Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beginning of the SAFF madness....

So, on Friday The Mom and I got up at 5AM to get ready to get to SAFF as early as possible. Which turned out to be absolutely ridiculous, since we were ready to leave at 6 and had to wait anxiously until I could get into the building at work to leave... at 8! I had left my beloved Kingscot, done but for the ends, under my desk at work when I left on Thursday. Scared the crap out of me. I was ok with it, frustrated that I would have to wait to do the last little bit of finishing, but HOLY COW, not after what my mom suggested. She looked me straight in the face and said, "They won't throw it away, will they?" WHAT??? THROW IT AWAY???? NOOOOOOO!

Fortunately, it was where I had left it and I safely retrieved it. Even if it did get us a late start.

The drive took less time than expected (by me, anyway. How did I have no real memory of how long it takes to drive to Asheville), the perception of which was aided by the fact that I slept for a good solid hour of the trip. Time flies when you are sound asleep!

Ok, most importantly, what did we wear!? I sported my happy rainbow Ishbel. It truly is happy! I wore it as a shawl, pinned with one of The Mom's lovely jewelry pieces. People asked about it all day. They even reached out and touched it. (People who know me know how I LOVE to be touched unexpectedly by strangers.... Where is your sense of personal space, people??) The Mom looked FAB in her Clapotis. I blocked it Wednesday, and it came out SO beautifully... She picked the perfect yarn for it, which I now know is Brooks Farm Four Play. Because people in our class made me go ask. And took pictures of it! She was a complete hit. We were both very proud of ourselves, and of each other....

Once we arrived, we hardly had any time before our class. We made a brief raid on Miss Babs' booth, where my most major purchasing was done lickity-split. More on purchases later.

Took the lace knitting class with Elizabeth Ravenwood. She was very charming. We all received a skein of Knitpicks Gloss Lace, and were left to fight over them, picking from a pile on the floor in a most dog-eat-dog manner.... Luckily I snagged green for me and red for The Mom. Perfecto. I am sure the class was great, but honestly both of us were more advanced than what she was teaching. We immediately cast on and went to town. No new stitches, no techniques that were previously secret. Apparently there is no great secret to lace knitting, we just lacked the confidence to start on our own.... Live and learn. I wonder if we will take any classes next year? Maybe we are better knitters than we ever suspected!!

The best part was that she soaked and blocked the lace scarf we are working on in the class. I had never learned anything about blocking with wires, and I am really pleased to have seen it done. She also shared the source of the wires: welding supply stores. That is pretty exciting, cause stainless steel rod is much cheaper than blocking wires! They sell the stuff by the pound!

After the class and after we had walked around to restore feeling to our cold, numb butts, we did some recon work on the remainder of the shopping situation. I love the yarn at SAFF... The colors are luscious. I end up touching one of EVERYTHING. Ohhh, soft. Ohhh, pretty. (I am newly in love with undyed, fingering weight alpaca. It comes in the most gorgeous caramel color.... Sigh.)

Ohhh, expensive. I know that these are artists. I seriously, absolutely value the work, skill and passion that go into producing such scrumptious fibers. No doubt. But my budget doesn't stretch very far among the land of art yarn. It became IMMEDIATELY clear that my carefully prepared shopping list is out the window. I couldn't afford even one sweater's worth of the lovelies....

Not to worry. The Mom and I held a re-strategizing session over fast food. I will share that with the report on Saturday at SAFF.... :-)

Again, sorry that there are no pictures. I sadly miss my laptop and all my ability to upload pictures. I wish my posts could be as filled with color and beauty as SAFF was!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Recovering from SAFF.

I tried, I really did. I even recruited my mom to bring her work laptop with us so I could blog from Asheville.... Unfortunately, WiFi wasn't free at our cheap motel and I never did quite pull it off.... I am not going to consider that another Blogtober failure for two reasons: 1. I was out of town doing fun knitterly things. 2. I refuse to feel bad about failing at something that NOBODY but me cares that I was trying to do. Seriously, I have enough to worry about. So, in the interest of self-esteem and blog love, I am giving myself a pass! Now I am very happy to be back.... I love my blog!

