Pages

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Two questions that strike fear in the hearts of knitters...

"How long would it take you to knit a scarf?" (asked the Saturday before Christmas with the intention of it being given on Christmas Eve)

and...wait for it...

"Could you whip up a pair of baby booties so that I can bring them in to work for Doug tomorrow?" (asked on December 23rd)

WTF?!?

It's a good things he's cute.

My answers in the end were, "Not very long but it's still not going to be finished by Christmas Eve. Buy her a book." and "Actually, I've got three pairs of booties finished for another gift - you can choose one pair and give them to Doug." That was quickly followed by, "Do you have them with you?" (yes) and "Do you have a gift bag?" (umm, sure, I always carry gift bags in my car...) Mind you, this last conversation was over IM on my Blackberry while I was driving and in his defense, I do have a lot of random stuff in my trunk...

Off to work for a short day and then home to get ready for having my folks over this evening - lots of eating and relaxing. We wait for tomorrow to open presents. Woohoo! I'm like a little kid!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Kwaanza!

Happy New Year!
(both on the 31st and on the 29th, as that's the new year on the Islamic calendar)

xoxo

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rewinding to my CA trip...

So, I got rather side-tracked (I think understandably so) over the past month and a half but I must return for a moment to my trip to San Francisco. I think that I mentioned in my first post about the trip that I did acquire some yarn while I was there. It was absolutely yummy Ming from Artfibers. Turns out, the shop was less than 1/2 a mile from our hotel! You may ask how ever did I find this gem of a yarn store, living in Orlando and all? Well, I am an AVID listener of the Stash and Burn podcast. Nicole and Jenny always talk about Artfibers and Imaginknits so I just knew I had to look one or both up while I was there.
So, I dragged Sean to the shop with me and we walk up the stairs as I explain how I knew where to find this shop and that it was really great. All of a sudden, we round the corner and I stopped dead in my track. Why you might ask? There, standing in the shop, just a few feet away was Nicole!!!! I quickly whispered to Sean what was going on and he was immediately all for going up and saying hi. I got all shy and besides, what was I going to say, "Hi, my name is Becky and I listen to your podcast and I think you and Jenny are great?" I felt like the hugest dork.
Unfortunately, I left Sean to his own devices while I looked around and as soon as Nicole was done with her conversation, he walked up to her with the "my girlfriend is too shy" spiel and then made me say hello. I was mortified! Nicole was very sweet though and Sean took a picture of us...I've been meaning to post it since I got back from CA. Yes, I'm a knitting geek but I feel like I was in the presence of a knitting celebrity. Thanks for being patient with the picture-taking, Nicole!

Sean and I are in Columbia, SC for the weekend at his dad's house. Sean and his dad are hanging speakers for a new surround sound set-up. We drove up yesterday afternoon and will return tomorrow. We might even stop in Savannah on the way back!!!
xoxo

Saturday, November 29, 2008

There's a hole in my heart


Papa Sarasota 1, originally uploaded by KnitterRunner.

A rather long absence, I know...any delusions of making it through November with a post every day went out the window rather quickly. I'm just not an every day sort of blogger, you know?

My life was completely turned upside down this month - I lost my best pal, my Papa, on November 6th. He had a rough year - he beat lung cancer last winter and had various problems throughout this year. His body just didn't have the strength and his mind didn't have the will to fight on.

How I miss him. There is an ache in me that is almost unbearable at times. We - my mom and dad, Sean, Mark, Karen, Mari - feel our loss of him so acutely. I know that time heals but I'm at that point where it feels like nothing will ever me the same again.

I said his eulogy at the funeral. I hope that it was a true tribute to the man who was so much more than a grandfather to me. He was truly a second dad, a babysitter, a playmate, and a best pal - and I was his "little pal" well into my 30s. I am thankful that I had this last year with him, after he and my folks moved to Florida.

The words are just not coming today...I could try to carry on and talk about my knitting (you can get a lot done sitting in a nursing home...) but for today I will just say....

I love you, Papa. Love, your little pal xoxo

Monday, November 3, 2008

Jumping into the fray

I know, still need to finish talking about San Francisco...

I just want to put it in "writing" that I am on board for NaKniSweMo. Yup, after a zillion pairs of socks and other assorted smaller projects, I have finally cast on for a sweater! My choice you ask? Call me jumping on the bandwagon if you insist - I'm going with the February Lady Sweater in some scrumptious yarn that I can't talk about yet because it's realted to the aforementioned trip to San Francisco that I'm not done talking about.

Sean thinks it'll take me forever...supportive guy, eh? His eyes got a little wider when I say, "oh no, I'll be done by the end of the month." And then he laughed when I told him about NaKniSweMo. I just ignored him and continued knitting.

xoxo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I DID IT!!!!...and I bought some yarn...

So, I'm back from beautiful San Francisco where I took part in the Nike Women's Marathon on Sunday. Did you know they have hills out there?!?! Yeah, yeah, I know - the images of people riding cable cars...I've seen them too. I did hear that the course was hilly and how could it not be because of the location. I think I just didn't understand how hilly it would be!

Before a description of the race - a quick update on the calf. It didn't hurt one bit! Everything else did but that's another story. The night before the race, one of our coaches who in her professional life is an expert in these sorts of things had a look and, while I writhed in pain, got the muscle that has been bugging me for over five weeks to release itself and voila! After that knot came out, I felt like I could do anything...which was good because if I was still worried about my calf, I never would have made it through this race.

We left Orlando bright and early Friday morning and landed in San Francisco before 10am. Woohoo! Love that time change! We checked into the hotel, freshened up, and walked over to Union Square to the Expotique to pick up our packets. We browsed there and then hit Nike Town for all the race logo gear we could find. I managed to spend enough to get the free tote - never a good sign. Everything was themed to "like a girl" because of the race - run like a girl, shop like a girl, etc...very cute. Everything was bright pink, blue, and brown and so expensive but I figured I deserved to splurge as I would be putting my body through hell come Sunday morning.

