Shoes and Yarn

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Back Home Again...

Hurrah! I'm home again, and done traveling for a couple of months, well except a trip to Columbia, MO this weekend. Yippee. I had a great time visiting my brother and his wife. We did a ton of stuff and had some time to hang around as well. Below is a beautiful picture of Great Falls just over the Virginia border in Maryland.

Here is my brother and I at the Falls. Notice how much taller than me he is. Good lord I feel short.

We went to see the Orioles play on Friday night. I think the new stadium in St. Louis is going to look a lot like Camden Yards after being there.

Here is my brother and his wife at the Orioles game.

On Saturday, we went to the Old Dominion brewery and on Sunday, we went to the Tarara winery. My brother and his wife had a BBQ on Sunday for friends. Chef Jeff.

In all seriousness, he was a good cook.

On the way home, I picked up some light airplane reading, the STAR magazine. My horoscope for this week, "Love is in the air, look and you will find it." So, I guess I'll keep my eyes open this week... Can't hurt?

I did get some knitting done on a secret project that can't be revealed yet. I'm very happy with the progress so far.

It really sucked to go back to work today. I didn't finish answering my e-mail that accumulated until after I came home this evening. Ugghhh. This will be my life for the next month.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

1 more day...

Yes, pep talk begins now. I can make it. It's only 8 hours. 8 hours til freedom. 8 hours til my vacation. 8 hours until I leave my computer behind. 8 hours until...well, you get the picture. Can you tell I haven't been on vacation in awhile. It's not that I don't have a vacation, I'm drowning in vacation time. I need to take more long weekends.

So, I'm packing my bag. I had at one point packed 6 pairs of shoes. I have since pared it down to 3 pairs plus the ones I'm going to wear. The next big decision is what knitting projects should I bring. A pair of socks for the plane, of course, but should I bring anything else.

I'm on the hunt for some pretty yarn for the Kiri shawl. I have a co-worker and friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer and at first they thought she wouldn't need to go through chemo, but today her doctor told her she would have to go through the chemo, so I'm going to make her a shawl to for her. It calls for the Rare comfort kid mohair, but I've been reading about others working on the kiri, in that and they've hated it so much that they've quit and chosen a different yarn. Besides, I tend to make a lot of mistakes and mohair is not forgiving when you try to tink back. I'm better off with something else. Hmmm.

Monday, May 23, 2005

2 more days til freedom...

Yes, it is the two day warning for my vacation to visit my brother and SIL. I can't wait. I need a vacation. Work has been killing me. It's that time of year though. Busy for me, but not for most of the rest of the people, unless, of course, I'm bugging them to do something for me.

Other than that, not much going on. Went to the Cardinals game tonight. Free tickets!!! Even better. It was the perfect night for a game. Warm, but not so much that you were sweating, but not cool enough to even want a jacket. Believe me, I brought one along and all it was good for was a seat cushion. Cardinals Won! Yippee.

Well, got to go, I'm doing the preliminary packing tonight. Yes, it's anally early. I only have tomorrow night to do the main packing. Wednesday I'm going knitting and Thursday I leave, so I have to start laying out clothes so I can change my mind about everything tomorrow night rather than totally freak and repack on Wednesday night. Who am I kidding, I'll repack wednesday anyway.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Is it Friday yet????

This week has been horribly long. It's one of those weeks that last forever and ever and ever. I feel like Monday was a month ago. Maybe it was the 4 hour webcast today that just suck the life right out of me. Ugghhh! Worse than that, yet again, we had server issues. Just fix the darn thing. Ugghhh!!!!! They knew it was a problem two weeks ago. They knew it was still a problem last week. Did they get it fixed or blindly go forward. Yes, you guess it, blindly went forward. Ugghhhh!!!!! Get a clue!!!! Just needed to vent a little frustration. I'm all better now...

So, now for the good news. I finished my socks. Yes, you read that right, my socks. As in socks for me, myself and I. Not socks that I'm giving to a family member for a present or making for a friend. These are just for me. Yippeee.

