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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Believe it or not, I've had progress on all sorts of things...

As you all know I've been struggling with my knitting/spinning mojo that took an extended vacation without me. I've lost interest in all my pending projects. So what happens next? Vogue Knitting lands on my desk and the most unlikely item catches my attention, the front cover, Bontanica Medallion Cardigan by Shiri Mor. Figuring this is a good way to use up the 100% cotton lying destitute in my stash for the last 4 years, I picked up my needles and gave the medallion a whirl. (BTW, this is a better picture of the true color than the next one).
Two days later and voila! That's great right? Well not so much. You should see what the 100% cotton has done to the pads of my fingers. I may not have any skin left by the time this is done. So the question remains, is cotton just that rough that this happens to me every time? Am I allergic to it? Can't be, I wear cotton all the time, except I don't KNIT with it all the time. I'm plugging away at the peplum now, but having to take mandatory breaks to knit with my other wool UFOs so my fingers stop peeling. I am determined to knit and purge all of the cotton out of my stash now. Why not sell it? Well honestly, some of it is too pretty and I am rather fond of it. Onward!

I've been doing a little baking too. I think it's more or less, to ease the tensions going on at work. Lay-offs this week and next. As a manager, there's no telling how this will impact me as either the one cut or the one having to cut. Either way, I'm not at all happy about it. The morale is so in the toilet. Chocolate always dulls the pain for a moment. Chocolate bunt cake with strawberries. YUM! The Hubs loved it.

I also got a very nice surprise by the best SIL ever, KubusKrafts. An early birthday present to see Fleetwood Mac (Stevie is my favorite performer). What an awesome show, abet the two drunk Stevie wannabes behind us who talked (not their inside concert voice, mind you) the ENTIRE show and tipped some of their beer on us. It took every bit of self-control not to turnaround and rattle their cages...wasn't worth ruining my time or trying to rationalize ill-mannered behavior with a drunk and her drunk, slutty daughter. Nuff said. The concert was fantastic. I swear none of them have aged in the last 10 years. Stevie looked the best I've ever seen her and the special treat for me was that she brought out the "Go Your Own Way" top hat with the ribbons on the back. In all my years of loving them dearly, it was cool to see that. She was in top form, as was Lindsey, Mick, and John. Sadly, I confirmed that I still do not miss Christine at all. They seem to have so much more fun on stage without her. Curious, no?
Last weekend I had a fibery goodness gathering at Zarzuela's place. Spinning the sun...with a cool beverage...and sweets to snack on...Bliss.
And on my wheel, I'm still spinning the Corriedale batt I bought from her months ago now. Yes, those are actually my feet on my wheel and I'm spinning for the first time in months!

That day actually produced an FO, finished handspun. 2 ply corriedale that is about medium fingering. I am not sure what to knit with it, but the colors are cheerful so it should be a fun project.

Oh and also at the gathering, I finally met YarnyOldKim's companion, Stella. Can I tell you how hard I fell for this little girl? What a great, easy-going personality. How could you not fall in love with a furry face like this?
After the corrie came off the wheel, I joined a FreckleFace Fibers spin-a-long. Hello, I'm one of the moderators of this Ravelry group so I had been own up! On the wheel, went the Merino 64 in Verita. I have to say this is the finest single I've ever spun. I may actually be able to ply and get my first laceweight! JOY!

This weekend, I've been a busy, busy girl, partly to not think about the lay-offs coming on Monday and partly b/c this bed had gotten out of control which made me crazy. On Friday night, I realized Lowe's was having a sale on the bricks I wanted, so we gathered ourselves and ran out the door at 8PM on Friday. The price was right at $0.88! Last year, I spent $2.64 /each. I got away dirt cheap this time. Saturday I spent putting the bricks in and tidying up my neglected perennial bed. I added a few more plants and have some more filling to do, but it looks much more presentable on the driveway side now. I have some things still peaking through the mulch from last year. In total we have Butterfly Bush, Columbines, Tiger Lillies, Calla Lillies, red and yellow Yarrow, Carolina Bluebells, English Lavender, Russian Sage, and surprisingly, white Petunias, which must have re-seeded themselves because they are annuals.

