Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Girasole Project

Yep - I have been a bad blogger. Its been a very busy time. Lots of work, trying to find time to knit, not much else happening. So that's the past several months in a nutshell.

That said, I have a new project in mind that I figure I can track here on the blog. I fell in love with Girasole, a wonderful pattern by Jared Flood, aka BrooklynTweed, who is a brilliant designer with an amazing eye for pattern and color. I want to make the blanket version and I am already envisioning curling up with it in front of the fire. I would best describe this pattern as a cheerful yet elegant piece with the sunflower pattern bringing summer indoors year round.

I have had the privilege of seeing the pattern in progress and know it is going to be a serious commitment piece. As the rounds get larger it can take 45 minutes or more to complete a single round. This is not a fast piece but the results seem well worth it. Since I am going to essentially marry this piece for quite some time I have decided that this is going to become my own personal show piece, an heirloom item I can pass on to the grandchild I hope my son will someday provide (since he is five now I have plenty of time to finish). To that end I have also decided to go whole hog and make this a sheep to blanket piece. Yes, I intend to spin the 1800 yards this pattern requires. I still have plenty of Cormo left from the two fleece I bought a couple years ago. All I need to do is finish cleaning it and spin it up! Sounds easy ~ right? OK maybe not quite that easy.

I consider myself an advanced beginner spinner. I have mastered the intuitive spin and I can spin a fairly even yarn. I just upgraded from my Babe to an Ashford Traditional and have noticed a significant difference in my ability to control my yarn. The Babe is an excellent starter wheel and I intend to use it to teach my son to spin, but I found myself wanting "more" ~control, speed, flexibility. I have had my Ashford for a couple months now and easily see the difference. To make this blanket, though, I need to produce a predictable, repeatable yarn that has the characteristics I desire. This means taking my spinning beyond intuitive to intentional. I think I am ready. More important, I am patient. I have given myself all winter to spin the yarn and plan on knitting come Spring. I expect this blanket to be complete before next winter. I think that's manageable.

I have decided its time to put some of my skills in place to get to my goal. As a quality professional, I understand the value of a repeatable process to get a predictable outcome. I know this starts with understanding the end ~ ie clearing documenting my requirements. Then breaking down all the steps and identifying my learning gaps to enable me to meet my requirements. The requirements are going to drive every decision I make in this project. Do I want a warm fluffy blanket or a light blanket that shows off the pattern? Until I decide this I can't select the type of yarn I want to spin. So the first thing I need to do is look at the completed projects on Ravelry and maybe talk to some other knitters for information.

As a quality professional I am also exposed to quite a bit of project management as a control tool. So I will also set a project plan to plan and track my progress. This is going to be an interesting project on many levels - not only to make a beautiful piece of art, but to see how to incorporate my many passions (quality, knitting, spinning, dying, planning) to create this project.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

PhatFiber Fair Box Rocks!

Its been a busy summer. I will blog about it later but for now I want to share the awesome box I got from PhatFiber
"Phat Fiber is a mystery box of awesome samples for the yarn and fiber enthusiast in us all. With a focus on the independant artisan, this box is a super grass-roots treat for the senses. " That's from the PhatFiber website.
So, to get the box you have to be lucky and quick! She only puts a few up and they go up on a specific day at specific times. We get an email alerting us to when the boxes go up. Then you go in to etsy and see if you can snag a box. This is the first time I have actually gotten a box and let me say it was worth it. 
This month the theme was "At the Fair" so everything had was related to something you might find at a summer fair. I got lots of yarn samples in fair colors, and fiber samples that were fair related - my favorite was the fibery goodness packed up as a snowcone. There were also some patterns and stitch markers - including an adorable watermelon stitch marker. I can't wait to try it all out and then visit some of the wonderful folks who create all these goodies and get more. Most of all, I love this way of getting introduced to new independents and finding more wonderful small fibery goodness sellers to support. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Back and Still Wondering What Happened to Summer

