Why, hello there!

Wow. I'm a slacker. Between serious fatigue and busy work schedules, and the holidays beginning to ramp up, I have neglected this poor, sad blog. I have nothing new on the knitting front to share, as, alas, that has suffered as well. I just cast on a pair of Jaywalkers with my first ever Socks that Rock Med. weight in Jabberwocky (it is some glorious sock yarn, I tell ya), and I half-heartedly started a sweater, but I'm just not feelin it.

It's a cold, rainy day here, and the rumors are that everything will freeze over tonight. Fun times. I'm hanging at home today, waiting for the satellite TV dude to come tweak the dish so I can watch the TV. Maybe I'll go fluff the stash and see if anything calls to me...

Ketchup.

The Sox did end up losing Game 7. Bummer. At least I'll get some sleep now.

I went to Rhinebeck. I bought a metric butt-ton of yarn. And fiber. And a Bosworth drop spindle. (Which is worth its weight in gold, I tell you. Go buy one.) I did not take any pictures, so I'm stealing these ones from Mel:


Good shopping, good beer, gorgeous fall day...


...And a kickass group of gals to do it with. Thanks for a lovely day!

In other news, I made up my two points from my previous FAIL, so now I guess I'm certifiable...

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish.



ETA: Or not? Ha. I posted this before I went to bed. Thinking it was OVER. I guess we all had to really believe that there was no way to win. To quote Yogi Berra, It ain't ovah, till it's ovah.

Now, TWO MORE WAKEUPS TO RHINEBECK!!! w00t!

I'm baaaack...

It seriously takes a day away from work for me to find the time to post on the blog. That new job thing didn't really work out, so I've been spending a lot of time focusing on my current job, and ways to make my life and the department's lives better. Between that, and all the extracurricular activities that come with the beginning of fall, I've been hopping.

First things first. I am a spinner.

She arrived in Mid September. And with a bit of finishing wax, some elbow grease, and a rubber mallet, we have Helga.


Yes, Helga. TC named her. She's an Ashford Traveller, and I love her. The treadles are squeaking pretty bad lately, I'll have to re-grease them or something. Other than that, I got it figured out that night, and I've just been spinning to make yarn. Not any specific weight, just trying to get the action of spinning down. I think I'm getting pretty consistent. My drop spindling was coming along nicely until I sat down at this baby. I can see the drop spindle serving a purpose, but man.. I love my wheel.

The Sox-Yankees game was "meh". I mean, don't get me wrong, baseball at Fenway is always reason for good times, but you'd expect this one, in late September, to be electric. But since the Yanks were already eliminated from the postseason, we got to see the junior varsity squad. I mean, they had Kevin Cash playing 3rd base at one point.

We showed up for the game on Saturday.

It was rainy.

And foggy.

(Yeah, that's the Prudential building from where we sought shelter behind right field.)

So, they canceled the game. Postponed to the next night. Again, we trek out there, but we got to see baseball!! Extra innings even. It was a good time.
Johnny Pesky's newly retired number:

Hunchback, I mean, Sean Casey.


And for Bethe, MDC leading the boys back from the bullpen.


(We actually saw him closer waiting in the players parking area. He's adorable.)

Test scores are still pending, the mysterious family illness has seemed to take care of itself, I am indeed still knitting things. Did I miss anything?

Oh yeah.

I'm going to Rhinebeck. First trip. Riding out in the party car with my BAMF knitters, Hollis and Melody, and meeting up with some of the other BAMFKnitters... are you going to be there? Hmmm?

Rampant, like herpes, but positive.



In Massachusetts, the deadline is October 15.
http://maps.google.com/vote

two more days.

And then I get my brain back. Where have I been? Ha. Right here. Neglecting y'all. Since we last spoke, I had a birthday, for which I was given a spinning wheel (which takes up a lit of my time, damn that thing)(and Red Sox vs. Yankees tix!! squee!!), I've been studying for another major exam (in two days!! ACK!), almost got a new job, now trying to figure out what's wrong with my current job so I can make my life a little better until I really get a new job, and dealt with a weird illness in the family. I promise once I get things back in order, I will have something interesting to say.

Till then, well, put on your big girl panties. And miss me. ;)

O is for Old.

As in, my house. Built in 1915. Old houses have so much character. Imagine how happy we were to hear that there were hardwood floors under the icky smelly mauve carpet? Yay!

But... This is what we found.




