Who'd've Thunk?

It's late-ish Friday night, and I just cast off Mookie Pi. She's currently in a hottub (i.e. washing machine) with a few towels and now I'll just have to wait and see how she felts up. No, I didn't felt a test swatch - I'm a rebel; I live by my own code. Undoubtedly this code will involve cranky tears in about 20 minutes but we'll see. I'm sure I also should've waited until tomorrow morning, but if I can get it blocking tonight, there's a fighting chance it'll be dry in time for the birthday girl. [Note: just started running it through the 2nd time. I'm trying to get rid of the stitch definition - hopefully the second wash will help with that]

Despite being no where near done with an actual pair of socks, I'm right on my own personal schedule of casting off UglyBroad #1 yesterday. Ends aren't woven, of course, but she's off needles. I'm almost at the heel turning point of Sniffy 2, so I think I'll work on that so at least I have one finished pair of socks and then I'll cast on UB #2 and maybe that toe-up sock I mentioned with the cool sock yarn my SP got me.

Speaking of socks, I got my STR in the mail today. Ain't it purty? The Jasper colorway is for a pair of socks for Steph; I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the Saratoga. I finally had to force myself to stop fondling it and set it aside to finish up Mookie Pi. I'd been considering taking a picture of my sock yarn stash, but then I saw Wendy's and decided I wasn't quite ready to run with the big dogs yet.

Watching qualifying (though I already know Chimmie is rolling off 9th tomorrow night). He's running this funky Shamu car for the Pepsi 400 - I do love the Lowe's car so it's gonna be weird to look for a different paint scheme on the track. I'm sure I'll make do.


Happy Half-Birthday To Me!

I got the BEST present this morning for my half-birthday. Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane...it's the SUN! Sure, there's a dam about to burst in Rockville and the Potomac is still extremely high on its banks, but it's not grey! Hopefully this day without (much) rain will help give everything a chance to settle down (although our good friends at The Weather Channel seem to think there are more isolated and scattered thunderstorms on our way tomorrow and early next week).

Present numero dos: I got home with late night to find a package waiting for me on my dining room table. I'd show you a picture of it all nice and neat and unopened but the greedy gus in me sort of tore it open before I thought of that. I love goodies! Inside was a bottle of hand soap which is already sitting next to my sink - how you knew that sun-ripened raspberry was my favorite bath and body works scent? Nestled along side is a small bottle of Eucalan - I suppose now I don't have an excuse for not blocking Gigi anymore. Last but CERTAINLY not least is a skein of Sockotta in a blue, green & purple colorway. I'm thinking it's got Wendy's Toe-Up sock pattern written all over it.

So, in case you missed it, THANK YOU, SP, FOR THE AWESOME STASH!

I've gone a wee bit overboard with the Fleece Artist sock yarn. Two of these are gifts and one is for a pair of socks for Mom, theoretically. I blame that pair on Carol - she was making the Raindrop Lace socks and I couldn't help myself. It's gonna be the Year of Socks...quite possibly the Decade o' Socks with all the sock yarn I've managed to acquire. But it's so pretty!

The final stash aquisition picture - at least until my priority mail package arrives - is the KnitPicks Shimmer for my Candle Flame Shawl. It arrived yesterday, I just didn't think to take a picture. I've never played with laceweight before. Casting on is going to have to wait at least until I finish the Ugly Broads and free up my size 4 circs. My master plan is to have the first one and Mookie Pi have to be off needles by Friday. We'll see what happens between now and then.


