Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's the finishing that matters here

I finally had the time to finish knitting the green and white houndstooth monster! It looks okay, but that's how the monsters are. It's all in the finishing. The making of the face, and how firmly you stuff. Do you add accessories?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I don't usually do this.

But I'm going to talk politics for a second.

Politics are why I did not post yesterday. I spent 2 hours waiting in line and voting. Was it boring, yep. Do my legs kinda hurt from standing? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes, Yes, a million times Yes.

There was dramaz. A woman wanted to vote without the privacy screen, at the table where the poll workers were handing out the ballots. The argument was loud and annoying, then the person in line (not the person involved in the argument) ahead of me and Mr. TEK was trying to get us involved in a discussion of the rules. I basically told her that if she had something to say about the situation she should take it to the poll worker, and otherwise I did not care.

Today is quite interesting. I learned on Facebook that we are automatically socialists now, and that we will have to eat apples instead of deep fried potatoes in restaurants. If only the country had known about the apples the election may have turned out differently!

I will say this, I am glad that many of the politicans that brought up rape in their campaigns lost their elections. There shouldn't be a place in politics, on either side, for that kind of ignorance or lack of empathy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Workout time!

Today was a gym day after work. We just did a quick workout, as it was a last minute decision to go. I did 15 minutes on the elliptical, got sweaty as hell, then did a bunch of ab exercises. Now that I home, it's time to do a 30 second plank then call it a night. 

I probably have 10 more rows on the green and white monster. I will finish it tomorrow. I will.

Another short post... pictures tomorrow? We shall see. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Just a few more rows...

...and I will be done with the main knitting on the monster I am working on. Then I can start my next project, another monster! These two will be Christmas gifts.

The reason I cannot wait to finish these is because I have a cowl planned that will allow me to practice knitting Continentally. Normally, I knit English, but I took at class at Vogue Knitting Live so I can knit two-handed when I use two colors. It should be interesting to see how I put that in to practice. But that is a ways down the line, first I have to get comfortable with both knitting styles. The knit stitch is easy, it's the purl I have trouble with. I end up losing tension. I'm sure that as I practice I will come up with a way to make it work for me.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cycling Goal- 1,000 Miles. CHECK!

Hell yeah, we did it! Mr. TEK and I bicycled just over 1,000 miles over the course of the season. It is an amazing feeling, to set a goal like that and accomplish it. Our biggest hangup is the time involved. We still managed to have an outing average of 16.7 miles. At the beginning of the season our normal weekday ride was 10 miles. By the end of the season we managed to increase our speed enough that we could do a 15 mile route with the time that we had.

I'm kinda happy that cycling season is over for us, towards the end it was getting to be a chore. One thing that helped were the organized rides we signed up for. We did both the Tour de Troit and the Blue Water Ramble. We've started back at the gym now, and I know for a fact that I am in much better shape than when we signed up for our membership in February to prepare for cycling season.

Here are the bikes on the car for the final trek to the local metropark. I'm looking forward to next year!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Finally, a finished object post: Schieffelin Point Shawl

So here it is, post blocking, taped to a wall:


And this is me wearing it like a scarf:


Forgive my terrible hair day, but the rest of that outfit was fabulous. Grey herringbone dress, black tights, grey boots, and red scarf.

I really really really love this shawl. The yarn is amazing, I'm sad I learned about it after it was discontinued. The color is strong and beautiful, and it just feels so nice against skin. It does shed a little more than I would like.

The pattern for the shawl is well written, and the chart easy to follow. The hardest part I had was doing the increases as directed without losing count, which happened, multiple times.

Pattern: Schieffelin Point Shawl by Kate Gagnon Osborn
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Baby Suri Alpaca and Silk
Needles: US7

Check out the Ravelry Project Page.

I highly recommend the pattern.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October was BUSY!

And here we are in November.  And with November is NaBloPoMo. So I'm going to try to blog something every day. I can do this.

October is a transition month for me. The end of cycling season and the beginning of gym season. Time to clean up the patio and the yard, and settle in to being inside. More knitting, less being too hot to move. Hot cocoa instead of iced tea.