Sean finally got in around 2pm and we wandered the rest of the day (more on that in the next post...this one is going to be too long already) until we met up with our friends who drove up from San Jose to have dinner. We found a great Italian restaurant where we ate outside and enjoyed the beautiful evening. After Cheesecake Factory to-go and an al fresco dessert, I hit the bed pretty hard at around 9:45.
Saturday morning, Sean went for a 10-miler (he's training for the Disney marathon in January) while I went for a walk to stretch out the muscles a bit. Carolyn and I walked around the ferry building where there was a farmer's market setting up for the day, grabbed some lattes, and headed back to the hotel. I swear, I could have stayed there all day taking pictures of vegetables and flowers - so pretty!

My best friend Lisa picked us up at 10 and we went sightseeing for the day - the usual suspects of course - Lombard Street, Pier 39, a boat cruise around the Bay, Fisherman's Wharf, Ghiardelli Square. We were able to meet up with CJ around 3:30 for a quick beer and an oyster snack but then Sean and I had to go back to the hotel to get ready for the pasta party that TNT was hosting. The party was really cool and inspiring and got us psyched up for the next morning. Again, pretty early to bed since we had to meet in the lobby at 5:30am for the 7am start.

The day dawned chilly and my nerves we on edge as I got ready but before I knew it, it was 7am and the horn sounded for the start of the race. I knew from talking to our coaches that at mile 6 we'd hit a large hill and that at mile 18 things would get difficult with the terrain around a lake. I settled into a great pace and trotted down Market Street to take a left at Embarcadero. I knew Sean would be around mile 3 for my first hello and hug. There he was, ringing his cow bell and yelling, right where he said he'd be!

At Ghiardelli Square we had a first test of sorts - a small incline that flattened as we took a right - and on we continued. I could suddenly see the six mile marker in the distance and sure enough I could see the road slope quickly up. That was sort of the beginning of the end of the flat running on the course. I walked up the hill and once it finally ended got some momentum on the down which I was able to carry through into the next mile. Mile 9 was another large hill and at the top folks were saying "good job, that's the last big hill on the course". I was thinking, "sweet, I'll pick up some time!" What didn't dawn on me until later though was what is a big hill to me, living in Orlando, is just a speed bump to anyone living pretty much anywhere else.

I kept in touch with Sean throughout the race via text messaging so I knew his approximate location most of the time. I was also able to text my folks, Mark, and Karen back here in Florida to keep them updated on my progress. And just for the record - I didn't drop my phone once or trip because I was trying to text.

Golden Gate Park is beautiful but when it's smack dab in the middle of a marathon course - kinda boring. I luckily ran into Michelle (one of the wonderful Brevard County coaches and the person responsible for fixing my calf) while I was in the park and it was nice to chat with her for a bit. She applied some Biofreeze to my legs and I continued. I came out of the park on a down hill and caught up with Sean who had found Lisa and they walked with me a bit while i chatted and complained about needing to use a porta-potty. This was just about mile 17. They finally convinced me that I needed to run again and I took off to find a bathroom and get some more miles under my belt. A very, very, very long loop around Lake Merced was next up - from mile marker 18 through 23.5 pretty much. There was a lot more walking at this point. I could definitely feel myself slowing down and my feet were killing me - as were several other body parts affected by both uphills and downhills. Non-runners tend to think downhill is pretty cool. It is, to a point, but at that point it becomes painful!

Sean and Lisa (this time with CJ in tow!) met up with me just before mile 21. Lisa tried to offer me Sean's hot chocolate (did I mention it was rather chilly?) but I declined. I read an article soon after the race that a chef actually drinks his own recipe for hot chocolate at mile 20 when he runs marathons! Lisa was totally on to something there! They walked to the 21 mile marker with me and I was again alone. CJ, who works in this area, reassured me that it was pretty flat coming out of the loop...what she didn't realize was that flat in a car to a person who lives in San Francisco is very different than flat road running to a person who lives in Orlando. Mile marker 22 to marker 23? COMPLETELY uphill...gradual and deadly. The saving grace here was that it was the "chocolate mile" and we had Ghiardelli chocolate to ease the pain of it.

We finally made it out of the lake area and I knew (because I had seen the course of people blazing by me in the other direction...) that it was all downhill from here. I gritted my teeth and trotted along as best I could. Somewhere between 24 and 25, I ran into the other awesome Brevard County coach who went along with me for a bit, asked me how I was feeling, gave me some wonderful words of encouragement, and pointed out the photographers just ahead who were eager and ready to take my picture. He left me to find some more folks behind me and I continued. I jogged past the photographers so when they captured me I would at least look like I was running strong but slowed to a walk soon after.

Mile 25...along the Great Highway...gorgeous...one last walk just to gather my strength and I took off faster than I had run in hours. Sean had texted me that he, Lisa, and CJ were waiting at 26.1, just a tenth of a mile from the finish. I could see the 26th mile marker just ahead and dug deep to finish running rather than walking. I suddenly saw the three of them on the right hand side of the road and I knew I was home free. There was the finish line with the pink inflated arch...and I kept running. About 20 feet from the finish was the announcer on the PA system and I remember hearing him say, "and here's someone with a big smile on her face" and I knew he was talking about me.

I crossed the finish line and there were two lines of firemen dressed in tuxedos and holding silver trays filled with little blue Tiffany boxes. Did I mention that the finisher's medal for this race is a sterling silver Tiffany necklace. Oh yes! I collected my necklace, my mylar blanket, and some snacks and went in search of Sean, Lisa, and CJ. Once I had them, I put on my warm clothes, checked in with TNT and went off in search of food. What is the ONE thing I wanted after running 26.2 miles? In 'n' Out. I wasn't the only one in the Fisherman's Wharf location with this idea! Wow was it yummy... (BTW, all of the above sounds like it happened pretty quickly but everything was in slow motion at this point...I could hardly walk and even fell over a couple of times...)

We parted ways with Lisa and CJ back at the hotel. Sean and I rested for a bit, I took an ice bath, and then we all hobbled down to the TNT victory party where we had more food and actually danced for a bit. The dancing helped to loosen our muscles but we left around 8 or 8:30 and headed for beer at the Irish pub next to the hotel. It was another "early to bed" night.

