A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

An especially trying week

I reported to the supreme court yesterday morning, bright and early. Fortunately, I wasn't on trial. I was on jury duty. And of course I got chosen to serve on the jury for a criminal trial. So I've spent the last two days in the courtroom, listening to witnesses and rolling my eyes at obnoxious attorneys, who are nowhere near as exciting as the attorneys on Ally McBeal. I brought my knitting along, though I really haven't had a ton of time to work on it. In fact, the guy at the metal detector almost took them away from me today -- but fortunately I was arriving at the same time as my knitting buddy on the jury, and he eventually let us both through, saying, "I'd take them away, but I know how boring it can get up there."

At home, at night, collapsed in front of the TV, suffering from mental exhaustion, I've been working on two projects for Mom, who may or may not be coming to visit this weekend. We still haven't determined that. But I'm almost finished with her mini shawl out of Plymouth Electra and her soft chenille scarf. So if Mom shows up, I'll be prepared...

Friday, September 24, 2004

Fall knitting night

I'm so excited! My favorite knitting buddies, Lisa and Alicia, are coming over to knit tonight. Thanks to the hectic summer, we haven't done that since July, so we're long overdue. I'm not sure what I'll be working on tonight. I don't know if I'd be able to focus on finishing while I'm chatting, so that leaves me with Mom's shawl or Mom's scarf--or perhaps something new. Maybe I'll restart the hat I frogged last week...

But, more importantly, I've got to clean the house before they get here! And I've got to gather munchies. I'm thinking of trying a chili dip recipe I found last night...

I blame my parents

The Count
The Count's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

It started with a simple affection for counting and
the terror it induced in others, didn't it?
But now it's turned into a full-blown
life-consuming chaotic nightmare of order,
repetition, zealousness, and perfectionism.
You used to be so grand, but now you find
yourself obsessively worrying over the littlest
things--like, maybe if you don't check the
light switch at least once every two minutes,
the electricity will go out (and damnit, you're
a vampire--that shouldn't be a problem!), or
maybe if you don't wash your hands until your
seams are coming out, you'll get some fatal
disease. Get yourself some treatment.

Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Me? Obsessive compulsive? Let's see...my dad eats everything in perfect squares (really--it throws him off if he has to eat something round). He organizes his cutlery before he eats. And my mom spends her life making sure that her house is absolutely spotless. Should this come as a surprise to me? Forget that--I'm gonna go reorganize my stash and update the stash spreadsheet in my Palm Pilot.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Poncho obsession

That's right. I'm obsessed with ponchos. It's funny, since the first time I started searching for poncho patterns (after I saw a picture of the poncho I'm about to finish...), I couldn't find any that I really liked. But after finishing the poncho for my niece and almost finishing my first poncho for my very own, I'm totally obsessed. I want to make this one. I'm thinking a soft grey. And I just saw this great picture of this one, and I want one of those, too. And I'm not going to stop until my closet is overflowing with ponchos!

Forget knitting Christmas presents! I'm making ponchos--and they'll be all mine!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Nothin' left but the finishin'

Last night, I finished the front of my poncho. Now I have the two pieces--and all I need to do is stitch them together and finish the neck. Of course, that's the not-so-fun part, so it may take a while. I've learned from past projects that Homespun isn't a great yarn for finishing, so I think I'll grab some black something instead and finish the job.

And...some other good news: I'm not as stupid as I thought. I was on the Lion Brand site yesterday, and, for some reason, I was drawn to the errata page. On it, I saw that they had erroneously said that I needed five skeins of yarn for the pattern--when I would have actually needed seven. And it all came back to me. When I switched from using the yarn for a sweater to using the yarn for a poncho, I did a few calculations and figured out that four skeins of Homespun would be the same as five skeins of the recommended yarn. So I actually did stop to figure that out. It's not my fault that they told me the wrong number of skeins.

I feel much better (and much smarter) now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A slight interruption...

So my friend Amy called yesterday. We've both been especially busy this summer, so I've barely seen her lately. In fact, she lives next door, and I hadn't seen her in at least three weeks. So she called on her way back from school yesterday (she's studying to be an anesthetic nurse) and asked if I wanted to go out for lunch. On the way, she decided to stop and check to "see if the crab apples are ripe."

