Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I should be doing SOMETHING....

I should be blogging. (I know, technically I am blogging. But wait until you read this, you will be convinced that it was not much by way of blogging....)

I should be knitting something. I would probably be doing that, except that I left the re-started You-tee at work. Almost seems subliminal, doesn't it??

I should be using my new sewing machine. Which by the way, lost its' sewing machine virginity on Sunday.... That is probably what I should be blogging about! It will have to wait for another post. I might be doing some sewing if I hadn't LOST my two newest Amy Butler patterns.... I am dying to make the shopping bag for Stitches, too.... I turned this place upside down and shook it this past weekend, nothing. It is driving me nuts.

What I am actually going to do is go to bed. The software release that was supposed to come out hits tomorrow, so it should be busy, busy, busy at work tomorrow. If I get lucky!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fate strikes down the You-tee.

I swear, this yarn is cursed!! I got to the armhole shaping on the You-tee, and counted to make sure that I had bound off the right number of stitches. Only to find that I had THIRTY MORE STITCHES THAN I WAS SUPPOSED TO. I apparently lost my mind and cast on for the largest size, three sizes bigger than I was supposed to be knitting. And then knit 14 inches with that many stitches before I thought to count.

I debated and debated, then RIPPED OUT 14 INCHES of knitting. Is my frustration coming through in my liberal use of capital letters?

Remember, this is the yarn that tried initially to be a kimono, but whose cast on edge BROKE. This is fate punishing me for bragging earlier today that I could finish the back of this sweater today, isn't it??

Since I am posting, I shall give a quick craft update.... I went to Barnes & Noble this evening and had coffee and looked at craft books. I love those fabulous fluffy chairs in front of our local craft section.... I had a great evening and eventually bought a cool new sewing book called Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes. It has some great information in the front and nice, simple, lovely bags. I especially like the messenger bags, and am considering several for presents! My Amazon order came before I left, containing my Interweave Press Simple Style knitting book, too. I see all kinds of things there that I want to make, but all of it seems like cool weather knitting, so I am going to stay focused on the summer things that I have already picked out.... As mentioned in the post from just earlier today!!! (Is this proof that I am obsessed with blogging? That I couldn't resist posting for the second time in one day?? Maybe it is just proof that I have had entirely too much caffeine today!)

Speaking of that Classic Elite wish list.... I broke down and made a Knit Picks order today, too.... I got the yarn to make the v-neck tank in a great, deep purple color. The Shine Sport has a very similar fiber content and cost less than half the price of the yarn called for. And, since I am a sucker for a shameless marketing ploy, I also got the yarn for the stripy top down tee. I am making it out of CotLin, again nearly the same content for significantly less money, in the color Pomegranate. It is so, so beautiful! So, if I don't anger the gods of knitting fate again, I should have an olive green, half sleeved tee, a purple tank with lacy details, and a deeply red raglan sweater in my favorite fabric, linen! All by the end of this summer. I am very excited!

And now I am going to go knit row four of that stupid tee again... until I crash from the caffeine high.... :-)

Ahhh, Saturday, how I love you.

Here is what we are doing today:

That is absolutely Maggie-dog's chair, and we have finally given up all effort to reclaim it. The only encroachment allowed by any other animals, as you can see from the picture, is the lovely re-upholstery that Valentine-kitty has done with her claws.... Seriously, we have given up on that chair.

In case you can't tell, Valentine, my sweet, fluffy girl, is sleeping in a bread basket in the dining room. The Mom just loves it when she does that.... But I think it is adorable, especially since I can't figure out why you would need to use a bread basket, anyway. I am not one for formal dining gee-gaws, makes a much better cat bed in my opinion!

I sent a GREAT email to my friend Wolfgang (Hi, Wolfgang!), but it got eaten by the internet and never arrived. He had said something about me being a knitting and blogging maniac now, and I thought a lot about it. To the non-knitters out there, I tend to react kind of defensively.... I considered carefully this time, and came up with a brilliant response. I emailed, into the ether though it was, that I am so happy to be so happy about something right now, that I don't even care what anyone else thinks of it... Other than a strong urge to share the knitting love! I am rambling and not making much sense here, but what it boils down to is that I am absolutely immersing myself in knitting, sewing, creating, and the blog world of the similar minded. And it makes me smile. Too bad the email didn't survive....

