My hidden talent--who knew?

Your Hidden Talent
Your natural talent is interpersonal relations and dealing with people.You communicate well and are able to bring disparate groups together.Your calming presence helps everything go more smoothly.People crave your praise and complements.

What's" Your Hidden Talent?

Back on track, baby!

I went back to my normal walking-before-work routine today, and I was surprised at how happy it made me to walk on "my" route rather than at work, where I can hear traffic noises and see other people. My morning walk is so country, so quiet and nice, and I'd forgotten that I prefer that setting. I actually don't think I realized I preferred it until I chose a different routine, which I found to be unsatisfactory. So, for now, I'm back "on the wagon." I hope the weather will cooperate--it was about 40 degrees today, which is warm enough to walk when you have all the right (knitted) gear.

Speaking of knitting--I am starting the 5th of 6 pattern repeats on the sweater, and I measured Nerdy Hubby's favorite sweater this morning...looks like I'm going to have to add a 7th repeat to make sure it's long enough. No big surprise there, I guess.

Here's a question: why, when I'm getting the right stitch gauge, is my row gauge so off? Argh!

I'm going to remeasure when I've completed the 6th pattern repeat, just in case some guardian angel of knitting is watching over my shoulder, miraculously stretching the piece to match the pattern measurements.

Another random thing I forgot to include in yesterday's post: I love homemade bread more than almost any other food out there. So what, you ask? Well, just imagine my wonder and surprise and delight when my friend, E, sent me home with a fresh-from-the-oven loaf of bread! And it wasn't just any bread, either. You see, my favorite "flavor" is what I call "birdseed" bread because it's full of yummy, crunchy things. The crunchier, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Well, E's bread was chock-full of pumpkin seeds and other grainy things. Scrumptious, I say! I can't even confess to you how much of the loaf is left, but you can imagine...I came home Sunday evening, around dinner time, toting a WARM LOAF OF BREAD. Warm, I say. Warm to the point of melting butter! Mmmm. Bread and butter. Mmmm. Crunchy crust, warm inside. Mmmm.

Oh, and did I mention that E also made
brownies for us to gnosh on while we knit? She's one helluva hostess, eh?

I bet you wish YOU lived in Virginia so you could meet E! And I'm not tellin' any more about her, because I don't want anyone horning in on my brownie/bread supply! Hee.


Gasp! Knitting content!

I've just discovered that I can't "chew gum" (so to speak) and knit at the same time. I had a lovely, lovely, lovely, knit-date with my friend, E. We haven't seen each other in a long time, she's newly engaged, and I've never seen where she lives, so there were a lot of things to distract me from Rhapsody progress.

I bet you can't guess what happened, so I won't even make you try. "Surprise!" I worked without a "net" (aka chart), and discovered, 5 or 6 right-side rows later that I'd made up my own cable pattern which was disturbingly UNlike the one in the pattern. Sigh. I was too far ahead to drop stitches and rework them, so I frogged every single solitary row I'd knit while visiting with E! Yup, a good 2-3 hours just vanished in that one discovery. Sigh.

Then, while reworking the whole thing, I screwed up again--chartless, I might add--by making one of my cables twist the wrong way. I looked right at the last one I'd done and said, "so these three stitches go UNDER the other three." Ha! Apparently I can't count and chat, either.

But for that mistake, I was able to just drop the stitches and rework the cable, which made me very happy. I guess, in the grand scheme of things, I learned something about my competence, which was a good thing. Now I know that when (not 'if,' but when!) I do this again, I will have the skill to rework just the cable without losing all of my other work.

So, have I made any progress? Yes! I just finished the 4th repeat of the 24-row pattern. The pattern calls for 6 repeats for the back. My next step will be to measure Nerdy Hubby's neck-to-hem height to see if I need to do one more repeat. He's a tall one, my hubby. Then I'll start in on the front. I'm hoping to be working on the front this weekend when I'll be without Nerdy Hubby yet again.

Henry update:

I did manage to take The Beast to the park once again on Saturday, and he was good again! (Not quite as good as Friday's good, but still good.) The doggy park was awash in hyper dogs (it was sunny and dry). I overheard one owner counting dogs, and he'd gotten to 17 when I was distracted by something or other. Seventeen dogs!


Sometimes it's a good thing to get what you wish for

First, a teeny bit of knitting content (no photos, though):

I am almost done with the third repeat of the cable pattern on the back of Nerdy Hubby's sweater. It looks a lot like what you saw in the single pattern repeat photo, so I didn't take another photo.

Now back to our "real" entry:

I spent a good part of my Thursday walk mentally composing an entry about my "perfect date" with Henry and how I was going to try my best to make it come true on Friday. I ran out of time to actually post it, of course, but it was a nice, idyllic scene of taking Henry to the dog park and playing with other dogs, then having a nice, relaxing afternoon at home, with Henry sacked out on the floor.

I was a little nervous, though, because Henry has a few issues that make going out of the house complicated. The first one: he doesn't walk well on a leash. The second: he doesn't ride well in the car.

