Friday, December 21, 2007

Subtle changes in temperature

I am loving this weather. It's brisk in the morning and warms to a pleasant coolness in the afternoon to then drop to snuggle-under-the-down temperatures at night. This weather is perfect for brewing a pot of black currant tea, lounging with the TV in the background and knitting up a storm. Dave and I had a nice little pre-Christmas exchange before our dinner of asparagus ravioli and rye crisps with lox and dill. This is what I got:


Le Creuset 4.5 quart covered casserole and piccolo teapot in red! YAY!!!!

I also decided that wrapping all of those hats was easy enough to do again, so I unwrapped almost all of them to take photos (not Dave's, b/c I know I'll see it on him)


This is for Vicki. It's a rolled brim cap made of novelty rainbow boucle. Never again will I use this yarn! What a pain!


This is the cap I'm going to attach a note with and then take the recipient yarn shopping. I just can't bring myself to like this hat. Poo.


This hat is super soft and knit in a double eyelet rib. I think it's cute and I really hope my sister likes it.


Finally finished the blue hat, so I can tick it off my list. Problem is, the recipient has a larger sized head, so I hope this ribbing will stretch enough to fit him. *fingerscrossed*

I started the decreasing rounds of my mom's cable hat and I'm going to start/finish my brother-in-law's hat today and tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knit log

Hats needed: 10

Hats knitted: 5

Hats in progress: 2

Days until Christmas: 7

I am so screwed.

Olivia asked to see some creations, most are already wrapped for Christmas or given away already, so all I have are these shots of the Christmas Hats of Death:


This red cabled hat is for my mother, and it is in progress. It is the first hat I have knitted in the round. It is also my first cable project. I love cabling. The yarn was very inexpensive, but it knits up great and is super soft, which is great because my mother has a tragic disposition in regards to wool. The yarn is Caron worsted tweed in Autumn Red.


The multicolor hat is my hat, my first attempt at knitting hats, and is made from a bulky weight 100% wool yarn from Crystal Palace. The gorgeous royal blue rip knit section will be a hat identical to mine, but for my father-in-law, and is also made from 100% wool bulky weight yarn from Crystal palace.


This is a single eyelet rib hat knit in a large gauge with a 100% acrylic yarn that is pretty on the skein but I'm rather unsure of giving it away now that it's knitted up. It's got great texture, but not the elasticity or stretch I was looking for. I think it's all wrong. What I'll probably do is put the hat in a box and give it to the person I made it for with a note telling them that if they don't like it, be honest, and donate the hat and I'll make another one for them from whatever yarn they'd like. Sound like a good idea?

I've also made my last ever novelty yarn item (hat for my mother-in-law to match a scarf I made her last year). I made another really cute beanie in a double eyelet rib that looks 10 times better than the single one b/c it's actually the right gauge. Fancy that. Dave also received my first-ever earflap hat. I made another rib hat for my yoga teacher, Martha.

After all these hats I'll be begging to do socks and mittens.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

What I did last weekend: Illustrated version

Our new deck

Our new deck

After 20 kajillion trips to the hardware store, Dave and Mike finished piecing together our backyard deck.

New project!

I bought two-way stretch jersey for a new project: yoga leggings.


This is the Noro Iro (75% wool, 25% silk) that I'm using to knit fingerless gauntlet-style mittens. I started and ripped down and started again this weekend.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Days are getting shorter

I'm burning daylight under fluorescents these days. I'm here at my desk by 8 a.m. most days and I don't leave until we finish the issue, which is usually around 6 p.m. or so. I don't usually take a lunch per se, though during lunch time I can be found nibbling on crackers and slurping on soup while dicking around on the Internet. At my desk.

I've become fairly aware of my desks surroundings, though all that surrounds me is a four-foot radius of one-third of a wall. People can approach me on all sides. I am ambushed by needy people daily.

Because I'm a cubicle in a sea of fishbowl-like offices, people assume that because they can approach me over my one-third wall that I actually want them to. And because I'm hearing impaired, any time I hear someone around me I turn around to check things out because who knows, they might actually need to tell me something important, though its rare.

