Saturday, February 24, 2007

Thawing Out

Last night was as cold as I can remember being for a very, very long time.

I started freezing to death around noon. I had to score a game out at the "minor league" fields. Once I was already out there, wearing shorts, the wind kicked up to about 40 mph and I wound up sitting in the shade shivering for quite a while.

Then I sprinted back over to the field where my own team was about to play. The photo below was taken from a nearby vantage point before I started turning into a popsicle. Most of the way through my first game of the day, some friends decided I looked cold and got me a hot chocolate. Many humble thanks to Mama E and Becky! I put on all of my remaining clothing layers for our 8 pm contest, but still was literally shaking from the cold by the time that game ended. Not. Fun.

Roaming Tigger (RT) is seated on the storage unit of the tri tip stand at the complex. These are some of the best sandwiches EVER.

The proprietor of the stand asked what I was doing. When I explained, he said "he needs a picture with the sandwiches!" So here is that resulting shot. I'll have a sandwich for dinner tonight. My special treat for the weekend!

Earlier in the morning, RT was kickin' it at the hotel, soaking in the golf course and poolside view. This was well before we realized just how effing cold it was going to get

Just to prove that I do stuff besides softball (although not much these days!), here is a baby blanket I finished up for a friend I'll see this weekend. It was a panel kit from Keepsake Quilting. I quilted it ages ago and whip stitched the opening during Grays Anatomy the other night.

And, here's the progress I've made on the cable sweater since its last photo op. About 10 more inches of stockingette and I'll be ready to start making some changes.

Gotta go score another game (surprise). Here's hoping that today remains exponentially warmer than yesterday!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Spinning, and I don't mean with fiber!

The weekend in Vegas was fine. The bed was comfy which is a huge plus. The only problem was that we played LATE on Saturday and EARLY on Sunday. A bigger issue when you remember that somewhere between that Late and Early, you must Pack and be ready to get on the bus to check out of the hotel at the appropriate time.

I've been fighting an annoying little cold. I don't feel bad I just feel wiped out. Ugh.

I also have a "thing" tomorrow morning that I'm nervous about. I'm trying to ignore it as best I can, but we'll just have to see what happens.

Then it's off to Palm Springs for another weekend of softball. Aren't you jealous? I think my local friends are starting to wonder if I still exist.

Yes, there has been knitting. I've pretty much decided that my toe-up sock will be OK. I'm mostly bugged by the needles I'm using. Of course, I'm having a complete brain fart trying to remember who makes them, but they're the plastic-ey needles that bend as you knit. I'm not really a fan, but I don't have another pair of US 2.5's so I can't just switch them out. Bummer.

No new photo of that sock. However, we do have a half-finished object to show from the weekend in Sin City

This is the first of my Slipper Socks, a free pattern I got off of the Knitpicks website. I'm zipping along in Memories, the suggested yarn for this pattern. I'm happy with my results so far.

Last night, while the hubster was gone for his workout, I got an itch to start a sweater. It's this fantastic cable sweater out of this book. If you go to the "look inside" link and scroll to page three, it's the brown cable sweater that's four down on the left-hand pile.

Thanks to this fantastic YouTube video I found on Wendy's blog about a week ago, I was able to do all of the pictured cables, after getting through the first row, without a cable needle! WOW!

Here's a "money shot" close-up of the cable. Color is more true in the larger photo.

Well, I need to finish up a few small things, then get my butt up to practice. I have to pack again tonight. I hate packing!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Fabulous Las Vegas

Yep. I'm in Fabulous Las Vegas. Watchin' some softball.

The host school set the schedule with three-hour windows between games. This is both good and bad. It's good because you know that you're going to start on time. It's bad because when there's a quick game (we played in 95 minutes earlier today) then there is a loooooooooooong time between games.

I skipped the lunch field trip with the team, so I've spent a good solid six hours at the field today. Fortunately, there's a very nice press box, so I'm plenty comfy.

I also decided it was time to bust out my roaming gnome. Meeet Tigger!

