Friday, August 29, 2003  

Seeing Mars

It took over 2 hours, but I finally did get to see Mars last night through an 8 inch telescope. A little less impressive than I was hoping, but still pretty damn cool. Imagine how much cooler it would have been if I didn't live in the land of the orange sky!! :) It was pretty cool though to see literally hundreds of people waiting in line for several hours to look through a telescope! Not that I was ever a big astronomy buff, but it's always cool to see science grabbing the popular imagination.

Knitting progress continues on the back of the cardi... but since it looks like yesterday's pic, only several inches longer, I was too lazy to take a new picture. I did, however, take a pic a few days ago of Cricket enjoying the cool air... she sat in front of the fan for maybe 10 minutes. She's such a goof!

The only other interesting news from last night was that I went to an end-of-summer apartment complex party... mostly for the free food, but also to meet some neighbors. This guy from my building (whom I had seen several times, and we exchanged numbers, and said we should 'get together' or something) was also there- and we had a pretty long conversation. Now, I don't know what the motivation is on his part- I have mentioned several times that I have a boyfriend (not that, even if I were single, I would necessarily be interested in him). My motivation was, well, it's good to meet/get to know some people who live right by you. ANYWAY, it became clear pretty quickly (to me at least) that I'm not really interested in spending time with him- you know how some people are "neat," or "interesting," or whatever, and some aren't? Nothing wrong with him, just with my hectic schedule, there are LOTS of things I would rather do than devote more time to getting to know him. So there it is- I gave him a friendship-chance, and found nothing compelling. I'm actually disappointed- I would really like to have some good friends in my immediate neighborhood. Ah well... perhaps some new people will move in...

magna est veritas et praevalebit
"truth is mighty and will prevail"


Thursday, August 28, 2003  


Thankfully, the last 2 days of training this week were postponed, so I'm back in the office. Not that I mind the break from the routine or anything, but 5 full days of sitting in the same room listening to presentations is really tough... my mind starts to wander like crazy. Ah well....

I finished the second sleeve on the aran cardi- I realized I forgot to take a picture... but, well, it looks exactly like the first sleeve. ;) I'm also powering through the back-

I hope to finish in the next couple of weeks. I guess that means I need to buy a zipper at some point- but first, I need to wash the assembled cardi to find out what length zipper i need. But considering the temps are in the 90s for the next week (at least), I guess it's not like I'd be pulling it out of the closet anyway, so there's no big rush.

I was thinking that perhaps I should call the cardi the "chai cardi" since, well, I've been pretty much a chai addict while knitting it... i have to be careful, though, since I like my chai with whole milk, and shouldn't really guzzle all those calories just because they're yummy. So I try to restrict myself... mmmmmmmmm!

Cricket, on the other hand, prefers plants. Most recently, the aloe vera explosion that I repotted recently (the pic is of the OLD pot)... even with the little thorns, Cricket was determined to have a munch. I planted her some grass seed, but it hasn't sprouted yet... I guess she likes her veggies!

exitus acta probat
"all's well that ends well (the ending proves the deeds)"


Monday, August 25, 2003  


Just a quick note- I'm in training all week, so updates will be a little spotty. :(


Thursday, August 21, 2003  

Trip to Target

So all I really needed at Target was some toilet paper. Hmmmmm, when was the last time tp cost $60?? Of course, one of my splurges was a $4 shirt, and another was a $9 set of those wire cube-shelf things... you know, you snap them together and configure them how you want. Like these, only in black... ANYWAY, I set them up in a corner, and think they'll provide some handy yarn-storage, among other things. I even figured out that I can cover the whole thing with a sheet if I wanted to hide it (for some reason). Not that I ever have people over that would really care about such things, but, well.... next time the queen comes for a visit, I can cover the junk ;) Oh, and of course, I bought the obligatory shampoo/conditioner. I can't go to target without buying some... are you even allowed to leave the store without it? ;)

Progress continues on the second sleeve:

I didn't get any definitive feedback to my question about washing/sewing order, but I think I have made a decision- sew, then wash. First, it'll be easier since the stitches will be looser in their pre-shrinking state. Second, then the yarn I use to sew the seams will also shrink at the same rate as the rest of the sweater- I had visions of washing, seaming, then washing, only to have puckered seams where the connecting yarn pulled as it shrunk. I will (of course) wait to put in the zipper until AFTER the sweater has been washed. I definitely don't want to sew in the zipper BEFORE the shrinking is done.

I finished my first law school essay- so I won't have to worry about the others for a few more weeks. And, to make things even better, tonight is knitting group night!

