Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New books! New yarn! Oh my!

A couple of gift certificates from my birthday put me in a shopping mood! I hit a book store and Hilltop Yarns (thanks Aunt Julie!) and am now loaded up with fun new reads and projects! I bought Classic Knits by Erika Knight. Thanks to Rebecca's suggestion, I'm going to make the tank top for myself using this beautiful purple yarn from Rowan. I'm very excited about this project because I've always wanted to knit something from the big and chunky line and because it'll knit up quickly!
Then I finally got a copy of Natural Knits for Babies and Moms (the answer to whatever is running through you mind Sara/April/Jen is no.)! However with all of my friends having babies, it's always good to keep a book like this around. After Katie's "trunk show" of the book, I had to have it! I also bought the yarn to whip up a cute little hat (the yarn was on sale!). But before I start any of these projects, I need to make some serious progress on Henry's sweater!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Experiments in front load felting and needle felting

I whipped up these little accessory bags from One Skein Wonders with some left over yarn I had in the stash. I wanted to see how my front loading washer felted. It took only two rounds before they were the perfect size! The next experiment: needle felting! I can't wait to get started on this new little project! I have a feeling it could be my next knitting type of obsession! Stay tuned for results!

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's done!

What: Jenny's Twin Wraps from Hilltop Yarn
How: Tahki's New Tweed

This was a great pattern! I really enjoyed it. It had a great combination of lace, cables and stockinette. It was a repeat of 12 rows. I highly recommend this pattern!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A little light reading

A study came out this week that basically said Americans don't read that much. That really made me a bit sad. While I'll admit I'm not the biggest reader out there, I do love to curl up on the couch with a good book.
And I seem to have no trouble finding good books these days. In fact several of them have been lent to me by fellow book lovers! The challenge is finding the time to read. Plus there's the knitting too. I have quite perfected reading and knitting at the same time. I may have to resort to books on tapes!
Speaking of new books to read, the hubby was in a book store and came upon this little gem: Lost in Austen. It's a choose your own adventure in Jane Austen's books! You are Elizabeth Bennett, a woman of considerable wit, not so much money or fabulous beauty. Your mission is to marry for love and money. As you read, you choose the path of Elizabeth...will she end up with Mr. Darcy, or perhaps Col. Wentworth? Will Willoughby get her off the path? Who knows! That's the fun! (Well, at least I think it's fun!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Danskin 2007: soaking rains & goals

Mother Nature added her own round of challenges to Sunday's Danskin Triathlon: pouring, soaking rains and wind. But hey, when you start out swimming at 7:37 a.m., what's a little more water, right? That was my thought as I started the very cold swim. Silly little thought.

The rains started the night before, giving the course and transition area a good soaking. Instead of laying my gear on a towel, I laid everything on trash bags with more covering them up. Didn't help. After the swim, I sort of toweled off, threw on my very wet bike helmet (it had been out in the rain all night at the transition area which is required) and hit the road. I was on a fabulous rented bike, but because I was unfamiliar with the bike, and the course was so wet, I couldn't go as fast as I had wanted to. I saw several bad spills and several women, bloodied and bruised ride by. Coming back across the I-90 bridge on Lake Washington was one of the times Mother Nature unleashed her fury: soaking rains and sideway gusting winds. The cars heading West were also kicking up water on us. I thought, this really isn't very fun as I could hear and feel the water sloshing in both shoes. I toweled off again after the bike ride, grabbed my rain jacket, baseball hat and Ipod and took off for the run. At this point, I just wanted to be done and beat my time of 2 hours and 1 minute. I am proud to say that I ran the entire 5K with a sprint at the end to finish in under two hours. Final time: 1 hour 57 mins 44 seconds! I would have like to have had done better, but frankly, I'm just proud of actually showing up in that crappy weather. They say you need to train in any type of weather conditions because you never know what it'll be like on race day and I have never, ever, worked out in weather like that. Nor do I ever plan on doing it again, unless of course, it's like that for next year! Danskin 2008 goal: 1 hour 40 mins! (Editors note: there are no pics to accompany this because I didn't want my camera to get wet. But it still did as the water soaked through my bag and the camera case. No damage though!)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Athlete #2924

That's me! I'm ready for tomorrow's Danskin Triathlon! I've got my race number, body markings and have racked my bike (unfortunately, just like last year, I'm stuck in the back side of the bike racks!) I'm very excited about my race number this year: 2924 - 29 is my birthday and 24 is Matt's birthday! I think it's a good sign. I've also got my new pink Shuffle Ipod (thanks for the great b-day gift mom!) loaded with all my favorite fast running songs to help me power through the last portion of the tri - the run! Last year I did the tri 2 hours one minute. That one minute just kills me! This year my goal is one hour 50 minutes - which I think I can do!

