Many thanks to Lollygirl! I won her Cotton Tape contest! I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to make with it, but I know that I'm excited to receive it. Thanks, Lolly! 710 yards gone from your stash... 710 yards added to mine. I really need to have a contest of my own one of these days...
I've been knitting like a fiend on the Ribby Cardi. I'm up to the shoulder shaping, and the cardi looks so good! Really, it does. What's that? You'd like to *see* how good it looks. Well... umm... you can't. I'm in Pittsburgh, and I brought my camera. I even remembered to pack the cord to connect my camera to the computer. What did I forget? The MEMORY CARD.
Generally, when I pack for a (three day) business trip, I go through my mental list of things I need... three outfits in which to teach, the unmentionables, makeup, hair products, hair dryer, tennis shoes (or dress shoes if I'm wearing the tennis shoes), exercise clothes, socks, camera, camera cord, laptop, course notes (for whatever I'm teaching), and the KNITTING. Generally, its the knitting that takes the longest to pack, because I'm never quite sure what I'll *want* to knit once I'm at my final destination. What if I finish my sock? I should take another. What if I won't want to knit socks? I should take a hat to knit. Hats are good. What if I come across something I don't know how to do? I'll take a knitting book. What if I want to knit another sock? Yea, I should pack a second sock. So I usually end up with at least three projects for a THREE DAY TRIP. Smart, no?
Anyway, I always bring my camera. Last month, I went out and bought a newfangled USB device that allows me to insert my camera's memory card directly into it in order to download my photos. So I've been using it on my home PC. It never occurred to me that I could just bring that on trips instead of the cord. But my memory card is in the USB device at home, right now. And I have no way to show my lovely ribby cardi Just know that it is beautiful. And that I might go to Best Buy and get a memory card tonight. Cause that's the kind of girl I am...
ETA: I think I'm going to tink back on the ribby cardi tonight. I've decided that 14" just isn't going to be enough length for me. I'd like it to be an inch or so longer.
In absolutely unrelated-to-knitting news, I made a major score on Friday. The Annual Yard Sale in a town close by is going on this weekend, and the library there was having a book sale. I just happened to be at the library on Thursday and noticed some awesome books for sale, so I was the first in line Friday morning for the book sale. By Book Sale, they really meant BOOK SALE! It was a HUGE SALE! Not in the fact that they had a HUGE selection, but the deal was good. Any book, ONE DOLLAR! And we're not talking hot and steamy Danielle Steele novels and dime store paperbacks, either. I got 14 books - most of which I've been perusing at the bookstore, but reluctant to buy. And they're hardcover books, too.
A few of these books are absolute guilty pleasures (Bergdorf Blondes, Undomestic Goddess), a few I just got because I've seen people on planes reading them (that means they're good, right?), and a few I've wanted to read for a while. This should keep me busy for a while
Since the dawn of timeProject Spectrum, I was planning on taking one month and knitting a cardigan. More specifically, I wanted to knit the Ribby Cardi. I always love the way the Ribby Cardi looks when I see it in the Chic Knits Ribby Gallery, no matter in what yarn or color it is knit. It looks good on EVERYONE! And I had every intention of knitting it in the colors pictured in the pattern - Elann's Peruvian Collection Highland Wool Celadon and Nutmeg Heather, but then, I ran across the perfect shade of blue in the softest wool ever at Sheep and Wool. The yarn is Bluefaced Leicester from Barneswallow Farm in the "portsmouth" colorway.
The pattern recommends a gauge of 19 inches to 4" with a size 7 needle, but I actually couldn't get gauge with that size. I'm using a size 8, and its perfect. I knit the guage swatch while at SnB on Wednesday. While I was gauging away, Rhonda knit her first few rows of garter stitch. I couldn't be prouder! I was too busy oohhing and aaahhing over the new books that Andi brought, admiring a knit baby sweater, and breaking coffee mugs (yes, klutz that I am knocked a mug off the bench. They said they'd still let me come back) to take a picture of her knit work. But it was a fabulous time! We were able to sit outside Angel Falls Coffee shop and knit in the little garden they have there. It was so pleasant. Even the coffee was fabulous!!! For all myMarylandfriends, we never got coffee like this at Mayorga!
Dude gave me starbursts in my foam. Gotta love a chocolate starburst!
When I got home from SnB, I immediately cast on for the ribby cardi. Its coming along quite nicely.
As for my other Project Spectrum project... the sock. Many visitors (ok, three of you) thought that I should give the sock a nice bath, and it would relax. Well, it did. But it was apparently on some kind of stimulant, because it didn't relax enough. RIP it is. I'm going to swith to size 1's, I think. The fabric is slightly dense, and I'd like it a little bit looser, I think. Oh, and for those that suggested my mother receive the sock, I had her try it on, but alas, it was too tight for her, as well.
