Monday, December 22, 2008

Pre-Christmas Craziness

I realize that I'm not presently working and I should be on top of, well, everything, but I'm not. I'd like to blame it on the not being able to drive or the ridiculously slow pace I meander at lately or the fact that I can't stand comfortably for more than 10 minutes. But really, I've been spending more time reading and watching movies than anyone should. Luckily, the continuous passive motion machine, my excuse for staying on the couch; as it pumped my leg to ever greater degrees of flexion, will be gone soon. And I made a list to get things done now, so no more excuses. I always get more done when I have a written list. I think the satisfaction of crossing things off helps.

I got a small project done in the past few weeks. This pattern was not difficult, but it very nearly defeated me. It was the having to pay attention all the way through each row. I have the attention span of a cat, on good days....
I'm pleased with how they turned out. They were all curly, so I had to block them...which seemed silly, but now they lie flat, which I feel is important in a coaster. The yarn had a lot more brown in it than it looked like, but it kinda matches my couches, so I can't complain. The yarn was also some Michael's special, possibly with soy or something interesting in it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nothing New But My Knee

I made this tart for Thanksgiving, and it was delicious. Cranberry, almond, caramel...mmm. I killed the caramel the first time. The directions said to use a 10 inch skillet. I own a 14 inch skillet (one can never make too much food....).
I didn't think it would be a problem.
I was so so wrong.
Don't ever attempt caramel with a pan that exceed the size of your burner...
But attempt two came out fine.
If I were to make again, I would use another shell recipe. This one shrank, as you can see, and was altogether more trouble than it was worth. But the tartness of the cranberries was an excellent balance to the caramel. You can get the recipe here:
And here is the ugly hat. Perfect size, but no stitch definition and what was it, knit? crocheted? you would never be able to tell. Ah well, it's not for me, and that's another skein of ugliness out of the stash.

I haven't been doing much knitting. Recovery is not painless, but at least I have a Costco sized bottle of Tylenol now :) I can bend my knee to 90 degrees, with discomfort.

For my birthday, my sister got me Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, which I've been coveting for at least a year:
She also got me another present, though not really for me.
She's pregnant! Yay!
So those cute knitted stuffed animals...yeah a great excuse to make them :) I'm gong through all my knitting books and making a list of yarns to buy when we're a mere 20 minutes from Webs during Christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Quick post before I go to surgery. I've had 3, count 'em, 3 surgeries on my right elbow eight years ago, and no I don't snowboard anymore :) So I'm familiar with the process. But for some reason I'm a bit apprehensive today. Oh well, only an hour more to worry about it.

I meant to list the cozy pattern. It's a free one off the Berrocco site: Fleur-de-lis

I finished another hat yesterday with my charity acrylic. It was made with Lionbrand Color waves, and though I have about 5 more skeins of it, I don't think I'll ever use it again. It made my skin dry. And turned out a fabric where you couldn't tell the stitch definition. At all. So it made a interesting, bumpy fabric. Which I suppose would be great for a new knitter. If they dropped stitches or purled when they should knit you wouldn't be able to tell at all.
Pictures when I am less might be awhile....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mystery Revealed

Awhile back, I had been knitting something secret for my coffee swap buddy that I asked people to guess about.
Apparently it really looked like a lopsided bikini top :)

And while it is difficult to predict what something will be at 30% completion, I feared the picture below might have given the surprise away:

Can you tell what it is now?

Headband for someone with a smaller head than mine? (Freakishly smaller...)


Sushi set coaster? (For keeping your sushi nice and mildly cool...?)


Dishtowel flattening device?




It's just a cozy.

It's actually a french press cozy.
When I took this picture, I didn't own a french press. Now I do thanks to a great birthday present from my friend. (Thanks Michelle!)
Teapot, french press, you get the general idea. Love the color and the stitch pattern and the Lamb's Pride yarn. Do not love grafting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Amazing Autumn Coffee Swap Package

I received my swap package last week, I've just been to lazy to post the pictures. Jill L. sent me this great package. You can't tell from the picture, but the biscotti and caramel cookies (holy cannoli, they're amazing) have been eaten from already. I love the colors and the pattern on the needle holder, I'm actually planning on knitting a cat bed in similar colors and polka dots.
The yarn is Misti Alpaca and she sent a pattern for a very cute scarf. And then there was the pumpkin lip gloss, chapstick, and body scrub. I'm sure Jill could not have known that I've managed to misplace all of my chapsticks in the weeks before. The cute coffee dishtowel is hanging on my stove, and actually matches my kitchen pretty well. And the coffee is divine. I made a cup with a french press my friend got me for my birthday.

