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

Friday, June 30, 2006


Ahhh...it's finally Friday. Despite the fact that I was hoping to write two reviews and a feature article by the end of the day today (which, technically, is in a few minutes -- ha!), I don't think I've ever been this relieved to see a week end. It's been a good week -- but it's been exhausting.

Knitting-wise, it hasn't been a very productive week. This is all I have to show for it:

I really wanted to have my Picovoli done by the time we left for the cottage, but I'm nowhere near. Oh, well -- it'll give me plenty to work on while I'm there.

On the work front, however, it's been a highly productive week:
- I went to three screenings -- Superman Returns, Pirates 2 (the review of which will be published next Friday), and Wordplay.
- I spent two days at a game convention, where I met a lot of people, collected a pile of business cards, and picked up a bunch of new games to review.
- I even spent an afternoon at the radio station, doing a test taping with a couple of my colleagues -- who determined that I have a great radio voice. They were happy enough, in fact, to invite me to join them on their show next month! It's available on-demand online, so I'll be sure to share the link when available.
- I worked late every night this week. The earliest I quit was last night -- when I stopped working at 6:30 (then again, we watched a movie last night, so technically, that's work, since I'll review it -- but I got to knit while watching, so it wasn't *totally* work).

Tonight, we get to start packing up for our week at the cottage. Fortunately, packing for the cottage isn't a big deal: swim suits, shorts, T-shirts, maybe some jeans and a sweatshirt. The hard part is packing my knitting. :) We leave tomorrow morning -- and I intend to be on the beach sometime in the afternoon. A whole week just to read...and knit...and eat junk food...and veg. I can't wait!

Have a wonderful holiday! I'll be back in a week -- with all kinds of pictures.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Attack of the A's

This week, our kids' knitting group was inundated with Miss A's. Our regular Miss A (not to be mistaken for the old Miss A, AKA Taz) was there. I got her started on an awesome tank top from Girl's Guide to Fun & Funky Knitting in pinks and blues.

Then we had a new Miss A. Miss A2 hadn't really done much knitting, so I retaught her (much to the relief of her mom, who admitted to not having enough patience to teach her). By the end of the day, Miss A2 was up and knitting like a pro -- and her mom was so proud that she bought her yarn for a cool green scarf.

Then we had two more kids' group newbies show up -- Miss A3 and Miss A4, who, by the way, was only FIVE! And she just picked up her needles and dug right in. I was totally impressed.

I definitely had my hands full this week -- but it was a lot of fun. I hope all the little A's come back again after our Fourth of July break.

As for the other regulars, Miss S has been feeling ill lately. She missed last week, too. And it's too bad -- because I even brought my Super Secret Project last week. Just for her! And she wasn't even there! Hmmph. Miss H returned from her trip to Florida last night -- too late to come to knitting. But I took her out for Frappuccinos and knitting today. Perfect timing, too -- they were having some sort of Summer Shindig, and they kept bringing us free samples of new fruity drinks and munchies. It's a good thing, too -- because I was too busy to eat lunch today.

I haven't had a ton of time to work on my Picovoli, but Paul's flying back from his business trip tonight, so I'm on my own. I think this calls for a girly movie and knitting, don't you?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Yea for FOs!

Remember how I said I wanted to finish my sweater this weekend?

Here I am, in my best "Take the picture already -- I'm frickin' sweating to death" pose. I also have a great shot of me doing a little dance of joy in the back yard, but this'll have to do.

As soon as I finished sewing in the ends and doing my mini photo shoot, I went right inside and started my Picovoli swatch. I think this time I'll do a project that won't make me sweat to death. The yarn, which I got at The Outlet cost me CDN$4 for a full bag -- because it's discontinued (but I found some on eBay, in case you want to see what it looks like). And it's such a simple pattern that I can work on it about anywhere. I'll bring it for knitting with the girls this afternoon -- and I'll probably take it along to the screening tonight and work on it while I wait for the movie to begin.

