29 December 2007

Thank you Santa!

So, what did Santa bring my little family this year?

Shane's big gift was a Norelco somethingorother fancy sci-fi-looking electric razor. He's never used one before, so I hope it works okay for him. It would be so nice if he could shave more than once a week (poor thing has sensitive skin).

BB's big gift was a karaoke machine from my parents. The boy loves to sing and my dad is all about encouraging it. Bummer is that we realized after getting it all set up that you have to have special CDs to use in it. I'm currently on a search to find some that he can sing along with.

My big gift was a new camera. Mom and Dad got me a Canon PowerShot. They got Wendy the same one. I finally was able to sit down with it today to figure out how it works. Lordy! This thing is high-tech. It probably has 1001 functions I'll never use. But now I can shoot little videos. I'm going to start testing it tomorrow to see how well it shoots pictures of yarn. My other camera was horrible in that department. The colors were never right, and neither was the lighting. I haven't posted pictures of my yarn purchases over the last year because (well, because I wasn't supposed to buy yarn this year--uh, yeah) I could never take a decent picture. I'd love to participate in yarn pr0n Friday, but my camera sucked. It'd be great if the new one handled closeups better. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

Overall, Christmas was pretty good this year. Grandma wasn't around because she is spending the winter in Florida with my aunt. I won't go into why not having her here made the holiday much less stressful. We had BB for the day, and spent the whole day over at my parents' house. Kevin and Christy were here this year. They were in St. Louis with her family last year. We ate and drank and ate and drank and drank and drank and drank some more. Oh, and opened presents too. BB got lots of stuff, half of which he probably won't ever play with, and certainly won't remember who was the giver (but I'm not annoyed at that fact at all--snark).

Now that another Christmas is over, I'm ready for the new year. I have a lot planned for 2008 and I'm anxious to get it started. I'll bore y'all with the details later.

24 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

Shopping is finished. Gifts are wrapped and have been taken over to my parents' house. Cards are ready to send, but will have to wait until after Christmas to be mailed because I don't have enough stamps.

What does Meatloaf say? "Two outta three ain't bad."

The only thing left to do tonight is make the deviled eggs and finish the laundry.

The Evil One and the people she owns wish you all a Merry Christmas.

abbey2 122407
she loves the new duvet

Be safe and happy!

21 December 2007


Cozy was finished drying on Wednesday evening, so I attempted to take some pictures before wrapping it up to give away.

Cozy finished5

I wrestled with The Evil One for a while to get her out of the way. Being the blanket whore that she is, she wanted to cuddle up on this even though it's not a blanket. "But Ma, it looks like a blanket."

Cozy finished1

Sorry for the lovely flash enhancement. All of the blocking photos I took without a flash were pretty blurry. I did want to show this one...

Cozy mistake

Running slightly diagonally through the middle of the photo is the only major mistake I made. I repeated a row instead of going on to the next row in the pattern. I noticed it about 10 rows later and just couldn't face ripping back. It's not that noticeable. At least, I hope it's not.

Cozy finished8

Here's the details:
Pattern: Cozy in Knitty, Fall 2004
Yarn: Pingouin Fleur de Laine, 100% worsted weight wool (bought in 1991; gifted to me by S earlier this year), hunter green, 4 or 5 skeins (I can't remember exactly how many)
Needles: US size 10.5 Addis, 24" circulars
Started: 11/3/07
Finished: 12/15/07
Modifications: None. I worked the pattern as written.
Notes: I started this on size 8s a few months ago and I hated the way it was working up. I'm an uber-tight knitter and the needles were not large enough to make for a very lacy fabric. All of this didn't occur to me right away so in my frustration with the pattern, I put down the project and didn't pick it up again for another month. When I finally picked it up again, I decided to try working on size 10.5s. Muuuuuuuuch better.

Cozy finished7
note to self: don't take pictures in front of crucifix in BB's room.

The large needles and worsted weight yarn meant that this project trucked along pretty quickly. I didn't get to work on it for a few weeks while I finished the Secret of the Stole, but I managed to pick it up again without any problems and finished last weekend.