We had a very good time at SAFF. I took absolutely no pictures, way too busy shopping and learning.... It didn't seem as crowded to me this year, and there definitely seemed to be fewer animals. The only thing that I was really disappointed about was not seeing a single bunny. Quite a few grown rabbits, no babies. Wonder if there is some kind of bunny production issue? Weird, huh? Anyway, I didn't get to hold any bunnies and I was sad.

Other than that, we took it easy and had a very enjoyable vacation. Tomorrow, when I have recovered more (MAN, am I getting old!), I will detail the days, the classes and the purchases. Remind me to discuss the new strategy The Mom and I came up with for the coming year!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All stitched up!

I have sewn the Kingscot together! It is beautiful and fits very well. I wish it was slightly longer and the sleeves were slightly shorter.... But I will be wearing it soon and often! Now I have to sew the buttons on and tie in the ends. Who invented ends, anyway? I think they should be shot.... And tortured.... And then made to tie in ends!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No time to talk....

...I am sewing my Kingscot together!! I stayed late after work today and pinned the sleeves in. Work has all these GIANT training tables. Amazingly enough, not a single person walked by the training room and contemplated having me committed for crafting in an unused room at work, after I stopped getting paid!

Anyway, mere days left until its command performance, must continue sewing.... :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ok, I lied.

I did not post twice yesterday. Nothing that I would blog about really happened.... Matt and I went to see Zombieland, which was hilarious. The Mom and I watched The Amazing Race, which I love. (I evaluate everyone I know by what kind of partner they would make if I were to ever go on that show.... So far, my brother is in the lead for the most likely to be able to climb something or put something together, The Mom in ahead by a mile for the person with whom I would have the most fun, and Ian gets credit for being the most peaceful person I can imagine going with.... We aren't going to speculate what kind of partner I would make....)

See, less than scintillating.

Today I made my copies for my SAFF notebook. With my limited budget, it is much less extensive and impressive than the one I put together for Stitches.... Anyway, I have evaluated the hundreds of things that I want to knit based on a couple of criteria. First, can I afford to get the yarn for this, and would it be the ONLY thing I could get if I chose it? Second, but a very close second, how much have I been DYING to knit this? Third, though being left in the dust by the other standards, I have to consider if I am going to use the proposed project for a Christmas present. (There isn't going to be much of that this year, sadly....)

Here you have the winners from this year's festival, in no particular order:

1. Olivia by Kim Hargreaves. (Photo from her website, since I am jonsing for pictures!)I have seriously been coveting every single finished version of this sweater I see on Ravelry. I have no idea what yarn I am looking for to make it, but I think it needs a little tweedy rusticity. I don't even know what color I am looking for, but rust or eggplant are both colors that are appealing to me recently. Everything I was attracted to during the summer was blue or green. Time for a change!
2. Faber by Norah Gaughan. (Photo credit goes to Berroco.com) I sincerely believe this sweater will obtain new-favorite-sweater status immediately upon completion! I LOVE this. I have considered Yowza! What a Skein by Miss Babs for this one.... Will I like a semi-solid for it, though? We shall have to see....
3. Fish Hat, Dead or Alive from Knitty. (Their image.)Dead, of course, because I think that is way funnier! I am making this one for someone who shall remain nameless (no, not you Ian.) for Christmas. I would LOVE to whip out three or four of them before the holiday so we could all wear them for a group portrait.... But I am just weird like that!
That is it. Three projects and perhaps some sock yarn. I think I am being terribly practical.
Now I am off to yell at the tv, because I this silly baseball game is pushing House back. I can't tape it because the DVR thinks House started 24 minutes ago! I am rooting for the Angels just because they are batting in the bottom of the innings and if they score, House comes on!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The headline has nothing to do with the fact that I have now failed at Blogtoberfest. :-( I forgot to post yesterday. I think that the above alarmed exclamation goes along with the seriousness of my transgression, though, don't you? I started posts twice yesterday, couldn't get it to do what I wanted and gave up. I guess starting the posts fooled my memory....

I will have to post twice today to make up for it!!

