Sunday, September 30, 2007
We went home to Toledo this weekend, so I had quite a bit of knitting time with the car ride and the sitting around and such. I'm now almost finished with the 8th row repeat. I have 12 to do.
The reason we were going home this weekend was because Mark's uncle was getting married. Then Thursday night we received a call that the wedding was postponed because he was in ICU. We decided to go home anyway, and then Saturday we found out that Mark's uncle took a turn for the worse and so the weekend was rather stressful and a bit scary too. I don't want to discuss details here, but it hasn't been a relaxing weekend, that is for sure!
Also, today we made it from Toledo back here in record time- 4 hours! This was due in large part to no backups at the toll booths, but still, we stopped twice along the way. We also only had one driver try to kill us on 94/294 today, this is better than most days. I wish people would pay more attention when they drive. For example, try to make sure no one there before switching lanes. Just a suggestion.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
So Mark's doctor (my doctor is off this week) prescribed antibiotics, a decongestant, and a nasal spray and then I have an appointment to come back in 10 days so that he can see what to do about the whole allergy thing that is probably causing all the sinus issues. Anyway, this explains a lot. I'm hoping all this will help and I'll be feeling better soon so I can quit writing about boring health complaints.
For the record, I find going to these doctors (Mark's and mine share a family practice) a lot less scary than going to the doctor was in Wooster. This may be because those doctors were in a clinic which is generally less comforting than an office suite with TVs and cute vintage ads for first aid products on the walls.
I really wish I had more exciting things to talk about, but I don't.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I'm more about discussing social and political issues with Mark over dinner and a glass of wine and I'm afraid that the writing does suffer as a result. (The wine of the last night and tonight is a 2005 Argiolas Perdera which is an Italian red wine from Monica grapes. I'm pretty sure this was a wine club selection. I like it, but it is gone now.)
I had a dentist appointment today for my troublesome tooth. I knew it wasn't going to be good news and of course it wasn't. I am now deciding on a plan of action that will result in the end of said tooth. It is that or a very expensive root canal and crown (Very expensive even with dental insurance that is, incredibly expensive without) and since it is a back molar, I think I'm going to let the tooth go. That will probably be expensive too, but all things in consideration, I think I'll do it. Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment about the troublesome sinus problem, while I'm not sure there will be much of a solution, I at least don't expect such bad news.
Work was frustrating today too for various reasons. I've blocked it out since I've been home so I really don't feel like thinking about it right now and rehashing.
I've knit a little here and there, but honestly not much lately. I still am keeping my finger taped up a little and the tape snags on the yarn so I get annoyed easily. (The finger was the apple pie injury in case that isn't clear.) I'm a little afraid I'm falling apart at 24, but I don't really think I am.
I think a bird might have just hit my wind chimes. They got really loud all of a sudden and now nothing again.
Yeah so things are ok here really, I'm just complaining because sometimes I need to. Oh, and today one of my favorite shirts developed a hole in the right elbow. This happens to a lot of my shirts, it is because I rest my elbows on my desk and apparently I have sharp elbows.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I hurt myself today while making apple pie and my left index finger is bandaged up so typing is not very easy today. It makes me wonder how tomorrow at work will be, but I think a standard keyboard is generally easier than a laptop keyboard. My weekend has been pretty quiet anyway, so I am going to complete a survey I saw on Emilee Knits:
I’ve done it
I want to do it
Very Little/No interest
I don't know what it is so I can't comment (I added this category)
• Garter stitch
• Knitting with metal wire
• Stockinette stitch
• Socks: top-down
• Socks: toe-up
• Knitting with camel yarn (it isn't the idea, it is the price)
• Mittens: Cuff-up
• Mittens: Tip-down
• Knitting with silk
• Moebius band knitting
• Participating in a KAL
• Drop stitch patterns
• Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
• Slip stitch patterns
• Knitting with banana fiber yarn
• Domino knitting
• Twisted stitch patterns
• Knitting with bamboo yarn
• Two end knitting
• Charity knitting
• Knitting with soy yarn
• Toy/doll clothing
• Knitting with circular needles
• Baby items
• Knitting with your own handspun
• Graffiti knitting
• Continental knitting
• Designing knitted garments
• Cable stitch patterns
• Lace patterns
• Publishing a knitting book
• Teaching a child to knit
• American/English knitting
• Knitting to make money
• Knitting with alpaca
• Fair Isle knitting
• Norwegian knitting
• Dying with plant colors
• Knitting items for a wedding
• Household items
• Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
• Olympic knitting
• Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
• Knitting with dpns
• Holiday-related knitting
• Teaching a male how to knit
• Knitting for a living
• Knitting with cotton
• Knitting smocking
• Dying yarn
• Knitting art
• Knitting with wool (virtually all the time)
• Textured knitting
• Kitchener BO
• Knitting with beads
• Long Tail CO
• Knitting and purling backwards
• Machine knitting
• Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn
• Stuffed toys
• Knitting with cashmere
• Knitting with synthetic yarn
• Writing a pattern
• Knitting with linen
• Knitting for preemies
• Tubular CO
• Freeform knitting
• Short rows
• Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
• Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
• Knitting on a loom
• Thrummed knitting
• Knitting a gift
• Knitting for pets
• Knitting with dog/cat hair
• Hair accessories
• Knitting in public
Thursday, September 20, 2007
So here is the story:
I am walking down the hall today as one of the customer relations women is approaching from the opposite direction. This is hallway with 8-10 offices or cubes in immediate hearing range. Said woman asks how it is going, I say things are fine, and she then asks
"Are you and your husband trying to start a family yet?"