So, after 10 hours of basking in fluorescent lights and staring into a monitor I'd love nothing more than to walk out of the dimly lit building to wince at the bright sunshine and smell the acrid, exhaust laden air of downtown Dallas. But, by the time I'm out of here it's dark.

I like the cool temperatures of winter, but this daylight saving crap has got to go.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Variation on a theme

If there's one thing I took for granted as a teenager it was my ability to hear. By the time I was 16 I was already completely deaf in my right ear (I have no idea what caused it, but it was kind of gradual). At this time it didn't bother me that I was deaf in my right ear because I held my violin up to my left, and as long as I could discern pitch changes I didn't care.

I wasn't the most disciplined violinist throughout high school. I didn't practice as often as I should, mostly because I was also trying to be a varsity golfer at the same time, and by not choosing one over the other I was unable to practice as much as most golfers/violinists. I was trying to be OK at a lot of things instead of exceptional at one thing, which was a big mistake, I think.

Now that I'm going almost completely deaf I long to open my violin case and hear the music it once made. It was a crystalline, defining experience to master a techniqe or a piece. It made me absorbed in the moment, it made me want to strive for the next chance to disply my talent. It was for this reason that I joined four or five performance groups: I loved the limelight, baby.

But still, it faded, much because I didn't practice enough. I occaisionally played through college with a performance art group doing more loosely interpretive things instead of the technically exacting concertos, symphonies and themes that defined most of my training.

When I lost more of my hearing I found that I could no longer tune my instrument without a chromatic tuner, I could no longer discern pitch as well. It was one of the most depressing moments in my life: I wasn't a violinist anymore.

Still I am afraid to get hearing aids because I worry that it won't fix the problem, and they will only support a worthless facsimile of the vibrant music I once played. I just don't want to have that feeling of hopelessness, the feeling you get when you've tried everything and nothing works, the feeling of failing with your very last resort.

If I gave up hoping that I could one day go back to the violin I don't know if I could take it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Only Mr. Magoo has worse mornings

While the tribulation is still fresh, I'll describe to you a morning that only the consistently klutzy might appreciate.

We were a couple minutes late leaving the house this morning because I coudn't find my tumbler full of hot coffee. I searched all over for it, only to find that it and everything else I was searching for were already in the car with my husband, who was dilligently warming up the auto in the driveway while I ran through the house like a chicken with its head cut off. So, I sit down in the car, miserable, thinking that I wasn't going to get any coffee before work this morning (a train ride in the winter without something warm to sip is a nightmare!) and there it was, nestled in the cupholder. *grumble*

I applied my makeup in the car on the way to the train station, finishing my lip gloss just in time. I grab everything and break to the platform to make the next train when I notice an official wearing an orange reflective work vest talking to a few human popsicles on the platform. I ask a woman who is leaving the platform what's going on, and she says that rail service to downtown is suspended. Yay. I call Dave and he does a quick 180 back to the station.

I drop Dave off just before 8 a.m. and head toward downtown, which is a nightmare from Dave's office. It took me 30 minutes to go maybe 15 miles. I kept hitting school zones, which slow traffic to 20 mph, a snail's pace, and every side-street was crowded with perpetual lane changers (you know the type, the lane next to them is inching along only a bit faster than theirs, so they move into it, and soon after they move the lane they were previously in begins to move faster than the one they just moved to, so they change again, ad infinitum).

When I FINALLY arrive at work, I'm pulling all of my stuff from the passenger side to the drivers side, and I think that my steaming hot coffee is lodged securely in the console cupholder, but as I drag my God-awful heavy messenger bag over it, the coffee tips into the driver's seat, dribbling all over, and I don't notice it until I am reaching into the car about 15 seconds later to retrieve it, which means that the entire tumbler of coffee is half spilled into the seat. Mumbling obscenities under my breath I grab as many cheap restaurant napkins as possible, making an effort to mop up as much coffee as I can, which is totally in vain. THis is the downside to insisting on freshly roasted dark brew coffee. Upside: my car smells delicious. I will have to skip yoga tonight in order to clean up my coffee mess, which will fortunately also give me a few minutes to hang my hanging plants in the yoga room.