Anyway, the headline refers to the walk that we TRIED to take the Maggie-dog on yesterday. We got up, bundled up against the chill (HEY, its not nice to laugh at me!! Here 50 degrees is COLD!!), and got all the way to the first corner, being dragged behind the multi-colored butt of our favorite mutt. Then, right before sniffing out the messages at the first corner, her favorite spot for picking up missives from the day before and leaving her own little telegram for the neighbor dogs, she went on COMPLETE alert. Hackles up, straining to go the wrong direction, serious alert. I turned my head, and 20 feet away stood the Sasquatch of husky dogs. Ok, it wasn't THAT big, but it was larger than the huskies I am used to dealing with, and its size was exaggerated by the hostile stance it had taken, like nothing I have ever encountered in person.... I have run into the occasional loose dog in my time, and discretion being the better part of valor, have steered clear... Those dogs were probably just goofy-guy dogs with no evil intent that I unfairly judged to be scary, but my momma didn't raise no fools. I am not sticking around to find out! This dog, on the other hand, had its head down and its laser beam gaze locked on my tasty little morsel of a doggie like it was a robot dog programmed to kill.... We immediately turned around and DRAGGED our loudly protesting dog back to the safety of the house. The scary dog stayed RIGHT behind us to the end of our driveway. I thought there was going to be bloodshed, seriously....

Once we got the dog inside, and the scary dog was distracted by the dog-pee bulletin board across the street, I spent a silly ten minutes chasing the cats around the yard until I could get them all inside. What can I say, they are cats, they don't know that I am running behind them for their own safety!

That was our big adventure for the day. I will post about today later, promise!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

must.... have..... pictures.....

I am really tired of the pictureless posting. I have therefore stolen a picture of my NORO colorway from the internet. Sadly, you will have to imagine the way it is working up as Ishbel for a while longer, but take my word for it, it is SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPEALIDOSIOUS. (Can you tell I am operating under significantly less headache now?) The first three stitches were done in a very dark steely grey. I LOVED it, but started to worry that it was going to be too dark for Meredith's taste. However, I have gone through light grey, ocean blue, lavender and green now.... The colors are so beautiful and harmonious. Sigh. Noro love! I can't wait for the pop of the bright turquoise! I did some more work on it yesterday before the nightmare began with my head, but decided to prudently leave it alone for the rest of the evening.

Now I am all about SAFF planning. We leave next Friday morning! One week to go!! Tonight I am going to FINALLY block Kingscot's sleeves to get that done. I am also going to make a valiant weekend attempt to finish the Norah Gaughan jacket that I have almost finished for The Mom so that we can be sort of matchy-matchy one day! Of course, one is blue and has no openwork at all, and one is red and full of lacy holes.... But since they are both Norah and both made by me, WE will know we are matchy-matchy!

What patterns in my queue should I get yarn for?? That is always the biggest question! Miss Babs, here I come!

Who am I kidding?? ALPACAS and BUNNIES here I come!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Holy cow.

SOMETHING is giving me a nightmare of a headache. It is a toss up between the orange juice that I had this morning and the two new drugs that I started today.... Normally, I would not blog about the demoralizing, mind-numbing agony I am in right now, but it is Blogtoberfest, and I am trying REALLY hard to meet the challenge. So, you the readers, have to suffer through belly-aching. Because seriously, my head hurts so badly that I can't formulate a sentence that isn't about that.

Tomorrow, if I am still alive, I will talk about knitting. Maybe how I love Noro.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Take two flu shots and call me in the morning....

I can say that I seriously don't recommend getting TWO flu shots, in two separate arms, in the same day.... But now I should practically be bulletproof!!

Almost called this post "An ode to Dr. Emerson." She is fully awesome, as Rino the Hamster would say. She listens better than any doctor I have ever been to.... I went because I didn't feel like the Zoloft was doing the trick any more. I have really been struggling for the last couple of months.... And since I can't spend the next four years in bed with the covers pulled up, no Barrett-Brownings here, I needed to do something about it. She has changed me over to Prozac, which I start tomorrow.... We shall see. Good news being that since it is the same class of drug as the Zoloft, there shouldn't be any adjustment to it or any withdrawal from the Zoloft!

