Wednesday, January 27, 2010

5% less = 6.7% more!

Woo hoo! I won my company's weight loss challenge! The challenge: from November 3rd to January 26th, any employee who lost at least 5% of their body weight gets an extra paid vacation day in 2010. I did it! I also won the prize in my building for most % weight lost overall - a gift card to the grocery store. Kind of funny when you think about it, but appreciated nonetheless.

My Scoop Pullover is almost done - I've got one skein of yarn left. I'm going to move away from the body (which is borderline as long as I want it), start on the sleeves and make sure I get those matching, and whatever is left will go back down to the waistline. I tried it on with lifelines in place - hot!

I'm going to try to cram in a cardigan for Audrey before the Olympics (and Ravelympics) starts - I'm adapting Starmore's Alba pattern to a pair of socks. Yarn is ordered and on the way!

Tonight I'm re-cutting the pieces for the GD Double Pieced Tulips quilt. I WILL finish this quilt someday. And if I ever meet the designer/pattern tech editor, well, I won't be held responsible for my actions. They have it coming.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Warm surprises on a winter weekend

The weekend before last was full of surprises! First, I was surprised to find a box on my doorstep – I had not ordered anything, nor had DH. Return address – Virginia. I looked inside and found this!:

baglette, yarn

No note, but I suspected Clarsah (and confirmed by email) – my upstream SP from the last KnittySP round – from the initials on the box and the return address. How nice is that?! Two balls of Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed in warm cozy red – just the thing to warm up this bitter Ohio weather we’ve been having. And they were packed in this adorable bag – it looks tiny, but had two outside pockets, two inside pockets and a key loop. Plus the strap is adjustable from shoulder bag to across-the-chest length. I think it will be perfect for those get-out-your-money-frequently trips to the farmers market or (cough) fiber festival (cough cough).

And Friday night – a TV star stopped by our dinner table! And not just a TV star – an Iron Chef! We went to Bar Symon for dinner (Michael Symon’s new casual restaurant in Avon Lake) with Audrey and he was there eating and making the rounds. He asked Audrey how she liked her grilled cheese – thank goodness she said “good”! She really didn’t comprehend who he was – her TV viewing habits are limited to PBS and the occasional Nickolodeon show with a babysitter. We told her he was the guy who wrote the new cookbook Daddy got for Christmas – that seemed to ring a bit of a bell. But, she was clearly underwhelmed. DH and I were completely geeked out though! I mean, sure, lots of restaurants send the owner/chef/manager around to ask how the food is, but how many of them are IRON CHEFS? Too cool. I watch way too much Food TV. I think I saw Guy Fieri in the Chicago airport once too.

Anyhow, if you are near the west side of Cleveland, go there to eat! We’ve been three times now and everything has been awesome, from the beer list (extensive) to the side dishes (mmm, bacon. Remember I said everything is better with bacon? He uses it in many dishes). Favorite main courses (so far) are the mussels, the grown-up mac-and-cheese (rosemary, chicken, and goat cheese) and the fried chicken. Which is like, half a chicken. So you get it for lunch the next day too. It’s kid-friendly – no printed kids menu, but the wait staff can recite the 4 kids items they make (hot dog, grilled cheese, mac-n-cheese, and chicken strips). Bring crayons and your own paper to color on.

And in knitting, I finished the Sparkling Elves socks:

Elf socks

Shiny. Not something I usually say about socks, but well, if the shoe (or sock) fits…

New project: the Scoop Pullover by Cathy Carron. I’m using the Reynolds Rapture I got on clearance last summer. I made a little mod to the set up round for the sleeves so the sleeves would be symmetrical (can’t find an errata for this – is it really supposed to be asymmetrical?). Instead of *p2,k2* all the way across the shoulders and back, I did k1,*p2,k2* p2, k1. I’m making the smallest size, with an extra 4 stitches in the back. Should work out to around 2” negative ease – the next size up would have had 3 inches

Friday, January 08, 2010

Past and Present and the bridge between

And so we begin a new year - 2010. I suppose I should say something deep and meaningful about turning 40, or my daughter starting kindergarten, or the state of the world.


After the crazy knitting race that was DH's hat, I exhaled, and started the second Wanida sock. Started after Christmas (like the 26th, I think) and finished easily before the Ball dropped on Time's Square. I wore them yesterday actually - very comfortable! I like the yarn (Plymouth Happy Feet) a lot. I'll find out how it washes this weekend.

The Past - the last complete project of 2009:
Wanida socks

Pattern: Wanida
Designer: Cookie A.
Source: Sock Innovations
Yarn: Plymouth Happy Feet
Needles: US1

Pattern notes and mods: none. Her patterns are so well written, I have no need to tinker.

The Present: the first project started in 2010:
Elf socks
Pattern: Circle Socks
Designer: Anne Campbell
Yarn: Wisdome Yarns Marathon Socks, North Pole in Elf
Needles: US2
Pattern notes and mods: cute pattern for striped yarns - the slip stitches hide a world of self striping funk. I also made these toe up (Judy's magic cast on, short row heel).

The Bridge between:
Aurora Borealis mitts - back

Aurora Borealis mitts - front

Pattern: Aurora Borealis Mitts
Designer: me
Yarn: NY Yarns Gypsy (#1) and Lamb's Pride Bulky (onyx)
Needles: US8

Inspiration: the Northern Lights as viewed from the Hill of Three Oaks and my wish for truly warm cozy mittens. I've been oogling beautiful stranded mittens on Ravelry, but I couldn't help thinking - I don't care how many stitches per inch you knit - fingering weight mittens just aren't going to cut it when sledding with my daughter in 20F weather. And like a flash I knew what I was going to do with the two skeins of Gypsy in my stash.
I had to use both skeins and do a little color sequence editing to get the colors to come out like they did, but I love them. And yeah, they're warm.