Friday, March 31, 2006

Under Construction

I've done something horrible to the HTML code on the template of this lovely blog, so I decided to scrap the old template and start over. It's spring!!! Time for a change!!! I kind of like the black background, but I may play around with it some more and see what I come up with. I will be adding back all my links and such in the next few days. So "pardon my dust" as they say!

In the meantime... Here's a little Project Spectrum fun from the theatre. With many thanks to the cast for their participation! They all thought I was a little crazy. "What is this for?" I didn't even try to explain. I just said it was for a red and pink crafty project kind of thing.

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In knitting news...
I started the hippopotomoose sock. I have no pictures to share because I deliberately left it at the theatre so that I might get to bed at a decent hour tonight. It's going fine so far. I've done the cuff and about 5 rows of the chart. I've only had a few minor mishaps that were easily repaired. I really like the cuff on this. Its a P1, K1 TBL pattern. I may use this again in the future.

I've started thinking about knitting something other than socks. (The shock may be overwhelming for you, but I beg you to soldier on!) It's just that the weather is getting warmer and I don't really wear socks much in the summer. I'm thinking a little shrug or tank or something summery might be a nice project. I've enjoyed working on socks because they are small enough that I don't start having too much knitting ADD.

I saw this on Craftster today, and I kinda like it. It even has...CROCHET.. on it!! Anyone have any good suggestions for cute/easy/interesting/summery patterns?
And finally...
A few of you have been asking about the status of my dental health. First of all - thank you sooo much for your concern. It's so sweet of you all!

The other night, the broken piece of tooth finally fell out. Amazingly, I am in no pain. I can even chew on that side of my mouth again, even though I now have a big hole in my tooth. The only thing that hurts is that the edge of the broken tooth is really sharp and it's hurting my tongue.

No, I have not been back to the dental school yet. I admit - the fact that it really doesn't hurt is not making me feel very urgent about going, but I know I have to. I'm still not like the idea of having to get up at ass o'clock to get to Baltimore so I can endure pain and fear!

Ok, I really was going to try to get to bed at a decent hour, wasn't I?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

red legs


conversation 1

S: When are your nights off next week?
Me: Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday.
S: Wanna do something Monday night?
Me: Can't. I have knitting group.
S: Oh. Well, how about Tuesday.
Me: Um... different knitting group. I could do Saturday night.
S: I already have plans. What are you doing Sunday?
Me: hmm... well... yeah, I will be knitting on the Mall.

Conversation 2

C: You should take Wednesday off from work so we can go out to dinner.
Me: I can't. I'm already taking nights off next week.
C: Why? what are you doing?
Me: knitting groups.
C: You took off from work so you can knit.
Me: well, yes. I did.

Said during both conversations:
You like your new knitting friends better than you like me. (they were both kidding, I think...)

Obviously my non-knitting friends just don't understand!

So, yes lots of knitting happenings around here next week!

Monday 4/3 7 p.m.- Columbia knitters night at Borders Cafe in the Target plaza off of 175.
Tuesday 4/4 7 p.m. - Baltimore Knitting Meetup Group at Panera in Towson.
Sunday 4/9 2 p.m. - Lolly's Knitting on the Mall in DC

And speaking of knitting...
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(yes, I desperately need to vacuum)

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Toe up Socks!

Pattern: Knitting 2 socks at one time on 1 long circular needle
Yarn: Knitpicks Parade in Forest
Needles: Addi Turbos 40" size 2.5

I did the entire cuff and leg in K2/P2 rib.

These were a fun knit. I really like the 2 at the same time idea. Really helps kill that second sock syndrome! And the toe up was fun too, even though the heel was vexing me for a while. (Again, I cannot count) These came out really thick. They are going to be great winter socks. Not terribly comfortable on a 65 degree spring day, such as today!

What's next?
Well, I think I'm going to attempt the Pomatomus socks on Knitty. I would like to stress ATTEMPT. As I have never really done lace before and I haven't much practice reading charts, this will be an adventure.

I did a little bit of swatching tonight at work with my Sundara Sock yarn.

