Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Playing Catch-up

I had planned for an update yesterday afternoon when I got home from the dentist, but I was so worn out from getting 3 fillings that I just landed up crawling into bed for a nap. So, here I am today.

Andrew and I had a great Thanksgiving. We drove up to Woddbridge on Wednesday night after I got home from work. Traffic was a little wonky in points, but not horrible. We made the trip in about 2 1/2 hours. I tried to do a bit of knitting in the car, but it was just too dark to be reliable, so I landed up putting it away. We listened to several of our new CD's which was fun. After dinner that night we went grocery shopping, then I stayed up to bake some pumpkin bread for dinner on Thursday. I made a loaf of Pumpkin Swirl bread on Tuesday night, so the baking wasn't too overwhelming.

Thursday morning I got up and made zucchini bread, at Matt's request. There ended my involvement in preparing Thanksgiving dinner(!). I spent the rest of the day watching some aimless TV, knitting, and watching everyone else prepare their contributions to dinner. It was pretty fun to watch 4 people try to navigate in the kitche at once, and I was glad to be viewing only from the sidelines.

Dinner was excellent, and we all left the table in near food-comas. We watched The Apprentice later (and saw that stupid ass Pepsi bottle design), and tried to resist the lure of dessert. Friday involved leftovers, a game of Trivial Pursuit (I won) and video games. I got more knitting done.

Saturday we stayed to watch the UVa-Virginia Tech football game. We had such high hopes. It was really depressing to watch. However, the coolest part, by far, was watching Ahmad Brooks leap over the Tech linemen to sack the quarterback. It was an amazing display of athleticism.

Saturday night Andrew and I drove back to C-ville, and spent the evening relaxing and recovering from the past few days of shameful gluttony. :)

On to the knitting!

First, I finished the first Fluted Banister sock. Way too late to finish the pair for the Six Socks deadline, but with plenty of time to knit the second sock for Christmas.

I also spent a lot of time messing around with my Filatura Di Crosa Luna yarn. I had intended to make it into a scarf, but wasn't happy with anything I was producing. So instead I started knitting up a swatch for the sweater I plan to make with it later.

My stitch gauge is spot-on, but my row gauge is way off - 6 rows to the inch, and I should be getting 4.5. Not sure what to do here. I'm also learning to cable without a cable needle, which I'm not sure I like. It's certainly faster than using the cable needle, but it doesn't seem to look as good. I'm sure I just need more practice.

I also managed to finish the first Lunchtime Sock over the weekend. No pictures of that just yet, but I am quite pleased with the way it turned out, and I had more than enough yarn left over. I should probably be able to eek out a pair of baby booties for CIC or something.

Remeber the yarn binge I mentioned? Well, it all arrived on Wednesday, so I only got a quick peek at it before we left for Woodbridge. However, without further ado... here it all is.

Yup, I bought yarn and the pattern to make Charlotte's Web from The Knitting Zone. Lovely people, with lovely yarns. Good prices, too.

Here's a closeup of the yarns:

Oh, wait... what's this?

Oh... and this.

Yeah. The word overboard comes to mind. Wasn't I just discussing the unsuitability of variegated yarns for lace patterns? Did that encourage me to buy solid yarns to use with this pattern? Of course not. So, yes, 2005 will largely be dominated by knitting Charlottes. (Do I need 3 Charlottes? I'm like the Yarn Harlot with her mitten obsession, but only half as productive. It's shameful.)

I also bought some sock yarn:

That's Opal 5001 and Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in "Sweetie." Lovely stuff.

Finally, from Ewe Knits, I ordered enough yarn to make the scarf code-named "Fish Scarf." (I'll explain the code name after it's done and been givent to the recipient.)

This will be another project that will be photo-free, lest the intended recipient catch a glimpse of it before it's done. I was hoping for a Christmas debut for the Fish Scarf, but with the Lunchtime Sock still in the works, Valentine's Day will probably be more likely.

