Saturday, May 29, 2004

I meant to do something useful today. . . .

But instead, I frittered it away by knitting all day in front of the "I Love the 80's Strikes Back" marathon on VH-1. Squid and I determined that these VH-1 retro-pop-culture shows are like caramel corn--you don't necessarily go out looking for caramel corn, but if some is right there, and you start eating it, you'll NEVER STOP. Not until it's all gone. And you enjoy it, but you have a bit of a stomach ache afterwards. However, all the time with the knitting means I have some stuff to report in the status part of the blog. Whoopee!

Hot Tang! Whoo! I owe y'all an explanation, I believe. Whilst camping last week, someone came up with the genius idea of making Tang orange drink with the hot water for tea/cocoa instead of the traditional cold water. It was a chilly, damp morning, so a warm beverage was a good idea. And behold! It wasn't half bad. Of course, as news of hot-water Tang started to spread around our little group, we got an inordinate amount of joy out of saying "Hot Tang!" Wouldn't you? I mean, 1. It sounds awfully dirty; and 2. If you give it that James Brown "Hot Pants!" emphasis, it's a LOT of fun. As we were sitting around the campfire that night, drinking, eating (including those tasty little cakes cooked in orange skins--which I hadn't had since Brownie Day Camp), and talking, we decided to make some sort of Hot Tang! cocktail. We concluded that Tang + Vodka + Hot Water would be worth drinking. However, we couldn't agree on a name for a warm fake-orange screwdriver. My geek cred favored the "Sonic Screwdriver" after Dr. Who, but others preferred the "Hot Tang Screw". Which meant, of course, that plain Hot Tang would be a Virgin Hot Tang Screw. Oy. Such a crowd we hang with.

Okay, enough! On to the knitting news:

Finished: Nothing more, yet. Still needing to sew that strap onto Round About.
On the Needles: No progress on the socks, Skully, or Fiona, but! I've put tons of stripes onto the Sleeping Hat--I should finish it tonight or tomorrow, no sweat. I've switched off the circ to dpns, and I'm down to 30 stitches on the needles at this point. I'm also well into the 2nd repeat of rows on the Colinette throw.

Obligatory Cultural References
Reading: Finished I had Brain Surgery . . . in record time, as predicted, and started on The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri for book club.
Listening to: U2 is up in the iTunes party shuffle. First 10 random iTunes tracks tonight, since it's fun:
Mary, Morphine (live)
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2
Kiss Me Like You Mean It, Magnetic Fields
Ha Ha High Babe, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Help!, Beatles
Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Warren Zevon
KJ102 Sign-off, (courtesy of the Boogiemonster)
Snow Cherries From France, Tori Amos
Hats Off to (Roy) Harper, Led Zepplin
Postcard Blues, Cowboy Junkies

Monday, May 24, 2004

Hot Tang!

Well, I'm back from a soggy weekend of white-water rafting. The Peshtigo River in upstate Wisconsin (75 mi. NW of Green Bay) has some class III rapids that Squid and I CONQUERED this past weekend, thankyouverymuch. The weather was quite nice for the actual river trip, but after we went to bed Saturday night, the rain started and didn't stop. Which meant that we broke camp in the rain, loaded the van in the rain, and drove home in the rain. Ew. We can't put our car in the garage right now because there are two fully-pitched Eureka Timberline tents drying off in there. Now all we need is a sunny day . . .

The rafting itself was a lot of fun--though a LOT more strenuous than I thought--I'm a little creaky today. There were about 22 of us in our group, and everyone got along famously--which in a group that size, is rare. Though we're all well-meaning dorks, so it's not a big issue. Unlike the campsite full of jackholes who blared their mickeyfrickin' Linkin Park/Marilyn Manson/Metallica/G'n'R CD collection at deafening levels all weekend. We mocked them quietly amongst ourselves as "annoying, but harmless" until the fireworks came out. At that point we complained, since we were on the doorstep of a national forest, after all. And every piece of signage and documentation you saw at the campground stated "no fireworks", often in multiple places. They left shortly thereafter. We're so darn tame by comparison--"Hey, you! One more Simpsons reference, and your asses are outta here!" isn't that likely to happen.

I'll explain the Hot Tang! title later--tomorrow perhaps. The camp cuisine deserves an entry of its own.

In knitting news--I got a lot of knitting done on the way up, but was a little too sore and sleepy on the way home to get much done.

Finished: Someday I'll sew the strap on my Round About.
On the Needles: Fiona: has several more rounds of full triple crosses on her now, and I know it's working as it should. I'm a little concerned about my tension in the transition from the triple cross back to purl--it seems a little laddery, even when I purl through the back loop. However, Brooks mentioned that hers was that way too--I won't sweat it, and if it's too holey, I'll line it.
The Stripey Cap: I think I'm done with ribbing, and ready to get stripey. Wheee! The hat will progress quickly from here, because the stripes are so much darn fun.
Colinette Throw: It didn't travel with me, so no real quick progress--I'm up to the Isis section in seed stitch. I hope to start the 2nd repetition of the pattern this week.
Skully and Sherbet Socks--no progress at all.

Obligatory Cultural References
Reading: I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse?, Suzy Becker. Surprisingly amusing for a memoir about the aftermath of having a brain tumor surgically removed. I'll be done with it in no time. Next up: The Namesake, for book club.
Listening to: Squid swordfight on Puzzle Pirates and the dryer go thump thump thump.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

So it wasn't a project I finished . . . but I finished something

Just in time for book club today--The Sea, The Sea is all finished. If anyone told me that I'd enjoy reading the memoirs of a self-centered, vain, arrogant, asshole aging actor who couldn't get over his first love, I'd have told him/her (s)he was crazy. (Yes, I did start with them/they, but I'm feeling grammatically stilted and overbearing this afternoon.) What I also can't get over is that a woman wrote this novel. The point of view was so well put-together that I can't really believe it wasn't autobiographical.

