Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Coordinated I am not...

I received my new exercise DVD's on Monday from Amazon and I tried the Complete Aerobics and Weight Training last night.

I liked it.

A lot of the moves were similar to others used in the Firm workouts so it was easy to follow the first time through, although I did manage to slip off the short step and nearly end up on the floor at the beginning of the step routine. I'm just the epitome of grace. There is a reason why I work out at home.

It did incorporate a lot of kick-boxing moves, which I am not that familiar with. I'm sure I will get it after a few more tries, but for now I was doing a bit of flailing about. The work out was approximately an hour and I was good and sweaty by the end. I liked the music on this one better than my other 3. I really enjoyed using my work out stick, it made the squats a lot easier to manage. I'll be giving the abs DVD a try tonight.

On the knitting front, I'm about one inch away from starting the heel flap on my Oniline self striping socks. I want to have them complete for the Yarn Harlot talk on April 4th (week from today). I have heard rumors that the talk is sold out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I have neglected my excercise tapes the last couple days in favor of working in the garden in the sun and fresh air. I might not be burning the same amount of calories, but it is an enjoyable workout, with lovely results.

Tonight I am getting back to the tapes (well DVD's in this case). My new set of Firm DVD's arrived from Amazon yesterday and I am itching to try them out. They should be a lot of fun!

This weekend I was considering a trip to SD, but now it looks like I will be staying home, probably to help my neighbor with her garden, but we shall see if the weather cooporates.

Monday, March 26, 2007


The weather is crazy nice right now, we even had our first Thunderstorm of the year yesterday! Wonderful!

I got home on Friday and noticed that my crocus were coming up, and my tulips, and my hyacinth, and heck ALL of my spring flowers so Sunday I rolled up my sleeves, put on my garden clogs and silly hat and got to work. I purchased 4 bags of garden soil and 8 bags of mulch. With threat of rain and blustery winds I got to work removing debris, dead plants, and other junk from the garden. Then I mixed in three bags of soil into several areas of the garden that needed some improvement. When we first moved in the front green space was hard packed dirt with a high concentration of clay, a lot of weeds, and overgrown bushes. I have spent the last few years adding an edge to keep the lawn out, organic matter, more soil, pruning the bushes and planting a variety of perenial plants and bulbs. The space is a lot nicer than it was and it is fairly self sustaining, which was my goal. I'd still like to add a green space on the side of the house. The grass is mostly weeds there and it would keep the moron with the edge trimmer from taking bits of the siding off the house if there was some distance between it and the grass. (last year he "trimmed" some of my flowers, what a dumb ass)

As I worked through the soil I was pleased to find many happy fat earthworms doing their job and was greeted with a nice rich loam under last years mulch. I do so love the smell of the earth after the snow melts. I got all of the dirt added and most of the mulch laid down before the heavy bursts of rain hit. I was still packing up tools and carrying the unused bags of soil and mulch to the back (which I will be dealing with tonight) in the midst of the downpour so I was fairly well soaked when I came in. I also need to finish raking up the mess I pulled out of the garden and bag it up for the compost. The bushes are much more healthy than they have been and even produce small berries, flowers, and proper colors in the fall now.

Each year I add more perenials or replace perenials that have died so the garden is growing. I think it is the nicest space on the street, but most of my neighbors aren't much for working on their lawns. The birds, bees and butterflys spend a great deal of time enjoying the sun, the water from the bird bath, the feeder and the flowers during the sping and summer. A couple of the neighbor kids stopped to see what I was doing and it was clear that they knew nothing of gardening or growing stuff, but their friend did and he was delightful.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Ok so we didn't make it to NY for Yarn Harlot's book launch, but we gathered to knit, as we do each Thursday, and a number of us worked on socks in her honor. I hope everyone who made it took Manhatten by storm!

I even set Icarus aside to cast on some socks using Onlinie yarn, Supersocke 100, Walking Color #851. It's a pretty multi color green. I'm knitting the body of the sock in a K 3 P1 pattern repeat. I like it. I cast on at our gathering and have approx 4 1/2" knitted.

