Monday, November 19, 2007


Last week, I went to Assateague Island National Seashore for a work meeting, which sounds a lot cooler than it is. I get to go to a lot of cool places for work meetings, but I also have to stay in crappy depressing hotels, and spend hours and hours and hours discussing sampling plans, budgets for those plans and why two options that are seemingly identical will result in completely different statistical analysis results. Usually, the slightly more difficult option results in the desired results, hence the hours of discussion and explanation. It is interesting work, but usually it's not quite as fun as it sounds.

This meeting was cooler than some of the others, and the discussion was really productive. We also got to actually go out and visit some of the study sites which meant I got to see these

and this
some incredibly idyllic scenes like this
and this
Seeing the famous wild ponies was just as neat as I had expected. They're just so cute and charming. You can't touch or feed them, but they are great to watch. It really was fun and fortunately one of the other researchers lent me a pair of knee-high waders so I could tromp around in the salt marsh. Otherwise, it would have been a lot less fun.

On drive back, I also used our cool new GPS device to find The Yarn Lounge in Richmond, VA. It was so cool to be able navigate to a place I wanted to go to in strange city I had never been to before. GPS devices like mine aren't perfect, but they are awesome for stuff like this. I really only went there to get a Perl Grey brooch for my Celtic Cardigan,
but there was such beautiful yarn there that I ended up buying this
and this
and I was lucky to get out of there just with that damage to credit card. That place was dangerous, and the whole part of the city where it was located looked like a great place to hang out. Lots of cool little shops and yummy ethnic restaurants. It reminded me of some the neighborhoods I used to explore in Portland, OR. Who woulda thunk I'd find that in Richmond.

I made it home at 9PM and was so tired that I had to spend the whole next day knitting on the couch to recover. What a shame :)

Spinning News: Darcy and I have set a date next Sunday for her to start teaching me how to spin...YAY...YAY...YAY!

Monday, November 12, 2007

learn to spin?!

I went to a party tonight at my friend Katherine's. Katherine is awesome and hilarious and does not censor herself, which I love. She also tends to give me crap about knitting in her presence because she's convinced that I'm not actually paying attention unless I'm looking at her. If you knit, you know that you can actually pay better attention to people if you are doing some straightforward knitting because you are less fidgety. Complex knitting is more distracting, but if I'm doing stockinette or garter stitch I can totally focus on what's going on around me.

So, at Katherine's, I met this incredibly cool woman named Darcy Whitlock who has been knitting and spinning for years and offered to show me how to spin...weeeee....I am so darn excited and hope hope hope we have time to meet and have lessons before I move. Darcy also has lots of other fascinating interests like 18th century reenactments, etc that make me wish I had met her earlier, but at least I met her now.

As with house painting, and most other things, I am fully prepared to suck at spinning when I get started, but hopefully, it will be learnable and as addictively cool as knitting. It seems to have so much potential...I'll keep updating my progress.

Eye Infection, Procrastination, and Craziness

My last day in Starkville (wed.) was made much more stressful and a lot more painful by an awful eye infection. It totally sucked and made it really difficult (i.e. dropping to the floor in screeching pain) to put contacts in. Yeah, I know I probably shouldn't have put contacts in at all, but I am stubborn and hate wearing my glasses when I exercise or do highway driving.

It also didn't help that Mark was absolutely baffled by how to help me so he kinda walked around the apartment looking at me funny. I know there's nothing he could do, but nothing makes you feel like more of a freak than someone else's freaked-out reaction

My eye hurt so much and was so hard to deal with that I thought I might not be able to make the drive on Wednesday, even though I knew I had I sucked it up and made it here (to Blacksburg) in 9 hours with three gas stops.

I was so excited to be home that I immediately started winding my new Fleece Artist Scotian Silk for my Celtic Cardigan at 10:30 at night...weeeeee...I forgot how much fun it is to knit with thicker yarns. I don't have 7mm needles so I'm using my US 10.5/6.5mm, but I think it will block out to approximately the same size. I'm almost done with the back.

