Thursday, September 30, 2004
Fever Pitch

I saw Susanna Clarke last night.

Once work was complete, I made my way to the Bellevue Library and found the appointed room. I settled in with the other early arrivals and listened as the noise level began to rise to a fever pitch. People were coming in with bags and bags of books to be signed. Others appeared so excited, they were breathless.

As for me, I was involved in a bit of a debate, one which involved me asking myself if I should I buy a copy for my Mother or not? After a tiny bit more of internal arguing, I decided to purchase the book. I knew once she listened to Susanna, she would want to read about Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Since I already had a brown cover, I purchased a white cover for her.

At 7 p.m., Susanna arrived. The librarian introduced her and she began speaking about the book. She had a set of white index cards tied with a strip of yarn which she referred as she spoke. She told us about her favorite books as a child, where she grew up and how Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell came to be. She finished up by reading a passage from the book. It was so vivid and I could see exactly where Jonathan Strange was and what he looked like. Parts were so funny, that my Mom burst out in laughter. My shoulders were shaking with giggles. I can not wait to really start reading this book!

In Knitting News, I finished my poncho and will have modeling pictures tomorrow. Unfortunately this was the best picture I could get late last night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Hello Mr. Postman!

Yesterday brought my Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk yarn in a delightful orange color. This was my last big yarn purchase before finding out that I would be purchasing a new car and pouring my yarn funds into it. I’ll be fine. No need to worry! SEND YARN! (panic quietly settling in...)

A few weeks ago, I swatched for the Lara Sweater and today finally decided to wash and block it.

Here it is drying:

It looks like my gauge is spot on which is very exciting. Now I just need to review the pattern and make sure that it is all straight in my head.

Yesterday I also wore Elise for the first time. It may have been for the last time. I was so disappointed that the Cotton Angora yarn shed everywhere. There was yarn fuzz all over my butt (nice and professional at work!), all over my new car, all over my desk chair, basically everywhere!

Has anyone else had this problem? I’m not sure how to fix it! I’m going to wash Elise and see if that helps get rid of some fuzzies.

Toe Nail Update: Still hanging on but I’ve found out that it’s a great tool for grossing out Stephanie and Mot. In fact, Stephanie told me not to speak of it again and Mot flipped out when I showed her my feet.
Monday, September 27, 2004
Ahhh that new car smell…

Yesterday I went out to look at cars, not to buy a car. I brought Mot along to keep me from getting car fever and purchasing a shiny new car. Well that didn’t work BUT I did get myself a great deal!

We made our way down car row and stopped at various dealerships to check out the cars. The Nissan Dealer was closed and so we went on to the Dodge Dealer. My Mom had mentioned that that the Stratus Coupes looked like nice cars so we went in to investigate. The car salesman that assaulted us was named after a Lord of the Rings character so after deciding to ignore him and focus on the car, I felt a flutter of excitement.

Mot climbed in the back seat of a blue one and said she felt super comfortable. She said she liked riding in the back seat of this car. So we went on a test drive. It was wonderful. The car hugged to road, there was a CD player (I’ve never had one in a car of mine before) and a really cool remote trunk opener. But it did not have a sunroof and I really enjoyed my sunroof.

Mot also noticed a sticker saying the car was $5,000 less than the window sticker. We asked about it. It had been left in there on accident from the previous weekend but the manager agreed to honor it that day. I said, thanks but I needed to go look at other cars. I NEEDED to look at the new Saturns.

I was excited, I could feel my breath shortening as we neared the Saturn dealership. I mean the Dodge was cool and all but I could get a new SATURN! Wheeee! I whipped into the dealer’s lot and quickly asked to see a Saturn Ion Coupe.

As we rounded the corner, my heart sank. The car was boxy. Where was the sexy, sleek looking car I used to drive? This was supposed to be just like it but with a third smaller door. So we took it out for a test drive. Mot did not like the back seat and made sure to let me know. This car had power but did not hug the road. It had a CD player and a cool temperature gauge on the rear mirror. It had the sunroof I really wanted but it did not have the comfort.

I was sad though, I did not love this car. And the price was $7,000 more than the Stratus. Mot and I quickly conferenced in the parking lot, I called my Dad. We agreed to meet at the Dodge dealer in an hour. Mot needed a dipped cone first.

We whipped into the lot and my Lord of the Rings salesman came out. I asked him to bring my new car around. Mot and I crawled around in it until my parents showed up. Then I left my Dad with the salesman so I could fill out paperwork. I figured if he said no go, I would stop the paperwork but if he agreed with me, then I would be ahead of the game. He said it was a go after a short test drive. I think he liked driving the car. Then he left me alone to do all the stuff alone! GASP! I’m not old enough to do that!

