Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What kind of knitter am I?

This is how I behave in all my creative endeavors!

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.

Take this quiz!

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

...Sort of

I thought we'd have maybe at least purchased the range by now, but we've been interrupted by K's Bat Boy rehearsals, insofar as Hell Week has run three weeks and they opened two nights ago. I think we'll probably be able to move forward again. Of course, now we're practically into Holiday Season. You know how I know? Because that's when Food Network begins their serious holiday food programming. Emeril did Thanksgiving variations last night. I don't watch very often but he makes me laugh when I do. Paula was doing a pumpkin cheesecake, ohhhh yum! Food Network is a good knitting companion.

My vacation starts Monday.

Getting back into the swing of flute playing wasn't as difficult as I'd imagined, though there are challenges. My chops aren't what they were. My tonguing is pretty sloppy. In the past I remember thinking how difficult my flute is to play, there it has more resistance than I care for, and that the tone was never as bright as I'd wanted. Well, gosh, that's because it's gold plated, duh. And because of the latter I've never really complained aloud. But...I played a Jupiter recently and loved it. Big bright sound, very centered, as Amy said. I like that sound in a flute. So I'm looking around at what's out there. I think I may just rent some flutes and see how I like them. It's not going to do anything for my tonguing but that's okay. Maybe I won't feel so tense when I play it. I feel like I'm always pushing against my flute, at war with it. And this other, it was like liquid. No fighting required. What to do with the old one? Give it to K, of course. K took the alto flute out and we discovered that one of the keys is not seated, so off it goes tomorrow to Calamus for repair.

The Christmas knitting is coming along. If I said anything more it wouldn't be a surprise! I've been Tivo-ing like a nut so I have goodies to watch while I do all this knitting. Monday is the WHRO cocktail reception at the Vintage Kitchen. I've never been to a cocktail reception although it's probably not much different from a Dining Out (a Navy event). Fun dress-up time! Tuesday K meets with a contractor to discuss porch repair and siding options. Thankfully, I'll only be there for a brief time before I run off to Yarn For Supper fun. It's just better if K handles these types of things: I'm too trusting.

Did I mention that my vacation starts Monday?

I added some goodies to the right hand side of the blog. One is a widget that publishes my shared Google Reader items (only Harvard Business Review so far) and the rss feed to one of my favorite blogs/podcasts.

Vacation. Monday. Yes.

Monday, October 29, 2007

And so begins..

...the kitchen remodel of 2007-2008.

Thinking optimistically that we'd tackle a piece at a time, we think we'll first do the eight-foot wall with the range.

We went range shopping today.

K is checking out the "prosumer" ranges at East Coast Appliance. Far left is a new Electrolux 36" dual fuel range. Very, very nice. The other is a 48" Viking with built in grill. Also very nice. The Viking really sings to us but it's way too wide. On that wall we can really only accommodate a 36" range. I spent time tonight mapping the kitchen on grid paper.

We'll probably go with the Electrolux unless we decide to not piecemeal this. If we wait then we might splurge on the Viking. That Viking, by the way, is a scratch/dent model. The scratches are on the sides and back which no one will ever see. Shopping for ranges can be fun. They can also be a pain in the neck. We kept refining our requirements. That part wasn't fun.

In other news, Christmas knitting is coming along splendidly. I can't say anymore or I'd give it all away! I join a flute choir in November after my flute comes back from the shop. They aren't rehearsing this Wednesday so the next get together is Nov 7. Cool. It's like riding a bike. K is pleased. I'm pleased. I was stunned to realize that I've had this flute for twenty years and that in those twenty years I've never once had it really thoroughly overhauled. There are bent springs, the pads need replacing, and it needs a new head cork. I'm so excited to play it now that my arthritis is under control. My chops, though, are sadly out of condition.

Bat Boy The Musical is limping along and still scheduled to open mid-November. K is very frustrated by the whole thing. Actors not showing up for rehearsal or dropping out, director who isn't actually trained in theater (he's a psych major). K was cast in a terrific part but didn't at first feel he could sing it; there are some high notes for a baritone. He's coming along, though, and is more optimistic. The show strikes me as similar to Angry Housewives.

