Saturday, April 26, 2008

in DC, VA, at the smithsonian and the zoo

Here are some more pictures from my weekend. First my brother and his little girl - I love the socks! Wish I could say I knit them, but I'm not that talented.... yet!

The Christening:

The Godparents:

All together:

From the Smithsonian, we have the family shot of my cousins - monkey included, as my uncle would say:

Then the went to the National Zoo - for the sole purpose of seeing the pandas. It was raining out so they were inside and we got to see all 3. In the pictures they look fake, but the way they were going at their food - they were real and really hungry!

I almost took a picture of all the teenagers taking pictures of the pandas with their cell phones. I'm not sure why, but it really made me laugh to see all the kids with their phones high up in the air and the parents crouched down low with their cameras. I was entertained.

The girls of course were looking fashionable and cool as they posed for me in front of the lion in a rare moment of no rain:

I really can't believe how big and grown up they've gotten. Last time I saw them was 3 yrs ago at my brothers wedding. We've decided we've got to get together more often. But I did show Katari how to crochet while I was there! Now we just have to get her some of her own supplies - I will be the enabler.

Here we have the girls with dad:

The girls with mom:

And the shot her mother never thought she'd see.....
Sabrina with the baby!

Beautiful. They're all just beautiful. It was a really nice weekend.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

with a finished gown

I did it! I finished the gown in time for the christening, and it looked and fit beautifully! I added a few stitches in the back to make it a bit looser, and didn't put the collar on it, but I'm really proud of how it turned out.

The dress:

Here's one of my favorite pictures:

Gabriella wearing it:

After I added the ribbon:
It was a really nice weekend - and not only did I get to see my beautiful niece, I also got to hang out with my aunt, uncle and cousins that I don't see very often. Since I stayed till Monday, we took a whirlwind tour of the Smithsonian museums and ended at the zoo. Pictures of that to come.

I also .... drumroll..... got hired full-time at my job!! YEAH!!! It was a great feeling to have that settled. I like the people I work with, I believe in the product, I feel competent at my position and there is room for growth - I can't ask for much more. :) I'm definitely counting my blessings.
This weekend I'm planning on going to the Sheep and Wool Days at Middleton Place. It'll be my first fiber festival! The Plasterer can't go, he's got to work an open house at school and finish his projects and papers for the end of the semester, but I know there is a group going from Knit and from Ravelry. I think I'm going to try to pull together a net-meet meet-up for the online folks so we can all see what we look like - but with it being tomorrow, we'll see how quick I can get that done.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Look at the great surprise I got in the mail yesterday:

It's from the SWTC traveling sock project! I signed up on Ravelry a few weeks ago - you join a team of people to collaborate on a sock.

Each member knits an inch or two and then passes the sock onto another knitter who takes up the next bit. The same yarn and needles are sent with the project so you can have some options of yarn to work with, but everyone is using the same tools. You can use any pattern you like, but you have to document it so the next person can see what you did.

I'm the last leg of the journey (which would be a great pun, except I've actually go the toe). They're currently being worked 2 socks on two circulars, which should be lots of fun, and a good challenge. Here's a better look at the socks themselves:

Now I just have to decide what toe I want to put on them and how colorful I want them to be. It was so neat to get this - like a little present in the mail, plus I get to see how all the different yarns knit up. I love how beautiful the sock are so far - each person chose their own pattern to knit into them.Here are all my fun choices:

My other project is coming along. After all the trouble I had with the pattern portion the first time I didn't want to get through the front and then have the same issue once I got to the back. So once I got to the stockinette portion of the front and the end of a ball, I used my next skein to start the back and work through the pattern now that it was fresh in my mind. It went really well. I didn't have hardly any of the problems the first time, and instead of a week, it took closer to 2 nights to get through the majority of it:

The only issue is that the 'front' or first section I knit, (on the bottom) is a bit looser than the 'back' - which is funny to me because I'm usually a pretty loose knitter, and most of the time as you work a pattern you get looser as you get more comfortable. I kinda did the opposite. As I figured out the pattern I was tighter and neater. I even did the second side on larger needles which I find slightly humorous.

I'm hoping it won't be a problem and it'll block out, but I may continue on with the 'back' as if it was the front just because it seems neater to me. That way the most presentable side will face forward. I don't think anyone but a knitter will notice - but depending on how long the new 'front' takes me to finish, I'll see what I need to do about the other side.

Mike is working on where to go for his internship for school. He has to find a master plasterer who is willing to take him on as an apprentice/intern for the summer. I know he's really nervous about it. I'm just beginning to realize that that means we'll be away for 3 months again. I know it logically, but it hasn't really sunk in emotionally. I want him to go where he's going to get the most out of his experience, but it'd also be nice if it was close enough to visit as well.
The house is back on the market and empty. I'm not as worried about it because I feel like it's beautiful enough to show well even without furniture. But as we look into all our options, I'm debating renting. I just don't know how much of a hassle that will be with us not being in the same city. Anyone have any experience with this?

Things are going well at work, and tax day is supposed to be big for me, but I'm almost afraid to say too much because I'll jinx myself - just know that one thing may be off our plates by then - and it's not our taxes, they're already done - yeah!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

counting her blessings

I'm not complaining any more.

Today a short storm blew in really fast, and I heard a tremendously loud CRACK! after a shot of lightning. A few minutes later, Mike smelled smoke and stepped outside to find a home 4 houses down going up in flames. 8 firetrucks later and here's the damage - it went through the entire house from the back.

This could have been any of our homes. I'm definitely counting my blessings today.

looking for more rainbows

The rainbow has faded and left in it's wake an empty house still left to sell. The deal on our house fell through. As I told the guys at work the next day "What am I going to do - cry about it?" Which I did. But now we're moving on. It is what it is, and we still have some options and so we're moving forward - looking for more rainbows. Know anybody who wants to live on the south side of Chicago?

We have gotten quite a bit of our boxes unpacked. There are only a handful left. That makes me happy because when I have a specific place to put things, I am much more likely to put them away. It's when I don't know where things are supposed to go that they end up sitting out for weeks and weeks.

I'm furiously working on a semi-secret knitting project that I'm hoping to get done in the next 3 weeks - at the moment it's not looking good. I'm having some trouble with a 5-row lace repeat. I think I just need to work on it when no one is around to distract me. I ripped it out 3-4 times and finally pulled out some other yarn and did a test swatch (which I only had to re-do twice) and figured out how it's supposed to work. Now I'm ready to tackle it for real. I think the stress of the last two weeks may have had something to do with it as well. Little peak:

My other projects need to go into the mail, and I just haven't found time to get that done - which is a shame because it's warming up enough that they really aren't going to be needed much any more. It's beautiful here in SC, and I hear it's warming up in Chicago too. One thing at a time though.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

keeping her fingers crossed

Yesterday was a hard day.
Everything was supposed to be settled and done as of yesterday.

On the way home from work yesterday, I saw the most beautiful rainbow. It went all the way across the sky and over the bridge. I’ve never seen one so complete and beautiful with the colors so defined. I could see the red and orange, the blue and purple and green - like different crayon colors drawn in the sky. Only the very tip was hidden in the clouds. I was really hoping it was a sign that everything was going to be okay.

I don't know if it is or not, but things are not settled. Perhaps the rainbow was God's April's fools joke. Or maybe it was just a way of reminding me to be patient and keep my hopes and spirits high. That's what I'm trying to do.

Keep us in your prayers and your fingers crossed, and I'm going to keep focused on that rainbow.