Friday, July 28, 2006

Trekking at the LYS

You've made my day! I had convinced myself that only 3 people ever read my blog, but now maybe there's 10 of you! I feel like a movie star.

Thanks to all of your comments, I'm now more confused...yes, I know, I asked for it. I really do want the KnitPicks Options needles, but it will suck up so much of my budget. Also, I'm very addicted to expensive sock yarn right now. What's a girl to do?

I did venture out to my LYS this afternoon & was shocked at how small their selection is. They seem to be a fabric/yarn store & cater mainly to their fabric clientelle. I only say that because I presumed that the would've had a few different manufacturers of sock yarn, but all they had was Trekking XXL sock yarn available (only about 10 skeins). Since I've never used that yarn though, I added a skein of #101 to my stash. (Although I've heard, and correct me if I'm wrong, sock yarn doesn't count as stash yarn.) I figure if I like it, I can go there & buy more. I was definitely disappointed in my LYS yarn selection. In fact, I've seen larger & better selections on some of your blogs, so thank goodness for all my favorite online yarn stores!

Have any of you been to the KnitPicks website lately? They aren't making any major annoucements on their website until sometime in August (probably the 1st), but they DO have their NEW YARNS on their website for purchase. Since they have some new sock yarn available (Essential Tweed and Gloss) , I'm definitely considering trying each of them. After all, I do get MORE yarn for the money. I'm also eyeing their new Swish Superwash yarn. It's 100% superwash merino wool in worsted weight. I must have some patterns this yarn would work great for.....(now where the heck are they?)

My DH was late getting home tonight, but I didn't care. I was fondling the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits magazine that had arrived in the mail today. I don't love all the patterns (in fact I think a few are very ugly), but I could see myself making Saffron Cables, Father & Son Socks, Spartan Pullover & Weekend Pullover. Honestly though, the only thing I'll probably end up making are the socks.

Does anyone else have a favorite from the magazine?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Seattle Socks

WOW! Are you guys afraid to delurk, or is nobody reading my blog.....(maybe don't answer that). I was wondering from my last post what people would purchase if they had $100. Thanks to Amber & KnitPastis who did comment, because it may have given me some ideas. Actually I was asking because DH gave me $100 to use for anything related to knitting (i.e. books, needles, yarn, etc). I was hoping I'd get YOUR input so I'd make some good choices. I need to make a decision in the next 24 hours though because I'm running out of sock yarn.

Running out? Why yes, I'm currently knitting with the very last skein of sock yarn in my stash. Lucky for me I did find 2 skeins (when I thought I had none) and although I didn't want to knit with it, now I'm glad I did. It's the KnitPicks Simple Stripes sockyarn in a colorway they don't make anymore. The blues & cream though remind me of the winter in Seattle with the blue rainy skies & clouds over the Puget Sounds, so I've named these the SEATTLE SOCKS. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to keep them or give them away for Christmas, but I am fitting them to my foot, so we'll see. I'm also using the Jaywalker pattern from Grumperina & although she doesn't recommend using fair isle self-striping yarn, I really like the effect!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Change of Plans & July Question

I'm not going to post about the heat because who cares other than me that it's 10:10pm and 87 degrees INSIDE my house (and the a/c has been on ALL BLASTED DAY!)

I found out today that our plans have changed -- we're not moving. Keep in mind that DH & I have spent the last 6 weeks remodeling the house specifically to sell so that we can move. So why aren't we moving....lets just say that we have a BLACK mark on our credit that is stopping us. Then again, it's not a permanent black mark since it will be faded by the middle of May 2007.....then we can move!

On the plus side, I have new hardwood floors, in 50% of my home, the exterior of my home has been completely repainted, the laundry room has a new wall up to separate it from the kitchen AND I have recessed ligthing in the kitchen instead of that ugly flourescent lighting with the drop ceiling! YUCK! We're also getting a new fence on one side of our yard. If we wouldn't have planned on moving, then none of these projects would have been done!

DH is sabotaging my diet. I was supposed to weigh in today, but I got sidetracked with finishing our hardwood floors so I didn't. Anyway, he returned the rental equipment (compressor & table saw) to Home Depot & came home with 2 Oreo milkshakes -- my favorite. He commented that it would be something to cool us down since it was so hot. I didn't envision being cooled down, I pictured all the lumpty bumps the milkshake was going to create on my thighs! It sure tasted good though.

