Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Steve and I watched another movie last night. Well, I watched and he read and occasionally looked at the screen. It was The Namesake, from the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri. I love that author and although it's been a year or so since I read the book, I thought the movie was a pretty good adaptation, although movies are never as good as a book, are they?
I made fish tacos last night; I can't imagine why we don't eat those every night, they are so delicious. Even made a version of the homemade coleslaw in this month's Everyday Foods, with one or two changes. Yummy.
Oh and I decided that I actually didn't have enough knitting projects going after all, and cast on for a purple scarf (that I don't really need right now) using the Manos silky and Kidsilk Haze I bought with M1 on my last trip to NYC and Purl.
Speaking of Purl, a friend of mine and I are flying up to NYC for one day during the week of spring break. We're meeting up with M for lunch and shopping and I'm hoping Purl will have moved by then so I can see their new digs. Either way, it should be fun. I've always wanted to do that, fly somewhere for one day, and with flights so cheap, it's doable. I get to see my daughter, hang out with a friend, and don't have to drag luggage or pay for a hotel or extra meals. Cool huh?
Spring break in three more days!!
Monday, March 29, 2010
I don't think of myself as materialistic, but things like this make me happy. What little things are making you happy today?
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Today it's even warmer, so Steve has been working in the yard while I alternated sitting on the deck with grocery shopping, washing clothes and doing a little housework as the spirit moved me. Lovely, lovely day.
I took advantage of the sunlight to photograph some of my knitting. I don't remember if I showed off the black scarf yet, but I finished it with some fringe sometime last week. Nice and soft and black, although it looks grey here.
Here's the progress on the baby sweater. The striped back with a yellow left front. I'm going to put a green sleeve on the yellow front, and make a green right front with a yellow sleeve whenever the green skein comes in. I think it'll be pretty when it's done.I'm also working on a baby hat for the same baby in Virginia Tech colors, using super-soft Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I don't think it looks like a baby hat because of the colors, but the parents are avid Tech fans, so they'll love it.
Now we're off to meet Steve's oldest daughter and her boyfriend for dinner. Hope you had a relaxing weekend. Only five more days till spring break!!
Friday, March 26, 2010
I got my package of yarn from Knitting Addiction today but since I didn't give Brittany the color codes the other day, I got the wrong color of green. No big deal though; I called her back and ordered the right color and I should have it by Monday. This time I checked my ravelry page and lo and behold, I had actually entered the color information! Would have been helpful if I had done that the first time around but hey, no problem. The baby I'm knitting for isn't due until June, so I have plenty of time. Maybe I'll work on my sweater sleeves instead.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I read the Laura Rider's Masterpiece book right away as it was by Jane Hamilton, an author I always like; funny and wry, a quick read that I enjoyed a lot.
I just finished A Reliable Wife last night and I must say I was very disappointed, especially since all the reviews I saw were glowing ones. I thought it was terrible, nothing more than one of those bodice ripper books; not at all what I expected. It's bad enough to buy a dud at the used book sales, but to waste a gift card on a new book really bothers me.
I also finished the back of the baby sweater today (baby stuff is so much fun!) and decided to keep the seed stitch blue throughout, mabut ke the left front in yellow, the right front in green, and alternate the sleeve colors. Like a color-block sweater, only with stripes in the back. I hope it doesn't look too crazy.
TGIF tomorrow! Can't wait.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Gorgeous spring weather here, can't get home quick enough in the afternoons. Was going to go to the beach today but spent time pruning branches in the yard instead. Loving the afternoon daylight, how about you?
Monday, March 22, 2010
After seeing all the sunshine and spring this weekend, the first thing I did when I got home today was cut some extra long forsythia branches that were encroaching on the front porch chair and put them in a Bristol blue vase in the sunroom. (It isn't a true Bristol vase, but the color's the same.) The contrast doesn't show up as much in this photo, but I think it's perfect. And of course you can see my basket of cotton yarn and a vase of shells on the table as well. Spring is here and summer is soon to follow. And since it's beach time, I had to find a cotton yarn project. One of my teammates is expecting her second son in May, so I'm making a cotton cardigan, using this pattern from Itty Bitty Nursery. I'm deviating wildly from the color combo so as to make it boy-like, but I liked the look of the pattern. I'm doing repeats of these colors and stripe widths and hoping the back matches easily to the fronts. It would have been simpler to make a pullover, but I wanted to do a cardi. I may need to order more skeins of the Mission Falls 1824 cotton to make sure I have enough, but I really think I'll be okay. Famous last words.