Most of yesterday was spent packing, a last visit to Nike Town, and traveling. I got back into Orlando at 10:30 and Sean was at the airport (he arrived at 9:45) to help with my bag and we headed home. By the time I got to my house, it was well after midnight and by the time I unpacked and settled in, it was after 1am.

So, here I am today...having a bit of the "post marathon blahs" but really happy that things went as well as they did. I'm off from work today although I've been digging through email so I'm not buried tomorrow. Still having trouble walking but it's coming together...maybe there is even a yoga class in my future this week...and I already find myself thinking about that next race...but that's for another post and another time...

At this point, I'm just happy being incredibly proud that I accomplished what I set out to do. I trained for my seventh (and inarguably the hardest) marathon and raised over $4500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of my Dad. Oh yeah, and my time? 5 hours and 28 seconds...41 minutes faster than the 2008 Disney but 40 minutes slower than my personal record.

xoxo

p.s. there was yarn purchased but that is a whole other story that needs its own post...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A severe case of start-itis...


IMG_1704, originally uploaded by KnitterRunner.

Still working on Zephyr, Charade, my "stoplight socks", AND Mari's scarf...but I couldn't resist starting the mystery socks from Through the Loops in celebration of Socktoberfest as well as the Anne Shirley scarf that Nicole and Jenny talked about on the last episode of Stash and Burn.

So, I've finished the first clue for the mystery socks. I know that the suggested yarn is "solid or semi-solid" or variegated that's not too crazy but I'm using Interlacements Tiny Toes. It's not as bright as the picture shows - more jewel tones than anything. The reason that I chose this was that I've been wanting to use it and it was wound. Not only am I trying to stick with stuff from my stash but I'm also working from what is wound to what needs to be wound. Just trying to clean things up around the yarn area of my room. I'm trying SOOO hard not to buy anything new until I use a good portion of what I own. With moving in the next couple of months, I would like to cut down on what needs to be carted across town.

The Anne Shirley scarf from knitty is a cool lace pattern. I saw it as a sign that I needed to knit it because I'm listening to Anne of Green Gables on my iPod (from Librivox - check it out!). I had also just seen the same "porcupine" pattern on my pattern-a-day calendar and was very intrigued. And so I cast-on...I've got just one repeat done so far so no good pictures yet.

A quick note on the running front...I went out for 6 yesterday morning with Sean and his friend Alec and had to turn back a 1/2 mile in. The d@#$ calf again...my race is now t-minus 14 days (less even because it's late on Sunday) so I'm not going to screw this up. At this point, it's all cross-training, all the time until we fly to San Francisco...it'll be okay...it'll be okay...it'll be okay...

I'm off now to catch up on some TV. My roommate is away so the kitties and I are sprawled out on his king size bed watching stuff on his DVR that didn't get recorded properly in the living room.

xoxo

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kaibashira!!!!


IMG_1693, originally uploaded by KnitterRunner.

I'm still working on my picture taking abilities...I always want to take photos at night when the light is bad. Oh well. I'm happy with how my Kaibashira socks came out. Mark thinks the cuffs look like a clown collar for Gracie but I like them. They came out a bit loose but definitely wearable. I probably could have dropped back another needle size. I love the Panda Cotton that I used - great for here in Florida!

I've got a couple of other projects that I'm working on. My stoplight project are just plain stockinette - nothing too complicated when it's a stitch here and there! I'm using fun yarn (ravelry link)- one of those pre-printed patterns. They're very cozy wool that I'll be able to wear for around four days in January. :-)

I'm also working on Zephyr from domesticat. I made a "modification" that I didn't really intend to... all of my SSKs are k2tog - but my k2tog are still k2tog. I, who consider myself a good chart-reader, mis-read. Oops. The funny thing is, I double and triple-checked to make sure that they were all k2tog! Oh well, I think it still looks good. Here's the Ravelry link to my project page: Becky's Zephyr.

On the training front - my calf is feeling a TON better, thank goodness. Sean and I leave for California in 15 days. The race is on October 19th...but there's still time to donate to Team in Training! I ran three today and I'm hoping to run another three tomorrow and six on Saturday morning with Sean and our friends Alec and Kristine. The three of them signed up for Disney again! Those crazy kids...I told them I would have beer at mile 22 for them...don't laugh, it's awesome!

I think I'll go and catch up on the DVR. So many shows have started, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. :-) I hope everyone is doing well! And yes, I know, emails are still forthcoming... it's not that I don't care, truly...it's that I want to be able to sit and type for a long time!

Oh! Almost forgot! Mom, Dad, Papa, Sean and I traveled to CT this past weekend to watch my cousin get married. Awesome time was had by all! Here are just a couple of pictures (click to make bigger):


xoxo

Monday, September 22, 2008

A quick post before I fall asleep on my keyboard...

Just wanted to say hello to anyone who might read...it's a little hairy around here and it's only going to get busier this week.

I know that I owe email (JP - truly, I'm not flaking...) and Facebook messages to long-lost folks who are just arriving back in my life. I'm just so tired...and emotionally drained. I got back from the folks' a bit ago. Papa had a doctor's appointment so I left work early to pick him up because Mom had school and Dad was picking Eli (Papa's cat) up from the vet because he had surgery to remove a cancerous lump from his ear. Eli looks so freakin' adorable with a bit less than half an ear. He's as handsome as ever if a bit lopsided. Pray for clean margins! Doesn't it seem like we were just doing this for my poor Mir-bear?

Papa is doing okay. He's so down in the dumps. He turns 85 tomorrow and I think his general feeling is "I was healthy until I moved to Florida". It's really difficult to keep his spirits up but we're trying - it's EXHAUSTING though.

We all go to CT this weekend for my cousin Kristen's wedding. I am SO excited even though Sean and I are only there for Friday night and Saturday night Kristen is the cousin I made Wisp for a few months back. I hope she has it with her on her big day! How cool would that be?!?!