A pasty for lunch.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Open, Honest, Fear

I have many fears: failure, snakes, bees and other flying stinging insects, and social events. Really, for me, my social fear relates to my fear of failure. It doesn’t matter how well I know someone, how long we have been friends and hanging out, I get a gnawing, annoying fear prior to each and every event. I force myself out of it, have an awesome time with my friends, and then on the way home it hits- the fear and second guessing, the thoughts that my friends are not really my friends- they just feel sorry for me. I remember the “stupid shit” I said, and how the person or people I said it to must think I am an asshole of epic proportions. Sometimes it takes just a few minutes to remind myself that my friends are my friends- that they probably didn’t even notice whatever my transgressions were, as they were busy with their own. Other times, it is hours. Moments in time can come back and punch me in the stomach days, week, months, years after the fact. Long after that person would ever think about it- and even if they did, long after that person would have “forgiven” me, if necessary.

I decided some time ago that I needed to talk about this. I needed to deal with the lack of confidence in my interpersonal relationships, because it was hurting me. There are so many people over the years that I walked away from because I didn’t know how to deal. Sometimes I still don’t know how to deal, but I push through. I don’t want to be like some of the other people in my life who have nothing but their spouse and children. I want to have experiences that are not the same as my husbands, I want people to talk to that are not him. I don’t want to rely upon my theoretical children for a view of the world outside my home.

I’m not quite sure where I am going with this, but I feel the need to write this out. Probably because of upcoming work obligations that are going to force me into interactions with people I don’t know for 14ish hours a day for a week. I am going to have to carve out some quiet time to knit, read, or just simply find peace. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Minimal Knitting Content Ahead

I have been knitting a bit, but it doesn’t look like I’m making much progress. I am though - I think I have just one more repeat of the houndstooth before I start the decreases to finish off the head. I should be ready to start the arms by the end of this week, if I manage to get some knitting done in the evenings.

I was going to take a photo of the minimal progress, but then I didn't. It's been a week. I'll just post this today.

I’ve started an organization project: I’m going to re-tag all of my flickr photos. I’m slowly deleting all of my existing tags, and will start replacing them soon. It’s kind of annoying, but it will help me find the photos I’m looking for. I wish flickr made it easier to reuse tags, so then I don’t end up with 3 or 4 variations of “knit”.

Otherwise I’ve been spending my time reading cheesy romance novels (and finally started the book for my bookclub. More on that Thursday.) and now playing a web-based MMO gamed called Glitch. It’s really fun! You can either sign up for beta access (mine took about 2 weeks or so) or if you already have a friend with beta access they can send you an invite. I think the limit is 3 invites per person, and I still have all of mine… hint, hint!

Then there is Diablo III, which I will pick up more now than Mr. TEK is home in the evenings again, and Civ V. It’s a wonder I even get out of my chair!!

We also had scare with Duke this week. Onions. Which are poison to cats. *sigh* Why does he like to eat poison?

He's fine, we didn't even have to take him to the vet, but we did call (twice) just to be sure.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Knittyboard Swap Finished Object

I can hardly believe it is September already! I have been knitting all summer despite the record heat. And today I have a finished object for you! It’s not the shawl; I still haven’t gotten photos of me wearing it. Perhaps I will be inspired to get some when I get home from work tonight. I’ll have to find my tripod and remote shutter release.

Today’s finished object is a Monster I knit for the Knittyboard Farewell/Boardwarming Swap. I received a set of beautiful knit coasters that match my kitchen from helsbels. She even worked on them while she was at the London Olympics!

For my recipient, I wanted to send something to hug. I ordered some Malabrigo Chunky yarn and decided to make a quick monster. It was supposed to have ears, but I got down to the wire and chose antenna instead. I cut out felt circles to make the black safety eyes stand out against the dark yarn, and did a simple mouth.


As usual for me, I picked-up and knit the stitches for the arms and legs instead of sewing them on after, so they are a little crooked. Oops. The yarn did not pool as I expected, which is certainly good.

All in all, I love how this guy turned out. Each one seems to have its own personality.


Pattern: Gabby the Garden Monster
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky  #247 Whales Road
Needles: US 10
Ravelry Link

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I am trying to make some life changes. I want to be more productive in life, at work, at the “gym”, at my crafts, in my relationships. Making these changes is working so far. I feel better about myself- more confident, more connected, more centered.

One of these changes is centered on my blog. Right now, I’m writing maybe twice a month. I want to write twice a week. My plan is to do one post per week about my knitting, since I am knitting a little every day. I should have some progress each week to show, if not finished things. It’s amazing, if you actually knit you can finish things within a less-than-6-months’ time frame! Granted, I chose not to post this week about knitting because I am working on a super-secret project that I cannot quite talk about yet – except to say that I am within 40 stitches of completion.

