Thursday, November 22, 2007

and now with some substance

I really didn't mean to neglect my blog for so long. A few weeks ago I was going to write this post about how it was suddenly Christmas time and everyone had lights and decorations up already even though it was the first week on November, but now here it is Thanksgiving and this isn't surprising at all anymore because it is commonly accepted that the Christmas season officially begins tomorrow. Although for me, Thanksgiving continues through about mid-day Friday when Mark and I go have Thanksgiving with my family. Then once the dishes are done it is Christmas time and we start putting up the tree and baking cookies.

Today is the big extended family thing with Mark's family. I am currently camped out in the guest room, not to be unfriendly, really I am just waiting for the shower to open up, but also because I'm not used to so many people (remember, most of the time it is just Mark and me) so I'm basking in some time by myself . This is one of the hard things about going home, even though we are together the whole time, I sometimes feel exhausted from being around so many people (and this is my family too sometimes, not just Mark's) and I miss my own time and our time together.

So what knitting did I pack for this trip? I have two socks going right now. I've knit almost to the point where I'll turn the heel for both of them. I also brought some cashmerino to make another pair of Fetchings, the left one is done and I began the right one last night. I tossed in the Tuscany shawl, which I haven't worked on since last time I was in Toledo when I messed it up. I really need to put in a lifeline and rip back, so maybe I'll do that when I'm at my house this weekend and I have room to spread it out and take a good look and fix it. For good measure I also tossed in my leftover Lopi light yarn from the Icelandic mittens I made last year at this time. I want to make a hat (and so I also brought some Lush to make a lining for it) with the same motif to match the mittens. This will require some math and some planning, so who knows if I will actually start that when I have all these other things going.

You know what I didn't bring? I forgot to bring the thing to upload pictures from my digital camera to my computer. Brilliant I tell you. I thought about it at work on Tuesday and then just plain forgot. Oh well, better luck next time I guess. Here is a picture of the Icelandic mittens I made last year. I had this on my computer already. This is the design I want to incorporate onto a hat.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Afternoon at a Forest Preserve

Just to show you that I didn't sit around all weekend, here are some pictures from this afternoon:

Saturday, November 3, 2007


So remember the tooth that was giving me all sorts of problems? It is finally gone. I had it "extracted" yesterday and hence the title of today's entry. Obviously it isn't a big deal, but it does mean that I have to take some special care with my mouth right now. I am just glad the bleeding has stopped!

Anyway, because of all that, and because it is the "fall back" weekend with the time change, I have decided that this will be a lazy weekend. As it is, I have already spent far too much time reading forums on Ravelry.

I have also done a little more academic reading. My Norton Anthologies have arrived, so last night I spent a good deal of timing pouring over the Victorian Age volume. I reacquainted myself with some of the poems and poets I remember reading in my Victorian Lit class. I have to admit, it is a lot more relaxing to read these voluntarily and without a deadline. Nevertheless, the Victorian Lit class was one of my favorite classes I took throughout college. It is funny, but when I read these poems again, I think I understand them better. I guess 3 1/2 years will do that, especially when I consider how many things have changed in my life since the time I was 20-21.

About the Anthologies- I already had a 7th ed. of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century. The volumes I just purchased are 8th ed. and they added a center color insert with artwork with this edition. I really like that. I've always been attracted to literature more when artwork of the same era accompanies it. I feel like I have a much better grasp of the time.

On a completely different topic, I frogged the socks I started. I had ordered two 2.5 mmm circular needles from KnitPicks to try out, and I think that size needle will be much better than the 2.75 mm needles I was using. I felt like the gauge was just a little looser than I actually wanted. I plan on casting on again very soon, I really like the yarn and how it was knitting up.

Among the other things I did last night, I tried to knit Continental on the potholder I'm almost finished with. I figured if the stitches were a bit wonky it wouldn't matter because I'm going to felt it anyway. The stitches were definitely wonky, my tension isn't exactly established yet. I didn't find it too difficult to do, and I may make a more concentrated effort in the future to get the method down, but I went back to knitting English style because it is still faster to me. For whatever reason I really prefer to have my yarn coming from the right rather than the left. This may be why I've never really stuck with crochet. The directions for the potholder are in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I decided it was a good pattern to try and work through some of the yarn in my scrap box. Besides, since I have a glass tabletop, I can always use more trivets/potholders to protect from the heat of serving dishes.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Wrap-up

Here is the mummy cheese ball I brought to work for Halloween. It is basically a couple of port wine cheese logs cut up in the shape of a mummy with cream cheese piped over it to look like bandages. The mouth is a pimiento and the eyes are black peppercorns. I can't take credit for this creation, I saw it in Taste of Home last fall and knew I had to make it. Unfortunately, Jewel was all out of port wine cheese logs last year, so it didn't happen then. Why am I making Halloween treats for work? Well, my company really gets into celebrating this holiday, and Halloween is one day where it is acceptable if you don't accomplish a lot of work I guess. The picture of the hallway is from work, it isn't my floor, but I think this might give you an idea of what we are talking about. People wear all kinds of really outrageous costumes too.

I didn't dress up much, partly because my division had a theme we had to work with, and I wasn't especially inspired by anything.

I did my dressing up on Saturday night anyway. Mark and I went to a Halloween party hosted by a law school friend and his wife. I have to say that it was a great party, definitely my type. There were candelabras and little plates of food everywhere (very good appetizers as well as the usual candy) and a nice selection of drinks, including several wine options and actual wine glasses were readily available. Here I reveal one of my snobberies- I only like to drink out of glass, plastic is a last resort for me.

I didn't feel like being a Greek Goddess again (a bit too chilly for that really) and I'm not creative in the Halloween costume category. Lucky for me the party store had something that was relatively warm and not slutty, so I went with the Guenevere costume. I wasn't really trying to be her, and I ditched the silly headpiece right away, and decided to just not be anyone specific.

Mark went with the costume that fit his concern- thrift. Apparently this is a common concern among men, we had two or three other convicts at the party. It also might be that the irony of law students showing up in as a convict amused these guys, I don't know. Here Mark gives me his best mug shot face. I couldn't get over how cheesy the whole "Jail Bird" things was myself.

As you can tell, we don't do couples costumes. Last time we dressed up I was Athena and Mark was a priest. A Catholic priest that is. See what I mean?

Lastly, I have finished the Koigu socks I started back in July. It isn't a good picture, but I think it at least proves that they are finished, right? I have now begun Koigu socks #2, or "Indian Corn Socks" as I am dubbing them.