Sunday, April 20, 2008


It's done. We're married, but I still have tons to do before we leave Monday morning for the honeymoon, so that's all you get for now. It was awesome; if our marriage goes as well as the wedding then we have nothing to worry about.

Love ya!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

3 Days and Counting

Well I'm done with work for a while. There was a funny moment in the hallway yesterday at 4:30 when someone stopped me to ask for help with a problem that I knew about, but wasn't really my responsibility to fix. I looked at them as they asked their question, they were quite intense and serious, and I blinked thinking of an appropriate response that wouldn't be rude but it had to be quick. I ended up with, "I've already clocked out, I'm getting married on Saturday, and I won't be back for two weeks. Hopefully someone else will be able to help you." While the person who got this answer wasn't terribly excited about it they did manage to stumble out a congratulations before I made it out the door.

Saturday... that day is looming ever closer. Today is my nail appointment and probably my last chance to really relax. Over the course of today our parents will start arriving, and they will bring with them all the stress that they can muster. Tomorrow additional relatives start to arrive, then you know, Saturday. Still I think that I'm getting a bit overly concerned. I have a good support group that will be able to help take care of last minute things that I've forgotten (and I'm sure there are some) and there's the advantage to being able to start setting up some stuff on Friday. Since we've got the venue Friday through Sunday that means we can start working Friday and wait to really clean up on Sunday. I'm sure some will be done Saturday, but it doesn't all have to get done immediately.

Dude, after being together for over 12 years it's just strange to think that in 3 days Jeff will be my husband. Strange and pretty cool.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Party Time

Wow, so bachelorette parties rock, especially when they're yours. We had a great group of women and although we were all sworn to secrecy, I can tell you that it was awesome. Getting drunk with my girls and talking the night away is a wonderful way to spend an evening. We really should do it more often. Why do we need some sort of "event" to have a girl's night?

I suppose that we didn't get up to as much public mischief as some modern bachelorettes, but realistically I'm 30 years old. I've been with Jeff since 1995, and most of my friends are married. I asked that we not go bar hopping. Maybe someone in the group would have been really into it, and I'm sure we would have had fun because we're awesome so how could it not be? but it's not my speed. I've never been much of a 6th St kind of person, and so we did something that was my style. We hit Opal's South and then went back to the Thomas house for further drinking, swearing, and eating of pizza.

It is a testament to how much fun I had that I have no idea what time I went to sleep. We all got into pjs in advance of the sleepy time so when I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer I went to sleep. I figure it must have been pretty late, because there were only 4 of us left standing.

Meanwhile, in the land of knitting and cat ownership I have to admit, I am a bad cat momma. I was really grasping at straws to try and come up with a creative picture for this round. I loved my round 1 picture, and round 2 was pretty neat (although not cool enough to win) so I was feeling challenged. The pattern is Slippin' Stripin' Socks and I named my project Slip Slidin Away... I racked my brain and I couldn't think of a single thing to do. I kept thinking of slides and slipping, and slip n slides, but none of those things are really convenient to my house and I have stuff to do.

Then it hit me. Slip. Like a dress slip, like under-clothes. I ran to my dresser and found a couple of possibles and put them on hangers and held the socks up to them. It wasn't doing it for me. That's when my poor stupid squeezable Cabbit came into the room. Cabbit has the misfortune of being almost big enough to wear my clothes, or at least a camisole.No cats were harmed in the making of this photo. Cabbit got some Greenies and was perfectly happy to sit around on the bed having his picture taken. He actually seemed a bit bummed when we (I made Jeff an accomplice) got a shot we liked and he was able to take off the clothes. Yes Cabbit is a he, but he's very secure in his non-masculinity. I mean, he was "fixed" at a tender young age so he's not too concerned with attracting women, he just likes to be comfortable.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Who Knew

After completing the second Lucky sock yesterday, so that the needles would be free to start my next Sock Madness assignment, Jeff was commenting on how many pairs of socks I've completed this year. I went into Ravelry (which I wish you guys could browse without having to have a login, but that's not how it is so sorry 'bout that) and sorted all my completed projects by completed date. The last 7 projects were all socks and all completed this year.
That means that this sock is part of pair number 8... in 4 months. Whew, didn't know I could do that. This pair is really fun to knit. There's no purling, and it's all soft and squishy. It's more of a technical challenge than knit challenge, because there are two strands of lace weight (thin) yarn held together. That means you gotta make sure that both strands stay together, and that's just a dexterity kind of thing.

