Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Day!

I had my first day off all week, and it was glorious!
I got a new roommate, to make my days a little more cheerful and green when I wake up:I finished the team Tshirts for the Brewhouse Triathlon on Sunday- both the front and back turned out way better than I expected, and I'm excited to show them to my teammates! (The picture of the back is before I shadow-outlined the names and pictures in black- I'll put a complete picture up of the shirts when we're wearing them for the Tri.)
I also got to do a little climbing and slacklining with my buddy Matt Sahli, who was up from the cities for a visit for the day. We climbed up at Fox Rocks bouldering area early this morning, then after a quick lunch went slacklining down in Leif Erickson Park on the boardwalk. I haven't slacklined in awhile, and it was cool to practice some moves I've been working on. I want to be able to do some of my high ballet leg lifts, and I was able to get a simple side leg lift on the line all right. Not as high as I normally can go, but balancing on a line made it harder and I'm happy with it for now! It was fun to get outside while it was nice out.
When we got back I came home and put on Wall-E while painting my second-hand bookshelf, and it's a gorgeous, cheerful color that I know will help keep me up in the dead of winter. Two coats of paint really shows the color off nicely.After all, who can be unhappy when you have a bright blue bookshelf full of books?
Tonight is more chill- making some dinner, cleaning up general areas around the apartment in anticipation of my parents coming up to cheer me on in the Triathlon, and doing some small, finalizing projects that I've been putting off for a long time (those stupid pom-poms for Jenelle's legwarmers). I'm in project mode and I want to get those done before that feeling wears off.
When it does, I have no doubt it will be replaced by nervousness for the 22 mile bike on Sunday... gulp...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tri in the City

I ran down to the cities for a quick jaunt this weekend, hanging out with my friend Heather a little bit and then cheering on Tyler at his Triathlon. It was a great break from working so much the last week, and it was especially great to be able to see Heather again, even though it wasn't as long as I would have liked.
The only thing that wasn't nice about the weekend was having to get up at 4:30 am to go with Tyler to his triathlon on Sunday. Yuck. The only consolation was the coffee that accompanied getting up that early was exceptionally good (as it had to be, or I would have been one cranky lady). I got to do a lot of cheering during his transitions as he swam, biked, and ran his way to 8th place in his division, which is pretty good. The swim was a quarter mile, the bike was 22 miles, and the run was 3 miles. I'm really nervous about just biking 22 miles for my tri this weekend, I can't even imagine what doing the swim and run on either end must be like.The hour he was on the bike I got to spend some quality time with the sock, and it enjoyed getting me weird looks as I held it up to prove it was at the Tri with me. I also got stuck on the pattern again, and it's driving me nuts how this stupid sock is giving me so much trouble. I almost want to start another project, but I feel like that would be very counter-productive to all the ones I have going on right now.
Luckily I got stuck right as he was finishing up, so it worked out in the end. We stopped at a couple bike stores on our way back to Duluth, where I won a free water bottle and T-shirt in a scratch off game running for the Tour de France, and got an amazing picture of Tyler in a time-trial bike helmet.I'm thinking whoever designed these things must have had a serious thing for space-age designs, because that's what I think it looks like...
Lots of artsy stuff going on today, but I won't be able to report on that till later, I suppose. ;) For now, finishing the team shirts I'm making for the Brewhouse Tri on Sunday and contemplating colors for my new bookshelf is on the agenda.
Perhaps some ice cream is on there as well... :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009


My thoughts about this week were entirely true as far as time and availability were concerned. The day I thought was going to be the worst for work was Wednesday, where I worked a split shift at B&N from 7am to noon and then 3:30 to 7pm, and that day actually wasn't that bad. The two short shifts allowed me time to have a nice lunch at home watching the thunderstorm, plus I didn't get home terribly late and got a full night of sleep. On Tuesday I had enough free time between jobs to see Cheryl, where I got to chat with her about my recent thoughts about next year and other random things. I hang out with guys so much that it's nice to have some much-needed girl time, complete with coffee and knitting (well, more the coffee and talking for me and knitting for her). She also helped me figure out where I was going wrong on that stupid sock pattern, so I can be on my merry way probably tomorrow when I'm at VE all afternoon and evening, and gave me a pom-pom maker so I can finally finish Jenelle's Mosey Legwarmers.
I stopped at YH on the way home from coffee with Cheryl, and got some Addi Turbos to hopefully help with the Whisper Cardigan and a skein of yummy Malabrigo for a barter hat for someone from work.I had a piece of Lake Superior sea glass I found last summer that she's going to make into a necklace for me, and I'm going to make her a hat in exchange. I'm thinking the Amanda Hat, as it's a ridiculously fast knit and it's super pretty, especially in the Malabrigo. If I have extra I'll probably make another one for my roommate Juliet, since she has no knits by me and she's a huge fan of green. No idea if I'll have enough yarn.
Tonight after a long active day I went in on pizza and sandwiches with friends when they were ordering from Dominos, and my stomach made the decision to crave Cinnasticks, so I gave in and got a box figuring I'd eat two sticks and give the rest to the guys. That ended in a big fail as I demolished 4/5 of the Cinnasticks and promptly fell asleep watching a movie on TV. Woke up about an hour ago to go home and now I'm nursing a giant stomachache from all the sugar and butter and icing. Blurgh.
How come they have to make them so tasty that I can't stop eating them?
And now I have a sugar buzz and a tummy ache.
Let's see if knitting and sleep fix any of that...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Free Time?

