Friday, March 28, 2014

March Giveaway

Okay, I know March is just about over, but it's still ... March.

I have gathered up a bag of various green yarn for someone. I'm sorry, I'm a cliche, but March makes me think things should be "magically delicious" and I feel a need to have Baileys and Coffee with whipped cream for dessert, I might possibly pinch the Manfriend a little more in the kitchen. It's March, why the heck not!  Also, my nephew told me he thinks green is the genius color. Not the lucky color, not the color of money, but the genius color.

Meandering on, I've got 2 balls of Traditions which is a nice ombre-ish wool/acrylic blend. I've made cowls, mittens and a Kindle cozy with this stuff. Here's one of my previously posted examples:

Also included is a ball of Caron Simply Soft Shadows. Another fun color yarn. Keeping with the green theme is a ball of Cadiz that I got for some project that never came to fruition,  I cannot even remember the project. This is a blend of viscose, acrylic and cotton.

If you are interested and feeling lucky or like a genius, {whatever} leave a ravelry handle or method of contacting you in the comments by Friday 4/4/14 and maybe I'll send you some March Happy, even if it arrives in April :) ... 'cause I'm happy ... clap your hands ...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Quick Catch-up

I've been crap for posting lately. I have been doing stuff. I think I had bad case of the crankies too, and really just didn't want to subject anyone else to it, other than who are legally bound to me, if you know what I mean.

However I think I've turned a corner. I'm finding some inner sunshine and I'm going to focus on it. There are so many  things to be pleased with.

After too long a period of time I got to visit with my sister and her family, which meant we got to see this little man at Little League. What a ham! Look at the "Blue Steel!"

I got a chance to bake a little, not bread. For some reason, I am only capable of talking about bread and clipping bread recipes. Who knows, perhaps this will resolve itself during Spring Break ...

I worked some more on socks.

I cast off my Great Divide. I sort of ran out of the color yarn I was casting off with and couldn't bring myself to back it out too much further, so I um, improvised. I did the double-knot Jane Richmond join (yes Evelyn, it's awesome!!) and cast off in the contrast color. I could not even bother doing it symmetrically.  That's okay. It's done. I don't know what to do with it. I was thinking maybe I'd give it to the local APS for their elderly clothes/warm things donation box. I just worry about handing off wool. It's good stuff, Madelinetosh, but it's not always the easiest to care for ... well you know what I mean.

I will tell you a secret. I have more than a few knitted homeless things. Do you? What do you do with them?

I will post a bit more later this week. I have a new project I cast on. Crazypants something new! But not so distracting that the socks become orphans.

Also it's almost the end of March and there hasn't been a giveaway. I have an idea or two, so stay tuned for a post ... before the end of the month on something to win. Really! I promise!

Spring Break is around the corner for my household, my daydreams of knitathons are already out of control. Regardless I will make sure I have at least one pair of In Progress socks finished AND some baby knits off to a roaring start. Those co-worker babies are coming the end of May! not that the knits will necessarily be done on time, really don't you know who I am?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I am very tempted to put a big old Ellen the Melon face picture of myself up here for WIP Wednesday, simply because I'm such an exhaustive work in progress.

Really, it's amazing the family tolerate me so. I almost did a 10 on Tuesday Carole Knits post, but as I continued to write up basically all the chores and things my husband currently does, I felt pretty embarrassed and wondered what I do besides bark orders at The Kid and clap like a human metronome for flute practice...

Yeah, I decided to abandon that post.

I mentioned to Kepanie that I'm also all disheveled (as the assistant at work so young and fresh reminded me) from a combination of Daylight Savings, poor sleep and allergies. (The young assistant kindly and sincerely suggested frequent face washing -- it helps.)

The good thing is that the work stuff ...  I'm hopping through it, like fluffy kittens and bunnies in the sunshine. So you focus that spotlight right?

I have been keeping up with my exercise to prepare for my walk/run 12k this Sunday. It's just cardio so I have some stamina, but this is called exercise in the evening. It makes me tired. 12K will take me approximately an hour and thirty minutes to get through it to be honest ... if I'm doing well. I never said I was swift. Which reminds me have you seen Katiebee's swift? Coolest ever, right?

In the hour or two between the sMothering and exercising and neglecting of domestic duties I am trying to keep up with my volunteering for the school, book leveling project. We are getting so close to finishing the classrooms, I can taste it!

Alas, I am not really finding much time to knit or read. Yet Sunday evening when I was watching the True Detective finale, I worked on a sock.  A new sock, in winter colors. Why? because it's some fun Zauberball and I knit summer and fall socks, but no winter ones. (Mr. Dress Up doesn't count, he's special!) Also I saw how nicely Wee Pleasures' ball knit up. And I dunno, I couldn't face "fixing" my WIPs any further. Holy Hot Toddies I have touched The Great Divide due to my great underestimations of yarn to D E A T H. There just hasn't been a sufficient amount of time or love to deal with the cardigan.

I'm sure a less angry, irrational knitting time will come when I touch it again and kill it finish it. I am so close.

Tell me are your current projects, knitting and life-like are they giving you joy? Are they frustrating you?

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Date With Myself

I think most people would describe me as social, or at least ... chatty. I'm an over-compensator by nature and often when I'm nervous, or concerned, or thinking "maybe I'm being awkward", I try to chat over it.

It's not the most attractive personality quality.

Truthfully I chat when I'm happy too. So you never know what you're getting when you hang out with me.

Well, even though I am what I am. I also like to be alone. I like to do things by myself. I don't mean this in a ,"Woe is me, I'm a busy lady, my life is so full, yadda yadda, I need alone time because there isn't any, waaah."