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I'm not getting gauge, so I'm going to go down a needle size. I LOVE the colors in this yarn! My picture sucks and does not do it justice. (I hope you are all impressed with the fact that I did a swatch!)

Ok, I'm off to bed. I leave you with this little Project Spectrum picture:

I took a bunch of Red and Pink pictures at the theatre tonight. After I figure out how to do something cool with them all, I will post them here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


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Hmmm... do you think maybe I'm holding my needles too tightly? This mishap occured during the construction of this:

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These are my toe-up socks. I decided to use my Brittany DPN's to turn the heel. This heel made me CRAZY! Because, as we all know... Coleen cannot count. There was much ripping, much cursing (especially when the DPN broke.) And I still have another heel to do!! But I shall soldier on!

I'm blogging to take a little break. I think my DPN's deserve a little rest too.

In the mean time, I was tagged for my very first meme by Leah. So, here goes...

4 jobs I've had:
1. Light board operator/electrician
2. Daycare "teacher" - I took care of 6 infants.
3. Receptionist/Customer service rep for a cellular phone company - back in the day when they used to hardwire the phones into your car. I'm so old.
4. Ice cream scooper. God I hated that job.

4 films I can watch over and over:
1. Pirates of the Carribean
2. Titanic (I admit it!!! so shoot me!)
3. Pride and Prejudice - the new version with Keira Knightly. I LOVE this movie. I saw it in the theatre and just watched it on DVD last night. I need to go buy it.
4. Sleepless in Seattle/When Harry Met Sally - I know, that's 2, but they fall into the same chick flick category, so I'm sticking to it!

4 tv shows I love to watch:
1. Project Runway (still stunned that Chloe won, and not Daniel)
2. Lost
3. Sex and the City (I own every season on DVD)
4. Knitty Gritty (when they actually air NEW episodes.)

4 places I've lived:
1. Binghamton, NY (born and raised!)
2. Baltimore, MD
3. Columbia, MD
4. Woodbridge, VA

4 places I've been on holiday:
1. Crested Butte, CO
2. Lake Tahoe, CA
3. Paris, France/London, England (AGES ago)
4. Bethany Beach, DE

4 websites I visit daily:
I soooo cannot narrow this down to 4. Let's just say... I spend a lot of time online.

4 fave yarns:
Um... yeah, I can't really answer this one either. I don't think I've been knitting long enough to have a favorite yet. However... I love my koolaid yarn. I love stripey sock yarn. I love my Lime Fire yarn from Spunky Hats, and I love my Grape sock yarn from Sundara. And I'm also crazy about my Indian Stone yarn from Hill Country Yarns. If it's sock yarn and it's got great color, it's ok by me!

4 websites I'm tagging:
You're IT!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Could someone please explain to me WHY I am going in to work on my DAY OFF?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

How Kool am I???

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Pattern: Lichen Ribbed Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Needles: 2.75 Brittany DPN's
Yarn: Knit Picks Color Your Own...Hand-dyed by ME!!! (Koolaid dyed in cherry, pink lemonade, black cherry, and strawberry mixed with orange)


I am so excited that this magically turned into self striping yarn. It was purely accidental.

The only modification I made to the pattern was on the cuff. I did a K2P2 rib instead of the K1P1 that was called for.

I'm not really crazy about the heel (Welsh heel) or the toe (Star Toe of three points.) I think this toe would work better in a solid colored yarn. You can't really see it in this picture, but the stitches form a star shape on the toe. It kind of gets lost in the stripey-ness.
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Image hosting by Photobucket As for the heel... from my limited heel knitting experience, I think I prefer the K1 Sl1 variety. First of all, it's definitely more interesting to knit. And secondly, I'm just worried that this heel isn't thick enough to hold up to general wear and tear.

But it's all good, because I LOVE THESE SOCKS!!!

So... what's next?