Poor Mot was left in the lobby reading old magazines and thinking about dipped cones. I got my car keys and she drove my Dad’s car back to my parents. I followed and more car gazing happened. So in the end, I got a fantastic deal on a new car and I’m paying less a month than I did on my Saturn. It all worked out. I may not have a sunroof but I have everything else I wanted.

So while Sunday was spent car shopping, Saturday was spent running. Stephanie and I completed our 19 mile run but due to trail closures ended up running closer to 21 miles. I was begging for Advil as we closed in on our cars. That last mile was extremely hard and painful but we got through it. Stephanie and I kept each other laughing and I think our extreme tired-ness kept us from breaking down. Our rewards were Grande Soy Chai Tea Lattes at a friend’s coffee shop. She also gave us muffins! The best part – no pain! I took a few Advil and was good to go. My foot was a bit cranky the next day but I feel good and now I feel confident about my race. I will get it done and I will do it in style. I honestly think I could have run 5 more miles on Saturday if I had been forced. I didn’t want to and I’m glad I didn’t have to but I could have…
Friday, September 24, 2004

This weekend, I'm watching a co-workers two pups while they are away at a wedding. Let me tell you, these two are super cute!

I don't know how anyone could deny these little faces anything. And they are so well trained. If they need to go out to do their thing, they ring a bell! It's so nice and polite.

Last night the two dogs helped me wind up some yarn and spent quite a long time sniffing at it. I know they want to knit!

Jack (the white one) cracked me up this morning! I was getting ready while watching the news and a story involving two Huskies came on. Jack jumped up and started barking at the TV. I egged him on and got him going even more. As soon as the dogs left the screen, he layed back down and went back to sleeping!

Lucy (the darker grey one) is a bed hog. Jack slept at my feet all night, no problem. Lucy scooted me over until I was pressed against the wall. And she must only weigh like 12 pounds! Bed Hog! But how can one be mad at this little face?

I'm just so darn cute!

The finish line is nearing on my poncho and I hope to be able to wear it to some of my housewarming parties this weekend. Can you believe I have 3 to attend?

Tomorrow I run 19 miles....19! That is an awfully long way but I know that I will do great, just like I did on the 18 mile run. I'm preparing by drinking lots of water today and eating a big healthy dinner. I'll need the energy!

Whew! This will be a busy and fun weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Nearing the Finish Line

I'm slowly and steadily getting closer to the finish line on my Colinette Vintage Knits Poncho. I've finished one piece and am halfway through the second piece.

I have plans to wear this funky piece this weekend while out car shopping. Maybe it will influence car dealers to lower the car price due to my knitting abilities! Look for another photo shoot as soon as I finish stitching away.

My third day on Weight Watchers is going well. My biggest issue is that I need to figure out what to eat during the mid-afternoon slump. I've been getting headaches and that can't go on.

And I'm so happy that Chip and Kim won The Amazing Race! I do think they were the most deserving though my Father disagrees with me.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Riding the roller-coaster

It's already been a rough week. I know, I know, it is only Tuesday but let me tell you, it's been a roller-coaster already!

Yesterday morning, I went to the dermatologist for a quick update on my skin. He’s put me on some antibiotics which will hopefully clear up some of my major break-outs. He was also on-time for my appointment which ensured that I arrived early to work at 8:15 a.m. That was the good part of the day.

Later in the day, I called the repair shop about my car (remember when I was
rear-ended a few weeks back?) which was supposed have been repaired. Well, that is when the upsetting news came, my car might be totaled.

I know that this

doesn't look like a lot of damage but I guess it's more than $5,000 to fix which means I will be out looking for a new car and adding car payments to my budget.

My Mom did point out that my car was 7 years old and had almost 100,000 miles and that now is a good time to buy a car since I'm living at home. But darn it! I hate being forced into change! I like change but I like change on my terms, when I decide to make the change. Humprhh!

Then onto the good news (well I'm looking at it this way), I joined Weight Watchers and updated my motivation on the sidebar. I have my activity levels going strong but my food still needs lots of work. Also if I get skinny, then I can knit up sweaters a lot faster and with less yarn!

This weekend, I also completed one half of my
Colinette Vintage Knits Poncho. I had a picture but I keep forgetting to download it off my camera which is currently not with me. I have plans to finish it by this weekend and I am currently halfway through the second piece. With the finale of The Amazing Race and the premier of other great shows this week, I think I'll be able to fit in some television knitting time.

