Friday, September 29, 2006

No Knitting... STILL!

No knitting... how about a cute baby photo?

On to TV commentary. Project Runway this week... I thought Jeffrey was finally going to go. Imagine my disappointment. For the first time I thought Michael really blew it too. I was worried for him. I liked Uli's dress for the first time. Loved Laura's. (as usual) Wouldn't wear it of course, but loved it. So they all get to go to Fashion Week or whatever it is. Of the four of them, I would only be upset if Jeffrey ended up winning the whole thing. I just abhor his personality.

Grey's Anatomy. So addicted. LOVE IT. Just keeps getting better all the time. After that, I watched Six Degrees. Now I don't know whether it was the gin and tonic I drank (and deserved) on an empty stomach after a 13 hour work day or if I'm just slow, but I could not follow it. I really do want to give it another chance next week without the mind altering fluid rushing through my veins. We'll see. Truly, I just sat there completely mind boggled.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stop the world. I want to get off.

No, not really. It's just been a little crazier than I'm used to. Thanks to everyone who sent email about my parents. They are hanging in there. Mom is doing better and and Dad is still doing ok with his chemo. Everything is a day at a time.

Son got rear ended at a red light and the van (from hell) is no longer road worthy. Thus I'm driving a borrowed car so my husband can drive mine and son can drive his. Craziness.

We have finally transitioned at work. We are now officially a Howard Hanna office. So that is a load off. Still a lot of work to be done with that but the big things are accomplished.

Knitting content?? Nope. Unless you want to consider the fact that I can't find my Clapotis knitting content. I tore the place apart this morning looking for it. I wanted to wrap up in that today and it's nowhere to be found. I'll find it eventually. I'd like to make another one of those. Something in blacks and greys. If anyone has any good suggestions for yarn, I'm all ears. I LOVE that pattern. If you haven't gone there yet, try it. It's so much fun.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekend Update

In between real work appointments, I worked furiously on this all weekend. I thought I was almost finished with it but I was wrong. I misread the pattern. I actually had two more repeats of the 59 row chart to do than I thought. Right now, I have about 100 more rows to do to finish it by Saturday and have it blocked and dry by next Thursday. It really is the perfect wrap for this chilly morning weather as well as for on the airplane. If you have the opportunity to buy this Jaeger Matchmaker yarn, do it. It's so soft you just want to wrap yourself up in it. There is an orange cable-y sweater in the Fall issue of Interweave Knits that would be awesome done in this yarn. Add that to my list.

Knitting fever has hit the family. I went to my sister's to visit my niece, home from London, and when I walked in, everyone went to get their knitting! My sister is making a cute sweater for Giorgi and Erin is making a baby scarf with pockets. (Debbie Bliss pattern... strange directions. I couldn't figure it out)

So what is the scoop with knitting needles on airplanes these days? Does each airline have their own rules? Surely I'd be ok with Erin plastic circulars? Right? I just don't want to have it taken from me at the last minute. But I also don't want to pack it in the big suitcase if I could be knitting on the plane. Right now, my other projects include two pair of socks, one pair on metal dp's and the other pair on bamboo dp's. I'm guessing the metal needles would be a no no, but i'm not sure about the bamboos. I'd have to start something new to work with the Erin circs and I really don't want to do that. That's just what I need. Another UFO.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Crazy Life

Work: Complete and Total Insanity

Home: A mess (I keep waiting for the Department of Health to show up at the door)

daughter 1... enjoying motherhood.

daughter 2... home to see grandma and grandpa.

son: haven't crossed paths lately but judging from the clothes on the bathroom floor I'd have to guess he's still living here.

Knitting: What's that???

Mom: Home from hospital today (turns out dialysis is responsible yet again. they are bound and determined to kill her while trying to keep her alive)

Dad: tolerating Chemo well

Niece: visiting from London with hubby and Giorgi

Husband: wondering if I still live here

Me: exhausted and also wondering if I still live here

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Please. Don't Let This Happen To Your Husband

Believe me, it looks worse enlarged. Day Off Pullover? How about Pull Down The Shades And Hide In The Closet Pullover??

