Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yay, Me!

I made it over to the Wooden Center this morning for my first "real" workout in almost a month. Did 30 minutes on the elliptical, 15 on the treadmill. Woo-Hoo!

I also finished Mitten #1 last night. Woo-Hoo, again! Didn't want to cast on for Mitten #2 last night, since we were watching The DaVinci Code. I've read the book, but wanted a thinking-free knitting project for viewing during that movie.

I tried to cast on for the back of my Jo Sharp Cable, but ran into a snag when I once again had the Lantern Moon Destiny Circulars problem. When BOTH wooden ends simultaneously detatched from the center cord. Perhaps it's a bigger problem with the larger sized needles, since this is the second pair of US 11's to have this issue.

So I busted out the second half of the hubster's Fuzzy Feet. And finished it! Yay, me yet again!

Here is the cute and talented Baxter modeling my first toe-up sock. Well, the second try on my first toe-up sock. I did 2-3 rounds on this last night too, then decided I'd drop a stitch on those little needles if I tried to knit that and do a movie at the same time

And a close-up of the actual knitting portion of the program.

I've been talking about it for too long without a money shot, so here is my paper pieced Starr block of the month first block! I'll sew the pieces together on Friday night, then start sewing the stars to go along with this month's kit. LOVE this pattern, and all the blocks are equally stunning in my opinion.

I've been running around like a nut all day and "lunchtime" is just about over, so I'd best be getting back to finishing the things I need to finish today. Have a great evening!

[In case anyone hasn't already noticed, I always find myself searching for an ending for my blog posts, then work too hard on it and type out something lame. Save me from myself!]

Monday, January 29, 2007

A 6-Dog Night

The usual suspects gathered at Sandy's house on Friday night for an evening of stitching. I'm a doofus who left my camera in my office, so these photos are courtesy of Lisa. Thanks, Lisa!

Don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Sandy and Deb (Sandy's daughter) have SIX, yes six! dogs. Five are pugs, I believe all of the pugs are rescue dogs. I have half of the names down, and I know Vinny (the only non-pug of the family) and Gertie are not in this photo. I think the big black butt is Louie's, so the other two are either Tatty, Paulie or .... OK. I think my brain just exploded. I have no idea which dogs are in this photo, but they are darn cute!

Sandy opened the evening with showing off her finished quilt top. Ain't it nifty?

Carol bought a Moda "Sanctuary" JellyRoll (roll of 2.5" strips showing the whole fabric line) and sewed them all together. There is one red fabric that we all think "pops" too much, so that's probably going to become a narrow inner border. She bought two packs of the 4" charm squares and will use them as an outer border. These aren't my normal cup of tea, but I liked them enough that I bought the necessary cut fabric when I saw them at Luella's on Saturday afternoon.

And what did I sew? Well, I paper pieced on my Starr block of the month! My main block is done, just needs to be sewn together. I LOVE THIS QUILT! I'll do my best to get the necessary glamour shots taken tonight so I can post them tomorrow.

I also finished both sleeves for my Countess, and seamed the first shoulder of my purple V-neck on Friday afternoon. Someday, I'll have a photo of a finished sweater. I hope!

Meanwhile, it's back to the grind. The hubster and I went to a retirement dinner last night and I got home totally wiped out. It was a great evening, but last night, and this morning, I felt like all of my energy had been siphoned away. I'm trying to hack my way through Monday, go to bed at a reasonable time like a grown-up, and take another hack tomorrow.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Procrastination is an Art!

Yes, I'm procrastinating. I spent my morning helping a co-worker with a technical issue and still haven't gotten in my workout pre-lunch. This means I'd better get over there to sweat soon, or the place will be crawling with ... students. Ewww. (OK, they aren't SO bad. It's just that when there are lots of them you have to wait for cardio equipment and they tend to leave really gross things in the showers instead of using a trash can. Use your imagination).

I re-cast on for my Lorna's Laces mittens, what will hopefully be the start of a mittens/hat/scarf trilogy. I'm enjoying this yarn, but the more I knit with it, the more I realize that the "this would make a cool sweater" vibe I got when I saw a different colorway was more about my love of speed knitting on big needles and not so much about what would truly make a cool sweater.