Right before posting, I realized that there was a piece missing from my picture. It's the neckwarmer that Jill made me, which was with my coat because I'd been wearing it (we've already had snow falling for a solid week). I love the colors. Thanks Jill!

My swappee already recieved her package, so I'll let you know what the mystery knitting was next time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Une Mitaine

My first mitten. Very exciting. Turns out that mittens aren't too tough. I'm sure socks are equally not that hard....perhaps....

I forgot to take a finished pic of the Amanda hat but it's done, save for the weaving in the ends. Mystery project is almost done. And after the recipient receives it, I'll let you know what it is.
Surgery on my ACL is scheduled for the beginning of December. I split that sucker right in half. It also turns out that my lack of wobbliness that usually accompanies a torn ACL seems to be due to the amazing musculature of my legs. The resident who did my initial evaluation saw the tear in the MRI, and was thoroughly confused about the seeming stability, just like the soccer ref... and my primary care doc... (though they haven't seen me do stairs lately). Gotta love genetics.

Recovery from this surgery will not be a blast, and I probably won't get to run Vermont City Marathon next year. Or any marathon again, in fact. Apparently the surgery gives me arthritis in the foreseeable future, but without it there would be no skiing, tennis, or soccer again. So I'll take arthritis. There's always the half marathon, and the 10K...and of course, way more time for knitting. At this rate, I might be ready to take on the Tilted Duster this winter.

I'm hoping to use my recovery time, not including the painful drugged up first week to read the Twilight series. I'm not sure if I should see the movie first. Any suggestions? I have yet to read a book that was better than its movie counterpart. On the other hand, my expectations for movies based on books are presently so low I usually always enjoy the movie.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sweet Charity

The first project is a secret, but I feel no one will know what it is by the pic. Can you tell?
Because I've been working on mystery A, my hat has taken a back seat. I'm a bit worried that the hat is too big, but I guess it's not too big for a guy. Maybe someday...if I ever work on my dream project.
Myha does love to interfere. I hope the recipient isn't allergic to cats. It has become that time of year...when I get home and it's dark...and all pictures are taken inside in less than stellar lighting. Gotta love the time change.
I got my MRI results back yesterday.
Not a mere meniscus tear; I actually managed to rupture my ACL, as well as bone contusions (bruises), a minor sprain to a ligament on the outside of my knee, and some minor meniscus issues. The ACL tear most probably means surgery, if I ever want to run/hike/horseback ride or play soccer again. But no worries, I have an in for info working in the College of Medicine, so I've got an appointment next week with the best orthopedic knee guy Northern Vermont has. Presently...because not so long ago the best one had a sexual harassment claim against him. That's a bummer for all involved.

This week I went shopping at one of the local organic market in Burlington called City Market. I was a bit wowed by the variety of local apples, many heirloom; all of the local veggie options, the fact that they tell you where all of the produce comes from, the bulk tofu from local Vermont Soy
(and the fact that it was a fraction of the cost of the pre-packaged tofu), the multitude of different bean options, the local meat, and local prepared foods (samosas, Indian meals to go, egg rolls...) Did I mention I was wowed? I will definitely be supporting them more often.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Amazing Autumn Coffee Swap Topic #3

This morning I sit here sipping a fresh cup with a bit of cream and some sweetener.. and the first sip makes the morning seem just a bit better than it was before. I love the smell, the warm feel of the cup in my hand, the taste - just everything! What is it that you love about your first cup of the day? Are you a daily drinker? How do you take yours? Tell us how you love to enjoy your first cup!

I love holding the warm mug in my hands and smelling the coffee, especially on cold mornings. The caffeine, of course, is essential for Monday mornings :) I drink coffee mostly on the weekdays. My co-worker often makes a pot of dark roast (or as he calls it, "monkey sweat") in the morning that a few of us split. I use a sugar in the raw packet and a bit of half and half in a nice thick ceramic mug. When I make coffee on lazy weekends, I sometimes add chocolate and make mocha. My mugs at home are huge and covered in blue and green vines, I just love them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More Charity Knitting and Less Carnivorousness

I finished My So Called Scarf for charity yesterday. I still have to weave in the ends, all two of them.... I would love for someone to come up with a tool that makes weaving in the ends unnecessary. I think that person could make a small fortune off knitters, because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one out there that loathes this process. I think this might be the fastest scarf I've ever knit. It is so amazing to go from size 4 needles to size 11! Under two weeks to finish a project is great.
My current WIP is an Amanda Hat. This charity knitting thing has made me uncover an embarrassingly large stash of acrylics; many mill ends. For awhile I was part of a prayer shawl group at my church. I think I now have enough Lion's Brand Homespun to knit about 13 prayer shawls. Anywho, I'm uncertain that this color choice is appropriate for a woman's hat. It looks a little too busy and bright. Oh well, maybe I'll use the rest of it to do some children's size hats.

