Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Craziness is Over

I've finally finished the *&$(@ baby blanket in Sandnes Mandarin Petit Egyptian Cotton...
Of course, after two parties today I'll have to finish and block the darn thing before the baby shower tomorrow... but still... "done".

I've been a little lazy on the finishing tasks and instead decided to buy some Cascade 220 at long last and make my first felted objects. I've been dying to make felted clog/slippers for about 8 years, so here I am, finally getting around to it. Granted, I haven't completed the second sole on these babies yet, but they knit up soooo fast (imagine, after using 3mm needles and that ridiculous cotton for 3 months that I'd think worsted on 9mms wouldn't knit up fast)... and the engineer in me loves the construction of these things... I'm far more in love with these than I was with those horrid first socks of mine. I have to admit my bias toward chunkier yarn and "warm", "cozy" knitting projects. I know, I know, not as technically impressive but I like what I like. (Probably why I'm not that intrigued or excited by the lace craze going on currently.)

I better run - I've got a couple of parties to go to today and the aforementioned blocking to take of... oh, and I have to mentally prepare for my new job on Monday morning. :-)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Other stuff I've been up to... I've written a "nice" letter to Merrell about their hiking boots and I explained that even though I'm past the 1 yr warranty, I think wearing the boots once and having the sole come off completely warrants a judgement of defective workmanship... I'll keep you posted about what I hear back. (The letter accompanied the boots themselves.) I had to call them first to get an authorization number for the boots to be sent back - let me just say that the customer representative was NOT encouraging at all and she was downright exasperated that I should try to complain about these boots when they were so "old".

Ok, I *have* been making progress around the house as well... I know that we just celebrated our *2nd* anniversary, but we only picked up our wedding pictures last Christmas while we were in Toronto (and we moved again in June). We decided that, instead of putting the pics away in an album that we might not look at all that often, that we'd put them up. As you can see, we haven't hung anything on the wall yet...
The back porch has been GREAT to read on lately - the temperatures are finally reasonable. :-) I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books (if you've noticed them racking up on the sidebar lately) because friends of ours told us about a theory predicted for the final book. It involves a central character and I wanted to look back for clues. Dorky, I know.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Baby Blanket progress

...unfortunately, this is a really poor photo - I'll have to turn the flash off and try again, but I think you can get the detail if you enlarge the photo. This blanket in Mandarin Petit is on 3 mm needles, so this has taken me a good while to get this far. Good news is that I'm almost done (it's a blanket meant for a car seat).

I've snapped some more pics of our new place...

So, here's the outside of the house from the sidewalk, in front of our carport.... we have the first floor of this two-family...

So next is our sun porch - kinda hot to be using right now, but I think it'll be great in more moderate summer weather and in the fall and the spring.

And, finally (for now), here is our back porch minus flower boxes but including our new little potted hydrangea bush.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hiking in the White Mountains

I promised a blog entry on Brendan's and my hike last Saturday - and there is no knitting in this one, just some Murphy's law moments. So, it all started back in 2003 (no, really) when Wild Women Outfitters was having a sale... they had beautiful Merrell Chameleon Hiking boots in SIZE 11 (yes, I wear an 11 and it is sooooo frickin' hard to find stuff in my size that fits and might even be on sale)... so, of course, I had to buy these. Ok. Have hiking boots. Fantastic. Great. Although, at this point, Brendan and I had just gotten engaged and I was moving to Tulsa... fantastic but no need for hiking boots out there. Still - no problem... we're GOING to hike when we're back near the mountains, so not an issue. I just stored these babies in my shoe closet(s) in their box. So far, so good. I could wait to use them for the first time. Well, fast forward to last weekend when, despite the high heat and humidity, we decide that wouldn't it be nice for us to go hike up a mountain together and break in my 'new' (never-been-worn) boots? Excellent. We decide on this:

Mount Pemigewassett TrailThe Mount Pemigewassett Trail climbs to the summit of Mount Pemigewassett, a 2,500-foot peak at the southern end of Franconia Notch. The climb is a good one for children, since it’s never very steep. The views from the top are excellent, and the combination of stream crossings and rocks in the forest make for an interesting walk.

Fine. Great. Looks good, right? Well, we had checked out a map but cheaped out on buying a new White Mountain Guide when Brendan had a perfectly good one... somewhere (probably back at his parent's house since he hasn't hiked in the Whites since high school)... so we figure, we've looked at the map and the trail and it's this suitable-for-children hike that is no problem... we'll just do this one hike and then next time we visit the 'rents, we'll pick up the Trail guide for our *next* trip. That was a mistake. Here's what we ended up climbing because we unwittingly parked 100 yds too far, in the wrong parking lot (and followed the "Pemi Trail" which is NOT, the Pemigewassett Trail, even though they're trail heads are very near each other):

Mount Flume Trail

The White Mountain Guide has this to say about the Flume Slide on the Mount Flume Slide Trail: "It is an extremely steep, rough trail, with polished rock slabs that are extremely slippery when wet (and they are nearly always wet, due to the many seep springs on these steep slopes). It is not recommended for descent and its use is discouraged in wet weather when the ledges are more than ordinarily dangerous." It is a 4,328 ft peak, with an elevation gain of 3,700 ft from the trailhead.

For those that might enjoy a topo map, check this out:

We followed that black line... notice that we didn't *quite* make it to the top before we turned around. Seriously, I've been gym rock climbing before and this was what we were doing near the top - it wasn't a vertical wall, but it was a steep angle of sheer rock face where we had to grab hold of whatever we could and try to fit our feet on tiny ledges... and it was wet rock. Oh, and there were black flies (or some close cousin) that were biting like crazy while I needed to keep my hands and feet clutched to rock.

Ok, so we turn around and we're hiking back. Yes, it's still 90+ with 80% humidity... no problem... we're trudging along and when we've got 1 mile to go, I look down and my brand new boots feel funny:

Brendan suggested tying the laces around the sole so I could finish the hike (notice that the sole is still connected at the toe)... and that pretty much worked although I had to drag my foot so that the sole wouldn't come off.
The hike *felt* good - I mean, I felt like we had an exciting day and I felt like I had actually resumed exercising which I haven't done in a while... but my challenge now is to see if Merrell will back up their products and replace my boots. Wish me luck.

p.s. This is me - filthy, bitten to pieces, and favouring my right foot but finally arriving at the paved parking lot. Hallelujah.