Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sweater

I have started my very first sweater! So far I have about 1" of the bottom 2x2 rib.

Even better: last night I learned how to do tubular cast-on so that the hem is flat and pretty, just like the hem of a professional sweater! Because I am a beginner, mine is a little loose, but that is OK - it still looks loads better than if I had done a regular cast-on. I even used the next smaller needle size, but next time I'll go down two sizes, at least for the cast-on.


Despite staying up past midnight working on my cast-on, I still got up at 6:50 this morning, showered, and shaved in preparation to meet Kelly for lap swimming this evening at the West Shore YMCA. I'm quite proud of myself. I don't think it will always be this easy, because this morning I was honestly still hyped up about my tubular cast-on, and I think the adreneline helped. BUT hopefully the motivation of meeting someone else and not having to exercise alone will continue to motivate me, and after getting up earlier on a regular basis I will get better at it, and hopefully even make it a habit.

Also hopefully I will lose weight and fit into my old jeans again.

Even more wonderful would be if I lost enough weight to wear my old, barely-worn suits from Casual Corner that I can't bear to part with even though I haven't fit into them for over three years.

Well, since I'm at work so early, I suppose I'd better...uh...work...or something? Yeah.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Awesome

I streamed the inauguration from CNN online at work today. Teared up a few times, especially during the swearing in...I am just so excited to see what will be set in motion over the next months.



Something else I meant to share from a few weeks ago: Paul officially paid off his student loans!! We are feeling so happy and light and free to have NO DEBT except for our car payment, on which we're months ahead of schedule. And we feel really good about the amount of money we're saving towards buying a house this summer. So everything is just really awesome right now!

Paul had his first class of the Spring semester tonight: Econ on Tuesdays 5:30-8:30, and Math on Thursdays 6:30-9:30. I have choir Thursdays during the same time, and on Tuesdays hopefully I'll keep going to the gym at EDS and/or to the YMCA, which I'm re-joining with Kelly and Mindy so we can all go together and reinforce each other. Mindy can't do Tuesdays, so maybe if I can't go with Kelly I'll just stick to EDS's gym on Tuesdays. I did an hour there today on the recumbent bike and elliptical, and the time went faster than ever because I tried doing Killer Sudoku for the first time - it worked!! Time slips away when I'm working on one of those, seriously. It's great.

The end!

OBAMA!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winning and losing

The Eagles lost, so no all PA Super Bowl. Bummer.

But the Steelers won, so I have a team to cheer for! Yay!!

I didn't win the knitting giveaway I entered, which is fine because I wasn't really excited about anything but the yarn. And maybe the wooden crochet hook.

But I did win my Ebay bid for the interchangeable knitting needles, so hopefully by late this week I will have just about all the knitting needles I'll ever need! Yay. Super sweet. And then I will start knitting a kid-sized raglan sweater!

Poll for everyone: who has a kid that can wear a 26" circumference sweater, or grow into one by next winter? I'm making the first one out of plain off-white un-dyed wool. Might look cute on a boy over a collared shirt? I'm sure I'll post lots of pics once I get it started! In the mean time, I want to see pics of Katy's first sweater!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Giveaway!

My friend Nic just clued me in to a nice online giveaway at a blog called petit elefant that reviews a lot of neat stuff. This sort of thing apparently happens pretty often, and I plan to start seeking them out more! There is a lot of nice free stuff to be had through the blogosphere!! Anywhoo, enjoy. I am excited to be discovering all these recources for cool crafting supplies, gadgets, patterns, and baby items!!

Just heard from the PA Farm Show

I'm watching the PA Farm Show on PCN in a small corner of my desktop at work, and the woman covering craft judging just said the following of what the judges are looking for in a quilt:

"...the judges are looking at, is the colors combinating well..."

That was pretty awesome. In other news, I didn't know the Farm Show had a craft competition, so maybe next year I'll have a sweater to enter! I definitely want to have something to enter in the York Fair.

Someone else on PCN just said "youze" (as in, "you" with a "z" sound on the end) for a second person plural pronoun. We're definitely in PA!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Attention Pregnant Friends

You're all getting one of these, which I'm going to make so that I can use up some of my excess of wool and polyfil. I'm open to color requests if you'd like to coordinate.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Grammar question

I need professional opinions from my fellow grammar policepersons out there:

What is the plural posessive form of the word "lady"? Is it "ladies'" with the apostrophe after the s?

I ask this as a result of noticing the following bathroom signs at the Farm Show on Saturday:

<--- Ladies Men's --->

It caught my eye, but I wasn't sure what to say was wrong with it. I don't think it's wrong to have a bathroom for females labeled "Ladies," as the plural of "Lady," and I also don't think it's incorrect to label a bathroom for men "Men's," because the bathroom is for the Men so the posessive makes sense. But together, I think it's inconsistent to label one as plural only, and the other as plural posessive...UNLESS "Ladies" is already posessive? But I don't think it is...

What do you think? I think it would be best to just stick with plural and not posessive for both, "Ladies" and "Men"? But that does sound kind of weird because of the "s" on one. I guess I probably prefer "Men" and "Women" or else "Ladies" and "Gentelmen," just to keep a more traditional pair of words.

What a silly post this is...mainly seeing the two signs just got me wondering what is the plural posessive form of "Lady." To be clear, I'm not really bothered by this - my interest is purely academic!