We weren't even sure what kind of wood it was. We had the refinishing folks come look at it. I had thought it was maple, not grainy enough to be oak. Turns, out it was birch. And that it would refinish beautifully. Boy, they were right...




It couldn't have turned out any better.

Gold medal knitting.

I can't believe I actually finished a project in two weeks.

DSC01173.JPG

Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl (rav link)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, 2 skeins
Colorway: Tahoe
Needles: KnitPicks Options, #6

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With just a bit of yarn to spare.

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Progress, and a new stash.

Olympic knitting is cruising along according to plan at Chez Stellify.



I wanted to be into the second skein of yarn by this weekend, and I accomplished just that last night. (In between yelling at the swimmers ALL NIGHT. Michael Phelps is a machine, and I'm in awe of his talent.) Now, the pattern picture has 9 patterned diamonds down the center stitch before the edging. At halfway with my yardage, I have 13. Trying to figure out how far to push my luck before starting the edging - I want to use every inch of this yarn...

Speaking of yarn... The BAMFKnitters had a lil yarn swap last weekend. The premise was, bring your tired, your poor, the yarn you're sick of looking at in your stash. The more you bring, the more credits you get. You then "shop" through everyone's yarn and bring home new stuff, without spending a dime. I brought a bagful:


o haha. This is the bagful I brought home.


Lots of nice stuff, and the best part? It's all new to me. We also had a little contest for the fugliest yarn. Check out your winner.


Yes, that's a ball and a half. That means I once used it. My prize was a lovely handmade project bag from Heather:


..complete with Malabrigo. Whee!

I also managed to amass a fiber stash. Guess I'm a spinner now...


I started another little project yesterday...


Those are most of my show ribbons from college. I bought a pattern years ago for instructions on how to make them into wall hangings, quilts, etc. A way to keep them on display in a neat way. I washed up the ribbons and laid them out to dry, under close supervision, as you can see. The problem is that I found the pattern envelope... empty. Can't find the info to save my life. It's in the house somewhere..

Just thought I'd do something with the old ribbons before I start winning new ones...



I hear we might be entering in a show in September...

Let the Games Begin!

Aaaand, we're off! Friday began what the knitterly folks are referring to as the Ravelympics. Here's the scoop - start a kitting project with the start of the Olympics, and have it done by the time the closing ceremonies finish. Preferably a project that will be a challenge to finish in that period of time. So, since I am slowest knitter EVER, I chose the Forest Canopy Shawl. Knitting on #6, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Tahoe.
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And I actually got to watch some equestrian stuff that wasn't broadcast at 2AM!
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Here's today's progress:
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You know, I might just get this thing done. Then again, I haven't had a workday yet to impede my knitting progress...

Finished Stuff!!

The Hemlock Ring Blanket is done!!



Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket by Jared Flood
Yarn : Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, 3 skeins
Needle: US9
Finished Diameter: 42" at longest points

I'm really pleased with this - it's one of my favorite FO's to date.

In progress:

Crocheted Nalgene cozy. I wanted something to insulate my water bottle, without it dropping sweat on every surface that I placed it on. Just single crochet, until it's tall enough.

And this? Oh, I've been dabbling with the DarkSide... I hear they have cookies.


Schacht spindle, 2.2 oz. And 8 oz of BFL. 4oz white, 4oz dark. Sent from Spunky Eclectic. Me likey. :)

ABC catch-up (Ketchup?)

I'm cheating. I didn't take this picture. M is for Marriage.


As I don't have children yet, this is officially the happiest day of my life. And this is my favorite picture from that day. If you care to see more, go to my flickr account (see sidebar) and add me as a friend so you can see them. :)

N, continuing on, is for Nap.



It's hard being a fat cat in this heat. Better to sleep it off.

You know what really grinds my gears?

I seem to be agitated, these last few days. Yeah, I'm on vacation, and yeah, I'm relaxed and crap, but maybe it's giving me a lot of time to think about stuff. So, in no particular order, stuff that's been bugging me lately:

* The stupid black cat in the neighborhood that keeps showing up and attacking my cats through the screens. Damn thing put holes in the screens - I know it's not my cats, they're declawed. I just had to pick the fat orange cat up by the scruff and kick him out of the mudroom.. he wants to kill that stupid thing.

