Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I have a secret

But I'm not ready to share it yet. I hope it will be ready this weekend.
In the meantime, I have been knitting a sock with my first Bearfoot. Moose Creek colorway. Pattern my own, inasmuch as a sock with a stitch pattern slapped on it can be considered mine. I took a picture because my blogless buddy Tracy wanted to see it.

Happy feet

This picture is in no way representative of the actual color of this yarn. It's deep blues, purple, black, green, with a little tan thrown in for good measure. Extremely soft, nice to work with, stretchy and squishy. All the things good yarn should be. I am also doing this sock using the Magic Loop technique, and I must say I'm enjoying it. I like having to keep track of only two needle tips.

I've taken the extra-long way home the last two days too, and I've enjoyed it. Well, except for that first bit when I leave the office and think about how much sooner I could be home, if only I would go the short way... But the walk is lovely, I listen to music and look for landscaping ideas in yards I've never noticed before, I walk through the park, and I arrive home feeling great. I've had DH drop me off about a block from the office on the way in the morning, so it rounds out my walking for the day to just over two miles. If I think of it, one of these days I'll bring my camera and show you what my walk looks like.

2.1 miles walked

2.1 miles walked

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pretty good

This morning I was late, so I had DH drop me off at work. I felt guilty about not walking, so I took the extra-long way home. After a short while, I wanted to kick myself for doing it - I was tired. But half way home I bumped into a professor I knew briefly in college, who walks the neighborhood around my house, and I had a lovely chat while I walked most of the rest of the way. Walking alone is nice, but chatting with an interesting person is pretty awesome too.
Thanks for all the commiseration on the yarn. I spent a while working on one skein and I think I made good progress. I have the other skeins hanging to dry, in the hope that they'll be easier to untangle later.

1.86 miles walked

Sunday, January 28, 2007

And now for something completely different...

I bring you Silk Dyeing!
I had some silk I bought from eBay - it was a sweater someone had thrifted and unravelled.
Yarny goodness

Some of the yarn had rough or weak spots, but I figured there would be enough good stuff to make a Shetland Triangle. I skeined up my yarn, mixed my dye, threw it in the pot


let it cool, gave Bug a haircut


and chucked it in the washer to rinse out the excess dye. I think it was La (or mebbe Jen) who said that the rinse cycle was a bad idea, so I heeded that warning and selected the soak cycle. Turns out (you might wanna sit down for this)


My washer agitates on the soak cycle.
That is six and a half skeins of silk. I managed to separate the skeins from each other, but haven't even thought about trying to detangle that mess. Turns out I also tied the skeins too loosely. Damn.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

First Fo of the Year!

Hooray, a red scarf!

Scarf and beach towels, a study

Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf
Yarn: Elann Peruvian Pure Alpaca, in Oxblood
Needles: Knitpicks Options, 5.0mm (US8)

Began December 30, 2006
Finished and blocked January 23,2007

What a fun scarf, and what soft yarn! I have heard that it's sheddy, but I enjoyed working with it, and with three dogs, who notices a little alpaca floating around? After this knit, I can cable anything without a cable needle!

.86 miles walked

2.1 miles walked

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Getting There

I have been making progress on my WIPs. I didn't officially join any stash-a-longs or UFO projects, but it has been my intention both to knit from my stash and to finish some UFO/WIPs. I knit much too slowly to finish all the projects out there that I'd like to make for myself. As a result, I tend to stash yarn and projects for ME. My goal in 2007 was to knit more for me. I still want to do charity projects, but last year I tried to do ambitious projects for others, and never did finish one thing for myself. (Well, not entirely true - I did finish three pairs of socks.) This year, I want to continue my charity knitting and do a little stash enhancement toward that end, but I'd really like to make some of the beautiful things I've had in mind, with the yarns I've bought for myself.
Progress continues on Tendrils, but since that's all I ever say, I'm not going to speak of it again until it's complete, washed, dyed, dry and ready for its closeup, Mr. DeMille. I finished the Irish Hiking Scarf last night and put it to soak in some Kookaburra wash. Tonight I'll have to take it out and lay it flat to dry, but I didn't have a place to do that last night. In the meantime, I got out my sad, neglected bearfoot socks to work on. They are all for me, so I can't wait to finish them.
Other projects slated this year:
  • Finish Sonnet - she only needs two sleeves

  • Faina scarf, in stashed Knitpicks Andean Treasure

  • Shetland Triangle, in stashed recycled 100% silk from eBay - what color?