Cricket, determined to maintain her fierce facade, insisted on opening her eyes each time I tried to get a pic of her napping. Since it is IMPOSSIBLE to take a pic of a jet-black kitty without a flash, she is pleased to present "devil-eye kitty":

in mediis rebus
"in the midst of things"


Wednesday, August 20, 2003  

Cardigan Quandary

Last night, I finally finished the first sleeve. After a quick safety-pinning to one of the fronts, I came to my dilemma... wash the pieces, and then sew, or sew and then wash? I posted the question to the KnitList- I hope I get some good replies. Right now, I'm leaning towards sew, then wash, as it'll be easier to sew before the fabric tightens up, and also so that the yarn I use to sew will be in the same unwashed state as the rest of the sweater. I cast on for the second sleeve, and finished the ribbing last night before Cricket, while trying to jam her head into my water glass to drink the water at the bottom of it, "accidently" knocked the glass over into my lap. At least it was just plain water!!!

Last night I spent a lovely evening at an outdoor concert- they show a movie afterwards, but I wasn't interested in "Willy Wonka," so we left after the music. The band was great... I think my mom and I will head downtown next week to see them!! And after a little bug-spray fest, it was wonderful to sit in the light breeze and low humidity (don't worry, it's coming back by the weekend!)

Well, I guess I can't procrastinate my law school essay any longer (wait, is that a challenge??)- I need to get it finished by the end of the week if I have time since next week I will be spending 5 full days in training. Ugh.

Cricket, perhaps to make up for her water-splashing exploits of last night, bravely risked her own life and limb to subdue the dreaded....

stuffed mousie!!!

I'll sleep easier knowing my apartment is safe. ;)

temporis causa
"on the spur of the moment"


Tuesday, August 19, 2003  


I'm considering building a little hidden cot under my desk so I can sneak a nap or two in during the day. Or maybe it would be more practical to go to bed earlier... hmmmmm. Last night, in my defense, I did try to go to bed early- but I had gone on a 10 or so mile bike-ride earlier, and I was still all "pumped up," so falling asleep didn't actually happen right away.

I'm getting there on the first sleeve:

You can see in the second pic that the increases stop at the elbow- if I really cared, I would have started over with more gradual increases, but, well, this is fine, and it's better than continuing the increases until the upper arm is the circumference of a large watermelon. ;) And I keep having to remind myself that this will shrink lengthwise- it's getting so long that it's VERY tempting to stop. But given that I know it'll shrink AND I like my sleeves somewhat long anyway, I really need to keep going. I do hope to finish the first sleeve sometime this week (hopefully!)

Cricket was trying to look all poised this morning, but she kept hoping to hear sounds of breakfast, and got a little distracted (notice the ears!)

amor patriae
"love of country, patriotism"


Monday, August 18, 2003  

Monday Monday

I worked both days this weekend again, and it was a little harder than last weekend... mostly because things were SO slow that time just ticked by slowly. But I did get paid... yippie!!! But I have definitely decided I'll need to cut back my hours somewhat- we'll see what I'm scheduled for next month, but I'm thinking 5-6 days/month is probably my max.

I still haven't washed the fronts of the cardigan yet- sometime this week I'll be home long enough to do a load of laundry! I'm still crossing my fingers that the fronts will shrink approximately the same amount as the swatches- 12% lengthwise.

In the meantime, I'm making steady progress on the sleeve:

I keep having to rewrite the pattern for this as I go along. If I had followed along with the pattern as written in Knitter's Handy, my sleeve would have been large enough in the upper arm for BOTH of my arms to fit in. So I cut out the last 10 increases... I think it'll all work out well. But thankfully, since I'm doing it in the round, I can easily try it on as I go, and was able to adjust things as necessary.

If life ever calms down a bit (hah!) I need to FINISH SOME PROJECTS!!! Ugh. Maybe when it's cooler outside... maybe then I won't be so overwhelmed by the idea of "wool."

Cricket was overwhelmed by the idea of the birds and squirrels outside this morning:

est modus in rebus
"there is a method in all things (Horace)"


Friday, August 15, 2003  

A New Knitter Is Born!!!

Last night, when I went to my friend K's house to watch CSI (as usual), she was knitting!!! Her grandmother is visiting, and showed her how. She's doing a striped scarf/swatch in stockinette- and I am totally amazed at how even her stitches are. So, being the great fiber-enabler that I am, I lent her my stock of straight needles, and the knitpicks catalogue that just HAPPENED to show up in my mailbox as I was heading to her house. Oh, and I told her that she is DEFINITELY coming to the knitting group next week. :) And this is REALLY bad because now I'll have someone to encourage me in my fiber-purchases. Ah well....

