Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today, I actually did spend most of the day knitting. Tom had recorded a couple of terrible old movies, which gave me plenty of time to sit and knit. For the record, just because a movie was made in black and white doesn't make it a classic. Sometimes, even starring Jimmy Durante can't save it.

I also had more time to knit because I've decided to take a little break from Facebook. I hardly ever got responses to my posts, which made me feel as if I were at a party where no one would talk to me. Sure, no one ever comments here, but I don't expect it. On Facebook, supposedly, several dozen of my real-life friends read my posts, or could if they wanted to, almost every day. To post that my knee was unimproved, and I might need surgery after all, and get not a single response on the order of "I hope you feel better, soon," was mighty discouraging.

In the interest of full disclosure, one friend who saw my post on Facebook didn't respond there, but via email. She's the real deal.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In spite of the continuing rain, Tom and I went for a drive today, just to get out of the house. The dense forests of Washington are lovely, even more so than those of Oregon (but don't tell any Oregonians I said so).

I did see the orthopedist today, to tell him that I've made no improvement to my knee in three months. He's going to order an MRI, once he's gotten approval from the insurance company, and get back to me. If I were a basketball star with a knee injury, I'd have had an MRI the same day, and surgery within a week. I guess it's my own fault that I didn't become a basketball star.

Not much knitting today, but it won't be warm enough for a sweater so thin for months. We're on track to doubling our average March rainfall. As of yesterday, we had an even 12 inches of rain since the first, and we had another inch and a quarter today. Okay, it's unlikely that we'll have another inch and a half tomorrow, but it's possible. I am soooo ready for some sunshine.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's not easy to lose weight, however much one wants to, when one is kept indoors by a sore knee and the wettest March in the history of a city where an average March notes 7.37 inches of rain.

This is especially true, if one's idea of a good time is making toffee. There's still two pounds of uneaten toffee calling to me.

And it's a vicious lie that fidgeting leads to weight loss. If this were true, I'd be as thin as Natalie Portman.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I finished the silk/cotton chenille cowl. It took much longer than it should have, because it seems I have completely lost the ability to count to three.

We took it easy today. My legs were so sore yesterday I thought I was coming down with some dread neurological disease, one that would put me in a wheelchair within months. Then, I remembered that I had done some of the physical therapy exercises the day before, which I had stopped when I dislocated my knee for the third time.

The biggest source of drama over the last few days has been Nikki, our lovely mutt. She has taken to pulling so hard on the leash that she was aggravating our various injuries every time we walked her, so we bought her a head harness. She hates it, but it's like installing power brakes. While she's wearing the head harness, we have fingertip control. We're trying to acclimate her to wearing the harness by giving her liver treats, only when she's wearing it. Since she's a clever dog, and independent by nature, she's done some serious searching for the liver treats. Just now, she knocked over a chair in the dining room while she was searching Tom's jacket.

Other than that, she's a lovely dog.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tom and I went to Portland again today. That's a lot easier, now that snow on the road isn't an issue. We bought ranges and ovens for the restaurant, checked out a Japanese market (they have banana leaves and plantains, so I can make proper pasteles, if I want to), and went out for a Hawaiian plate lunch. Since the weather was rapidly alternating sunny and rainy, I saw at least 8 rainbows on the way home. Tom only saw 3, since he was driving and most of the rainbows were behind us.

Knitwise, I didn't make much progress today. I did pick up the cowl I started yesterday, but I tried to do something different. After a few rows, I decided I didn't like the changes I had made, so I ripped it out to the point I had started today, and went back to the original plan.

Friday, March 25, 2011

We met with the painter today, which only took a few minutes.

I finished the first sleeve of the laceweight sweater. Rather than cast on the second sleeve right away, I'm making a silk/cotton chenille cowl for instant gratification. I'm doing it in mistake rib; knit in the round, mistake rib makes spirals. It should only take a day or two, depending on how many hours/day I knit.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well, we're back to typical Oregon weather: cold and rainy. That's okay; the summers are wonderful.

