I wonder if I can knit on a Stairmaster?

Multiple outside influences have caused yours truly to realize that some serious cardio is needed.

Influence one: Come late December, I will be required to appear in a bathing suit, and I don't want to scare small children. I'll be vacationing in Key West with Mr. Grad Student Boy and his family, and I feel that Key West requires a bikini. (This is what Mr. Grad Student Boy refers to as "Duck Logic")

Influence Two (the v. important one): I have finally placed a date for my police medical! If I pass this, hopefully I'll be reporting from the police academy sometime next year. Think I can convince them that I need circular needles on my utility belt?

So this evening I gave in, and went and joined the YMCA (pause for YMCA dance). Luckily, it's really close to both my work and my home, and I'm making a commitment to myself to go each evening after work. The only sucky thing is that it cuts down on my knitting time. Of course, to put a lovely touch on my evening, I managed to forget my locker combo and had to have the lock cut. It's Monday, what can I say?

Since the ROE is still in the stockinette section, I won't bore anyone with photos (Look! 5 whole rows of STOCKINETTE! THRILL as the SAME row gets repeated over and over AGAIN!). By tomorrow I should have at least broken into the pattern rows of Chart G.

I'm off to see if I can still feel my legs.


What I knit on my (not Summer) Vacation

I think I'm finally pulling out of my knitting slump. For a while there, I was beginning to wonder if the urge to knit (some of you may want to cover your ears, here) had left me entirely. I've had other phases, so I thought, maybe this was one too. The slow tinking back of the Rose of England shawl seemed like it would be the nail in my knitting coffin.

Luckily, it looks like I just needed a wee bit of a vacation to get my knitting mojo back in full force. Here's everything I've been working on while in Sunny Santa Barbara:

That's a KnitPicks tulip sock (the same kit I got my Spooky SP - what can I say?) in the autumn colorway, the beginnings of a Clapotis, and most importantly - A Rose Of England that is BACK ON TRACK. I have tinked back to the problem area, and am once again making progress.

It's hard to get decent pictures of the shawl-in-progress, just because it gets so big so quick, so the above is the best I could do.

Next, here's the progress I have made on the Clapotis to be since yesterday:

It's a very... rustic yarn, but I still think I like it. It's a little shinier in person. I decided not to do the full amount of increase rows, as I reached optimum width with about 70-something stitches (I forget the exact number, and I'm too lazy to check). It's a soft yarn, although I'm still waffling a little over how much I like it. The other problem is, I stupidly came down without any extra needles, so I'm working on Clover circs. I know many people love bamboo, but I get frustrated with how "sticky" wood is. I'll switch to metal circs once I'm home again.

Finally, the Autumn sock! I've already done these socks in the Spring colourway, so they're fairly easy knitting by now.

This sock just needs a toe grafting (of course, I left my tapestry needles at home too) and...

Well, that's the downside of these socks. Pretty, but there's a whole lot of weaving in ends when you're done. I got pretty creative with carrying colours down several rows, but you still end up with quite a bit of work. Poppins, if you're reading this and despairing, don't. :) They're totally worth it, and super warm and comfy.

Only two more days of yummy vacation-ness, and then back to the grind. I'll try not to get too quiet again, dear readers. I am, after all, a complete comment whore. ;)


Recovery with Yarn!

So, to answer my good friend Jeanne's question - No, I did NOT get arrested. Halloween in Santa Barbara is an absolute blast, though, and I want to go again next year. We started out by meeting at my cousin Jeremy's frat house (which, by the way, is RIGHT ON THE FRIGGING BEACH! Ahem), and waited while everyone got dressed up. I met a few of his friends, like:

Mr. Trojan Man. Nice legs for a guy, huh? :)

We did a little drinking before leaving, and thus fortified, took the craziest goddamn bus ride to downtown Santa Barbara. Seriously. They packed these buses to standing room only, and you got to know the people around you REALLLLLY well. Not a bad thing, as I was pressed up against one of Jeremy's super buff rugby buddies. ;) Not that I noticed, being a good monogamous girlfriend and all. My poor boyfriend hates crowds, so I think that might not have been as fun for him as it was for me.

Our first stop was Sharkeez bar, which was the best we went to that night. This picture isn't great, because I was drunk as a sailor by the time I was trying to get good photographs. Note to self: do not try to match drinks with rugby-playing cousin. BAD idea.

So boyfriend and I ended up leaving fairly early (12am) as he had to teach class the next morning. We took a cab home, because I was obviously in No Shape to Drive. Actually, I wasn't even in proper shape to walk.

Next morning I woke up with the hangover from hell, and called a cab to take me back to my car (which I had left parked in the AE(pi) parking lot). I had a wee bit of a freakout about leaving it somewhere overnight, but there it was all pretty and shiny and waiting for its hungover owner.

Needless to say, I did bugger all else yesterday. Boyfriend and I went to bed around 8pm just to recover.

Today, though, I determined I was going to do things of Yarn Importance. I googled yarn shops in Santa Barbara, and came up with BBs Knits. BBs is an absolutely adorable yarn shop on State Street, and I whole-heartedly recommend it. She carries a large selection of hard to find (at least for me) yarns. She's got a huge selection of Fiesta, Artyarns, and Colinette.

The owner is super-friendly, and was more than graceful when I asked if I could take a picture for the blog. This is her wall of Fiesta, Mango Moon, and Debbie Bliss. The poor thing thinks the shop is messy! It didn't look messy to me at all, but maybe we have different standards of clean. What I especially liked about this shop was that not only does she carry lots of really interesting and beautiful yarns, but she also carries enough "regular" yarn that you could make a sweater if you felt like it. :)

What did I get? Well...

5 skeins of Mango Moon's viscose yarn (I already balled a skein, which pulled in half - hence the two balls). One set of Lantern Moon needles size 8 - I got a set of Lantern Moon for my Halloween Secret Pal Poppins, and I was so jealous I had to get a set for myself. I also picked up circulars, because I didn't know how wide my project would get... What project? Oh, well... I'm finally giving in to the Clapotis urge. 2 years late, I know, but I was looking for something that wouldn't require TOO much concentration, as the Rose of England shawl is kicking my ass.

I'll post updates on my ROE shawl soon, but I'm still tinking back to try and fix my giant f*ck-up twelve rows back.

I'll be back home on Sunday, and I'll try to post a few more pictures of SB before I go. :) It's sooooo pretty here.