Shoes and Yarn

This blog is dedicated to my search for the perfect shoes and the perfect yarn.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

It must be game day...

As I left my office building downtown, the inescapable smell of the baseball staduim hit me smack in the face. That overcooked hotdog, beer, pretzel cooking smell that is prevalent at any baseball game can be smelled from accross the street. I swiftly realize, I must realign my game plan for escaping the parking lot so that I don't run into all of the fans trying desperately to get into the overpriced parking garage I call my own. I swiftly went down the other exit away from the stadium, up and over a block and escaped to the highway, only to be stuck in horrible traffic an exit down the road. It's not raining. There were no accidents...what's up with people.

Then I stopped at the knitting store on the way home to pick up brittany needles for the Madli and an extra pair of size two bamboo needles for my trip to DC so I can have a sock and a baby hat on needles at the same time. Yep, I have officially gone overboard. I have two sets of size 2 double pointed needles. So, I'm flying out thursday, so I decided to start the baby hat tonight with the lavender Stork yarn I bought at stitches. After restarting the swatch 3 times, the yarn is alas to big gauged to do the hat. I desperately searched my stash. I remembered some pretty yellow yarn I bought to make baby booties for a friend, that never quite got made. Yes and after quickly swatching it works!!! Everyone aplaud. It's looking good so far as well. Hopefully I have enough yarn to do the hat since I only bought one skein and have no hope of getting another... Yikes. Well, at least it will keep me occupied on the plane since I haven't found a book to read. After much thought I've also decided to trek along the laptop. I can watch DVDs and play cards in flight and as an added bonus, I can check my merit increase when I get to DC instead of waiting until I get back. Okay, so I'm prevaricating. The entire reason for bringing the laptop is so that I can access my merit increase before Monday. :-0

Monday, August 30, 2004

At last...

No, I haven't found love...perish the thought. Even better, I've finished knitting the second sleeve of my Sally Mellville two-toned sweater and as we speak it is being blocked on my family room floor. I stuck it in an out of the way place so I wouldn't step on any of the pins, of course, that means it's in this area between the couch and a bookcase and none of my pictures are turning out. Flash or no flash. Now I have the fun part, seeming it together...Yeah me. Iwill hopefully block the back tomorrow night and the top on Wednesday night so it will be allr eady to seem when I get back. Then of course, I'll try it on and think it doesn't look good. All the build up for naught. Either that or it won't fit. Well, it's my first sweater so it's a learning experience. Speaking of learning experiences, who knew mohair stunk so much when you got it wet. I was the demon knitter when I got home tonight not only to finish the sweater, but I had a crappy day at work. One of those Monday's when it seems like everyone else is existing just to make your life more difficult and doing whatever the heck they want just because, no matter what the rules are. I was so frusterated by noon, I was ready to bop somebody. I went and hid in my bosses office and proofread documents for 2 hours so I didn't have to interact with anyone. I had this person exchange 5 e-mails and two phone calls with me about this Lotus Notes address list before she realized that no matter what I typed or spelled out for her, she wasn't spelling it right and therefor the address lists wouldn't come up. So much for we hire the best and brightest... Vacation is just two days away. I have to keep telling myself that.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The second sleeve

My goal for the weekend has been to finish the second sleeve and although I've watched 4 movies and countless hours of the olympics, and made over 10,000 stitches, I'm still not done with the sleeve. I had to give up for the evening because my arms hurt and I want to live to knit tomorrow. Now I know why people knit with thicker yarn. My only problem, I hate to knit with big needles. I prefer somewhere between a 2 and a 7. At least I'm to the decreases. I only need to do 40 more rows to finish, but less and less stitches each row means it will go much faster. I've revised my goal to finishing the sleeve prior to leaving for DC on Thursday to see my brother. I have to say, it's kind of funny. I don't travel anywhere for weeks on end and then all of the sudden, I'm traveling all over the place. Every two weeks I'm someplace different. I was in Columbia, MO. Two weeks later, Stitches outside of Chicago. Next weekend DC. A week and a half later, going to New York. Then I won't go anywhere probably for the rest of the year. I did this earlier in the year as well. Went to Colubmia, Mo; Chicago; New Orleans and Cincinnati in 5 weeks. Then no where for 3 months. I'm a traveling fool I tell you. All I can say is Yeah Vacation!

