Thursday, October 26, 2006

A new addition to the family

He did it. He did it much sooner than either of us expected.

When I got home from work we had a discussion about how hard this car is to get and to get what he wants it would take close to 6 months. The specific car he had looked at a week or so ago was already spoken for.

I went to my knitting class and Greg went off to the dealership. Ok. So I get a call from him as I'm leaving class and I jokingly say "Did you buy a car?". Remember I say this jokingly. He replies "Yes. I did". I thought he was toying with me but alas he wasn't. He was in the process of doing the paperwork and he wanted me to run home to get the checkbook!

I am on the way home and he calls me to says I do not have to bring the checkbook. The salesman will come to our home in the morning to pick up the check. Nice of them to let Greg bring his "new baby" home.

I think of it as a new member of the family. We'll have to give this car a name. This car deserves a name. The car is metallic black and gorgeous. Any suggestions for a name?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shedir is done!

I like the results overall but I don't like the cast-on edge. Its a little loose. The yarn is Rowan Calmer and it is so very soft and feels wonderful against bare skin. I just hope Marie likes it and that it provides some warmth and comfort while her hair is growing back in.

On to venting. I rarely speak about work but today warrants it.

I had a rough, rough day at work. I'm one of those people that gets their work done quicky and pretty darn efficiently(if I may say so myself). I'm dependable, loyal and you know what that gets you? More work. I keep getting assigned more and more high priority work.

I used to wonder why my mom would say "Don't work so hard". I would be thinking "WHAT THE???". Why would my mom, in all of her hard earned wisdom say such a thing? She knew. She knew that you work hard, you are fast in churning out the work and it just gets you MORE. N-N-N-No. Not more money, not more appreciation, not priority for vacation time off. I just get more work. They are damn greedy bastards.

So you know where I'm going with that? I also accumulate more yarn and more knitting books. Stress begets more things "I need". In the unhappy world I work in, me and my co-workers are finding a lot of ways to deal with our situation.

I just really splurged on Alice Starmore's 'The Scottish Collection' last week. I haven't received it yet but I figure "I deserve it". (A dangerous motto).

Tonight my hubby is at the Seattle Auto Show with his brother Mike. I know Greg is buying a new car. No, not AT the show but sometime in the next few months. We've discussed it. That's fine. We stopped by a dealership on the way home from the lake this weekend and test drove the model he wants. Its nice but it was the bare bones version and doesn't have all the bells and whistles he wants on it. I liked it ok. Its A CAR. Its not yarn or coveted out-of-print books.

He gets the Mercedes, I get the Starmore. Only a knitter could appreciate that comparison. Plus he doesn't say A WORD when my (many) packages arrive on the doorstep. Ok he does say a few words like "What is inside? Yarn? Knitting books?" He knows to zip the lip and say "That's nice yarn, honey" when the contents come out of the box.

I love him.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Shedir - I might run out of yarn!

I wish I had more time to post entries. My latest yarn panic is that I might run out of yarn for Shedir. This is a chemo cap for a co-worker. The yarn is Rowan Calmer. I love Rowan Calmer. Very, very soft. I hope I don't run out of yarn....I pray to the yarn gods to please, please don't let me run out!

I want to get this done for her because the weather is starting to become colder and this is such a soft material. She is nearing the end of her treatment and her hair is just beginning to grow back. I hope this will bring her warmth and the reminder that she will be a cancer survivor.

The pattern and a photo of a finished Shedir can be found here. Here is a photo of my progress.

I worked on this most of the weekend.

We were out at Bangrila this weekend with some of Greg's friends. We had a really good time but the time goes really quickly.

The hardest part about going out there is there is no internet connection. I could go into town and probably find a wi-fi spot but that is part of the reason of going out to the lake.

I had time to visit a yarn shop I have never been to before. How did I found her and her website. God only knows.

I picked up a couple skeins(ok more than a couple skeins) of some hand dyed sock yarn by this woman who owns Fancy Image Yarns. You can find her website here. She is very, very nice. I absolutely love what I got. The photo does not do it justice. The colors are much deeper in-person.