Question of the Month:
If you were given $100 to spend on anything related to knitting, what would it be, and why?

Friday, July 21, 2006

My Knitting Diet

I've lost weight! Of course, they say the first 5 pounds is all water, so I guess I'm short 3 pounds of water, but I don't miss it. I lost the first 2 pounds last week & then 1 pound so far this week although my weigh-in day is Monday morning, so hopefully another pound will drop by then.

So what am I doing differently? Honestly, I've only changed ONE thing. After dinner, I pickup my needles, pour myself a drink (usually Crystal Light) and I STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN! The only thing I've allowed myself after dinner is my Crystal Light & sometimes (more often than not) I even add vodka to it. Obviously I was eating so much late at night that it was keeping me & making me fat. I've now incorporated this change into my life for almost 2 weeks now & I have the confidence to keep going. What new thing shall I do next? Exercise?

A BIG THANK YOU to Lynda for your SWEET offer to send me sock yarn from your stash! It never ceases to amaze me how generous the knit blogger world is!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

RPM's Rock!

I'm in love...... with my new socks.
(and DH who works a million hours a week to support my knitting addiction)

Pattern: RPM by Aija Goto in the Knitty summer online magazine.
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks that Rock lightweight superwash merino in Ruby Slippers colorway
Needles: Addis Turbo size 2US circulars
Modifications: None other than choosing the Heel Flap & Gusset with the Grafted Toe.
Notes: I will knit this pattern & use this sock yarn again (& again, & again)

Since this is only my 4th pair of knitted socks, I still feel like I need a fairly clear pattern. I was able to work the pattern EASILY because it was written very clearly and it also gave me options. Not only were there instructions for either the Short Row Heel or the Heel Flap & Gusset, but there were also directions for the Grafted Toe or the Pointed Toe.

For this pair of socks, I chose the heel flap with gusset and the grafted toe. Although I've tried a short row heel once before & it seemed successful, I attempted it twice on this pair with perfection on one side & noticeable gaps on the other. I frogged it the 2nd time and successfully knitted the heel flap with gusset instead. Also, the grafted toe is quite easy for me which is why I chose it instead of the pointed toe. For some reason, I've lucked out & I have the Kitchener Stitch (grafting) technique committed to memory. For the last 2 pairs of socks, I haven't had to use the internet reference at all! Thank goodness because I hear about so many knitters that despise grafting.

As far as the sock yarn, I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock lightweight superwash merino in the Ruby Slippers colorway. Can I just tell you how in love I am with this yarn? It has enough bounce or spring or whatever you want to call it to fit my foot comfortably, but it's also extrememly soft. I will definitely be ordering this sock yarn again!

The only downside to finishing these socks is that I don't have anymore yummy sock yarn in my stash and I'm supposed to be on a yarn diet!

Monday, July 17, 2006

In memory of....

I was just reading Wendy's blog at Knit and Tonic about the loss of her firstborn daughter, Eden, & it brought back a flood of memories that I've decided to share.

13 years ago in March I delivered my firstborn son, Braden. What should have been the happiest moment of my life, was my most tragic. Braden was stillborn. I can still remember the event so vividly that I'm still surprised by it. Of course it was all very tragic, but other than the moment the doctor told me he was stillborn, the most painful moment for me was leaving the hospital. With supportive family at my side, I was wheeled out of my room in a wheelchair and as we reached the elevator I thought I heard a baby cry. At that moment I realized that I was leaving the hospital without my baby. I wanted to yell "Stop! This isn't how it's done. I'm supposed to be wheeled out of here with a tiny infant in my arms."

Upon arriving home, I got into bed, curled up in the fetal position and stayed there for two days. All I wanted to do was die. Thankfully, my husband came home from work on the third day and placed a small puppy on the bed next to me. I've always been a sucker for puppies and this was no exception. Bailey, my black cocker spaniel puppy was the only thing that got me out of bed -- he had to be housebroken. I was not about to have puppy pee in my bed.

Although Bailey passed away three years ago, I will never forget how he crawled into my bed, into my heart & lifted my spirits when I was at my lowest.

