Saturday, June 30, 2007

Updates and Randomness

You may noticed the the blog has returned to its normal look (i.e., all posts have the pale, pale pink behind them, so they're readable). I posted a message to the Blogger forums this morning, but didn't get any sort of reply in 8 hours, so I reapplied the template. Of course, I had to re-do my sidebar and reinstate Haloscan comments, but it wasn't too much of a pain, and it solves the problem.

Remember the Mind's Eye yarn I got from Rebekah? I finally took a picture. Here it is, basking in the sunshine on my balcony.

Mind's Eye yarn

Pretty, no?

One of the five catnip mice was for Harley. Here she is, trying to play with it and her favorite bouncy ball at the same time. (She loves those little balls and carries them around in her mouth. The other day, I woke up to find one in the bed!)

Harley and her toys

This afternoon I went with friends to a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. It was on a farm between Oxford and Kalona. There was a beautiful cutting bed where you could cut flowers to take home, brick oven pizza, home-made ice cream, and vendors. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera. One vendor was Betty Shreeves, whose husband is a librarian at the Main Library. Betty dyes, spins, weaves, and knits, and sells yarn under the name Lone Tree Wools (no website, though). I bought a couple skeins of her yarn.

Betty's yarn

On the way back, we stopped at the cheese factory in Kalona. They both make cheese -- you can watch cheese curds in action! -- and sell it. One of my favorite things is a spinach salad with apples, walnuts, and raspberry dressing, with white stilton with apricots sprinkled on top. Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to find the apricot stilton here in Iowa City -- until today! Not only did the cheese factory have it, but in smaller hunks than I could get in San Antonio, so I won't be as likely to not finish it before it's too old. They also had white stilton with lemon and with blueberries. I bought some of the lemon version, too, which I had heard of but never seen before.

I have several of these little guys who like to play in the plastic drain pipes that extend my downspouts. Some people call them ground squirrels, while others call them chipmunks. Whatever they're called, they're awful cute!


And, finally -- the weather here has been so.unbelievably.gorgeous lately! I'm so excited to be able to sleep with the windows open, and not run the a/c all the time. I also don't seem to have as many allergies. Of course, in San Antonio, allergies are pretty much year-round, while they may be more seasonal here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Well, this explains a lot....

Your Birthdate: July 30

You are certain and confident when you choose to love someone.
Even though your romantic choices may be unconventional - you stand behind them.
Your friends never know you as well as a romantic partner does.

Number of True Loves You'll Have: 6

Number of Times You'll Have Your Heart Broken: 6

You are most compatible with people born on the 3rd, 12th, 21st, and 30th of the month.

I'm definitely behind in both true loves and broken hearts. But, look, Sissy -- I'm most compatible with people born on the 12th! (Both my sister and brother were born on the 12th, as was an ex-boyfriend.)

I stole this from Harley, who uses the same blog template as I do. I'm hoping that, by going through her blog's code line by line, I can figure out what I've screwed up here. I found Harley via Ravelry -- I wondered if she had a cat named Harley, too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I mentioned that I got my Ravelry invite a few days ago. The first time, I went in, set up my profile, poked around a bit, and decided I needed to get a little more organized before I started adding projects.

This morning I woke up with a splitting headache, so I stayed home and slept most of the morning. This afternoon, I felt a little better, although not really like knitting or reading. So, I turned on the TV and opened up my iBook.

I realized that I could put up a few WIPs just by using pictures I had in Flickr and by looking at the works that were laying on the floor next to me. Then I realized I could add some FOs from notes on my blog and pictures in Flickr. Then I realized that I had some older FOs in my iPhoto library, and could easily put those up on Flickr, to link to Ravelry.

So - you get the picture, right? I now have about 20 projects up, and a number of books listed in my library. I haven't worked on the needle listing or on putting up my stash, which, frankly, are probably the things I need to do most!

I've found a couple of you on Ravelry just serendipitously and added you as Friends. Who else is there? I'm there as jannabeth.

