Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Ah, much better. I have also eliminated all other caffeine from my day. Guidelines... a very flexible term in my opinion.
And the yarn... I said before that Blue Sky Cotton wasn't my favorite to knit with and I want to clarify that. It is 100% cotton so it can be a bit tiring on my hands, but it is so soft and the resulting fabric is something that I just want to wrap myself in, so in the end it is worth it.
No more time to blog... gotta go knit while I have a few minutes!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I started the "Napa Valley on Top" with SWTC Oasis Soy Silk last week. I like the stitch but it hasn't really grabbed me yet.
What I really need on the needles about now though is a simple knit-in-the-dark project for reading and movie going. Not that I go to a lot of movies but I did go to 2 in one week before I left for Mexico (making 2 total movie theater trips this year) and what if I want to go to another one?
Anyway, back to knitting... I'm just trying to figure out what my simple, portable project will be. While I'm unlikely to go to a theater again soon, I do have a stack of good books to read.
Or, I could start Knitty's Tahoe with the Cathay and Koigu pictured.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I'm prone to purchase most knitting mags when they come out whether I'm likely to knit anything from them or not. (I can tell you right now, I'm not.) I can barely stand the excitement of waiting for my quarterly Interweave magazine (btw - their Summer Preview is up for admiring now) and I even have a collection of patterns purchased and downloaded from the internet that I have yet to knit... as if they'll disappear into cyberspace before I'm actually ready to knit. And honestly, once I've made that pattern purchase, just a dash of my enthusiasm begins to wane.
I swung by the LYS today looking for yarn for a top my mom has taken a fancy to (and since I am sitting right in between her birthday and Mother's Day it seems like a good time to start) and glanced through the latest Knitter's Universe. It's not one of my favorites but it did have this hemp tank in it and I do have some hemp that needs knitted so... I had to grab it.
This, btw, was obviously of great concern to a lady knitting at the table because even though she assured me that she did not intend to buy it, she felt the need to twice inform me that she was pretty certain it was the shop's only copy... and I had to wait (with kids in tow) for her to look through it cover to cover... and, "No" she didn't want it but it was "the store's only copy"... again. A kinder person may have just left it but I can get a bit oppositional (heh) at times so I scooped it up once she was done... which coincidentally was about the time the 3rd kid came in from the car to see, "What's taking so long???" If I broke some unknown knitter's rule of only magazine etiquette here, please let me know.
Anyway, it actually has a quite a few cute tanks, etc. Coincidentally, I happen to have yarn and patterns already on hand for quite a few cute tanks (etc.) but that seemed irrelevant (as it did a couple of weeks ago when I bought some Rowan 4-Ply Cotton on sale for Knitty's Isabella).
But is anything getting knit? No!
But darn it, I feel like I'm knitting. Afterall, it's almost all I read, write or think about... and I'm pretty sure that the browsing, reading, and planning (read daydreaming) are part of the knitting experience. But sadly, I'm finding that it doesn't produce a lot of results... just a dent in the wallet and a bad case of frustration.
BTW - I bet she's wearing an Old Navy t-shirt under this shawl. I so wish I could pull off that look... but I would just look like a, well, like a woman in an Old Navy t-shirt and shawl... how odd would that be?!
Focus... I need to focus... and knit... really knit... with the yarn in my hands. Yeah... that's what I need to do... knit.
I am working on my 2nd Embossed Leaves sock! I'm enjoying this pattern so much that I was actually anxious to cast on. But what's going on with the colors in that 2nd hank of Koigu? I'm going to ignore it... I must... any other option (ie. frogging and alternating hanks) is just too painful to consider.
PS... I bet you have no idea how easy it is to mess up a gourmet frozen dinner! Especially one that starts by telling you to pre-heat the oven, then "pull the perforated tab at the short end of the box to open". Laughing at their silliness, I didn't even stop to consider that I'd already opened it at the wrong end. No that, of course, didn't ruin the dinner... it was the obviously way too technical timer instructions that threw me.
Focus Tammy, focus!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
It was a front center diamond on Bonita... and it was off-center.
I imagine a sneaky little ssk here, a k2tog there, and a wee yo would've cleverly disguised the basically unnoticeable miscount. Heck, I could've even made the front the back. But no... I had to go for the proper fix.
Not too bad.
But it left this sort of awkward gappiness alongside the fixed diamond area. True, it would never have even caught one's eye once the sweater was done and blocked... but, really... could I just leave it. *Big Sigh* No.
Long story short... Lots of tangles, lots of gaps, 4AM!!
Up at 7:30 for the cable guy who was here all afternoon yesterday and supposed to be back at 8 (got here at 11:30)... back to work on tangles... refuse to frog... determination sets in...
Anyway, ultimately I can no longer avoid the inevitable (or, more accurately, I am unwilling to accept the in-hindsight-not-looking-so-bad results) and start to frog.
