Friday, July 24, 2009

They started the siding on the house this morning. As I type this they are pounding away on the outside of our house removing the old siding. You can imagine how loud all of this is but DD, bless her, sleeps on through it all. I am convinced this kid could sleep through a nuclear attack.

I finished the aran sweater! I'm not working this weekend and plan to spend tomorrow sewing it together. It took about a year longer than I'd intended but came out great. I've started the February Lady Sweater and despite a few false starts am doing well with it. I've decided to use kbf increases rather than m1. I didn't like the way the m1 looked in garter stitch and think that this increase looks much better.

As I said I would I joined Curves yesterday. I enjoyed the workout quite a bit. Just enough to get your heart rate up not so much as you feel like falling down afterwards, just what I was looking for. As soon as DD wakes up I'm going to go for another session. That's if I can figure out how to get out of the house without siding falling on my head :).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well they didn't start the siding on the house today as had been scheduled. Yesterday was very rainy around here and it set them back on another job so ours had to be postponed for a day. They should be starting tomorrow. All the new windows as well as the patio door are in. What an improvement over the old windows especially in the Living Room. So much more light than before. I sat here all day knitting in the sun.

Today I picked up the yarn from my LYS for the February Lady Sweater. I will cast on for it over the weekend I suppose. I am trying to finish my aran sweater first and I am nearly done. I'm in the middle of doing the raglan decreases on the second sleeve. Then it's sewing time. I am one of the few who doesn't mind sewing the pieces of a sweater together. It's all part of the process to me and I am definitely a process kind of knitter. One of these days I suppose I ought to try knitting a sweater in the round just to see if I like the process as much as doing it in pieces.

After talking about it with DH, I have decided to join a gym. I have Weight Watchers tomorrow morning and that's in the same shopping center as the local Curves so I'm going to find out how much it costs to join. According to their website if you join now you get the rest of the summer for free so it's a good time to do it. If you've not heard of Curves, it's a 30 minute circuit gym that is for women only. Most people do it three times a week. The circuit is designed to give you some weight training as well as cardio and they said on the website that you can burn about 500 calories while you work out. I am mostly interested in the health benefits of working out but burning those calories will help me to lose weight as well. Wish I'd been able to drop a few in the last couple of months. I have to see the cardiologist for my yearly checkup next week and he's going to yell at me about my weight I just know it. Well serves me right. Last year when I had some minor chest discomfort it turned out that I was having mild heart trouble. The doctor really lectured me about getting into shape and I listened to a point but then got kind of lazy and slacked off. Especially in the winter months when it was hard to get out of the house to do a daily walk. So I fell out of the habit of exercising and have found it hard to get back into it. Curves is easy and it's not far from my house so I won't have any excuses.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I hate my socks. There I said it. DD and I went to a museum the other day and I took the socks I'm currently working on to knit on the train. As I worked I became more and more aware that I was unhappy with them. They are very plain (a single color cream colored yarn), and the toe of sock one didn't turn out so well (pulled the kitchner stitch too tight). Frankly, they are ugly. Life is too short to knit ugly socks so they are being summarily abandoned. Time to dive into the stash and start a new pair.

The contractors are busy putting in our new patio door today. With luck they will get done early and I will be able to run some errands before I have to go to work. I need to pick up something at the supermarket, buy a DVD that we promised to DS, and and pick up the yarn for the February Lady Sweater at the LYS. Not sure how long they are going to take as it is raining and that's sure to slow them up a bit, so keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Got a wonderful package from my Secret Pal on Saturday. Here's a picture of what I got

I have two skeins of alpaca, a pattern for a hat or mittens using it, some gift tags, an adorable ice cube try in the shape of penguins, some coffee, a candle that's scented like coffee and some delicious sour gummies. Thanks so much to my Secret Pal!

We started the work on the house today. They arrived early and put in all the windows that we are replacing. Tomorrow they come back and do some finishing work and install our new patio door. Then on Wednesday they start the siding. I have before pictures of the house but I am holding off on posting them till I have the after pictures to place beside them.

Still reading Harry Potter. I am now on the fifth book, the one in the series that I stopped reading in the middle and never finished though I don't know why. So far it's as good as the others, and the others are pretty good!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well DD went to the movie and enjoyed it despite having several problems with the way they did things. A movie is rarely as good as a book I think. Me? Well I didn't pick her up until about 2:45am and as a result I am totally worn out today. Did my Meals on Wheels run half asleep. Remind me when the next movie comes out that it's another parent's turn to stay awake.

Friday DD and I are having a day in the city. We are going to go to our favorite museum and then meet DH for dinner. It's been quite a while since we've done something like this and I am looking forward to it. I'll bring my socks to knit on the train.

Secret Pal is in full swing. I've heard from my spoiler a couple of times and she tells me that a package is on the way. As she is somewhere in Europe I am especially looking forward to getting it. Now I have to put something together for my spoilee. I plan to send a couple of small packages and one big one at the end. It's an idea I got from another person in the swap and I think it will work better for me. When I do Secret Pal I always have trouble coming up with a good theme for the package. This leaves me more time to come up with an idea. (if you want to find out more about Secret Pal just go to the blog. This round is closed for sign ups but you can still go there to find out more and be ready for round 15)

We are going to be doing major stuff to the house next week. New siding and windows are going in, and I promise to post before and after pictures. We are using a color no one else on our street has, a pale sage green. Green is my favorite color, we didn't like the tan or cream shades, and this one looked good with the color of our roof (which is a dark blue). I can't wait to see how the house will look, it's hard to visualize from the small sample we picked from. The contractor is the same one who did such an excellent job on our kitchen two years ago. He's honest, quick, and brings the project in on budget. What more can you ask for? They begin with the windows on Monday and should have both them and the siding done by Friday.

