Playing Catch-Up

I don't even know where to start.

A week ago, I flew down to Atlanta to set off on this first of this season's camping trips - Camp Hedon. Leaving out the vast majority of the dirty details, it was a pretty good time, more or less. I spent the first 36 hours being my usual socially-awkward freak self and pretty much regretting the fact that I made the trek to north-central Georgia. My gut reaction was that C should've gone back to this first one on her own to do her whole reacquainting thing before I could expect her to even pretend to provide the handholding I need when surrounded by 150 strangers. I should've stuck with my gut.

At the end of the day, it was all good. I finally relaxed, got to know the small handful of people that C deemed worthy and had a great time for the latter half of the camping trip. I'm completely overwhelmed with mosquito bites and dirty laundry and stories that can't be repeated in polite company. Not to mention the rather intense game of Izzy Dizzy (which I always called Dizzy Bat - now I know the error of my ways). I think we need to all take a moment to admire the fact that B&S (our lovely host and hostess) have an outdoor tiki bar - complete with ceiling fans, neon beer signs, and a kegerator.

Not a whole lot of news on the knitting front. A bit of work on MP on the flights to and fro, but that's about it. I did use C's ballwinder to wrap up the yarn to finish up Hippo. In an ideal world, I'll finish up both Hippo & Gigi this weekend. And I should prolly knock out the birthday girl's socks. But I'm only one woman, so we'll see.


When an old injury flares up

An old knitting injury, that is. The right-side of my shoulder/neck has been all twitchy for the last day or so. It's more likely the result of stress or bad knitting posture (not to mention the season finale of Lost last night) than the return of my Knitting Olympics gimpitude, but it's still not making me very happy.

In other knitting news, I didn't even THINK about picking up Gigi last night. Packing desperation took over every semi-functioning brain cell I have. Of course, when will I learn that I'm only going to wear my favorite pair of shorts, 5 shirts, and 2 long sleeve shirts all weekend anyway?

I head off to Hotlanta in a little under six hours for my first AH4 encounter. I'm still not sold on this whole flying-to-camp thing. I mean, how can I POSSIBLY take everything I need to go camping on an airplane? That doesn't even sound right.


This & That

This was the view from my front porch this weekend as I lazed about knitting on our porch swing, working on Hippo. I contemplated trying to arrange a picture of my knitting, but decided the spring day was more than picturesque enough on its own.

Friday night was Shan's birthday party. A fairly low-key affair, at least for me. She, on the other hand, had a rough Saturday morning. I spent Sat. afternoon at Dr. Ho's graduation cookout/party & Sunday was spent cruising Old Town with my adoptive sister searching for yarn for a Kitty Pi for Mookie.

One of these Things is not like the Other

Note the snazzily exposed toes. Are you dazzled by the fading pedicure? How about the TWO INCH REMAINING TAIL OF YARN!!!??? So close, and yet, so far. We won't discuss the 4" of yarn remaining on the cast on edge. Nor will we discuss the fact that the long tail cast on that I used on both socks probably ate up all the yarn I needed. Enter: emergency rations. I stopped by KH this weekend and picked up an extra skein of ye olde Peacock just to be on the safe side. Unfortunately, I was so busy zooming in and out that I forgot to wind the 400+ yards so now I need to hunt down a swift before I can finish the last 3 inches. ARGH!

Almost There...

I cast off the hem to Gigi a couple of nights ago but can't quite bring myself to finish her. I think she's going to be a smidge too big and, and I don't ever really finish her, I can't be proven right, eh? During my weekend jaunt to the shop this weekend, I also picked up some Eucalan so I can eventually block it. Keep your fingers crossed. I've got some stuff to do tomorrow but hopefully I can get the arms done and start blocking her before the season finale of Lost.

Lookie what the nice delivery person brought me!!!

On the left we have my KnitPicks Andean Silk for the Penobscot Bay hat (my Knitting World Cup project). The blue in the upper left is Hyacinth but it's a smidge more purple than I'd really like. I may return it and order 2 more skeins in a different shade. On the right we have random sock yarn that I got to bump up my order total and a book on Continental Knitting. Of course, now I know it was destiny so I'd have extra sock yarn to participate in the Summer of Socks.

Last but not least, we have my tax refund check! As soon as Hol gets back from OKC we can get down to some serious vacation planning. W'HOO!!!


While the Cat's Away...

...the mouse will sit behind closed doors and knit on Hippo all day. I've made it through the heel flap but haven't had a chance to turn it. Since I got through most of it at work, I figured that's where it should get photographed. Here we have Hippo serving as a sleeping bag for my Charming T.K. Koosh doll thingy. Given to me by a less-than-charming T.K. many many years ago.