In front of Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas

In front of the Hard Rock Cafe. This is where we ate dinner last night. I had a cobb salad. It was yummy.

With part of the Las Vegas strip in the background

And with the Thomas & Mack Center, the site of the NBA All Star Game ... the rookie game will start roughly at the same time as the second game of the day for my team.

I got a tiny bit done on my KnitPicks slipper project, but not much. I'll keep chipping away on that. It's what is calling me right now.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

On the Road Again!

Sorry I have been so scarce. Left a week ago today for a work trip to Phoenix/Tempe. That didn't go so well. Had a home game on Tuesday and now I'm about to get on a plane to Las Vegas.

While that announcement makes most people say "AWESOME!" please let me explain why it makes me say "CRAP!"

** It's NBA All-Star weekend. We are staying in Henderson, Nev., and playing 4 of our 5 games on campus at UNLV, which is Strip-adjacent. This means we'll be spending way too much time on a bus going to-from our games.

** I don't like to gamble

** I do like to visit quilt shops and knitting stores but, remember the bus?, I am without transportation and therefore essentially locked in at the hotel/field.

** A hotel that probably won't have a workout room. Bastards.

As long as I'm whining, I'll also mention that I woke up yesterday morning with a cold. At least I've consumed about 2 liters of water already today!

I have been churning away on several knitting projects. I finished the next-to-last pair of Fuzzy Feet. Ginormous pair #2. These are for my friend Bill. Pen included for scale

Yep. They're huge. Hopefully they felt nicely. I'm looking forward to being done with this Fuzzy Foot experiment. Just the re-knit of my dad's pair left to go.

What is this, you ask? Well, I placed a KnitPicks order a few weeks ago. This is their Memories yarn (Yukon colorway) being worked up into their Slipper Socks pattern. I'm a fan so far.

I also have yarn and needles at the ready to do their Come In From the Cold pattern as well.'

I have a pair of toe-up socks on the needles as well. (previously modeled here by Baxter Bear). As I continue to knit these socks, they continue to look HUGE. My stitch gague is accurate. I'm thinking I'll knit a little longer then revisit my decision. It's really bumming me out, actually. I keep drooling over all of this great sock yarn and can't get my sock mojo to cooperate.

I'm also itchign to sew again. My second Starr block of the month showed up while I was in Phoenix, and I have my M&Ms blocks due. Haven't even thought about those. Yikes!

Well, I need to get my work bag packed up and ready to roll for today's adventure. I remembered to pack my Roaming Tigger so maybe I'll get some photos from the field in Vegas. Happy All-Star Weekend! :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Speed Posting

I have about 10 minutes before I have to pack up and walk out the door to start the first road trip of the 2007 season. I'm excited, and looking forward to a good night's sleep.

Why sleep? Because I've skimped the last two nights. Tuesday night, a college friend of mine was in town and once he got settled at the Hilton near the airport, he gave me a call and I zipped up there for a beer.

Jamie and I worked on our college newspaper together and he currently lives in DC. This means we don't see each other very often, but he's a great guy. He and a friend made a pilgrimage to LA to see The Price is Right before Bob Barker retires. Keep your eyes peeled for that prematurely gray head in the early portions of March. :)

Last night, I had to pack. That always takes longer than I expect, hence the later bedtime than I would have really liked.

There has been some knitting going on. I finished the first of the dark green Ginormous Fuzzy Feet. I have started on the second one, then just have my dad's lime green pair to re-knit before I am totally finished with that undertaking.

Meanwhile, I finished my Lorna's Laces mittens. Very fun. Hat is next.

Hey, Baxter got to model last time. This morning, it was Derf's turn.

Gotta run. Will try for pictures from Phoenix, but we'll see what happens.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Stars, Stars, Stars!

That was the primary theme of last night's gathering at Sandy's house. Well, at least for me. The obiligatory dog photos were taken. Here's the best one from last night: Paulie, the elder statesman of the group, snoozing.

Denise joined Sandy, Anne, Beth, Carol and I, taking over the real estate vacated by Lisa's pending trip to Martha Pullen. She's probably on an airplane (or still in route) as I type.