That's all! (And more than enough, certainly.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Non-Knitting Post

This post will probably contain very little actual knitting content. You have been warned.

Today is New Music Tuesday at Best Buy. I haven't bought a new CD in at least 6 months, so I'm a bit excited about this one. Live is coming out with a CD/DVD combo, as is Sarah McLachlan. I'm also hoping to pick up the soundrack to Love, Actually. Now, naturally, I can afford to buy 3 new CD's because I just started a yarn diet. Never mind the fact that I stared the yarn diet because I just finished a yarn binge (which shipped out yesterday, by the way). So I may spend some quality time "massaging" my checkbook to see how much of New Music Tuesday I'll actually be partaking in. Andrew, in the meanwhile, has his eye on the new U2, Pearl Jam, and Goo Goo Dolls CD's. Luckily, Andrew isn't just coming off a yarn binge (we'd definitely need a 3rd bedroom if we both had fiber hobbies).

What's our justification for these purchases? We're driving up to Woodbridge for Thanksgiving on Wednesday night, and it would be nice to have some new music to listen to. Of course, we're ignoring the fact that we'll be potentially buying 6 CD's with close to 8 hours of music for 4-hour round-trip journey. I think we're being hypnotized by our capitalist society. (Of course, that knowledge probably won't stop me from buying new CD's tonight.)

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I've been assigned bread duty this year by Andrew's mother, which is a step up from the mashed potato duty I had last year. I was hoping for pie duty (since I'm keen to try out that apple pie recipie again), but it was not meant to be. Maybe next year. Anyway, given that I was on bread duty, and I had never made bread before (there's a joke in there, I'm sure), I decided to give my bread-making skills a go, and whipped up some Pumpkin Swirl bread on Saturday. Fortunately, it was a big hit. Andrew was (and still is) weirded out by the cream-cheese swirl in the middle of the bread, but says it tastes quite good. I believe him (having also enjoyed the bread myself), although I know he's gamely consumed large amounts of my less-than-stellar cooking productions, such as the Lasagna That Wouldn't Die (we ate it for 5 days, no joke), and the Apple Cake From Hell (it was fine on day one, but by day seven I "accidentally" dropped some in the garbage). Needless to say, I'm really glad the pumpkin bread turned out well, and continues to taste good, even after 4 days (c'mon -- there's only 2 of us. It takes time to get through these things.). So, tonight I get to make another swirl bread, and tomorrow after we get to Woodbridge, I'm trying my hand at zucchini and plain pumpkin. I am woman. Hear me bake. :)

I've reached that place in life again where I have to make Christmas Lists. It's kind of strange for me. For the past few years I think my mum's been a bit clueless about what to get me, so she's gone with the safer "I'm sure she'll like these no matter what" gifts - chocholate, money, earrings, etc. Finally, last year, she had the great idea to have me make a wishlist at amazon.com. What brilliance! Why didn't we think of this 5 years ago? Now I can get the knitting book I want without worrying about Vogue Scarves getting confused with Vogue Scarves 2, and my mom doesn't need to worry about whether or not she gave me the wrong book. I don't mean to make it sound like my mum's a bad gift-giver or something - she's been incredibly generous and thoughtful my whole life. But it's got to be a challenge to shop for your adult child who has different hobbies than you, and who lives 1,000 miles away. So for all of you with college-aged kids out there, I'd like to promote the use of the amazon.com wishlist for all its versatile wonderfulness.

As a note, though -- do be careful about how you use your wishlist. I looked at Andrew's last Christmas to see if there was a book he wanted that would fit in my budget. I saw The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. It looked really interesting, and I figured I'd borrow it from him once he was done. Christmas day arrives, and I'm opening my last gift from him, and he's opening his last gift from me. Don't you know it. We bought each other the same book. It turns out Andrew was using his wish list as a "things I'll buy in the future list" (I'm not clear on why his shopping cart didn't work for that function). So the book was actually on his list because he wanted to buy it for me, not because he wanted to recieve it. It worked out well, though. We were able to exchange his book for a set of Hemmingway short stories without any trouble.

