Thursday, January 10, 2008

so AWOL...

Yes, it has been a while (waving back to Bets!) It has be a freakin' busy time. I love/loath the holiday season. Too much to do and never enough time. I also tend to slip into a bit of a depressed funk that hits me every winter which leaves me worn thin and weeping at the least thing. The entire month of November I took exactly one and a half days off. I actually tried to quit my LYS job – but things were in a state of flux and my guilt level was so high I couldn’t in good conscience just walk away. As it turned out we have a new manager there – a woman who I hold very dear – and I’m going to do my damndest to at least put in one or two days a month. That sounds so very simple on the surface but there are so many things pulling me in different directions. Work mostly, but family stuff too. It would be nice to have a clean house once and a while!

I did however, knit my very first ever pair of socks.

I’m insanely proud of these even though I know there are totally brilliant sock knitters out there cranking out fabulous socks on a daily basis. That were I to participate in the Sock Wars I’d be killed immediately. But still:
Toe up, short row heels in Crystal Palace Bunny Hop. So toasty warm, and my perpetually cold feet love them. And I actually like the barber-polling that it did.

So much has happened. I went to Albuquerque for a technical conference in November and took a day to drive out to Santa Fe. Driving out there I was pretty underwhelmed, but once into Santa Fe proper I understood the attraction. It is a spectacular place and I could have spent days just wandering through the galleries and shops. I was going to put some really nice pictures [here] and [here] but I cannot seem to find the card that contains them…

Unfortunately I have a bit of a problem with altitude sickness and despite drinking quarts of water and snacking on ibuprofen by mid-afternoon I was feeling pretty ragged, so I left way too soon. The conference was great and I learned a lot, but it is always a bit weird and intimidating to be one of a very small handful of women in the group – I literally could count the other female attendees on one hand. I was actually brave enough this time to bring along my knitting, deliberately sitting in the back and trying to keep my needles quiet.

I worked on my Mr. Greenjeans and I did get a few odd looks. One of the guys I contract with asked me if I ever actually wore anything I knit – and I just happened to be wearing my “Leaf Cardigan” so I felt downright smug at that particular moment. Hah!

December flew by and was fairly quiet except for this unfortunate event:

My daughter was at her friend’s house studying for finals, so luckly she wasn't in the car. The other driver swerved to avoid a deer that ran out in front of her – thus totaling her car and ours, as well as damaging the car parked behind Rachel. Mind you, the Jeep is roughly 4500 pounds and Rachel had parked it with the wheels in the gutter. The rear end of the Jeep was push over nearly four feet (almost touching the fence) and back roughly three feet. Her friend’s mother called me and caught me as I was going out the door to try and finish Christmas shopping. I stood by and watched – for hours – as the other driver was extricated from her car and sent off in an ambulance, and the cars were carefully pried apart and towed away. It rained. I was wearing a light sweater and totally inappropriate shoes and my toes were completely numb by the time I got back home. Foolishly(!!!) I didn’t get the other driver’s insurance information (kind of awkward, what with the whole taking her away in an ambulance thing) and I guess I assumed that the police report would be available in a day or two. I was so very, very, wrong. Ten. Days. Later. Even with the report in hand we still needed to wait for some official database thingy before AAA could process the claim. Today – twenty six days later – we’re told that the Jeep is considered “totaled”. Not a huge surprise, but damn. This is our main towing vehicle. We have a boat parked in the driveway that isn’t going anywhere now, and it is pretty unlikely that any check we receive will take into account the low mileage, extra lift kit, winch setup, really cool wheels, brand new tires, blah, blah, blah, that will make finding a replacement vehicle possible without spending a lot more money. Did I mention the part about the likely layoffs at my husband’s workplace…? Thanks to the US Congress for cutting the physics research budget by 200+ million. Not the best time for us to be going into debt for a car. Rachel will be in college in another year and a half too - we were going to be looking for a decent used car next year, so I'm smelling compromise in the air.

I continued to (try to) stay sane by knitting and finally finished my Mystery Stole – the thing is just too big to get into one single picture:

You can’t see the tiny Swarovski crystals that are knit in, but they’re there and add just the right bit of sparkle. Very tedious to do, but worth it.

It is so very pretty - kudos to the designer (Melanie Gibbons) for a beautiful design.

I also finished my sister in law Cherrise’s Luna Moth, knit from Malabrigo lace weight. I can’t seem to get it mailed off because it keeps nagging at me that it is too small. The Malabrigo doesn’t block out anywhere nearly as big as the Kid Silk or Super Kydd versions, even with the same needle size and repeat count. I keep wanting to pull out the bind off and add another repeat – I have enough yarn to do it, but don’t seem to have the willpower...

I finished off Mr. Greenjeans too, after lots of frogging and fiddling to get it right.
This was totally worth the extra work. It fits! And it is so nice and warm. We don’t get a lot of wool sweaters in California stores because it really isn’t that cold; most of my store bought sweaters are cotton/acrylic blends, so the Lorna’s Laces worsted wool is a welcome addition.

On the needles now is my second pair of socks, made from Regia Galaxy which patterns in a way that I find enchanting. Two socks, two circs!

It doesn’t show here yet, but hopefully will look more like this:

I’ve also been trying - in vain - to find a lace pattern using Zephyr Wool-Silk laceweight that would be appropriate for a first time lace project for our LYS and that is proving to be much more difficult than I’d thought, so nothing to show for it yet but a provisional cast on and a heap of crumpled yarn that has been through several different (and unsatisfactory) trial runs.


See what happens when I don't post often enough? So many goodies. Yesterday I visited another LYS to the south - Purlescence (a wonderful place!) and found this - I'm in total lust:

This is Grace, from Fiddlesticks Knitting.

And a small stroke of luck occured when Elann had a bag sale of their Highland Silk - perfect for Grace. I was a bit bummed that I didn't get one of the colors I truly adored, but the blue that I did get will probably be nice on its own and if not then this'd be a great time to try my hand at over-dying. Extra happiness was had when I found that I'd hit my Elann bonus, so two bags are on the way for a mere pittance.

And I saw this on Ravelry - then spotted yesterday - this lovely is Corsica which will be made with a considerable addition to its length, given my belly area’s lack of charm.


Grace Yaskovic said...

soo soo happy to see an update, and with lots of knitty pictures in it too, your socks are great, the shawls are fantastic, I love the Mr Green Jeans and have it in my mile long queue

Sorry to hear about the accident but glad your daughter was not hurt.

Like I said good to see you back!!!

smariek said...

Ouch on the Jeep. Good thing your daughter was not in the car at the time.

Wonderful projects. Love the stole & shawl.

junior_goddess said...

OMG, OMG, OMG-I want that sweater. I need a better waistline to show it off, tho.

You just tell all your geekbuds that you are programming.

With string.

junior_goddess said...

Now that I look at the Corsica (the shoulders are JACKED up!!!) I don't like it as well as I did. And I don't know if I want to pay 8.00 for jacked up shoulders. I am pretty sure you and I can pick up and knit similar.