Because I have been unable to exercise lately, I though of going a bit veggie until I can exercise again and require the extra protein, fat, and iron content that is so easily bio available in meat. I'm not going to be crazy about it, but I've been reading some Barbara Kingsolver, and being that I was an Animal Science major, I intimately know the factory farming system that our country is based on and the more I think about it, the more I don't want to contribute to the continuation of that system. In the summer I support local agriculture through a local CSA, or farm share, but while I was incredibly impressed by Jericho Settlers Farm system of raising swine and chicken and beef (their pigs graze on pasture that is rotated with the chickens, and most incredibly don't stink!) I haven't been able to get over my stingy side that doesn't want to pay more than double the price per pound for most cuts of meat and chicken. But it costs more to raise animals and vegetables sustainably, and deal with less hearty, but more genetically diverse breeds. And I think during my time of eating mostly no meat, I'm going to pay more for local and organic vegetables, and when I decide to start cooking meat again, I'll seek out local sources. It's time to put my money where my mouth is, and I think the price will only serve as a reminder of appropriate serving sizes.

I've already volunteered to bring the turkey for Thanksgiving. I'd rather pick up our bird from the local farm where I can see how the turkeys are managed. And I know Butterball turkeys don't get to live a good life. And yes, I'm pretty sure I made up the word carnivorousness. Just like my spelling of cankle :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Coffee Swap Topic #2 and My So Called Charity

With Halloween coming up this Friday, tell us what you think of when you think Halloween! Do you love it? Hate it? See it as a sign of Fall? Are you a total sucker for candy and little kids in cute costumes?

I like Halloween, I guess. I've never been a fan of scaring myself, though I do dress up when required, and I love to see the cute little costumed kids toddling around.
I love carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds and all of the bite size candy everywhere. Though, I'll take anything apple oriented over a pumpkin any day :)

Above is a My So Called Scarf in progress. Below is the same pattern in different yarn, finished. I had started it in January and apparently lost interest, so I finished it up. Above is a bad picture of a charity work-in-progress. I just couldn't be bothered to find another pattern and needle size to start something different. Plus the pattern is fun to knit, and my needles were upstairs...I've been a bit reluctant to take on stairs more than I have to lately.

The doctor thinks my injury could require up to months of physical therapy, if not surgery. But I won't know until I get an MRI in mid-November. I'm getting the distinct feeling that I'm going to have
a lot more time for knitting for the winter. Luckily, I have quite a bit of craft store yarn from before I turned into a yarn snob just dying to be made into something and given away. I feel a little guilty, making people things out of ugly acrylics....but they are machine washable, and an acrylic scarf or hat is better than no scarf or hat at all.
I'm trying not to be too upset about not being able to run or play soccer or doing yoga or bike or hike or maybe not even ski this season. Just two weeks ago I was running through fallen leaves on the bike path next to Lake Champlain at sunrise.....and now I'm tossing and turning in bed because my knee area aches and there is no comfortable position to sleep in. It seems not the fairest in trade offs. But now I have plenty of time to knit and catch up on my reading and wine drinking. Right?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yup, Another Injury

I was playing soccer on Wednesday night, like I always do. I am a klutz, so some sort of bruise or injury to myself is expected. The decade of ballet lessons make my tumbles and rolls graceful.


This session I've had the usual plethora of bruises plus the cankle. No big deal. But, you know, I thought the cankle would have been the big injury for the session. Not as bad as the night I got hit in the nose Martha Brady style a mere four days before my wedding, but enough pain that I didn't see the injury coming. So I'm running and kicking and carrying and the team we're playing is good and they're running us around a bit. I think that I'm going to have to take the aggression up a notch to compete. So I'm on this guy in red shorts and I'm playing defense and he, as most are most guys, taller, faster, stronger. But this does not dissuade me. I will take the soccer ball from red shorts. I will not be intimidated by his size, speed, strength.

I kick the ball from red shorts.

But not far enough.

We're both trying to gain control of the ball. Red shorts gets the ball, and I throw my leg through the space between his to kick it away. Red shorts leans, and twists to keep the ball, twisting my leg with his momentum and...


And a girly scream that most certainly could not have come from me erupts into the air as I collapse in pain.

It is so dramatically embarrassing that the ref immediately pauses the game as everyone crowds are me.

They thought I'd torn my ACL. They thought I'd torn my MCL. They think it's somewhere in my knee. It's not. I told them, but the ref did all sorts of pulling and pushing in all the spots that are supposed to be correlated to the MCL and ACL to no pain from me. It's suspiciously close to my knee, but on the outside; a tendon or ligament that is affected when you twist or torque your leg or ankle. The same one that I have previously had tendonitos in when doing marathon training.

