Saturday, February 28, 2009

This is one way to run errands....

I told myself that I would only post to this blog on days where knitting was a part of my day. I haven't knit a stitch on the FIL scarf, but it's been a pretty big day Chez Berry, and I can post something knitting related, so I'm calling it applicable. Warning: this is going to be a photo-heavy blog post.

We started the day at Accent Store Fixtures, where we found lots of trouble that we could get into. We purposefully brought the G35 with us so that we would be limited in space to bring larger things home. I did get a dress form, and we got a bunch of kitchen gadgets. Here's the dress form, wearing the necklace I made in my beading class on Feb 16.

We stopped for lunch at Wendy's, and then we went to National Camera Exchange in Golden Valley, where we found all sorts of ways to get into trouble, and I ended up with a light tent and a cute little speedflash and a 105mm micro lens. Which is beautiful.

After that, we headed to Gratz Sewing where we bought a very nice sewing machine. I don't know how to sew with a machine (and barely know how to sew without one) but I really want to learn. I've been thinking this for a few weeks, but today's excursion was mainly fueled by Becca's post yesterday, where she made the cutest little bag.

So, we bought a sewing machine, and I managed, with Sean's help, to get it threaded, and I made an awkward little rectangle on some scrap fabric. And Sean's making me a quick sewing machine cover until I can make one myself.

With our purchases loaded into the G35, we wandered off to Luther Westside Volkswagen in St. Louis Park. Yesterday, I'd found a couple of promising AWD vehicles listed, and we went to go check them out. Sometime around 5:30 this afternoon, we agreed to trade in the G35, for this:

Her name is Lola, and we're thrilled to welcome her to the family. She's a 2004 brilliant red Audi A4 1.8T Quattro, with 32K miles (that's the mindboggling part, since Audis tend to rack up a lot of miles pretty quickly), and the price was more than reasonable. We couldn't bring her home with us, because she's got a sensor light that needs to be fixed, so the dealership gave us a 2006 black A4 S-line 2.0T until it's ready. We may be able to bring her home on Tuesday, if the planets align, or it might be Friday or Saturday. At any rate, we'll have her next weekend. It's a beautiful car, and now the Infiniti G35 can go find a nice owner somewhere in the southern US, where she belongs. It'll be nice to have a 4-door, and now Scarlett (our 2007 Honda Civic) will have a new sister. Yes, I'm a little dorky about cars, and ours in particular.

Oh, knitting! I played with the light tent and took photos of the FIL scarf. I've knitted 205 rows, and I'm partway through skein #2.

So, it's been a busy day around here. Maybe tomorrow, I can get some actual knitting in on the scarf.

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's beautiful this morning...

I survived Deth Storm 2009.

My boss told me to leave work at 2, and it took me 75 minutes to get home. I did not take any of the interstates, preferring Hwy 7 instead. Sure, Hwy 7 wasn't plowed, but at least I was moving. Almost got stuck a few times, and the snow was falling fast. Our cute little front-wheel-drive Civic performed admirably, getting me home safely. She's a good car.

A few hours later, Sean was not so lucky in his driving excursion, driving to a restaurant with his co-workers. He chose to take the Infiniti G35 (our fun RWD sportscar, not at all made for MN winters), and regretted that choice through the whole trip. He spent a lot of time stuck at intersections, and he was not a happy boy when he finally got home.
That's me, in the photo below, & the G35, on Forest Lake about a month ago.

When he came home, I told him that during my drive, I had never wished more for an AWD vehicle. After this latest travail with the G35, I've now been cleared to research AWD vehicles in Mpls. As much fun as the G35 is in good weather (and oh, how I'll miss the sound of that engine), it's not practical for us to have. We didn't notice it in Chicago as much - not because it snows less, but because Sean was travelling more, and travelling overseas more. He's working in Mpls and Chicago more now, and is home more often, and so we use a second car more often.

There is a knitting part to yesterday, honestly! I came home, finished up a little work, and took an hour's nap. Then I got up, ate, and proceeded to sit down and produce 40 more rows of knitting while watching movies (Glengarry Glen Ross, Criminal). That puts me at almost 180 rows on the scarf. I'm now a little over 25% of the way. With any luck, I'll get some quality knitting time Saturday evening and Sunday.