In other news, the farm show was a lot of fun, very delicious, and even fairly guilt-free since Paul and I opted to walk the 1.2 miles uphill in the cold, snowy weather back to our car rather than waiting in the long long long lines for the busses to take us. Only disappointment for Paul was not being asked to judge the Pineapple Upside Down Cake competition!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Organized

On Sunday December 28 2008, Paul and I spent the entire afternoon cleaning our apartment. He scrubbed the bathroom from top to bottom, and I focused on rearranging all the clutter that had accumulated upstairs over the last 15 months. The basement is still the same mess, but now the upstairs is about as organized as it gets. The dining room was never bad, and the kitchen was fine too, except for the dishes we always let build up (since we don't have a dish washer!!), so the main improvements are the bathroom, bedroom a little bit, and the living room.

We had been planning to clean already, but on Sunday morning I woke up suddenly at 8 AM with an idea: photo boxes from JoAnn Fabrics like the one Rachel had given me for Christmas a few years ago. So I left early for church, and got to JoAnn's right when it opened at 10, and got myself 6 photo boxes...then when I got to the register, they were only $2 instead of $4, so I got 6 more...and then one had a small scratch on the lid, so I got it for only $0.50, so I ended up with 13. 9 are black, 2 are white, one is black with a grey design, and one is lime green. I have 9 on the bookcase and 4 on the shelf under the coffee table, and they are the coup de grace of the entire organization effort.

We have two matching bookcases, one of which is in the foyer and the other is in the living room. For some reason, we had all our books out in the foyer, and the one in the living room was just piled with junk. After filling a huge box to overflowing with trash and moving all the books into the living room, the bookcase in the foyer is now only half full, and the living room feels much more homey with all my books smiling at me from two neat rows. Here is what my living room bookcase looks like now:
From Home Improvement in New Cumberland

Isn't it neat how the photo boxes fit perfectly in the bookshelf? They all have labels, and now all the little stuff is organized: extra office stuff like markers and pens, stamps and envelopes and packing tape, random stuff like plug splitters and the old remotes, some of my craft supplies, and all kinds of stuff. Plus there are still three empty boxes waiting to obscure and organize the additional junk that we're sure to accumulate in the near future!

I also moved most of my smaller plants out to the living room on the radiator, and set up a bunch of photos on the window sill, so now I'll have to dust more, but there's no room for me to set papers and crap when I'm feeling lazy, so hopefully it will look nicer.
From Home Improvement in New Cumberland

I don't keep it on while we're home because it's so glaring, but I have a full-spectrum fluorescent bulb that stays on during the day to give the plants plenty of growing light. The aloe is growing like crazy, but I wish the basil and rosemary would thrive more. The pepper plant (not shown) just died after putting all its energy into one perfect red chili, so I'll probably re-pot the basil into that bigger pot and see if it's any happier with that. I should probably also get a bigger pot for the rosemary.

And finally, I thought of a good way to disguise the big ugly (but effective!) antenna Paul built to improve our over-the-air TV signal, and display one of my big pictures more prominently at the same time:
From Home Improvement in New Cumberland

The Van Gogh picture is leaning on the antenna, hiding it completely!

So there's New Year's Resolution # 1 still going well.
NYR # 2 I acted on today by using the gym at work for the first time: recumbent stationary bike for 30 minutes followed by elliptical machine for 15 minutes. I plan to go every Tuesday and Thursday after work, and strive to do some major physical activity every weekend, giving me at least 3 days of good exercise every week.
NYR # 3 is still in the works, planning to take the first time homebuyer's class in March with Paul.
NYR # 4 is obviously not going that great, since it's after 11 and I'm still blogging. But I have a doctor's appointment at 8 tomorrow and an eye appointment at 8 Thursday, so I'll have to get up earlier anyway. I'm going to shower now and go to bed, no earlier than before New Year's.

Oh one last thing, I settled on a sweater knitting book:

But I got it at Border's with my Christmas gift card from Paul's family.
The one Crystal used years ago I looked at, but all the comments on Amazon said it had good techniques but made very ugly sweaters; plus, it only made one kind of sweater, and I want to learn about all types and styles of knitting sweaters. This book goes through each different way to make a sweater with the different shoulders and necklines and bottom-up or top-down, and both circular and straight needle techniques, plus tells you how to do each kind with lots of different sizes, gauges, needle sizes, and yarn weights. PLUS it's spiral bound and hard cover, so it's very portable and useable. I think I picked a good one. Yay! I am excited to knit an actual whole (kid-sized) sweater within the next six months! Very cool. Also, yay for pregnant friends - I went first in the marriage thing, so I'm glad I don't have to go first in the baby thing.

OK seriously, good night for real this time. Byes.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

NYE NC

Paul & I went to North Carolina to visit Rach, Kelly, Luke, Sarah, and Matt for New Year's Eve. Rachel and Shawn were there too! It was lots of fun! Pictures here.

Football is over, but we didn't want to give up our fun Monday evenings, so Kelly, Reed, Mindy, and Keith are coming over tomorrow night anyway. I got snacks at Wegman's since my mom said the quiches she got were so good, and I made the dip that Aunt Judy gave me the mix for. Also I got more of that artichoke lemon pesto that everyone liked so much, since I was at Wegman's. So we have four different yummy snacks, plus salsa if we want...Oh, and celery and carrot sticks.

New Year's resolutions:

1. Keep apartment neat and clean - so far so good, it's nice and clean now!
2. Eat less and exercise more - meh, so far I've eaten a bit less maybe, but hope to start exercising this week in the gym at work
3. Buy a house - going to go read more "Home buying for dummies" right now, and we're planning to take the first time home buyer's class in March that Susan recommended.
4. Go to bed earlier and get up earlier - implementing that NOW by going to bed at 9:30, hope to be asleep by 10:30. Readysetgo!
There was an error in this gadget