But, I perservered, and boy, am I glad I did! He was such a good dog in the car! I was such an insanely proud "mommy" that I felt like I needed to call a friend and brag about my child. Yikes! I think I need to get out more, too.

Henry and his new friend, Goose, got to play, play, play all they wanted. They were both covered in dirt and dog slime by the time they were done. Those were some happy pooches. Henry was even really good in the car on the way home, which you would expect because he was tired, but that has not been the case in the past.

I don't want to jinx myself or tempt fate, but I hope this means there has been some sort of mental breakthrough with him and his previous car anxiety. We'll see. I keep seeing his Christmas road trip anxiety attack in my brain when I think about taking him places. The poor guy really didn't handle the car well then, and hasn't been in the car much since. But he was sooooo good!

It's supposed to get up to 60 degrees today, so I might try to take him again. If it's nice and sunny outside, there should be heaps of playful pooches at the dog park today. Lucky Henry! (And lucky me...I'll have a tired pooch, which will give me plenty o' knitting time!)

Yet another reason I'm a nerd: I feel compelled to brag to the world about my dog making it 30 minutes in the car without having an anxiety attack.


The first repeat is complete...

...now I just have a million more just like this one, and the sweater will be done! It's very pretty, though, and I'm getting more and more familiar with how the cables work, so by the time I'm done with the back, I should have a pretty good handle on this.  Posted by Picasa

Reasons I'm a Nerdy Knitter, #1

So, I was knitting along last night, looking at my beautiful yarn (Tahki Donegal Tweed), and saw this gorgeous slub of color on my needle. Why is this nerdy? Because of how sad it made me to realize that the beautiful slub was going to end up on the reverse side of my knitting, never to see the light of day. Sigh. Nevermind the fact that there are dozens of other slubs already in the knitting, and countless more to come--that one missed opportunity made me very sad.

At least I can recognize my nerdiness and be amused by it, even if others aren't/can't.

Warning: Total change of topic ahead!

I have a plea for moral support: over the last 9 months I've lost about 22-23 pounds, and have gone down 3 clothing sizes. Yes, this is great, but for some reason, I'm losing interest in exercising and all of that jazz. The doctors say my goal should be to lose 30-50 pounds. So, technically, I'm only half-way to the high end of my goal. I don't know how I'll get there, honestly. I guess I could use some "atta-girls" or something...I don't know. This is not to say that I don't have great support from Nerdy Hubby--he is extremely supportive and tells me he's proud of me. I don't really know what I need to get "back on the wagon," but something has to happen to kick me in the butt to keep going. I'm dangerously close to the hateful stage of resenting every single healthy thing I have to do that no one else in the whole wide world has to do (like eat healthy, exercise, and take my medications). Okay, so maybe there are other people who have to do these things...maybe. But it's no fun, dammit!

On the other hand, what is fun is shopping for clothes and being 3 sizes smaller! If I can get myself motivated to lose about 5-10 more pounds, I'll be in single-digit clothing sizes!!!! I honestly can't tell you if I've ever (in my whole adolescent-through-grown-up life) been a single-digit size! So, maybe I can use that to keep going...maybe. It's a thought, but not a guarantee.


A week late, but what the heck!

Okay, this is weird--I followed a link from Ellie's blog and got this:

Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"
A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!
Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out
Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking
What turns you off: fighting and conflict
Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love

What Does Your Candy Heart Say?

Why is this weird, you ask? Because it's so close to being perfectly true, that's why! There were only a few short questions, and it's me. How do they do that?!

The most perfect part is the "What turns you off" part because I'm known in my circle of friends as someone who would "run 80 miles to avoid a fight." Zowee, this quiz was right-on! Spooky.


I Tawt I Saw A Tweedy Sleeve

This is a pretty accurate picture of the yarn. That's the 3-stitch rib on the sleeve you're seeing. It's lovely. The background color is a little bit darker than you're seeing here, but the slubs of color are close. There's a nice olive green, an orange, and a burgandy, and a few little bits of slate blue. I love it! (And luckily, Hubby does, too.) Posted by Picasa

Mr. Sleevie, he is done

Here's Mr. Sleevie in his almost-finished glory. Why "almost finished," you ask? Because I'm too chicken to bind off until the body is done and I can verify that the sleeve is the right length. You see, Hubby has very broad shoulders and very long arms. I think I measured it all correctly, but I haven't proven to be a very trustworthy measurer in the past, so this time I'm not going to chance it--I'm not going to bind off until the body is all done. The finished sweater in the photo shows the shoulders falling way, way down the model's upper arms, but when I measured across my hubby's shoulders, the seam falls just a few inches below his natural shoulder. No biggie except that means adding about 5" (!!!) to his sleeve length. Oy!

Now do you see why the math almost killed me? I had to figure out how to spread my increases over enough rows to get the right number of final stitches, but spread over a ton more rows than the original sleeve has. It still gives me chills!