The other changes I am trying to make are:

1. Fitness- Continue to work on cycling, start with a little core strength training each day.
2. Work- Minimize non-productive time
3. Relationships- Re-establish and maintain friendships that have been allowed to lapse.

I probably will not post very much about 2 and 3 here, though I may change my mind if I feel that I need to share.

As of yesterday, here is our cycling progress:

cycle 82312

Yep. We’re over 700 miles for the year. We have at least 6 to 8 more weeks of good riding, so we will certainly hit 1,000 miles.

cycle2 82312

Now to just make sure that I am doing my core exercises… Hmmm.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Knitting! Lots of Knitting!

Knitting Update Time! I just wish I had more photos.

Finished Objects:

- As mentioned in my last post I finished the Scheiffelin Point Shawl. I'm wearing it as I write the post, but I still have not taken any photos of it since it has been blocked. I meant to, but I've been busy elsewhere. And the color doesn't quite work with a lot of my wardrobe (which doesn't stop me from wearing it anyway) and I want to make sure it looks awesome for photos. I might actually have to iron something to wear.

- I also finished the mug cozy that I had started months and months ago. It sat awaiting the weaving of ends for many many months. Finally I got around to finishing that up, I was tired of it staring at me in all it's unfinished glory on my ravelry page. Now I just need to take a few photos of the finished item and then I can forget about that pattern forever.

Works in Progress:

- I can't show you this one, or really talk about it much. It's a SUPER SECRET project for the Knittyboard Farewell Swap. If you haven't heard, the knittyboard (part of will be closing at the end of this month. It's sad, that was a very safe place where I could get support without people I know in real life knowing about it.

- I also started another monster. I'm doing a green and white houndstooth pattern for a friend of mine that went to Michigan State University. It's to be a X-mas gift for her, since she got me something last year and I could not get my shit together enough to get her anything. 



I love the stripey legs on this monster. The face is going to be solid green while the color work pattern is going to continue on the back. I think the face might have a sticky-out tongue. The idea makes me laugh anyway.

Things I am going to knit next:

-First up is going to be yet another monster for another x-mas gift. I have this gorgeous pink/purple/blueish and grey yarn, and I think I am going to get some grey to add some stripeyness.

-I may also do the beaded necklace pattern that was in the Summer Interweave Knits for both of the monster recipients. I figure I owe them since I was super lame with the gift-giving last year.

-The other thing I need to do is organize my stash and get everything listed in Ravelry. Since the knittyboard is moving there, I am going to be using that website far more often. Plus I normally have no clue what I have so I think it will be good no matter what.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catching Up

I know that I’m a sporadic blogger. There are times where I just don’t feel like digging deep to find something, anything, to write about. I’ve started to use to try to get myself organized and actually do stuff, but work stuff, home stuff, and fun stuff. That is what pushed me to write this post. If you use mindbloom, contact me, I’ll add you as a friend. I don’t have any friends added on there. So let’s catch up on my summer of awesome!

Knitting: I finished the Schieffelin Point Shawl, which was a huge undertaking, especially working with alpaca silk yarn in 95˚+ heat. It turned out beautifully. I have not taken photos of it since it has been blocked, but I do have photos of it pinned out.

knit 002

knit 005

knit 003

Once I completed the knitting on the shawl I immediately cast on for a new Monster. I’m going to be knitting two monsters for friends that gave me gifts last year, and I did not reciprocate. I might also knit necklaces for them; I already have the yarn and probably the beads for it. I have some Jaggerspun Zephyr 2-ply in a lovely cream color that I think would love wonderful with some pale lavender beads or maybe a bold red bead. I’m starting now, so it will be done with plenty of time before the holidays.

Cycling: We have biked 560 miles so far this summer! We are +187 miles over last year at this time, and are on pace to ride over 800 miles. That is some serious biking, and we are pretty well lined up to reach our goal. If we have a couple 100-mile weeks, we won’t have any trouble reaching 1,000.

Summer of 1,000 miles

We have added to our gear, switching to clip-in pedals and shoes. I have to say they are the ugliest most expensive shoes I’ve ever purchased. But they work, once I got used to wearing them. There were several “almost” falls, I wrenched my shoulder pretty good the second time we went out with them. It’s tough riding sometimes. I found out I have asthma, not too bad, and it only bothers me when biking hard.

I really haven’t done any other crafting. Most of my free time is take up by cycling or playing Diablo III.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No Progress

I haven’t really been knitting, just a row here and there on the Schieffelin Point Shawl. It’s a shame because I’m so close to having it done. I think I’ve got 6 more rows before I start the lace border.

