Archive for the ‘not knitting’ Category

Ups and Downs

Down: I “got” to work from 9:30pm Friday night until 6:00am Saturday morning.

Up: I got to attend my first ever knitting class, Finishing Techniques I, at my LYS Personal Threads Boutique on Saturday afternoon. While I can’t say I learned a ton of new things, I had a lot of fun and I did pick up some handy tips and tricks. Plus, as a self-taught knitter, I found the validation that the way I’ve been doing some of my finishing is in fact a good way to do it almost worth the cost of the class alone.

Down: After the class, J and I went to the county fair with his parents. I’ve been thinking about submitting something to either the county or state fair next year and wanted to scope out the kinds of things other people have submitted. It was miserably hot, and there were practically no knitted items to speak of. The state fair is 3 hours west of us, and it doesn’t seem likely we’ll make it out there this year. So I may just end up checking out the submission requirements online and go for it. The worst that could happen is I get one of those participant ribbons (do they give those to grown-ups?) or else no ribbon at all. I can live with that.

Up: Fair food! Ribbon fries, frozen hot chocolate, and funnel cake. Delicious!

Up: On Sunday J and I decided to check out a few antique stores looking for fans. He didn’t end up coming home with anything, but I found a framed picture of some vintage children’s socks and a couple of old wooden sock blockers.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m so taken with the framed piece, but I am.  The middle sock I’m fairly certain is hand knit, and the one on the left looks like the heel was darned. The sock blockers are too big even for J’s feet, so I think that I will hang them on the wall on either side of the framed socks. A kind of tribute to sock knitting.

Down: A big storm knocked out our power at 4am this morning. It came back on right as I was leaving for work. After I had already gotten ready by flashflight, of course.

Up: The gorgeous skein of yarn I ordered from an etsy seller arrived in the mail today!

This is Kelpie Fiber’s Appalachian Trail Sock Yarn in Rockfish Gap. I was reading some forum posts in Ravelry when I spotted her ad at the bottom,  after I had already clicked “next page”. I immediately clicked the back button on the browser and am so glad I did! I love this skein of yarn! The colors make me happy.

Up: Also in the mail today, a surprise package from my oldest and dearest friend in the world, Kim. She’s the best person I know, and she knows me better than I know myself. She showed interest in my knitting before she herself started knitting (she also taught herself, several months ago!), and still talks about the socks and cowl I knit her. She moved to Michigan last year, but some how she still seems to know exactly when I need her, and the words I need to hear.

I also collect frogs, which makes this doubly perfect. She's the best!

It’s nice when the ups outnumber the downs.


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The best laid plans…

So remember how I had this grand idea of taking the Geodesic Cardigan “on location” for its FO photo shoot? Yeah, it didn’t happen. Oh, we made it to St. Louis.

One of the three wedding parties we watched taking pictures in front of the Arch in the space of 30 minutes

J was the one in charge of taking the pictures from the top of the Arch. My job was to not freak out.

Apparently I drastically underestimated just how hot and steamy that city is in mid-July. I couldn’t bear the thought of carrying the thing outside of the hotel room, much less putting it on even for the few minutes it would take to snap a couple pictures.

In fact, I still need to re-block it and get any kind of finished pictures of it. I don’t have any excuse for not having done so already, other than coming down with a horrible summer cold the week after we got back from St. Louis (it at least had the courtesy to wait until Wednesday of that week, the day I went back to work, for which I am thankful for. Nothing worse than being sick on a vacation day!). Then last week my non-knitting life went haywire and got insanely busy. I hate when that happens. But I think I’ve got things back under control and will be able to resume my usual level of knitting. Everyone’s happier when that is the case, believe me.

Speaking of happy, J picked up a new hobby recently – restoring old electric fans. We had a good time on the drive down to St. Louis, stopping at a couple antique malls. He ended up picking up a couple cool fans.

I guess old 6-blade fans are desirable? J was very excited to find this one, at any rate.

Why am I also happy about this new-found hobby? Because I’m hoping he’ll start to understand, in some small way, my obsession with knitting and my constant want of more yarn. I do also confess it has given me a new appreciation of the non-knitting perspective. I mean, old fans? Really? Whatever makes you happy, sweets…!

We also picked up the top of an old electric pole, the kind with the old glass transistors across it. J is an electrical CAD technician, so he likes that kind of thing (his team worked on some of the lighting for the Arch. I am willing to bet we were the only ones looking for the generator house that weekend. I know we were the only ones taking pictures of it.). I mostly just think it will look really cool hanging on the living room wall.

We also picked up an old bingo ball hopper!

The ladies that rung us up asked if we already had the bingo balls. I told her that I’m a knitter, and I plan to put my odds and ends of yarn in it to display in my living room. They looked at me in surprise and one said “What a great idea! Who would think of such a thing?”

Only a knitter, of course.

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Was actually last Monday, but the week got away from me before I found the chance to post.

First up, my new winter shoes.  I’m not going to lie, they were mostly chosen for their ability to showcase hand-knit socks.