I got a lot further along on Gigi last night while I was watching Lost last night than I thought I had. I'm still not sold on the fit - it's a little baggy and I'm not sure what the arms are going to do but I'm in for a penny here, so 'll just have to finish it up and see what happens. I have a birthday thang tomorrow night, but most of the day free Saturday and Sunday so hopefully I'll be done by this weekend. We'll see.

Since I have a bazillion skeins of sock yarn (and four more on the way), I'm seriously considering joining the Summer of Socks KAL. Since I have 3 pairs already on needles, I think that I may be preordained. Something more to contemplate.


Brought to you by the Letter B

Blue - I'm having lustful thoughts for MamaE's June Bug. I'm obsessing over sock yarn anyway, might as well obsess over the purty stuff.

Borders - swung by yesterday and picked up a couple of Time Outs for London & Paris. Hol & I are still in the introductory stage of planning for a September trip. At this point, it's my fault because we're waiting for my tax refund to get here so I can sign it over to the travel gods.

BBQ - Aimee, Hol and I went to Red, Hot and Blue for dinner tonight after late night. Mmmm, pulled pork.

Boonedocks - Only one more week until I'm jetting off to Atlanta (yes, again!) for another camping trip in the rain with Stick. How do I let her con me into these things?

Bonus - A little present I got from Waxler at dinner last night. I know how much it must've pained her to touch these items but I appreciate her sacrifice because it's Chimmie-goodness.

Blogging - I'm toying with the idea of making a change. Stay tuned...

Okay, that's enough of that...

I'm going through a period of lusting for a new digital camera. My Olympus Camedia D-580 is perfectly fine (I did spend about 15 seconds trying to figure out how to take a picture of said camera...with a camera...it was all very convoluted). However, I've been longing for a camera that doesn't use AA batteries, that has a larger LCD screen and that is overall slightly smaller. I'm going to try to be responsible and hold off for a month or two and see if I get over it. Blogging has definitely increased my desire for a more portable one.

Knitterly update: Nothing photo worthy. I'm halfway through the third repeat on my Hippos and have about an inch or so left on Gigi before I get to the hem. I should start on the heel flap sometime tomorrow, I imagine.


It Takes a Village

...to name a sock.

Hol & I laid the groundwork but Elizabeth takes the prize for adding that final touch.

"Did you know that the Liffey is sometimes referred to as the 'Sniffy', which, since you're making a sock...."

We have a winner.



Or not.

I'm back on KAL watch this week. Two hours of the Grey's Anatomy season finale can provide one with a lot of time for brainless knitting. I have 2.5" to go on Gigi until the next pattern shift. It would be great if I could have it all wrapped up by Memorial Day - and it's certainly feasible - but I don't know if I can manage to pull it off, what with my project fidelity issues.

I've managed to get through a repeat and a half of Hippo2 in the last 24 hours. I really like the Hippo toe better than the cast on toe of the Dublin Bay sock (which I've renamed Liffey* - Hol approves). Maybe I'll like Liffey's toe better once I've turned the heel and I'll have a better sense of how it fits. Anyway, I made a lot of stupid mistakes by simply not paying attention to the chart on Hippo. I think it's under control now, though I'm sure there's a wonky spot here and there.

Apparently I decided I needed another KAL that I can pursue at a snail's pace, so I signed up for the Knitting World Cup. My plan is to work on the Penobscot Bay hat from the Winter 2005 Interweave Knits staff projects page. I ordered the yarn that I may or may not be using for it today. I'll do a gauge swatch/practice round and see if that yarn is going to work or if I'm gonna have to order a different round.

I'm wiped after this weekend of workiness and this is NOT a good weekend to be run down. I'm skipping Pub Trivia again tomorrow night (sorry Patrick!) to have dinner with Waxler. Late night at KH Wednesday so Hol won't pout. Birthday outing Friday night for Shan and a couple of other parties on Saturday.

Stream of consciousness explanation: the River Liffey runs through Dublin and empties into the Dublin Bay. Since I'm reversing the pattern of the Dublin Bay sock, figured I'd rename it for the river instead of the bay it empties into.


Brady Bunch marathons are deadly

Damn you TV Land!!! That's really all I have to say on the matter.

Busy weekend in the life and times of moi. This was our big, biannual work conference weekend so I had a 9-5 day yesterday, then had to work this morning til lunchtime. This year's shindig was held up at Georgetown's Conference Center. The terrace overlooked Kennedy Hall and the sports field (where the Hoyas beat Navy this afternoon), but most of my quality time was spent in the Business Center being at the beck and call of the membership.

Joy. Rapture.

The best thing about the weekend was Chef Ken, who brought me cheesecake with mango and raspberry sauce for breakfast this morning. His wife is having a baby in 4 months; I'm considering making a baby hat as a thank you. Any man who brings me cheesecake before noon is my bestest
friend, married or not.