My immediate response (because it is a canned one) is "No, not until Mark graduates." Since this is the truth, and we'll be married for only 3 months on Sunday, and I have no knowledge of whether it will be difficult for me to conceive or not, and I'm only 24 so I don't feel like I need to be in a hurry, this response is easy for me to give. I feel it is ridiculous for anyone to expect us to make that an immediate goal so I dismiss these questions with a laugh usually.
Then it hit. I got mad. While I try to be friendly with a lot of people, I am not close with this woman and to my recollections have never had a really personal conversation with her that it is even appropriate for her to ask me in the first place. Then, she asks me in such a casual but public way (as I said before, probably in the hearing range of at least 10 people). Sure, I could give her that answer back just as casually, but what if I couldn't? What if I wanted children very badly and knew I couldn't have them? What if I didn't want children at all? (Why are we assuming all people, especially married people, want children? Not everyone does, and I think if you don't, you shouldn't.) What if the night before my husband and I had just had an argument over when to "start trying?"
The point is whether or not to have children and when to have them is a very personal decision and therefore asking about that decision is a very personal question. If my sister asks me about that, fine. If a friend asks me about that, fine. If we are having those type of discussions at SNB, fine. It is not fine for a random co-worker to loudly ask that as we pass in a hallway. The way it was phrased bugged me too, because it was such an assumption that we want children and then that we would want them so soon. Even if we will be ready within a few years, the way that questions was asked almost crosses a line from lifestyle choice question to sex life question.
I know I'm ranting, but the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I became. So now it is off my chest, and I will go back to finishing another row on "Tuscany."
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I'm still feeling under the weather, enough so that I called in sick and spent today in bed. It is one of those things where as long as I'm laying around I feel mostly all right, but as soon as I get up and start walking around I feel bad and remember why I was in bed in the first place.
Since my day has consisted of laying around, knitting a little, and watching movies I just don't have much to blog about, but I wanted to show some pictures.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I came back from lunch and the electricity was out again. Not that I minded at all, as it gave me an excuse to continue knitting (the KPPPM sock #2) for another 1o minutes. It is times like those that I really love having knitting. While everyone else sits around wishing they had something to occupy themselves with I do.
Then at 3 o'clock we had a baby shower for this guy who works in a different department and his wife. They are having a boy, and it reminded me that I should think a little more seriously about what to knit my future niece or nephew. Oh yes, I am going to be an aunt- I don't think I announced that here. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are expecting a baby due towards the end of April. For whatever reason, everyone thinks it will be a boy, but of course it is too early to tell. I thought about getting started on some bibs or something equally gender neutral but still cute. I've always wanted to knit a teddy bear. I think this might be the perfect time. I have 7 months, I guess I'm not feeling to much pressure yet.
Right now I am still focusing most of my effort on the Tuscany shawl. I had to rip back about 16 rows last night because I realized that I wasn't quite as ready to be off the book as I thought I was the other night. I was knitting the first 8 rows of the repeat just fine but the second 8 I was decreasing then doing the yarn overs (like you do on the first rows) instead of yarn overs then decreasing. So I ripped and finished the second repeat of the rows again and I'm back on track.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I have had more sinus issues since moving here than ever before. If you look at at weather map you can understand why. There are always different pressure systems swinging through west of Lake Michigan.