Le sigh.

That's all I know for now.
I can walk with a limp for now. I can't bend tighter thatn 90 degrees and I can't lock my knee. I'm giving it a few days, as with all things medical to resolve it before I see a doctor. Tendons are tough, because they don't have very good bloodflow, and tend to take longer to heal than muscles.

No hiking for me this weekend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Juno Blocked

This was actually blocked and ready to go for the wedding I had been making it for. And it was more than chilly enough to wear it. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of me wearing it, or how nice it looked once the pins were removed. Because this was my first experience blocking, I had no concept of the time commitment to placing all those pins. I was amazed by the difference from before blocking and after. Blocking makes it look like I knit so much more evenly than I actually do. Afterwards the shawl was straight and flat and gorgeous. That's a lot of pins. I knew that you could use wire (not that I own blocking wires), and I've heard some rumors of string being used to block but I was to lazy/impatient to deal with the idea of threading the wire every couple of stitches.

I'd just put a pin every couple inches..... but as you can see, that didn't really happen. I used all but 11 pins. I don't know how many were in there, but it was definitely hundreds.
As an aside, I know how "kankle" is really spelt "cankle". Somehow I typed it with a "k" and it just looked so right to me. Has that ever happened to you? Anywho, it turns out that it isn't actually a real word yet (Doh!) so spell check had no chance to correct me. And to anyone who read the comments of that post, the anonymous commenter is actually my co-worker . Not some random mean person. But thanks for the support :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Amazing Autumn Coffee Swap Questionaire

Registration closes this friday!

Amazing Autumn Coffee Swap Questionnaire

About Your Yarn Passion
1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both? When did you first learn? I've been knitting for a few years. Learning to crochet is on the list of things to learn.

2. Do you like using a particular type of needle or hook? (wood, metal, straight, circular) Is there something you've been wanting to try, or a particular size you always seem to be short on? I really like wooden straight needles, especially if the wood is pretty. I use a lot of circular needles because I have an interchangeable set, but it's more for convenience of the stitches not slipping off and, you know, having the correct size available then anything. I'm always short on the smaller gauge dpns.

3. What kind of projects do you enjoy making? Any types you just haven't ever gotten into as much as others? I really like anything lacy or colorwork, though they always take so long. I don't really do anything big like sweaters or coats because I don't think I would ever finish.

4. What's on your needles\hook right now? What's your oldest UFO (unfinished object)? Hmm, my abandoned Endpaper Mitts, which I'm planning on fixing this winter, and my oldest UFO, which is a dishtowel based on this pattern:

5. If you were going on vacation tomorrow, what project(s) would travel with you?
I would bring sock yarn and start tackling a sock...if I was feeling brave.

6. What are your favorite types of yarns? Any you're allergic too, or just hate working with? Anything in particular you've been dying to try? I love love love anything soft: alpaca, merino, cashmere, angora. I'm not allergic to anything, but I don't really like working with acrylic.

7. What sort of colors do you love in yarns? Brights? Pastels? More muted colors? Variegated? Are there any you can't stand? I like bold colors and pastels. I don't really any colors that combine yellow, orange, green, and brown. By themselves, they're nice but together, kind of pukey and unhappy looking.

Your Coffee Passion
1. Do you prefer caffeinated or not? Caffeine is my lifeblood.

2. Whole bean or ground? For what type of pot or press? I like whole beans, because they keep longer. I have just your average drip coffee maker, but I love the occasions when I get coffee from a press.

3. What types of roasts do you enjoy? Are you more the light and lively or dark and robust type? I like dark and robust and flavourful, but not flavored.

4. How do you 'take' your coffee? Creamers? Sweetener? Other add ins? I take my coffee with a bit of sugar in the raw and a bit of half and half.

5. That first morning cup - is it about the taste, or the caffeine? If it's a workday, it's about caffeine :)

6. Do you enjoy going out to coffee shops like Starbucks? What are some of your favorites?
I don't usually do Starbucks, I usually do the local coffee places, I like ones that roast their own beans.

7. You've just made the perfect cup of coffee - is it in a thick mug, or a thinner cup? Where would you sit to drink it? It's in a thick pottery mug. I'd sit outside and drink it on a lazy weekend morning.

8. You're enjoying that perfect cup, and have a magic cabinet in your kitchen - when you open it, magically, your favorite treats will appear to enjoy alongside the coffee - what are they? Are they sweet? Crunchy? Soft and flaky? They can be crunchy, flaky, or soft, but they will definitely be either chocolate or carmel or almond flavored. Like a brownie or almond biscotti.