Once again, we planned to do all kinds of stuff this weekend. Once again, we pretty much just crashed. After all the to-do with Dad last week, I was pretty much dead to the world. On Friday, after the call, I did the things that I hadn't been able to do for a couple of days: eat and sleep.

On Saturday, we decided to use our passes to the zoo before they expired. Perfect timing, we figured, since the new Asia Quest exhibit had just opened. Obviously, we weren't the only ones who thought Saturday was the perfect day to go to the zoo. In fact, I'm guessing that half of Ohio was there. We spent about an hour parked on the street, waiting to get in. While we waited, I called Mom, who said that Dad was feeling much better after getting a little extra blood. In fact, he was trying to get her to drive up to the cottage. He was so eager to go that he even promised not to bring any tools. For Dad, that's saying a lot. Just as I don't go anywhere without needles, Dad doesn't go anywhere without tools.

This week is going to be one crazy week -- fun, but crazy. I've got two screenings this week (boy, do I love summer blockbuster season!), plus I have two days at Origins, a big game expo. By the weekend, I'll definitely deserve a vacation.

New Stuff at N&W.com:
I published a new knitting book review over the weekend. If you know any young girls who knit, they'll love Girl's Guide to Fun & Funky Knitting. The girls in my Monday group give it their highest rating. In fact, one of them has already started one of the patterns...

I also started a new contest this week. We're giving away a Napster subscription and an MP3 player! To enter, you just need to sign up for our weekly Weekend Reminder newsletter and email your entry.

Friday, June 23, 2006

What a Week...

I don't think I've ever been to relieved to make it to the end of a week. For one thing, work has been even busier than usual, thanks to the busy-ness of the summer season here in the entertainment world. But on top of that, it's been emotionally exhausting.

My poor dad hasn't been feeling well lately. He's just been really tired, and it's been getting worse. This week, Mom had had enough, and she told Dad that he was going to go in for a heart catheterization -- a test that we here in my family are pretty familiar with, since Dad had a heart attack back when I was in high school, and we've been keeping an eye on his ticker ever since. On Tuesday, he went in for some preliminary blood work -- and on Wednesday, his heart specialist called to say that the heart cath had been cancelled because Dad was dangerously anemic. He contacted Dad's regular doctor and called for an immediate transfusion. So that's when it began -- right before I had to go to the Click screening on Wednesday. On Thursday afternoon, Dad's doctor called to say that he wanted to do more blood work -- because Dad had some strange-shaped blood cells, and there might be something wrong, perhaps with his spleen. So Dad had more blood taken yesterday, and the rest of us went online to read everything we could about spleens. Then we had to wait until 4:30 this afternoon for the results.

Needless to say, it's been a long couple of days. I spent today doing laundry and laying clothes out on the bed -- so if I needed to drive up there right away, I'd be ready. Fortunately, the Sock Princess was available for coffee, and she did an excellent job of helping me pull myself together for a bit. Thanks, SP. :) And thank goodness for the new KnitPicks catalog, which showed up in the mailbox today and acted as a wonderful distraction (more on that later...)

The call finally came at 5:45, and I knew from the moment I heard Mom's voice that everything was okay. The blood tests showed no signs of lymphoma or leukemia, as the doctor had feared. And it doesn't look like whatever's going on is nearly as serious as it could have been. When I talked to them, they were headed to the hospital to get Dad a blood fill-up. He's still going to have to go through some icky tests next week -- to try to figure out what's up with his blood -- but everyone's in great spirits. Dad's as cranky as ever, which means he's happy. Since we were already planning to head north next week, we'll just stick with the plan. I can't wait to see Dad and give him a big hug -- and then to smack him upside the head for scaring the living crap out of all of us.

So now...back to knitting. Thanks so much for all the comments on the sweater. I'm at least halfway through sleeve #2 now -- and I'm hoping to have plenty of chill-out time this weekend to finish it up.

