Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's Not My Fault 101

Wow, I don't know quite what has come over me. I have like unto my own personal yarn store of stash, and I have been on a buying binge for two freaking days now.

It's all Katey's fault. It was she who dyed the yarn that started the whole thing. She made me kidnap Jane to ride with me up to Only Ewe and Cotton Too in Alpharetta, where she then made me look at all the cool stuff they had there, resulting in my buying not only the yarn I went for, but some Shibui Knits in the bluest blues you have ever seen, and some Suri Alpaca laceweight in silver. And some undyed superwash merino top roving. She made Jane buy stuff too. It was so unfair.

After I dropped off Jane I went to my husbands' work Spring Fling, where they had this cool inflated slide thing with two aisles and bungee cords. What, pray tell, do you do with that, you may ask. Well, the answer is you made a fool of yourself in it, by twos, and you injure yourself slightly. Actually, you put on harnesses that have the bungees, which are attached to the back wall of the thing, then you take velcroed bean bags, then you run down the aisle as far as you can and plant the bean bag on the velcroed strip as far down the thing as you can before the bungee snaps you backwards, hopefully bettering your opponents' distance.

And if your forty something and unathletic, expect to injure yourself. I'm just sayin is all.

However, if you are in fine physical shape, at any age, you can win, which looks something like this:

Please note that this is a picture of my husband, winning. Not a picture of me. Losing. Knitting is much safer. Trust me. Ow.

OK, so maybe part of it is Janes' fault as well. If she hadn't left her GoKnit pouch in my car, I would not have had to return it to her this morning, causing me to drive near Knitch, which reminded me that I really wanted to pick up a copy of the Lucy Neatby sock book. And while I was there, I was shown the Handmaiden yarns that they just got in. The stuff is too beautiful, and I had to get a couple of skeins of the Casbah. Against my will.

So I figured that after that I'd better be virtuous and like, knit, or something. But on the way back home I noticed a big sign in front of the Melkite church advertising that today was a Middle Eastern Food Fair, so I did the only thing my conscience allowed me to do. I called my husband and told him about it. I went home to pick him up, and decided to check a few blogs and noticed Farm Witch updated her etsy store with yarn and roving in colorways that nearly made me cry. Realizing that it just wouldn't do to go to a Food Fest with my husband and be crying all the time, I bought some. I still hold that if you follow my logical path, the pistachio and rosewater ice cream I shouldn't have eaten was also Janes' fault, and therefore Kateys' as well.

Oh, and I joined Lime and Violet's Yarn Raiders on Chore Wars. So when I came home and finished my Neck Down Wrap Cardigan, I levelled up!
My Chore Wars character

Pictures to follow, possibly next winter. OMG, this thing is warm!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Well, that was unintentional.

Wow, I sure didn't set out to ignore the blog for a month and a half, but life is wonderful and strange like that. Hell, I haven't even kept up with my Ravelry page, so don't feel too neglected. Anyway, I have been up to a few things, none of which is finishing any of my projects, but all of which are really positive steps in acheiving my new years resolution of making my life work for me.

First, I changed jobs. Back in whenever the hell that was (probably January), when I was griping about my job, I said I was going to do one of two things. Either I was going to make the job I was in work better for me and my life or I was going to get a better job that would work better for me and for my life. By March I had done about all I could at my old job to better my situation and there was no sign that the changes I had made were going to make a damned bit of difference. When a much better offer came along, I completed my commitments at the old job and took a few weeks off in between jobs for some decompression. My "vacation" I had taken earlier in the year was used to get a bunch of dental work done and I ended up in pain or sick the whole time, so I could hardly count that as a vacation.

For a few weeks I knit, caught up on some podcasts, caught up on some husband time, petted the much neglected cats, played with the hammies and bought a bicycle. I love my bike. Now I just have to move somewhere flat so I can ride it. I really didn't think about that, no, I did not. I took it out for a spin near Zoo Atlanta. It was a beautiful spring day, the cherry trees were in bloom, and I nearly burned out the brakes trying to control the extreme downhill death ride that took me, screaming, to my destination. Then, just as the Yarn Harlot wrote, you realize that you aren't at your destination, you're only halfway there. The uphill ride back to the car took what felt like hours, me pedaling until I was just short of having my legs burst into flame, then resting until I could ride a few more feet. Needless to say, I am now scouting out long stretches of flat road, preferably in out of the way areas without traffic.

Realizing this was yet another reality check regarding my fitness level (because the scale readings weren't enough, I guess) I joined a really great gym and got a Personal Trainer that I really like. Yup, just like Oprah. And everyone in Dunwoody. And although working out cuts into precious knitting time, I think the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks. After all, the lighter 50lb boxes seem to me, the more of them I can fill with yarn and stuff in the car, right? So this is my plan. Lift weights, knit, cook. OMG, I am actually cooking again. I have the time.

Another thing I had to do was break up the hammies. The Khans, it seems are loners. We went through I don't know how many rounds of antibiotics to get them straight, but neither Genghis nor Kublai will ever come into direct contact with another hamster again. The other guys do fine together, so they stay that way. And yes, for those of you who will want to know, they have names, too. Ogadai, Chinua and Hai-Shan who we call Arrowhead. My clone Doug knit them a yurt. No lie. Here it is.

And here are the hammies with it. Sorry Doug, they only see it as a chew toy.

Now if you don't think that's cute, you don't know from cute. Doug, you rock!

So there has been no finishing of projects, but there has been much knitting. And you all know that that means that at some point there was a festival of casting on. I am totally reconciled to it, and feel no guilt whatsoever. In fact, I am casting off a shawl I started recently as we speak, and I may cast on again before I am finished. I am just that crazy. This thing hasn't even been put on Ravelry! Taunting the gods, I am. Ya ha!

I am completely ignoring Mission Possible 2008 in favor of cultivating skills as a dilettante. I have cast on, knitted and am casting off the Lotus Blossom Shawl, which was a pattern I had ignored for years. My own lack of imagination was the culprit, as I was unable to see past the ugly pictures used in the pattern packaging to the beauty possible if the right yarn was used. And I am using the right yarn.

Jojoland Melody Superwash color 20, which is actually slightly less pinky/blue and more red/blue than shown. Still, supremely awesome. I am also using a picot cast off instead of the sucky bobble cast off. Bobbles just shouldn't exist.

Went to see the Yarn Harlot with HappyGoth. And Claudia, Jane, Knitwitch, the Warlock, Hockeymom, and everyone else. But me and HG were hanging out in the first row, not drinking beer, but still having a great time.

She and I are knitting matching socks, because the yarn is cool and because we are giant dorks. Stephanie revelled in our dorkness. Which is immense.

She even took a picture of me in my Irtfa'a shawl to send to Tina of BMFA. I was really flattered. After she took my picture I realized I was wearing it inside out. Immense. Dork.

At some point in the mix I knitted that Felted Clog pattern from Fiber Trends. I must say that at the point just before they were felted I had little confidence in the pattern. Here they are in their Seussian glory, modelled for us by the lovely Nell and her daughter Haley.

And the amazing after shot.

The pattern works in a miraculous sort of way. Well, I guess I did finish a project after all.

And, somewhere in there, I won Claudia's sock naming contest along with Snarky Katie! I won Koigu. Gorgeous, wonderful, Koigu.

The break I took was really good for me, although not intended to be as long as it was. Had I tried to write before now, I'm sure I would have written total crap, so I have saved us all from that. And I'm ready to work a bit of blogging into my new schedule. Thanks for being patient!