Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Blog Anniversary To Me!

I don't have any new photos to show today but I wanted to wish myself a Happy 1 Year Blog Anniversary! I can't believe I've been doing this for a whole year.

I know I don't post as often as some bloggers - but I also don't have as much knitting time as some bloggers. I do what I can and still juggle all the other responsibilities in my life.

This blog has been good for me. It has given me an outlet to express myself - not only creatively through my knitting but in other parts of my life. I probably am not 100% open (I have an employer to think about) but having a blog is much like having a diary. It puts a lot of things into perspective and I feel more in control of my life.

Thanks to all of you that read my blog. I don't get a lot of comments but I appreciate that so many of you find time to stop by my little corner of the world. I hope to "see" you in the new year.

I have been working in the computer industry since 1978 (I just hit my 30 year anniversary) - before we had PC's - back when we used to hand write our code and then type it directly into a single console in the computer lab. I was blessed to work on the first Enhanced 911 system for AT&T. My program looked up your address when you dialed 911 and sent it to the police station. That program has been since rewritten in newer technology but it was the highlight of my career. We received so much kudos when it was first deployed regarding lives that were saved. It made me feel that I did something socially meaningful in an industry that was mostly technical and business oriented.

Since then - my assignments are not as exciting but it constantly amazes me how the computer industry has reached out to everyone. The PC and the Internet touch everyone now. These blogs make our world a little smaller. I feel blessed again that I can be part of that interaction!

And Charlie is doing fine! He got a new soft bed this AM and is peacefully sleeping!

Have a wonderful 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Amoxicillin and 24!

Thank you everyone for your kind words about my sweater.

Its been a long week. My long planned vacation (to get so much done) was turned into a lot of worrying and traveling back and forth to my vet in snowstorms. Unfortunately the ride to my vet includes some very steep inclines. So - as you can imagine, despite my wonderful new CR/V with AWD and new Blizzak's - my cowardly self was white knuckling it. I haven't made a lot of progress on my sweater.

On Thursday - my vet called me to say that Charlie was still not eating and maybe he would eat if I was there. So I drove (in a snowstorm) to the vet. He wouldn't eat for me either.. So I drove back home (in a snowstorm).

On Friday - my vet called to tell me that they are force feeding Charlie - he wasn't vomitting so they would let him come home and I would have to force feed him at home. I drove (the day after the snowstorm on snow packed roads) and picked him up. Got him home - took him out of the car, went in to get my dogs behind a gate, came back into the garage and Charlie had escaped from the soft carrier I bought. By the time I got him from under my car - my two dogs had jumped over the gate. I tried to carry Charlie in the basement - but he jumped out of my arms when he saw that the dogs were loose. Alas - Belle caught him - got him in her mouth and was shaking him. I was a mess. I FINALLY stopped the attack, got the dogs upstairs and retrieved my poor cat from behind the washing machine. I cleaned up his wounds and put antibiotic ointment on them. I also managed to force feed him and gave him more Amoxicillin.

I was a wreck. Am still feeling SO GUILTY to put him through all this. I should have put the dogs in the backyard.

But the good news is that later that night I gave him some new cat food I bought (Whiska's Purrfection ) - and he is EATING on his own!! He loves it. I only had to force feed him once.. which is a good thing since it is not very effective. I had more food on me than him.

By this AM - he is doing a lot better than me. He is eating, playing with his toys, and his wounds are still not infected. I figure he still has so much Amoxicillin in him from last week (I still have about a day's worth to give him) - that he would fend off any infection if he does get one but he looks fine. I know - I keep checking.

So - I still have 2 more days of vacation but its been nerve wracking. Somedays I think I should find him a new home without prey-drive happy border collies - but then he is 8 yrs old and I just don't think He would be happy. He might just try to find me.

So - I sit here today - watching the Season 5 "24" marathon on WGN (they just found out that President Logan was helping the terrorists!) and still working on my PW Southwest sleeves. For some reason - using Addi 8 16 inch circulars is giving me hand cramps. I cannot knit for long periods of time. I don't remember having such problems when I knit the traditional. I must be getting old. Here is where I'm at. I did end up putting some stripes at the top since my measurements were off:

So - I am praying that my pet life improves this week. And maybe my next vacation will be more productive??

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Two repeats!

