Thursday, December 06, 2007

Reasons to be happy

Top ten reasons I am happy today:

10. The headache I woke up with this morning, although still with me, is not a migraine.
9. The snow that fell yesterday has not completely melted yet.
8. Because our intern at work has her last day tomorrow (sad), we took her out for coffee this afternoon (happy) and congratulated her on her new, paying job (happy).
7. Even though every single one of my WIPs seems to be plotting my demise, at least I have yarn. And I do still love the WIPs and can't wait to finish them, even if they are misbehaving right now (more on them in the next post).
6. I am at work at all today. (My last day was supposed to be Nov. 30th, but I was given a stay of execution an extension until the end of the year).
5. There is a happy hour after work today, and I plan on attending, headache or not. After all, yesterday was Repeal Day.
4. I just got my 15th "bingo" in the Facebook version of Scrabulous. It was SCHEMERS fo 82 points, thank you very much. Who, me, addicted?
3. We're going to put up the holiday decorations this weekend. There will also be baking, and possibly singing. The only thing that could make it better would be snow and a fireplace.
2. I get to see my husband tomorrow.
1. I'm alive, employed (for now), healthy, and loved. And I have yarn and books.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweetness is... husband. Look at the birthday surprise that was waiting on the doorstep when I got home last night! This gorgeous bouquet topped off a day full of birthday wishes by email, Facebook, card, and even international long distance phone calls. I feel so loved!

Sorry for being MIA with the blog for so long. I promise I'll have time next week for some much-needed catching up!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Won't you be my neighbor?

Yummy! The sumptuous buffet of Neighborhood Yarns that we dined upon tonight at Knit Happens. Being bad never felt so...soft. Aaah!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sleepy time

Ivy is sooo happy to have a nice comfy shoebox to snooze in.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I think Samus is afraid of me. This is as far as he's peeked out of his bag all week. How, you ask, can I be sooo close to the end of a project and yet seem unable to finish it? I scared him off, that's the only possible explanation. Hopefully I'll coax him out of his bag and onto the blocking board by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, with Samus cowering in his bag, I've been plenty busy: the VA Fall Fiber Festival with Sangeeta, finally getting on Facebook and rediscovering old friends, a 7 mile hike with Taz, several dinners and lunches with friends, a TON of work at my "real" (paid) job, and an unblogable surprise project that I didn't take pictures of and can't tell you about until next week.

So, USB cable gods willing, I should have some good knitting and stash growth pics for you then. Until then, I'm taking suggestions on how to sweet talk an almost-finished cardigan into taking a bath.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma!

"May we be free of torture, may there be peace in hearts and minds as our kindness spreads around the world."

You may have heard about the peaceful protests led by Buddhist monks in Burma in recent weeks, in which monasteries were raided, many people were shot, and many more arrested. When the people of Burma last staged mass pro-democracy protests back in 1988, the military junta murdered thousands.

Free Burma!

Today is the International Bloggers' Day for Burma. You can learn more about it by clicking on the image above. They have a petition you can sign, and links to more information and online actions. Please note that clicking on the image above will take you to an "entry" page for the site with just one image on it. If you click on this image, it will take you inside the site.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sooo close!

Ok, so it didn't get done in time for the Harlot (photos of a room full of knitter's clapping for me when I finished seaming it forthcoming upon discovery of USB cable), but I am so close to finishing Samus, I can taste it! The i-cord edging is done except for the cuffs, and the ends are all woven in, so tonight I went to the store to buy the ribbon I need when I install the zipper. A huge craft store, with aisle upon aisle of posterboard, fake flowers, glue guns, and beads, and this was the only ribbon I could find that even came close to matching the yarn or the zipper. Think it'll work?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This is Samus. I started it as my Knitting Olympics project (the personal challenge was tackling cables for the first time). Yes, it has been on the needles that long. But now I have two incentives to finish it ASAP. First, as you know, is Autumn Rose--I'm not allowed to cast on for my new obsession until I finish this. The second is that the Yarn Harlot is coming to town on Thursday. The Harlot herself, founder of the Knitting Olympics. Think I can sew on the other sleeve, knit approximately 57 miles of i-cord edging, install my first zipper, block, and dry this in under 48 hours?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Watership Down

I saw this quiz on Mafia's blog, and I just had to take it. And I was thrilled to discover that I am one of my favorite books ever. I have read this one more times than I can count, and I get something new out of it each time:

