Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gemini Twins

As I've mentioned before, I am a Gemini. The Gemini symbol is The Twins. And I really do have a twin aspect to my personality. My twins are not identical twins, however. There is ME, and then there is BIZARRO ME. (Yes, Chrissy, you slipped Seinfeld into my subconscious!!)

Last week was all about ME. ME is over-achieving OCD fanatic at her finest. ME cleans and cleans and cleans, and still finds more that needs to be cleaned. ME does at least one load of laundry every day. ME exercises like a good little girl. And ME actually loves doing all this stuff, and finds great joy in it.

This week, BIZARRO ME has taken over. BIZARRO ME sits in her pajamas until 11 every morning. BIZARRO ME will exercise later . . . and later could be in an hour, in a few hours, tonight while watching TV, or next week. BIZARRO ME has decided since so much cleaning got done last week, the house really doesn't need much cleaning this week (besides a swipe of the kitchen counters and a good vacuuming every couple of days). BIZARRO ME spends hours playing computer Mah Jong. BIZARRO ME can go out and get some Christmas presents bought. (Don't click the link, Sweetpea) Oh but BIZARRO ME sure has a lot of fun, and has decided this week is "vacation week!!

BIZARRO ME is not all bad, because a lot of knitting sure gets done. Look, progress on Pea's secret Christmas present. And look, it's a hat, coming along pretty quickly as well. I'm worried about the wonky edge (which is worse in the picture than in real life), but hoping some blocking will help.

And today Wool-Ease was purchased for slippers for my brother . . . my tall tall brother with the size 12feet (maybe I should have bought three skeins).

Okay, all this talking about myself in the third person (not to mention as if I have a split personality) has sufficiently freaked me out. I'm going to knit some more. I should walk on the treadmill, but I'll do it "later".

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It's about time

Okay, I've been terribly lax in my blogging lately. Here are a couple of things I've been meaning to get to for quite some time.

First up, Christine tagged me with a meme weeks ago. So here are my answers to: Why do knitters have blogs and read blogs?

I guess I have a blog for a few reasons. I've always liked to write and always considered myself much better at writing than I am at speaking. When I first began reading knitting blogs, I thought to myself "I could do this", and my blog was born. Having a blog is a great outlet (for knitting and for non-knitting). I've always loved working on the computer as well. I love learning HTML basics, setting up my blog, making my banner and button, and dreaming of the other cool stuff I may someday learn to add to my blog. But I could have any kind of blog and satisfy my writing and computer itch. I have a knitting blog for a few reasons too. I don't know any "real life" knitters, so my blog is a place I can show my stuff to people who understand knitting. I can share my mistakes and achievements. I can get feedback from people who know knitting - as opposed to my feedback from Sweetpea who is biased and thinks everything I knit is the most wonderful thing in the world.

So why do I read blogs? The first reason is because there are so many wonderful blogs out there to read!! The people who write my favorite blogs feel like personal friends to me. Also, blogs are a great place to pick up tips and techniques I might never have discovered out here on my own. I may be "(mostly) self-taught", but the rest I have learned in cyber-space! I love to see what everyone else is working on, and I get so much inspiration from the knitting of others. I can't imagine not knitting, blogging, or reading blogs. It's like my life had been lacking a passion, and now I've found one again.

Okay, part two. Does everyone remember Lolly's collector post from the beginning of November? Is it too late for me to post pictures of my collection? I hope not, because here they are!!

My all time favorite movie and book is Gone With The Wind. So I seem to have amassed some GWTW "stuff" over the years. I have figurines.

I have plantations.

I have pictures.

And I have the plates.

This isn't even half of the plates. There are more "in storage" - ie, with the stuff still at my parent's house that I haven't "had time" to get in the 6 1/2 years since I moved out!!

I also have a collector's edition book, the movie on tape and DVD, the soundtrack, picture books, music boxes, a GWTW cook-book, Barbie-size dolls of Rhett, Scarlett and Mammmy, gosh, the list goes on. (I couldn't imagine trying to upload all those pictures, so you'll have to take my word for it.) There is a fine line between "collection" and "obsession"!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Hot new contest!!!

Hey there, Keohinani has started a great contest. You have until 11/30 go join by admitting "you know you knit too much when . . . ". The prize has not yet been announced, but if you've ever seen this girls stash you'll know she has great taste, so I'm sure it will be something fabulous!!!!! What are you waiting for, check it out here!!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

What makes a great day?

