Saturday, July 30, 2005

Another FO

Here is a picture of another finished object, the Fiery Bolero from the summer issue of Interweave Knits. Although I am typically a yarn snob, I used Bernat's Baby Softee for it to make it cheap. It turned out really cute (at least I think so):

Right now I'm working on a top out of Artyarns Supermerino. The pattern I'm using is Fiesta Yarns Gelato Summer Top, and it's not the quick knit they say it is. The ribbing changes position every 10 rows, which is not the challenge for me. The challenge is doing the increases and making them fit into the pattern. I'm getting to the end of the increases, and I'm having to write them out to see what they'll look like. It's annoying, to say the least. This top better look darn cute when I'm done with it! And I want to be done with it soon b/c I've joined 2 knitalongs lately: the Union Square Market Pullover KAL and the Greek Pullover KAL. Both sweaters are in the new issue of IK. I have the yarn for the Union Square pullover (purple, of course, and blue), but I haven't done a gauge swatch. I'm a little nervous about that b/c a couple of people in the KAL have had trouble getting it using the same yarn (Rowan Cashsoft 4ply).

Today was an interesting day. I rode 78 miles with a friend of mine, who is considerably slower than me. After slowing down and circling in the middle of the road, trying to stay with her, for 40 miles, I decided to just go my own pace, then pull over to the side of the road and wait for her to catch up. I did that the whole way home (we rode from my house). It wasn't the ideal training ride, but I didn't want to leave her b/c I got left by the group I was riding with last weekend, and it was no fun at all. Then when we got back to my house, I went out for a 3.5 mile run. She laid on the floor. Before I left the house, I said, "You're not leaving, are you? Because if you aren't, I won't take the house key." (My husband and son were camping with the in-laws and were 1 1/2 hours away.) She said she couldn't move, so I went off. 33 minutes later, I got back home, and she was in her car, talking on her cellphone (the battery was dying, so she had it hooked up to the charger in her car). I went to the front door, and it was locked! (You saw that coming, didn't you?) So we were locked out of the house. Her purse and shoes were in the house, and of course everything of mine was. The only person who has a spare key lives 45 minutes away (that'll soon change, though). So, all we could do was go to her place, change into her clothes, then go to a restaurant and eat hamburgers. I was not happy at all, but I couldn't show my anger b/c she already felt horrible. I had been looking so forward to knitting in an empty house all day. I called my husband, and we finally ended up getting back in the house 3 hours later. I guess the moral of the story is to make sure that your friend is not delirious when you tell her not to shut the front door to your house.

Off to bed. Even though my workout wasn't as tough as it could've been, I'm still very tired. Knit on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Is it September 11th yet?

I've decided that training for an Ironman is a lot like being pregnant. At first, you're so excited and happy and can't wait until you get to wear maternity clothes. You tell everyone that you're expecting and share every little detail about how things are going so far. You're tired, you feel nauseous, you cry at stupid things, but it's all good b/c after a while, you'll have a tiny, precious baby in your arms, looking up to you for comfort, love and protection. After a while, though, you get fat and uncomfortable and REALLY tired, and you hate wearing maternity clothes, and you don't want to talk about being pregnant any more. You can't wait until that baby comes, b/c right now you're incredibly miserable. I think I'm in my third trimester of Ironman training. I had a really tough weekend training wise, and I'm just ready for race day to come. I'm tired, I'm emotional (watching "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is not a good idea for Iron(wo)men in training!), and I'm losing my mind. Riding your bike 107 miles then running 30 minutes one day, then the next day running 18 miles, all in the 100 degree heat, definitely fries some brain cells. I've been told by Ironman veterans, though, that's it's totally normal to feel this way right now. If I think I suck, then I'm doing everything right and things will be just fine. I just have to stick it out for 3 more weeks, and then we'll start tapering (cutting back on our training time to give our bodies a rest before the Big Day). I can do it for 3 more weeks. And what's the craziest thing about all of this? The moment I cross that finish line, everything will be so wonderful that I'll forget the misery I went through to get there and I'll want to do it all over again. Just like having children.

