Friday, June 30, 2006

Dried berries

So we put the blocked sweater on DF last night and he had it on long enough for him to determine that it fits, but not long enough for me to get a picture. Sorry, y'all. You're just going to have to wait for DF to strut his stuff for the camera until it's not 10000 degrees in here. I'm hoping also to install the zipper and get a REAL FO picture out of it since DF doesn't much like wearing sweaters in the summer. I'll have to agree though, the sweater is freaking warm! Now I want one.

But, I'm not above a little bit of overheating for my readers. So remember the incredible growing sweater phenomenon with Blackberry? Well, it took me almost two months to get up the guts (and get off my butt to soak the sucker... the wet dog smell just isn't pleasant) to try and resize the sucker. After a little soak and pat dry, I threw Blackberry in the dryer with a load of whites. DF insists that he needs socks and underwear to wear to his parents for the Fourth, but is his family really checking to see if he's going commando?

Sorry, getting my mind out of the gutter to get back to the story. Like Jillian suggested, I stood by the dryer and checked every minute to see if things were progressing too quickly. Did I mention it was hot? That didn't last very long, so I had to step outside the laundry room and keep going back. During this whole process, I had these nightmarish visions of locking myself out of the laundry room with my sweater held prisoner in the dryer shrinking down into nothingness. Thankfully, this didn't come to pass. Twenty minutes and no noticeable difference later, I gave up. I wondered if Rowan had somehow mislabeled the yarn as it was clearly not falling apart or shrinking like mad so it must be superwash.

But I think it must have shrunk slightly because it seems to be a whole lot cuter on now. The sleeves are at least 2 inches shorter, so that makes it infinitely more wearable. Or at least it looks like it fits better through the shoulders in looking at this picture and the last one. What do you think?

Also, I was just noticing... a post every day this week! When was the last time that happened? Never as far as I can remember. I must be glad to have not gone anywhere this week. Anyway, we're off for the Fourth, so happy grilling, happy birthday America, and I'll see you on the other side.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

tweed indeed

So I made the mistake of visiting my favorite eBay store today - Jannette's Rare Yarns (though for the life of me, I can't seem to figure out which of the yarns she carries are rare). I got the twitch. And by the title of this post, you can probably figure out what did it.

But in an effort of trying to consult DF in the habits of mine that may lead us both to the poorhouse down the line, I called him.

DF: What's up?
Me: Yarn.
DF: What yarn?
Me: You know the stuff I made my Blackberry out of? I saw it on eBay.
DF: How much tweed does one little girl need?
Me: The question is not how much tweed, but how much aran weight tweed?
DF: And what did you do with that whole box of orange tweed you got off of eBay?
Me: You don't understand... I swatched with that and the red tweed and neither was right for that one sweater. And it's discontinued... I might not be able to get it anymore... and it's half price... and there's free shipping...

Can you say, beg much? I did pick up 5 balls, and it was indeed a great deal. Now if only it weren't 1000 degrees in my apartment I might actually consider knitting with heavy wool.

The good news is, the heat has made blocking DF's sweater go much faster. Wait, that means, yes, take a deep breath, I finished knitting DF's sweater. I couldn't believe it either, but proof positive that it's off the needles and that I have no freaking clue how to block...

Yup, that's me being a spaz in DF's fresh off the needles sweater. Unblocked it measures a whopping 32", but with the length through the shoulders and arms, I don't think I could pull off this look. Not for me then. I'm still waiting to see what it looks like when DF actually puts on the blocked version.

BTW, please ignore the mess in the background. It's like that all the time. You can, however, spy on top of the filing cabinet what DF has stashing issues with. It's only there because his other stashing locations are full.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Warning: Long vent ahead!

I received a letter from Delta a few days ago telling me that I have xxxx miles that may expire and wouldn't it be great if I redeemed those miles for one of many fabulous magazines! DF says, well, can you transfer your miles to me and we can combine our miles to use for a free ticket instead?

So I go online because I generally hate talking to customer service representatives to see if this is a viable option. They want me to log in. I have no idea what my pin# is, so I click on the link for a forgotten pin. They tell me that they'll mail my pin to me.