Friday, August 27, 2004

Have Princesses lost their glitter...

or have I become cynical??? I was in a princess mood I guess, so I rented The Prince and Me and Ella Enchanted this evening. Both were, of course, total fluff. I ended up fast forwarding parts of Ella Enchanted because I couldn't stand the fluff. The Prince and Me was better, but whatever happened to the good fairy tale romances. They can't even make decent fluff for teenage girls these days. The only thing my princess movie binge accomplished, other than establishing I'm becoming cynical in my old age was about 5 inches of knitting on my second sleeve for the 2-Toned Sally Melville sweater from the Purl Stitch. I've decided that the sweater has been taking me so long, so before I get emeshed in the Madli shawl, I need to finish the second sleeve. I think second sleeve syndrom is even worse than second sock syndrome. I think on the next sweater. I'll make the back, a sleeve, the front and then the other sleeve. Perhaps it won't seem so horrible. So my goal for this weekend is to substantially finish the sleeve if not finish entirely. It will depend upon the other demands on my time this weekend...

I was going to come home last night and add a post, but I made the mistake of deciding to read "a few pages" of Debbie Macomber's book The Shop on Blossom Street. Thanks to Ann for passing it around amonst the knitters from our wednesday knitting group. I must apoligize to the next person who gets this book because there are probably tear stains from where I was practically sobbing yet couldn't bring myself to put the book down. I think it affected me so much because of the one of the story lines. My boss, who is very much a mentor to me, was having surgery to remove a tumor in her ovary today. She is only a few years older than me and she just had twins and although they don't know if the tumor is cancerous as of yet, it is still scary to think about. On the subject of the book, it was pure beach read fluff, but I believe there are some truths in it about knitters. I think about the women from knitting night. Except for Beth, whom I knew before, I don't think I would have met any of these women. They are wonderful and funny and we're brought together because our enthusiasm for knitting. If you've had a bad day, you can go on Wednesday nightand just let their conversations roll over you and you don't even need to speak. If you have good news, they are always there to cheer "Yeah you!" If you happen to get into a little fender bender with a weirdo, they'll stay and wait for the cops with you, even if it means that the weirdo is talking to them while you talk to the cute cop. So, next Wednesday, I'll pass the book on to the next reader and hope that they enjoy it as well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Lost...One knit along...

Oh where, Oh where has the Madli-Along gone. I finally bought the yarn, set aside the time and started the Madli. Had problems casting on...Frogged. Cast on again. Frogged. Finally figured out the knitted Cast-on (Yeah Gwen). Started knitting. Lost a stitch in the melee. Decided to go to bed and start again tomorrow(what would be today). Couldn't figure out what I had done. Frogged. Cast-on and knit again. realized I was doing the chart upside down...:-( Frogged yet again. Cast-on and started working chart from the right end and now my little "Nupps" (great idea to give such a cute name for knitting 7 stitches into one and then purling 7 stitches into one?!? What torture!) aren't lining up the way they should. One nupp really looks bad, the other 6+ look okay. Two line up exactly and should be one off. One is like two stitches off in the middle of no-man's land. Obviously did something in the first line that messed up the second, but somehow still ended up with the correct # of stitches. Just when the frustration is just about to kill me and I was going to post my frustration, the Madli-Along has disappeared. UGHHHHHHH!!!!!! So you, my friends and family are hearing my frustration. Can I say it again...UGHHHHH!!!! Did I mention that this is only the swatch... I was trying to see if I was a big enough girl to cast on the real thing. Apparently I still need some more practice... I'm done for the evening because I can't stand the thought of frogging again tonight and I haven't decided if since this is the swatch, I can live with the misaligned nupps or not. I think the real thing is going to have a "life" line every other line...

So I ask you, friends, romans, family, strangers who luck upon my blog...Should I frog again or go blindly onward???

Monday, August 23, 2004

I've been looking for baby yarn to do one of the baby hats from the Summer Interweave and finally found it at Stitches. Now, you've seen all of my stuff. I have to get started on the Madli, but I had to swatch the Mystery yarn and I've been working on my new striped socks because I haven't figured out the pattern and it's addicted. I also started the second sleeve of my two-toned Sally Melville sweater. I think I need to quit my job so I can knit all day long

More super sock yarn because I couldn't decide between the two colorways...

Super Sock Yarn!!! Isn't it cool.

