Friday, January 20, 2006

i'm still alive (long entry)

once again i apologize for the long span of time between entries. it's not for lack of stuff to write about. i just haven't been very motivated to do much more than watch the tube* once i get home from work. and the weekends have been full with different activities, none of which included blogging.

here are a few things that have gone on over the last couple of weeks.

knitting projects
adult sweater
i finished the sleeves last week, blocked all the pieces and knitted in the neckband. all that's left to do is to sew the seams. my blocking board and all the blocking accessories (steamer, blocking wires and t-pins) worked beautifully. i felt like i was back in high school pinning down an earth worm in preparation for dissection**

Orange Sweater w/Steamer on Blocking Board

all the books, knitting shows and internet knitting tips are absolutely right - blocking is an important and necessary step to finishing most knitting projects. the curled edges and slightly uneven stitches magically went away.

Orange Sweater - Sleeve before blocking
sleeve before blocking

Orange Sweater Sleeve After Blocking
sleeve after blocking (don't be scared. i'm not making big billowy sleeves. the sleeve actually gets folded in half.)

there were a few points when i was knitting that i swore the pattern was wrong, especially after i measured the pieces as i was pinning them to the blocking board. but i'm pretty sure that it's going to fit after all.

Orange Sweater, Almost Finished
sneak peek at the almost completed sweater

secret present #1
all i can write is that it's done since i haven't given it to the recipient yet. david and friends have said that this person will love it. i will post a follow-up entry with a picture once the gift has been given.

another baby hat
i love knitting baby hats. they look cute and make great presents.

Theo's Hat

this one was for theo, the baby that cathy and jim adopted 8 weeks ago. we finally met him last weekend. beth, cathy, jim and theo got together over at seneca and lisa's house for an afternoon of great homemade pizza, snacks and wine. it had been some time since we all were together and it was so nice to see theo in person. he is really adorable.

bathroom renovation
we completed a bathroom renovation more than a year ago. like most construction projects, the actual costs far exceeded our initial budget. we had to take on some of the finishing work on our own in order to keep the budget from going completely out of control. we hit the ground running and completed all the finishing touches on the bathroom.

another fact about renovations ... there is a domino affect. we had to take a foot of space from the 2nd bedroom in order to install a separate stall shower in the bath. since the 2nd bedroom was a quarter renovated, david and i decided to tear down the old and very damaged plaster walls and ceiling and install insulation and put up new drywall. knocking down plaster walls is not fun. and we lost steam after the insulation was up. we took our contractors advice and hired day workers to put up the drywall. david and i had good intentions but i'm sure we would have needed a divorce if we tried to install drywall ourselves.

the drywall went up pretty quickly and didn't cost an arm and a leg. the next step was to faux plaster finish the walls so that they would look like the original plaster walls in the rest of the house. so we thought why not see if they could do that as well. that was not a great idea. i stopped him before they went far. their technique looked like crap.

well long story short and more than a year later david and i finally got around to the texturing. the walls are all done and david is about half way through finishing the ceiling (i can't do the ceiling because of neck issues). so we'll probably be ready to paint in a week or so after we do a little more prep work.
dog with cabin fever
it has been raining a lot. when you have a white dog and most dog parks are like small ponds of mud it's quite hard to find a place clean enough that won't turn her black. so we have done our best to keep her occupied. imagine the pent up energy a young cattle dog/terrier mix would have after weeks of chasing a ball up and down the small living room/dining room area.

that's right, not a pretty picture.

we didn't want to relive what happened last rainy season. we made a mistake and took trixie to the alameda dog park after it had been raining for a few weeks. she wound up with a bad case of giardia after running through and drinking muddy stagnant water.

and then there was sun!
thank goodness there were a couple of weekends with a break in the weather. 2 weeks ago david, lisel, i and the dog took a nice long walk up to a spot in north berkeley called "indian rock". don't ask me how it got it's name. it's a huge bolder in the middle of a very nice and affluent neighborhood that from the top has some spectacular views of the bay.

trixie had a blast.

here she is ... and i seriously think she's laughing with joy!
Trixie Laughing #1, Indian Rock, Berkeley, CA

we all had a great time
Me, David & Trixie, Indian Rock, Berkeley, CA

lisel even got a kiss
Trixie & Lisel @ Indian Rock, Berkeley, CA


we did our best to keep trixie as busy as we could as the rain continued to plummet us. we played with her and took her on as many long walks as we could when the rain let up.

but i it wasn't enough. early this week trixie decided to let us know how upset she was. she dug herself a little nest in our bed (of which she's not allowed on) and peed.

i guess she told us.

you can't be mad too long though. all it takes is one look like...

Trixie Relaxing

she is cute as hell, right!!!???

* i wonder how long it will take before younger generations won't understand the term "tube". what will the nickname for a plasma or lcd TV be? can you imagine someone saying, "hey all i did all weekend was sit in front of the pixels!"?

** back in high school we had to dissect animals in biology. i had no problem with dissecting a worm. but made myself physically sick the night before we had to dissect a frog. thankfully my mother didn't make me go in the next few days because she knew how upset i would be to pin down a frog on the dissecting board.


Blogger Jenna (aka Foo) said...

Ahh! Look at Trixie! Impossible to be made at that face. IMPOSSIBLE!

And yes, don't you love the "I'll get you" bed-peeing thing? I remember when Scott and I were together and Stella was little - she was really mad because I locked her in the crate one night and wouldn't let her sleep with Scott. As soon as I let her out in the morning, she zipped right past me, jumped on the bed and peed on MY pillow (not his), looking back over her shoulder with this half-ashamed, half-'serves you right' look. It was annoying, but also pretty cute.

9:48 AM  
Blogger tammy said...

so good to see you back in blog-land! missed you!
the sweater looks FAB! maybe someday I will make another sweater. These days I am all about smaller projects that I can finish in a week or two.
Trixie is adorable! you will have to bring her by the shop sometime so I can meet her.
I protested the frog chopping part of biology! The formaldehyde (sp?) seriously made me woozy, thought I was going to cut my own finger off!

12:03 PM  
Blogger tammy said...

Keith- I got your comments on my blog. you asked me to email you some info... I am either stupid or there is no email info anywhere on your blog. we sell the pattern for the slippers. we had & will be having a class on them. stop by the shop. & send me your email address. : )

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When do i get my sweater?
Seems like all is well!!

And Remember......;
"Yesterday is History,
Tomorrow a Mystery,
Today is a Gift,
That's why it's called the Present!
Love Ya!!

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Nels said...

Hey, how about some pics of the texturing job? :) Just kidding.

Trixie looks like she was glad to get out and about. At least the weather is holding up a bit after all of the rain we've been having.

5:58 AM  

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