Being the ever-patient spaz, I decided this was not good enough. So with dread, I called customer service. They ask for my membership number and then my address or date of birth. I give my address since clearly they already have that. "I'm sorry, that's the wrong address for this account. Please give me your date of birth." So I do. The rest of it went something like this:

Me: I'd like to see if I can transfer my miles to another member.
Delta: You can log in to and transfer miles through our easy to use website.
Me: I tried that already and I can't log in and the website told me to call you to help me out.
Delta: So you cannot log in?
Me: No, I don't know my pin.
Delta: I can't give you your pin, so I will have to mail it to you.
Me: That would be great, but the address you read back to me is my old address from two years ago. Can you change it to my current address?
Delta: I would need your pin number to change your address.
Me: But I don't have my pin.
Delta: We can mail your pin to your home address.
Me: So, wait, you're telling me that you need my pin to change my address, but I can't get my pin unless you mail it to me at my incorrect address.
Delta: Yes ma'am.
Me: *taking deep breath* Is there any other way I can have my address changed?
Delta: Yes, you can mail a letter to us requesting a change of address. You must show proof of your new address and proof of identity such as a government issued identification card.
Me: I don't really feel comfortable sending you copies of my driver's license for this. I try to minimize the chance of identity theft whenever I can. Is there anything else I can send?
Delta: Yes, you can also send a copy of your social security card.
Me: How about if I just mail back the letter you sent to me with my membership number printed on it and the correct address and circle that and with a note to change your damn files!
Delta: I'm sorry, we'll need a social security card or passport or other government issued identification.
Me: Thanks. Have a nice day. *click*

I just hate circular logic.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

let's play a game

poker? No, too overdone right now.
cribbage? Um, that involves a board with pins and cards or something like that maybe I think...
ultimate frisbee? right... didn't you read the post about my boot camp class?

I know, how about find the keys!?!

Yes, this is a game that we play at La Casa de la Spaz at least twice a week. DF's keys hide in various locations... in the bathroom, on top of the refrigerator, on the filing cabinet. Usually, I try to make a mental note whenever I see DF's keys. That only works when they actually make it in the house. Today we found his keys in the most obvious place we should have looked. No, that wouldn't be the bucket for keys by the door that I keep mine in. That's too inconvenient. No, the more logical place to keep your keys is the last place you used them: in the front door.

Lessons learned:

  • our neighborhood is reasonably safe: your keys can stay outside in the door all night and still be there in the morning.
  • this is an inherited trait - my future FIL does the same thing. Let's just hope it dies out over the generations.
Also, I did the unthinkable. I THREW AWAY YARN.

Okay, it was really just scraps from the socks I finished yesterday, but there was almost 5 g of yarn in those scraps! The cheap side of me is considering never buying self striping yarn ever again to avoid having to waste yarn by cutting out pattern repeats to get the stripes to match up. Which will win: my cheap streak or my anal retentiveness?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Do I look like the FBI?

So having lived at the same phone number for the past almost two years, it depresses me to think that an old lady named Dorothy, Great Expectations dating service, and the FBI all get more phone calls than I do at my current home phone. I've gone so far as to reverse lookup Dorothy in an attempt to be able to redirect her phone calls to her instead of having to disappoint yet another little old lady or doctor's office that I'm not Dortohy. The good news for the day however, I now have Dorothy's phone number! One of her regulars gave it to me today... Why is it the little things that make me so happy?

What's making me ridiculously unhappy right now is this scene out in front of my apartment at 7:00 am:

*Beep, beep, beep* that's all I hear all freaking day every day except Sundays for the past several months. Why oh why do trucks have to ever BACK UP? I'm considering sabotaging the reverse gear on every single truck that comes 'round these parts while the construction guys are taking their lunches.

Okay, knitting content. I finally finished the quickie socks for my Grandfather and they took quite a bit longer than they really should have. These were done on size 1 Addis two at a time at a gauge of 8.75 sts/in with Schachenmayer Regia Patch Antik (75% wool, 25% nylon, 432 yards) color 48030 with 11% of the ball left over. Finished dimensions: 10.25" long, 8.25" circumference. Started June 4, 2006 and Finished June 26, 2006.

Check it out though, the stripes are matched and go uninterrupted up the front!

And back from the dead is DF's zippered raglan sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I finally brought myself to rip out the yoke (for the second time) and reknit it without shaping for the first two inches after joining the sleeves to the body. That gives the sweater significantly more room through the shoulders... and I can use all the room I can get with as broad as DF's shoulders are. It still fits like a shrunken T right now, but still hoping for the magic of blocking.

Since I forgot to mention it in my last post (excuse the unbridled lust, I didn't have control of myself when I posted), I did get a chance to stop in on the Purlygirls while I was in Seattle last week. They were all quite nice and welcoming, and I'll definitely be back next time I'm in the area. I also have to mention that about half the group is training for a triathlon. More feelings of guilt for not being in better shape and and shame for my performance in my recent exercise endeavors washed over me as I listened to the ladies recount their training regime for the weekend which included a race on Saturday morning, a training ride on Sunday and a half mile swim on Monday. I'm tired just thinking about it. Jessica and Molly, if you're reading this, it was great to meet you and the other blogless purlygirls!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

more lust

Okay, sorry right up front for having nothing to show you YET AGAIN. I didn't think that the same pair of socks in progress was interesting enough to shoot before just getting the FO picture.

