Monday, November 24, 2008

Sew Much?

No. Not at all. What happened to my grand weekend sewing plans? It all went out the door into the cold air on Saturday. First, this is what I accomplished on Friday...

I managed to get all my fabric cut out for the Boxy Bags. It took a few hours but I was thrilled they were all cut out and ready to be sewed up on Saturday.

So what happened to the sewing? Well long story short. I rent the basement apartment of my landlord's home. On Thursday he brought a technician in to look at the boiler that apparently went kaput. Now remember since this is a house and the boiler is in a little room in the basement in my living space. The gentlemen looked, stated that my landlord needed to go pay for the new boiler Friday morning and it would be delivered in the afternoon.

Friday evening is now upon us and the landlord now comes by with two technicians. It is now stated that they would come by on Saturday morning and install the new boiler. Since this is my home, I nicely asked what time they would be coming by and was jokingly told "Oh 6am." They quickly said that it would probably be around 10am or so. I was much happier with this time since all week long I get up at 4:30am for work.

Around 8:30am Saturday morning I am walking down the street heading back home from my run at the gym. I immediately spotted that the technicians were there is do the work. So I went in, changed and tried to think of what I was gonna do because having 5 men in my tiny living space making a mess was not something I really wanted to be around. So I took myself to the 10:10am showing of Twilight. Must say that I loved the movie very much and am thrilled that they are talking about filming the next one. By the time the movie ended I had been gone for about 3 hours. When I arrived back home they were still there. I stepped inside and saw that I could do absolutely nothing but sit on my couch and watch tv. It was even too cold to knit because they were going in and out of my apartment to cut pipe and stuff.

Let me just end it here. Does it really take 17 hours to install a new boiler? The answer is yes, it does. The new boiler was humming nicely at 1:30am when all left and I could finally collapse into bed. Guess the story wasn't too short.

So my mojo was totally lost and I spent Sunday sleeping in until 9:30am. Stayed in my PJ's and knitted on my latest sweater. Last week I noticed the new Twist Collective was out and I immediately found a few patterns I wanted to knit. I bought the Mary Jane by Zephyr Style pattern and casted-on for it last Monday night.

Isn't it pretty? Here is the front.....

...and here is the back....

Does the yarn look a little familiar to you? It should because it's the same yarn I used on my Puff-Sleeved Cardi. Remember I had purchased this yarn earlier in the year for a different project. So I used 9 for the cardi and I have 9 left to knit this sweater. I actually think I'll have 2 skeins left. At least I am using this stuff up!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Plans

Can you guess what I am going to be doing this weekend? Yup. That's a big ol' pile of fabric. Freshly laundered and waiting to be pressed with the iron. On top of the pile is all the fabric I have waiting to be made into boxy bags. The middle fabric is waiting to be cut into nice squares so I have them for 3 tree skirts. Finally, the rather large (12 yds) of muslin will be cut up for the backing of the 4 tree skirts. If all goes well, I will hopefully have some stuff up on etsy soon.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone for their well wishes offered to me in my new educational endeavour! I was a bit overwhelmed this week and wasn't able to answer everyone individually. I'm excited to see what may come of all of this. I will keep ya'll posted. Until then, I again offer a great big thank you and hugs to all!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A First Step

Warning: This Is A Totally Non-Knitting Post

Today I took the first step in hopefully educating myself into a more secure job, or at least one that can not be easily outsourced to India.

I have mentioned before that my company has gone through some downsizing at the site I work at. At the end of September the number was downsized by 5. At the end of October it was downsized by 13 more. Now we are quickly approaching the end of November and talks of another round of downsizing have begun.

Currently we offer assistance to bankers on 3 floors inside one building (it was 4 floors up until a couple of weeks ago when we closed one floor down). We have been told that by December 1st we will able occupying 1 floor. With this moving of bodies into 1 center, it is inevitable more people will no longer call our site home.

While I would like to think that my 10 years of service with my company would guarantee me a position, one never knows anymore. I've been running the numbers through my head of how many people we have on first shift and know that those who hold my job title on the shift will be downsized. The question is who.

So what did I do today? I enrolled myself into a course through an online school that will hopefully lead me to obtaining a Paralegal Certificate. For a few months now I have been contemplating this. Yes I graduated in May 2007 with a BA in Graphic Communication, but unfortunately the competition for graphic jobs is too great for me when I am going up against the 20 somethings with absolutely fantastic portfolios. So I asked myself what else interests me. The answer was the law.

