Sunday, October 29, 2006

gym splash

After overcoming many petty but huge-seeming obstacles, I actually made it to the gym from home today, for 30 minutes of water walking. I have been wanting to try water walking since spring, but I have been very apprehensive. I had plenty of time, while walking back and forth, to contemplate why I had wanted to try it, and why it had intimidated me so much. I think it had caught my interest because it sounded like more bang for my buck. I could go for a 30 minute walk, or I could walk for 30 minutes in the pool and get extra athletic benefits. As for why I was apprehensive, I have been recognizing that I really like to be informed: I like to know the upcoming schedule and I like to read about/discuss things before encountering them. (says the lady getting a degree in information science.) I had never gone water walking, and I had not even seen any one water walking. I was even feeling foolish about going to the pool and walking around. But when I actually did get to the pool, I saw they had a lane specifically reserved for walking/running. I got in my reserved lane and happily walked for a half an hour. I kept walking backwards every few steps, like I read online, and it really did involve a lot of effort to stop my momentum, step backwards a few, and then change direction again.

It's a bit of a sneaky exercise. I just felt like I was drifting around the pool, but now my hips, ankles, and calves really hurt. The good part is that afterwards, there's a nice soak in the hot pool.

Friday, October 27, 2006

felted bag

While working on my 550 class today, my monitor kept going black. While I waited for its return, i worked on my felted bag. I got quite a bit done. In fact, I got it all done. Instead of doing an icord all around the edges, I wound up needing to crochet the front panel to the back panel. I tried to double crochet, cause it looked better, but it needed to be single crocheted.

When the kids came home and immediately started fighting and sassing, I grabbed some jeans and tossed it all in the washer. I'd been told that a front-loading washer didn't felt things adequately, but after the heavy wash cycle, with a dash of detergent and a kettle full of boiling water tossed in, it felted up just perfectly.

This was my expiriment in what to do with striped yarn to really show off the stripes. It involved a whole lot of picking up stitches on all sorts of surfaces. I started it last weekend, not that I had meant to, but I was under one of those knitting spells where I didn't have much choice in the matter.

Made with Andes hand paint, a skein I got on clearance. It was the only one of its colour, or I would have probably bought a few and attempted something bigger. I knitted using a size 9 Addi Turbo, and a variety of crochet hooks, both evil and good. I've found it hard to get good pictures. :(

Thursday, October 26, 2006

prodigal needle

okay, okay, I don't understand it, but the evil trickster crochet hook came back to me. I was sitting on the floor, studying on the laptop, and my son sat down beside me to chat. We were talking, and he absently reached forward and picked up a crochet hook off the floor. and that was it! After I bought not one but two to replace it, it comes wandering back into my life.

That carpet was vaccuumed thoroughly just a few days ago, so I know it wasn't there all this time. So where was it?

See, it has no regards for me or my feelings. It just does as it pleases. Fickle needle.


Made it to the gym again. It's going so well I figure it's bound to fall apart soon. 28 minutes on the elliptical walker, I pushed it harder than ever and it felt really good. Not only that, I was acting on this incredible urge to go to the gym today. how weird.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

my new best friend

Yesterday I walked over to a yarn store on my break. As usual when I walk in there, the lady who works there pounced on me. I'm not sure what to think of that. Other stores in the area are known for their snottiness and for ignoring people. I walked out of a store after ten minutes of waiting for the lady to stop chatting and ring me up, and wound up driving 30 minutes to a yarn store to spend $55 on needles. So here, this lady's always ready to help, but sometimes I don't need help. I told her I was looking for a crochet hook, and she assured me she had every size, but she didn't, I wanted a 3.25 to replace that trickster needle I have, and she had 3.0 and 3.5 but no 3.25. I went ahead and bought the 3.5, and it's an Addi! So this was no casual purchase, as crochet hooks go it was comparatively costly! I've decided that it shall live in its protective sleeve for its own protection. Rather like a hamster in a hamster ball.

Which gets me to wondering what my cat's reaction would be to a hamster in a hamster ball. It's too bad I'm against animal cruelty, it would be pretty funny if it didn't involve torture of a wee critter.

And then today, I was at JoAnn's, buying my Number One Son a Hallowe'en mask. And I just had to walk through their yarn section, even though I know--I KNOW--they have nothing but crap yarns. And then I saw a crochet hook. Not just any crochet hook. MY crochet hook. The one that always goes missing. A Susan Bates aluminum crochet hook, in size 3.25, in a metallic blue, just like my old trickster, that old thing that has picked up so many stitches and fixed so many errors, and cast off whenever the mood struck. And I had images of good twin/evil twin. I figured since the one I already have is the evil twin, the new one would have to be the good twin. So I bought myself a replica of my missing little trickster needle. I told you it was a dysfunctional relationship! Not only can I not successfully adopt a new hook, I went and bought a replica!

