Monday, December 31, 2007

a month later

The day of my last post was my last day of work ... it's been almost a month but between the trip to DC and all the Christmas excitment I haven't really noticed until now. Today is the first day I am a little bored being at home and I've even gotten the apartment the most organized it's been since we moved in eight months ago.
So, I am ready to get into some good knitting and take advantage of this time off. I have to finish the Hawaii socks and then I would love to finish up the brown hoodie already.
P.S. the picture is Wes and I in DC both wearing headgear knit by me :) Wes in his celtic beanie and me in Calorimetry! The National Archives are behind us (where all the official documents of our country are stored - the Declaration, Constitution, etc).

Friday, December 07, 2007

you wanna hurry this up, Clark? I'm freezing my baguettes off.

been working on the hat for Wes a little more this week. Once I got past the bottom ribbing (hard in double-knit! lots to keep track of), it has been going pretty smoothly. Just follow the color-work chart visible in the picture to the left. That picture was taken on Tuesday at lunch - I was just starting the first row of colorwork. I have had time this week to knit at night and at lunch a couple of days, so I have made pretty good progress! Tuesday night Wayne came over and we just relaxed since everyone had to get up early for work and tests so I was able to get in a few rows. Last night was really mellow too - Wes and I watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (I still like Elf better!) and I kept knitting after dinner.
So after a few quality chances to knit (finally! I haven't had that much time all at once since we flew back from Austin in October), I am almost finished with the colorwork. The double-knitting isn't a problem as I switch between the two colors like I was worried about. I have a pretty good rhythm and it is coming along faster than i thought it would. I actually think it is easier to do colorwork in double-knit than in regular knit since you don't have to worry about where to carry the unused yarn across the back and if you're pulling too tight, etc. It all just gets worked at the same time. Since there are large sections of color as opposed to just a few stitches at a time like on the argyle scarf, I don't have to refer to the chart every other stitch which saves time too. Once the color is finished, it will just be straight double-knitting and decreasing rows to the end so it should be finished in the next few days, if I have time to work on it. We have a busy couple of days until we get on the plane Tuesday morning, but it snowed in DC yesterday (wedding day forecast is partly cloudy and a high of 43), so I have extra motivation to get this hat finished ASAP!

Monday, December 03, 2007

knitting for warmth

Wes and I fly to Washington DC in eight days! I am so excited for the vacation and the fun times we are going to have with Wes' brothers, sister and significant others (pictured from our 2005 trip to Kansas: Ashley, Wayne, Whitney, Jasmine, Warren, Wes, me. missing: Whitney's BF Goo) celebrating Warren and Jasmine's wedding :)
According to the 10-day forecast, our trip will be about the same temperatures it has been here the past few days which is COLD (to a native California girl and boy) and rainy. So, while I am very anxious for my argyle scarf (in turquoise and grey ... so pretty!) I need to focus a little more on keeping Wes warm too and he needs a hat! In the new Stitch 'N Bitch (for guys!), the pattern directly after the double-knit argyle scarf is for a double-knit beanie with a Celtic knot pattern.
I already had enough yarn because Wes had asked me to knit him a beanie last spring when the weather was unpredictable, but by the time i bought the yarn it was mostly warm so I never got around to it as I was distracted by Mom's shawl and learning to knit socks. But Wes liked the beanie pattern and I was excited to continue my venture into double-knitting, so I used the already purchased yarn and cast on for the Celtic Beanie. It took a long time to set up, but I got in a few good rows at lunch today while listening to my favorite Christmas CD in my car at the tennis club parking lot near work (also where we got married!). Not sure what tonight has in store for Wes and I but getting this beanie done before we land next Tuesday is definitely a priority. Socks (even the soclosetobeingdone hawaii toe-ups and all pairs planned for the lorna's laces order that arrived this week) are on hold until after DC.

In other exciting news ... this is my last week of work at Ehlert! Then DC, then Christmas, then ... ??? who knows! I have some things in the works, but nothing for sure yet.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

perfect storage

I have always admired the needle pouches sold on websites such as StitchDiva, but they are so expensive! So, I decided to try and make my own and I asked Grandma to help me with the sewing machine stuff and making sure that my idea was even possible.
I had in mind a kind of tri-fold wallet with pouches, but didn't really plan it out until Grandma and I were at the fabric store.
I fell in love with the green corduroy for the outside and found the paisley fabric with similar green and it all came together! We had a little math mishap on how much paisley we needed, but other than that it came together pretty well! I am very pleased with the finished result, it cost less than $12 all together and loved spending some time with Grandma too! Since it folds flat it is easy to store with my project bins and I love not having to dig through bins of knitting odds and ends to find the right size needles. My next project will be for dpns ... but I don't have a master plan for that yet ...
Here are some pictures of the finished project (the lovely brown background is our new, super-comfy, amazing couch):

ta-dah!!! there are three rows of four pouches each, so I can hold twelve different sizes. I have a lot of duplicate sizes for socks, but I store them in the same pouch.

and an extra special THANK YOU to Grandma for putting up with my crazy ideas and letting me mostly figure stuff out for myself :) and of course for putting in all the sewing time! I had a really fun day - thank you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


my book came!! I'm off for some lunchtime yarn shopping ... hurray!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

sock portrait

finally a picture of some FINISHED socks! the all navy blue ones are Wes, I started that pair in my first "learn to knit socks class" last year and finished them just before we left for Colorado for our anniversary. it has been sooo cold the last couple of nights, so even though it was hot in Colorado and he didnt' need them, I am glad they are finished now!
the purple/blue/green ones are me and those are the socks I made in the "toe-up sock class" last month. I finished them a few weeks ago. I knit the two cuffs at the same time and got a little greedy on finishing up the whole ball of yarn, so the second sock to be bound off it a little tight at the top because I was running out of yarn. It's just a little hard to get on and off, once they are on it isn't too tight and they are sooo warm. Perfect for lounging on our new couch in handknit socks! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

motivation ...