As expected, I didn't actually FINISH the plenary socks. I did start them. Several times as a matter of fact. My stitch count was a wee bit off. Started with 72, knit some, tried it on, frogged, went back to 66 (maybe 68), knit some, tried it on, frogged. Eventually got back to 60 stitches which is about where I wanted it, I guess and now it fits how I want. I do still love the yarn though. Mmmm, Spirit Trail.

Not to be ignored, I messed up Hippo2 several times while watching the series finale of West Wing tonight. It's coming along but it's not particularly photoworthy. I need to get back to my KAL knitting - I should finish a project one of these days. Just for novelty's sake, if nothing else.

Edited 5/15: I was up until stupid 2:30 in the stupid morning watching The Brady Bunch. It wasn't my fault. They started the three-parter where they go to Hawaii and Bobby finds the idol that brings them all of the bad luck...


Sock It To Me

I'll give you a moment to bask in the glory of Hippo 1. What? You want to see the toe? To use yesterday's Word of the Day, it's FABULOUS! I have very strong feelings about this sock. I haven't even succumbed to second sock syndrome - I cast on the 2nd sock right after Hol made me graft the toe and and weave in the end. I'm about halfway through the first repeat on the leg. I still have my fingers crossed that I have enough CTH to finish up.

Contrary to my original plan, I went ahead and cast on Dublin Bay socks today at work with the snazzy new Spirit Trail that I picked up this past weekend. They're going to be my socks that I work on at this work meeting all weekend, but I wanted to cast on while I could still get help online. Hold on to your hats, folks - I'm actually embarking on a knitting first: I'm modifying a pattern. Not an "Oops, I screwed up, oh well if I do it on the other side no one can tell" modfication, but an honest to goodness, "actually had to use dormant, dusty parts of my brain" modification.

I did actually put H1 down for a while and work on Stick's other Jaywalker (MP2). I had been at a tough spot in Hippo and I needed something where I didn't have to concentrate on the crazy chart/graph. The heel flap is done, but I have to do that whole heel-turning, stitch-picking-upping thing.


Okay, Steph, I gave you, like, 120 hours; if you haven't seen the race by now, shame on ya. I ended up having to watch the Richmond race on Tivo Sunday since I was playing at MSWF Saturday night (have I mentioned how much Sat. p.m. races screw up my scheduling?). Phyl and I discussed ditching the sheep and driving down to RIR to catch the race, but alas, it was sold out so we decided to drown our sorrows in sock yarn. Chimmie really struggled all day but managed to pull off a 12th-place finish. Everyone can sleep safe and night once more because Junior has a race win. Harv had it all but sewn up but his crew chief made a puzzling call. DCU also racked up their first loss of the season against the Crapids. I really have nothing to say about that debacle.


525,600 Stitches

I just realized that in all of the Sheep and Wool frenzy I may have neglected to mention that I went to see RENT with EJ and Pam. P, Stick and I had gone to see RENT last year (maybe the year before) together. None of us had seen the show before and we were languishing in the cheap seats at the veeeeeeeeeeery back of the Warner. This time around we had much better seats (although a smidge too far off to the side for poor P), but we had the strangest thing happen.

We get through the first couple of songs and I can already tell I'm not going to love the performance but I'm looking for the good. Then we get to "Light My Candle" and all of the girls (and they were girls) in the row in front of us start looking around quizzically and I know exactly what their problem is. They switched Rogers mid-performance. This one is decidedly huskier and has a less prominent nose. There was never an announcement of any sort, just the ol' bait and switch. Granted, the first Roger's voice was straining big time during the first couple of numbers. Maybe he couldn't handle D.C. pollen.

MP2 has made a resurgence back onto the active knits list, but she'll likely be tumbling back into obscurity in a couple of days. I picked it to take to Sheep & Wool b/c I knew I had 5" of zigzag pattern and could do it without having to consult a pattern every two seconds. Hippo1 is on the verge of completion but I'm nearly at an impasse. I'm using a single large skein of Cherry Tree Hill (love love love this yarn) and I forgot to divide the skein before I started. This is a huge sock. Do I just bind off, trust that I have enough and cut it or is there some other miraculous way to tell if I'm going to have enough yarn?

Here's a better picture - hopefully - of two of the yarns I picked up last weekend. Tess's sock yarn and the Cormo Cross in Cathedral. There's quite a bit more purple in both of them - I don't know why I couldn't get it to photograph better.


It's All Her Fault

And by "her" I mean Holly.

Here we have Hol posing with two of her best buds. This was pretty early on in our Saturday of Maryland Sheep & Wool-itis. She picked me up at roughly 7:45 in the morning and headed north, after brief but critical stop at Starbucks. After that, everything is just a blur of alpaca and sheep and goats and bunnies and wool. Lots and lots of wool.