Today was the Head Of The Lafayette (HOTL) race. Patrick cox'd for the women's open masters fours (four rowers) race, and they won first place!! I'm so proud of him! He's been coxing with the Hampton Roads Rowing Club women's team for a couple of years now. The ladies adore him. He also sat in with the Maury High junior varsity men's fours because they were short one man, and they landed sixth in their category. I don't know how many boats there were...but the Maury JV men have never been that great. Nonetheless, Patrick had a marvelous time. The fun thing about HOTL is that it's an open race, not a high school only race, so they have colleges, high schools, and independent rowing clubs are going head to head. It's always the Sunday before Halloween and teams often dress up. There is always a good turn out. I love being able to walk up the block with my chair and watch. The course's big stretch runs right in front of the neighborhood :) The weather was perfect: just a little chilly, with a beautiful blue sky.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I Didn't Knit This

But I sure wish I had. It's soooo beautiful, and that yellow/gold is really fetching. The photo design and knitting is work by Anne Hansen of I was thinking "what a great gift for someone for Christmas!" Yeah, Christmas 2008, I think, because it takes me a long time to knit lace. Socks, though, I'm digging socks for sure. Three pairs so far, and the last pair, the ones I wrote about, were really satisfying to knit. I have three projects lined up right now: a beautiful wildly colored scarf in a mohair/silk blend, a pair of yummy thick socks, and another beret. The socks and the beret are quick but that scarf is going to take some time mostly because the two most common colors in it are out-of-stock and back-ordered in every online knitting shop I visit! I guess the thousands of us who receive the Knitting Daily newsletter all had the same idea: "wow, gorgeous, must knit now, must order yarn." It uses eleven different blocks of color in various configurations.

Moving right along. Erica proposed to Nick, who said yes, and so they are getting a couple of years. Their plan is for Nick to pay off a couple of bills and move to Maryland in early 2008. Which means I now I have an even better excuse to visit Maryland, a state I really like. I'd love to move to Baltimore but that's just not in the cards at this point. Patrick, on the other hand, is in New Jersey doing some engine repair training for the Army. This will provide him with another skill set and more reservist options. Apparently Fort Eustis doesn't have much call for large equipment operators. His MOS (military occupation something or other) was merged with another MOS so he also has to expand his skills to fit the new MOS. Nonetheless, they are both gainfully employed, they've learned painful lessons about credit cards and money, and will hopefully both be in college between now and 2012.

Rehearsals for Bat Boy, the Musical (as in Bat Boy from Weekly World News) began early last week. Kent is playing the role of Parker, Bat Boy's father-figure. Parker is not a nice person but he has a couple of songs. The show opens sometime in November, I think.

That's the news for now. Summers are pretty slow but fall and winter are shaping up nicely! Just for fun, have a pink caddy (picture

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Nick & Erica

A nice picture of Nicholas and his girlfriend Erica.

Apologies In Order

Yes, apologies are in order. It's been two months since my last blog confession. I've been very neglectful. Figured it out yet? I go in spurts. Two things: I haven't wanted to spend any time in front of the computer and it's been so danged hot that even the second floor, usually comfortable, has been hot, too. Mostly, though, I haven't wanted to spend any more time in front of the computer than I have to.

I'm working on another pair of socks. I really like socks! The sock at left is not a finished sock at this point. I'm about half-way completed with the instep and will start the toe-shaping shortly. I have a lovely finished pair in variegated light blue but cannot find them anywhere! It is my mission to locate them so I can WEAR them. Sheesh. So, yeah, lots of knitting. I have another pair of socks on needles in a different patter, same colorway, and I completed a beret for Jane last night. I'm working on a simple triangular shawl in a really lovely rayon. I had one single skein so I'm just keep going until I run out. I wish I could get more.