So I know I have been remiss in my blogging but with good reason. I have been busy. You know - work and stuff. After I returned from Hawaii we decided to send DH and the young one to San Diego to visit Grandma and Grandpa and take care of a few things with the house we still own out there. So off they went for three weeks, which left me with plenty of free time to catch up on housecleaning and maybe play a bit. Or so I thought. First of all about a week into their trip I get "the phone call" - you know the one every mom doesn't want to get. "Hi Honey, we are headed to urgent care, but don't worry its not too serious". Sigh. Well, at least relatively speaking it wasn't too serious - just a broken arm. Sigh. But young one took it like a trooper and it really didn't phase him once he was casted. Oh the resiliency of children. Then it was my turn making the call. "Hi Honey, do you mind if I am not here to pick you up from the airport?" I got pulled on to last minute travel to Israel of all places. So while they were coming back from San Diego, I was headed off around the world. It was a quick trip but I did get to spend some time at the Dead Sea (wow - they really do mean you float) and visited the Masada. I even got some knitting in and took my Loopy Ewe postcard for some shots of Loopy at the lowest place on earth. What was most ironic was I was knitting on a skein of Noro making a log cabin square and the aqua color in the Noro matched the Dead Sea. I will always think of that trip when I look at this square. The only other observation about the trip is that I now understand the color "Mediterranean Blue". When we flew in to Tel Aviv I was looking out the window and the Mediterranean is the most amazing blue. I have never seen that color - it was truly breathtaking. I wish I could go spend more time on the Mediterranean Sea. 
So now we are all back in the same time zone and hoping to keep it that way for awhile.

Now - onto some more good stuff. I got my package in the mail from my Saucy Swap partner, Ponyknits. It was wonderful.
Isn't it just chock full of goodies? The yarn is so pretty - it is Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed. It is a mix of Wool, Alpaca and Donegal - yes it has actual tweed flecks in there. It is so soft and so pretty.  I have to decide on socks or scarf. I kind of think this wants to be a scarf to show off the tweed. Its that pretty. Then there is the yummy Hersheys - which are actually one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Ok - I like all the Godiva, See's, etc in the more designer chocolate world, but honestly I really appreciate good old Hershey's - its got a melt in your mouth appeal that I really like. And it is perfect snack size. Then there is a bag of peanuts which my son immediately wanted to open. I can't wait to try the mustard - it is Old Cape Cod Sweet and Hot Honey Mustard - I need to go get some pretzels! Yum! And the hot sauce if Franks extra hot! I am thinking Nachos or maybe on a Baked potato. It will be enjoyed. There is also some magnetic notepads (which I love because I use these all the time) and some cute notecards. Finally, there is the coolest knitting notion - a BrySpun Fix It - its a #8 needle on one end and a H crochet hook on the other. Perfect for dropped stitches. I am tickled with this! Ponyknits did a wonderful job spoiling me!
Now I am going to go knit some and maybe stare at my pretty yarn some more! Its nice to be back - but seriously? Its still freaking raining here. This is the longest winter ever. Oh yeah  - its almost August. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Can Someone Please Call Summer and Ask it to Please Come Back

Ok - can we all please take a moment and look at the calendar.  Yep - that's what I thought - it still says July. As in summer, like Fourth of July, BBQ, picnics, fireworks, sunscreen, sunglasses. Lets see - what do all these things have in common? That's right - outside, sunshine and warm weather. 
Ok - then can someone please explain to my why I actually:
A) Put on wool socks
B) Pulled out my winter sweater and put it on
C) Turned on the heat
What is wrong with this picture? Its July folks! I should be dreaming of knitting with cashmere not actually wearing it!
Summer - please come. We really miss you in New England. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Im still here!