Mystery Bargain Yarn. You know you can never pass up a bargain! This is 70% silk, 30% cotton and the cone of 1100 yds only cost $15. I think a summer tank would be good.

This is a swatch from the mystery yarn

Here it is, the beautiful yarn I got at stitches to do the Madli Scarf from this summer's Interweave. You can't tell because of my crappy camera, but it is the deep bluegreen color with kind of red accents in certain lights. It's 100% alpaca

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Yarn, oh the yarn...

Just got back from Stitches. Cooking Tortalini for a Pesto Tortalini pasta salad for the "Cold" party tomorrow. Thought I would give some brief thoughts because the minite the pasta salad is done, I'm going to bed.

The Yarn was fabulous. I think I'm on sensory overload. My only regret, I couldn't take it all home with me.

What did I take home with me??? Well...

Beautiful lace weight alpaca in this dark green/blue with red accents for the Madli Shawl from Interweave Knits this past summer.

Super Sock Yarn (2 different colorwars. One green/turqoise/purple and the other fuscia to purple) They are going to look fabulous.

Lavender Stork from Dale of Norway for the baby hat out of Interweave Knits for my soon-to-be neice

A cone of this 70% Silk, 30% cotton yarn in a peachy/pink with slubs of different colors..Don't know what I'm going to make with it, but it was $15 for almost 1200 yds.

Anyway, we shopped for 4+hours, watched a needle felting demonstration and an fashion show. The stuff from the new Knitters looks good knit up.

Beth got the best present of the day, the woman at the Alpaca booth slipped her a Pooperweight. Yes, a plastic paperweight that has Alpaca Poop inside...

Must finish pasta salad and sleep...

Thursday, August 19, 2004

We're off to Stitches

Yes, Beth, Suzie and I are going to drive 400 miles to go shopping at the yarn market. Not take any classes, but to shop for yarn. I love my friends!! I told the people at work I was going to Chicago for the weekend. I got "Going to the bars??" "Hanging out on Division??" "IKEA?" "Shopping on Michican??" Stitches was not even on the radar. Those that I did tell looked at me kind of funny... They didn't know what to think. Women under 60 knitting? What an idea.

Other than that, I've been totally slammed at work. We have this big all day planning meeting off-site on Monday. I spent an hour running around trying to see if I could find a Purple marker for an wipe board only to find out they decided black would do after all. Do they make purple markes for a wipe board?? It would be pretty, but I'm pretty sure they only come in a few select colors and I don't think I've ever seen Purple. One of the planners and one of the presenters are out of town and it's been one e-mail after another from one or both of them. Why don't you write a list of things you want and send me one e-mail instead of 10 inside of 20 minutes??? It's a lot easier for me to go rushing around the office if I have one piece of paper and not 10. Ughh.

I started my first toe-up sock last night. It's made out of some Regia yarn that I got in at a yarn store in Grand Haven, MI last Labor Day weekend. It survived for almost a year in my stash. Imagine that. It's Red, white, pink, purple and green striping yarn. I can't decide if I'm going to love it because they look so crazy or if I'm going to look crazy because I love such ugly socks?? Only time will tell. It took me several tries to get the cast-on right. God bless Teri for her help. She's moving to Kansas City and then I'll be the only odd knitter and I'll have to figure out everything by myself. Sniff. Sniff. I'll post a picture after I have the stripes going.

Well that's all for now, I have to pack if I'm going to leave the house sometime tomorrow. I'll post more on satursday night when I get back. I'm taking the crappy digital camera to take some pictures. I'm definitely asking for a digital camera for christmas. (Are you reading that mom??)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Baby Einstein sweater for my sister's baby that I just finished tonight by putting on the buttons.

I also kitchenered the birthday socks tonight as well.

For the first time in years, I only have one, count it one project on needles. Well, I still need to start the second sleeve of my two-tones Sally Melville sweater, but as of right now, it's not on needles. Is that cheating??

I'm on a self-imposed no shopping rule. I'm saving money to spend at Stitches Midwest this weekend and I just booked a trip to DC to see my brother and his wife for Labor Day weekend. Here's the dilemma...I've got one of those nifty $25 gift certificates to DSW Show Warehouse. Yes, Yes, land of the fabulous shoes and the aisles of clearance shoes just waiting to be picked up. It's burning a hole in my pocket. Can I wait 3+ weeks to go shoe shopping??? Shopping at all?? All the sales?? I'm going to go crazy.