Because Fabio's Wife Said So

My friend Liz - whose hubby's name IS Fabio, for the record - emailed this to me and I thought it would be a good way to kill ten minutes before my meeting:

Four places I have worked are:

- Fugate Concessions: selling funnel cakes and elephant ears around the Central Ohio county and state fair circuit circa 1985-87
- Rax Roast Beef: No, we DON'T have Arby's sauce.
- high school and college libraries: thanks Pig (& Piglet) for introducing me to soccer
- The Gap & Starbucks: my yuppie lovechild days

Four movies I would watch over and over again: (Ummmmm)
- Princess Bride
- Blues Brothers
- Much Ado About Nothing (if only we could find a way to recast Keanu...)
- Usual Suspects

Four places I have lived:
- Allentown, PA
- Columbus, OH
- Gambier, OH
- 'burbs of Washington, DC

Four TV shows I love to watch:
- CSI (the original)
- Lost
- How I Met Your Mother (gotta support those KC grads)
- Grey's Anatomy

Four places I have been on vacation:
- Caribbean (pick a cruise, any cruise)
- London, England
- Outer Banks, NC
- Paris (in September, since Liz is playing the 'in the future' game

Four websites I visit daily:
- Bloglines
- Google
- lately, FIFAWorldCup
- NASCAR.com

Four of my favorite foods:
- French Fries
- oatmeal/chocoalte chip cookies
- fried chicken
- cheeseburgers
* Honorable mention: Bacon/Pineapple pizza from the Cove

Four places I would rather be right now:
- home on the couch knitting and watching the World Cup
- the beach
- Bryan S's parents' house in the Smokies (with requisite BBQ and friends, of course)

- Costa Maya, Mexico with my friends, taking turns getting out of the water to fetch the next round of Dos Equis

Four Friends that have been tagged that I think MIGHT respond:
Are there 4 people who read this blog?


Five days down, 35 to go

Until we're all washed away, that is. Starting last Thursday, it has done nothing but rain rain rain rain rain. Actually, "rain" doesn't fully encapsulate what's been going on here in the Mid-Atlantic. Thunderstorms, torrential downpours, MUDSLIDES for goodness sake! And, of course, the Rio Garfield has reappeared in our basement. Good to know we'll always have our own water source in case of emergency. Fortunately our lovely concrete floor slopes gently towards the oh-so-attractive hole in the basement where the water pump thingy lives so we don't end up with three feet of standing water like friends of mine. That'll ruin your whole day.

I'm still packing my brain chock-full of World Cup-py goodness, but I'll spare you the gory details, especially of the Portugal-Netherlands match up. Suffice it to say, I think the Uruguayan ref from the U.S.-Italy game and the Russian ref were trained at the same academy.

Fortunately, my knitting hasn't suffered during my 4-hours-a-day-of-soccer-viewing. I decided that the best way to address my infidelity issues was to...well, to cast on another project of course! I realized I'd been dragging my feet on starting Joan's b-day present...Actually, that's not true - I realized Joan's birthday was in 8 days, so I cast on
Mookie Pi. We shopped for the yarn a while ago and I just got around to casting on yesterday. I was a third of the way done as of bedtime, so maybe there's a
fighting chance I'll finish it before the deadline. *snicker* Right.

Sittin' in the middle of Mookie Pi (I just like typing Mookie Pi) is Ugly Broad, take 2. I decided to cast on again with a larger needle so that the 'sock that doesn't so much rock' has a fighting chance of fitting over my calf. It's taking all of my willpower to stick with the crummy size 4 needle I already have and not use this as an opportunity to go drop another $15 on a new Addi Turbo. Now that I'm committed to D&H's European Vacation, I have to be a little more budget conscious.

Have I mentioned how much I hate road courses? I won't say anything about the result of yesterday's race at Infineon, I'm just saying that I really could've slept for that 4+ hours and been fine with it. Snoozeville. Next week is Daytona though. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve restrictor plate racing. Bring it on! Must find project that won't require me to look at my hands too often for next week's knit & NASCAR - you can't look away from the tv for long at Daytona.



Once again, I'm having issues sticking to my proverbial guns with regards to project fidelity. I had a feeble dream of finishing Sniffy before the Summer of Socks officially began. Yeah, because that would happen. Still, I'm about halfway through the foot of Sniffy2. I ended up working on it at Summers while watching the U.S.-Ghana game. I needed something to do with my hands that didn't involve strangling referees. I'm sure my tension was off for a little bit, but it will all come out in the wash.