Well... I am going to commit to trying to finish what I already have started. After I finished the red hot socks today, I went back to working on my green toe-up socks. I should be working on heels for those by tomorrow. Then I will work on the fabulously bright lime fire socks. I'm contemplating ripping what I've started and trying a different pattern for this great yarn. I'm just not crazy about how they are turning out so far.

It is taking immense will power for me to commit to finishing these socks because I really really want to cast on with my Sundara yarn and my Hill Country Yarn. But I am going to try to be good! Finish what I've started!

So there's lots of knitting gatherings coming up in April. Check out the Baltimore Meetup page for their upcoming gatherings. The Columbia Knit night will be happening again on Monday, April 17. And be sure to check out Lolly's blog. She's got a fabulous plan to have a knitting gathering on the mall in DC on Sunday, April 9. Fresh air and yarn! And maybe the Cherry Blossoms might hold out till then.

Till next time!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The continuing dental saga....

I tried. Really, I tried. Scott drove me to the UMBC dental school this morning to get my tooth looked at. I ask the receptionist where the clinic is and she says "The clinic is at 7 a.m. You have to be here at 7." Of course, at this point it is now almost 11 .m. When I called yesterday, the stupid moron who answered the phone told me the clinic opened at 7. She didn't tell me I had to BE there at 7. So, I still have a broken tooth. We walked out of the school and I immediately burst into tears. I had been so stressed out and scared about going that it was a strange mix of frustration and relief when they told me they couldn't see me.

So, it's going to have to wait. I am working all the rest of this week. I may be able to get back down there next week. Though, the prospect of trying to get to Baltimore by 7 a.m. for dental work is not very appealing! I know, I know - I have to get this taken care of.

The good news is - it's not hurting today. No jaw pain, nothing.

So, since I got turned away from the dental tortue chamber, we decided to go to the zoo instead! Scott had never been to the B'more zoo before, and I hadn't been in 8 or 9 years. It was fairly cold out, so there were barely any other people there. And a lot of the animals weren't out because it was too cold. But we had a good time anyways. The polar bears were awesome. They were swimming and playing and really active. Lots of fun to watch.

I took a bunch of pictures on my camera phone, but I can't get them to send to the computer. If I ever succeed, I will try to post them.

I have such mixed feelings about zoos. I love to see all the different animals and I know that zoos do a lot for conservation, but it makes me so sad to see the animals cooped up. The cheetahs and leopards were just pacing back and forth in their enclosures. Makes me sad.
Columbia Knit Night Pictures
(AKA: Sucky Knitting Girls!)

I'm too tired to write much, but here are some pictures from the very fun knit night. My apologies if I get anyone's name wrong - feel free to correct me!
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(L to R) Lolly, Jolene, Laura, Paulene, and Amie's hands!

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Amie's hands (again!), Eunny, VJ, and Londa

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Look! Amie really is more than just a pair of phantom hands! And Sarah.

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Lolly (Yes, I posted it!) with her Project Spectrum worthy yarn!

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VJ and Londa (I really really hope I'm getting these names right!)

Much knitting, much talking, much fun! Many thanks to Amie for bringing her ball winder and helping me to get my skeins under control. Thanks to Laura for all the great party favors! (I love the hand lotion!!!) And many thanks to everyone's kind and supportive words about my very scary trip to the dentist tomorrow. I'm trying to be brave!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Ok, you're gonna have to bear with me on this. I need to whine.

So... Last week, I was eating some soup and suddenly my tooth felt a little strange. It had broken right in half. Yes - from eating SOUP, for crying out loud. Even though it was broken, it really didn't hurt at all. It just made eating a little difficult.

BUT, today is a different story. MY JAW HURTS. Not the tooth, but my jaw. Which is a little scary because it's making me think that it's probably infected. It hurt a little when I woke up this morning, but by the end of my matinee this afternoon, I was dying. I took a bunch of ibuprofen and the bartender at the theatre gave me a very large shot of Malibu rum. (I think having a shot of Malibu in the middle of a matinee is a FINE idea.) But it's still bugging me. I'm now waiting for a suitable amount of time to pass so I can take a serious painkiller. (painkiller and malibu - probably not a fine idea!) I told my stage manager that she probably didn't want me running lights this evening since I plan to be as doped up as possible. So, now I have the night off.