I've been stressing too much about wedding stuff, so today I'm taking off work. I plan to goof off, knit on these socks, and try not to worry. Hopefully I'll have non-knitting content for you later on. :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

For Me?

Today when I got home from work I had prezzies! My package for winning the creative category for Round 1 of Sock Madness 2 was in the mailbox. Shipped from Sheryl Giles (Emm1e) the creative mind (designer) of the Zombie pattern straight to little old me. I couldn't have been happier with my winnings.
First I saw this great purple and green skein from Spunky Eclectic colorway Poison. This is a hand painted superwash merino sock yarn that I can't wait to use. All I know is that it might be socks, and that I will probably keep them for myself. (At least I'm not in denial about my selfishness with socks.)
The next thing that I spied was the card from Emm1e, the yarn bra, and the tea. I pulled them out and puzzled briefly over the yarn bra. I can't wait to try it out and see how it does. I've never bought one, and never managed to remember any of the thingys off wine bottles, so I haven't had the privilege before now. I'm curious.I'll probably dip into one of the teas tonight. I love tea. I go through phases where I will drink tea or coffee almost exclusively, but it's more a convenience thing. If I could just drink 10 cups of each a day, without having to mess with kettles, or soggy tea bags, or coffee grounds, I'd be one well caffeinated little beasty.
I've saved the best for last though, because I'd hoped that I would get some skull stitch markers out of this win. I remember reading on the loot page
Sheryl is so supportive of Sock Madness 2 that she contributed a pattern (which we’re testing right now) and is offering a set of skull stitch markers which coordinates nicely with the pattern (hint, hint). How cool is that?
And I thought... Zombie stitch markers? That'd be rad! (Yes I still say rad, lemme alone) And then when I first saw the zombie pattern (I did not put the name together immediately) I thought that surely zombies and skulls would go together. Then when I had my photo up I hoped dearly that I would get the stitch markers... that I now have. They are awesome, and you know you're jealous, but you love me anyway.Aren't they bad ass?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Leafling Modifications

Honestly I have made entirely too many projects that don’t fit me. I refuse to settle for knitting this one by the books, when I know from my own math (8.57” is too big for my foot) and from others’ posts on fit that even the size small is not going to work.

For the record I am getting 7 sts/in with 2.5mm addi circulars.

  1. The recommended gauge is 7.5 sts/in.
  2. I like my fabric now, so I must compensate with stitch count for my different gauge.

Now that I’ve admitted what has led to this road I’ll give you the not-so specifics about my modifications.

I’ve reduced my cast on / working stitches from 60 to 54.

So for you playing at home that changes my instructions for starting the leg, and actually makes them a bit simpler. See, I have 27 stitches per needle… think about it and you’ll see that it works, and that it’s gonna be good.

When I got to the leg I have changed up the instructions. I omitted the knit X that started it and just knit across N1, all the way. The instead of PM I switched to N2 and did the pattern instructions. When you hit the second PM you’re at the end of the needle, and there’s no need to continue with knit to end of row, because you’re at the end of the row. Nice huh?

Rounds 1-5 went just like anyone else’s except that I knit N1 and pattern N2. No fiddly-diddly there, easy as pie. (I call these the setup rounds in my head.)