Tom and I met with all the various contractors, plus the architect and the building owner. It's just as well that I hadn't put a lot of sweat into laying out the kitchen, as the existing layout of the building made my preliminary ideas impractical. Hey, I thought the ranges would go in the front of the kitchen, but if the mechanical engineer says it'll be dramatically cheaper to put them on the side, on the side they shall go.

I did a small bit of knitting, but I really had more fun picking out colors for the restaurant at Home Depot. I'm doing brights. My aim is to make my customers feel like they're on vacation some place warm and sunny.

Just now, I've been looking at stoves. I need four ovens. The menu I'm doing requires no less. Getting them will be expensive. Free standing ovens are even more expensive than ranges with ovens included, but, if I buy more cooktop than I need, I face increased expense in the ventilation department. I just have to remember that, in a year, I'll be running a successful restaurant that is paying its way.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I didn't knit much today, either. Frankly, I may die of boredom, trying to make a plus-sized sweater out of lace-weight yarn on size 3 needles, in garter stitch, yet, in an almost-solid color. I may spend the rest of my life on this one sweater.

It was a lovely day today, summer-like by Oregon standards. Summer-like, in this part of Oregon, means that the daytime high topped 60 degrees (by 1), and it didn't rain until after sunset. Tom and I celebrated by going out for pizza in Cannon Beach.

And I'm meeting with all the contractors and sub-contractors tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not much knitting accomplished today. Frankly, I'm tired of all those itty-bitty stitches, all in garter. I could have knit two whole sweaters in super-bulky in the time I've spent on less than one sleeve.

I'm in negotiations about the remodeling on the restaurant. I have reason to hope that things will start to move quickly, in the next week or two.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tom took me to a dockside fish market today, where I got a lesson in cleaning razor clams and two pounds of the same to practice on. The results of my practice weren't pretty, but they were sure tasty.

Most of the rest of the day, when I wasn't messing around on Twitter and Facebook, was spent watching food shows on TV and quickly jotting down notes on recipes I want to recreate for the restaurant.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We saw "Paul" today. I'd go so far as to say that it's Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's best yet, and I'm a big fan of their work.

This evening, we had our next-door neighbor over for a simple dinner of soup and home made bread. I ate too much. Carol brought apple cobbler, which was great.

Very little knitting got done.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I had a lot of fun today. Tom took me to a quilt show in Ilwaco this morning, on the condition that we go out for a Thai lunch afterward. There were a number of great quilts in the show, and I love Thai food anyway, so that part of the bargain was no sacrifice. After lunch we went to Seaside, where we picked up an organizer/calendar/wallet for me to use for my business. Once home, I found a tweet from a teaching butcher shop in San Francisco announcing new classes. Using my business credit card, I signed in before the whole pig class could fill up. And, as if all that weren't enough excitement for one day, I made dinner using the Chinese sausage I picked up at the Asian market a couple of days ago. Yippee!

I changed course on the light blue, silk/mohair thingie I'm making. I saw that, as slowly as I was covering space, I'd die of boredom before I'd have knit enough to make a shawl/cape/wrap. Instead, I'm going to stop the 3/4 circle when it has a radius of 10", make another one like it, and call them flutter sleeves for a light summer cardigan. How long the cardigan becomes depends on how long my yarn holds out. It might be full length, or it might be a little bolero. At present, after knitting four days, the object has a radius of 5 1/2 inches, with a stitch count of 150/row. I don't want to do the math to figure out how many stitches/row would be involved if I were to make a wrap with a radius of 3 feet.

Friday, March 18, 2011

We had minor business to attend to in a suburb of Portland yesterday, so we took the time to check out an Asian mom-and-pop grocery store, Manila Market. What fun! I'm delighted to, once again, be living in a house with a well-stocked pantry. Coconut milk, how I've missed you.

