Thursday, September 28, 2006

two nights in a row

had another good knitting night yesterday. Had to forego Date Night to help Wes get his video together for his reality TV audition (my husband is doing what?). He did really good, I think, but it took longer than expected ... who knew it would take an hour to put together a 5-minute tape? After the taping and leftover ziti for dinner, we had missed the movie, but had a TiVoed episode of Justice (one of our new favorite shows this fall) saved from last week so out came the knitting again. I was on such a roll, I even kept knitting after Wes fell asleep in the middle of Settlers. Poor guy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

knitting with the stars

last night was the best knitting night I've had in a while. I knew the dinner I wanted to make (baked ziti) would take a while to assemble, and then needed to cook for 40 minutes so I came home at lunch to put it all together. Had a total June Cleaver moment when I found myself simmering tomato sauce in my super cute dress, wedge heels and apron in the middle of the day. Anyway, since all I had to do for dinner when I got home from work was preheat the oven, pop the dish in and set the timer, I settled down to relax while Wes was working OT booking a late arrest. We went to Howl at the Moon last Thursday for a CLU GOLD Alumni event so I missed the season premier of Grey's Anatomy so I pulled up the season 2 recap on TiVo and took out the knitting. Wes got home right as it ended and right as the ziti was finished (maybe yesterday we were in Beaver Cleaver land ... honey, I'm home!). After dinner Wes sat down to work on his latest project and I took the knitting back out. We had the Angels game on (Dodgers had already destroyed the Rockies) but the A's were winning and the Halos were losing, so when TiVo automatically switched over to Dancing with the Stars, we didn't change it back. I never watched this show before, but I love Sara Evans so started watching to see how she would do. She isn't the best one out there, but I have really enjoyed seeing Emmit Smith and the other "stars" (some who are clinging to this last bit of fame, I'm afraid!) try new dances each week. So, in front of the TV I got lots of knitting done last night. I am as far along now as I was before I realized I would have to rip out the first try ... so I am more encouraged now to keep it going! Tonight will either be Date Night or running around town helping Wes and Thursday is running with Tia, but hopefully I'll have more time to knit this week and keep my good progress going.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Nike Run Hit Remix five-mile race

haven't gotten much farther on my sweater this week. I have gotten far enough along to hold it up and see if it will fit my hips and I am happy to announce that this time the sweater will fit! Hopefully it will fit the top half of my body too, once I get up to that part of the shaping. My best knitting day this whole week was last night after dinner while Wes was watching football. But I still have a long ways to go.
The focus of this weekend was on the race on Sunday morning ... but the festivities started on Saturday evening when six of us (Ashlee, Marge, Casey, Courtney, Lissa and me) met at Lissa's to carpool down to LA. We stopped for dinner at Buca di Beppo thinking that pasta and other italian goodies would be excellent running fuel for the race in the morning. Unfortunately, most of us had rumbly stomachs all night and we all were grateful for one last port-o-pottie stop before crossing the start line. The moral of that story is: homecooked pasta (or Olive Garden, which must use way less greasy ingredients) is the way to go before a race. Although we wouldn't get the serving and storytelling talents of Phil (or was it Dan?) with a homecooked meal.
Anyway, sorry for the gross-out ... the run was pretty good. There were over 10,000 runners at the event, all running five miles. All the previous years I had run this event they offered a 10K and a 5K, which helped to spread out the particpants. Due to insane traffic (despite staying at a nearby hotel the night before), we still crossed the start line about 10 minutes after the official gun. We weren't the only ones who were late, or just slower racers and we all had to dodge slower runners and walkers for the duration of the race. I crossed the finish at about 52 minutes, minus 10 for the late start and I was right where I wanted to be (my goal was between 40 and 45 minutes). *UPDATE: The results are posted and my Official Chip Time was 42:24. That is 8:28 pace* I am very interested to see what I could have run with less grease and fewer obsticals. There were more than a few times that I tried to sneak past a slow group and had to come to a complete stop to avoid mowing anyone down. That probably didn't help my pacing either ... so I am on the look out for the next (less crowded) race and plan to be there on time so I can start with people in my pace group.