It's ocurred to me that this post could potentially go on forever, so I'm going to just stop here. Tune in for more real life stories next week. :)

Knitting content: didn't get to work on the Lunchtime Sock today, since Andrew met me at work and took me out to Subway as a treat. I'll try to play catch-up tomorrow and during the holiday.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Finally, an Update

Pictures over the weekend were held up by my own laziness/tiredness, and the fact that I found out on Sunday that my grandmother had been in the hospital since Friday night. (Yeah, communication in my family is that screwy.) She was apparently suffering from dehydration, which made her dizzy and pass out. They sent her home today, which is good news. It's usually my grandfather that has all the health problems, so this was a bit of a surprise to all of us. Maybe I should send her a Brita for Christmas. :)

On the knitting front, I've been pretty busy lately.

First, The Shawl:

Drying on the floor in the library. One of these days I'll upgrade to a blocking board and pins.

Here's a detail shot:

I wore The Shawl (you know, it really needs a better name...) to work today. It was perfect for the mid-50's weather, and my boss just gushed over it, which was flattering.

I also made progress on Marcia's Fluted Banister sock:

Now that I think about it, I still left the ball band downstairs, so I'm still not sure which Regia colorway that is.

Needing to fill the void left by The Shawl, I started a little scarf for CIC. I started with a double strand of yarn, but it was too big for my needles, and I was hung up on using circs this time, so I re-cast with a single strand, and now I alternate balls each row. Pointless, but it adds a new dimension to otherwise mindless knitting.

Finally, I got some more work done on Liz's geometric scarf, but the more I knit it, the less I like it, so I think I might frog it, and try something a little different with wool yarn. I've got 40 balls of Filatura Di Crosa Luna, so maybe I'll filch 3 for this project. I'm planning two sweaters from the yarn (Butterfly, and one from an IK last year), but I'm sure they won't begrudge 3 skeins for a worthy cause.

Oh, and last but not least, the Lunchtime Sock (also known as the Schottische Kilt Hose) has now finished it's gusset decreases, and is eagerly awaiting a foot and toe. I keep reassuring myself that 1) I won't run out of yarn (may be true, not sure), and 2)I have a month worth of lunch hours to finish this pair, and I won't run out of time (may also be true, equally not sure). What did I say before? Knitting's 50% ambition, 50% success.

As a last funny tidbit, here's some Thanksgiving humor for you. Last year a woman apparently called the Butterball 1-800 help line because she was having problems with her turkey. She wanted to cook it in an oven roasting bag, but didn't have any. She decided to improvise, and grabbed a dry cleaning bag from her husband's suit. The suit was fine, fortunately. Sadly, the turkey came out of the oven shrink-wrapped, as the bag melted right on to the bird. (But damn, I bet the moisture was locked into that sucker!)

Friday, November 19, 2004

Yarn Diet, and The Shawl

All of you are my witnesses - I'm going on a yarn diet for at least the next six months (that would be until about May 15, 2005. Eek!). No excuses - no yarn that's "just what I need" for a specific project, no more ball or two of sock yarn (but it's so small...). I've had my binge, and now it's time to fast. Needles are, of course, excluded from this injunction. More details and pictures of my binge when it arrives here. Let's just say that Charlotte's Web and I are going to become really good friends over the next year or so.

In other news, the Lunchtime Sock now has a heel, and is slowly working it's way through the gusset decreases. Marcia's Fluted Banister sock now has a heel flap, and should be well on it's way down the foot by the end of the weekend. Liz's scarf hasn't progressed much since last weekend, but it'll be front and center now.

What else...

I was working on something else, wasn't I?

Oh yeah...