Ok, ok... I know what you are thinking... "Why don't you go to a dentist?" Yeah, that would be the smart thing to do, wouldn't it? Well, first of all, I have a HUGE fear of dentists. Phobia would probably be the right word. So, when the tooth didn't hurt at first, I thought - oh, I can deal with this, I don't need to go to the scary scary dentist.

The other issue would be financial. Ya know how I work in theatre? Yeah... Not so lucrative! Dental insurance? HAAAAA!

I did a little internet research. I have phone numbers for the UMBC dental school and for the Maryland Dental Association. I'm hoping one of these fine organizations is going to be able to help poor, impoverished, in pain, me. I will be calling in the morning.

In the meantime... OW!

Ok, done whining for now.

I had a great day yesterday hanging out with the Baltimore Knitting Meetup group. They all came here to Columbia and we went to All About Yarn and did some shopping. Resistance was futile. I bought. (I had a coupon!!!!)

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After spending too much money (despite the coupon.) we headed to the coffee shop for some knitting and noshing. I really had a great time. So great in fact that I couldn't concentrate on knitting. I was trying to cast on for my second koolaid sock and could not count for the life of me. I had to rip it out two or three times. Laura finally came to my rescue with some beautiful handmade stitch markers. (She cut up a drinking straw for me!) Sadly, I was still being a moron because when I got home, I realized that I was supposed to be doing a K2P2 rib, and instead I was doing a K1P1 rib. So more ripping.

I posted some pictures of the group on the Meetup site if anyone wants to check them out.

Tomorrow is Sucky Knitting Girls night. Can't wait. Hopefully my jaw will cooperate!

Ok, I'm off to drug myself and to work on the koolaid sock some more. Hmmm... knitting and painkillers. I wonder how that's going to work!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Reds and PInks

Reds and PInks
Originally uploaded by Lighting Chick.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that this is all from my stash. Sad, sad, sad!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Happy happy yarn!

I haven't blogged much this week because I have been KNITTING!!!! Tuesday afternoon, I started knitting a sock using my koolaid yarn. I have been knitting like a fiend ever since. I am so freaking excited about how this yarn turned out and how well it is knitting up. I LOVE IT!!!!

All other sock projects have been dropped. (for now!) I have promised myself that I will knit nothing but this pair of socks until they are done. I just turned the heel on the first sock tonight. It's 12:00 a.m. right now, but I am wide awake so there will be more knitting before I go to bed. My goal is to have them finished before Sucky Knitting Girls night on Monday. I don't know if I can do it, but I am sure going to try!

I bet you would like to see a picture! Well, I don't want to post pictures of the socks until they are done! BUT... I will show you this...
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Really, I cannot tell you how happy this yarn makes me. My first dying project and it turned out perfectly. (In my own humble opinion!)

Since this yarn fits in so perfectly with Lolly's Project Spectrum, I have officially joined! I am checking out all the sexy Project Spectrum buttons so I can add one to my side bar. Thanks Lolly for suggesting I join! I don't know why I didn't do it before....

And of course, joining Project Spectrum now gives me an excuse to buy more yarn (Like I need an excuse.) (Dentist, yarn... Dentist, yarn... YARN.) Because sadly, I have no yellow yarn in my stash for next month. Doesn't that mean I need to purchase some immmediately??

So, I would like to pose a question to you all. I have seen this question discussed on other blogs before and I asked Amie this question the other day. How do you respond to people who say "Make me something!"? I get so irritated when people ask me to make them something. Even more irritated when they don't ask, but demand. It is quite obvious that the average person has absolutely no concept of the time and effort that goes into making a hand-knit item.

I am in a selfish knitting phase right now. I am knitting for ME. I want lots of hand-knit socks for myself. I am not always a selfish knitter. I enjoy knitting for my friends and family. But I don't have any desire to knit for the random people who come up to me and say "Make me something!"

I love Amie's suggestion that I tell them that I will make them something if they come do my laundry for me.