Monday, September 18, 2006

back on the right track!

had a very un-relaxing weekend ... our apartment was tented for termites (gross) so spent most of Friday night bagging up food in the kitchen and making sure we didn't have any plants in the house (we do, but I already killed 'em, so figured they were okay to stay). Saturday we got up early and showered creatively (the gas was turned off Friday night, so I took the fastest and coldest shower of my life while Wes decided to use the showers down at the pool) and got out of there before the circus tent went up. Spent most of Saturday in Thousand Oaks running errands and killing time before heading back to Ventura and imposing ourselves on Matt & Casey for the night. The boys settled down to watch football and I got most of the bottom ribbing done before we went to dinner. The larger needles are making a big difference. It took me 28 rows on the first attempt of this sweater to get the 4" of ribbing at the bottom. This time it only took 18. So, Maybe there is a chance I can wear the sweater this fall, despite my setbacks. Sunday I got up early to run with Tia and try to dodge ashes (impossible, so cut our planned 8-miles to just 6) then headed down to LA with Casey, Lissa and Courtney to pick up race packets for the Nike Run Hit Remix next weekend. **SIDE NOTE: I can't believe it came so soon! Training has been way-laid by sickness and traveling in the last couple of weeks, but I think I should still do pretty good. In our track workout on Wednesday, Tia and I did all the repeats faster than a month ago and our last 800 was faster by 20 seconds, even though we did four last week and only three the month before. The ash is still in the air, so we'll see how many quality workouts I can get in this week, but I am still really excited for the race. END OF SIDE NOTE** After picking up the packets and grabbing some lunch with those girls, it was back to Ventura, but we still couldn't get into our apartment so I checked in at the Ventura Beach Marriott and settled down with my knitting and basic cable until Wes got back from work. I finished up the ribbing and got the first pattern repeat done before dinner ... so things are going good again with this previously problematic project. When we can get back to the apartment tonight, I am going to compare my knitted-on-size-10.5 sweater to the knitted-on-size-8 sweater and make sure I like the way the fabric is turning out, but so far it is looking good to me!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Problem solved!!

Ran to AFY real fast at lunch to have Lois check my gauge and my math before I cast on again for the cabled hoodie. Hurray! It looks like this one might work out :) I got a new pair of Crystal Palace 10.5 circulars and will hopefully have time to knit up a quick gauge on those needles in between a track workout with Tia after work and passing out from exhaustion (haven't run too hard since I was sick last week, though Monday was a solid, quick four miles so 4x800 shouldn't be tooooo bad, I hope!). I want to make sure that I knit the same gauge on these new needles as I do on my old pink ones (which I am saving for quicker projects), then I can cast on and knit my butt off on the drive to Lake San Antonio on Friday. Whooo! Road trip!

what is my problem?

Here are my three separate swatches I have made for the cabled hoodie. The one on the orange holder was my first one that I did on size 8 needles before I case on the whole back before Seattle. The one to the right is on size 9 needles and produced the exact same gauge (5 stitches per inch) as the size 8 needles ... what? how is that possible? The bottom swatch is on 10.5 needles and I am getting 9.5 stitches per two inches, which is about 4.75 per inch ... not much better! what the heck is wrong with me? I did the math with my gauge from the 10.5 needles and think it will work out, but I wasn't really planning on using those needles for this project, since I need those needles to finish a scarf I am half-way done with and to make more felted bags. I don't really want to give up those needles to a long-term project like my cabled hoodie. It looks like I'll have to make another run to AFY at lunch to pick up some 10.5 circulars (which I prefer to use for larger pieces like the backs of sweaters anyway) and do one more gauge swatch with the new needles before casting on. At this point all my yarn is going to be gone before I even get the right-sized sweater started!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

upping my coolness quotient

Nothing to do with knitting (a little pouty still, but trying to get over it and do new gague swatches), just something fun to share! You already know that my favorite hobbies are the extra-trendy running, knitting, reading and cooking ... but did you also know that I prefer a night at home playing board games over a night in a club? Now that you know, check out this new version of Monopoly! It's what the board might look like if the game was invented today. All new game pieces (I would have a hard time choosing between the Razr phone and New Balance running shoe) and properties to buy (Fenway Park and NYC's Times Square replace Park Place and Boardwalk). The cost of everything has also gone way up, which could make the game longer due to all the extra math. I still think a part of me decided to marry Wes because his family rule was to do away with $1 bills in the original Monopoly ... saves so much time and counting!

Friday, September 08, 2006

pouting ...

haven't posted for a week (even though I finally felted my blue project and love it) because I am pouting ... I took my glorious cabled hoodie into Anacapa Fine Yarns last week when I went to get yarn for a smaller, easier project. Lois checked my math and measured the completed knit a hundred times and the verdict was not in my favor! So I bought the next needle size up and have been casually re-knitting a gauge swatch for this cardigan that I still love to try and get it the right. And it is because I am so anxious to wear it that I am telling my non-patient-self to chill out and make sure this goes right! Otherwise it would just get sent back to the knitting bin with other not-so-great-fitting items.
Also, I have been catching up on some reading and spending time with my darling husband to celebrate his birthday and our first wedding anniversary! So knitting hasn't been a priority since we stepped off the plane from Seattle anyway. But the weather is starting to turn and I will be ready to wear this sweater soon! Wes has big plans to get reacquainted with college football this weekend so maybe I can make some progress ... will put up pictures of blue project when I am done pouting :)