Monday, August 27, 2007

A birthday and other various things...

So it's my birthday today and I'm back from my trips. Well actually, I got back a few days ago and tomorrow I'm off again. I love all the visiting I've done and am about to do, but the driving is killing me! When what is supposed to be a 7 hour trip turns into a 9 hour construction-fest of fun, you know you've been driving through Pennsylvania. I don't know, this could just be me, but when I have to turn off my vehicle because traffic is stopped on a four-lane highway, I'm just not a happy camper. Ah well.

As for the birthday, I turned 26. To be honest, it feels just like any other day. (And I'm perfectly OK with that!) I'm not feeling all retrospective or future oriented today. I'm not contemplating where I thought my life would be at this age. I'm just enjoying the life I have at the moment.

And as for my first trips, they were great. Very relaxing. Basically I didn't do a whole lot of anything except visit with family and friends. When I wasn't hanging out, I was sitting on my butt reading or knitting. It was fantastic. By the way, has anyone read Marley and Me? I started and finished it in one day during vacation. It was a great book and it made me want a dog despite my current living situation! In truth, there's no way I could have a dog at this point in my life, but I know I'll have a dog in my future somewhere. By the way, if you haven't read it and are going to, be sure to have a box of tissue with you for the end. It's so bittersweet.

Anyway, on to the knitting. I'm visiting my sister this upcoming week. Her birthday was in July and since I didn't have a present for her when I saw her, I decided to make her a pair of socks.This was some Knitpicks sock yarn I had in my stash and I really like how they knit up. I'm usually not a huge fan of the "magic stripe" sort of sock yarn, but I'm pleased with how these turned out. I even got the stripes to match up so the socks matched each other! (Was that slightly anal on my part?)

The socks didn't take me very long at all. I did have a week and a half of no obligation, 'do whatever I want to' time, so much knitting was had over the break. I've been working on something I hadn't really mentioned before too. Do you remember this sweater?Well, I hate to admit it, but it's now this...This was some alpaca yarn Jill gave me and unfortunately, it made the sweater just a bit too stiff. The collar was supposed to be sort of droopy. Instead it stuck out in front of me like a shelf. I think it just was not the right yarn for the pattern. So..... I went digging through my stash and I found some yarn that worked a bit better.This is the back made out of some thick/thin mercerized cotton. Oh and did I mention there are 375 yards to one skein??? I made this entire back without finishing the ball! Now that's impressive! Anyway, I like the drape of this fabric a lot more than the last one. I'm thinking it'll turn into a much better looking sweater this time.

That's all the news I have for you. Oh wait... I forgot. I have a job lined up already for when I get back from my sister's! It's not a zoo-related job. It's just waitressing again, but I'm all about that at the moment. I'm not ready to move again and getting a zoo job would probably require me to do that. I'm pretty excited actually because it's at the same restaurant I worked at before, just a different location. I won't be stressed learning a new system and I can actually enjoy myself!

So I'll leave you with a picture of the sunset we had this past weekend. It totally took my breath away.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Randomness at it's best.

I finished the mittens... Well, I finished the shell of the mittens. Next up: the lining.A couple of things here. The color of the angora that I used for the lining is completely different than the color this picture shows. The picture makes it look like it's teal... ummm, no. It's more like a hunter green. Darn color inaccuracy. Ah well.

I love the way the mitten fits, except the cuff. It's just a little loose. I think I might use some elastic thread or something to tighten it up a bit. Or, I'll just deal. We'll see.

I got a little letter in the mail the other day... Actually, it wasn't a letter at all. It turns out that I won a blog contest! And just look at what I won.Yay for pretty stitch markers! Thanks Ellie! I love them!

So, I'm being a bit random with this blog post only because I can't think of a coherent way to tie all these things together. Bear with me here.

My sister's birthday was last month. I'll be seeing her in a couple of weeks so I decided to start a pair of socks. Sort of as a belated birthday gift.I'm using an old Knitpicks sock yarn that I had in my stash. You just can't beat stashbusting!

Lastly, I may not be able to blog in the next couple of weeks. I'm going down to Virginia to my extended family's lake house for a week. It's our annual family vacation and I'm really looking forward to it. The thing I'm unsure about is whether there's internet access. Then I'm off to another part of Virginia to visit a friend of mine from college... ummm, let me be more specific, from the first college I went to. I haven't seen her since her wedding last year and I'd really like to take some of this time off to visit old friends. Then I'll be back here for a few days for the yard sale (I almost just wrote yarn sale... yeah, I wish) After that, I'm off to Rhode Island to visit my sister and her family for a few days. Travel, travel, travel... Apparently, it's what I do.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The mystery bag

As I mentioned before, I've been going through a lot of things at my mom's house that have been there for quite awhile. This is all in preparation for a yard sale. There's nothing more liberating than getting rid of a bunch of stuff. Does anyone else feel like the more stuff you have, the more weighed down you feel?

Anyway, I came across this mystery bag while I was sorting through things.Actually, I came across quite a few mystery bags and boxes. Most of them had little more than memorabilia from high school, or even earlier. Why, I ask you, do I hold on to things like bouncy rubber balls??? Or a cow that poos out chocolate jelly beans? Are these things necessary to my life at the moment?