  • Bombshell, in stashed Knitpicks Shine

  • I've been stash enhancing a little lately, too - it will be a little while before my latest purchase arrives, so I'll wait until they're all collected in one place to show off my latest pr0n.
    I will be doing the sock swap again, and I have some projects on the go for Dulaan, but I'm not going to put it all aside and neglect ME anymore!

    Oh yeah, and I forgot to add my paltry weekend walking to my total - it was cold and yucky, so we only went to the park. I did manage to get out today and walk to work.

    Walked, 0.6 miles

    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    WTF Wednesday, now on Sunday!

    So, I have some photos to share with you, of my evening.


    Poor sad grass?

    Ice plants?

    Sad beach towels.

    More photos here.

    Y'all, mild winters are our reward for living through our heinous summers! Damn.

    1.7 miles walked

    Thursday, January 18, 2007


    I have been struck most cruelly by that stomach thing that's been going around. Monday I walked to work like the good little doobie I have been forced to become, and at lunchtime I began to feel a little nauseated. (A bit of pedantry: if you say, "I feel nauseous," it means that you make OTHER people sick.) Anyway, it got worse and worse until I didn't think I could stand it, so I went home. A walk of nearly a mile when one has digestive issues? Not fun, but I made it.
    Since then, not much. I managed to walk to work this morning, but it was rough. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew, Runagogo-speaking. Since I signed up, I have not had a single week when I was able to walk or bike to work all five days. It's the weather. I blame the crazy-ass weather. I mean really - 70s in the northeast and icy sidewalks in the desert? Frozen oranges in California? No wonder we're all discombobulated.
    I have been chatting with Jen about her parlor trick socks. She's doing one inside the other, on DPNs. I have had Bearfoot socks on the go in that way for ages, and after talking to Jen about them I am anxious to get back to them and finish them up! Soon, soon my lovely little bearfeets, I will get back to you, once I have warmed the neck of one college-age orphan and finished the Wrap That Shall Not Be Named Again.
    They WILL be completed in time for me to start the Faina scarf with La!

    Walked 2 miles

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    Family Outings

    Today started out cloudy and chilly, so I bundled up the Bug and headed to Sabino Canyon for a hike. You know, my lungs don't so much like the uphills, and my knees don't so much like the downhills. It'd be great if they could flatten out that mountainous trail, you know?
    Anyway, I did four miles, plus a scootch. I discovered that I am a big giant weenie, too - I kept thinking, "Man, the 2 mile rock must have been washed away, I bet I've gone almost three miles. I should turn around." Right as I thought I would, the 2 mile rock came into view.

    Are you sure that doesn't say 20?

    It was a lovely day, and I was only mildly depressed by all the old people passing me right and left, while I hauled my giant self, huffing and puffing, up the trail. I was a little discouraged by the thousand-year-old woman with a bright red beehive, jogging uphill in a miniskirt. Oy.

    So, here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

    Look, naturally occurring water in southern Arizona!

    Sweet little white-tailed deer.

    Funky tree in the river.

    To see the rest, click here.

    For the rest of the day, Bug just wants to do this:
    Don't bother me, Mama, but hand me the remote, will ya?

    Walked today:
    4 miles (is that ALL?)

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Oh LAWDY how I love Fridays

    Cuz that's when the weekend starts. Oh yeah.
    And, as the mother of a toddler and the wife of a man who works almost every weekend, I have a big weekend of sitting around planned. Since my knitting looks the same, and I have nothing else interesting to report, I will show you what a bad mommy I am when I feed my kid.

    Last night, the Bug had ice cream for dinner.

    covered in goo
    I'm saving that blob on my chest for later.

    smeared ice cream
    Hey Mama, I wasn't done licking that bowl.

    Tonight, as I'm trying to get him ready for bed, he's having his very own latte in his sippy. (Because Daddy isn't here to give him sips of black coffee.)

    sippy latte
    I'll make it big in Seattle or Portland.


    (For those dialing CPS right now, know this: He's getting his molars and the ice cream numbed his little mouth quite nicely, and the latte he's drinking has less caffeine than soda and less sugar than juice. And a whole lotta skim milk. So there.)

    Oh yeah, I do have fibery news! Y'all NEED to see these yarns at Mystical Creations. That link is her ebay listing. You can search her store, and she also has a blog and her own domain. (I think! I can't find the links now.) LOOK at those colors. They leave me speechless, and that is a rare thing indeed.