I am close to finishing the first sleeve for my Southwest.. and it is looking fine:

I only need to do 9 more rows of triangles (as I did at the bottom). The pattern calls for random stripes at the very top of the sleeve but I am planning to shorten the sleeve per the measurement I used for my Traditional (about 1 inch shorter) so I will probably leave off the random stripes.

I have some good and bad news for Charlie. The bad news is that he still hadn't eaten as of this noon - so I took him back to the vet The good news is that the vet did bloodwork and everything is normal. The bad news is that he needs subcutaneous (under the skin) fluid injections so that he won't get dehydrated. And since they are predicting another snow storm tonight - I decided it would be best for him to stay at the vet. I can't take the chance that I can't get him back there tomorrow. So I feel a lot better about Charlie now - I know he is in good hands and will be home soon.

Maybe the storm will pass us by? It has happened before. I loved having a white Xmas - but enough is enough!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

One repeat!

Merry Xmas and Happy Chanukah everyone!

Its been somewhat stressful for me. Charlie (my kitty) is sick (he stopped eating on Sunday). I took him to the vet yesterday. He doesn't have a fever and the vet thinks it is either hairballs or a mild stomach infection. He is on antibiotics (I have two deep clawmarks to show for - when I give it to him) and I'm still waiting for them to work. As of this AM - he sniffed his food but still isn't eating. I need to take him back for bloodwork if he isn't better by tomorrow.

But I am making slow progress on my Southwest. I have just finished one repeat thru the color chart:

I love the result - but my hands are sore from so much weaving plus having to stop and tug the yarn to make sure it doesn't show from the front. There are so many colors with so much contrast that it is slow work to keep the back color from showing in the front. But I still love it! The final sweater will be a work of art!

I splurged this week and bought a Prime Rib to make today with Yorkshire Pudding. Yum!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Love these colors!

I don't have a lot to show (I had to start over again yesterday after realizing the cuffs were too big and my memory is too bad to remember how I did them last year when I didn't take copius notes - arghh!!) - but here is my first sleeve for my Philosopher's Wool Southwest cardigan in colorway Navaho. Aren't the colors marvelous!

This technique weaves every other stitch so it is slow going but very satisfying. No weaving at the end which suits me just fine.

I also spent part of the day starting to clean my garage.. I am hoping that I can at least clean it well enough to move some of the appliances I have parked on top of my dog kennel in my dining room! Hah.. as if I ever use that either. My house is very cluttered. I have a collection of small TV's that don't work , old PC's, and lots of cans of dried latex paint. I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of all this. The curse of living in a house for 20 years. When I used to move more often - I had an excuse to get rid of things.. now I don't and it just collects dust.

But that is what vacations are for - right?

Later: I decided to rip out about 15 rows of the sleeve... at this rate I will be doing this thru next summer. I didn't like the way the yarn was showing thru the sections of the fabric where I have alternating purls and knit stitches (and still weaving every other row) . Now I'm tugging the back yarn which is working much better.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Onto bigger things

I decided to get them all done before I posted a photo.. so here they are! I think they are the prettiest socks I've done so far! They are "Gingerbread Dude" light STR yarn in plain stockinette:

Some knitter have complained about the pooling but I kinda like it.. adds to the variety in the color.

And I have finally decided what next:

I think I need to get more PW under my belt before attempting the Cossack I bought for Xmas. Actually this one is called "Southwest" and is the same pattern as Cossack - just up and down. Tonight I'm going to watch the PW DVD again as a refresher course.

In the meantime - my Kauni and St Moritz are all done too. ends woven, etc. That's one nice thing about PW patterns.. no ends to weave.

I love vacation! Still have 12 more days off!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So so busy!

Yes I'm alive but just barely. I always plan to do "big" things when I'm on vacation. This year it was pulling down all the wallpaper in my master bathroom and painting it light rose. I have very high ceilings so I had to get up on a ladder with a roller or paintbrush at the end to reach them.

I am very pleased:

Good thing I got it done in one day. My muscles hurt so much I couldn't climb a ladder if I wanted to.

So today is back to knitting.

I also save all my "finishing" work for vacation. Today it was my Kauni. Wove in all the loose ends and tacked down the facings. Tomorrow is my St Moritz and then I need to weave ends in on two shawls. My camera battery is recharging so I will show photos later.

And did I say how much I love "Gingerbread Dude"! I am into the gusset of the second sock and will show photos of those later too!

