Thursday, July 27, 2006

Yarn Harlot in Albuquerque

I was in between portable projects this morning, so I tossed a ball of leftover sock yarn and some circular needles into my purse before heading to work. I made steady progress on my code, so I didn't knit a lot, but I did start a strip of mitered squares. I've seen some other bloggers making modular blankets from leftover sock yarn, so I thought I'd give it a try. I only had about one and a half done in odd moments by the end of the day.

Around 5:30, after finishing one change and thinking about the next, I decided to take a break and see what was new on the Yarn Harlot's blog. Where is she now? Mesa, Arizona? Next stop, New Mexico?! That was this week?! I quickly check her schedule and realize she was in town today! In fact, her talk would be starting in less than an hour. I wouldn't be able to make it, would I?

Somehow, I did, though I arrived soaking wet from the rain. (The monsoon season is upon us.) I spoke with my husband on the phone, so he was forewarned that I wouldn't be home for quite a while. Fortunately, he understands me and so wished me well.

If I had remembered in advance, I would have brought one of her books that I already own from home to be signed, but fortunately, they were selling Knitting Rules! there, so I bought myself a copy. I also made a donation to Knitters without Borders and got a little pin that I'm sure to misplace if I'm not careful.

Stephanie's talk was great! It was a heady feeling to be in a room filled with other yarn fanatics. It was a good thing I had knitting in my purse, so I didn't look out of place. I got another couple of squares done in the course of the evening.

When I got home I tried to explain some of the best parts to my husband, but I just couldn't do it justice. Part of my problem is that I generally have difficulty repeating other peoples jokes successfully and part of it is that I was trying to tell knitting jokes to my husband, who, wonderful man he may be, does not actually knit. He's a good yarn enabler, though, and does his best to appreciate the knitting lifestyle.

After the talk, I had my book signed ("Obsession is normal."), chatted with a bunch of other knitters, and even had my picture taken with the traveling sock! The local SnB group looked interesting. I might have to show up and meet them sometime. I haven't really explored social knitting yet.

I came home buzzing with a knitter's high. I've already read three chapters of my new book and expect I'll finish it before the end of the day tomorrow. My husband disappeared a while ago, and is probably fast asleep. The excitement is wearing off, and now that I've written about my evening, I should go join him. The sound of crickets chirping outside is quite relaxing. The cool breeze through the window carries moisture from this evening's rain. It's a good night for sleeping.

Did you know that Blogger's spellcheck does not recognize the word "knitter"?


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Raindrops keep falling...

It's been raining all evening. We've opened the back door and the windows to let the cool breeze blow through the house. The moisture in the air feels wonderful.

I'll be moving to a new office at work later this week. Most of my department is already in the new building, with just a handful of us left at the old one. We've grown accustomed to not seeing many people at work. It'll feel a bit odd to work just down the hall from the rest of the department. I've only seen some of those guys in our monthly department meetings.

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. Once again, he has caught up to me in age. (Yes, I married a younger man. *grin*) We have a lot of leftover carrot cake. It's hard to eat much of it at any one time, since the cream cheese frosting is so rich. My husband and I agree that carrot cake really is a delivery system for cream cheese frosting.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday Scribbling - "With Baggage"

This is my first time responding to a writing prompt from Sunday Scribblings.

As we worked on putting our house in order yesterday, I came to realize that my husband and I have a lot of baggage. I'm not talking about figurative baggage of past relationships or unresolved issues, I mean we have a lot of bags. We have a box just labeled "Bags" holding tote bags, backpacks, purses, and bookbags. I have trouble getting rid of bags like that, since you never know when you might need to carry something. Perhaps I have a bit of figurative baggage about my literal baggage.

Moving from one house to another reveals just how much stuff we keep around us all the time. I've been trying to get rid of some of my junk, but I find that I start to get "sentimental value" confused with "used to it being there" and resist letting go of things that don't really matter after all.