I've got a few ideas. Take one FO, one trip to a huge yarn store, one trip to the bookstore and one wonderful husband to share them with.

I finished my first hat today, and it came out pretty well.

baby hat on a bear
It's the Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch 'n Bitch (modeled on a small stuffed bear, since no babies were handy!) This is a great first hat project, because it was very easy and very quick. I used Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino - so soft and snuggly and also machine washable. I don't really like the umbilical cord look, so I double tied the "cord" to give it more of a knot look. Valuable lessons I learned were 1)Do Not Overcompensate: I was a loose knitter, as I suppose every new knitter is. My knitting must be tightening up with experience, but I am also trying to knit tighter - thus overcompensating and knitting so tight that I sometimes can't move the stitches around the needle. Not good. 2)The right way to tink: A valuable lesson learned when I had to re-do a row because I had overcompensated and knit way too tight. 3)How to pick up a dropped stitch: An extremely valuable technique learned when one stitch slid off a DPN needle and I didn't notice it until it had dropped four rows down. Learning this saved me from Frogging Practice!!

Color Me handpainted yarn in MistyThis afternoon, Pea took me to this great knitting store!!! I had never been there before, but I plan to go back a lot. I can't show much of what I bought, because most of it was gifts. (Tee hee) I did treat myself to a set of Denise interchangeable Needles, which many people raved about in their memes and seemed easier (and cheaper) than running to the store every time a pattern calls for a circular needle I don't have. I do love my Addis, but now I can build up my collection of them at a more affordable (on one salary) pace!! Oh, and I bought this yarn too! So pretty.

Somehow, I was still able to talk Pea into stopping at the big Barnes and Noble too! (Lady Luck was smiling on me!! It also didn't hurt that I promised to buy him a hot chocolate.) I got some more gift shopping done and had a yummy coffee and biscotti. What more could a girl ask for?? It was the best day!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Why does OCD have such a negative connotation??

The Count
The Count's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

It started with a simple affection for counting and the terror it induced in others, didn't it? But now it's turned into a full-blown life-consuming chaotic nightmare of order, repetition, zealousness, and perfectionism. You used to be so grand, but now you find yourself obsessively worrying over the littlest things--like, maybe if you don't check the light switch at least once every two minutes, the electricity will go out (and damn it, you're a vampire--that shouldn't be a problem!), or maybe if you don't wash your hands until your seams are coming out, you'll get some fatal disease. Get yourself some treatment.
Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?
Yeah, so, I like things neat and organized. I re-arrange the silverware in the dishwasher because Sweetpea doesn't put it in correctly. I love the phrase "A place for everything and everything in it's place". I've mopped the kitchen floor three times in the last three days. (At least I used a mop - my mom does her floor every night on her hands and knees with a wet rag! I "come by it honest" - as Jen would say.) I have been known to scrub the bathroom floor by hand.

I don't see that there's anything wrong with that. Have a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope nobody spills gravy on your tablecloth!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lots of knitting, but not one FO??

How can that be, you ask? Well, it's quite simple really. I CAN'T SEEM TO KEEP MYSELF FROM STARTING NEW PROJECTS!!!!

My WIP basket contains the following (many of which you will remember and won't believe I haven't finished).

  • The first Sockling
  • Airy Scarf
  • Tie One On wrap (for when it's drafty at work . . . and I ended up quitting before I finished it)
  • Hair Ball (the mohair pillowcase gone horribly wrong)
  • Swatch-In-Progress for Picovoli
So, I've got plenty to work on. But no, I needed more. The lure of new yarn and new needles and fun patterns is more than I can resist. After all, I don't have a pesky job thing getting in the way anymore, right? So over the weekend I cast on for (DON'T CLICK THIS LINK, SWEETPEA) this. It's a secret Christmas preset for Sweetpea and it's 1/3 done already. The yarn is the softest I've ever felt, and I'm going to need to buy more and knit something snuggly for myself!! That's about all I can say here, just in case he's reading.

Yesterday some circular needles I ordered arrived. And you know, I joined the Cover Your Head Knit-Along and have watched all the great hats flying off the needles. How could I help but start this:

I know my best friend is having a girl :)Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch 'n Bitch. I had to, really. I can't let the KAL down. I can't be dead weight. I have to get a hat done. And anyway, my best friend is five months pregnant. Her little lobster needs a hat. It chilly in New Hampshire in March.