Overall, I liked this project. Easy lace pattern that was simple enough that I think a beginner could do it, but interesting enough to keep the mind from falling asleep. If I had to make it again, I would make it wider, but otherwise, it's pretty perfect as is.

And, the yarn. Near as I can tell, this yarn is no longer made. And it's a shame, too, because it's a nice, basic wool. Squishy and not too scratchy. And I realized after working with it for a while that it has a nice luster to it too.

Cozy finished3

Then, the best part. L, S, and I had our annual Christmas dinner out last night. We went to the restaurant that's in the old historic hotel downtown. It was 2 for 1 martini night. Mmmmmm! Anyway, we exchanged gifts after eating. I gave L the Lady Eleanor and S the Cozy. They were both so surprised and so appreciative. Even though neither one of them knits, I knew they would appreciate the work I had done. L nearly cried. It was so sweet. I'm not the most generous person in the world, but I swear that is the best part of knitting stuff for other people. I'm not much for the attention I get when I give hand knitted things, but I love watching the recipients' reactions.

Well, that was it for my Christmas knitting. Finished and given away. Now all my knitting time is for me! And Yarn Barn is having their annual sale next week. Yee Haw!!

17 December 2007

Sneezey sniffles

I have a cold. I've been getting this cold for a week. It finally blew up into a full-on phlegmy sneezey mess on Saturday. I managed to get out with BB on Saturday morning to run a couple of errands, even though it was snowing, and even made dinner Saturday night, with Shane's help on the grill. Laundry was even finished yesterday. But today? It was all I could do to drag my coughing ass to work and sit there for 8 hours. Good thing that most of what I had to do today was clerical because if I'd had to read proofs, I can guarantee they would have been a mess.

whine, whine, whine

On the knitting front, I finished Cozy. All I need to do is weave in ends and block it. I think I may try to do that tonight because it needs time to dry before I wrap it Wednesday evening. I'll be giving it to its recipient on Thursday evening. I'll post some pictures and do an FO wrapup after I give it to her.

To make myself feel a little better, I started a pair of socks. Ah, socks. For me, socks are the comfort food of knitting. It just puts my soul in a good place to be working on a pair of socks. My sock mojo appears to have come out from hiding, because these are working up so quickly, on size 0s no less. I'm using the same Meilenweit yarn that I used with the failed Jaywalkers. Instead of trying the Elongated Corded Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks again, I am doing a rotating rib, a la Yarn Harlot. Very mindless pattern, which is just what I needed after 2 big lace projects. The colors are pooling weirdly, but I don't care. I'll take some pictures when I get a little further into the first sock.

I need to go blow my nose.

10 December 2007


Time for the Guinevere (aka Secret of the Stole) FO wrap-up. I unpinned it from its blocking space on Friday night. That’s 2 days drying time. I probably could have unpinned it on Thursday night, but I thought it was better to be safe than sorry in the drying department.

SotS1 120807

It turned out that I had one sort of major mistake at the end that I chose to ignore. I forgot a yarn over somewhere in the last 20 rows. That meant that the center line of yarn overs was one stitch off-center, but I don’t think it’s noticeable to anyone who isn’t a knitter.

SotS2 120807

Guinevere (Secret of the Stole) by Nautical Knitter
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr wool/silk laceweight in Cinnabar, two 2-oz. skeins. I used all of one skein and about ½ of the other.
Needles: US size 4, 24” Addi Lace circulars
Beads: size 8/0 seed beads in a color that I can’t remember the name of
Started: 5 October 2007
Finished: 5 December 2007
Final Dimensions: 84” x 15”
Modifications: None

SotS modeled2 120807

Notes: This was my first lace shawl project, and the first time using laceweight yarn. I really liked the Zephyr and will definitely use it again. This is a really good first lace project. There is a lot of stockinette, and the pattern is easy to see before blocking, so it’s easy to tell if you’ve missed a yarn over.

I didn’t keep up with the KAL as I would have liked, but I still finished the project in reasonable time. The shawl ended up being thinner in width that I expected, which made wearing a little challenging (damn thing didn’t want to stay on my shoulders). In looking through Ravelry, it appears that my final width was typical. I probably could have blocked it wider, but that would have required some stretching that I wasn’t comfortable attempting on my first lace blocking.