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stardust and charlie horses

This weekend was for showing Taz's mom around NYC. My folks decided to join us too, which was fun. We began our Saturday to the sounds of the Broadway hopefuls who double as waitstaff at the Stardust Diner just north of Times Square. Then we walked through Central Park and saw Strawberry Fields, took the subway down to Chinatown and walked some more, met up with a family friend for dinner, and walked some more. Exhausted, we fell asleep as soon as we got home. Then I woke up in the middle of the night with searing pain in my calves, and my dad's legs and feet were really swollen, too, he said. Needless to say, everyone voted for less walking when we had brunch, saw Ground Zero, and ate dosa for dinner on Sunday!

Monday, August 27, 2007


You might recall that Taz and I had been dating for three years and three months when he proposed to me, on January 3rd, at 3am, on my third week in India. Apparently, the number three is lucky for us. And now, in keeping with the "three" theme, we've been married three times:

For more pics from the US party, click here.

I think the third time's the charm, though, so I don't anticipate us planning any more wedding-like events anytime soon. What I do anticipate is years of happiness as we share life's adventures. Thank you for loving me enough to marry me three times, baby! I love you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I'm no stranger to pain. Ok, so I have yet to give birth, but I've had my share of nausea-inducing migraines. And while, unlike with a migraine, I am actually still functional at the moment, whatever this thing is that I have in my eye hurts waay more than I thought possible. I decided a picture of some ibuprophen was preferable to a picture of my eye. Trust me. Yes, I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Late to the party

I'm sure I'm the last person on earth to discover and listen to a Lime 'n' Violet podcast, but Oh. My. God. are they hilarious! I first learned about them from Holly, but immediately thereafter became so busy that I'm amazed I had time to breathe, much less download a podcast. This past weekend I finally got around to downloading one, and yesterday I listened to it on my metro ride from work to Late Night. I think my fellow metro riders must have thought I was deranged the way I was laughing to myself. And humming along to a very weird song about Harry Potter. It was soooo good to see the Late Night gang again after more than two months. Wine, cookies, knitting, cute dogs, and witty company--the perfect way to spend a Wednesday evening!

In other news, no pics yet, but I am finally working on the heel of the first Snicket sock, and the sleeve caps for Samus. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I am absolutely determined to get done with Samus so I can focus on Autumn Rose.

My wonderful mother-in-law arrives tomorrow from India, and we can't wait to see her. So tonight, I have to finish getting the house as ready as I possibly can (which, alas, will not mean being 100% unpacked and organized, but oh well). My brother is also arriving from Japan late today. So much family excitement in so little time! Somewhere during all this 90% of my Autumn Rose yarn should be arriving. Woo hoo!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The excitement builds!

I should be folding laundry. Or at least swiffering the floors. I did a little of that. But mostly, I spent the evening alternately flipping wistfully through the Autumn Rose pattern and dancing around the house chanting "My book is here, my book is here!"

My book!!!

The first page has a close-up of the Autumn Rose fabric, and it is just exquisite! And here's the main picture with the pattern:

It's definitely the hardest project in the whole book, and I am definitely feeling nervous about it, especially considering I've only done a very small amount of stranded knitting before. But if there's one thing I've learned in knitting it's that if I take things a step at a time, I always seem to get there somehow, no matter how new or complicated or scary the technique is. Now the only question is, when will my yarn be here???

Friday, August 10, 2007

Announcing the Autumn Rose Knitalong

Didn't I just get finished telling you how busy I've been? Well, apparently I'm not busy enough. I seem to have deluded myself into thinking I have time to help run a knitalong. Blame it on Jennsquared--she's the one who talked me into it, and is (thank goodness) co-administering it with me. So far we have a blog with two contributors (us) and one entry. Eventually we hope to have a Flickr group and many many KAL members. After all, who wouldn't want to knit this gorgeous sweater? And so, without further ado, I present to you:

In Love With Autumn Rose

Please go visit the blog and then join the KAL. We're gonna need all the help we can get!