Yes - I am still here but I seem to be suffering from the same syndrome as many others - busy! I still can't believe I ended spending close to a month and a half in Hawaii which really was crazy - you work long hours virtually round the clock sometimes, then when you aren't working at site you are trying to keep up with the home office and maybe, just maybe, find time for sleep. I did enjoy it though. I really love my job. I am lucky that way. And I did get to have a little bit of fun - aside from getting to go out to dinner with a bunch of different people that I work with and getting to know them off hours, I was also able to escape for one day and go on  the volcano tour. We also went to a luau but that was kind of tempered by the fact that I had to go from the luau to work again. 
One of the fun parts was hooker atm. Honolulu has its fair share of working ladies. Now personally I see nothing wrong with that line of work. I say if you can make money at it - go for it. I am not going to sit in judgement. But what was fun was watching these ladies work. There is one ATM and there are several girls who stand right outside the ATM. I think that is brilliant marketing. I was there long enough to recognize the girls who worked that location. I even gave them names and backstories. Jamie and Barbie. Jamie always wore jeans - I wondered if that was a management uniform. But what was sad was that I never saw any of the girls get a customer. I think the economy is hitting everyone. I have to wonder how much these girls make because from what I saw, its a lot of work standing there for hours on end in those heels (I think its a law or something to wear plastic see through platform heels) and not getting any takers. It must be profitable because there were sure lots of girls. I hope so - if you are going to go into this line of work I would want to make good cash. Anyways - what became fun is that was the landmark we used - we would meet at hooker ATM. Its funny how many people knew exactly what we were talking about. Ok - so seriously - we were working that hard that our entertainment in Honolulu was watching the hookers. Sad but true. 
But now I am back and slowly getting back in to things. I came back with my usual bronchitis and spent a couple weeks recovering. Feeling better now and glad to be back to a semi normal routine. I have some yummy yarns waiting for me and my spinning wheel is calling. Nice to be home!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


It feels so freaking good to be home and sitting around doing absolutely nothing! Three weeks is a long time to be away for work. Yeah, its Hawaii but while I am there it is all work all the time. Even when we are not working it is still everyone from work so of course we discuss work. Its very tiring all around. And I get to go back in a week for two more weeks of this kind of fun. My life is so glam. 
So this trip was all about sushi though. I ended up eating more sushi than I think I have in my life. We ended up at several places that have the conveyor belt running around the room and you pick what you want off the belt. Not only yummy but fun. We also hit a grill your own place where you have a small grill at your table - ok - not sushi, but we did eat some seared tuna. I have to say that the seafood is one of the best parts of being in Hawaii. Other than that it was work work work - and the site was so unglam - no running water, no power and hot as can be!
Well, at least I am home with my family and oh so happy!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Finally .... Spring

Its finally starting to get nice outside. Today we have green grass and the daffodils are poking through the ground. Its a huge relief to have this winter behind us..we hope. The big boats at the dealership are still shrink wrapped though so we are still cautious. But at least we can go outside for now without a jacket. 
My brain is all things spring. I am spending my spare time watching Lambcam over at the fiber farm. The goats are due to drop babies anytime. We have all been watching for the past week anxiously waiting out baby goats. I love being a part of the fiber farm. I also got my first share this week. In the mail I got a box full of yummy Marthas Vineyard Fiber Farm fiber - right off these very goats I am watching on lambcam.  Check out this pile of fibery goodness.