I'm very glad it's Friday. It's been a challenging week, trying to figure out how to produce a February forecast with most of the information seemingly unattainable. Still, I'm making a go of it, and will hopefully have something reasonable by noon today. We'll see how good my forecast is next week. :)

Sean hopped on an early flight to Chicago this morning and will either be home at 7 or 9, depending on how early he gets to ORD this afternoon and whether there's room on the earlier flight. I'll get some good knitting time in waiting for him to come home.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The snow is coming! The snow is coming!

Moar knitting, plz. The FIL scarf is moving along quite well. I got more done last night at Spyhouse, and have now done 140 rows on the scarf. I'm almost done with skein #1 (of 4), so I predict this will be a long scarf. Or I'll decide to double it up and sew it shut. I'm not sure yet. We'll see when we get there.

Spyhouse was great fun last night. It's always fun to find funky coffee shops, and to meet new people. It helped to know someone in the place, too. I met Becca at drunken knit nite @ Merlin's Rest, and it was good to see her again last night.

With any luck, I'll be home remotely on time tonight, and I have no where I have to go. I was going to go out with Panda & DanRay to Freewheel and either get my bike fitted better or buy a new bike. But Deth Storm: February 2009 edition is headed straight for us, and I suspect my evening commute will not be a happy one. I'm hoping to be able to get out of here earlier than normal if it's bad.

I should grab some breakfast before I get so wrapped up in trying to puzzle out the mystery of how to do this forecast that it's suddenly lunchtime before I know it!

I'm so glad tomorrow's Friday.

(ps: a small shout out to the one, the only, my lovely tk! love you, sweetie!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Settling In...

I went to knit nite last night at Borealis, and had a great time. I made some nice progress on the FIL scarf, which is a +1 toward my ability to successfully knit while listening to/participating in conversations with groups of people. I'll get a photo of it in the next couple of days to show its progress.

I'm hopeful that the FIL scarf will move quickly, so that I can move on to the next project. I'm not sure what that next project will be. I'd like to use up some of the yarn in my stash, which likely means another scarf, probably with my lovely Malabrigo. I'd like to branch out, and then I remember that I'll be taking a sock knitting class starting next week and crohet classes later in March, which will provide me with my RDA of new things to be learning.

Managed to (again) fail to put my camera in my bag this morning, which is unfortunate, as I could have had a couple of great shots from the parking garage this morning. Should be extra incentive for me to remember it tomorrow.

I'm thinking about setting up a little bit of a photography space in my cozy corner at home. It would be nice to be able to photograph stuff without having to disrupt whatever Sean has going on in his office/studio/shop. It's a thought. I definitely need to make sure we get up earlier this Saturday, so that we can go poke around at Accent Store Fixtures. I'd like to get a jewelry display, and maybe something else to use for photos.

My main project this weekend, however, is going to be clearing off my desk and filing paperwork. I'm bad about filing, and I can sit and sort through papers while watching tv or something. Once my desk is cleared off, I can work on projects on the desk, which is why I have that desk in my space.

I also need to find transparency film. I want to work on my scrapbook for the wedding/honeymoon, and I saved the flowers from my bouquet and dried them. They'll fall apart in the scrapbook by themselves, but I read on the internets that transparency paper/film works well for them. I'd like to get the scrapbook project completed and off my other table, so I just need to figure out where to go. There's a scrapbook store in Bloomington... maybe I can swing by there this weekend too.

I ended up getting a couple of extra nights with Sean this week... he was originally going to Chicago Tuesday, but now he's on an early flight Friday and back Friday night. That's full of awesome and win. Well, except for the 4 am wake-up on Friday. Still, any extra time I get with He Who Is Quite Awesome is appreciated.

I'm looking forward to joining the Knittin' Kitten group tonight. I haven't been to the Spyhouse yet, but I figure a nice cup of tea and some knitting is a nice combination.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Brush with Fame...

I didn't get a chance to watch the 10 pm news on WCCO last night. We went to a fabulous Manhattan Transfer concert at the Dakota Jazz Club.

But I had a reason for wanting to watch the news.

I went to Borealis Yarns for knit nite for the first time last week, and walked in to see a WCCO cameraman and camera. Turns out, one of the regulars at knit nite is Maya Nishikawa, a reporter for WCCO. She was working on a story about Etsy, and they wanted to film part of the piece @ Borealis.