I never did have any other children. My second pregnancy also failed & left a bitter taste in my mouth. Now at 37, I've resigned myself to having no children. I honestly believe that for whatever reason, I wasn't meant to have children. But.... I do have my goddaughter, my two grandsons, and seven neices and nephews (so far). I think they will keep me busy enough!

I didn't share my experience about Braden for you to feel sorry for me. I love the life I have now & I wouldn't trade it for anything. I sincerely believe that I wouldn't be where I am today if I wouldn't have gone through the experiences in my past. Everything happens for a reason.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

102 degree socks

What is going on with the weather? Is it just me or does it feel like we're dipping our toes in Hell right now. I just checked the forecast & it's going to be 102 today. I moved to California for sunshine & 80+ degree weather, not 100+ degree weather. Maybe the global warming issue is for real! Crap! The worst part about it is that I'm supposed to move to a city that is typically 5-10 degrees hotter than where I live now. What am I thinking? I hate hot weather!

The other "fun" issue is the air conditioner is only cooling (and I use the term "cooling" lightly) my home to 85 degrees AND my electric bill this month is $327.00. Unbelievable! Can anyone recommend somewhere that has 75-80 degree sunny weather year round with no hurricanes, tornadoes, rain or humidity? Wait a second, I think I know where that is -- HEAVEN. No thanks, I'm not ready.

So here I am complaining about the heat...and I'm knitting socks. I don't think I'll ever be wearing socks again (at least in this climate), so maybe I'm knitting them as gifts. These socks are from the new Knitty issue & they're called RPM. They are a fun & fairly easy knit until you get to the heel. At that point you have to make a decision if you're going to do a heel flap with gusset or the short row heel. I TRIED the short row heel twice. One side looked great, the other was a little too holey for me so I ripped it all back & now I'm doing the heel flap & gusset. I think I need to find a short row heel expert & hang out with them. By the way, I'm using the Socks that Rock lightweight yarn & Addis Turbo size 2 needles. This is the first time using the STR yarn & it definitely won't be the last. I LOVE THIS YARN! YUMMY!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

ZEN Jaywalker

Ta Da!
Finally, the Jaywalker is complete!
Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina
Yarn: Scout's Knitted Swag in the ZEN Colorway created for Zeneedle
Needles: Addis Turbo size 1
Modifications: none

These were extremely fun to knit & this pattern made me want to knit another pair of socks immediately! The yarn from Scout was beautifully dyed & when I save up more $$, maybe I can buy more! Also, this is only my 3rd pair of socks I've ever knitted & I'm either getting better at it or lucky because they fit perfectly! How wonderful is that? Will I have the same luck next time?

I've already cast on for the RPM socks in the new Knitty edition. I have some BEAUTIFUL yarn from STR (Socks that Rock) that I think will be perfect for this pattern.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Birthday Recap

Kya (my golden retriever who thinks she's not only human, but also a princess) woke me at 5:30am crying. I thought she'd stop (more of a whine, than a cry), but 10 minutes later & no sign of DH even noticing it, I walked out to find her laying down in front of the patio door crying. Did she have to pee? Did she need a drink? Doubtful....she just wanted me out of bed I'm sure. I'm renaming her "Princess Pain in the Arse!" Of course I pushed her out the patio door & told her to at least pee & make me feel better about getting out of bed so early on my birthday. Of course I was unable to sleep after returning to bed, so I got up & made myself some coffee & opened the cupboard holding my ever precious Baileys Irish Cream. You CAN'T start a birthday without a Bailey's coffee. Then again, I rarely start a Saturday or Sunday morning without it either.

I decided to work on my Jaywalkers that I'd been neglecting & I actually got quite a bit accomplished. I returned to bed sometime around 10am & slept until my mother rang the phone for the THIRD TIME at noon. Isn't it so nice that even though DH had told her just an hour previous that I was sleeping, that she would still call 3 times in a row an hour later. Of course DH was in the shower, so he was unable to save my mother from my wrath when I answered the phone. I'll leave out whatever "colorful" thing I may have said to her but she so kindly reminded me that I should be nice to her because 37 years ago today she went through a lot of pain because I was "SUCH A BIG (as in large) BABY". How kind. Thanks for reminding me that even though I feel fat now, even upon birth people thought I was fat too.