Tom was as pleased to find a bagel shop that had proper egg bagels as I was with the whole continuum of Asian goodies I invested in. As nearly as we can tell, Noah's Bagels is the only shop in the whole northwestern corner of Oregon that carries egg bagels. They're the only ones Tom will eat, and, if he had his druthers, he'd eat them daily. He bought out there entire stock, and will likely do so each time we go to Beaverton in the future.

Today, we're back at home. Maybe I'll knit some, but the project I'm currently working on, a light blue silk/mohair wrap, is low priority. Since I'm doing it in laceweight on size 3 needles, I expect it to take a very long time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I spent several hours trying to master what had looked, on paper, like a very simple lace pattern. I must have knit, and frogged, 15 swatches before I got one I thought would do. Finally, I thought, I had that pattern licked. Nope. When I looked at it off the needles, I could see that I had repeated a row out of sequence, and that the resulting flaw would be visible from the back of a galloping horse.

I have set aside the notion of doing a shawl in Arrowhead Lace, and am instead doing one in garter stitch. It'll be a half circle worked from the center out, in a laceweight silk/mohair blend, pale blue, that has been in my stash almost as long as I've been knitting. Doing a big half-circle on size 3 needles, I won't be at a loss for something to do for quite a while.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I finished the green silk/wool cowl today; it's happily blocking on the bed. While it isn't perfect, I'm pleased with it. Now, I'm doing a sample of Arrowhead Stitch to see whether I like it enough to do a whole big silk shawl out of it. I thought I might to Rosebud mesh, but found the stitch pattern too complicated for me. The pattern I used for the cowl, Urns, is symmetrical within each 12-stitch repeat, so it was easy to remember each block long enough to finish the row without constantly checking the pattern.

It's very stormy today, with wind, rain, and lightning, but at least it's not snowing.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tom and I went to Seaside to see the lawyer today. As it turns out, there is some very simple paperwork that needed to be filled out in order to avoid big problems farther down the road. We were in and out in 15 minutes. They were important papers, but easy to manage.

After Tom got his rear-view mirror fixed, which must have taken all of 10 seconds, we did a little exploring on our own. We tried to check out the local seafood market, only to find that it had gone out of business. The fixtures they had for sale didn't interest me. Then we checked the local Latino market. It was tiny, and had little of interest, but I did buy some black beans and a package of whole nutmegs. From there, we went to the produce market. Alas, I had been expecting a greengrocer, but it was more of a distributor. Our last stop, after picking up dessert at the Blue Scorcher (best bakery in town, possibly in the whole Pacific Northwest), we checked out the local food co-op. It was small, but had an admirable selection of gourmet items, at gourmet prices. There was the usual assortment of hippie necessities, too, but it has become expensive to be a hippie. I didn't buy anything, because of the high prices. I did notice that they carry the two medicinal teas I like, both from Traditional Medicinals. I'll be back, when I have a sad tummy or a nagging cough.

On the knitting front, I did another couple of repeats on the lace thingie I'm working on. That's an exaggeration; I did about a repeat and a quarter. I think I should have cast on fewer stitches. The thing would fit better, and be quicker to knit. I didn't need to make anything for St. Pat's Day, anyway. I have a green tank top I made last summer. While tank top weather hasn't arrived, yet, it would work as a vest over a cotton turtleneck.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I thought I had related my knitting adventures yesterday, but that must have been in an email. I finished the sweater, I thought, before noon, but decided that the sleeves needed to be an inch longer. I spent the day running around, and finished the sweater after dinner. Well, I finished the knitting last night. I didn't weave in the ends until this morning.

After the sweater was taken care of, I turned my attention to making something green for St. Patrick's Day. Folks up here take their holidays very seriously; if I didn't wear green, I'd be risking being pinched black and blue.

