Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My blog is worth $9,597.18.
How much is your blog worth?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It Burns!


Did my first set of Tabata squats today. Best number-14. worst number-10. Not too bad for a first attempt.

I found a free online timer. The volume is regulated by my computer, so I can crank it (if I don't mind waking the house!) there is a choice of sounds and the timer changes colour depending on where in the cycle you are. The sound choices are good because one of them is a buzzer that can be set for either 1 buzz or 3 buzzes. The pulsing buzz is particularly good for me as I will be listening for the 3 pulse for the buzzer. Sometimes a single pulse gets lost in my tinnitus, so a pulse is best, I've found.

I wasn't trying for the fastest sets today, just complete, accurate squats. Which is just as well, since by the last set I was pushing it hard to just do a squat, never mind do it fast!

After the workout and cool down, brainiac that I am, I decided that I had to take my contacts out. Which meant walking up stairs. That was fun....

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tabata-ing Along

I was reading Knitfit's blog abut Tabata. It got me to thinking. I have been very remiss about working out since my tennis elbow appeared. I pretty much figured, can't do arm exercises, why do anything?

Then I saw Knitfit's post about Tabata. I did some research. I can do that. It doesn't need arms. You just pick an exercise that you can do that is a full-body type motion and do it.

I decided that, since I have a stationary bicycle, I would do the intervals on the bike. There's a timer built in and everything. Did the first workout on friday morning. That last 20 seconds becomes a very looooong 20 seconds. Amazingly, I had no soreness the next day. But it is a very intense workout, so I let myself recover for 2 days and did the bicycle thing again on monday.

Next I'm going to try the squats. I worked on the form today. No speed, no emphasis on how many. Just doing it right. As it turns out, my idea a few years ago to hire a personal trainer for a few sessions was useful. I remembered how to properly do squats without any trouble!

Tomorrow, I wil try. The only issue will be timing, but I have hopes that I can talk the hubby into calling out the intervals for me. if I stay with it, I may invest in a Tabata timer, but since I am hearing impaired and don't wear my hearing aids while working out (electronics and sweat are not a good mix!) I would need one that has a loud, low pitched buzzer, not a beeper. (I can't hear high pitches).

Hmmm, I found one that vibrates. that may be perfect....

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Saga of the Red Sock

I have finished the first sock. The hubby doesn't seem to think it's a problem, but I don't like the fit on the foot and ankle.

I have already cast on for the second sock, so I am going to modify it and then rip back the first one to do the mods. Hubby has "calves of steel" so he needs a bigger calf on a sock. But then I think I will decrease a few stitches in the ribbing so the ankle and foot don't look so baggy to me.

I hope everyone's holiday of choice went well. I ate waaaaay too much turkey.....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Counter Space

Making Easter dinner at my house is always a challenge. The kitchen is tiny with not nearly enough counter space. More than once, when making a big meal, I have taken something out of the oven and then wondered where to put it, since there was no flat surface left free!

This year will prove to be more of a challenge.

We are still working on the "kitty not allowed on counters" part of cat behaviour modification. He gets that he shouldn't be up there. He just doesn't care. He also knows that squirt bottles and compressed air cans only reach so far.

Raven may have to be sequestered for a couple of hours......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Knitting Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a girll. Who was sad since she felt alone.
To fill the time, she entered contests that she never won.
Then one day, she saw a strange thing. A woman, waving 2 sticks about a string. And magically, a hat appeared!
"Oh wise sorceress, can you teach me the magic?" ,asked the girl.
"Silly girl, this is no magic. It is called knitting. And anyone may learn."
"Please, teach me", said the gil.
And lo, it came to pass.
Time sped by as the girl knit. But she still felt alone, tho' the hours passed quickly with her new skill.
Then one day, the girl found a knitting blog. Where she left a comment. And lo! An answer arrived to her comment. Then the girl bethought herself,"I too can make a blog".
And lo! The blog Knitting Knot was born!
The girl continued to leave comments on other blogs and the people came to her blog and left her comments!
She began to have conversations. She "met" people. She entered contests. And yay! Verily! She did win a contest. Bezzie's Ugly Couch Contest. Alas, her couch was not the ugliest, but the gods of chance smiled upon her and her couch won a random number draw. The girl was no longer a girl who never won contests! She has a prize.