The setting for the photograph is my nature table on the deck. Even though my girls are all grown up, I still like having a nature table in my life. Driftwood from our beach and the newest shells and an egg sac from my last trip to the Outer Banks.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I've noticed the sweater knitting has tapered off and I'm blaming the weather. It's hard to be enthusiastic about knitting wool when the temperatures are in the seventies. And it really isn't a good idea to knit wool at the beach, as the humidity can cause minor felting! So I decided to frog a project I had started last spring in order to re-purpose the Mission Falls 1824 cotton yarn. I just bought Itty-Bitty Nursery last week (with a gift card) and I think the yarn will be perfect for some of the projects in the book, much better than the wrap I was making. The wrap would have been pretty, but it's not something I would actually wear, so back into the stash it goes!
We watched District 9 last night since the girls had recommended it to us. Even though it was not my usual type of movie, it was a good story. The film was so busy and moved so fast though that I know we missed nuances. When I returned it, I picked up Brick Lane, a movie I hadn't heard of but that the clerk recommended. (These aren't your Blockbuster clerks either, but movie aficionados, so I tend to trust them. Although Steve thinks they're just snobs.) Anyhow, I'm hoping to watch it tonight, since it seems our local PBS station isn't showing Masterpiece Theatre these days for some reason.
And then it's back to work. T minus ten days to spring break.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
And tomorrow is Friday!! I promise I will take some photos this weekend. It's supposed to be lovely weather (I think) and I'm planning to enjoy it. Hope you are too.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
A bright spot tonight was seeing a former student who works at Barnes & Noble and who is genuinely glad to see me whenever I come in. It's been at least eight years since he was my student; as I told my husband, they used to like me. And I know some of the students I have this year like me too, but it seems like it's getting harder.
Steve and I were in there on a mini-date night, as a reward to ourselves for having to endure a trip to the cell phone store after work today. My cell phone died today for no apparent reason, even though I only got it in November. My replacement phone will arrive by FedEx on Friday (so I'm told), but all the information in it is lost forever. I'll have to send out a blast email to my friends and coworkers to get all the numbers back in my phone.
Not a lot of sweater knitting this week either. I'm only knitting on it at home, since I have to keep track of the rows, and I'm kind of bored by the sleeves, quite honestly. I worked on it a little last night while Steve and I played Scrabble (sometimes he takes a long time to make his move), but that's about it. I need to rent a couple of movies this weekend so I can make better progress.
Speaking of knitting, while Steve and I were sitting in the B&N cafe', I overheard a woman next to me talking to her friend about knitting tattoos. I correctly assumed she was a knitter, so I started talking to her and it turns out she goes to the Sit and Knit nights that I've been wanting to attend. So now I'll recognize someone when I go; I'm definitely going to try and hit it next week.
Oh, and my sister in law got the shawl today and sent me a lovely thank you email. So thank you Stephanie, Rudee, and Larissa for your understanding and encouragement about giving away the handknits. It was weird to feel that way because normally I do give most of what I knit away. I think this one was different because it represented a new phase of knitting for me in some way. But I'm glad she has it. And I may just knit another one!
Monday, March 15, 2010
I don't know why I hate pruning trees and shrubs. I'd really like to leave everything natural, but it just doesn't work that way on a suburban lot.
On the knitting side of things, I took my Saroyan shawl into work today so my lunch group could see a finished product for a change. Steve wanted to mail it to my sister-in-law today, but I wouldn't let him until I showed it off. I think I'm feeling kind of selfish about it, but I would never wear it, so off it goes. As I said before, she's a knitter, so I know she'll appreciate it.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
And after. It kind of resembles a truffaluff tree but it is a lot better. At least we're in compliance with the city. The funny thing is, this neighborhood doesn't exactly have the highest of standards and yet we managed to fall below them. Kind of embarrassing.
After I took a nap, Steve and I walked down to the beach. I haven't been there since the big snow and since the temperatures were in the sixties today, it was a great time to go.
It's a little discouraging to see how much erosion there is after this past winter.
- I was a LaLeche League Leader for four years.
- I earned my college degree and began teaching middle school at age 37. Late bloomer.
- I used to want to be a librarian. So much so that when I was little, I set up a lending library for the kids in my neighborhood and "checked" my books out to them. Not that many took me up on it, but still, I set up the system.
- I would love to own a knitting and book store.