This is going to be a quick post because I need to get some stuff done around the house! Beanie and Chase had a great time at the lake. One of the women that was there is Cynthia and she is known as the Treat Lady. She loves dogs like I do (insanely so) and she always spoils the boys. Always. As you can see from the photo, she has their full attention!
One last thing. Hello Yarn! I just got this skein in the mail. Now who did I find out about Hello Yarns from? I think it was the Yarn Harlot. Anyway, really love this one too. Too much yarn, not enough time! It came with a cute, basic picot edged short-row heel and toe sock pattern.

I gotta run. I want to try and finish Shedir tonight! Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

More Sock Stash

Here is the remainder of the *known* sock yarn. I may have stashed some other sock yarn in other places that I'll find, someday!

Mind's Eye Yarn - Lucy is very nice and her stuff is beautiful, soft.

Koigu KPPPM in P41 - you all know this yarn.
Mix of Regia - I bought these years ago when these were the first self-patterning socks on the market. They were hard to come by back in the day!
The coveted Vesper self-striping sock yarn. Very hard to get a hold of. Julia is very, very nice but she doesn't do enough dying! Her stuff is sold out in minutes when she sells at her store Knitterly Things. On the left is Strange Little Mama and the right is Neopolitan(brings back memories of childhood)! This if Fortissima Cotton. It is so soft!

Dea Terra Creations - handpainted with natural dyes - Cormo Wool. Maia is very nice and her Etsy shop can be found here. I bought this because I heard Cormo wool is very nice to work with so I searched on the internet and found her.

Lorna's Laces shepherd sock in Navy and Wisteria. The story about Wisteria. Ok. Don't laugh and don't judge me! The first year of Desperate Housewives was a hoot. So I knit my sister Trish a pair of Wisteria socks - so she could wear her socks while watching the ladies on Wisteria Lane. This yarn was for a pair for me. The second season wasn't nearly as good so the sock yarn has laid unknit. This year the episodes are better so maybe maybe I'll have more motivation to knit these up this season! If any of you have suggestions for a pattern for this yarn, let me know.

My African inspired yarns - Opal Yarns - Tiger, Zebra and Opal Bamboo in green and brown. I knit Renee' my sister the Zebra socks in Jaywalker Socks pattern. They turned out really cute.

The zebra socks...

This is unknown sock yarn...socks just about finished.

That's not so bad, right?? Definitely more room for sock yarn, don't you think?

One more latest Starmore acquisition. American Portraits from an Amazon Seller. Price not so bad. I really like Canyonville.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bizyhands and sock yarn!

This post is mainly about my *Bizyhands* sock yarn stash. Initially, I met Terry through E-bay. She now lists her yarn and fiber on Etsy. com. You can find her storefront here: Bizyhands

If you get a chance, check out her stuff.

At this point I have no idea how I found her but over the years we have established a very nice long-distance relationship. Its not just about fiber and knitting, it is much more. We are both Japanese American and have so many common life experiences. I just love her humor. She cracks me up.

When she and her husband came to Seattle as a jumping off point for a cruise, we met for dinner. It was cool to meet her in person.

When I took out all my sock yarn to take photos of it I thought...Oh! That is not bad! There is more room to buy more sock yarn!

Here is a photo of my in-progress Tabi socks knit with Twilight Bay.

If you are wondering what the silver thing is...go to the Yarn Harlot's post here and scroll down to find the "sock-in-progress holder". I love it. I really love this thing. (I emailed the seller detailed in the Stephanie's blog and they were very nice and reliable.) I go back and forth between loving to knit socks on dps and circulars. Right now I'm in a circular mode. (I think of my Yorkie who loves to go in circles when he's excited).

I thought it would be good for me to take photos of my yarn so I come out of denial how much yarn I have stashed all around the upstairs - in Longaberger baskets, in closets, on bookshelves, in various all know what I'm talking about.

Terry's yarn is just part of my ever-expanding stash. I think fondly of the Yarn Harlot and how she manages to have "stash management" - whatever that is. In her definition its sticking it behind books on the bookshelves, filling every possible nook and cranny, wherever there might be some extra space to fit a skein or two.