Overall, I liked this project. I don’t know that I will ever make another one, but I don’t often repeat projects. My next lace project will definitely be a more triangular in shape. I have joined the next Secret of the Stole KAL, which starts in January, but I probably won’t start it until much later than that. I need a little break from lace.

I wore the stole to our company Christmas party on Saturday (that modeled pic above is right before we walked out the door to go to L's house for drinks before the party). I received a lot of nice compliments on it. I think I could get away with wearing it to work now and again, if I felt like dressing up a bit. I think I need to get a pin for it though, so it doesn't fall off my shoulders. The designer had a pin commissioned, but I didn't like it much. I may order something from Romi in the future.


True to form for my luck, I get all dressed up Saturday, including shaving my legs and wearing makeup, and what should appear right before we left the house? A friggin' cold sore. I haven't had one in probably a year and a half. I love that my immune system decides to crap on me the one day a year that I wear makeup.

09 December 2007

Random info

Took this one from Jo.

1. Elaborate on your default icon:
The one that I use almost everywhere, including the blog, is taken from the family pictures that we had made last Christmas. My Knittyboard avatar is the Pink Panther (childhood hero).

2. What's your current relationship status?
Married for 1.5 years.

3. Ever have a near-death experience?
The closest I ever came to fearing for my life was when Wendy and I were driving to class one day years ago. We were on the highway and the car in front of us suddenly swerved into another lane, revealing a large object blocking the lane we were in. I don’t remember what it was, but it was something that had fallen off the back of a truck. We didn’t see it before the other car moved out of the way. Thanks to some quick steering by Wendy, we missed crashing into the object by inches. Both of us burst into tears afterwards from the sheer relief of not losing our lives.

4. Name an obvious quality you have:
I am frequently told that I have a memorable laugh (Twitter. It’s been referred to as a twitter. Not sure if that’s good or bad.)

5. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head
right now?
There’s nothing there right now. No song. No brains either.

6. Any celeb you would marry?
Sting. No contest.

7. Who will cut and paste this first?
Possibly TechGirl.

8. Has anyone ever said you look like a celebrity?
As a teenager, my family insisted that I reminded them of Molly Ringwald, a la Sixteen Candles/Breakfast Club/Pretty in Pink.

9. Do you wear a watch?
Absolutely. I feel naked without it.

10. Are you pierced?
Once in the left ear, 4 times in the right ear, and a belly ring.

11. Do you have any tattoos?
Not yet. I am still searching for the perfect art. Someday.

12. Do you like pain?
I went through a phase in my younger years of enjoying it a bit, but not anymore.

13. Do you like to shop?

14. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
A soda at work.

15. What was the last thing you paid for with your credit
Dinner out with Shane on Friday after work.

16. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?
Shane on Friday afternoon (no, I haven’t talked to anyone since then – I really hate the phone).

17. What is on your desktop background?
At home, the laptop has a picture I took of the Rockies behind Bear Lake near Estes Park, CO; the desktop has a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge I took years ago. My work computer has one of Scout’s photos/calendars.

18. What is the background on your cell phone?
A photo of Long’s Peak near Estes Park, unknown photographer.

19. Do you like redheads?
Sure. Shane’s hair is reddish, as is his beard behind all the grey.

20. Do you know any twins?
I think Shane’s dad is a twin.

21. Do you have any weird relatives?
We’re from the south, what do you think?

22. What was the last movie you watched?
Cinderella Man on tv Friday night.

23. What was the last book you read?
I am currently reading Choosing a Jewish Life and At Knit’s End.

24. Is there such a thing as love at first sight, or it is more likely to be lust at first sight?
Lust is pretty powerful, but I think there is such a thing as love at first sight. I’m not sure I thought it at the time, but looking back, I think I fell in love with Shane at first sight.

25. What's your favorite book?
I haven’t read much in the last 4+ years that I’ve been knitting, but when I read obsessively, my favorite book was Life: A User’s Manual by Georges Perec.

26. When was the last time you visited the street where you
first lived?

27. When was the last time you googled your own name?
It was months ago. The filing of our marriage license is what came up.

