...

... Yertle carefully guarded the bed until Sean finally arrived home after a long day of work and sushi.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Eureka!

I stopped by Crafty Planet & JoAnn on my way home and got the stuff to make my sewing machine cover. Hoping to get started on that tomorrow night. I'm not going to post progress photos because I want to surprise Sean, and while I don't think he has any idea how to get to this blog, I'd rather not chance it.

Then I went over to Borealis, where I got just the support I needed to pull 4 stitches off of the needle, unravel them, and pick up the strand that got missed along the way. I can tell I had to rework it, but no one else will know.

To celebrate my Ms. Fix-It success, I bought a great book on sock knitting and 2 skeins of Opal yarn. For Sean's second set of sox. Not that I have started his first set, with the Sisu yarn he gave me, yet, but I will, once I am finished with my sock class next week. He's got 11.5EEE feet, so I need to measure his feet to make sure I make sox that fit him. I have a guide in the book I bought, but I think it only covers a standard width 11.5, not the super-wide width.

It was a great feeling to get it fixed, and the beauty of it was that all I really needed was the support that I could fix it myself. And I did!

Second half of le weekend!

There's an absolutely gorgeous sunrise out there this morning! And I brought my camera to work with me! And completely forgot to grab the memory card for the camera out of my computer yesterday. Doh!
I took a look at the FIL Scarf yesterday, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to fix it that doesn't involve ripping out rows and rows of work. It may come to that, but I'm not necessarily confident in my ability to do that either. So, I brought the scarf with me, and I'm going to Borealis after work, in the hopes that someone there might have a moment to help me figure out what I did and how I can fix it. Because if I don't do that, I'll never learn how to fix my own mistakes, and starting all over again doesn't make sense - there has to be a way to fix it, and I intend to learn how. :)

I'm having fun with the Kindle app for the iPhone. Sean just got a Kindle2, and he adores it. It's a beautiful thing, but I can't quite justify one for myself. With Sean's travel schedule, a portable reading device makes sense for him, since it's more compact, easier, etc. But even though I haven't justified a Kindle, I did download the Kindle app to my ipod touch, and it's pretty awesome. It's not as nice a display as the Kindle, but it's definitely nice to have a portable reading device of my own, and this way I only have to justify the cost of books, not a machine + books.

The other night, when I stopped to stock up on supplies for a sick husband, I bought him a present. As I was walking by the floral section, I glanced at the stuffed animals, and this cute, fuzzy stuffed turtle smiled at me. I knew the turtle would be just the thing for Sean to snuggle up with while he rested. Yertle, as he has been named, traveled through Denver to San Diego with Sean yesterday. Here is a small photojournal of the trip thus far:

This is Yertle on the train to car rentals.


Yertle makes a fine dashboard turtle! Fortunately, they arrived in San Diego earlier than originally planned, so they had a chance to enjoy a nice afternoon in the southern California sunshine. Sean also got a fun BMW 330 as a rental car.

Yertle enjoyed the sunset in San Diego last night, especially with the later light in the evening, now that we're back on Standard Time.

Finally, Sean and Yertle wished me a good night from 1,988 miles west of home.

I think I would like to try to stop by Crafty Planet on my way to Borealis this evening... I'd like to get the fabric for the (likely overly ambitious) sewing machine cover I want to make. Since we're supposed to get a snowstorm tomorrow night, that would be a good time to hole up in the house & work on it, if my class gets cancelled.

Also, I drove Lola to work for the first time this morning. We found her just in time, given the snowstorm on the way. It's great fun to drive this car. Here she is (please excuse the crappy cell phone photos):




Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekends go too quickly.

It's been a whirlwind weekend.

Sean made it home Friday, very very sick, and I took care of him all day. He rarely gets sick, so I was glad that I could take care of him.

Yesterday morning, we went and picked up the new car, and then I took Sean to Urgent Care, where they gave him a nice round of antibiotics. He looked better within a couple of hours of taking the first one, so that was a relief. Once I got Sean some spicy Thai food for lunch, I headed off for an afternoon/evening of fun with Becca and company !

I finally got to visit 3 Kittens Needle Arts in Mendota Heights, and I found a lot of awesome yarns that I could play with. Without a specific project in mind, though, I opted not to buy anything, but I have some yarns in mind for future projects. I splurged on chocolate peanut butter ice cream at Cold Stone, and then we went back to Becca's to hang out.

I worked on the FIL Scarf while I was there, and managed to have a stitch that got away with me. I'm making myself figure out how to fix it, even though Becca said she could see how to fix it - because a part of learning this craft is learning how to fix my mistakes without ripping out everything and starting over. I'm nominally through 263 rows on the FIL scarf, and nearing the end of skein #2 of 4. It's moving along well, and will continue to do so once I fix this error. :)

Then we headed off to Brit's Pub, where much fun was had, and I haven't laughed that much in one day in a long time.

I came home, and Sean, while still sick, looked much better. I started to feel not so great, and headed off to bed, and slept pretty solidly after he came to bed 2 hours later. We got up this moning and just lazed about. Then I read the guest post on Becca's blog, which reminded me that it's no longer daylight saings time, but the clock we were looking at was not moved forward an hour.

It's a good thing I saw that, or Sean would have missed his 1:40 pm flight through ORD to SAN. He ended up being re-routed through DEN, but will get in at about the same time.

I suppose I should drag out the FIL Scarf and fix the error so that I can keep working on it. I want to keep going on the Fledgling Sock, but I'm thinking that I should wait till I am in class so that I can make sure I'm on the right track. Otherwise, what's the point of taking the class?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Photo Evidence of my knitting!

At last, the photos of my fledgling sock. It's a short sock, so that we can cover the basics of making a sock from the top down, in the 3 weeks of class. This photo shows where I've done the first 28 rows, and separated 24 stitches onto a needle for the heel, and the other 24 are on a stitch holder awaiting, I think, the instep instructions.

I did a row or two on the 2nd FIL scarf, also, this evening. It's just kind of coiling around the needle, since it's a lengthwise garter stitch scarf. It's a good mindless project, so I'm glad for it.


I need to get myself to bed soon. Sean's flying home on a red eye through Vegas, and I am going to get up early, get ready, and pick him up at the airport. I've come to appreciate maximizing the time we get to spend together, and if I can get another 30 minutes by picking him up at 5:30 am at MSP, I'm all for it.

He's got quite a cold, poor guy. He sounded so sick when I talked to him on my way home from work (the bluetooth connection from my gps unit to my cell phone works pretty well. I was just sitting in the traffic jam on 394 eastbound, so I was glad for the chance to talk to him. Made the traffic jam go by more quickly. :) ).

Fortunately, he's had a tk and a jdd and a longdog to take care of him this evening - he's spent time with our awesome frients Tasha and JD (tasha's directly responsible for how Sean and I met, 17 months and 28 days ago) and their dog Charley, who's a longdog.

I've got the makings for hot and sour soup and chicken noodle soup, and got Kleenex with lotion, orange juice, fizzy alka-seltzer cold-fighting tablets, and honey-lemon cough drops all on hand.

We're going to pick up the new car on Saturday morning, and then I'm absconding with it for an afternoon/evening of fun for Becca's birthday. Yarn and ice cream and drunken debauchery? Count me in! (I expect to see you wearing that tiara, by the way!)

Sunday, I plan on taking care of Sean (he takes such good care of me always, and he's rarely at home when he's sick, so I'm going to take care of him when I can!) and knitting. And not much else exciting.

Okay, sleepynight time!