I know my birthday was almost two weeks ago, but here's another birthday post. I'm 30, and I can do what I want to
Last Friday, my best friend (Rhonda - gotta love her!!!) threw me a bit of a Surprise party!!!
My parents, my sis, and a few friends came out to 91 Wood Fired Oven in Canton. It was a TOTAL surrpise to me. One that I almost ruined because of my lack of a wardrobe that looks good on me. My clothes are either too big or too small. Definitely a good place to be, but still! When you're planning a night on the town with your best friend, you want to look good. I thought that she and her fiance were taking me to a quiet dinner, but when I showed up, there were like 7 people waiting to wish me a Happy Birthday! It was a great night! I'm still floored by it all!
After dinner, everyone (except my parents) went to 7 Martini Lounge and drank yummy martinis for the rest of the night. It was such a great evening. I can't even express my gratitude enough. So I'll just say thanks again, Rhonda (and Mom and Dad and Paula and Todd) for making this such a good evening!
I started a new pair of socks. Did anyone think this wouldn't happen? I decided to be:
a) adventurous. I'm actually using a stitch pattern other than the Jaywalker Chevron stitch, stockinette, or ribbing.
b) resourceful. Since it's the Summer of Stash, I'm using yarn from my stockpile, er, stash. Chelsea paid me with yarn one time for fixing her computer. It was my first skein of Socks that Rock, and let me tell you, it does (rock, I mean. Almost as much as Chelsea. Go wish her many congratulations! She's a tri-athlete (and delusional, cause she thinks I'm gonna be one, too. We'll talk more about that at another time)).
c) Blue. It sort of fits into Project Spectrum's color this month. Yea, that little bit of blue does too count!
So without further ado... the new sock on Monday morning.
The new sock on Monday night.
I was in a conference call Monday afternoon, and got lots of knitting done during the call. I love this sock!!! My mother even was in awe of this sock. The color is great (Socks that Rock Blue Moon Rock)!!! I thought at first that it was just olive green and blue, but there is a band of grey that is coming out in the socks, and it just adds a little something. Really loving these socks.
So Monday night, I decide that trying on the socks is probably a good idea. My last two pairs are a little snug for my taste, and I don't want to repeat the same mistake.
That's about as far as they're going on my foot without S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G a bit TOO far! There is some tugging involved in getting over my ankle. Now, for the record, this is the ankle that I've had so much trouble with, and it is a bit bigger than the other, but really, these socks are NOT going to fit me. I'm scared that if I start over and put more stitches that the striping is going to turn into pooling. Right now, I have 72 stitches on size 0's. I'm thinking of going to 80 stitches on size 0's or staying with 72 stitches and upping my needles size to 1. I like the density of the fabric on my size 0's, so I really don't want to go up 1's, but I also don't want to have to do two more cables per round. They're kind of hard...
What to do?!?!?!? Any help/suggestions/offers to reknit these socks for me would be greatly appreciated!
I got my first Secret Pal package in the mail yesterday!!! YAY!!!!!
Inside was some lovely Bath and Body Works aromatherapy items, stitch markers with a fantastic holder and SOCK YARN! I love sock yarn!!! A little too much at times, but I do love it! There was also a nice Creme Brulee scented candle. YAY for dessert flavored candles, since I'm not having dessert for a while!
The stitch markers are great!
And let me tell you, not a jump ring to be found on these. She bent everything herself (which is what I have a hard time doing when I make stitch markers) and they look fabulous!!! There was also a sock marker, but its tiny, and I had a hard time photographing it!
Yup, I'm all done with them. I finished sock #2 on the plane back from Maryland Saturday morning. But sock #1 needed some TLC (I hated the cast off!), so I RIPPED, and reknit. Both socks were done as of Sunday evening. I really like the look of these socks, but I think I was a little bit in denial about the fit. I was planning on making them a wee bit tight, however, they are a wee bit more than a wee bit tight. Meaning they're REALLY tight. I think once I wash them, they'll relax a bit, but for now, they're not my favorite fitting socks. Out of the threepairs of socks I've finished for myself, these are definitely my favorite looks-wise.
I haven't finished my lollygirl socks. I'm rather uninspired by them. I knew that they were too tight, but now that I've finished my May-belle socks (same yarn, same pattern), I want to rip! I'm just not 100% sure the yarn can take it. Its already looking a little ragged. I think I'll just rip out a few inches and do what I did with the May-belle socks - increase by about 8 inches in the calf. This makes things a little nicer, but it throws off the stripes (as you can see in the picture above). Soon, but not today.