On page 4 if you read carefully you’ll see (knit to end of round, remove beginning-of-round marker, kX, pm to indicate new beginning of rounds at start of instep sts.) This becomes important when you try to decipher what you’re going to do with the heel. If you are following my mod then read this as

pattern sts needle becomes N1 and knit needle is N2

Since there’s no marker movement, it’s more of a mental note kind of change, and it doesn’t much matter until you hit the gusset.

I failed to notice that I had hit the recommend 5 inch mark for the leg, because I was having so much fun with the leg. I have the setup section and then 5 full repeats (I’m pretty sure) and it measures 6 1/4”.

Gusset: the first round of the gusset =
(N1) k3, inc, sm, do pattern, sm, inc, k3
(N2) |Sl1,K1| 13 times, Sl1
Increases up to 84 sts total. N1:57,N2:27

Heel turn:
Row1) K to marker, sm, patt to marker, sm, knit to heel stitches, sl 1, k1 10 times, w&t.
Row2) P13, w&t (heel will be worked on N2 only)
Row3) work in establish sl,k pattern to the wrapped st, K1, w&t
Row4) purl to wrapped st, P1, w&t
Work rows 3 & 4 a total of 6 times - the 1st and last heel sts should be wrapped

Rearrange sts by moving the 1st and last 15 sts from N1 (wing sts) to the ends of N2. This way they are in position to easily work the decreases.

Keeping with the established slip stitch pattern on knit rows, and purling purl rows, work back and forth over the gaps. (SSK on knit rows and P2Tog purl rows) Work down to 29 sts on N2 in this manner, the final 2 decreases happen as you resume working in the round.
N2: work slip st/k st to last two sts, SSK
N1: k3, patt, k3
N2: k2tog, k26
Heel is officially done, and you should be down to 54 sts total again, with 27 on each needle.

Knit the foot just like anybody else. For me, with my personal length of foot I did 4 repeats of the pattern and then knit 6 plain rows before starting the toes.

I did the right / left shaping directions, because that seemed like fun. I recognize that I now have to pay attention to which sock goes on which foot, but that’s my issue not yours. :) And it really does look nice on, so you may want to also.

I followed the toe directions almost as written. I did the first 18 rounds exactly as written, only each time I got to a stated stitch count I have 6 less than the small. (This should not surprise you, since I used 6 less stitches to start with and did the same number of decreases.) The only change that I made was that I stopped decreases when I got down to 16 sts.

If I was going to do exactly the same number of decrease rows as the pattern I would have gone down to 12. I elected to stop at 16 because I was concerned that 12 would make the sock too long and too pointy. This should be pretty easy for you to tweek so that it fits well and looks good on whatever set of toes you were born with.

If you used this set of modifications I’d love to hear how it worked out for you. I hope that I’ve been clear enough, but of course I had to be careful not to give away any of the actual pattern details.

Either way, enjoy your Leaflings, and be sure to thank the designer (JC Briar) for such a cute little sock to knit.

3 Socks Done

Sock Madness Round 2 began sometime during the day on Monday, March 31st. I did not have my yarn and needles at work, because I am not a boy scout. I can't remember if they girl scouts claim to always be prepared or not, but I'm not one of them either. I started round 2 at 6pm Monday evening after getting home. This pattern was much more difficult to execute than the first round, and I made a poor yarn choice. I used a yarn (Noro Kureyon Sock) that is really sticky to itself, so it doesn't slide smoothly and easily. It eats up valuable time that you could be knitting as you try to untangle it. And to try and get a smaller sock I used 2mm needles, which are really hard on my hands. I prefer to knit the Noro on 2.5mm. Crazy how a half millimeter makes such a huge difference in comfort.Still I managed to finish Friday morning at 2am. They were only taking the top 20 from each division this time, and I was worried that if I didn't push through that I might miss it. I'm such a silly paranoid knitter. I ended up being #13 from the Baylor Ball Band division. I liked that. I have a 13 on my office wall, just below my name plate. Everyone always asks why, even the people that have already asked before, and there really is no good reason. This guy at The Company took random number things that were no longer needed from the factory floor and assigned them to random offices, in no particular order. When I changed jobs and moved offices I took the 13 with me. I suppose that sort of non-reason just doesn't stick in peoples' minds. Still I like being #13. Of course if they only take 10 in the next round then I suppose I would regret it if I still came in at 13.The pattern is called Reversai, and was created by Janine Le Cras and is reversible. Because of the stitch pattern used you can put the sock on right side or inside out and it looks exactly the same. Isn't that clever? As you may have noticed from the photos these socks are a bit baggy for me. So they've gone to live with another knitter. Erin has the same sort of falling down love for Noro that I do, so I had her try them on last night, and when they fit, I asked her to keep them.

