New tankmate!

We went to the fish store (perhaps with an ulterior motive) to pick up more salt, and came home with a new Torch Coral. The people at the store said that they’ve heard of clowns hosting in them before — we’re not holding our breath, since the clowns like smooth surfaces and ignore everything in the tank that’s a natural surface. I’d still like to get an anemone, though they’d probably ignore it, too, but we’d have to upgrade our lights and that isn’t really in the immediate future plans. The torch coral is neat, though. The ends have a glowing yellow ball that’s sticky to grab food, and it loves high circulation. Ours also has a handful of barnacles, which are about the coolest things in the world to watch — I had no idea. They’re very delicate and so I couldn’t get a picture, but maybe someday.

The gramma hid as usual when we were placing the new coral, and seemed quite put off by it when he emerged. He just stared at it for a good two minutes before accepting things and resuming normal activities. The clowns, as expected, have completely ignored it.

It took a while to get the current right. Here, it’s too strong over the top and so the coral retreated. The three branches in the front are out and happy:

Especially with the new coral’s need for more circulation, we decided to move the xenia over and down, so that it would crawl off it’s little pedestal of a rock onto our live rock. That way, it could have a sheltered spot, be close to the light, and look a little less temporary. It also didn’t look so comfortable perched on top of it’s little rock. It curled all up when it was moved, so here’s a fun before and after:

When curled up, all of the fingers writhe, so it’s very Medusa-ish.

He’s a winner.

Kevin was in Vegas for Kris Kline’s bachelor party this weekend. How odd is that? (Background for the non-former-intern readers: Kris, along with the lovely erin, were Kevin’s roommates the summer Kevin and I met. Here’s the infamous trio, mere days before they dyed Kevin’s hair in the bathtub:

And now Kris’s getting married. Hard to imagine…)

Kevin came back from the weekend full of almost no tall tales (a good sign for a bachelor party? who can tell?), emptied the coins from his pockets, and announced that this was what was left of his savings account. The poor boy.

At least it’s better than when he went with his fraternity and called at two in the morning to ask if he could get a tattoo…

Ribbing update

So apparently I’m not the only one who’s found that the ribbing trick doesn’t work. At knitting tonight, we had a whole little gang of angst-filled ribbers.There was a picking vs. throwing debate (pickers don’t have this problem?), but no concrete proof that the little stitch n bitch tip works. Diana focused hard on loosening the first stich of the rib and tightening the last, and that seemed to work for her (yay, diana!), but that’s what I’d been trying before, so not personally encouraging.

Despite that, here are the two front panels so far. I was planning to knit them at the same time so I didn’t have to worry so much about counting for the pockets, but once again talking and knitting didn’t quite work out. I must have been turning too soon because I had about seven more rows on the right side than the left. I also completely abandonned the row counter. Oops.

The sweater that doesn’t want to be knit

I brought all my needles, yarn, stitch markers and a pattern book to whistler to start the fronts, circled all of the numbers for the medium, and then apparently cast on for the extra small. It wasn’t until I attempted to divide for the pockets that I realized that I was off by a rib (5 stitches) on both sides…

So, a-ripping I went, yet again. I don’t know if i’m just getting lulled into stupidity by the ribbing, but this has been the demon sweater for getting the instructions right on the first go. Usually I work along through patterns without too many problems, but I haven’t knit a single part of this right the first time. The only bright spot is that the yarn is holding up great. Yet another gold star for Cascade.

Back to reality

Kevin’s family left yesterday, after a wonderful week-long visit. We went to Whistler, then spent Wednesday night through Sat am here at home. I loved having them out here — I wish they weren’t so far away. The week felt very short. Kevin’s cousin Steven also came out, and though I’d met him last summer when Kevin’s mom’s family was together, it was great to get to know him in a less busy setting.

Rather than do one long post, I’ve gone back and retroactively written posts for the last week and a half. Sorry for the long dry spell!!

The mustang’s here!

Kevin got his new car on wednesday!!

He’s been driving his grandmother’s old ’93 nissan sentra since just after I met him. It’s been a good car: it’s made it cross-country 5 times (including the move out to seattle!), did countless Boston to PA trips, and served as the fraternity beer car for his senior year. The speakers don’t really work (I’m ususally the queen of song-identification, and even my own mixes are a puzzle to me), and the heating doesn’t go until you hit level 3 and up, but it’s still a good car.

But now, after months of waiting and pining away on the fan websites, his 2005 mustang was delivered yesterday!! His parents took this picture today. I got my rides on the way to and from work this morning — it’s fun to be in a car that attracts so much attention. 🙂 I won’t be driving it any time soon (I don’t know how to drive stick, and I’ll wait until it isn’t so brand new to learn), but I’m glad that his family got their test drives in. 🙂

Sweater progress

I finally have measurable progress on the bomber jacket! After a lot of trial and error on the length, here’s the completed back:

The pattern was written for rowan denim, which apparently shrinks about 30% in length after being washed. Since my lovely Cascade Sierra shouldn’t, and since I also don’t want the finished product to be quite as stomach-baring as the original, there’s been a lot of ripping back on this one as I try to guess a good length. Thanks to the trusty row counter, though, I should at least be able to replicate the length for the front.

Thanks to Marian from my knitting group and Cheryl (in the comments) for the tip from Stitch n Bitch Nation on fixing the large last stitch in each rib. In theory, wrapping the stitch backwards on the purl side, and knitting it twisted on the knit side is supposed to fix the ribbing. I gave it a shot, but ended up having to rip back 15 rows because not only did the stitches stay big, but it made the ribs zig-zag based on the even and odd rows. I must be bad at following instructions… but has anyone tried this tip successfully? It does seem like it would still be useful for the sleeves if anyone’s gotten it to go.

Wishing for snow…

My Christmas present from my parents this year was a pair of cross country skis. I haven’t felt in much of a rush to find some, though, given that none of the places around here even opened this year due to the warm weather and total lack of snow. (I promise, eventually I’ll stop griping and get over it. :-))

Kevin and I took our downhill skis in for a pre-Whistler tuning at REI though, and they had cross country gear on sale for 70%. I now have these lovely skis!! I love them — here’s hoping for colder weather next year. 🙂

Thanks to the blogger people!

There are all sorts of opinions on why google is a great company (great search algorithms, great stock price, etc…) but I like them because they listen to feedback. I’ve had gmail for about 8 months, and I’ve written them several times with things I wanted. They used to have a pull-down menu with “Move to Trash” right next to “Report Spam” and I kept hitting the wrong one with my mouse and I’d never hear from the sender again unless I went back and checked the Spam box and hauled them out of it. They fixed it. Then after 4 months and many thousand emails, mostly knitting related, I had 4 unread and no way to find them, so they added new search options and fixed that problem. Then, for blogger, I wrote three weeks ago and said that I was sad that I couldn’t see the websites of people who posted, and that I wasn’t crazy about only blogger members being able to comment. And, lo and behold, they fixed it!*

So, if you comment as an “other”, you can type in your name and website (and I can see who you are!), instead of having it link to your blogger profile. Pretty neat! Thank you, blogger!

* not to claim credit, for all i know they were already on my wavelength. 🙂 but either way, it’s still cool