28. What was / is your favorite subject at school?
In high school, math, science, and English. In college, English.

29. What was / is your least favorite subject at school?
History, gym.

30. Do you like having your photograph taken?
No. I am horribly unphotogenic.

31. What time were you born?
No clue.

32. Ever seriously questioned your sanity?
Unfortunately yes. I have things better under control now, but there was a time when I really felt crazy, in the clinical sense.

33. How many phone numbers do you have remembered and can
say off the top of your head?
My mind is steel trap for useless information, and phone numbers are one of those things that enter my memory and never leave.

34. Can you Limbo?

35.Have you ever killed your own dinner?
Ick. No.

36. How long have you been living at your current
4 years, 4 months.

37. What phobias do you have?
I don’t have any real phobias, but I don’t like tight spaces or germs.

38. What's your ideal breakfast?
Grits with butter, 2 eggs either scrambled with cheese or fried over-hard, bacon or ham, and biscuits.

39. Where are you right now?
Sitting in the recliner in the living room.

40. Why do you blog?
I started a blog as a way to keep TechGirl updated on my life. But this has turned into more of a knitting blog than a personal blog, so I’m not sure I’m keeping her updated on much. I also like to have a record of my finished objects and the blog sort of serves as my knitting journal.

41. What would you call your autobiography?
Same as my blog title: My Sedentary Life. It would be such a fascinating read. Not.

42. What's the longest time you've stayed out of the country / where?
I spent 2-1/2 weeks in Greece in 2002.

43. Do you use ICQ, AIM, etc..?
Yahoo Messenger and gmail’s messenger once in a blue moon.

44. Do you have nightmares frequently?
I used to have them a lot. Several years ago I started lucid dreaming and learned to change the outcome of upsetting dreams, and it seems I don’t have them much anymore. I do still have stressful dreams, but I wouldn’t call them nightmares.

45. If you were another person, would you be friends with
Yes, I think so. I’m not perfect, but I love my friends dearly and try to be good to everyone.

46. Which TV character could you be friends with?
House. He’s just the sort of arrogant bastard that I’m easily friends with. I have a way of smacking the arrogant, with a smile on my face, so men with big egos tend to like me. The X was like that.

47. What's on your mouse pad?
Don’t have one.

48. What is your ring tone?
Theme from Six Feet Under.

49. What did you watch on TV last night?
I don’t remember.

50. Scary movies or happy endings?
Neither – I like a movie and an ending that make you think.

07 December 2007

You know you're knitting obsessed when...

At 8:45 last night, I was ensconced in my recliner, afghan and kitty in lap, needles a-clicking, watching CSI. Suddenly, the house went dark. Power outage. We had our first snow yesterday, but there wasn't any ice, so I was a bit surprised that the power went out. From my seat near the front window, I lifted up the blinds to see if anyone else had lost power, and sure enough, the whole block was dark, not a light on anywhere.

The house was blacker than night. I couldn't see the glasses on the end of my nose. I hear Shane from the other room, "Boy, it sure is dark in here." (Yeah, thanks Captain Obvious.) I asked if he was going to turn on the flashlight, and he said he was looking for it. About 30 seconds later, he clicks on the flashlight, and bursts out laughing.


"You're still knitting?"

"Well, yeah, I'm in the middle of a row, I can't stop now."

06 December 2007

A moment of silence

A little brown mouse crawled into an open area between a few of our offices at work today. "Ew! A mouse!" yelled a coworker. I got up from my desk to check it out. Yep, there's a mouse.

And then the mouse laid on its side.

And then the mouse twitched a little.

And then the mouse died.

I witnessed a death today. I know it was just a mouse, but it was horrible! It's one thing to find a dead mouse. It's completely different when the poor little furry dies in front of you. My heart just ached. I have a soft spot for all the furries of the world, disease-carrying or not.

I called a coworker on the other side of the building to ask if she'd come get rid of it; she's been known to deal with this sort of thing before and it doesn't gross her out. Unfortunately, she had already left for the day. The other coworker who answered the phone said I should flush it down the toilet, the thought being that if it wasn't quite dead, then flushing would surely kill it. Now, every women's bathroom stall in our building has a sign on the inside of the door asking that no tampon applicators be flushed. If a piece of plastic could get stuck, dontcha think a dead mouse could too? Can you imagine if the toilet backed up and the bathroom flooded because of dead mousey? Ew. Double ew.