What is next? I'm not in the mood to finish Mermaid. I really want to do some colorwork. But haven't decided what yet. Maybe a Poetry In Stitches? Maybe Philosopher's Wool? Maybe Starmore? Maybe Autumn Roses? What to do??

Monday, December 10, 2007

This Gingerbread Dude is Cool!

A special post for a special dude:

This is STR lightweight in Gingerbread Dude. Don't you love it! I'm so enjoying it without any special patterns. Just plain stockinette Dude!

4 days and counting!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

One more week to go!

I'm in countdown mode.. only 5 more days until my end of the year vacation and I can't wait. I am so anxious that I am behaving very irrationally. I almost don't want to admit it..

We had snow last night. The first shovelable (is that a word?) snow this year. But hah! no fear - I have a snow blower. I took it out - plugged it in with my new cold proof electric cord - and ran it for the length of my driveway. Turned around - thought I had moved the cord out of my path and started again. Suddenly I heard a bump and of course.. I ran right over the cord. It was VERY stuck in the belly of the snowblower. I spent the next half hour - cutting the electric cord, using my wire cutter to take the outside wrap off the wire so I could pull it away and getting VERY cold and VERY wet. Sigh.. Luckily - I found another cord and was able to finish the task at hand. Oh well. its just a cord and at least I saved the blower.

Then I finally reached the point in my Mermaid sleeve where I only had to knit all the YO's with the following stitch. I dropped a stitch. I REALLY tried to save it but managed to put this big hole in the sleeve. What's a girl to do - but rip out about 15 rows... luckily short ones. But I got that done and all that is left is the bind off. I have sent the final size small spreadsheet to Amy to be distributed to those who have already bought the kit.

Once I finish that.. I plan to do another pair of socks (no lace pattern please). Haven't decided what yarn to use but it will be something autumny. More on that next week. I also decided that I want to learn the Cat Bordhi circular needle method for socks in the not too distant future.

Every year I buy myself a Xmas gift. Last year it was the electric yarn winder which thankfully I got back into working order. Two years earlier I bought a Lendrum spinning wheel and then decided that it wasn't something I could ever teach myself and if and when I retire with time to do things like take classes - I would buy another one. In the meantime - I would rather sell it on Ebay and use the money for yarn!

So - I pondered what to do this year and decided to get this:

Ain't she purdy! Eugene with co-owns Philosopher's Wool - wrote me to ask about my experience with their patterns. I guess this is one of their more challenging ones. I hope I'm up to it. I think I will. This will really be more of a coat than sweater and their heavier yarns should work out well with this.

5 days and counting!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Return of the Yarn Monster

This has been a good week yarnwise! I won't get into my work headaches - they give me a headache.

First of all - my Baudelaires are done!

I'm pleased with them but found that I didn't enjoy doing lace on socks as much as I expected. Too much to think about. I think I prefer plain stockinette. Plus the fact that I can't find many patterns (other than ribs which I hate) for my smaller stitch count. Not many patterns with a multiple of 7 or 14.

And then - I decided Friday night to see if I could redeem my yarn monster. If you recall - a few months ago - my $$ electric yarn winder made a mess of my Kauni yarn. This is the wonky shaped skeins it was making - not pretty:

So I pulled it out and tried to analyze what was wrong. The motor was still working and the core was still turning so what could be wrong. I tried tightening some screws to no avail. Then I compared what my manual one was doing compared to the electric one. The cone of the manual one had a stronger angle. The rim was closer to the base. So I pushed down a lot harder on the cone of the electric one. And voila!

I couldn't be more pleased. The cone must have loosened up after I pulled so hard to remove the Kauni mess. I will still use my bigger manual one for things like Kauni which has a ton of yarn on it - but this will be so much easier for normal size skeins. Fixing this really was the highlight of my week!

And then I decided to I-cord around the front edge of my Mermaid body and work on my Mermaid sleeves. I am making them 10 stitches shorter than the pattern calls for - since there are so many KAL posters who said the sleeves grow when you block it. Since I'm so petite - I don't want to deal with that. I am creating the spreadsheet to match the original pattern in case anyone doesn't want to shorten the sleeves.

And here is where I am today:

These will take awhile - and knowing me I will probably take a break between sleeves but at least the spreadsheet will be done.

Two more weeks until Xmas break! Its a good thing. Work is really beginning to annoy me.

Have a good week!