In other knitting news, I finished the cardigan fronts:

Next time I do laundry, I'm going to give them a wash so I get the shrinking out of the way. I don't want to wash it after I put it all together just in case things don't quite fit together the same way after they shrink into place...

I started the first sleeve yesterday, and am making great progress... it's really nice when there's only 1 cable to worry about. Hopefully by this time next week I'll get the sleeves done and in the wash, and get started on the back. I'm planning on using a zipper on the fronts, so I guess I need to get one of those too... of course, I'm not sure how long yet- it'll depend on how much it shrinks. I'm planning for 12%, according to my swatches, so hopefully that'll be just about right.

Cricket got all excited this morning about her little squirrel-friend (or foe as the case may be) who lives in the tree outside my apartment:

dies faustus
"a lucky day"


Thursday, August 14, 2003  

More of the Same

I'm just about ready to polish off the cardi fronts and start on the sleeves:

At this point, I'm knitting the sleeves in the round until I get to the cap shaping, and then I'll do back and forth (all those "BO" instructions get tricky in the round!). I have been fairly good about keeping notes as I go through the pattern, which has made a big difference doing the second cardi front. After all, it's much easier to continue until pattern row 135 or something like that than to have to whip out the measuring tape constantly. At least I'll know that the 2 sides will match! I plan to do the same with the sleeves, so that the second sleeve will fly by. :)

Oh, and I'd like to register a complaint against the pancake restaurant I walk/ride past on my way to work... isn't there some sort of law against wafting the smell of bacon onto a public street in the morning? I mean, it's not like I have bacon waiting for me at work, and I just don't think it's fair that I have to smell the bacon cooking while I wait for the light. ;)

Cricket was so excited last night she had to take a nap:

lumen naturale
"natural intelligence (light of nature)"


Wednesday, August 13, 2003  

Avoiding Procrastination

I have officially begun filling out the law school applications. Even though I don't have to send the first on in until September, and the other 2 until October. But I'm tired of putting it off... although I must admit I still put off the most crucial part- the personal statement- until next week, when I have had a chance to fill out the remaining parts of the applications completely. So the theme for the rest of the month is "no more procrastination, get the applications together by August 22."

Meanwhile, that theme doesn't seem to be applying to my knitting. I've allowed myself to procrastinate the mittens and dalmore shamefully... while working pretty much constantly on the aran cardi. I'm whizzing through the right front- I might even finish before the weekend! I need to remember to write up the instructions for the sleeves before I finish the front... always nice to know what you're doing next. :) I didn't take an update pic because, well, it looks pretty much exactly the same as yesterday, only several inches longer. :)

Last night I went to REI and picked up my order- a bike rack for my car, some camp chairs for my parents, my national park pass for 2004, and (so exciting!) my pilates kit. My mom is coming over for dinner tonight so I might not have time to try it out, but I'll definitely do it tomorrow. :) Oh, and the MOST exciting thing about my order: the BOX!!!

homo multarum literarum
"man of great learning (man of many letters)"


Tuesday, August 12, 2003  

Tuesday Excitement

Well, not really, but it's a better title than "tuesday, again" or something like that. :) Although I guess there is SOME excitement- I bought plane tickets yesterday... New Mexico here I come! :)

I'm also making more good progress on the aran cardi- although I think there is a rule that I must start each piece at least 3 times before I get it right. For the right front, I had to start over several times to make sure I had all the cables in the right order, and also had the center cable (where the zipper will go) properly adjusted so it'll mirror-image its mate on the other side of the center line. But once I finally got started, I was off:

At this rate, I should have the right front finished sometime this week/weekend- and the sleeves will be a nice quick change... in the round, on DPNs, with only 1 cable to deal with... hopefully those'll just fly by. Of course, since I have to make them 12% LONGER than called for, it'll be more knitting, but that's ok. Hopefully by the time the heat and humidity finally break, the sweater will be done and ready to wear!

Of course, before this sweater can be finished, I have to have access to a working sewing machine. Something has finally gone wrong with my mom's 30+ year old machine, and neither of us could get it to stitch last night. ARGH!! So this weekend we'll explore whether my grandma's machine works... and hopefully get my mom's repaired or something. All I wanted to do was hem 2 pairs of pants!!! Of course, I'm wearing one of the pairs of too-long pants right now- but I'm wearing my extra-high heels to make up for it. These shoes are SO cute, but so far, not too comfy. I've had them for YEARS, and haven't worn them for a long time... by the end of the day, I'll have to decide if these go in the give-away bag or not... i mean, cute shoes are good, but cute shoes that only are cute if you don't have to move... not so good. but they are REALLY cute, so that's probably why I've kept them all this time.

