Sunday, June 29, 2008

Zumbady Special

It's official - I can now "teach Zumba, use the Zumba name in your class title, and call yourself a Zumba Instructor."

R-oi-iight. Stop laughing. I just underwent 18 rigourous hours of training, and I can now...well at this moment...Nothing. I slept on an icepack last night and plan to embalm myself in Epsom Salts before bed tonight. I so could Not teach a class at this or any moment in the foreseeable future. But that really wasn't the plan. I just wanted to be a better student and the class was taught by Beto and the ZES team. It was amazing!

This all fits into the 100 days of change as well. I knew that I was not any type of aerobic guru, however, it was very interesting to see the different flavours that they come in. The downside was 300 women (12 men) is a set up for estrogen poisoning. Some of the people were Mean Girls at their worst. But most were just women (ages 18 to 64) trying to learn something. I'm still chewing on some of what I learned about myself.

If I were to actually work as an least the clothes are more interesting than scrubs.

Monday, June 23, 2008


George Carlin died. This makes me a little sad. It seems as if he's been around my entire life. I remember him on Vinyl.

And the fervor when he got arrested in Milwaukee. Which eventually led to a 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government's authority to sanction stations for broadcasting offensive language during hours when children might be listening. (This was back when children had bedtimes).

His 4 minute 35 second routine "A place for my stuff" accurately reflects on my lifestyle and how I pack.

I enjoyed him in Jersey Girl, it was a little like seeing people I knew finally all grown up. Which was also a little sad. And his stereotypical funny (but untypically clean) role in Cars.

If I didn't have to dash off, I'd run in and change into black.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I confess...

I ripped it. No one is surprised eh? Then I cast on thinner - still weird puddling only it became almost exactly green on half and blue on the other half. Ripped that after 8 inches, cast on wider, nice colour blending but Too Wide. I think that I am going to have to work an entirely different design than I originally intended. Thwarted by a dye pattern!

Unfortunately, I seem unable to just set this ball down and walk away. I keep picking at it. I fear that if I walk away it will become an expensive stash ball.

I am splurging on Saturday. I plan to fritter away some petrol by driving to see an alpaca farm near my boss' house. The lady has 28 alpaca and future plans to open a fibre mill. Camera is charged and ready to go.

Life has been busy and full of changes. Yesterday was my daughter's birthday. Gee, she would be how old? That would make me... Oh. Hmmn.

I've let my plate become very full again, and plan to use the drive Sat. morning to organise my thoughts, and Saturday evening to organise my flat because the new Year of Lace kit will arrive soon. Then Sunday will be for coma mind.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No, not really, why do you ask?

I'm going to be the girl at your knit night that says: "really are you sure?"

I followed Melanie's advice and kept knitting. I have about 10 inches now and feel that I can get a sense of what it's going to look like as a "scarf".
Sigh. It's pretty but I...don't's....(what exactly?) On a bright note, it's a very fast knit, I really have only worked a little on Sunday, and then during my walk to and from work. I have a BIG project for at home. So if I ripped...

Anyone else see Big ZigZag?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Feedback please

So I diligently swatched yesterday and decided on this pattern. Then I ripped out the swatch (Wish I had taken a photo) and cast on this little scarf.

the scarf is wider than my swatch. (42 vs 25 stitches) and I am getting these puddles. The swatch was more generalized touches of colour scattered around. So:

1) Leave it and keep going?
2) Rip it and knit it wider?
3) Switch to something multidirectional? Ala Iris Schreier
4) Knit it horizontally?

Knitting it narrower isn't a flavour I'm after, I want it to cover my throat without having multiple wraps.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Canarysitting Cat.

Results in tiny feathers stuck in teeth.

A while back I made the following Claim about delayed yarn purchase. But back on March 1, 2008 I had encountered:

Handmaiden CamelSpin
300m of creamy fluffy yumminess. It's pricey (Camel being the big clue there, eh) and the shop only had a couple of skeins with no plans to buy more until winter. But I kept thinking how lovely that would feel against the throat on a cold, dark, Wisconsin winter day. And the squeezing of the skein became a seduction. Afterall, yarn like this would not only keep my throat warm but make me taller and thinner too.

So I figure that although I haven't finished the list, I have finished the April socks, Crocus Pocus shawl, BlackHearted Rose, and Wicked. In addition I am making slow progress on Smoking for TAO. (Enough progress that it is no longer walking around knitting.) Hence...guilt free Stash Enhancement. I have a couple of design ideas burbling around in my head, and swatching planned, because Silk/Camel is too precious to be treated lightly.

(The Rising Phoenix may never happen, I have GOT to face reality about fine silk and my joints.)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The 70s (Days)

I came to the realisation this week that so many women run around with a dated look because High School is where we learn the advanced dressing skills. We all learned - skirts on the bottom, shirt on the top, tie the shoes - by first grade, but we learned makeup and hair in High School from our peers. Unfortunately, I missed this important extracurricular activity being too busy graduating early so the State could no longer tell me where I had to live.

All of this was brought home by last weeks purchase of a blow dryer. There is a great line where someone tells Kelly Flynn that if she can do that "blowdryer thing, dryer in one hand, brush in the other" she can learn to knit. Apparently it's a bleeding miracle that I can knit. There was one frightful day where I looked like Peg Bundy. You know it's really bad when patients look at you, look at the floor, look at you, look away. Slightly better was the day I looked more like Mrs. Jetson. I got the dryer because the great cut I received inspired me to try harder. I mean, it looked really good with my usual MO of washing before bed and sleeping on it, but it looked Great when Dan braised it in hot air. It actually even looks good after an hour of aerobics in a room with no AC. A cut like that inspires you.