Oh -- and while cleaning up my sidebar a couple days ago, I seem to have screwed up the background on my blog. Didn't the background behind ALL the posts used to be white? Anybody have any ideas what I did? I know enough that I went into the template and looked for un-matched tags and the like, and don't see anything obvious.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Very Good Day

  • I received a beautiful skein of sock yarn from Rebekah, for being part of the Yarn Focus Challenge. She waited until I got settled after my move to send it, which I really appreciate. I'll post a picture tomorrow, I hope, but it's a gorgeous merino/tencel sock yarn in shades of purple ranging from pink orchid to indigo. It wonderfully squooshy, and was hand dyed by Lucy of Mind's Eye Yarns. Her yarns are also available on Etsy, so there's no excuse for you not to own some, too! It was donated to the YFC by Danielle. So -- thanks, Danielle, Rebekah, and Lucy!

  • I got my Ravelry invite today! And believe it or not, I haven't logged in yet, because I was afraid it would be morning before I came up for air!

  • My von Maur credit card came today. von Maur is kind of Iowa City's Nordstrom, and their credit card charges no interest. I could be in trouble...

  • I received my first netflix DVD since I've moved here, and discovered there's a netflix center 35 miles away in Cedar Rapids. Movies will come fast!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One Month

A month ago today, Harley and I arrived in Iowa City. It feels like I just got here, and like I've been gone from San Antonio forever. I'm beginning to feel at home here, especially at work, and have quit feeling like I'll eventually be going "home" to San Antonio.

Some random observations:
  • I'm still surprised that there are such big hills here.
  • Taking public transportation to work isn't so bad.
  • I may change my mind this winter, because the bus stop by my house doesn't have a shelter. So far, I've only had to wait for the bus once in inclement weather and that was just a very light rain.
  • Taking baked goods to work on the bus doesn't feel as odd as I thought it might.
  • I like being on a real university campus.
  • The cool nights are wonderful.
  • Harley and I both miss Simon, but being an only cat seems to have made Harley friendlier and braver.

Mouse Madness
Since last Friday, I've knit five mice. Two were gifted to a co-worker whose birthday was Monday, and two more will go to my boss tomorrow. That leaves one for Harley. I think I need to make some more, though. They're very quick and rather addictive.
Left to right: Orangeman, Pinky One-Ear, and Stumpy

Stumpy's tail is awfully short, and Pinky has two ears, but one is deformed. Just like life -- no one's perfect!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Actual Knitting Content

There hasn't been much knitting here, or at least nothing exciting.

The Illini sock (my bus knitting) progresses slowly, because I'm not on the bus very long!

illini sock

Like everyone else, I'm really enjoying Monkey, although I haven't worked on it in a couple days. I love, love, love the Sophie's Toes yarn!


And you might recall that in my last post, I mentioned that I was beginning the second chart on Hidcote. Well, I still am, but for the second time. On the second row of the second chart, something was wrong, and I couldn't figure out what it was. I looked to see how far back my lifeline was and realized -- I hadn't put one it. Big sigh.... I ripped all the way back, started over, and put in a lifeline on row 20 of the first chart.

And finally......


That's a not-yet-stuffed green catnip mouse and the beginnings of a purple one. I plan on making a fuchsia one, too. They're all from Lamb's Pride Worsted, which I have in practically every bright color in my stash. They're not for Harley, but for my boss's cats. Her birthday is Thursday, and when I jokingly said that everyone would be getting handknit socks for their birthdays, she said that her cats had had one knit catnip mouse and loved it so much it was destroyed, and catnip mice would be the best birthday present she could get. So -- here they are! My only modification to the pattern is to leave a really long tail when I fasten off, then run that end through, and make an I-cord tail out of it. That way the tail is really attached. Green Mousie has kind of a stubby tail, since I miscalculated the length. But it's better than no tail at all!

Kitty Update
Harley is now jumping up to the back of the Big Red Chair, even though it means going up on the arm (and past me) to get there. She really enjoyed sitting back there this evening -- my hair is freshly colored, and apparently tastes really good!