The Shawl is done!!!!!!!!!! 8 months after casting on, I've finally hit the end of the 8th skein of yarn. I finished binding off just about an hour ago. Now it's laying on the floor, slowly drying after its spray blocking. It finished off at just about 6 feet long, which was a little longer than I anticipated, but a welcome change. I'm contemplating getting a pin or something to secure it while I'm walking. We'll see. Pictures of the finished product sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I've Become Famous

Just spotted this at the bottom of my blog (where the referring sites are listed):

Add Search

Yes, that's right. Someone got to my blog by searching for "black fetish foot sock." I'm #6 on the list.

I need to change the name of my blog. I'm getting too many weirdos around here.

(In knitting news, the Lunchtime Sock has 3/4 of a heel, and The Shawl is at repeat 85, on schedule for completion Friday night.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Lunchtime Sock

Remember that Folk Socks sock I mentioned a while ago? The one whose name I couldn't remember? Well, I finally remembered to look it up this morning, and had to write it down. I remember why I couldn't remember it. The sock is the "Highland Schottische Kilt Hose," featured on pages 94-96 of Folk Socks. Highland Schottische Kilt Hose. Say that five times fast. It shall henceforth be known as "The Lunchtime Sock."

The Lunchtime Sock is progressing well. I have 5 repeats of the leg pattern done, and it now measures 5 1/4 inches, which makes no sense, because upon measuring, one full repeat seems to be 1 inch, and I have 1 1/2 inches of ribbing included in that 5 1/4. Must be a faulty ruler. Anyhoo... I'm debating whether to knit another half-repeat, or a full repeat, or no repeats. Thus making the sock 5 1/4, 5 3/4 or 6 1/4 inches, depending on the faultiness of your ruler. I have until lunchtime tomorrow to decide.

As for the pattern, the SSK's and I are getting along better. Not well, but better. I think our relationship would be improved by a lack of YO's just before the SSK (I don't do menage-a-trois with my knitting), but it is not meant to be.

I definitely have to agree with the Harlot (who wouldn't?). Variegated yarn and patterns just don't work well together (except in rare ocassions). The nice leg patterning is barely visible with the yarn (oh, right... I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport in Black Watch. Yes, I know the link goes to the Shepard Sock, but I couldn't find the link to the Shepard Sport in the right color, and does it really matter anyway?). Back to the yarn: it's a very nice black/blue/green combo. Very manly. My only concern is the lack of nylon, but I'm hoping they'll hold up to the usual wear-and-tear. I will continue along though, and hope for a miracle after blocking. If not... hey, at least they feel cool.

Oh, and as for a picture... there probably won't be one. They're intended for someone who might actually read this blog if I nagged him too much and he felt the need to one-up me. ;)

Quick Update

Just a quick update to say that.... joy of joys... I have made it to repeat 80 of The Shawl! Andrew was working on a paper last night, so I watched movies, and just knitted the hours away. I have a wee little bit of the 7th ball of yarn, then it's on to the 8th and final ball, baby! Three repeats a day means I'll be able to block over the weekend, for wearing on Monday!
(Now, of course, after working on this thing on and off for over 8 months, and steadily for the last 2, comes the intense fear that I won't like it when its done. Hmm... maybe I could submit it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest Swatch. Or maybe I should just finish it and see how it looks before panicking.) :)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Sliding Down the Banister

The Fluted Banister socks are progressing nicely:

(One of these days I'll stop taking crappy pictures on my kitchen table, and you'll actually be able to see some detail. One of these days.)

I've finished the leg of the first sock, and have about half the heel done. My goal is to have this sock done by the end of the week. I'd like to have the pair done by Thanksgiving, but I think that's just a pipe dream.

In other knitting news, I've made it to repeat 76 of The Shawl. It's now about 5 1/2 feet, unblocked, which was bigger than I had expected. Not unwelcome, though. I'm trying to knit 3 repeats a day, which means I should be done by the end of the week. (How will I finish both The Shawl and the socks by the end of the week, you ask? No clue. I've discovered knitting is 50% ambition, 50% success. Every good knitter knows this.)