So here is a photo of my sock yarn from Terry. The pink yarn is unlike all the other yarn I've purchased from Terry. I really like this yarn. I took a knitting from the top down class(for sweaters) from Karen Alfke from Unpatterns. Karen is fun and if you get a chance to take a class from her, you should. Here website is here

Here are a couple more close-up shots of Terry's yarn. side track a bit. When I went to my knitting class Thursday night there were some very evil people in the yarn shop. They were spinners! Ok, I've toyed with wanting to spin but figure...I DO NOT NEED ANOTHER hobby. I'm telling you I could almost feel the pedal beneath my foot, the fiber going between my fingers. Uh oh. Rebecca, if you are reading this you may be the top of my evilness list!

My next post will be on the remainder of the sock yarn I've got stashed around. SSSHHH. Let's just hope that Greg isn't checking out my keep my stash secrets just that. A secret!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Venice, Florence and Rome

This doesn't look like Italy does it?

Today I stopped dragging my feet and got work done on a scrapbook for my parents-in-law of Venice, Florence and Rome. A year ago we invited Ron and Evie to go with us to Italy. Greg and I absolutely love Italy and since we met in 2000 I think we have taken a trip there every other year. We both feel like we know these cities very well and felt totally comfortable taking on the role of tour guide.

I thought it would be a special trip to take them with us. So we suggested it to them and they were thrilled. They are now 84 years old and they are still able to do this kind of travel. It was a memorable trip, in many, many ways.

How many of you have traveled with your in-laws for 2 weeks straight? I love my in-laws almost as much as my own parents but think about it. What words come to mind? Crazy, Insane? Is it that I was crazy and/or insane to think about doing it or would I come back crazy and insane?

Travelling with my own parents would present "issues" but these are my in-laws! So, yes it was challenging but I've had some distance from it now and I'm absolutely glad we did it.

I promised them a scrapbook for their birthday gifts this year and its taken some time to get into it(I missed both their birthday's but I figure better late than never). Today I finished Venice and am half way through Rome(22 pages so far). It feels good to get some pages accomplished. After all I need to finish this so I can get started on South Africa. I didn't do an Italy one for me and Greg on this trip but I will.....eventually(yeah, right-sort of like I did a small wedding scrapbook for them but haven't done one for us).

What has my hubby been doing today while I try to get this scrapbook done? You know him. He's a TOY BOY. No I didn't get the words mixed up or out of order(remember he is 14 years older than me. smile). He loves his toys.

I knew this was going to happen soon. I know him now, I know how he works. He looks and looks at a toy. He researches, he waits, he thinks about it and then sooner or later her takes the plunge....kinda like being 49, never been married and finally decides he doesn't want to lose the love of his life and proposes marriage! Admittedly I should not compare a flat screen, plasma tv to our lifelong commitment!

He got the tv up on the wall in our bedroom but had to run out to get some cables so I took a quick picture. He doesn't want me to photograph it until its all done but I can't wait. I need to post this entry.

You know what is more scary? Since I know his process before he buys something...he's been looking at new cars, even went so far to go to the dealer Friday while I was running between 3 doctor appointments.

I know him. He'll have a new car soon.

I'm not feeling guilty about those Starmore books anymore!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Bangrila Maintenance

I love Bangrila but like anything worthwhile in life, you need to do maintenance. Whether it is a relationship, a home, a financial system, or even a yarn stash, you gotta do maintenance!

A couple times a year the Bang Gang goes out to do maintenance on the lake house. We had a very productive day of weeding, pruning, raking, cleaning the roof and gutters but now the place is ready for fall and winter.

I had all intentions of taking photos but I guess I was too busy doing what I was supposed to do.

I tried knitting on the way out there and back but I had a case of nausea again.

The culprit is most likely an over-corrected vision prescription. A few years ago I had a very severe case of Keratitis - dry eye. At first the doc thought I would need a corneal transplant! Luckily I didn't have to go that route.

Every year since then my vision prescription has improved and once again my eyes are getting better. So until I get my new contacts I may have bouts of nausea and lightheadedness, especially when doing close up work like knitting or using the computer. Do you think I could get short-term disability to not work since I'm a computer programmer? Yeah, I didn't think so but its worth a try.