Like I said before, this is the only knitting magazine I subscribed to. (in a moment of I saw this issue in the supermarket yesterday and almost grabbed it and put it in the cart. Then I started thinking... don't I get this in the mail?? Once again, a magazine out on the news stand before a subscriber gets it in the mail. If it had been Vogue or Interweave Knits I'd have been perturbed. It was in my mail when I got home. I didn't see anything in it I would knit. There have been a few cute things in past issues though.

No knitting last night. Had dinner with a friend then got called to the hospital upon hearing that my mother was taken to the ER. She is now in ICU. Dad starts chemo next week. So, yeah, life is not so much fun at 50 something. However there are moments when you just have to crack up or you will crack up. Take this morning for instance. I go to the hospital at 6:45am to check out the overnight situation. Can't get into the ICU because something major is going on in there and no visitors are allowed in. I talked to a nurse. She gave me the scoop and I left. As I was exiting the parking garage, I notice that there is a new little toll booth thingy and new money machine to pay to get out. I'm thinking... THANK YOU GOD. The old one sucked so bad that you just almost had a nervous breakdown every time you tried to use it. So I have my 4 quarters in hand (being all smart about it because the dollar thing is always way too finicky) and I try to put the quarters in and they won't go. The quarter slot is not wide enough to accept the quarters. So I'm frustrated and there are cars behind me and I'm routing through my purse for a dollar bill that doesnt' look like it's been handled by 10,000 people in 48 states, and I finally find one and put it in upside down and the machine starts talking to me. OK. So I pretty much let the machine have it. I told the machine that this was just really great because I wasn't stressed out enough to begin with today and I really needed this right now, etc. etc. I'm pretty much just yelling at the machine at this point. And that's when I see it. The camera. Oy.

Tonight's TV 10 lead in: "Crazy real estate agent has mental collapse in hospital parking garage." FILM at 11:00.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Petrified Almonds

In an effort to lose weight and eat healthier (before the beach) I bought these yesterday along with a fruit salad and yogurt for lunch. Of course I was trying to re-create the McDonalds fruit salad that I love, only make it better with strawberries and other fruit besides just apples and grapes. I almost succeeded. I was really enjoying it until I bit into one of these almonds. It was like biting into a stone. The pain just shot up my face. Now I have a tingling and numbness around the affected tooth. I'm sure I'll end up at the dentist unless it's something like a nerve injury or something that will eventually go away. I don't know too much about dental problems. But the moral of the story is... dont' buy these things. The walnuts are ok but the almonds are deadly. (of course I had to try other ones just to see if they were all that way and they were)

I continue to work on Trellis and Vine. Although I am close to the end, it seems to be taking forever and now I am concerned that I won't have it finished before the beach. I know I could do it without the drying and blocking time. It's going to be tight. And I'm so tired at night anymore that I do a few rows and go to bed. Maybe I should consider taking the synthroid that I'm supposed to be taking to alleviate this problem. Yep. Add the pharmacy to my list of things to do. I'm such a bad patient.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wow! Look what I got!

I got a late birthday gift last night from my sister. This thing is monstrous. It takes up my whole table. Now I just want to block something and I don't have anything to block! When I'm finished with Vine and Trellis (which should be soon), it's going to have to go on the floor. It's too big even for this board and I bought those blocking wires to do it with. They haven't come yet but I'm expecting them this week. The good news is that I will have that finished for the beach which was the plan.