Right now, I'm really into knitting the shawl. Or maybe I'm into watching The 4400. I promised to knit the shawl while I watch the previous two seasons (to refresh for the season premiere on Sunday) and I've done that! I have about 5 episodes left, and 16 1/2 rows left in the current pattern repeat. I won't finish the shawl by the time I'm done with season 2, but I'll be a LOT farther along than I was!
My 30th birthday was on Sunday. The day was fabulous!!!! Actually, the entire week was fabulous. I spent some time (for work) down in Maryland, but while I was there, I was able to see some of my knitterly friends. It was a blast!
Some of the birthday spoils include BEAUTIFUL yarn from Falafel.
The Chronicles of Narnia box set from my parents. A few books from Chelsea (YAY for total surprise gifts!). And a gift card from my sister to get The 4400 on DVD. My Secret Pal also sent me a nice birthday post card. I'm excited for the package she told me to keep my eyes open for.
Since 30 is generally considered a milestone, I've been reflecting on my life, and how blessed I am. During this time of reflection, I've tried to think about what I want my life to be, what I want to do with my life, and who I want to be in my life. So I've compiled a list of things I'd like to either accept or change in my life.
1. I'm going to stop feeling guilty about things I can't control. I remember this summer, I got strep throat, and couldn't teach a day or two of class. Now, I didn't go out looking for strep throat. I hadn't injected myself with the strep throat virus. But I felt so guilty for having to inconvenience someone else because I was sick. I realize this is just a waste of my time and resources. So no more feelng guilty about things that are out of my control.
2. Speaking of control... I'm going to let some of mine go. I really like to control situations. I'm the one who has to be in charge when a project is under way. I'm the one who likes to make plans weeks in advance. I'm the one who is constantly badgering other people to do "their part" in a situation. But it doesn't make for fun times. So I'm just going to relinquish control and go with the flow.
3. I'm not going to waste my time on anyone who doesn't accept me the way that I am. I'm single and have been for a long time! I really haven't wanted to date for a while now, because I've been hurt in the past, but I think it was mostly because I just didn't want to be lonely. I've accepted that being alone doesn't cause loneliness. So I really feel like I'm ready to share myself with someone. But I'm not going to just date to date. It isn't worth it to me. I want to date someone who deserves to be dated by me. Too often I see my friends spend time with men who they don't really like, just so they aren't alone. I don't want to do that. This may sound silly, but I've got a LOT of sock yarn. I'd rather use that up than waste my time on someone who doesn't accept me for me. Because that gives me more joy than trying to be someone I'm not. OK, I'm starting to ramble, but maybe you get the picture?
4. I'm going to enjoy myself more. This should be self-explanatory. I was talking to Chelsea online the other day, and she told me about her adventures with new, fabulous boyfriend. They went bike riding and saw a movie in a park (or something like this). She told me that she was so glad that she could still have fun, because she thought she'd forgotten how (or something like this... I'm totally paraphrasing) Anyway, it struck me that I feel the same way. I forget that I'm a fun person, sometimes, and I'd like to stop that.
5. I want to take advantage of my surroundings. I spent 28 years here in the Cleveland area. And there is a lot for Cleveland to offer. But I didn't really do anything Cleveland-centric (i.e. go to the Museum of Art, go to Howling at the Moon, take a day trip to Kelly's Island, take my nieces to the Great Lakes Science Center, go see live music, etc.). The list goes on. During the two years that I lived near DC, I did more "DC stuff" than I ever did "Cleveland stuff".
6. I'm going to have more faith in myself and in others. One of my favorite artists is Liz Phair. I've always liked her for her angst and her raw truth. So I was at the library, and I decided to check out one that I didn't have. Somebody's Miracle floored me! I'm having a hard time getting past track 4, though, because it is SOOOOOO my life right now.
I'm so far, so far away from it now
That it seems like I may never know how
People stay in love for half of their lives
It's a secret they keep between husbands and wives
Baby, There goes somebody's miracle
Walking down the street
There goes some other fairy tale
I wish it could happen to me
But I look at myself
Wonderin' if i'm just too weak
To have such faith in myself
After I heard these lyrics, I decided I was going to stop being weak, and start having faith in myself. Corny, I know, but it really did make me look at my life a bit differently.
Three days into my thirties, and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm meeting with my personal trainer (Scott, the hottie) and all-in-all taking care of myself. My thirties are going to be FANTASTIC!
** ETA: After re-reading this post, it sounds like I'm a bit depressed. NOT AT ALL! I'm the exact opposite of depressed. I'm happy! And empowered! Knitting content to come tomorrow... FO's and EVERYTHING!!!