Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I ♥ SF

We had a wonderful time in San Francisco. We drove up and got there late in the afternoon on Friday. We checked into our beautiful hotel and then trekked down the few blocks to Union Square. It was bustling with people who were shopping or waiting for the tree lighting. We walked around a bit and then staked out a spot on the sidewalk across from the square to see the huge tree turn from green to a mass of twinkling white lights. I felt 5 years old again. We spent the rest of the evening walking around and did a little shopping. There were kittens in the windows at Macy's:

How much is that kitten in the window? Posted by Hello

The Sony Metreon was an asault on the senses and made us feel very old indeed. The bookstores were more our style. One of our purchases was this book on historic walks. We did three walks on Saturday and three more on Sunday. Whew, did I get tired! The hills were steep, the skies were blue, the wind was brisk, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We fantasized about buying a condo that we could escape to on the weekends to enjoy the city life, but then we looked at the real estate listings. We're better off booking a hotel room each time we want to go.

I did not make it to Britex or Artfibers. So sad. They're both near Union Square and only a few blocks away from each other too. My husband did offer to go do something else while I shopped, but I would have felt rushed and I also didn't want to miss out on spending time with him exploring the city. I've been to Britex before and really don't need fabric and although I've not been to Artfibers, I don't really need yarn either. I'd rather go up there on my own or with another sewing/knitting friend.

I felted the kitty bed and it's currently drying over a towel-encircled Tupperware serving platter. The smell of wet wool is at the same time nice and repulsive to me. I don't know why that is. I hope the cats like the bed and I really hope it doesn't get peed on...again. I left it out, unfelted, while we were gone and it was christened. I hope it was out of spite because we left them alone over the weekend and not a sign of territorial wars.

I'm continuing to work on the Patons Devine scarf. It's getting longer, but slowly.

Although I brought my newly knitted hat to SF, I didn't wear it, so no touristy picture of me in the hat. However the weather here has turned cold and I wore both the hat and a scarf I knit last year. A little overboard since cold here is not all that cold, but the thermometer did read 29 this morning, which is about as cold as it gets. Today it might not make it out of the 50's - oh my! We covered our Jade plants and brought in the Bird of Paradise but we forgot about our citrus. Oh well. Frozen lemons and limes anyone?

Friday, November 26, 2004

A project finished

I reknit the hat I frogged the other day and it turned out great. I came very close to running out of yarn. Very close. No, no pictures. Maybe I'll get one of me wearing my fab hat this weekend on our mini-vacation to SF. I was surprised at how quickly it went, but then I did nothing but knit and watch TV this weekend. I was on a mission when I realized I could get it done and be able to wear it this weekend. It was simple to knit - cast on 56 stitches, knit for 7", and decrease regularly until you're done. I won't give you the details on the decreasing because this is the knitting store's pattern. The hat is super soft in the Plymouth Sinsation yarn. I chose black and it looks rather curly lambskin-ish.

I also did I tiny bit of sewing. I basted two more panels of the kitchen curtains together. Woohoo! Such progress. I'm torn between working on the curtains, since they're almost all ready to stitch and I've been putting them off for so long, and working on a Christmas gift. The Christmas gift should be the first priority, especially since I have to ship it, but the serger is all set up for the kitchen curtains and despite being the easiest serger on the earth to thread (a jet-air Babylock), I'm lazy.

And about that mini-vacation to SF. Britex is having a sale. I will have to stop by. I just have to. We'll be near Union Square anyway. I've been soooo good at my fabric diet, maybe I'll allow myself one piece. And I want to check out Artfibers, which I hear is a great yarn store. They have their own custom-dyed yarns. But I don't want to dominate the trip with visits to fabric and yarn stores, my husband would certainly not be happy. This is his vacation too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Too much of a good thing

I apologize to anyone checking back over the last few weeks to see if I've posted anything new. I haven't posted due to a combination of procrastination, the elation at being maybe pregnant for a day (a very faint line on the test) and then the sadness when it turned out not to be, having a terrible cold for a week (achoo!), and well, just procrastinating again.