This is officially my week of working extra shifts. The only day that I have free is Thursday after my morning BN shift. That's okay with me, though, since this morning I made one of those very large payments to the loan people, and am feeling the happiness that a larger paycheck ensues. I picked up an extra full day at VE today, which is starting to look like a silly idea because it's gorgeous out. Rats. :(
Yesterday was super slow (because of the gorgeous weather- boo), so I actually got a lot done on the Dale!I'm super excited that you can finally see some of the progress in the fair isle above the color diamonds. I'm actually at the line where I have to start the front neck placket, and I'll be bringing it to work today as well to keep slogging away on it. It's not nearly as hard as I thought to put it down and pick it back up without getting lost in the pattern, simply because now I'm at the part that it's not just repeats. I dive back in and know exactly where I am. I have to admit, the emerging snowflake design is getting me really excited, because I feel like it's going to be gorgeous when it's finally all played out. I need to get this sweater done because I have a ton of knits I need to get started on for gift knits- Christmas knits, even (early, I know, but this was supposed to be Christmas last year and look how long its taken me. Ugg).
I also want to have the Whisper Cardigan done before Grad School starts in the fall since it's my "going back to school yay!" cardigan gift to myself, but it currently looks like this:and I'm having trouble getting the muster to do much on it right now. I'm just having so much trouble going from the amazing Addi Turbo needles (tiny tiny needles and tiny tiny yarn) to huge clunky wooden needles with the even tinier lace yarn. Is it bad that I'd rather work on the Dale than my own cardigan?
Hopefully with the extra VE shift today and tomorrow night I'll get a lot more done on the Dale, and maybe another inch on the cardigan.
Meanwhile, biked a little over 5 miles today hard to really start my training for the tri (in two weeks, gulp!). Half of it was into a strong wind, and about 2 miles in my knee started protesting. I think it's going to be hard-going to work up to 22 miles- or at least, 22 fast miles. This is, after all, a race. We'll see how tomorrow's training goes- after coffee with Cheryl, I'm going to aim for 10 miles. Hopefully.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting By

It's been a really long week for a lot of reasons. I've been working a lot and stress of bad things have just pushed me close to not being able to keep it completely together. Coffee in large quantities has been consumed, and I've been using my projects to distract myself. For example:I finally painted my ugly bookshelf that goes next to my desk, covering the gross looking plastic wood with a mix of black and purple with dashes of white. I really like looking at it and seeing a tiny flash of the white paint show through, or a ridge or purple.I'm really enjoying painting, even if it is just old furniture. I have a blank canvas left over from art class and I might experiment with it a little bit later, but for now I'm enjoying going crazy on the furniture.
Yesterday I worked hard and got the bulk of the work done on the Thorpe hat I'm making as a barter. It just needs a crochet edge and the i-cord ties before it's ready to head off to the recipient. I may be a little nervous because I currently can't actually locate the Ucard that I'm borrowing from him (I usually keep it in the pocket that holds my iPod, but for some reason it wasn't in there this morning. Bad omen), but hopefully it'll show up. Soon. Today. When I open up my backpack and it's right there. Hopefully. ::gulp::
I'm at VE again all day today, and I'm going to go for the gusto and bring the Dale to work on while I'm there. I probably won't get terribly far on it, but I have to bite the bullet and just do it or this thing will never get done. I've been working on distraction projects for too long using the excuse that the Dale is "too big" to carry around, but in reality it's in the same size bag and it's not that bad. It's nice out today, so we'll be slow and hopefully I can get at least a few lines done.
I started the Whisper Cardigan, but so far it's really slow going. For some reason I'm having a lot of trouble with the lace weight on big wooden needles, and I may need to switch or figure out something else. It's not even what I would call "enjoyable" right now, which is stupid because it's a gorgeous cardigan with Malabrigo, so it should be beyond "enjoyable" and right up there with "spectacular!" or "incredible!" or "Malabrigo-licious!".
Going to go see Harry Potter 6 tonight- yay! This will be the first time for the HP movies that I havne't A) dyed my hair red as Ginny Weasley or B) seen it at the midnight showing. It just wasn't possible with my schedule this year- oops. Maybe next movie?
Off to make more coffee. I think my blood has turned into coffee. I'm surprisingly okay with that...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Things I Learned Today