In the knitting bag:

-A felted purse. I got really excited on Saturday and had to start on this. It was out of control. I'm not sure if it will be half as cool as I knew it would be on Saturday. I've done the front panel and I'm working on the back panel. There be cool poolage.

-The Fiery Socks: I've officially run out of fiery yarn, and am making a red cuff. I struggle with these socks. They're for my Number One Son, who loves warm woolen hand-knit socks. But his feet are so hard to fit. First of all, he has really broad ankles. Secondly, well, I guess secondly is that growing problem. And third is that he wears them out very fast. I made him a previous pair of fiery socks, but he outgrew them quickly and wore them so the whole heel was under his heel, and they wore out where the heel changed to sock. The blue ribbon socks were designed to withstand all sorts of abuse, and but he's growing out of them at top speed. The back of the heel of the sock is already pulled down under the ball of his heel. So. I made these with a little growing room built in. And he says there's too much growing room built in. Not to mention he struggles to pull them over his ankles. Considering he's such a slim child, it's odd that his ankles consistently present a problem for hand-knit socks. So here I am, finishing them, but he won't wear them this winter, probably. And I wanted him to have a pair of handmade socks as soon as possible! Bah.

-The basket rib Trekkers. These are trekking along. They kinda get knitted on when I'm not knitting anything else.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

gym status

28 minutes, elliptical walker, yay yay yay!

Monday, October 23, 2006

disfunctional relationship

I have a crazy, crazy relationship with my crochet hook. It comes and goes as it pleases, with absolutely no regard for my feelings or needs. For example: when I was doing seasonal work at Barnes and Noble, it came to work with me in my pocket. The next day, I was restacking holiday cards, and I found that little trickster hook hiding between the boxes of cards! It had escaped for an entire day, and showed up in an area of the store I never frequented!

I have tried to break it off with this crochet hook. More than once I have decided I won't wait around for it to reappear anymore, and I have replaced it. Strange and mysterious things happen to the replacements. The pink plastic replacement suffered a devastating injury, in which it was broken in half. The gold replacement, while safe in my knitting bag, was tossed out and left behind. I am certain that foul play is involved.

And now, I am in great need of a crochet hook, and the little trickster has gone off again. Last I saw it was in my pocket with the fiery socks a week ago. And I was monitoring it, so I know it made it home from the bookstore. But where it's run off to after that, I cannot say. Dastardly thing! I'm right where I need to crochet the top border of this crazy purse I'm trying to make!

If it doesn't show up by tomorrow, I will be buying YET ANOTHER crochet hook. I shall have to take drastic measures to protect it.


We have taken the turntable out of its box and after some very frustrating episodes, have successfully begun to rip vinyl to mp3! I spent $8 on a cable at Radio Shack, (RCA to 1/8" stereo line-in jack) and then wound up spending $10 or so on a Rip Vinyl software, which made it all come together.

The first to be ripped was a Byrds album. This was a test, for we have a CD boxed set that covers it all. Then we went on to rip in earnest, first 2 Husker Du albums (Flip Your Wig and New Day Rising) and then 2 English Beat albums (Just Can't Stop It and Special Beat Service). Last night was actually playing the albums, tonight I was cutting out the pops and converting them to mp3. It's a lot of work! I had Mr. LoverMan playing the albums while I worked hastily on my paper last night, today I took the time to work on his tracks for him, using Audacity.

You can see from the pictures that the feng shui of my work space is abysmal. I have found that lack of clutter frightens me. I need some serious feng shui reprogramming.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


The paper is due at midnight. After two weeks of postponing, Sunday is THE DAY to do the work.

Guess who doesn't give a flying fish...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Amazon disclaimer

I do include links to Amazon at times. I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way, but have provided links to them as an Associate for years, starting with book recommendation pages when my kidlets were small. I do not make much income from this, but I do get a bit now and then to buy some more books. If you shop through my links, I can buy my kids or me more books, and we are always grateful.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Splendid view

and look what I was seeing while I knitted....