- I lived in Bristol, England for one month as part of a university partnership/teacher exchange program, and would have stayed if I didn't already have children.
- I met my husband through an internet dating website and found out our children already knew each other, as they all went to the same high school.
- I talk to my parents every day. (My husband thinks this is rare.)
- I still talk to a friend I've known since we were nine years old, even though we only lived in the same state for three years.
If you don't feel like it, don't worry about it. But if you do, here are the rules:
- Paste the award on your blog.
- Tell 7 interesting things about yourself.
- Link to me.
- Nominate and link to 7 or 8 other blogs.
- Leave a comment on the nominated blogs to let them know.
Thanks again Bea and SeaWitch!
Friday, March 12, 2010
I just woke up from a two hour nap and I'm drinking my special concoction of Trader Joe organic mint melange tea, Tulsi organic lemon ginger tea, and a splash of ginger ale and reading A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore. I want to knit on my sweater, but I need to think about the next part and my mind is just a little too fuzzy. So I'm alternating between reading blogs, napping, and this book.
I finished The Love Wife by Gish Jen earlier this week. It was one of the books I bought at The Strand in New York City. I really enjoyed it, as I do all of her books.
Next in the reading queue is the Barbara Kingsolver book Steve bought me for my birthday, The Lacuna. I have Zeitoun by Dave Eggers checked out from the library, but I think I have to take it back unread. I'll try to get to it in the summer; Steve and S read it and loved it. I also have to pick up Audrey Niffenegger's Her Fearful Symmetry from the library, which may jump to next in line since it's on loan.
My plans for the weekend are pretty limited: rest, read, knit, and rest some more. Hope you have a better one.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
and my day improved a lot. The shawl, she is finished. I think she stretched out some with blocking. Want to see a close up, you say? Here's a section close to the right wing.
The straight upper edge, lovely in its simplicity.
More of the center, leaf edging.
The right side again.
Monday, March 8, 2010
I almost finished the shawl last night while watching the Oscars, but just couldn't do it. I think it was the tweet checking that cost me the time, although it was totally worth it.
I took this photo before work this morning with only one decrease repeat left to do (fourteen rows). But I finished it after I got home tonight, gave it a soak, and it's now drying on some towels on the kitchen floor. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they call this a gentle blocking, since I'm not using any pins. If I have time tomorrow morning, I'll take another picture. I think this is going to go to my sister-in-law, who has a birthday next week. She's a knitter also, so I think she'll appreciate it.
I think I'd like to do this pattern again with a heavy worsted weight yarn, even though I don't think I'm a shawl person.
And lest you think I've abandoned the mondo-cable, here's proof that it's still growing. I laid it out on top of a sweater I like the length of to check it. I think I need about 6-10 more rows before the edging, but I'm not working on it tonight as my brain is fuzzy. Not enough sleep.
Another thing I've noticed growing is my confidence that I can knit more challenging things. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm starting to feel more adventurous about what I want to knit. Which is a good thing.
And now, I need to try and make up my sleep deficit.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Also trying to finish up the Saroyan shawl. Only four more decreases to go, so if I stay off the computer, I will definitely finish.
Didn't love Alec and Steve as much as I expected, but loved the Jimmy Kimmel commercial!!
Disappointed that Christopher Plummer didn't win. I like the movies I actually see to win, you know.
Steve got back from his trip Thursday night, but he was so busy and stressed about work on Friday that we didn't really connect well until yesterday. We did a sort of "vacation in our town" kind of thing. First we went for bagels at this great place I like, then we came home and took a nap (staying up until 1 a.m. dropping the girls off the night before caught up with me). We went back to Ghent to see Up in the Air at the Naro, then walked to Cogan's after the movie for beer and mussels, and went to Fairgrounds, my favorite coffee shop, for after dinner coffee (tea for me). We were actually going to go back to the Naro for another movie, Broken Embraces, but I ran out of steam, so we came home. One of the things I liked so much about the day was the amount of walking we did, as everything is in the same general area. Actually, this is the neighborhood I'd choose to live in if we didn't live near the Bay.
I did a bit of knitting on my Saroyan shawl; all I have left to do are the decreases now. (I even wound the new ball of yarn while we were at the coffee shop.) The sweater is at a point where I need to measure the length against another sweater to see if I'm ready to bind it off. Kind of excited about starting the sleeves! I'm thinking I'll get to work on it while watching the Oscars tonight. Anyone else an Oscar watcher?
