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.