Tuesday, February 28, 2006

i've reached the toe

The first sock for my sockpal is nearly done - I've reached the point where I need to start decreasing for the toe. Yay!!! I want to toss in another lifeline here, because on my first sock I didn't like the way the toe came out the first time, and it's a pain to rip back to redo the toe.

Last Friday, in my distress, I went to my most trusted LYS (and source of the yarn for the socks) to ask about the funky short-row heel. They said it was fine. I was happy. I'm not completely satisfied with the heel, I think it could be better, but I'm okay with it. I hope my sockpal doesn't mind...!!!!! I've tried on the sock-in-progress a few times (fortunately for me, my sockpal and I have very similarly sized feet!) and the heel isn't uncomfortable and seems to look just fine.

Sorry, no pictures of the sock because I forgot my camera today, but here's a few pictures of another craft I'd like to learn someday (soon). These are quilted objects made by and displayed in the room of my brother's friend Mel, whose place I stayed at two weekends ago when the hockey team played and stayed in Columbus. I am convinced that Mel is extremely artistic. Do you agree?
the bed was covered with quilted stuff - a quilted blanket hanging over the headboard, a quilt beadspread, and a quilted pillow-cover!a quilt on the chair (next to the table used for quilting!) makes the dorm room seem very homey!i LOVE this wall hanging! i didn't even realize all the quilting detail until i just resized the photo! wow!!! i also distinctly remember that the quilt on the bed has detailed quilting, too - it's not just squares quilted together; instead it's intricate curly lines. much talent...much time!another wall hanging. notice the colors and how they shift...very nice effect. and then look at the detail in the quilting - all sorts of shapes!a close-up of the wall hanging. do you see it? isn't that AWESOME!!!!?!

Monday, February 27, 2006

the mysterious wrist ache

I mentioned before that my wrist was hurting. I was hoping beyond hope that it wasn't due to my knitting, because that would mean I'd have to make the tough decision of to give up knitting (or at least take a break from it) or to injure my joints even more. But I've had several spells where I've gone without knitting for at a couple days in a row, and it doesn't seem to have affected my wrist pain at all.

So a second hypothesis was that hockey was doing it. I had first noticed my wrist hurting while I was playing in a hockey game. I hold my goalie stick in my right hand, and it's sort of an unnatural thing. But I've been playing hockey for a long time, and I don't think I have a new way to hold the stick that would be aggravating the wrist any more than it would have the past 10 years.

Hypothesis three: work. Two sub-hypotheses at work: pipetting (a pipettor is this thing that sucks up given amounts of liquid, allowing you to transfer the liquid from one thing to another) and shaking out ELISA plates, which I had to do a lot of around the time the wrist started hurting OR using the computer, mostly the mouse because I had to do that A LOT for the same experiment involving the ELISA. This is still a possibility, but even when I rested the wrist from these activities for a weekend, the pain was still there.

Another hypothesis is driving. I drive a manual shift car, and I have been driving a lot lately. But it's been long-distance driving, which doesn't require a lot of shifting. Maybe holding onto the steering wheel, but again - it's never been a problem before, and I've had plenty of driving-a-lot periods.

Today, though, I think I might have figured out the problem. I was walking to the bus stop, toting all the stuff I need for a day at work...purse...lunch...knitting bag...and office supplies I had purchased over the weekend. The office supplies aren't part of my normal load, but I realized that I was holding the bag on my right forearm, along with my knitting bag. That's the knitting bag's normal position (like this. I don't know quite where I picked up that habit, but it's only been in the past two months. Since then, I've walked out of no less than two stores and arrived at my car only to find that I had the shopping basket I had been using still balanced...on my right forearm. Hmmmm...I wonder...

The balancing-bags-and-baskets hypothesis is in the lead now. I'll see what happens when I cease and desist this habit. In the meantime, I'm also going to look into buying wrist supports for the computer at work as well as a brace. I read in I think Cooking Light that the pain of carpal tunnel can be reduced by wearing a brace at night, and I've heard many a knitter do the same thing. I really hope it all gets 100% better...and soon!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

how does this look?

I finished up the short-row heel last night. I don't know if I like it. The one side is good, but the other seems to be a little bumpy. What do you think (if you can tell at all from these pictures)?
I'm thinking I might try to drop by a yarn shop tonight and see what they have to say. ...There's always the dental floss lifeline to rip back to, and the heel really didn't take that long, so it wouldn't be awful to do again...I just don't know what I would need to do differently...!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

i'm too busy to blog much...

