Sunday, May 30, 2010

Progress and Twins

I got to see a game in the new Twins Stadium, and I have to say I'm very impressed!
The stadium really feels like a big outdoor park, completely the opposite of the Metrodome with the inflatable roof. It was well laid out, classy, and had an old-school feel that I think help make the park. We saw the Minnesota Twins play the Texas Rangers, and after a slow start we won the game in an exciting last half! The only not-amazing part was the 90 degree weather- I don't work well in that kind of heat, and it really took it out of me. I have to admit, I pulled out a bit of knitting while the game was slow. I started making a scarf with the pretty Jitterbug yarn I got awhile ago, and I changed my mind again on the pattern, opting for a simple YO k2tog pattern instead. When I started I was worried the colors were going to pool on one side, but as it grew they moved across the middle to the other side, and now about 2 feet in they're zagging over to the first side. I think when I block it it'll look really cool.This morning I was able to have a cup of coffee and work on the Seneca sweater. I finished the second arm during slow times at work this past week, so this morning I finally connected all the bits together and began working on the yolk a little. It's going really well, and I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's all done!
If the weather holds up, I'll be camping up by Palisade Head tonight before a full day of climbing tomorrow. On my tick list are working Mr. Lean (I'm going to do the finger crack crux over and over until I feel solid on it), and hopefully running up Gun Fight- a 5.11b that I haven't tried yet, but have heard a lot about. It's apparently a great crack climb, starting thin before widening out near the top with a slight overhang.
I finished Steph Davis's book, and it was fantastic. I'll write a more detailed post about it later, but it was incredible to read a memoir that was so close to my own life and perspective. I got a suggestion from a reader about another woman climber memoir (Thank You!!), and once I get my hands on a copy that'll be my next read.
Off to work on the Seneca a little more before my coffee gets cold. Have a good Sunday, everyone. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

(Not Quite) A Lovely Monday

We had a bit of a lightning storm last night, culminating into a real storm. It made it easy to hole up with a movie and a friend and relax. It's still gray and chilly out this morning, so I'm taking advantage of it to run errands and make some calls I've been meaning to for awhile.
After a fairly quiet weekend at VE, I can happily say that the Seneca sweater is running smoothly. I finished one arm and have a good start on the second, and since I'm entering the stockingnette section it'll be (hopefully) smooth sailing from here. I can't believe how fast this sweater is going, but it helps that it's lots of mindless stockingnette I can do at work, and (for now) easily portable. I have a feeling putting the yoke together will be a little more complicated.
I finally decided what I'm going to do with the white and tie-dye yarn I wrote about earlier! I originally was going to make a beautiful shawl per Cheryl's suggestion, but perusing my queue later:I found the Shifting Sands scarf by Grumperina, and it'll force me to learn cabling without a cable needle (over and over and over)- something that might come in handy for me. So once I have a little time (maybe this afternoon?) I'm going to sit down and learn it so I can have a traveling project once I finish the second Seneca sleeve. Huzzah new project and new technique!
Off to run more errands in the damp. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

High Infatuation

Spring is finally in full bloom, and we're getting a mixture of beautiful, sunny days and drizzly, rainy days made for getting things done. I've been working with a UMD theater professor to begin outlining the structure for two classes I'm TA-ing next semester, including ordering a giant book of plays to read through over the summer. A lot will be plays I've already read, but it's always good to refresh on the material.I'm also working my way through Steph Davis's book High Infatuation, and it's the perfect book for this time of my life. Steph is a professional woman climber, originally working towards being a concert pianist but getting sidetracked by climbing. She earned a masters in literature, but was disenchanted by the theory aspect that literature was taking. I relate to so many aspects of her life it's ridiculous, and I'm savoring this book for every page it has. She has the mental mindset of drive and passion and meticulous hard work that I want to strive for, and it's not only refreshing but what I need right now. I highly recommend this book for any climber, but the life lessons she relates are really open for anyone.
It's lit a fire under me to really up my training both for climbing and dance. I'm back to doing yoga in the mornings when I wake up, which really helps wake me up, and I'm scheduling climbing at least 3 days a week. I'm hoping to work on climbing the overhung hard route every time I close at work, helping my endurance. And I'm going to look into summer ballet classes, doing basic barre warmups at home until I find a time that works with my schedule. In order to succeed I have to start really driving myself in my physical activities, and the mental aspect will hopefully leak over into other things (like working on my Plan B papers over the summer).
I'm hanging out with Cheryl today for knitting, chat, breakfast, and good coffee at Burrito Union. If the weather holds we're going to venture into Chester Creek for photo ops of finished knitted projects. I work at VE the rest of tonight, which will hopefully give me a chance to finish my Seneca sleeve and hopefully start on the second one.
Stormy weekend planned. I'm feeling restless, which means hopefully I'll get a lot of stuff done. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