I just like to be alone.  I don't think it's unusual for people who have hobbies. As much as one can enjoy a social knit, a quilt class, a cooking evening with friends. It's nice just to focus on your own.

Yesterday I got a chance to take myself out, alone. It was pretty dreamy.

After work I had a reservation at Rich Table for 1.

This was my second time here. (It's also 3 -4 blocks from my office. hehe)

You know I have a weakness for oysters. They were serving up some lovely thin ones from Massachusetts with a sunchoke mignonette. The mignonette was my main reason for wanting to try one. Traditionally it's made with shallots and red wine vinegar. Sunchoke? Really what's that like? Well it was more savory, carmelized a little garlicky and with a squeeze of lemon, divine. I tried one, and ended up ordering 2 more.

Also seen in the picture is their Black Garlic Mortadella with coffee mustard (I saved some of this for the Manfriend).  If you can't tell, this place is all about turning traditional flavor combinations anew. I was wary before my first visit, but now I can honestly say, I'm won over.

For my entree, Bucatini, pork bolognese with grilled beets and New York rye. Translation, lovely Bucatini, hollow spaghetti pasta (a personal favorite) with ground pork and grilled diced beets, topped with some breadcrumbs made with New York Rye = delicious with a glass of Gamay. :)

It was fun to watch and listen to the restaurant around me. I'm a bit of a Lookey Lou and Gawker as HM will tell you. (she noticed it on our very first playdate when we went out for tea.)  I also studied and compared 2 baby blanket patterns I had been carrying around in my purse.

The boys sent me a text of their homework dinner. Grilled cheese and store bought tomato soup. Tasty if not fancy :)
Dinner took me slightly longer than I was expecting. (To be clear, this was me, not service.) So I had to power walk it up the street to Books Inc., at the Opera Plaza to catch the Yarn Harlot.

She was a great presenter, and she read very well. She comes off so personable and funny. Her crowd of knitters & readers ... very nice and friendly people. Shocking, right? ;)

I got a signed book. Yay! That was pretty special and fun for me. I gifted her a loaf of Douglas Fir Levain bread from the restaurant. I know, I know. Both the Manfriend and HM were like, you're such a weirdo. I admit, I am a bit of a weirdo gift giver. I didn't want her to feel obligated, but yarn and what not, is not good for a traveling author. I remember reading she often gets stuck in airports and she is hungry and a vegetarian. I thought I remembered she liked fresh bread ...

Anyhow, I think I totally threw her off guard, but she was kind about it. I was really embarrassed. But it's the thought that counts, right?

I used my time to disclaimer and give her a gift instead of ask for a photo which is just as well since I was totally gross and disheveled from my power walk up there and now blushing with embarrassment.

I took the bus home. Homework and dishes were done and I had the strength to knit 2 rounds before going to sleep. I didn't need sweet dreams since I had such an excellent evening.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Knitting Perpetually In Progress & A Finished Read

It's true, I didn't get around to baking bread, fixing and backing out my shawl or cardigan this past weekend. In fact I "thought" I finished my first sock for Mr. Dress-Up, but alas, the foot was very .. very short. I was this close to frogging the whole thing to start again, when I realized as I pulled it out past the toe shaping, I could pick up the stitches, and add some length. I wouldn't have "exact" row counts for what I've done, but I'm already questioning my proportions as it is for all the bits of my sock, so what's one more bit? I am not frustrated enough with this pair of socks to give up. I think it's because I know my questions come more from my distracted knitting these days than the pattern. The pattern I get, in fact, I can figure out where I am in the diamond pattern without looking at the chart which is HUGE for me.

Well, as Andi and many of you out there would say, it's about the journey. I'm enjoying my slow sock knitting, and really that's what it's all about at the end of the day right?

What I did do this weekend is finish "A Death in the Small Hours". I had been pecking away a chapter with it here and there for the past week or so.

It's a Charles Lennox Mystery. It takes place in Victorian aristocratic England with lovely descriptions of tea, friends and neighbors. The setting gets pulled out of London at Charles' uncle's home in the country. It's a change from the author's usual pace and I think he's trying really hard not to have the same formula each time.  I felt the book had me until approximately 2/3rds through. I felt as we were resolving things, I still felt muddled. This might be what the author wanted, however this feeling didn't go away when I finished the book.

I've read all but one in this series and I have to say, I keep returning because it feels ... comforting. The main characters have been allowed to grow or at least have life circumstances change, which is something you don't see much in some of the classic mysteries such as Agatha Christie, where I swear, Poirot felt stuck in the same year of life as ever. I used to joke for the t.v. versions if Poirot was remotely polite or sweet on a woman, she was the KILLER!

I digress again. Anyhow, if you like a classic Victorian mystery give this series a go. I liked his previous book in the series better, "A Burial at Sea". But this book was still enjoyable. I was just not wowed per se. It doesn't take a lot to figure out these mysteries, but it's still really pleasant with a gray drizzly weekend cup of tea.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sweet Surprises in the Post

Look what came in the post for me!!

Kathy is celebrating 10 years in blogging and she sent me a gift!?!

It's a lovely hank of Crystal Palace Waikiki, a fun cotton and rayon blend. She suggested a necklace or dishcloth pattern. These are both great ideas, but I see this definitely as a Spring Break knit!

I'm grateful for another sock pattern as you are all turning me into a sock knitter. 

Thank  you Kathy for your kindness in this great knitting internet community.

Thank you for all the laughs you share and happy moments. From kittens to weekend drives with the Fireman, and favorite daily distractions and joys it's always a pleasure to visit with you.
Oh yeah, and thanks for the fantastic gifts!