Knitter in Training…

As many of you are aware…the Yarn Harlot has called on all knitters to gather for the Knitting Olympics on February 10th for 16 days of knitting challenge. Are you ready?

Just as an athlete trains & goes through compulsory exercises before “the” event…while I decide what new project to tackle for the Olympics I’m spending a little time in training – tackling some new stitch patterns, “practicing speed” with my standby dishcloth pattern, looking at all the bookmarked patterns I’ve saved in the last couple of months as I started browsing knitting blogs. It’s not an exciting picture but here is a sampling of some of the “training” that has been happening this weekend.

Knitting Olympics Prep

Quirky

I guess I’m officially a part of the knitting blog community – Cathy has tagged me with the “list 5 quirky habits” meme. Hmmm…let me think about that for a minute – I’m sure my sister could easily come up with more than 5 quirky things about me. 😉

1. Since I get up so early during the work week (before 6:00), I consider 7:30 AM on Saturday & Sunday to be sleeping in.

2. Whenever I’m served mashed potatoes and green peas for dinner I always end up mixing them together. I’m not sure it’s possible for me to eat them as separate items on a plate. 😉 I get this habit from my Mom.

3. On the rare occasions when I buy Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies (good stuff!) I have been known to put a box or 2 in the freezer & forget about them for more than 6 months (talk about a yummy surprise!).

4. I have an uncanny ability to write/say “punny” lines without even thinking. I get it from my Dad – my Mom & sister just roll their eyes when we get going. (Example: When talking about a recent cold/stuffed up nose I wrote “I just blew through the box of Kleenex” before I even realized what I was saying.)

5. My favorite “odd” peanut butter sandwich is crunchy peanut butter & sweet pickles.

Tag you’re it: JodiLollyChristineCK

Found Time…What to do?

One of the “fun” things about consulting is that you never know what your daily commute will be like because you don’t know where your client is located. Since the summer of 2002 I have consistently been in the west suburbs of Chicago with a minimum of a 45 minute commute in the mornings and an hour in the evenings. For at least the next couple of months that commute has been “broken” – I am now working downtown & taking the train to Union Station is the best commuting alternative for me.

As I was packing up my backpack last night it dawned on me that I now have about an hour each day of “found time” on the train to do something. Today it was just reading the latest Newsweek that arrived. My dilemma is reading or knitting? For at least this week the answer is reading as I’m in between knit projects right now and am not sure what the next one will be (I am trying to pick out a project for the Knitting Olympics).

On the train this morning I saw another knitter – she had a great green felted back filled with yarn & was wearing a shades of gray feather & fans scarf & hat.

However I choose to spend this found time – the odds are likely that you will hear about it here at Amy Artisan in the coming weeks – whether as “Artisan Knits” or “Amy’s Bookshelf” entries or some combination of both.

p.s The winter scrapbook retreat over the weekend was a great time! I made quite a bit of progress on the Italy & Greece album and had a wonderful time “reliving” the trip while working on the pages. The weekend has reignited the scrapbooking bug so I’m sure that will be competing with knitting in the coming weeks.

The Chicago Scarf…my way

When I first bought the SnB book several years ago I really liked the Chicago scarf and thought it would be fun to do. This winter when getting a new winter coat I thought that scarf pattern would be perfect for tucking inside the coat. I originally envisioned a deep chocolate scarf (to match a great chocolate wool hat) but had a tough time finding yarn that was the color & feel that I wanted.

In mid-November I took a day trip over to the New Buffalo, MI area & discovered a fun knit shop there – Sit & Knit. While I didn’t find a chocolate yarn I find something just as fun – Misti Alpaca Sport in Chocolate Caramel Moulinette.

This was a very quick knit – my modifications to the Chicago scarf were to knit it all in one color and knit a 5×5 rib. I did most of the knitting over the Thanksgiving break (including the 3 hour delay at O’Hare on the way home to Georgia). With the new year I finally got around to blocking it – although it seems like it might need additional blocking. Of course we are having warmer weather in Chicago so far this month I’m not wearing the wool coat that it was meant to go with.

Chicago Scarf

And Now for an Non Knitting Endeavor…

There will be no knitting for me this weekend; however, artistic endeavors are on the agenda. This weekend will be my 3rd annual “Winter Retreat” with my Creative Memories scrapbook friends. An “escape” to the ‘burbs for 3 days of scrappin’ at a hotel. (Ideally, 3 full days but the craziness of work this week means that my planned vacation day for today isn’t happening to I won’t get started on the fun till late this afternoon.) Since we stay overnight at the hotel, after dinner we always put on our pajama pants & slippers before coming back town to our meeting room (with plenty of table space for each of us) & keep working till midnight. It is so nice to not have to pack up ALL our stuff at the end of each day because we just lock the room up till the next morn’. I look forward to these weekends as a chance to get a lot of pages completed.

This year my sister is flying in from Atlanta to join in the fun. What is my goal for the weekend? To start on my Italy/Greece 2005 trip album & get a lot of pages done.

I will leave you with one of my favorite pictures from the trip…Ah, Capri!

Off the coast of Capri - June 2005