    Biking today:
    3.1 miles

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    even less today

    Yesterday was DH's birthday, and I woke up late, so I drove (a mile, how sad am I?) to work and got no exercise at all. Today, I woke up even later, and again drove to work. Again, no exercise. I suck.
    I AM nearing the end of the second ball of the IHS. At least SOMETHING is making progress around here.


    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Not much today

    I knitted one whole repeat yesterday on IHS. I skipped SnB to go sit with my friend in labor, while her husband ran home to car for the cats and collect some items they wanted. YAY FOR BABIES!

    Biked 3.1 miles

    ETA: La pointed out that it should probably be "care for the cats". It should, but "carring for cats" sounds like some weird sport on either ESPN2 or the Outdoor Channel, and it kinda makes me laugh, so I'm leaving it.

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    I blew it off

    You totally knew I would.
    Last night after Bug went to bed, I had no desire to play with that honking huge Tendrils, so I pulled out the IHS. That thing goes so fast, it's very gratifying. I think I did 5 repeats. About 6 inches or so! I love things that show progress after one sitting! I'll take IHS to SnB tonight too. Last week I tried to work on Tendrils there, and ended up really hosing the beads. (On one cable, I missed a bead in one row and put two in, two rows up. And I only knitted the three rows all night.)
    Anyway, I stayed up too late again and I woke up late. Instead of being a whole hour late for work, I hopped on my bike. It was a brisk ride, and I got here huffing and puffing, but I'll live. I do enjoy riding. I just end up feeling a bit knotted up afterwards.
    Oh yeah, and one more thing: I missed my own anniversary! TWO YEARS SMOKE-FREE. Awesome. (Even now, I wish I'd had my first cigarette of the morning before I took that pregnancy test!) I plan to start up again when I'm 70 or 75 and smoke a couple of packs a day, but until then I won't smell like an ashtray. YAY FOR ME!

    2.6 miles walked

    Monday, January 08, 2007


    It's work time again. ::sigh::
    On one hand, I feel wiped out and tired because it's Monday, and on the other hand, I feel good and ready to go get started on a normal week for a change. I was late to work this morning, but I have nothing to do this afternoon, so I just accepted being late and walked the long way to work. I love walking under those oak trees while there's just a little bit of light in the east. Since we have nothing planned tonight, I will sit and knit on the last 34 rows on Tendrils before I start the edging.
    Yup, it's true, I have about five inches left. Saturday I had 12. I am a speedy brilliant lazy knitter. I have decided that my brain cannot bear to go to 65 inches, and I will stop at 60. The overall stole will be about 63 inches long. In my estimation, that is more than long enough. Once I've finished, I will use up every blessed scrap of that yarn in charity hats, so I never ever have to see it again. (Well, every scrap except a little I save and dye with the thing itself, in case of tragic accidents.)
    Bug was a little under the weather, digestively speaking, so instead of a long outing, we went to the park yesterday. When did my little boy learn how to ride the slide all by himself with no help from Mama? Sheesh! I really need to get out more. They must have taught him on the playground at daycare. He climbed the steps of the jungle gym like a pro, flipped around feet first and was down the slide no problem. (I tried to stop him that first time, but while he was dangling by the strap of his overalls, it occurred to me that he seemed to know what he was doing.) He even hopped off all by himself and ran around to do it again. Who is this big kid and where did my baby go?
    Anyway, short walk and no biking this weekend puts me a little behind, but I am not worried.

    Walked this weekend:
    0.56 miles

    Saturday, January 06, 2007

    Lazy Saturday Afternoon

    My favorite kind.
    We took a quick trip to Phoenix last night and came home this morning. I knitted a little more than one row on Tendrils and gave it up. It's too hard to knit while stuffed in DH's old truck, betweeen the door and the giant car seat. (I never knew how big those things really are.)
    Anyway, I decided I'd better take some photos or you'd think I was making it all up. First, Tendrils:


    An artsy shot:

    Tendrils up close

    From a distance, it looks like a mottled earthy green to me, but up close you can see the problem - it's so mottled you can scarcely make out the individual stitches, and the beads are completely buried. This is why I will overdye this puppy when I've finished it.

    The Irish Hiking Scarf for the Red Scarf Project:

    orphan scarf

    Another artsy shot:

    orphan scarf up close

    The first picture is close to the true color.

    Oh yes, and one more thing. I never heard from Hypatia or Patty, so Bug picked two new names. Elizabeth D. and Heide! Hooray!

