Monday, October 24, 2005


Unused cargo

I meant to show the knitting I carried around for 85 miles in the last post, but I forgot. This bag weighed 1.2 pounds and I never even cast on. I brought all the yarn for the sweater because I figured in a week I could get a lot done, but I was so tired every night that I just opened the baggie and pet the yarn and then passed out in an exhaustion coma. Oh well.

6 skeins of fingering weight Frog Tree Alpaca, about 10 million glass beads, #2 and #3 circular needles, and the pattern. It's from Vintage Knits, and it was supposed to be for my mom's birthday, but I missed that, so now it is for Christmas instead. Here is the picture from the book:

I am not using the yarn that the pattern calls for because I couldn't find it. I don't have much of a start yet, and my ribbing looks a little weird. Hopefully that will be fixed when I block.

There are 900 beads in the finished sweater. I have never knit anything that uses beads. It is not really any different from no-bead knitting. But it looks more exciting. Here is a close up, and the colors look pretty close to real life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


backpackalooza/death march 2005, #2

A few weeks ago my sweetie and I went on a 7 day backpacking trip in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. The longest backpacking trip I had been on before that was this January when we were in Costa Rica (6 days), but that was pretty cushy because every other day we camped at big ranger stations that had running water and toilets and cold showers (it was a million degrees with 99.99999% humidity most of the time, so cold showers were actually quite heavenly). This trip was definitely not cushy.

Our original route was almost 100 miles and included the Rae Lakes loop in Kings Canyon for the last 2 days, which is supposed to be really beautiful. But it rained most of the day on our third day, so we just waited in our (teeeeny) tent until it stopped, and because of that we had to cut out the pretty Rae Lakes at the end and we only went 85 miles. Only, hahahaha. We left our car in Sequoia at Crescent Meadow, and Bryan's parents picked us up at Road's End in Kings Canyon and drove us back to our car. Here is the route we took (you can click on it for a bigger picture). The orange line is our route and the little green triangles are supposed to be tents and mark where we camped.

We had an amazing time. Bryan has done most of the John Muir Trail through the Sierras, but I have only really been to Yosemite a few times. It was more beautiful than I could have imagined. Forrester Pass was my favorite part. It was really hard to see where the pass was going to be, and then all of a sudden you go almost straight up (more than 700 feet in 0.3 miles). Very dramatic. Bryan's pictures are much better than mine, you can see them here.

I thought with all my marathon training I would be breezing along, but my calculations did not take into account the crazy high altitude, our extremely heavy backpacks (around 40 pounds most of the time - 7 days of food weighs a lot!), strange intestinal distress that plagued me the whole time, or spraining my ankle almost exactly halfway through. And oh yes, uphillness and the gravity that hates me. I only fell once, which is far below my average of klutzy, and I only had one screaming crazy lady freakout (relating to the chance of lightning and crossing very high exposed passes). I didn't take very many pictures, but here are my favorites:

I loved this face that moss made on a big boulder. I thought it was so funny, but Bryan couldn't even see it. How can you not see that?

Here is some of the alpine glow that Bryan was trying so hard to capture the whole time. I had just got to the top of Kaweah Gap and was waiting for Bryan to catch up to me . He takes so many pictures that he is almost always behind me even though I am very very slow. The climb up to the gap was reeeeeally hard. I had my heart rate monitor on during most of the days while backpacking, and that day it told me I burned 9000 calories. That is insane. I was angry at that bitchy tall mountain as I was dragging my tired ass up it. When I got to the gap I peed on it, just to show it who was boss. Take that, Kaweah Gap.

I saw this doe on the fourth day. I was so close to her, and 2 of her deer friends ran away when I came around the corner, but she just sat there and stared at me. Maybe she could sense my peaceful nature.

This is Junction Meadow. It was our last day, and we were having fun going slow and finding things for Bryan to take pictures of. I'm good at spotting things for him. I found what looked like two dragonflies mating flying around, and Bryan tried to take pictures of them for a while, and then he realized that it was only one dragonfly and it was molting so its whole old exoskeleton was hanging from its head. It was flying around all crazy trying to get it to come off. It finally did, in a pile of old horse poop, and that's what Bryan is looking for in this picture.

We did not find it, but we did find a ladybug. Pretty ladybug.

We hiked along Bubb's Creek for most of the last day. Here is my sweetie putting on dry socks. Ah, what a nice vacation we had. Now I'm almost ready for the next one in Ireland on Monday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


rest in peace, Mulligan

My parents' dog Mulligan died today after a stroke. He was the best dog ever. We got him when I was 14, and he was 14 years old. He was such a good dog that I'm sure he's having a ball in dog heaven right now, looking down at us and wondering why we're all so sad. Oh Mulligan, we miss you so much. Thanks for being such a wonderful dog.

