May 31, 2007

Socks and Hiking! It must be summer.

So this past weekend was the official start to summer - and we did many of the typical Memorial Day things – we had a friend in from out of town, we traveled to meet another out of town friend, we BBQ’d, we planted/gardened/weeded, etc… but most of all? We played outside:
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That would be the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We’ve been meaning to check it out for along time now… I mean a national park in our backyard? That has to be good. So on Monday we spent the afternoon on a 7 mile hike through the park.

We started off on a stretch of the towpath trail north of Boston:

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But we almost got run over by bikers so we veered off past the Stanford hostel and onto the Stanford trail:
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From there we hiked up to the Brandywine falls which are beautiful:
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And back down around the Brandywine Falls loop trail crossing over the Brandywine creek:
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My parent’s dog, Max (we were watching him while they were on vaca), was NOT thrilled about jumping across the river on those rocks. Finally Dexter (my dog) was able to convince him. Seriously. It was adorable.

Along the creek there were some very pretty wildflowers….
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From there we just retraced our steps back to the car...All in all it was a very fun hike.

Although I think the true sign that it’s officially summer is that I’m finally (finally!) done with the Spring Socks-that-never-end:
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Pattern: Raindrop Lace Socks, Evelyn Clark for Fiber Trends
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino in the wildflower colorway (not 100% sure of the color - I lost the ballband)
Needles: Size 2 bamboo
Modifications: None (really, I swear)
The Verdict: These bad boys almost sucked out my soul they took so long. Lace Socks are a serious time investment. Like as much as a sweater time investment. I need to remember that next time I think it’s a good idea to knit a pair… however in the end I love them. They are pretty and light and airy and… well… here’s a closeup of the lace pattern:
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Yup. I love them. I think if I ever knit this pattern again, though I’d only knit the cuff 7 inches instead of the called for 8… they are pretty tall. Also I’d probably want to knit the foot a little bit longer – perhaps 1 pattern repeat. They are pretty tight on my foot lengthwise. Oh well… live and learn.
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Next up? All of my fiber purchase from the Great Lakes Fiber Festival. I did good.

May 25, 2007

#8

Ok.. fine, Jannett, I’ll come up with an eighth thing…..

8.) I have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad taste in music. I’m perfectly ok with this because I know it could be much, much worse. I could like Nickleback. Shudder.

So big shout-out to Amy who I got to meet for lunch today! Funtimes! It’s very nice to have a friend in Akron since I have to go there for work so much…. Yeah for knitblogging!

So is anyone going to this this weekend? I actually completely forgot about it until today… My grandma and I are going tomorrow morning – the market opens at 10 and we should be there right around then. Say hi if you see me!!! I’ll probably be wearing my Green Gable.

Oh and it’s a wonderful thing that I’m going to a fiber festival since my grandma gave me one of these for my birthday: Yup. I’m kindof a spinner now.
I have to pick which one I like better and then I get to keep it for my very own. It’s a tough decision to make considering my limited knowledge of spinning…any thoughts?

I also have this to play with:

But I have no idea how to use it yet. Baby steps.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!!

May 24, 2007

7 things...

Ok so I got tagged for a 7 things MEME and an 8 things MEME but I'm lazy so I'm just going to do 7. Since my main objection to the MEME’s is that they don’t come with pictures (hate posting w/o pics) I’ll just share some shots of my garden. I have no knitting to share lately but my yard is starting to shape up nicely….

7 Random Things/Habits about me:

1.) I love to read in bed. When I’m done reading I just put the book down on the bottom shelf of the night stand next to me (my nightstand is this one from Ikea – pic of it in my room here). Problem is that I always forget that bottom shelf is there… so what happens is when I’m done with a book another one piles on top of it… and then another one on top of that… eventually they gradually are slid to under the bed just by being pushed there from the newewst addition to the pile. So at any given time I have about a million books under my bed. And a magazine or twelve. Yup. I’m a freak.

2.) I love Taco Bell. But my husband hates it. So I don’t eat it all that often – however whenever I’m left to my own devices for dinner it’s a safe bet I’m having a chicken quesadilla complete with mild taco sauce. Yummy.

My poppies are blooming! Despite having accidentally almost killed all of them last year by moving them all around. Poppies don't like being messed with.

