Tuesday, March 28, 2006


This picture of my finished Jaywalkers was taken on Sunday, when I was being completely inactive. (Gracie, although she looks like she's sitting calmly in the background, is making up for my inactivity. She's patiently waiting for the moment where Mike throws the ball so she can tear through the house after it.) I had a big nasty workout to do on Saturday, so Sunday I kitchener stitched the toe of my second sock, put them on, and put my feet up for a well-deserved bout of laziness.

Overall, I am pleased with my Jaywalkers. I love the yarn and I love the pattern. The only thing I would've done differently is make them on size 1 dpns. These are a teeny bit slouchy. But I'd rather have them a wee slouchy than too f-ing tight to get over my instep.

Because of my lacking in the skillz needed to make a sock fit properly, I have decided to go against the votes for the sock out of the Handknit Holidays book and have chosen the rib and cable sock. Not only have I chosen that pattern, I've started it. The yarn is as close to a solid color as I've seen Koigu get, so I think the cables will look fine. I do absolutely love the Handknit Holidays socks, and am anxious to see Alison's finished pair, but with the others I don't have to modify the pattern. And the less mods I have to make, the more of a chance I'll have at making socks that will fit my pal's feet.

I've not posted goals for the week lately, so I thought I'd do so now:

1. Do our taxes. April 15th is fast approaching!
2. Swatch for the Somewhat Cowl to see if I need to buy yarn. I'm going to Alabama next weekend and am planning on this being my road trip project. I might have a couple of candidates in my stash - Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere, or maybe Classic Elite Premiere?
3. Do more core exercises - specifically, 3 days in addition to my weight lifting day. I was at the bike shop yesterday to get refitted on my racing bike, and the shop owner made me do an exercise that showed me a)how important strong core muscles are, and b)how not strong my core muscles are.
4. Have at least 3 repeats on my Sampler Stole done. So far I've got 1 1/2. It's pretty, but slow going. Basketball is over (at least for the University of Memphis Tigers, and therefore also for me), though, so I should be able to knit more while watching TV this week.

And last but not least, here's the latest update on the TRIAD summer camp. Hayden has to go on Monday afternoon for a pre-camper interview to determine if he'd benefit from camp. I'm finding myself a little nervous for him! Should I put together a resume? Should I buy him a little suit, or just a sportjacket and tie? (I'm soooo kidding on the suit or the tie - I believe that 6-year old boys should dress like 6-year old boys, not little Alex P. Keatons. I know other people do it, but not this mom. Jeans and t-shirts or polos is what Hayden lives in!) Anyway, be thinking of him next Monday at 4pm CST and hope that he charms the pants off those TRIAD people!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Need your opinions, please!

I'm starting my Sockapaloooza socks once I finish my second Jaywalker (which I'm anticipating will happen tomorrow night). So now's the time to finalize my pattern decision. My pal seems to be a nature-y, down to earth person who said "nothing too crazy, but pattern is fine" in her preferences. I've got some light blue Koigu (not a lot of variegated colors; just their typical variegated shades of blue) and had thought I'd do a simple ribbed sock with a small cable on either side of the calf. However, I stumbled on this idea (scroll down to her March 21st entry) when blog lurking this morning. I have a copy of Handknit Holidays, and I've loved those socks from the first time I saw them. I have only 2 skeins of Koigu, and my pal didn't mention knee-highs, so I'd modify the pattern to be shorter. I'd also leave the lace design on the back rather than the cable that Alison is putting in (I like Alison's cable, but I do know that my pal likes a little lace). So since I'm being so Charlie Brown-ish (wishy-washy) on my decision, I thought I'd ask my readers. What do you think? Ribbing and cables, or stockinette and a little lace?

Monday, March 20, 2006

A mother's work is never done.