All about YOU!
1. Do you have other hobbies like spinning or scrapbooking? I own a really easy to use wheel and a box of lovely fiber to spin...covered by a months worth of accumulated stuff. I also run, ride ponies when I can find people to let me ride them for free/cheap, play soccer, am learning to throw pottery, do yoga, ski, garden and I like to cook and bake too. It's no wonder my spinning is so infrequent....

2. Do you collect anything? I briefly starting collecting Breyer horses for a time, but now i am happily collection free. My yarn and fiber stash doesn't count, right?

3. What is your favorite part of Autumn? The first day of foliage where it's cold enough to wear a sweatshirt and go apple picking and drink hot cider.

4. What sort of scents do you enjoy? Any difference in what you like for your house versus what you like for your body? I really like scents that smell fresh and clean, like herbal scents and lavender and citrus, for anywhere. I like fruity smells for candles.

5. Are you allergic to anything? Ummm, allergic to myself, no big deal.

6. Are you on Ravelry? What's your ID? Yup: mcloutie

7. How would you spend an ideal fall afternoon/day? Picking apples/walking or running or trail riding through fallen leaves/eating anything apple related.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The end is in sight

These pictures are actually from last week, but the husband is all hogging the computer with his schoolwork. Someday we will have a laptop and we can both hog the computer and it'll be great.

It'll be super exciting in a few days when my shawl is blocked and finished and it'll be like I'm posting and knitting at a normal speed. Which is, of course, assuming the husband isn't hogging the computer again. In non-knitting news, it's been a week since I played soccer and kept covering "ankle kicker guy." One week later, and I still have a kankle.
Isn't "kankle" a great word? Unfortunately connotation, especially since that's usually more a genetic predisposition towards ankle bone size, but still great.

Since I'm at the end, I've been scoping out new patterns for the next project. I'm going to try very hard to convince someone I know to have a baby so i can knit them this:

Is that not the cutest thing ever?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One Year

It's been one year since this picture was taken.

Time flies.

Friday, October 3, 2008

36 inches...

I am still in recovery from last weekend. There was no knitting. There was a bridal shower Saturday morning in western VT, followed by a looong drive down to Newport for a bacherlorette party (different bride). By the way, the foliage in NH is looking gorgeous...

Saturday night consisted of alcohol induced bachelorette style craziness, as expected. But we didn't end the weekend there.

Sunday we went to a wine and cheese tasting being held at one of the Newport Mansions. Gorgeous venue right along the cliff walk but unfortunately it was held outdoors, and it had been pouring rain on and off all weekend. The walkways oozed mud. There were a few times that I took a step and sank in up to my ankle. Luckily, we were drinking excellent wine.
So...I'm at 36 inches on my shawl. I'm hoping to hit 42 this weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Knitting by the sea

I do know how to find an excellent place to knit. This is from the porch of the house my running group stayed in last weekend in York Beach. Unfortunately, the picture showing the bay to the left disappeared, which actually shows the beach and the town, but you get the idea.
The weekend was great. I had quite a few hours to knit and I set a new PR for the half marathon. Not an impressive time, but it's nice to keep chipping away. It was also nice the run an all women's (plus one lucky guy!) race. It was very walker friendly and I don't know why, but I was surprised to see many women out there in full makeup.
We are interesting creatures, we females.

Meanwhile, it's back to the grind for a few more days...and then on to more traveling this weekend.

31 of 42 inches done until I start the end lace charts...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Juno Progress

After a week of many hours of knitting, I am at 26 inches of 42. More than half done, but if I'm going to finish this for the October 18th, I'm going to have to knit more than 2 rows a night. Despite the project fatigue (when can I cast on for something small like a hat or a dishcloth?) I love the way it's coming out.

I'm leaving for York, Maine after work to run a women's half marathon on Sunday. My running group is renting a house by the beach and staying all weekend. This will be my first all women's race (excepting the one lucky guy who is chosen via raffle to run) and I think it will be nice to be close to the middle of the pack for once.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nova Scotia

I've been busy knitting from these fabulous locations on Morris Island in Nova Scotia...

...actual progress to be shown another time.
Gorgeous, no?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pay It Forward

I signed up under Nichole for this, oh ya know, like weeks ago :) I've seen it floating around the knitting blogs but never managed to catch a post before it had the requisite 3 people who already commented.

