Friday, April 28, 2006

Good Friday

I can't really complain about today - things seem to be positive. I thought I was going to have trouble getting up, but then Stewart came to see me. (Granted, I didn't get up in time for the express bus, but I got up after spending some time with a purring cat and I made it to work on time...)

On my walk to the bus, I noticed a bird sitting on a wire directly over the sidewalk. So I walked down the left side of the sidewalk and as I passed the bird pooped. I guess I dodged a bullet on that one - glad I was paying attention!

Once again, I was looking for work at work this morning. I'm pleased to report that I was put on a job in design development - which means there will actually be time to really get *into* the job and it might last long enough that by the time its over my "on hold" projects will be ready to go. (or at least close to going) I'm also getting to work with a project manager that I haven't worked with yet. One that I was hoping to work with at some point. And I got my choice of what to start with, so here I go on the stairs - yay!

As far as the theater goes, I would consider myself on (or ahead of schedule), since I was able to start Saturday's project last night. There is one thing on my list that I had hoped to do before Saturday, but you can't paint something that isn't built yet, and there is plenty of leeway in my schedule for the weekend. If all goes as planned (and the TD builds everything he's supposed to tomorrow), I expect to be done Sunday evening.

R is on vacation next week, and I'm thinking about taking a day off to work on the house sometime soon. I hope to have enough downtime this weekend that I can think about projects that I could easily complete and come up with a doable plan for starting on the third floor. We can't really do anything else "big" (not really big, but big for us) until we make the third floor more occupiable.

Hat knitting continues - though I got replacement yarn for the fair isle bag, so I might frog and restart that this weekend. It's small enough to be a decent bus project if I can't find more stash yarn to inspire more hats. That's assuming I have time to knit outside of theater time and the time it will take to catch us up on dishes and laundry again.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Painting and the Hat Frenzy

I am painting the set for a show that opens on May 5th. I'm not concerned about getting it done in the time allotted. I've laid out a schedule that *should* get it finished by Monday evening - spending a few hours there each night after work.

Recently, this project has been one of several things causing much uncertainty in my schedule. It took a while to pin down when I could start and when I could work around the rehearsal schedule. I still have never had a phone conversation with the stage manager - we've just played phone tag.

Things at work are similar. I don't know what I will be working on this coming Friday. I have work for today and I'm hoping to attend seminars all day tomorrow. And then, who knows. I'd like to take a day or two off in May to do some stuff around the house, but it is very hard to plan ahead when I don't know what deadlines might lurk in my future. (and being shuffled from project to project generally means that I'm starting soon before a deadline)

"Hat Frenzy" is in the title because I'm working on my fifth knitted hat since the day after Easter. I like the quick turnaround time, the fact that I can play with fair isle and cable motifs without having to plan ahead very much and the good feeling I'm getting from making something for charity. We'll see how much longer the frenzy lasts.

And I'll add that Arroyo is now 4-0 and the Reds have more than twice as many wins as losses. I might become annoying blogging baseball fan if things continue like this!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


There is a lot to post, but I only have a minute right now.

I just want to share my enjoyment of the fact that the Reds have the third best record in MLB right now! Woot!

I initially found it annoying, but now I find that I like the fact that when you go to it automatically loads a little highlight reel of the previous game. It's nice for those of us who don't get to see games very often.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ready for my nap

Seriously, I've been tired all week and dragging every morning, and I don't really understand why. I could have gone to the gym Tuesday or Wednesday, but I felt like I was too tired. Last week I got up before 6:30 almost every day and this week I have to drag myself up at 7:15. Is this just backlash for getting up last week or what?

Tomorrow I *have* to make the express bus in order to have any chance to get to my 5pm meeting on time. I'm painting the set for a show that opens at the beginning of May. My meeting is with the director to choose colors and understand the whole scope of the set. I'm planning to get started with the painting on Saturday afternoon and then go evenings next week (the one actor in the show is equity, so they are rehearsing while I'm at work - yeah!).

