Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday. I am 33. Birthdays don't mean so much at this age. I'm too old to get excited, but too young to be too freaked out about getting older. Just another day, more or less, but a good one.

I spent the morning with ZEN, and then I went to Borders and to my knitting group. My knitting group is fairly new, but it's been a pleasure to knit with these women every time I've gotten the chance. It's a great group, and everyone brings an interesting project or two for us to enjoy. Jana brought her KnitPicks Harmony needles this time, and being able to fondle them made me want some even more! While I was at Borders I picked up a copy of Scarf Style so that I can consider trying a Lady Eleanor for myself.

After I finished with my group, I stopped by the LYS, and I picked up Cat Bordhi's latest book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I finished the Coriolis socks she demonstrated on Knitty Gritty, so I am excited to try her other new techniques, too. These socks for Sockin' It To Maggie. I don't think I did a great job on them, but I am happy they are done, and I hope they will be comfy and cozy for Maggie, even if they're not so gorgeous.

I also finished My So Called Scarf for my scarf swap partner, Bev. Here's a glimpse:

I'm not going to show the entire thing because I want Bev to be at least a tiny bit surprised, even though I used yarn she used, and she knows which pattern I knit. I am pleased with how it came out, and I will put in one final rave about Patons SWS. It's good stuff! Bev, if you're reading, there will be another surprise heading your way, but it will be coming after your first mailing, and probably after Christmas.

My wonderful friends at work got me a yarn bouquet for my birthday! The yarn is a SeaCell blend, and it's in a gorgeous Midnight colorway. I also had some Hiya Hiya bamboo DPNs in the bouquet. It was so generous, and I cannot wait to cast on with the yarn and needles. Christmas projects first, though!

And speaking of that, I'm in much higher Christmas knitting spirits now that I've finished the scarf and socks I mentioned earlier. That leaves two sweaters (both of which are underway), one pair of socks (and I'm about 4 inches from getting to the toe of the second one!), and the other scarf, for which I'm waiting on yarn. At this rate ZEN may get some knitted Christmas gifts, which would be so fun!

On a final note, ZEN's picture didn't make it into the Knitty 2008 Calendar, but we did make honorable mention. I am so jealous of these knitters who knit gorgeous items, and then are able to take breathtaking pictures! It's amazing. The Knitty 2008 calendar is available for purchse here. Maybe Nat will read this and get me one for Christmas?? One can only hope!

I'm off to enjoy my birthday evening with my daughter. I hope you all have a great weekend, too!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The holiday crunch

I read somewhere that there are only 44 knitting days left until Christmas, which has me a little bit on edge... I have six projects I need to finish for the holidays.

1. Husband sweater - it's about 25 percent done. It's times like these that you reconsider having married a 6'5" 225 pound man. It takes a lot of yarn to cover that frame in a sweater! Luckily he has a January 10 birthday, so I can always put it off a bit, if need be.
2. Mom's sweater - 40 percent done. The back is done and I'm about half the way through one sleeve. Mom is coming to town on or around the 28th of December to celebrate ZEN's first birthday, so I might just decide that I don't want to ship it anyway, and buy myself an extra week or so.
3. Husband socks - One done, one half done. These will get finished, if I can motivate myself to keep looking at brown yarn in stockinette stitch for a bit longer.
4. Socks for Maggie - I have one and a half done here, too. And my goal is to finish them before Thanksgiving and send them on their way. The sock drive ends November 30, so I really want to beat that date handily.
5. Scarf for my super-cool scarf swap partner. The lovely Bev has entrusted me with some yummy SWS to make a scarf for her. It's coming along just fine. I have about four feet done, and it will end up being about 5 1/2 or 6 feet long. I'm using the My So Called Scarf pattern. This should be done early this week.
6. Scarf for my sister - this will happen if the yarn I've ordered arrives before December. If it doesn't, she'll get it for her March birthday. Not quite as appropriate as for Christmas, but she can deal.
7. If the yarn for her scarf doesn't arrive, I will make a scarf for my friend/coworker, Jenni. I have yarn in mind for her, but I'm waiting until early December to know whether I can budget the time.

If all of this gets done (Ha!), I might have time to knit a few toys for ZEN, and also for my cats and my sister's cat. And if not, there's always next year, right?

Given that today was Sunday, you'd think it would be a good chance to catch up on some of this knitting, right? Well, actually, no. I did spend 3 hours this morning engaging in knitting pursuits, but they were wholly unrelated to the above tasks. Lily Chin was in town, teaching a workshop at Stitches N Scones. The workshop was about reversibile cables. Both of the Christmas sweaters I'm making involve cables, so it was appropriate, I suppose. It was a pretty good class and a mostly positive experience. I think I would have preferred to take the workshops she offered yesterday - one was on finishing techniques/edgings, and it sounded just wonderful. Hwoever, I'm just happy to have had the chance to attend today. It's not always easy to get away for a chunk of time when you have a 10-month-old!

Maybe I'll try to get my act together and take a few pictures to brighten up this blog. For now, though, good night and have a great week!

Monday, November 5, 2007

It's the most important meal of the day!

I've heard that you're supposed to eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a pauper for dinner if you're watching your weight. I am watching my weight - watching it mostly go up, unfortunately! My breakfast most days is Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal (with 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber to boot).
At 160 calories and 3 grams of fat, it definitely fits into a healthy-eating profile. I sound like Bob from The Biggest Loser (do any of you watch that show? Holy product placements Batman!). I love me some Bob, though!

I don't think the oatmeal alone fits into the king-prince-pauper formula. And here's my question for any of you who have had this - does one packet really satisfy you all morning? I find that it's tasty and satisfying, but that I'm hungry within an hour or two. Really, that's not a problem because I can grab an apple or a banana. And I suppose I probably should be having something in addition to the oatmeal first thing, anyway. I'm just happy to have anything at all. I don't eat until after I've arrived at work; I'm lucky to have a job where eating a cup of oatmeal at my desk isn't a problem.

If my weight weren't on the rise, and it were convenient, I would happily eat a Dunkin Donuts double chocolate donut every morning, though. Yum! But don't click if you're at all in denial about how bad donuts are for us. Bummer, huh?

Now how many knitting blogs manage to mention The Biggest Loser and Dunkin' Donuts in the same post? I don't know - maybe a ton of them. I'm proud, nonetheless! We'll be back to our regularly scheduled knitting program soon.