Also, apparently I really pissed some guy off on the way home from work today. I stopped at two red lights instead of running them. To be fair, he was also mad because I kept going instead of letting him run that stop sign (he had a stop, I did not) in the parking lot when I was leaving work.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Honestly I think I caught the lace bug. I love my "Handsome Triangle" so much and I really enjoyed knitting "Foliage" too. I needed another lace project. This pattern is so well written (Amy Singer answered the questions that I came up as I started to knit in her introductory paragraphs.) The lace pattern and chart is straightforward and I think I'll have it down by the end of this row repeat (I'm on the second one).
No worries, I'll still keep the second socks that need finishing going at lunch time and during SNB, and they will stay in my purse for all those other times I need easy knitting. But I really like having a big complicated project like lace going for when Mark is studying and I have some time to sit down beside him and do some knitting.
I am happy to show my completed "Foliage" hat today. I really enjoyed this pattern once I got past the first couple rounds. It is knit crown-down, which was a first for me in my hat knitting. I never like starting a project on DPNs, so this was my least favorite part of the pattern, but once I got into the lace pattern it was a lot of fun to knit. The charts were easy to follow and the pattern is written clearly. I think I may make this pattern again, maybe in the chunky weight version next time.
A few weeks ago Mark and I saw Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Remember those rolling blackouts in California? Those were artificial shortages caused by Enron in an effort to make millions of dollars profit. It was absolutely disgusting. We have this theory that Comcast is doing the same sort of thing- taking us (and other people) off the internet so they aren't expending any money on the resources it takes to be an ISP yet continuing to charge us the full price. Mark estimates that this month alone we have not had internet service for at least 10 hours. We have been having this problem since July. Are we seeing a refund of that time on our bill? No. Comcast reported record profits last quarter. Do you see why we are suspicious?
Anyway, as you can see from yesterday's post, we were out and about picking apples and having a picnic. I needed to get renew my plates and get new stickers and be charged an additional $65 for changing my last name due to marriage on the title of my car (grrrr so unfair, I'm not transferring the title just updating my name) so we went out to DeKalb because their Drivers Services facility is infinitely easier to deal with than the Naperville one. That took maybe 15 minutes and we were on our way to the Jonamac Orchard in Malta.
We were there last year for their corn maze and then we went and picked apples the next morning. I was really looking forward to going back. The pumpkins aren't ready for another couple weeks, but we will go back again for that too. We had such a good time last year and it was great again this year. The apples are beautiful and delicious! They also have a little bakery/store where we got some hot cider and donuts before heading out into the orchard. I think we will go do the corn maze again when we pick out our pumpkins in a few weeks.
Before we left yesterday morning, Mark had the foresight to pack us a picnic lunch and look up a Forest Preserve in DeKalb County (Prairie Preserve would be a more appropriate name, but we'll let that slide). It was wonderful- practically no one was there. We had a picnic and took a walk, and I took tons of pictures of the wildflowers/weeds. I suffered for that later and am now taking a daily dose of Claritin, but I think it was worth it.
It was a bit of a drive to the Forest Preserve and I was teasing Mark that he was actually taking me to The Fold. After our picnic we were trying to make some order in the truck and I found my notebook behind his seat that had directions to there, so we decided to stay in the rural theme of the day and head up there. Mark was disappointed because the sheep weren't out for him to watch, but I was thrilled because I bought myself a yarn meter. I will post more about that later this week if I think of it.
Before leaving Marengo we stopped downtown at the Marengo Cafe where they make the best milkshakes ever. I'm not kidding. We rounded out the day by impulsively stopping for a game of mini-golf in Sycamore on the way home.
Thus ends the post that goes with the pictures from last night.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Over the last few weeks I've struggled with discontent about being here. I don't like Chicago. Every time I go home it just is so hard to come back to this place. We need to do this- Mark needs to finish law school here, I need to stay at the job where I have a reliable income and benefits we need while that happens. We have less than a year before we can make a change, and while knowing that a year from now we can be "home" can be just what I need to get through the day sometimes, it is also what makes me feel restless sometimes. I guess restlessness is better than hopelessness, so whatever, but I'll admit I feel sort of unsettled sometimes.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but this year I really miss the Wayne County Fair. I miss the 4-H stuff, I miss the displays of things people have done with their hands- the garments, the furniture, the art work, the cake. I miss the gigantic vegetables, the smell of hay and the general "barn" smell. I really want to show Mark all this stuff too.
We don't plan on moving to Wayne County, but I miss the proximity to it. These days even Toledo seems like it was really just a stone throw away. Anything that doesn't involve Chicago traffic to get home seems like a breeze though.