Don't think I talked about the weekend yet - we had a nice visit with my parents and we saw R's family for Easter dinner. The weather has been extremely nice recently. On Saturday, all four of us spent most of the afternoon on the porch and on Easter the grown-ups stood around outside while the kids (who were there) looked for plastic Easter eggs hidden around the yard.

I got the first floor curtains hung last week (no photos yet). Now that the living room curtains (which I made, but are unfinished) are on a smaller rod I don't know that they need a tieback anymore. I think I'm better off making a valance to hide the rod and make the window look more "finished" when the curtains are open. I think the window is too wide for the tiebacks I was planning to make.

We will see if I get the sewing machine out this weekend.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


...because I'm tired of seeing an annoying work rant at the top of my blog (and you probably are, too).

I have about 10 pages left of "Knitting Rules" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and I can say that I have enjoyed every minute of reading it. There have even been a few bus rides where I chose to read instead of knitting. It takes some powerful-good reading to get me to make that decision. :-)

I plan to use her guidelines to ask a number of friends and family members to give me a list of various body part dimensions...allowing me to make projects for them in the future that will fit and also be a surprise. I'm not planning on another make something knitted for everyone for christmas year, but that doesn't mean that there won't be some people who get knitted gifts.

Except for end weaving, I just finished a Dulaan Hat and cast on another one on the bus this morning. It is giving me a chance to practice my new fair isle skills and play with color combinations and motifs. The hat I finished showed me how critical color contrast is to make an impressive looking fair isle item. It looks good, but the red/white and red/tan sections are more impressive looking than the red/brown section.

I may start the fair isle bag over again with a darker brown and bigger needles. I haven't committed to frogging it yet, but I think that more contrast would make it look nicer and I'm concerned that the gauge is too tight for it to felt well.

More later. My lunchtime is over.

Monday, April 17, 2006

One little vent for today

It makes me nervous when things are circled and my name is written next to them.
- My coworker

Maybe if he wouldn't have waited until 4pm on the day the drawings are going to print it wouldn't make him so nervous...

Strange to Imagine

While I am sitting here at my desk, as usual, on an ordinary Monday in April, one of my closest college friends is having a not-so-ordinary Monday running through Boston with thousands of other people. And I can refresh a website every 20 minutes or so to follow his progress.

Happy Patriots Day!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ready to leave

I'm "helping" the most aggravating person in our office. He has no idea how to delegate work to people unfamiliar with his project or in a way that doesn't require said person to spend an hour trying to figure out what it is they are supposed to do or track down all of the information that they really need before they can do the task. He didn't even tell me that he is expecting the project to go to print on Monday. Oh, and he's not in the office today.

Seriously, it makes me want to just walk out the door. I really like my job normally, but this kind of cr*p makes me just count the hours until I can leave. It's sad really.

Please let today go quickly. Mom and Dad should be on their way and there will be much knitting tonight and yarn shopping tomorrow.

In other news, Annie was pretty good on Tuesday night. My favorite scene was the orphans doing to "You're Never Fully Dressed..." and I liked the overall focus on the political statement that the show has to make. It seemed a little slow at times (probably just opening night tiredness) and the girl playing Annie did a better job with the belting songs than the soulful songs like "Maybe". Sandy did a great job (a much easier role than in the movie) and Sandy's real name is Lola. :-)

Last night some coworkers and I painted windows at Children's Hospital. We chose images from Dr. Seuss books and it went pretty well. Unfortunately, we had to clean the windows off first (we were told there wouldn't be any prep work), so we started later than expected. Other than being tired, it was a good time as usual, and it is definitely an appreciated service.

More soon...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm wearing Clapotis. :-)

I knitted the last stitch last night during the 11pm news and since I obviously didn't have time to block it yet, I wetted the two ends to help them hang in a more flattering way. It will be blocked soon.

A 100% wool version might not have been the best choice for a shawl finished the second week of April...but the AC at work is pretty fierce, so I can see myself getting a lot of use out of it year round. There will probably be another one (or more) of these in my future. I could see how making it with a silk blend would making running the ladder stitches down a little less time consuming, but I think it turned out well in wool.