It also made me contemplate one of the things making me the most happy right now: My cup is positively running over with creative possibilities right now. First there is the new wonder-machine, bearer of endless sewing potential! I am dying to sew my first Amy Butler bag!! I have a very strong urge to shirk all other responsibility today and start cutting out fabric! Or at the very least, sew the monkey lining for my Bravo Bag which has been languishing.... Right now I am pretty dedicated to working on the You-tee that I started, however. I got several inches behind me while watching DVR'd episodes of Saving Grace and Castle....

and may I take a moment to say, I heart Nathan Fillion. I loved him in Firefly, and I love him nearly as much as Rich Castle.... Sigh.

Back to crafting. I think I could finish the back of the You-tee today if I really stuck with it. (That doesn't sound like me, does it??) As far as knitting goes, the possibilities are almost endless for starting something new, too. We all know how we love to start something new... I have baby knitting to do, for Debbie and Courtney. (Happy!) I have a bag to make for a Bat Mitzvah for Julie's daughter. I have the Minimalist Cardigan calling to me from a box of yarn in the other room.... AND, I got new patterns!!

I ordered two Classic Elite leaflets. Something about their patterns really appeals to me, so I got John's Bay and Round Pond from the new spring line. I have become very attracted to summer knitting suddenly! Originally, I got interested in getting the classic elite patterns because of this tank on the right. I think this is so pretty, and has such a summery appeal. I wish I could afford to make it in the Premier yarn that it calls for, in that exact mulberry color, but cost wise, I can't do it. I priced the yarn yesterday at around 60$ plus tax and shipping. Can't have that. I believe I will be able to sub Knit Picks Shine Sport for that, however and come out at less than 30$. Way more my speed. Only having paid for the room for Stitches keeps me from ordering it today!!

Now that I have the booklets, I have found MANY more patterns that I want to start... Hold me back!! Can I make every one of these before it is cold again?? I think Knit Picks and I have a beautiful future together, at least as far as summer knitting goes!! I think the next one will be the stripy tee..... Oh, how I love the possibilities!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Here it is in all its untapped potentiality, my sewing machine:

Isn't it wonderful? I haven't even plugged it in yet. I am just wallowing in the fact of its existence, in its belonging-to-me-ness. I could sew anything, anything at all. No project is too big for my 1000+ stitches all programmed in just for me. I could even sew eight, count 'em, eight layers of denim if I wanted to!! I know because it was in the video on HSN!

Maybe tomorrow I will take it out of the case.... :-)

Today was a much better day than the last few. For starters, migraine gone. That always makes for a better day! Next, I spent my whole day in the cube dreaming about a new kind of stitching... with my previously mentioned wonder machine! The week is now speeding right along, so hopefully it will be over before I know it!

Then I can go to the Columbia Museum of Art to see their show, Turner to Cezanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection. I am constantly impressed with the high quality operation they are running over there in Columbia. For such a tiny little museum, they get some great shows. The museum itself is lovely, too. I am looking forward to the trip!

And here is a terrible picture of the You-tee that I have been working on. (Man, I have GOT to work on my still-life photography skills. Would you believe I have a DEGREE in photography???) Just wanted to get an idea of the color on here.... If it tells you how out of it I was yesterday, I left my knitting on my desk at work when I went home for the day. And did not remember doing it. As a matter of fact, I was completely convinced that I had a memory of carrying it into the house.... My how the mind plays tricks! The tee is coming along well. I love the yarn, which I have used before, and this is my favorite color on the planet. It has a beauty that just can't be seen in the blurry monstrosity of a photo that I included here.... There are pale tweedy bits that result from the silk not taking they dye the same way, and every once in a while there is a tiny patch of brown that gives it so much depth and texture.... I couldn't be happier.

Now if I can just keep the cast-on edge from snapping, as it did on the ill-fated kimono. (I swear, one of these days, I WILL knit a kimono. It is like Don Quixote and the windmill. I will keep coming back.... No matter how they mock me for my futile efforts.) I tried something new to try and prevent that. I knitted it on instead of the long tail cast-on. It does seem much, much stretchier. (Is that a word? If not, I decree it so!)

Thanks to my commenters for your kind words about my terrible day! And my adorable doggie! She likes the collar, but you should see what happens if I try to put a t-shirt on her!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week.