I have been knitting...a lot...and now I think I have carpal tunnel in my left wrist. I think I will have to force myself to switch to some sewing projects for a while.

Here's what I've been working on. I really wanted to take pictures, but you know there's that procrastination thing I have a problem with.

  • Hat in black, Plymouth Sinsation yarn. I "finished" it and then decided I wanted a longer brim. My attempts to frog it back to the brim failed because due to the black yarn it was impossible to see the stitches I needed to pick up. I tried just pulling the yarn out and reinserting the needles but somehow I wound up with one extra stitch and after knitting a few rows discovered a hole. Rats. I tried again to pick up stitches and it just didn't work, so I frogged the whole thing. It was really easy to knit so I'm not too upset.

  • Scarf in burgandy Plymouth Eros. Done.

  • Scarf in brown Plymouth Eros. About 1/3 done. Decided to put it on hold while I work on other things.

  • Kitty bed in brown and cream Patons Up Country wool. It's done and waiting to be felted. And waiting and waiting and waiting.

  • Scarf in blue Patons Devine. I'm 1/2 way through. This is a gift and the project that's probably responsible for my wrist hurting.

  • Socks in brown and blue Lion Brand Magic Stripes. I'm about 1/2 way through the first sock. These are my first socks. I'm using the sock pattern from the label and I'm not all that happy with it. When I got to the heel I had some trouble understanding the instructions but the internet came to the rescue. I honestly did not understand when the instructions said "turn" but I hadn't finished the row. Thankfully someone, somewhere wrote in plain English that you just do as they say. Turn the work around and continue knitting. Those unknit stitches are eventually picked up. Now that I see how it makes the heel, it makes sense! I also had trouble with the heel flap. The instructions said to knit for 2 1/4" (28 rows) so I knit until the heel flap was 2 1/4". Then it expected me to have the right number of stitches to pick up on the side. Hmmm. I frogged it and started over, this time counting the rows. But then I seemed to come up a few stitches short when I went to pick up the stitches on the edge. Picking up stitches is also a new thing for me. At any rate, the socks are going to sit awhile until Christmas gifts are done and my wrist feels better.
Lots of projects!

My kitchen curtains are still in pieces on the cutting table. The serger is all set up and ready to join the panels. I only have one basted together but procrastination and perfectionism is holding me up. I want to join the panels so the pattern matches and I'm not sure I can be so accurate on the serger.

And in the midst of it all, we need to tear out the carpet in the sewing/computer room, which means moving some furniture and lots and lots of stuff. We've been slowly removing the carpet in hallway and bedrooms to reveal the hardwood floors. Partly because we like the look of hardwood and partly because we have a cat who thinks the world is her litterbox - or at least the carpet is. Eventually we'll refinish the floors. We did refinish the dining room and hallway floors and they turned out very nice. The sewing/computer room is the last room with carpet. Well, the family room is carpeted but alas, no hardwood underneath, just yucky linoleum tile. We'd like to put hardwood in there as well. But the issue with the sewing/computer room is STUFF! There are two IKEA desks, a large IKEA bookshelf, my sewing machine cabinet, and a large woodworking bench that I use for all my crafting stuff (it was quite a find at Costco - solid wood, lots of full-slide drawers and even a built-in vise!). Then there's also my dress form, a Rowenta steamer, and lots of sewing stuff on the floor like pattern boxes and bins of fabric. The room is just a bedroom, so you can imagine how full it is! Fortunately we have another bedroom, where my cutting table is semi-permanentely setup, where we'll be able to stash stuff as we tear up the carpet. And since we're not refinishing the floors at this time, we won't have to move everything out, just move it aside to get to the carpet.

But this is not a job for this weekend. We're planning on taking a mini-vacation. Hotel, restaurants, shopping, siteseeing. It'll be fun. And I don't think I'll bring my knitting. Well, maybe. We're thinking of taking the train instead of driving.