So... how do you respond?

Monday, March 13, 2006

How I spent my day off

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This was GOOD FUN. My fingers are red right now, but this was a cool project. Here's what I ended up with:
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I'm a little sad because two of the reds came out very similar. I originally started with Cherry, Black Cherry, Strawberry, and Pink Lemonade. I ended up adding two packs of Orange to the Strawberry in an effort to make it look different from the Cherry, but it didn't work so well. I am also not crazy about how the Black Cherry came out. Perhaps I shall overdye the Strawberry/Orange section one last time and see what happens. This was my first Koolaid dying project. I didn't measure the yarn or anything. I just wrapped it around two chairs in the kitchen and sectioned it off into four different colors. I'm really curious to see how this knits up.

And in typical Coleen fashion, I successfully made a giant knot of the undyed yarn to start with. My housemate was laughing at me because I had yarn strewn all over the kitchen. It's sad. I NEED A SWIFT!

I am so excited - I am home for the night!!! I had rehearsal this morning, and then I was FREE! Scott just called and invited me over for a cookout dinner, but I turned him down. This is the first night I've been home in over a week. There will be knitting... oh yes... there will!

Here's a little fun...Some of these pictures made me laugh out loud.
Be sure to look for the picture of the cat wearing a crocheted scarf and hat.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Slowly Getting Back to Normal

Finally... the show is open! It has been the most insane week. And I am extremely glad it is over! The show opened last night and was very well received. Only one major problem... The Beast's head fell off at the end of the second act. (It was damn funny... if you want to hear the story, just ask!)

I will back at the Columbia theatre tomorrow. I don't think I've ever said this before - I'm happy to be going back to the theatre tomorrow. The new space is really nice, but I want be back in my own light booth.

I have to design the lights for a kid show this week and then I think my life will finally be back to "normal." Having to do two tech weeks in a three week time period is killer. We are all completely fried.

In knitting world... I actually did manage to find the odd times to knit this week. I worked on the green toe ups and on my argyle. Sadly, I'm starting to think this argyle is never going to fit on my fat ankles. I'm having a little fantasy that I'm going to be able to block it into submission, but I'm not really holding my breath on that one. I just don't think it's going to work. So I'll probably frog it and either try again or use the yarn for something else. Sad because I'm really excited about how the argyle is turning out.

Last night, I got home from the theatre and decided to start winding the lime fire yarn into a ball. I'm an idiot. I cannot tell you what a huge mess I made. I turned that gorgeous skein into one giant knot. I was going to take pictures, but honestly I was too embarrased at the big knotted mess I had created. I stayed up till 3:00 a.m. trying to untangle it. Then I got up this morning and worked on it some more. Finally... I have this....

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In the midst of my untangling, I stopped long enough to start looking for swifts and ball winders on ebay. I think it's time for me to own these items. I put a bid on a ball winder, but I just got the dreaded email telling me I'd been outbid. So, I'll go back and look again. I should not be allowed to wind by hand and alone. Usually I take my skeins to the theatre and get some unsuspecting fool to hold it for me while I wind.

Anyways... despite the tangled mess, I LOVE this yarn. It is crazy bright and really soft. I've cast on for a sock from the Vintage Sock book, but I think I'm going to change my mind. The pattern I originally chose has a bit of stitch detail that will be lost by the color changes in this yarn I think. We shall see....

Oh... note to Yarn Coffee... Thanks for the Sock Queen comment! I picture a crown with little diamond Jaywalkers all over it! Actually, I think maybe I am more of a Sock Princess as I seem to have a problem with finishing what I start!

My advice is to find a pattern you like and just jump in. That's what I did. If you make a mistake - rip it out. It's just yarn. Check the internet for tons of resources on how to knit socks. There are endless free patterns out there. As for double points versus Magic Loop, I like both. Once you get the hand of the Magic Loop thing, it is really quite simple. But I just bought these shorty double points (I saw Eunny using them, and I had to try them) and I love them. They seem much more suited to knitting socks then the longer DPNs that I have.

