Saturday, February 26, 2011

One Beer at a Time

Friday night I went out with a coworker/friend for dinner. He's into the bar scene ... I am not. I don't know if its the way I was raised (only child, quiet household) but noisy places are not my thing. I never go out drinking, I never go to dance clubs ... tried it, I actually get physically ill ... don't know if its sensory overload or what. To give you an indication of how quiet my house usually is when we have a few friends over, the cats hide in the bedroom the entire time and the dog gets over stimulated because there are too many hands to scritch her head and she paces back and forth between everyone.

Anyway, we went to British Beer Company for drinks and dinner ... I had a fantastic time! He's great company and it was such a drastic change for me, it was like a mini vacation from life. I really needed this after such a horrible, stressful week at work - which is apparently the norm nowadays. We decided to do this once a month ... there's a lot of beers to try, LOL! I don't drink and drive, so we'll have to do this for a long time before I get to try all the beers :o) I only have one drink with dinner, after being there that long and eating, I feel safe to drive.

Initially I planned on getting Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale, but my friend said that he'd had it and it wasn't good. He suggested I try a sample ... the bartender compared it to Bud Light ... yuck! So I tried it and indeed it was disappointing. So I perused the beer menu and I asked for a sample of Young's Double Chocolate Stout and after a sip, said I'll have a 16 oz. please! OMG - I love stouts, but combined with chocolate!!! I was in heaven! It was smooth and delicious and had a head the consistency of cool whip ... with a dainty after taste of ..... yup CHOCOLATE!!!

I also tried a sample of Lindemans Lambic Kriek (ale brewed with cherry),suggested by my friend ... super delicious! I think I'll get one of those next time. By the way if you were wondering, this friend is the one who gave me the Banana Bread Beer the other day, LOL!

I have been working on the In Dreams Mystery Shawl, but I'm not as far as I'd like to be. It takes a lot of concentration for this knitting, the pattern is easy to follow and well written and does repeat, but I don't want to be lulled into a sense of thinking I know the pattern and end up making mistakes, so I only listen to music while I am knitting this.

I decided to knit on an easier one so that I could catch up on some podcasts and not be worried about concentrating too much.

This scarf has been on the needles for a very, very long time! I'm guessing its more than half way done now, its hard to tell because the color repeats are not equal in rows, but I can see that I am clearly more than half way through all the color changes.

A coworker of mine has chickens so every several weeks he gives me a dozen eggs. I really was surprised at the difference between a really fresh egg and one you get at the grocery store. I don't like egg yolk, usually I get scrambled eggs. These eggs are so delicious, I even enjoy the yolk and don't have to really break it up in the frying pan like I usually do. I was hungry this evening, but not hungry enough to cook anything big, so I had a bagel with a fresh egg and cheese on top ... yummy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday 2-23

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These are some simple socks, but my favorite plain vanilla pattern. Toe up Socks with a Difference by Wendy Johnson. I work on these here and there, between commercial breaks, etc. So they are slow going, but still coming along.

Saroyan will be another, worked on here and there pattern. I love the leaves, but I am sure this one won't be ready to wear until next Winter.

The In Dreams Mystery Shawl is coming along. I am behind because I was waiting for the yarn I ordered ... should have done it earlier. I was hoping to catch up this past weekend, but chores and visitors put a stop to that (that's fine though).

And here's how I finished up my Wednesday evening after work ...

Friday, February 18, 2011


The yarn for my mystery shawl arrived today! I am so happy it arrived today and not tomorrow ... means I can be knitting first thing Sat morning!! I would have liked to get a photo in daylight, but I want to wind the skeins - or at least the first one tonight and cast on.

In Dreams Mystery Shawl
Yarn: Eos from The Unique Sheep in Moonlight in the Garden

The colorway is even prettier in person than what it looked like on the website ... and it looked pretty darn good on the website! It was out of stock for a little while - probably because of the mystery shawl, it was the yarn the designer is using for the pattern. So I'm a little behind on the knitting. But I am so happy with it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FO: Ishbel

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Buffalo Gold Lux in Huckleberry
Needles: US 6

Cast On: 1/15/11
Finished: 2/13/11

Sunday, February 13, 2011

To Knit or to Un-Knit ...

