Thursday, June 28, 2007

Apparently, I Rock!

At least that's what Kathleen, my dear friend at Quail Hill Knits has told me, to my great surprise and delight!! She has bestowed upon me a "Rockin' Girl Blogger" award! At my age, I'm happy to think that I rock anything....! Thanks, Kathleen! You made my day, and I think you are pretty Rockin' yourself! I will display the award button with pride on my humble blog.

If you have never visited Kathleen's blog, I encourage you to do so. Her knitting is awe-inspiring, to say the least (she has some mad knitting skills), and she has a great wit that I truly enjoy! Stop over and say "hi" and tell her that I sent ya!

Part of my official duties are to now nominate five more Girl Bloggers who Rock. There are many I read often and enjoy (and Kathleen would be at the top of my list) but here are my five official Rockin' Girl Blogger nominations:

  1. My friend G-girl, over at Left-Handed Knitting. Her blog is happy and sunny, just like her! She is a teacher who knits lots of fun stuff and posts about her teaching life as well.
  2. My new friend from across the pond in Australia, Sue. Her blog is called My Ramblings, and she is my newest pal from the recent ISE4 swap. She is a Mum, a Grandmum, a nurse and a lightening-speed knitter. She also doubles as a nanny for some adorable feral kittens, who actually now suckle from her dog!! I don't know how she does it all!
  3. Kitty Mommy over at On The Needles. She is a mom to two adorable kids with another on the way. She has a great sense of humor and it's fun to read about her family adventures and knitting.
  4. Hakucho, at the blog of the same name. Not only is she a fellow "deb," but she is a fabulous and innovative knitter. She comes up with her own fun patterns, and invents lots of ways to modify others. I love to see the quality and quantity of her knitting!
  5. My friend, Deb (yes, another deb), at Village Yarn & Tea Shop, one of my favorite places to hang out. She is one of the owners of the store and blogs about yarn, tea and general silliness on their CommuKniTea blog. Not only is she a dear friend, but a warm, fun person with a great sense of humor.
And speaking of bloggers who rock, I really want to thank ALL of you who have left get-well wishes and fun messages on my blog recently! I appreciate the comments from each of you, all the time, but especially during this trying week. I'm still home sick today, BTW, even though I had hoped to be well enough to return to work today. Your messages have made being home sick a lot more pleasant. I love you all for stopping in, brightening my day and making me laugh!
You all rock! Hugs to all of you (germs removed, of course...)! And thanks again, Kathleen, for allowing me to rock something besides the tissue box and the cough syrup today!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Anyone got the classifieds...or a blessed icon handy...?

Here's another scintillating post about my current state of unhealth (I knew you were waiting...:). I finally got sick enough to require staying home for the past two days. I was hacking and running so badly, I would have sent every human with half a brain screaming from the building at work when I got there. I really wanted to go in, but waaaaay too sick to even attempt it.
So, let's see here......out sick for two days, in the second week of a new job, right smack in the middle of a 5-week training class period. Hmmmmmm.

Anyone want to place any bets on if I'll still be employed there when I return? Heck, I would fire me! Even though I know it's one of those things not under my control, employers really have no sense of humor about these things sometimes. Actually, I really don't want to lose this new job---I think I may kind of like it.

We'll see what happens when I go skulking back in with my tail between my legs tomorrow (hopefully). I just hope I don't piddle on the floor when the supervisor yells at me and shakes the rolled-up orientation book at me! I hate it when I do that!

Just so reading this wasn't a total waste of time, I give you pictures! Here's a couple more pics that I took while on my recent trip. But these are a little different...

This is what happens when you knit dishcloths and send them to your grandmother! GOOD GOD, she wouldn't want to use them and "ruin them!" (a direct quote). So what is a good Italian Nana to do with said dishcloths?.....

Why, use them as dresser scarves for her religious icon statues, of course!! You might recognize this cute, spring-colored ballband from several months ago. I like what she's done with the color coordination, too....

And here's the poinsettia dishcloth with the bobble berries....

I'll bet the Blessed Virgin never had such a colorful display in any other Italian Nana's living room anywhere, any time! I love my Nana dearly. How cute is that?! BTW, she laughed really hard when I told her I wanted to take pictures of her creative uses for the dishcloths.