I then called Buildings and Grounds to see if someone could come get dead mousey. No one answered the phone. So, one of my fellow MEs and I dealt with it ourselves. I got a copy paper box top and held it steady while she pushed dead mousey into it with a file folder. I then headed down to the warehouse. I whined to everyone on the way about how traumatized we all were at the death, and now disposal, of the mouse. I yelled for all to get out of my way.

I trudged into the snow outside the loading dock (oh, yeah, we had our first real snow today).

I said a little prayer to myself.

I flung the mouse into the snow.

Throwing it into the garbage dump seemed somehow disrespectful. "Burying" it in the snow seemed more natural. I hope that if it wasn't completely dead, that being in the snow finished the deed.

Ugh. It was awful. I shall never recover. Okay, so I'm already recovered. But I still feel ookey.

Poor, poor mouse.

Rest in peace.

05 December 2007

Blocking is a bitch

Here we are, ends woven in, kitty kat reflecting the flash in an oh so odd way. Can you tell that she has a cataract in one eye (the one not reflecting the flash)?
unblocked SotS 120507

And here we are all sudsy in the bathroom sink. I love the smell of Eucalan.
sudsy SotS 120507

Blob o' lace. See the beads?
wet 120507

Finally, all blocked out.
blocked SotS1 120507
blocked SotS2 120507

So. Blocking. What a bitch! I used floral stem wire, which was all I could find at Hobby Lobby Monday night. It worked okay. The problem is that I am too old and too fat to be sitting hunched over on the floor and pinning out a garment. Unfortunately, this space on the floor, between the entertainment center and the coffee table, is the only space large enough in my itty bitty house to block an object of this size. My back is going to be a mess tomorrow morning. My kingdom for a large work table!

Anyway, I will have modeled pictures and FO wrap-up this weekend.

04 December 2007

10pm victory!

It's finished!!!! I just finished the Secret of the Stole. I can't believe it. If you had told me a year ago that I could finish a lace stole in 2 months I would have laughed. But, I did it. What a high!

Tomorrow is for blocking. I'll take some before and during pics and post them once I have it all pinned out. I had to be creative with regards to blocking wires, so we'll see how my experiment works out.

I shall sleep soundly tonight.

03 December 2007

Feeling so much better

The obsessive perfectionist in me just couldn't go to bed Saturday night without fixing the error in my shawl. About an hour after I decided to put it down, I did what I do whenever I need to rip back a few rounds in a sock: I pulled out the needles, ripped back 6 rows, and carefully picked up the stitches with a small tapestry needle threaded with embroidery floss. Then, several stitches at a time, I slipped stitches from the floss to the left needle and knitted (correctly this time) a row. I felt much better having fixed the mistake instead of just continuing on. Bummer that I lost about 2 hours of knitting time. Oh, well. Onwards!

Three more days to knit. It's a race to the finish!

01 December 2007

Ripping my hair out

Coming up for air long enough to say DAMMIT!! I have been knitting almost nonstop on the Secret of the Stole (well, at least, nonstop during nonworking hours). Though I have spent hour upon hour for the last 2 weeks working with lace weight yarn on size 4 needles, knitting hundreds of rows and thousands of stitches, I mused to myself just last night that I was actually really enjoying this knit and wasn't at all frustrated or bored.

I should never think such things.

For the first time in over 500 rows, I have made a mistake to which I cannot immediately figure out the fix. All along, I have made minor errors here and there: a forgotten yarn over or k2tog. Until now, I have been able to fix the mistakes by dropping down stitches. Easy peasy.

Not this time. I encountered the problem 3 rows ago. I tinked back 2-1/2 rows, thought I had fixed it, then on the next pattern row, I realized I'm completely off somewhere. I have no idea what I did, but I'm not sure if I want to fix it. Part of me wants to just keep on and compensate for the error in the next few pattern rows. And then the obsessive perfectionist in me wants to rip back 4 rows and fix it for good.

Either way, I had to put the damn thing down for the night. I'll pick it up again tomorrow and decide then what to do.

I am officially sick of knitting this thing.