I'm trying really hard to resist the temptation to start Sweetpea's hat too. I have a feeling I will cave really soon. His little head is cold. And a cool pattern is being posted here. And it would be another one for the Hat-A-Long. Really, it would be terrible not to start it. Right?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

One door closes when another is meant to open.

The title of this post is actually my favorite quote from the card my co-workers gave me at my good-bye lunch. My friend Kathy wrote it, and it's such a great sentiment.

Thanks so much to all of you who left supportive comments and wondered how and what I'm doing. So far, not having a job has been wonderful. But before I get into that, I did want to try to talk a little about my last few days. I'm not sure I can put it all into words or make anyone understand, but I'll do the best I can.

I started my job over 15 years ago. I was fresh out of college, had a boyfriend in Massachusetts, lived with my parents, and had just bought my first car (a used Hyundai). While I was there, many boyfriends came and went, and I met and married Sweetpea. The Hyundai turned out to be a hunk of junk, and one of the Sales Reps at work helped me get a great price on the Honda Civic I drive now. I bought my own house and had my co-workers over for a party. I lost both my grandmothers. I went from being Ad Traffic Co-ordinator, to Ad Traffic Co-ordinator 1, to Ad Traffic Supervisor. I went from a 22 year old girl to a 37 year old . . . girl!! All kidding aside, those walls have seen a lot of changes in me over the years, and the people in my department felt weirdly like family. A few of them are friends I know I will have for life.

When I told people within my department I was leaving, the first thing most people said was "What are we going to do without you? Who will do the work??". When I told people in other departments, they usually said "NO, you can't go. You are the one person we know we can come to and you will take care of things right away. Who can we call now?". But overall, everyone was very supportive, and wanted me to do what was right for my health. My boss's boss told me he wants my health to come first, so he wouldn't try to convince me to stay, but there would always be a place for me if I wanted to come back. Another Vice President told me if I ever needed recommendations, I should put him at the top of my list. pretty flowersThe news director in Yonkers sent me these lovely flowers, and the guys upstairs (who I don't even work with anymore since procedures changed years ago) chipped in for a thoughtful card and a restaurant gift certificate. Numerous department heads offered me jobs in their departments. It is an unbelievable feeling to know your hard work was noticed and was something you can feel proud of. It did make it sadder and harder to leave, but I've also never doubted my decision was right. I was so unhappy there, and I've tried to changed things, and waited for others to change things, but I finally realized nothing was going to change. I had given up trying to make things better, and that's no way for a supervisor to feel. The people who reported to me deserved someone who had some fight left in them.

Thursday night, there was a party in New York to celebrate the anniversary of our news channel (I worked for a cable television company, btw). I went, and all of the people I deal with in our NYC office and our Elmsford NY office were there. It was such a great coincidence, and it gave me the chance to say good-bye to them all in person. It was a lot of fun, but when it came time to say good-bye, I couldn't keep the tears back. I will keep in touch, but I know it will never be the same. But I promised to take the train to the city some time soon and meet them for lunch. I swore to them I will keep that promise . . . . because after all, I can't have their last memory be of me sporting my Alice Cooper look!! (Why didn't I realize I would cry and wear waterproof mascara???)

Friday was so surreal. Some people seemed surprised that I actually put in a full day of work - but hey, the work needed to get done, and it was still my responsibility to do it!! Other people didn't hesitate to come to me with problems, which kind of ticked me off. I didn't mind doing my full day of work, but I did think they would go easy on me and bring the problems to other people. My "surprise" lunch (which one of the more clueless sales reps told me about earlier in the week) was wonderful. My boss ordered in some awesome food and we ate and talked. Everyone in our office signed one card, and everyone in the Elmsford office signed another. They even took up a collection, and I now have $300 in "yarn money"!!! When "The Bossman" (the big boss) got up to speak, I was crying before he even said his first word. He spoke about the day I came in to interview, and all I've done throughout the years. He had us all crying (and if there's one thing he hates, it's a room full of crying women!!) He's like my second dad, and I have nothing but respect for him and know I will never have a better boss then he was. It was tough to say good-bye.

By 5:30, I had finally finished my work, and I began to pack up my desk. I sat alone and cried when I realized it was no longer my desk and no longer my computer. When Sweetpea came to pick me up, it was time to say good-bye to my close friend Tica, which was so hard. And then I had to say good-bye to my boss Olga. I am the first person she ever hired. She's a weird mix of sister, mom, friend and boss to me. We got so hysterical you'd think one of us was dying. It was crazy, and it was probably a good thing we were the last people left in the office.