And just to complete the record, here's a picture of said cute Nana (age 88! and with no makeup, by the way...), and her equally cute husband, Papa Don (age 92!). They are both incredible and as you can see, the picture of health! I feel so lucky to have reached old decrepit-ness myself, and still have such a young, lively Nana to call my own!

As my Nana always tells me when she puts me in a prayer Novena (approximately weekly, since she's usually always worried about my sorry ass for some reason...), "Nana's prayers go straight upstairs!" Let's hope so.
Um, Nana, about that job I just got? Could you put in a good word? I really don't want to be fired in my second week on the job....I would put in something about annihilating this cold virus, but I guess that would be inappropriate....the killing and all...
I don't know about you, but I feel better already! She must have put me in the Novena this week, and I haven't even talked to her yet!
Love you, Nana! Have a happy, healthy week, everyone!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

When viruses (viri?) attack....

This is getting ridiculous. It has become apparent to me of late that my newest superpower is round up assorted viruses and fling them all over myself. ugh. Yep, hard to believe, but I started feeling those unwanted feelings coming on yesterday, and sure enough, woke up with a cough and a runny eye ( this morning. Being able to be sick on a weekly basis is not exactly what I would have chosen personally for my superpower, but I guess it's mine for now and I'll have to embrace it. At least I seem to be gathering up assorted viruses, and not the same one every week. (Hey, I'm trying to find a positive in this...).

Actually, I believe I can attribute the onset of this cold to starting at a new job. I have a history of getting a cold some time within the first month of most new jobs I've ever started, at least in recent history. This is understandable-----you know, new germs and everything. But after my pre-job-start punishment of last weekend, I was hoping for a reprieve.

And for those of you who might be thinking it.....I even washed and/or sanitized my hands about 2,000 times more per day than usual, just to avoid such an occurrence, so it can't be blamed on that. (And it has not escaped me that I have actually been reduced to using the word "sanitized" on my knitting blog)

The funny part is, apparently I am not the only one this happens to! When speaking to a colleague at a prior job, she informed me that she, too, gets a cold every time she starts a job. I have since heard this from a few others as well.

I don't know why that makes me feel better. I guess I just don't want to think I'm the only one who acquires viruses as a skill at each new job I begin. To add to my purely anectdotal evidence, one of my fellow newbies at the job was out sick on Friday. See? Really unscientific evidence, but proof of my theory all the same. I say, the answer is to screen out all germy people from any jobsite. That's right! All of them! Out!

Oh, and since I'm mentioning germy people, I'm all for a light and buzzer that goes off when someone exits a restroom and did not wash their hands, accompanied by an announcement----"Attention! This person did not wash their hands! They are icky and contact with them should be avoided!" That may sound dire to some people, but hey, I've been attacked twice in one week and I just know it's because of one of those non-hand-washers!!!

Just out of curiousity, has anyone else had similar experience with attacks by lurking viruses at new jobs? I realize that this is not the usual type of question one might be asked on a knitting blog, but I'd be curious to know all the same! Unfortunately, I really didn't want to make a virus the subject of possibly the only post I'll have time for this week, but my brain is too fogged at the moment to think of anything else...Did I already say this?....ugh.

I have actually had time to complete about 20 rows of knitting this week! I know that doesn't sound like much, but I've been away from the house for 13-14 hours each day, so I consider that a stupendous feat! Unfortunately, 20 rows does not make for enough progress to bother with pictures---at least pictures that don't look almost exactly like the last ones I took.

But a pictureless post is too boring, especially with attack by viruses as the subject. So if you didn't click away in disgust or boredom already, here's a couple of more pictures from my lovely recent vacation, when I was carefree and unhindered by viral acquisition....

Here's a picture of cute husband with a lorikeet at the aquarium...

Here's one from our cruise of Alamitos Bay on the little electric boat...

These are baby jellyfish in a natural breeding ground area in one of the alcoves of the bay. They've been breeding there for as long as anyone can remember, but nobody knows why...

Kinda look like viruses, don't they? (okay, I'll stop...)

And a couple of more acquarium pics....a lion fish...

and a very lacey-looking seahorse (in case you can't tell, his head is facing downward) Very cool!...

Next time: Knottykitty attempts to exchange her current superpower for a much better one---like the ability to complete one FO per day, even on a work day! Yeah!