Candy Baby Hat

candy yarn hatCandy One Skein Baby Hat
  • pattern from label--adjusted for circular needles
  • Candy--64% cotton, 32% acrylic, 3% nylon, 1% elastic
  • by Artful Yarns
  • knit on size 7 addi turbo circular needle

I started this a month ago, for a little upcoming grand neice. I'm afraid I'm bouncing from project to project, and failing to do my homework. So I've been working on socks ever since starting this hat, but as I heard a baby shower was coming up, I refocused on the hat. After all, it really didn't take very long, and it was very nice having rows and rows of nothing but knitting.

hippo in hat

Thursday, October 19, 2006

gym bunny!

Success! I made two trips to the gym this week, 25 minutes on the elliptical walker. While I still feel crappy, today was better than Tuesday's experience.

I'm sitting in a coffee shop downtown. I feel smug because the wireless access is provided by my ISP. So for once when I get the dreaded "log in" window, I can log in without problem! I'm watching the train go by, watching the people up and down the street. Sipping an ice tea. Doing my homework. (See? see me doing that homework?)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

me and jake

I was about to shut down the computer for the night, and down comes my dear Mr. Man to say good night to me. He's been playing with his CDs all night, and some how after saying goodnight, he wound up looking at his cassettes, and then he was sticking one in, and it was "me and jake", their cassette "Pine", recorded in 1992. And I grab my knitting, tonight it was the baby hat for my incoming grand neice, and sat there listening. We can both just listen, the whole cassette just listening. And reminiscing. We were both in the studio, and neither of us felt that the cassette sounded nearly as good as the songs when they were recorded. So we analyzed the quality of the sound. And the overall fabulousness of many of the songs. How great they sounded, and where are they both now? Remember when we had a me and jake sho in our back yard? How many people came to that, anyway? He started wondering if that producer still has his studio over near Trolley Square, if the masters for me and jake are still out there, if CDs could be made. But then he hasn't done what he needs to do to get his band from 1982 on CD.

I'm bouncing from project to project. I'd like to finish this little hat and mail it off, I think there's a baby shower soon. I think that when I was as young as that new-mother-to-be, I thought all hand-knitted objects were tacky and hideous, and I question whether this stranger will appreciate the hand-knitted hat from an unknown great aunt. Great Aunt sounds so old and stodgy! But her baby's only 8 years younger than mine. I picked out some really cool yarn, but it knits up messier than it looked on the ball. I can't explain why, but I look at the ball, and it looks all great, and then in the hat, and it's just a mess. Still, it might be cute, I'm often hyper-critical of my own work, going back to my days as a professional seamstress.

I came home from work today, sick, and slept for two hours mid-afternoon. I awoke from a dream of an incredibly cute (like, think neopets-cute) wild fox loose in my parents' house, harrassing my father's dog. I physically woke myself up to go get the camera, and as I stumbled off on sleep-drunk legs, I slowly began to process the fact that there was no fox, I wasn't at my parents' house, and I didn't need the camera.

There, I ran off and took a picture, to see if I could demonstrate how the hat looks messier than the skein. Huh. I may just be nit-pickity.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

hell or gym

Well, I may or may not be on the slippery road to hell, but I did make it to the gym. It was harder this time, it's been getting progressively harder, not easier, hurts where before it didn't ache at all. I found Dharma and Greg, despite the fact that the channel had leapt 20 spots higher on the so-called dial. Since when do channels jump about from week to week?

I will have to employ forethought if I want to make it to the gym again this week, as Friday clearly won't work. But I've been on the edge of sick all week, and the gym just sounds so painful.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fiery socks!

I did manage to turn 2 heels this weekend. I short rowed them during a Who video about the making of Who's Next. This made for very excellent heels. I also ran out of yarn on each foot. The thing that astonished me is that I ran out in the exact same place on each foot, only one row apart. Now the two socks are sharing the remaining ball of yarn, and I'm not sure how much more sock I'll get, I'm starting to see the empty middle of the yarn. I'm pondering a red cuff just to make the socks taller.

I did not make it to the gym this weekend. Instead I did the mild fever, pounding head, snuffly nose thang. I also did a birthday party, which involved 8 wound-up 11-or-12-year-old boys, 2 8-year-old little sisters, and Laser Tag. Plus pizza and ice cream. What more can be expected of me in a weekend?

Friday, October 13, 2006

gym grr

I know this is the slippery slope to hell. I missed the gym today. Forethought did not kick in soon enough to have me go yesterday. We had a work luncheon today to say farewell to not one but two coworkers. Later there was a party for them. No gym time. Maybe I can go tomorrow!