If nothing else, I expect that whatever wool/silk I have left of my handpainted yarn after I make a sweater will be used for at least a mini-clapotis. Although with that blend I will miss the chance to spit-splice. ;-)

Curtains are up and the orange cabled vest has been successfully washed and dryed by machine (I always hold my breathe a little even when the yarn is superwash). I hope to take some pictures this weekend.

Tonight I'm going to Annie at Heinz Hall, tomorrow night a group of us from work will be painting windows at Children's Hospital and Thursday night my parents arrive and knitting at our neighborhood coffee shop. Then Friday my office is closed! Should be a busy but good week.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

There seems to be much to report...

I don't know that I can do it all in one sitting. We'll see. I'm only writing during the commercial breaks of The West Wing. I don't want to miss a minute. I need to buy some more seasons on DVD because I'm really going to miss this show next year - especially considering how great this season's shows have been.

First, my fabulous Friday night. I stayed up until midnight on Thursday night to finish the orange cabled vest. It fits just as I had hoped! And I was too close to being done at 11pm to stop. That left me tired on Friday, but knowing that I was going to get to meeting the famous Yarn Harlot herself that evening kept me going. I met my friend Erin on the bus and we got to the shop pretty early. Stephanie was still getting a tour of the shop when we arrived, but I'm not nearly outgoing enough to go speak to her while she was speaking to the shop owner. I did try to hang out by the baby yarn and the cashmere while she and the yarn shop owner were chatting nearby. :-)

We browsed for a bit and picked up our copies of "Knitting Rules", and found pretty good seats by the Cascade 220. Stephanie was marvelous! I could kind of tell that she was a little nervous when she began, but within 10 minutes or so she was totally relaxed and on a roll. She was funny and clever, and I even laughed out loud at things I had already read just because her delivery was so good. My favorite part was the discussion of the Knitting Olympics.

I was a little dissappointed in myself for not coming up with a good question for her - it seemed like the Q&A questions were a little light, but I hadn't even considered that we'd get the chance. This was my first lecture and book signing. (Of course I came up with a good question today. Did she plan the content for all three book in advance or did she think of the next one as she finished the previous one?)

The signing wasn't quite as organized as they have planned, but it seemed to help things go smoother, since not everyone got into line at once. I'm pleased to note that the Yarn Harlot noticed my handknit vest almost immediately and complemented me on it (she was the only one other than Erin to say anything all night.) She even wrote "Nice vest" in my book. She's so lovely!

I read the first couple of chapters last night, and so far it's a great book, too.

Other enjoyment this weekend was getting to see the Reds on TV. I watched most of the game Thursday night while I worked on the vest. (During CSI, I switched the game during commercials) Saturday I watched the game while cleaning and chatting with my parents. And today I watched the game while cleaning until I had to leave for a meeting. I'm happy to report that the Reds won 3 of 4 games this weekend against the Pirates. For the Pirates sake, I'm glad they finally won a game...they are hosting the All-Star Game this year, so we don't want them to have the worst record in the league by July!

I didn't pay much attention to baseball last year. I hope to improve that this year. The Reds definitely have some great offense again this year. If they're pitching can hold up, maybe they have a chance for a good season. I'd be happy with a season in the running where they end up over .500. They're coming to Pittsburgh in mid-May and the last three games of the season. I hope to make it to a few, if not all of them.

In other news, I spent much of the weekend cleaning. The kind of cleaning that one does a couple of times a year. Dusting all of the woodwork, dusting each and every knickknack, cleaning the inside of the windows, vacuuming all areas of the carpeting in multiple directions (and moving most of the furniture). I got the first floor done and I started hanging the dining room curtains. Monday and Wednesday night's cleaning work will need to get the bathrooms clean first, and then the upstairs vacuuming, and then whatever else I can get done. I'm ready for spring cleaning to be done enough that I can focus on my room. Oh, and company comes on Thursday night. :-)

Just a few knitting photos. I'll do the rest soon.

First, the Mexican socks I mentioned the other day...