Random Friday

Busy, busy, busy! I know, I say that every time. But seriously, in less than a month, my 6-person department at work has lost three people (to fabulous new jobs for them, not layoffs). So I am now officially doing the job of two people. And it's only going to get worse, since I am the only person left out of the three who doesn't get any paid vacation, and both of the other two are taking their summer vacations in the next month. So I'd better blog while I still can. Here's the run-down of non-work stuff I've been up to:

1. First and foremost, moving. There are still sooo many boxes to unpack, so much stuff to organize, and the new place needs a thorough cleaning before my mother-in-law arrives next week. But I think I promised to post some photos of the new place, so here are the ones I've managed to snap so far:

Our new dining area, with a pass-through window to our spacious kitchen.
There is a door in the kitchen that leads to the stairs down to the finished
basement (with unfinished storage area as well)--oh the glorious space!!!

A small portion of our books, and the stairs to the second floor.

Our living room area, complete with Ivy breaking in the new futon.

2. An outdoor concert:

While Chris Isaak played at Wolftrap, my friends and I shared wine,
bread, cheese, and more than a few laughs.

3. Knitting. Believe it or not, I have actually managed to get a little bit of knitting done throughout the craziness. Not enough to warrant photographing, but I'm almost to the heel of Snicket, and I'm nearly done with the sleeves for Samus (and my amazing mother gave me a zipper that matches the yarn almost perfectly, so I no longer have the "but I can't find a good zipper" excuse for not getting it D-O-N-E). When my folks stopped by the other day, Taz saw the sock that my mom was knitting for my dad, and suddenly realized that he is not totally against variegated yarn. So you can bet that at the very next opportunity, I got me to the LYS and picked some up. Still fairly subdued, but light years more interesting to knit than plain charcoal gray:

Lorna's Laces in Black Watch colorway.

4. More knitting. I swear, I'm not just making stuff up so my list will look longer. This deserves its own spot. Months and months ago, I was reading Eunny's blog, and I saw a glimpse of a design she had just completed and sent off to Jamieson's for their next pattern book. Well, that book finally came out, and I have already ordered it. Simply Shetland 4 is hopefully already on its way to my anxious little hands. And as soon as I get it, I am going to buy the yarn for the Autumn Rose Pullover. It is the only fair isle sweater I have ever felt compelled to knit--it has a scoop neck, 3/4 sleeves, and waist shaping!! Finally, a fair isle I can actually wear! Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A thousand splendid socks

Yeah, right. It'll be a long time before I knit 1000 socks. The yarn
and pattern on this one is quite splendid, though. It may not look
like I've made much progress since I last showed you Snickett
(especially since this is still the first sock), but I am actually not
far from the heel. If I can tear myself away from this
heartwrenchingly beautiful book long enough to do a few more rows
tonight, I'll be starting sock #2 by the weekend for sure. Now that
I've put that in writing, it's guaranteed not to happen, of course...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mein Hindi bol sakti hoon

Apparently, 8 weeks, a new 48-letter alphabet, 9 verb tenses, hundredsof vocab words, and innumerable ridiculous mistakes later ("YesterdayI ate a pink sari??"), I have actually managed to learn something. Can you believe it?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No more guilt

Got home too late last night to snap any decent shots of the new place, and I've been too busy studying Hindi (final exam tomorrow) and reading HP7 (warning: if you tell me anything about what happens in the book, I will hunt you down and hurt you with my knitting needles) to get any knitting done, much less take any photos of it. But dude, I just found these amazing pictures that have completely removed any possible guilt I might have felt about the size of my yarn stash.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

OK, so it doesn't fly, but it is so cool in so many other ways, we don't miss the flying too much. I finally got around to taking a picture of our new Prius. We are still thinking of a name for her. We love her so much, it's hard to think of a name that does her justice. (And no, she does NOT make any noises remotely like "chitty" or "bang.")

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One step closer... starting MS3. On Sunday when More Cows was visiting, we stopped by the LYS and she helped me pick out this lovely yarn:

Misti Alpaca in a gorgeous dark natural brown, and Addi Turbos for Lace.

At least now I can't use the "I don't have yarn for that project" excuse for not starting. Granted, I still don't have the beads, and I still haven't finished any of the other projects I have on the needles, despite my vow that I would at least have Samus ready for blocking before casting on anything else. Oh yes, and I have exactly three nanoseconds of free time each day, it seems.

This week, every night after I get home from Hindi class at 10, I will be packing dishes and books and anything else I can manage to cram into boxes before Friday, which is when the movers are coming (lucky for me, Taz will be supervising that). This time on Saturday, Taz and I will be waking up in our new place, which we are very very excited about. The actual moving, though? Not so much. We will survive this move, and we will be amazingly happy when it's done. Yes.