You will notice they're not prefectly identical. I could have made them that way, but I rather like the surprise factor of them being different.

I'm so happy. That's 9 finished objects for the year, although in all honesty, the only one of substance was the Flower Basket shawl.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Goal: The goal of writing a self-assessment is to assess your progress towards pre-set goals at the end of the year.

Reality: Torture employees

Now, what I really want to say on my self assessment is I am a goddess, I do everything right. Pay me lots more money. I have a feeling someone reading that would say "She's a lunatic, what's she doing working for us."

Self-assessment writing sucks. I can help anyone else write a self-assessment and do a great job, but when it comes to my own, I draw a total blank. I didn't do anything all year long. I have nothing to say about myself. I hate to brag about myself. The objectives I set back in August, well...umm, yeah, they never happend. We never did half of the stuff we said we were going to do. We focused on other stuff. So, now what do you do about that. Gloss over them and concentrate on what you did do??? UGGHHHHH!!! It was due on Friday, so I had officially put it off until the last possible second. It's turned in now. I sent it into the wide world of performance evaluations. Pray for me.


So, I made progress on the Soliel. Most of it yesterday on the day long monster knitting session with Beth. I attended the Big Chop in the morning and I must say, she looks so cute!!! Then Beth and I went to Knitorious, the yarn store she works at on the weekends and sat around and knit while everyone admired her new 'do. Then we went to lunch and met up with Suzie at the Knitting Guild meeting to knit some more. Then I came home and knit some more. So I've finished about 8 inches so far. Long way to go.

Today I didn't do much. I woke up with a headache. Finally took a nap about 2pm to try to get rid of it because it was getting worse. It worked, but then I had the headache hangover. My aunt lured me over to her house with promises of lasagna, so of course, I never turn down home made lasagna. It was yummy.

Friday, May 13, 2005


I had a meeting this morning, and as an added bonus for actually attending, we served everyone these marvelous pastries. It was 9am, it takes a lot to come into a room and pay attention for an hour on a Friday morning. This afternoon, I attended someone else's meeting and they served these really awesome cookies. I began to think about this. Every meeting I've been to with more than 10 people includes food. All Hands meeting - Cookies. Learning event - food all day long, cookies, brownies, etc. for breaks, fabulous dinner with Sangria. Testing - lunch, snacks. More training this week. They fed us every two hours, including chocolate covered strawberries. Dark chocolate dipped strawberries... (Could you resist that temptation???? Then you are a better person than I.) My mantra went from. Eat good...lose good...whole wheat veggie wrap...salad and smoked turkey wrap...Chocolate covered strawberries oh my... Oh, well, tomorrow is a new day and no training or business trips to meetings next week.

I worked so more on my soleil tank today for the first time in awhile. I had put it down in favor of socks while traveling, but I've picked up again. I finished the lace part and I'm just about ready to start the decreases. I just started the second ball of yarn, so it's progressing well so far.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Back again home's so good to be home. I'll be so happy to sleep in my bed. I got the hardest bed in the world last night. Ugghhh! I hate that. I was forwarned by someone who had gotten in town the night before, but even I didn't believe it was that hard. The carpet would have been more comfortable. I didn't get any sleep and I'd even had several glasses of wine.

As I rushed to the airport to fly standby on an earlier flight I realized that in all the times traveling for the company, I'd only taken my scheduled flight once. I travel 6-7 times a year and only once in two years, have I taken a scheduled flight. I always end up flying standby on an earlier flight. My impression of the dallas airport. Lots of people-rush...rush...rush - big expanse of carpet with no seats in front of the gate - plane...made it...ahhhh. That's two visits worth of impressions.

I didn't get much knitting done this time. On the morning flight, I was sandwiched in between two large guys. And since I'm not a small girl, it was rather comical impression of sardines, consequently, there was no knitting room. I did read a good book and I heard all about my seatmates trip to Vegas for a bachelor party. Watch out ladies, he has "a plan". I just love hearing about that for 2 hours at 7am. On the way back, I was trying to squeeze in some work since tomorrow is going to be a busy day and I didn't want to stay late on a friday. So, I have a teeny start to the toe of the sock to show for my trip.