And how about that KnitPicks? Have you seen their new Options needles? What do you think? Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on 'em. I love my Denises, but I'm still looking for something that's not quite as sticky. And I love the fact that you can just create your own set. You can buy a pre-selected set, or you can just choose the needles/cables you want. I know I could buy extras of my Denises, too, but I'm willing to try something new. And for those prices ($4 for two cables -- up to 60"! -- and $4-7 for the needles), if I don't love them, it's not a huge loss. But, really, they've got to be better than some of the old circs I've got. Next time I order from KnitPicks, I have a feeling I'll be ordering some needles (though I noticed from the cart page that they're not actually going to be able to ship them for up to two weeks -- so I'll wait).

And finally...Beth asked which projects will make the trip to the cottage with me. Well, here's what I already had thrown in my giant green bag, ready to throw into the car:

- The sweater (of course -- though that'll be finished by next weekend, I hope)
- The Muppet Wrap (which, due to shedding, is an outdoor project -- good for knitting on the patio)
- Picovoli (in a lime-y green)
- My next lace shawl (though, as SP discovered while flipping through my Treasury, choosing a pattern isn't all that easy -- I'm just going to have pick one and run with it, though, because my fingers are itchin' to do some lace!)
- Another baby sweater
- And, of course, plenty of stuff for dishcloths and some odds and ends

I think that'll keep me busy for a week (especially considering I've got a pile of four books, too), don't you?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Sleeve and a Half

Just a quick update today -- with (finally!) a really bad picture of the sweater, courtesy of my rainy-day-dark bathroom and Microsoft Paint, since Photoshop is still acting up.

I haven't had a ton of knitting time -- or blogging time. But, for some reason, no one feels sorry for me when I tell them what I've been busy with. I've actually been working, but that means going to press screenings and things. Tonight, I'm going to a screening of Click (don't tell my esteemed film-critic colleagues, but I adore Adam Sandler, so I can't wait). And since Paul has hockey, I'm dragging Barbara along for the adventure.

Whenever I get a few spare minutes, though, I pull out the sweater -- because I *really* just want it to be done. I'm working on the sleeves -- and I should be done soon. Just half a sleeve or so to go. Notice Sleeve #1, which I finally finished, despite having ripped out 35 whole rounds. Ick.

I'm dying to start on something else (like a Picovoli in some green cotton that I got at the outlet, and that flowery blanket, and, of course, more lace!), but I'm determined to get the sweater done first. And, believe it or not, I'm sticking to that -- mostly because I don't have a lot of time to start something new. Just a week and a half, though, and I'll be able to get back to the cottage for a few days. And then the real knitting will begin.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Weekend...

Ah, the weekend. It is but a distant memory to me now.

This weekend, I had every intention of Doing Things. I was going to clean the house and get some extra work done. I was going to be productive.

Instead, we ended up doing exactly what we needed to do: nothing. We slept in. We went to bed early. We took naps. And we watched a lot of soccer and hockey. I think I might finally be getting caught up on my sleep. After all that sleeping, Paul had a hard time getting to sleep (and staying there) last night. Not me. I slept like a rock. If I keep this up, I may be able to take out the caffeine IV soon.

I did, however, manage to get the first sleeve of my sweater done. I swear I'll post a picture soon. Really. I should be able to finish the other sleeve this week -- unless, of course, I end up having to rip it out again, but I'm hoping that I learned my lesson (and took good enough notes) the first time.

I've also practically worn out my new Treasury already. Really. I must have flipped through it 20 times already. I've taken notes, even. But at this rate, I'll never actually be able to commit to a stitch pattern for my next lace project...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Knitting Backwards

This week has been such a slow knitting week that I've actually gone backwards. I've frogged way more than I've knit.

On Tuesday night, after going to a screening of The Lake House (which was actually pretty good -- my review will be posted at N&W.com this weekend), I came home and frogged the Super Secret Project. Remember this thing? It turned out to be bigger than it was supposed to be, so I set it aside, planning to frog it and start again. And that was *ages* ago. Since then, Miss S has nagged me about it *every single week*. So I gave in. I frogged it. And I started over. I think it's going to be my Monday project for a while -- which works, since it's nice, brainless knitting-in-the-round, and since it'll stop Miss S's constant nagging.