What I will go on about today though is the discovery of lust incarnate: Knitpicks added a line of interchangeable needles that apparently have a finish as smooth as Addis, a point as sharp as my Denise needles, and a cord more flexible than Addis. The set comes in 9 sizes from US4-11 and they charge $60 for the set. I WANT. Check out this mini review by All Things Heather and also an unofficial review by Clara at Knitter's Review (scroll down). I wonder if it would be possible to add this to my wedding registry? Hmm, I'm guessing Macy's, BBB, and Amazon don't link to the Knitpicks site, huh?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

today at boot camp...

So have you ever seen that early Buffy episode where Amy's mom switches bodies with her daughter and tries out for the cheerleading squad and hexes another competitor to spontaneously combust? Yeah, kinda like that.

Total exercise time: 56 minutes
AVG HR: 168 bpm
Peak HR: 230 bpm (I think this must be an error)
Time within 155-175 bpm: 31 minutes

In other news, I'm heading out of town for another couple of days, but I wanted to make sure I finished lengthening Hopeful before heading to Seattle. I'd seen on Jenna Adorno's blog that she sometimes goes to the Purlygirls meeting, so wouldn't it be cool if I wore one of her designs there and got to meet her? I think it's a much more wearable length now and looks like it flares less even though it's still the same shaping. I like it even if I'm having a bad hair day and can't take a reasonable picture...

I'm pointing at where the shirt used to end.

Monday, June 12, 2006

bonnie sweater

Okay, thanks everyone for your votes. It looks like Icarus is officially going to be blue. As Karen correctly pointed out, the last time I asked for a vote about the W-day, I managed to completely ignore the overwhelming majority and go with my own feelings. Thankfully, this time it matches what you guys think! Now, when will I actually be able to cast on for this? Oh yeah, I'm waiting for stitch markers before I can get started on anything remotely lace.

In the meantime, remember that Hopeful sweater I made last fall? The one that went through 8 incarnations of sleeves (and makes me wonder about my idea of picking up sts around the armhole and knitting the set in sleeves directly onto the body on the current VK hoody)? Well, I decided that it was definitely too short, so last night... off with its hem! I was too scared of the effect that the scissors were having to take a picture, so unfortunately, no images of knitting massacre to show here, but I think it will turn out just fine. Ask me again next week.

In more pictureless news- I went to WWKIP day outing in the park on Saturday. I'm of course a horrible blogger, so you'll have to visit Rain, Teresa, Janet's blogs to see what it was like. I should also warn you of the dangers of KIPing... you might get a really BAD sunburn! Of course, in true spaz fashion, I managed to burn just my knees and left shoulder and produced a nice defined line of sunburn along the side of my thigh. Which of course, is exactly why I'm not showing you.

Lastly, the title of this post. Go check it out. Apparently Eunny gets her inspiration from Go Fug Yourself, too! Ok, not. She's probably a whole lot more sophisticated than the spaz (C'mon... the words "Oh, I guess the New Yorker is probably a bit more highbrow than my US Weekly" actually came out of my mouth) as she actually has SEEN the Faye Dunaway movie from which this picture was taken. Her version is BEAUTIFUL in concept, but for this lazy knitter, out of reach at 8 sts per inch and cabling from waist to bust. i think if I actually get around to doing this sweater, I'll stick to the original inspiration and try in a chunkier yarn. As if sport or DK is all that chunky...

Friday, June 09, 2006

MIA... again

Yes, yes... I've been traveling once again, although this time not for the freedom killer event that's apparently less than 130 days away. Just a work trip this time, although I did at least get a chance to hang out with two of my ushers while away. They are REALLY enjoying the fact that I've asked my brother to be a bridal attendant. They'd like it even more if I asked him to be my matron of honor... I can see some teasing in his future.

Anyway, thanks IronSteph and Chrissy for your thoughts on my hummingbird heart. I keep trying to just do some walking with my heart rate monitor on and spend all but my warm up and cool down time in my training zone around 130-150. It's really hard though because it just doesn't feel like "work". I'm trying to persevere, but how long should I expect it to take before I can actually do more than just walk? Hmm, maybe this is why I don't like hikes over 9 miles...

So not much to report on the knitting front except that MJ has been making me obsess more over the Bonnie and Clyde sweater I mentioned a few posts back from Go Fug Yourself. MJ has been nice enough to explain smocking to me and I've been reading about top down seamless set in sleeve sweaters (I'm probably going to go with body and sleeves done simultaneously) in Knitting from the Top, so who knows... we might have a swatch on the horizon.