It's also very stressfull, the coworkers leaving. Not only will we miss them, as they were interesting and colourful people, but a staff of nine will be down to a staff of four. Plus one part time, on her way back from maternity leave, soon, and a substitute, in 2 weeks. I'm stressing about this. It will be difficult to keep the place running. We will not be able to perform our own duties well. Additionally, once the hiring is complete, the new people will need time to learn their way around and to get up to speed. We will need to train. I am already behind on my job. I see that getting worse, not better.

Oh, oh, and I checked the status of my jury forms. I have qualified. Apparently they don't just take citizens. This could be a very interesting December.

creeping along

Well, the fiery red socks are creeping along. I did so much over the weekend, and then along comes Monday and my progress slows to a crawl. I've been about to turn the heel all week. Now I think I am in the perfect position to turn the heel, at long last. I woke up last Saturday and turned 2 heels, perhaps I'll do that again tomorrow. I really want to finish them, my son loves warm socks and he needs more.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

yay gym!

25 minutes on the elliptical walker. Yay! I forgot my headphones: horror of horrors I had to be alone with my thoughts the entire time. Except that 2 buddies together got on the walkers next to me and instead of spending my workout thinking, I heard their verbal thoughts the entire time.

I'm thinking today that it will never be this easy to work out. Well, excepting going for walks, which is Good Fun, too, but I tend to fizzle out as winter blows in. This gym is so close--one building away. And way affordable, too! Elliptical walkers are the least painful workout I've ever done, although today I pushed it a little and my body has been a little traumatized. (they also claim to be a total body workout. Being no expert, I want to believe them, but find it hard to really believe that hanging on to moving handles offers my arms and whole body a workout.) I've never had troubles getting an empty machine, although by the time I was half-way through my workout, all the walkers were in use: the busiest I've ever seen it. Being able to hop there during my lunch hour, not even any travel time? That just rocks. I hope I manage to keep myself motivated and going all winter. It'll suck, even though it's so close, having to get into my boots and winter coat just to go to the gym.

Nomenclature Rant

I enjoy working in Technical Services, and like that there is a good strong mythology that has evolved about those in technical services. At residencies, I room with fellow cataloguers and we have a total blast. But I'm feeling very frustrated about the name today.

Our office says "Technical Services" on the door. Library patrons see this and the word "technical" makes them think computer, so they come in for computer help. I'm quite competent with computers, but no I don't know why your network connection has slowed to a crawl nor can I fix your forgotten password. It's a shame, it's not like I can blame the patrons for the misunderstanding. They really need IT, not TS. Neither do I see any good chance of changing the entrenched name of technical services. I just wish I could avoid the misunderstanding. It goes against the librarian in me to turn people away, but I really can't help them and they really should be able to walk their buns down one flight of steps to the people who can help them. We even have an elevator if they need it.

Lonesome skein

I just joined the lonesome skein knitalong.

Here are some of the things I plan to work on. The white is Heilo that I bought on clearance. I plan to dye it, but not until I figure out what it wants to be. The ball is the first skein I dyed, it's variegated in reds with some blue. The baggie is Blue Sky Organic Cotton. Although it's remnants, there's remnants of several knitted skeins in there and enough for something joyous. Then I have some hand-dyed Andes from Chile. I bought this on sale and it was the only of its colour. Last is a skein of Mountain Colours. I read its label and it has 350 yards, so it doesn't count for the Lonesome Skein knit-along, so it's an interloper in the pictures. Ooops.

I have other skeins (of course!) but these are my top choices.

But first I will finish my red socks!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Weekend knitting; aka red sockarama

On Saturday morning I turned the heel on the basket rib socks. I did a short-row heel with a size 1 needle. I've been pondering frogging the heel and making the leg an inch or two longer. But then I think they're tight enough that they shouldn't be any taller. I do have to spend a lot of time thinking about these things.

So while contemplating the fate of the basket rib socks, I started on another pair of red socks. They're knit with red Color4me and firey Big Print. Because they're knit on larger needles, they knit up faster. These are for #1Son, who likes to be warm and therefore likes wool socks. He just keeps growing out of them! His blue ribbon socks can still be worn, but the heel is curving down under where it shouldn't be. His tiger socks has moved on to his sister. Because he appreciates handmade socks so well, I thought I'd get busy and crank him out a pair or two. The weekend afforded me plenty of knitting time, even while doing homework. I knit the toes and under the ball of his foot in size 3, and the rest in size 4. I'm using my own usual toe-up methods, with a provisional cast on and a short-row toe, and then a cable pattern that I got from Sensational Knitted Socks, a 5-stitch yarn-over cable. I'm pleased with it.