I cast on at about 7:30 last night, and this is where I was when the hubster got home last night, I looked at the clock (10:45) and realized that if I was going to scrape my sorry butt out of bed at 6 am today to take my car in for service, I'd better get to bed.

The pattern is easy to follow (Ann Budd's generic mitten recipe from here) but when they say a hand circumference of 7", they really mean 7"! I've been trying on said mitten to check length and it is snug. Very snug. Should-I-rip-this-again-or-not snug. I'll make a decision once I get home tonight.

Tomorrow (Friday) is going to be an action-packed day of fun. I'm taking the day off and will knit from when Beach Knitting opens (10:30 am) until about 3 pm, when I do my best Clark Kent/Superman impression, stop at home and get the tools necessary to switch from a mild-mannered overwhelmed-with-projects knitter into a night-on-the-town quilter with a sewing machine, a paper piecing pattern and an attitude ready to tackle any errant seam allowances.

Yep. It's a Friday night at Sandy's house. Look out, we're ready for trouble.

Well, if I have any chance of breaking my way too long streak of workout-free days, I'd better go break a sweat. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Calm Before the Storm

Hi! Not much content today. Mom and Suzie left this morning to go back home. That always makes me a little sad.

Plus, I am now freaking out just a little bit that it has been a MONTH since I was last working out regularly. This is not a good thing. Gotta get back on that routine tomorrow. Whether I want to or not!

I am now in the portion of the year that feels like ... and is ... the calm before the storm. I have exactly 14 days to call my own before I leave on the first trip of the 2007 season. Of course, as soon as you look a little closer at that time span, I have a retirement banquet to attend this Sunday at 4, which will officially cut in to my knitting time at Beach Knitting this Sunday, and a few other activities that take up chunks of what would otherwise be "free days."

It looks like we're going to have a party for that big football game on Feb. 3 as well. The hubster's team is the NFC representative (chicago), so having a party is his call. I just hope I can talk him in to getting the Sumo bean bag chair in time for delivery prior to the big game. My brother has one of these and they are incredibly comfortable!

Thursday will be a normal work day, then I'll probably take at least part of Friday off. I'm hoping to go knitting for a few hours before heading to Sandy's house for a Friday night of sewing fun. Since I don't yet have the fabric swatch to pick my fabrics for our MM block exchange (pattern here but we aren't using those fabrics. We're picking a swatch that can be sashing and we make sure nothing clashes with said swatch), I'm about 95% sure I'll work on my Starr block of the month that I acquired at Road last week.

I actually have a free evening tonight, so I'm going to take one more look across my desk to make sure I'm not missing any fires that are still smoldering, then I'm headed home to clear some TiVo and watch the NHL All-Star game.

I'll try to take some knitting photos, but there isn't much exciting going on. I've finished the first sleeve for my Countess V-neck (pattern is the V-Neck 4th from the bottom, yarn is the chocolate brown) and have the second sleeve through the first ball of yarn. The sleeve cap shaping seemed mildly funky to me, so I want to make sure Sleeve #1 is correct before I forge on with Sleeve #2.

Otherwise, I cast on for my Lornas Laces mittens but didn't like the left-facing increases I had done, since they left holes, so I frogged it. Who wants holes along the thumb gusset on a pair of mittens? Not me!

Simply to avoid a photo-free post, here is a picture of me with the fantastic quilt of Floribunda, a quilt blogger in NorCal who I read pretty frequently. It was amazing in person. Lots of accurate seams on teeny-tiny pieces. WOW!

And, just for fun, a picture of Irma's knitted teddy bear. He's absolutely adorable, but I don't know that he'd be a project I'd be willing to tackle. Again, WOW!

That's it from my corner of the world. Hopefully things will be less blue and more rosy tomorrow. It hasn't been a great day today. Oh well.

Monday, January 22, 2007

DPUTiger Rewind

Media guide is done (awaiting a proof to sign off). Sleep has been enjoyed. Knitting has been done (sorry, no pics today). Road to California has been visited.

I'm way behind on my blog entries. So I shall try to catch up!

Last Monday (Jan. 15), we had our block exchange for the blue star blocks. Carol had misplaced her fabrics ... and instructions ... when heading out to Friday Night at Sandy's house. They have since been located, but she didn't have time to finish her blocks in time for Monday's exchange. Hey, I understand. I stayed up until midnight on Sunday night to have mine finished in time!