Pay It Forward is based on the movie with Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey. It was a book first, written by Catherine Ryan Hyde. With all of the things happening these days, random acts of kindness are a good thing.
What is the PIF exchange all about? The knitty gritty is… I’ll send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange! I don’t know what that gift will be yet ... and you may not until 2009… but you will receive it within 365 days, that’s a promise! It may be knit, it may be beaded, it may be painted...I'm not 100% sure just yet, but it will be handmade and just for you!
The only thing you have to do in return is then ‘pay it forward’ by promising to do the same on your own blog.
So... do I have 3 people who want to play and receive a handmade item from me?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

One Month, One Week, One Day Contest Winners

We're still in the week after the Olympics, right?

The Champlain Valley Fair is in town so I've been busy mullet watching. A good mullet is getting harder and harder to find. And eating fried fair foods. And visiting the fluffy chickens and llamas and sheep and bunnies and horses and cows.... But not to worry, online random number generators were hard at work picking medalists.

And I even found stitch markers that I had actually bought for the purpose of contest prizes, so bonus. (Lets pretend that you can't see any dust...)
The Bronze winner: Kristen, has won these gorgeous stitch markers not made by me :)

The Silver winner, of the "knitting bag" is Turtle

And, drum roll please...the Gold winner of the soft Purewool is:


Congratulations medalists!

Thanks for competing!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The race is on

And I appear to be losing. At this rate, I will not be finishing this shawl in time for the October wedding.

Last weekend, we were in western MA for a wedding Friday, then attempted to go to IKEA to buy something for the wedding my husband is standing up in this weekend. Apparently, that was a grave mistake. Last weekend was tax free weekend, unbeknownst to us, and not only was IKEA bearing a strong resemblance to LAX, but apparently the thing to do on a Saturday afternoon is to take the Mass Pike to 495 to the Cape? to the Tweeter Center? (or whatever corporation it is named after now...)...I might never know. So instead of spending the majority of the afternoon shopping in "LAX" for the trendy/cheap/modern/prefab items that ended being out of stock, we counted our minutes passing per mile. (48 minutes to go 11 miles...) My appreciation of the lack of traffic in Burlington is renewed.

This weekend Matt has a bachelor party Friday night. In western MA, of course. Then there is a shower on Saturday in eastern MA for a piece of the October wedding madness. (I mustn't neglect any corners of MA when I come down) and then the actual wedding Matt will be standing up in on Sunday night.

I have high hopes to get in some knitting though, on Labor Day weekend. We'll be spending the weekend on a small island in Lake Champlain. With nothing to do but hike, camp, kayak, swim...and knit around a camp fire.

And look, my Dahlia is finally blooming :)
I promise to be less sarcastic once I get a September...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Year, One Month, One Day Blogiversary Contest

I can't believe it's been a year already. Time's fun like that. Since my one year, one month, one day anniversary falls so conveniently during the Olympics, I've decided to do this, not unlike the post title, in sets of three.

Gold is the 2 skeins of lovely Purewool pictured below.
Silver wins you the bag pictured. Since this is a knitting blog, lets pretend like it's a knitting bag, shall we?
Bronze will be stitch markers made by me, at some date in the future, 'cause I'm a slacker like that and haven't made 'em yet.
How you win:
You get one entry for commenting on this post with your favorite summer game. If you don't have one, make one up, I'll never know if you're fibbing.

You'll get a second (or silver, haha) entry for sending people here. As usual, you only get the entry if they mention you in their comment.

And the gold entry goes to those more patriotic and Olympic loving than even I. You have to show me an in-progress or finished knitting project with the USA or Olympic rings involved. Picture proof can be through Flickr or Ravelry, just let me know where you have pictures posted.

I will run this contest until the end of the summer games: August 24th, 2008.
Winners will be chosen the last week of August.

Happy Summer Games!

By the way, my favorite summer game has always revolved around the Equestrian events, being as obsessed with ponies as I am. However, in 2004, I found my new favorite: the trampoline. Has anyone else ever seen happier athletes during an athletic event? They bounce and smile and smile and bounce. It's excellent. I'd recommend trying to catch it if you can.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lets Not Talk About My Shawl

, Instead, look at the pretty rocks I get to kayak near. And the pretty boys bouldering on them. That's my friend Meagan in the red kayak. She took the great sparkle picture.
On the rare day of sun this summer, I love going on or near the lake to watch the sparkles. It's definitely magic.

It's also occurred to me that I missed my one year blogiversary. I'll definitely be having a contest, but rules and prizes will be discussed at a later date. I have to go enjoy the sunshine while it's here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My plants are making progress...