Ah, Doc Martens!  These take me straight back to my high school days when I lived in my Docs.  I had forgotten how heavy they were, but I’m getting used to them again.   There is an embossed flower detail that I wasn’t sure how crazy I’d be about, but I’m digging it:

I love these shoes.  Now I just need to add to my hand-knit sock collection, which is how I justified the purchase in the first place.  Although it didn’t take much justification; they were on sale for just $60.

The second package I received was from Stitchy Mushroom on Etsy.

I ordered one of her small box bags, and I love it!  It’s the perfect size for sock projects, and it is so beautifully made.

Her customer service is super great too!  I placed my order mid-morning on a Friday, and it was in my hot little hands Monday!  The zipper pull is cute too, like a little ball of yarn.

This is absolutely my favorite project bag I’ve ever bought, and I would definitely order another one, or three.  It totally works too.  I carried the Manly Socks around in it for a couple days, and then poof!  They were done!  I just need to pry them off of J’s feet long enough to wash them so that I can get a decent picture of them.  He’s been wearing them non-stop since I finished them last week.  I’m taking that as a sign that he likes them.

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Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big Foo Fighters fan.  Huge.  Last year I was lucky enough to get to see them in concert twice; once here  in February for a late birthday present (clearly amongst my fave presents EVER!) and again in July in Kansas City.  The second show I got J to agree to go to by calling it a birthday present for my brother.  Pretty clever, no?  At any rate, both concerts were phenomenal.  The July show was partly so special to me because we did take my brother, and we totally rawked out.  We’re both big music aficionados, and both count the Foo Fighters as one of our favorite bands (they are hands down my favorite, but I can’t speak for my brother…).  It was the first concert him and I went to together as “grown ups”.  We carried on the tradition this past summer by going to Coldplay together (Another great band.  I didn’t appreciate them until I saw them live, but that’s a whole ‘nother post).

So that’s a really long-winded way to get to the point: the Foo Fighters new single Wheels dropped today.  It’s one of two new tracks that will be included on their greatest hits album scheduled to come out in November.  I think it’s amazing.  One of the things I love about this band is how easily they can transition from balls-to-the-wall rock-yer-face-off (2007’s The Pretender, anyone?) and then come out with something…softer makes it sound lame, but that’s the descriptor I keep coming back to.   Some people may criticize them for that, but I enjoy seeing (hearing?) how my favorite bands evolve and how that impacts their sound.  I’ve been waiting for this song for a while now, and the wait was well worth it for me.

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The Zoo

Clever title, am I right?  But it is to-the-point, so I’m going to leave it.  I will warn you now, however, that this will be a picture-heavy post and nary a one featuring knitting!  That will come later, because how could there not be knitting on a long weekend?

Our trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo was great!  Living here in Omaha, it’s so easy for us to forget about it and take it for granted.  Since we don’t have kids, it tends to be something we only do with people visiting from out-of-town.  It’s starting to become a tradition that my brother and his family stay with us Labor Day weekend and we go to the zoo.  So this was our 2nd Annual Zoo Trip.

Naturally the parking situation was horrendous, it being a holiday weekend and all, but we didn’t let that deter us.  First stop: the Desert Dome!

Last year we skipped this part, so it was first on my brother’s list of “must sees”.  When we got out, we were just in time to watch the first of the Wild West Showdown performances.  The simulated gunfire scared my niece, but J and I stayed until the end.  Guess what?  The good guys won!

The next highlight was the monkeys.  There were a couple chimpanzees hanging from the fencing and doing acrobatics.  My niece, buddy young photography she is (Yes, at just under four!  She’s a prodigy, I tell you!) got some great shots.  Me?  Mine are just “meh”.

Shortly after this, some yahoo kept throwing cheese balls at it, thinking he was so hilarious.  I guess the “please don’t feed the animals, it’s not good for them” doesn’t apply to some people.  Fortunately, this monkey has excellent taste.  He caught the cheese ball, put it in his mouth but would not eat it.  Clearly he’s above processed cheese.  (Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not raging against the evils of junk food. I love a good Cheeto myself.  I’m raging against the people who think that kind of thing is funny, when in all actuality it’s harmful to the animals.  I saw quite a few instances of this that day, and it makes me mad. //end rant)

We wrapped up our visit with a ride on the new Skyfari.  Because J will totally call me out on it if I don’t ‘fess up myself, I’ll just say it: I was petrified.  I’m not sure it was so much the height as it was my overactive imagination.  I could just so easily picture myself toppling over the lap bar, or sliding under it, and landing in the rhino pen.  When it was over, I’m frankly surprised J could walk, what with my fingernail indentations in his thigh.  He was a very good sport about it, and kept talking me down when I’d get too freaked out all the while snapping pictures.  My little niece?  Yeah, she loved it.

You cant really tell the height from this picture.  Just wait.

You can't really tell the height from this picture. Just wait.

See?  Its high!

See? It's high!

It was kind of pretty, though, when I was able to turn my head and actually look.

It was kind of pretty, though, when I was able to turn my head and actually look.

He didnt cut it off on purpose, but I like it.  You cant tell that my teeth are clenched in fear.

He didn't cut it off on purpose, but I like it. You can't tell that my teeth are clenched in fear.

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