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Friday at last

    Yesterday I measured Tendrils. 53 inches, only 12 to go before the edging bit. Roughly six repeats. Tonight we drive to Phoenix, and tomorrow we return, so that's about four hours of car knitting for me. Can I do it? Do I even want to? The Irish Hiking Scarf is so soft and fluttery - I want to work on that instead. I joined the second of four balls this morning, and would like to feel that light, airy yarn in my fingers, instead of the heavy, beaded albatross of a wrap that is Tendrils. (I'd said to a friend that I don't understand why it's so heavy, because it's only 250 grams of beads. She pointed out that 250 grams is roughly half a pound. Oh.) But I'm so close, I will work on Tendrils tonight, and then maybe tomorrow I will have IHS in the car.
    Today I had to drive to work because I had to run out for my yearly bloodwork. (If I'm trying to be healthy and exercise, I might as well have my yearly exams, too. ...sigh... I suppose I should make an appointment with the dentist...) Anyway, I feel a little sluggish already. It may be that it's Friday morning at the end of a tough week, or that the clouds are rolling in and it's dark, but I think it's more that my body didn't get my wake-up walk. I kinda miss it already. It's been a few months since I started walking to work. I haven't seen any change in my clothes (I'm pretty sure the Christmas cookie intake far exceeded any calories burned walking) but BOY, I miss being outside!

    2.4 miles walked

    Thursday, January 04, 2007


    Two days ago, I discovered that I can knit and walk at the same time, without falling down (much).
    Yesterday, I discovered that, if I think a commitment like 200 miles is no big deal and I'll do it anyway, I tend to wake up late and get a ride to work, so my 200 mile goal isn't a sure thing. Also, I discovered that, while I can knit and walk, my posture is so bad that my back is aching after just a few minutes.
    Last night I discovered that I may have miscounted the number of balls I'd already knit into Tendrils, and I may not have needed the $3.29-turned-$11-because-of-shipping balls of yarn I ordered in a panic last week.
    This morning I discovered that no matter how comfy my high-heeled granny boots are to wear at the office, they aren't the greatest for walking that 1.2 miles to work. I took the short cut (.86 miles), and DH was nice enough to bring me my walking shoes so I don't cry on the way home. (In my defense, they're chunky heels. It's not like I thought I'd go for a long walk in stilettos or anything.)

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007


    Rachael is doing this thing.

    100 miles by April 1. Walk, bike, swim, run, etc. At first, that sounds obscenely difficult. Well, it does to my couch potato self, but it sounds like a standard Saturday morning to my triathlete brother.

    Bug and Uncle M

    Anyway, once I started thinking about it, it's not that hard. I walk or bike to work every day, with the exception of the days when I have to carry something big or heavy. The shortest walking route is .85 miles. It's not a big deal to go slightly out of my way, for nicer scenery, which puts me at 1.2. That means that, at the end of an average week, I log between eight and 12 miles. Two and a half months of changing nothing, and I've walked 100 miles. I'm challenging myself a little. My bike route (according to that Google map thing) is about 3.1 miles. If I alternate, I can walk 100 miles AND bike 100 miles before April 1. This will require a little extra effort, because I'll have to include some weekend "workouts": trips to the park or hiking in Sabino Canyon with Bug, a walk to the zoo, even walking to a restaurant for dinner. All in line with my goals to lose a dress size and take Bug on outings. So, that's my plan. 100 miles walked and 100 miles biked before April 1.
    Once I figure out where everyone gets those neat little percentage bars for the sidebar, I'll set up my progress indicators.

    Running out of time!

    Hypatia and Patty, please send me your contact info so I can send you some yarn! If I don't hear from you by Thursday, I'll pick two more names on Friday.

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    A full accounting

    I don't like to do it, but I'm gonna. These are my WIPs.
  • Tendrils. 60% done, at least

  • Irish Hiking Scarf.

  • Sonnet. Body done, only needs sleeves

  • Haiku. Knitting done, needs sleeves sewn to body

  • Bearfoot socks. Toes started

  • Fetchings in Shine.

  • HPT (heinous purple thing). Intended to be a gift for MIL, but I can't stand it. Frog pond.

  • Heirloom baby blanket. I like this thing, but Fluffy ate one of my skeins of yarn. Dunno if I'll ever finish it.

  • FOs this year:
  • Sockpal socks

  • Olympic socks

  • Green socks

  • Squares for Warming Grace

  • One square for Comforting Jenn

  • Clapotis

  • Frill

  • Next knitting, after Tendrils and Irish Hiking Scarf, is Faina's Scarf, in a knitalong with La and anyone else who loves that pattern like I do!