One hour later:
I'm standing in the bathroom just out of the shower & remember that I must go into my office & transfer money between accounts. As I walk into the dark office I step on a piece of picture frame glass that I had stacked on the floor (don't ask, it shouldn't have been there & I know better). I caught the edge of it & flipped it up in the air & it landed on the top of my foot & fell off. I looked down & saw a trail of blood from the center of my foot to my big toe. As I hobbled back into the bathroom leaving a horrific trail of blood behind me, I slung my foot into the bathroom sink & turned on the water. The pain at that moment had me on the ceiling, but at the same time I also got to see that I only had a few small cuts & one gash that was only 1/2 inch long. Happy Birthday you clumsy old fart!

30 minutes later:
DH is back home inspecting my cut & says: "You don't need stitches, you only cut it through the FATTY part". Oh... so Happy Birthday you clumsy old FAT fart (I think to myself)

1 hour later:
I'm sitting next to DH in our car admiring the beautiful bandage "job" on my FAT foot (attached to my FAT body) so that I could manage sliding a sandal on. We arrive at Downtown Disney where he hands me 2 tickets to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I was thrilled! The movie was very entertaining, but made me even more anxious to see what changes were made to the ride. After the movie we boarded the monorail to Disneyland & stood in line to see the newly designed Pirates of the Caribbean ride. WOW! They definitely kept all the great originality of it, but enhanced it to keep up with the movies. We finished the evening with a deliciously expensive dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant inside of the Pirates ride. It was the perfect birthday for me! It just goes to show how well my DH knows me & I feel like the luckiest woman in the world!

When we arrived home I had several messages on the answering machine with Birthday Greetings, but nothing was better than hearing Austin & Blake each say "Happy Birthday Grandma Kristie, I love you". My heart melted. It was worth turning 37 just to hear that message! Who cares if I'm fat? I have 2 grandchildren that love me!

By the way, isn't my birthday necklace beautiful?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Not This Again!

It's my last day.

It's the very, very last one... being 36.

Strange, but when I turned 27 it was one of the worst days of my life. Probably since at 17, I had for whatever reason, projected out my life for the next 10 years & by the time those 10 years were up, my life was NOTHING as I had predicted.

There was no beautiful home on the lake with the piano studio. There was no "skinny me" with 2 children (boy & girl, of course). There was also no fabulous husband with the business career who swept me off my feet. I had made none of it happen, so at 27 I felt like a failure.

So it's 10 years later & tomorrow I'll be 37. I'm not as depressed this time as I was 10 years ago. I DO have the fabulous husband who constantly sweeps me off my feet & makes me feel like the most loved woman in the world. Instead of 2 children, I have 2 grandchildren that I adore. I don't have the beautiful home on the lake I'd envisioned, although we're planning on moving to a city that has the word "Lake" in it. I'm also still not "skinny me", and there's nothing more to say than that.

What's the secret to each year feeling completely happy or at least satisfied & calm with where your life is at?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Bathing Suit Season Sucks

It's no surprise to those that know me, that I hate my body. It's not my body's fault though, it's mine for not taking care of it. I always have had what I would consider a weight issue. I only weighed less than what my drivers license said ONCE -- for a day! Last time I had my license renewed though, I didn't fudge the number at all. I figured at my age, what was the point?

Now though, I'd kill to weigh what it says on my drivers license. Where did this extra weight come from in the last few years?

I got motivated to get rid of the weight this weekend though. We went to DH's daughter's (DHD) house for a BBQ and because she lives 60 miles east of us, the weather is drastically hotter there -- over 100 degrees yesterday! All pride went out the window when his daughter loaned me a bathing suit & I got into her pool. I was just too hot not to! And if wearing a bathing suit in front of the other guests wasn't enough motivation, I got a whammy when I was looking through DHD's wedding album for the first time. When she got married, DH was married to Juuuuuulie (that's how I say her name). I'd never seen a photo of her, but there she was...all over the wedding album. All 100 perfect pounds of her & her perfectly toned legs & arms. It definitely made me wonder what DH saw in me (I think I weighed 100 pounds in 9th grade!)

So why do I care? After all, DH chose me over Juuuuulie. Maybe me losing weight isn't for him. I know I'm heavier now than I've been in 10 years, so it's time to get off my lazy butt & get back into shape. Especially since I have our 2 week cruise & DisneyWorld vacation coming up in less than 11 weeks. Wish me luck & lots of willpower!!