28 June 2007

Back from France

The trip to Grenoble, France to attend the first ever Protein Powder Diffraction workshop was splendid. I really learned alot, got to meet some great people, and eat great food to boot! I have a bunch of new ideas to try over the next few months at work, plus a new collaboration. It took me just about 24 hours to get to France, with a combination of late flights, ground crews on strike, and thunderstorms. I was soo tired and lost all of the spiney-goodness from my massage. I will just have to go back to get another one this week. On my way back, I bought a nice neck pillow in Munich- very large and squishy. I slept like a baby almost the whole way.

I was a bit worried that in my and the Captain's absences, our vegetables would not make it. But, behold- my first little bell pepper has decided to come into the world! It is so cute- I could just eat it, well I suppose I will be eating it when it gets a bit bigger. The lettuce is doing wonderfully as well and we should be set on that until the fall. The little grape tomatoes are also starting to pop in. Next year I will attempt to grow more veggies from seed to aid my cost/benefit ratio.

Unfortunately I don't have much on the knitting front to report. I had words with the wachman cap that I am making for my dad. I was trying to double knit the thing, but double knit in rib is a bit confusing. This being a watchman cap, it should be warm enough by virtue of the fold-over brim, so I think I will frogg it and begin again.

19 June 2007

Shetland Lace

Last night we had an impromptu Bachelorette party for M. She is getting married on Saturday to a real cutie, so to send her off in style we went to Houlihan's for martini and dessert flights. We broke off our normal Monday night stich group early, so everyone went to the restaurant with knitting in hand. Once we had our drink orders in, the stitching continued. Luckily our waitress was a crocheter, so she wasn't too weirded out. We had waaaay to much fun- knitters and 1/2 price drinks are a hilarious combo. We all took the quiz in the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules book (I am a sensei) and laughed so hard I feel like a got a great ab workout. Seriously I am a little sore today.

In other knitting news, I have finally found the perfect shawl pattern. After scouring the web for something that matched the picture I had in my head I found the Spring Shawl. It is perfectly beautiful, intricate, challenging, delicate, yet not 'I'm wearing a doily' tacky. Plus it is triangular and not square. The square shawls are pretty, but if I am going to spend all that time knitting something ornate, I don't want to have to fold it in half to wear it- thus obscuring the design- and I certainly am not the type to use it as a beadspread (well, that and the Captain would kill me if I even joked about putting lace on his manly side of the bed). I got some beautiful Skacel Italian Merino Lace from The Fold in grey. My overreaching ridiculously unattainable goal is to have this ready for my sister's wedding next summer (cf. the santa cross stich goal- I have a problem, I understand this, I seem to enjoy it in some macabre way, but really the patterns with copius fiddly-bits always seem to look the best, I don't set out to pick the most complicated thing- it just happens). The grey will go nice with the black&white bridesmaid's dress in case it gets chilly, but seeing as this is a Shetland lace pattern knitted on size 1s I am not going to hold my breath.

17 June 2007

Christmas in June

Today is a scorcher, but it is Christmas time indoors. I have put the cross stitch Christmas stocking for my mother in the #1 priority spot, since I have only 6 months to get it done. Progress is being made-lets see if I make it in time. Luckily I have not made too many mistakes to set me back.

Yesterday the Captain and I went to the Highland Games held in Oak Brook. Once we got into the church parking lot I heard a 'fancy seeing you here'- why it was Merrygentlemen!

She had pulled into the parking space right next to ours, which incidentally was a good thing since she had left her phone at home and we would have thus been unable to call her to find her among the droves of people there. We listened to some great music (one of the vocalists ate a cicada on stage-ewwww), had some meat pies (no cicadas there), and Merrygentlemen and I participated in the Women's Haggis toss competition. Luckily for us the epicurian monstrosity was mostly frozen and in a plastic bag. I had by far the shortest toss of the day at 17', but since I thought all I would be able to muster was 5', I was quite pleased. The winner was a big show off with a throw of 72', but I still have my ribbon for participating. The men's caber toss was nuts- though not really since almost all of the athletes had bike shorts on under their kilts. Shouldn't they be disqualified for that? There was even a 122 lb, 21' challenge caber that got flipped for a bottle of scotch. And to round out the day, the ambulance had to come 3 separate times during the rugby sevens competition- ahh rugby.

14 June 2007

The New Bond

Last night we finally got around to seeing Casino Royale (we had bought it, just never watched it). I have to agree that it is probably the best Bond flick of all time. I am glad that it finally put to rest my curiosity over who was behind James' durable emotional armor. We also found a cute little cantina with a patio near our place to grab some dinner and margaritas. We have both been swamped with work for the past week and a little salt and lime sure helped ease the stress. I really hope my refinement starts behaving at some point. I don't find its antics amusing.

13 June 2007


I have a bunch to catch up on. The trip to Texas was awesome, even though it rained and we didn't get to go tubing. I got to see my parents and sister, my aunts, uncle and cute cousins, little Ayden and his family, and I got some really nice diamond earrings! Oh and Nancy Lou was there too. We even went to see Pirates of the Carribean at Alamo Drafthouse which is by far the best place to catch a flick. The trip was too short, but Labor Day is coming up soon.

This past weekend was World Wide Knit in Public Day, so the girls and I went to Millenium Park to represent. It was really nice and there were about 60 knitters/spinners in attendance. I really wish that it had been more widely advertised- we surely would have had more of a crowd. Maybe next year. Merrygentlemen, Lunar Llama, and I waited at the train station for the others and then we headed to the park. Some people were really interested in the knitters, whereas others were openly mocking. What was really nice was seeing a few crumb snatchers go up to the woman who was spinning and staring in awe. They were about as tall as the wheel and totally mesmerized by the color. After getting some sun (and some ice cream) we went on one stop of the Yarn Crawl to Loopy Yarns. I got some nice Bamboo yarn for some socks and an adorable lady bug tape measure.

As for updates: the Baudelaire socks are pretty in pink, but make me angry. I don't see how I can screw up a simply charted pattern so regularly, but it happens. I would like to blame the follow chart 'while at the same time' nonsense, but really that should not be too much to ask. To keep me motivated in periods of Baudelaire sorrow, I started the Diagonal Rib socks. I love the color changes on this yarn (Artful Yarns) and will have to get some more eventually.

Finally to round out the week, The Captain and his ingenuity managed to fit a rear rack on my non-standard but beautiful Raleigh Passage 4.0 bicycle. Now we can make use of my picinic basket some lazy Saturday.

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