And in less than two weeks, I'll have my weekday evenings back. MS3, here I come!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Remembering girlhood

This past weekend was divine. It started out on Friday evening with me and Taz finally signing the lease for our new place. We asked them to rip up the carpeting and sand and varnish the underlying hardwood floors for us, and they did. On time. No extra charge. And it looks great. This bodes well.

Then we tried to see HP5 with some friends, but since none of us thought of buying tickets online at 6am the day before, we had a snowball's chance of seeing it at either of the 2 cinemas we tried (or, I'm sure, the 4 we didn't). So instead, we sat and had some beers and talked about everything from upcoming concerts, to what ingredients go into different beers, to the best way to get from point A to point B by bike in our area. Great fun, and it sure beat trying to find a 2am show for HP5. Taz and I did eventually get to see it. My thoughts are here.

The next day, my best friend from elementary school arrived with her husband K, and even though we hadn't seen each other in nearly a decade, the bond was as strong as ever. All four of us had a great time walking, playing mini golf, showing our competitive streaks in Super Scrabble, eating, drinking, talking, laughing, and remembering. It was fun reminiscing about the time some boys pelted us with snowballs when we were walking home from school, and how one of our friends used to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day, and how much of a drama queen my 6th grade boyfriend was. But the best part was the feeling that our relationship is not just a collection of shared memories, and that we still have so much to offer one another now that we're all growed up. I am so so SO happy that they chose us as the first stop on their summer vacation.

Oh, and there was knitting. And yarn buying. Pictures coming soon.

On Sunday evening, Taz and I finally saw HP5. It was fun, but I left the theater with a somewhat unfulfilled feeling. Like when you're used to eating this kind of pizza and are given this instead. I thought about it, and reading JennSquared's entry today helped me articulate it better. She said the movie more or less "represents the book" and I think that's true, but not in a good way. The book is represented, but not expressed. The film had all the major plot elements, but it didn't explain anything and didn't get you to feel involved. I'm not even complaining here about the parts of the book that didn't make it in. I'm talking about the parts of the book that were in the movie, but that you wouldn't understand the significance of if you hadn't read the book recently. Like whose voice is speaking the prophecy, for example. There's a reason Book 5 was a long book--there is so much we learn that we need to know to properly understand the significance of events in Book 6. I know that background info might not make for an exciting movie, but I would have been satisfied with even just a line or two about certain key things. Still, it was fun and had some good special effects. And it was enough of a refresher for me that I can now finish rereading Book 6 in anticipation of this Friday at midnight!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Take me out...

A perfect Friday evening with Taz (if you don't care about the home
team winning).

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Studying hard

My homework practicing Hindi postpositions (yes, post, not pre).

(I was also testing out how to post from my phone)

Getting snickety!

I am happy to say that I have finally started my Summer of Socks project (note that I don't say "first," because I know myself and my schedule better than to imagine there will be more than one pair of socks this summer). Darn overcast day and no flash on my iPhone camera made for a dark picture, but here it is:

Claudia's Hand Painted, in Walk in the Woods colorway, on US #1 dpns.

I was worried that the stitch pattern in Snicket wouldn't show up well in this variegated yarn, but so far the ribbing seems very well-defined, probably because of the twisted stitches. I have been waiting and waiting to use this yarn, and I love the pattern I chose. My only concern is if one ball per sock will be enough. I'm using smaller needles than the pattern calls for, and making a larger size than I normally would because I liked my tighter gauge. I'll still make the foot the right length for me, but I never know if I'm going to have enough yardage. Fingers crossed, because I got this yarn so long ago, I'm sure there's no more of this dye lot left!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Better 6 months late than never!

Finally! I finished the socks I was making for Taz! Sure, they were intended to be a Christmas gift. But then somehow they became a Valentine's Day present, but that didn't quite happen either. Then I was trying for a First Anniversary gift, but the day came and went. His birthday, I thought, surely they'll be done by then! Wrong again. They are now a slightly belated Summer Solstice present, it seems. Even though it's hot and humid, Taz was happy to model them for me:

Nice and simple, just his style. Knit on US size 1's, using Dale Baby Ull (superwash wool). I used the Priscilla Gibson-Roberts short-row toe and heel, and worked them toe-up. I also did a grafted bind-off, which is the stretchiest bind off I've found so far for 2x2 ribbing.