And if you're curious about the outcome of the creative award, we won! I will be getting some sort of prize, but I don't know what yet. I got an email that one of the vendors that donated prizes for the competition will be mailing something directly to my house. I'll post pics as soon as I get whatever it is. How exciting! I would like to thank my friends, family, and of course my publicist for this award. I couldn't have done without you.

I've also finished one sock from the March shipment for the Socks that Rock club. This time we got green yarn, and the pattern is called Leafling. I had a lot of fun with this one. From all the sizing discussions, and from my own math on the matter I knew that if I knit the small that came with the pattern it wasn't going to fit me. The sock would have ended up a whole inch bigger around than my foot. As I went about tweaking some numbers and trying to make sure that I wasn't going to run into trouble when going into the heel shaping, I documented my modifications on my Ravelry project page. I've received a lot of positive feed back, and that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.So now I'm off to the wonderful world of chores. I'm trying to get the house in order, and keep it from turning into a train wreck. It would be really easy to let everything slide between now and the wedding, but I know we'll have company over. This may be the first time that some of them have ever been to my home, and I don't want them to be scared off. So more vacuuming and laundry, and a trip to Goodwill to drop off another box of clutter. See you around.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Weekend Update

Now that the week is almost over, I ought to tell you about the wonderful weekend that I had. There was so much going on that there is no way I can fully do it justice, but it was awesome, and so I'll try.

I had a fun pre-weekend (Thursday evening) at Gauge watching The Princess Bride with a bunch of knitters and a couple of crocheters. There was one amongst us that had somehow made it to adulthood without ever seeing The Princess Bride. She seemed astonished that Westley (Cary Elwes) was so cute. Several people explained this is part of why we watch the movie over and over again, that and that it is really funny. I like the fact that although he is a young enough man to not be too old to younger teen viewers he is old enough looking that I don't feel like a dirty old woman. It was great. There were snacks, massages (for $1/min), and the water cooler also has a water hotter so you can make tea or cocoa. I brought along some Chai, yum.

Friday night I rallied the troupes and we went to the Flying Saucer. We celebrated Jeff's birthday, even though no one could tell if he was 29 or 32. There was a great turn out, and we filled up two tables. There were beers, and snacks, and beers with other beer inside, and beers with ice cream too.I had a good time, and by the time I was driving him home the poor little birthday boy was so tired he kept falling asleep in the car.

Saturday was my Bridal Shower, organized and tossed by the ever wonderful Erin and Julie. We had quite the turn out with folks that were local and others that traveled from the distant realms of Houston and Ft Worth. We played games that ranged from the "Clothes Pin" game in which many people cheated and just gave me their pins, and the "How Well Do You Know Him?" game in which I chewed 4 pieces of bubble gum at once and failed to blow a good bubble (despite repeated demands from my future mother-in-law that she needed a photo of one). It was kind of like a birthday party that I didn't have to throw for myself, or clean up after, with no boys. For the most part the gifts were from our registry, but a few decided to strike out on their own. Lacy gifted me a knitting book. My dad and step-mom presented pjs, I was assured that the lacy red ones were not from my dad. While dear Crystal gave me a sack of penis shaped candy and flavored lubes and condoms. The food was delicious, the company was splendid, and it was so special and wonderful that I'll treasure the memory forever, or at least until I go senile.

