Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stitches East!

I completely forgot, it's coming up in 2 weeks! Wheeeeeee! Anyone coming into town for it? Anyone? Seriously, I have no real life knitting friends, I need someone to walk around the market with. I have a guest room--you can stay at my house for free (note: axe murderers need not apply)! I'll be your tour guide in Baltimore for the whole weekend!

Hmmm, sounding a little desperate . . .

Knitting photos this weekend--I've almost finished a sock (I know, I'm calling the Vatican too; I'm pretty sure this qualifies as a miracle.).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

a long strange trip . . . plus knitting!

Finally a few minutes for a lengthy post about a million different things.

First, Peru: As I said in a previous post, I unfortunately did not have much time to be a tourist as, having paid for my hotel and airfare, my company actually expected me to do work for the majority of the time I was there. Fascists! I did have free time most evenings starting at about 7pm, but that's not an especially promising hour for museums, ancient ruins, etc. Fortunately it's a great time for eat and drinking—Peru is not the most vegetarian friendly country you'll ever visit, sadly for me (I ate a lot of potatoes and avocado), but I made up for the lack of food with pisco sours (which in retrospect . . . maybe not my best idea ever. Sigh.). I visited Larcomar (an outdoor mall along the ocean front in Barranco) a few times with my coworkers, went out dancing a couple times, and generally strove to ensure that I would wake up most mornings still tired and half hungover—but I had a good time! I did get a bit home sick—a nearly two week business trip is just too long for me—but I managed to find the playoffs on TV one night, so it felt a bit more like home.

I didn't manage to take many photos, and the ones I do have are of myself with my coworkers, which aren't particularly interesting, but, um, here are some pictures from my previous trip to Lima:

Once the weekend arrived, I was sadly a bit sidelined with a cold. Nothing too horrible, just a stuffy nose and feeling a bit groggy, but I stayed in on Saturday to knit and watch bad movies on TV. A little disappointing, but I actually felt much better after that, so I'm glad I rested.

I was not, sadly, able to identify where I could buy any alpaca yarn—plenty of alpaca products, but no actual yarn to be found. I went so far as to reveal my knitting obsession to one of my coworkers, who is Peruvian, in hopes that he might have an idea where I could search, but no such luck. I might've had an easier go of it had I been in the highlands—the last time I was in Peru we visited a fiber/weaving cooperative near Cuzco, but not having picked up knitting yet, I didn't make much of it. Stupid 25-year-old me!

Knitting: I attempted to knit my first ever Foliage on the plane—imagine my surprise when I actually read the pattern and found out it was a top down hat!—but it was, alas, a complete failure. I just could not get the stitch count right once I started on the repeats (Fortunately I was consoled by being bumped to first class on the flight from Miami to Lima!). Several knitters have noted that stitch markers are absolutely essential for this pattern, so I'll be sure to have plenty at my disposal when I try again. The Malabrigo was wonderful to knit with, at least, so squooshy.

I also started in on the Through the Loops Mystery KAL. Why would I do such a thing, with 2 pair of unfinished socks already on the needles? Good question. I have no answer for you, other than "I felt like it." (And also, "I have a lot of sock yarn!") I'm enjoying the pattern though, it's spicier than a plain stockinette sock, but simple enough that I don't have to put it down for a "cooling off" period after every round (I'm looking at you, Pomatomus!). I'm a little behind the group (still working on clue 2 and clue 4 was posted Wednesday), so I'm trying not to peek at anyone's photos.

And absolutely no progress on the Henley, but as I posted a few days ago, the Tangled Yoke is moving along at an acceptable pace. It won't be done by Halloween, but should certainly be done well in advance of Thanksgiving, barring a major disaster, like the cat eating the yarn, or the whole thing being devoured by a lawn mower.

I also got 2 absolutely gorgeous swap packages during the last month, one from the Falling for Ewe yarn swap, and the other from the Knit it Forward swap.



In other news, my mom is still in the hospital and it looks like she'll be there for a few days at least. She has Crohn's disease, and is dealing with the latest flare up (exacerbated by her refusal to take medicine, follow an appropriate nutrition plan, quit smoking, receive regular medical attention, or otherwise improve her health in any way, shape or form; yes, we have issues). I'm off to visit her this afternoon, and then--oh, then!--I have my TEN YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION! Impossible, and yet it is so. Sigh.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

quick update

Sorry kids, things have been crazy since I got back from Peru--first just trying to catch up on sleep and work and my regularly scheduled life, and now my mom's in the hospital, so everything's a little crazy here. I can, however, tell you that I finished the first "phase" of the Tangled Yoke--I've knit the body up to the armholes, so now I'll start on the sleeves. Photos and hopefully a more substantive post soon!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

winding swiftly down the path . . .

See what I did there? Winding? Swiftly? Yes, it's true, the birthday fairy very generously bestowed upon me a swift and ball winder!! Hallelujah!

Many months ago I stumbled across this page about making your own swift. I sent the link to J, figuring he might be inclined to relive his wood shop days and take a crack at crafting one of these, but then I promptly forgot about it.

Fortunately, he didn't. While I was in Peru, he (with some help from his slightly handier Dad) gathered up the appropriate materials and hammered together a portable swift for yours truly. He also managed to figure out that alone it wasn't going to be of much use to me, so he also picked up a ball winder (perhaps you could DIY a winder too, but that seems a little over the top). And I found them both waiting for me when I arrived home Thursday night (barely coherent after 12 hours of travel and zero sleep the night before--don't celebrate your birthday by chugging pisco sours before the taxi comes to whisk you off to the airport at 3am).

I gave them a test run yesterday:Look at those adorably uniform cakes of yarn! Best. gift. ever.

Tomorrow: a smidge about Peru, although unfortunately I didn't have much time for touristing, as I worked all day and was knocked out by a cold on my one free weekend. :(

Friday, October 17, 2008

there's no place like home for the holidays . . .

and I guess Halloween counts as a holiday! I'm so, so happy to be back home. I have plenty to talk about, including some knitting-related nonsense, but I'm still recovering. So until I'm more coherent, I'll just leave you with Questions of the Week #s 4 and 5:

What do you plan on dressing up as for Halloween? If you are not dressing up, what will your kids be?

Hmm, I really don't know. We like to have a Halloween party, and if we do, I might do an 80s thing. I also really like the idea of dressing up as Amy Winehouse.

Do you like football? Who is your favorite team?

Meh, I don't really like football, but I watch it, and of course, cheer for the Ravens. (Can't tell you how excited I am to be back home watching baseball again! Of course, my team hasn't sniffed the playoffs in over 10 years, but I'm rooting for the Rays!)

Friday, October 3, 2008

all my bags are packed . . .

I'm ready to go . . . Well, ok, not quite, but I'm getting there. This time tomorrow I'll be well on my way to Lima, with plenty of knitting in tow. Have a good couples of weeks!