I did find a nice green, a dark mossy color in a 50/50 silk/wool blend. I pawed through a few knitting books before deciding on a lace pattern for a cowl. That should be easy enough to crank out in a few days, even though it's the most complicated lace pattern I've attempted yet. That's not very complicated, in absolute terms. I've never made it a secret that I favor easy patterns; feather and fan has been the northern boundary of my lace making so far. For this cowl, I'm using a pattern with a twelve-row design, each odd-numbered row different from the rest. Yep, I'm finally tackling the real deal.

Friday, March 11, 2011

There's only one inch to go on the second sleeve, but I don't have enough "awake" left to finish it tonight. Tomorrow.

We saw "Rango" today. Someone must have taken a lot of acid to make that movie.

All day was consumed with reassuring people who were worried about me, since I live on the Oregon Coast, and there was a tsunami watch. I'm on the top of a 500 foot hill; unless an asteroid hits the Pacific, I'm immune to tsunamis here.

All good wishes go to the people of Japan, who have endured earthquake and tsunami, and now face the possibility of nuclear disaster as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In order to combat creeping dullness, Tom and I drove up to Cape Disappointment today, in spite of the wind and rain, to see the Lewis and Clark museum there. Visiting a museum may not sound like high drama, but we needed something that would be indoors, due to the weather.

The exhibits start out drab, inspiring thoughts on the order of we paid $5 for this?, but pick up at the bottom of a winding ramp, where they keep the good stuff. In the end, we spent three hours there, soaking up history.

The best bits are just outside, though. The Lewis and Clark museum is built on the roof of an abandoned military post, which is open for exploration. Cool! And, the complex being on the top of a high coastal cliff, the views are spectacular. On this stormy day, the roiling sea under a menacing sky, with wind so strong I had to grip the rail to keep from being blown over, just taking in the view was a species of adventure.

And, I'm more than halfway done on the second sleeve of the Peekaboo Peony sweater.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Boy, I've become dull since I moved north.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I had a more fruitful day, today. Besides finishing one sleeve and starting the next, I made several phone calls essential to starting the business. I had been putting them off, though not for long.

The bad news is that my knee has been hurting for weeks, and the PA covering for the orthopedist said there wasn't much to do for it but to wait for it to heal on its own. If it doesn't heal, then a total knee replacement would be the only surefire fix. I don't want to do that now, and I want to even less after getting the business started.

Oh, well. It'll take at least a couple of months for the room to be readied and the permits put into place. Maybe my knee will get better on its own.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Knit about 4 inches of one sleeve, today. Using two circular needles, as if it were a sock.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

I finished the body of the Peekaboo Peony sweater today, up to sewing the shoulders together. It fits fine, so there's no reason I can't pick up the stitches for the sleeves. I didn't do that, though, as I spent much of the afternoon outdoors. Sunny days are so rare up here that they can't be wasted.

Friday, March 04, 2011

There are several kinds of weather in Oregon, in winter. There's light rain, heavy rain, just stopped raining, and just about to start raining.

There are also many advantages to spending the winter in Oregon. I have myriad opportunities to wear pretty wool sweaters, stylish raincoats, up-to-the-minute scarves, hats, and mittens.

There's only one disadvantage, and I'll bet you know what it is.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Had a productive meeting with contractor, architect, and refrigeration guy. Among them, they know everyone in the restaurant support industry in this part of the Northwest. I should have some good estimates/ideas soon.

On the Peekaboo Peony front, the back is done, and the front nearly so. I should be starting the sleeves by the time Tom gets back from LA. Since this is a drop-shoulder design, the sleeves won't be too onerous. I'm copying a favorite commercial sweater that I wore to death. After its demise, I studied its shape, and was delighted to find that it was totally simple. All I was waiting for, as far as making it, was the right yarn, and enough patience to do a whole sweater in moss stitch in a small gauge.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Another uneventful one. Met with the building inspector for the city, who was prompt and polite. No meetings scheduled tomorrow; two Thursday.