On the running front (see title of blog...), I managed to injure myself a couple of weeks back. Oh, yeah, and my marathon is four weeks from yesterday. My final long run ended up being 21 instead of the 24 I planned this past weekend. It just wasn't happening. I'm resting my calf (where the strained muscle is) and I'm going to start to cross-train either tomorrow or Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed...

Then there's the knitting, which isn't really happening right now. I had an incredibly random accident with a razor (Lady Quattro, you'd think those things are harmless) and managed to slice of a bit of my thumb nail and give myself a nice cut right around the nail bed. The bandage has prevented me from doing much since Saturday.

Wow, I'm looking at all the things I wrote and I'm having a pity party, aren't I?

On a super fun and happy note (yes, I do know what happy is!), I succumbed to the iPhone craze yesterday. With Sean and I looking to form our household, we decided a family plan was the way to go so I'm a proud owner of a black 16G "magic phone". Sean made me hold it with two hands when we walked into Best Buy to get a case for it - I've got a bad clumsiness reputation (see shaving accident above...). It's encased in a green rubber/plastic mix and has a nice protective sheet over the screen. Short of encasing it in something completely unbreakable, or taking it away from me all together, I think we're going to be okay.

I have to admit that although I thought about my purchase long and hard, it wasn't until I hear Jasmin of the Knitmore Girls podcast talk about her iPhone and the StitchMinder (can't find a link, but it's in iTunes) that my knitting interest in the iPhone began to grow. I'm not saying it was the only reason...but it's really cool...

I've reached my sleepy limit at this point so I shall sign off. I apologize for the lack of 1) any photos and 2) more links. I just needed to free-write this evening and stopping to put in hyperlinks and/or pictures was just about beyond my capabilities. More to come soon...promise...might be next week...when I finally have Kabaishara and domesticat's Zephyr socks!

xoxo

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What is it about college football!?!?

OMG

I'm stuck at Sean's in his spare room and hiding from having to watch the football game in the living room. I have no clue which game is on at this point...we started out watching Penn State v. Oregon (Go Nittany Lions!) but then that started to be a blow-out so they're now watching Notre Dame v. San Diego State...I think...

Notice how I said "they". What started out as, "hey, honey, can we watch the Penn State game?" turned into three friends joining us for beer and football. I've been knitting (duh) but I'm bored out of my mind! So I blog. But enough about that...

Finished object time!!!!!

Pattern: Spring Forward

Yarn: Classic Elite Alpaca Sock in Spring Green

Mods: none that I can remember...

The pattern was super easy to memorize although I'm not sure what I was thinking when I chose to knit with Alpaca on a trip to Palm Springs in July.

I'm still knitting on Kaibashira. I had a challenge - I did 5 repeats on the cuff on the first sock and then ran out of yarn for the toe - so I started the second sock with 4 repeats on the cuff and I'm waiting to see how I did. I think I'm okay - there are pics in Ravelry but I hope to post completed ones here soon. It remains to be seen.

So, I'm knitting quite a lot but the big news in these here parts is that Sean and I are looking for a place to live...TOGETHER. *insert incredulous looks from my friends here* We've been hunting for teeny little bungalows the past couple of weeks and found the most amazing place. Well, we placed a bid on Thursday, negotiated a bit on Friday afternoon, got to the price they wanted and then got out-bid and locked out at around 8pm last night. D#$% it! Back to the drawing board... It's fun to look we're just wallowing in self pity right now because we lost the cutie little place that we fell in love with. I still have a feeling it'll work out, it'll just take a bit. Please cross your fingers for us!!!!!!

Well, Sean just came in and insisted on reading my post - and he apologized for making me miserable...and he's making me pasta for dinner. I'm running tomorrow out in the hills of Clermont (stop laughing, there are hills in Florida if you know where to look) so I need to eat a good dinner, stop drinking beer and get some rest. I ran 10 this morning in Winter Park with some of my group but tomorrow's run is supplementary since I've got hills on the course in San Francisco to deal with in October. Training is going great! I've been working on my speed during the week, running at tempo on the longer runs, and I'm up to 21 miles for my longest run. I've got one more long run before taper time. I'm getting REALLY excited about running my race and getting to visit San Francisco. I'm SO excited to see my friend Lisa and her wife CJ! They officially got married last weekend - how very cool is that!!!???

I think my pasta is almost ready so I should sign off for the evening...oh good, the guys went downstairs to throw a football around for a bit...peace and quiet for a bit. *sigh* It's a good thing Sean is so darn cute...

xoxo

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bad blogger...but FOs!

...and I'm hoping that maybe I can be a bit more consistent with the blogging in the "new year". See, for me the beginning of the year is more about September than January. It's the years of teaching (and of course the 17 years of actually being in school) that's ingrained this in me. Then again, the work new year starts on September 28th with the new fiscal year but that's a different story...

Let's see, what have I worked on the past month...
The clapotis is finished except for the blocking. Boy, did I royally screw this one up. It's like every lesson in yarn weight and reading instructions went out the window. I didn't adjust the yarn weight by adding repeats so it was short already THEN I used a spreadsheet that a kind knitter had posted somewhere but it was missing an entire repeat in each section so now it's even shorter. It's still super pretty though so I'll figure out something. I should have been suspicious when I had 3 balls of silk garden lite left after I was finished...that's going to become a narrower Lace Ribbon Scarf. I saw lleonard's on Ravelry and loved it so all's well that ends well, right?

I finished the twisted rib socks. Had to do the toe on the first sock twice after I realized I was suddenly imagining that my feet were a demure 7 or 7.5...

My Spring Forward socks are almost finished. I've got 10 more pattern rows and the toe of the second sock to do. I was trying to finish up last night but too much beer and yummy food made me fall asleep on the couch at 10. I've learned "when to say when" on the knitting front after the drinking-and-knitting-in-Winter-Park incident of Memorial Day 2008...I'll save a picture of those for the next post!

