January 31, 2008
Sunday, in our workout room, while timing R. Darling’s upper body sets, I happened to glance over at our bookshelf and something caught my eye. Yes, we have books in our workout room. Yes, I know that’s weird (both the workout room and the fact that there are books in it). But truthfully it’s one of the only rooms in the house that has space for a couple bookshelves. If it were solely up to me, there would be books on every surface and bookshelves on every available wall. But it’s not and that’s probably a good thing since I’ve got enough dust as it is to start my own turnip farm under the couch (who eats turnips anyway?). I don’t need a pumpkin patch too.
But this book. Vogue Knitting: American Collection. I bought it on clearance at Barnes & Noble a few years ago when I first started knitting. Liked a few of the patterns but shelved it and didn’t look back. Staring at its bright blue spine daily for the last couple weeks I felt compelled to look inside it once again, wondering what drew me to it in the first place. Was there something fantastic in it that I should be knitting right this moment? Idly I flipped through the pages. Much to my amazement, the very sweater that I have been eyeing hungrily on Ravelry swam up from the pages at me. Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Best Baby Sweater, a.k.a. The February Baby Sweater. How could I have missed this the first time around? Had it really been there, waiting, this whole time? Some lingering Fairy Godmother action must have woken me up from my apathetic slumber because I suddenly snapped awake to the thought that the Judy’s Grandmother’s Baby Sweater (from Greetings From Knit Cafe) had gone sour on my needles. Oh, so that’s why I left it in an unfinished wrinkled pile, only about 5 months late……. The bitter taste of regret still lingers on my lips when I think about the wasted effort.
But this new baby sweater! A glorious discovery! Baby Kimono will get frogged and refashioned into something much more lovely.
And all it took was a new perspective.
January 29, 2008
Yep! It’s snowing and I’m kayaking!
I am just now starting to warm up enough to show you some pics of what we did a couple Saturdays ago (January 19th to be exact). R. Darling and I went with the local chapter of WAKE on an eagle watching trip down the Skagit River. To be completely honest, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to paddling my sea kayak down a frosty river. But in some ways I am still a newlywed, and I just can’t help myself from being game for most of the things that R. Darling cooks up even though I quite often end up cold, wet, muddy, or all of the above. But (almost) always with a smile! I’m just not ready to quit perpetuating the myth that I’m a good sport ;)
After R. Darling packed up our gear that morning, we piled into the truck and headed for Marblemount (I’ll skip the specifics here; if you’re even vaguely interested, you can find them on R. Darling’s bloggy). A light sleet hit our windshield on the way out of town issuing an ominous you-will-freeze-your-ass-off-today sort of warning in my head. Driving further southeast we were greeted with a countryside growing more steadily white as each mile drifted away. By the time we reached the meeting point and started the complicated shuttle of cars from put-in to take-out it had begun to snow lightly, then ever increasingly, making me nervous for my fingers and toes (I rather wanted to keep them!). While waiting for the rest of the group to reappear after the final shuttle, I snapped a few photos for posterity while trying to keep my rapidly numbing appendages warmed up as much as possible.
It was peaceful at first, being on the river with the snow falling on us. I had never thought of using a sea kayak on a river before, but the Skagit is a wide, deep river with very gentle rapids (at least where we paddled) well suited to coasting along in a sea kayak. We did hit a few rough-ish sort of rapids that scared me a bit as I was already feeling worried that I wouldn’t be accomplished enough to hang with this crowd, but I managed them o.k. There was one unfortunate gal who didn’t navigate them quite as successfully and, poor thing, went for a swim twice in the frigid waters wearing only a wet suit. I was cold enough as it was without having been dunked and I felt awfully sorry for her but selfishly glad it wasn’t me.