I know on some level that all my Chicagoland bashing is unfair. After all, I really enjoy the women in my knitting group and they are here (although many of them are not from here, hmmm) and there are some good people at work too. It is really the proportion of people out here who don't give a damn about anybody but themselves and anything but money/expensive material possessions, and having whatever they want the hell with you that bother me. Just drive out here for a week and you will see, they will run you over without athought. The lack of consideration just pains me sometimes. Last week Mark and I want to Friday's for dinner, and I was shocked because the girls leaving the restaurant actually held the door open for us as we walked out. Then I saw them get into the car with an Ohio license plate for county 48 (that would be Lucas, you know, where Toledo is).
It may just be because I didn't grow up here so I see the contrast between this and what I am used to so sharply. I don't suffer from idealizing "home" either, trust me, I read my hometown newspaper enough that I never forget what drives me crazy there too. (i.e. If you want the most convoluted and factually inaccurate idea of American history and politics, look no further than Mr. Kratzer's Letters to the Editor. He isn't the only one, I'm just picking on him today I guess because he had another letter this morning that left me shaking my head.)
So today I will leave you with some lyrics that stuck out to me as I typed this entry:
I don't want what you want
I don't feel what you feel
See I'm stuck in a city
But I belong in a field
- The Strokes - "Heart in a Cage" from First Impressions of Earth
Monday, September 10, 2007
On Ravelry a group was just started called "Knit a Second Sock September." The idea, as you might guess, is to finish a second sock during September. I guess I have already done that technically, but I was already almost done and ripped back to fix a mistake. I still have those two second socks that need cast on, so I will use this group as motivation for that instead.
Ok, Comcast has been incredibly inconsistent tonight. The internet already went out once tonight before I left for SNB, and apparently wasn't fixed until 15 minutes before I got home. Now it is out again. I guess I will have to post this in the morning instead. Don't be surprised when this shows up at 7:15 a.m. It should have been posted at 9:45 p.m. Monday night. Sheesh.
All right, the internet came back half an hour after I finished this post. In the meantime I was not able to find the ball of yarn for the microfiber socks, but I did find the skein of KPPPM so instead I have wound that up and will be casting on before I go to bed. Which will be soon. Goodnight!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I just finished knitting this. It is time to eat, but after dinner I will weave in the ends and block it. Since there is colorwork I think it would benefit from a bath, but I may steam block it first. I've tried it on and think I will love it. Of course, that is easier to be sure of once I don't have 10 strings hanging off of it. I tucked the loose ends in for the photo, but trust me, they are still there.
For the record- this took me 9 days. I knit the 35 1/2" size, but my gauge was a little off. I got 17 sts = 4 in instead of the 18 stitches you are supposed to have with the recommended US size 7 needles- but this was ok. I had a choice of 35 1/2" or 40" and really wanted something right in the middle. I did the math and realized that at 17 sts = 4" the bust would be 37.647" which was just about what I wanted anyway so I was happy and didn't change needle size. The 35 1/2" size calls for 5 skeins of the MC, and I used just short of 4 full skeins (Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in color 603 "Thistle.") I would say I used about 1/3 (50 yd) of the CC skein (Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in color 614 "Drift." These skeins are 150 yd and 100 g.)
The only alterations I made were very slight and sort of accidental. I missed the part about using the US size 6 needles on the ribbing for the sleeves. My gauge isn't not vastly different between size 6 and 7 so whatever, and then my sleeves actually contain more stitches than the pattern dictates because I didn't decrease as many. I don't like tight sleeves and I don't have skinny arms so I wasn't sure I wanted to decrease as much. Now I see I could have, but whatever. If it ever really bugs me I could re-knit them, but I don't think it will be a problem.
This morning I did still finally do our wedding write-up to submit to the paper. I know my mom has been wanting me to do that for the last month, but I just couldn't feel inspired to do it. The Daily Record just always screws up stuff for me. They cropped our engagement announcement picture in some weird way that only showed my head and not even my shoulders so I look really fat and disproportionate. When I was Teen of the Month my senior year the picture was all blurry and out of focus. It is just what they do to our family for some reason. A few months ago there was this article about the Athletic Director change at my high school and apparently, the 5 years that my Dad was the AD didn't exist. When my sister was Teen of the Month her senior year they barely interviewed her at all and just wrote about the other Teen of the Month and his girlfriend. It goes on, and on, and on... I guess I know they will do something strange or upsetting with it, and I've been procrastinating on it because I just dread finding out what it will be this time.