...so I'm just going to say that I worked on all those round projects from last week, but I tried to focus on getting somewhere with my sockapaloooza sock. While visiting my brother in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, he watched Battlestar Galactica and did his laundry, and I half-watched and worked the sock to the place where I'm starting the heel. I did a couple short-rows and am wondering why people think it's so hard. I'm pretty sure I'll find out soon. Since I listen to my knitting pals, I decided to put in a lifeline, which I just learned about from another Ruth. Here's the sock... Oh yes, and the yarn color is #238, it has no gorgeous name.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I was reading in Matthew 19 the other day (no, not on Valentine's Day; probably Monday) and really stopped to think about what Jesus has to say about marriage (emphasis mine):

1When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

7"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

8Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

10The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."

11Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

That's pretty heavy. God obviously takes marriage VERY seriously, and I understand that. But I wonder how often people consider this before they wed. I have read this passage dozens of times, but I never had really thought about the gravity of staying married. And I had not thought about how incredibly difficult it must be to DO that - to stay with the same person FOREVER.


The longest I've remained even friends with any one person, besides my family, is with Amber, and that's (counting middle school) just under 15 years. Yes, that's a long time (yikes! I hadn't realized it had been that long!), but the average time I'm friends with someone is more around...3 years. And, not to say anything at all bad about my roommates, because those past and present are great, but you learn things about people once you live with them that you realize you don't really like so much. And if you're married to the person, according to God, you just have to suck it up and keep living together. My point is not whether God's way is right or not - it's the fact that God's way is NOT easy.

What they disciples are getting at is true: it's TOUGH. And what Jesus replies is so correct: not everyone can accept it because it's so tough. It really made me think - can I?

Forever is a LONG time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

round and round and round

The projects I've been working on this week are all items knit "in the round."

The Wave Skirt continues to make progress. It's incredibly boring, though, since it's all stockinette stitch. Bleh. I knit on it for a long time during Bethany's water polo games over the weekend.
like the fact that the measuring tape is totally in the wrong spot? haha
It's not that the polo games were boring! It's just that...I can't seem to sit still when there's stuff to knit! It was great to have so much time to knit and to see my sister and the rest of my family. Here are some pictures of us before I get back to the knitting:
the csu east bay water polo ladies in a half-time huddle...with their kangaroo skippy
me with kermit and jim henson at a statue honoring jim, who graduated from the university of maryland with a degree in home economics, according to one publication
my brother, jonathan, with the statue
and dad...
...and mom. obviously this family likes the muppets, the supposed source of fun fur yarn

Okay, next knitting project...!

I decided to mess around with my Trampoline yarn and pick a pattern for my sockpal. I swatched for an inch or so on size 1's in hopes of making gauge for Knitty's Crusoe pattern, but after that got me 9 stitches per inch and then swatching on large needles still didn't get me very close to the gauge and the yarn on that size needles wasn't making me very happy, I said adios to the idea of Crusoe and shuffled through some other patterns and settled on Sockbug's Lava Flow Socks, which just happen to call for 9 stitches per inch on size 1 needles. How convenient. What can I say - I was in the midst of five water polo games and didn't feel like doing much math. And so off I went. Progress thus far...
an inch of ribbing and a few pattern repeats

And then, last night, I pulled out the ripped-up-sweater to get to work on the Hermione mittens, which I had swatched during the Super Bowl following the Cotton Fleece "hank" disaster. Not very exciting, but...here's the outerwear set as it stands:
And - wow, here I am sitting at my computer at work still at 7-til-5 at night on Valentine's day. I guess most people would think I'm really lame. Whatever. I'm headed home to do my laundry, go grocery shopping, pick up some prescriptions, and read my Bible...and knit. Because...I love knitting. And I really love God.

Happy Valentine's Day, and just to go along with that and the title of today's post, here are lyrics from a song I learned in Sunday school looooong ago:

Love grows
One by one
Two by two
And four by four

Love grows
Round like a circle
And comes back knocking
On your front door

Friday, February 10, 2006

time for a change...!

Aaaagh... The week has been a little crazy. Seems like there's so much to do, no time to do it, and I can't remember all the things that need to get done! Gotta just stop for a while, I think.

So...let me start out with a blurb about knitting, since I totally missed it on Tuesday! Sorry if you were "staying tuned" for Tuesday to see what I did during the Super Bowl! Here it is:

I took a wad of yarn and, with the help of two other ladies who were watching the football game with me, made it into a nice, beautiful ball so that I could continue knitting the Wave Skirt, which is the new project of focus. Here it is...
the blue thing in the upper left corner is a western blot from work. cool, eh? and like that silver marker on the skirt? it's an earring...
The making of the ball from the wad was very not fun. I enjoy untying knots, but this was ridiculous. This feat was made necessary by my very own self - I had colorfasted the Cotton Fleece way back in September and had "hanked" the yarn, which is supposed to make it be able to nicely slip onto a yarn swift (which I nicely received for Christmas) and enable one to quickly wind the hank into a ball (on the nice ball winder I also received for Christmas). However...I apparently don't know how to make hanks, because...well, it didn't work. So I had to make the ball by hand. And oh what joy there is when I realize I have about five more "hanks" to do the same thing with... Not super awesome.

