Sunday, September 30, 2007

Race Weekend

Fun weekend but exhausting. I finished it out with a batch of ginger snap cookies and parsley juice - not together. I'd been meaning to get to both for about a week and what better time than when I should be resting up for the week.

Friday night was a little bit disappointing as described in the last post. Good news though - G's car seems to be running just fine. (In a hurry and forgot my knitting.)

Saturday we had planned on going to the motorcycle race track for a couple hours, turned into the whole day. Days at the track typically mean sitting in the pits, LOTS of guy talk, lots MORE bike talk, and taking the scooter out to turn one to see the big half of the track and the start/finish when our friends are racing. Next year my sweetie should be racing so this'll change quite a bit. Yay! Can't wait for him to race again! Scramble of the day: switching forks and other front end assemblies from the bike with the blown motor to the #2 bike in 12 minutes - just in time for the next race. Impressive. (Didn't think we were going to be there very long so I didn't bring my knitting.)

Sunday - more of the same it just started earlier. No terrible crashes - everyone made it home safely this weekend. (Brought my knitting but left it in the car. It was just too darn hot to knit my beach blanket.)

Off to get a good half hour of knitting in!

Friday, September 28, 2007

I Didn't Chicken Out

I just don't feel well enough to get my "game face" on. My car is all fixed up and perfect. G not only changed the oil and flushed the transmission fluid but changed ALL of the filters, almost got the driver's airbag in (unexpected part) and replaced the motor mount. I feel really bad but I'm just not well enough and today was a long day working on the cars. :(

Play by play of the night as it unfolds. I'll probably add in pics tomorrow.

Here we are at the track. Lots of Volvos showed up and we're all sitting in tech waiting for the cars to get cleared to race. It's oddly exciting hearing the engines rev, tires screeching near the starting grid and then tearing down the track. You can feel the noise of the cars through the ground. I don't much care to listen to the performance chit chat but I learn some when I can ask questions. And there is a TON of that.

Okaay so I just might race after all... as a passenger. Have to go sign away all liability in tech. Um I'm nervous. I have to pee. Geez! Think if I were actually racing!!

The announcer loves to pick out the Volvos when they come up to the line. There's a red wagon, "Go guy I've met but don't remember your name!" oooh that was slow - a 14 on the quarter mile. G should be faster :)

A pinto wagon with 12! That's another fun thing to watch - the variety of models. Everything you could imagine.

WHOA! An older Mustang just hit the wall at the end of the track! Smoking tires and then flames! FLAMES!!! I think the driver is fine; the crash wasn't loud enough to hear and I'm at the end of the track. It looked like his brakes failed and then with the oil leak caught fire. Half hour intermission. I should have brought my knitting.

Awww G isn't going to race :( the seals on his turbo finally failed; blowing smoke while waiting in line for his first pass. Shoot now I wish I would have brought my car.

Okay. I now have Blackberry Hand. Signing off.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Drag Racing The Yellow

Tomorrow's the big day! Yellow's heading out to the track. We're getting up early tomorrow to change the oil and transmission fluid, maybe rotate the tires, some other little cosmetic fixes and she'll be show ready! I've already scheduled in a nap tomorrow afternoon; it's going to be a long day. A few of my SOs motorcycle racing friends will be camping out down at the track for races on Saturday. The pressure is growing with the audience.

I finally figured out how to add buttons. Ugh. It should NOT have been that hard to find instructions. Round-about series of links lead me to this page. It's over and now I can move on.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

FFBE Question of the Week

As of this weekend, the season has officially changed on the calendar - but what makes Autumn feel like Autumn to you, and why?

This year all I looked forward to was relief from the relentless heat. I, under normal circumstances, crave the heat but this year my A/C was out for most of the summer, I got heat exhaustion and we broke a record - most number of days over 110. That's not normal. If you want to experience for yourself in your own home exactly how the desert sun feels bake some cookies and when you open the oven door put your face in it. Seriously. Thankfully, the end of Summer actually marked the end of the heat. YAY!

What makes Autumn feel like Autumn...