... to finish my brown hoodie

p.s. and I hope this goes on sale before we fly to DC!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

finally finishing these socks

After a Saturday shopping excursion with Tia, I made it over to AFY to learn what I missed in toe-up sock class last week. Turning the heel on toe-up socks is way easy - I think I am going to make toe-up socks as often as possible!! Once I turned both heels, I put both socks on the same needles, so I could knit around and around until I run out of yarn, or I could be about done with this pair, pictured on the right, and use the leftover yarn to make matching socks for Taylor!! But if I keep making mine higher, they'll be warmer. It has been cold in our apartment the last few nights ... bring on fall!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

socks, interrupted

had an unexpected family emergency last weekend that preempted knitting classes and other activities for a few days. thankfully, everyone is understanding when sick grandmothers are involved so tomorrow I can go to AFY and meet with Karin to finish up learning about toe-up socks, even though I missed the official class last week. before we knew we'd have to fly to Texas, I had finished through the instep of both socks and was all set to start the heel. I am hoping Karin can also show me how to knit both socks at the same time when I meet with her tomorrow. My Lorna's Laces order from last week was placed with specific people in mind, and I also just promised to make socks for Renee, Kristina and their girls. Luckily the little girl's pairs will go quickly - I brought materials to cast on for Taylor's with me to Texas, but spent most of the waiting around time on Clessidra. I have just one and a half more cable pattern repeats (18 rounds total) to go before I start turning the heel on the first sock. These are taking such a long time due to the tiny needles, so I am anxious to get some worsted weight socks going too. I think I'll take a break from Clessidra tonight and cast on for Taylor's little pair and maybe practice knitting both at the same time too ... it's easier to try new things on little socks, because it doesn't take as long to start over.

Friday, October 05, 2007

instead of dishcloths ...

thanks to Lois at AFY for helping me get all the beautiful colors of Lorna's Laces I want to knit socks with! I stopped by last night and put in the order, so soon I will have way too much yarn hanging around my house! I think I might make worsted-weight socks be my new car-knitting project. The dishcloths are great for practicing lace (so maybe I can finally cast on for the Lucky wrap cardigan that I bought yarn for over a year ago?), but there is a definite chill in the air and I am about to dive head first into warm sock mode. Last night during The Office and Grey's (yeah TiVo!) I finished up through the gusset on my second toe-up sock for class on Saturday. I am hoping that Karin will show us how to knit both socks at the same time after we learn the heel shaping so that from here on out, all my pairs can be completed at the same time, which will ensure that both socks in the pair get made in a timely maner :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

want some socks?

went to the first of two Saturday classes this week to learn how to knit socks from the toe up, as opposed to the traditional cuff-down style. The pattern we are using is totally customizable for each individual person, so if you want me to make you a pair of socks, measure the length of your foot (stand on a tape measure and note how far it is from your longest toe to where your heel hits the ground) and around the widest part of your foot (where your foot connects to your leg) in centimeters. The measurements should be fairly close (mine are two cm off, which is more than usual. a lot of ladies in my class had the same measurements for each part of the foot). Don't forget to pick a color and send me your request :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

socks, socks and more socks!

another leg picture to show off my growing Clessidra. I have five more pattern repeats before I start turning the heel. This tiny yarn is taking a long time! I have another tiny yarn sock pattern I was going to alternate with this one so I don't get bored, but last night I went over to Marge's house to watch Grey's and Stine requested some socks, so I think I'll go back to making a pair or slipper socks on size 4s with my leftover bittersweet yarn for her as my alternate to tiny yarn socks. then she and Grandma can be twins!

Also, starting Saturday morning I am taking another class at AFY to learn how to knit socks from the toe-up! I have a few patterns I want to try that are toe-up, but like learning regular socks, I wanted to take the class first to be really sure I know what I am doing first. Check out this beautiful yarn I got to learn on! It is also Lorna's Laces (like bittersweet), but this color is called Lakeview. I already bought the pattern we'll be using in class and it looks like it is customizable to each foot, so probably I will make these socks for me, since I'll be the only one there to customize them for. I haven't made any socks for me yet, except clessidra, which is taking forever. the class socks are size 4s too, so shouldn't take long.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I <3 Organizing

Wes wants to get bowls of bubble-eyed goldfish to fill in the extra shelf space. I'd better hurry up and buy more bins and fill them with yarn! :) those fish creep me out! anyway, mostly I am happy to have some organization and to not have a blank wall anymore!! I still leave clessedra all over my chair, but at least all the other projects are put away. the before picture isn't even that bad because I cleaned on Friday. before that, there were all sorts of books and yarn scraps and other patterns under the little round table on the left. now the books are stacked and I have a folder to organize loose patterns.
the calla lily picture is way cheap at IKEA and I picked it because I had calla lilies at our wedding ... those are all wedding pictures surrounding the larger flower picture. awww ...

me + size 1 needles = BFF!*

here is the top of one Clessedra ... the result of lots of nights knitting. Probably this is normal because it seems like lots of socks are knit on size 1 or 2 needles, but I learned on size 4, so this is a little rough on me. however, I am loooving the pattern and I have gotten it memorized (a small feat in itself, though maybe not to remarkable if I tried to count how many hours I have actually been working on this), so I only need the chart for the hourglass cable that runs up the back of the leg, and even that is just to double-check since I now know what a pain it is to rip out while trying to keep all the stitches in the right place. but, it's fun to work on and here in SoCal it is still too hot for knee socks anyway, so I am not really anxious yet.
*Best Friends Forever!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

dishcloths and storage. the joys of non-homeownership.

I am really enjoying making the dishcloths! Well, dishcloth. So far it's just the one. But it is always nice to have a little project to work on when I have ten or twenty or sixty minutes to kill in the car. (No, I don't knit while driving, though I wish we had a train or lightrail or something I could take to work. All the Denver people who were on their way home from work while we were on our way to the Rockies game looked very relaxed and content on the lightrail reading books.)
Anyway, this linen yarn is a little crazy. As Charlie at AFY was winding it for me (by hand, after it jumped the spool!), a woman sitting at the work table commented how there is no give in the yarn and I didn't get it until I started knitting and realized there is no give in the yarn. (perceptive, aren't I?) It's also a lot rougher than I am used to and I think if I knit dishcloths for the duration of time I knit socks or sweaters in the evenings, I would rub my fingers raw, but I can handle it for an hour or less a day. I am really anxious to get this first cloth finished so I can throw it in the wash. Supposedly the yarn gets softer and softer with every washing, like the flour sack towels I embroidered for Grandma a few Christmases ago.
ALSO, Wes and I have come to the realization that we won't be out of this apartment by Christmas like we'd hoped, so I have taken on the task of making our apartment more livable and am actually decorating and organizing things a little better. My task for tonight while Wes is golfing with the boys (weird how he sees my girlfriend's boyfriends more than I see my girlfriends), is to drag out one of the bookshelves we originally stuck in the black hole of storage and use it to organize my knitting. With (over) three projects on the needles right now, I am spread out all over the living room, which Wes just loves. I ran to Target on my lunchbreak today and got some cute, cheap plastic bins that will fit perfectly on the shelves and are deep enough to hold, hopefully, a whole brown hoodie in progress. The lids snap on and have handles, so it will be easy to transport projects too, if, for example, I decide I want to take something larger than dishcloths on the road trip to San Francisco this weekend. (also at Target right now, totally amazing OFFICE products. I am now the totally proud owner of an "I *heart* Jim" mousepad and pens featuring Michael and Dwight-isms. LOVE IT.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

more new projects!!