We have been making progress on our cycling goals thouhg.

5-22 Biking Goals

We are +50 miles over where we were at this time last year. We are planning to ride a minimum 40 miles both this week and next week. The three-day Memorial Day weekend will certainly help. If we can manage that we will be nearly +100 miles over last year. Unfortunately, it is looking like we won’t be able to participate in the Michigander Bike Tour this year though. Mr. TEKs has a project at work that is going to necessitate extended hours, so we are going to try to find a different tour.

Otherwise, my free time has been taken up by hanging out on the patio (which allows for some knitting) and playing Diablo III (which does not).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Update

April is probably my favorite month. And yes, my name does factor into it, along with my birthday, warmer weather, and formerly the beginning of the end of classes. This month has been more of the same, except for the end-of-classes thing; I wish my life still came with summer vacation.

Cycling: With better weather the bicycling take precedence. Granted it’s not perfect weather yet, still cool and windy, (60’s F, or below) but we are making it count. Spreadsheet has needed some tweaks, but now I think I’ve got it. We’re nearly 40 miles ahead of where we were at this time last year, and that is HUGE. It’s too bad that the weather is supposed to be crummy this week. Mr. TEK plotted several road routes that we can ride for 10, 20, and 30 mile rides that will keep us out of the local State Park. We are trying to build speed and endurance, and it is not safe for either us or the pedestrians when the park is busy. People tend to be all over the place, and have no problem blocking the trail- either with items or themselves- which makes me… well, let’s just say unhappy.

The road routes are somewhat more difficult, as they include going over highway over-passes, which is about as good of a hill as you are going to get when your town was built on a swamp. It’s early in the year, but I thought I’d have better endurance already. I’m impatient, especially since it seems that Mr. TEK is breezing through these 10 mile rides.

Knitting: I’m still working on the Schieffelin Point Shawl. I hit the half-way point in terms of number of stitches over the weekend, and just started the third skein of yarn. I’ve done the second-to-last set of increases, but somehow I have either 13 or 20 extra stitches. I’ve counted twice and gotten those two different numbers, so I’m going to have to count again. I can tell you this, however many stitches I have, I am not ripping back. I’ll just make sure to adjust my increases accordingly.

I’m only working on this project right now because I’m hoping to have it done by May 15th. I’m pretty sure I can reach that goal, but I’m going to have to do a lot more knitting in the evenings at home.

The bulbs I planted in the fall have come up and they look amazing. I find yellow and red tulips next to brightly colored hyacinths to be interesting to look at. I’m a “plants on top of plants” kind of gardener; I don’t want to see dirt- just lush green foliage and pops of pretty colored flowers. I am also lazy, as mentioned many times on this blog. I don’t want to have to do any kind of maintenance to my plants, outside of an occasional weeding or cutting. Mr. TEK is more of the regimented, spaced-out plants with fresh mulch around each plant, kind of guy.

We have a new area to plant in now, since we added two more fence sections to our patio. It’s now mostly enclosed, granting us a lot more privacy, which makes Beers on the Patio™ all the more awesome.
Beers on the patio!

This year is apparently the year of seeing bands that I wanted to see before I died. So far this year we have seen The Life and Times (for the 2nd time) and Clutch (for the first time). We just got tickets to see Fiona Apple, and Shiner, and we are hoping to get tickets to TheDeftones and System of a Down, and Garbage. I’m 100% sure we will get Deftones tickets; it’s just a matter of where the “seats” are. The show is at DTE, which has a pavilion with real seats and hill seating, which is like a picnic with a crappy view of the stage, which is the opposite of awesome for a rock show.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My apologies

Here we are, more than half way through March, and I haven't posted. There is good and bad, and more good news.

Good News/Bad News #1- I found a job! I started the first full week of February and I a very happy in my new role. It's with a small company, working with information that I have no experience with, so there is a lot to learn- along with a crap-ton of excel work! Excel makes me happy, I probably should go back to school for computer programming because I just love the problem solving aspect of figuring out how to automate calculations with formulas, functions, and macros.

The bad news in all this is that I have significantly less time to blog. My time at work is work time, though lunchtime might allow me to outline a post or two, and now that it is spring I'll be spending more time in the evenings on my bicycle, which will leave even less time for blogging and preparing for posts (like taking photos)

Good News/Bad News #2- Daylight Savings! It's great because I'll have better light in the evening for photography. It's not-so-great because I hate changing the clocks. Last week I was so off my game, it was aweful! I was getting up at minimum 20 minutes late every morning for work, which meant I arrived at work later than I would have liked.