I was pretty sick of the metal needles and the charcoal grey yarn by the end, but I'm happy with them, and most importantly, he's happy. Which makes me happy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Busy busy car car

That's basically been the monologue in my head this week. With bits of "Hindi Hindi" and "free time, what's that?" thrown in.

A typical day: Wake up, eat, shower, bike 12 miles to work, workworkwork, bike 3 miles to Hindi class, act like a sponge for 3 hours, navigate home via metro and bus with bike in tow, feed cats, call Taz, fall into bed and sleep upon contact with the pillow. So that's the "busy busy" part.

The "car car" part is because our dear little '97 Honda Civic has finally reached the point where repairing her transmission will cost way more than we could sell her for. So for the past couple weekends, Taz and I have been doing a lot of car shopping (yay for test drives! boo for clueless salespeople!). We have narrowed it down to the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius. I think we are leaning toward the Prius for a number of reasons (mileage, cargo space, leg room, available extras), but I'd love to get some feedback from all of you, if you have personal experience with hybrids. What hybrid do you have? What do you love and hate about it? What made you choose the one you did? Would you choose the same one if you could do it again? With luck, we'll be able to figure out the money part and make a decision within the next week or two.

In knitting news (I know, it's been a while, hasn't it?) I am now officially within two rounds of being ready to bind off Taz's second sock. Nice dark wool socks, just in time for the hottest part of the summer. Do I have good timing or what?

p.s. Sorry for the dearth of pictures lately. There are pictures, I swear. They're even on my computer. At some point they will actually make it onto the blog.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ben and Ivy on the Summer '07 Knitty

Opinions are like assh.... well, let's just say, everyone's got one. Even my darling furry knitting companions (whose hairs are surely knit into everything I produce). When they saw the Summer '07 issue of Knitty, they had quite a lot to say:

Ivy and Ben

Hip in Hemp
Ivy says: This would be good if someone made it and left it on the couch for me to knead and nap on. Which is probably what would happen, since it wouldn't get worn much. Please make this one! I'm getting bored of the blue fleece blanket.
Ben says: Bright colors! Squiggly lines! Almost as cool as that new toy you got me. If you make this, can I kill it?

Ivy says: Oh, this would be great if you were a cat, because then you wouldn't have to worry about bust support, and the back would be open so people could scratch you and pet you all day long!
Ben says: Yeah! And then I could come and chew the ribbons off and then you'd be naked!

Ivy says: Now this is a garment made for a cat--oh, wait, why is she wearing it backwards?
Ben says: I like the drapey part in the front. A kitten could curl up there and have like a little hammock!

Ivy says: I want to lick this!
Ben says: It's good they put in the pointy-down part. That way she won't forget to look down and feed the cats.

Tangerine twist
Ivy says: I wonder if this smells like that lotion of yours that I like? If it does, I would lick this one too.
Ben says: It's got orange, like me! I love it!

Ivy says: Looks like her cat got involved in the design process. I like it.
Ben says: Yeah, nothing like an oddly placed hole to make something pretty. I do it to all our paper products.

'vog on
Ivy says: I'm more interested in the shoes here. They look like very nice ones to shove your head into.
Ben says: These would make nice socks for Ivy to carry around the house in her mouth.

Ivy says: Nice color socks. That pattern looks like fish scales.
Ben says: Oh, look! Legs! For me to walk on while they're sleeping and wake them up several times a night! Oh yeah, and the socks are nice too.

Ivy says: Why do people wear socks anyway? Especially in the summer, when you don't even need furry feet to keep warm?
Ben says: I think they wear them to look cool. So they definitely shouldn't wear these.

Sweet pea
Ivy says: They could wear these ones though. They're kinda cool.
Ben says: Pretty colors! Squiggly lines! If you make these, can I kill them?

Ivy says: Oh cool! A two-pronged cat tunnel!
Ben says: Yay! Tag, you're it!

Ivy says: I definitely think you should make this. For me. With the lace-up part. I've been needing a hairy cave to nap in.
Ben says: I want one too! Tie it over my shoulders and watch me fly around the house! More than I do already, I mean, and not just every night at 10.

Prickly girl
Ivy says: Do we know any girls this age? This one doesn't look very happy.
Ben says: It has flowers! Can I eat them?