Mr. DancesWithDogs is down in South Carolina all last week and this coming week. School is starting up soon. He said he has wife-withdrawal. I have husband-withdrawal, too.

Oh. I know another reason I haven't blogged much...nothing to write about. LOL

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Woman Alone

I propose that women, dining alone in a hotel bar, are ignored by service staff. I propose that when Renee joins me we'll be hovered over like crazy, but until then I'll be virtually ignored. I can't propose whether it's American women or just women in general, but there is another woman here in the bar who is periodically alone, too. She has had her traveling companions joining her periodically, and it appears she is experiencing the same thing. So I don't think I'm exactly imagining this. Yesterday I noticed that unless I actually am able to make eye contact with the waiter or barman, then they will avoid looking at me.

It's pretty irritating but it's the culture, I think. Either that or I didn't tip the waiter enough yesterday. Is a woman with a laptop such an oddity? Perhaps that is a part of it. I ordered a chicken quesadilla a half-hour ago. I have to leave in ten minutes. It's not here yet. Last night, at the all-night hotel cafe, I practically had to walk up to the waiter and shake him to get services. When Renee joined me he practically prostrated himself to help us, and she thinks it's because she's in business clothes (suit). Actually, she sticks out like a sore thumb, 5'10" and blonde and thin. So duh, hard to miss. (Update: as soon as I started tipping extra I've been waited on like a queen, alone. HAHA!)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What day is it? What time is it?

We're so confused. Day is night and night is day. We awake at 2pm local time and go to bed at 6am local time. We operate on East Coast hours, so as far as I, and the rest of the bank are concerned, I'm having a breakfast of cheese and crackers and a cappucino in the hotel bar. Otherwise I'm stuck with something heavy from one of the other hotel restaurants. On the one hand my body senses it is morning, but on the other hand me eyes see that it's late afternoon and getting overcast. The sense of time, or lack of, is disconcerting. It should be ok, logically, but it's still weird.

The hotel is buzzing with "after work" activity. A caucasian man across the room, speaking French into his Blackberry, is having a chilled glass of white wine with what look like a basket of fritos (though I'm sure that can't be right). Seasons, the bar and lounge, is open until midnight, and spans two rooms across from one another. I am in the main bar area. Across the hall there is a case of sweets and other small groups of people computing or having tea or enjoying their first beer or wine of cocktail of the day.

When we were driven home last night there were mosquitos in the car. The driver had been standing around chatting it up with the security guards, and had left the door open. Renee and I fought bugs all the way back to the hotel. Last night I dreamed of batting mosquitos and hanging on for dear life as Renee drove us through the lawless Hyderabad traffic. I'm told it's worse in Bangalore and Chennai. My first India dream!

We've spent very little time outdoors. Probably a good thing since the temperature is hovering around 100 F.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's Hot in India

Hey, it's hot in India.

Ya think?

And really really foreign. I know that sounds odd, and kind of obvious, but it's foreign in every sense of the word. Scotland was different, but I wouldn't call it particularly foreign. I don't think I can really describe it.

The flights were good. Business Class rocks, and I'm officially spoiled. Watch movies, knit, sleep, then we're in Frankfurt. Watch more movies, knit, and sleep a little, then we're in Hyderabad. A few weeks ago a woman at Barnes & Noble saw me buying a book about India and told me that what struck her most when she got off the plane was the smell. It's different, for sure, but not as offensive as I'd imagined. Not so far, anyway.

Did I mention that India is hot?

Helipad behind the Taj Krishna hotel, from my window, 3pm IST

We arrived last night at 1:00 AM India Time. It took forever to get our bags, and I think we accidently grabbed a bag that belonged to someone else! Woops. I didn't do it. We'll be working standard East Coast hours, so we're trying to stay with some kind of East Coast schedule. So, while it's almost 6pm in Norfolk, it's 3:15 AM here and I will be going to bed by 4AM. I think my brain is just going to have a difficult time with this. We'll get up around noon, see a bit of the city, then head to the site at 5pm. Monday is Memorial Day in the US, but there is no holiday here.

