Friday, January 28, 2005

It's WHAT below zero?!?

Have you noticed that everyone’s talking about the weather? In particular the freakin’ cold weather? Oh yeah, it’s cold. Would you like to know exactly how cold it was when I woke up this morning? According to the news it was -16. That’s 16 below zero… Fahrenheit. Oh yeah, and without wind-chill. Of course, they didn’t mention what the temperature was factoring in the wind-chill. I think they thought it might scare everyone into staying indoors… Screw work, it’s just too cold out!

Yeah, that was my mentality this morning….Unfortunately I have an overactive sense of responsibility that managed to drag my butt out of bed. Out of my nice, warm, comfortable bed I might add. My poor car was having that mentality too. Fortunately I was able to pry the cold grip of winter off her and start her up. She didn’t like me much. I could tell because I had to turn the ignition three times before she finally gave in. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want me to go to work this morning!

Aside from the artic temperatures, there are several things to be quite happy about today.

1. It’s sunny out. Do you even remember the last time you saw sun? I’m thinking it was back in August, but even then I could be wrong.

2. It’s Friday. Lord knows I love Fridays!

3. The weekend will be here in another 5 hours! And I have another great weekend coming up. There will be knitting, there will be hanging out with perma-grin generators, there will be no blizzard on the way…. Life is good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Craptastic is My New Favorite Word

Did you ever notice how craptastic weather has a way of ruining plans? Well, ruining is a strong word, perhaps changing plans is a little better. This weekend the weather was spectacularly craptastic. We probably got over a foot or two of snow. All I know is that I was driving like a granny in my 4WD Jeep! It’s amazing how fast 25mph can seem when the snow is coming down like mad. That never ceases to fascinate me. What also always blows my mind, are the people who think they can drive normally in weather like that… That’s right buddy, keep driving 50mph and just ignore the sliding, I’m sure you won’t hit that guardrail.

So I braved the craptastic weather for several reasons. One, there was knitting to be had downtown. It seems nothing can keep me from knitting with the girls on Saturdays. Not even the fact that while I was sitting there my ass became a frozen popsicle and my fingers could barely move. Ha! That doesn’t stop a real knitter! It only makes her (or him) stronger!

Also, I had plans to meet with the perma-grin generator that afternoon. Apparently, only two things could make me think that it’s perfectly OK and sane (though that is questionable) to be driving in that weather: Knitting, and Perma-grins. It turns out, that not everyone feels this way….shocker. And when I say everyone, I mean his friends that were supposed to join us for bowling.

Bowling was doomed to be another event that I mention in my blog before it happens and then, inevitably, doesn’t come to be…. Damn you blog curse!

Even though we didn't end up bowling and the weather was craptastic, he and I still ended up getting together to hang out. We got snowed in at his place, we watched movies and talked (isn't it just dripping with cheezy romantic overtones?) And, in striving to keep this a knitting related blog, he watched me knit for a little while, just to see what it was all about! Its funny how people who don't know how to knit become slightly mesmerized when watching a skilled knitter. Have you ever noticed that? They just sit there and stare.... kind of with the deer in the headlights look. I haven’t asked him if he’d like to learn yet. Perhaps I should save that for another day…

All in all, it turned out to be a great weekend, despite the weather and the blog-cursed plans!

Monday, January 17, 2005

More Knitting Content Than You Can Poke a Stick At

To those of you who were filled with curiosity about the exact number of squares on a scrabble board, you're curiosity is about to be lifted. There are (according to the trivia guy in his infinite wisdom) 225 squares.

Moving on to how crazy life has been recently. My date went wonderfully. We had a blast going to dinner and then we hung out and watched TV, he's a fan of the new show LOST too, that is always a plus. Because he's such a sweet guy he bought me flowers for our date! (and because I'm probably the biggest dork on the planet, I took a picture of them to show you!)

Yep, the dorkdom is just oozing out of my skin at this point.