soooooooooooooo guess who went to the yarn store today and got two skeins of fabulously cranky linen yarn (in colors 55 and 48) to make dishcloths from a new book I got at the library (yay free books! more money for yarn!). The book is appropriately titled Knitter's Stash, as I have now started my own little stash of current on-the-needles projects. They aren't even all listed in the sidebar to the left ... I think I would depress myself if I had them all listed. But most of these dishcloth patterns are about 60 stitches across and even with some fun lacy patters, I should be able to just whip out a few on lunch break knitting. All my other projects are sort of cumbersome and I don't really like dragging them out to my car every morning on the off chance that I'll have some free time to knit during the day. Then I bring everything back upstairs at the end of the day to work on while Wes watches baseball, or I am home alone knitting to avoid housework after eight hours of sitting in a cube. So, these dishcloths, which require no fancy tools (cable needles, etc), can just live in my car all the time, so I will never be without a project to work on while I'm waiting for Wes to meet me for dinner, or on a lunchbreak or I don't know what else, but it seems like I do a lot of sitting in my car.

P.S. Today the new knitty came out, just a day after I discovered all those new patterns at zepherstyle ... what are they trying to do to me??

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

bad timing for a new obsession

just after I finished outlining (mostly as a reminder to myself) all my current problematic projects on the needles and me without time to fix them all, I stumbled across from one of my frequent reads (knitandtonic, where Wendy is making Juliet) and am now ready to quit my day job, never do housework and cast on for each of the funky, beautiful sweaters designed by the zephyrstyle ladies. not that I need a new knitting project to make me want to leave cubicle-world and forgo vacuuming ...

Monday, September 10, 2007

frogging and putting it off

have been taking a little break from knitting recently. partly this is because I have been too busy being on vacation in Colorado and attending two weddings in one weekend to knit too much lately. but mostly it is because all my "obligatory" projects (ones that are already started and really should get finished before I start new stuff) need some frogging and I am way too stubborn to give in to the frogging just yet. But here is the situation:
project 1, Sahara - I started to pull out the lace inset a couple weeks ago and gosh, I tied everything off really tight! what a stupid thing to do, even though I realized as I was binding off that I probably wouldn't like it the way that it was. so, I am afraid I will have to just cut my losses, literally, and cut through the lace inset and not worry about salvaging this bit of yarn. I can do it because I have a whole ball and a half left over with which to re-knit the inset, but it's more the principle of the thing.
project 2, Central Park Hoodie - you may recall that I was making good progress on this last fall until I had to stop and make Christmas presents, then I continued making good progress until it got hot and I put it away in favor of more weather appropriate projects, like Sahara. well, September is upon us, so it's time to get back into fall knitting. However, in the six or eight months or however long it's been since I put the cabled hoodie away, my tension has gotten looser (mostly, I think as a result of mom's shawl, which I intensionally held very loosely, and it carried over into my other projects). I made one sleeve last winter, but left the second one to do now and i am afraid that my second sleeve will be much bigger. I am afraid of this because: I started knitting Wes a pair of socks in March when I took the class from Lois. Even though I bought a huge skein of yarn, Wes has the biggest feet ever and I ran out of yarn halfway down the instep of the second sock. At the time, I had already made one sock for grandma out of the bittersweet yarn and was anxious to get the second one started, so I just put the stitches for Wes' blue sock on scrap yarn and started in on grandma's second sock right away. by the time I remembered to get more blue yarn, the heat made socks pretty far down on my priority list. But last week prior to our anniversary trip to Colorado, I decided I wanted to finish the socks for Wes, so I put the stitches back on needles, found the second ball of yarn and finished up Wes' blue socks. Now it is very obvious which sock was my second sock. not because you can see the join in the yarns (I actually have gotten pretty good at hiding the ends), but because half of the second sock has a noticeably looser gauge than the rest of the sock. since these socks are meant to be more like slippers for Wes, I don't think it will be a problem, but it has gotten me nervous for that second sleeve on the cabled hoodie. Especially because I am already using needles 2.5 sizes larger than the pattern instructs, thanks to my previous super-tight tension. I have half a mind to rip the whole thing out and start over on smaller needles (after doing a new gauge swatch, of course!). If I did start over, I would adapt my pattern to use some of the tips from the KAL, such as knitting the bottom in one piece and short rowing the shoulders.
project 3, knee socks - I cast on for these socks after I finished mom's shawl because I had been drooling over them since May, and had bought yarn and everything already, and needed a new easy-to-carry project. I cast on and had no problems adapting the dpn patterns for my two circulars and was making good progress on the complicated cable patterns. Once night after a long knitting session, I noticed that I had cabled the wrong way. Since the cables are so small, probably no one would notice if I left it, but I am trying to be a more conscientious knitter, so I started to un-knit my rows to re-do the project. Lois had shown me previously how to fix a wrong-turned cable without pulling out all the stitches after it, but I thought the twist was just one row down and it would be less of a hassle to just unknit one row. I realized too late that it was more like three rows down (darn tiny yarn is deceiving!), and I had royally screwed up the hourglass cable pattern in trying to get back to the one little cable that was twisted the wrong way. because the hourglass pattern is so complicated, it was very difficult to accurately pick up the stitches after I frogged back to before I made the mistake, so I ended up throwing a little tantrum and frogging the whole sock. After a week in Colorado, I was feeling better about it and cast on again on Thursday night, this time with no problems except I have misplaced my small cable needle, so have only been able to complete the top ribbing.
So now I am in protest. At least until Wednesday when Wes goes back to work for four nights in a row and I would rather knit cranky projects than vacuum.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cabled Hoodie, round 2?

I have been very good lately. Despite a few stops to AFY (to sign up for intarsia and toe-up sock classes!), I haven't bought any new project yarn since the eyelet cardigan train project because I don't want anything to distract me from finishing up mom's shawl (could have finished it this weekend, but got distracted by Friday's Dodgers game ... whoops!) and since I hate ripping out work, I know if I have a new fun project to make, I will never rip and fix my Sahara lace inset either. However, it is now mid-August and there are back-to-school sales everywhere and I'm thinking it might be time to finish up the brown cabled hoodie. All that's left is one sleeve before I can start seaming, then I'll need to PU stitches for the hood and then the ribbing around the edges, so it should only take me a week or so if I really get to it. Maybe I could finish all three projects before Wes and I take off for Colorado at the end of the month? Is that too ambitious?
Anyway, I found a KAL for the cabled hoodie today and signed up. There are tons of tips and suggestions from other knitters who have completed the hoodie, and I wish I would have found this a long time ago! There are tips for short row shoulders and all sorts of things that I would love to do ... it's too late now for me, but maybe I'll find some good hood tips or something :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

stitch 'n bitch - argyle!!!!!