Wish me luck and be thinking warm, sunny thoughts for tomorrow (especially SUNNY!) I hit the water for my race at 7:37 a.m. P.S.T (for those of you on the East Coast!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Congrats Mara & Mike!

This past Saturday, Mara and Mike got married! It was a beautiful ceremony at her grandparents home just outside Olympia. The house over looked the water and it was a very touching service because that was the same spot her parents were married at. The wedding started off on a fun note as the groom and his crew walked in to the theme of Star Wars!

Mara helped design her dress from a shop in Olympia. She wanted something simple and elegant. Once the dress was made the shop owners liked her dress so much they decided they were going to offer that dress in their collection. They are calling it the "Mara." (My pictures really don't do it justice!) She looked so radiant and happy!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Left Handers Day!

Today is Left Handers Day! A day where all you righties need to appreciate us lefties! Sometimes it's hard living in your world. Everything is built for you guys - notebooks, school desks with the arm rest on the "right hand" side and let's not forget the scissors! As a kid, I had to learn to bat right handed because my softball coach didn't know how to teach a left handed kid. And I knit right handed (same reason). After a few years, I tried to teach myself to do it left handed but it didn't work out so well. I'm celebrating my right to be a lefty!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The summer of my green thumb!

I've never been really good at growing things. I try, the effort is there (sometimes), but it usually ends badly. This summer I decided it was time to try and cultivate something I could actually eat. My fabulous friend June helped me out with this by giving me a beautiful tomato plant with a bunch of herbs. She also gave me some lettuce starts and they have taken off like wildfire! The lettuce was quite yummy! I'm still waiting for the tomatoes to turn red but they are on their way!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Past Pictures

I finally got my camera cord back after it took a little road trip. Here are some pictures from my knitting adventures when I was home alone:

My knitting at Stich & Pitch with Mara. A lot of good knitting and chatting was accomplished, win from the Mariners - not so much.

The full moon over Safeco field didn't give any good luck to the Mariners.

Yarn for Henry's sweater (Cousin Mike, please note how it's not pink.) I'm going to knit him the Easy Baby Cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple. I can't wait to meet him someday - and for that matter, I'm sure his mom is anxious to do the same! (Editor's note: I wrote this blog entery last night then cast on for the cardigan. Today I found out that Henry was born last night! 7lbs. 7 oz. baby and mamma doing great! Now I really need to knit fast!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Field Trip

Jen, Lynn, Mara, Jessica and me on the ferry back to Seattle.

Saturday several Purly Girls set out to Bainbridge Island for the annual Churchmouse Yarn and Tea sale. By the time we got to the store - only a mere 24 minutes after it opened - it was packed and women were carrying baskets full of yarn! (Maybe I was jealous). I did find some great patterns for kid hats and sweaters for a dollar, plus some cute yarn for a baby hat (always good to have some on hand these days.) After the yarn store we strolled through the farms market, discovered we were really hungry and got some lunch.

Then we hit Esther's Fabrics and I think I may have a new hobby! All of the fabric was so pretty and fun. Nothing like I got to work on in Home Ec! I bought In Stitches by Amy Butler, plus a couple of fat quarters. Several of us are also thinking of taking the beginning sewing class over there too! My mom was so happy when I told her about the fabric I bought and the sewing book. I could just hear the joy in her voice!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Knitting conversations with drunk boys

A few weeks ago (I meant to post this then but got busy) I went to Mara's bachelorette party. We had a fabulous time drinking wine, laughing at the gifts and eating a great dinner. Then it was time to hit the bars! We went to a couple of bars, drinking more cocktails and wine through the evening. When we got to a particular bar, Diana and I were outside with our group chatting with this fine upstanding gentleman who was, shall we say, pretty freakin' drunk. He was polite enough and asked us how we knew each other. This is the conversation that followed:

Drunk guy: "How do you two know each other?"
Diana and I exchange a glance and big smiles.
"We're friends from knitting!" Diana exclaimed.
"Yes," I said, "We love to knit!" as we giggled a bit.
"And we knit in public!" Diana added.
"And we're proud of it!" I said as we both broke out in laughter.
I expected the typical glazed over look that usually comes when one mentions knitting to men. Instead our little inebriated friend said this:
"Cool. Do you girls shop at Tricoter?" (Note to my non-local readers, Tricoter just happens to be the most expensive and some what snobby yarn store in town.)
Now, it was our turn for the glazed over look. We exchanged quizzical glances at each other before I stammered out:
"How do you know about Tricoter?"
"My aunt knits. That's where she shops."
"Cool," we said, nodding our heads in approval.