The big pile of white is the MVFF fiber - its a Cormo/Mohair mix fresh from the farm. I got 12 ounces of this yummy softness.  There is also a smaller batch of white which came from another farm and was included as a bonus, but the super surprise was the brown wool. There was four ounces of the surprise brown which also came from a neighboring farm but it is the richest chocolate color I have ever seen in fiber. Stunning is all I can say. I cannot wait to spin it up and keep it in its natural color state. I think it would make a stunning contrast color for some fair isle work, possibly in mittens or a hat or a scarf. 
This is a close up of it all. The chocolatey color really doesn't come through very well. You just have to believe me that it is so beautiful. I hope to start spinning this in the next week or two. Right now I have some Sereknity merino roving on my wheel, in Pomegranite colorway. Its a pretty blend of pink, orange, purple and burgandy. Its going to make some lovely sock yarn. Its been so long since I have spun with prepared roving that I forgot how quick and easy it spins up. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Its a total Blah day. I think I am just tired. That and it is only 40 degrees outside. Can someone please tell the weather that it is Spring???? Honestly - I cannot wait until I can wear sandals, short sleeves and not spend my day huddled under a blanker. Blah.
So I had to travel this past week -just a couple days to Florida. Wish it could have been longer because it was at least warm there but I needed to be back at work. So it has been a very busy week and I am tired. Again - more Blah. 
So today I am calling in my "day off" card. I am just hanging. I want to sleep but DH went to a movie and the young one is being active. Blah.  So I decided to sign up for twitter. Hmm - we will see if I can at least come up with any interesting tweets. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

All that in a tiny envelope!

I absolutely love this swap idea! You have one 4x9 inch envelope, five dollars and all the creativity you can muster and send it on its way. 
I got my envelope today from Finland. First of all, I have been following my spoiler's blog and am super impressed that she did this with a little baby just home from the hospital. Sleep will come again some day I promise!
So here it is - what was amazing was I tore into the envelope and it practically exploded!

My spoiler, Hisch,  must have stuffed everything in and forced it shut!
And lookee at all the wonders inside. The card - isn't it beautiful! I love the image - contained a note from Hisch telling me all about my goodies. There is chocolate (that is dessert tonight) and tea (tomorrows pleasure) including Raspberry, Mango and Peach tea, Basil seeds - my husband has claimed those already for the garden - some lovely yarns which I will make into mini socks, some buttons/beads - I should have taken a better picture because these are lovely - I love the bluebird buttons - and a crocheted angle made locally in Finland.  And the best part was the gift card. 

And turning it over you get this: 

It says  "This gift card is good for: 1 Day off from housework - can be used whenever wanted"
I love it! And plan to use it this weekend. 
At first I thought I could use it then pass it on to someone else, but instead I think I am going to use it, then put it in my dayplanner at work to remind me to take time off now and again. But I will send another one along in my next swap. I think we all need reminders to take time for ourselves. I have to say, of everything in my package - and I loved it all - this little tidbit is the best. Hisch gave me a very precious and priceless gift reminding me to enjoy life. 
Thank you Hisch - and to Cinnamoon on Ravelry for organizing this wonderful swap. In today's economy its nice to remember that you don't need a lot of money to share a little touch of happiness.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How could I ever live with out it?

