Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hello Kel!

Kel Moore, if you're reading this, you found me! Yes, I am your secret pal. I hope you enjoyed your last package. I've had fun sending you goodies and emailing you all summer. And now, thanks to you, I can't stop listening to Duran Duran!!!

Please keep in touch. If we're ever in eachother's neck of the woods, we should look eachother up!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Inside a cocoon of Kid Silk Haze... a beautiful Butterfly trying to emerge. See?

I'm doing the vest/camisole version (the website shows the dress version.) She looks a little small in this picture, but she's somewhat scrunched on the needles. Blocking will turn her into the most perfect fitting camisole in my closet. I had hoped to get her done before I leave for Madison next Thursday, but I don't think that'll happen. The second deadline I have set for her is September 16th, my birthday. I'm going out dancing with friends on the 17th and would really like to wear her. I think the 16th is a more reasonable deadline than the 8th. I had a little trouble getting her started, but once I got my mind wrapped around the pattern, I was okay. I have to work on her away from other people, though. I can have the TV on, but I can't watch it much. My TV watching, Stitch n Bitching project is this:

That's the Union Square Market Pullover from Interweave Knits. (The sweater on the cover of the mag.) I've actually gotten quite a bit further than when I took this picture, but I wanted to show you guys the color combination I chose. Pretty, huh? Purple!

One last shot:

Does this yarn scream "I'm a Harry Potter sweater!" or what? I have been envisioning my son in one of those sweaters that Mrs. Weasley knits for her kids and for Harry for years. I found Another Weasley Along last week, so I decided to join and therefore force myself to do this sweater. I got the yarn yesterday at my LYS 50% off. 4 skeins of Rowanspun Aran for $27??? Can't beat that!

Saturday, August 20, 2005


It's time to vent again about my Ironman training. This morning I went on my last long ride with my training group. We rode 79 miles, and over half of that I did by myself because my group decided to push the pace and totally left me behind. It's so extremely frustrating to see the people you're riding with getting further and further ahead of you. Granted, they did stop and wait for me wherever there was a question of which way to turn, but still, it was very frustrating. Sometimes I question my decision to train with this group, and also my ability to pull this Ironman off. (Getting dropped so often deals a major blow to my confidence.) I don't know why I thought I could ride with these people. There are 4 girls total in the group, and two of them don't count because they can blow away a lot of guys. One, in fact, is trying to do this Ironman fast enough to qualify for the Ironman Championship in Hawaii in October. (That's the race you see on NBC in the fall, if you've ever caught that. It's epitome of everything for Ironman triathletes. I'll NEVER be able to qualify.) The rest of the group are guys, and all of them are really strong. What happens a lot of the time in this group is someone decides that they want to ride hard and pick the pace up, and the rest of the group can't let them go, so they ride hard to keep up. I don't/can't do that, so I get left behind. Another girl in the group gets left behind a lot as well, but for some reason people help her more than they help me. (My husband says that's because they know she's weak and whiny and I'm strong, so I don't need to be babied. Yes, she is whiny, and yes, I am strong, but I still would like the help every once in a while.) Today, for instance, 2 guys dropped back while this particular girl was behind me and let her draft off of them (drafting is when you ride directly behind someone and use them for wind resistance - it makes riding fast very effortless - it's also illegal to do in triathlons) until they caught up to the group. She was able to get just enough ahead of me that I couldn't catch up with her, then she started drafting off a couple of other people who had somewhat dropped back, so they slowly rode off into the sunset (sunrise, actually - we start riding at 6am, and this happened about 830). I was totally by myself for a very long time, and it pissed me off so badly that I was in the foulest mood when I rode up to the group, who were all stopped, waiting on me. I acted like a total baby and didn't really say anything to anyone, just kept going. I finally started bitching about it to a couple of guys, and then I felt horrible. I then got dropped AGAIN and caught up with everyone at this little store we stop and rest/pee/eat at. By then I was in a better mood, and my getting dropped so much and cussing about it turned into a joke. The rest of the way home I was determined not to let it happen again, so I had to bust my butt to stay up with everyone. (Busting your butt during Ironman training is just plain silly, b/c Ironman is all about endurance and not really about speed. Keep in mind that Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike followed by a 26.2 mile run. It's going to take me 13-15 hours - hopefully not more than that - to do this. The longest athletic event I've done was a 12-hour run, so I'll be going longer than I ever have.) I drafted a lot, which I'm not happy about b/c I won't be able to draft during Ironman, but I didn't want to get dropped. While doing my "forced solo training", I was trying to talk myself out of the foul mood. "I'm not drafting, and other people are, so I'll do better in Ironman," "They're a bunch of guys, so naturally I can't keep up with them," "I'm doing a whole lot better than I ever thought I would," "I'm the smallest person out here, so it makes sense that I can't go as fast" ... everything I could think of. When we got back to our cars, I checked my bike computer and saw that my average speed was much faster than it has been all summer. I'm happy with that, but that also explains part of the problem. These stupid boys get out there and try to prove who has the biggest penis. So irritating. The thing I feel the worst about is my acting like such a baby. I'm not a baby, and I don't want people to think I am and to not want to ride with me anymore. It doesn't sound like it with this post, but I have had a lot of fun this summer training with these people and I've made some great friends and I'm already starting to get depressed about this whole thing being over. I guess everyone just has bad days. I didn't really have a totally bad day b/c physically I did fine; I just acted really stupid. I could email the training group and apologize for my behavior, but I think that would just sound whiny, so I'm going to let it be and hope people forget about it. I did perk up at the end, so at least I ended on a good note.