Next item up for bid is the first official first day of Summer of Socks sock. I cast on Broadripple LATE last night/early this morning. The long-tail cast on and I just DO NOT get along. The garter doohitchey at the top I'm not crazy about but now that I'm into the pattern it's just kind of scooting along. It reminds me of the Jaywalkers in a sense, but it's more wavy lines and less sharp angles. I'm using KnitPicks Sock Memories - I'm not wild about the colorway, but I can only spend so much money on sock yarn (especially with Fleece Artist waiting for me at the happy place).

Pop's still in the hospital but recovering well from his surgery yesterday. General prognosis is good, but he's in some recovery pain now (esp. since they cut off his morphine - hmm, wonder if Patrick can hook him up). Ma is driving him insane, so he can't be doing too poorly. Work and roommate situations aren't the best and brightest right now either - all I can do is keep pluggin' along. *sigh*

I won't bother discussing the real World Cup. My Knitting World Cup project is half done. I sort-of finished the first go around, but the row gauge ended up being too much and so there's no room for the critical ear-flappage. Fortunately I have oodles of yarn so I'll just have to cast on another one this weekend and see what happens.


Weekend Update

Nah, no Jimmie Fallon or Dennis Miller or even Chevy Chase - just li'l ol' me.

Friday night my friend Pam and I went to investigate a new restaurant/bar nearby, Mama Quan's Tiki Hut. We had originally discussed going to a Nationals game, but decided ultimately if all we wanted to do was sit in the sun and have a beer, there were cheaper ways. For my two cents, the best thing it has going for it is location; then the patio; and one can never poo-poo $2 happy hour beers. The food was decent, too - the sweet potato fries were awesome.

And then there was dessert. Pam ordered this ENORMOUS hot fudge sundae. Tim was our waiter that night and in charge of dishing up this mass of ice cream, fudge and whipped cream. Tim is VERY excited about his job. Either that or he just loved us. As long as we reaped the benefits, we were okay with his puppy-like enthusiasm.

Yesterday was soccerpalooza. Ghana-Czech Republic, U.S.-Italy & DCU-Revs. I had a screaming headache by the time I got home, but that probably had more to do with the Screaming Nazi shot Pauly made us do at the beginning of the day than anything else. As one cannot quit cold turkey - and certainly not during the WC - I'm off to see the Japan-Croatia game with Pamela in a bit, then it's on to NASCAR. Chimmie rolls off 4th.


The Next Big Thing

In theory, tomorrow morning, Hol and I will purchase our vacation tickets for London & Paris this fall. In some ways I'm really excited, but there's a hint of sadness thrown in. I finally just had to take the stack of Italy guidebooks I'd purchased in the last several months and retire them to the basement. It's not that I'm not excited about going back to London or exploring the Lourve, but Florence & Rome had really been the master plan for this vacation and I'm having a little trouble letting go.

Have been doing a little knitting here and there. I think I'm going to have to alter the pesky Penobscot Bay hat. As usual, my stitch gauge was okay; my row gauge left a smidge to be desired. So, the hat for the most part is done, but I'm not sure if I'm going to add the ear flaps. It's already plenty long to tug down over the ears. In addition, I definitely need stranding/fair isle lessons. It's incredibly sloppy. But cute! I think I'd like it with more green, though. We'll see. I still have plenty left over to make another one.

I did a little sock yarn ordering today, too. Since we're plunkin' down cash for the trip soon, I'm going to have to go on a yarn diet of immense proportions. Didn't stop me from snapping up a little STR which I will photograph as soon as I can get my greedy little paws on it. I'm sure Hol will con me into getting some Fleece Artist when it comes into the shop. She's bad that way.

Speaking of sock yarny goodness, I've been making some progress on Sniffy. I do love the Spirit Trail Superwash/Nylon blend though. They're not even done yet but so far, of all the vast quantities of socks I've knit so far (uh, 2 pair), these fit the best by far. Maybe it's because they're toe up or perhaps because I frogged that sucker 92 times before the fit was just right. Of course, the chances of me being able to perfectly replicate sock #1 are fairly slim. And I'd upload a lovely picture of Sniffy but Blogger's being funky. Maybe tomorow.