Yesterday, while dinner was in the oven, I frogged the sleeve of my sweater. Now *that* was painful. I ripped out 35 rounds of sleeve -- and I'm still mad at myself for letting it go that long before realizing that I needed the sleeve to be bigger. I'm an idiot. And, as my punishment, I got to rip out more than 1400 carefully-knit stitches, and I get to do them all over again. That'll teach me.

Then again, probably not.

Last night, Paul had a hockey game, so I packed up my Super Secret Project and went along. I managed to get three rounds done. It's 216 stitches around, so that's not bad, but I would have finished a lot more if I'd actually been awake -- and if I hadn't spent all of my pre- and post-game time standing in the lobby, watching the Canes/Oilers game. It's funny -- our three favorite teams have been out of it for so long that I almost forgot that there were actually hockey games still being played. I'd already moved on to soccer (my orange jersey is now my favorite article of clothing). Oh, but just for the record, I've adopted Edmonton as my Stanley Cup team. Probably because they're behind. I love a good underdog.

This afternoon I'm finally breaking down and heading out to get my fabulous new knitting stuff. I'm meeting Beth for coffee at Caribou at 1 to get my needles -- and, somewhere in there, I think I'll stop at the LYS to get my Treasury. Yeah!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Temptations and Roadblocks

So this morning I find an email in my inbox. Quite a few of them, actually, but one that stood out. It was from Beth, announcing that our KnitLites needles are in. She said she could meet up with everyone at Caribou today to knit, drink coffee, and hand out the needles. Man, do I want those needles! But the work has been piling up, and my to-do list keeps growing -- and I spent yesterday afternoon knitting with the girlies (more on that later). I just don't have the time to hang out and knit right now. But oh, the inner strife it brought me!

As I patted myself on the back for my amazing show of willpower, the phone rang. It was the LYS -- my Treasury is in. My first thought: if I drive really fast and eat lunch in the car and don't talk to anyone and come straight home, I can go right now. I want my Treasury right now.

But I will be strong. I've waited this long. I can wait another day or two without going completely mad, right?

Probably not.

Yesterday, SP was already at the LYS, eager for me to deliver her fabulous new hand-dyed yarn, when I showed up. We oohed and aahed over our handiwork for a while before Miss S arrived.

Since it was such a nice day (and since someone was sitting in our spot), we decided to sit outside, on the bench outside the store. After a while, Miss A arrived, and I pulled out an extra chair. I worked on the sleeve of my sweater while Miss A continued working on her cell phone case and Miss S worked on her bag. But mostly, the afternoon was spent arguing over what, exactly, it was that a bird was snacking on in the parking lot. Miss S was convinced that it was a breadstick, while Miss A was pretty sure that it was a biscuit. There was much speculating and poking and prodding. When Miss A's mom came to pick her up, she agreed that it was a breadstick -- though Miss A's brother was pretty sure it was a pizza crust.

I was amused by the doom and gloom that Miss S pronounced over the arrival of summer vacation. Have you ever heard a 10-year-old complain about being able to stay home from school for two months? Miss S is convinced that she'll be bored out of her gourd the entire time -- and nothing Miss A and I suggested was any good. Miss S is convinced that everything sucks right now. Summer sucks. Miss H's being away in Florida for a long time (two weeks) sucks. Everything sucks. And that just made Miss A and me laugh and make faces at each other.

The change of scenery made for an interesting afternoon. Instead of just the usual knitters, we were surrounded by people yelling on their cell phones and having loud conversations with one another as they walked by. We were also joined by a crazy lady (who, Miss S later pointed out, didn't have many teeth). I could have also pointed out that she was most definitely on some sort of substance -- or that her dropped-yoke acid wash jeans were a bit...1986. But I didn't. Mostly, I'd been trying not to make eye contact -- but when she noticed us, she yelled out, "HEY! Are you guys knitting? YUCK!" Apparently, the crazy lady had had a bad experience once. And NEVER AGAIN would she pick up needles. But, then again, maybe her daughter should learn. And by the time she'd turned and wandered off, she'd decided that maybe she should knit after all.