I really haven't been sitting around all day though. It is really too beautiful for that. Mark and I went to the Forest Preserve for a walk. Unfortunately, that lasted less that 10 minutes because the mosquitoes were so bad we had to leave. Mosquitoes typically don't bother me much, but since we got so much rain in the last month they are really prevalent and even I have to admit they are a problem. This is extremely annoying. I am sitting outside on the balcony now and they occasionally come up here too. I wish our spider hadn't left us or died or whatever. All I know is that she isn't here anymore and there isn't a big web protecting us from any annoying flying biting insects that would try to visit. It does make it easier to sit out here with her gone though.
So what am I knitting? The same thing as yesterday of course. I am almost done! I finished the ribbing on the bottom, I've finished off both sleeves and I am almost halfway done with the collar. No more pictures until I actually finish though. Which I will do if I go back to knitting instead of blogging.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
I am also adding pictures of the finished Handsome Triangle. I still haven't bothered blocking it because I think the lace shows up pretty good anyway. It needs a good wash anyway though so I guess that will happen soon enough. I wore it to work a couple times this week and got a lot of compliments and the standard "you could sell that" comment. I was talking to Mark about the comment about selling it. I always take it as a compliment, but I do have to wonder why that is such an automatic reaction. I make something beautiful that I am proud of and took a lot of time and effort, and the first thing I should do is get rid of it in exchange for money? Ha! My usual answer is that most people wouldn't be able to afford what I would have to charge for it.
Anyway, I really do like the shawl. I used KnitPicks Shine I had in my stash. I've come to realize I enjoy lace a lot more and have more patience for it if I use a thicker yarn.
The rest of my day is not nearly so interesting but I look forward to it none the less. I get to clean! The apartment is a mess and it has been driving me crazy. I never have enough energy or interest in cleaning at night, but during the morning I have a different attitude. Mark is in the city for a meeting, and for whatever reason I have an easier time cleaning when he isn't here. I can't explain it really. So that is what is on the agenda for today.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
When I ordered from Dell, the estimated ship date they gave me was today. The first time I ordered from Dell, the computer arrived before the estimated ship date, so I was a little disappointed when that didn't happen, but school did just start, so I can understand it is a busy time right now.
I got home from work and was hoping to find an email saying it shipped today. Instead, I found an email saying shipping was delayed. When I went to the order status webpage, the estimated ship date was pushed back to October 4!
That is completely unacceptable. Which is precisely what Mark told Dell when he promptly called and cancelled the order.
I am now typing this blog entry on my new HP laptop I just bought at Best Buy.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Pattern nomination time is also when the alluded to gripe surfaces. For the last few nomination periods, there are people who keep submitting patterns that have already been SKC KALs. Do some research please! It isn't as if it has a 10 year history. I don't know why this bothers me so much, but it really does bug me.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
I just finished the Handsome Triangle this morning! Finished is a relative term, I still have end to weave in and blocking to do. It is off the needles now.
Also off the needles- the project that shall not be named and the so bright it hurts my eyes dishcloth. I finished the dishcloth Thursday night at a pub in Geneva. Mark and I headed up there after work and I went to Wool and Company where I bought yarn to knit "Tomato" from No Sheep For You.
Since I chose purple yarn instead of the "Tomato" colorway, I am referring to the pattern as "Plum." The colorway is actually name "Thistle." I cast on after lunch. I would like to work on this exclusively since it is a top down raglan and those can go pretty fast for me. The hardest part will be getting the yarn from skein to ball, since I am away from home and without my swift or ball winder. I brought the yarn with me just in case, but hadn't had time to wind it up. I tried to use Mark as a swift, but he complained too much and move too much. I will either use the dining room chairs or my knees.
I am excited about this project though. I love the Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton. I am excited to have some minor colorwork, and most of all I love that this is short sleeved.
Yesterday afternoon Becky and I also stopped in at Sew Crazy. It just so happens that that carry Rowan Calmer, so I started looking though the bin for 6 balls of the same color for Fifi. The most I could find was 5, so when one of the woman working asked if I needed help, I explained what I was looking for and she went back and looking in the stock room to see if they had 6 of anything. They did have that many of a Magenta color, and I decided that I could wear that color, so I bought them for $9 a ball. I was pretty excited about that really, especially because a few of them had been marked down to $9 and were priced at $11 and they gave them all to me for the lower price. This is why I like to stop there when I'm home.