Baking bread and goodies

Crisp, cool morning air

Hot tea on the patio

Weekend barbecues with friends

Cooking for Thanksgiving

Anticipation of Christmas

Monday, September 24, 2007

Seed Stitch Smorgasbord

Two weeks ago I went to the LYS for one skein to finish up the FFBE bag. Two hours and 16 skeins later I headed home to cast on a Beach Blanket entirely in seed stitch. I had intended to find a good bikini pattern if not just to figure out what blend of yarn is best (50/50 cotton acrylic?). Paging through the Summer magazines I stumbled across this pattern in KnitSimple and started dreaming of surf trips to Mexico. Intoxicating, swooning day dreams ... only to be jarred back to semi-reality when she totaled my bundle. And yes, I managed to remember the original skein.

Plymouth Yarns Encore
Knitting on size 7, cast on 217 stitches

Years ago I saw a cute afghan pattern in seed stitch. That's the one for me! And I happily started out on my first afghan. Three rows later I yanked it all out. No way. Never. Seed stitch is evil. Looks great but it's a long, slow torture.

Why the sudden change of heart? Continental knitting. I knit my mom's Fairisle sweater two handed, one strand English one strand Continental. Loved it, worked like a charm. For whatever reason I had only dabbled in Continental since then, like a novelty. Then the FFBE pattern called for stockinette in the round. I indulged until I got to the garter rows. Hmm, I'd really like to learn to purl Continental. A link from Kristen sealed it. Towards the end of the bag I got more comfortable with it and, like a light bulb on a dimmer switch, it hit me. Could it be? Seed stitch is possible? Yessiree!

The stripe sequence repeats five times or so. I imagine I'll swap the colors around some. Unfortunately the LYS didn't have any good greens or reds so I see myself looking for some like-weighted, like-blend yarn. Mm hmm a project!

Anyway, I was knitting away yesterday while the guys were parting the car. Listening to their yammer interrupted only by the screech of the impact drill. Knitting is bliss I tell you. I heard SO boasts to the guys, "My girl's a good knitter. She's knitting us a beach blanket." Awww how sweet :)

Goal Accomplished

I did what I set out to do this weekend - I felted the bag. Pics will come later as that is customary. However, on Thursday I was talking to my mom and keeping her in the loop with my bag. "I'm going to take pics of the felting process. You know, before and after pics. But I don't know if I'll post them..." Mom jumps in, "Because it would look stupid!" (hearty laugh) No! I had paused in thought, contemplating when I would actually POST the pics. Mom doesn't quite get this knitting blog thing. She recounted a conversation with her sister, "What's a BLAWG?" Well, Mom, when I come up to visit I'll add "blogging" to your Computer 101/102 syllabus.

Other knitting related news: I'm well into the beach blanket - pics to post later. Baby Lucy's blanket is driving me nuts. The bullion knots keep "un-knotting" because they were never knots in the first place! I think I've come up with a way to secure them without going back over the entire row to knot them again. I'll post when I'm done....someday.

Arizona news: It finally cooled off!!!!! I noticed yesterday when I was wandering around the backyard of my rental house. The sun was NOT beating down on me. I could actually sit in the sun/shade and not sweat. Ahhhh. The rental house has been the site of parting out the third Volvo we purchased. Yesterday was the big finale - pulling the motor. What a brilliant idea it was to buy the car. Not only have we made our money back on parts that have been sold, BUT we've also fixed up both of our cars! Besides the fixes to annoying interior problems (text rubbed off of the window switches), I get airbags and new seat belts! And with that I should be able to restore the title. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I think I'm way behind everyone else in the FFBE but ... Yippee! I've made it past 50% of the list! Hehehehe! I actually laughed out loud to myself and with this almost-a-cold, I have a scratchy throat and a deeper voice. *devious laughter coming from the office*

Someone estimated somewhere that they invite about 200 per day. I think that puts me sometime in December. PLENTY of time for me to just wait.
  • You signed up on August 7, 2007
  • You are #23631 on the list.
  • 9096 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 10479 people are behind you in line.
  • 42% of the list has been invited so far

Monday, September 17, 2007


... except for felting. Pockets are fully attached and handle is connected. Ready to felt this weekend or maybe Friday.

Speaking of Friday, I was supposed to race at the drag track on Friday. Alas it did not happen. No one cared to check the track's schedule and lo and behold - repaving. The group of us have rescheduled for the 28th. My cheering section (roommate) already has a sign made for me, "Go Yellow!" This will be fun if not interesting.