When I have a slow day at work, I often find myself searching for new knitting books or patterns. This is the case today as I searched Amazon to see if Debbie Stoller's new Stitch 'N Bitch book is out yet and imagine my happy happy surprise to see ARGYLE on the front cover! (I love argyle so much. I tell Wes all the time that I can't wait until we are rich so I can afford to shop at J. Crew and I have been searching in vain for almost a year for a flip-up argyle iPod case). The book doesn't come out until November, but I've already added it to my Amazon Wish List. It looks like the scarf may be double knit? which would be cool because I have read about it, but haven't ever tried that method. Lois has also mentioned that there will be a colorwork class offered at AFY in the fall, which I am planning to take and could be very helpful for the pictured pattern. I wonder if I could have a new argyle scarf in time for December in Washington DC??

Friday, August 10, 2007

reasons to buy fresh basil

more and more recipes, I'm noticing, call for fresh basil (or other herbs) instead of the old dried standbys, but buying fresh is expensive and goes bad just as fast as spinach and other bagged salads. Plus, do you really want to make that many Italian dishes in a week to use up the basil before it goes bad? (well, I do, but most people probably wouldn't). so until I have room in my home for a cute little herb garden, I usually just buy the $4 box of fresh basil and end up throwing most of it out. That was the case when I made Giada DeLaurintiis' Simple Bolognese sauce this weekend which calls for eight fresh basil leaves. It is sooooo good and a nice change from the regular spaghetti sauce that it seems like we eat every week. The Bolognese takes a little more effort, but makes a huge batch, so I like to freeze half for later. The sauce is versatile too; usually we just eat it over pasta (bowties or spirals are the best because the pieces of meat the veggies get caught in the nooks), but last night I baked a potato and dumped a whole bunch of sauce over it and that was excellent too. (The recipe is also included in Giada's Everyday Italian cookbook.)
Anyway, I still had a lot of basil left over but didn't really think much of it until the other day while farting around on, I found this delicious-sounding recipe for a mayoless tuna salad sandwich. It is called "Tuscan" which I guess is Italian, but it doesn't taste Italian to me (at least not in the lasagna, meatball, Parmesan chicken category or Italian food). I made it as instructed, except without olives, because I couldn't find them at the grocery store (what section are they in? I looked under canned veggies and by the pickles and other condiments. anyway, I didn't miss them in the sandwich so maybe it's okay!). Also, I didn't put any greenery (watercress, spinach, arugula, etc) because of the aforementioned quickness in which it goes bad, so I never buy it unless I know I'm going to eat it all at once. but it is so nice to have lunch almost ready when I am scrambling to get out the door in the morning. yesterday I put one layer of bean spread, then a layer of tuna, but it seemed like the second piece of bread was pulling away too much, so today I put bean spread on both pieces of bread with tuna in the middle and it was much better.
So, go get yourself some fresh basil and make these two delicious meals!! One more thing: unless you REALLY like basil and add extra to both dishes, you'll have some leftover so I suggest a caprese salad with marinated mozzarella and fresh sliced tomatoes to go with the extra basil ... but that might be too much Italian food for you :)
okay, two more things: both recipes also call for fresh parsley, but since parsley doesn't really have a flavor, I never buy it fresh, but use the dried stuff that is always in my cupboard. Also, it is good for adding to garlic mashed potatoes, so they look fancier, or to any dish I want to freak Wes out with and make him think there are weird spices in it.

A Note on the Knitting too: still making progress on Mom's shawl!! Worked on it for a long time last night since my dinner (leftover bolognese sauce and baked potato, remember?) was practically cooked for me by the time I got home. New deadline for myself is next weekend when I am planning to head down to HB again. Tonight should be another good night to get many more inches in! Wes will be at work and I just got a bunch of new movies in the mail!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

some enchanted shawling

well ... despite my not knitting on the shawl for 2.5 hours a day, I still thought I was getting pretty darn close to finishing it up in time for the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday. On Thursday I thought I was on my last ball of yarn and knitting like crazy on Friday too. Then Saturday morning I found two more balls of yarn! So, I guess I still have a ways to go, but it's okay. The shawl was going to be a little short if that really had been my last ball and I would have had to blocked it to shape which I haven't done before and don't know where I would block something that is supposed to be 70 inches long anyway. So, hopefully after these two last balls are added on, I won't have to block at all. but once I found them, I didn't have much time to use them up! Saturday night was a GOLD Night at Sharkeez in SB and also Fiesta! I drove up with Tia, Amanda and Marge to revel in the drunkeness (yay for being the DD ... it is so fun to chat with people who are drunk and happy!).
Then Sunday got up and made cookies to take to the Bowl for Grandma's birthday outing. I was really excited to go because I'd never been to the Hollywood Bowl before, but I just loved it! The show was South Pacific, which I didn't know much about either, but I liked the story line. Wes enjoyed it too, but we decided we are anxious to go back when there is something a little more to our tastes there. But Reba McEntire had the lead on Sunday, so it was cool to see her in person too. I've never seen her in concert. (click on the picture to see all five of us!) Mom wore her old shawl and I know she is anxious for the new one! Especially if we keep going on fun outings like to the Hollywood Bowl .. or Irvine Meadows, as Dad prefers ...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

unexpected shawling at work

I've had some surprise knitting time this week when a network failure at work left me with no access to email, production servers or internet for most of Tuesday, so I ran out to my car to grab mom's shawl and got in a good chunk of knitting done while I sat around waiting for the phone to ring. that was really great because then I could work guilt-free on the eyelet cardigan when I got home that night. I wish that I could knit more often at work while I wait for approvals (seems like I spend half my days waiting, that is a lot of knitting time!), but I try to stick to things that at least look like work - reading other knitting blogs and writing out pattern alterations aren't as suspect as actually whipping out the needles in my cubicle. though I did just pull out the whole shawl to measure it on the slick top of my desk (as seen above, next to my Pirates of the Caribbean lunch pail. yes, I am 26.), as opposed to the couch at home where the material can stretch, and realized in my quest to keep this shawl airy and not knit too tightly, that it is about three inches wider than requested ... I'm afraid this will leave me short on the length when I run out of yarn, but I guess we'll have to see when I get to that point. Since there isn't any shaping to this rectangular shawl, I don't have to plan ahead in decreases or other shaping methods.
speaking of shaping, oh my gosh the eyelet cardigan is full of shaping!! it took me three nights to work on the sleeves (soooo glad I cast them both on at the same time! I'm going to remember that trick) and last night all I got done was seaming the shoulders together and picking up for the neckband. I learned my lesson with Sahara so kept pulling out sections and repicking up to make sure it was even. I guess I'll find out tonight if my efforts paid off. I'd really like to get the button band done and pick up for the button holes tonight so I can go get some help tomorrow on the button holes. Taylor's jumper was the only other thing I've done that required button holes, but they didn't have to be spaced evenly or anything since there was only one at a time. Also, the buttons for the cardigan will be bigger than the little butterflies, so don't know if there is a special method or anything. I guess I'll find out!