After I got home, I nervously tried on the sweater. I was a little worried about the sleeves being too tight for my bulging biceps. I tried it on, and it was pretty tight. It fit, but it was tight. I kept working, trying to convince myself that it was nice and fitted, but I eventually accepted the fact that I'd feel uncomfortable wearing tight-tight sleeves. Fitted is fine. Tight is not. So it's best just to frog it now so I'll be comfortable wearing it later. I hate that it sets me back several days. But I'll survive. And when it's finished, I'll be happy that I put in the extra time. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

Monday, June 12, 2006

If It's Not One Thing...

...it's another. I finally got my digital camera (along with my husband, of course) back yesterday, and now I can't get Photoshop to load my pictures. So I'm afraid that the sweater pictures will just have to wait...

On Saturday, the Sock Princess came over for a dyeing extravaganza. It was a well-deserved break from the week's non-stop work. We had a lot of fun, we ate some delicious pizza, and we even managed to dye some yarn, too.

On the top, you can see my big project of the day. I bought those four hanks ages ago, with the intent of dyeing them all for a sweater. The problem, however, was that I was having a hard time committing to colors. Finally, I decided to go with Turquoise and Marine Violet. I did half of two hanks at a time, using the dip method -- the first half of dyelot 1, followed by the first half of dyelot 2, followed by the second half of dyelot 1, followed by the second half of dyelot 2. If I'd had my camera, I would have taken pictures -- it was all very scientific of me. It was also seriously time-consuming. But I love how it turned out. I know the dyelots won't be exactly the same (though they should be pretty darn close), so I marked the separate lots, and I'll do the switch-after-every-two-rows trick for blending them in.

The bottom four hanks are SP's -- which she'll use, as always, for socks. I love them both. The pair on the right is Lemon Yellow, Bright Green, and Hot Pink. The pair on the left is two different shades of purples. I love how the colors separated a bit, leaving bits of blues and pinks.

On the right is a hank that I redyed. I'd dyed it orange before -- to go with a yellow-orange hank that I'd done earlier -- but it just didn't come out orange enough. But now...I'd say it's plenty orange.

And, finally, on the left is a hank of painted lace weight yarn, in Bright Green and Hot Pink. I call the colorway 1988. As soon as my Treasury comes in, I'll be looking for a lace pattern funky enough to match.

Yesterday, I stopped by the LYS to hang out for a bit before heading to the airport to pick up Paul. The poor guy ended up being stranded in Hong Kong for five extra hours -- which meant that he didn't get to Toronto on Saturday night until after 1:30. He got to sleep at his parents' place for about five hours before catching the flight home. Yet, for some reason, he looks totally well-rested -- while I look like the one who's jet-lagged. He got up for work this morning without a problem. I, on the other hand, practically had to be held at gun-point before I could get out of bed. I then attempted to make myself coffee, only to discover a few minutes later that I'd brewed an entire cup of hot water. It helps if you remember to add the coffee to the coffee maker.

Paul really needs to stop all this world-traveling stuff. Picking him up from the airport is obviously too exhausting for me to handle.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I couldn't be more relieved that it's Friday. What a week! Really, Paul shouldn't be allowed to go away -- because when he does, I turn into the same old bad-food-eating workaholic that I was before we got married. Last night, for the first time all week, I actually allowed myself to sit down and relax and watch a movie just for fun. It felt...strange.

Before Paul left, I threatened to have my blue cardi done when he got back. But alas, that ain't gonna happen. I will, however, have the body finished. I'm so close. I really wish I could show pictures. It's SO CUTE! I have a feeling it's going to become one of those sweaters that I wear *all the time*.