Nonie and Denise were unable to attend. Pics of all of the M&Ms in attendance, with blocks in hand, are here. (Hopefully that link takes you straight to the correct file. Yell if there's a problem, please!) As a bonus, here is a pic of the twins. No, they don't check wardrobe before they leave the house, and yes, they do this with some frequency. It's part of why we love them! :)

In other news, last Tuesday, my mom, aunt Suzie and I road tripped to Santa Barbara to take my Quinn cousin Molly (freshman at UCSB) out to dinner for her 18th birthday. A photo of the three people who ate dinner and at one time or another had the last name of Quinn

Mom on the left, Molly in the middle, Suzie on the right.

We ate at the Paradise Cafe in Santa Barbara. I highly recommend it. My Symons cousin, Barbara, picked the restaurant, since she also attended UCSB and has lived there for quite a while. Symons family relatives:

Mom on the left, Barbara in the middle, yours truly on the right.

Wednesday, I finished my media guide. Thursday, we went to Road. Biggest purchase there was signing up for a paper-pieced queen size Block of the Month quilt from Starr Designs. They don't have a picture of the BOM quilt on their website. Hopefully soon.

I didn't photograph most of my swag from Road. There wasn't all that much, but some of it was pretty cool. I'll try to do that tonight and get back to you. The front and back of my Countess sweater are finished, and I'm into the sleeve cap shaping on Sleeve #1. I started (and finished) a pair of Fetching from Knitty and have them at the office today.

I'm planning to cast on for a mittens-hat-scarf combo in some fantastic bulky Lorna's Laces superwash tonight. I'm pretty sure it's Shepherd Bulky in Rainbow. Yummy! That's about it from here. Later!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Yep. The 104-page softball media guide is burned to a CD and sitting in the sports info office patiently waiting to be picked up by the printer. And I'm taking Thursday off to go to Road to California with my mom and aunt Suzie.


Humble apologies to my faithful, if silent, readers (hi Ole!) assuming that any of you are still checking the site. I've been so busy with this media guide that I simply haven't had time to post. Or do much of anything besides work and sleep. Even my workouts have gone by the wayside over the last two weeks. Next week's goal is to get back into that routine.

So tonight, I'm going to plow through some of the things that have been in my head waiting to be posted for quite a while. Tomorrow, I'll post anything interesting from Road and the "reveal" from Monday night's M&Ms block exchange.

First, as I have just foreshadowed, I had M&Ms exchange blocks due on Monday night. 6" finished stars, two sets of 8. I showed up at Sandy's house on Friday night in this state of preparation

I got one block totally done on Friday night and had Step 1 finished on the second block before I realized that I had been outsmarted by the block. I wound up finishing the second block at midnight on Sunday night after I picked mom and Suzie up at the airport.

Sandy and her daughter, Deb, went to Mexico for Xmas and they brought home presents for the humble sewing buddies. A nifty armadillo from the shell shop (dime included for scale) and an extremely cool little clay catch-all jar. Both made it to my office for photo opportunity and haven't moved. The armadillo is going to live on my monitor stand at the office with my lego elephant and scary-looking lego snowman. Jar will come home once I get some sleep and clean up a little bit.

The other piece of show-and-tell was a gift from one of Sandy and Deb's friends in Mexico. Iguanas are supposed to be lucky. Aren't they lucky to have this guy?

The other news from the last 10 days or so was that we had free Bruin-branded Crocs available to full-time staff last week. Ain't they stylish?

OK. I'm about to fall asleep at my laptop, so I'd better shut up and get some shut-eye. I'll try to check in tomorrow night, worst case on Friday. I'M DONE! I'M DONE! :)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Media Guide Stupor

Yes, it's beginning. I am eight days out from my deadline. The thing is, I keep having things that are out of my control pushed back, so I will now be incapable of hitting that deadline. Well, I'm still shooting for the 12th, then I'll just have to dump in a few photos on the 15th and we'll be in business.

But, there have been some cool things to come out of my cleaning up over the weekend. My knitting stuff is fairly organized, and I have a good idea of the projects that are sitting around and waiting for me. No, I'm not signing up for the knit from your stash fad, but I do have a better idea of what is already in my house, and in what stage of not-quite finished it's in.