I went shopping yesterday. Most of you know I hate to shop and I go only out of desperation in times of trouble. Our upcoming beach trip to Sea Island in Georgia requires some new attire so I had to bite the bullet. (try buying summer clothes now... ugh.) Waiting until the last minute always comes back to bite you but that's not what this particular rant is about. (you've been warned)... Our Kaufmanns store is now Macy's. You Pittsburgh people will already know that. I worked at Kaufmanns in between jobs once and for some reason, department store psychology is that they think their sales people need to use people's first names and be overly friendly with them. In theory, this sounds like a good idea. But in reality, when I go shopping, I expect the salesperson to be friendly, but I don't feel the need to have them act like we're long lost cousins. What I don't want, and what drives me crazy, is having a stranger act like she's known me all my life and call me by my first name (or any name for that matter) and then go into a canned routine about how much money I could have saved if I had used my credit card (I said I didn't want to use the card and then she said, well, you could use the card and then make a payment right away to get the savings.) What didn't she understand? And then, after that whole conversation she pointed out a website listed on the receipt that I could go to if I had any questions or if I wanted to comment on the service I received that day. What should have been a one minute transaction turned into a 4 minute transaction. Granted, 4 minutes isn't very long. But I didn't want to have that conversation. I just wanted to pay and smile and say thank you and go. I like people. I like talking to people. What I dont' like is forced conversation that you know is only happening because someone told them they had to do it. I wonder if I'm weird. Or anti-social. Is it wrong not to want to be BFF's with department store salespeople?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Crazy Yard Sale People

I had a yard sale this morning. Well, actually, my daughter and I had a yard sale at her house. I dragged about 3 car loads of stuff to her house and nearly broke my already broken back and when all was said and done, I made $27.00. Hmmn. Somehow I don't think it was worth the effort.

So I had 20 years worth of stuffed animals arranged on a plastic drop cloth, each 25 cents. None of them were cheesy. They were all good ones but as you know, a stuffed animal is a stuffed animal. Half of them sold. Only half! At 25 cents! I thought they'd go in a heart beat and I was giving them away just to get rid of them. And one lady, get this, brought one to me and asked if I'd take 20 cents for it. At this point I'm speechless. Yeah, let's negotiate over a nickel. Well I don't know... how's 23 cents sound to you??? Geez!!! Don't get me wrong. I'm used to negotiating. I do it for a living. But a nickel??? $$$ Thousands I get. A nickel I don't get. I wanted to say... let's do this... I'll pay YOU 20 cents to get it out of here. How's that? Would she have felt bad? or embarrassed? Probably not. People crack me up.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Random Blathering (just because it's funny)


Oh no. Say it isn't so. Do you think we can band together and implore the powers that be into changing how the world works for Brad and Angie?? I mean, really, I won't sleep. We should notify congress. Does the UN have any say? They're living in SIN people! For God's Sake! We have to do something!!

I'm sure their decision has absolutely everything to do with social reform and nothing at all to do with the ol' pre-nup discussion. Give me a break. But I guess you do have to give them credit. Nice save.

Project Runway

Since I have no knitting to discuss, you get Project Runway babble. (I did knit last night. Trellis and Vine. Do you want to see the progress for the 5th time?? I think not. Pretty boring stuff.)

Re: Laura. This woman designs for me. I have loved every single thing she has created. Now, I wouldn't wear this because I'm too old for it. But lengthen it and I would love it. Like her or loathe her, Laura's got some classy taste in clothes. The other designer that I think is near genius is Michael. I wouldn't wear most of his things but I appreciate them for the younger generation. He has never designed anything that looked cheap or silly. Now, Jeffrey, on the other hand hasn't designed anything yet that I would classify as not silly . Just silly. How in the world could he have remained on the show after what he did last night???

Why is he still there? There is ridiculous, and there is beyond ridiculous. What is that... thing... around her boobs? I can't stand his attitude and my 3 year old niece could come up with better designs. Personally, I think he's still there for the ratings. I'm sure there is a faction who can't wait to see what the next piece of crap from him will be. People love to hate him. And Bravo loves the hype. I can just picture all the Bravo execs sitting around the table saying... "Can you believe what they're going to be saying about this around the water cooler tomorrow??"

Ok.. I got that out of my system. Sorry for the rant.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Organized

Okay I was kidding. My desk is total chaos. This is why not much knitting is getting accomplished. I'm sure the cleaning people are talking about me and flipping coins to see who has to come in here and deal with this. What is it they say... messy desk, brilliant mind...? Or did I just make that up?

