Knitting (and spinning! The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY)

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

One week left. Sigh.

In one week teachers return to school for pre-planning. I got a lot accomplished and have some great memories to last! I got married in exciting Vegas, moved into a terrific house (and out of a deteriorating apartment), took lots of trips (Virginia Beach, Columbia, and Sarasota), and relaxed (a little). Not bad for two-and-a-half months off!

Maria and I had a great time on our roadtrip this past weekend. We played cards with George and Tim, ate lots of good food everywhere we went, and thoroughly enjoyed Christi and Tom's "post elopement reception". We even got to play poker there as it was a Vegas/casino themed party. I loved seeing their new house. Christi is a great artist and her house reflects her sense of style. I'm envious! :)

Right now I'm wearing my Shimmer tank top. I should have knitted some ribbing at the waist to prevent this dreaded curling and rolling. Other than that, it fits and wears well. I went to school and had lunch with one of my knitting buddies, and she liked the tank, too. I showed her the Creatures of the Reef shawl I will begin when it arrives (any day now), and she showed me a couple of Mary Maxim cardigans she's lusting after.

I've hung a few more pictures in the house and empited a couple more boxes. The only thing worse than packing is unpacking. Ick. Slowly, however, I am working my way through the stuff.

I've begun a ribbed/twisted stitch sleeveless top in Cotton Fleece to keep my hands busy until the shawl arrives. I'm picking up spped as my fingers get used to the twisted stiches and pattern repeats. It's in a bright pink and I've had in my stash for a while. (Shoppin' the stash!) It's fun and different!

Thursday, July 24, 2003

I'm off on another trip!

Maria and I are heading up to Suffolk, Virginia to visit her best friend, George, and his partner, Tim. We made this same roadtrip last summer, and I had a blast meeting them after hearing so much about them from Maria. She and they met when they all lived in Virginia Beach and George and Maria worked for Harris Publishing (the horror stories they tell!). Last year we went out to see their new house, play cards, eat, and I got to see Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and DC (we swung up to visit her brother).

On this trip we are going up to Suffolk (leave at 10am) and meeting George for Mexican (great margaritas!!). Friday we are having lunch at the Lynnhaven Fish Market (or something similar) for the scallops that Maria has been craving for the longest time. We are also going to hit a knitting store and a needlepoint store (for Maria) that are in Virginai Beach which are supposed to be wonderful. Saturday we head down to Columbia (I'll say hi to it for you, Rob and Matt) to go to Christi and Tom's (sister and BIL) post-elopement reception. We are staying with them, and I'm looking forward to seeing their new house. Then Maria and I drive home on Sunday. Fun-filled long weekend!

The weather is beautiful today. Highs are only expected to be in the low 80s and the humidity is only around 50%. Hopefully, this nice weather will follow us up north.

As for projects I'm taking with me, there are two things going. I'm taking some of the alpace with my drop spindle. I've also started a shawl/scarf in Quatro. It has gold, orange, red, and olive, and the colors are stunning. It's a quick knit as I'm using an eyelet pattern I found in my Knitting for Idiots book. I've ordered the Creatures of the Reef shawl kit from Fiddlesticks. Hopefully it won't arrive until I'm back (I can just hear Miguel--What? More yarn?).

Tuesday, July 22, 2003


Yesterday I went to The Pottery up in Commerce, Georgia. There is a HUGE outlet mall on both sides of the interstate. Because of where we now live, we are much closer to I-85, so getting up to the outlets will be faster than ever.

I went through the garden section and found LOTS of great plants for the yard. I came home with a large mandeville for only $13. I also bought some hydrangeas, a rhododendron, a camelia, a ficus, and others.

Yesterday afternoon I went with Maria and her two young cousins to Carodel Alpacas which is just down the road from me. The owner showed us her alpacas (57 there at the time!) and some fiber. The alpacas were so cute!! Mom, Dad, and Miguel all asked if I had brought one home with me. They know me too well. But I didn't. They are adorable, though.

The owner didn't know how to spin using a drop spindle, so I showed her using some of the roving she had had processed from her fleece. She was impressed and would love to learn from me. She said she would pay me in fiber. An offer I won't and can't refuse!

When I told her I wanted to purchase some fiber from her, we began weighing it. Talk about light as a feather. OMG! She ended up giving me her whole white and fawn combo batch for FREE.

Isn't it glorious? Tiger had to inspect it too, and it got his seal of approval; he jumped in the box and started kneeding it. Cat nirvana.

I've already started spinning it. It's very fine so I'm using one of my lighter spindles. I can't wait to knit something up with this tweedy yarn.