Saturday night Jeff and I went out to dinner with his mom (Jean) and dad (Dan), and my step-mom (Iza). I was so tired after a morning of cleaning, and an afternoon of partying, that I had a hard time staying awake. We went to this new Italian restaurant by the DAC and it was pretty good, but expensive. I'm very glad that we had the folks there to foot the bill, because I'm a cheap ass that doesn't like to spend $18 a plate. I didn't end up spending that much anyway, because I was pretty full (see tasty food at shower) I got an appetizer and a salad and it was still more food than I could eat. I would like at this time to tell you that a ball of risotto that is stuffed with mozzarella and then fried is good eats. I'd tell you what the place is called, but I don't remember. It's not the one that has been there a long time, it is in the cursed building where Rockhound's used to be with the stairs inside that go up to the outside.... (The building is cursed because everything opened there seems to close rather quickly.)

We tried to make it to Mary's birthday celebration Saturday night, but we failed. We went to the house to unwind a bit, digest, and wait for the bowlers to make it back to Ian and Mary's apartment. ... We fell asleep. Well, rather, Jeff fell asleep and so I made him go to bed and then I crawled in after him. There's only so much fun that us old farts can have in one day before we just pass out.

I rounded out my weekend of presents by going shopping with Jean and Iza. They worked together to find me an acceptable new swimsuit to replace my circa 1997 model. As I concluded the torture (you know the only thing worse than trying on swimsuits is trying them on and letting other women see how bad they look on you?) Jean set off in search of sundresses. Somehow the planets aligned and we actually found 2 dresses that all 3 of us liked and agreed look good on me, and then we continued to shop and found a white sweater to go over them so that I don't freeze if I wear them on the plane, and even found two pairs of really cute sandals. After our shopping we met up with the boys at Matt's El Rancho, where they had finalized the catering plans for the wedding rehearsal dinner, and had a lunch of Mexican food and margaritas and beer.

After all that I still wasn't done and Jeff and I got together with Anna to pick out the wedding music. I think that we're all pretty happy with the choices. Hopefully Anna won't be bored to tears, and it's not too pop music for Jeff, and not too traditional for me. The music selection process was easier than I thought it would be, and I had fun hanging out with Anna. Sean was there too, but he was kept busy by the kiddos most of the time. Of course around dinner time Miss Georgia got a little pissed, so Jeff and I took off and went home to collapse again. I don't even remember what we ate for dinner. We must have had something, but all I know was that I was tired.

I think that pretty much covers it. There's more weekly news to come, but that will have to wait for another time. Hopefully I'll get around to it in less than a week this time.

Oh, and ... 15 days until the wedding. EEK!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gratuitous Kitten Shot

Dinah did her best tonight. I'm not sure which one of my knitting opponents bribed her, or what sort of kitty treat they offered, but Dinah was the cutest, cuddliest kitten tonight. She curled up next to me and kept rolling around so I would pet her belly or scratch behind her ears. Still, despite her efforts I did manage a decent amount of knitting.

Sock Madness round 2 has begun. I'm working both socks at the same time (though on different needles). I don't think it will make me any faster, but at least it will be really fast to finish the second one, once I finish the first, instead of having to start from the beginning on it. There are 56 rounds of chart for the leg, and I've done 24 on one and 12 on the other. 36 out of 112 is almost 1/3 the way through both legs. Considering that I didn't get started until 6pm, I'd call that not bad at all... except now I've stayed up too late and have to work tomorrow... and I still haven't told you about the awesome bridal shower. Maybe I can get that done at work tomorrow?

Here's where I stopped for the night, and I hope I can fall asleep quickly or tomorrow is going to really drag.
If I sleep half as good as a well snuggled kitten it'll be the best night's sleep I've had in months.