I ended up only skimming the second Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets). I've read it a few times and have recently seen the movie, so I just read my favorite bits. Now I am reading the third book (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) which I have always liked. I don't know why I never read the fifth book but I am anxious to get to it so I can finish the series. With all the book reading I'm doing I've not done much knitting the last few days. Must put some work in on the sleeve of the aran sweater so I can finish it. I ought to learn that setting deadlines for myself hardly ever works.

Monday, July 13, 2009

We went to visit DS yesterday. Usually we wouldn't have made a visit so soon after he'd been home but with my work schedule and DD having several weekend events coming up it was the best day for us to do it. I didn't take any knitting with me and regretted it when we went to play mini golf. There I was walking around in the hot sun keeping score while the rest of the family played, God I was bored! I'm all for family togetherness, especially when we have DS with us which doesn't happen as often as I'd like. I recognize the value of cheering them all on during a game, but I draw the line at mini golf. For some reason I just have never been able to enjoy playing. It's not that I am bad at it, I'm no worse than the rest of the family, I just find it boring. Never liked regular golf either, I'm lucky that DH never tried the game. I'll be sure to back a golf friendly project when we go on vacation this summer. I've been told that the place where we are going has tons of mini golf. :)

In addition to boring me nearly to death this weekend, we went shopping in a little tourist town near DS's school. It's crowded but a nice place and has some lovely little shops to poke around in. For the first time on a trip like this DS walked along with the rest of us without complaining and even made suggestions about which stores to go into. He never does that. He usually whines that he is tired and constantly asks when we are going to be done. All he asked was that we go to a bookstore at some point during the day. He couldn't have been more cooperative if he didn't have autism. While driving we passed a yarn store that seemed to also carry spinning gear. I will have to try and find it on the Internet and find out when they are open and check it out on one of our weekend visits.

Tomorrow, midnight, is the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. DD is going to the show wearing the scarf I made despite the heat. One of her friends owns all five movies and they are gathering at her house to watch them all day. Then they are going into town for dinner and the new movie. I have volunteered to stay awake and pick them up after the show to drive them all home. I've done things like this before. DD went to two midnight events when the books were newly published. Once it took so long for everyone to get their books that we didn't make it home until 3 AM. Personally I love the Harry Potter books although I've only read the first four. This Summer I am re-reading them and going on to finish the series. At the moment I am reading the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I recommend the books to anyone whatever their age. They are a great guilty pleasure for adults.

Monday, July 06, 2009

DD got her grades and did well on all her exams even the math one which she was very concerned about. She insists that they must have massively curved it but I prefer to think she just did better than she expected. Her best friend got out of the hospital and is doing much better but still has to take it easy. She'll probably not be herself again till the summer is over.

DD continues to knit if only for short bursts. Now she is talking about making her first project, a pair of leg warmers from Sally Melville's Knit stitch book. I have to trade in the yarn for my February Lady sweater. The one I picked, Cascade Pistaza was too fuzzy for my taste and I found it too scratchy as I worked with it. So, I am trading it in for some Cascade 220 which should be in at my LYS tomorrow or Wednesday. In any case, I am going over to the LYS tomorrow to finally work out the problem I have with my aran sweater. I am up to the sleeve and it seems as though two of the cables are merging and I am not sure how to handle it. So Val is going to sit with me and work it through. There is a posibility of holding onto the Pisatza to make a felted bag but I am not sure about that yet. The lace scarf I made for my friend got rave reviews from the crowd at the LYS as did the scarf that I made for DD. Always nice to get that kind of ego boost. I tend to be very critical of my own knitting and getting having other knitters say nice things about it is a treat.

DS was in for a week (hence the lack of blog posts). It was a wonderful visit. He was better than I've ever seen him on a home visit before. He spent most of his visit in the time honored fashion of teen agers, hanging out with his friends, playing video games and sacking out in front of the TV.

I am doing Secret Pal again this round and here is my questionaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I suppose my all time favorites are merino and cashmere. I don't like "scratchy" wools or plastic like acrylics.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have a needle roll and a tin I keep needles in. I could use something for my growing collection of circular needles. I've been switching from straights to circs the last couple of years.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting for over 40 years and was taught by a combination of my mother and my brother's girl friend. I consider myself to be a fairly advanced knitter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I have an Amazon wish list.

5. What's your favorite scent?

I like woody and spicy scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Unfortunately for my waist line I have a sweet tooth :). My favorite candy is anything that is sour

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I am learning how to spindle spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like alternative, classic rock and jazz I can play MP3's.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

Earth tones are my favorites especially dark green, burnt orange and brown

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I am married with two kids who are in their teens, we have a guinea pig

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves, hats and mittens but not ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Socks and lace.

13. What are you knitting right now?

A pair of socks, an aran sweater and the February Lady Sweater

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic

Circ's are prefered. I don't care for plastic needles.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I own both

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

About a year old

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?

My favorite holdays are Passover, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. We celebrate Hannukah

19. Is there anything that you collect?

I collect penguins

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I'd love Cookie A's sock knitting book, and want to try Knit Picks Circular needles. I don't subscribe to any of the magazines I prefer to pick them up when one of them has a pattern that I must have.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Knitting socks from the toe up and knitting socks on two circular needles. I've tried to learn how to do the two circ method and just cannot get my mind wrapped around it.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes I am a sock knitter. 8 1/2 inches around the ball of my foot and also from my heel to the tip of my toe.

23. When is your birthday?

August 20th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Yes, you can find me there as Fizbin.