She also discovered that my blood pressure is shockingly high. I almost called this post 159/107, which is today's scary number. She is worried that I could have a stroke. And her worry makes me worry. I have become convinced that I can feel the pressure about to blow in my carotid artery! (I am cursed with a good imagination and a relatively clear understanding of anatomy....) I start a new drug for that tomorrow, too. (Just what I needed this month, when I shouldn't be spending money- lab tests and new prescriptions.)

Anyway, maybe I will be feeling better soon. More energetic.... for the walks that we are going to be taking with the doggie in the morning!! (Good for the ole' blood pressure, doncha know!)

In knitting news, MAN am I missing the ability to upload pictures! I have already gotten to the lace rows on my Ishbel, which is what a two hour trip to the doctor's office will get you, and this is the very most lovely multi-colored yarn I have ever worked with. It is like the ocean at night! I love it so much that I actually considered using the work copier to scan it and email it to myself. Now THAT would have been a great picture, huh?? I couldn't figure out how I would explain what I was doing if someone walked in on me.... :-)

I have decided that what I want for Christmas is Best Buy gift certificates, so I can get something going, computer-wise. I am lost without it.... RIP, sweet computer!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yet another WIP.

I felt dangerously close to finishing the Kingscot cardigan, and so I had to cast on for something else! It is a sickness, I tell you.... My justification was that there is no more knitting to do for Kingscot and the socks in progress are hurting my fingertips after working on them all day yesterday. That is pretty good, as far as justifications go, I feel!

So, what I started was another Ishbel for a Christmas present this time. It is going to be GORGEOUS! I am making it from a color of Kureyon Sock (S150) that I bought for me, but I think it will work well for Meredith. It is so pretty... blues and greys and turquoise.... I am going to covet this as I give it away.... But she is worth it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another boring post without pictures....

I am starting to bore myself, babbling about knitting without anything to show for it!! While I did finish sewing on the button-hole side of the button bands, and seriously contemplated actually blocking the sleeves, I still have no ability to upload pictures. Frustrating!

When I discarded the idea of bestirring myself to block sleeves, I picked up the Christmas present socks.... Turned the heels and did both heal flaps. I have begun to despair of ever knitting a heel flap without a big hole where I start knitting in the round again. I even did the trick this time where you make one and knit it together with the first stitch on the next needle, and no luck. I am going to have to stick to lacy socks, so you can't tell the hole wasn't on purpose!!

Nothing else happened today, so I shall sign off.... Working from home is nice, but definitely is less story-worthy!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

All knitting is done!!

Ok, button band number two finished. I started sewing it on before bed tonight, but since it was taking absurdly long, I have given up and taken allergy medicine...

Off to bed before I sew it on like a mobius or something! I hope to finagle a way to get a picture of my superior button-hole knitting skills within the next couple of days!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where in the world is Jennifer's cardigan today??

Went to Charleston this morning with the Mom. She had to meet with a lawyer who is going to help with a mock trial workshop she is giving.

Which meant that I had LOTS of time to knit on the button band for the Kingscot. It truly is the most tedious, annoying thing I have ever knitted, this button band.... But I have to admit that Norah is a genius! It is SO beautiful! This evening, watching Sunshine Cleaners and two weeks of Private Practice on the DVR, I sewed the left front on the sweater. It is perfect! No puckering, just all flat and lovely. I just think it needs to be steamed to have the same texture as the rest of the pieces.... Tomorrow, I shall embark on the adventure of knitting the half that has button holes. Wish me luck!

The Mom and I had planned to do some tourist-y things, but we got down there and changed our minds, collectively. It was 90 degrees and the humidity must have been 95%. That is not that hot for here, but it felt miserable, like swimming through hot soup, and we just couldn't take it. Going to lunch at Cortile del Ray was considered, as well as going back the coastal way, but after much debate, we came home and didn't spend any extra money. (Every dollar we spend before SAFF is a dollar we can't spend AT SAFF!!)

So, basically we took a four hour trip to have coffee at Starbucks. Sounds just like us!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Well-traveled cardigan.

Took the Kingscot to work with me today, just to keep some variety with my deadline knitting. (Not that the Minimalist hasn't been going to work in my purse every day, but you know, we are talking about something different that I did today!) And then I took it to Barnes and Noble on my lunch break. Then back to work without letting it out of the bag. Then home. At least it got some fresh air, I guess.