About the yarn--I don't know who else out there has used Donegal Tweed, but it's beautiful! I have a close-up photo I'll add next. The yarn doesn't have much twist, and it has these wonderful slubs of color stuck in. How they do that I don't know, but it makes for a beautiful, beautiful yarn. Sigh. I wish it didn't cost an arm and both legs! Posted by Picasa

Sweet Rhapsody

Yahoo! I'm done with Sleevie #1 and have moved on to the back (or is it the front? I can't remember). Here's what I have done for the body (that gets around which side I'm on very nicely, doesn't it?)...not much yet, but considering I've given up my lunch hour for walking (I'm no longer walking in the morning because I'm too busy playing and knitting), and I only have about 30 minutes when I get home from work (I work nights, so get home just before bed-time), I'm pretty impressed with myself. I finished the first 7 or 8 rows in a snap.

I have a photo of Mr. Sleevie, too, but I don't know how to post it in the same post, so keep watching...another photo post will arrive momentarily. Can you stand it?
 Posted by Picasa


This is Beatrice, possibly the cutest little pup out there. She was up for adoption, but rumor has it that she's been adopted. Who could resist that face?! Good luck to you, little Beatrice!


The wonders of steam

Hmmm...I don't have a clue why my mac doesn't like Blogger, but it's really not pretty when I'm working on this stuff from home. Eek! I guess we all know what I'll be doing on my lunch hour, then...taking advantage of high-speed Internet and a blogging interface that looks the way it's meant to. Sheesh--and I used to use my lunch hour for knitting...

Anyway--the meaning of my title today is this--we bought a steam-cleaning vacuum today and it's just incredible how much gunk that gizmo pulled out of our (admittedly very) dirty carpet. Take orange, clay soil, add rain and snow, freezing and thawing, and a crazy pooch, and what do you get? If you guessed peach-tinted carpet, you win! What do you win? The joy of knowing you were right, that's what. Sorry, folks, no contests here on the nerdy blog. Well, not yet...maybe someday. Who can say? Never say never.

It's still frigid here in previously-warm Nerd Land, but the sun is setting and it's getting even worse. What made me think of that now, you ask? Answer me this: where is my office? I won't even make you guess--I'll tell you because I'm eager to whine: it's in the basement! Yup, my poor little fingers are freezing, even with my wrist/hand-warmers on. Brrrr!

That's how dedicated I am to this whole new blogging idea, you see--I'll blog through rain, sleet, or snow--as long as I can have my electric, ceramic heater aimed directly at my legs, that is. Aaaah.

I hope everyone else is warmer than we are--it wouldn't be fair for everyone to be freezing!


What's up with the weather?!

So, yesterday was incredibly gorgeous (we're talking mid- to high 60s people), and this morning...SNOW! I'm not kidding...we're supposed to get up to 1", which isn't really much in the grand scheme of things, I know, but it was SIXTY-plus yesterday. Let me say that again: SIXTY DEGREES! And, obviously, in order for snow to form, the temperature must be significantly lower than that...somewhere perilously close to freezing, as a matter of fact. Grrr.

So much for the poor little crocuses poking their innocent little heads above ground yesterday.

But, at least it makes knitting on a wool sweater more logical--if yesterday's weather continued, I might have been forced to abandon the just-begun "Rhapsody in Tweed" for something lighter and summerier (I know, it's not a word, but I'm the author, so I can do what I please--so there).

My sleeve/swatch for Rhapsody is moving right along. I almost went into brain freeze trying to do the math to make the sleeve increases move at the right pace to lengthen the sleeve to fit my long-armed hubby. I didn't want to just increase the way the pattern does, then have a large section at the top of the sleeve that was the full width. If I understand the pattern correctly, this would result in a bunch of bulk right under the arm. Not attractive or comfortable!

So, math almost killed me, but I think I've got it figured out. We'll see when I get to the end. The test will be if I actually get the right total number of stitches AND the right length. I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you...I'm not so good with math, and even worse when I have to combine it with logic. Trust me on this.

But the pattern itself is moving along nicely--it's just a little 3-sitch cable rib, but it's going pretty quickly. Considering I had been knitting on a fair isle vest (Ron Schweitzer design...gorgeous!) on size 1 needles, this new project is super-fast (size 7 needles--what a concept!). [Don't ask why I abandoned the fair isle project, just trust me when I say that gauge is a major issue in my knitting life.]

I'm looking forward to finishing sleevie #1 so I can move on to the body, though--it has all kinds of beautiful cabling that should be fun. I think I'll always do the first sleeve before the body when I do sweaters--it should make doing the 2nd sleeve less boring. We'll see. Sleeves for my hubby's sweaters are always tedious because of the aforementioned long-arm "problem." But that's why handknits are great--they can be customized to fit!

Now I just need to learn how to customize patterns, and I'll be all set. Grr. Maybe it will snow and snow and snow (I know, they said 1", but I can always hope), and I"ll have lots of indoor knitting time this weekend. That is, if Mr. Brat-Child (aka Henry), doesn't drive me crazy. Knitting isn't playing, and that's no fun for anyone but me. Maybe we could find a little doggie sedative...no, I'm just kidding...well...yes, I guess I am...I think...


Our beautiful boy, Henry, hoping he'll get something (food) out of being so beautiful. Posted by Picasa


I'm new to this whole thing...just checking to see if I'm capable of getting one little sentence posted...