Ok - so I have to go on about one of my all time favorite products that I have grown to love even more over the past few days. This would be my iPhone.
I love it. I cannot imaging how I ever lived without it.
This is actually my second iPhone. I got a first gen, then when the 3G came out, I gave hubby the first gen and got mysefl a 3G.
At first, I just wanted to internet features. In fact, I tried to talk to Verizon about what would be comparable that would give me full internet access. I was finishing grad school online and really wanted to be able to have full access to email and school wherever I went. Verizon got a bit snarky with me though. In fact, the final straw was when I attempted to find an option with Verizon and explained my needs, the sales guy actually said to me "You just want an iPhone" and walked away. Yep - left me standing in the middle of his store, turned his back on me and walked away. Ok - off to AT&T. But I digress.
So now I have my iPhone 3G and why do I love it? Aside from the internet and email the App Store has turned it into something useful into a near instantaneous problem solver.
For example, the other night it was late and I couldn't sleep. I needed a book to read to distract me but I didn't have anything unread around the house that fit the bill. I started surfing the net instead and lusting after the Kindle on Amazon thinking if I had a Kindle I would never be in this position again. That was when I noticed this little sidebar that said Kindle for the iPhone. Could it really be? I clicked the button and sure enough - there is a Kindle app for the iPhone and you can get books sent to your iPhone just like a Kindle - but without the Kindle. And the app was Free! So I downloaded it, went over to Amazon, bought myself a book ("Outlander" by the way) and voila! I was off and reading a new book on my iPhone. Unbelievable!
Another example - yesterday we decided to take a road trip to Maine for some outlet shopping. I brought my latest knitting project and as we were getting on the road I realized I had forgotten a measuring tape. While hubby offered to turn around I declined and instead picked up my iPhone, went to the App Store and within seconds I had a ruler on my phone. Show me another phone that does that!
And this was just in the past week. I could go on about the many uses I have for my phone. My son loves it for games but we also have an app that teaches reading so that when we have spare time, such as waiting in restaurants, we practice reading. I am sure as he grows so will the variety of apps on my phone grow to use for teaching opportunities. Then there is the gym - at the gym I can listen to the radio (I have downloaded an app that allows me to listen to radio stations all over the country, including my favorite San Diego morning show), I can catch up on tv (if you have a Tivo, you can pull your shows off tv to your Mac, "toast" them and load them on to your iPhone. I can get movies via iTunes. And I can read my Kindle books. Or I can play games. Or music. So I won't be board on the treadmill at the gym. Then when its time for weights, I have a program to track my weight training. Ok - I can go on and on. Have I mentioned the GPS? I helped direct my cab driver in NYC thanks to my GPS.
I think you get the picture here - but I just had to post to say this is one product that is simply life enhancing. In today's economy its nice to find something that works, works well and has such diverse application.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 2

March 2 - got up and did Wii Fit for 20 minutes before even having coffee. Scary
Also - the young one is insisting on being naked all morning. The life of a five year old.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March Madness

Ok - new challenge. My personal March Madness - can I do 31 days of Wii Fit?
So - I have the Wii Fit but found excuses not to use it - so lets see if I can commit to it every day for one month.
The only problem I might face - travel. If I have to travel, then I will commit to walking that day or some other equivalent.
Here goes March Madness!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Getting to know you

Got this in the mail -thought it would be more fun to blog!

1. What time did you get up this morning?
4:30 am - Hey - its the only quiet time I get
2. Diamonds or pearls?
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Hotel for Dogs - and I enjoyed it
4. What is your favorite TV show?
5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Yogurt with walnuts
6. What is your middle name?
7. What food do you dislike?
8. What is your favorite CD?
Hmmm - dont really have a favorite
9. What kind of car do you drive?
Subaru Forester
10. Favorite sandwich?
Grilled Cheese
11. What characteristic do you despise?
12. Favorite item of clothing?
My jeans
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Hawaii or Australia - but honestly I just love traveling
14. Favorite brand of clothing
Does shoes count? If so - Prada
15. Where would you retire to?
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday?
Two years ago when I had a princess themed birthday
17. Favorite sport to watch?
18. Furthest place you are sending this?
No idea
19. Person you expect to send it back first?
Well since I am blogging this doesnt really apply
20. When is your birthday?
21. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Morning all the way
22. What is your shoe size?
23. Pets?
One obnoxious little weiner dog - but we love him
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
None really
25. What did you want to be when you were little?
A doctor or a teacher
26. How are you today?
Can't complain - I have family, friends, yarn, a job I love and a good outlook on life
27. What is your favorite candy?
See's Candy
28. What is your favorite flower?
Lilac or Lavender
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
March 17th - I get to go to visit Cape Canaveral
30. What is your favorite pastime?
Besides family, knitting and spinning
31. What are you listening to right now?
My son make siren noises
32. What was the last thing you ate
A grilled cheese sandwiches
33. Do you wish on stars?
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
I hate to limit myself to a single color
35. How is the weather right now?
Cold, we are expecting 4 inches of snow tomorrow
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today?
No one
37. Favorite soft drink?
Dont drink them much but lately on a Root Beer kick
38. Favorite restaurant?
Right now it would be Spanky's the new wings place we just discovered -yumm PB&J wings
39. Real hair color?
Mouse Brown
40. What was your favorite toy as a child?
The avocado green kitchen set my dad made us, and Barbie
41. Summer or winter?
42. Hugs or kisses?
43. Chocolate or Vanilla?
44. Coffee or tea?
Coffee Coffee Coffeee
45. Do you want your friends to email you back?
Sure why not! Also would love to see it on other blogs
46. When was the last time you cried?
Probably not too long ago but dont remember exactly
47. What is under your bed?
books, hot wheels and a container holding my gym clothes
48. What did you do last night?
We went to the movies and saw Hotel For Dogs while having dinner.
49. What are you afraid of?
Not doing my best at work
50. Salty or sweet?
Sweet, then salty
51. How many keys on your key ring?
52. How many years at your current job?
3 years
53. Favorite day of the week?
54. How many towns have you lived in?
San Diego, CA
Lakeside, CA
La Mesa, CA
El Cajon, CA
Brattleboro, Vermont
Marlboro, Vermont
Vermont South, Victoria, Australia
Methuen, MA
55. Do you make friends easily?
No - I am shy at first.
56. How many people will you send this to?
Putting it on the blog
57. How many will respond?
Who cares, it was fun filling it out!