How have my hobbies fared with the new job? My primary hobbies have fared well. I consider knitting, photography, and cycling my primary hobbies. Sewing, baking, and other crafts are secondary.

Knitting: I participated in a knittyboard swap, the theme was "New Year, (learning) New Things. My pal sent me a GREAT package. Pretty stitch markers, yummy tea, and the crowing glory- Misti Alpaca 4-ply Alpaca Silk in an amazing garnet color. I'd better get a black coat for the winter, I don't want to look like an Ohio State fan when visiting my in-laws in Columbus! (disclaimer: I do not care a whit for college sports. Mr. TEK does not care a whit for college sports. His extended family does not fail to give us crap because we live and work in Michigan- and horror of horrors- I work in Ann Arbor again!) She sent along a super cute pattern- Schieffelin Point Shawl that I immediately cast on for.



I also have a nearly-completed Pocket Cup Cozy, but I am still not happy with the pocket construction. Apparently I suck at picking up stitches. I'm just going to have to keep trying or just make them without pockets. It's not like that is difficult at all.


Cycling: The 2012 Summer of 1,000 Miles spreadsheet is live! And by live, I mean updated and on my usb drive. I'll give you a peek at the data analysis page (the rest is boring... unless you like line graphs with 2 data points!)
Summer of 1K miles

Since we started going to the gym in January, we were able to kick-start our outdoor cycling by cutting out the less than 5 mile conditioning rides. The weather certainly helps too. Hopefully we will be able to get another 10 mile ride in this evening.

Photography: I have barely had a reason to pick up my camera before today since I haven't been doing any blogging. I have not finished any crafty projects either. I've got a project for Easter, which I am really excited about, but other than that nothing much.


There are two new releases coming May 15 that I am super excited about. Diablo III and the new Garbage album. So giddy about D3... and the new computer I am going to get to ensure I get an awesome experience. I've needed a new desktop for about a year now, but I've been putting it off so I could get something to run Diablo to it's best advantage. Yes, I am quite happily a nerd.

Duke was quite mad that I was outside and he was not getting my undivided attentions.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lazy? Or Focused?

Knitting was not much of a friend this month. I'm on row 3 of the herringbone cowl, and I'm happy if I knit 3 stitches on it a week. I'll be lucky if I have it finished for Winter 2013. But I will finish it. It's just too pretty not to want to finish.


Yeah, seriously, that's all I have done. I haven't even finished transferring from the aluminum needles to the bamboo ones.

I'm slightly ashamed to admit it,  but I saw this pattern on Pinterest and had to cast on. I had some yarn leftover from Basil, and I knew it would be quick and cute. I didn't know it would be that quick and cute!
Mug Cozy 1

I don't love this first one. It's cute, but the gauge is too loose. The pattern called for DK weight yarn on US5s, and I used worsted weight yarn on US6s because I couldn't seem to find my US5s. I am not the most organized knitter. In addition to the gauge being off, which is all my fault, I don't love the pocket construction. It just seems really bulky to have 3 layers of knitting in the pocket area.

The last thing I don't love is the way I did the ribbing on the pocket. Because I hate seaming so much I decided to pick up a stitch at the beginning and end of each row and knit it into the first/last stitch to anchor the ribbing. I wasn't really paying attention so now the pocket looks crooked. It's not enough to stop me from using it though!


So, what did I decide to do? Why start another one! I've plotted the pocket construction to be less bulky, we will see how it turns out. I'm using some leftover Cascade 220, I should have just enough to do one cozy with it. If I run short, I should have a nice constrasting color to do the pocket/ribbing part. I might just do the pocket in a contrast color anyway. That would be supercute!


Friday, January 6, 2012

I really need some new needles

I was out running errands today and I really should have stopped to get some bamboo needles are our local craft store. These US15 aluminium Boye's are making it difficult to work on the herringbone cowl. I did manage to move on to the second row though! It sounded like it would be difficult to k2tog tbl  (through the back loop) but it's just fussy. Oh well, every stitch is progress.

I did a little baking this week. Biscotti! I love biscotti, it's crispy and sweet, kinda like a cookie, but different- better somehow. And I am a chick who loves cookies. This is chocolate citrus biscotti from the food network. The original recipe called for the biscotti to be dipped in melted chocolate instead of having the chocolate chips, but I figured the chips are easier and you get the chocolate in every bite.