And that was it. I walked out the door with two boxes of stuff from my desk (most of which was mine, but some that wasn't - hell, after 15 1/4 years I was taking every last Post-It note and staple in my desk!!!). I am no longer a Cablevison Employee. No more free cable television and free cable internet. No more reporting for work, seeing them all every day. No Holiday Deadlines, no billing week, no "my clients commercial is running wrong". Friday night, it was a very sad feeling.

Sweetpea made a surprise dinner reservation to celebrate. He picked the most perfect place ever. Instead of going to a fancy (stuffy) restaurant, he make a reservation at a Hibachi table at a great Japanese restaurant. It was just the fun and festive atmosphere I needed, and I've always love their food, so it was perfect!! And then I came home to find that wonderful Secret Pal gift, and I felt so good. All the sadness of leaving slipped away over the weekend. I still feel sentimental when I think about it, but I am so happy with my decision.

Is this post too long already? Well, if you're still here, I'm going to keep you a minute more to tell you about my "new life". I feel so happy and content. I love having the time to take care of my house and my husband. A typical work day for us meant leaving the house by 8 am and getting home somewhere around 7 pm - if we didn't have a dance lesson, if we did it was more like 9. Cooking became a chore, cleaning didn't get done, and laundry baskets overflowed. Yesterday, I got to sleep until 7. I actually exercised - and I have the sore muscles this morning to prove it!!! I did laundry. I scrubbed the kitchen spotless. I bought groceries. I cooked a huge dinner that was ready when Sweetpea got home - a "country dinner" of Chicken & Gravy (a recipe I kind of made up by looking at a few chicken recipes and winging it . . . no pun intended) with biscuits made from scratch and collard greens. Oh boy, I love to cook . . . I think I had forgotten how much!!! My obsessive compulsive tendencies have kicked in, and I re-washed the kitchen floor after cooking!!! And my blood sugar levels? Perfect all day!! Sound boring? To me, it's the best life!!! I know I still have a lot of adjusting to do - right now it kind of feels like I'm just on vacation. I'm sure some days will feel lonely. And eventually I will probably get bored. When that day comes, I can take a look around and figure out what I want to do next. For now, I'm off to wash some clothes, clean upstairs, and knit on a secret Christmas present for Sweetpea!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Best Secret Pal Ever!!!!

Yesterday was my last day of work. I don't quite feel up to blogging about that yet. It was very emotional and very sad (even though I don't doubt I made the right decision), and I just don't have the strength to recount it all today. Maybe tomorrow because after all, . . . tomorrow is another day. (Pop quiz, that's the last line of what book / movie??)

Not wanting to blog about work is just fine, because I have a much more important thing to blog about today. MY SUPER AWESOME SP6 AND THE GIFT SHE SENT ME YESTERDAY!!!

Secret Pal Goodness!!I don't mean to make anyone jealous, but my secret pal is the best secret pal ever. Everything was packed so carefully and wrapped so prettily. Of course, it was REALLY WRAPPED - so much tape was used I could barely open the packages. LOL All the effort was more than worth it though, when you see what was inside. She really did her research and memorized my blog! I am so spoiled!!!!!

click for close-upLantern Moon Needles - I can't believe it! I had always thought I would never knit with anything other than bamboo - until I bought a pair of these in New Orleans. I posted on a meme that they were my favorite needles, and SP sent me another pair!! They are so awesome. I am going to switch Airy Scarf (which is knitted on 10s) onto them and be inspired to actually finish it. KnitPicks Gossamer yarn - I almost cried when I saw the color is "Sweetpea"!!! And the icing on the cake is that the colors are so beautiful!!! And speaking of icing . . . Pink Buttercream Frosting hand cream!! It is so yummy - I have it on right now and I am loving the smell. (The bottle even warns you that it is not edible - lest you forget)

click for close-upMore Yankee Candles . . . in baking scents . . . my favorite. Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mom's Apple Pie. I can't wait to light these up. I love love love the Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint - so pretty, so soft, this is going to become something extra special!!! And the candy - she sent me candy I can actually eat - it made me feel so special!!!! Sugar Free Creme Savers in the best flavor ever - Chocolate & Caramel Creme. I'm eating one right now.

click for close-upBut wait, there's more. Look at the Acts of Kindness notepad!!!! I love it, am already using it, and really appreciated the sentiment on the cover. I will enjoy the right here and the right now - I feel like I'm getting a fresh start and who knows what will happen from here. The pad seems so fitting - I can use it to jot brainstorms, plans, ideas and dreams. And last, but not least, the butterfly pin with beaded antennae. It's so pretty. They put butterflies on my going away cake too, so it was like my whole life tied in together. Sweetpea said butterflies are a symbol of change - so it couldn't be more perfect for my life now. It was the best package ever and came at the exact perfect time. I could never thank you enough, Secret Pal!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Playing the gauge game

Okay, time to ask for some help / opinions / words of wisdom. About gauge. I hate trying to get gauge, and to tell the truth, I don't even bother for things like scarves and dishclothes and stuffed animals. I mean, what's the point?