I am hoping to get the button bands done this weekend, though this is possibly the most tedious, annoying knitting I have ever done.... I will NOT let the button band torture make me hate this sweater!! I just simply refuse!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I just found out that my ex-boyfriend, who I have very mixed feelings about having broken up with, has been married since 2007. There is nothing else I can say about this without veering into melodrama or making my friends worry. Sad.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How could I already be out of things to say??

It has only been seven days! Could I possible have totally run out of things to say? Let's see.... Can't post pictures. Already did my "only two good things about Wednesday" post. Knitting on a pair of socks that are a present.... Nope, I got nothing. (And knowing me, running out of things to say is an extraordinary situation!!)

Let's try random babble about my life, shall we?

Went back to work today after making like a giant ground sloth all day yesterday. Maggie-dog even looked at me like I was impossibly lazy, and she sleeps all day! Just what I needed though, so I don't feel guilty. Work was busy, busy, busy. Which is a good thing. Another day, another dollar closer to a new laptop!

I am so out of things to share for Blogtoberfest that I will tell you all my shameful secret: I watch America's Next Top Model. It is true. Art historian, knitter, junk tv watcher. I can't resist it. The pictures always come out so DIFFERENT than watching them being taken! I blame the photography degree. That is my story and I am sticking with it!

Ok, off to bed. We are getting up at 6AM to go for a W-A-L-K with Maggie dog. She will be so surprised! She loves the W-A-L-K. Doggie love!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

RIP, beloved video card.

This post was going to be about my mixed feelings regarding variegated yarn. I have been thinking about that a lot today, for some bizarre reason. It was either that or talk about the weird, weird dreams I have been having about men from my past.... But maybe we shouldn't go there!

However, there has been tragic news in the Shameless blog land:

Sadly, I believe the video card in my laptop has gasped its last.... I am very sad. Especially since I can't replace it anytime soon! My brother, much more of a computer genius than I am, despite my IT job, says that it would be more expensive to replace the video card than the computer is worth.... Sigh.

At least all the information seems to be safe. I did manage an online backup before I lost all ability to see what was happening inside its little brain... That is why you aren't witnessing wailing and rending of hair here at Jennifer's house!!

What this ultimately means is that there will be no pictures in my blog for a while. My mom's desktop has VISTA, which hates my blog.... No matter what I do, I can't seem to successfully arrange pictures when I am working from this machine. Maybe I will be able to get something uploaded to Flickr before too long and then I could get them to the blog from work. I believe some strategizing is in order..... (See Jennifer twirl her metaphorical mustache....)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall descends on the Carolinas.

With a thunk. It has been summer right up until October 4th, now it is cold and rainy. This is the sick day view from the back door.... We had to DRAG the dog outside before she exploded!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend progress!

I actually got lots of things accomplished this weekend, even if I finished none of them. Not completely, anyway....

Yesterday, I worked on the Kingscot. I sewed the shoulder seams and put the neckband on, which looks great if I do say so myself! But let me say, I will freaking LOSE MY MIND if this sweater is too small when it is finished.... Just letting you know. I started the button band immediately.... But that is boring, so.....

I started a pair of socks for Christmas when I got home!! They are going to be so beautiful! I will show them later, since this blog could possibly be read by the recipient.

And then, to keep from actually finishing anything, I blocked my Ishbel! Here it is in progress: Then, in progress with blocking's arch-nemesis, the cat! How kind of her that she was laying on the towel, not the shawl! But doesn't she look like there would be blood if I tried to move her??
Went to a party at Susan and John's last night. They are great, seriously. They always have an incredible mix of people there, but they all know each other and tend to talk to each other, mostly professors from Francis Marion and their families. I am too shy to start a conversation with a group of people who are already cozily chatting with each other, so I spend most of those parties feeling like I am gazing through a window at something I want but can't have.... That could be depression speaking, too, but mostly it is the pathological shyness that I have had since grade school. Sigh. To lighten things up a little, here are some pics of the festivities. First, Mom and Susan:

The the family dog, Weezie (I didn't name her!!), enjoying the new hardwood floors! Gotta love a happy dog.