It's a great piece, and if you watch the foreground from about 2:05 to 2:10, you can see my hands working on one of the failed versions of the FIL scarf!

Looking forward to knit nite tonight, especially since I have a quite viable start to the scarf, and if I can keep the simple pattern going while I'm sitting there, it'll be great!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


It's nice to have this part done. I finished taking the photos I needed to, and now I have all of my stash items catalogued on ravelry (I'm empire74 there), along with my 2 small FOs and my current WIP.

Speaking of the current WIP, here's a photo of the Magic Scarf I'm currently working on for my FIL.

I'm very happy with how it's turning out. I'm hoping to get some time to work on it today. It's been my plan, and we got up at 9 am (after staying up till close to 4 am) so that we wouldn't sleep the whole day away.

We went to Moose & Sadie's for breakfast, and then when we came home I finished taking my yarn photos while Sean worked on setting up an Oracle database box. Sean has been getting his sweeping and mopping on while I've been uploading and cataloguing my yarn stuffs on ravelry. It's now 3 pm and I haven't knitted a stitch! Once the mopping is completed, and I can reclaim the sofa, I shall start knitting for the afternoon/evening.

Weekends go by so quickly...

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I knit a few rows on the FIL scarf today. Tonight, Sean helped me learn how/what to set up to be able to do some nice studio photos. I'm still editing, and I'm not quite feeling like throwing the photos up tonight, but I have some photos of my stash, and photos of my 2 FOs, and a photo of my WIP (the scarf). I figure I'll take photos of the rest of my stash tomorrow, and then I'll have that project done (to photograph my related knitting stuff).

We had a good day today, even if we slept past all of the morning. I'm usually up by 8 am on the weekends, and Sean's usually up by 9 or so. We slept past noon today. I guess we both needed some sleep. Sean had a lot of long nights at work this week, and I've been exhausted all week.

We made breakfast and headed out to run some errands. We were intending to stop @ Accent Store Fixtures, but they closed at 1 pm, so we continued on to grab some videos in Uptown, and then went to Kohl's and the grocery store. Nothing terribly spectacular, but it was good to get out. And it was amusing to watch Sean try to park and unpark the car in the snowy parking spots in Uptown. He does a good job at it though.

Also, Marquette played Georgetown today and won! This makes me quite happy. I spent two very happy years getting my MBA at Marquette, and I adore being able to watch games on tv now that we have DirecTV and get ESPN/ESPN2.

I'm looking forward to spending some good time working on the scarf tomorrow. I'll post a photo of it in progress!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Friday; I'm in love...

I'm so glad it's Friday! I mean, it was a short week, even, with Monday off, and a breakfast meeting that ate the whole morning yesterday, and still, I am sitting here thinking, "Is it time to go home yet? How about now? Now???"

But the day will pass, and then I can go home and knit!

I just may have solved my struggles with the father-in-law scarf. I cast-on with the Noro Chirimen again last night and successfully knitted the first 19 rows of Crazy Aunt Purl's Magic Scarf. I am so excited! It's going to be pretty, what with the lovely squares of knit and purl stitches and the stripes of color from the Noro.

I've acquired another project idea. *headdesk* I just got a black aviator jacket at the military surplus store, and the lining is bright orange (reversible, so that if I get lost in the device networking mines, I can turn my jacket inside out for easier rescue!). Which made me think that my Noro Striped Scarf (all in shades of purple & brown) doesn't match (since I made it for my brown coat). So I just need to find one of those Noro colorways with a bright orange or gold in it and black. I don't have a pattern in mind yet.

This weekend, Sean's agreed to help me with the Great Photographic Record of Knitting. He's going to teach me about studio lighting, and then I can take photos of the 2 projects I've completed, all of my stash yarns, my WIP, and my jewelry projects. I'm looking forward to it, as a way to combine my love of photography with my other crafty hobbies.

I plan to spend a fair amount of the weekend knitting furiously on the scarf. :) At this rate, my FIL won't get it till June or something! :)

I don't think we have any big plans for the weekend. I think we need to amass a grocery store and beer run, and I think Sean wants to work on the bike, with which I'd like to help, as needed. And we seem to have a mountain of laundry, which is curious, since I had one day fewer of work this week and haven't worked out as much. But, I guess, since Sean's been home all week, the clothing's piled up over time, instead of him coming home Friday night and emptying his suitcase and immediately throwing it into the washer.