But I'm ready to start Hourglass (okay, I do have a million other things to work on, but I really really want to start Hourglass). I've always been a loose knitter, so I usually go down a size from the suggested needles and my gauge comes out fine. Not so with Hourglass. I need 19 stitches in 4 inches. I knit up a swatch with my size 6, and 19 stitches only comes to 3 1/4 inches. Okay, I tried again on the recommended size 7 needles. Argh, still only 3 1/2 inches. Maybe I'm becoming a better knitter and therefore don't knit so loose anymore. (Hey, a girl can dream!)

So now what. I'll try on size 8 or 9 needles. But then again, the size small sweater is too small and the size medium is too big, so I need to knit between sizes anyway. So how the heck do I figure out what I need my gauge to be???

I am throwing myself at your mercy and asking for any words of wisdom you might have. Help me, please!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Where would I be without you??

I've decided today is "Blog Pal Appreciation" day at the (mostly) Self-Taught Knitters blog. I've been meaning to thank you guys for all the support and praise you give me (and my knitting) every time you comment.

When I blogged last week about putting in my two weeks notice at work, I was bowled over by how many supportive comments I got!! I think it was a record high. Your support means so much to me. And yesterday, when I proclaimed myself a "knit loser" for frogging up those socks, you all assured me everyone has trouble with their first pair. Whether you are just being nice or not, it really meant a lot to me. Thanks also to everyone who patted me on the back for my provisional cast-on. It was my first attempt, and a success, so I was quite proud too.

My blog pals have become my extended family. I look forward to seeing your blog light up on Bloglines. I want to see what Chrissy is designing next. I wonder what Bossy and Stinky are up to, and what great stories Chris will have for us today. I wonder what Keohinani's yarn is telling her today and what crazy knitting feat she is attempting. I want to know how many times knitting spaz has frogged her latest project to make it come out perfect. I can't wait to see what Bella and Ben are up to and how Christine's arm is doing. All day today I wondered how Cathy's daughter Em was doing and what she decided about class. And I can't wait for each weeks question over at Beak Knits. I want to see what Talitha has knitted up next. I found that Rayleen shares my love for Lost, so I look forward to many e-mail and comments on Thursday to discuss what happened!! I thank Laura and Lolly for the great K-A-L's that inspired me to try my hand at socks and hats.

And everyone else who's blogs I read every day. You've amused me, you've enlightened me, and you've made me feel a part of something. Here's to bloggers everywhere.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Earth Wind Fire and Ice

Last night, my Mom and I had on-ice seats for this!!! (Read more here.) Wow, it was so much fun!! Earth, Wind and Fire rocked!!! The audience was on their feet, and the skaters looked like they were having so much fun. Nicole Bobek wasn't there (that happens a lot with skating shows due to injuries and such), but instead Naomi Lang and Peter Tchernyshev were there!!!! If you follow skating, you know they had dissolved their partnership and it didn't seem to end on good terms, so we were so happy and shocked to see them skating together and having so much fun. (And let me tell you, Peter is one hot guy!!)

The show was great. My mom clapped so hard at the end that her ring FLEW OFF HER FINGER and landed on the ice. The skaters were coming back to do the re-takes (which is where they re-do any jumps they fell on, so it can be edited in for a perfect performance on TV), and we were scared someone would skate over it and fall. So, I told the usher, and when Brian Orser came out, they told him to remove it from the ice. So up pops my mom, and not only did Brian give her the ring back safely, but she got a big hug from him too. She was thrilled!! Anyway, it will be broadcast on NBC on December 17th, so tune in! Maybe you'll see me in the audience.

In knitting news, I successfully turned the heel on my sock!! It was so cool. Want to see a picture?? Yeah, so do I. The little heel is no more. I got all messed up working the gusset. I had my stitches split among the needles any old way, and got so confused as to where I was supposed to be working the decreases. It was so frogged up, I had to rip it back to the heel flap and I'll try again. I found a great on-line tutorial that I'll use on my second try. I almost got so frustrated that I frogged the whole froggin' sock, but I stopped myself in time.