Thursday night he invited me to go to a trivia night with him and his friend here in the city. That's two trivia nights in one week! And guess what? We won! Not only did I go to two trivia nights, but the team I was on won both nights! The only common denominator on each team was me.... so I'm thinking I'm a genius and I just happen to be the trivia queen.... HA! Yeah right! I don't know who I'm trying to fool there!

So I thought I'd show you just what I drove through on Saturday (last Saturday when I went to the knitting meetup I was telling you about)

That's my driveway. I absolutely love the way it looks when all the branches get covered in snow. I swear it feels just like I'm driving through a painting sometimes.

This Saturday I met everyone for knitting again. It was fabulous. I worked on this the whole time:

It's looking pretty good if I do say so myself. The only thing that annoys the crap out of me is that the bottom likes to roll up. You can see I had to hold it down just to take a decent picture of it!

So besides all these things I have some extremely exciting news. In April I will be having a once-in-a-lifetime type event going on! Chance has it that USAir is probably going under sometime soon. Chance also has it that my dad has accumulated roughly 200,000 frequent flyer miles through them. So what are we going to do with these miles before they are completely unusable? We are taking a trip to England!!!!!!!! We're going to be there for two weeks. We've already booked the tickets (which were completely free, how cool is that?!?!) And we are going to be renting a flat so that we have a "home-base" sort of thing to come back to. Though it's still in the works, the plan is to travel from London to Scotland and I think we're going to take an over-night trip to Paris! I have to admit I am truly excited about all the awesome yarn shops that must be in London!!!!

Because a lot of our travelling within the country is going to be done on the train I have decided on a project using little needles that will probably take me awhile to finish. This is the sweater I'm going to be doing, complete with yarn because I was so excited I had to go out to the LYS this weekend and get it!

I'm going to be doing the one on the left. The colors are the same except I'm substituting the red for the gold. I think it's going to be awesome. The real challenge though, is going to be resisting the temptation to start it before the trip!

Because I was just slightly tempted after I bought it, I decided to start a sweater for myself on Saturday. I have had this yarn since Christmas two years ago! I'd say it's about time I did something with it. It's out of Rowan Calmer and the pattern is the Retro Prep Pullover from an Interweave Knits magazine. I've made this one before out of a sea-foam green color and I love the way it fits so I thought I'd try it out of Calmer.

It looks like the beginnings of a tam in this picture, but I assure you it is going to be a sweater.

And after I took all these pictures I started....well, I started a pair of mittens for myself... I'll try and take pictures of those soon, but as you can see, life is just not letting up anytime soon. And if you add in the fact that chorus practice has started up again, you've got one busy girl on your hands.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Crazy, crazy, crazy

Ok, this is a little update to assure everyone I haven't fallen off the face of the planet! Here I thought things would calm down after the holidays.... apparently I was wrong. But not wrong in a bad way! I have been having the best time recently!

On Saturday I went to our favorite hang out spot and knit with the wonderful Rachel and Beth. We really had a very nice time and it had definitely been too long since we all got together. Of course, it was a little scary getting there because there was so much snow on the road. I suppose that just shows you how far I'd go for knitting. I'm like the postman (or woman).... through snow, and rain and fog, I'd go to knit!

The excitement of Saturday certainly didn't end there..... Saturday night I had a date! I realize that in my 100 things I wrote something like:

7. I believe the right person for me is out there
8. I’m in no rush to find him

Well, just because I'm in no rush to find the person for me doesn't mean I'll turn down a date! We ended up going to a pizza place for dinner, very casual which helped calm my nerves! Then we went to a college basketball game. I have to tell you, I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy myself because I'm not a huge sports fan, but we had such a great time. After the game we walked to a bar not too far away for drinks and to wait for the traffic to clear (it was a really big game so there were a ton of cars). I really can't get over how well we got along. There weren't any awkward silences, we just talked and laughed all night long... It was great! He asked me out to dinner tonight so I'm excited about that.... only this time I think it's going to be a little less casual, yikes, I hope I don't get all nervous.