First strawberries of the season. This is a strawberry herb, not a strawberry grown for fruit, but believe when I say that if they berries seem small, they make up for it in flavor. Plus you get leaves for strawberry tea and fruits. I heart multipurpose plants :)
My shawl is to the "boring" phase, as most Ravelers call it, where I'm knitting 42 inches of the same rows. Being that I have the attention span of a gnat lately, I'm enjoying these same two rows because I don't have to check the chart every 7 stitches. Plus, I can both get some knitting done and watch TV. Before, I was only pretending to be able to watch TV while I knot, I really am not that talented. If I knit and don't look, I drop stitches all over the place.
I'm really going to have to put more time in on this if I want to get it done for the October wedding though. I do love the slight variegation in the Purewool.
I'm still giddy over my plumeria. My second plant is budding. It still amazes me that those little nubs turn into this:
I only wish there was a way to share fragrances via blog :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's Been Awhile

And I've been busy, as per usual.

Above is the first bloom I've had on any of my plumerias since I purchased them 2 years ago. Plumeria, or frangipanis, as they're called in Oz, are a tropical plant I fell in love with while I was living in Australia. Not only are they gorgeous, but the blooms give off the most heavenly aroma. I used to pick up fallen blooms on my walk home from Uni and put them in a glass bowl of water, where they would fill my bedroom with fragrance. I was afraid Vermont just wasn't warm enough for long enough for them to bloom, but I guess I just had to fertilize. Isn't it just gorgeous?

Since my last post I've done many picture worthy things: kayaking on Lake Champlain, watching a glassblower work and finding an excellent waterfall in Stowe, and having drinks at a waterside restaurant at sunset over the lake. But my camera was not present. Someday it will be, and I'll have some great pictures to share.

I've been living in Vermont for 3 years now, and at some point, I often experience a daily rush of pure gratitude for the constant beauty that surrounds me. My condo abutts a bike path, in which you can take a short walk to a park that overlooks the lake. At least once a week, I drive 15 minutes to another bikepath to go running along the lake. My employer, the University, sits on the highest ground in Burlington, and from many meeting rooms, you get a great view of the lake. And on Tuesdays, I get to run 5Ks on beautiful wooded trails with hundreds of other people of all ages and paces and sizes in the rain and the heat and the mud. I do feel spoiled every once in awhile, when I forget to complain.
And look! My shawl is growing up into a larger almost triangle. (Pretend like you can't see the mysterious whole on the left, that's what I do...) And just in case you though I spent all my time taking care of plants and running instead of knitting; I bake too, when the opportunity presents itself. I made this tiramisu for my sisters birthday, and it was even more delicious then it looks :)
I realize that this post has been a bit ramble-y, but I have little time to accomplish a big to-do list to get ready for the8-10 visitors I will be hosting this weekend for Burlington's Beerfest.
Laundry calls...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

So many excuses to not knit and a contest

Ponyknit is having a contest in honor of her blogiversary. Go visit and have a chance to win some yummy yarn. The contest runs until the 11th. Don't forget to say I sent you.

This week I've been in recovery a bit from my NYC weekend. We used our time well. We saw ground zero, and walked along the waterfront near Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, walked through Chinatown, had lunch in Little Italy, and saw Legally Blond on Broadway. Legally Blond was an excellent show: the script, sets, and acting were all spectacular. And the dogs were pretty excellent too. I found out that they were all strays that were rescued and trained, so that's kind of cool.

And then we walked outside after the show and I've become so accustomed to the relative darkness of Burlington, that the billboard lights of Times Square confused me into thinking it was still daylight for a moment....after 10 was a blond moment after seeing Legally Blond. Appropriate, right?

I haven't done any knitting this week. Instead, I've: ran my 5K trail race, joined the new local kayaking club (because I don't have enough activities, you know?) and went kayaking on Lake Champlain. I haven't been paddling since I was in Australia, and I forgot how great it is to be silently gliding through the water. On a small boat like a kayak, you're so much more connected to the water and your surroundings.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A slightly larger triangle with token kitty interference

Yes, it's been weeks since I've shown my progress...because as you see, it's not been very impressive. I'm about halfway through chart 3 of 8, and there's a lot of non-chart knitting in between. Myha would not stop being all Vanna White when I was trying to get a picture. However, I'm headed to NYC for a girl's weekend, and there might be some time where I should be able to get a few rows in. You know, between Broadway and Chinatown and general drunken debauchery.

Besides knitting, I found a few spare minutes to clean a path to my long neglected spinning wheel. I didn't spin much, as you can see but it was spun more even than I remember being able too, so that's a plus.
I'll leave you with the sight my husband will see all weekend long as he sits at the computer without me to give Miss Myha attention so she'll leave him alone.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Photo

From tonight, a post dinner surprise :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Might I be in Training to be a WAHM?

I saw this on Ponyknit's Blog, and I could not resist. Plus I have nothing knitterly to share here.