I've started uploading pictures to Flickr. Some of the newest are first, but click on the group called India.

Friday, February 16, 2007

iHubby wants a name change

I've been referring to the Love of my Life as iHubby. Turns out he ain't so crazy about that. So, we need a new name for him. I was thinking of The Teacher but I'm looking for ideas. He's probably reading this sentence and thinking "hey, 'Love of My Life' works for me - LOML."

Yeah, it's this weird sense of trying to maintain some sense of anonymity in a very non-anonymous world. It makes me happy whether it works or not.

Coming Up For Air

Life at, let's call that work at work. Work at work has been very busy since Feb 1 and I've been putting in some very long days. If I got paid for overtime I'd be pretty wealthy this week. Alas, I'm salaried. The weekdays look like this:

Come home, eat dinner (maybe)
Do Homework
Come home, do homework
etc etc etc...

...and the weekends look like this:

Sleep a few hours.
Do homework.
Sleep a few more hours.
Do homework.
Sleep some more.
Do homework. Think about knitting.
Work - oh crap, it's due Monday!
Sleep, dream about knitting.

...since February1. I think, finally, it's all settled down. What exactly does that mean? Our team doubled. After the MBNA merger project activity wound down last month, a bunch of people were given notice. I don't know how many but there were a lot. It happens. This is corpirate America and it was a merger. Everyone knew it was coming. At the same time, the SCM team (that's us, software configuration management) needed five new associates. We hired out of the folks let go five people on January 31 and since then have spent every day training, briefing, refining presentations, running mock boards...really, this wouldn't all be such a big deal if it weren't for the fact that I and one of my peers are launching two brand new configuration governance review boards...and some of these new people are going to run them! I don't think I've ever done anything like this so fast and furiously in my professional life. And all these little "gotcha's" kept coming up at the last minute. On the other hand, I don't think I've ever worked with a group of people with so much professionalism and elegance. We achieved so much. We lucked into a situation, hired terrific talent, and now we're pretty much ready to go for our governance board launch next week. I can't quite believe we chose the day after a holiday, but at least it's a minor holiday.

Two months ago I set aside today as a vacation day so I could take advantage of a four day weekend and spent the last few days making sure that there were absolutely no loose ends. Well, turned out there were a few and I answered email for a couple of hours this morning and made sure a few reports made it to their final destination, but all in all I think we (Karen, Janet, Teresa, Steve, Dal, and I) will all have a relaxing weekend with very little to worry about.

I feel like I've finally come up for air.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

One Down, Two to Go

Despite the fact that today is Superbowl Sunday, that title is in reference to the last three sessions I have until graduation. So. First session DONE DONE DONE DONE. I'm so happy. I slept in. I knitted in bed. I surfed a dippy website. I checked email and I even posted a comment to my little sister's blog - without feeling guilty that I should be doing homework haha. We have a week off, then it's into a math class, which, by the looks of the workbook, should be ok. I'm actually excited. Most of what I see in there I've encountered either in knitting, photography, or business. A little algebra, a little trig, a little statistics and probability which I had to bone up on several years ago anyway...and I have the iHubby, Mr. Math.

It's cold and drafty today, although blue skies and sunny! I'm cuddled up with the beautiful scarf/shawl Mom gave me for Christmas. It's a hot chocolate day, a day for me. It's a day to hang out with iHubby. We may venture up to Yorktown later this afternoon to lend his LegoRobotics kit to a teacher up there. It's only about forty minutes away, and I'm pretty sure I can talk him into dinner at Nick's Riverwalk Restaurant. That's like going from Silverdale to Port Orchard. Or is my memory failing already?