Am I knitting or un-knitting?

I'm un-knitting ... again. I got all the way to the last chart and just at the beginning of the row was off by one stitch (I knit 1 too many at the very beginning) ... and thought everything was just a little off the entire way, but this is a new chart and things are changing, there's no more center stitch ... maybe is supposed to look like this ... that little voice inside my head told me. I think I was a little too excited to be so near the end that I went a little bonkers ...

It probably also didn't help that it was about 1 AM ... so here I am the next morning, un-knitting. All the way back to where that arrow is ...

I was surprised to find a few spots I had to cut out considering this is such a small skein (and quite expensive). There was a knot and a really slubby spot that I cut out. Where the knot was I ended up un-weaving the ends when I blocked it. It was showing up too much (I tend to overkill and weave in over several stitches).

I didn't think I would have any yarn left over ... certainly not 10 grams! I specifically chose this pattern because I had a skein of Buffalo Gold that was the exact yardage for the small size. I know sometimes patterns refer to the amount in the skein and that doesn't necessarily mean that's how much you will use.

This is the rumpled mess before washing and blocking ... though it felt good to have bound off all those stitches!

I soaked it in Kookaburra. I hadn't used this product before, it smells so good! I hope the shawl retians some of the scent. I haven't blocked lace before, so it took a while for me to get it pinned out well. I'm still fussing with it a little here and there hours later.

This is definitely a pattern I would knit again. Ishbel by Ysolda Teague. The charts are easy to follow and the written instructions are very clear (I referred to them to make sure I had the right number of stitches at the end of the row - seeing "8 stitches before centre stitch" as opposed to counting them on the chart made me feel much more confident that I was on the right track).

I learned a lot about lace knitting this and err, ummm un-knitting it. A good portion of my weekend was spent on knitting this and watching old episodes of Andromeda. I took breaks to clean the house and grocery shop :o)

I am still waiting for the yarn I ordered for the In Dreams mystery shawl. Clue 2 will be out this Friday, so I'm thinking that next weekend there will be a lot of knitting again ... hopefully I have the yarn by then.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday 2-9

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I don't think I've actually made any progress on most of my WIPs since last week's post. I'm just going to post what I'm working on and links to recent posts with photos if you want to see what it is.

My toe up socks I actually did make some progress on during the Super Bowl. I've almost completed the gusset increases on the second sock.

Toe Up Socks with a Difference by Wendy Johnson

Nugatory Socks
February Lady Sweater

I'm not a big fan of the snow, but when I got up the other morning, I did have to admit that it was very pretty. I snapped a few pics before getting ready for work.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thanks for Commenting

I just wanted to post a note to my wonderful commenters. I read all comments posted to my blog, actually I have it set to forward to my email. If you have an email attached to the profile you comment with, most likely I'll send you a shout back that way. Typically I don't comments to my comments, because, well I'm not sure they are even seen by the commenter ... do you go back and look for responses?

Anita asked if I've spun anymore ... nope. Not because I don't want to and I'm glad you asked, I'll get to that soon! Denise mentioned that practicing for short periods, but *frequently* is how you get good at it, that's excellent advise!

Thanks for your comments on the stenciling. I hope to post pictures of the boxes completed soon! Maybe even in use as the storage containers they were purchased for :o)

Lots of you commented on how lovely the yarn was for Saroyan. Can you believe its Lamb's Pride Worsted?? I've used this variegated type before and just love the colors!

I dug out my Nugatory socks this weekend and started knitting on those again. Luckily one sock was at the decease for the gussets, but I left it in a very easy state to figure out where I was in the pattern. I was looking though that pattern and saw where it said to put markers, there were markers on the needles, this section said, at this point you have 80 stitches ... so I counted and I had 80. The other sock was already past the gusset and on to the foot so that was easy.

