Thursday, May 20, 2010

Surprise Developments

The blooms on my Foxglove plant (planted last spring). A very odd shade of pink, but nice. These are stealth blooms; caught me totally by surprise!
Brushfire seen from the commute home... looks like it started on the left and is working its way around. Saw water dropping planes zipping to and fro. Another view.
Not much else to report - another 14 hour day at work. Just enough time to skip dinner, play some WoW (or maybe just do some flirting) and go back to bed at 8:30. Woot.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Knit Blogging - Year One

This is my 365th post. A year of blogging spread over a much longer span. Knitting projects started, worked, completed, abandoned, resurrected. Relationships come and gone. The never-changing presence of cat hair on my... everywhere.

Knit on CeCe at lunch time (and I think some more, tonight). The pattern is starting to flow and the emerging fabric is quite lovely. Went poking around in bags last night and found several (!) skeins of sock yarn in varying stages of metamorphosis into socks, found two incomplete shawls, found the yarn for the Rug Project (the reason I wanted to learn to weave). Those were just the things I had forgotten about - I saw several other projects that have been on the periphery for a while know. A shawl that needs only a knitted-on border, balls of yarn for an afghan I planned, they yak / silk set aside for weaving scarves, a bag full of washcloth yarn. It may be time to haul out all the yarn and divide it into kits - putting yarn, pattern and needles all together - so I can have an idea of the things that are in progress. Surely I have enough sock yarn alone for a do-it-yourself sock club.

Got my deductible back from the car insurance company today (it must have been in my mailbox since Saturday). Splurged on dog biscuits (for them) and lemon chicken & brown rice (for me) for dinner. Tomorrow I have a short day at work, so it is off to get car repairs so I can pass smog and finally get my 2011 tags.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Ties That Bind

On Friday my knitting friends celebrated my birthday. Cards, flowers, and a raisin-free carrot cake with my name on it! That is some spectacular attention to detail. We also watched a movie, ate salad and pizza and did a little knitting.

This afternoon I got the entire cockatiel family out of the cage and onto the playstand for pictures. Hamlet is on the left, the baby is in the middle, and Violet is on the far right. She and the baby are amazingly similar - except one is a normal and one is a whiteface. Baby can fly and land now with a little bit of grace. I think they are going a little stir-crazy in their little cage; when my car insurance refund / deductible comes in I will be cage shopping for them. I am also thinking of switching Kiwi and Beaker, as Kiwi can get her head out of the cage and is rubbing off all the feathers on her shoulders.

Knitting on Cece proceeds apace.... I was really out of the habit of knitting lace. I took the new sweater to the knit shop yesterday to get it sewn together but never took it out of the bag. sigh.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Halfway Point

I forgot to dig out my copy of 'Inferno' to quote Dante for my post today. I am sure it is around here somewhere. Today I am 35 and part of me is pretty happy and part of me is amazed I made it this far. There is a tiny part of me that is ticking down the days that are left to me - fewer left to suffer through than ever before - but I am trying to squash that one down.

The baby bird (still nameless) had a milestone today - she can fly! She can't really stop flying except by crashing into walls, but finesse will come later. Her parents don't fly, but I am hoping Pretty Bird or Kiwi can give her some pointers. She will be 5 weeks old tomorrow.

Knit on CeCe for a bit last night and then again today at lunch (and then did some un-knitting), and am well into the first lace motif. There is a lot going on at once in this sweater: lace pattern, ribbed edging, increasing on every 10th row for a while and then decreases after a few inches... not really suitable for knitting in traffic.

I didn't get out of work until late (although I wanted to leave early) and didn't make it to Knit N Stitch for my birthday, but Movie Night is Friday so we will have to party then. When driving to my petsitting gig tonight I found the knit shop in Corona - I will have to check it out someday soon.

Off to celebrate my b-day with my WoW friends, if my head doesn't hit the keyboard first. I was up a little too late last night.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Last Day as a Whippersnapper

Only a few hours left until the big day... I am excited. Got the ok to leave work early tomorrow if it is slow - then found out we have double the usual number of signings. Sigh. Oh dear - I just remembered tomorrow is a potluck at work. Guess I will grab a 2L of diet coke on the way in to work.