3.) During the summer I water/ weed / deadhead/ putz around in my garden before I even go in my house. It would make more sense for me to go in and change into junky clothes instead of trying to weed in heels and “business” attire but I get distracted and never make it that far.

4.) I always eat chips/crackers/etc with the salty side down and the dip on top. That is clearly the best way to eat salty things b/c then you get to actually taste the salt!

5.) I really enjoy walking my dog because I like scoping out all of the yards around my neighborhood. And whenever I see a house for sale along my route I always look it up on realtor.com to see how much it’s selling for and what it’s features are, etc. Nosey, I know, but interesting.

6.) One of the things I’ve always dreamed of doing I’m going to do at the end of August this year. I'll blog about it soon.... but not quite yet.

The peonies are about to burst – see the ant on there? The ants are what makes the flowers open. Hopefully some of them will have popped by the time I get home today!

7.) Yesterday when getting on the bus for my ride home I spotted another knitter! So of course I sat next to her – when given the option always sit next to the knitter b/c knitters are generally good people. The second I sat down I remembered my unbreakable rule: I don’t talk to people on the bus. Bus conversation is awful. All of the small talk is out of the way in the first five minutes and then I’m stuck sitting there in uncomfortable silence wondering if I should come up with something to say next not wanting to put my headphones back on b/c I don’t want to insult them. It cuts into my knitting/space out/relax time, and honestly, I have friends. I don’t need bus friends. I need to detox after the stress of work so that I don’t bring it home with me. So after I sat down I panicked… do I break my rule? Do I not knit so as to not break my rule? How do I relax on the (otherwise kindof awful) bus ride if I’m not knitting? So I very quietly, very simply, very un-dramatically took out my sock and started knitting. She looked over and kindof nodded and then went back to her scarf. So we both just sat there for the duration of the bus ride happily knitting along, happy to be sitting next to another knitter, happy to not chat and to just knit. She got off of the bus before I did and as she did turned back and gave me a very knowing smile. I hope she’s on my bus again. Perhaps I’ll even break my rule (probably not).

Whatever this is is blooming like crazy – It’s like I have a giant ball of pink in my front yard. Love it!

I'm not tagging anyone b/c that's the way I roll. Actually, come to think of it I'll tag Jennifer in the hopes it will get her back in a blogging mood... Hi Jennifer!

May 22, 2007

Marathon Man.

So my brother kicked some serious ass Sunday at the Cleveland Marathon. He ran it in 4 hours and 11 minutes. His goal was 4hours and 30 min. So yeah – he did amazing. And this was his first ever marathon!

Here’s some pics...

At Edgewater and W110th (Mile 5):
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At Lake and W110th (Mile 6):
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Random runners in front of the West Side Market:
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Saying hi to his training partner in front of the West Side Market (Mile 11):
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Some of his cheering squad (my grandpa didn’t want to be blogged so he gets a smiley face. Hi grandpa!):
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At E. 55th and Marginal (Mile 21):
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At Lakeside and E. 9th (Mile 25!)
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Powering to the finish line:
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And crossing the finish:
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We’re so very proud of him!

May 19, 2007

Staying In

So tonight I’m home early… despite the intense desire to go to the Garage Bar after the Burning River Rollergirls Bout that I just came home from (holy crap do those girls rock! I so want to do it! But it’s 3 nights a week and would totally conflict w/ rowing. Perhaps in another life. Or next year.). Aaaanyways I’m totally being responsible and going to bed early and all of that b/c tomorrow I have to be up very, very early. Tomorrow my brother is running the Cleveland Marathon. So proud! Although, sadly, he can't run with his training partner. Heh.

Plus last night was a bit of a doozie. Seriously, now that it’s summer out again it’s hard not to want to go out every night. We kindof hibernate in winter and withdraw into our own little couch bubble – Matt plays video games and I knit. Alot. And we make chili and watch movies and are complete homebodies. But now… now it’s crazy being home this early on a weekend. Especially since it’s our very good friend Osam’s last weekend in Cleveland. The first of many goodbye parties was last night at Panini’s on Coventry. He, of course, had to get his picture taken with as many people as would let him:

We’re so going to miss him!
If you’re anywhere near downtown early tomorrow morning stop by the marathon route (link on the left hand side) and root my brother on!
Oh yeah... and...
GO CAVS!!!