R. Darling enjoying himself immensely
About 6 miles into the trip, or maybe an hour and a half on the water, the novelty of the falling snow and peacefulness of coasting along on the river lost a bit of its charm. My fingers and toes, though bundled tightly against the weather, began to complain about the punishing temperature. And we were only halfway there. R. Darling and I both agreed that this was a fun trip – once – and that we didn’t really need to experience it again any time soon. In all, I counted about 50 eagles (occasionally losing count when thinking about how damn cold I was) and it was thoroughly amazing to see the sheer numbers of them feeding, nesting, and perching near the banks of the river. They are truly breathtaking to see up close. Majestic, regal, every word you’ve ever heard to describe them is absolutely true. And, I’ll add, they’re downright huge. Unfortunately, most of the pictures that day turned out dark and blurry due to the weather conditions, but we did get a few decent ones.
This juvenile seemed completely unruffled as we drifted slowly past him only feet away
So, despite the fact that I’m in no hurry to rush back out into the frigid weather in my kayak, a cozy house, a warm husband, and lots of hot tea have conspired to give our little trip a more rosy glow than I perhaps felt that day. I’d say it was a great adventure after all and I’m glad I was game enough to go!
I may look like I’m smiling but my face is actually frozen that way!
January 28, 2008
Somebunny needs a treat!
All the names of commenters from last Tuesday’s post were put into my cute little easter dish…….
The bowl was handed to R. Darling (for an unbiased picking of names!)……..
Pick one sweetie!
And our winner is………
Jenny! Hooray for Jenny!
So sorry that I couldn’t give one to each of you, but I hope to be having another contest in February so check back soon! Have a happy Monday :)
January 24, 2008
(Image courtesy of Spincycle Yarns)
I spend my days in a tiny scientific oasis, floating amidst a lagoon of industry that teems with construction offices, a cement producer, the transit authority, UPS, and an assorted variety of specialized blue-collar odds and ends. My view out the window consists of a sprawling lot filled with white and black PVC pipes stacked in tidy pyramids flanked by scarlet pipe fittings and a variety of other water system necessities whose intended use I will never discover. Every once in a while a man with a forklift goes out and retrieves something, presumably for a customer, and in the summer when the windows are open I can hear a woman’s voice over the PA in the lot, scratchy and demanding. Several times a day large semis with trailers and UPS trucks roar by sending swirls of rock and gravel dust up into the air.
So imagine my surprise last Wednesday night when I pulled into the main road from the lab behind a black Nissan Pathfinder sporting a bumper sticker with the Spincycle (my newly discovered local treasure) logo on it. Immediately I began to wonder: Was this a knitter in front of me? Or just the boyfriend (or girlfriend) of one? Or maybe they just bought the car like that from someone else who knits? I imagined the driver would most likely be an ordinary UPS guy. They always park in the lot next to our building and it would make sense since he came from that direction. I saw him driving to his buddy’s house in his new/old vehicle and drinking a frosty brew in the driveway as he showed off his newly purchased wheels. His friend would dig him in the ribs and make granny jokes about the Spincycle sticker or maybe even the Bjork one that had the place of honor in the center of the rear window. He’d grin sheepishly, shuffle his feet and mention how he planned to scrape those off, then take a deep swig of his beer and change the subject. And here he is, 2 years later, driving in front of me and sporting that sticker that I will always wonder about. All I can say is, next time I see him I’m gonna throw up a rock sign and mouth out the window, “Knit or Die dude!” and wait for a reaction.
January 22, 2008
This weekend R. Darling and I made a major trip to Goodwill and while sorting through some of my crafty things (no, I was not able to part with any of my fabric, beads, yarn, or other crafty bits; that’s just crazy talk!) I came across a needle case that I made a couple years ago in a fit of eBay activity. This was before I had heard of etsy and I had hoped to make some needle cases to sell, but after little luck with my first crochet hook roll, I sorta tucked the idea away nice and cozy until some sunny day when it felt like coming out to play. I’d like to change it up a little and give it a try on etsy sometime, but that won’t be until after I’m off this crazy hectic workout schedule which leaves me with little to no free time anymore.
Anyhoo, back to the needle case. I’ve got several already and I was thinking that if any of you lovely readers might be in need of a needle case for your straight needles, I’d love to be able to give you my extra one! It’s a Knittymuggins original and the first and only one of its kind ;) It’s made of 100% cotton fabrics with a grosgrain ribbon tie and is approximately 16 inches wide x 15.5 inches in height (when unrolled). There are 7 pockets ranging from small to larger and some of the larger pockets could accomodate more than 1 set of needles if desired.