In work news: an absolutely crazy week of work-related drama. My leader is taking a new position. Lots of other people are taking new positions. I'm interviewing for a new position. New people are starting in our department left and right, including on my team. And on top of it all, I'm dealing with a huge national rollout. I feel like I'm spinning, rapidly, in very small circles. I hope I don't get dizzy and fall down.

In other news--white-water rafting at the end of this week. Wheeeee! The Peshtigo River in Wisconsin has some class 3 rapids, and friends of ours have gone to an outfitter there for the past several springs and have had a really good time. We're joining them this year--I'm dying for a day off, so this should work out well. And I can knit in the car on the way there. Wahoo!

Which brings me to the knitting part of the blog. I checked out Borealis Yarns last weekend, and I'm pleased to say (although I fear for my pocketbook) that it's a wonderful little shop. Lots of interesting yarn of all types, and a big table in the sunny front of the shop for community knitting. And a coffee shop is going in next door. Squeals of glee, I tell you. Squeals of glee!

Finished: Nuthin', really. I just need to sew the strap onto Round About and it will be done-done.
On the Needles: Project rollcall! In order of disappointingness:
Skully: No progress.
Sherbet Sock: No progress.
Stripey Hat: Worked a bit more ribbing, but going quite slow.
Fiona: Coming up the sides. Not sure if I'm working the triple cross right, but I'm giving it time.
Colinette Throw: 30-some rows done on the first pattern repeat. It's a little smaller than I'd hoped, but will still make a most excellent lap robe. And the colors look like Walt Disney threw up on it--which is great for a throw, but I think this would make a baffling sweater.

Obligatory Cultural References
Reading: In-between books. A lovely place to be. Should I pick up my next book club book right away, or return to Quicksilver? Or find something else entirely to read uber-quickly as a palate cleanser? Decisions, decisions. . . .
Listening to: Just my fingers go clickety-click. Though I really need to synch up my iPod--there's Siouxsie to be had!

Saturday, May 08, 2004

And so it goes

ugh. Tired prosimian this evening. My mother- and father-in law are moving, so Squid, Fishtie and I spent most of the day packing up and moving boxes from one home to another. Fortunately, they're moving less than a mile away, so we didn't have to be hyper-efficient or anything, but still--people accumulate a lot of stuff when they live in a house for 11 years. I was in charge of packing up the kitchen, and am proud to report that I didn't pack any boxes that were too heavy for me to carry out to the van myself. I'm usually good for at least one giant, heavy box that's wonderfully packed, but too damn heavy to take anywhere.

We also did the birthday thing for the nieces and me--we all have birthdays within four weeks of each other, and since I'm old enough that my age doesn't really matter any more, we usually just celebrate them all in one shot. I managed to borrow Scurvy Pete's Creatures and Siouxsie CDs as well--been having a craving for them lately.

Looking forward to a nice, quiet day of puttering about the house and getting some knitting done tomorrow. Let's run down the current list of WiPs, shall we? (It gets longer every time I think about it, though.) And Borealis opened today, so I'm going to have to head over there tomorrow to see if there's anything there I just HAVE to have. Oh, who am I kidding with that "if"?

Finished: Very soon! The Round About bag. It's all felted and dry--I just need to do a little bit of sewing to put the strap on and finish up the shaping.
On the Needles: I de-hanked and balled up all my Colinette yarn, and couldn't resist casting on my throw. I now have 3 rows of mohair on the needles. Whee!
The stripey hat isn't back to where it was pre-frog, but there are 4 or 5 rows on the needles at this point and it's ready to grow nicely. The sock and Skully have seen no action at all. And Fiona is cast on and the bottom is about 4-5" long at this point.

Obligatory Cultural References
Reading: Gotta get back to The Sea, The Sea. Book club's next weekend!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Hello, my name is Secret Agent Lemur . . .

And I'm a fiber addict. I already have a sizable collection of fibers for needlepoint and counted cross stitch. How did I ever think I wouldn't succumb to the charms of yarn? I dropped a pretty penny on a Colinette throw kit over the weekend--but I think it was well worth it. I just want to roll around in the yarn--is that so wrong?

I also picked up some Mission Falls cotton for the Fiona-along. I hope they let me in, even though I'm nowhere near Knit Happens (that MN to VA commute is a killer). Even if not, I'm looking forward to another fun, easy bag to knit.

Providing even more temptation to an already weak-willed gal like me is Borealis Yarns (no website yet, I don't think). Opening this weekend, and it's just an easy walk from my house. Part of me wants them to be successful and have wonderful things. Part of me doesn't, since they'll be RIGHT THERE. On the way home. Taunting me. Tempting me.

Finished: the Round About bag is ready for felting! I'd like to do that some quiet night this week so it's dry for the weekend. The Kureyon striping is so much fun--even if the rough wool started to carve a channel in my tensioning finger after several hours of knitting.

On the Needles: Well, I had to frog out the started stripey sleeping cap--there was something funky going on with the ribbing--I had a funny looking stitch that didn't repair when I dropped it and picked it back up. I figured out as I ripped it that I had started knitting the other way round at some point, and that stitch marked the U-turn. Argh. Still--only an inch or so of ribbing--no great tragedy. I'll get it back on the needles tomorrow or later. Gaining some comfort with sock yarn on #3 needles, though the diameter looks a bit too small. I'll give it a chance and see. I'll knit more Skully someday soon, I promise!

Obligatory Cultural References
Reading: I had to put down The Sea, The Sea for a week. I'm afraid of what's going to happen next.
Listening to: blessed peace and quiet.