Back to the mystery bag. Not all mystery bags are bad. Look what this one had...It's a UFO!!! Some of you may remember my obsession with these mittens a few years ago. Why this one was never finished, I really don't remember. Perhaps, at the time, I was a little mittened out.

Having no set plans for this fine Wednesday, I cozied up with a tall glass of iced chai and my mittens.
No better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hotel Cafe Concert

This weekend, Jill and I went camping. Well, let me put it this way, we went to a concert and because it was so far away we decided to camp because it would be the cheapest option.

45 minutes into our little road trip brought some unexpected weather...I swear there was hail... or at least raindrops the size of baseballs by the way it sounded hitting the windshield. In our infinite wisdom we decided to stop at a rest stop to get some food, possibly wait out the storm a bit. When it didn't look like the weather was letting up, we decided to hit the road again. We had a deadline, we had to be checked into the campsite by 9pm so we ran out to the car. Perhaps it wasn't as brilliant a plan as we thought.Note: the only dry spot on my pants is that tiny little spot right by my knee.We could barely breathe we were laughing so hard! Apparently, being drenched is hysterical!

Had we waiting, ooooh, ten more minutes, we would have walked out in this...Timing is everything.

As it happened, we just barely made it to the campsite in time. Winding roads in the dark in the middle of nowhere are not exactly conducive to finding the turn you need to take, just in case you didn't know.

Turns out the place we camped was gorgeous.Plus there was an awesome stream right by the site. We did a little exploring to pass the time until we had to be at the concert.Sooooo pretty.

We had quite a bit of time before the concert started, so what do a couple of girls do while waiting around at a campsite in the middle of nowhere?We pluck our eyebrows, of course! Who doesn't do that when they're camping?!?!? (I've never felt so girly in my entire life!)

It was eventually time to go to the concert so the girly fun just had to end. We set up our things on the lawn... it was one of those types where you lay out on the lawn and enjoy the music. Very relaxing...We could not have asked for better weather, or better music for that matter. I loved how laid back this concert was. And the music was fantastic. It was my kind of concert.

Great times, great music, great weather, great company...What more could I have asked for?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I couldn't possibly come up with a title that would encompass all these things...

First, I would like to officially welcome August into being. August is one of my favorite months of the year. I'm sure the fact that my birthday occurs in this month has nothing to do with that....

My first week of "doing nothing" didn't live up to it's name. The whole doing nothing thing sort of went by the wayside. I actually was extremely busy, mostly with organizing, unpacking and going through old things in storage.

One of the first things I decided to organize was my closet, more specifically all the different bags of yarn in my closet. After going through a bit of it, it became obvious to me that what I needed was storage bins. In all the years I've been knitting, I've never once bought storage bins to organize my yarn. Once I got to organizing them, it was clear why the need arose... not only do I have yarn to organize, but I also have fiber... lots more fiber than I thought I had!The very top bin (the small one) I've filled with all the ends of yarn from old projects. Yes, the entire bin is full. The next bin is full of yarn, much more yarn than I thought I had. Lastly, the bottom bin is all fiber.

Once I finally organized it all and stepped back, I was thrilled with what I had. I couldn't believe I had enough to fill two bins. I realize some of you look at this and think "Two bins! Ha! My stash would barely begin to fit in two bins!" Well let me tell ya, two bins is like striking gold for someone who's spent the last two years as a broke college student and who's now currently unemployed (granted, the unemployment is by my own choosing...) I'm all about the stashbusting until I can afford to buy yarn again!

The organizing took a new turn when I went to my parents house to go through boxes that have been there since before I moved up to school... I don't know if you've ever had boxes sit around for years and then gone back and looked through them... I think you'd be amazed with what you find. Me, I found some of the first swatches I ever knit. Keep in mind, I started knitting about nine years ago...Notice the unplanned increasing on both ends and the fact that every stitch was twisted, bless my little heart, I had no idea what I was doing! Most of us didn't start out as experts and I taught myself from a book... I did finally notice somewhere along the way that the book's pictures and what I was knitting didn't quite look the same.

I would like to call your attention to one little section of this swatch though...It looks like something finally clicked!

After a week spent organizing and sorting, a nice little break was in order. I went camping with a couple of friends and it was fantastic. We basically hung out all day, reading, knitting... doing a little henna. Did I ever mention I used to do henna art? Call it one of my many hidden talents.The darker spots are where the henna paste is still on. Where it's orange, is where the paste has been removed and an orange stain is left behind. Eventually it turns into a deeper brown color. If you want to learn a bit more about it go here.I decided to put this OM symbol on my wrist and I absolutely love it. Here's what it looks like five days later...If I were to get a tattoo, I'd henna it first to see if it's actually something I want, in the place that I want it... you know, like, forever. Tattoos scare me that way. What could I possible want on my skin that I'd want to be there forever? The fact is, people change and what I love now might not be something I'll love when I'm 50, or 80... or 102 (by that point, it probably won't resemble what it did originally anyway!) I think for now I'll stick to henna.