I started with a remnant ball of the red, and as I knit the second sock's toe, I was watching that skein get smaller and smaller. I finished the red toe with about 40" of red yarn remaining!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Self-striping sock yarn adventure #1

Inspired by Eunny, I was utterly impatient to make some sock yarn of my own. I keep looking for the perfect stripes and not finding what I'm dreaming off. This doesn't mean my own creation will be any better, but I had to try! Had to so crazily that I didn't do homework last night.

It started yesterday evening. I was driving the ballet carpool. After dropping off the girls, I had to head to pick up Number One Son. While driving back, I saw a grocery store. They don't let me out of the cage very often! So when I saw the store, I just pulled right in and bought an array of koolaid. I used Strawberry, Lemonade, and Ice Blue Raspberry.

This morning I got up early to rinse the yarn. When I got home from work, I was able to wind up the dry yarn into a skein.

I'm so impatient to knit it, but the skeins are so beautiful I want to admire them for a while! They're probably more gorgeous than what comes next.


25 minutes on the elliptical walker. And I even got Dharma and Greg! Once again, forethought happened, and my gym bag came to work with me.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Life as a Mom

It's 6:45am. Number One Son comes running. "I just opened up the bag to get my socks and I was hit by an incredible stench!"

Lesson #362: If you put wet soccer socks and shoes into a bag and leave them there for 24 hours, they ripen!

Instead of the warm shower I had anticipated at 6:45, I spent the next many minutes searching for a lone clean soccer sock. The 2nd pair of socks were washed as they arrived, which meant one each weekend, and the first one washed vanished into the cyclone he calls his room. He finally went to practice wearing shin guards, ankle socks, and long fleece sweats to hide the abomination. He was wearing the fleece pants anyway. #1Son does not like to be cold or wet. And yet soccer practice in October is at 7am.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Geek Girl Goes Elliptical

So my free gym membership ran out in June and I never bothered to pay to renew it. After all, it was summer, and there was plenty of time for biking and roller-blading and walking, right? But now I'm in school, and I know that I'm having sedentary days for the next 9 months. So today at lunch I marched over to the Health and Wellness Center, signed away my life, (authorized a paycheque deduction,) and spent a half an hour on the elliptical walker. I even timed it to be able to watch Dharma and Greg on the walker's TV, but couldn't find it and wound up watching the Cosby Show instead. Sigh. Even more impressive, this action involved **forethought**. I had to pack and bring my gym bag in the morning. Ooh la la!

It was a very intense day at work and I suppose I am grateful for the workout. At the moment I'm just plain befuddled and exhausted.

Oh! And today I got notification that I may be a juror. I didn't ever expect that. But I realize that because I pay taxes, my name is in the pool. I filled out the form and it told me that I probably don't qualify, but to check back in a few days for confirmation. US Government will take my tax dollars just fine, no prob, but doesn't want my opinion in a court of law! Yes, us Canadians are very very controversial peoples.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Seattle yarn

Miss She's-All-That plunked herself down right where I was going to photograph. Yes, she does know where the camera is pointing.

This yarn says Jarbo Garn. raggi. Kvalitet: 70% ULL, 30% nylon.

If ULL=wool, as I believe it does (you know, Baby Ull and all that), then this is just what I wanted.

Bought at Weaving Works for $8/ball.

Potato-Garbanzo Soup

Chop half an onion. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, cook it in olive oil. Add 3 crushed cloves of garlic and continue to cook until the onions are transparent and it all smells divine. Pour in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 6 red potatoes, well chopped, 2 veggie broth cubes and a big heaping kitchen-teaspoon of cumin. Boil on medium-high heat until the potatoes are soft. Add a can of garbanzos, drained and rinsed, a cup of frozen corn, and 2 tablespoons of tamari. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread to soak up all the yummy broth.

It turned out yum!

Darn it!

It seems that whenever I go to take pictures, Miss Kitty shows up to get in on the action!

While on the plane yesterday, I was looking at the ball of trekker yarn I was knitting, and pondering that this was not the first trekker socks I'd made--where was the other pair? That's when I recalled they were languishing on my dresser, having gotten a hole after only a few wearings. This morning before work I grabbed a needle and yarn and darned up the hole. I did the traditional woven-in darning I learned in brownies, then I used my yarn to secure all the loose stitches so they wouldn't drop, and then just generally stitched the beezees outta it to make sure it was well-armoured against further troubles. I hope it lasts! They're purty socks.