Monday, July 23, 2007

fastest sweater ever

i guess if I had a 10-hour train trip and then a quiet weekend following, I could get a sweater finished in nine or ten days all the time ... while that isn't at all realistic, that's what's happening with the eyelet cardigan. With Wes at work on Friday at the end of a looong week for me, i was more than happy to stay home and knit, so that's what I did ... finishing up the front pieces of the cardigan. Saturday I met up with Nicole and some other girls she works with to see Ratatouille at the El Capitan in Hollywood, then went out to dinner, but Wes was at work again when I got home and I wasn't sleepy yet, so I cast on for the sleeves (both at once using two separate balls of yarn) and worked for a few hours. Yesterday I worked a little more in between running errands and making dinner while the Dodgers went into extra innings, and I have just the sleeve caps left for the actual pieces. Then I'll have to stitch the seams together and pick up edge stitches for the neck band and button holes. I've never done button holes before, so I might need to enlist Lois' help again, but I've already let her know I'd be looking for it. I picked out some great abalone buttons to use too that will look gorgeous with the yarn color.
p.s. I guess I didn't put in my 2.5 hours a day on the shawl this weekend ... but once I finish the cardigan, I'm not casting on for anything new until I get more progress done on the shawl! I promise!! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

math major

i just did some math and figured out that I will need to work on mom's shawl for 2.5 hours a day every day between now and August 5 when we are taking Grandma to the Hollywood Bowl for her birthday. I am not good at math, so this might be wrong, but I am going to pretend it is right and maybe work on the shawl for 2.5 hours a day. If I stop going out to lunch with the guys at work I will
a) save money (BBQ tri-tip is not cheap!),
b) save calories (BBQ tri-tip is not low-cal!),
c) have an hour to knit in the middle of the day.
but I like going to lunch, so maybe I will just stop going so often. I didn't go today because Tia and I have the first of six 5k races this evening and In-N-Out is not good pre-race food. Don't ask me how I know this.

anyway, I would like to finish mom's shawl by the next time I see her, which is going to be at the Hollywood Bowl. plus, the Hollywood Bowl is outside, so she might be cold and like to have her shawl. we'll see if 2.5 hours a day is realistic ... if I could knit at my desk while waiting for the phone to ring, I could definitely do it. I wonder if Jenn would notice?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

any excuse to knit all day

I guess a sign that you're a little too excited about knitting is when you make travel plans that begin at 6:30am the morning after a bachelorette party ... well, that is what I did this weekend. I flew up to San Francisco with Tia (the bride-to-be), Amanda, Shannon and seven other friends for two nights of celebrating. We stayed at the gorgeous Stanford Court by Renaissance (I highly recommend it! the service was excellent) and just had a ball. The picture to the right is of Tia and I on Saturday night. Instead of the traditional veil or feather boa to distinguish Tia as the bachelorette of the group, Amanda and Shannon (two of her bridesmaids and the organizers of this trip) found a bunch of cute cop stuff for her to wear, including handcuffs, which Tia slapped on me at one point in the evening. This was right after I ordered my favorite drink of the night - Bitchin' Cadillac - which was just Captain Morgan and Dr. Pepper ... can't believe I never thought of it before! yummm!
but I didn't drink too much since my bus to the train station was scheduled to pick up at 7am! I had decided to take the train home because I wanted to the view of the coast (which actually didn't start until after San Luis Obispo!) and I was looking forward to having a whole day with no obligations so I could knit and not have to talk to anyone after the weekend of sharing a hotel suite with 10 other girls. My just-for-the-train project is gorgeous and I am loving the color of yarn I picked out. I got the whole back finished in the ten hours of train time + a couple hours sitting in the Oakland station waiting, since the train was three hours late! So, I got up at 6:30 to take a cab to the Ferry Building where the bus would pick me up to take me to Oakland to catch the train scheduled to arrive at 8:50 and the train didn't come in until a quarter to noon! I had a vending machine cinnamon roll and Dr. Pepper for breakfast (they were out of my first three choices, in order: water, apple juice, orange juice) and didn't get to the snack car for lunch on the train until almost 2pm when my sugar coma was well intact. But once I was settled on the train (in a row all to myself for most of the trip), I pretty much just knit the whole way south. Since we were so late, by the time the ocean came into view it was almost dark - but there was a great sunset during dinner in the dining car where I sat with a fun older couple from Kansas. After dinner though, it was dark outside the rest of the trip so I missed the ocean view I really wanted to enjoy, from Carpenteria through Ventura where I so often run or drive. Despite being behind schedule, I did love the train and my day of knitting. Next I'll have to figure out when Wes and I could take a train trip together!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

in the meantime

even though I mostly love Sahara (except for the funky lace part) and am anxious to be able to wear it, I am still bummed that I have to rip the funky lace part out and do it over so I have been ignoring it this week and focusing more on mom's shawl and also going to bed earlier than I would if I was working on lace insets.
this weekend is Tia's bachelorette party and we're traveling a fair distance to celebrate. in my quest for an affordable way to get home on Sunday, I chose to take the train! Amanda completely called me on it when I told her how I was getting home and figured I was doing it for the twelve hours of uninterrupted knitting! though I don't know how productive I will be after getting up at 7am after going to bed at who knows when. But I bought new yarn and a pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas that I am hoping won't take too long due to the thicker yarn (color: azul) and cropped style of the cardigan. I will also bring along mom's shawl since I know I can't work twelve hours on the same pattern, so I'll try to mix it up. I am hoping for a west-facing window seat, though if I get that I might not do any knitting at all!

Monday, July 09, 2007

nevermind ...

wore my newly finished Sahara out last night to dinner and to see Transformers (oh my gosh, it was great. I would recommend it to most anyone.) and after wearing it for a couple hours, decided that I'm going to pull out the lace inset and re-do it. I didn't pick up the stitches evenly around the edges and one side is more bunched up than the other side. Probably no one would notice, but it bugged me enough to want to rip and start over, which I never do. so, I guess I'm not quite done yet ...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Finished Sahara!!!