And on a totally different subject, this bed looks awesome! I think it would be a great thing to have in a craft room. And speaking of craft rooms, I talked to M2 about rearranging what's left of her room so that I can set up the sewing machine in there. She's already taken most of her stuff, she's not planning on being here for summer break (staying in Blacksburg to take a class and work), and I want to be able to sew more often, so it seemed like a good idea to use her room. It seems a little strange, like I'm pushing her out, but her bed is still in there, so it's not like she won't have a place to sleep when she does come home. Plus, she likes to sew too, so that helps. But still, it feels a little strange.
The weather is supposed to get in the sixties today so I'm hoping to make it down to the beach for awhile. Haven't been down since the big snow.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I also decided to photograph the February yarn purchases and catch up my ravelry page, but my photo files aren't playing happy with ravelry today, so I'm putting them here for now.
These aren't in any particular order, but they do represent my February travels. I bought these two skeins in Blacksburg and I'm planning to make a slouchy hat. I want one but I'm not a hat person, so if I don't like it on me, I'll gift it.I bought these two skeins in Blacksburg also; they are the Hokie colors, and I'm going to make a baby hat for one of my co-workers who is a big Hokie fan and is expecting her second son.These two skeins of Noro were bought at Brooklyn General on the NYC yarn crawl that M1 and I did. One is Silk Garden but the other is Chirimen, which is 60% cotton. Both are for me to use as contrasting stripes for future Turn A Square hats, Steve's favorite hat pattern. No pink or purple can be found in these skeins, which satisfies his color preferences.These two skeins are Spud & Chloe Fine; I plan to make myself a pair of socks and I purposely bought a solid color (rare for me as I like varigated) so that I can pick a sock pattern other than my usual plain one. Haven't decided which one yet, but that's the plan.This is a bargain buy from Purl Soho, one skein (114 yds) of Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe, so I think I can do a baby item out of it. Any suggestions? Maybe a hat and a pair of socks? This is the makings of my Purl scarf. It's two skeins of Manos Silk Wool and one of Kidsilk Haze and I plan to strand them together for a scarf. M1 helped me choose the colors from Purl SoHo.These two skeins of Misti Alpaca, purchased at Brooklyn General, are for a friend's scarf. I had made her a black scarf a few years ago with some yarn she picked out. I hated working with that yarn, and every time she wore it, I cringed. She tried to wash it a couple of weeks ago and she shrunk/felted it, so I'm going to do another one for her only this time, I picked out something I would enjoy working with.And last but not least, my old standby yarn for Steve's socks: Mission Falls 1824 wool. I haven't made him a pair in quite some time so I picked this yarn up at Knitting Addiction. Three skeins of the gold color and one of black to add a stripe or two in the cuff.
And now that I have a record of my overbuying, I've decided I really want to read this book. I feel that I've been consuming and consuming and I'm not happy about it. Anyone read it already? What do you think about it?
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
And thanks for the sweater/medal encouragement!! I knew I could count on you all!
Monday, March 1, 2010
As I understood the rules of the Yarn Harlot's Olympics, it was about challenging one's self, and this I have done. I am so excited about the progress I've made and even more importantly, the anticipation of actually finishing it. I've hit a bump or two, but I've worked through them and I'm still making progress. The most recent snag was when I realised yesterday morning that I'd knit for about four inches using size sevens instead of size eights. I'd started the sweater using the correct size, but decided to substitute my Susan Bates for wooden needles while in New York, just in case airport security was tight, and somehow I bought the wrong size. When I realized it yesterday, I went to the knit shop in Blacksburg and bought a third set so I could knit on the correct size on the five hour return trip. If you look closely, you can find the difference in guage, but I'm thinking (hoping) it won't matter that much after blocking. My oldest daughter (the one who knits) also assured me that the alpaca will have enough give that it won't matter.
So should I put the medal on my sidebar now or wait until the sweater is completed?
(By the way, I just re-read the rules and I don't think I really qualify after all, as one of the rules is to complete the project by the time the flame is put out. But I am happy about this so doesn't that count too?? And did you notice I doubled the number of cable crosses in one weekend? And isn't that flame lit somewhere else anyway?)
Oh and since Steve is out of town, I treated myself to a movie, The Last Station, at the Naro after work. I loved it, you should definitely see it. I notice I really like love stories about older people more now and watching Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren (oh to be her when I'm that age) was wonderful. Plus, she walks around in shawls looking so regal. I want to look like that, but I'm afraid I'll just look frumpy in my shawls.