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

The heat wave broke this week with severe thunderstorms, high wind speeds and tornado warnings. I went to my 5K trail race that night (in between storms) to find it cancelled with large branches fallen all over the place. Because it was hot, and we have been travelling every weekend (just one more weekend in Western MA, woohoo!), my shawl is only a slightly larger triangle, which I probably won't have time to photograph before we leave for MA tonight. I tried knitting a bit before the heat broke, and it was just not happening because despite the yarn being laceweight, it's still wool.

Work has been exhausting me this week. The hours have been long and the Russian Fulbright Scholar has been tagging along. That itself can be exhausting in itself, as he doesn't really speak English and just tends to mess things up. The Fulbright Scholarship is a prestigious award, so the guy must be bright, but lack of language is such a huge barrier.

A few weeks ago we were doing an experiment and I asked him to get me some liquid nitrogen (which is used to freeze things very quickly).
I asked if he understood and he said, "Yes, yes."
He came back in the process of pulling on gloves, with surgical scissors in his hands. I know this might be amusing, but he's been here since last October, and the fact that he can't differentiate between "liquid nitrogen" and "dissect" or "take the blood" (I still don't know exactly what he was trying to do) just kind of makes me want to hit my head against a wall. This is not the first time I've had to train and work with someone whose English was practically non-existent; it's not even the first time I've had to work with a Russian with poor English. I think with every poor language experience, my patience slows starts to ebb more quickly. Maybe I should just try to be more like my new coworker and try to learn Russian and teach them cultural traditions like the pinky swear :)

I'm sure by now, everyone's seen the new Knitty. I must say that I like more of their patterns this issue than last. Because I have sooooo much time to knit. I better work on my 1930s housewife skills...

Friday, June 6, 2008

New Online Knitting Magazines

In case you don't have a large enough pattern queue, it looks like there are a few new online knitting magazines out there.

The one that has patterns and articles accumulating on it now is Knotions It has some old Magknits patterns too. Bonus.

The second one I came across looks very exciting, with a count down and a daily sneak peak. Less than 2 months until we see what the Twist Collective will look like. The sneak peak patterns are pretty promising. Now if I could only learn to knit fast enough to make attempting sweater a worthwhile pursuit :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

A contest, but not here

Nothing new to show, I've been too busy with running, soccer, Matt's birthday BBQ, and cooking in preparation for my brother's college graduation this weekend. Oh, that and realizing I never updated my passport with a name change, and it's now "strongly suggested" for travel to Canada. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

So instead, I found you a contest at: The Land of the Knitsaur You have until the 31st to enter any three measurements and you get a chance to win. Don't forget to mention me!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vermont City Marathon

My most recent excuse for not knitting:

I had a whole post about the marathon and how it went, but Blogger ate it, and I just don't have the heart to rehash, so the high points:

Beautiful weather, great crowds, great running partners (see photo)

Droopy hands, I don't know why (again, see photo)

Marathon PR now minus one hour (yes, that's huge amount of time to take off, and I won't be able to take another hour off in one race again)

Have recovered enough to run tough hilly trail race 48 hours later.

Thinking on signing up for the Maine Women's Half in September and then I could sign up for the Hartford Marathon in October and do the the half as a training run....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two weeks of knitting and all I got was this lousy triangle...

I don't really think that. I'm actually quite pleased with the slow progress I'm making. We won't talk about the sock. The sock and I aren't currently getting along, which is all my fault. How did I not figure on stitches not falling off needles if I just threw the knitting in a bag with no dpn holder on?

Le sigh.

It's just that many other things have been going on in the past two weeks.
I ran the Corporate Cup 5K last thursday in Montpelier, which then required going out for dinner and not getting home until 10:30 at night. That's our "Corporate" Team in Training in front of the Statehouse. There were almost 2000 runners and walkers there. It was a ton of fun, and great to see so many people out and active on a weeknight.

I got my bike back with a new chain and it's like a new bike (the husband also got his first ever road bike and we've been spending some time on the bike paths. Yes there are many in the area. I heart Chittenden COunty)
We also changed the landscaping in front of our condo from perenial beds to more traditional landscaping (ie landscaping the condo landscapers will take of, because apparently they get paid to ignore perennial beds). After hearing an estimate for how much it would cost, we decided to do it ourselves. After a week of back and forth it's done, and I'm still uncertain as to whether the landscaper was just poor at the dealing with the people side of his job or whether he was just having a bad week or whether he just thought communication by ESP is acceptable. In any case, much less work, and much more money later, I will say it does look nice. But I can't wait until I own a home where the only gardening approval I need is my husband's.

I am on week two of tapering for my marathon this Sunday, and despite the lack of running, I seem to be managing to fill the time with other physical activities...which I think I'm not supposed to be doing. Training schedules are for people who run fast anyways :)