May 17, 2007

Bamboo and Boredom

So I have been knitting:
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That would be Sahara in South West Trading Company Bamboo. I was quite a bit off with the gauge so I’m basically knitting a larger size with a smaller gauge and crossing my fingers. I did some math and I’m going for a little less ease than the 3” the pattern calls for.

So the way this is knit is you do a provisional cast on, knit down the back, and then pick up your provisional cast on and knit down the front until under the armpit where you join the front and back together. Well on my flight out of Cleveland I made a horrible mistake: I only brought this with me to knit, and I didn’t prepare for the possibility that I would finish knitting the back. Meaning I didn’t pack any extra needles, stitcholders, etc. that I would need to start knitting the front.

Right. So of course my flight got delayed. On the runway. For 2 hours. I finished up the back down to the armpit before we even took off. I had only the only the skymall to amuse me and a 3 hour flight ahead… So I improvised...
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I used the cotton that I had from the provisional cast on and gnawed off (using the “sharpest” thing I could find - my seatbelt buckle) as much as I could w/o undoing the cast on edge. From there I threaded it through the live stitches. Without a tapestry needle. That was fun.

Then I undid the cast on back on to my now empty Denise needles… luckily I found a safety pin in the bottom of my purse to use as a stitch holder… there’s a lot of stitches crammed on a little safety pin but it totally worked.
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Never underestimate the resourcefulness of a bored knitter.

So anyways I love the feel of this yarn and I love the color but one critical thing I did not know about bamboo - It tangles very, very easily. Somehow after I got off the plane I had a pretty, red pile of knots instead of a workable skein. Which would be why I haven’t touched it since then. Monday night I finally sucked it up and untangled the whole mess….
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I can’t wait to get back to knitting this!

Calling all Cleveland Knitters

Does anyone want to go to this?

I’m planning on going! It’s Monday, June 25 and $15 per person for the tickets. If you order your tickets by this weekend that includes a nifty little knitting related gift bag. I’m all about the gift bags. Then there is a dinner thing beforehand that is $15.95. Sounds like fun! Last year we sortof got rained out but it was still a ball… anyone interested?

Just send me an email and let me know! (Sourire_11@hotmail.com)

Oh and some good news… my home computer is fixed! I can make my triumphant return to the land of blogging! Lots to catch up on….

May 14, 2007

All Star Cleveland Weekend

So this past weekend was insane. We seriously hit up all of our fav. Cleveland things in one weekend.

Friday we met another couple for dinner at Heck’s. I’d never been there before but I will definitely go again! Their burgers are amazing. Like best in the city amazing. (they claim it on their website and they aren’t kidding). Plus we sat outside and I love me a sidewalk cafĂ©. Especially one like this one in a residential neighborhood where you can watch people and their dogs walk by. It feels very… I don’t want to say European b/c that’s too clichĂ©…I think the right word is Urban. Very urban.

(Not my pic – it’s from here)


From there we went to the Tremont Art Walk. Hadn’t done that in awhile - it is so fun! I love seeing all of the different things going on. And my fav. Cleveland artist Paul Duda just opened a gallery on Professor so we got to go to the opening. It’s really a nice space – I can’t wait to see what other shows he will have there!

And of course if you’re out in Tremont you end up barhopping. It’s just part of the deal. We were pretty beat, though, so we went for a little chill time at 806… That place is great for relaxing. Then it was on to the Tree House which I’m pretty sure is my favorite bar in all of Cleveland. I love the atmosphere there – and the Scully artwork. Plus their pineapple yummy (some sort of vodka/pineapple concoction they keep in a jug behind the bar) is ridiculously good. It’s also ridiculously drunk so you have to be careful of that….

Sat. we spent all day at my grandparents’ house – Matt helped build a walkway while I worked on my spinning (a lot more on that later)…. Then we met up with some out of town friends for wine and appetizers at Nido Italia. I’d never been there before – apparently they recently had a nice write up in the Plain Dealer? We were talking to the owner and he said that between that and mothers day they were having a crazy-busy weekend. I can see why, though. The appetizers we had were out of this world. I can only imagine how good their actual food is… But sadly we didn’t have time to try it b/c from there we were off to the Playhouse to see Linconesque. Great political comedy. Totally amusing. And the set design was pretty awesome in and of itself.