Man, do I miss my digital camera!

Today I had to leave the house for a while for my annual woman-doctor appointment. And I must tell you, there's just no better way to end a long, tiring week of being home alone than heading to the doctor's office and putting your heels in the stirrups. HA! Fortunately, my doctor is totally efficient. After a quick discussion about Tim Horton's donuts, it was all over, and I was out the door. I made a quick stop at the art store to buy some new dyes. Then, since I was already out and all, I stopped by Old Navy to buy myself some T-shirts that actually appear to be long enough to reach the waist of my pants (an answer to prayer!). While I was out anyway, I also stopped at World Market and Best Buy (where I checked out MP3 players again -- even though I told Paul to bring one back for me from Malaysia). And I topped it all off by treating myself to a Coffee Light Frappuccino.

Wanna see my impulse buy of the day? I got the newsletter from KnittingZone.com today, and I found a pattern that I absolutely could not live without. Just couldn't do it. So, despite the fact that I swore I'd never make a baby blanket again, I bought this Flower Baby Blanket pattern. Really, how could I not? It's just so darn cute. I was actually thinking that it would look great in the basement -- a yellow flower with an orange center, perhaps.

Of course, making this blanket will mean that I'll have to buy more yarn -- something that I've been telling myself all week that I can't do. After last week's trip to the Uber Yarn Outlet, I've totally run out of room. All of my little cubbies are *crammed* -- and I've started stacking bags on top of the wardrobe next to my yarn cabinet. But I just couldn't help myself last week. The deals are just too good for anyone in her right mind to pass up. So I ended up buying a full bag (10 skeins) of some cute green cotton for CDN$4 (no kidding!), two bags (6 skeins total) of CottonTots in light yellow, and a whole pound of green and blue cotton (that I was going to use for dishcloths, though it would make a really cute tank, too...). I'm afraid I couldn't fill orders for sock yarn -- they didn't really have anything worthwhile in the sock variety -- but I did fill SP's order for baby sweater yarn. And I got some baby sweater yarn for me. And a few more skeins (okay...6) of the stuff I got last time -- to make sure I have enough for a whole sweater. All of that...for about $35. I put it all away this week, and I was almost ashamed of my bottomless stash. But not ashamed enough to keep me from going back for the tent sale in August. :) I'll just have to knit a lot between now and then.

I was thinking about taking myself out to a movie tonight. But maybe I'll order in, rent a movie, and knit... :)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bach’in’ It

I’ve had less than three days of singlehood, and the house has already totally transformed into a bachelor pad. There’s tons of ice cream (which I eat right out of the carton) in the freezer and various forms of chips in various places throughout the kitchen-type area. There are books strewn throughout the place. And the living room is covered in yarn. My poor husband would cringe if he saw all the yarn. But it’s my house this week. Ha!

Mostly, I’ve been working my butt off this week, which means that I haven’t had any time for the traditional girly-movies-and-wine nights. I’m hoping I’ll get to that later. Right now, my schedule is more like this:

Get up
Work while eating breakfast
Make coffee
Work while eating lunch
Work while eating dinner
Work while knitting

I did, however, manage to get an ad campaign set up on the site (for a new TLC show called Take Home Chef)—and I got our new contest set up (we’re giving away books—check it out).

And granted, reading and screening DVDs counts as work for me, so it’s not all bad, but it’s not like I’m watching DVDs that I chose to watch. And I have to take notes and pay attention and stuff. So it totally counts as work. But at least I can knit at the same time. If I hadn’t given Paul the digital camera, I’d be showing you progress shots of the Project Spectrum Blue cardi I’ve been working on. But I guess that’ll just have to wait.

But I’ve got more pictures from last week, so I’ll share more of my vacation recap first:

On Sunday morning, after finishing the lace swatch, I started in on the sweater swatch. Miraculously, my gauge was right on, so I started the sweater on Sunday afternoon. I worked on it on the porch. And in the boat. And out on the patio. I may have even worked on it in the hammock. It was glorious.