I do want to find this little cutie a good home so if you are interested, leave me a comment on this post. I’ll take comments until midnight (PST) on Saturday January 26, 2008. Sunday I’ll put all the names in a hat and Monday I’ll announce the winner! Have fun!
January 21, 2008
Robin tagged me for a meme! The game is to list 10 things I have done that others might not have. Cool :) This will be tough (I’m quite uninteresting) but fun. Once I finish my list, I’ll tag 5 other people and leave comments on their blogs to let them know they’re tagged so they can play too.
So check it. Here’s the 411:
1. I went to elementary school in what used to be a one-room schoolhouse. The main portion of the school grew out of the old schoolhouse and they added a few mobile units for extra grades as the number of kids attending increased. There was a gigantic silver bell at the top of the stairs of the main building and we would beg the recess aide to let us ring it to signal the end of recess and time to go back to class. It would take two of us to push it back and forth enough to get the bell to clang. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories.
2. I rode close to 1000 miles on the back of a Harley to attend Sturgis in 2002. I would say I earned that “I rode mine” patch I got at the rally!
3. Related to #2, I also earned my Mardi Gras beads in Sturgis! I won’t tell you just how many beads I ended up with ;)
4. I have won a spelling bee. Nothing like the national stuff they do now, but I did win a pizza party for my whole 6th grade class by spelling the winning word in a competition amongst all the other 6th grade classes in our middle school. The winning word was “procedure”.
5. I have ridden in a helicopter and swum in a waterfall only accessible by air. On our honeymoon in 2004 R. Darling and I took a helicopter tour of Kauai and had lunch and a swim at a remote waterfall. So romantic and so amazingly cold! But we’re used to that living in the Pacific Northwest. As we were waiting to board the helicopter, another one landed and one of the passengers came out blowing chunks hard. The pilot told us that if any of us had trouble with motion sickness we should tell him right now. I get horribly seasick but I didn’t want to miss out or be the one to spoil the trip so I didn’t say anything. I spent a lot of the trip worried I’d get sick but I never actually had a moment where I thought I would be.
6. I have eaten off of the same dishes as the Queen of England. My mom’s grandfather was honored for some of his wartime achievements during World War I by the British Royal Court and included in his gifts was a set of china for his wife bestowed on him by The Queen Mother. No one in my mom’s family cared about the china except for her and she was given the set by her mother who “hated the stuff”. A family friend of ours who spent some time traveling in England was astonished to visit Windsor Castle and see the table set with china that looked remarkably like my mom’s. The set is now mine and it makes me feel like a queen whenever we use it (which isn’t often since I’m scared as hell I’ll break something)!
7. I rowed crew for 3 years in college despite the fact that I am the exact opposite of a perfectly built oarsman (oarswoman). I’m really more appropriately coxswain sized but I didn’t know any better when I tried out. And since it was a club sport at the university I went to, they had to keep me as long as I could hang with the workouts. The cool thing was, our women’s 4 won the New York State Championships our freshman year. Go UR Crew!!
8. I have co-authored 2 papers (under my maiden name) which have been published in respected scientific journals and have done research that contributed to at least 2 more. The ultimate goal for a lab rat!
9. I have been invited to, and attended a very sacred Native American religious ceremony. Very few non-tribal members are ever allowed to see something like this and it was a great honor to be invited.
10. I have swum with turtles in Hawaii. One of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had!
So that’s my quite boring list! And now I tag: Knitsabella, Fond of Snape, iKnit.iPurl, p3knitter (The Yarn Closet), & Lisa. Have fun! I can’t wait to hear your answers :)
January 18, 2008
The talented and lovely Ms. Fond Of Snape has presented me with an award! OMG! Thank you so much! You totally made my day :) Again, in the space of just one week, I am speechless with undeservingness.
Here’s how it works:
Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about Blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!
And now (in no particular order), it’s my turn to share the love……….
(this is really tough to keep to 10 by the way! I’m inspired by and grateful to all my bloggy e-friends)
- R. Darling – My one and only who makes my day every day! (I know, so sticky sweet you’re getting a cavity, but so true :)
- Ms. Fond of Snape – So talented and wonderful, her blog always gives me something to think about and such beautiful pictures too!
