Sunday, June 26, 2005

Thank you, SP!

My secret pal is awesome! Just look at what she sent me:

The greeting card was hilarious! I know the chocolate won't last too long in this house, and the notepad has found a new home on the refrigerator door. My SP also included the One-skein Wonder pattern for the cashmerino aran, to finally ween me off scarves. The color is just perfect (it's closer to the picture above than the picture below, which suffers from bad lighting). I just couldn't wait to get started, so I got a few pattern repeats done after work:

Looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. This is the first project I've had where gauge mattered, so *fingers crossed* I hope the finished object will actually fit!

Thanks, Secret Pal, for all the lovely goodies!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Soooooooooo tired...........

It's concert week and I've had to go from work to rehearsal and then in the opposite direction home every day all week. We had our concert tonight, which was very exciting. There were some bumps in the Mozart, but the Bach went pretty well, despite the shaky run-through last night at the dress rehearsal. Anyway, now that the adrenaline rush has faded, I'm pretty much pooped! Friday night concerts are such a challenge, since they come at the end of the work week when everyone's already tired. But for all my complaining, I know I'll miss choir next year. And they're doing the Verdi Requiem next season too! I would so love to sing that! But choir's really far away and the commute's just too much. I guess I'll have to settle for going to their concerts, and in the interim, listening to the CD.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Road Trip

My aunt and uncle were super generous and gave their used car to my brother, so we had a little family outing this past weekend to pick up the car. We went over the river (technically it was several rivers)

and through the woods

before arriving at our destination:

Check out my aunt's cat, Rocky (aka "Rockless" since his little operation):

He's 17 pounds. That's almost as big as my dog!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Another hazy day

With consistent weather comes consistent schedules, and there is nothing as comforting as routine. My doggie has permanently parked himself in front of the air conditioner vent. My aunt, who moved in with us from New Jersey, has started a new job (hooray for the gainfully employed!) As for me, I go to work in the slightly uncomfortable morning heat and drag myself home in the sweltering late afternoon heat. In between, I try to avoid going outside whenever possible. I forgot my lunch yesterday and, rather than braving the heat, decided to make do with what I found in the 3rd Fl. vending machine. Rice Krispies Treat for lunch? Why not? Rice is good for you!

Lastly, apologies to my secret pal. I got a lovely e-card from her (probably a her??) a few days ago, but bad blogger that I am, I forgot to mention it in my last post. But now I'm excited!! I love getting mail, especially knitting-related mail!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Summer in the City

How can I tell that it's June in DC?
1). There's Shakespeare in the woods: I went with my brother and three members of his extensive network of friends to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Shakespeare Free-for-All. It was a great show and, since it was a lovely day, the ampitheater was full. It didn't rain, though it looked like it might. That certainly makes up for last year, when it rained the whole evening we were there (and promptly stopped during the last scene). I had never watched or read the play before (odd, since it's so common), and it was a lovely introduction to the story. I'd have posted pictures, but photography wasn't allowed.
2). The backyard is absolutely full of roses. I swear this bush is the only thing holding up our aging deck:

There's also lots of mysterious vegetation, like this gigantic lamb's ear-like (in texture, not in size) plant:

It's about 5 feet tall and seems very happy where it is. That's cool, as long as it doesn't start talking and eating people.
Also, I got a new toy:

I love 50% off coupons! They take some of the guilt out of shopping. I've been getting home late after work, so I've only done a little knitting, mostly while in transit (I know, I know...excuses, excuses). I'm about halfway through even more scarves: another loopy and a latifa variation (both patterns).

And I did start my shawl for the Knit the Classics KAL, though I've only gotten through one repeat so far. It's lacy with thickish yarn on largish needles. Here's a close-up:

It doesn't look like much right now. I hope I'm following the pattern correctly...Well, I've got my fingers crossed and my row counter ready!

Friday, June 03, 2005

My dog ate it...