Crack in the Round

"This is a chocolate-iced Krispy Kreme glazed. This is the caviar of doughnuts,the Dom
Perignon of doughnuts, the Mercedes Benz of doughnuts."
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie

I made the critical error of discovering that the Krispy Kreme located a mere two blocks from my office isn't just the storefront like I originally believed. They have the full-on doughnut oven, icing-waterfall setup. Bad, bad news, but oh so tasty.

I trudged up to Dupont Circle this afternoon and had lunch near the fountain. It was a beautiful 80-degree day and perfectly comfortable as long as the wind was blowing. A little sudoku, a little knittin' on Sniffy and I REALLY didn't want to go back to work.

Through some miracle, no one managed to spoil the Brazil-Croatia score before I got home. I ffwd-ed through bits and pieces of it so I could get to Pub Trivia before too much time passed (got there in
time for the picture round). Patrick was extremely high on the morphine they'd given him for his broken arm and was HILARIOUS! The singing round alone was worth my $20 tab. Finally, my extensive knowledge of Barry Manilow pays off!


How much is too much?

Soccer that is. I have watched all or part of all 12 WC games to date. I'll see a smidge of the AUS-JPN game tomorrow morning but then comes the one I'm REALLY waiting for: U.S. v. Czech Republic. I'm SO nervous about our chances, but I'm taking the whole day off work (so at least I can have a beer with lunch to settle my nerves).

The benefit to my non-stop soccer viewing is the amount of knitting I've gotten done this weekend. I got the heel turned on Sniffy but I can't figure out where to go from here. The lacy pattern on the Dublin Bay socks runs straight up the sides, which is where the split on my magic loop is. I'm sure it's as simple as just shifting a handful of stitches and moving on, but it's too late for me to focus. If only I could find my dpns, this would all be moot. Hopefully I can find them tomorrow morning before heading to Summers.

My KWC hat is coming along nicely. Well, sort of. I love the yarn, the pattern's a piece of cake, but I've never really done well with changing colors, and this project is no different. The odd white stitches that get worked every so often just don't seem to be the same size/shape/tension as everything else and I'm not sure how to fix it. I'm going to try to block it out and if it's still a mess, I'll keep this hat for myself and make a different one from Mr. G.

I still haven't figured out what time I'm going to head to Summers tomorrow morning. I'm thinking I'll head over during the first half of the early game so I'll head over at maybe 9:30, which just sounds ridiculous, but it's WC time - all bets are off. I'll take a book, I'll take some knitting (if I can get Sniffy to behave); I'll find a way to mark the time.

SPORTS SPOILER [highlight to reveal]: WC games were okay, today. Troy fell asleep at the end of the match and made a mistake which lead to a game-tying goal by LAG. We're still first in the league by a point, but it's still disappointing when we should've come out of CA with 3. Hopefully they can get it together by NE next week. Chimmie didn't have the best of days, coming home 10th and clinging to the points lead by 48. On on to Michigan.

Okay, I'm gonna get some sleep before the insanity of tomorrow. And ask Igor if he's seen my dpns.


Football's Coming Home

I've had Three Lions '98 stuck in my head for the better part of two weeks (thanks a lot, Paul!) but I can finally sing it:

"It's coming home! It's coming home!
It's coming! Football's coming home!"

The 2006 World Cup started today and I cast on my Knitting World Cup project between the first and second games. I knocked out a couple of rows while TrackPassing the qualifiers for Pocono. I'm using KnitPicks' Andean Silk and so far I really like it. My stranding still leaves a bit to be desired, but I guess that's the challenge in the Penobscot Bay (Penny) for me. I don't think I'm going to take it with me to RiRa in the morning for the England game - I think Sniffy will have to accompany me.