I've started a couple of emergency knitting kits for my everyday bag and Sean's car. Sean thinks it's hilarious that he's got a little green silk project bag in the door of his passenger side. In it is a center pull ball of sKNITches Bebop sock yarn in Turtleback (love, love, love these colors!), 5 dpns, and the pattern for Charade (ravelry link) socks. I've only done 5 rows of the twisted rib so far because I'm obsessed with finishing Spring Forward but I like knowing that there is always knitting for car rides.

My other emergency knitting project is the Kaibashira socks that were originally published in Magknits but are now archived in knotions. Wow, this pattern gave me fits at first, until I realized that I was reading "kfb" as "knit from the back" instead of "knit in front and back". I couldn't understand why I kept ending up with 17 fewer stitches in the set-up row! Once I got past that (my roommate thought it was HILARIOUS how focused I was on the pattern as I read and re-read to figure out my mistake...but he just shakes his head and says nothing...), I'm cooking along. The pattern is a little fiddly because it's an 11-stitch repeat and I'm more of an even number repeat gal...I modified the heel to be easier for me and kept on going... except... well... I think I'm going to run out of yarn... I think that I put too many repeats in the leg and I'm going to have to go back. What I've decided to do is put the first sock on stitch holders and start the second sock with the new repeat number then go back afterward and rip to where I need to be. I'm trying to not have any yarn left over...my little bits are taking over my stash! I'll post pictures when I've got a complete one!

That's all for today I think...I'm going to try and post at least a little something each night. It'll probably be about running or knitting (see name of blog) as I'm neck deep in marathon training. But, seriously, I would really like to try to be more consistent. So, for today, I leave you with my finished Wisp...

Made for: my cousin Kristen
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze (ok, I know folks love this yarn but I found it tremendously difficult to work with...)
Modifications: added a couple of extra repeats to make it a little longer, wish I had added more!

xoxo

Friday, July 25, 2008

One of those days...

...where there is so much to say but no energy to say it. I've got a 14 miler WAAAAYYY early in the morning so I'm definitely going to bed soon. I'm jet-lagged so it's not helping the whole sleeping thing right now.

I've been...
  • running around Disneyland like a little kid
  • attending a wedding in Carlsbad, CA
  • ooh-ing and aah-ing over the animals at the San Diego Zoo
  • coming to the conclusion that Legoland is for REALLY little kids
  • inhaling Twilight at the suggestion of my friend, Christa (this one might be contributing to my insomnia a bit...)
I'm knitting...(Ravelry link to my projects...)
I finished...Wisp for my cousin Kristen for her wedding shower that I can't go to (so sad...) but Mom will deliver it to her...

xoxo

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Market Bag #1 (the first in a series...)


IMG_0878, originally uploaded by KnitterRunner.

I finished my very first crochet project!!!!! Woohoo!!!! It's the Beginner Crochet Market Bag by turtlegirl and it's currently available on Ravelry as a free download, although if you're in Charlotte, you should certainly go to Charlotte Yarn as it's a free pattern with a yarn purchase there - and you ALWAYS need more yarn...

This was a wonderful first foray into crochet - easy enough for a beginner but an FO more interesting than a dishcloth. Don't get me wrong - I love a good dishcloth, I just wasn't in the mood to make another one at the moment.

George appears to be taking a particular interest in the bag. That's probably because I was around another cat and three different dogs as I was finishing this last night. I hurt my back the other day so my 4th of July consisted of pain meds and muscle relaxers and drinking water (because of said meds) at a party at Sean's. I also had to endure the guys at the party commenting about what I was doing. Oi! The party was a tad slow, apparently...I think it started a bit early for a "let's eat and then go to fireworks" sort of gathering. I took my meds around 5 and fell asleep on the couch on the porch of the main house (Sean lives in a garage apartment but is close with the owners - it was their gathering). I must have looked hilarious asleep on the porch while others were playing around me...they do not live on a quiet street in downtown Orlando. The party picked up when someone pulled out a bocce set - and of course, much beer was consumed but none by me. So sad...

We walked to the center of downtown to watch the fireworks around 9. Meh, they were okay - the finale was cool. It was fun to do something that "normal" folks do. We're so spoiled with the WDW fireworks. All to often, as part of our theme park working culture, we forget there is a world out there not necessarily inhabited by tourists. It's a nice change.

Off to shower (finally) and do some grocery shopping...I think I'll take my new bag with me!

xoxo

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And then there were three...

Once there was a lonely sock. It was created and left to its own devices for a very long time. Meanwhile, the knitter managed to knit a pair of Jaywalkers, a SOTSii, a baby blanket, and a Mystic Light shawl...oh yeah, and her Sock Wars socks.

The sock was very sad.

The knitter tried and tried to create a second sock worthy of the first one, with all those beautfiul stripes. One time, two times, three times she started and on the fourth try, threw caution to the wind and ended up with this.

But neither the knitter nor the first sock were happy with the mate and so the knitter tried one last time. She knit as fast as she could, for hours and hours and suddenly...


That first second sock was so sad! Here was a THIRD sock worthy of being called a second sock! Destined now to become a set of baby booties - or maybe some ankle socks - the first second sock went off to a corner to pout...


And the first and third socks lived happily ever after...

THE END

xoxo

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Blanket given...received...cried over...

Well, I delivered the log cabin blanket to its rightful owner this weekend. Sean and I traveled to Vero Beach so that I could attend my friend Trisha's baby shower. Guess what, though?!?! Baby Reese arrived last Tuesday - six weeks early!!!! She was a healthy weight (6lbs 3 oz I think) but needed to cook a little longer to get her lungs in tip-top shape. She's in the NICU here in Orlando for a bit but appears to be doing well, thank goodness...

So, Trisha was at the shower looking gorgeous and "new mom-ish". When she opened the baby blanket, we both started to cry! I'm such a sap... Well, she unfolded it and draped it across her lap while she opened her other gifts. I was so proud. Guests oohed and ahhed for quite some time. All those hours of garter stitch were worth it to get that reaction. I didn't take pictures of the unveiling but I'm hoping to get a couple from Trisha's sister...I'll post when I have them.

Other than that, I've been knitting dishcloths for my mom to give as gifts. I've got two more to go and then I can go back to knitting I enjoy a bit more. Actually, I don't mind dishcloths but the same patterns (palm tree and sun) are getting a tad tiresome.

