Saturday, June 22, 2002

There is definitely something wrong with waking up earlier on the weekend than I do during the week. But there I was at 6:30, wide awake. Well, too awake to go back to sleep, but too tired to feel great about it. What is up?! I have very little trouble falling asleep, I just can't stay asleep!

Anyway, at least I used my time pretty wisely. Got to the greenmarket early, since one of the things I wanted to do today was make some preserves. I got strawberries and rhubarb - guess what kind of jam I made? Just finished that up and it's cooling on the counter. Yes, it is possible to make jam in a 4' x 4' kitchen. It's not pretty, but it's possible.

What is pretty are the flowers I bought. Couldn't resist the "last of the season!" sign next to the peonies, so I got a bunch of those and also a bunch of yarrow. I think they look purdy together, what do you think?

I also stopped at my always-favorite, Ronnybrook Farms, and picked up a good combination - a quart of nonfat maple-vanilla yogurt and a pint of butter pecan ice cream. That's twice as much nonfat yogurt as ice cream, so I'll probably lose weight, right?

The bad news is I called The Yarn Company and they don't have any more orange Topas. They put aside a few balls of green, though, and now I have to go up there a little later. I guess something's getting partially frogged, and probably the top will be wider stripes of green than orange. Argh. I am having the sneaking suspicion that this tank is going to be a bit bigger than I want it to be, too, which may be why I am so short of yarn. Grr. What to do, what to do. Probably what to do would have been to be more careful and think more before I started. Oh well, it wouldn't be such a pain if the store wasn't in one of the least convenient places in the city to get to from my apartment.

Speaking of my apartment, before I can go up to the yarn store I have to finish cleaning up the kitchen and stuff. Hasta la vista!

Friday, June 21, 2002

Ack. I am nearly done with the back of the melon tank and I am realizing I have less yarn than I thought I did. And of course since it was on sale, the Yarn Company's website shows them being sold out of the orange (I could call tomorrow to doublecheck, but I'm not very hopeful.) I'm not quite sure I've got enough to finish both sides - it's going to be close. Maybe I should do the back in a deep "V" like the Ginger tank? Would that result in using less yarn? Seems like it ought to. Let me know what you think. On the up side, I figured out the stripe issue pretty well and it should be AOK when I get to the top of this side. Also on the up side, I don't need extra yarn for the armhole edgings, as I've been doing them using the same slip stitch method that my Rowan sweaters have used - I like the way it looks.

Salena and I had great fun at lunch. We stopped into Conway (kind of a low-rent K-mart) for some cheap flip-flops, and I found the most adorable slides! Faux wood sole (squishy foam, actually) with a translucent band across the instep with a little bunch of plastic fruit on it! For seven bucks, I have funky Carmen Miranda shoes! I also grabbed a cute peasant-style top in white gauze with blue embroidery and 3/4 sleeves. I've been wanting something like that but couldn't deal with buying such a flimsy and trendy item at a high price. For 9 bucks, of course, I was perfectly willing.

I love going into cheesy stores (messy racks, bins of stuff to dig through) and finding cute stuff! The peasant top is probably made in the same Indian factory as all the other ones I've seen for 40 bucks and way up. And I'll probably end up wearing it with $150 pants I got on sale at Barney's for 30 bucks. Yes, I am little-miss-bargain-finder and proud of it!
Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! Go outside at noon today and check out how short your shadow is. Or just kick back somewhere with a cool iced tea and enjoy the glory of my favorite season.

I, on the other hand, will be here at work. All by my lonesome. My boss, and the other two writers in my group all have the day off, so I'm running the show. Fortunately, there is very little to run. I do need to work up a draft of a little brochure on healthy eating to review on Monday, but it's not a big deal. And there may be something I have to read and sign-off on later, but all in all it should be a quiet day. My friend Salena and I agreed that since we're about the only two here from our project teams, we're going to have a nice relaxing lunch somewhere.

I have the promised photo of the melon tank in progress. Despite what I said yesterday, I seem to just be plugging away with 2" stripes. If it bites me in the butt at the end, I'll be a sad frogger, but I'm hoping it won't happen.

I wonder if I'll manage to finish this up before we leave next Friday? I guess it depends what else I am doing in the meantime. I read somewhere (can't recall if it was the Knitlist or the Knitblogs list) that Continental is still not allowing knitting paraphernalia on their flights, so I suppose I will not try and push the envelope. It's an overnight flight anyway, so hopefully I will catch a little shuteye. If not, I do know how to read, and I have many NY Times Magazine crossword puzzles that could keep me occupied for quite a while. Still, it'd be so nice to while away the flight time in a relaxed, knitty manner. Damn the people who have brought so many changes, large and small, to our formerly peaceful existence.