At this point, I sensed that I was in for trouble. You see, Amy and I are a little like Lucy and Ethel. And Amy is the Lucy. She's the one who is constantly talking me into doing all kinds of crazy stuff. And yesterday was no exception. The crab apples, she explained, were on a tree at her gym. No one ever picks them, she told me, but her mom told her that crab apples make great jelly.

So we got to the gym, and sure enough -- the crab apples were ripe and falling from the tree. But I soon found out that this wasn't just a scouting mission. This was a full criminal plot. Amy produced a grocery bag from the back of her car, and we got pickin'. We got a bag full of crab apples, and suddenly I knew that my work day was over.

Our lunch out turned into quickly running through the Burger King drive-through on our way to buy canning jars. Neither of us had ever made jelly before, but for some reason we were convinced that we could do it. We called Amy's mom in Texas for a brief overview of jelly-making, and she was pretty sure we were insane. But that didn't stop us. After buying all of our supplies, we headed to Amy's place to experiment with our fifteen pounds of stolen crab apples--which, we discovered, was enough for three batches of jelly.

So seven hours and a few minor burns later, we had ourselves 24 full jars of crab apple jelly--and two extra containers to hold the overflow. When I left, we had just finished our dinner (two slices of toast with jelly, which, incidentally, was delicious), and we had been watching TV while the jars cooled, serenaded by the pleasant popping sound of jars sealing. I left the jars there overnight--I'll go and pick them up later today.

Where I'm going to store twelve jars of jelly in our tiny apartment--or how I'm going to move them all to Columbus when/if it happens--I have no idea. But it was quite an adventure. After it was all over, I came home, put my feet up, and worked on my poncho for a while before falling into bed...

Monday, September 20, 2004

Disaster averted...

On Friday night, while I was quietly minding my own business, working on my poncho in front of the TV, disaster struck. I went to get skein #4 from the bag under the bed, and I found that it was the last skein. That was bad. The pattern calls for five skeins--not four. But then I stopped to think about it...originally, I'd bought the yarn for a sweater. Then I found the poncho, and I decided to make that instead. Unfortunately, the sweater only called for four skeins--but the poncho requires five.

That's when I started kicking myself. Last month, Pagoda (the color of Homespun I'm using) was on the clearance table at A.C. Moore. I thought about picking up another skein, but I didn't know the dye lot. Now, looking back, I should have gone home and found the dye lot--or called home and asked Paul to check it for me. If nothing else, I could have made a scarf out of it.

But no... I talked myself out of buying that extra skein, thinking that it would just add an unnecessary skein to my stash.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well on Friday night.

So on Saturday, we made an emergency trip out to Michaels and A.C. Moore, both of whom had Homespun on sale. The problem: it looks like Pagoda has been discontinued. So I had to come up with a backup plan. Pagoda is a black, white, and red mix, so I figured I'd just do a stripe of something else. Paul helped me select a black, white, and grey mix--which, I must admit, now that I've finished the whole stripe, looks pretty cool. So even though I wasn't planning on making a big stripe in the middle of my poncho, it'll look like I planned it.

Thanks to the cold, rainy weather this weekend, I did a ton of knitting. I'm on my final skein now. I'm working on my decreases, and it won't be long until I'm shaping the shoulders.

In other news, we've got three days until we find out if we're moving. Paul's a lot calmer about it than I am, which is good, since he's the one who has to do the negotiating. Meanwhile, I'll just sit here and wait...and wait...and wait.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Why I love Thursday night

1) After Thursday night comes Friday, which is often Frappuccino day.

2) Great TV! I can just curl up on the couch and watch Joey (which, though I still miss Friends, is pretty darn funny) and The Apprentice, on which I'm totally hooked (and last night's episode was so exciting that I couldn't get to sleep after it was over).

3) Lots of great TV = lots of knitting time. I got lots of poncho time in last night -- and now I'm well into the back -- maybe 1/3 of the way. If I get some time this weekend (maybe a movie or two -- since we still haven't watched the movies that we bought on our most recent trip to the Blockbuster Previously Viewed DVD bin), I may just get close to finishing it up. I've got to keep working on it, since the bright-colored leaves springing up on the trees outside my office window tell me that fall's right around the corner.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Is it naptime yet?