The other knit-worthy news I got at work today is that my C*EYE*BER FIBER SOCK yarn arrived today and it's gorgeous. I have to force myself to set it aside in my sock yarn pile to await the SoS. I was considering using it for the Badcaul socks, but I really haven't decided yet. If anyone has any pattern recommendations, let me know!

Ewww, it's definitely time to go to bed. The John Basedow infomercials have begun.

Are you ready for some futbol?

According to the coundown clock on the World Cup website, there are just under 2 hours until the start of the 2006 World Cup. The U.S. has a tough group with the Czech Republic, Ghana & Italy to face in the next couple of weeks, but here's hoping we can squeak out of group play.

I've been working on Sniffy for the last day or so - trying to to finish my last SIP (sock in progress) before Summer of Socks begins. I think my goal for the SoS is going to be to actually make two identical socks. This may be too much to ask for, but I'm going to give it a shot. I'm in the midst of the wrap-and-turn portion of the heel. I don't know why short rows confuse me so much but I'm utterly baffled.

And riddle me this: why did I loan my ball winder to Melyssa when I'm embarking on my Knitting World Cup project today which is all fair-isly and requires 4 balls of yarn that are currently unwound? I am so smart. S-M-R-T...

*apologies to ESPN Magazine for stealing their headline


Socks Gone Wild

Oh yeah, two finished objects in one week. I'll pause here while you recover from the shock.

Pattern: Ubiquitous Jaywalkers by Grumperina
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM in purply goodness (one skein is decidedly darker than the other)
Needles: Um, 2 size 0 16" circular needles
Started: March 3, 2006
Ended: June 6, 2006 (wow, that's just pathetic)
Modifications: Um, no

I may have to start looking into knitting two socks at once, for fun with equal tension and all that jazz.

I'll turn into a grown-up knitter one of these days (but what fun would that be?)

In today's Adventures in Nerd-dom, I've been cutting cable for our new patch panel for the last couple of days. Yesterday it was a tangle of yellow of spaghetti, and this morning started with a nest of blue cable that just wouldn't untangle. It wasn't until we ran out of blue and had to switch to grey that I had my first giggle of the morning. Blue, yellow and grey eh? It's Team Lowe's cable!

It's not easy to be this big of a dork, y'all, but somebody had to do it.


Slowest Knitter in America

It's unofficial, but I'm fairly certain that if there were ever any sort of competition, I could kick some serious slacker knitting booty. I'm just saying.

Having said that, LOOKY! It's a crummy photo (as usual) but it's a crummy photo of a FINISHED OBJECT! And for a KAL no less!

Pattern: Pomatomus socks from the Winter 2005 Knitty
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Peacock
Needles: size 2 32" circular needle (go magic loop!)
Started: March 25, 2006
Ended: June4, 2006 (wow, that's just pathetic)
Modifications: You're joking, right?

I loved this yarn and once I got over my chart fear, it was smooth sailing. Now, they're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination - one is slightly longer than the other and one is slightly looser. I have no idea how these things manage to happen to me, but as 2006 is the Summer of Socks, I'm assuming by September I'll have mastered this whole process.

My boys - DC United - played for the third time in 8 days yesterday and brought home another 3 points, extending their lead to 10 over KC and Columbus. We're away for our next two matches then back home towards the end of the month - here's hoping they can keep it up. The 2006 World Cup starts in a five days though U.S.'s first game isn't for just over a week. I can't wait!

NASCAR SPOILER! Highlight to reveal! [Well, that little trick worked from home...sorry bout that!]After having to use an owner's points provisional to make the field (nasty spin on qualifying lap), Chimmie rolled off, what, 39th? and had a crap day until about the last hour and a half where a combination of luck, skill, and great pit (or no-pit calls) by Chad got us back into the top 10 where we finished 6th on the day. Kenseth won (Waxler must be happy) but after having run in the low 30s all day, I'm THRILLED with a top-10 finish Matt made up about 30 points on us, but we held onto the points lead so I'll take it. Next week: Pocono.