Anyhow...enough knitting for one non-Tuesday post.

Oh wait - except to say that I bought sock-yarn for my sock-pal from Alison's sockapaloooza sock-exchange. See:
"trampoline" yarn. what to make it into???
The pattern to which this yarn will be applied is yet to be determined, but I'm sort of thinking about the Crusoe pattern from Knitty, because I like how it shows off the colors of variegated yarn. But I might need more yarn than I bought if I'm going to make those socks. Which would be unfortunate, because I'm not sure if I can get more. And perhaps I should stop considering the Crusoe pattern since it took me three days to understand this sentence in the description: "And why did I name this design Crusoe? Because the stitch pattern is stranded." I was totally confused. I kept thinking about it and wondering what in the world it meant - how did Robinson Crusoe have ANYTHING to do with knitting and stranding?? Then one day as I was in the shower washing my hair, I decided I should google "Crusoe" and "stranded" - and as the two words came out next to each other in my mind, I got it.


Speaking of hair... I walked into Panera at 3:20 yesterday looking like this...
I designed and knit that sweater myself. argyle!
...and walked back in at 4:05 looking like this...
please ignore my totally breaking out complexion...admire the hair
After much going back and forth about whether to wait for warmer weather, I set out in 20 degree (F) weather and got my hair chopped and sent to Locks of Love through the generosity of the Greg Jockel salon and the wonderful Lora who works there (she'll cut and style your hair for free and send the hair to LOL for you! I even brought in my ponytail from three and a half years ago that I've been too lazy to send in!).
I like it. Is nice.
Mommy and Daddy are going to be pretty surprised when they find out tonight - I saw them on Tuesday/Wednesday and hadn't even thought about getting the Big Cut this week at that time. I'll be seeing them and my brother AND my sister this weekend in Baltimore where the lovely Miss Bethany will be playing in a water polo tournament with her team. I am very much looking forward to it, but sadly will miss the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Can't have it all, can we?


Edited at 4:05p.m.

Ha ha, I just have to laugh at myself. I just checked my email and was looking over the desires of my sock-pal and noticed that he/she loves blue and/or green yarn. I had not taken note of that before...and I had spent a long time in the store trying to decided between the color I bought and some yarn in yellow and black (not at ALL being manipulated by the Steelers and all their insane fans!). What do you know, Somebody must have been watching out for me, because, as you'll note, the yarn I purchased is both green and blue. Sadly, I needed to reference the picture on my blog to stop freaking out about this before I head home...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

sick from coffee

Does anyone else ever get sick from drinking coffee? I don't drink it too terribly often - not every day usually - but today I had "a lot" (but my standards) thanks to lack of sleep and needing to drive for seven hours. I just finished my third mug of it, and now my stomach hurts. That's what happens when I drink a lot of coffee, which is part of why I don't drink a lot of it. Probably my empty stomach doesn't like receiving coffee, and I suspect that the acidity of my stomach is really messed up when it gets too much coffee. Hopefully I will be awake enough from the three cups to remain active for the rest of the evening!

Monday, February 06, 2006

happy steeler-day!

So much to blog about, so little time...!

Today I must note the winning of the National Football League's Lombardi Trophy by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who defeated the Seattle Seahawks at last night's Super Bowl in Detroit! Pittsburgh is certainly an exciting place to be right now. It's amazing how much a sport where people spend most of their time running into each other can control the actions of an entire metropolis!! Be it wearing black and gold clothing, going to a television-watching party with friends, consuming large amounts of alcohol, or lighting cars on fire, the activities of many people in Pittsburgh were dictated by the Steelers this weekend.

I "celebrated" by going to my friend Ben's house - he actually has a t.v. that gets ABC; I don't. A bunch of us were there and had a great time watching and oohing and aahing and wondering why the Seahawks weren't doing what we thought they should do (There was a Seahawks fan there, too, and even he admitted there were some issues with the way the game was played. We did, however, agree with him that the refereeing did seem to be very much in the favor of Pittsburgh. Not sure what was up with that, but there should have certainly been at least one touchdown awarded to the Seahawks and taken away from the Steelers.). Stay tuned tomorrow to learn what else I did during the game...

I'm beginning to think that dear Amber over in Spokane is never going to speak to me again - first the Steelers beat her favorite Peyton Manning, then they take out the team from her state! Eeks!! Sorry, Amber! I've been thinking of you!

Tomorrow there will be a celebratory parade downtown, but sadly I will not be there - I'll be enroute to Michigan. Seems I always miss the parades that welcome back the teams that spark riots, be it in response to basketball or football...

Okay, I know that the MSU riots were due to the LOSS of the basketball team, not the victory, but hey...honestly, it all mushes together in my head, and I forget whether the riot was in response to a win or a loss. The point it that rioting is stupid. Remind me to show off my favorite piece of artwork sometime - "Bright Idea."