It's been one of those weeks... During our big exploration weekend in Columbus, I came down with a cold. Some may blame it on the crazy hotel air-conditioner (which I slept next to), but I blame it on sheer exhaustion. I can take just so much, then I totally break down. So the cold showed up on Saturday. On Monday, after we got back, I added the flu on top of it. So I was coughing, sneezing, sniffling, and making sacrifices to the porcelain god. I can't remember the last time I was that sick. Is it a bad omen that I went to visit my prospective future home and returned sicker than I'd been in years? It doesn't sound good to me...

Anyway, while I was passed out on the couch this week, I thought I'd make myself a chunky hat. Good sick-day project, right? Well, the pattern called for 50 yards of yarn, which I had, so I knit the thing up, and I discovered that I had one row to knit and the stitching to do, and I didn't have enough yarn. ACK! So now the stupid thing is tossed aside on the living room floor. I'll figure out what to do with it when I'm more coherent.

I have, however, had plenty of time to knit this week. So I finished the back of my poncho, and I started on the front. Considering the temperatures are barely getting into the 70s this week, I've got to get busy so I can wear the thing soon!

As for the move, who the heck knows what will happen. We found out about it four weeks ago. We visited a week ago. And now it's going to be another week before anything's definite. I'm in limbo, and I don't like it. The only thing I can do is clean out my closets and throw out stuff I don't use and use up my stash and eat the stuff that's in the kitchen cupboards -- so I'll have less to pack when The Move happens.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Finished belt!

I wasn't quite sure how to finish my crocheted belt, but while I was sitting in the hotel last week, waiting for Paul to get back from work, I decided to braid some tassels and just tie it on. So I finished it -- just in time for dinner with a guy from Paul's office. Pardon my general appearance. I hadn't slept in a week. But the belt's cool, don't you think? I was so excited about it that I pulled out the second skein of silk and started a skinnier one, too -- so I can interchange them.

What's there to do while watching HBO in a hotel room? How about finish crocheting a belt? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Another happy customer

Another happy customer... Posted by Hello

I forgot to post this picture earlier, and I just thought of it now, so here it is. This is my cousin Amber's little girl, Gabriella, sporting her soft yellow baby blanket, courtesy of yours truly. Pretty cool, huh?

So anyway...here I am in Columbus. We got up at 3 this morning to get to the airport on time. Needless to say, I'm running on hotel coffee right now. Paul's at work now, and he most likely will be until rather late tonight, so I plan on curling up with a TV movie and doing a little knitting tonight. I brought three projects, so that should give me enough options.

Or maybe I'll just hang out in the hotel hot tub...

I left my poncho at home this week. It's much too bulky to drag along. But it's really coming along -- I've almost finished the back. And I'm so glad I got the yarn that I did. It's so soft, and I love the colors... I can't wait to finish it!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

It's my first poncho!

My First Poncho! Posted by Hello

Okay, so it doesn't really fit me. But that's okay. It's for my niece, and she's two. But I finally sat down today and finished it. It's soft and fuzzy, and I think she'll like it...

Friday, September 03, 2004


Friday couldn't come soon enough this week. Even though I had Monday off (and I spent much of it running through airports), I feel like this week has gone on forever. The prospect of moving just makes my head spin a bit. Right now, we're trying to search for homes and/or apartments in a city we've never even visited. We fly out to Columbus on Wednesday, though, so a lot of our questions will be answered then (like whether or not we're actually going to move).

So my pile of knitting has really come in handy this week. On Wednesday, I finished the two pieces of my niece's fuzzy pink poncho (Mom says she'll like it so much that she'll want to sleep in it), but I didn't feel like doing the final stitching-together stuff, so I went back to En Fuego to fix my Major Screw-up from last week. Last Thursday afternoon, as I was preparing to leave for Michigan, I sat down to watch the Olympics and knit a few rows before I left. While doing so, I accidentally added an extra yarn-over, and I didn't catch it for two rows -- so I had to take them all out. So now I'm ready to move forward on my shawl again. I also decided to start a new project. Fall is on its way, so I started my fall poncho. Ever since spring, I wanted to make the new poncho on the Lion Brand site, and now I'm finally starting. I'm working in Homespun Pagoda instead of Color Waves. It's a good project to work on during all of those discussions about renting and buying and moving and stuff. It calms me down in an otherwise stressful situation. I'll set a deadline for myself -- I want to finish the poncho before we move.

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