In response to a special request for pictures of the Maggie Dog, here is my favorite photo of her! She loves her party collar, even though her face seems to promise retribution!! I love that she looks like she is actually frowning in this one.... My sweet doggie!

I am having a very bad week so far. Yesterday, I was supposed to work 8:30 to 8 because of a big release of our software. I got there early to go to a mysterious meeting that turned out to be just for service awards, none of which was for me. When I got back to my desk, I discovered that the software release had been delayed, and NOBODY bothered to tell us.... My whole reason for working almost 12 hours, down the drain, to be repeated later in the week. Sigh. So, instead of letting me get overtime, my boss sent me home at 9:13 to come back at 11. Does that seem worth it???? I can assure you, it isn't. I get home and the world's cutest dog had taken a gigantic poop in the hall. So, false start going to work and then dog poop patrol because my delicate flower of a dog won't go outside in the rain! Then I go back to work at 11 for my normal day, and got three whole phone calls. My goodness what a day!!

I did discover that I am able to knit whole rows with my eyes closed. That is how sleepy I was while I was home in between times driving to work!

Now today, I have spent the entire day with a screaming nightmare of a headache. Seriously....

On the crafting front, my sewing machine came today!! Yippee! And only a few days after I ordered it.... I am very excited, but it is hard for others to tell with this headache. Plus, to cap off my day, I was trying to get the machine out of the box and tore my index fingernail off. I think that is the final straw. I think I am taking headache medicine and going to bed!!

I did some work on Stitches South the other day!! I searched out a hotel that was less than the Renaissance Galleria, but is still much nicer than what I usually spring for.... And only half a mile from the venue! Plus, I have started a sweater for wearing to impress my knitting colleagues. It probably isn't that impressive, really, just the U-tee from Berroco, but I am making it in the so far ill-fated Silky Wool I got on sale. It is olive green! Olive green makes me happy.

Friday, March 13, 2009


There it is, my own little slice of cubicle heaven.... From which I am sprung for the weekend! Everything worked correctly today, so it was slightly less painful than yesterday, but MAN what a week! I am really, really happy not to have to be back until Monday.... Sigh. Can you see all four flamingos that I managed to squeeze in this single picture??
Funny story about the system outage that we had yesterday: Someone at our remote server changed out a switch (not that I know what that entails) in mid-afternoon, and to do so unplugged a network cable. And then forgot to plug it back in. For like 11 hours. I don't feel so very silly about not guessing that my customers forgot to turn their servers on....
On the home front, the Maggie-dog didn't manage to kill herself this time, despite her best efforts. Her gums are nice and bright pink and she seems her usual energetic self. Right now she is throwing some little doggie fit, but so far she hasn't learned to talk like Lassie.... She has just been out and we just checked her food bowl. The only thing I can think of is that Matt is sitting in her seat! Too bad, doggie. (I am so glad she is ok. Love the doggie.)
Haven't knit a stitch since lunch yesterday.... I have been too busy reading knitting blogs to knit! Ravelry has this thread, see, so I have subscribed to like a hundred new blogs. I love them all.... And read all the samples that Google Reader gave me! Ravelry is both my biggest inspiration to knit and my biggest deterrent to getting any knitting done! Oh, love/hate relationships!!
This weekend I plan to knit and knit. Once again I vow to finish Brenda's Brea bag, at least the knitted part of it. Then all that will be left is the crazily difficult lining to be done! But the fact that it is made from monkey fabric will surely make that burden a little easier to bear, right? Who wouldn't love to work with monkey fabric, even if they had to sew a freaking 3D pentagon!!
I have some thinking to do about the upcoming Stitches South. I only get to go for one day, so I have to plan a strategy.... I have been reading others' blogs about the recently finished Stitches West, and apparently I will need a good plan!! I don't want to miss anything worth seeing, and I surely don't want to go all nutty and buy the wrong things. I am not rich (unless I win the lottery, but that is not today's life strategy!) so I have to be careful. What do I want to make?
And what do I want to WEAR?? When I went to SAFF, it seemed that I was the only one that didn't have something I had made to wear. There were Wisterias everywhere I looked. I love that one and want to make it, but this will be late April in Atlanta. I don't want to melt.... I wonder if I could wear the Beachcomber Tunic if I finished it? The only thing lacking on that one is the seaming and the neck edging. It would be good to have it finished! However breezy it may seem, though, it is still made out of Silky Wool. I wonder if that would be too hot?
Hmmm. I shall have to ponder the possibilities. Maybe I have time to make a tank.
My sewing machine should be here in 9 days! The countdown has begun!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So, when I say tomorrow....