Thanks Pam! This was fun

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Australian Bushfires

As I have mentioned, I learned to knit when I was 15 for a role in a school play. While my acting career thus ended, my knitting took off. What I really haven't talked about is who taught me to knit and where I was at this time in my life.
When I was 15 I had the opportunity to be a high school exchange student. I lived for a year with a wonderful family in Melbourne, Australia. It was an amazing experience that changed my life and influenced how I see the world. I believe it made me a much more tolerant, open minded person with better ability to adapt to situations. Anyways, while living in Australia one of my classes was drama and we performed "A Doll's House" and I played a character that had to knit onstage. My host mother taught me how to knit and I made this truly awful "thing" that barely resembled something knit but worked for the stage. But from there something clicked and my next project was a sweater that turned out perfect. I may not have this enjoyable hobby now if it hadn't been for my time in Australia.
Now I am watching the news and watching the beautiful state of Victoria under bushfire seige. I have communicated with my host sister and found out all are safe in my family but others are not so lucky. Having been through the fires in San Diego in 2003 I can understand the devastation. Its also hard to be so far away and not be able to do much to help. But I know there is one thing I can do and that is donate to the Australian Red Cross Victorian Bushfire fund. This will then help the victims of the fire restart their lives. Just click the link and donate.  Its that simple. I did. Then if you are a fiberholic like me go visit Serendipity's blog and read about the raffle she has going to raise money for the bushfires. You just forward her your receipt from donating and you will be entered in the raffle. The prizes are getting crazy good including lots of Wollmeise and even the not yet released new Yarnissima pattern. I love what Serendipity is doing to bring more awareness to the need for funds to help Australia. Its also heartwarming to watch what happens when crafters come together for a cause. Fiber seems to make for nice people. Even if you are not a fiberholic consider $5 or $10 towards this cause. At the current exchange rate you can donate $10 australian for about the price of a fast food lunch. Isn't that worth it? 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bad Blogger

Yes I have been a bad blogger. Its just been so very busy! My new job (well, same company just a promotion so new responsibilities) is taking up a lot of my time. I have a lot to learn to be up to speed so it has taken more hours in the office than I would like somedays but I know it will settle down once I get my rhythm. I am so glad today is a Friday. Its technically my day off but I have to catch up on a training class that I have to get done. At least I can do it from home. 

