Friday, January 30, 2009

Late At Night

Craig Ferguson is hilarious. He sometimes opens the show with singing puppets. This one in particular had me rolling!!!

Just because this is my favorite part of The Sound of Music.

Try this one...

Who can resist a yodeling monkey?!?!?!?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Never Know

I had a friend in college named Lauren. She was tall, blond, and tough- the kind of girl I always wanted to be. Lauren rowed crew which means getting up ridiculously early for a ridiculously difficult work out. She was loyal, kind, and brilliant. From the looks of things, none of this has changed in the 10 years since I left Amherst.

My favorite story about Lauren involves a bar, dancing, and some pushy women from another school. It ends with punches thrown and Lauren keeping a Corona bottle in her hands as we left "just in case!" The stuff that college legends are made of. (At least at small New England schools where that kind of thing is rare.)

I hadn't seen her in about 6 years. Then, I read in the alumni magazine that she's married her college sweetheart and had a baby boy.

And in between all that, it turns out she is a fantastic writer. Lauren Groff wrote "Monsters of Templeton" which has been named an "essential title of foreign literature for 2008" from La Fnac. It's also a New York Times Bestseller- quite an honor.

Anyway, she'll be in town signing books this weekend if you are interested. Here are dates and locations. I'm hoping to make it to Oakland on Sunday to say hi and buy a book. Gotta support young genius, ya know?


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hilarity Ensues

Still here. Dragged Brian to the yarn store for prize packages today. (WooHoo!) Then to Macy's for cast iron pots. Unfortunately, they didn't have the closeouts that they have on the web. Check it out... A blue one and a tan one. After the sale price and shipping, they are still less than the smaller pan's regular price. Score! Even though the weather is gorgeous here, I'm still dreaming of soups. These pans are perfection! Finally, we were off to Whole Foods for salmon for dinner. Yum.

After this week at work, I'm glad to have a couple of lazy days with yarn and movies.

I got home and White Trash Mom reminded me of one of my favorite Funny or Die videos ever. The squeal at 1:47 in is worth the price of admission.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Springy Socks

On Ravelry, the Socks that Rawk forum is holding a KAL focused on the leyburn sock pattern. Most of you who read this are already signed up and knitting. The idea is to get as many colorways of STR knit up in this pattern. Turtlegirl is moderating the group and keeping track of which color each person is using.

I went stash diving and found this.

STR Lightweight- Goody Goody_edited

STR Lightweight in Goody Goody. When wound on Tuesday night, it turned into this.

Goody Goody Ball

And by the end of the evening, I had 5 inches of sock.

Leyburns- Goody Goody

These socks are literally FLYING off my needles. Minty is a genius I tell ya!

A couple things I'm learning while knitting these up.
1. I still don't LOVE the color. It's knitting up beautifully. The fabric is fabulous but the colors just aren't me. Don't worry, I'll still wear them.
2. Judy's Magic Cast On... Where have you been all my life?!?!?!?
3. I have too many things on my needles. I can see "Finish it February" in my future.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Big Winner(s)

Thanks to everyone who guessed projects for my 400th post contest. You all reminded me of the projects I really want to knit. I really didn't think anyone would guess it but someone got it right on the nose...

Congrats Marisol from Purls Just Wanna Have Fun is our big winner!!!!

Jenny Wren Sock- #1

Jenny Wren Socks in Noro Kureyon Sock- Color 188. She even had the color 188 right. Wowza!

I also pulled a number from the random number generator because that's how I roll. #4 is Chemgrrl!!! Send me your addy's and I'll get prize packs out to you two in a couple of days.

Now let's talk about the Noro sock yarn. I LOVE the colors of the yarn. The way it transitions is gorgeous. However, the fiber itself is really rough. I've heard it softens up a lot when washed. I hope that's true. I also broke the yarn a couple of times by tugging it too hard. And it tangles up at times when I pull it from the ball. Having never knit with Noro before (I know!!!), I wasn't prepared for these challenges. We're getting through it together. I think Noro and I will be friends but not BFF.

Have a great weekend! I'm on today and tomorrow which means I have a Monday/Tuesday weekend instead. I have the next three weekends off though. YAY!


Friday, January 09, 2009

I Hate To Say It

But... Did you see Oprah yesterday? It's "best life" week and financial guru, Suze Orman, was on. Don't tell anyone but I was pretty inspired to take more control over our financial situation. (Technically, we are financially separate but the tax man and legally we are one household.)

Suze made some really good points. Here are a few of my favorites. I'm going to try to incorporate these into my life as a way to support Control the Clutter.
*No wants until you are out of debt. Needs only. (For the record, all we have is my school debt. But it's still debt.) I don't promise to be perfect here. But buying something I don't need will not make me happier than being out of debt will.
*Prove that you are wealthy by being financially sound. Not by showing off to the people around you.
*No shame. No blame. Suze was applying this proverb to money but I think it really applies to all areas of my life.
*Have 8 months of living expenses in savings. Yes, she said 8 MONTHS. Wow. That's a lot. She mentioned that in this economy it's taking around 8 months for people to find new jobs once they have been laid off. If you think of it as a total, it's an overwhelming number. But little by little, I want to get to this place. Think about how secure that would feel.