A thread-cutter made by Bezzie herself!

And some of the girl's loneliness faded. Time passed and a blogger said that she had knit a wondrous object out of alpaca and said item was lovely and soft. The girl left a comment bemoaning the lack of alpaca in her stash and how she was sure the stuff was wonderful. And lo! Through the wonders of the internet, it came to be. Sandra heard the girl's plight and gifted three skeins of the stunningly gorgeously soft fiber!

Suri Whisper from New Era Fiber.

(Seriously folks, this stuff is absolutely lovely soft squooshy yarn!)

And the girl's lonliness faded away to nothing. All because she learned to knit.

The End

Okay, maybe not the end, since I'm still knitting, but that's the end of the fable.

Thanks Bezzie and Sandra!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm Seeing Red

The red sock continues. I am at the point of toe decreases.
The size is right for the recipient, who has a size 10 men's. I am a size 6 ladies, so it SHOULD be big on me! I took another picture to show you the sock a bit better. Not sure if it does, but here it is anyway.....

Please note that this sock undergoes rigorous testing by our expert inspector.

In other news, Pagan and Raven are getting along better. Yay!I managed to snag a picture of the event before kitty jumped down. What's more remarkable is that Raven was on the footstool first. Pagan chose to join him!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Triple D

The damn darning is done! Remember the sock a co-worker asked me to darn for her? Waaaaaay back when? I finally did it!

Originally, the plan was to use thread as a guide over the gaping hole to help with the duplicate stitches. I tried darning the sock up with sock yarn. The thread broke. The sock yarn was too thin. Turns out the sock was made up with dk weight yarn. Which I hadn't bothered to think about. I put it away to think about it a bit. Then I thought that maybe the thread was just too thin to hold the dk yarn properly as a guide. So I replaced it with thicker string. Dishcloth cotton, actually.

Yeah, let's just say it was not a successful experiment. So I put it away to think some more.

It occurred to me that duplicate stitch is actually just knitting with a needle and thread. Why couldn't I put the last row of good stitches on a knitting needle and just knit?
So that is what I did.*
Then I duplicate stitched up the side to attach the sides and top. I duplicate stitched a couple of weak points in the foot while I was at it. After all, it's easier to fix before it turns into a hole.

Done. Yay!

And since this post has to do with feet....


*craptastic photos due to it being very late, poor lighting, and Raven. Whom you can see as a black blur in the top "flap" photo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Time Flies

Where does the time go? I had a couple of days off work in a row and thought I'd get some serious knitting done. And yet...not so much. I had hoped to at least have some heel-turnage to show you. Nope. All I have to show you is some leggage.

About 8 inches of leggage, to be exact. Ah well, it is pretty leggage, right? Which may not be the right descriptor for a sock destined for the hubby. But if you don't tell, neither will I.

Ciao for now

Monday, March 10, 2008

What to do when You are Snowed in.

We got wallopped by winter here. Since we don't have a full-time weather station in my area and the blowing snow makes it hard to be completely accurate, the guess is 31cm of snow. Two towns on either side of us got 41 & 45cm respectively. So I suspect the 31cm is on the low side. (that's approximately 12 inches) Our usual snowfall for the whole month of March is 30cm. So we got our entire dose in one go. Except there is more coming on Wednesday. Sigh.

Anyway, there was no going much of anywhere in that kind of weather. So I whomped up (yup, that's the technical term) something for the hubby's new toy.

Basically, a condom for his video game thingie. Or a sock leg for it. Whatever. It's Sugar & Cream cotton in navy from the stash. Took me an evening to put together. Cast on 36 stitches, joined in the round, knit in k2p2 rib till it looked long enough and I was getting sick of k2p2 and cast off. Whip stitch one end together. Tada!

I love the stitch definition you get from cotton:

AND it gave me an excuse to say,"see, THIS is why I have stash! To knit up unexpected required items."


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Really? MORE?

Yup, more knitting. I am really needing a hit of colour right now, so I went into the stash and pounced on the first bright yarn I saw.