To try and keep from feeling like a total knit-loser, I finished up my second Fingerless Mitt. Thank goodness, it was a success!!

Fingerless Mitts
Pattern: from Weekend Knitting
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Cranberry

These were a really easy knit and knit up very quickly. On the first mitt, I followed the pattern as written. They are knit flat, and you pick up stitches from one side to do a Three-Needle Bind Off for the seam. I ended up with a very wide, ugly looking seam. When I knit the second mitt, I used a Provisional Cast-On, so I had live stitches when BO time came. This worked perfectly, the seam on the second mitt is completely invisible.

I think even in the picture you can see how ugly the seam on the right is. The left one is invisible. Next time I'll also make the thumb hole one stitch bigger. It fits, but I think it would be more comfortable if it was a bit looser. These would make great last minute Christmas gifts, because they are a fast fast knit. Very satisfying if your craving a FO!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

20 things - better late than never

Chris tagged me with this. It feels like she tagged me months ago and I'm sure she thinks I'm ignoring her. (Sorry Chris, I'm really not and I am actually excited to do it!! I just needed to wait until I could get my thoughts together.) I'm not sure I've actually gotten my head on straight yet, but hey, that may NEVER happen, so now is as good a time as any to sit down and do this!!!! Here goes, try not to be too bored.

  1. I don't like ketchup, mustard or relish. I will eat mayo only if used sparingly and only if it's Hellmann's.

  2. I went to Bentley College. It is a Business School and the students were pretty conservative (think Alex P. Keeton). I started as an economic-finance major and wanted to be the VP of a bank. I decided fairly quickly that wasn't for me and changed my major to Marketing. The majority of the other students said "Oh, Marketing. You won't make as much money.". Happiness was not really a factor to them. And we Marketing majors were considered the "artsy" students!! I also wrote for the college newspaper and was a d-j for the college radio station, so I was considered extra artsy. It was the only time in my life I've been considered the artsy rebel!!

  3. I am very stubborn. I also tend to be spoiled, which will not help break me of my stubbornness!!

  4. One of my many high school crushes was on Dave. He seemed to be the perfect guy. We had great fun shopping together and liked so many of the same things. Too many, as it turns out. When news of my crush was leaked to him, I became one of the first in our group of friends he came out to. It was for the best, really. To this day, we are very close friends. He was in our wedding. Had we dated all those years ago, we probably wouldn't still be friends.

  5. I don't tend to keep ex-boyfriends as friends. Not intentionally, it just works out that way. I am friends with a couple guys I only casually dated. As much as Pete likes them, there is always a little jealous part of him that says he hates them.

  6. I bought my own house, all by myself, when I was 31. It was probably the bravest thing I've ever done. I loved living there alone.

  7. Two years ago my house was robbed. They came in through a LOCKED window (popped it with a screw driver). They stole my wallet (and credit cards), camera, small binoculars and some jewelry. It was the worst feeling ever. None of the jewelry had monetary value, but one of the things they took was my Grandmother's ring. It had birthstones representing each of her grandchildren, and it was the only piece of her jewelry I had. That was the last time I have ever slept alone in my house. Pete and I were engaged, but he wasn't going to move in until after the wedding. All the sudden, that seemed like a really stupid idea.

  8. My mom and I are huge figure skating fans. We go to any show in the area, and usually sit in the front row. To us, fifth row seats are like the nose-bleed section. We also think of the skaters as our friends (yeah, we're warped). We were at the Sergei Grinkov tribute. I have met and gotten autographs from Steven Cousins, Craig Heath, Alexei Urmanov, Vyasheslav Zagorodniuk, Rory Burghart, Lu Chen, Josee Chionard, Lucinda Ruh, Brian Boitano, Denis Petrov, Paul Binnebose, Vladimir Petrenko, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Scott Davis, Silvia Fontana and Tatiana Tarasova. I have hugged Viktor Petrenko, and Kurt Browning touched my hip (he was crouched down waiting to go on the ice, and he was holding my chair for balance.)

  9. My father is a twin. My mother's sister also had twins.

  10. When I was in college, I was putting on my Keds for gym and one of the laces broke. I was already late, so I pulled both laces out and wore them like that. To this day, I don't wear laces in my Keds. I have a convoluted story I tell people about the laces being taken away from me when I was in the psyche ward. I got it from my grandmother, she had a friend who was in the psyche ward and had her laces taken away for safety reasons, and she always told me my sneakers reminded her of that!!