We had a huge thunderstorm around the time I had to go pick up Miguel from work (figured!). He had lent his car to a brother for the day. We came home and saw lots of trees and one wire down (on the side of the road, thankfully), cooked dinner, and promptly lost power. That was around 8 pm. We finally got it back on around 10:30. Gotta love candles.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

I have finished the front and the back of the shimmer tank. All I have left to do is join the two halves, crochet the arms and neck, and weave in ends. Woohoo! Unfortunately, I can't find my crochet hook, so that will have to wait. I also plied some of my salmon merino, set the twist, and they are drying from the shower bar in the bathroom. I wish I knew how to calculate yardage. Anyone out there willing to teach a newbie like myself?

Here are two pictures I got from Tom earlier. He's a great photographer! Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to pick up the roll of professional prints and video from the local camera store.

Here is a picture of us with Maria, my best friend, who came out there with my family. It was so nice having a friend come along. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2003

I'm back and now Mrs. Miguel Almaraz.

Vegas was terrific albeit HOT! We had so much fun. Didn't win any money, though. We stayed at New York-New York right on the strip. We upgraded to a penthouse suite (!!) with three rooms and a fabulous jacuzzi. It was awesome. My wedding went off without a hitch and so did my sister's. In all we had a party of 14 people total. Pictures will come soon. The only ones I have of the wedding are of Christi's and Tom's. When they get back, they and Mom and Dad will send me some of their digital pics.

Hope everyone behaved while I was gone. Justin? Matt? Rob?


Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Let the needles fly.

I have begun knitting again. I have my grandmother's old rocking chair next to the sofa in the living room so I can knit and watch tv. I am currently working on a Berroco pattern for a tank top. It's in Crystal Palace Shimmer Indigo that I picked up in Sarasota, FL while visiting Mom and Dad. I'm almost finished with the back. Yippee! I began this at the AdvoCare Summer School two weeks ago. I've really only been able to knit away on it for the last few days as things have kinda calmed down.

I am awaiting the appliance repairman. The dryer is still acting up. For some strange reason, the heating element will not cut off resulting in a scortching-hot dryer that will only cool down when the dryer is unplugged. Most annoying, so we're having the pros out to fix it. Apparently, the problem is not in the connector we had to install. We'll see what the guy says. Any time now...

We have two windows with plantation blinds on them., two...7 to go. Fun, huh? The first one was the hardest. These will all go (relatively) smoothly and quickly now that we know what we're doing.

This weekend is the Vegas trip. For home security purposes, I won't tell the dates, but will have lots of pictures for you upon my return (as the new Mrs. Almaraz). Miguel is out outlet shopping for a new shirt, tie, and slacks. I can't wait to see what he comes home with. He is a sharp dresser when the mood strikes.

(insert cat growling/purring here)

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

There's a bright side to everything right?

For example, today we finally got the dryer hooked up. My dryer has a three-prong; wall has a four-prong. We switched out the plug, bought more tools, and tried it out. No luck. Switched the wires. Now, the dryer works but makes a horrible metal-on-metal screetching, as if the drum has gone gobbely-gook. Fixed that. Miguel exits stage left.

Nicole starts washer. Much laundry to do. Nicole checks to make sure it isn't leaking water. So far, so good. Nicole walks by coat closet--water has soaked through the closet carpeting and is in the foyer. Water is under the bookcases on the adjacent wall. In the laundry room. In the garage. Get the picture?

Nicole calls Miguel and briefly explains the problem. "I'll be there in a few minutes." Yeah, right.

I move everything out of the closet. Grab the towels. Repeat process with bookcases. Break crystal vase while moving said bookcases. No Miguel. No vacuum (at the apartment for final cleaning.). Call Mom and Dad. Long story short--drain hose was placed into wall--not into the hole with the PIPE. $##%@@$! Miguel calls. Says he'll be home in a "few minutes." I hang up on him. He calls back and tells me he is helping his sister with her computer. I hang up again.

I drive to Lowes to pick up something to dry up the floors/carpets before water damage occurs. I see Miguel on the road as he is coming home. He is just so helpful sometimes. At Lowes, one of the fellows suggests the Rug Doctor to suck up the water on the floor. Good plan--I have to clean the apartment's living room anyway. I head to the apartment and pick up the vacuum and previously purchased Rug Doctor cleaner. I come home and clean. No Miguel. After an hour, all water has been sucked up to the best of my ability, he comes in with his two brothers and fixings for dinner. How thoughtful.

He proceeds to bat his eyes, tells me he's sorry, and how he thought I had everything under control. I tell him that I have bought the Lowes' Home Improvement book and I will never NEED to call him again because I have THE BOOK and my dad to help me when I'm in crisis. I never ask for help, and probably never will, again.

Right now, hours later, he's in the kitchen, cleaning the really yummy seafood soup he cooked and (Hopefully) loading the dishwasher. I've had two cherry coke and rum drinks and can now stand to look at my wonderful fiance. Frgiveness, I told him, would be a while.

What a great day! %#$@!

The bright side is, I'm glad my knitting pattern books weren't in that hall closet or they would be goners!