Anyways from there we rushed downtown to E. 4th to meet some people for the Midnight Martini Show at Pickwick ‘n Frolic. So much fun. They sing Rat Pack songs to a lounge – type crowd. The singers are actually really good and the show is hilarious. Really anything based on “Sinatra in Vegas” has to be good. After the show we headed over to the Corner Alley. Sadly we were too late to bowl – eh. Perhaps next time.

Sunday… no big Cleveland things on Sunday. But we did turn this hard to mow area of weeds:
Into this bed ready to be filled with flowers:
With a nice little walkway so I can get at all of my plants:

I also hit up Buyer’s Outlet (it’s on Warren Road) for all of my veggies for this year’s Salsa Garden. Their pepper selection is outstanding - and they carry 10 different kinds of tomatoes (if you hit it right – they go quick. You have to be there when they are unloading) And 3 plans for $1?! At home depot they cost $2.49 for one! I still need to buy a few more flats of flowers (at $9.99 per flat I can afford to really go crazy with the flowers) but I want to get my veggies in first.

Whew! I’m kindof glad it’s Monday so I can relax!

Knitting and San Antonio still to come….

May 8, 2007

Overblogged

So I’m overwhelmed I have so much to blog about… lots ‘n lots to blog about. San Antonio was awesome, Al Gore is a rock star, and lots of knitting was done on the plane and while camping out to see the rock star’s speech. But I want to play outside right now so I’m just going to cop out and post some Cleveland pics from my dad.

This one was taken last Monday:


This one was taken yesterday morning:

Both were taken in exactly the same spot. Crazy how much the sun moved in just one week! But I guess that means that summer is rapidly approaching….

Ok… off to weed and figure out what I want for this year’s salsa garden!

San Antonio pics soon...

May 2, 2007

Travel Knitting

So I’m sitting here waiting for my ride to get here and it occurs to me: clearly I need a travel project other than just a sock. So I’m going to try to knit a short-sleeved Sahara out of this:

That would be South West Trading Company Bamboo that I bought last year. The gauge I just frantically knit is smaller than what’s called for in the pattern but I think I can make it work. I’m so going to end up doing more math on the plane ride than knitting...

In any case I think it’s pretty neat I’m going to a convention at which the theme is "growing beyond green" and I’m going to be knitting out of Bamboo - a renewable, green, and very popular building material. Which, by the way, I think totally justifies knitting during Al Gore’s speech. (I get to see Al Gore speak! I heart him! Can you be a groupie of an aging ex-politician?)

I think I have time for a few gratuitous pics before I leave:
Cleveland from the water pic from my Dad. He put his boat in Sunday and this was the first trip out of the season.

Dexter is definitely going to miss me while I’m gone.

Catch y'all when I get back on Sunday!

Ok that was my attempt at a Texas accent. I don't think I'm the type of person who can pull off y'all. Oh well.

May 1, 2007

What I’ve been working on

So there’s been lots of knitting going on over here even if the blogging hasn’t quite been up to date. I’ve basically been working on only 2 projects...

One pair of Socks:
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I nicknamed these my “spring socks” because everything about them reminds me of spring. The colors make me think of Easter eggs:
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and even the name of the pattern – Raindrop Lace - is very Springy. Both the yarn (fleece artist) and pattern (Raindrop Lace Socks from Fibertrends) came from my SP8 waaaay back when. I’m glad I’m finally getting around to knitting them!

And one lace shawl:
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That would be the Shetland Triangle Shawl that is knit out of the wisdom teeth pity yarn. I love this project.
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I love that the pattern is simple enough to be semi-mindless but complex enough to hold my attention.
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I love the color and the way the silk in the yarn comes through in little shiny bits. I love the way the fircone pattern causes the stitches to swirl around.
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I love that not once during the knitting was I ever bored of it.

These pictures were all taken on Saturday when I had 2 rows left – I finished those and cast off last night. Sadly blocking it is going to have to wait awhile – tomorrow I’m leaving for a work conference in San Antonio! I’ve never been to San Antonio before so I’m pretty excited.

And while I’m there I’m totally going to mess with Texas.
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