Sarah brought me back brass knitting wires from Gulf Wars. In comparing them to the 000 and 00 needles that I have at home, they appear to be pretty close in size to the 000, which will be perfect for the silk stockings! I LOVE them! They are so wicked cool!

I have plans to bring my new needles with me to Heralds and Scribes this weekend and work on a knitted bag with the leftover yarn from Hrodir's socks. How fun!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Good Stuff!

My friends are the best and one bought THE perfect shirt for me when she was at Gulf Wars! In case you can't read it, is says "Obviously you are un-encumbered by taste or historical accuracy." It was made for me, I'm just say'in.

P brought me back beautiful jewelry! I have a fresh water pearl and lapis necklace, silver snowflake earings with blue topaz and gold griffin earings. I LOVE them! I need to find more time to wear jewelry though. Hard to do at this place. More reason to find a more professional setting.

Workouts are still going well. I ordered a new set of DVD's from The Firm and purchased a work out bar (think weight bar, without the plates). I tried Cardio Pilates on Monday with Ana Caban and it really worked my core and I built up a sweat. The cardio portion was really boring and it was hard to keep up the pace with the music on the DVD. It wasn't completely horrible and maybe I will just stick with the first part of the DVD. My goal is to work out at least 5 days a week and so far I have been keeping the pace. Tonight I am meeting friends for dinner before knitting so no workout tonight, unless I do something quick when I get home. Friday will be Cardio sculpt, Saturday is an event and I'm happy that I will see my apprentice who is coming in from IN. I may do something when i get home, but we will see. Sunday I start from the beginning with my weekly workout.

The weekly workouts have given me a lot more energy, which is great. No idea if I have lost any weight, but that really isn't the point of all this. I just want to be more healthy and toned. I think my waist is shrinking a bit, which is where I really need deffinition.

Tonight we are celebrating the Yarn Harlot's newest book release from our knitting gathering in Woodbury. I hope that all the knitters have a wonderful time taking over NY today. The muggles won't know what to do with you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New yarn

I went to Borealis on Friday and was fairly restrained. I bought 2 skeins of Cascade Sassy Stripes in a bright Spring colorway, #707. I also bought a skein of Onlinie sock yarn in a nice green colorway. I will be making socks for myself.

I got a LOT done on Icarus this weekend and am almost done with the 14 rows of chart # 2. Only 2 more charts to go (40 rows) and I will be casting off. I'm at 403 stitches so it takes a while to get to the end of each row.

I understand that the stockings in the Gift Bags were well received this last week. I'm really glad. I just hope all of the stockings fit.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Icarus shawl

I'm onto the FIFTH repeat of rows 19-42. Currently I only have 36 more rows to go before I can change the stitch pattern. I'm getting a bit bored right now so I am looking forward to the change. I think it looks pretty nice, although lace at this stage really doesn't resemble much other than a blob of string; blocking is magic.

I have been doing really good this week on my workouts. My 8 weeks at Bally's as part of the 2007 National Body Challenge ended on Saturday. My plan was to start working out at home once my free access to a gym was over and so far I have stuck to that promise. I was tempted to join up, especially in the first month, but I know myself, I am not a gym person and quite frankly I am far more likely to work out at home. I have good equipment and tapes. I would love to get an eliptical, but I can't justify the $1,500.

I hung a calendar in the bedroom and I write down what excercise I am going to do each day when I get home (I am NOT a morning excercise person, never have been). I get home, have a quick snack (yogurt, slice of bread, carrot stick) and then do the workout that I assigned that day. Once my workout is done, I check it off and get on with my evening. Some workouts are long, some are short. If I can't find time for 55 mn, then I find time for 20 mn. I'm happy how the week has gone, but we will see if I can stick with it. I want to tone and drop about 10 lbs by June. If I keep up this pace I should be able to do that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CSA 2007

We received our newsletter from the CSA (Community Shares Agriculture) Farm that we purchased produce from last summer. Their price has gone up by $9 because they have just been certified as organic. Now we need to decide if we are going to purchase a share again this summer.

