Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Work, work, work

I hope you all had a nice 4th of July. I had a crazy weekend spent flying across the country for work, but I managed to squeeze in a visit with my mom and sister, do some fabric shopping, and I had lots of time to knit on the plane. Usually my work is not too demanding of my weekends and evenings, but when it is demanding, it can mean long hours and sometimes travel . After a long day of flying, including a 2-hour weather-related delay at the connecting airport, I spent the next two days cooped up in a windowless, over-airconditioned room watching computer monitors while we ran tests on the instrument I'm involved with. The instrument is a telescope that will look at gamma rays in space and it's being launched on a satellite early next year. This past weekend we had to make sure the control center at Goddard Space Flight Center can send commands to the instrument while it's still on the ground. This kind of test is always prone to delays and by Saturday morning it looked like the 36-hour test (of which I worked the first and last 12 hours) that was supposed to end late that night, was threatening to extend into early Sunday morning. Fortunately the problems were resolved and we caught up and only went an hour or so beyond what we'd planned.

It wasn't exactly how I wanted to spend my holiday weekend, but I looked forward to knitting some socks during the long flight and that's exactly what I did. I plugged my noise cancellation headphones into my iPod and knit, knit, knit. I already had the leg of the sock started so I turned the heel and by the end of the last flight, I was about halfway down the foot. I should have stopped and evaluated things after turning the heel because before my flight home I tried the sock on and decided that the heel was awful. So I did what had to be done. I ripped everything back to the heel. Sigh. I knit a different short row heel, one that I've used before, and I liked this one much better. I tried it on this time to make sure.

Whenever I get back to the DC area, which is usually due to a trip for work, I head over to G-Street Fabric. Even though I'm blessed with some great fabric stores in San Francisco and Berkeley, I am obsessed with going to G-Street. By the way, I just heard that we're losing two wonderful fabric stores in the Bay Area: Poppy's in Oakland has lost their lease and is not able to find a suitable location and Satin Moon in San Francisco is also closing. The owners of Satin Moon apparently are retiring from the business and also say the change in the neighborhood is a reason they're closing. I hadn't shopped much at either but I guess I should have. Anyway, back to G-Street Fabrics. It was the last day of a big sale (25% off on most things!) and my mom had printed additional coupons good for 25% off on one item. Woohoo! If I get some time I'll post a picture of what I bought but for now, a description is all I can provide you: I bought a peach and white flower print in a stretch cotton for a dress, a few yards of a subtly-striped brown stretch cotton for some pants, a gorgeous Nichole Miller orange paisley cotton for a summer blouse, and a blue striped stretch cotton from the sale table for a shirt. I guess I like stretch cotton. I also bought a bunch of zippers. They have a nice selection of zippers at G-Street so I brought some swatches with me to find some matches. I didn't find perfect ones for all, but I did pretty well. I could have spent all afternoon there but we needed to get some lunch and then I had to drive back to the airport.

My fabric-buying has been a bit out of control lately. I'm expecting a big box from fabric.com this Wednesday and there's a fabric over at textile studios that would work so beautifully for a pattern I have that I don't think I can resist.

I have been doing some sewing...well, before I went on that trip. After finishing the orange plaid shirt, I needed to work on something simple. Really simple. So I thought I'd whip up a pair of lounge pants from some novelty cotton fabric I'd purchased from fabric.com. What could go wrong? I'll let you know tomorrow.

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