Here's a super-macro shot of my Calla. Isn't it gorgeous? Well, I need to mentally prepare for tomorrow's festivities (not!) so I'm going to go try to work on some UFOs and enjoy the warmth on the back deck.

Next weekend? MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL and a 4-day vacation to Lake Nockamixon!!!!! WOOT!

Monday, April 13, 2009


You must all think I've gone into hiding or been kidnapped or something, huh? I'm still here, but have been doing a lot of traveling for work that I hope, *crosses fingers*, is done until June. I've been to Cincinnati for a week, San Francisco for a week, and then back to Cincinnati. Sound like fun? Not really. It was all for work, so other than some good wine and food after work, it was still....well, work. I had the most atrocious travel arrangements to California that didn't go so well after delays and luggage gallivanting to different cities without me. $125 later at the Gap in SFO, it turns out my luggage was delivered to the hotel before I even left. Niiiiiiice.
Anyway, I'm home and very happy to be. I am still struggling with getting my knitting mojo in gear again, but this might help a bit. I sat down, in March mind you, and finally pieced together the Placed Cable Aran that sat in pieces and unloved for a good month. The only reason I couldn't post yesterday is that is was raining here like a mofo and no pictures to be had. Such is life. These pics aren't any better, but it's what we could get with the wind today and my automatic timer on the Fuji.So one day post-Bobmas (Ravely turned 2 years old. Yay!), I present the Placed Cable Aran:

Pattern: Placed Cable Aran by Cathy Payson, Interweave Knits Fall 2007

Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in "Petal Shower"

Started: January 13, 2009

Finished: March 31, 2009

Needles: Size 9 Addi Circs

Mods: I did not do the cable on the back of the sweater as the front b/c I felt it looked too bunchy. Also, I have to say, I love Dream in Color Classy. This is the second sweater I've done with the stuff. The first sweater was my February Lady Sweater in Happy Forest. The stitch definition is fantastic, it feels good on the hands, and wears beautifully. The downside, however, is this stuff stretches like crazy when wet-blocked so special care should be made to ensure you aren't eyeballing your measurements and then have too big a sweater. It took days to dry because I wanted to ensure it was absolutely bone dry before trying it on.

Overall, I'm happy with it and it's frigid today for a Spring day. It came in handy.

Next up: My St. Patrick's Day and/or very early Birthday present to myself. Meet my new love, my 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander SE.

She came home with me on March 17th and I feel she's got a lucky streak to her. :-) A lot of folks were shocked that we picked black (even my folks) because my husband is a car neat freak and black is so hard to keep clean. Let me tell you though, with the chrome accents, the Black color is sharp. So what if there's more upkeep with black? Does that mean there is less upkeep with any other color? A clean car is a clean car regardless of the color. I would rather have a clean black car than let the dirt hide b/c my car is white or silver. No matter, I still lerve my car.

I also am in love with the interior. I loathe taupe/beige/tan interior. It always looks dirty to me. I was overly thrilled when I found I could get black interior as opposed to my usual dark charcoal or gray. I really love the seats. They are like racing seats and hug to your body. They have leather backs with strips of micro suede down the sides and cloth in the middle. I think it's pretty unique.

Then lastly, the other thing I love besides getting built-in Bluetooth and satellite radio and still having my 6-disc CD changer and sunroof I love so much, the hatch is unique. My 2006 Rav 4 had a full door that swung open to one side. This has a hatch, which at first I wasn't crazy about, but discovered I love that the tailgate folds down like a pick-up. I think that's a great idea for not scratching the paint or just sitting on the tailgate eating an ice cream cone on a summer day.

So I want to say thanks to all you commented on my last post and expressed their concern, especially for my dramatic and sudden loss of knitting mojo. I am really ok now and, in fact, lost 11 lbs so far! I've been hitting the gym harder, changed my sleep schedule, cutting some things out of my diet that were making me sick (unbeknownst to me), and my life has normalized after quite a traumatizing January. I am hopeful for a better rest of 2009.

As for the mojo, I think my knitting will return. I was struck by the cover of the new Vogue knitting and think the Botanica Medallion cardigan might be the right dose of medicine. I need to jump start myself, two people have a cold left foot b/c their sock mates are still on the needles. I must get cracking on those.

Have a great Easter!