I really did love getting fresh vegetables and eating "local" every week, what I didn't like was the waste. It was very difficult to eat all of the produce each week and our idea was to split our share with another couple this year, which makes sense. However the more I think about it I'm not sure if that will be a good choice either. If we are splitting up the box of produce that means we are dividing up the stuff we like and will eat and still left with stuff that we may not eat and may not like, hense the waste. I'm thinking that it would make more sense for us to take the money we would spend and go to the Farmer's market every other week. I think $20-30 spent every 2 weeks will guarantee that we will have enough produce and the fact that we are chosing the items means that we are getting items that we like and will want to eat. By going to the Farmer's market we are supporting local growers and that satisfies our "eat local" stance. This also means that we can load up on farm eggs and local raised meat at the same time since these vendors are at the same market. Then I don't have to worry about picking up our share if we are out of town (Lilies/ WW) or trying to eat up everything when we are so busy each night during the summer. Neither of us have a lot of time to cook.

I would also like to take advantage of the berry growers in the area and do a "pick your own strawberry, blueberry and raspberry" visit this summer. Unfortunately we don't have much freezer space, but I can set a small amount aside.

La Finca has introduced a new item called the "Fall Share" and it is 2 deliveries, one in October and one in November and you get roughly 2 grocery bags worth of fall produce in each share. It costs $100 and that sounds like something we could do. This is produce that is meant to last a while, although I don't think it would last all the way through the winter. Unfortunately P does not like a lot of the fall veggies (like squash) and I can only eat so much. Maybe we can split that with another couple? I'm also tempted to get the poultry share but it seems a bit on the expensive side. 4 deliveries of 3 half chickens each for $95. Yikes.

Local Harvest is a great site to find organic/ sustainable farmers, farmer markets, natural food stores and restaurants in the US. It also allows for someone to search by product, which is a great tool. St. Paul Farmer's Market summer hours start in a couple of weeks! I'm hoping to catch a ride on Sundays with friends who live down the road when they start going in May, but I will probably go by myself as well. I like going early in the morning.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I'm almost finished with the 3rd repeat of rows 19-42 of the icarus shawl. Currently it looks like a big blob of string on a circular needle so no pictures. I'm hoping that I can start on the next pattern before the end of the week. I should be through the 4th repeat tonight, and possibly the 5th repeat by Friday. Maybe I can get a good shot once it starts to get bigger.

I should take advantage of the quiet house to do some sewing, but I'm going to have a hard time tearing myself away from the lace.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Egyptian socks complete

I'm very pleased.

They are so pretty and I already know that they fit so big relief. I have a feeling someone is going to be pouting because they are not wearing Byzantine at their Coronation. Maybe he can change after morning court.

Yarn used: Lang Yarns Jawoll superwash (75% wool, 18% poly, 7% acrylic)
3 skeins of dark red: 83.0061
2 skeins black: 83.0004
1 skein of white: 83.0001
1 skein of yellow: 83.0043

I have enough yarn left over that I am considering knitting up a small bag as per the instructions in the recent issue of Filum Areum.

Currently I have picked up the Icarus Shawl that has been on hold since the months of stockings lately. This is my second lace project and it is challenging, but not too bad.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


New vocabulary word: wargasim

The guys left for Gulf Wars this morning (way too early) and I will be a war widow this week. I hope they have a good time and fight lots. I couldn't convince P to bring the mosaic with him. The person organizing the A&S never got back to me and there were too many unanswered questions that he didn't think it was worth it to bring it all the way to MS, and I can't really blame him.

What is it with A&S organizers dropping the ball lately?

Speaking of War, 300 was absolutely amazing!!!! The whole movie was a visual orgy! I thought I was going to need a smoke afterwards. There is a lovely shot of Gerard Butler's butt, but I actually preferred it when he was wearing his helm and in the shield wall. Yes, I am wierd, but I am a fighter geek. I think I would have gotten along just fine in Sparta.