My first weaving attempt, that is. No, really, my dog did eat it, or at least kinda chewed on it. Our knitting group got a visit from Carol, a lovely and patient weaver, who showed us how to make cardboard looms. She even handed out cute little kits with everything you need to weave a mini project. So I started weaving my little house yesterday. But after taking a break, I came back to this:

A drool-covered loom and a guilty-looking doggie - at least he didn't swallow the needle! Happily, there have been no dog-related mishaps with my knitting. Here are two FOs:

The diagonal scarf was a quick and easy knit. Hooray! Now I can cast on for my knit-a-long shawl.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

SP5 questionaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

Not at all. I use both natural and synthetic. I've found that some acrylic (even 100% acrylic) can be quite nice, very soft and easy to work with. And you can't beat the price and low maintenance (i.e. I can give someone a knitted gift and not worry about seeing them walk around in an accidentally-felted scarf!). On the other hand, I'd never turn down natural fibers, which are so beautiful and comforting.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I don't spin. It looks very intimidating, what with the moving parts and all. This is completely irrational, but when I think of spinning, I remember the fairy tale with the enchanted spinning needle that knocked sleeping beauty out cold. Don't laugh! Ok, maybe laugh a little. I think I do want to learn to crochet, though. I've seen some patterns that I want to try. And I heard it's easier than knitting. True, I wonder?

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

No allergies, though I'm kind of sensitive to fragrances. It's kind of hard to explain. For example, I like the smell of roses, but only when it's coming from a rose, and not from somewhere it shouldn't. Ditto for food smells too (*drool*). Lemons smell lovely to me, but lemon-scented cleaners make me want to gag.

4. How long have you been knitting?

I learned to knit about ten years ago, though I didn't really get into it until last year. Now, of course, I'm practically obsessed!!

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

Yes, I do have an Amazon list. It's full of random nonknitting-related books so dunno if that would be of interest

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

(see number 3)

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Yes!!! Love love love chocolate! I like to bake and I get a lot of satisfaction sharing what I make. Not a fan of cherries, mint or marzipan, though, so I guess I'll never be a pastry chef (*sigh*).

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

I've dabbled a little in decoupage. It's messy, but kind of therapeutic, in a grade-school art class, tiny bits of paper, and very sticky fingers sort of way.

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

I like lots of different kinds of music. "Eclectic" might be the right word to describe my taste. I like some of what I think is classified as Modern Rock (Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five, Radiohead),folkish/indie things (Patty Griffin, Ben Harper, Billy Bragg) and classical choral works (Rutter, Brahms). My computer does play MP3s and I love mixes.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I really love green, though since I really started knitting again, I've gained an appreciation for many different colors. They's kind of grown on me.

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

I live with my parents, a dog and a bird. The latter two shed periodically, but I love them all anyway.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

- Surviving all my future choir auditions. (I have a problem performing solo. I get tense, dizzy and nauseated, which doesn't really help with the singing)
- Not having to see another grant application - ever (this is definitely not going to happen, considering I work at a university, but these are dreams, right?)

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Debbie Bliss merino aran is nice. It's soft and machine washable too.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I have issues with ribbon yarn. I like the way they look but it seems to take a lot of effort to keep them from getting all twisted. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Scarves, since they're fast and fairly easy.

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

I do a lot of scarves, mostly because I'm impatient and they don't take too long.

17. What are you knitting right now?

Scarves (do you see a pattern forming??) and an endless afghan, though I'm hoping to expand my repertoire.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

They're nice, though I prefer wraps.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

Circular all the way! I find them to be really versatile. More importantly, they're compact and reduce the risk of injury (along with any possible lawsuits) while knitting on the subway.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I've never used wooden needles before. Of the needles I've knitted with, I prefer aluminum to plastic.

21. Are you a sock knitter?

Um, technically, yes. I've knitted one sock - not one pair, one sock. I cast on for the other sock and have left the whole bundle, needles and all, in my stash (oh for shame!)

22. How did you learn to knit?

The first time around, I taught myself from a book. This was in the early days of the internet and I wasn't particularly computer savvy, so I didn't have many other resources at hand. The second time around, I now have a cable modem, plenty of techie experience and a knitting group at work to rely on. Ain't life grand?

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

The endless afghan is about three months old. So there may be hope for it yet...

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

I like turtles (Go Terps!!).

25. What is your favorite holiday?

The entire stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's is my favorite time of the year. I'm not at all religious, but the end of the year is so full of nice things, like family, friends, food and time off from work.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

I have an embarrassingly large collection of turtle-ware: figurines, stickers, books, keychains, turtle-shaped things of mysterious origin and unknown function, etc. I may get around to documenting them some day.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I don't have any subscriptions, though I'm tempted by interweave and rebecca.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Loop d Loop looks really cool.