Speaking of looking cute, I snapped this pic last night- Cricket likes to run over and sit on the AC when it cycles on... I guess I caught her in mid-lick. She's such a goof!!

abeunt studia in mores
"pursuits become habits (Ovid)"


Monday, August 11, 2003  

Weekend Excitement

I know I said I was going to finish the mittens. I PROMISED I was going to finish the mittens. What did I do? You guessed it- COMPLETELY ignored the mittens. Instead, I did this:

I made it approximately 12% longer than necessary.... because each of the cabled swatches that I washed shrunk lenghtwise by about 12%. Hopefully the sweater will follow suite, and this will fit me! ;) I cast on for the right front- I wanted to make sure I got that finished before I forgot what I did with the left front (although I wrote it down, but, well, you know...) Then i think I'll do the sleeves (in the round, on DPNs) just for a change of pace. Then comes the back. :)

There was some other very exciting news this weekend- first, one of the women I work with at the store on weekends crochets... so we had several lovely conversations about yarn etc..., and I showed her the aran cardi. :) So that's fun, to have another yarn-lover around at work! I'm trying to get her to come to the knitting group I go to, but she has 3 small boys at home, so I'm not sure if she would have the time. I'll print something out for her for the next meeting though, just in case.

The second exciting thing this weekend involves me, and a plane ticket- after talking for about 2 hours with my friend J, who just moved to New Mexico for grad school, I decided I really had to come and visit her. So I'll be buying the plane ticket in a few hours, just as soon as it gets late enough in New Mexico for me to give her a call to double check the dates and everything. I am SO excited- I love spur-of-the-moment vacation decisions like that. And since I'll be going in October, it'll give something for BOTH of us to look forward to! :)

Cricket was much more interested in the birdies than in the camera:

omnibus idem
"the same to everyone"


Friday, August 08, 2003  

Happy Friday!!

Of course, this would be a much happier friday if I weren't working 14 hours this weekend... but still, it's friday. And 14 hours of work = $$, so no complaints. Well, maybe a few, but they aren't serious. ;)

Remember how yesterday I had frogged the aran back to the ribbing and started over with a different cable? Well, shortly after writing about that fun and exciting experience, I was working on the aran during lunch, and realized that I didn't like the section of seed stitch- it made everything look unbalanced. So, donning a snorkle and fins, I went back to the frog-pond, and started AGAIN from the ribbing. I guess the third time really is the charm:

I'm in the most enjoyable part of the sweater- "work even until piece measures 14 inches from beginning." This section is going REALLY quickly... I'll probably be able to finish the left front this weekend, although I need to give some attention to some of the other projects as well.

In fact, I sense a list coming on:
  1. finish mittens- knitting AND ends etc...

  2. who am i kidding? work LOTS AND LOTS on aran cardi while ignoring other projects
I think I'll be able to manage that list, even if I am working this weekend. :)

I tried to get Cricket to pose this morning, but she kept thinking she heard breakfast:

so I finally had to put the camera away and get to the important task of feeding her. ;)

"stuffed full"


Thursday, August 07, 2003  

Non-Vacation Day

I called out from work yesterday, but really, coming to work would have been more fun. First, in the morning, I got to go to court for a traffic ticket- had to pay a fine, but it was less than if I hadn't shown up, so that's good (I guess!). Then, after lunch, I got to go to the dentist. That's right- I sure know how to have fun!!! ;)

Well, after the dentist, I did have fun. I came home and finished fleshing out the basics for the aran cardigan, and made some good progress on knitting it. Then I met my parents for yummy sushi and tempura and other goodies- MMMMMMMMMMM!! And then, best of all, stitch-and-bitch. Where I continued to make progress on the aran. And then, about 15 minutes before we had to leave, I realized I really didn't like one of the cables. So, back at home, I frogged the few inches I had done that day (just back to the ribbing), and started with a replacement cable.

I even made a teeny bit of progress during law and order last night. So far, so good.

Some design notes on the aran cardi (hmmmm, I'll have to think of a better name!!)- yes, I did decide to make a cardigan. Right now, I'm planning to add in a zipper. Other than that, I'm not sure about design. I think basic-crewneck sweater at this point- nothing complicated. I don't think I'll do raglan sleeves.