* One certain someone who has made some tough life choices. You say: "i think i stopped understanding how to relate with others. like someone mashed ‘pause’ and i’m looking at a freeze frame of my heart’s arcs and turns. some of them need some serious straightening, and its those that i have no idea how to approach. i think i’m finally getting to the root of one of my oldest reflexes and actually addressing the problem. at least i hope i am. i kind of have to if i want any of the arcs and turns to survive." I hope so - but I know it's not about us... you know where to find me if it is.

* Yankees fans. OK, so hot shot Papelbon said a few things, and those things got taken out of context, and stupid Yankees fans don't know how to READ THE WHOLE STORY. Nothing would have made me happier last night than to see Mariano Rivera give up a GW hit in the 10th. But, JD Drew getting the MVP soothed those wounds just a little. That, and Reggie Jackson's digs on Alex Rodriguez. Both of em. :)

* The Olympics in China and the issues surrounding them. And knitting during the Olympics. I'm not saying that we should be overlooking the issues in China and Tibet. I believe the Color Orange folks say it best: "We want to introduce The Color Orange as a symbol of the protest against the human rights violations in China." Not a protest against the Games themselves. And as knitters, we're not condoning anything, or "knitting for a cause". We want to apply the Olympic spirit of competition to our craft, and push ourselves to do our best, to maybe achieve something we haven't thought possible. There's a way to support your country's team, and the world community, and still have your eyes open and recognize other world issues at the same time. If anything, the Olympics being in China may have made many more people aware of the human rights issues in China. There's a balance, folks...

* Rude people. Especially people who don't know that they're being rude. Maybe if polite people stopped being polite, rude people would notice that they may be rubbing people the wrong way...

That's it. I'm not a really negative person, but sometimes this stuff stacks up, and I have to unload it. I'm going to go yoga out all this negative energy, and we'll be right as rain...

Aah, vacation is here...

Although I'm off from work this week, that does not mean there's a whole lot of time for relaxation! I took the week off because my last teacher's exam is this coming Saturday, and I have a whole week of time dedicated to studying. OK, and maybe some knitting. And a few trips to the barn. I figure if I put in 4-6 hours of study time every day, I'll be in good shape. Maybe I'll have time to continue catching up on my ABC-along pictures...

I actually have knitting progress to show you!


Here's sock #1 of Firestarter. Sock #2 (thanks to a weekend watching my husband play Halo with his friends away from home) is almost halfway done as well. Gusset increases are 2/3 done, then it's the heel flap and the cuff! Pretty socks, but the pattern gets a little fiddly after a while, and it just seems to take forever to knit. I also have caught back up to where I was on the Hemlock ring prior to ripping back, and have passed by a few rows as of last night. I'm trying to get these two projects done before the Ravelympics start up, so I can concentrate on that project. For some reason, I think I'm going to knit a shawl in 17 days. It will be in sock yarn, but still. And, if for some reason I finish it in record time, I'll still have Kiri to work on... and then? I can start a million new things, since I won't really have anything left on the needles! Yay!

Alright, enough time wasted. Back to the books!

A pictorial tutorial.

I took some pictures of the graceful fixing of the Hemlock Ring booboo. I thought they might be helpful in showing that you don't have to frog a whole section of your knitting just to fix a little mistake. As you see in the below picture, I've put a DPN in where I need to unravel the stitches to, in order to fix and re-knit the section. Yes, it's 20 rows back. And it was missing about 6 yarn overs.


So, after finding where to unravel to, Here's what it looked like:


Aaaaand.. that's all the pictures I took. I was good for about the first 5 rows of re-knitting the section up. Then reality set in: there were too many yarn overs missed to have enough slack yarn in the section to make them with. Even on #2dpns. So, the rest of the pictures that I didn't take were really of me threading a circ 20 rows back, taking out the first circ, and frogging 20 rows of the damned thing. The good news, though, is that I re-knit half of what I ripped out yesterday afternoon.

In other news: the Ravelympics is almost upon us. A few of us local girls are forming team BAMFKnit, but I still have no idea what to knit. The idea is that you cast on a project during the opening ceremonies of the games, and you must have it complete by the time the flame is extinguished. That's 17 days, I believe, for the slowest knitter I know to get something done, start to finish. AND, I'm hoping to get Hemlock and my second sock done before then. Oh, and study and take test #2 in two weeks...

We interrupt your bloggy reading...

.. to offer the following:

As an aspiring science educator, I am aware that a salamander is an amphibian. Lizards are technically reptiles. So, the little guy below is not really a lizard. But I needed an L, and it worked. So phbt.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

L is for...