BTW... I have a theory about IQ tests. Gauging by the ones I've taken, I think that in reality they do a much better job of measuring one's patience and determination at solving a puzzle than one's actual intelligence. I say this based on several things including my own rather high score because clearly a person of even moderate intelligence would not spend the better part of 12 hours trying avoid doing what they knew they were going to ultimately have to do all along. Determination... tenacity... yes. Intelligence... you tell me.
I try to use a smaller size 3 needle as a sort of safety line as suggested in my new book When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters, but with all the ssks, k2togs, and yos... well, I had a big snarled mess... more frogging...
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I'm still not crazy about travel (just hate being stuck on a plane)... but I would have to say, this was most definitely worth it!
I guess the only thing missing was the chance to relax with a cocktail and a view... oh, wait... nevermind...
Yes, it was a relaxing trip... and my husband was so kind to pose with my Embossed Leaves sock.
Here's a picture of my family waiting for our delayed flight at the Manzanilla airport which had a total of 4 gates and could take 2 planes at a time (a far cry from the chaos of LAX).
Oddly enough, my youngest brother, Pete, and I were hardly bothered at all by the delay... yeah, we won't talk about that.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
My passport expedition agent was holding my passport. Okay... but there's only one flight out tomorrow and I would need to leave my house by 8:00 am to catch it... and my passport is in Houston. No problem, the agent informs me... it will be at my house by 10:30 tonight! (Same day shipping... can you believe it?!!) I make a phone call to Mexico, my mom books my flight, and everything is set. I'm going to Mexico... Mexico... one thing goes through my mind and it's not cerveza or Margarita... it's panic... sheer, nerve shaking panic.
Remember how I didn't want to go to begin with (I have a travel "thing")? But then, as it approached, I really wanted to go and was really bummed that I couldn't? Well, as it turns out... I think I was right before. The following shortness of breath and waves of nausea didn't seem to be normal joyful reactions.
Okay, I'm in a yarn store, I'm panicking... quick... what can I do... YARN! Grab yarn. Julie has made her purchase and settled down to knit. Okay, I follow suit. I make a Koigu purchase, as planned, and try to sit... but I can't... I pace.
We leave with an idea of getting some lunch but I inform Julie that I'm not hungry (read: I don't think I can sit still for, nor ingest, a meal) so we head to the next yarn shop. Julie sits to knit and I pace... and pace... and touch... and grab... and grab. Let me tell you friends that pacing a yarn store in a mild (ha!) state of panic is a dangerous thing.
But it sure felt good!
This last yarn is an amazing Rio de la Plata Merino DK.
I can't even begin to capture the rich colors... the label says "evergreen - black - Indial teal - rabbit - forest green" It's super soft and comes in hanks of 220 yds. I'm think a simple ribbed scarf or maybe a vest.
BTW: Remind me sometime to share with you my very scientific observations on the relationship between boys (of all ages) and the remote control. Oy!
ETA: 10:45 - Still no passport. Apparently there was a delay at the airport... no... really?! Yawn.
ETA: 11:45 - I. Have. A. Passport! Deep breath.
Monday, April 09, 2007
On the bright side, God has granted me a measure of peace and acceptance that is finally settling in... one way or another. (And the Margaritas here in So Cal don't have tainted ice!)
Now, I'm going to go vacuum and knit... then knit some more.
PS... I'm really think I need to change the label for these posts to "Not Travelling".
Sunday, April 08, 2007
This afternoon, I did some work on the Koigu Embossed Leaves socks I started late last night...
I love the pattern, the color and texture of the yarn, and the new cast-on and ribbing I learned! I love learning new knitting things!
Then I was wandering around Borders Bookstore this afternoon waiting for my son to pick out a CD and, for some reason, this book in particular caught my eye...
I'm still looking for the chapter on missing passports but it does seem to include a lot of helpful knitting tips.
BTW: Late news reached me last night that my passport has been mAilEd (mailed!!) from Houston yesterday and I should have it "on or about 4/11". That would be Wednesday... my flight is tomorrow morning at 10:30... or was. So I sit... and wait... some more. Oh well, at least I'm waiting with Koigu.
Happy Easter Friends! He is risen indeed!
Saturday, April 07, 2007
"Thank you!" I reply. "My husband gave it to me. Hopefully it draws attention away from my eye, " I laugh, then realize how that sounds so I keep going, "for our anniversary...he gave it to me for our anniversary... today is our anniversary... 17 years." (It really is).
She smiles at me and has moved onto the next customer but I can't just leave it like that... "The black eye... it's from my 4 year old." They both look at me. "He was swinging a jacket and the zipper got me just like that," I snap my fingers. I don't think they really cared... or believed me... but I couldn't stop talking. I hate it when that happens.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Staying optimistic, I printed out the to-do list I had typed and e-mailed myself last night (can't lose it that way) and set out to run all my various get-ready-to-go type of errands.
Haircuts at 2:30 were followed by a phone call from the "expedition service's rep" at 3:30 telling me that, in spite of never having this type of thing happen before, he was informed by the passport agency that my passport would not be ready until next "Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday". In other words, I was screwed.