  11. People tell me I am just like Monica on Friends. It is actually pretty true. I like things neat and clean and just so, and always use a coaster. Sweetpea also tells me I am like Monk, but I'm not that bad.

  12. Sweetpea and I got married on the five year anniversary of our first date. I have a friend who bugged me for years to go to a singles group with her. I refused, because I didn't believe there would be any "good" guys there. She convinced one of our other friends to go with her. They called me one night and told me the singles group was having an event at a near-by restaurant. I only went because I really liked the nachos they had there. I met Sweetpea that night.

  13. That same friend is still single. I feel bad about that.

  14. I'm six years older than Sweetpea. We almost didn't get together because I though he would think I was too old - and he thought I would think he was too young.

  15. My best friend and I have been best friends for 26 years. I also have a group of "Stop & Shop" friends, we have been friends for 20 years (we all worked together at Stop & Shop in high school). Dave is one of the Stop & Shop friends.

  16. I have been called "the walking contradiction". I tend to contradict myself all the time. I blame it on the fact that I am a Gemini.

  17. I call my husband Sweetpea in real life - not just on my blog. I only call him Pete when I'm mad at him. . . . and Peter James when he's in trouble.

  18. I think I might like to go into web- design. I would need to take a lot of classes. Deep down inside I'm afraid I'm too old to go back to school.

  19. I am terrible at phone calls. My friends (well, really just Dave) always nag me for not calling. I've always considered myself much better at writing than at talking. However, I am the worst speller.

  20. And, as if you couldn't tell, I am very long winded. No short and to the point for me!!

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Gambler

My parents are country music fans. Every family trip we took in the car meant hours of forced listening to guitar twangs and drunken binges, bar brawls and cheatin' women. We weren't old enough to revolt. We just sang along.

I am not a country music fan. I'm a classic rock girl. But as you can tell from my high score on the '80s quiz I have a freakish (and mostly useless) retention for song lyrics. Every so often, a country song will be piped into a store we're in, or pop up while scanning through radio stations, and much to my horror, I will sing every word. I know lyrics to songs I didn't even remember hearing before. It's crazy.

Today's guest song lyrics come from Kenny Rogers. As Kenny says:

You got to know when to hold 'em,
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.

I guess I've known for quite a while that the time had come to walk away. Today it was time to fold 'em, and time to run. Today I gave my two weeks notice and quit my job. I started there in August of 1990, just months after college graduation. It was a nice place to work, filled with fun people who were like a happy little family. We worked as a team and got everything done.

I don't know how it morphed so far from that. All I know is that it happened very gradually over the years. I just got used to being so miserable there and for a long time it didn't occur to me that it just wasn't right. Working through lunch every day isn't right. Coming home crying several nights a week just isn't right. That sense of dread and depression every Sunday afternoon because another week of work is about to start just isn't right. The job makes me into someone I don't like. I scream at Sweetpea for no good reason, just because my last nerve was shot at work. I don't want to leave the house on the weekend, even to do something fun, because I'm spent from the week. Also, I'm diabetic, and all the stress just isn't good for my health. It makes my blood sugar skyrocket.

The part I dreaded the most was telling my boss. We've been through so much together, and I hate to desert her. I don't mean to sound conceited, but the truth is I do more work in the department than anyone else, so I know it will be hard when I'm gone. I think I do a lot of stuff no one even realizes I do. But my boss was so supportive and understanding, and is ultimately happy for me. The support I got from everyone really touched me. I knew I would feel relief, and I sure do. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted from me. But I didn't realize how sad and sentimental I would feel about everything.

When all is said and done, no matter how hard and sad it is, I know it's time to move on. I have no plans for what's next, and I'm not even going to start thinking about it until after the New Year. I need to just recover and relax. Then I'll look around and see what's next.

It's a gamble that I know will pay off in the long run. Deep down I know great things will come . . . and that you will never win big if you don't take the gamble in the first place.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

So slow

I did get some knitting done last night and today. I knit quite a bit, but since I still knit pretty slowly, I don't have a lot of progress to show. It still takes all my concentration - no knitting while reading for me. I can kind of watch TV, but I mostly end up tuning it out and turning all my attention to the knitting.

I did make a little progress though. I knit the first of my two Fingerless Mitts, from Weekend knitting.