Anyway, iHubby is down in the kitchen singing "I Feel Pretty" and making turkey Manwich. It's warmer in the kitchen than up here, so off I go!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Avoiding Homework

Today in Collinsland I am avoiding homework. I have two papers to write, and a discussion board response to post, and I just can't bring myself to do them!! I'd rather do just about anything than homework right now. So far I've: read Mom's blog, commented Mom's blog, fixed the commenting on my blog (I think), looked at knitting patterns, read other peoples comments on Mom's blog, napped, had dinner, painted my fingernails, cleaned up my computer desktop and changed it's wallpaper...all in all I've been farting around for two hours. And now I'm blogging.


I have this book: "Break the Procrastination Habit NOW." I've finished one chapter. Lawrence, my Study Buddy (he's a stuffed dragon) isn't any help at all. Even my solar RadioShack calculator is more interesting than doing homework right now and it doesn't even do tricks. And isn't half as cute as Lawrence. But I really gotta because tomorrow is the last day and these things have to be turned in.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Socks, socks, and more socks

When last we visited, I was bemoaning what has become known as The Pink Sock. Singular because there may not be a mate. After the snapping-the-DPN incident, I backed away from The Pink Sock and waited impatiently for my metal DPNs to come in. They have and my store messed up the order. I asked for #1 and #0, but I got #2 and #1. I can live with this and I still want the #0 but it can wait a wee bit. So. I've picked a new sock pattern, swatched, got gauge, and started in on it. The ribbing at the top is done, now I've started on the leg. This is a very simple sock for two important reasons.
  1. The yarn is a stripey pattern
  2. see important reason number one.
So. 2x2 ribbing takes a very long time, and I've decided that I don't like doing ribbing so much. But as long as the ribbing isn't more than an inch I can live with it.

What else is going on in Collinsland?

Kent: is totally preoccupied with FIRST Robotics and the upcoming March regional competition. Eats it, sleeps it, breaths it. He's also teaching after-school middle-schoolers how to build web pages, and he loves it.

Patrick: is applying for jobs all over the area, has drill once every six to nine weeks, hangs out at the boat house erging, and is impatiently waiting for the weather to warm up so he can get out on the water.

Nick: has decided that living out of his car is not the end of the world. I disagree and wish he would make different choices.

Maggie Dog: tolerates her little sister, Tasha Dog, and still barks annoyingly at the mailman even though its the same one we've had for the eleven years we've lived in this neighborhood.

Tasha Dog: annoys the snot out of her big sister, Maggie Dog, and only barks annoyingly when Maggie Dog does.

Erin: besides knitting when time allows and surfing knitting blogs and discovering new patterns (moments to do any of this are all too rare), spends a lot of time reading environmental science and biology but not by choice. I have a B in env sci, and a C in biology because I missed turning in the very first paper because I thought it was due on Sunday instead of Saturday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My First Sock and What I've Learned

As I knit my merry way on a sock (turning the heel wasn't so trauamatic as I'd thought) I have learned a couple of things and I'm not even finished!
  • I knit tight.
    I thought I might have to go down a needle size from 2, but realized it wasn't the yarn: it was me!
  • 5" wooden dpns DO snap in half, even if they are Brittanys.
    I must really be twisting that puppy. I've been trying to lighten up, but between the tight stitching (really, I don't even pull the yarn that I know of) and maneuvering around the other three needles...snap! I'm sure it's not normal.
  • I like socks!
    There's really something about knitting a sock. I think it might be that it's shape becomes apparent so quickly. Or that I have another chance to get it right (the second sock, its mate)
  • I've been circular knitting on the WS
    Instruction: Row 1 on RS *K1, slip, K1, slip* repeat between *; Row 2 on WS, purl all.
    Erin thinks: hm. right side? oh dear. there IS a right side and a wrong side. Not that it matters TOO much, but there is now a three-row ridge where I made this discovery and attempted to correct. I think I'll rip out the ribbed top until that row then knit back up.
All this learning and I haven't even finished the first sock! I'm ordering metal dpns for socks.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Little Blog Vacation

Also known as, studying like hell to finish my degree. I have five classes left and I'll finish in April. Don't expect to see a whole lot here between now and then but I'll try to do periodic progress reports.