My sister and I have been trying to get together to knit for two weeks and haven't yet found the time. She got me a blocking board for my birthday and it finally came. Now I can block things without towels laying all over the place. I've always wanted one of those. Now if I only had a ROOM for it! I need a knitting room. Like a sewing room. Hmmn... which kid can I throw out?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Couch Potato Monday

Last night I walked in the door at 5:30pm (totally unprecedented) and walked straight up the stairs and put a sweatshirt and pajama bottoms on. I went back downstairs, ate a salad, and told my husband that only fire would make me go back out that door before tomorrow morning. I sat in a chair and knit until 10:00pm on Trellis and Vine. I believe it was the first time I relaxed in about 10 days (or more). If ever there was an evening I should have had a glass of wine (and didn't) that was it. I feel much better for it today. Life isn't supposed to lived at 100000 MPH.

This is a better photo of the hunting sock I knit at the golf tournament. Not bad for one day's work. The yarn is Summit Hill from Kraemer yarns. 100% wool superwash worsted. It's nice. Just another UFO for the basket. I keep starting them. Finishing them is always the problem.

So the new Knitty is up for Fall. ( I have to say it's not bad at all. I liked a lot of those patterns. I loved the cover sweater (Viveka) until I took a good look at the sleeves. What's that all about? I'd knit it, but I'd modify those sleeves. That would just drive me (and most people) crazy. The pattern I was most impressed with was Avast. I think that has to be the most professionally and well designed piece I have ever seen on one of these amateur designer sites. I would make that for my son tomorrow if I thought he wouldn't lose it. He loses everything. I just couldn't take the chance. It's an awesome sweater. That designer, Jesse Loesberg, also designed the Danica Scarf (entrelac) that I loved in one of the previous issues of Knitty. All of the sock patterns are nice but I'm not a fancy sock knitter. I like sock knitting to be completely mindless. I like the yarn to do the talking with hand knit socks.

Ok, I better get back to the grind. Have a great day.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where did that weekend go???

I feel like I never left my desk. But through all the madness I did manage to get Colin's sweater sewn together and trimmed. Kelly really likes it. When she saw I had red buttons for it she was a little surprised but she didn't know about the red blanket stitch until it was finished. I will make the little hat that goes with it too. Eventually.

I worked at the Altoona First Festival at Lakemont Park on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon for Habitat for Humanity. It wasn't so bad. I worked the cash register most of the time so I didn't have to deal with the food which was fine by me. Then yesterday was all about Colin. He was baptized yesterday. So we had a big family party with too much good food. Way too much. We had a great day. The little guy is growing like a weed. The priest annointed his head with oil that smelled like cloves. He smelled wonderful all day. I obviously got it on my shirt because I could smell it all evening.

The golf tournament on Thursday was a huge success. We are fortunate to have our tournament just keep getting better year after year when others are struggling. I think we owe it to the hard work my brother does to keep it going. He's passionate about it. I actually started a sock there early in the morning and turned the heel before I left that day. It is the worsted weight hunting sock on size 4 needles, so it went quickly.

So today is Sept. 11th..... I can't believe it's been 5 years. I remember that year we had a decision to make about the golf tournament. It was scheduled for Sept. 13th and no one felt like doing anything but sitting at home and moping. We did decide to go on with it and it was a strange day. Everyone was so quiet. I sat out there all day long on that green just thinking about the ramifications and noticing how quiet it was without any air traffic. (there is a ton of air traffic over that area all the time) There is no way I could have realized that day how our world was going to change after that. A lot has happened since then. A lot of death and destruction.
It's been one year this month since we visited ground zero for the first time and only a few weeks since we've seen the Shanksville memorial site. We actually did see the Pentagon a few weeks after it was hit because we had a baptism in Arlington to go to. I just keep thinking.... how can this kind of hate exist?