Monday, June 18, 2007

What a day.....

Here, my trusty assistant toe-cat will demonstrate how I am feeling this evening....

It has been a loooooonnnnng day! As life would have it, I came down with some sort of cruddy, mystery stomach-viral thing, so I was sick all day yesterday and all of last night....Nothing like being sick and no sleep to make that first day at the new job just hum along!

I did manage to drag my beaten-up ass to that new job today, but I was this close to being so sick and weak I couldn't make it. But us nurses are tough stock, and I made it through the day....barely....

Sorry, no knitting content today. Haven't been able to get near a knitting needle for a few days now, and the rest of the week's not lookin' so good either. It was a 12-hour day today, and the rest of the next five weeks will be about the same. Sigh.

Maybe I'll take a couple of my knitting projects with me to work tomorrow, and fondle them longingly under the desk in my training class. I don't know about you all, but I think this work thing really sucks and ought to be outlawed immediately. I tell you, it's enough to tempt me back into unemployment!

I proclaim unlimited knitting time for everyone, and screw the 12-hour work day and commute! You can tell your boss I said it was okay.

I'm going to drag myself to bed now. I hope I live.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Healing from a (yarn) tragedy...and other knitterly tales

After the horrible event that occurred with this beloved skein of Sea Silk and Mermaid Wrap, I felt that I should immediately try to replace it to try to erase some of the know, get back on the horse that threw you and all that....and also because I am hopelessly impetuous! Unfortunately, there was no more available at my local LYS in the beautiful blue/green color I had, so I decided on this one...

Do you think it's a worthy replacement? I wasn't so sure I wanted to go with a variegated colorway, since the previous skein had subtle color changes in similar shades and the solid appearance showed the stitch pattern very well. But I wanted to get my Mermaid Wrap cast on again asap, so I thought I'd give this one a try. Though after it was wound into a cake, my love for it immediately grew! The colors remind me of sherbet---very summery!

Of course, I had to cast on Version 2.0 the minute I got home and I made a little progress...

Here's where I left off yesterday, and though the stitch pattern is not quite as clearly defined as in it's predecessor, how can you help but love these colors?

I think it will be beautiful when it is finished! I'm anxious to get as much done on it as possible because I am starting a new job next week, and won't have much knitting time for a while (sniffle, sniffle....goodbye to the knitting freedom of temporary unemployment....). Though I am happy and excited to have a new job, the first five weeks will be intensive training five days a week, so I'm sure the brain burnout will slow down my knitting progress. Not like it needed to get any slower, know....

One of the fun small projects I worked on while on my vacation was this headband made from Cascade Fixation...

It was a quick, fun knit (and yes quick, even for me!) and I even got to wear it a couple of times while looking fashionably color-coordinated on my vacation. I was even fortunate enough to have it modeled by a very cooperative cute husband....

...after I twisted his arm and promised I would crop the picture so he would be unrecognizable! Now that's a real man!! Allowing himself to be photographed in a girly knitted thing at great risk to his manly image....but still, he did it! Again, he has gone above and beyond the call of husbandly duty for my knitting, even though he believes me to be in a cult! One of the many reasons he is so loveable...

And finally, how many of you who know me or have seen evidence of my yarn-shopping abilities would actually believe that I went on a weeklong trip without buying any yarn? Silly rabbits!

To my credit, I must say that I was actually inside of a yarn store on several occasions on several days without buying anything---zip, nada----for the entire week! However, we had one little hour to kill before we checked in at the airport, and we had just had lunch next door to the yarn store I had been visiting all week long.....

Well, you know the deal. I finally broke down and bought something, but I think I deserve credit for waiting until one hour before my flight home! (BTW, if you check out the website of the Alamitos Bay Yarn Company, you will see listed on their site a "Knit & Cruise" listed. We went on one of those while we were there and it was such fun! More on that later...)

And you might be saying as you view this lovely Lorna's Laces (in the Devon colorway), "OMG, she actually bought more SOCK yarn!!" But you might be wrong. Yes, it is rightfully sock yarn, but you will also notice that there are three skeins. No, I won't be knitting three socks, but I do see a lovely lace wrap of some sort in this yarn's future!