In my last post I lamented about Vanderbilt University's TRIAD summer camp. This morning I called the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee office to see if anyone there had any inside information that might help me. Long story short, I ended up calling the TRIAD office again and found out that there's ONE SPOT FOR A 6-YEAR OLD. I just about did a cartwheel while on the phone - at work - in my skirt. I have to work until 2 today, then I have a much needed massage scheduled from 230-330, then I am going down to the TRIAD office and delivering my paperwork plus the deposit money. I can't believe we're getting in. (And thank you, Michelle, for your words of encouragement. I WAS able to pull it off!) And this camp better be da bomb for as much money as they charge for it! The lady at the ASMT office I spoke to this morning told me that people come in from out of town and live in a hotel for 3 weeks just so their child can go to this camp. It's exciting that Hayden will have this opportunity, but at the same time it's sad that it has to be such a competition to get in. There really should be more services made available for these kids. Research has proven that early invention is the key to success.

Nothing exciting in my knitting world this weekend. I bought the Somewhat Cowl pattern for the Sexy Knitter's Club KAL, and I'm thinking of using some Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere from my stash. (Anyone wanna take a guess what color it is???) I'm a little nervous about the neckline, though, because I haven't seen a finished sweater that has a neckline that I absolutely love. I have an image in my mind of what Wendy's looks like, and I want mine to come out the same way. We'll see how it goes. It looks like a pretty straightforward project, so I'm planning on working on it when we drive to Irondale, Alabama (right outside of Birmingham) the second weekend of April for the Powerman Alabama duathlon. I'm working on the second Jaywalker and I've gotten through the first repeat of the center section of my sampler stole. According to one of the KAL participants, I am about 7% done. How depressing! I'm working on it slowly, while I'm able to devote attention to it, because I'd hate to rush it and make some stupid mistake. I don't have a lot of experience with lace knitting - my only "major" lace project is my Rowan Butterfly top - so I'm having to use stitch markers to separate repeats and a post-it note to help me know what row I'm on. And I've resorted to using the aforementioned spreadsheet to make little tickmarks on the rows that I've done. Stitch markers, post-it notes, tickmarks -- wow, I sound like a newbie.

My athletic endeavors were a little more exciting this weekend (and a lot more painful). I decided Friday night to run a half marathon Saturday morning. I went into the race hoping to run somewhere between 8:30-8:45 minute miles. I ended up running with 2 friends and we were able to keep our miles around and 8:20 pace, so my time was 1:49:36. I was pleased, especially since I was able to do that and talk the entire time. (Of course, as I was showering later, I thought, "Y'know, if we hadn't had talked the whole time, we could've run faster and I might've been able to beat my best half marathon time without really even trying." Runners and triathletes always find ways to not accept their times as the best they could've done.) My legs were pretty sore the rest of the day, though. Somehow my muscles aren't in as good of shape as my aerobic energy system is. Yesterday I rode with my friends and had planned on taking it easy, but of course that didn't happen. I was wasted last night. My massage this afternoon cannot come at a better time!

(Sorry this has been such a long post without any pictures. I'm at work right now with nothing to do, but my boss hasn't left for lunch, so I can't knit. Bah.)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Instant gratification 2.0

This wasn't quite as quick as the Airy Scarf, and I had to rip out the top the first go-around because I had made it too tall, but it still was a quick knitting fix:

Technically a person is not supposed to wear the Ironman logo unless he/she has earned it, but since Hayden is my son, I'll allow it. This hat is a gift for a friend; I hope he'll like it.