I haven't made any sweaters before and this is a great first cardigan because the sewing up at the end is minimal. I'm loving it! Yes, I should be getting ready for the move, but if you are going to procrastinate, what a fun way to do it.

I also have decided that I'm a bit on the crazy side of the spectrum. I went to a great potluck on Saturday night with a bunch of people that were new to me, interesting, and definitely fun to talk to. Somehow the subject of football came up, and they all voiced their disdain for spectator sports. Me, in crazy mode, explained how great football is because it goes so well with knitting. There is so much stopping and starting that you can get plenty done and still keep up with the action. I think they were amused, but certainly not convinced. I think one women was intrigued by my handknitted socks though...I am always looking for a new potential addict...kinda like a drug pusher, but a little healthier.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Yesterday we painted our freakin' huge living room and hallway and I had a bit of a meltdown. Despite my checking the color in the room where it would be painted, it still turned out darker than expected. I'm okay with it although I haven't been over there yet today to see how dark it is now...yikes. It also looks down right odd in the hallway where the florescent light hits it...Yeah, I know to check these things beforehand, but I swear I looked at it in all lighting and settings. The hallway bugs me so much I may end up bugging Mark to change the fixture in there. Maybe, I'll get used to it...

Here is a Pic
Between the color and the fact that for some reason this paint was much drippier than the paint we used two freakin' days ago...I had a bad night. Mark can also work for much longer stretches without food by which time I get irrational, and cranky and start feeling like a 4 year old having a tantrum.

So this morning, I'm doing some work for my real job, a little knitting, and just staying away from the house until I feel better. I'm also going to yoga which will help (aaaahhh yoga!). You know you've had a hard a couple of days when you get home at night and you are too tired to even pick up your knitting, no matter how much you wanted to...ugh.

Tomorrow, I head back to Blacksburg to start packing up the rest of our stuff...bigger ugh! More knitting therapy will be needed in larger doses to get through this.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Yarn Therapy

So, my suspicions are confirmed and house painting is tedious and has bit of a learning curve, but it is totally worth it. We have one room done (the lovely peachy colored laundry room - the color is actually called 'Fragrant Coriander' - great name for a beautiful color)
and we have learned tons in the process (besides the fact that I really do suck and am a complete klutz). I am getting better - actually we both (my husband, Mark and I) are. Granted, it would be really sad if we actually got worse since neither of us had ever painted before.

In the mean time, I received 2 different yarn deliveries:

1) On Thursday, I received the first delivery from the Griffin Yarn Sock Club which I will not post a picture of yet, just in case someone from the sock club happens to see this (not likely) and hasn't received their delivery yet.

2) On Friday I received some bargain discontinued lace weight yarn from could I resist ordering enough yarn to make a shawl for 10 freakin' dollars. Granted, $10 and 10 bazillion hours of my life, but soooo worth it! I have a pattern, but I think I'm going to make one up instead using one of the lace patterns from Barbara Walker's 'A Treasury of Knitting Patterns' (her first of 4 volumes).

I don't have the correct needles here (they are still at my apt. in VA) or the time to get either of these yarns casted on for their respective projects (must paint house), but just receiving the yarn totally cheered me up. Yay, yarn! I was so excited, that I've decided that in addition to my standard forms of therapy (running, yoga, knitting, and chocolate), magical yarn deliveries have some very therapeutic effects....soooo I joined another Sock Club. Fortunately, my husband is cool with this.

This second club (the Rockin' Sock Club organized by Blue Moon Fiber Arts) is one I've been lusting (yes, lusting) to join because I've been reading about their gorgeous yarns and patterns for the past few months. The ever hilarious 'yarn harlot' mentions them often. The Griffin Sock Club is closed but I think this one is still open, if you happen to read this, can afford to join, and need yarn therapy as much as I do right now. I'll say it again...YAY YARN!