And lastly while I'm thinking about cars, my SO and I are considering buying a van. Yeahhh. A van. Optimally and maybe some day the van would actually be cute like a Westfalia or an old VW van. But for now we're just looking for something to get us to Mexico to surf. Now THAT sounds worth it. Every head-turning, embarrassing moment in the van would not even matter to me cuz I'm going surfing in Mexico!

A Bag and a Dream

My goal this weekend was to finish the knitting part of my FFBE bag. I came sooo close but last night I was too tired to finish the last pocket. I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't finish but only 25 stockinette rows with 15 stitches per row wasn't going to take me long. (I've already finished this morning.)

Apparently in my mind it was a much bigger deal because I had a dream that I failed my first swap. Missed the deadlines, didn't get the right stuff into the package, didn't HAVE a package. I was pretty sad in my dream but now it's funny. I think that was my first knitting dream! LOL

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

FFBE Contest #2

1. Post on your blog, and give us SOME kind of secret "Bag in Progress" photo. You could share your yarn before you started, or a close up of your knitting, or the patterns you pondered when you began, or what you're still pondering!

Posted pics here a while back.

2. Post a link to the blog of one other swapper that you 'met' and have continued to read through the 3-2-1 contact post!

Just one? I regularly “catch up” with a number of them but here’s one!

3. Post a link here telling me you entered! Done!

4. Do this no later than September 23rd! Done!

Monday, September 10, 2007

End of Summer Vacation

Here are some pics from the weekend. We stayed in Encinitas, northern coast of San Diego and Gianni's hometown.

First thing in the morning we'd get coffee/Apricot tea (I'm off caffeine per the NMD, dairy too) at a quirky little cafe that used to be a train station. Then we'd head off for the early morning tradition of checking the surf. With the marine layer overhead, hot tea in hand and the sun skimming the eastern horizon to warm our backs it was just perfect. After the surf was duly assessed it was time for breakfast. Machaca burrito from the original Filiberto's (*) - yummy, filling and an excellent precursor to a nap. Filiberto's is franchised into AZ, but now I've tasted the difference and there IS a difference. (* yarn reference below)

Roused from a nap by the mid-day sun, it was beach time! We played in the waves, well at least I did. Gianni was legitimately body surfing. I could admit I was trying but eh. We laid in the sun to dry off. Perfect weather - not too hot, warm enough breeze, enough sun for a burn-now-turned-tan. On Saturday at Del Mar beach we avoided a parking ticket when Eagle Eyes spotted the park ranger writing tickets. Scooping up our minimalist beach gear in mere seconds and walking rapidly to the wagon felt kinda punk! Take that, Ticket Lady! With all that expended energy it was lunch/dinner time.

Dinner and drinks were always nice. That might sound like an understatement but ALL of the food ALL weekend was just really good. The bars were mostly empty so we didn't run into too many of his friends. Apparently there was some surfing or skating event down the coast a bit so everyone was out of town. We didn't do sushi for dinner this time (pricey) but we picked up a sushi-grade tuna steak at the market before we left town. Sunday night we had sushi before dinner and sushi-style seared tuna for dinner. Wow - now that was good home cooking!

In between the tea and beach and naps and food, we managed to see a few surf shops. Boards are expensive $1000! Even the used ones are $500. I'm excited to learn how despite my lack of balance. Hopefully next year we'll have time (and cash) to take some surf trips.

(*) Hungry for breakfast, we quickly parked down the street from Filiberto's and hurried inside. (Heather knows exactly where this is headed :) Gianni was eating and I was gazing out the front window. Two ladies and a man walked by. They didn't catch my eye really, but the bag she was holding did. Semi-transparent tote .... looks like paper in there .... that's not that unusual but .... what's that? Is that YARN??? Oh yeah. We had actually parked directly in front of Common Threads. Great little yarn shop that wasn't all that little! Nice corner of Manos. Most of the yarn looked to be sorted by color. So pleasing to the eye. Ahhhh. Over the weekend we repeatedly drove by another yarn shop, Black Sheep, but I didn't want to press my luck. We'll be back in Encinitas soon enough.