I finished my second Sock Wars sock and Mark overnighted them for me. Sean and Mark gave me a really hard time for "taking down a grandmother". I can't help it if my target is a stay-at-home grandma...and she's dead by the way. Just waiting for my next weapon. While I wait, and after my last dishcloth, I plan on working on my second Magic Loop sock, Kristen's "wedding wisp", and Mari's scarf. Sorry for all the links, I'm too tired to load pictures into the blog this evening...and I'm getting hungry.

I started a new job yesterday - woohoo! I'm still at Disney but I got promoted into the role of "Senior Insight Integration Manager" for Downtown Disney. Basically, I'll take all sort of data, look at the big picture, and give my opinion. So far, I'm liking it - although there's a lot to take in these first few days.

On the running front - I'm getting my weekday runs in but I sort of skipped my 8 miler this weekend...okay, completely skipped. We got to Vero early Saturday and we wanted breakfast rather than a run. Then, we scheduled a wake-up call for 6am on Sunday so we could run. The phone rang, I answered it, hung up, and went back to sleep - until 9:30 with brunch reservations at 10:20. Eating and sleep were apparently way more important than running. No worries - I'll get my running and yoga in this week and take it easy this weekend when I start training with some old friends again. I'm really looking forward to running in Winter Park.

Seriously...dinner..needed...now...more soon - hopefully with pictures...but for now...xoxo

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pinch me...I can hardly believe it!!!!!

Well, the blanket is done, done, done...stick a fork in it - it's DONE!!!!!! I finished the knitting this morning and just couldn't stop so I wove in all the ends and did a single crochet border on all four sides. Here is me, messy Sunday hair and all, and my labor of love...well, labor of something...


I couldn't resist striking a pose. Mark had to bring up the fact that my pants match the blanket. Gee, thanks Mark.

Now it is on to my Sock Wars second sock. I discovered that my assasin is dead so I've earned a bit of a reprieve. I was drinking and knitting out in Winter Park yesterday - feeling all great about working on the sock and stuff - until I finally faced that fact that there were no (zero, zilch, nada) rows ending on the correct pattern stitch. So, I frogged back to the ribbing and put the sock back in it's bag...Sean and his friends I was with thought it for the best as I was already 2 pints, an Irish car bomb, and a margarita into the evening...with another margarita on the way. Good times.

On the TNT front - I ran 6 miles yesterday morning in 58:30 with a negative split (second 3 miles was faster than the first 3). I'm also over half-way to my fundraising minimum. Don't forget to check out the site if you're interested in learning more...or donating...

xoxo

Friday, May 23, 2008

Five WIPs!?!?!

Okay, I try not to have too many projects going on at once but I just looked at my Ravelry project list and I've got FIVE. Ugh.

Must. Finish. Baby. Blanket.

I'm down to 7 days and 18 hours...17 rows, sewing in the ends, and a single crochet around the outside...

It doesn't help that I just received The Happy Hooker in the mail the other day and I'm itching to start crocheting for real, beyond Christmas stockings. Turtlegirl is making an AWESOME skirt. She blogged about some of the colors the other day and when I commented about how much I wanted to crochet but that I had to finish the f-in blanket (it's official name in my household), she said I could always do a couple of quick dishcloths. Temptress is your name!

Soon, soon, I will be DONE. The next time that I appear to think that an entirely garter stitched log cabin afghan is a fabulous idea for a baby gift, please someone slap me upside the head, k?

So, no WIP pictures today. The blanket will not be photographed until it's ready to be wrapped. How about a cute kitty picture instead?

Yes, Gracie is wearing a sombrero. Mark found it at the Mexico pavilion in Epcot. Yes, she was not at all pleased about the fashion statement she was making.

xoxo

Saturday, May 17, 2008

First TNT training run!

Just a quick note as I have to get Mir to the vet for her 3 month check-up...

I ran with Team in Training out in Altamonte Springs this morning. The intermediate group was doing five so I joined in. Now, I run a lot - and I've completed 6 marathons - but I'm definitely not fast. These folks were fast! I kept up for 3 and a little bit but finished up by myself. I want to get faster and I want to train on the intermediate schedule because I've already got the distance but I hate having to drop back. It's my competitive nature, I guess...

After the run, I stopped in at Fleet Feet because I desperately needed new running shoes. I love, love, love getting new running shoes! They just feel so great on my feet. I could tell that my others ones were broken down - I bought them in November before Disney - but I could doubly tell once I was fitted into the new ones and then put the old ones back on. Same style and everything but completely different feel. Love it!

As a reminder, keep checking back here for updates on my TNT exploits and be sure to visit my donation page if you have a mind too. The link is here: Becky's TNT for Dad. I know the economic situation is rough and gas prices are outrageous but if you're thinking of contributing to something this year, please consider me! And feel free to share the link with anyone who might be interested as well!

On the knitting front - cross you fingers, I've lived to see another day in the Sock Wars. Still workng on them though...and the secret gift project is limping along. I have two weeks from today to finish it up. I think I can, I think I can...pictures soon!

Until then...xoxo

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Consistently spaced one month apart...

I have been meaning to post for awhile but I've got so much to say that I kept putting it off! Well, if Amy and Dan with their super busy lives can blog, then so can I!

First off...RUNNING!

I signed up for my seventh marathon with
Team in Training. I'll be running in the Nike Women's Marathon out in San Francisco. My dad has been in remission from mantle cell lymphoma for almost a full five years and I wanted a way to celebrate. I think running with TNT again, and raising money again, is the perfect way - don't you? So, if anyone out there is interested in donating...please go to my site at http://pages.teamintraining.org/cfl/nikesf08/rsforza. If you think that someone might be interested in helping out, please, please, please send them here to my blog or to my fundraising site. Also, if I have your email and/or snail mail address, you'll likely be seeing a note from me soon. I'm really excited to be doing this!!!!!

Next...KNITTING!

Some FOs to peruse...
Jaywalkers in Yarn Nerd Caramel Stout...