Ok, on to some knitting related stuff. Monday night my mom and I drove down to Binghamton to visit my brother and go to trivia night. Seeing how my trivia knowledge isn't any better than it was last time, I needed something to occupy me while everyone else came up with the answers! It's a good thing I ended up bringing my mom's sweater to work on. I really got quite a bit done. Considering it's 260 stitches on size 3 needles, it takes a good bit of time to get through one round. I think I added about an inch to it. Pictures soon to follow.... Our team actually ended up winning, though I can't say I contributed much!

Since I seem to be having trouble focusing on making this a worthwhile blog entry, I'll leave you with a bit of trivia.... How many squares are on a scrabble board?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

All about the kittens...

I finally have something to talk about other than mittens! I know some of you may be shocked, but personally I'm relieved! There has to be more to life than mittens.

A few nights ago, my mom and I were sitting on her bed talking when Pippin (my cat) comes up on the bed and he had something in his mouth. It turned out to be one of those little plastic things that you pull off the top of milk lids to open them. He was so fascinated with this thing. One minute he's a completely normal kitten, then next, he's like a monkey on crack trying to get this thing!

I understand it's completely normal that kittens really like to play with objects, but what happened next seems so strange and fascinating that I just had to share it with you. On an impluse I took the little plastic thing from him and threw it off the bed. He immediately went chasing after in, again a very normal response for a kitten. After batting it around a bit on the floor he jumped back up on the bed with it. For reasons still unknown to me, he dropped it right in front of me, so I picked it up and threw it again, and again, he tore after it.
A couple seconds later he did this:

He dropped it in my hand and waited for me to throw it again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: Pippin, the amazing fetching cat!

That's right, we were playing fetch. This went on for the next half hour or so. Eventually the novelty wore off and I needed to have some dinner so I discontinued our little game but that doesn't mean we'll never play it again. In fact, he played it with my mom last night. It really was the funniest thing. Don't you feel special knowing there is such a thing as a cat that fetches? I know I do! Maybe I should take him to the circus or feature him on that show called Pet Star on Animal Planet.... No then he'll just become this stuck up, famous cat and there'd be no living with him then!

No knitting pictures to present today. I can't imagine a few more rows on my mother's sweater to be very noteworthy and warrant a picture! So instead I'll show a picture of Ramses. I swear this cat gains a pound a day! Remember what he used to look like?

Well look at him now!

I know there isn't much of a point of reference, but believe me, he's huge. Keep in mind these pictures are only two months apart! And not only that I think his eyes make him look old and somehow wise in this picture. He's so gorgeous, and not a little bit fascincated with laying on my knitting patterns when I'm trying to read them!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Kicking off 2005 with........ mittens

First off, I wanted to thank everyone who left me such nice comments on my last entry. It's so nice to get back into the swing of blogging again! I feel like it's been so erratic recently, but looking back, that's exactly what it was! Who on earth has a completely calm and orderly holiday season?

Now that said holidays are over we can go back to our regularly scheduled programming.... I finished up those mittens for my nephew on Sunday.

Did I say mittens? I meant finglerless gloves with a flap to go over the fingers. You see what knitting a hundred pairs of mittens will do to you? I have mittens on the brain I tell you! But then again, I think you all already knew that. And it looks like there will be more mittens in my future. My aunts saw the mittens I made for my grandmother during our little present party we had on New Year's Eve and guess who wants pairs for themselves now? Yep, and not only that, but my uncles tried on the pair I made for my brother.... and you can just imagine where that led....

In fact, I've already bought the yarn for them, except I've almost run out of the angora that I line them with so I'm gonna have to stop by some discount yarn website to try and find some. I think the best part about this, besides the fact that I obviously have an unholy love of making mittens, is the fact that my mom is commissioning me to make them for her so she can give them as gifts. That's fine by me! Not only do I get to get my mitten fix for the next couple of months, but I also get payed for it! Someone should really talk to my mom, she's fueling my habit and that's just not right....