I don't have many plans this weekend. It's the weekend of the big Chop. Beth is going to get her hair cut that she's been growing out for several years and donate to Locks of Love. She's also collecting money to donate to help make a wig for a child, so if you haven't already done so, mosey on over to Yarn Envy and donate a dollar or so. She is holding a raffle for all donators for the coolest, hand dyed yarn (she did it herself, you can see how back a few posts on her site).

Monday, May 09, 2005

One down, one to go...

Hurrah! One week, one sock. The completed Tampa Bay trip sock.

Just in time to start the second sock when I go to Dallas on Wednesday.

You know, Monday's should be a way to ease into the week. It shouldn't hit you over the head with a 2x4 before 9am. Is it Friday yet?????

For mother's day yesterday, I planted (or perhaps should I say, sacrified the innocent lives of...) some flowers for my Mom. She loves flowers, but she has not one, but two black thumbs. So fingers crossed, they'll last several weeks (I am allowing for several suicides on account of the fact that I planted some in the heat of the day and then watered them). My father suggested that perhaps I should stop over and water them. I might do it as it would significantly increase their life expectancy. :-) Love you Mom. Really! Black thumb and all.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Okay. Here they are my favorite pair of socks to date. They've been finished for quite awhile. One of them even hung in the Knitorious yarn store for awhile as "the perfect sock." I finished the second and then did not let myself weave in the ends because I knew that I would want to wear them and keep them for myself instead of giving them to their intended recipient. They have been taunting me for weeks... They are my sister-in-laws birthday socks.

They are fraternal, but I actually find them more endearing for not being perfectly matched. I love how perfectly the heels worked out. (I'm having great luck with heels these days.)

So, my brother and SIL are in town for a wedding this weekend so I finally wove in the ends Thurs night and gave them to her today (belated birthday gift because I left for business in Chicago w/o sending them to her - Sorry Alicia!). The tops even matched.

A few weeks ago, I was totally excited by the fact that my aunt had found a swift in my grandmother's basement, but I never got back to the swift itself, and it's a topic that should be addressed. My grandmother was an avid weaver and knitter with an emphasis on weaver. My grandmother passed away more than 10 years ago and had been ill for several years before, so there is no telling how old the swift is. So, I knew it was not one of the new ones made out of what looks like balsa wood or a metal one, but I was not quite prepared for my first view of the actual swift. It's HUGE. It's a swift on Steroids. To give you a clue as to how big it it, here is a photo of the swift while folded next to my size 7 shoe.

And here is the swift at full extension. The wingspan about the same as the table it's attached to.

Here is the swift extended to a length to do a normal hank of yarn, notice my totally awesome kool-aid dyed yarn being modeled.

Not that I'm sayng that this is a bad thing or that I won't be using the swift to help wind the 40+ hanks of yarn that I need to work on various projects. But it does look pretty funny. It took me quite awhile to get it fixed up. I kept thinking that it was going to tip over any table that I hooked it to.

Speaking of things forgotten. The new shower head is pure bliss. I used to take 5 minute quicky showers in the morning and now I can't drag myself out of it in the morning. It's absolutely wonderful!!!! If I proceed with my plan to buy a new bed, I'll never make it to work in the morning...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

My upstairs neighbor probably thinks I'm crazy...

For a variety of reasons, not withstanding the day she saw me fall down the front steps, cling for dear life to the railing, fall flat on my A**, get up and limp off down the street to buy a Sunday paper without saying a word to her. But tonight, I have been laughing for a good half an hour. Not quite laughing, outright howling, tears running down my face laughter. I've been reading Kristy's blog. She exemplifies life for a single woman in this technological age. It sucks! I wish now that I had kept some of the letters when attempting on line dating. What am I saying, my profile is still on (although not as a paying member). I leave it out there for the entertainment value. Internet dating sucks. I know people have found love. All I've found is geographically undesirable freaks...well a few local freaks too. I was watching that film The Matchmaker with Jeanne Garafalo the other day. That's what I need. Well, okay, what I really need is the hunky irish guy who sang the good song in the pub... It's just too bad that knitting is not a hobby where you'd meet too many men.