Mystic Light Shawl...a bad blocking picture but I'm lucky there wasn't a cat laying on it...










There's also a WIP from Mason-Dixon Knitting but on the slim chance the person who'll be receiving it reads my blog, I shall wait until it's finished and given. That and my Sock Wars socks are my constant companions right now. No pics of SWiii yet.

Finally...the such part of this blog...

I spent Mother Day's with, well, with Mommy. I took her to high tea at the Grand Floridian.










And the girls are doing great. Here are Mir and George trying to get into what they call "heaven" and what Mark and I call the "food storage bin".










I should be off to type more email addresses into my database...and I'm getting sleepy. I'll keep you all updated on my running and knitting progress. And there will always be some "and such" to mix it up. Until then...xoxo (waaaayyyyy too much Gossip Girl)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ummm, yeah, it's time for a post...

I've been thinking about blogging - does that count? Probably not...

First up, I promised JP some California pictures. Here is an assortment. Yes, they are all "people pictures" but I think that's more fun. In order: Hollywood sign at a park in Hollywood Hills, Palm Springs - San Jacinto State Park and 9 inches of snow, me and my new sheep friend at Disneyland (I remembered only later that I actually had a sock in progress in my bag - how cute a picture would THAT have been!?!)...









Okay, the next one is self-explanatory...it was my first trip EVER to Disneyland and I was very, very, very excited. I wore a "First Visit" button all day. Yes, I know, I work at WDW - it was still exciting!!!!!!! The next picture was taken INSIDE Walt Disney's apartment above the firehouse on Main Street. A friend of mine who works at WDW but used to work in CA called in a favor and got us a tour. That almost had me in tears...it was really incredible to know that that amazing man used to stay up there during the construction of Disneyland. There is a lamp that sits in the window to my left that is always on - it symbolizes the time during construction when the workers would look in the window to see if Walt was still there at night.

The last picture is with Sean's friend Greg. I just liked the colors in it, even though Sean looks a little odd. This was taken at a swanky (yet unassuming) cocktail party that Greg took us to in Palm Springs - given by the sort of people who are rich as anything and don't really care and are super nice to boot. Fun times!!!!!









All in all, it was a great trip. The wedding that we went too was fantastic and fun. I drank a wee too much champagne but it was tasty and Sean was driving. I'm actually looking forward to going back out in July for yet another wedding - another of Sean's college friends. I haven't ridden everything I wanted to at Disneyland yet so we HAVE to go back there.

That's about it for today. I had grand plans to include knitting in this post but I'm sort of tired and am ready to watch some TV and work on my Mystic Light shawl.

Later for now...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

SOTSii FINISHED!!!!!

A couple of quick finished SOTSii pictures. The name of the shawl is Savannah...so appropriate this being my first lace project and Savannah being my favorite city in the country. I spent 3 interesting years there and if it wasn't for a) not wanting to teach anymore and b) needing to get out of an icky relationship, I would totally still be there...




Saturday, March 8, 2008

Clues 5, 6, and 7 and a kitty update!

I have been slacking on the picture taking the past couple of clues for SOTSii but clue #7 is done in time for entry this week. Woohoo! I've actually started clue #8 as well... I'm loving this stole but I'll definitely need some sock/scarf/smaller object knitting for a couple of weeks after I'm done.

I'm leaving for CA on Thursday for a long-ish weekend with my boyfriend and I'm already mulling over what to take for vacation knitting. Very important for those long flights...I figure if I finish clue#8 before I leave, I'll pack SOTSii in my check-thru and print out clue #9 while I'm out in LA. I've got two single socks that need mates so that'll be flying out to CA knitting. Ahh, vacation knitting - I always take too much but I can just never resist "just in case." Did anyone see Yarn Harlot's latest post on this very subject? Hi-larious.

Okay, a kitty update...she's doing AWESOME!!!!!! Mir is driving the other cat's nuts, tearing a@# around the house and being her Mir-ish self. Her recovery amazes me. Just this morning, I'm sitting at the table checking email and she hopped up ON THE DINING ROOM TABLE (such a no-no), walked the length of the table and started sniffing my face - and then started licking my forehead!!!! It was adorable. We loved and snuggled for a few moments and then she nipped at me to let me know she was done. Got to love her...

Just one pic of her today. I think I took this one last weekend. Mark just told me she's laying on my comforter...without the comforter cover on...great...


And here is SOTSii with clues 5, 6, and 7 completed and clue 8 started. Mark was nice enough to hold it for me. I'm not so great taking pictures but I think that you can get an idea of it.

Have a great Saturday all!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kitty update! Oh yeah, and clue #4...

Well, Mir came home from the kitty hospital yesterday. It is so great to have her home! She did awesome through her surgery and recovery but she needed to stay 4 nights because they had to put a drainage tube in. The tumor was around 1.25 cm but there was a fiber of some sort that extended 1 cm towards her head and then they took a 2-3 cm margin all the way around to try and get as much of the bad stuff as they could. We're still waiting for the histopathology to come back (crossing fingers that they got everything!) but we should hear on that today or tomorrow. Here's a picture of her in her private room here at home...

Doesn't she look incredibly chic in her little red sweater? I'm waiting to find it in shreds one of these days. The vet said that as long as she behaves with the sweater, she doesn't have to wear the big collar that makes her look like the Pixar lamp...

So great to have her back with us!!!!!!

A quick SOTSii update - I finished clue #4 while we were hanging out last night and watching Big Brother (a total train wreck but I'm addicted). It didn't give me too many problems, although I did have to frog the first 5 or so rows at the start. After that, a little tink here and there but that's about it. Speaking of tinking, my boyfriend is very proud of himself because he expanded his knitting vocabulary by one the past couple of weeks. Just to be a smarta@@, he asks me how much I've tinked on the shawl lately. Got to love him...

I suppose I need to get to work...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Clue #3 and a sick kitty...

First up - clue #3 is finished!!!!!! I started clue #4 last night and then realized that I hadn't taken a photo. The picture here is clue #3 up to the yellow lifeline...

Now on to life stress...