On the knitting front, I finally have a picture of a Finished Object:

This is Tempting from Knitty. I used 5 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I really like the way it turned out, but knitting it was a complete bore. Simple projects are nice sometimes, though, especially when they turn out as cute as this one did! The ribbon I used is Hanna Silk, which I would not recommend. It frayed a lot while I was weaving it in. I've got 2 other ribbons so I can interchange them, but I haven't done that yet. One thing I'd do differently if I did this again is to use a smaller needle to bind off. I find that the sweater will start to creep down my arms and if I'm not careful, I'll end up giving people a show!

Today's my day off of work, so I've got to catch up on some household chores that didn't get done over the weekend (who has time to do housework when they're putting in 12 hours of training time between Friday night and Sunday morning?) and then do a bit of knitting. I'm working on a pattern right now that I might give up on b/c a)I can't figure out the instructions, b) I haven't fallen completely in love with it yet (with the yarn, yes; with the pattern, no), and c) I've got a list a mile long of other things I want to make . I also have to do a swatch for my Union Square Market Pullover (one of the things on previously mentioned list). I ordered my yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool last Thursday, and it came in Saturday!

Knit on!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Goodies from my SP

I finally figured out how to post pictures on my blog, so here is a picture of the contents of my first SP5 package:

There are a couple of things missing from this shot. There was a bag of yummy cookies, but they were devoured rather quickly. There was also a bar of yummy dark chocolate with raspberries, but that's been eaten. Lastly there were 2 packets of lemon-lime Emer-gen-C, but those have been dissolved in water and drunk. For anyone who needs a quick pick-me-up without the caffeine, Emer-gen-C will do the trick!

Anyway, just wanted to show everyone proof of what a great SP I have. Haven't decided what the purple yarn will be used for, but whatever it is, it'll be a)beautiful and b) for me.

Off to bed after an exhausting weekend full of LOOOOOOONG, HOT training hours. Knit on!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Testing, testing, one, two...

My sister is teaching me via phone how to post pictures on my blog, so we're testing it out. This is a butt shot of me and my son Hayden getting ready to cross the finish line at the Mountaineer Triathlon, the toughest half-Iron distance race I've ever done, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Unfortunately, this shot doesn't show any of the horribly steep hills we had to climb. And believe me, there were LOTS!!!

Aren't I courageous for putting a picture of my butt on the Internet?!?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Land of the UFO's!

Aack! How can I, the Extremely Anal Knitter, have several UFOs all over the house?!? In addition to the regular ones hanging out in my knitting room/closet, 2 more have landed in the past week. I have finished Lelah and have blocked it, but have I bought elastic to sew up at the top so I can wear it and it won't fall off? Noooooo. Getting elastic involves going to the fabric store with my son, which is a pain in the butt, so it keeps getting postponed. Maybe I'll send my husband to pick up some b/c he works near the fabric store. Also, my Fiery Bolero is done, just waiting to be sewn up. I'm very anxious to do that b/c I want to see how cute it'll be. I did it out of non-yarn-snob yarn, which I normally don't do. If it turns out to be cuter than, I may break down and do another one out of yarn snob yarn. But that decision involves me sewing up the seams and weaving in ends. It's on my To Do list for tomorrow, so hopefully it'll get done.