Ivy says: A baby bag! Neat idea! Small babies are about the size of cats, you know. And my sign is Gemini, in case you were wondering.
Ben says: And mine is Aries!

Grow with me
Ivy says: This is cute. I like the blue and white. Those strings look fun too.
Ben says: A baby with strings! Cool!

Ivy says: About time! They finally got it right and made a cat-related pattern. I hope you plan to make several thousand of these. I'm going to need them, but I can't tell you why.
Ben says: I think I already got my back foot caught in one of the loops of the lion's mane while I was trying to scratch his eyes out.

Chapeau marnier
Ivy says: A hat with a ribbon! You must make it!
Ben says: Did someone say there was more string??

Thursday, June 07, 2007

International neighborhood watch

I have a general policy of never blogging about work-related stuff, and I have largely been good about abiding by that policy (except for maybe once). However, this new site is just so cool, and the genocide in Darfur is so important, I am going to break my rule one more time:

Regularly updated satellite images of villages in Darfur that are at risk of being obliterated by the military or the janjaweed. Before and after pictures of villages that have already been destroyed. Background information about the conflict. Individuals' stories. Ways to take action to stop the genocide. Go. Check out the site. (Warning: it's depressing--but you should still check it out).

On a totally unrelated note, I am really enjoying my Hindi classes. Yesterday I finally learned how to write my own name: ब्रिना (and isn't it cool that I can write it in blogger too??)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Meme to the 7th

I have found my USB cable, but I won't have time to upload the pics until the weekend, and also, it's Friday, and I am really busy at work, so all I had time for was this meme. I was tagged for it by my old CT knitting buddy Jennsquared. So, here are seven random things about me:

1. When I'm using scissors, I tend to subconsciously stick my tongue out of the corner of my mouth and chew on it in the same rhythm I'm using to cut. Taz just loooves to tease me about this.

2. Unlike so many knitters (and, evidently, so many women in general), I am NOT a chocoholic. While I do enjoy good chocolate, more often than not, I prefer the chewy fruity candies instead of a chocolate bar, or a nice creme brulee over a dense chocolate torte.

3. I love being able to identify the plants and animals around me. A typical hike with me is peppered with exclamations of "Oh, look at the mountain laurel over there!" and "Look out for that stinging nettle!" and "I wonder what kind of turtle that is?" I was completely nonplussed when I made friends in Chile who had grown up in rural areas but didn't even know the names of some of the most common hedgerow plants, or when I was in India, and no one in Taz's family could tell me why there weren't any seagulls in Bombay, even though it's right on the Arabian Sea.

4. I love school supplies. Even though we have plenty of pens and pencils in the house, I am seriously considering going out this weekend to buy a new notebook and writing implements for my Hindi class that starts on Monday.

5. I used to hate cilantro so much that it made me nauseous just to smell it, but overexposure to it while living in South America cured me of that. Now I adore it!

6. Sewing machines scare me. Not in a nightmarish "they're alive!" sort of way; I'm just afraid that if I try to sew something with one, the machine will go out of control and sew zigzags all over the fabric and ruin everything.

7. The books in our house are arranged by category (fiction, poetry, religion, cooking, reference, etc.), and are alphabetical by author and title within each category. Yes, that is because I was the one who unpacked the books. It may be anal, but it sure makes it easy to find a book when you need it!

As for who I'm going to tag, I don't want to force anyone to do a meme if they don't want to, but if you feel like it, and you don't have anything better to blog about, consider yourself tagged. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Needles, pedals, and tent poles

There has been yarn buying, there has been knitting, there has been a lot of cycling, and there will be some camping. But there is no USB cable. So no pictures. Yet. But I learned the hard way that if I wait to post until I have the pictures ready, six months can go by before I even know what hit me. So here I am.

I didn't buy much at Sheep & Wool, but what I did buy was yummy indeed. 1400 yds of Tess 50-50 silk wool in a gorgeous deep purple and silvery gray colorway, which I intend to use for Lucie. One fat skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in a nice dark blue colorway (I'll post the name once I'm home and can check the ball band). And a small souvenir gift for a friend. That's it. But if you've seen how much Tess costs, you'll realize I spent most of my budget on that. And if you've ever touched it, you'll understand why.

No, I have not finished an knitting projects. I did, after all, take two full weeks off of knitting to rest my wrist. But now that my needles are back in my hands, I have at least made it past the 75% mark on Taz charcoal socks. At this rate, I might finish them in time for Labor Day...