And here are the three hats I've made for the Dulaan Project. One with Ken's Hat Pattern, one with Norma's Hat Pattern and one is the hat from my Fair Isle Class.

And here is a long overdue picture, of the scarf I made for myself and have worn all fall, winter and spring. This is the one reason that I will be just a little bit sad to see the warm weather arrive. This is one of my favorite things that I've ever made. The pattern is the Short Row Rib Scarf from and the yarn is a Japanese Merino. (can't remember the brand name at the moment)

Oh, and I just got email saying that the Spring Knitty is up! Woohoo!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


New curtains just arrived!

I probably won't put them up tonight though, since I'm hoping to finish (finally!) the orange cabled vest to wear for the Yarn Harlot's book signing on Friday. I picked up and knit around the neckline last night, and I re-sewed the side seams (although I didn't cut anything yet). I started the first armhole on the bus this morning. We'll see if I make it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Knitting to Appease Crankiness

At the moment I have officially run out of things to do at work. This makes me cranky. The person who can assign me something else to do is at lunch. So it seemed like the right time to take my lunch, too. Don't misunderstand, there is a lot of work to be done sitting around on my desk. But it is all for projects that are currently on hold. Meaning that I can't even work on them for a few minutes because we can't bill the client for them right now. I really enjoy my job, but it is rather annoying to have lots of work that I *can't* do and *no* work that I can do. So I will distract myself with photos of my knitting, and then spend the rest of my lunchtime working on the second cherry hill sock (the foot of the first is done).

First, here are the Mexian socks. I call them that because the majority of them were knitted on the beach in Mexico and on the plane to and from Mexico. The fact that they were finished in Bradford, PA is not important. The most enjoyable story about them is that while working on them on the flight to Cancun, I dropped a dpn...during takeoff...and we were in the last row. :-P With a little help from the nice man sitting on the aisle, the dpn was rescued and a near tragedy was averted...

The cable pattern on the socks was designed by me, and maybe someday I'll write it down for others (this would be one of my major failings as an aspiring knitwear designer). I used #2 bamboo dpns and they are knit with Wildfoote by Brown Sheep.


For some reasons my pictures aren't loading, even though I'm doing the same thing I did at home last night. And someone just brought me work to do. Guess the knitting photos will have to wait until later...

p.s. Click on ShadesofK's blog and wish her a Happy 30th Birthday! ;-)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Curtains, V.1

Our Bedroom

My Office

Our "Dressing" Room

Guest Room

There will be a V.2 once the next batch arrive in the mail. All of the curtains above are from Country Curtains - in Carrie Stripe and Colleen Floral.

Tomorrow - knitting photos!


Looks like there will be a new coffee shop moving into my building in a couple of weeks, to replace the one that just closed. I will have to wait and see if they sell good chai and good tea, but at least it will be a convenient choice when I want *something*.

Other stuff:

- Can't wait for the spring Knitty to be published!

- T-minus 3 days, 4 1/2 hours until the Harlot!

- Tonight is carpeting class. I'm told we'll be making a mat we get to bring home.

- I'm in the process of cleaning off my work computer and gathering files to be moved to my new system or archived. I get the new computer on Monday - woohoo!

- I desperately need a haircut, but I keep forgetting to call for an appointment at a reasonable hour.

- Wondering if I have a big head? I bought some new headbands yesterday. They are the first ones in my life that aren't feeling tight and uncomfortable after 6-7 hours of wear. Don't know if the manufacturers finally learned that they don't have to squeeze the blood out of your head to stay in place or if I have a bigger than average head and finally found oversized headbands. Random, I know.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Garlic Mustard and more to come

Saturday morning, R and I went to the park to remove an invasive plant species called garlic mustard. Though we didn't really want to get up early, it was a nice morning in the park. Not too hot and not too cold. And we had a great turnout of volunteers.

This is Garlic Mustard.

This is me pulling it out by the roots.

I've spent the evening downloading a bunch of pictures of knitting and curtains, but now it is too late to post them all in a newsy blog post. But with the groundwork laid, it will happen soon.