And may I whine for a minute (okay, a couple)? Vanderbilt University has a department called TRIAD, or Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Related Disorders. Every summer TRIAD puts on a camp for kids ages 6-21. This summer Hayden will be 6 1/2, so I got excited: he can go to TRIAD camp! I've been waiting for this for 2 years. I called about it in the beginning of March and got an information packet mailed to me. Because I hadn't seen anything about the cost printed anywhere in magazines about different summer camps, I thought, "How nice - they're not charging us for this. They're taking into consideration that we already have to pay a lot of money for therapy." Wrong - it costs $900 for 3 weeks. $900! This is a day camp, mind you - 9am to 3pm. Where do they get off with charging $900! That blew my mind, but I was prepared to suck it up and pay it. However, on Tuesday I was talking to another mom of an autistic boy, and she said something about the deadline for the application. I hadn't seen that part - all I saw was the cost. So when I got home, I saw that the application needed to be received by February 15th, a month ago. I called TRIAD the next day and left a message, saying that I know the application was due in February and I know they don't make exceptions for late applications, but I didn't receive my paperwork until last week. They called me back today and left a message telling me that they may be able to work something out if my son is an adolescent, but all the child spots are full. Full? It's the middle of March - how can summer camp be full already?!?!! A camp that costs $900 at that?!?? Hayden's speech therapist had suggested I look into this other camp, which I did on Wednesday, but all the spots they have for special needs kids are full as well. WTF??? I thought I was on top of things, looking into summer camp before Spring Break. Man, I'm bummed. This is/was Hayden's only shot at having autism therapy over the summer. I'm going to call the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee on Monday and see if they can offer any help, but things aren't looking that great. I think I need a summer home in a bigger city where there are more services available for autistic kids. I do love living in Nashville, but it sucks for autistic kids.

Okay, I'm done whining, and I'll leave you on a happy note. I think I've found a new riding buddy - at least one for my indoor rides:

DH also took a shot from behind, but it makes my ass look gigantic. Must. Stop. Eating. Chocolate.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Random thoughts (and some pictures)

Overheard in the elevator at work on Monday:

Girl #1: How was your weekend?
Girl #2: Wonderful! How was yours?
Girl #1: Pretty good. What happened with...
Girl #2: We found out he's going to lose both of his feet. It's okay, though.

Unfortunately, this was the point at which they got off the elevator. Man, I wanted to hear the rest of that story! Who's losing their feet? Her little boy? Her dad? Her grandfather? And how, just how, does getting news like that still make a weekend wonderful? Huh???

I'm finally Jaywalking!

Here's Jaywalker #1:

I used size 2 dpns, and it fits like a dream. Not snug at all. I got this done fairly quickly, thanks to a weekend trip to Baltimore (more on that in a minute) and a dead computer at work. I'm using the sock yarn I bought from Wendy. Cute, huh? Here's another shot (added bonus - you get to see the ever-popular Nike workout pants at a different angle!):

And here's a shot of Hayden, who kept saying, "Cheese, camera!" while I was taking pictures of my foot. (I haven't subjected you to a shot of the Cutest Kid Ever in a while, anyway.)

I cast on for #2 at work this morning while the tech was reviving my computer. Unfortunately, he was successful, so that cuts into my knitting time.

Baltimore trip

DH ran a marathon in Lexington Park, Maryland on Sunday, so we went up to Baltimore on Friday night so I could meet up with a couple of fellow knitbloggers. Saturday morning I met Eunny and we took an enjoyable walk through the Inner Harbor to Fell's Point. There we found a very small but nice yarn store, and I bought yarn for attempt #2 at the Deep V Argyle Vest. This time I'm going with Dale of Norway's Heilo in cream and camel:

Then we spent a couple of hours sitting outside, knitting socks, eating pretzels and getting sunburned. It was a terrific morning. After I left Baltimore, I headed to Old Town Alexandria and met up with Kel at her LYS, Knit Happens. I sat, knitted, and bought some more vest yarn, this time for the cricket vest out of Rowan Classic's new Summer book (no mutant sea monkeys in that one!):

Y'know, I play so much cricket, I just need a vest to wear during my matches. When the shop closed, we ate dinner at a cute Tex Mex restaurant with her hubby and had a great time. The next morning was the marathon. I ran the first 9 1/2 miles, and it was great. A little warm, but we were on this cute little island with flat, shaded roads. The rest of the marathon was run alongside a highway. Yuck! To me, running alongside a highway with car fumes to inhale and no shade to enjoy is one of the worst experiences. But he got through it, and can now cross Maryland off his list in his quest to do a marathon in all 50 states plus Washington DC:

My husband is the tall, thin one, not the shorter one with pigtails.