Also, you might try checking out your local yarn shop - it seems like there are lots of places offering sock classes.

Sock knitting is fun. Especially the turning the heel part. It's really cool! Keep me posted on what you decide to do - if I can be of any help, just ask!

And now for a little advertising...

The Baltimore Knitting Meetup group is coming to Columbia on a field trip! We are going to meet at All About Yarn next Saturday, 3/18 at 11:00 am. for some yarn shopping and then we are going to head over to Premiere English Coffee for a little knitting and coffee. I hearby invite you all to come! It should be fun. (What's not fun about shopping in a yarn store with other crazy knitters?!)

Also, the Sucky Knitting Girls are getting together again next Monday 3/20 at the Panera in Columbia. If you are in the area and want to come knit with a crazy bunch of girls, I hope you will join us! (I can't wait!!!!)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Yummy Scrumptious Deliciousness!

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Sundara hand-dyed superwash merino sock yarn in Grape

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Spunky Eclectic Hand painted merino wool in Lime Fire

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Hill Country Yarns Instant Gratification sock yarn in Indian Stone

I am in yarn heaven. Aren't these FANTASTIC?? My crappy digital camera does not do any of these yarns justice. They are all beautiful. The Lime Fire was my prize for knitting the 1000th sock of 2006. I'm speechless. I told Amy that I loved bright colors like orange and green. I love that she combined them. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! Again, many thanks to Amie and Amy. I feel very lucky!

For the moment, I am forcing myself to work on my current projects instead of putting any of this yarn on needles yet. YET. I just really want get the current socks I'm working on finished. THEN I can start playing with all this yummy wool.

So, in addition to a mailbox full of yarn, I also received these today:
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And here's what I'm working on:
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(click on the picture for a link to the pattern)

I think these are going to be a little big. But so far, I'm enjoying knitting them. My first toe up, two at the same time, socks.

And I am still working on my argyle.
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I'm really pleased how this is turning out. It's taking me a while. There's been a fair amount of ripping because apparantly, I cannot count. But I'm still impressed with myself. I am actually carrying the yarns in both hands. I am not a fan of throwing with the right hand. I wouldn't mind it so much, but I can't find a comfortable way to keep the tension going. With my left hand, I wrap the yarn around my pinky. But that's not working so well with the right hand. Crazy English knitting!

I actually managed to escape the theatre early tonight. (LONG STORY)
So, now I'm going to get back to knitting!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's a sickness. Really.

I can't stop buying yarn! It's BAD! In the past week, I have ordered three skeins of sock yarn and two knitting books. MUST STOP! It's an obsession.

But.. have you seen this: Sundara Yarn. This is the source of Eunny's amazing silk. Now, I don't consider myself ready to knit lace yet, by any stretch of the imagination, but... I can knit socks! So, of course I just had to have this. Look at that color! Can you blame me??

And, the other day, I got an email from Amy saying that Amie has declared that I knit the 1000th pair of socks in 2006. So I get more yarn! I can't wait! (Many thanks to both Amie and Amy, by the way. I really am excited!)

While I wait for the mailman, (Oh Mr. Mailman... bring me MORE YARN!) I started some socks with my green stripey yarn from Knitpicks. I decided to try the two socks, toe up, on one circular. I've already ripped it all out. I get the idea and it was all working out ok, but the bottom of the toes was way too square. So, I'm going to try again. Knit fewer rows before increasing.. see what that does.

Sadly, my knitting time is at a minimum these days. I am so freaking busy. I know I shouldn't complain. I sat on my ass all last summer and did nothing but whine about being poor. So I should be really glad for the work - but I'm TIRED. I worked over 60 hours last week. This week hasn't been much better. And next week is going to be even more rediculous. I am off this Saturday, but I have a zillion errands to run. I was supposed to go to an Oscar party Sunday night, but after much thought, I've decided that I really just want to stay HOME. I feel like I haven't had a night at home in ages. Me, some yarn, maybe a little wine, and the TV. Doesn't that just sound decadent?