Monday, August 16, 2004

See the weird band??? What's up with that. The top and the bottom match. I can't decide whether it looks better or worse than the one before it, but my sister is getting it for her birthday... Posted by Hello
Sock #3 first attempt. It looks rather odd and didn't match. My sister is rather picky, so after much thought and a glass of wine at dinner, I decided to re-attempt sock #3  Posted by Hello
Picture of the 2nd sock...remember sock #1 mysteriously disappeared in Barnes & Noble one night. I prefer to think that it ran away to join the other lonesome socks that disappear in all our lives. Posted by Hello

The Third Sock part II

Well, I felt guilty because the socks looked to different, so I ripped it to the heel gussetts and started again. I matched up the yarn, even re-rolled it so I could start at the other end and get the color pattern right and it still doesn't quite match up. There's a band where it doesn't pool at all, kind of forms stripes and then it sort of does the color pooling the way it did on the other sock. This is the third time I've done it. I'm giving up. If she never wears them, at least I'll never see them again in my lifetime. I found my digital camera and it works. I'd post photos of sock #3 the first time and the new and improved sock #3, but I'm having a problem and it send the pictures not where I want them, so I'm going to have to work on this. Maybe I'll be able to send it by tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Third Sock

Yes, I've done it I've finished the third of my sister's birthday socks!!!! I have 2 socks next to each other. I used that Socotta yarn in the blues/greens/purples. I had enough left to finish through the gussets. My friend Beth was good enough to give me the leftover from her socks to finish the 3rd sock. Unfortunately, the pattern on the foot part of the sock turned out a little different. Oh, well, if she doesn't like it too darn bad, I'll never make her another pair. Probably won't ever make her another pair anyway. Trying to figure out how my very old and crappy digital camera works. Computer was dead for quite awhile, so didn't use it. Will post photos of the 3rd sock vs. the 2nd sock if I can get it working.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Saturday alone...

I used to have a roommate who couldn't be alone. If I went somewhere without her, she just couldn't stay home and amuse herself, she had to go somewhere or call someone to come over. I always found that weird. I sometimes just need time by myself to recharge. Today was one of those days. I've been really busy lately with work and I feel like I worked all of last weekend because I spent it attending meetings. So today, I did nothing except please myself. I read a book. I rented some movies. I turned the heel on the third sock for my sister's birthday and took a nap. To explain the third sock, I lost a completed sock. I think it was in Barnes and Noble because we meet there on Wednesday nights to KIP. Unfortunately, they've never managed to locate the sock so seeing as my sister's birthday is in 10 days, I had to start a 3rd sock. I'm so sick of this pair of socks. I can't wait until they're done. Other than that, I found some cute Beatrix Potter buttons for my baby Einstein for my sister. They have kittens on them. Very cute.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Cost of Living

It's really sad when the cost of living rises faster than you pay increases. Case in point, my lease is up soon and I got a letter stuck to my door that if I sign a lease by Sunday, they'll give me $250 off. So, I did a little research. The rent has gone up $100 per month. That's outrageous. I looked around to see if there was anywhere I wanted to live with similar amenities that was less. Well, I could live in a 638 sq. ft. hovel for less than my new rent. So I dutifully made an appointment to talk to them. Rent for renewal is only $75 more than I'm currently paying, which is a scant comfort. The reason it's so irritating, it cuts into my shoe and yarn budget. Ugghhh! Don't they realize in the real world, salaries are only going up 3% per year??? Raising the rent 17% is not realistic. Well that's my rant for the evening.

In other news, I found out my sister is having a baby girl. It's a good thing since the Baby Einstein sweater I just finished is this pale girlie green. I made it with fairly expensive yarn for a child who's going to wear it maybe 4 months. What was I thinking? Probably the same thing I was thinking as I've been buying baby clothes on sale everywhere. I could outfit her child for the first 9 months of it's life...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Why start a blog...

So you can add comments to other blogs of course. Well, that at to put your personal opinions out to the world on anything and everything. The title of my blog is in reference to my unending quest to find the perfect shoes, the perfect yarn and Mr. Right. Of course, I'm failing at all three at the moment. Where can you find a pair of nice navy sandles (the kind you can wear in a business casual work environment)????? I have looked and looked and looked, but no luck. The same with Mr. Right. Where have all the good men gone?