One of the things I'm going to try is Fall In Love With Your Stash Fridays. Since all my yarn is packed away I sometimes forget the loveliness that is my stash. And I'm hoping this will make me more aware. Again, I can't promise it'll be every Friday but I'll give it a go.

First up, a Christmas present from my little sister...

Liberty Farm Worsted

Liberty Family Farms
Yarn- I don't know the color name, content, or length. But it is local to where I grew up. The sheep are raised, sheared, and the yarn is spun in Hart, Michigan. It is SO SOFT. I was the lucky recipient of 2 beautiful skeins. I could pet it all day long.

You have about 3 hours left to enter the contest. So far there are lots of good guesses. But I'm not gonna say if anyone is right until tomorrow. ;)

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

The 400

This is my 400th post. Can you believe it?!?!??! Who knew I had that much to say!!

It's about time for a contest, dontcha think? Yeah, I think so too. On January 1, I really wanted to cast on something new. Can you guess what it is?
1. Guess the yarn
2. Guess the pattern
Here's a hint... I blogged about this yarn and this pattern together at some point.
If anyone gets both right, they will get a prize. If there are more than 1, I'll pull a number.
If anyone gets one of the two right, I'll pull a number out of these people too.
If no one guesses right, we'll still pull a winner.
Sound good?
Edited to add... Deadline is Friday at midnight Pacific time.

In the mean time, I cast on for the Leyburn KAL on the Ravelry page. I'm knitting them in STR lightweight- Goody, Goody. This is the coolest KAL. Everyone is doing the same pattern but in a different color. Fun, huh?

Brian and I went out Saturday night to Houston's in San Francisco. Yum! I absolutely LOVE the grilled artichoke appetizer. It's amazing.

Houston's Grilled Artichoke

Notice we couldn't wait to dig in! I had ribs for dinner

Houston's Hot Fudge Sundae

And this was a hot fudge sundae. Yum!!!!

The Embarcadero

We walked down the Embarcadero after dinner to try to work off that dessert. It was so beautiful.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello New Year!

Not being one for resolutions, I've been thinking about my annual goals today.

1. Lose the weight- In 2008, I lost 25 pounds. Woot! This morning I weighed 199 pounds and I'm looking to be around 170. That's roughly 30 pounds from what I weighed when I met Brian.(I never weighed myself in college but I think I was around 170 then too.) It's totally doable. I just need to apply myself a bit more. And if those numbers seem high to you, remember that I'm 5"10" and Dutch- meaning there's a lot of built in hip and thigh.

2. Control the Clutter- We hope to purchase our first home this year. And moving a bunch of crap really does not appeal to me. I just need to go back to asking the question, "Do I really need this?" before buying something. I did a decent job of this in the last quarter of 2008. So I'm trying to keep the momentum going. Not only will this decrease the weight of the move but it will increase the weight of my pocketbook. Knitting from the stash, culling my clothes, and using trading services (ie. Paperbackswap and craigslist) will all contribute to lowering the amount of stuff we have. Spending money more deliberately will keep my focus on what I am so lucky to have not on what I don't.

3. Focus on Other Parts of My Life- Nursing school and finding a new job took up so much of my 2008. I started to lose sight of some of the other areas of my life. I need to read more. Get out of my house and explore my world more. Spend more time with friends and Brian. Just get back to living a richer, fuller life that isn't so 1 note.

Thinking about the possibilities for this year has made me very, very happy and excited. I'm counting this as the last of the 8 days of happiness. I really enjoyed the challenge of focusing on the little things every day that made my life brighter. I can sometimes get bogged down in the little annoyances. This challenge helped me to shift my lense a bit which is always a worthwhile exercise.

Here's to all of you who listen to my ramblings and here's to a fantastic 2009!

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It's Still New Year's Eve To Me

I worked tonight until 11:30. So I didn't make it home until after the clock struck midnight. I'm not a HUGE New Year's person. So that's just fine by me. But I did promise to show you the last 2 FO's of '08.

Baby Mine- All done

Baby's First Merlot
Pattern: Baby Mine by Yarn Harlot
Yarn: Yarntini Merino Sport in Merlot
Needles: Knit Picks US size 5
Date Started: 12/6/08
Date Finished: Knitting- 12/12/08, Buttons- 12/31/08
Mods: None

Baby Mine- Buttons

The buttons are shell from JoAnn's. In person, they reflect the pink a lot better than they do in photographs. It was decided that the baby born in October is too big for this little sweater. So I'll have to start something else for her. Oh well, there are lots of babies coming and I'm sure one of them will fit into this perfectly.

Stripey Scout Socks- Done

Stripey Scout Socks
My own toe up formula
Yarn: Knit Picks Sock Blank that I dyed in Scout's dyeing class
Needles: Addi Turbo US Size 1.5
Date Started: 9/14/08
Date Finished: 12/29/08

Stripey Scout Socks- Lined Up

Since the yarn was dyed as double knit fabric, the stripes match up perfectly. I even wore them to work tonight. Love 'em!

Happy New Year!!!!!