What a fast runner!

This was taken when i was a senior in high school. What a clean room I used to have. And too bad I don't still have those lovely tie-dyed demin shorts.

Friday, October 07, 2005


I am now officially a runner.

Observers might say "fast shuffler" as opposed to "runner", but whatever. Week 22 of the 26 month marathon training was last Saturday, and we ran a "practice" marathon. Which was the same distance as a "real" marathon, 26.2 miles. Holy cow. I never thought I would be able to go that far. Now we just have three more 8 mile runs on the next three Saturdays, and then it's the marathon in Ireland. It seemed so far away in April when the training started! And now it is almost Halloween. Here is a picture of my goup at the finish (Bryan's mom and dad and sister came up to cheer me on! And they took some pictures for me. It was very very nice of them and gave me a big boost at mile 15. Thanks guys!). I'm wearing the orange hat. And the picture is small on purpose because running attire is not very flattering unless you are a stick person.

It was a very emotional experience, as many marathon runners I know told me it would be. From mile 24 on I was pretty much a big sobby crybaby. It felt so good to have worked so hard to train and to raise money for a good cause. And speaking of raising money, I'm still doing it - you can sponsor me by clicking here. And for those of you waiting for some bribery, my sweetie has generously offered to send prints of his beautiful pictures if you sponsor me. Here are all the deails and directions to follow to get your pretty pictures. Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far and supported me through all this training!

I just added commenting. It's hard to know what to do about replying to comments, do you do it in the comments section? Which is kind of silly because then the person who left the comment has to keep checking the entry to see if you replied to the comment. I've left comments on blogs that use Haloscan and then the people just reply by writing me an email, which I think makes more sense. Yay for Haloscan!

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I love my Mommy!

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Isn't my mom beautiful? I'm sure she will be thrilled that I am showing her picture to the entire internets. But it could be worse, I could be telling the internets how old she is too. This picture is from Christmas and she was modeling her "rocks" that my dad gave her as her Christmas present. Happy Birthday, Mommy! I love you!

(edited to add: So much complaining about the nice picture! Ok, here is my favorite picture of me and my mom. Taken in June 1978. So cute!)


busy bitches

Stitching bitches has become very populated lately, yay for knitting and socializing! Every week I take lots of pictures but then I am too lazy to post them because I am a lazor. But now I will post all of them in one ginormous blog entry. Or maybe not. This last Monday we had 14 people (including me). That's a lot of stitching going on. And we used to be very focused on the stitching and neglectful of the bitching, but we have gotten better. I had to stand in the middle of the room to take these pictures facing both ways because I couldn't fit everyone in one picture.

It is wonderful to see all the different things everyone is making, and when people come in with new yarns and new patterns I get to pet and smell and love the yarns and it is almost like I bought them myself and that makes me happy. And makes me buy less random yarns. And that makes my sweetie happy. And since only one other stitcher has a blog (Mrs. Erin), then I can take pictures and post about them and feel like I am more productive somehow. I provided a creative environment to foster their production, right? Right. So on that note, here is Zain holding up his lovely very long scarf he knit from Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky based on the pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It is very long.

It is his very first finished item! Yay for Zain!

On Monday I also got a present from Holly. She got him at Cost Plus. He is our new stitching bitches mascot and he is oh so soft.

Mr. Al Paca


I like to play with my food.

Mr. Apple Swan

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


the tale of the happy yarn

A long time ago, Heather dyed some lovely lopi yarn that her grandmother gave her. The hand-dyed yarn was beautiful, and she put it up for sale on the internets for the world to see. Jennifer was the first person to buy any of Heather's hand-dyed masterpieces, and she flew all the way to Portland, Oregon to pick up the yarn.

Then the beautiful yarn languished sadly under Jennifer's coffee table, in a big basket with lots of other yarns, but none of them were as pretty as Heather's yarn. Jennifer couldn't decide what to make out of the yarn, and she would have probably made some horrible felted thing out of it and all the colors would have muddied together.

But then one day, Christiane came to Stitching Bitches at Jennifer's house on a Monday night, and as soon as she saw the yarn she was so excited about it because she thought it was the most beautiful yarn she had ever seen. Jennifer remembered this when Christiane's birthday came up many weeks later, and decided that Christiane would love the yarn so much, that she would turn it into something stupendous.

And Christiane did. After much thinking about what would show off the beautifulness of the yarn the best, she made a long scarf in fisherman's rib. The yarn made perfect stripes on both ends, and a very pleasing pooling swirliness in the center, just like it was always meant to be knit into this exact scarf. And the yarn lived very happily ever after, showing the world how wonderful it was every day (well, every day that it's cold enough to wear a scarf).

The end.

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