I have also been taking advantage of the cold weather to get some knitting done. I come home from work and we stay inside so I can knit. I finished my La Digetessa finally - the color definitely competes with the pattern but I still like them alot. Very bright and fun. So the best part is that as I was finishing my son asked for a pair of socks. So off I went to Ravelry and then the LYS to find a nice toe up boy pattern because after knitting La Digetessa I much prefer the look of a toe up pattern. Did I find one? Of course not. I was shocked. There were very few boy socks and none were toe up. So what does a resourceful mom do? Yep - I made one up. I have one sock done and the pattern is roughly written down. 
I am going to knit the second to test the pattern, then pretty it up and probably put it out on Ravelry. I am thinking I want to give it some size options first. But I see a nice little niche here in the knitting world. And I have a happy little boy - he loves the first sock and wants the mate finished. I should have that done this weekend. Then he wants his hat - I promised him a Fake Isle made with the glow in the dark yarn - so that gets cast on next. 
I have a really cute picture of the young one so I am posting it here - oh and a pic of La Digetessa. Told you they were bright! 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Sunday

So it was an exciting week. 
First of all - did everybody hear it on Tuesday - the collective sigh of relief as we said goodbye to W. and the sound of hope as we watched the historical inauguration of President Obama. It was a good moment. I thought for a long while about what to tell my son about why this was such a historic moment, but finally decided to leave it at we are electing a new president. At this point in time he doesn't know racism. He just sees people - skin color is irrelevant to him. I love that! So I decided not to make it something he is aware of - he will learn soon enough but for now I want to keep him in a world where people are people. I hope that makes sense. At least we are one step closer now. 
Closer to the home front we celebrated the Young Ones fifth birthday with his friends. We had 8 kids ranging from 2-6 running through the house on one of the coldest days. Fortunately we were prepared for it and had a great time. The kids are all from the neighborhood and get along great. It ended up being a lot of fun and very low key. Next weekend we are taking him to Coco Key water park for his last birthday request. The lucky kid gets to celebrate his birthday all month!

Finally, its been very busy and hectic at work as I learn my new job but I am getting there. I had to make a presentation to the customer with a migraine - how I did it I don't know but I did it. Granted I was in the bath throwing up before and after but I made it through the presentation. Thank goodness I got to play the "Im still learning" card. But I have been able to make it home at a fairly reasonable hour every night and get in some knitting. I finished my first Digetessa sock and am started on the second. I also knocked out a hat for Hubby. 

Finally, sign ups started for HSKS7 this week. I decided to bow out gracefully this term. After contemplating things I decided that with my new job I just don't have the bandwidth to give my all to the swap. I also know I have to travel during the term. So to be fair to everyone, including myself, I am taking a term off. Hopefully next time I can join in again. Its a wonderful swap, I highly recommend it, but it takes commitment. I think I am making a good decision but I will miss the fun. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

You have got to be kidding me!

So this is what I woke up to this morning:That says 2.7 - yes there is decimal place in there. OMG!!!!! I am sorry but this Southern California girl just cannot understand temperatures that are below my son's age. We are seriously being warned about going outside on the news and making sure exposed skin is covered, now the news is talking about dead car batteries. How do people live this way? I can't help but think of people who live in the midwest or Canada where this is normal. I mean, I can handle snow and temperatures in the 20s, even the teens, but 2.7???? Nope. I am not leaving the house today if I can help it. Now the news is showing the map and there are - signs all over it. Keene NH is -18. Yes - thats a MINUS sign, as in 18 below zero.  I could drive to Keene - it would take a couple hours but I am within driving distance. Not that I would even consider it - but just thinking about being that close to these kinds of temps? Crazy. So one of the tasks I have to do this weekend is plan out my timelines at work for the next six months - including when I need to go to Honolulu. Yeah - I am thinking now through May sounds good to me. 

So - on the positive note, I am not leaving the house today. Nope. Not doing it. Which means I have to find something to do. Hmmmmm. What can I do when its freezing outside and I am stuck inside all day. Oh wait, I could knit! I can sit down and work on my La Digetessa socks. Have I mentioned I love knitting this pattern with this yarn? I love the challenge of the pattern and how it keeps my mind engaged. I also love watching the color in the yarn and of course, taking the occasional sniff of that lovely Wollmeise smell.