I'm going to dinner Monday night with the top female triathlete in Nashville and we're going to pig out on sushi. We both are major eaters, so we're really going to put the sushi chef to work! Maybe during dinner she'll let me pick her brain about things I can do to improve. Then next year - WATCH OUT!!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Have I told you lately...

...that my secret pal ROCKS??? Well, she does. I should've posted this 2 days ago b/c that's when all of the merriment happened, but as always, I've been busy training or dealing with my son's first week of kindergarten (gasp! is he that old?). So anyway, I got a package in the mail that included all of these goodies:

My very own Stitch n Bitch Nation; 2 balls of Rowan Calmer in purple (yum!Rowan Calmer! double-yum!purple!); 2 healthy snack bars (b/c a)I love to snack and b)since I am an Ironman-in-training, I need healthy things - she's so thoughtful!); 4 packs of caffeine-free teas (b/c I need to relax!); and a purple pen and a notebook for keeping notes of patterns I'm working on or whatever else I want to write down (for instance, one of my many To Do lists that my husband teases me about). There were also some pictures she took during her vacation in Portland and Seattle. She's an incredible photographer. Made me want to go hiking right now! Also, there were some earrings that she made herself out of these blue-y, purple-y beads, and they are just my style! I have a sweater that I knitted last summer that goes PERFECTLY with these earrings. I tried to take a picture of myself in that sweater modeling those earrings, but the picture is so completely dorky that I can't bear to post it on this blog. Not like any of the pictures my husband takes of me are anything to write home about (I HAVE GOT to get more creative!), but this one was especially dorky.

If you'll recall, my first package from my super terrific secret pal included 3 skeins of Knit Picks Shine in a yummy shade of purple. (Aren't all shades of purple yummy?) I held 2 strands together and out came this:

Yes, it's a One Skein Wonder from Glampyre. Mine isn't actually a One Skein Wonder since I held 2 strands of yarn together; it's really a Three Skein Wonder (I had to finish the edging with the third ball pulling from the inside and out.). I did all the edging in seed stitch instead of the sleeves in seed stitch and the rest in ribbing. That's the only modification I made, and, looking at other people's OSWs, it's a popular one. Here's a shot from the back:

And this is what happens when you ask a typical male to take a picture of you from behind:

He thought he was really funny.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I really need to make a Finished Objects gallery!

I finished another sweater yesterday, so I got my husband to take a picture of me in it before I went to work today:

The pattern is a Fiesta Yarns pattern for their Gelato Ribbon Top. A friend of mine suggested that I do this when we found it at a yarn shop in Memphis b/c she's done it and said it was very flattering. It is very flattering - makes my boobs look huge!!! No wonder my husband complimented me so much this morning! I used Artyarns Supermerino instead of the Fiesta Yarns Gelato Ribbon b/c a)it was cheaper, and b)I liked it better. Handpainted yarn is soooooo yummy. I didn't have fun with the pattern, though, until I got up to the armholes. The increases were giving me all sorts of problems. Here's a close up shot of one of the side seams:

As you can see, I couldn't quite master the technique of increasing without making a hole. One side was worse than the other, so I ended up sewing them up. Fortunately these holes aren't as obvious in person b/c no one is typically looking under my arm that closely. Overall I'm pleased with this sweater b/c it is so flattering and I love Artyarns so much, but I wouldn't choose to do it again. If I did, I'd get someone to show me how to increase before and afer a marker without making holes.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Postcard from the edge (of where?from whom?)

When I checked the mail today, I found this:

My Secret Pal sent me a postcard from her vacation! Wasn't that nice? (Pardon for the glare of the flash on the coffeetable.)