Toenail Update: It's still hanging on! Mot is still waiting for it to fall off so she can laugh at me. I'm rooting for it to stay on though I'm fine with whatever happens to it.
Friday, September 17, 2004
Reasons My Secret Pal is Better Than Yours!

Last week I received a notice in my PO Box saying that I had a package at the post office. Well as luck would have it, I didn't get a chance to pick it up until yesterday. It was worth the wait!

See what I got!

I received TWO patterns and TWO skeins of beautifully colored yarn. I can't wait to cast on for one of the patterns this weekend. I'm going to make a felted ChicKnits Bucket Hat (one of the patterns I received) which will make a delightful addition to my winter wardrobe.


Now how can I top this with a present for my secret pal? I'll be shopping away on that idea this weekend. Oh I think this will require a visit to the YARN STORE! (imagine happy dance here).

Happy weekend knitting to all!

P.S. Thanks for all the comments on he toenail. It's still hanging on and doesn't hurt but I am still scared of it!
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Offical First Photoshoot

Last night after work, I made my way over to my parent's house for an Elise photoshoot. There was much hand waving, shaking of heads and tsking going on. After trying on Elise, I showed my creation to my Mom who gave her approval. I then asked my Dad to take a photo for me. I should have known it would be hard when he grabbed the camera and wanted to just start snapping photos against a white wall. I told him I had to go outside and I had to do the "Rachel" pose.

"The Rachel Pose? What are you talking about?"

"Dad, It's something I have to do for my blog."

"Who's this Rachel pose and what are you talking about?" Mind you this whole time, he's just taking photos and I'm looking like a dork!

After much discussion, I got my Rachel pose

Then Destiny wanted in the action except when I picked her up, then she wanted down. Once she was down, she wanted to be picked up. She's definately a cat!

And lastly, for art's sake a final Elise photo.

Speaking of Rachel, she commented that she lost her first toenail this weekend and that it didn't hurt. Now I'm not as scared about my gross toenail as I was last night when Mot told me it would fall off. I do not like it when Mot tells me the facts. I almost always try to pretend that she is lying to me and just doesn't understand. The most upsetting part is she is almost always right! I do hold out hope at all times though because she has been wrong once or twice before.

My poncho is coming along nicely. Now I just need to stay focused to get it done!

P.S. OHHHHH! I'm mad! Someone stole my pumpkin cream cheese from the fridge here at work. Is nothing sacred!?!
Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I've completed my very first sweater. It was a long and torturious project, one that I'm not sure I'm happy with. The sweater is ok and I will wear it BUT I have so much to learn about proper sweater construction, sweater design and most importantly getting it to fit me! Elise was just quite the challenge for me. She took four starts and many hours of ripping to get to this point. I'm actually just happy, she's done!

So without further whining, here is Elise!

And here is a really bad picture of me wearing her. She deserves a better shot in a Rachel pose so I'll get someone to do that tonight!

I've also started back working on my Colinette Vintage Knits Poncho. She is very purdy!

And lastly a gross picture of what could happen to your toenails after running 18 miles.

Yes, that is a black toenail! I'm not too worried though since this little toenail has been black in the past but always seems to bounce back. It is extremely gross looking though! Everyone say with me, "EWWWWW!"

Happy knitting!
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Purly Knitting

Is it raining again? How am I to go and roll in the dirt when it is raining?

Last night I spent most of my evening knitting with the Purlygirls. Katie joined me and completely impressed me with her newly acquired knitting skills. When she asked me to teach her how to knit a month of so ago, I agreed but neglected to actually do it. Not one to miss an opportunity, she marched out and purchased Stitch and Bitch and taught herself. Last night I showed her how to purl and she was off and running. She is a natural! She started her second scarf last night with a basketweave pattern and three colors striping though-out. Soon Katie will be knitting up fair-isle designs and leaving me in the dust! So inspiring to see new knitters take off!
Monday, September 13, 2004
Official Triathlete

Yesterday, my friend Darcy became an official triathlete and she did great! She did the Reebok Women's Triathlon and said she had a great time completing this challenge. I can tell you she looked good out there. See!

Stephanie and I got up way too early to drive down to the race site to watch Darcy on her race. While there, we took silly pictures of ourselves.

And petted various dogs, even a mini Roux!