So on a side note, I am watching about the plane that crashed yesterday. Thank goodness everyone is ok. It has been interesting watching the news story with my son though. On our last flights he was fascinated by the safety instructions in the seat pocket. We even ended up with a copy somehow (he put it in his bag). He spent quite a bit of the flight reading the safety instructions. Now, he is 5 (actually he was 4 at the time but turning 5 days after the flight) and had not really been exposed to a plane crash on the news so it wasn't a fear thing. In fact he loves to fly and he thought the turbulence was fun. (Yeah - me - not so much - he is giggling and I am in near tears - but I didn't let him know that) But he was fascinated by the pictures and discussing everything in the safety guide. He knew the exits, he knows that if you sit in an exit row you have to open the door and he asked about the differences between land and water landing. So when we saw the plane crash on tv he was able to discuss it with us about the people getting out using the exit row and we talked about "in the event of a water landing". It was pretty amazing. I mean, I am a bit of a nervous flyer so I always pay attention to the safety briefing by the flight attendants. But my son does it out just out of interest. I love it. I also am so glad his first exposure to a plane crash was one where everyone survived. I remember being very young and having the PSA plane crash in San Diego. It was a huge news story and I think it totally scarred me for life. I still remember laying in bed hearing planes go over head (we lived under the flight path) and being terrified of a plane crashing on our house. Its amazing how little minds work. So thankfully my son heard a story that reinforced the message in the safety briefing - that you can survive a plane crash and you need to follow the safety instructions. Hopefully he will grow up to be a good flyer and never freak out during turbulence. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy New Year - ok - a bit late

Happy 2009
Yes, I know I am a bit late - but it has been a hectic year so far. 
We finally got home from San Diego last week. After spending yet another 14 hours traveling (we had a 4 hour layover in Chicago that turned into 6 but at least we got home) we got to the airport to find that our ride did not have us on the schedule.  Thank goodness for car rentals (which was also $30 cheaper) but that meant having to return the car the next night, which also happened to be a snow storm. So between work and cars and such, it was close to 48 hours before I actually got to relax in my own home. 
Now its the weekend. I spent yesterday playing and today is chores. Works out well because we have 6 inches of fresh snow. Hopefully I can get enough done this morning to go out and play a little later. But at least yesterday I got to further my progress on my La Digetessa sock. As of this morning I am completely through the heel and ready to start up the leg. I figured that was a good stopping point until I get the chores done. I have to say, I just LOVE this pattern. I have discovered I love a pattern that really makes me think. La Digetessa truly deserves attention and respect, but you don't get bored with her. Combined with the pleasure of working with Wollmeise, sigh, I am in knitting heaven. Then, on the side for my "carry with me" mindless knitting I am making a Noro Striped scarf using one skein of Silk Garden and one skein of Kureyon. The colors and the contrast between the silk and wool is just lovely. This is almost done  - then I will post pictures. 
So I have also been working the New Years Resolution front. I am doing good on the Yarn and Book resolutions. In fact, I went to the library yesterday and checked out books to read. I am also resisting yarn purchases and instead working on my current projects. Maybe I can develop a less ADD knitting style. 
I am also trying to work out my health and fitness goals. At least now that I am home I am eating better. Whew. Traveling is so hard to try to eat healthy. For now, our biggest goals is eliminating the chemicals. We are going to spend six weeks completely clean to try to identify what is triggering my son. Then we will introduce some items one at a time. So far our biggest culprit seems to be food dye. But I am curious how we will behave with absolutely no chemicals. I am also seeing this as a good thing for hubby and I. Yesterday I made a cake from scratch. It was fun and tasted yummy. Makes me wonder why we know longer do this as a society. Since I have a good Kitchenaid mixer, it ended up being just as easy as using a mix. I also noticed that one very small piece was highly satisfying. I wonder if by making high quality, chemical free food we will eat less. Something else I will be watching. 
Ok - the laundry is calling me. Time to get to my chores!