Football is Definitely an Indoor Sport

I went to my very first football game on Saturday. I am, at most, a casual fan of football. Actually, I'll be honest. I'm a fan of football only because Andrew is, and if he didn't watch it, I wouldn't either. However, over the last few months I've gained an appreciation for the sport, and the technical skill involved in playing. I've also learned a few things from watching it on TV, so it's no longer quite so incomprehensible. And, oddly, my Saturday doesn't feel quite complete unless I watch Gameday for at least a few minutes.

Saturday, however, put me right back at square one. The game started at 3:30. So we left the house at 12:30 to walk to the stadium. We got in line, waited for the gates to open, got seats, and then cooled our heels for 2 hours. 2 hours with no knitting. Then again, it was too cold outside for any knitting to occur.

Then the game started. Great, right? Um... I had no idea what was going on. The advantage of watching football on TV (as I have since discovered) is that there are nice men known as commentators to tell you what's happening, and other nice men known as cameraguys who can zoom in on the action and follow the football so you don't have to. Lacking in these basic tools, I was constantly confused and misdirected. I missed entire plays, because I was searching my pockets for Kleenex, and there was no commentary to tell me that they were hiking the ball again (my below-average-male-height-female-self could not always see sections of the field).

I didn't not enjoy my experience, I just discovered that, for me, football is definitely an indoor sport. Indoors: where there are bathrooms, Kleenex, cushioned chairs, snackies, knitting, and other channels during TV commercial breaks. When I finally got home, stiff and freezing, 7 hours later, I didn't feel like I had wasted my $40, but I was also glad that I had no immediate plans to spend another $40 in a similar fashion.

For the record, UVa lost, which was also very disappointing. If I was cold, shouldn't those Miami players have been ice cubes in those lycra uniforms? I guess not.

To cap off my weekend football experience, here's a picture of some UVa Orange Fever, right in my very own home (and playing Tiger Woods Golf, no less):

(Clockwise, from the window: Vijay, Andrew, Matt, Greg, and Joseph)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Happy Friday!

I know I was going to post about my adventures with some Folk Socks, but I keep forgetting to look up the name of the sock when I'm at home. Anyhoo, it's the kilt hose sock, that has the turndown cuff with the diamond pattern on it.

I made some adjustments to the pattern (mostly because I knew the intended recipient wouldn't wear it as it was in the book), so instead of the turn-down cuff I just did plain ribbing, and then switched to the leg pattern. I've got 3 1/2 repeats of the leg pattern done thus far. It's an 8-row repeat, and I really enjoy knitting rows 1-3, and 5-8. So what's wrong with row 4, you ask? Well row 4 starts off with a YO, immediately followed by an SSK. In fact row 4 consists of 9 YO's followed by SSK's. I hate SSK's with a passion. So row 4 and I don't get along too well. Fortunately it's only 12.5% of the pattern. :)

I've decided to put the other Christmas knits on hold until I finish The Shawl (which, it occurred to me last night, could easily become The Poncho. :shudder:), lest it get too cold for me to wear it by the time its done (which is becoming a distinct posibility). Anyhoo, I'm on repeat 73 of The Shawl, which means 17 or so to go. The end is in sight.

I did manage a few rows of the Fluted Banister socks last night, after my wrists got too tired for The Shawl. I only did 2 repeats of the 4-row pattern, but it's progress. I'll probably get a good bit done this weekend, as we're having weekend guests, and it may be too crowded on the couch for waving around my 14-inch straight needles. That, and DPN's are much better for jabbing people if they invade your personal space. :)

So this weekend we're hosting Andrew's dad, brother, and his brother's co-worker, Joseph, while we all head to the Virginia vs. Miami game on Saturday afternoon. This is my first-ever football game, and by all accounts it ought to be a doozy.