- Robin of Yarn Crawl – It’s hard not to be inspired by a woman this productive and creative!
- Kasia – Her charming view on life and imaginative projects always keep me entertained! Plus, she’s a lovely pen pal ;)
- Jenny – Her genuine sweetness, lovely colorwork, & adorable kitty photos (I have to live vicariously through them since kitties are not allowed in Chez Funkytown) always make me smile!
- Knitsabella – She’s so enthusiastic and sweet and it’s infectious :)
- Ms. Pursuit of Fiber - This girl knits a lot and seeing what she comes up with is always an inspiration! I could learn a lot from her!
- Ms. Knittlesticks (also of Hazel Knits fame) – Though she hasn’t blogged much lately, she’s spunky, fun and talented and I love hearing what she’s up to!
- Ms. Rubys & Purls – Such a sweet gal and such lovely knits to share too!
- Laura - Because she did something incredibly thoughtful and sweet for me last week and I never would have met her if it weren’t for Blogland!
* Cheap quote from one of my all-time favorite movies “A Christmas Story”; plus, it feels like a major award to me!
January 16, 2008
I found this over at Knitsabella’s bloggy soze I stoled it! Have fun :)
|What kind of yarn are you?
You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that’s okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.
Take this quiz!
| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code
Warm & Fuzzy? Check
Works well with others? Check
Doing my share? Check
Good at covering mistakes? What
mistakes? I never make mistakes ;) (hee)
P.S. My intrawebs is back! Hooray!
January 12, 2008
Look what arrived from the lovely Laura on Thursday afternoon! I am speechless with undeservingness (more weird words I made up – woo!)! Thank you so much Laura! It really put a smile in my day to receive something so thoughtful from you and I can’t thank you enough for that gift of knowing that there are truly nice people in blogland who do things for people just because.
Laura’s sweet little note mentioned that those cute little Krabby Patties have “no calories” so I guess I am free to indulge! But to be on the safe side, I’m waiting until my “free” day next Thursday :) That doesn’t mean I can’t dive into the yarn though! Such fun colors and so pinky perfect…… Ravelry, here I come for that sock pattern I put in my favorites a month ago! Thanks again Laura, for everything! You’re a doll and I’m so glad we met :)
BTW: Just wanted to let all of my bloggy e-friends (yep, that’s you!) know that I am experiencing some major technical difficulties with my internet here at home. So, I may be a bit MIA with the blog and my correspondence, but I haven’t forgotten you! I hope that everything will be back to normal this coming weekend (we have a techie dude coming to help us figure out what the issue is) and then I’ll be able to spend more time chatting with y’all. Until then, hope you’re all well and thanks for visiting!!
January 7, 2008
Legless Sheldon says, “No touchy!”
I read an article once in a magazine about this guy who claimed that he lost 80 lbs. when he learned how to knit. Traded one addiction for another he said.
I’m finding this an interesting thought because I’ve noticed that lately I’ve been knitting rather obsessively (I mean, more obsessively than usual) and it has been rather difficult to snack properly with my hands occupied by sticks and string. Of course, it wouldn’t be that hard if I stuck to snacks that required only one hand. Lollipops maybe or gobstoppers. But of course, I tend to like the sticky things. Or crumbly things. Or things with complicated wrappers. The kind that makes a mess whether you have your hands full of other things or not. I kinda like treats with issues. It takes snacking to a whole new level when you gotta earn the sweetness.
But this knitting thing, it might be even better for me than I’d originally thought….
January 5, 2008
Warm Woolies Piece #1
So maybe I wasn’t good all week, but I was better than bad and that’s a start……
I haven’t talked about this much here on the blog, but one of the things I missed last year was knitting for Warm Woolies, a charity that I like to knit for that donates items to children in orphanages both here and abroad. I set up a KAL called LovePurl to help keep me accountable for my goal of knitting 100 pieces for them over 2008, and to share with others who like to knit for charity too. I’m a little afraid I’ve gotten myself in too deep as someone pointedly noted this would be about 3.6 days on average to finish 1 item. Ummmmm……Eeek? I hadn’t looked at it that way before, thinking of it only as less than 10 pieces a month. But, even if I don’t make my goal, each piece I knit is going to keep a little one warm and that’s better than not donating something. So I’ve completed my first piece that you see pictured above: a small pair of munchkin socks. I think I’ll be making a lot of these. They were fun and quick and super cute.