Just finished Sahara! will try to get better pictures later but maybe its ok there isnt too much detail here. anyway, off to see TRANSFORMERS!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sahara sleeves

Finished the sleeves tonight! Love that there is no finishing to do, just a couple ends to weave in

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sahara photo update

Sahara up until now!

so close to finished Sahara

been working really hard to get Sahara finished this week. Wes and I laid low for most of the day yesterday since he had to work at night, so while we were resting (Wes for work and me for the big BBQ at Margies that night) I finished up the diamond rib pattern on the bottom of the hem and bound off! I was able to try it on and am so pleased to announce that it fits, despite my lack of gauge swatch! whew! All I have left now is the lace inset at the chest and then a little edging on the sleeves. I'm not using beads as shown in the picture to the left (that's one of the official pictures that came with the pattern. click on it to see more pattern details since I am slacking on the photos of my own work.), so it should be pretty easy. Wes is back on night shift now through October, so I will have lots of knitting time ahead of me!

Monday, July 02, 2007

unrelaxing vacation

got back last night from a much-needed vacation to Las Vegas and Phoenix, but don't feel too rested after the week away. after working a full day in Carson on Monday, then almost missing our flight to Vegas (stopped to have a beer with mom and dad at the Long Beach Airport bar), we rushed from the airport to our hotel and changed in 15 minutes to be ready to catch the shuttle to the strip (we stayed at an off-strip resort). We had an hour to get to the Stratosphere for 10pm dinner reservations and just barely made it. I didn't feel like we were really on vacation until we were sitting down looking at the amazing view with a glass of wine in hand.
The next morning we got up and said NO to the timeshare schpiel and headed out to relax at the pool for the rest of the day. We had dinner that night with Kevin and Danielle Grant (Kevin and Wes were in academy together and served on the same squad until the Grants moved late last year), then headed to the Tropicana for a show at the Comedy Stop. We had big plans for Nine Fine Irishmen after the Trop show, but were exhausted from the day in the sun, so we wussed out and went to sleep.
However, Wednesday we got up and made it to the strip for a whole day of Vegasness. We had complimentary tickets to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay (good thing too, since the 30 minute tour was not really worth the $15 entry fee everyone else paid), then made our way north on the strip stopping for lunch at the Paris with view of the Bellagio fountains and made it as far north as Treasure Island. Luke and Clarissa (Luke played baseball with Wes' roommate Matt in college and Wes and I shared a cabin at Matt & Casey's wedding in Tahoe) and their son Coyt met us for the (slutty!) pirate show outside that evening. After visiting with them for a while, Wes and I headed back south and ended up on a gondola at the Venetian! Before heading back, we stopped to watch a few water shows at Bellagio, this time in the dark with the lights and were too pooped to party too late again after another day in the sun.
Plus, we had to get up early to catch a cab to the airport the next morning to fly to Phoenix. Wes' sister Whitney is living in AZ with her boyfriend and his family for the summer, so she picked us up at the airport and we met up with boyfriend Goo and headed to Chase Field for the Diamondbacks/Dodgers game. The Dodgers won and Wes and I went to Kristina and Andy's for the night. The next morning we woke up to Taylor chattering and got up to play with her and chat with Kristina. We missed seeing Andy, who was working hard to be able to take vacation this week! But I loved playing with Taylor, she is soooo big now! Kristina said she was saying our names, but I think she was calling Wes "bunny."
After we left Kristina's, Wes and I drove around the east valley looking at model homes for a few hours. Then we checked in at our hotel and had time for a quick dinner before Wes headed off for a ride-along. I was sad to see him go, but also grateful for the chance to knit finally! I pulled out Sahara since I had the time and attention it needs and started working the hip increases. I also ordered a slice of cheesecake and glass of wine from room service, so passed out before I could get too far along. I didn't hear Wes come in late, but he was there in the morning when we woke up for time in the gorgeous pool and then more driving around town. We went to P.B. Loco for lunch and I loooved the CinnyNilla sandwich. I highly recommended it :) That night Wes had another ride-along, but this one was much earlier in the evening, so I had made plans for dinner with Ashlee. After she dropped me back off at the hotel, I sat down for more knitting and finished the hip increases and was all ready to start on the short rows on the bottom few rows (to make it look like a shirt-tail hem), but next thing I knew, Wes was waking me up to put me to bed since I had fallen asleep in my knitting. Sunday Whit and Goo met us at our hotel pool for some more waterslide and water volleyball fun, then they dropped us back off at the airport!
So, not much knitting over the whole week, but really good progress when I did sit down to do it. Hoping to get the short rows done tonight, depending on what shape the apartment is in. Apparently we had a water leak while we were gone and there was some damage ... I was too tired last night by the time we got home (airline lost our bag for a while, so we got home way later than expected) to really check it out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

preoccupied with food

spent some more lunch-time knit-time working on mom's shawl and trying to distract myself from the delicious turkey, cheddar, pickle, spinach and mustard on wheat in the fridge until 2pm - three hours before running, which as I discovered in high school track is the perfect amount of time to span between turkey sandwich and running. but my stomach was hungry and kept reminding me of the great new book I bought last night when Wes and I stopped at B&N before date night - a whole book of risotto! I am very anxious to try some of the new recipes, but until then, click on this little picture to get my current favorite risotto recipe. It is adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis' Dirty Risotto from her book Giada's Family Dinners, but I made a couple of alterations to Giada's recipe - I call mine "Contradictory" because I put real meat (Italian bacon - pancetta) and fake meat (Morningstar Farms breakfast links) in it. Also, I have made this lots of times with different price ranges of white wine (from two buck chuck and up ...), but the best by far is Hangtime Chardonnay. It comes from San Luis Obispo and we've gotten it at restaurants here in Ventura, but also bought it at some of the bigger liquor stores. It is a delicious addition to the risotto flavor and also tastes great to drink with the finished dish!
p.s. all this food talk - i definitely didn't make it until 2pm. I came in from lunch 20 minutes early and stopped by the fridge on my way back to my desk.
p.p.s. who picked that movie last night? umm, I think I did. but I don't recommend it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wonder Woman!