James - I'm listening to the Peas and....I always think of you when I rock out to Fergie and the boys.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How many sock clubs?

I just signed up for a sock club. How I ever found Julia Vesper of Vesper yarns I'm not sure. It may have been from the Yarn Harlot.

Anyway I peruse Julia's blog from time to time. First she sold yarn on under Knitterly Things and now she has her own internet "storefront".

Recently I saw this post on Knitterly Things and she is collaborating with The Sweet Sheep for a sock club. Of course I had to join. Its a four month stint beginning in November. So once a month for four months I'll get a really fun package in the mail. The only downside is it is just for the yarn - no pattern included.

Like I really need any more sock yarn, right?

As I hit the purchase button on the The Sweet Sheep site I was thinking how I also want to join the Blue Moon Fiber Arts 'Socks that Rock' sock club. That club has been so popular that I'll doubt I'll get "in". They say they will send email when they are ready to accept members in November. This one would be more fun because you get a fun pattern along with the yarn. See the following link for more details.Blue Moon Fiber Art Sock Club

The sock I'm currently working on and that I carry in my purse is the Tabi Socks by Sandi Rosner from Not Just More SocksIt is the sock on the cover of the book. Since I love wearing flip flops...I thought these would be fun. The Yarn I am using is hand dyed and hand spun by my friend Terry. I "met" her through e-bay. She now lists her stuff on Etsy. Here is a link to her shop. Bizyhands

Monday, October 02, 2006

Jacobean and Bean-dog

Have you heard of Nicky Epstein's Floral Felted Bag aka Jacobean? I fell in love with this bag when it came out in Interweave Knits Fall 2004 issue. I was more reasonable back then and, I don't have time to knit this. But...all of that has changed and I'm working on it.

Its knitting up pretty quickly but between Abalone and Jacobean I don't have time to catch up on organizing my Africa photos!

I love knitting...absolutely crazy about it. I crave it when I haven't knitted for a few days. I think about it when I'm at work(wishing I could be knitting). I don't want to go to bed when I know I should. I have to wean myself off it before going to bed or else I'm too keyed up to go to sleep! I wake up thinking about it. Its just PURE PASSION!

A flight attendant told me that knitting is like potato always want more! I laughed about it but then realized how true that is. Just one more row, just a little bit more so I can see how the pattern is developing. Its crazy and anyone with a strong passion in life understands this. I'm glad I've found one of my true, clear passions in life. Boy am I excited about retiring one day!

Here are some photos of Jacobean - a photo of a finished bag and then my progress on it.

Here is another type of Bean. This is Beanie....aka Bean-dog. I love this guy. How could you not?? He's a special one...not the brightest as dogs go but he's full of love and intuition. When mommy is tearing up - from a sappy commercial to a full blown boo hoo, he is right there to comfort me. What a love. There is nothing like Bean-dog love.

Mice will Play!?

Today is Monday. I hate Monday's and I especially hate Monday's when Greg is going out of town-on business to LA. Even though I love the thought of going shopping at lunch and coming home with no worries of "what's in the bag?" I worry. I worry something will happen to him(like that can't happen to him while he's home?). I know its unreasonable...but hey, that's who I am.

His being away...its good for me and its good for him. Its good for Chase and Beanie(they can sleep in the bedroom). I didn't say they would sleep on the bed! I'll see how it goes tonight - I have to crate Beanie because if he has to go to the bathroom he'll just go wherever he feels like it. Chase can sleep wherever he wants as he will wake me up if he needs to go outside.

Last Thursday I had my first "Improve your Skills" class at Village Yarn and Tea. Its a class where you come in with a project, knit while class is going on and get help when you need it. All the women seem very nice and I'm looking forward to getting to know them all better. There are 7 of us. I'm working on Alice Starmore's Abalone from Pacific Coast Highway. I love the colors and it uses Steeks. I haven't actually cut a steek. Yes, you C-C-Cut into the knitting! YIKES. Here are a couple photos of my dear Abalone.

As you can see above, the steek is the vertical bar-like area. That is where I will CUT!