CeCe day 3 - ripped out previous work and cast on 185 onto smaller needles. That is as far as I got, but it is still progress.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Memories of Knitting

CeCe, day 0 - swatched. stated gauge is 20 st & 28 row to 4" over garter stitch on size 7 needles. I am getting 21 st & 26 rows. I could go up a needle size to get the right st count, but that would make my row count even fewer... I don't think 20 x 28 is possible! I will cast on anyway.

CeCe , day 1 - cast on 185 st (40" bust size), knit one row ribbing at lunch and one row whil playing WoW and reading knitblogs. Start to make a blog post, realize the directions said "with smaller needles". Make note to rip it all out after posting to the blog. Wonder if it was a good idea to reduce my knitting time by 99% over the last year. I like this yarn so far. It is very soft and shiny. No stretch, but lots of drape.

n other news, I made it to work on time, had a good day, remembered to pet sit, came home and pulled up weeds in the garden with Beaker and played a little WoW. The epi is blooming - here is a picture of what it looked like last year. This plant came from Miss Muriel's garden - she lived next door to my grandparents for 30 years and I miss them all.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

High Fiber Content

My haul from Newton's parking lot sale last weekend: From Left to Right:
  • Firsa the cat - 13 years old and still the center of attention
  • a cone of 20/1 100% viscose (I bought 2 cones, and they are huge), destined to be curtains.
  • a cone of sage green mystery fiber. It strongly resembles 20/2 cotton, dyed green. I think it will match well with the white & brown cotton that is already in my stash. Dishtowels, here I come!
  • 3 cones of rayon chenille (one in graphite & 2 in porcini) that might someday be a simple plaid or striped scarf.

I also got a book on weaving Huck / Huck Lace that looks very interesting. I certainly have enough cotton & viscose to go to town! This is the yarn for my next sweater project, Cece from Chicknits. It is cotton & viscose plied together, which gives it a lovely sheen and drape. Linda at Knit N Stitch has quite a bit of it, in 6 or 8 colorways. They are each quite subtle, but all lovely. This one is blue, gold & aqua. I think it will look cool and refreshing.

And, sadly, Mr Whiskers died in the night. He was at least 7, maybe 8, so he had a good long run. He was a good piggy though, and will be missed. This picture was taken about a year ago at his one and only adventure as a show pig (see the ear tag?).

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Blessed Beltane!

Today is Beltane, the pagan fire festival. It was a gorgeous sunny day for it, too. So far today I have celebrated by sleeping in, lounging around and shopping. Tonight I plan on playing some WoW and tomorrow the big plan is to go to the ren faire. I also start a week of pet-sitting tomorrow night for someone at work who is going on a week's cruise to Mexico. Next week is my birthday, so this was also a day of self gifting... but since I will be 35 perhaps the purchase of a new edition of Dante's Inferno would have been a better choice?

Made a quick trip to Knit N Stitch to sew the purple sweater together, but Linda was teaching so I satisfied myself with shopping for yarn for my new project, the CeCe cardigan. It was nice to see Linda & Pat, to meet some new knitters, and to breathe in yarn fumes. The yarn I picked out is (ironically), nearly the same color as some ingeo yarn I spun a couple years ago. That must mean I like it!

Popped by Borders to use my 40% off coupon and came home with Eddie Izzard's "Definite Article" dvd. I really want the Black Adder box set, but just can't justify spending that much, even with a coupon. As always, the trick is to make sure I find the item I want the most without buying more than I came in for. Eddie makes me laugh, so I know this is a good choice.

Then a quick lunch and off to Kohl's to use my $10 gift card. I bought only things on sale and saved $114 according to my receipt. Found a great pair of slacks, two lilac tops, a comfy bra and a cute white indian-style shirt. That should keep me for the rest of the year. I forced myself to really look at the things that were there, made several trips to the fitting room, and only chose things I am sure I can mix & match with my existing 'wardrobe'. I detest clothes shopping and it is extra-frustrating to end up relegating poor choices to the back of the closet.

Baby bird pictures from 2 days ago when she was 4 weeks old. Today she is even bigger and stronger - she is as big as the parents (but with a shorter tail) and has moved out of the nestbox. I even caught her eating millet seed and climbing onto a perch yesterday! Flapping practice is happening all the time now; today she even let me swing her in an arc. Violet is sitting on a new clutch of eggs already (crazy lady). I am still considering names... Flora is one idea. Or I could keep with the Shakespearian theme... Desdemona? Portia? Gertrude?