All done. So, next up I have to finish up C's Jaywalkers (SO close!) and Gigi (ditto!) and I have to swatch Penobscot Bay before the World Cup starts.


Double-Secret-Probation Secret Pal

Apparently I actually need to post my responses to the SP questionnaire instead of saving it as a draft and thinking, "Oh, I'll finish it later..."

1. My favorite yarn to knit with is:
- I don't think I really have a favorite. I've been on a sock kick lately and I love Cherry Tree Hill superwash merino sock yarn, but I like just about everything.

2. I really do not enjoy knitting with:
- I'm not much of a yarn snob but my mom asked me to make her a poncho out of Lion Brand Color Waves. That is the only yarn in my life that I've ever felt squeak between my fingers. Never. Again.

3. If I had a choice, I would banish this yarn from my LYS:
- Hmm, I'm not crazy about novelty yarns, but other than that I'm perfectly happy wallowing in their yarn supply.

4. If I could knit only one more project for the rest of my life, it would be:
- I'd have to say Alice Starmore's Inishmore. It's been my dream project for about 7 years or so and if I were to never knit anything else, I'd like to at least finish that.

5. My favorite flower is:
- I like spring flowers: gerbera daisies, daffodils, tulips, Calla lilies.

6. My current color obsession is:
- sage green or blue-grey

7. My other interests are:
- In no particular order: soccer (U.S. National Team & DC United), NASCAR (Jimmie!), reading, travel (I hope to go to London & Paris this fall), music

8. Something I wish I knew more about is:
- Hmm. Everything! I'd probably have to say travel. I didn't get bitten by the travel bug until a couple of years ago and now I feel like I'm playing catch-up!

9. A knitting technique I want to learn is:
- It's a toss-up between learning the Continental method and learning colorwork.

10. My favorite needles to knit with are:
- I almost exclusively use circular needles any more. I'm a big fan of Addi Turbo circs.

11. Do you knit socks?
- Yup!

12. Please provide your foot measurements*:
length (longest toe to heel):
instep circumference:
ankle circumference:
- I have mutantly large feet - I would never ask anyone else to make socks for li'l ol' me.

13. What was your favorite childhood movie?
- Wow. Um. Maybe the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

14. What is one thing in your knitting bag that you can't live without?
- My stitch markers and my locking row counter

15. What is lacking in your notions bag that you really, really want? (Cable needle, Kacha Kacha, Chibi, etc.)
- I tend to snap up gadgets as I see them, but the only thing I can think of is a circular needle holder. The only ones I've seen are the hanging ones with the slots for each needle size.

16. What is currently on the needles at your house?
- Oh my...um...Two pairs of socks (Jaywalkers and Dublin Bay). Inishmore (Alice Starmore), a Kitty Pi (with another in the wings). That's my no means the complete list but that's the active rotation. Oh! And Gigi (Green Gable) that's gonna come off any day now, I promise.

17. If you could do nothing but knit all day, every day, for the next month (and get paid for it!), what would you knit?
- All day? Well, if I was sufficiently air conditioned, Inny (Inishmore). It's wool so I would need to be cool enough, but there's enough going on with the pattern that I don't think I would get bored - and project boredom is an issue with me.

18. Least favorite color(s):
- I'm not big on pink (sorry Hol!) or brown. Everything else is pretty much okay.

19. Favorite genre of music? Or any way you want to answer that question...basically it's the what kind of music do you like question.
- I like just about everything except gangsta rap and extremely twangy country. I listen to everything from Top 40 to contemporary country to hip hop to classical to jazz.

20. Favorite candy or sweet:
- My current favorite is Take 5 candy bars. The Greatest Candy Bar Ever.

21. What is the most challenging thing you have ever knit?
- I'd have to say Inny (although she's not done yet). Learning to follow a chart, cable w/o a needle...although I'm about to embark on my first fair isle project so this answer could change.

22. How long have you been knitting?
- 10 years, give or take