Also on Sunday, I finished the last of the baby ensemble:

The proud new parents didn’t actually make it for the weekend, so I sent a package (wrapped in doodled-on paper bag wrapping paper) home with the baby’s proud grandma.

My favorite uncle, Uncle Bill showed up for a while on Sunday and requested sweater vests. Uncle Bill loves sweater vests. So I made sure to pick up a copy of Knitting Pure & Simple’s Basic Vest for Men pattern from the store when I got back. Now I just need some nice light worsted yarn (machine washable, cuz he’s a guy) in a nice shade of khaki, and I’m good to go.

On Tuesday, it was a bit overcast, so we went into town, all excited to visit the LYS.

Unfortunately, (despite the OPEN sign in the window) they’re closed on Tuesdays.

So we picked up some cheapie stuff at the Ben Franklin, so it would give Mom something to work on, since she’d forgotten to bring yarn (obviously, Mom still has some learning to do…). Due to the cooler, cloudy weather, Mom and I took some time out for a knitting lesson. Previously, Mom just knew the most basic of basics. So we spent a couple of hours sitting at the kitchen table (while Paul and Dad snoozed) and went through purling, increasing, and decreasing.

She did such a great job that I started her out on a cool bias-knit scarf to help her practice her increasing and decreasing.

On Wednesday, it rained again. So Mom and I went back into town and finally got to visit the LYS. I knew I was on my way to The Uber Yarn Outlet on Thursday, so I refrained from buying (much to Paul’s surprise). Mom, however, got some cute discontinued stuff for a skinny scarf and some wool for her first felted bag.

Then it was time to get back to the cottage and start packing my bags – because we left on Thursday morning.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


You know that horrible feeling you get after being away from work for a week? You know, that feeling that you'll never, ever, in a million years, get caught back up? You know how you can't manage to answer the emails faster than they come in -- and the phone keeps ringing, and people keep leaving voicemails, and you don't want to talk to any of these people because you don't have time for them?

That's my week so far.

Ugh. At least with Paul halfway around the world, though, it leaves my work schedule pretty open. Last night I screened a DVD until 1. I can do things like that when he's not here. I can also live on frozen dinners and Haagen Daaz and whole blocks of pepper jack cheese and fat free cheddar and sour cream chips. It's probably a good thing he doesn't go away all that often.

So anyway...thanks to all of you for your kind comments on the shawl. I really do love that thing. It was so soft and comfy -- and while next to no one knew (or even suspected) that I made the shawl myself, I knew, and I was pretty darn proud of myself. I can't wait to start the next one. :)

Speaking of which...back to my week away...

The first few days of our week away were spent at my parents' cottage in Michigan. We drove up on Saturday. Paul drove the first shift, and I knitted -- though I quickly discovered that I'd done a pretty horrible job of packing my in-car knitting bag. I'd given myself my Muppet Wrap (which ended up getting green fuzzies all over the car, so I finally gave up), a second baby bootie (which knit up in a jiffy -- though I didn't feel like finishing it, so I set it aside), and some dishcloths (the one that was on the needles required some attention and thus made me carsick). In packing, I put the yarn for my new cardi in my bag-for-later, thinking that I wouldn't want to start a new sweater in the car. But, as it turned out, I really wanted to start a new sweater in the car. Grrr...

I was barely unpacked before Mom had the whole neighborhood of knitting ladies over to admire my shawl. So, as is usually the case when I'm at the cottage, we sat around and had a long knitting discussion. I shared my favorite links, and they took notes. (You'd think by now I'd be getting commission checks from KnitPicks, Elann, and Knitting Pure & Simple.) They laughed when I produced my two knitting bags, and they thought it was pretty funny that I was having a really hard time not starting a project while they were sitting there.

By the end of Saturday, I'd used some leftover lace yarn to knit up a swatch for my next shawl. That night, I blocked it.

Picture this swatch:

In this yarn.

