Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I knit at traffic lights

Well, what else am I supposed to do when 15 of the 22 miles I drive to work have traffic lights? I must have ADD, because I get bored sitting at traffic lights, even though I have a book on CD going. I always have something in progress that has plain stockinette or a simple knit/purl pattern, and when it takes me an hour to get to work, like it did two days in a row last week, I don't get all crazy-mad about it because I have my knitting to keep me busy.

My Traffic Light Knitting is also my Magic Knitting. If traffic is really slow, I pull out the Magic Knitting so I'll be ready when it stops, and like magic, the traffic clears up! (True, it doesn't always work, but the two days last week were beyond even the powers of the Magic Knitting.) Next on the agenda: world peace.

Today, Stephanie had the medals ceremony for the Knitting Olympics. OK, it was only a blog entry with a button to use, but I was quite moved. Here, in all its glory, is my gold medal in the knitting and felting event:

Thank you, thank you, everyone.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Crossing the finish line

Well, I did it! I finished my Knitting Olympics project last night during the closing ceremony. The tam looks pretty good, but now that it's dry enough to try on it feels a little big, so I put in back in the washer to try to felt it some more. I knitted all evening Saturday, and might have finished then, but I was putting too many plain rows between the decrease rows--a knitted dunce's cap just isn't a good look for me--so I frogged about 2/3 of the hat and started again. Hopefully, I can post a picture soon. (Still no USB cable. Apparently no Cingular store in the area has had the brilliant idea that if they're out of them, maybe they should order some.)

It's been really cool to be part of something like this. We've been getting a lot of press for something that started as a mention on someone's blog. Somebody said they even saw something about it in Time magazine! Congratulations to all 4000 knitters who entered, even those who didn't finish. To quote that woman on Seinfeld, "We're all winners!"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Strange happenings

Last Tuesday, Valentine's Day, I didn't leave work until 6:30, and on the way home, I decided to stop for Mexican on the way home. It was packed, and I didn't feel like waiting, so I decided to sit at the bar and eat. I don't usually do that, because how desperate is that? Sitting at the bar alone? On Valentine's Day? Hey, I was hungry. While I was eating, these two guys came in and sat down one seat away. One was average looking, but the other one was really handsome. We started talking, then Cute Guy suggested I scoot over into the empty chair. I'd had a Margarita, so hey, I'll talk to just about anybody, so scoot I did. The three of us were just talking and laughing, and Cute Guy was sitting so his knee would bump against mine, and when one of us said something funny, he would sort of lean against my arm with that little nudge you give someone when you're flirting with them. Average Guy was nice and talked some, but he was also watching the basketball game on TV, so it was mostly me and Cute Guy talking.

Around 9:00, I figured I should get going. Cute Guy asked if I wanted one of them to walk me to my car, and I said sure, even though my car was about 20 feet from the door (see mention of Margarita drinking above). Cute Guy asked Average Guy if he wanted to walk me to my car, and he said "No, you go ahead." So Cute Guy and I walk out to my car, and he hugs me and says how it was nice to meet me, then starts making out with me! Well, that was kind of a surprise, but I went with it. (See, guys at that level of looks don't usually pay much attention to me, so I was busy thinking "A good-looking guy is kissing me! Me, who hardly gets a second look from the really cute ones!" Yes, I am still in junior high school, why do you ask?) Then he stopped kissing me and said why don't we sit in my car for a little while. I said no, that I should go, so he said "OK, see ya later," and left! I sort of scratched my head for a minute and wondered what that was all about, then I just shrugged and drove home.

Now, my first thought when I saw two men eating dinner together on Valentine's Day was that they might be gay (not that there's anything wrong with that-tm Jerry Sinefeld). Before we all started talking, I heard Cute Guy say something about Brokeback Mountain, but that could have meant any number of things. And they didn't act like they were anything more than friends. But when I saw his shoes, I really started to wonder. They were way too fashionable for a straight man--sort of square-toed and Italian-looking. But since I don't think fast on my feet or when I've had a Margarita (see above), I couldn't think of a way to ask what was the scoop without being obvious. The whole thing was strange on so many levels. First, if they were together in a more than friendly way, why did Cute Guy kiss me like he did? And if he is straight, why did he walk away without asking me for my number or giving me his? After I thought about it I realized that he didn't say anything especially flirtatious, yet he kept making contact with his knee or arm. And what was with the whole charade of asking Average Guy if he wanted to walk me to my car, when Cute Guy was the one talking to me all night? I just don't know what was going on, not that that's so unusual for me. Now, I know I haven't dated in a few (OK, five) years, but have things changed that much? Maybe I need to take some kind of class or something.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

FLAK and Olympics progress to report

You know, it's funny how when I'm at a place or time where I can't write anything, I have a gazillion ideas for posts, but when I sit down in front of the computer, I draw a blank. So for a lack of anything better, I will post a knitting progress report.

I finally finished step 2 of the FLAK--the cable swatch. (Let's not mention that step 6 is due to be posted any day now.) I'm using Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in Periwinkle. I didn't really want to use wool, since I apparently have sensitive skin and can't stand the scratchiness, but several people on the FLAK list talked about how soft it is once washed, especially if you use conditioner (!) on it, and it is what Janet is using for hers, so I decided to try it. It's pretty soft for wool, but if I decide to do a pullover, I'm still going to have to wear something under it. I got gauge on size 4 Addi bamboo needles (I much prefer bamboo to metal) in what this site calls Box Stitch, and others call Double Moss (or Seed) Stitch. It's basically K2P2 for two rows, then P2K2 for two rows. You can see a bit of it on the left in the picture below.