There was lots and lots (months and months) of research into finding the right online school for myself. I needed to find one that was good (accredited), had a payment plan and would work with my time frame. So today, I bit the bullet and signed up for 1 course at a reduced rate to see if it was truly the right fit for me. If it is, I will then sign up for the certificate program and, because I could take 2 courses at a time, will hopefully have completed the certificate in 7 months.

You should have seen me hovering over the submit button today wondering if I was making the right choice (and because I was handing out a chunk of money for testing things out). I was definitely feeling more at ease when one of the counselors from the school called me within 2 hours of signing up for the course. She was a delight to speak with and answered all of my questions. Now let's just see how the course goes. It's an intensive 4 week course that starts December 8th.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cowling Along

What's this? Another Cowl? Yeah. I couldn't help myself. Saturday night I was cruising through Ravelry checking out what other's had knitted with Malabrigo Silky Merino yarn. Lots and lots of knitters had used it to make Clapotis. Since I only had one skein of this stuff I needed to find a bit smaller project. I didn't dare click through the 70 some odd pages of projects to find what I was looking. Talk about sensory overload. So let me introduce you to my newest Cowl...

Pattern: Darkside Cowl (Rav link to free pattern)

Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino; Colorway - Viena
Needles: Size 8 16" circs
Started & Finished: November 15th
Modifications: I unintentionally started the pattern immediately after casting on instead of doing 1 purl round. So I am missing this round on both ends of the cowl.

...and because for some reason ya'll like to see modeled photos...

Yes Yvonne, that is another one of my strappy tanks I wore when modeling this cooler weather garment. Again I'm color coordinated!

This morning when I went to dash out the door for work I originally had an old black scarf around my neck. My bleary eyes caught a glimpse of this cowl and I immediately wripped off the black thing and pulled this bunch of dreaminess over my head. This yarn is sooooo yummy and makes for a super soft cowl.

I was so happy to have finally knitted with another yarn purchase from Rhinebeck. I only used maybe half of the yarn. I tried to find another use for the little amount I had left. It didn't work out too well. I believe I am just going to have to knit another cowl with the other half.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's A Set

Ya'll remember the Halloween yarn cowl? Of course you do considering it was the second to last post I have done and still shows up on my main page. Silly me. Anyway, I finally finished up the other 2 balls of the Rowan Chunky Print yarn to make a nice little winter wearing set.

Taaaadaaaaa! There is now a cowl, hat and mittens.

I know it's alot to focus your eyes on in the picture. So lets take a peeksie at each new item.

First up is The Republic Hat. While the knitting is finished, I need to go get a nice big button to close the band up. What's kind cool about this pattern is that you knit the band back and forth and then when you start the main part of the hat, you begin in the round. Thus needing a stylish button to close up the band. The only modification I made to the pattern was to knit the band in seed stitch instead of garter stitch. I like it alot better.

Pattern: The Republic Hat (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Rowan Chunky Print; Colorway Shriek
Needles: Clover circs size 10.5
Started: November 7th
Finished: November 7th (Yes a ONE day knit)

This is the first pair of mittens I have ever done. Sure back in 2002 I knitted some fingerless arm warmers, but not mittens. Considering that my yarn was Super Bulky instead of Bulky, they are a tad big around the wrist and a little roomy around the fingers, but they fit perfectly in length. I could always wear a pair of gloves under these for extra warmth during the frigid winter months. I knitted these babies as per the pattern. No modifications at all.

Pattern: Plaid Mittens
Yarn: Rowan Chunky Print; Colorway - Shriek
Needles: DPNs size 10.5
Started: November 8th
Finished: November 15th

Friday, November 14, 2008

Awards Time

This week Janet honored me with the "I Love Your Blog" award! I had seen this award going around a few blogs, but I never would have thought someone would give it to me. Thank you so much Janet! I felt a little special this week.

So now I have the honor of bestowing this award on others...

Mary Beth (mbcreates) - You're my #1 sister and someone I look up to all the time. I love that we have our craftiness in common and that you created a blog that I can keep up with your fabulous endeavours.

Kim (yarnyoldkim) - I absolutely love reading your blog. I never know what will be posted. Whatever it is, I usually end up with a smile and a laugh over something. I'm wondering how many cowls will end up in your knitted collection?