Of course, I just found out when I went into the store yesterday that my Treasury of Knitting Patterns should be in by next week -- so I don't know if I want to start now...or wait until I have 500 other options.

Maybe it's safest just to start now...

Speaking of the store, yesterday was a great time with the girlies. I went in feeling tired and cranky, but the girls cheered me right up. Miss H, Miss S, and Miss A the all there -- and I found out too late that it was the last Monday of the school year. Had I known, I would have brought some of the leftover wedding cupcakes that are tempting me from inside the fridge....

Monday, June 05, 2006

Let's Try This Again...

So I tried to post during my lunch break. I got to the end of a nice long post, and I attempted to publish it -- and I got...nothing. I was running out of time, so I thought I'd just post a picture. And Blogger wouldn't let me upload it.

So let's try this again...

I finally made it home last night -- after almost eight hours on the road from Toronto back home. I don't think I would have made it without books on CD or free weekend minutes on my cell (I spent an hour and a half on the phone with Mom). But I made it.

I'll have to replay the whole week in pieces throughout the week. But I'll start with the end of the week -- the wedding. The house was insane for the day or two before the wedding. Insane. On Saturday morning, everyone was up and getting their hair done long before I even crawled out of bed. Since I wasn't in the wedding party, I figured I'd forego the trip to the salon and whip something up myself. This, however, is easier said than done, since I have absolutely no talent for that sort of thing. But when my sister-in-law returned with her own glorious up-do -- only to find me in my jammies, munching on Honey Bunches of Oats -- she suggested that one of the bridesmaids could do my hair. So I, too, got my own glorious up-do. Not bad at all. Sure, it may have shown off the mosquito bites that I'd gotten on the back of my neck (as well as pretty much every other place that wasn't covered by shorts or T-shirts while we were at the cottage), but really, with the hair and the fabulous shawl, I'm sure no one noticed.

Before the pictures started, I also got in a few minutes with the makeup artist, who decided that I should be a flurry of golds and violets. I seriously felt like a supermodel. I didn't even look this fabulous for my own wedding.

So remember how I was a little worried about the shawl...about it letting off dye if it got wet? About how Paul said we'd just have to hope it didn't rain?

Well, it poured. All day.

Fortunately, though, I was able to keep it hidden enough that I didn't end up with pinkish water running down my back.

Okay...okay...I've strung it out long enough. Now for the pictures...

Here's the Fabulous Adamas in Action:

And here we are on the deck (sheltered from the pouring rain -- but at least it looked a little sunny) before the wedding:

Until Saturday morning, I had no idea what the bridesmaid dresses were like. No clue. So I went with my navy, hoping that I wouldn't somehow clash with the bridesmaids. As it turned out, their dresses were almost identical to mine in cut. And instead of navy, they were light blue with all-over whitish sparkly swirlies that looked an awful lot like my white embroidered swirlies. I couldn't have matched more closely had I planned it.

So we welcomed a new member into our little club this weekend. First, it was just Paul T. Then, a year later, it was the two of us:

But now there are three of us who have married into the Kramer family: me, Paul T, and Steve Roast-Beef-Sand-a-wich (which, for us Dutchies, is way easier to remember than his actual last name). We have informed Steve that there will be hazing rituals to endure at a later date. Now that there are three of us, we're thinking that it's about time we got matching shirts. And perhaps secret decoder rings.

And, after it was all said and done, a good time was had by all. Especially, it seems, by Andrew, my brother-in-law's friend:

Thursday, June 01, 2006

News Flash!

We finally made it to Toronto after a long day on the road. Fortunately, the shawl is in one piece, though I'm still hoping it won't rain on Saturday. I've been offline all week, but as soon as I have a chance to sit down and add all my pictures, I'll give you the full story.

But now for the Big News:

The kind ladies at the Uber Yarn Outlet just found out the dates for this summer's tent sale ("This year's sale is supposed to be really good," one of them told me). It starts August 14 and runs for two weeks. Who's with me?

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