After that we headed out to ambush our friends completing their 20-mile run for their marathon. We drove the course backwards and when we spotted them, I leapt from the car and started yelling their names. I swear they almost turned a corner to sprint away from the crazy girl. They were super excited to see us and most grateful for the Gatorade, Stephanie had for them.

Yesterday, I think Stephanie and I proved ourselves as devoted fans to our friend's athletic endeavors.

Saturday, September 11, 2004
18 and Strong

I just completed my 18 mile run with Stephanie. She rocks! She doesn't have to do this marathon but she is and she trains with me. The last little bit was hard but with Stephanie's chant of "We are almost there!", I was able to finish. Now I just need a rest! Oh and some cheese crepes. Those make me happy!

Guess what?!? I finished Elise!

I've blocked her:

I've sewn up some seams:

Here is one up-close and personal:

Alas, I do not have a completed photo to share. But I promise to get cleaned up and I will be modeling my very first completed sweater shortly!

Oh and I've been busy working on
Frida. There was a frogging session though so I'm a little bit further back than before. Somehow I knit the same row twice and really messed it all up.

All's well that ends well.

Off to rest and eat cheese crepes!
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Running Machine

I ran the Super Jock n Jill 1/2 Marathon yesterday and did awesome! My friend Stephanie chose to slow her pace and run the entire way with me which was super nice of her. I got a personal record time of 2:54:37 which was an improvement of 8 minutes and 51 seconds from the last 1/2 marathon I ran in May. In addition, I improved my minutes per mile from 14 minutes a mile to 13:20 per mile.

So all in all, my running time made up for the other part of my weekend which wasn't so much fun. On Saturday night while on the way home from work, I was rear-ended! It didn't cause too much damage (well what I can tell from looking at it) but it did put a damper into my evening plans! The trunk won't close but that is only becuase the bumper was pushed in, moving the latch. After spending an hour on the phone with the insurance and pacing around the house, I settled down and cast on for

She's just so pretty and I've made some progress since the picture was taken. I'm already starting to the pattern.

Mot also painted her new bedroom this weekend and I LOVE the color! See!

Well its time to go back to earning a dollar and dealing with my car.
Friday, September 03, 2004
Finito Dogs

Last night I finished up my Meathead right after visiting Roux and Zubin. I loved making this silly hat on enormous needles.

Roux and Zubin had a bit of a reunion last night. I think they liked it!

I caught Roux mid-bark!

Zubin looked especially pleased to be back at the Wallingford house which introduced him to the concept of a yard! In fact, he liked the idea of a yard so much, he now has one of his very own and plans to invite Roux over just as soon as he finishes digging some holes and leaving special presents around.

Mom, I like hanging out with Roux. Do you think he can come over to MY place sometime? He'd really like my yard.
Thursday, September 02, 2004

Meatheads, meatheads, rolly-polly meatheads -- I just can not stop humming this tune in my head while knitting on my meathead for Larissa. I received this package on Tuesday evening and after finishing Stephanie's scarf last night, I cast on for my Meathead. It's going quickly! I'm sure that I would have finished it last night if I hadn't started so late. I suspect this hat will be on its way home to Portland tomorrow.

And yes, I did mention that I finished Stephanie's scarf. After attempting a cabled wall hanging (Hey! It could have worked!), I decided to turn it into a scarf for Stephanie. It helped that she pointed out how lovely it would look with her eyes and that since I was making scarves for our November trip to France, she would accept this one. Sneaky!

Here is the scarf posing at my latest house sitting location.

This house is completely awesome and look what view I get to wake up to everyday. I'm a lucky girl!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Frida Fever

As I near the end of Elise (she needs to be finished up-maybe this weekend), I noticed that I had just a few balls left of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora. Hmmm about 4 or 5 too many. In my small hunt for another project (because I don't have enough), MagKnits came out and I was able to discover Frida.

copyright and Christina Stork

I think I may be one ball short on the yarn though but I'm pretty sure I can find one at my LYS. It may not be the same dye lot but I'm sure it will be close enough that I can fake it. I do wish now that I had orange yarn left over but I think the burgandy will look just as nice. I'm just way into orange right now. In fact, that is the color I've decided to make Lara in.

Now I'm thinking that I need to prioritize all my knitting! There are just so many fantastic designs out there and I want to knit them all.

I'm just so excited! I'm also excited because my new camera arrived last night! Poor Destiny was tortured by it but I'm sure she'll get used to be a photo star!

My training run this weekend will be the Super Jock n Jill Half Marathon. You know you are running too much when a half marathon is a TRAINING run!
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