On the knitting front Rose Hearts Shawl a Ravelry pattern by Elizabeth Matthews is done.

Measures 27 deep x 52 across. The Crocus Pocus came out 24 deep and 57 across, makes sense as they were about the same yardage. Of course, the HandMaiden
has more drape and thus a dressier feel, while the Duet Sock has more spring. Only one skein on size 6 needles. It was an easy to follow pattern with only a few errors.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Back to the changes

You may recall I said I was going to Zumba for the rest of the 100. So I looked around and since I am in a large Metro area for the next two months, I decided to try the BaskinRobins of Zumba. A class here, a class there. For instance, on Saturday, I got my rear kicked by a 53 year old instructor. And it was a completely different flavour than the 29 year old on Tuesday. The instructor I love, Betty, loaned me the 2005 DVDs. Yuck! But I climbed out on the limb and bought the 2008 DVDs. Very Fun! I think the classes are still the best, because even with the same instructor, they change. So you can't worry about dishes, work, budgets, because you are TOO busy.

To go with the exercise I have made some food changes. I gave up one of my favorite foods two weeks ago. Cold turkey. Now I wonder. I gave it up because it had ingredients that I "should" give up. But it was also one of those foods that I had muscle tested in St. Louis, and had no negative testing for. continue or not? I mentioned to TAO that no positive changes had resulted and he said "Go buy some" and I usually buy it on sale so that a 3 month supply is $27.00. But when I went to the Grocery and saw that it was $3.99 for a weeks worth, I put it back. I have also been adding (not subtracting) foods. More veggies, more fiber. These, of course, are filling and should cut back on other eating.

What's the upshot? Clean living is not the reward everyone makes it out to be. I have gained weight and, after a month of calls to TAO saying "I'm on my way to Zumba, coming home from Zumba, whatever" we have the following conversation...
TAO Just tell me straight, are you having an affair?
Me What?!? Let me pull over. Now, What?!?
TAO Well, every time I talk to you lately you are going to work out. You Hate working out. You hate to Sweat. You hate aerobics. So I thought maybe you were hiding something.
Me Please look at the credit card bill, there will be a fee for the gym, the shoes, the bra. (I didn't mention the videos, Shhh)
Me Besides, this is YOUR fault.
TAO Why does the man always get the blame in a relationship?
Me You're the one who decided to take up bodybuilding for your midlife crisis. I wanted to relax in our 40s, but NO, You had to raise the bar. Now I can't become a slug, because you're looking Fine. So this is your fault.
TAO Well, at least it's good for you.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Crocus Blooms

The blocking stage was reached:
Larger view:

There is a glaring error in the edging that I didn't see until I blocked it and no one will see when wearing, so I'm leaving it in.
The base pattern is Crocus Pocus. With several modifications ala When Harry met Sally "On the side is a very big thing with you." I chose to make mine from Duet Cinnamon Dulce from The Loopy Ewe. Since I rarely get gauge, and on a shawl don't find the need for gauge to be worth the finger pain, I knew the yardage would be insufficient. Consequently I cut some rows from Chart B and Chart C. Then I skipped Chart D (edging) entirely and used the heel/toe yarn to make the Alberta border from Stahman's Shawls. The error is from drowsing in my warm car on a sunny but windy day. Of all the Things I miss most while traveling, I miss my patio.

I am still working the 100 days. But that's another post for another day.

I won!

Leah, the talented dyer at Yarn or A Tale has a "name the colourway" contest. And for May I suggested the elusive Blue Bellied Roller. I saw a pair of these little birds at the National Aviary and was charmed by their colours. I think she did a great job of translating the colours into fiber. Of course I had to buy some of her "Winter Leaf" to enjoy as well. I've picked up fiber from her in the past and have enjoyed it immensely. I suggest you stop by either her main site or her Etsy store and drool over what she does with colour.


Chelle at Hanging By a Thin Thread tagged me for this MEME.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago? Living in Kentucky working a "real" job in a hospital. I had a co-worker from H-ll and used to cry all the way to work and all the way home. The day I got fired I just kept thinking "what will I tell TAO?" And when I told him; he said "Thank G-d, that job was ruining our marriage." Funny thing is, my nemesis quit without notice a few weeks later and the docs asked me back. R-i-ight.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today? This is my one day off, what list?

3. Snacks I enjoy: Chips with my "bring TAO to his knees" dip, pears fresh off our tree, Doritos, caramel, iced decaf coffee.

4. Places I’ve lived: Rather than type type type, I'll just list states: California, Oregon, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio,Alaska, Minnesota,Nebraska, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, but I'm not very old so I'll see where else I can fit in.

5. Things I’d do if I were a billionaire: After figuring out what TAO wants (he's worked very hard to build a business and may/may not want to move) I'd open a small business with appropriate support staff. Create a scholarship for my 14 cousins and 1 niece. Then I would start a quiet foundation that would do things in small quiet ways. Fund green spaces with programs to involve the community in keeping them clean. Donate to libraries, not buildings but sundries. Adopt classrooms for supplies and outings. Nothing flashy just enough to tip the scale in favour of those who are trying for something more. Oh, and have a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub.

6. People I want to know more about: I love people's stories. Unless it's really early in the morning. I like finding out about plain people, they have such interesting detours that take them to where they are today.

Rather than tag specific people, I'll just invite y'all to play along. If you do drop me a comment so I can come read it also.