So on to a new topic. I registered for Stitches Midwest!!!! Hurrah!! I'm going to take the introductory Fair Isle knitting class and the Cuff Craze class. I'll spend the rest of the time shopping in the market place and hanging around knitting. I am putting together my list of Stitches rules. Hew we go:
1. I will not pass up the wall of Koigu without buying a single skein (WHAT WAS I THINKING?????).
2. I will buy patterns. (I didn't buy a single one last year. Again, what was I thinking).
3. I will definitely take advantage of WEBS if they're there again.
4. I will not be overwhelmed by the color, the patterns, the textures of everything around me.
5. I will buy things that I cannot get in St. Louis. I can get Svale in St. Louis. (Why???? Oh Why???) The angora laceweight. Can't get here. Good buy (well, it will be if I ever use it...)
I'll think of more as time goes on.

I've finished turning the heel on Tampa plane ride sock. The second will be the Dallas plane ride sock. I think the heel turned out really well.

I've also made some more progress on the Soleil tank. I've finished 3 of the lace repeats and am going to add a fourth to add a little length. I think it looks good so far.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Traveling fun...

Old McDonald had a farm again and again and again. What is it about little kids that they can sing the same song over and over and over again and never get tired of it. I will admit, hearing Old McDonald was better than a screaming child, but I was about to go crazy after 2.5 hours of Old McDonald in that off-key 3 year old little girl voice. She serenaded the entire plane.

Other than that, the trip was pretty uneventful. A whole bunch of us went out to dinner at this "Famous" steak house in Tampa, named after the coach of their football team, Shula's. The menu came on an autographed football (that you could buy for $350 if you were so inclined.) You can tell it was a good steakhouse by the fact that the entire menu fit on the football. I was vaguely reminded of that movie with John Candy The Great Outdoors because they had one of those clubs "If you can eat this gigantic steak, you can belong" The smallest steak on the menu was a 16 oz Filet Mignon. Sadly, we couldn't resist ordering dessert. Creme Brulee for me. Which came in this 8in tart pan. Custard about 1/2 inch thick with lots of the sugar topping. Yeah, if I hadn't just eaten the meal the size of New York, I might have been able to eat half of it...

I did get a lot of knitting done on the trip. I was busy Sunday night, so I didn't start a sock like I normally did. So I started it the next morning at the airport. Double Pointed needles freak people out at 6:30am. You know when you start a toe-up sock or even one cuff down, the needles never behave until you've got about 2inches in. For future notice, you can finish a sock for a women's size 8.5 shoe to where you need to turn the heel on the plane to and from Tampa.

I got a great surprise when I came home. They came and gave me a new shower head. I'm so excited!!!! (which is oh, so sad) I had this ancient one that water barely trickled out of so I complained enough that I got a new one that has all the bells and whistles. I can't wait to take a shower tomorrow. I might never get out of it tomorrow.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Secret Pals revealed!

Hurrah! My very generous and wonderful secret pal was Renee who has really spoiled me. I on the other hand, go to spoil the wonderful Kelly who is over in Germany with her husband who is in the armed forces. This whole experience has been a lot of fun and very rewarding.

Girl's day out yesterday was fun. We went to lunch, on our secret field trip and then to paint pottery. All in all a good afternoon spent with friends.

Today, I returned to the book fair... I bout 16 more books for myself and another 5 for my aunt... I have enough reading material for the next few months.

I'm deep in preparations to leave for Tampa on Monday. I'm only going for two days, but you'd think I was leaving for a month the way I've been neoritcally cleaning the house. I cleaned the bathroom. I cleaned the kitchen and emptied all the trash cans. Did all the laundry, not just what I need for the trip. I think it's so weird that I always do all these chores no matter how short a trip. I could have left the dishes in the sink for several days had I been home. So, no more blogging until Tuesday or Wednesday.