I was in a meeting at the Blair County court house when it happened. I didn't know about it until after the meeting. I had my cell phone turned off and when I left there, I had a call from our secretary and frantic calls from my kids. I listened to my kids calls first and I was so confused. How could they be worried about two people in two different cities "because of what's going on"? My nephew worked at the Pentagon from time to time and my niece was living in Manhattan and often worked in the trade center buildings where her company had clients. No one rested until we heard they were both ok. We were lucky. So many were not.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Great Outdoors

It's really difficult to believe that it's been about 7 years since my sister in law died from the ravages of Multiple Sclerosis. She and my brother were sweethearts (and neighbors) from grade school on. She fought the good fight for a long time and I never heard her complain. I don't think she complained even to her family.

Today is the 6th Annual Anne E. Barnes Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit MS. Time flies. I can't believe we've been doing it this long. My job is sit on one of the greens to verify if anyone makes a hole in one. (They get a car! Someone better be watching!) I love this job. I get to sit outside, all day, in one of the most beautiful spots in Blair County. After a few years they offered to relieve me of these duties and find someone else willing to sit out there all day. Hey! No way sister!

Last year I got half a scarf done for Pete's sake! :-)

Give to MS.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Knitting Night

I was able to add some length to Trellis and Vine last night. I'd say it is about 1/3 complete. I have a long way to go before Oct. 5th. (well, actually, Oct. 1st if you consider blocking time) Ugh. The pressure's on. The Jaeger Matchmaker merino DK is so nice. I highly recommend it. It is so soft.

Colin's sweater is dry and ready to sew. I can't decide between a back stitch seam or a seamless garter stitch seam. I read how to do that on, but I'm thinking if I use the back stitch, it will take up some width and that might be good because it looks a little big for him. The floss will be used for a blanket stitch trim around all the edges.

In non-knitting silliness, I got this cool pen in the mail that has a lazer hickey on it. I get all these free pens in the mail because they want me to buy them to hand out to clients. This morning I was playing with it, and the dog noticed the lazer light and was trying to chase and bite it. Needless to say, I ended up having a lot of fun with that. Poor dog. Well I have to get my amusement in life somewhere.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My Dad

Thanks for all the nice messages regarding my dad. The diagnosis is myelodysplastic syndrome. (or something like that) It is a pre-leukemia condition that could turn into leukemia sooner or later. She said you just have to keep checking it. His white cells are WAY out of whack. They are going to treat him for anemia now and chemo later if it developes into acute leukemia. Acute leukemia was my fear. So, when I left there today, I was relieved. I was prepared for the worst.

Random Stuff

I've been a bad blogger. I'm so behind in catching up with everyone's news and knitting. But in my defense, there has been a lot going on. Work is insane with the transition. So much to do to get it completed. Much more than we ever realized. New signs, letterhead, office policy manual to be written, send licenses back to the state, advertising... the list goes on.

I did knit over the long weekend. Colin's sweater is blocking. Vine and Trellis is coming along. Tonight is knitting night so I should be able to put a few more inches on that. I want to get that finished for the beach on Oct.5th. I've decided to send for those stainless steel blocking wires to block it when it's finished. I wished I had had them when I was blocking Lady Eleanor so I know I'm going to want them for this. Then I'll have them for the LACE. I've decided I'm going to be a lace knitter if it kills me.

I am accompanying my father to a doctor appointment today that is very critical. He is getting some blood test results back that could be very bad news. All indications are that it is not good.
Keep a good thought. He takes care of my mother. Life is really scary sometimes.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Tea and Lace

Okay. I have the yarn. Now all I need is the pattern, the time, and the brains. Somehow I think the easiest one of these things to acquire is going to be the pattern. This is Scakel Merino lace weight. It's gorgeous. Unfortunately there are about 8 important projects ahead of it.

This being one of them:

I know it's hard to tell right now, but these are my boss's hunting socks for Christmas. I scored this stuff at the LYS earlier in the week. It's worsted weight wool superwash from Kraemer Yarns. Warm and washable. What more can you ask of hunting socks?

So this is totally awesome knitting weather. Too bad I have to work all day. I can picture myself curled up in front of the fire just knitting away. Oh, wait, we don't have a fireplace. So I'd be curled up in front of the television with whatever golf tournament happens to be on with some college football game on the radio in the background, listening for the dryer buzzer to put another load in and worrying about what to cook for dinner. Work is sounding better all the time.