I really wasn't going to buy any yarn while on my trip, and resisted temptation without much effort...until I saw the colors of this yarn. I imagined myself wrapped in varying tones of turquoise laciness and envisioned what it could be.....and it jumped into my carry-on! You really can't blame me, can you?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Is anyone still out there?

I'm back from my vacation! Isn't anyone going to stop by and say Hi?

Yes, I'm back and I had a GREAT time! I brought back a couple of friends with me from my visit to the aquarium in Long Beach! We go there every time we visit So Cal and it's always so much fun! If you are ever out that way, be sure not to miss it. One of my favorite parts is visiting the Lorikeet aviary, where you can feed the birds little cups of nectar (Lorikeets don't eat solid food).

How 'bout another round, bartender...Can't you see I have an empty glass here?...

It was a great week and I hated to leave my beloved beach :( We did lots of fun stuff, along with some 'just sitting around like a lump' thrown in (after all, it was vacation....). Cute hubby and I are not the types to schedule every minute of our time, on vacation or otherwise, so we did whatever, whenever. So some days we were lazy and others we were out all day and evening, depending on how the mood struck us!

One fun thing I got to do was meet up with a fellow knit blogger in L.A.---G-girl!! We struck up a friendship through our blogs and email over the past several months, and she seemed like so much fun, I just had to meet her when I was in her part of town! Cute husband and I were in L.A. seeing a few sights, and we met G-girl and her super-nice fiance' for lunch at a great Mexican restaurant. Both her fiance' and my hubby were a little skeptical about the meeting..."Why, exactly, is it that you two want to meet....?"

The poor SO's just don't get the whole knitting and blogging thing sometimes. Cute husband keeps emphasizing to me that he fears I'm in a cult! He says that since we all have a strange language, culture and habits that others don't understand, it's obviously a cult! Silly men.

Anyway, we all had a great time and spent a fun couple of hours together! The guys seemed to have lots to talk about, and of course, G-girl and I didn't lack for conversational topics! No knitting accomplished, but lots of fun chatter and gettin-to-know-ya! G-girl and her fiance' were both great, and G-girl even brought me a present!

Thanks so much, G-girl! The stitch markers are soooo pretty and I love them! I brought her a little gift as well (the chenille flower face cloth on my last post), which I hope she enjoys! Both cute hubby and I are looking forward to getting together with them again---hopefully when they can come to Seattle!

I did manage to get a little knitting done while on my trip, but not as much as I thought I would! I worked on a great wrap made out of Sea Silk, which after a couple of trips to the frog pond for gauge issues and an unfortunate mistake, was coming along quite nicely. Unfortunately, I can't show you a picture of it, because it met with an unfortunate demise last night while knitting on it. While pulling the yarn up from my center-pull yarn cake, the yarn suddenly burst out in a huge lumpy tangle from the center! What came out of there was too ugly to even describe, but I spent until 4 a.m trying to untangle and rescue it, but to no avail.

Usually I'm good at the untangling thing, but I am sorry to report that the patient died on the table! The more I untangled, the more the yarn stuck and knotted itself, and I finally gave up in despair. After about 5 hours of tedious effort to salvage the yarn and project, I was so frustrated and pissed off that I chucked the whole thing!! It was truly hopeless. I can hardly believe how evil a gorgeous hank of Sea Silk can become when it tangles. And the worst part is, I REALLY can't believe that I had to trash an entire hank of Sea Silk!!! Ouch! I am heartbroken. I have untangled many a tangle in my time and am usually always successful, but never have I come up against one like this! I was too horrified to even take pictures before I removed it from my sight foreever! I have no idea how that happened, but it REALLY sucks! Now I am afraid of the Sea Silk and wondering if I want to replace it and try again, or if I will just move along and try to recover from the trauma and sleep-deprivation of the whole ugly incident....The wrap was soooo beautiful knit up---I can't believe it's gone because of terminal and irreversible tangling. Ugh.

Here's a picture of something I started that has not turned far....(That is, if you don't count that whole uneven ball-winding thing)...

I finally cast on the Tofutsies socks. I thought that size 1's would be small enough, but had to start over on size zero's. Knitting on size O needles is not my preferred way to go blind, so these will definitely have to be daytime knitting! The colors are great, though, and the yarn feels really soft knit up. At my knitting speed, it's gonna take a while to finish these---I'm hoping at least before the end of 2007! :)