Dad sent over this picture of my sister-in-law, Kristen, wearing the Wonder Woman knucks I made for her for Christmas. Isn't it sad that she is wearing them in June? This is why I don't live in Seattle! (though I am glad she's getting good use out of them!) Click on the photo to see a picture of Luke and his lovely wife at her graduation from Seattle University last weekend. For a more detailed view of the knucks, click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

shawl overload

worked my butt off on the shawl last week ... Wednesday after work while I waited for Wes to meet me for Date Night (no sense in going all the way home first), Thursday and Friday lunches, then all Friday night while we watched the Angels at the Dodgers ... but glad I got a lot done then, because the rest of the weekend was busy! Saturday night we headed down to the Staples Center to see Keith Urban rock the house. I think every time I see him (this was my fourth!) it gets better ... break for history lesson: in Keith's video for "Days Go By," the concert at the end of the video was at the Ventura County Fair three summers ago (2004) and that was the first time I saw Keith Urban live. The other two times were last December (2005), Wes and I went on a Tuesday night at the Gibson Amphitheater, then Lissa, Courtney and I flew to Vegas that weekend to catch him at Mandalay Bay. End of history lesson.
No more knitting on Sunday, we went out to Casitas with Matt and Casey for some frisbee golf, then passed out from the heat. Last night I cooked fish for dinner (Parmesan crusted with Citrus/Spinach salad on the side, soooo delicious) and I didn't want the fish smell to rub off on the yarn. I need to get one of those magic smell erasers from Crate & Barrel, I think.
Don't know how much night-time knitting I'll get done this week. We're having a little party on Saturday night and we need to do some work around the apartment before I let people inside. I'm thinking of making another run to BB's on Saturday after running with Tia, so that means I need to get all the housework done during the week. But I'm heading out for lunch-time knitting now and I'll have plenty of time for knitting while Wes is on ridealongs next weekend ...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

starting the stash ...

Every time a read about another knitter's out-of-control stash (Yarn Harlot has a whole chapter about how to hide your stash from your family), I am a little smug. Proud of myself for (most of the time) controlling my urges to buy yarn until I have a firm project in mind, and the time to devote to the project. I do have one plastic bin of knitting stuff, but aside from housing my extra needles, pattern books and other tools, mostly it is extra yarn left over from finished projects and one or two rejected WIPs that I got bored of (2x2 rib scarf? come on!) or I tried on before the final finishes and realized it didn't fit, but couldn't bring myself to start over. All that smugness when straight out the window on Saturday when I drove up to Santa Barbara to visit BB's Knits retirement sale. Everything in the store was 50% off and my stash is well on it's way to getting out of control unless I take a few months off work to knit my butt off. Unfortunately, "stash reducing" is not a viable reason to call in sick.
I initially went to BB's because the store was listed on Jordana Paige's website for places to buy her knitters satchel. I am drooling over the ocean blue version, but it is a little pricey and I wanted to see the bag in person before purchasing. When I looked at BB's website for directions to the store, lo and behold! 50% off sale! I thought I could get my satchel at a well-reduced price ... of course by the time I got up there, the bags were sold out (some at 50% she said! bummer!), but there were plenty of other goodies left, and I certainly didn't leave empty handed. BB herself even took a peek in my bag as I was winding down and said I did a good job!!
Here's what I left with:
Patterns - Two (2) Fiber Trends sock patterns, Winter issue of Knit.1 magazine with some way cute patterns I had been drooling over since January, Miss Bea's Rainy Day patterns for Rowan yarns by Louisa Harding, Cabin Fever #153 (baby socks!)
Yarn - Eight (8) balls of Classic Elite Bamboo in China blue (hoping to use it for Sizzle, but I didn't have the pattern with me and guessed too low on yardage so will save the bamboo for something else glorious), Four (4) balls of Regia Silk sock yarn (two balls each yellow and pink), Six (6) balls of Rowan All-Seasons Cotton in Dusk (actual yarn is more purple than on website) to make a coat from Miss Bea's pattern book for my someday daughter, Four (4) balls of Whispers sock yarn in colors 04 and 08, One (1) ball of Artful Yarns - Olympic in color Atlanta, which I am going to try and make the baby socks out of for cousin Sheila's baby girl on the way. I am not really sure if that is supposed to be sock yarn though ...
Also - six abalone star shaped buttons for the little girl's coat and six sparkly pink buttons to adorn these socks, once I make them ...
wow! that's a lot of yarn to stash away while I finish up Sahara and mom's shawl ... but it was fun to visit a new store, even if I probably won't ever go back, and especially nice to have lunch with my handsome husband at work :) maybe I'll have to make another trip to BB's before the end of the month (to get more Bamboo, perhaps?) ... I do love to see Wes in uniform! yowza!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Grandma's socks

a few weeks ago Wes and I spent the weekend in Orange County for golfing, Ducks games and general family and friend togetherness and I was able to get Grandma to sit still for a minute so I could capture the bittersweet socks on her feet and on camera! I am so pleased that they fit her and that she seems to love them, since each time I showed up at her house over the long weekend, she had the socks on!
to recap: the yarn is Lorna's Laces worsted weight yarn in bittersweet and the pattern is also from Lorna's Laces, the Liberty Sock pattern that Lois used in sock class and the only sock pattern I've ever used ... but that is soon to change!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ducks! Ducks! Ducks! Ducks!

just in case you didn't notice, the Ducks dominated the Senators last night 6-2 to be the FIRST CALIFORNIA TEAM TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP! (suck on that Kings and Sharks!) I almost cried at the first goal because I wanted to be AT the game sooooooo bad, but we couldn't afford the crazy ticket prices, so Wes and I settled down in the bar of J.J. Brewski's and had a grand old time in Camarillo.
who says the Neidermayers are the first siblings to win the cup since 1982? Check out me and Luke!

but at least Wes and Dad and I made it to one awesome game, the Western Conference clincher against the Red Wings. Best game ever, except for last night's of course, but I wasn't there so I can't claim it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

lazy = more knitting

had a mostly sit around the house and be lazy weekend (with some hockey! go Ducks!) so I got lots of knitting done on Sahara. the two sides of the front were knit with two different balls of yarn, so progress was often impeded by untangling of the yarn, but it is turning out really nice (looooooooove the smoothness of the yarn) and so far the gauge/fit seems to be right too ... I knit down the front to the arm shaping and attached the back to the front, but only on the sides under the armholes, and am now knitting flat (with only one ball of yarn!) for a few inches before waist decreases. after a few inches of decreases, I'll have to cast-on 20 stitches in the middle of the front and then attach to knit the rest of the top in the round.
on the picture to the right, I blacked out the stuff I haven't done yet. doesn't look like I've gotten very far, but the back is being completed at the same time, so it is really twice as much as is showing. the trim on the sleeves and neckline will be added after the rest of top is knit. the amount of cleavage showing is customizable too, just sew the center seam higher up or lower, I guess! ha.