In the meantime, Andrew and I have been debating about the level of cleanliness requried by weekend guests, some of whom will be sleeping on the floor. I think we've agreed that dust buffalo cannot be passed off as works of art, but that laundry can be hidden in the linen closet, so long as we get the guest towels out before everyone arrives. Yeah, we're prepared.

Go WaHoo's!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Feeling Better...

Ah the beauty of drugs. Gotta love those cold pills. They make blogging possible when I should otherwise be laid up in bed. I actually am feeling a good bit better, thank you for asking.

I've had a decent bit of knitting progress over the last few days. First, I finished Mum's Clown Socks on Saturday afternoon:

Yay for completed projects! One Christmas present down, three to go, and 46 days of furious knitting to come!

I started my next pair of socks, which will be the Fluted Banister socks from the Six Socks Knitalong, for Andrew's mother, Marcia. I used some Regia Color I dug out of my stash (yay for stash knitting!), but I left the ball band downstairs, so I'm not sure of the color number.

As you can see, progress thus far has been slow.

I also started a scarf for Andrew's aunt, Liz. Before recounting the annoyingness that was the yarn purchase for this scarf, let me show you the scarf itself:

The pattern is from Vogue Scarves, it's the "Geometric Scarf" pattern. I'm not loving it, but it's a fairly simple knit, so it's good for working on while engaged in reality TV. (Who, me?)

As for my less-than-happy LYS experience, I'll try to be brief (ha ha). I went to my LYS, which I've only shopped at once before, looking for about 600 yards of a sport weight yarn, preferably wool or a wool/cotton blend for this scarf. I didn't really want to spend over $20, which I didn't think was unreasonable. After much wandering around a petting of the yarn, I finally decided on some Rowan 4-ply Soft, a lovely 100% merino yarn. The price tag on the bin said $4.80 a ball, and I thought I'd need 4 balls. Perfect. A nice yarn, and right within my price range.

I go up to the register, and lo and behold, the saleslady looks it up in their rolodex, and writes the price down as $8.50! What? I point out the problem, saying that the yarn was advertized as $4.80 on the bin, not the $8.50 she was trying to charge me. She says "Well, it says $8.50 on the card." Right, I get that part. The problem is that is says $4.80 on the bin. I mention this, in polite language. "See, it was crossed out here, and now it says $8.50." Okay, I'm not disputing what the card says. I'm disputing what you're advertising. Then she says "I'd better go check the tag, and correct that." Yes, you'd better. She comes back, and by this point I'd already taken the yarn out of my shopping bag, and says "so did you still want the yarn?" No apology, no indication that she nearly charged me 75% more than what was advertized, no acknowledgement that they had committed such an oversight in the store, just "do you still want the yarn?" Now, I realize LYS's are small businesses, and that they work hard to turn a profit, and therefore can't afford to honor the original price that was displayed. But am I being unreasonable in expecting an apology for such an error? Had I not noticed that, my $20 scarf would've become a $35 scarf. That's just too much to spend on a scarf, in my mind, especially one as simple and basic as this. (And just for the record, most places on the internet have 4-ply Soft listed at ~$8.50, so I have no idea what they were thinking with that $4.80 tag. Must've been a serious sale.)

Anyway, I landed up driving over to Michael's (the only other source of yarn nearby, besides Walmart), and got some Paton's Grace 100% cotton, in a nice light green colorway (#60027, Ginger). I don't do much work with cotton (okay, I don't do any), and I can't say I love the way it looks, but it is turning out nicely. I think I'll still stick predominatly to wool in the future, though.

On to happier news... in the mail today I got the pattern for the Constant Companion bag, which I had ordered last week. I may or may not make Christmas gifts out of one or two. We'll see how ambitious I'm feeling.

I also got the Noro Knits book, which has the pattern for the Butterfly sweater in it. I'm looking forward to knitting that, along with several other items from the book (because, you know, I don't have nearly enough future projects in mind). I'm not sure if I'll use the Noro yarns recommended, or if I'll substitute. I'm just not in love enough with any of their colorways to make a whole sweater. We'll see.