Little Lizard.



I came across this little guy out letterboxing a few weekends ago. Just sitting there, in the middle of the trail. He was too cute. And he didn't move at all. So I had to snap a picture. In the rain.

It's been a tough few days... The big boo boo on the hemlock ring? I started to fix it, taking pictures to document the unraveling of a few stitches.. ha. Long story short, 20 rows (that's almost one whole skein of yarn) frogged. Yah.

The bright spot? Hanging out with my BAMFknitters at the Worcester Tornadoes Stitch n Pitch on Sunday. Yeah, we got sunburned. But the beer was good, the company better, and the catcher, oh, the catcher..

And back to teh suck.. I've been trying to get TC's XBox online... for three days now. I just got off the phone with customer support. Was chatting with them for over an hour. Had to reboot my wireless network. Had to reboot everything. Repeatedly. The verdict? Maybe the XBox is faulty. Gaaaaah!!

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good: I won my ticket hearing!! It was a little nerve-wracking, and it was looking like the odds were against me for a while, but I did what I had to, and was found "Not Responsible". Yay!!

The Bad: one section of my Hemlock ring is unraveled, and only partially re-knit. I was only missing 4 YOs, but several rows back. like, 15 or 20. I started working on it this morning, even taking pictures. Then I just got pissed off and went to the barn. Hopefully by the end of today, it will be reassembled.


The Ugly: Not the most flattering of photos of the evil feline. But she's still cute. Yeah, ugly on short notice - this is what you get. :)

Ahem.

And now, to interrupt your regularly scheduled lack of new blog posts... Seriously, I apologize. Been a busy few weeks. I had to study for and take the first of two exams to apply for my teaching license. Yep. Second one is in July, so the studying's not over yet. Additionally, I came down with bubonic plague last week, and just as things were looking up, I found a HUGE mistake in my Hemlock Ring blanket. Several rows back. Involving about 10 YOs. Or lack thereof. Meaning, I have to rip back and reknit. I put it away and started knitting a bathmat. In garter stitch. Gaaaaah.

So, I'm here. I'm still reading your blogs. I just don't seem to be able to get my sh*t together lately... but soon. All will be better soon. How far behind on my ABCs am I now? Lemme catch up... K is for Kika. Cat #3.


She's quite cute, but let me tell you... I've had cats all my life. They live the good life, but are by no means spoiled, nor do they run my house. Except for this one. She's pure evil, and she's got my number.


She's not mean, she doesn't attack people. She's destructive, however. She beats up the fat orange cat, which is funny. She does what she wants, when she wants. And she's quite snuggly at times. On her terms, of course.


And she makes that face when she's bored.

All About meme.

Blatantly stolen from Heather.

meme

Here's the 411:

the rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).

the questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Photo credits:
1. The other side of the fence, 2. Crab Rangoons - assembled for frying, 3. Peter Doherty, 4. End of the day, 5. FightClub, 6. Gin Tonic, 7. Waikiki, 8. Tirimisu, 9. Horse Trainer, 10. Heart within a Heart, 11. False ego, 12. stellinableu.

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Oh, and I have an appeal hearing at the end of the month for my ticket. :)

Monday, Monday...

I just realized... I've worked one Monday in the past 5 weeks. Ha! I'm off today, I've got a traffic ticket hearing. Which is good, because I still have loads of stuff to plant. The yard is looking fantastic! Remember these pictures? What a difference..



It's green!! It's so nice to finally have grass! And the other big change is in front of the house...





The ugly shrubs are gone!! And in its place? The perennial garden...


I've got phlox, shasta dasies, columbine, lupines, delphinium.. I can't wait for it to fill in! some of the plants are dormant roots, so it'll be a while until we see green. but in a few years, if everything survives, it'll be a sight!

The rhododendron that ate Cincinnati is in bloom as well. Hopefully we can trim it back a little this season, it's really huge...


And any minute now, I'll finally have my irises...



By the way, if you really enjoy rhododendron and other flowering shrubs, I suggest you head out to Moore State Park in Paxton, MA sometime this week. I was letterboxing over there this weekend, and almost all of the greenery around the mill pond are rhododendron and azalea, and they're all just about in full bloom.



Really nice area to have a leisurely hike, or to take pictures. And if you're a letterboxer, there's quite a few in there...

Ok, I'm off to try and get out of my ticket! I'll let you know how it goes...

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