I'm not just talking about knitting on planes here. It used to be that when I went away, my biggest worry was that my cat would be lonely. Even with people coming in to visit daily, she likes to sleep with me and I'd always feel awful leaving her like that. But now, the worry is bigger and has actually led me to change my usual procedure. Instead of leaving her home and having people come in, my parents are going to come pick her up and take her to their house for the two weeks.

This change of plans is partly because it is a longer trip than usual, and partly because of all the fear of another terror attack coming over the Independence Day weekend. I realized that (a) if anything happened to her directly or (b) anything indirectly kept other people from coming to look in on her, I would feel so awful, guilty, and terribly sad. So, the lesser of two evils is shipping her off to "grandma" for a bit. I'm sure she will terrorize Mom's cat, Kiwi, to some extent. Mom, I apologize in advance!

Thursday, June 20, 2002

I forgot to take a picture of my melon tank in progress. I'm about 5" into it, and trying to decide what to do with the stripes. The first two are just about 2" wide, and I was going to do that all the way up, but then it occurred to me that if I get to the last stripe and don't have the space to do 2", it is going to look really weird. So now I'm thinking maybe my stripes will get progressively narrower towards the top. Or maybe I'll start going sort of "random" - except that I would have to keep careful track, since I want the back to match the front exactly. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

On my way back from getting the sunglasses (love them!) I discovered there is a greenmarket about 10 blocks from my office and Ronnybrook Farm, some of my favorite people in the world, have a table there on Wednesdays! They're thinking about Fridays, too. Could I be happier? No, not really, because I am eating their tapioca pudding for the first time and I think I may start making sounds one just shouldn't make eating lunch at her desk. Yummmmmm!
I can't believe I almost forgot to mention this. Last night at Cafe Des Moines, they were playing Dolly Parton. Over and over and over. I'm talking at least two hours worth. And as we were leaving, they played "Islands in the Stream" (her duet with Kenny Rogers) four times in a row. Marney, Debbie and I all walked out of there singing it. I don't know if it was the 5:45 wake-up, the Dolly music, or if they were even funnier than usual, but somehow I found everything those two chicas said last night utterly hilarious. Particularly Debbie telling us she had "salmon teri-yukky" for lunch that day. I almost can't wait to have some bad Japanese food so I can use that line at the table! Thanks, ladies, for giving me so many good giggles last night!
Another sleepy morning. Not much new there. For some reason I just am not sleeping well lately, and I keep waking up way too early. Today wasn't as bad as yesterday's 5:45 a.m. wakeup, but I still wouldn't mind actually sleeping until my alarm goes off. It's not as though I am waking up because my body's done sleeping - I just wake up and am still tired. Grr.

I seem to have conquered the wandering gauge problem with the Topas yarn. At Stitch-n-Bitch last night I managed to get it to 5 stitches per inch on a #6 needle, and the swatch looked nice enough to start on Bonne Marie's Boat Neck Shell. I'm doing it in stripes of the green and canteloupe, approximately 2" in width. I'm keeping careful track of how many rows I do in each color, so that I can reproduce it exactly and match up the stripes when I finish. Let's hope it works. I'm just a few rows into the second stripe, and the colors look so pretty together! I'll take a picture tonight.

Going to pick up my new sunglasses at lunchtime today. Yoon totally hooked me up, vision-wise. When I saw her 2 weeks ago, I got a year's supply of (2-week disposable) contacts at cost (100 bucks), plus there's a $30 rebate on them. And I got really great prescription sunglasses - cool purple-y Calvin Klein plastic frames (with big sidepieces to block out the sun from my delicate little eyes) with polarized lenses and anti-scratch coating for 95 bucks. The frames alone list for around $200, without the prescription lenses, so this is obviously a fantastic deal! I love having prescription sunglasses, and haven't had a pair in years. They are so much better than the little sunglass clips that go on regular glasses.

I also want a new pair of non-prescription sunglasses, since the ones I have are like 5 years old and scratched. Now that I am wearing my contacts at least as often as my glasses, it's kind of important. I wanted these Persol glasses (#2607) I saw at Sunglass Hut, but they were $140 bucks there. I found them online (obviously) for much less - $90, but when I ordered, the guy called and said they would have to ship them from Italy and it would take 5 weeks. At the time, my trip was 6 weeks away, so I told him I'd be in Italy soon, and he told me I could get them even cheaper there. So, hopefully some nice shades will be one souvenir of this trip.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Well, it's certainly not sparkling clean in here, but I did make good headway last night. That included a ton of handwashing that I had been putting off for a while. Smells a bit like wet dog in my bathroom now, from the mix of silk, cashmere and merino knits. Mmmm, wet dog.