I had to work from home today. I'm thankful that my leader lets us do that - and that we have access to our entire network through the Internet. I took my Mir up to a specialist in Maitland this morning. Around four weeks back, I found a little lump near her shoulder blade. I had Mark check it out and he confirmed that it wasn't my imagination. I hauled her into her vet, who gave worst case/best case scenarios. He suggested we try and treat it with antibiotics and hope that it was just a little infection.


Well, the lump didn't go away - it only solidified. So, back to the vet we went this weekend. At this point, Dr. Kindred said that because of the placement and how it felt, that his suspicion was "vaccine induced sarcoma". Whaaaa??!?! I thought vaccines were supposed to protect my girls?!?! I learned that it is a connective tissue cancer that can form where vaccines have been given repeatedly over the years. Apparently, since the mid-90s, vets have started giving vaccines that are known to possibly cause this type of cancer on the hindquarters. That way, if a lump does develop, the leg can be amputated. Seriously - amputated, that's the treatment for this.


Unfortunately, Mir's lump is near her shoulder so surgery is our best option for beating this. That's what prompted a visited to the surgeon for a consult. I kept praying for a misdiagnosis from my vet - I mean, I really like the guy but he could be wrong, right? No dice. The vet and the surgeon at AVS confirmed his suspicions. Of course, we won't know the full extent unless they do the surgery. Then they started throwing around phrases like "slow growing" (woohoo!) but "locally aggressive" (ugh). Apparently, it's not just the lump we feel but the darn thing has "fingers" that are trying to burrow themselves into my Mir-bear's muscle. We don't know how many fingers but the vet and surgeon are hopeful that we caught it early enough that surgery can give her a full recovery.


They did bloodwork, took some cells from the lump for testing and took some x-rays. Things look okay on the x-ray - her heart and lungs are fine (lungs are the next place this monster tries to grow). The funny thing that they did find is that Mir broke a rib around 7 weeks ago. Yeah, great. It's healing beautifully they said...meanwhile, I feel like a bad cat-mom. $575 later, we walked out around 1 and drove home.


Mark was home when we got back and Mir went back and forth between the two of us, giving us "rub-bys". She was so happy to be back in her own house. Little does she know that on Friday morning, she gets packed up to go for her surgery and then she has to stay overnight. I am so terrified about this. She's my girl, you know? She's my oldest and I love my other two babies just as much but the stuff that Mir and I have been through over the years? Moving up and down the East Coast, new jobs, relationships, flying to and from Savannah...we've been through everything. I can't imagine my life without her.


They gave me the quote for the surgery - $3000. *gulp* But, prospects look good so there isn't anything I can do except suck it up and tighten the belt. Yarn diet, here I come. Shopping diet altogether, is more like it. I can do this, though, I know I can. It's for Mir. And I hope and prayer that she won't need radiation - that would be many thousands more...but what can I do? She's my baby. Here she is in a picture that I took a few days ago - she made a home on Mark's dry cleaning laundry bag...


Please say a little prayer for her, if you are so inclined. Please put in a word to whoever you may send your thoughts too, that my little girl will be okay. Please. If you love animals at all, if you have furry children yourself, please send a wish to us. Please tell your friends to say a little prayer. I'm not a religious person by any means but I am a spiritual person and I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer.

Thanks for listening.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The clue that wouldn't end...

Just a quick post to say that clue#2 is FINALLY done!!!!! I think it averages out that I knit and tinked just about every row at least once - because I know there were multiple tinks on a row. I don't know why this one was so much more difficult but now it's done and here's a quick picture. I know I won't be done with clue #3 in time to enter the contest this week but I'm going to give it the old college try... Have a great day!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Clue #1 - DONE!!!!!!

It came down to the wire but I finished the first clue for Secret of the Stole ii. Just in time for clue #2 to be released tomorrow.

Overall, I think it's going rather well. I had to tink ALOT because I would get distracted by the television but it went fairly smoothly. I like reading charts rather than written directions, actually. I got my first taste of charts when I knit my first Monkeys and it's been fairly smoothly sailing ever since.

*yawn*

Off to bed...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The one with pictures...

I feel the need to explain my absence for so long. Not that anyone has discovered my blog yet - except for JP, thank you sweetie!!! Rather than blather on and on about what I've been doing, here is the story in pictures.

Well, first I graduated from the University of Florida with my MBA...

Here's a picture of "Team 9". We were together the entire program and did all our projects and presentations as a team.

Me with Mom and Dad on graduation...Then it was on to the holidays...shopping, what shopping?!?! That's what the Internet is for...here I am helping Nittany open her present. I'm not sure where the other pictures are at this point but you get the idea.The rest of the holidays including me getting sick and breaking my pinkie toe (no alcohol involved). Has anyone ever heard of uvulitis? Yeah, me neither. It sounds vaguely vulgar but it's an infection of that weird thing in the back of your throat. Can we say ouch?

Next was the marathon...eek! After being sick and breaking that tiny appendage, it was going to be touch and go throughout the race but I was up for a challenge. Here's some of my gang before the race...

And after...
We had been training together since June and we all became close.

Here's a great one - Karen, Mark, me, and Sean. We ran together the ENTIRE race and crossed the finish line holding hands - and then burst into tears. It was Karen and Sean's first marathon and Mark's first after, as he puts it, he discovered beer and cigarettes. I was the veteran as this was my sixth one.

Okay, last marathon one...I couldn't resist this one. It embodies my two dear friends - they trained like crazy, and had a cigarette at the finish line.Oh, did you want to see actual knitting? I didn't realize. *grin* I recently joined Secret of the Stole ii and finished my swatch last night at my folks. Here's a picture. I'll post a picture of the first clue when I finish up with it tomorrow. I'm really liking the lace work so far. It take concentration so I wouldn't recommend it if you're trying to knit around a boyfriend who wants to talk or takes great pleasure in shouting out random numbers when you're trying to count. God love him...

That's enough for this evening. I'm off to have some dinner - homemade beef stew. I also want to finish clue #1 on the stole and get pictures on to Ravelry this evening.
Until then...