Even though I had a full day (worked both jobs a total of 13 hours, not counting travel time) I was able to learn some very important things today.
1- Never underestimate how amazing rain pants are when biking in the rain. Arriving to work without a wet butt makes them worth every penny you thought was too much.
2- When you're physically hurt, you shouldn't push yourself. You have to just accept that you need time to get better and let that time happen.
3- Sometimes a hug can be the best thing in the world. And you may not realize it until you don't get one.
4- Purple wildflowers on my windowsill with the rain in the background is prettier than a lot of the photographs I've seen in my life.
5- I found out that my headlamp is superb at being waterproof.
6- I also found out that my backpack fails at being waterproof.
7- On a rainy day, never put knitting in a backpack that may or may not be waterproof without some sort of protection. You may regret it (very much so) later.
7.5- Yarn is not waterproof
7.75- Books are not waterproof either. Especially the bottom of the books squished against the yarn that isn't waterproof.
8- It's amazing how much just being nice to others can make you feel better, especially when they're nice back.
9- Coffee and friends fix almost everything. Coffee, friends, plus knitting, ice cream, or movies fixes everything hands down.
10- Letting go of something you don't want to can be the hardest thing in your life, especially when it might break you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I'm recovering nicely from my plight on my bike- mostly just covered in bruises and abrasions, and my knee is slowly getting better. I've been working like crazy the last few days- working, but also knitting a little too. I got the entire leg part done of the first Inside Out sock, and I've unfortunately hit a snag.
I got really confused on the pattern, and now I'm not sure what to do because the next supposed line goes against what the entire sock has done so far. The way it's written could be taken a couple of different ways, and I'm pretty sure I took it the wrong way, which means backtracking and trying to figure out the stupid pattern. Why do I always get so stuck on socks? At least this one is going faster than the other. I think a trip to Yarn Harbor is in order to get Cheryl's help on this stupid thing- it may be the only way to keep the pattern right. I'm starting to re-do my room and bits of the apartment, and I have a lot of ideas that I'm excited to work on. I took down the broken Christmas lights from around my window, as well as the tape around the wood on the window from sealing it for the winter. I then painted the wood around the mirror over my desk so it doesn't look so cheap. Next to paint is the bookcase next to my desk- I'm thinking a deep purple. I took out the giant bin of yarn and put in a shelf with little bins so I could have a place to put my printer on top. I also put about a third of my yarn in a bag to donate to our local charity- F.L.O.C.K. (a lot of stuff that I don't use or have never used). I have an entire list of things to change, fix, improve... I'll keep you updated. It'll be nice to have a few days off to get some stuff done, though.
I have some things in the sewing machine I'm excited to share... :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And We All Fall Down