Both of the front pieces of my Jo Sharp cable are finished up to the shoulder shaping bind-off. I have a ridiculous amount of yarn sitting in my stash for this project. I blame it on two things: 1. when I bought the yarn, I was a size 18. Now, I am a size 4 or 6. That's a LOT of yarn difference to cover that size difference (who knew that losing a bunch of weight would make it cheaper to knit sweaters? I never thought of that!). Reason #2 is that Beth had me all freaked out that this yarn would be gone forever if I didn't get enough. Yes, I understand dye lots, but even in my larger size, I didn't need 40 skeins of the stuff. But I digress.

Here's what I have left to knit the sleeves, back and do all the finishing. Considering that the medium-sized storage tub is full-to-explosion with this yarn, I think I have way more than enough.

This is the tub of Berocco Touche that is also sitting around waiting for me. The front of this sweater is patiently waiting for me, but I'm having issues with big gaps on my knit/purl transitions unless I crank the yarn amazingly tight. Here's a close-up:

It's a great yarn and I want to finish this sweater, but I think this is going to take a back seat to the colder weather wearables that are in the in-progress portion of the stash.

And finally, the glamor shot of the glass penguin that my aunt Suzie gave me for xmas. Lip balm included for scale. LEGO elephant included because it's awesome, and it lives on my monitor stand in my office, where I took the picture.

That's it from Amy's office for today. I have a bit or two of work to tackle before I can leave without feeling guilty (even though it's almost 7 pm already), so I'd better get back to it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My Holiday Weekend

This is one of the best holiday weekends, because you can just sit around and watch football for three days. Nothing wrong with that?

(Unless, of course, you are the Hubster, in which case one of your teams stunk last night and the other stunk today)

I enjoyed my team's overtime win yesterday, while I dealt with this:

Yep. I grabbed all of my knitting-related stuff that wasn't already in plastic tubs and dumped all of it right in front of the TV. Then I organized.

Most of the loose yarn is now in tubs, or will be following my Rose Bowl nap. The "best" of the remaining yarn familys and all of my "nearly finished" projects are featured below. I didn't photograph the sock-and-mitten yarn stash, and I'm too lazy to get up and do that now.

Now, I shall explain everything. Follow along like you're reading. Left to right, then top to bottom.

Top left: my green pocket sweater. The sleeves are basted in, so I need to seam those on, seam the armpits and pick up and knit the neck.

Top middle: my stash of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK. I bought all of this on clearance and am sniffing out more of same with no success yet. I want to make a scrap sweater with it.

Top right: My Cherry Tree Hill shell. Again, the shoulders are basted in. It looks big, so I'm a little concerned it's gonna be tooooo large for the current me.

Center left: Countess. I put this aside because doing the side shaping and cable simultaneously was making my brain melt. But this yarn is amazing and the pattern is good, so I'll need to pick it up pretty darn soon.

Center middle: Blue Sky Organic Cotton. It's going to grow up to be an Irish Hiking Scarf. Eventually. Picked it up at my 2nd favorite knitting store on Saturday (Unraveled. Too bad they're in Monrovia or I'd be there all the time. Oh, wait. That's probably a good thing!)

Center right: Alpaca cable. Front and back are finished, but I was waaaaay too tight on my 3-needle bind-off, so I need to rip that out and re-do it. Sleeve #1 is up to the shoulder shaping decreases and Sleeve #2 is a figment of my imagination.

Bottom left: Tahki cotton colors. It's a short-sleeve shell. One sleeve is basted in. This is also low on the totem poll at the moment. Gotta finish the "winter" stuff first!

Bottom center: Beth's V-neck. Needs seaming and neck. Top of the finishing list.

Bottom right: My Cascade 220 stash. In the back are the red/green/white skeins that are going to grow up to be this. Yup. The cover model. In front are three hanks for the stash and the gray tweed on the right is going to be fuzzy feet for the Hubster. He's been patient, so I should get those done.

Well, it's time for my Rose Bowl nap. Better to nap before halftime, then you won't miss anything too critical. ;-) Glamour shot of new glass penguin will have to wait. He wasn't feeling photogenic today and the three shots I took were all out of focus. Happy New Year!