Becky (beckyknitstoo) - Your blog is one that I know will always leave a smile on my face after reading it. You crac-ka-la-ka-me-up!

Yvonne (knit'nat) - After meeting you at Rhinebeck I feel like I've known you forever. I had been a reader of your blog before then and have enjoyed the variety of posts you've written. The craftiness is just one thing we have in common.

Marsha (first things first) - My secret pal. I love your blog because you keep it real. Not only is there crafty content, but also content where you aren't afraid to voice your opinion.

Here are the guidelines for accepting this award:

1) The winner can put the logo on their website/blog.
2) Add a link to the person who gave you this award.
3) Nominate at least 5 other websites/blogs.
4) Provide links of the nominated websites/blogs.
5) Leave a message at each website owner that you've nominated.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween *Throw-Up* Cowl

Exhibit A: Rowan Chunky Print Yarn

Exhibit B: Chickadee Cowl Pattern

Exhibit C: Halloween *Throw-Up* Cowl

Ok. Let me explain. Last Wednesday, I was suffering from "Just finished knitting a sweater and hat" withdrawal and really wanted to start something else. I was not ready to start knitting with my Brooks Farm sweater yarn yet and already had a new pair of socks on the needles.

I found myself perusing my stash yarn collection and came across the 3 balls of Rowan Chunky Print yarn that have been in there for about 5 years. Yeah. I know. When I bought this yarn all those years ago, I got it 50% off and had the intention of knitting a Rowan scarf. As one can see, that never happened.

A few days earlier I found a hat and cowl pattern that I liked. What was even more perfect was that these patterns called for a bulky yarn. So here you go. I found the perfect patterns for this yarn and I would end up using 2 of the 3 balls. The light bulb went off in my head and I thought maybe the 3rd ball could end up being fingerless mitts or something. I would have one of those matchy matchy sets.

While knitting on the cowl on Halloween morn, I really wasn't *digging* the yarn at all. At this point I dubbed my Chickadee Cowl as the Halloween *Throw-Up* Cowl. In my eyes, the colors were looking like Halloween Candy Throw-Up. I know. Lovely thought. I, however, was determined to finish the knit and was already planning on placing a *Needs A Good Home* post on my blog. I knew someone out there would love this cowl and maybe would want the 2 balls of matchy yarn to make their own hat and mitts.

So today while at work, I finished the cowl. Once I got it off the needles it looked different to my eyes somehow. I can't quite explain it, but I was asking myself if I could actually be *liking* this thing now??? Even despite just a few hours earlier I was still thinking of it as the candy thing???

I came to my final decision on it once I saw myself wearing it...

Do you think I like it on myself? I do.
Yarn: Rowan Chunky Print, Colorway - Shriek (1 ball)
Needles: Size 10.5 24" circs
Started: October 29th
Finished: November 5th

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I'm not talking politics. I'm talking about racing. This past weekend I hopped on a plane and landed myself in Indianapolis, Indiana to participate in an inaugural race!

I've talked in the past about my training for running the the NYC Marathon this year. What I haven't talked about is the fact that I had to drop out of it about a month ago. I suffered an injury towards the end of September that forced me to take some time off from running. What that did was to really not give me enough time to get my long runs up to the distance that they needed to be in time for running the marathon this past Sunday. I was bummed to have to postpone my second marathon to 2009.

So what does a runner do instead? I knew I could handle the distance of a half marathon so I signed up for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. This was their very first Marathon and Half Marathon on this course. While I didn't get to run the 26.2 mile distance I had wanted, I was very happy that I got to race the 13.1 mile distance the same weekend as the NYC Marathon. It helped me not be so bummed.

I ran the race with my speedster running friend and totally enjoyed it! It was a wonderful flat course, with about 2 hills total, through downtown Indianapolis. The weather was perfect and it was so cool when the Elite First Place Male Winner of the Marathon ran past me at 2 hours 10 minutes and I was just hitting mile 11.5 while he was only a couple miles shy of finishing his 26.2. Talk about inspiration to move my rear!

I was completely thrilled with my finish time of 2 hours 30 minutes flat. That was my goal. I had been sick ever since I returned from Rhinebeck so my longest training run during the past two weeks had been 3 miles and I was concerned how I would do on race day. I surprised myself for sure.

We received really nice technical running shirts and very cool medals. I'm looking forward to setting a PR on the course next year!