In other news... this post has gotten excessively long. More tomorrow, with an update on my first attempt as some socks from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Grumble, Grumble...

I have a cold. I hate being sick. I get all whiney and pathetic when I'm sick. Fortunately Andrew responds well to this, and took excellent care of me yesterday. I'm convinced the sickness was caused by my unhappy trip to my LYS on Saturday, but I really don't have anything to prove it. Got some knitting done over the weekend - finished the Clown socks, started another pair for Andrew's mom, Marcia, and a scarf for his aunt Liz. Pictures and more details later.

The highlight of the weekend was going to see "The Incredibles" on Friday night. It was, in fact, incredible. The trailer for Star Wars Episode III was also showing (a wonderful surprise), so now I'm eagerly looking forward to May.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Nearing the Final Row...

As promised, here's an updated photo of my progress on the Clown socks. I have 3 repeats left on the foot, then the toe. I'm still hoping to be done by tomorrow night (more Christmas projects await!)

In other news, work on The Shawl continues. I have 68 repeats done, and I'm just 2 or 3 rows away from starting my penultimate ball of yarn. What a monster!


I finally remembered to bring my camera to work the other day, so I've taken some pictures of the more vibrant foliage around campus.

This is one of the gardens on campus. I haven't been in all of them yet, but so far this is my favorite lunch spot. I'll really miss it when it gets too cold to eat outside, but I'm looking forward to the spring, when everything will be in full bloom.

This is a just a really pretty tree I spotted on the Lawn.

Finally, here's another tree that still has some beautiful color, with the Rotunda in the background.

I just love this time of year.

Bike Helmets

I was walking home from work yesterday, determined to squeeze a bit of excercise into my sedentary life, and as I was walking down 14th street - a fairly steep hill - I witnessed a painful bike accident. From what I saw, a young woman was coming down the hill on her bike, and was going pretty fast. A car was pulling out of a driveway, turning left, and didn't realize how fast the bike was traveling. The car pulled out, and cleared the path of the bike, but I think the woman on the bike panicked, and slammed on her brakes. She went head over wheels, and slammed into the pavement. She wasn't wearing a helmet. Another woman and I called 911, and the paramedics showed up fairly quickly. The bicyclist appeared to be okay (all things considered) - she was semi-responsive, and had movement in her fingers and toes - but her face and head were bruised and bleeding.

Seeing this reminded me of all the times I went bike riding or rollerblading as a kid with no helmet on, and how lucky I was to avoida mishap like this. So as my public service announcement for the week, I encourage everyone out there to be safe and observant when out on a bike or rollerblades (or other form of non-car wheeled transportation). Wear a helmet, stay at a safe speed, and be aware of the cars around you - drivers can't see everything, and cars are a lot bigger than you are.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


That's all I can say about the election. Ugh. That, and it's terribly sad that we're so divided as a nation that we can't seem to elect a leader. Yet another reason to toss the Electoral College out the window. I'm all for direct elections - it may elect someone I don't like, but at least we'd be sure about who the President is instead of having him be appointed by the Supreme Court.

Okay enough politics. Well, until it's time to cheer for Hillary '08. :)

Got lots of knitting done last night while watching CNN. I've finished the gussett decreases on the second Seaweed sock, and managed 3 more repeats on The Shawl. Only 24 to go at this point. I'll post a picture of the sock later this evening.

I'm also going to update my sidebar, and include more links to some of the blogs I read. Oh, and one of these days I need to figure out how to put buttons on my page. My picture hoster doesn't seem to like .gif files, so I need to find a way to subvert them.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day!

"Today's the day! The sun is shining, the tank is clean, and we are getting out of... the tank is clean!"

Oh, sorry, got wrapped up in my Finding Nemo fandom for a second.