This is a beautiful pattern and really great for hand dyed yarn. This particular yarn I dyed myself. What started as a horrible mess, ended up beautiful with overdyeing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stencils and Snow

For some reason I thought stenciling would be a fun activity. OK its not that bad, but I wouldn't call it fun, LOL! I got these plain wood boxes for a couple of bucks at JoAnn's a few months back. I had extra paint from the trim in my craft room so I thought I would paint them to match and use them for storage - maybe WIPs or yarn or magazines, I've got plenty of things to put in them! I used my Cricut to make a stencil and penciled it on and then painted it in by hand with some acrylic craft paint.

The box is tipped on its side for picture purposes. I stenciled above the handle on the other side as well. I think its a little off center, but I'm wondering if its the handle. I measured and checked several times before I penciled it on. If you squint a little bit it looks just fine :) Its good enough for a storage box, I'm not making a work of art here.

I have two boxes so I have three more stencils to go. Once they are painted in with the light purple paint I figured I would embellish with darker metallic purple and some clear glitter paint, not sure yet.

We've got quite a bit of snow! That's our deck furniture you can barely see there ... don't worry, we tipped the table over on purpose for winter so that the snow wouldn't break the glass top.

Way in the back you can barely see the bird bath, I would guess that the bird bath is about 2 1/2 feet tall ...

Snow, snow everywhere. I don't mind a little snow, but its too much right now. Lots of roads and parking lots are difficult to get out of because you can't see what's coming. People have to shovel their roofs off to prevent damage or collapse. We should really shovel off the deck this weekend. Its got even more snow because some of it is what came off the roof. It rained a bit today too, initially they were forecasting more snow, but it was up in the 40s.

When I went to the bank this morning I brought my camera to snap a picture of the icicles on the front of the local seafood take out place (closed for the season). I noticed them last night while I was driving home ... but didn't have my camera and it was way dark out by then anyway. The icicles were from the roof to the ground and were about 6-12" in diameter. The front part of the building is a screened in area where patrons order from a window - like and ice cream place - but in the summer its nice so while you are waiting for your food you're not standing outside where the mosquitoes can get you. I would guess the roof of the screened in portion is probably 10 feet tall. When I drove by I saw that the icicles had broken and fallen down. So no picture :(

When I got back from the bank errand, it was snowing, BIG, huge, fat flakes ... OK that I'll admit was very pretty (especially since it didn't accumulate). I watched the birds at the bird feeder and the huge flakes fall ... reminded me of a snow globe.

I had lots of grandiose plans of finishing some knitting project today, but instead did some much needed cleaning around the house. The floors were an absolute mess from the snow. Muddy, icky footprints everywhere and I was really sick of hearing things crunch when I walked around. So most floors were swept and mopped. Only to get messy again this coming week I'm sure. While the idea of taking our shoes off when we enter the house in theory is a good one, in reality, its just not possible all the time.

I wish I had a project that was near completion, but as I think of them, I can't think of any one that's any nearer to the end than any other. I think I may pull out my Nugatory socks and try and figure out where I was in the pattern ...

Or maybe I'll work on this ...

Because we actually do get Hummers here ... not this time of year though, LOL!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feb 3rd TUSAL

Its time for another TUSAL post. Here's my progress since the last post. Only a few more bits in there.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WIP Wednesday 2-2

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Saroyan is coming along. Its really hard to photograph this clearly ... probably doesn't help that it is 10:30pm. This is one of those projects that I think will take a while to complete, especially when I get to the long stretch in the middle. Each time I complete a leaf I get that, "There I'm done." feeling.

Ishbel is in the same state as Monday (scroll down to see photo), haven't knit another stitch yet.

Today we had a pretty good storm. Yesterday my boss told me that they were putting people up in a local hotel to make sure we had people there today to work ... that means you he said (I'm supervisor). I laughed and declined the offer (um clean underwear and toothbrush?!?!), so I figured I better get my butt in today. I went to bed early last night, so didn't get any knitting done. None today either, I'm eating dinner as I type this and then going off to bed. Since only one other person in our department showed up today and he's new ... I had a busy day!