I emptied my carry-on bag from last week's trip and deliberately left a few things in there. (A pen, a pack of tissues, and a travel bottle of saline for my contacts.) I don't really need those particular items in my normal life, but they are small and would be useful while traveling. I suppose some of these unpacked boxes of stuff were kept with similar reasoning. "It could be useful."

I think I'll go deal with another box now.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lazy evening

We got our new produce box today, so supper consisted of corn on the cob and a salad. It was a nice light supper for a warm summer evening.

My husband is teaching some astronomy students tonight, so I'm websurfing and watching an episode of . It's the episode where Mr. Burns hit Bart with his car. "Smithers, release the hounds!"

Having my computer in the same room as the television is causing some interference. The monitor seems to induce some static on the television. It's only a problem when I'm in full veg-out mode, like I am tonight.

I've cast on for a pair of socks using some yarn from my stash, but I don't know if I have enough to complete this pair. I might have to make stripes or something. I used Judy's magic cast-on, figuring I should actually use it after mentioning it in my pattern. I actually used a cast-on that involves a bit of double-knitting for Widdershins, since I had already knit the socks by the time the spring issue went live. Linking to a nice pictorial explanation was a lot easier than trying to explain the method I picked up from a book several years ago. I have to admit, Judy's cast-on is pretty slick. I think I may have a new favorite cast-on for toe-up socks.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Furry pests

It appears we have a mouse problem in our new house. I spotted one running across the floor last week, we set a trap and killed it, dealt with the bag of flour it had nibbled on, and hoped that would be the end of it. Ah, such sweet optimism!

We noticed some droppings in a cabinet the other day and have found the small hole chewed in the back corner where they get in. Last night, I spotted a mouse in the laundry area, which is on the other side of the wall from the holey cabinet. We set a trap there and killed a mouse during the night.

Our current plan is to do the following:
  1. Buy more traps.
  2. Keep setting traps until we stop catching mice.
  3. Repackage much of our pantry into nibble-proof containers.
  4. Be ever vigilant. (For me, this includes adding mice to my mental list of "Critters that threaten my yarn and fiber stash")
  5. Get a cat. Darn my spouse's allergies!
I'm not fond of the trapping option. Growing up with cats around, I'm accustomed to mouse killers that generally dispose of the mice for you. Having my husband deal with the filled traps is a good alternative. Besides, unlike a cat, I doubt my spouse will ever feel the need to deposit a semi-digested dead rodent on the carpet. :)
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Monday, July 10, 2006

Trading music online

I have traded a few CDs on, cleaning out discs we don't really listen to, and receiving music that we like. It is a pretty clever system. You list the CDs that you own and the CDs that you would like and the system will let you know if anyone wants your stuff. You send off your CDs in the prepaid CD mailers, and pay a small fee when you receive one of your requests. My husband and I had some duplicate CDs in our collections, so those provide good trading fodder.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Baby birds at work tragedy

Remember the baby birds on my window ledge? All last week I watched them grow visibly plumper as they were fed by both parents. We had some very windy days, but they were safe and secure in their nest.

On Monday, I came back to work looking forward to observing them some more. I knew I probably wouldn't have much time left with them, judging from how fast they were growing, but nothing prepared me for what I found. One of the birds was gone completely, its fate unknown. The other was on the edge of the nest on the ledge, dead. I wasn't able to write about it on the day I found it. Its body is still there today, since I can't open the window and, as I mentioned, the nest is sheltered.

I have no idea what happened. We're on the second floor, so any attack would have to come from the air. Do predatory birds attack nests? Was there an avian Cain and Abel situation? I'll never know, I guess. Looking at the short tail feathers on the body, I don't have much hope that the missing bird was able to fly away.

I only had a week with them chirping outside my window, but I miss them.
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I'm in Knitty!

My sock pattern is in the summer issue of Knitty! I've reported a couple of corrections they need to make (a few details did not make it through the formatting process unharmed), but at least it's there. Oddly enough, mine is not the only pattern for toe up socks with a heel flap in this issue.

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