Lastly, here is Buttercup, enjoying the newly discovered cat hammock that the recliner creates. She is so pretty!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I think my brain is trying to escape.

You know you are hopelessly dependant on caffeine when you get a headache by just waiting until 1PM for your first Pepsi. I think my brain is trying to escape from my left eye socket to go seek out caffeine on its own.

Tomorrow, I have big knitting progress to report and party pictures to show..... Tonight I am going to bed in hopes that my brain will be happy INSIDE my skull tomorrow....

Friday, October 2, 2009

TGIF. Seriously.

Well, the week from Hell is almost over. Adding insult to injury, I had a Lifeforce appointment today. That is the appointment that my health insurance insists on and can drop me if I don't comply.... Where they tell me I am getting old and have gained ten pounds (true story) and my blood pressure is going to give me a stroke.... Next appointment, February. Something to look forward to, I guess.
I took my Kingscot to work with me today so I could get a good picture of it laid out before the seaming. Which I obviously didn't get done last night. (Have I mentioned that I am not having the best week??) (Or that the people at work think I am nuts?) But it looks and feels great, and I am ready to get it done!! Best of all, it is really hard for the non-knitter to find the mis-twisted cable!! You can't even see it in the photo. That makes me so happy!
Here is the reason that blocking is so hard to accomplish in my house: Caught red-pawed! That is where the sweater was blocked and why they were banned from the premises during the process! Isn't she cute, though? Right now, she is kneading like her life depends on it against my 3%-higher-body-fat belly. It is her way of making up for my icky week! I love a happy cat.
I leave you today with a gratuitous dog picture, just because that ear sticking up cracks me up!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Minty fresh OR the only people I will give forty dollars to poke me with a sharp stick.

You guessed it.... The week from HELL included a visit to the dentist. I have two cavities. I have celebrated by getting Krispy Kreme donuts. (Oppositional personality disorder? Who, me??)

And the week isn't even over yet!

I tried earnestly to get a picture at the dentist's office, but they didn't leave me alone in the room for even a minute!! I wanted to do the covert picture snapping while alone so the hygienist didn't call the guys in the white coats to come and get me for documenting on film the semi-annual cleaning of the teeth.... I didn't know if they would believe my story about the blog needing visual interest....

On the bright side, I previously thought that my computer had gone to the big scrap heap in the sky, but my brother performed some kind of miracle resurrection. All it took was the laying on of his hands. No kidding! For him, it came back to life. I am too happy that it is working to be irritated that it made an IT liar out of me!! (My mom said "Isn't it great to have an IT expert in the house?" the other night..... And she didn't mean me!)

New duties at work, which is GREAT news. I am pleased when they can give me more to do. There is nothing worse than being stuck in the cube when I don't have anything to do.... I am helping with the documentation of the service desk processes. It is a bonus that it is something I even LIKE to do. I am such a nerd!

I blocked the back of Kingscot last night. You should all be very impressed that I pulled that strategic feat off in this house! First, I had to find something big enough to spread out the whole back. My blocking board is less than 24x24", so that was out. The ironing board, despite my fantasy of its dimensions, is significantly more narrow than 24"! I managed to set up an old card table with towels and pin it out.... (Wow, did the back grow when wet! I pinned it to the right length and width, but that was by doing the OPPOSITE of stretching the piece.... Hopefully it drew up some as it dried.)

Then the fun began. I had to find some way of keeping the cats off of it! I tried shutting the doors to the kitchen with the ironing board inside for the fronts, but when my brother couldn't figure out why the door was shut, he decided there must not BE a reason and left it open. Cat fur on the wet wool. (Which is salvageable but not ideal!) This time, I put it in the den where we watch tv, and cats immediately decided that it was absolutely THE most desirable spot for lounging in the entire house.... I battled them back for a couple of hours before bed, then carried cats to other rooms, one at a time.... Elaborate warnings were given about leaving the den cat-free.... And SUCCESS! A significantly less furry sweater piece.

As a matter of fact, tonight after the blog posing is done, I think I will sew the shoulder seams!! Sweater love.... Pictures won't be far behind.