Knitalong news

If you're an astute blog reader, you'll notice that I replaced the Knitting Olympics button with a new one: Eunny's Sampler Stole Knitalong. We're knitting the Sampler Stole from A Gathering of Lace. I'm using Jaggerspun Zephyr in a pretty pink. Actually, I'm not using it quite yet - tried to start it last week before we left for Baltimore, but ended up with 1 extra stitch on row 3, so frogged it and am going to restart this evening - but when I do, it's going to be beautiful. Also, I think I might actually participate in the Sexy Knitter's Club upcoming knitalong. You can choose between Glampyre's Orangina or Knit and Tonic's Somewhat Cowl, or do both. I'm going to look at both patterns, peruse my stash, and see what I can come up with. And I've changed my mind AGAIN on my Sockapalooza socks, but this time I'm sticking with it: a basic rib and cable sock. Pretty and not too fussy - perfect combination.

Sounds like I've got a lot of projects calling me, so bye for now!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Instant gratification

I needed a quick knitting pick-me-up after the vest debacle, so I took the mohair I bought from Wendy and whipped out an Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. This is the second time I've made this scarf, and I neither time have I gotten the measurements they have in the book. It's supposed to be 36 inches; mine is close to 30. But it doesn't matter; it's a scarf and it's cute the way it is.

I've also got some other projects on the needles, but nothing too exciting to show you. I'm making a second attempt at the Jaywalkers, this time in the blue/green yarn from Wendy. I'm only 4 rounds past the ribbing, so I can't tell whether I've screwed them up yet. The colors are turning out very yummy, though, so hopefully it'll work. My idiot project is a hat for a friend who made me copies of 6 workout DVDs. At $30 a pop, that's $180 worth of DVDs, so I feel he is very hat-worthy. Because he did Ironman Wisconsin last year with me, I'm making a basic black hat with a band of red, and in the red I'm putting little black Ironman logos. I actually swatched for this over the weekend with scrap yarn (and blocked the swatch - first time ever!) and it looked great, so I'm excited about finishing the hat and giving it to him.

Haven't made any progress on my Sockapaloooza socks, other than buying some Koigu, exchanging it a week later for a different, more subtle color, and changing my mind about a pattern at least 4 times. My first thought was Pomatomus, but then after I failed at my first Jaywalking attempt, I decided that maybe I wasn't ready for Pomatomus. Then I thought about Sockbug's River Rapids, but I don't like the fact the repeat starts with a purl stitch because I can't seem to not get a ladder when doing the first stitch on dpns as a purl stitch. Then I thought about Broadripple, but I think now I'm back to Pomatomus. Ack! I've never been this indecisive about anything. I need to start the damn socks already so I can't change my mind anymore. Once the Ironman hat is done, they'll be on the needles.

Friday, March 03, 2006


The Continuing Argyle Vest Saga:

I tried to felt it today. The creme parts felted very nicely, but the lilac parts didn't felt at all. So what I've ended up with is a very skinny, long felted argyle vest that is bumpy. And the ribbing didn't felt at all (it's lilac). Can someone tell me what happened? I've felted before, but this has never happened to me. I feel silly asking this - and no, I am not a new knitter - but aren't colored yarns supposed to felt? Oh well. If I can find a way to cut it up and make a little purse out of it, it'll look very shibori.

I haven't been very productve knitting-wise. I was working on the body of my Fair Isle cardi, but it was nice and warm this week, so I was having trouble finding motivation to knit with the grey Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted. Temperatures in the 70s make me want to knit springy things, like -

- the Lace Cashmere Pullover from Loop d Loop
- something from the Rebecca Soft Kid booklet
- the Prairie Tunic from IK
- the Nothin' But a Tee from Magknits (archives, not current)
- Eunny's argyle vest (yes, I do want to take another stab at it)
- fun socks (okay, socks aren't necessarily springy, but I still want to knit them more than I want to knit a Fair Isle cardigan that I probably won't be able to wear until October)

So yesterday I decided to put the cardi in a Ziploc bag and mark it UFO, and I wound the green mohair I bought from Wendy and started an Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I don't think I can mess this project up. And I think it'll be darling with a crisp white oxford and some wide-leg pants.