It's almost ironic that the last picture I posted from yesterday is a pic from the bike ride with my parents, because I went on my first real training session yesterday for biking the twenty-odd miles for the tri, and it didn't turn out the way I expected.
I was doing the ride with Tyler, since he was equipped with tools and a way to tell how far we'd gone and how fast we were going (plus motivation to go far and fast). We were maybe a mile past the Glensheen Mansion (perhaps 4 or 5 miles into our ride) when disaster struck- riding side by side, he accidentally veered too close to me and the handlebars of our bikes stuck together. We both tried to overcompensate and he swerved into traffic and I swerved into the curve. Luckily the car behind us braked in time to miss Tyler, so all he did was road burn the entire right side of his body and cracked his helmet (plus got part of his helmet shoved into the back of his head- blood everywhere- yuck).
I was not so lucky- my bike fell on top of me, I crashed into the pavement and the curb, got giant road burn all down my left side, and twisted my knee pretty bad under my bike. I also had the wind completely knocked out of me (which I guess isn't bad really, but it's scary not being able to breath at that moment), and jammed my wrist pretty bad when I threw my arm out to catch myself (stupid idea). I hyperventilated as I tried to breath again while at the same time crawling off the road on the grass, while Tyler dragged our bikes out of the road. Eventually we recovered enough to limp to Glensheen to call for help, and I spent most of the evening with a bag of frozen vegetables on my knee. I'm sore all over and have bad road burn down my side which I cleaned out (ow). I got up this morning and found that walking was slow and painful, so I called in to work for the day so I could have a day to give my knee a break, and pulled out my old knee brace since I'll probably need it later (like if I want to walk today or this week).
Anyhow, I didn't roll under the car, so I'm pretty happy to be alive and no broken bones. It could always be worse. I'll probably just be taking it easy for today, although the problem of how will I get anywhere is eeking at the back of my brain.
All right, enough for now. I'm off to stand and move and maybe get breakfast.
Cheers. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I can't believe it. After six months of working sporatically and unhappily on these things, the Trident Lace Socks have finally materialized in whole.I worked hard on them the entire fourth weekend, squeezing in some time hanging with the girls on the fourth as well as quality beach knitting time while girl-chatting with my Mom.The toe on the left one doesn't exactly match the right, but that's because I lost the original pattern with my notes on my change in plans on closing the toe and resorted to actually following the pattern for the second one. Nice and ironic for me, because I'm historically bad at completely following patterns without changing them. I love love love the lace on these socks, though.My fingers permanently have the pattern memorized, and I used Wildfoote yarn which has the perfect amount of stretchy-ness that I like in a sock yarn.The lace really helps the socks fit my feet perfectly, and I can't wait for fall to come so I can wear these more.I know what a lot of you are thinking- they're just socks, what the heck took you so long and why are you making such a big deal out of them?
Well, darn it, because I kept growing sick of them and putting them aside- for six months. A pair of socks shouldn't take six months to knit. Look at Cheryl- she's doing a sock a day to get ready for her class. Now that's inspirational. I decided I needed to finish them so I could have my metal size 1's back, and start the Outside In socks with this gorgeous yarn that my old roommate Larissa got me awhile back:Hopefully an infinitely easier pattern that will keep my attention and make for a simple, portable project that can travel with me when I'm not working on the Dale (besides the pom-poms on the legwarmers, it's down to the Dale. Gulp...). Besides, it's Harry Potter yarn, and since the sixth movie is coming out mid-month, it'd be cool to wear Harry Potter sock yarn to go see the movie in the theater for the first time! (Nerd alert)
It was nice to hang out with the family in the cities for a few days, finish these socks, and have a small vacation. Now time to get back to life and reality... realities such as a billion and a half stitches left to go on a complicated Dale...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July

I got to celebrate the fourth of July this year in one of the best possible ways- with magnificent people doing magnificent things! I drove down to the cities to my friend Kim's house yesterday after my shift at B&N, and fun things abounded for the day! There was a white chocolate fountain for dipping strawberries that was so tasty, Larissa and I just wanted to eat it all up!We played games of gigantic badmitten (the half-ball part of the birdie was the size of a tennis ball), and gigantic golf. We would pick random things to hit as "holes", and I ended up being one of the holes.The bruise on my shin is the result of this picture, where Kim's brother Matthew proceeded to hit the golf ball at me full speed. He got the hole, and I got a bump to prove it! :)Bubbles were one of our favorite ways to celebrate! Kim had special bubble blowers in the shape of ice cream cones. Perfect.Pretty sure that my favorite part was spending the day with some of my favorite people that I haven't seen in a ridiculously long time. It felt so good to just take some time with old friends, catch up, relax and hang out. It ended (of course) with fireworks and sparklers.All in all, not a bad fourth. :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oopsie Daisy

You'd think that by now I'd be happily be reporting the completion of something wooly. The socks, for instance. All I have left is the bottom of the foot. In fact, it shouldn't take me that long at all to get that done- it's half stockinette stitch, so nothing terribly difficult. Or working hard on the body of the Dale. Another line or two, even. Or (this one does hurt to not have worked on, I have to admit) making four insignificant pom-poms to put on the end of the ties for Jenelle's legwarmers. That's all they need to be complete. An hour- tops- to complete.
But I've been busy.
For instance, these two lovely folks stopped by to visit me:That's Mark on my right and Larissa on my left- my two old roommates, whom I miss every day ever so much! They have incredible news that I'm excited about- they're getting married!!! Huzzah and good tidings to them! The wedding will be in early October next year, and I'll be one of the bridesmaids for Larissa!
I've been really gearing down on beginning my training. On August 2nd (a month from today!! Holy cow!) I'll be competing in the Brewhouse Triathlon. Originally I was going to be doing the swimming portion, but since I'm the only one of the team that bikes (and I commute, so I bike quite a bit) I'll be biking the 20.6 miles for the race instead. It's not a matter of finishing it- for me, it's a matter of doing it fast. This is, after all, a race. This last week I've been riding my mountain bike more and more, and today I did a two hour mountain bike ride that really kicked me around up and down hills all over the place. If I can do it on a moutain bike, I can do it on a road bike. Speaking of, I'll be picking up my Mom's old road bike this weekend (she rode it on her honeymoon with my Dad around Wales back in 1984 for a month) and starting to train on that hard as soon as I'm back up here.
Oh, and I'll be heading to the cities for the fourth of July weekend for some family and friends time- I'm very excited for that!
Soooo... hopefully my next update will have some gorgeous pictures of socks or legwarmers or Dale prettyness...
but not this one. :)