I swatched.

The label didn't say superwash and DID have the international symbol for do not put in dryer. But I wanted to make husband socks,(which means they must be machine washable/dryable) so I took that swatch, dunked it in the hottest water I could stand and tried my best to hand felt it. I dunked, I scrubbed and I shocked it in cold water. Repeatedly. Then I threw it in the dryer with a pair of wet jeans.

Both pics are post knitting-abuse. The second picture shows the colour and it's bloom after the maltreatment I gave it the best.

No felting. It's actually kinda nice. Doesn't feel rough against my throat. (my testing area of choice for scratchiness)

What is this yarn? The hated Sisu. Last time I tried to knit it on, ummm, 2.5mm needles. It was splitty as all hell. However, on 3.5mm, it knits up fine. Go figure. That's fine for hubby socks as they seem to go on forever. Although his feet aren't quite as large as some poor women's hubby's. Heh.

And we have sockage! Note the stitch marker matches the sock. After the last fiasco when my sock rebelled due to unfashionable stitch marker choice, I learned my lesson.

While I am still working on the black tank top, it is, well, black. Rather dreary.

I am ready for mud season. Otherwise known as spring. Bring it on.

And now a gratuitous kitty pic

Yes, that is/was clean laundry. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

With Actual Knitting Today.

Daylight savings time starts this weekend. Crap.

Humorous Pictures
Enter the ICHC online Poker Cats Contest!

I hate DST. The kitties get confused and think breakfast should be served at 3am or some such insane time. I'm exhausted for the whole week because I am sensitive (apparently) to the whole "spring forward" time change thing. Ugh.

Up there is a picture of the Leaf Tank. I am almost at the point of decreasing and then its strap time! Hopefully soon it will be done and wearable. I was debating shortening it a bit since the pattern claims it will stretch, but I am not knitting it out of the recommended yarn (Berocco Denim Silk) and checked with a couple of people on Ravelry who have made other projects out of the same yarn I am using and they said it doesn't grow. Probably the cotton content. So, I am going to knit it as directed. In theory it would be short. In reality, I am of small stature, so a tank top that doesn't reach my knees is a good thing. (besides, I can always make it longer if I have to...) I figure I'll put in a lifeline jsut before the decreases. If the thing appears too short after decreasing, frogging will occur and lengthening will happen. I hope not, though. time will tell.

If I survive the daylight savings time....

(and you thought I wasn't knitting anymore. silly people)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Home Safety

Have you checked your smoke alarm lately?

Yup, it's working.....

Monday, March 03, 2008


I went to talk to someone about a job today. I was offered $8/hour less than I make free-lance. When I suggested that it seemed low, I got, "oh, well, since there are no benefits with a part time job, I can probably up that a bit. I'll have to talk to my boss"

Now, the job is around 18 hours per week. Lets say that they manage to come up to $5 an hour less than I make free-lance. That's an annual loss of $4680. I once figured out my medical expenses and it is around $3500 a year. More when I have to buy hearing aids. But benefits only cover $500 of that every 4-5 years, so it's a non-issue from the salary calculations, really.

So, if I took the job, I would get less pay, no benefits. What would be the advantage of that? WHY would I take the job? I guess it would mean I have a regular paycheque. That may be relevant. Except I am turning away work as a free-lancer. So getting enough business does not seem to be an issue. Thus a regular paycheque is not an issue either. As I have one.

And what are they doing going to an interview without knowing what the pay range is, anyway. I understand they would offer the low end first, after all, I might take it and save them some $$$, but really, they should know what the upper end is too, right?

To sum up:

Pros: Regular paycheque

Cons: less money
no benefits

Should I take the job I am sure they are going to offer?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Caramel What?

So what in my life is caramel? Could it be the lovely colour of freshly baked banana bread?

Which is terribly yummy and already half gone. However, that is not what I was referring to. It's this:

So those of you who guessed hair, were right! If you were wondering what colour it was before, it's the dark part. I've decided to go lighter, but since the hair is so dark, I would have to fry it with bleach to go all over light. So I am doing a gradual thing instead. A little less severe. But I like the effect.