Today really is the day, though. Get out there and put your footprint in history. Don't let someone else decide how your life should be lived because you weren't paying enough attention. For voting resources, check out True Majority's website.

To read a more eloquent blogger's view on the election, check out the Keyboard Biologist.

"I have many, many reasons to vote for John Kerry. The horror and the anguish is that I have *too many* reasons to vote for John Kerry: more than one thousand reasons, in fact--all of them American, and all of them dead in Iraq." - Melanie Rawn

{Gettin' off the soapbox now...}

In knitting news, I finished turning the heel on Mum's sock, and also finished another repeat on The Shawl (63 down). One of these days, too, I need to darn Val's socks. I promised I'd have them back to her before the first snowfall in Atlanta (I was trying to buy myself some serious time), but it's now November, and I can feel a snowcloud breathing down on me. Or maybe that's just my paranoia speaking.

I brought my camera to work today so I can take some pictures of the Lawn while the leaves are still on the trees. I've been meaning to do this for weeks now. Hopefully I'll have some good pictures to post tomorrow.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Happy Monday!

This whole daylight savings thing has thrown me totally out of whack (is it ever possible to be "in whack" though?). I kept waking up this morning afraid I had overslept, because it was far too light outside for it to only be 5:30 am. Ugh. It's also rather depressing to think that I'll be getting home after dark everyday now. I liked things better the way it was. (Can you tell I'm resistant to change?)

Anyhoo, Andrew and I were in Woodbridge for Matt's birthday this weekend. We left here on Friday night after I got home from work, and made the trip in a little over 2 hours. We stopped at Panera for dinner, and then a quick trip to Borders so I could check out the new knitting magazines. I got the new Knit and Style, and Interweave Knits. I normally wouldn't get two knitting magazines at once, but they both had several patterns I liked, and I certainly need more projects to think about right now, so it was a good thing. But I guess this wouldn't be a good time to admit that I also ordered a Noro Knits book on Friday, would it? :)

I spent most of Friday night and Saturday knitting (with a brief stop for a nap Saturday afternoon), while Andrew and his dad watched football and bad Halloween movies. We all converged around 6:30, and went out for dinner at Taste of Tandoor, a nearby Indian restaurant. After that we went to Marcia's apartment for cake and gifts (the scarf was a big hit), and we also got to hear about Greg's road trip through New England last week. I must say, for the part of me that's still 12 years old, the highlight of the story was Greg saying that he had spent the night in "Intercourse, Pennsylvania." Yes, I can still be juvenile at times. By the time we were done, it was nearly midnight, so it was back to Greg's house for the night. I went to sleep fairly quickly (that nap really wore me out), but Andrew and Matt stayed up playing soccer and golf on the Gamecube.

Sunday Matt was back in DC running the Marine Corp Marathon, and Andrew and I headed back to C-ville to prepare for trick-or-treaters (and so Andrew could do his Sanskrit exam). I watched some non-scary movies, knitted (up to 62 repeats on The Shawl), and waited for the doorbell to ring.

We got about 12 trick-or-treaters total, in 3 groups. The cutest was a little boy who was probably only 2 1/2 or so. He was old enough to know to grab some candy out of the bowl, but too young to really understand what he wanted or why he was doing it. I finally just handed him some peanunt M&M's with Shrek characters on the back, to try and save him the angst of deciding for himself.

Oh, and for those of you wondering if I dressed up - I wore a nametag to work on Friday that said "Disguised as a Responsible Adult," and Sunday night I wore my Harry Potter scarf (pictures forthcoming), but it was too warm out for all that wool, so I went back to my "responsible adult" disguise pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, we've got a good bit of candy left over, and really unfortunately, I made a point to buy things I knew we'd eat if there was anything left. I'm going to try to remember to bring it all in to work tomorrow, and inflict it on other people.

So now it's back to my regularly scheduled lifestyle, with frequent adjustments for more knitting time (I suspect tomorrow might turn into a marathon, as we watch the polls close). Go vote!