Okay, I lied. I cast on for the socks my grandfather requested a month ago while on the plane on Monday. It's boring stockinette with short row toes so far, so it's really not all that exciting of a picture. Another inch or so and then it's time to turn the heels. I decided to try the yarnover method of short rows this time since it really ticks me off that my wrap and turn method looks different on one side of the heel than it does on the other. This method is a bit more balanced, but it's MUCH looser for me and looks a bit more holey than the wrap and turn method.

One last thing... I don't think I clarified here about the Dream Swatch head wrap. I really do like the pattern - it's a great result for minimal effort and it knits up so fast. I liked the yarn with the pattern, it's just that I didn't have near enough to make it that great length that Wendy shows in her version so that it cascades down over your shoulders. After tying my shorty version on, I ended up with stumpy ends left over that just added bulk underneath my already poufy hair. I'll probably make this again when I have more yarn to dedicate to the project and make it long enough to double as a head wrap and skinny scarf for those slightly chilly spring and fall evenings. For now though... the yarn has been recycled and is waiting for another stashbusting project.

really, this truly is the last thing... I'm thinking of making the Icarus Shawl. Which do you think would work out better with my Dress: undyed merino or pale blue alpaca? I'm not sure I'd actually plan on wearing a shawl with my Dress, but for some reason, I'm feeling like it should at least not clash as long as I'm bothering to make it and leave my options open.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Decision point

First, thanks for the encouragement to keep on working out. I really truly do look like that after doing any sort of cardio. To answer Karen's question, I don't think 190 is good. According to most information I've read (this site seems to explain it best) it's best to stay in the 60-70% range for fat burning and 70-80% for cardiovascular improvement. Since I'm aiming for the latter and using the simple age formula, that would put my target range at closer to 133-152. Um, yeah. That's like walking down the street for me. Supposedly, I'm at "redline" and "should be cleared by a doctor" before doing this. Yeah. I'm only going to the doctor if I pass out and they carry me there. Um, did I mention I'm the worst patient when it comes to compliance?

Anyway, am I that ridiculously out of shape? I try not to think of it that way, and prefer to lump myself in with Lynda's husband: just one with a naturally fast ticker.

Okay, so after I picked myself up off the floor Wednesday night, I couldn't manage to do even the slightest bit of knitting. So despite the fact that I'd cast on for the VK Hooded Sweater about a month ago, I have been making miserably slow progress on it. I sat down last night after what felt like a well deserved rest, and finished up the back so I could have something respectable to show:

I think that's officially respectable progress. This sweater is actually pink unlike DF's UFO. Yes, I know. I'm stuck in Project Spectrum March these days.

Question now is: do I just follow the instructions and knit the sleeves flat? Or should I seam the shoulders and side seams and pick up stitches around the armhole and knit down from there like MJ and Karen B do? I'm leaning towards the latter given the fit I pitched on the finishing for the Twinset. And I just don't trust myself to not spaz when it comes time to set in the sleeves. Am I crazy?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Conversations with a Workout Spaz

So I started going back to the gym because I was feeling like something of a slug. Blame it on the wedding, but I feel like I should be in better shape for the special day. After all, people are supposed to let themselves go after the wedding, not before it, right? And let's face it, knitting isn't exactly working out. Of course, I like knitting a whole lot more than working out.

The problem I usually have with working out is that I never really learned how to pace myself. Go figure, I am a spaz! So I got a heart rate monitor. I strapped it on the first day I got it and wore it for several hours while working. On average, about 65 or so. Okay, that sounds about right I guess. But then I went to this boot camp class that my gym offers with the thing on. Five minutes into class after the first of infinite sets of jumping jacks, I look down at the watch: 170. Huh, I don't feel like I'm going to die... I must be okay still.

Instructor guy is supposed to be motivational, yelling at us all "drill sargeant" like, except he's a bit too smiley for that to work. So I'm certainly not afraid of him, and well, I don't find him to be terribly motivational either. He barks, "High knees! Keep them up! Higher! Higher!" I just think, "I don't see your knees going anywhere, mister." He screams, "We're losing weight here... work harder!" I'm smirking back at him, "You work harder! You look like you could be standing around eating a candy bar." I guess like my knitting, I have a hard time listening to someone else tell me what I should be doing. I'd rather do it my way.

At the end of class, I look back down at my heart rate monitor and note, max HR: 190. Well, at least I didn't pass out today. I wonder if this is normal?

As promised, a picture of my retarded looking Dream Swatch head wrap. Thrown in for good measure (we're into full disclosure here!), a visual of what an hour at a heart rate of 170+ will do to you:

DF found me on the floor for the rest of the evening. I just hope Molly treats me better...