What am I doing up this early? This is nothing! It was 5:45 a.m. when my brain decided to wake up. Once the brain's up, the body reluctantly follows, so there I was. I tried to get back to sleep for about 20 minutes, but that wasn't happening, so I hauled my butt out of bed and have been mostly surfing since then. Trying to sort out what sort of gift knitting I am going to be doing over the next several months. Although I am awake, I am pretty fuzzy-headed, so I really can't say I've gotten all that much done.

Ordered some yummy Indian food for dinner last night and I can't wait to have the leftovers tonight! I am hoping to make this one of those rare nights when I have dinner BEFORE I go to Stitch-n-Bitch. If I don't eat beforehand, I end up starving at 10 p.m. with nothing to eat and no motivation to either make something or even order anything delivered. I'm excited to go to S-n-B tonight, since I have missed the past two weeks. After waking up so early, I suspect I will not stay too late tonight. I also have my friend Diana coming over tonight. She has some sort of after-work plans in the city tonight and asked if she could stay here instead of going back to Long Island tonight. I really don't like having people stay over during the week (excluding my sweetie, of course!) but I said yes. She's going to be taking care of my little kitty during a good portion of my vacation, so I figured I'd be nice.

After I got tired of cleaning I got about 5 more rows done on the Moo baby blanket.

I am wondering whether there's something funky in the directions here. It calls for straight stockinette stitch the whole way through, with no edging or anything to stop it from rolling. And boy is it rolling. I gave it a quick press with the iron for the picture below, but is blocking really going to get this to stay (relatively) flat? It's Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, and other than the rolling, I am absolutely loving the yarn - so soft and yummy! But am I going to end up having to add a crocheted edge at the end to keep it from rolling? I don't know if I'd even have enough yarn for that. I thought I had ordered an extra ball of each color, but somehow I didn't.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Tonight I must clean up my apartment. The past three weeks have been so busy and I have been home so little, that the place has gotten scary. I know I just need a couple of hours to put everything right. It's not that anything is dirty - I have been cleaning the kitchen and bathroom regularly - it's all the clutter. Clothes that didn't make it back to either laundry basket or hanger. Mail and newspapers I can't discard yet but haven't had time to read. Yarn. The down comforter that is off the bed and packed into a vacuum-sealed bag, but sitting against the wall looking for a place to spend the summer. You can imagine, I'm sure.

So, I am going to ignore the siren song of the yarn tonight and get my place in order. I get so grumpy when it's messy, so this will improve life in general for me and those around me. Hehe. Then tomorrow I can wake up relaxed and happy, and go to Stitch-n-Bitch with a clear conscience. Yay!

I can't believe there are only 11 days left until we leave for Europe. Yikes!! I'll have to post a general itinerary sometime in the next few days.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

I survived the weekend of many plans! Hallelujah! It has been pretty hectic. First was Leslie's birthday party in Connecticut on Saturday, which featured a mini carnival with human bowling, jousting (Ryan almost won the grand prize!) and various other party games. There are lots of pics to be downloaded soon.

Saturday night we went to a fun party at Mark's. Mark and Ryan went to Cornell together, and now Mark works at Blue Sky, which is someplace Ryan might want to work at once he finishes his Masters. The party was mostly on the roof of Mark's building, and pretty fun. Got to meet some of the guys who worked on Ice Age and hear some interesting stories about all that. They seem like a pretty cool bunch of computer geeks. ;-)

Today we went back out to my parents' and took Dad out to lunch and then to the Aquarium out in Riverhead. We got stuck in traffic from an accident along the way, so we didn't have all that much time to spend there, which was sort of a bummer. But the place wasn't all that huge, so we did get to see probably 80 percent of it, just not in a lot of depth. Then again, there wasn't a lot of depth - it was irritating to me that most of the tanks didn't include descriptions of what was inside. Lots of neat Atlantis-themed stuff, though. Worth the trip, though not so much the sitting in traffic part of the trip!

Jackie joined us for the last event of the weekend at the Remote Lounge, which was showing the video work that Ryan and his classmates did this year. His video, "The Grudge" was very well-received! Laughter in all the right places. Yay Ryan! After watching that and a few others, we got more interested in playing with the webcams and video screens and spying on people in other parts of the bar. Apparently, others were spying on us, too. See if you can find us! (Hint - we're mostly on Channel 6). For a while, we (or at least certain parts of us) were quite popular, it appears! [Note added later - you can see a selection of pics on Jackie's blog, too.]

Knitting? Oh yeah, I did a few rows on the Rowan purse on the train. Not much else. Way too busy for that this weekend!