And for those of you who wondered about how Simon is getting along back in San Antonio, my sister answered that in the comments to my last post. In case you missed it:
Simon is doing fine! He and Schuster [her other cat, who lived with, and got along with, Simon for the first seven years of her life] have arrived at some sort of kitty truce that allows them to share the sofa - they take turns sitting on my lap while the other one sits at the other end of the sofa. He loves going out on the patio and chewing on the plants. In other words, he's just being Simon!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's a tough life...

I definitely want to come back as a house cat. However, I do think that Harley misses Simon. She talks to me a lot more than she used to. Part of the problem, I think, is that when I'm sitting in the Big Red Chair, she can't get to the back of it, where she used to sit and play with my hair. Actually, she could get to it, but it would mean jumping from the front of the chair (i.e., where I'm sitting) and she won't do that!

Eventually, things will be rearranged and she'll be able to jump from the side of the chair. In the meantime, here's how she spent the morning -- complete with tummy shots for Chris! (Click to embiggen the Harley cuteness.)

IMG_3392.JPG IMG_3395.JPG
IMG_3398.JPG IMG_3401.JPG

Friday, June 08, 2007

Welcome to Iowa!

I'm sure that the two tornado warnings we had yesterday afternoon were just a slightly misguided attempt to welcome me! After all, the hour or so spent on the lowest level of the library with my co-workers and numerous library users was kind of cozy. I got to know some of our students workers. And there was sock-knitting time!

Luckily, there were no tornado touch-downs in Iowa City, although we did get some rain. They were also predicting straight-line winds up to 80 mph (!!!!), but those didn't materialize either.

Knitting-wise, I've got a bad case of start-itis. Even though I've barely begun my Illini socks, I began a pair of Monkeys (with the picot cast-on Cara used). The Illini socks are for carrying around in my bag, for knitting during my bus commute, tornado warnings, and other such times, so I needed another, more complex pair. I'm using Sophie's Toes sock yarn in Seafoam, an almost-solid greeny-blue. Of course, I still haven't dug my printer out (it's in one of the boxes marked "dining room china," along with other breakables) and I forgot to print it at work today, so I can only work on it in front of my computer.

Oh, and I also pulled out Hidcote and knit a few rows. I'm now on row 1 of the second chart. Woot!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The return of knitting

FO: Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

I finished these several days ago. To recap, the pattern is Embossed Leaves from the Winter 2005 Interweave Knits and Favorite Socks and the yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Yellowstone (it's the very last color shown on that page - however, mine seems to be very different - lots more purple and green - than any I've seen). As is always the case with socks I make for myself, they're a little big, because I'm always terrified that they'll be too small!

On the needles:
Illini toe

Well, there are several things on the needles, but this one is new: Wendy's toe-up stockinette sock in Scout's Illini sock yarn. The Illini yarn has been calling to me ever since I moved to Hawkeye country! This yarn was gifted to me last Christmas by Courtney. It's meant to be bus knitting, although, frankly, my commute is only about 10-15 minutes, which barely seems to be enough to pull it out of the bag! There was actually much more of this sock done yesterday, since I was able to knit during much of my all-day orientation. However, I realized it was going to be loose, so I frogged and started over, making the 64 stitch version, rather than the 72 stitch version.

And, finally, here are the geese from the pond behind my place coming to visit

and Harley watching them from the bedroom window.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Still here (in Iowa, that is)

FINALLY, after two weeks in Iowa, I have wireless internet at my house. As painful as getting the internet/cable TV/phone has been (and I'll spare you the gory details), everything else about this move has gone well. My mom has driven over twice to help with the unpacking and I drove home this weekend. It's an easy drive, a little more than three hours, and it's nice to be that close.

Last Tuesday was my first day at work, and so far, so good! Tomorrow, I go to the full-day new employee orientation. I believe there will be sock knitting accomplished. Also, I'll get my cheap bus pass, which will be great - no more digging for quarters every morning and evening. Parking is pretty awful on campus, and the bus picks me up about a block from home and lets me off right outside the library, so I'm going to try public transportation for a while. Another chance for sock knitting!

Speaking of socks, I finished the Yellowstone socks, and have started a pair of plain stockinette. Photos tomorrow, I promise. And, the return of regular blog posts!