The reason these UFOs have landed in my house is that I've been EXTREMELY busy. (Which is also the reason I haven't posted since the 12th.) Last Friday I ran 12 miles (actually, it was 12.2, but I'm trying not to be totally anal) at 6am, went home, got ready for the day, went downtown to the National Autism Conference (during which I knitted in public - yay!), got picked up at 6pm by my husband, went to the Duran Duran concert (so much fun!), and got home after midnight. Saturday I got up at 7am, got ready for the day, went to the conference until noon, picked up a friend, went home to pack for a triathlon, picked up another friend, and drove to Chattanooga. Yesterday I did the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon (VERY fun race - for any triathletes in the Chattanooga area, I highly recommend putting this race on your calendar for next year!), took a shower, drove home, and actually played the role of Mommy until bedtime. Busy weekend. Oof! I'm tired! Hooray for Rest Day Mondays!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


... to Uncle Eddie. In my previous post, I said my Secret Pal gave me Uncle Ernie's cookies, when in fact, she gave me Uncle Eddie's. I don't know how Uncle Ernie's cookies taste, but Uncle Eddie's are great! I was too lazy yesterday while blogging to go downstairs and look at the bag to make sure I got the name right. What can I say - it was Monday, and Monday's are rest days for me. No exercise.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Yippee! A package!!!

Last Friday I got my first package from my New and Improved Secret Pal! She's AWESOME!!! She sent me some lavendar scented lotion, 2 packets of Emer-gen-C (vitamin stuff to put in your water - loads you up with vitamin C), 2 packets of Passion Tazo Tea, a bag of Uncle Ernie's Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (yummy!), a bar of raspberries in dark chocolate (double yummy!), a bar of dark chocolate with lavendar and blueberries (I haven't broken into that yet, but I'm sure if I had, I'd be saying triple yummy!), and 3 skeins of purple Shine from Knit Picks. The yarn is a great shade of purple. I haven't decided what to use it in, but since it's purple, it can't go to anyone other than myself. Yes, I'm being selfish. What can I say? I'm going to try and get my Sister the Computer Whiz to talk me through how to post pictures on my blog later today. If so, I'll post a pic of these wonderful goodies I got. It certainly made my day.

I didn't get a whole lot of kntting done this weekend. In between watching the Tour de France (go Lance!), I was logging long training hours yet again in my quest to become an Ironman. I rode 79 miles on my bike on Saturday followed by a painful 2.4-mile run, and on Sunday I rode another 16.9 (see - the anal part of me can't say I rode 17 - I have to be precise and say 16.9) miles followed by a 16.3 mile run. I was so tired by the end of the day yesterday. I've got only about a month left of hard training, then we get to cut back and taper until September 11th. I can't wait. Geez, what will life be like after I cross that finish line?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Ding ding! Round 2!

Yay! I've got a new secret pal - and I've already heard from her! Yippee!! I'm very excited about this, b/c I was disappointed when the first one didn't work out.

Anyway, hello to my new SP! And here's a list of things about me, just so you can know me better:

1. I'm a triathlete.
2. But I didn't used to be one - in fact, when I started college, I weighed about 70 lbs more than I do now and was EXTREMELY lazy.
3. I have an autistic 5-year old son who is very funny, sweet, smart and fun to be around.
4. Even though my son is funny, sweet, smart and fun to be around, he is still more of a handful than a typical 5-year old; therefore, I highly doubt I will have any more kids.
5. I'm getting closer and closer every day to realizing a dream of mine that's been 9 years in the making: doing an Ironman triathlon. I've done very well in my training, but I can tell it's taking a toll on me b/c I've become a Hamburger Queen (guess my body is telling me it needs protein!) and I've become way more emotional. I cried this morning during the Tour de France, and felt really silly while doing it.
6. My favorite drink right now is Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper in a bottle. Cans make drinks taste funny. I also love real Coke, but only after a hard workout.
7. I love love love the color purple. One day last year, one of my son's classmate's fathers said to me, "Do you like the color purple?" I thought it was bizarre that he - a man - noticed that, but then I realized that I had worn something purple every day that week.
8. I try to knit every day. Every once in a while something happens that causes me not to be able to, but I usually can fit at least 5 minutes in.
9. I love handpainted yarns like Koigu and Artyarns.
10. I also love anything Rowan. Calmer, All Seasons Cotton and Wool Cotton are my favorites.
11. I live in Nashville, so we can't wear heavy wool. It hardly ever gets cold enough. Last Christmas, I knitted my husband a sweater out of Lamb's Pride Bulky. I was so proud of myself b/c a)I managed to keep it a secret and b) it fit him PERFECTLY, but it was too hot for him to wear very much. He wore it maybe 5 times, and sweated through a couple of those.
12. Right now I'm working on the Fiery Bolero from the summer issue of Interweave Knits, a secret project for a secret pal, and the Lelah top from Christine's website.
13. I bought the fall issue of Interweave Knits today so that I can join the Union Market Square Pullover knitalong. I've done one other knitalong, and had a blast doing it.
14. I have a serious sweet tooth. I tend to "need" dessert after dinner every night. I like Weight Watchers desserts and chocolate chip cookies.
15. My sweet tooth is under more control than it used to be: I used to eat 4 Cadbury Creme eggs in one sitting, and I once ate so many M&Ms that I threw up.
16. It took me a year to be able to eat M&Ms again after getting sick off of them, but believe me - I'm totally over it!
17. My favorite things to knit are sweaters for me or my son.
18. My son looks so cute in the sweaters I knit for him that he belongs in the pages of a Rowan book!
19. I took an intarsia class from Sasha Kagan a couple of months ago, but sadly, I still knit with one color. I think I picked up on her method of doing intarsia, but I guess maybe I just gravitate towards solid colored things (or things knit with variegated yarn).
20. I really want to learn Fair Isle b/c in addition to the Union Market Square pullover (and the Greek pullover) from IK, I'd also like to do the Fair Isle cardigan for my son. It looks pretty difficult, so I may second guess myself later, but right now I think it's a sweater he needs this fall/winter.

So there you go! Secret Pal, feel free to ask me any other questions you might have!

Monday, July 04, 2005

But sir, it's just wafer-thin...

I am pitiful: for the last hour, I watched the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN. Why, you ask? I have no earthly idea. We watched the Tour de France this morning, then my husband turned the TV to ESPN (like he usually does when he gets a hold of the remote), and after SportsCenter was over, they showed the contest live. And I watched the whole thing. I even put my knitting down during the actual 12 minute contest! That's horrible.

On the Ironman front, I have this much time until the race starts:

Ironman Wisconsin Countdown

Yipes!!! I'm nervous, excited, tired, sore, happy ... you name an emotion, I'm probably it. This weekend was full of long training hours. Saturday morning my friends and I rode our bikes 103 miles, then Sunday morning I ran 15 miles with a friend. I'm very proud of myself for doing this. It's so amazing to think back to the person I was back in high school. I was an overweight, lazy, extremely non-active, nerdy cross-stitcher. Now I'm a fit, active, nerdy triathlete/knitter. What a transformation!

On the knitting front, I finished 1/2 of a project for my secret pal. I'm having a lot of fun spoiling her. Unfortunately, the person spoiling me has dropped off the face of the earth. She won't even respond to my "hey, are you still there?" email. I guess this happens during games like this, but it still sucks when it happens to you. Oh well. At least I'm making a new friend out of the girl I'm spoiling. But back to knitting: I've also finished felting a bag for the Autism Conference silent auction. It doesn't have a handle, so it's not totally done, but it will be by the end of the week. I'm still working on Lelah, and I've run into a problem. My gauge grew from the time I did my swatch to the time I started working on the stockinette stitch part of the top, so it's too big. But I've talked to Christine, the pattern's creator, and I've got a couple of things to try. I'm gonna keep on working on it and try her suggestion for binding off (BO over 2 sts for half of the top, then regular BO for the rest). If that doesn't work - or if it works but doesn't look good - then I'll turn the top into a skirt and get an underskirt to wear so that I'm not flashing the people behind me when I wear it in public! It'll make a cute skirt. I tried it on as a skirt the other night, and my husband loved it. But of course he did - he's a guy, and it's a low-rise short skirt that's mainly see-through lace!