What I have definitely been doing more of is bicycling. May 18th was Bike to Work Day here in the DC area, and I (somewhat insanely) decided to take up the challenge, despite the fact that I live more than 10 miles from work. I actually made it in only slightly more time that it would normally take me on public transportation, and I felt so charged up from the exercise that I didn't need to consume a drop of caffeine all day. I did it again yesterday, and felt great again, and I made it in even less time than the first day. So now my plan is to see if I can do it at least three days a week. Then I'd be logging about 75 miles a week without even taking any extra time out of my schedule! My evening hindi class starts on June 3rd, so that might throw a wrench in my plans, but I can always just buy a headlight.

Finally, this weekend we're going camping! I am sooo excited!! OK, so it's not backcountry canoe camping in the arctic like I did in high school, but there will be a lake, mountains, a tent, starry night skies, a campfire, and marshmallows. And a loving husband to share it all with. What more could a girl ask for?

Friday, May 04, 2007

I feel like I'm eight years old

And it's the last day of school. I'm too excited to concentrate. Tomorrow is Sheep and Wool! I'll get to bask in fibery goodness! I'll get to see lots of sheep! I'll get to see some friends I haven't seen in ages! Apparently, I'll get to eat deep fried twinkies!

But what to wear? The weather is supposed to be nice, but at "neither too hot nor too cold," what knitted things can I wear? I'm ashamed to say that I have no finished sweaters to call my own (which isn't to say I've never finished any sweaters, just none for me--so far). And I still haven't finished Hanging Vines (yes, this would be perfect). So should I wear my Loopy & Luscious scarf/stole?

Or should I just dress like a muggle and only give away my secret identity as a knitter by my socks? (Well, that and the fact that I'll be at Sheep and Wool in the first place):

Whatever I wear, I will be having fun, that's for sure!

I might not actually be knitting, however. I know, GASP!!! Despite the fact that I'll be surrounded by knitters and am also desperately hoping to finish a certain (temporarily secret) project by the following weekend, I won't be knitting. I can't knit in the car anyway, since I'll be the one driving (if anyone has figured out a way around this, let me know). But the real reason I won't be knitting is that since Wednesday I've had this funny twitchy nerve in my left forearm that seems to get worse when I hold small things between my fingers, when I type, and, alas, when I knit. I am hoping that by wrapping my wrist/hand and not knitting for a couple days, it will recover. I hope it doesn't come down to choosing between my health and trying to finish that project by next week. This does, however, give me one more idea of what to wear:

Then no one will know I'm wearing a wrist brace!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In which a lapsed blogger is reborn thanks to fiber fever

What is this, you say? Who is this freakishly out-of-it blogger who has suddenly reappeared? Where the heck was she all that time? And why on earth would she just randomly reappear now? Either that, or you're asking yourself "Why should I care?" (if you're even reading this at all).

Excuses aside, a lot of newsworthy stuff has happened in my life in the past four million years six months, but only now have I finally gotten it together to write. At some point I'm sure I'll get around to telling you about my second India trip, and my second wedding while I was there, and my new job, and my summer plans. But right now, what I really want to talk about, the thing that some how managed to penetrate the haze of endless writer's block, is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

I am no fiber festival virgin. I've been to my share of county fairs. I've done Rhinebeck. I've seen the insane people at the fleece tent. But from what I've heard, MD S&W blows the rest out of the water. And now that I finally live close enough to contemplate going, well, let's just say it didn't really take much contemplation.

Now, some people are crazy. Some people plan to get there extra early and storm a certain booth with several of their co-workers from a certain LYS. Me, I'm fully aware that since this is my first time, I have about a snowball's chance in hell of competing with the experts. And anyway, until I get there and see the remains of their pillaging, I won't know what I'm missing. I am going early, but for the enjoyment, not to compete. Instead, I've begun researching patterns so that I know what types, weights, and quantities of yarn I should be keeping an eye out for. My budget is pretty limited, so I am trying to be very picky. Perhaps too picky, since so far I've only come up with one project I'm sure about. But it's a beauty:

Lucie from last fall's Knitty. © 2006 Axelle de Sauveterre.

And who knows? Maybe I'll luck out and Axelle will have a booth there too, and I can just buy the exact yarn the pattern calls for. Now I just have to figure out if there's any other yarn I'll be able to afford after I buy enough for Lucie.