So, near - very near - okay, possibly in - tears, I ran my last couple of errands one of which was at the kids' pediatrician's office where, upon noticing my black eye, I was informed that I should really go get a stitch. Yeah... I'd just put that my list...
I return home, retreat to my bedroom and continue to fume... then I start to wonder... then I make a direct phone call to the passport agency itself. After waiting on hold for over an hour, a very nice gentleman named Tim was kind enough to inform that my passport was completed at 12:38 today and ready for the "3:45-5:00" pick up. He's unsure if it's been mailed or picked up, but it was completed.
At this point I slowly begin to face the realization that the gentleman at the expedition service was either very confused about his job or not very forthcoming with me. This was a mistake. They have not returned my phone call(s) or e-mail at this point (it might have just been after-hours) but either way... Mexico is not looking too likely... and, of course, I had finally started looking forward to it. So I am frustrated, quite sad, and increasingly angry... but hopefully by writing some of this down and can leave some of frustration with it.
And anyone who is willing can pray for a miracle delivery of my passport tomorrow.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Well, DH finally had a chance to take the shower doohickey apart last weekend and was able to locate the problem and adjust the valve so we could get hot water... but only hot water. He was going to have to order a part to completely repair the valve. However, and here's the good news, with a flush of the toilet, all the cosmic laws of toilet flushing and it's effect on hot running showers are reversed and cold water joins the hot water stream producing a perfectly warm shower... until today. Today the water would only stay warm while the toilet was flushing but became steaming hot as soon as the flush was over. I kid you not... I actually had to jump in and out of the shower and flush the toilet every minute or so to maintain a tolerable temperature. I hate to waste water so today I managed to keep it to a 4 flush shower.
Considering the black eye I'm sporting from the zipper of a sweater swung in my direction by my youngest (during a baseball game -ugh - I might add), the infection that's returning to my other eye following an obviously too brief stint on antibiotics (I'm not a good patient), and the missing passport... I really can't imagine my day starting any other way. And I'm telling you right now, one way or another, this is all related to my upcoming trip. No doubt.
But, before the day could totally defeat me, I got an e-mail from Wendy mentioning a sale at the LYS.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
You would think that the whole passport (or lack thereof) would be increasing my stress level, but it is actually making it much easier to ignore the inevitable because it can't become reality without the passport (which didn't ship today, leaving only 2 possible days, Friday or Saturday, for it to arrive). In my mind, this is not a problem... only a longer stay in denial.
So all's going well, but then comes a twist. Due to some changes in family plans, it now turns out that only my sister and new sister-in-law will be flying out Saturday and the rest of the family has had to switch flights and will be travelling with DH and me on Monday... leaving me the opportunity to switch flights and fly out sooner. I really want to do this! I know it doesn't make sense but spending time with my sisters sounds like fun and, mainly, the less time I have for anxiety to build up, the less explosive my anxiety will be, right?
It's like in the movie Hunt for Red October when the only way the sub can defend itself against the incoming missile is to turn and drive/float/glide (whatever they do) at top speed straight into the oncoming missile, thereby hitting it before it has time to arm itself and destroy them. Instead of a huge explosion, it was just a matter of knocking the unarmed missile out of the way.
See? If I can leave sooner, there will not be enough time for the anxiety ticking inside me to go nuclear. Very reasonable really. Of course this would mean a longer stay in Mexico but I can think about that later...
However this brings me back to what was ironically my saving grace... I have NO passport. Let the stress begin.
So how does one deal with that growing tension within? Buy yarn? Yep, did that... still stressed. Start speaking between clenched teeth to those I share a home with? Trying very hard not to do that...
Ugh! Well, just in case it does work out for me to leave early, I figure I'd better start planning what knitting and reading I should take with me (I was one step ahead of you Laura). The books are easy... fun, light-hearted paperbacks. (3 because I don't know what I'll feel like reading)
The knitting is a bit more difficult because I have to take into consideration things like needles (what's best for airplanes... will they take my Knit Picks circulars? They are fairly pointy. How about short bamboo dpns... they should be okay. etc.), the amount of yarn required (nothing requiring a dozen skeins of yarn... whether or not I would need that much in 5 days is irrelevant), the climate (requires lightweight yarn), and the color. See, I would love to take Bonita for the plane ride but what if someone sitting near me happens to have a Bloody Mary on the plane (you know, people do that... some people... I've heard)? I wouldn't want to ruin 400 yards of fingering weight white cotton that's been knit into half of a top. Nope... too risky.
So... I think I'll bring Clementine, a SWTC tank knit with Oasis Soy Silk (only 3 small balls) from my Stash (I even checked gauge today... sadly the yarn prefers bamboo but maybe these will be more airplane friendly), Koigu for IK Embossed Leaves Socks, Bonita, STR Harlotry socks for mindless knitting, and, probably an extra ball of sock yarn (just for the heck of it). Yes, it's probably overboard but I have to have whatever I might feel like knitting. I'm sure you understand... and these projects add up to a very manageable, light load.
There, I feel better already.
No, not really...