This week R. Darling and I started the Body For Life program to help us with our fitness goals. We actually started sort of half-assed last week just to get a feel for how the program would work with the fitness equipment we already own. I have a very special event coming up in 14 1/2 weeks, sort of one last hurrah before I potentially wave goodbye to a pre-baby body, and I really want to be in shape before that day arrives. The program is 12 weeks long so we’re giving ourselves some leeway and though R. Darling doesn’t need it in the least, he’s supporting me like the prince that he is. R. Darling’s a total planner, so he’s been working really hard to coordinate what days we’ll work out on and prepare all the workouts in advance. Kind of interesting since I’m usually the gung-ho workout chick. But it’s almost like having my own personal trainer and I can’t thank him enough for doing this with me. Because it’s seriously hard to drag your ass off the couch to work out when your man is sitting there with his hand in a bag of chips watching something really good on TV. The hardest part has been changing our eating habits. I rarely eat badly, but I am trying to be hyper conscious about this because it could definitely make or break my results. It’s really tough having our “free” day on a weekday (Thursday) and I am seriously dying for a mocha right now and I can’t have it. Plus, believe it or not, it’s really hard to eat 6 times on a weekend day. Without the routine of work and schedules, I find that I don’t think about eating until way late in the afternoon when I should have eaten 3 times already. But we’re off to a good start I think.
I signed up for a spinning class at one of the LYS’s on Saturday. It doesn’t start until February, but I’m really excited to be learning something new and branching out with my knitting related skills. After buying that gorgeous handspun I mentioned here, I’ve become more and more interested in dyeing and spinning and I can’t wait to learn more about it. Just what I need though, another hobby! Sheesh.
You know that little angel that sits on your shoulder and tells you not to do bad stuff? She got her ass kicked by the devil this morning and I ended up buying some closeout yarn over at WEBS before the sales ended. Oy. I’m in big trouble. Avoiding just this kind of thing was one of my big goals this year because, believe me, I’ve got enough yarn to keep me occupied for this whole year and perhaps longer, plus that itty bitty 100 piece goal I’m working towards. But sale yarn. It’s just so tempting. I got some spring-y colored yarn to make this because who doesn’t need a cardigan for spring?
So, I guess 3 out of 4 ain’t too shabby. All good all the time, wouldn’t be that much fun now, would it?
January 1, 2008
Ah, 2008, you’re finally here! The time which signifies a fresh start for so many: Resolution Time. I don’t usually make resolutions, figuring someone like me could pretty much use year round improvement. So why only think about it once a year? But when I do take the time to list out specific goals for myself it’s usually on my birthday. What better time than your own personal new year for reflecting on your life, renewing your fire for the things that are important to you and moving forward into your new year with a refreshed outlook? But this year, along with the rest of the New Year’s Resolution folks, I’ve got a few of my own.
Finding a good resolution is like finding a good man. You want one that inspires you to become the best version of yourself that you can be, without controlling you or issuing ultimatums. I mean, we want success and happiness here, not miserable heartbreak and tear-filled freakouts! My resolution buzz words this year are, coincidentally, also “re” words. Interesting how that worked out…..
Reduction: My waistline, my thighs, my clutter, my stress, my extraneous obligations, my worry, my debt, my expenditures (especially on stash-enhancing ventures), my guilt over practically everything, the junk in my trunk…..
Renewal: My fitness goals, my hopes and dreams, my charity knitting, interest in old UFO’s, my focus on the good things in my life that I’m thankful for, my happiness….
Have you ever noticed that 80% of “resolution” is “solution”? The key to your resolve is finding the right solution. You might not see it at first, but it’s there.
Happy New Year everyone, and here’s to finding your own solutions!!