Friday, June 01, 2007

inviting Murphy and his laws

after dinner last night Wes settled down in front of the NBA Eastern Conference finals and so I took the opportunity to get back to work on Sahara! picking up stitches from the preliminary crochet cast on was pleasantly easy and I was able to make good progress on the two halves of the front. the game went into double OT so I had even more knitting time ... I was hoping to get far enough along to attach the back to the fronts and start knitting in the round (only one ball of yarn attached instead of the current two for two sides of the front), but that would have taken a marathon knitting night, and I only do that when Wes is on night shift. he switches again July 2, so give it a few more weeks and I'll be back to my old habits :)
this pattern offers measurements in inches as well as row counts, so since I didn't do a gauge swatch (what! did I learn nothing in all of the AFY classes!), I have been measuring and counting very carefully as I go along. The gauge was the same as Mom's pink shell ... although it is different yarn, the yarn thickness is the same for both. The pattern for the pink shell suggested size 6 needles, but when I did my gauge swatches for that project I ended up using size 8 to get gauge, so I just picked up my size 8s for Sahara too and so far all my measurements have been exact to the pattern and gauge is right too. Now that I have gotten all cocky and braggy about perfection without a swatch, something is sure to go wrong ...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

m1 on the back

Sahara back done! Well, top of the back done. Hopefully will have time to get the front started tonite! I'm anxious to get at those preliminary cast on stitches and see if it will be as easy as Lois made it look ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

knitting with Keith

while sitting upstairs on the lunchroom porch knitting on Sahara (finally started it last weekend! more on that in a minute ...) and listening to a mix of Keith Urban tunes in preparation for the concert in a few weeks, I discovered it takes all of "God's Been Good To Me" to knit one row, but I can get a whole lap done (knit one row, purl the next) before "Somebody Like You" finishes up. That's even with the inevitable daydreaming that comes with "Somebody Like You" ... since I walked down the isle to marry my sweet Wesley to that song.
so, back to the knitting: Sahara had a tricky start that caused me to put it off for a while (I bought the pattern and yarn back in February!). finally I went to see Lois at AFY last week to learn how to crochet cast-on. The instructions that came with the pattern said to incorporate the knitting needle into the single-crochet row so the stitches end up on the knitting needle, but that confused me! Lois then showed how she would do it: just knit a chain of however many stitches it says to cast on, then thread the knitting needle through the back loops. This sounded hard to me too (my ventures into crochet have been less than successful), but a trip to visit Grandma crocheter extrordinaire was already on the schedule for the following weekend, so I asked her to make the chain for me. It took a couple tries to get the tension right (loose enough so I could pick up the stitches), but we got it in the end. This week has been busy at work and at home (got the new Giada De Laurentiis and have been cooking up a storm! also, discovered the best cookie recipe ever ...) but after my lunchtime date with Keith, I am down to the arm shaping on the back. yes, I said "down" and not "up" to the arm shaping ... this sweater is knit from the top down, so I have the back of the shoulders finished now. After the arm shaping is finished on the back, I'll put these live stitches on a holder, pull out the crochet chain and pick up the stitches on the top and knit down the front. I was overwhelmed when I first bought the pattern, but looking at it one step at a time, it seems a lot easier. So for now, I am just thinking about m1 stitches that I'll do tonight if I can resist picking up my other new book (the only thing that got me to put it down yesterday was an afternoon of Pirates and Hockey.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Vacation in my own backyard

nothing new to report on the knitting front today ... although I did have a fabulous, busy weekend ... Friday was pretty quiet; Wes and I went to a new place for dinner and had great Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches and watched ESPN. Saturday with Wes at work, Tia and I ran an easy six (okay, a hard six ... Thursday's workout was INTENSE and I was sick after it, so didn't refuel as well as I should have. my legs were hating me for it on Saturday, good thing we didn't have to run 12 miles!), then after quick showers we headed up to State Street in Santa Barbara with Amanda to shop shop shop!! We'd been planning this trip for a while and after my lenten shopping fast we were all ready for some new springtime fashion! We hit all my favorite places: A Tropical Affair and Anthropologie (got a versatile jersey dress that will look awesome with flipflops or my cowgirl boots and the skirt to the left ... don't know what to wear with it, but I love it!), some way-expensive boutiques (no purchases there!) and of course Gap, Express, Macy*s and some shoe shops. We had great lunch at Ruby's too (not the '50s diner, a local deli with the best sourdough patty melt I've had in a long time). After a long afternoon (and aching legs!), we headed back to Ventura to take in the DeLaHoya-Mayweather fight at a friend of Tia and Omar's. Wes met us there and we enjoyed meeting lots of people who we'll get to party with at the wedding! It wasn't a late night for us though, Wes had been up since 4am and my credit card wasn't the only thing that was worn out, so we didn't stick around too late after the fight.
Sunday was HOT and wonderful. I met up with my friend Charlene and we drove out to Malibu for lunch at Paradise Cove. Apparently half of LA had the same idea and we had to wait over an hour for a table, but enjoyed the outdoor bar and feet in the sand while we enjoyed a Corona and nachos. By the time we were seated we were sweaty and exhausted, so luckily our table had a little bit of shade! But it was great to be outside enjoying the weather ... we even had a star sighting - Jon Lovitz! It would have been fun to see someone younger and hotter (doesn't Matthew M do his yoga on the Malibu beaches?), but I liked Jon in The Wedding Singer and A League of Their Own, so it was still interesting to see a "star" ... I guess that's what people go to Malibu for!
Overall it was a spectacular weekend. It almost felt like I was on vacation, except I got to sleep in my own bed!!

Friday, May 04, 2007


Tia teases me on our runs because I can never decide if I am going to resign myself to my husband's desire to be a father, or maintain my no-baby position I've held since I was 11 and realized that being pregnant makes you throw up and giving birth could be the most pain I will ever be in (more than the eighth and fastest 800 repeat or running a full marathon after no training), or if I will fully embrace motherhood in all its glowy, baby-powder-smelling, liquid-poopy diapered glory.

Since she is anxious to start a family soon after her September wedding, babies are often something we talk about on our runs and every day I have a new reaction to proposals that Wes and I might have kids. Some days I say "if Wes and I have babies ..." other days its "when" ... I have introduced her to Mom's special phrase for me - "new day, new deal" - and she says it to me now whenever I change my mind.

Wes and I have names for two girl babies that I love, however he says we'll never need them because we are only having boys. We have nothing special picked out that we would like to name a son.

Sometimes I think I want a baby. But usually is more for company when Wes is working night shift and I'm lonely, than because I want to be a mother. That to me is no better than women who decide to have babies without husbands because they think it will fill some hole in their lives that a man has never fulfilled (did you see Grey's Anatomy last night?). When I think of the responsibility that will come with a baby, I change my mind and decide that I will definitely want Wes around as much as possible, even more than I already do!

The bottom line is that someday I will be ready for kids. Someday I will have a Chloe middle-name-to-be-determined and a Layla Beth (and maybe even a little Sean Wesley). It won't happen anytime soon, but when we're all ready (me and Wes and God, who teaches me lessons every day that will someday help me to be a good mom), I will knit this for my little girl to wear.