For the most part, I just followed her around. Cormo to Brooks Farm. Brooks Farm to Tess's. Tess's to Cherry Tree Hill. We dodged the Koigu flea market and drooled over kettle corn. Hol snapped up her covetted Cormo and is planning an aran sweater. Maybe if I ever finish Inny and ever plan another aran sweater I'll spend the money for Cormo. Or maybe from A Touch of Twist (?) although I can't remember for sure. There was also a yummy yarn vendor across the way from Cormo, but I can't remember the name of it.

Final yarn toll wasn't quite as significant as it was for many other people, but it was a bit more than I'd intended to spend. Clockwise from 12 o'clock: Brooks Farm Yarn Four Play wool/silk (4 skeins), Spirit Trail Fiberworks Superwash Merino/Nylon sock yarn (2 skeins - for Dublin Bay socks), Cormo Cross (2 skeins - one in a purply blend and one in a blue-grey blend), Brooks Farm Limited Edition (1 skein, maybe socks for Pop) and last but not least, Tess' Designer Yarns Super Socks & Baby (1 skein). Buried beneath it all is my tote bag b/c H insisted that I simply MUST have something to prove I witnessed the insanity that is MD Sheep and Wool in person.

Last but not least were the people. I'm horrible with names so if I met you and am blanking, PLEASE don't take it as a personal sleight - it just means I'm dippy and was suffering a bit of sensory overload. There was the bloggers' get-together at Wendy's book-signing on the grassy knoll on the grounds. I'm horrible at estimating numbers, but I'd say maybe ballpark 150? I pretty much sat quietly in the corner with the 4-5 folks I knew (shocking). I DID meet Stick's secret pal One Crafty Bitch - there was much giggling all around. She seems like a great person and she and all the PGH bloggers had great tshirts (which I, of course, didn't think to take a picture of).

Late night, after we got some real food, we swung by a get-together for some out-off-town bloggers just outside of Baltimore. I'm going to end up spending the next several days trying to piece together who people were, but I think I Heart Knitting and frecklegirl and Lolly and AnneMarie and Vibegrrl were some of the attendees. I largely sat in a corner and observed (since I was just tagging along) but I did have a good time. The appletinis and hystercal laughter were a great end to the day.

There's a story behind this snazzy LCD, light-up Virgin Mary clock, but I don't know what it is. And I think that's a good thing.


Why Don't Sheep Felt in the Rain?

[Just a little something I was pondering when I originally thought it was going to rain at MDS&W]

First off, I want to apologize to Steph. No, not you Steph, the other Steph. The one who actually cares about NASCAR race results. Those who know me know that nothing drives me insane quite like having the result of a race, game, tv show, what have you revealed. In my jubilation over Chimmie's win, I inadvertently revealed the race results to her before she had a chance to finish watching the race on Tivo. I'll make a deal with you - I'll give you 72 hours before I post results. After that, I can't be held responsible.

Igor checks out my progress

I've done a fair amount of knitting this week, though I've finished neither Gigi nor Hippo. I'm alternating pretty consistently. I work on Gigi when I don't need to watch my hands and Hippo is pretty much my portable project. Today it saw the Metro and the drug store while I was waiting for my allergy meds. Damn you pollen!!!

I'm leaving for Maryland Sheep and Wool in 8 hours. Why in the world am I playing with people who are making me leave the house on Saturday morning an hour EARLIER than I would for work any other day of the week. Then, of course, there's the little soiree that I'm crashing (as Hol's guest) afterwards. Just another situation for me to feel supremelly uncomfortable in. Ah well, there'll be alcohol, that should take the edge off, no?



1 a: an abnormal state attributed to an excess of black bile and characterized by irascibility or depression b: BLACK BILE c: MELANCHOLIA
2 a: depression of spirits : DEJECTION b : a pensive mood.

I'm in a funk. My knitting's going okay, I guess. Chimmie just won, DCU's sitting in 2nd, I'm employed, I'm relatively healthy, CIC won pub trivia tonight - there's no real reason for me to be in the dumps.

I think I'm just lonely.


Rainy (Sun)Days then Mondays...

...make for one happy camper!

I'm almost getting used to my boys holding off til the last lap to pull off killer moves to win the race, but not quite. I have to admit, I barely did a lick of work this afternoon while listening to the race on Trackpass (how do I love thee, Trackpass?). RR isn't talking to me right now - she'll get over it. Just because we took the lead away from Kenseth...

Gigi ended up being the winning project for working on while watching the race (thank goodness for Tivo). Even though I knew the result, I had to put down the needles to watch the last 10 laps. Gigi is way easier to work on while not looking at my hands.

I'm officially on to the Foot portion of Hippo. It's not quite photo-worthy, but it makes me happy. I'll work on it tomorrow and take a new shiny picture of it after we go visit with Patrick.

*photo courtesy of Racing One