Carol was kind enough to meet me for dinner at Outback. Even though I wasn't anywhere near this snafu which would have made my life completely miserable had I gone to work yesterday, it still took a ridiculously long time to get to the restaurant. Carol and I highly enjoyed our meal, as always. We all got to yell hello to Carol's hubster and my favorite lurker, Ole, later in the evening when he called her from Norway where he is working at the moment. Hi, Ole! Hope the weather clears up! :)

On to the sewing. Overachiever that she is, Denise has finished all of the larger setting stars for the Starry Starry Night quilt that was the inspiration for our blue and white MMs exchange last month. I posted a photo set on Yahoo! here. They look awesome. Here's my favorite:

As for me, I spent the entire evening cutting up teenytiny squares ... that I then sewed and squared up ... to make the friendship stars for my Starr BOM. As has become my habit, I cut WAY too many squares to make the friendship stars. I should have thought through the instructions better before I put rotary cutter to fabric, but since this is Month 1 of 12, I should be able to recover just fine. The bad new? LOTS more squaring up of friendship star triangles. Once I exhaust this supply, I will be doing 1" Thangles for any/all remaining small stars.

I also sewed my large paper pieced star together. I'm pretty damn happy with it if I do say so myself. This quilt is gonna rock ... assuming I can keep up with it and not get overwhelmed with the backlog of paper pieced blocks. Hey, the paper piecing is actually the fun/easy part. It's the friendship stars that might be the death of me!

Today is very low-key. Hanging with the Hubster (once he gets back from Costco and the grocery store), maybe a dinner out. Maybe a stop at the J-store to check on plastic storage ... it seems like I never have enough of that! ... but generally a low-key day. Tomorrow is the Big Game. I'll go to Beach Knitting in the morning and probably come home about an hour before kickoff. Then Monday is the start of my first Game Week since December. Here's hoping I'm ready to get the train rolling!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Shhh ... Don't Tell the Hubster!

I kind of acquired another Penguin today. He could be a cookie jar for small cookies, but apparently arrived upstairs full of candy, many moons ago. Badly photoshopped can included for scale.

He originally came from Sea World. When I visited said 2nd floor office this morning, I immediately noticed this guy and was informed of the correct person to ask if he was homeless. My adoption application was immediately approved, and he now resides in my office. Now I just have to give him a bath and clean things up in my office (Surprise! It's a disaster area in here!) so he has a place to hang out!

Oh, and in case I hadn't mentioned it, while I was in Omaha in December, there was a department-wide office holiday party. They had a mock game of "Family Feud" I was a distant second most popular answer to the question "Whose Office is the Biggest Fire Hazard?" (a semi-kind way to say messiest office!)

I'm taking tomorrow (Friday) off from work. I plan to start my kick-ass day of Cult-ing at Luella's to pick up an extra 2 yards of a fabric my mom wants. They open at 10.

[NOTE: The Hubster refers to my Friday Night quilting group as my "Cult" That's all I mean by the above statement. We'll just ignore the addiction factors in my two little hobbies!]

Then it's off to Beach Knitting for a morning/afternoon of Knitting with Irma. I'll leave there around 2:30 to go home and switch to my quilting gear, then it will be an evening of fun and dog snoring at Sandy's house. We'll be short a Twin, as Lisa leaves bright and early on Saturday morning for Martha Pullen School. We'll miss her!

I plan to finish the "Über-block" of my Starr Designs BOM ... get the paper pieced eighths sewn together into one big block, make all of the surrounding stars and sew it all together. I'd crank on my MM block, but I haven't tracked down my fabric yet. Bummer. At least Lisa was able to draft Thangle-like triangle paper for 3.75" finished half-square triangles. Bonus!

I started Mitten #2 last night and have just a round or two left of the ribbing before I begin the stockingette and thumb gusset portion of the program. I need to re-weave the thumb end on the inside of Mitten #2, but otherwise they are just peachy and quite happy-looking! Hat is next!

Oh, and stop whatever you are doing RIGHT NOW and check out this site. I thought it was hysterical!