I apparently mean more than a week later!! I can't believe the disconnect I hm having with time recently. This week seems to have taken most of my life to pass, but now I look back and it feels like 15 minutes since I wrote last. Maybe it is part of getting older, but the passage of days has taken on Twilight Zone surreality....

Here is what I wrote to Julie today about the sensation I had being at work this morning:

"I don’t know why, but I have a burning desire not to be here today. I like this job, and I am glad to have it, but I want to go back to Starbucks this morning and give them their crappy coffee that they made wrong back and sit in one of the comfy chairs all day with good coffee. I want to read blogs about knitting and knit myself. I wonder if I could do both at the same time? I want to move outside when it warms up some and feel the breeze on my face. And sneeze from the pollen that burst into bloom overnight! The cubicle feels small today."

Would you believe, I am one of the only people in the world who would ever complain about this, but Starbucks this morning gave me a grande raspberry mocha with twice the coffee as normal. It was so strong it could have peeled paint off the walls. Surely I will soon grow hair on my chest as a result.... The Starbucks-lady-who-hates-me was making it, left it sitting under the coffee spigot (or whatever you call that) and dispensed coffee into my cup twice. I am a lover of raspberry mochas, not of the flavor of coffee on its own, so this was shockingly strong! I trembled like a toy poodle for the rest of the day.

Maybe that helps to explain why the cube felt so tight today, huh??

It was compounded by the fact that our system was down for the last 3.5 hours of work. Not for the customers out in computer land, just the server that we use to do nearly our entire job. This meant that I went from bored into a stupor to the 4th ring of boredom Hell at work today. I could do NOTHING but stare at the phone and wait for it to ring after 2PM, and I think that only happened once. I feel like I went to work 27 hours ago!! They promised me we would get BUSIER at work, not slow to a crawl.... Where are my lottery winnings?

Today I did get some good news, however. I found out this morning right before going to work that I have six, count 'em, six people subscribed to my blog!!! I know who two of them are. (Ok, I admit it, one of them is me. Don't laugh, you would do it too!!) Taking away me and the ex-boyfriend known only as Butthead (hi, Butthead, you know I love you) that means that potentially FOUR people that I didn't have to pay and who didn't give birth to me are reading my blog. I am beside myself. I don't know what to say now!! (Can you tell from the way I have rambled so far today?) But seriously, this is pressure! Say hi, all you blog readers, don't be shy! I am curious who is checking me out!!

In knitting news, I did finish one sock! I love it! It is beautiful and nearly perfect!! It has these weird points on either end of the grafted seam at the toe, but I am determined to ignore that. Now I really need to start the other one to avoid Sockholm Syndrome. (Remember when I made that up, huh, huh? I knew I would get to slip that in there!) But you know what that means I did, right? I went back to the Cosima. Renewed love flows through my heart for Cuzco from Berroco. It is wonderful, can't say enough. I tried to explain to a non-knitting friend the reasons for keeping many projects going at once, but I don't know if I was successful. One day soon I will endeavor to explore the logic of my knitting schizophrenia.... I am SURE there is logic behind it, just sure.
And hey, my foot over here modeling my pulchritudinous sock, doesn't look freaking enormous, now does it? I think that they have been wrong all along about the unflattering nature of horizontal stripes. This could open up new fashion vistas, I think.
Less than fortuitous news since last we talked.... My crazy mutt, the stupendous Maggie-dog, ate onions again last night. Does this dog care nothing for her own health and well-being?? (Yes, people, onions are doggie killers.) She got up on the stove (yes the stove. Don't ask me how a 14" high dog who has to use a stool to get in my bed gets on the stove.) MOMENTS after the mom told me to put the leftovers from dinner away. I ran from the living room the instant I heard the click of doggie nails on cooking surface, and still she had hoovered the skillet clean before I could get there! I mean, if I hadn't known better, I would have thought that the thing had just come out of the dishwasher. Unbelievable.... I have had Matt watching her like a hawk today for any symptoms of onion poisoning, but so far she seems ok. No barfing or peeing blood and her gums are nice and pink.... Crazy mutt.
The most exciting part of the day was that I took the plunge and bought a sewing machine! I even broke down and got it from the Home Shopping Network! I guess I owed it to them, since they inspired the sewing machine lust I have been dealing with all week.... Apparently they are hosting National Craft Month and as I flipped past on Saturday, they were hawking Singer industrial sewing machines, easy flex pay option of 99.95$ a month!!! I went with the step down from the industrial super-machine, but mine comes with 1000 computerized stitches, so I feel pretty good about it. Now it just can't get here fast enough. They promised me delivery by March 22, but that is a Sunday, so I have my fingers crossed for the 21st. Maybe it will be early! Whoopie!! A sewing machine all my own!
Ok, I think that is enough babbling to make up for not posting this week, don't you!? Now I am off to read more blogs. How will I ever have time to knit since I discovered Google Reader??