I've started with the left front- that way, if/when I decide something isn't working, I've only done half the work vs. doing the back. Although the fronts are different from the back in that the fronts have the twin waves facing the zipper opening:

and the back will have triple braided diamonds in the center:

I think it'll all work well enough. I mean, it's my first attempt at designing an aran ANYTHING, much less a cardigan, which has the added complication of the whole what do you do with the center front issue. Oh, and one more design note, I'm making the cardigan out of 100% cotton mill-end yarn that was very inexpensive... it seemed to wash/dry just fine (well, the swatches did at any rate!) and I'm ok with some growing if the sweater stretches out a bit.

And a quick recap of the current projects:
  • garter stitch rug: ummmmm, it's around here somewhere, i think....

  • mckenzee's sock:still designated as the "gym project" for work.... but when was the last time i went to the gym? i did finish one sock, and i'm almost to the heel of the second

  • fair isle mittens: one mitten done, but needs some finishing, second mitten begging for attention


  • chenille cami: this will get finished soon, but right now, i'm not speaking with the chenille. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr stupid chenille that needs to be knit SO tightly my hands start to complain

  • aran cardi: ahhhh, the favored, chosen, new project. i forsee spending all available knitting time on you unless i wrench myself away in order to clean up some of the other abandoned projects. i sense a "finishing night" (well, several) coming up!

Cricket, worn out by the sheer effort of chasing yarn all over the apartment, decided she had earned an afternoon in the sunbeam:

pro certa
"you bet! (for sure!)"


Monday, August 04, 2003  

Another Week

Well, this weekend was a blur. Between my first day of work and a combined goodbye/birthday party for 2 friends on Saturday, and repeated visits with some lovely young folks from France, I don't think I was home more than a few hours total! But it was a blast- the french guests are lovely people, and I knew one from his days at my elementary school (he was taught by my mom, which is why they are staying with my parents), and his girlfriend is hoping to go to the same law school I'd like to get into also! So it really is a very small world. I would be thrilled, though, if she and I were both to get in... she really is a lovely person, and I would love to get to know her better.

I did manage to get a very small amount of knitting in on Sunday, during the laundry marathon:

Sorry for the blue-on-blue pic- I didn't take a picture until this morning, and with the clouds, there wasn't enough light away from the window. I tried on the fuzzy-kami on Friday, and it seemed to fit really well- of course, it only covered from my stomach down, but that's ok. At least I know it's more or less on target in terms of size- I should probably finish in the next couple of days or so.

Cricket, on the other hand, said she needed to "unwind" this weekend:

SUCH a tough life!!

"fundamental assumptions (postulates)"


Friday, August 01, 2003  


Well, I'm in a summer slump, apparently- I haven't been interested in the gym all week (I know, BIG shocker!) and my blog has been, well, pathetic. But with the end of the week comes a new leaf! Or at least some new mulch. ;)

First exciting thing- I start my new job tomorrow at the little retail shop... I'm only working a half day tomorrow, because tomorrow morning I'm getting a massage as payment for housesitting for my parents. My mom and I made the appointment over a month ago, so cancelling wasn't really an option... but it'll all work out. Especially as my new ulitmate boss (the owner of the store) went to my alma mater- another UCSC slug found her way to the east coast! So that was fun to chat about. Also, she PAID me for coming over this morning to talk with her. I didn't argue- but that was totally above and beyond what she needed to do. Sure, it was only 2 hours, but she hadn't ever met me before, so I was considering it more or less an interview. She considered it training. :)

See? I have actually been knitting something! The mittens are almost done, but really, they're being totally ignored in favor of this chenille chickami. Once again, I got to change the #s around because I couldn't get the right gauge with this yarn, but, well, what are you going to do? I think it'll turn out ok, although I might not want to wear it too much until the weather gets a little cooler- chenille isn't quite the thing to wear in the heat and humidity. But, considering my favorite outfit to wear is some sort of tank and a cardi, I'm sure I'll find plenty of opportunities to wear this. I'm still debating on what to do with the other ebay yarn I bought- I think I'll try swatching it doubled up and see if I get close to gauge that way. That's another nice thing about the chickami- perfect for experimenting! Now, I just need to start knitting some cardigans!

I tried to get a pic of Cricket this morning, but she was being coy. So instead, I hunted up a vintage pic of the little Cricket, asleep in the crook of an arm:

It's hard to believe she was ever that small (although she would like me to point out that, at slightly over 8 lbs, she is still a very daintly little kitty).

vulneribus confectus
"weakened by battle wounds"


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