Come on! This is pretty. The slow mo fight scene when Leonides first faces the Persians is breathtaking. I will own this when it comes out on DVD. When the movie ended A said "I think we need to leave for Gulf Wars now". It was inspiring.

On the knitting front, I finished the socks! They are washed and drying right now. I will take pictures in the morning and post them shortly to the recipient. He is anxious, which is nice.

Tonight I am celebrating a quiet house with beef liver and onions with a nice merlot. I also made a onion tart with sugar, vinegar and cinnamon as the spice. It may be interesting.

Friday, March 09, 2007

300 TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait!


In other news I finished casting off the second sock this morning. Now I need to finish the I cord, sew them on and make 2 tassles. They are going to be pretty too.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Final sock pictures

I need to share the images of the nalbinded and felted socks. They turned out so nice. They were worth the wait, even if i did loose a bit of my sanity. :^)

They are white wool, with a small band of purple and gold at the top. The whole sock was felted in a washing machine, but the toes were felted by hand to get them to the final desired shape. They are absolutely beautiful! The woman who made these picked up nalbinding a little over a year ago and she is going great guns! She taught her first class on the subject at Known World Costume Symposium back in November and prior to that she demonstrated nalbinding at the Caponi Demo in July.

I can't wait to hear how the recipient liked them. Well all the recipients. Maybe Her Maj will send back a report? Please?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Still here

Lots of snow! Buried right up to my keester. Worked a half day Thursday (12:30) and Friday (2:30). The roads were ok, but sloppy. Thursday afternoon and evening was the worst and I did not make it to SNB, no one did, our usual meeting place closed at 8 pm so there wasn't much point. Hwy 35 closed from Albert Lee, MN to Des Moines, IA. I90 was closed to Souix Falls, SD and the roads were impassable on 94 coming out of Fargo, ND.

I went to Starbucks on Friday afternoon and met up with a friend and helped her with her knitting. I showed her how to ladder down and knit up and maintain a pattern. It worked and she is happy. I finished writing up my documentation for kingdom A&S and went home to print everything out, pack everything for the trip Saturday and get to bed at a reasonable time.

I was woken up by a phone call from my friends at 5:30 am Saturday and initially thought that something had gone wrong and we were not going to be able to go. On the contrary, they were calling to see if I could be ready to go earlier than the 7 am departure time. I said sure, got up, got dressed, and was mostly ready to go when they arrived. We got under way at 6:30 am and arrived in Marshfied, WI around 9:30. Since we had time we decided to hit a local cafe and have breakfast, which was awonderful choice. P was originally going to go, but elected to stay home and shuffle cars for the plow and work on stuff for Gulf Wars.

He entered his mosaic and received a first and a great many compliments.

I entered one of the socks (I finished the calf decoration on the other at the event so I am in the home stretch) and also received a first.

I got to fiber geek with people. Hang out with friends and basically have a good time, despite being fried from judging for hours. Ick!

P is leaving for Gulf Wars on Saturday, but before he leaves we are going to see the movie 300 Friday night. I can't wait!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Snow Part 2

Oh THIS is going to be fun. The worst of it is supposed to hit starting from noon and heading to 8pm. They are predicting an inch/ hour. Yee Ha. Cureently the snow is flying sidways from east to west and the visibility is pretty interesting. I can't see the St. Paul airport from my office window, so the visibility is less than 1 mile.

In knitting news I picked up 2 more skeins of yarn for the socks. I had to go to 2 stores to do it, but it was accomplished. I also picked up a longer set of 000. I have the set from Steph, but I'm thinking that I might want longer for when I am working on the silk, especially around the calf. The foot for the other sock was added to and re-grafted on. I'm getting used to the technique because it is far more flawless than my first attempt.

Tonight I think I will be ensconsed at home watching the drifts form outside instead of at knitting. I need to write up my documentation for this weekend, and that will take me a while.