If you look closely, you can see where I messed up about 1/3 of the way from the top. I had to frog back, and apparently started back on the wrong row. Oh, well, it's only a swatch. I haven't done the measurements yet, but after holding it up to me, I think the cable pattern may be a little too narrow, so I plan to add an additional 1/1 cross on either side of the group of open twists, which are my center panel. I think it will look better from a design standpoint, too. That will have to wait until my Olympic knitting is finished, though.

With the Olympics a shade over halfway through, here is a scan of my progress on the Urban Necessity Tam :

(Sorry for the crappy scan. I haven't gotten a USB cable for my camera phone yet.) I am planning to felt the tam, so I made the ribbing 1/3 longer and will do the same for the body to account for the additional shrinkage in height. I think I will still do the snowflake pattern on the top, in case it shows when I felt it. I hope this works--I would hate to crash and burn in my Olympic debut! If traffic continues to be as bad as last week, I will hve no trouble finishing in time. I always take knitting with me when I go somewhere, in case of traffic or long lines. Good thing--two days in a row, it took me an hour to drive the 22 miles to work!!! Having some knitting to work on keeps me from getting as frustrated as I would be without it, and I'm doing something productive with the time.

Well, it looks like I didn't have writer's block after all. Maybe I should start a list of things I want to write about so I don't freeze up when I sit down to write. I don't know, that sounds awfully organized for me. We'll see.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Olympics start tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the start of the Olympics (knitting and regular). I listened to an interview with Stephanie about the Knitting Olympics, and it's kind of neat to be able to be part of something like that. I know there are at least 3000 participants, which is 600 more than regular Olympians. I told my mom about it, and after her initial skepticism, she thought it was a great idea. Too bad she doesn't knit.

I am planning to knit the Urban Necessities tam from Magknits.com and felt or full it. I like the shape of the hat, but want it to have more body. I'm using some mottled denimy blue Araucania Nature Wool I bought at AC Moore. The pattern gauge is 21st/4", and my yarn is 18st/4", so some adjustments may have to be made. I haven't swatched, but I think I will just knit the pattern as it's written and run it through the washer until it fits. If not, I'm only out five bucks (yay, 40% off coupons!) and an Olympic medal.

I finally got a new cell phone, one with a camera, so once I figure out how to get pictures from the phone to my computer, I will be able to post shots of my progress. This was the second phone I ordered. I ordered the first one from inphonics.com two weekends ago. The phone was free, and they said they would swich my number from the old phone to the new. When I checked my email a couple days later, there was one from them saying that I had to verify my order before they could ship it. I called the number, and much to my surprise, the woman I talked to told me that there would be a fee of $244.95 to switch the number over, plus the $36 activation fee. I almost fell off my chair! I asked her why Cingular did it for free the last time I got a phone, and she said that it was the way they did things. Bastards. I told her to cancel the order, and went to cingular.com to get a phone. Guess what the fee was to switch the number? That's right--ZERO. All I had to pay was an $18 phone upgrade fee. So now I have a nice new phone to play with, and $262.95 in my pocket.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

You think I was kidding about tinking?

I was working on my cable swatch for FLAK today, and I was on row 10 of my second 12-row repeat when I noticed that I had miscrossed a cable 4 rows back. I decided to try laddering it down and using DPNs to fix it, like some people on the FLAK list suggested. Well, I made such a mess that I decided to frog back to the mistake, pick the stitches back up, and continue. That was fine in theory, but it's hard to find a good spot to pick up cables, and I pulled some more stitches out, so I ended up frogging back more like all 10 rows of the second repeat.

I was in the middle of picking the stitches back up when my mom called to say that they were coming back from Timonium, and did I mind if they stopped by in 30 minues? Of course, I couldn't say no without a good reason, so I said yes. A mad scramble ensued as I tried to make the place presentable. I had knitting stuff lying all over the sofa except where I sit, magazines here, there and everywhere, you get the drift. Yes, I confess: I am a slob. When my parents showed up 25 minutes later, I was red and panting from my mad decluttering. They wanted to go out to eat, and when we went out to the parking lot, I found out the real reason they wanted to stop by--my mom bought a new Cadillac yesterday. I still think of Cadillacs as a old man's car, but she seems to like it.

So now, I'm back, and I'm going to spend the evening drinking wine, watching "Jaws" on A&E, picking my swatch stitches back up and and trying to figure out what row I'm on. Such an exciting life...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Welcome to my blog

Well, here goes, my first blog entry. I decided to bite the bullet and start a blog so I could post progress photos for the FLAK Knitalong, and so I would have a place to put some of the buttons from the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. Of course, I have no idea how to add the buttons, so I might be doing all this for nothing (not really, but you know what I mean). Seriously, if anybody happens to read this and can tell me how to get stuff on the sidebar, especially buttons, please leave me a comment. In the meantime, I'll poke around the site a little more to see what I can find.

Although I plan to write about my knitting progress (or lack thereof), I know I'll spout off about other things like, what's up with the repeats of Lost already? We go six weeks with no new episodes, then they throw us a bone and air three, and now we're back to repeats. And an old repeat at that! Same with Desperate Housewives! There, I feel better now.