Monday, May 26, 2008

Only someone with great inner confidence ...

would be willing to share photos like these with you. [grin] Holidays are for no makeup and pigtails.

Amazingly, the cable luxe tunic is coming right along and so far I don't hate it! In fact, I'm liking it fairly well.

So far I've been following the increases the pattern recommends. In fact I think I've only got one set of increases left to do. So far, no giant swinging bell -- I'm going to continue on for a while I think and maybe put in a lifeline before the last increases. If the bell look starts to get too extreme I'll just pull back and think about putting in waist decreases instead. Love the cables though.

Gotta love the three day weekend too! This (above) is where I was before the weekend... cable part of the yoke done, part of the garter stitch yoke complete. Many hours of uninterrupted knitting and the sweater is starting to look like a sweater. [ Again, I give kudos to those of you who manage to take mirror photos regularly. This is clearly not my talent area.]

Not much else happening around here this weekend. The garden is growing... cucumbers, radishes, and lots more strawberries harvested this weekend. Just one big leisurely break -- the very best kind.

Hope all of you have been enjoying your weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Woohoo... 5K!

Ok... those strawberries don't cost $5000 but don't they look fab? The first big haul from our garden this year. Organic, grown right outside our backdoor, strawberries.

So if they strawberries aren't 5K then what is? Well friends, you may want to sit down to hear this. I ran 5K this morning! Yes, a miracle has occurred. The earth shifted on its axis, worms turned over in the ground, the sun broke through the clouds and I actually ran 3.1 miles, in a row, with no walking break. Never, never did I think this was possible when I started the Couch to 5K program last January. Today I'm proof that anyone, and I do mean ANYONE, can do this if I can. I was the girl that couldn't run around the track once in elementary school because I couldn't breathe and got a stitch in my side. Today, it's official, I can run. Even sweeter, S also ran 5K. He made the target earlier this week.

This week was (supposedly) our last of the 9 Robert Ullreys podcasts that we've been using to train. This week all three of our runs have been 30 minutes long. Let's just say that S runs a bit faster than me so he made the full 5K in his first 30 minute run. Me, not so much. I ran a little longer on Monday and then today I ran about 34 minutes and got in the full 5K.

Can you tell I'm pleased?

I won't lie and say I enjoy running... I don't really ... but I don't hate it either. I do like the fact that I definitely feel, and am, much healthier. It's great to know that I won't get completely winded just going down the street. I just imagine my heart and lungs doing so much better now. I figure this is important since our hearts and lungs decline with age and you know I'm not getting younger (hitting this goal is especially sweet as my birthday is Friday... got there before my birthday... yeah!). I like to think of this as my little strategy to extend my life expectancy. Mine is currently 92 years ... have you calculated yours yet?

Between exercise and good eating, why shouldn't I get all the way to 100 after all? And speaking of good eating ...

This here little garden is going to give us some wonderful goodies this summer. That giant bush there at the front, butternut squash. It has just grown like crazy in the past week -- it must like 100+ degree heat. Our cucumbers are growing and growing and we have tomatoes on the vine now. And this morning...

Yep, our cauliflower have started to set heads. We aren't really sure we'll get to eat this given how hot it's gotten and given that cauliflower, we now know, are cold season veggies. We'll keep our eyes on these girls though and maybe we'll at least get appetizers even if we don't get full grown mama cauliflowers.

So for me and S, it's more running and more veggies. Pass the cucumbers Martha; we're organic, healthy, and getting better looking every day!


Friday, May 16, 2008


This week I was compelled, forced really, by my own mind to cast on a new project. This is made even stranger by the fact that I feel 85% certain that this project will turn out awful.

What would propel me to cast on for the Cable Luxe Tunic? I can't really explain it!

I've looked at other finished projects on Ravelry, and this project is usually a dog. I've read posts over on the knitting boards and most people who knit it hate it. So what is wrong with me?

I think it must be the sound of the cable siren. I just can't seem to resist the cables. And if I think about it, I also really like the garter stitch part of the yoke too. Ever since Melissa posted her garter stitch yoke sweater, I've wanted to do one.

My plan is to knit the yoke, cable and garter stitch, and then see what happens next. Maybe sanity will have returned by then. Maybe I'll come up with an alternative. Maybe I'll knit the sweater as planned and just see how terrible it will end up.

Call me crazy .. it would make sense that I'd gone over the sanity edge... work is pushing me as hard as it can these days. I'm gonna embrace my insanity and knit on though!

(Cascade 220 is the yarn being sacraficed for this crazy experiment.)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gift knitting

May is a big gift giving month around here. First you have your mothers' day and then you have birthdays. For the past week (of silence) I've been doing a bit of covert knitting. Mom now has her gift and it's unlikely that Karen will see this before her's get to her (but Karen if you see this, happy birthday!).

And what did I choose for gift giving this spring? Well, fingerless mitts of course!

These are the clever Garter Stitch Mitts by Ysolda and I just love the pattern. That Ysolda really has got it all figured out. Clever designs, great final projects.

I used Patons SWS for both pairs of mitts. I purchased one ball to use for myself some time ago and just hadn't gotten around to using it. I pulled the ball out when I decided it was time for gift giving and I'm so glad I did.

The wool-soy blend in this yarn is very soft and I love the subtle stripes in the color.

The gauge with SWS is definitely different than that in the pattern but I got a good fit just by reducing the number of stitches cast on.

Short row shaping is really a pretty amazing tool to have in your toolbox as well. So fun to see how you can get extra coverage into just one small area (this is how the thumb is created) with so little effort!

If you haven't tried this pattern, I'd encourage you to put it into your queue. I know I'm keeping it there for a pair for myself!

Happy Birthday Karen and Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Garter Stitch Mitts by Ysolda
1 ball Pattons SWS (70% wool, 30% soy), Natural Violet (color 70312 lot 179535) for first pair
1 ball Pattons SWS (70% wool, 30% soy), Natural Denim (color 70117 lot 16021) for second pair
US 6 circulars
First pair cast on May 2, 2008
Finished May 4, 2008
Second pair cast on May 5, 2008
Finished May 10, 2008

Modifications: Cast on only 32 stitches given yarn with a different gauge.

Ravelry details here.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Giggle, snort

Wanna guess what we did last night?

S's been talking about camping for weeks now and we had hoped to go to Joshua Tree last night for just a one night trip. One of the (many) bad things that happened Monday was that the window of my driver's side car door fell out. Yepp... I'm driving down the road and the window just fell down into the door.

Now you might expect that this would be quite startling, but, uh, well it's happened once before. Jettas apparently were made with dysfunctional window clips. Plastic mind you. Over time they rot away and then the window just falls in. We're lucky the window didn't break.

Anyway this was a long way of getting to the point that we decided we couldn't camp last night because S is going to fix the window this morning (actually is fixing it, as I type). I think he was very disappointed though because earlier in the week he had gone to REI to look at tents.

Yesterday was the start of their giant anniversary sale and apparently he "accidently" found himself there again and brought home a new tent. We decided we'd camp in the back yard last night.

This was our first night camping together and Sterling's first night camping ever. We figured we need to give him some practice to make sure he doesn't bark all night long.

That's about as comfortable as he looked all night [laugh] ... he was mr. sentry all night. It's a great tent, Great Agnes actually, and we had fun. Around 4:30 the birds started singing and I was wakey-wakey. Sterling was shivering a bit so he and I went into the house to get warm and finish up the evening's sleep. He's crashed now. S says he was awake most of the night growling at nothing. Poor babe. Maybe we'll camp again tonight... practice makes perfect!