So, sooo relaxing. Definitely what I needed and I'm feeling much better. I'm sticking to my temporary schedule for the next few weeks, maybe a month. Four hours a day and Fridays off. I'd actually like to get another San Diego trip in before the sun and surf get too chilly. The moderate temps on the coast are more conducive to healing the kidneys and I've been told adrenal exhaustion is your body saying you need to have fun. San Diego fits the bill. Don't know why I'm still in the desert.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

First rule of Knit Club: Don't talk about Knit Club

I have three male roommates and WOW did they lay into me tonight. All in good fun...I was laughing so hard I was crying. It all started when I saw Heather's blog and read that she was going to a knit out in Balboa Park, just south of where we were staying. Jokingly to my bf, "Look what we could have done on Saturday!" Although it would have been great fun I would never bore him with that nor would I ask him to leave his sleepy little surf town. (Great time! I'll post pics later.)

Besides tonight's topic of knitting, my bf announced he is going to take his Volvo 850 Turbo wagon to the drag track on Friday. Sure, sounds fun! I'll sit up in the stands and watch a few passes. It'll be cool enough to be bearable, under 100 degrees. Beats sitting at home. I haven't mentioned this yet but bf has been into what I'll call extreme sports just about his entire life - dirt bikes, motorcycles, surfing, skating - anything where you can get good and hurt. (Yes, I've seen him crash and yes, I support his adrenaline addiction.) Drag racing fits right in. Just for fun!

Well it doesn't stop there. I also have a Volvo 850 Turbo and apparently it has two more pounds of boost than his (it's a little bit faster). Immediately after his announcement, his Volvo-phile friends "encouraged" him to get my car out there. Um, what? "So how are you with pressure like that?" He's been on the starting line at least 600 times, racing motorcycles and cars and whatnot. This doesn't look good. Oh boy, you have to have one foot on the gas and one on the brake?? Hmmm ... I once had a car that wouldn't idle. I'm in.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I Love the Beach!

Looking north from Powerhouse park in Del Mar

The sun was warming our backs as we watched the surf this morning. Drinking hot apricot tea with a carrot zucchini muffin from Pinnikin. Why do I live in the desert?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Destination Encinitas

Heading out on a road trip tomorrow. I'm so excited! I really need a vacation about now. My only trips this summer were work related so even though I went to Orlando it was in no way restful and not even close to qualifying as a vacation.

Ahhh an ocean breeze, cool ocean water, watching my sweetie surf. I'll definitely get in the water but with my health these days I won't be exerting myself. Yeah, the doctor doesn't really know what it is so I'm seeing a Naturopath. I seem to be making progress but I still can't work a full day. Resting is just not my style so this has been really hard on me. The company I work for ordered me to "go have fun" so that's what I'm doing. I'm truly thankful for their understanding nature.

If I've got this mobile blogging thing right, I'll post some pics. I'd best be getting to packing. We're leaving at 4am - early so we can have morning coffee overlooking the beach.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Dream Wristers by Acorn Street
Yarn: Dream by Tahki Imports

My mom, her closest friend and I were running around yarn stores while I was up visiting for the holidays. At one of my mom's favorite LYS in Seattle, this pattern jumped out and screamed, "Jess!" one of my younger sisters and the only other knitter. Mom rarely knits on anything smaller than size 10 but really wanted to knit these up - on 4 DPN. And she tried. On my next visit she reluctantly handed them to me about 4 inches into the first cuff. I happily assumed the WIP. Starting with the flight home to Phoenix, these guys were my distraction on flights to Anaheim, Secaucus, and somewhere in Indiana - all for trade shows. This project seemed to draw inquiries more than any other. After one late night flight, a man across the aisle wistfully thanked me for bringing back memories of his mother. A touching moment.

The colors suit my sister to a T but to knit them for so long they got kind of boring. I, of course, would have picked for myself magenta and orange or another high-contrast, bold color combination, but there is really NO time of year when I could wear these so Jess is the lucky recipient. All in all it was a fun project, really pretty easy. My mom and I learned once and for all with this project that the loops on the needle really are another row. When she gave it to me there was one tan row and loops on the needle. We couldn't figure it out together soooo I knit another tan row. Lesson learned!