I used Wool of the Andes from my stash. It's an easy knit, and even fits well around my freakishly skinny wrists. (Trust me, they are. I never could wear bangle bracelets!!) The side seam is a little weird. I don't know if I did the three-needle bind off incorrectly, or if that's just the way it comes out. Anyone have any ideas?

I also made it to the heel flap on Sockling.

I'm only about five rows in, but I'm really thrilled with the way this is coming out. I do have the two little hole-ish things near the top, but they won't be noticeable when I wear it. Since it's my first sock, and my first time knitting with DPN, I'm pretty excited about this sock!!

That's about it for tonight. I've got a tough day ahead of me tomorrow, which I'll tell you all when it's done. It's time for a good nights sleep.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I've got to stop buying more yarn!

I really know I've been going overboard lately. My stash is growing by leaps and bounds. My FO's are few and far between. I'd love to blame other knit-bloggers as enablers (you know who you are) . . . but I know I only have myself to blame. The solution will be two fold. Decrease the yarn buying and increase the knitting time. I have both of those covered. Trust me, I do. One fell swoop will take care of them both. And if you haven't guessed my plan, it will all be revealed on Monday!! (Don't you hate blog teases?)

To get your mind of my little games, I'll dazzle you with some new loot!!! First, my latest Knit Picks spoils.

click for close-upThe green you see on the right (and in the back) is Andrean Silk in Lettuce, and I chose it for Hourglass. I plan to join the knit-a-long very soon. The color is not quite as bright as I thought it would be, but I like it anyway. I had a hard time choosing, there were so many wonderful colors. I'm hoping I'll like the pattern and want to knit one or two more.

The yarn on the left is Simple Stripes in Storm. I never thought I would like self-striping yarn, but I seem to be changing my tune. I think knitting is helping me appreciate different colors and textures, where as before I used to mostly wear solid colors in neutrals. If I ever finish Socklings, there will be some striped socks on my future.

Behind all the yarn is a hat pattern. My friend Dave has been bugging me to knit him a hat like Ralphie's brother Randy wore in A Christmas Story. I can't find a picture of the hat to link, but from what Dave remembers it was similar to the long hat on the left, but striped and without the pom-pom. I'm not sure if he's kidding or not, but I'd love to knit one and make him wear it!!

As if this wasn't enough, I also placed an order with The

click for close-upIt really couldn't be helped. I needed some circular needles for Hourglass, and also for my future sock knitting. And if I'm going to buy circular needles, I might as well go for the best, right? The had a great selection of Addis and free shipping. Since I didn't have to pay for shipping, I decided I could buy a hank of the Lorna's Laces yarn everyone raves about. This is Shepherd Sock in Aslan color-way. I love the muted neutral tones and can't wait to see how it knits.

So that's it. I guess I'm officially on a yarn diet now. It's time to start knitting with all this great yarn I've been buying. I did start my Fingerless Mitts last night. The first one is almost done, it just needs the three-needle bind off. Since I've never tried that technique before, I'll probably wait until the morning when I'm fresh and up to the challenge. I'm almost ready for the heel-flap on Sockling too, so hopefully I'll have lots of progress to show you tomorrow!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I want to knit

And I want to blog. I've been way too busy to do either, and that makes me very sad.

That doesn't seem to have stopped me from ordering stuff though!!! And that makes me very happy. Tomorrow I will post pictures of my haul. Green yarn to knit Hourglass. A self-striping sock yarn. A Lornas Laces sock yarn, just because I've read such wonderful things on other blogs about it. And a bunch of Addi needles . . . two are on back-order, but three arrived.

Yeah, Pea is going to freeze my credit card for sure.

Aside from finishing my first Sockling and knitting the other one, I want to finish Tie One On. I'm dying to start Hourglass. And I find myself really wanting to knit Fingerless Gloves, and Laura just posted a great pair I'd like to knit this weekend. And then I want to make a matching scarf.

Not to worry, I predict a lot of knitting time in my future. Sunday is going to be a do-over of last week, when I was going to knit all day (until the violent evil stomach flu hit me!!!) But for now, it's back to work.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Frog is a four letter word.

Frog . . . I’ve decided it’s my favorite new swear word. Think about it, it really should be considered a swear, when you reflect on how much agony it brings.

Uses include “There’s a froggin’ tangle in my yarn.” , “How the frog could I have misread the pattern?” and “Frog that Blogger, it ate my post again.”. My personal favorites are “Frog off” and “Go frog yourself” (usually muttered under my breath at co-workers).

Didn’t I warn you in the past that I was warped?