I'm actually planning on taking a bit of a break from the mittens for a little while though. I might experience mitten burnout and nobody wants that. So I'm going to be chugging along on my mom's sweater for a little while. This is how far I've gotten as of last night...

You can kind of make out the lattice pattern... It's actually been going really well. I honestly thought that knitting an entire sweater on size 3 needles wouldn't grow as quickly as this one has. It's always nice to be pleasantly surprised don't you think?

I'm feeling the need to knit something for myself soon. Don't get me wrong, I love making all these gifts, but I also think I really just need to make myself something after all the gifts I've made for the holidays. I'm not even sure I can remember the last thing I made for myself. Anyway, I might have to go searching through the stash to find a little something. So don't be surprised if you don't see any "mitten cakes" for a little while.... Of course, I know I've said that before and we all know where that led.....

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Wow, is it 2005 already? Time has been flying, and don't think that I haven't been getting any knitting done on my extended holiday. Quite the opposite actually! Remember me telling you about some marathon knitting I did Christmas day to finish up my sister's mittens before I saw her again? Well here they are.

This picture was actually taken in the car, on the way down to Maryland. I needed a good background so I just used my pillow. I thought the pillow case made an excellent backdrop! You may notice a slight difference on these mittens. I'll give you a hint, it has to do with the cuff. When I was finishing up I was running awfully low on green, so low in fact, that I was becoming more than a little nervous about whether I'd actually have enough to finish. Let me tell you, that's a nervewracking thing when you're so close to finishing a present that you have to give on Christmas, knowing full well that there isn't a single yarn shop open if disaster struck. So I did what anyone in my position would do. I switched up the colors a bit! My sister sure didn't seem to mind when I gave them to her. In fact, I don't even think she noticed!

When we were out at the LYS buying yarn for my sister's mittens, my mom also bought some yarn so I could make her a scarf. She's perfectly capable of making herself a scarf, but since I had knit her a very lovely cabled scarf a few years ago, she thought I would be very kind of me to make her another one. The first one (which was made out of some extremely nice cashmere) was stolen when we went out to a restaurant...well I don't know if stolen is the right word. We were waiting to be seated and my mom had taken it off and somehow left it in the seating area. When she realized she didn't have it at the table she went looking for it only to find it missing. So out of the goodness of my heart I agreed to make her a new one under one condition... she's not allowed to take it with her into restaurants!

This is about half of the new scarf. She bought herself some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino to make it out of. Yummy! I actually used up all that she bought. It turns out two skeins is just not enough to finished a scarf.

But never fear, I had plenty more projects to work on. On the last night that my nephews were here my oldest nephew asked me to make him a pair of fingerless gloves because a friend of his from school had a pair that his mother made him. Again, being the big softy that I am, I gave in and started a pair on the way down to MD.

I'll be finished with those pretty soon. I actually did a lot of this knitting before all my relatives showed up. We had such a great time hanging out, playing cards, exchanging presents. We even took a trip down to the Corning Museum of Glass. If I wasn't so cranky from the car ride it might actually have been a lot of fun. But seeing how I was squished in the back seat of a minivan for two hours between my two cousins who were both football players at one time, I was just not entirely in the museum mood! Plus the fact that I couldn't move my elbows more than a centimeter from my body, there was no knitting to be done on this particular trip

Our ladies day out was very nice. I've never been so pampered in my life. However there was one hitch in the day.... the fact that I had to be up and ready to go by 8am. This was my first day to sleep in and I was up by 7am. It's alright though, the manicure and massage well made up for it. In fact, I was dosing during the massage!

I love it when all of us get together, we all just have such a good time. It's always so sad when everyone leaves. But it's nice to know I'll see them again in the summer! It's also nice that I get my bed back and don't have to sleep on the couch anymore!