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

End of vacation blues.

So, here I am at the end of the brief vacation that I finally wrestled out of my boss.... She is very nice, but felt like we had too much going on for anyone to take vacation. Possibly from now to the end of time. Persistently asking seems to have paid off for me this time.
I had all kinds of plans to get bags cut out and sewn, sweaters knitted and sewn together, relaxation done.... Of course, none of that happened. Getting something done would apparently violate my unspoken New Year's resolution against such things.
I did drive to Raleigh to see Meredith. During what had to be this year's nastiest weather yet.... It poured rain all day Saturday, so cars were throwing up that grey mist that makes it completely impossible to see one foot in front of your car. Meredith had to work, so I stopped at Southpoint Mall to see if someone could cut my hair. Made the mistake of showing up at 10:30, and they couldn't do it until 2:15. So, in search of a good haircut, I spent over five hours at the mall, by myself!! (That includes the haircut.... I am not THAT bad at subtraction!!) Wildly boring, and in horribly inappropriate shoes. I greeted all predictions of the weather with patent disbelief the week before.... And wore high heeled boots and no coat for the whole weekend. I walked entirely too much and froze my ass off the entire time!
The good news is that I got a great haircut. I hated to go shorter, because I am missing my long hair, but getting rid of the flaps in front of my ears was a necessity. I told Jasmine, who rescued me, that I looked like a cocker spaniel, and she didn't disagree.... She not only rescued me, she labored tirelessly to straighten my hair, something I had given up as impossible, and so for my visit it was shiny and smooth and resembled no species of dog whatsoever! Good job Jasmine. You made waiting at the mall nearly an entire day worth it!
After Meredith got off work, we checked into the hotel and I gave her the Alpine I made her for Christmas. Yes, I am aware that it is March. We hadn't seen each other.... I think she really liked it, wore it that evening. It looked great on her, just like I imagined and she remembered the shopping trip that inspired the knitting. She mentioned wanting mittens, so she may get this year's only knitted Christmas present! It is so nice to knit for someone who loves the product!
She gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble, so we went there immediately and I bought the 2-at-a-time Socks book so I could immediately start knitting socks. I do not know why I have been stricken with the overwhelming urge to knit socks, but I have. I am most of the way through Twilight from that book. Ironically, despite the 2-at-a-time instructions, I am knitting one at a time on double points.... AC Moore has gone quickly down hill, and had no size one circulars, much less any of the 40" variety. Learning a new technique will have to wait apparently.
Meredith is a very good sport about doing something so boring for her as going to craft stores, and she humored me when I proceeded to carry the sock making supplies all around Chapel Hill for the rest of the day....
We had dinner at Aki Hanna, my favorite Japanese place on the planet, then on Sunday at the world's best Mediterranean place, the Med Deli. Oh, how I miss those two places. Sigh.
All in all it was a fun trip, but holy cow, what horrible timing for the drive!! The drive back, which came earlier than I wanted due to the potential of 10" of snow coming soon. The same horrible conditions all the way to the SC border. There it shut off like somebody had flipped a switch... It felt like it took 14 hours to get home.
And for the next two days, I have knitted on my sock. My brother and I watched The Dark Knight together, which was great, and then we both got sick today. Don't ask me about the complete meltdown I had in the car yesterday. None of it bears repeating. And now, I am gearing myself up to make the trek into work tomorrow. Despite the fact that we are supposed to be learning many new duties this month, which should get my blood moving, I am having a hard time mustering any enthusiam at all. I just don't wanna. How does vacation go so fast?????

Tomorrow I will stop knitting long enough to gather the energy to post a sock in progress picture! How did I not love sock knitting before now??