I seem to have twisted my knee somehow, and it's tender. I'm not working out at work today, about which I am sad, but I know when to listen to my body. Maybe I can get in a good chunk of time on the elliptical tomorrow at the Y.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Curses! Foiled Again!

Despite my great plans to go to Spyhouse tonight and knit, I seem to be struggling through the ick that's moving its way through both my workplace and Sean's. My sinuses feel like they've tripled in size, and I'm just exhausted, in only that way I get when I feel a cold coming on. So, instead of going to Spyhouse and infecting everyone, we got spicy Thai food and I'm going to bed soon.

Part of me wants to make a start on the New and Improved father-in-law scarf, but I am so tired that I think it would only frustrate me.

I'm really hoping to make it to next week's gathering!

It Feels Good to be a Gangsta Knitter!

I’m sitting here at work, waiting for the finalized P&L for the month so that I can complete the Product Line P&L and move on to the rest of my monthly reporting – before it’s time to close the next month already! I work in corporate finance – and most of my time is spent waiting for the details to be finalized, so that I can do analysis.

I can’t knit while I’m sitting here waiting, but I can write about knitting. And daydream about knitting. Which I seem to do far more than actually knitting anything. I'm taking steps toward that. Or, at least, steps toward being more social.

I moved to Minneapolis almost 6 months ago, and am just now venturing out to try to meet people. I spent the past 8 years in the Milwaukee/Chicago area, and didn’t quite realize the network of friends I made (thanks to 2 degrees and 3 companies) and have left behind. Although I didn’t consciously realize it, I guess I was scared about throwing myself out there to meet people, but my social nature won out. And here I am.

So, I've spent the past little while being the "new girl" at knit nites in the Cities. This past Friday was Drunken Knitting night @ Merlin’s Rest. I’ll be a monthly participant there when I can, as the combination of beer and knitting is too much to resist. However, I managed to completely mess up my simple pattern for my father-in-law’s scarf (which was: Row 1: K2, P1, Row 2: K, repeat rows 1 & 2 ad nauseam).

That precipitated a trip to Borealis Yarns in St. Paul after my beading class on Monday. Where I bought 4 balls of Noro Chirimen #1, and decided to do something else with the black yarn I’d been working with on Friday night.

And I brought the Chirimen to knit nite @ Borealis last night. It was, apparently, a little brighter than usual, thanks to the news camera there, filming pieces for a story about Etsy. I had a good time, even if I did determine, after starting over twice, that 1x1 ribbing was NOT what the Chirimen wants to knit up into. It’s a very comfortable place to sit for a couple of hours and knit, and I’m looking forward to getting to know people! Driving back to downtown Mpls in the snow was an adventure – I’m not familiar with that stretch of 94 between St. Paul & Mpls yet, and I couldn’t see the lane markers terribly well, and I’m sure a lot of drivers on the road were muttering in the general direction of the red Civic with Illinois plates. Thank goodness for the GPS Sean bought for me – I wouldn’t have been able to figure out how to get home without it!

And tonight, I’ll go find the knitters at Spyhouse Coffee Shop. Where I hope that the Chirimen wants to be Crazy Aunt Purl’s Magic Scarf. And where I hope that I can manage 3 rows of K, 10 rows of K3, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K3, 10 rows of K3, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, K3, ad nauseam. I think I just need to go more slowly.

I’m still new to knitting, let alone trying to follow/participate in conversations while knitting.

But I know that I can’t meet people without going places, and I can’t become more skilled at knitting unless I do it. And the advice is always given to go find people who like what you like. I’m hoping that being around people who Actually Knit will inspire me to do the same.

Things like beading, cross-stitch, and photography will also end up in this blog, since they’re all things I nominally do, and would like to do more.

In fact, I'm asking Sean to help me with a tutorial on lighting/photography for crafty things soon, so that I can post photos of crafty things here and on ravelry. Hooray for combining 2 things I like into one: photography and knitting!

I figured one way to measure progress is to track actions. I'm hoping this blog will give me perspective on progress.