It's been a busy end of the semester. Between turning in finals, going to a wedding, and the weather taking a 180 degree turn, it's been a really crazy last week or so.
The whole of finals week it was dreary and disgusting- maybe 40 degrees tops, with rain or drizzle every day. Saturday was the opposite. I was at a wedding in the Twin Cities, and it couldn't have been more perfect- sunny and 70. It's just been getting warmer every day, too. I went bouldering in Duluth on Sunday at the Postpartum Wall with a couple of buddies, and it was perfect weather- 60's, not too hot. It cooled off a little more towards sun down, which enabled me to get a picture of my knitting in action!My buddy Reed requested a hat, so I pulled out the Turn-A-Square pattern yet again for a spring-winter hat. I finished it last week, and he's been wearing it almost every time I see him, which is always nice. Yay for those who appreciate knitted goods! :)It's not the only knitting I've been doing- I sat down and pulled out the screwed up first row of my Vivian cardigan, re-did it very carefully counting my stitches about four hundred times, and am proudly now a few rows up, working towards more.I'm also less than ten rows away from being done with the first sleeve for my Seneca sweater. I had a fair amount of car time on the drive back from the cities, as well as yesterday on the way to and from Palisade Head to climb. Almost time to start the second sleeve!
Climbing at Palisade yesterday was amazing and... not so amazing. I jumped on a couple of climbs that I've done before- Rapproachment and Hidden Treasure, falling only once on Hidden Treasure, and more because my arms were pumped out than anything. Tyler and Sean decided that the only way I'm really going to advance is to try something beyond my comfort level- so they stuck me on Mr. Lean, a 5.11d overhung finger crack that is one of the most classic climbs up the shore.
I thought they were going to have to haul my butt up the wall, looking at the climb as I was rapping down.
I thought that again halfway up when I was pumping out during the lean back section.
I kept thinking that as I fell a few times working at the crux.
I stopped thinking that as I topped out, pulling the last few moves and crawling over the edge.
It was a beautiful, hard, fun climb.
I can't wait to do it again. :)
The only problem was the sunlight scorching all day long- I put on sunblock twice and still have nice red shoulders. Stupid Scandinavian skin.
When I think about it, though...
it was worth it. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Unfinished Business

After starting the Vivian and not doing fantastic with it, I realized that part of the problem was that I had some other knitted goods that I wanted to be at a certain point with before starting another big project.
Therefore, this afternoon after running errands I sat down with season 4 of Gilmore Girls and finished the body of the Seneca sweater.It felt really good to get so far on a big project, and after working on half of my take-home final for Kid's Lit during dinner I plan on frogging what I have so far on the Vivian (don't worry- it'll be okay) and re-starting, probably to a movie I've seen a million times so I don't have to actually pay attention.
Oh, and since I finished the body halfway through an episode of Gilmore Girls, I had do something I started a little Seneca sleeve love. :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


You never know what's going to happen in May in Duluth.Like a mini-snowstorm. Of course the weather goes crappy when I'm free from homework. :)Luckily I had plans with a lovely lady to do some knitting to unwind. We did full-blown yarn therapy. Part of that was showing me how to wind my own yarn on the ball winder at Yarn Harbor:Which was a lot of fun! As part of yarn therapy, I got to pick out the yarn for my Vivian sweater. Since I have a lot of dark grays and blues and blacks and purples, I decided to go with something that reminded me of spring and summer- something nice and bright.It's a bit brighter than what's shown in the picture, but it's a pretty blue, with hints of teal in it. It'll show off the cables beautifully. And what's that you see? could that possibly be... a swatch??Believe it or not, I actually swatched for this project (I know, I know... weird, huh?) Cheryl was there to help me out the whole time with the math part, and since the sweater is so form-fitting and I wanted it to fit right, it was kind of necessary.I also couldn't help getting a skein of some really fun jitterbug yarn as part of my yarn therapy. It was so bright and fun- white with splashes of random bright colors all over the place. I thought about making socks with it, but I kind of want something that's visible to show off the yarn. Something simple that won't take away from it. Any suggestions?
Just one more take home final to worry about this week, then done for the semester. It feels really good to get everything in, believe me. Give it another week and I'll probably feel phenomenal. :)
Oh, and I climbed last night for the first time since before papers were due. My fingers are out of shape, and I think I'll need to start training a little to get comfortable on a 5.11. Which shouldn't be a problem! :)
Off to work. Hopefully I can finish the body of the Seneca sweater today and get on to the arms. I love how fast this sweater is knitting up.
Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, and have a great Sunday!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Coming back...

Tuesday morning:This morning:(Notice how much messier it is the later into the week it goes)
Close to 50 pages of writing.
Tonight I'm going to eat ice cream, watch a movie, relax, and sleep in.
Tomorrow- reconstructing normal life. Hopefully this includes Uncle Loui's breakfast, a little bit of climbing, lots of yarn petting, knitting, and coffee with a friend.

And... breathe.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Day and Treats

Things are going slow but steady in paper writing, which is good. I got a special surprise breakfast-coffee hijack this morning for a break and fancy coffee, which was really nice. I even deviated from my regular beverage and tried something new- Berry White Mocha. I might have to convert... mmmm...I had a last-minute visitor yesterday that worked on her things while I worked on mine- my old roommate Lust! She didn't come empty-handed, either!A lovely May Basket full of tasty goodies!! Made specially for me from Lust and my other friend Kimmy, it had a rice krispie base with gummie worms in the chocolate "dirt", topped with flower-shaped and decorated cookies! Makes the paper writing go much easier.
Happy (one day late) May Day everyone! I'm off to work hard again, see you hopefully on the flip side of at least one of these beasts of a paper...