Friday, July 29, 2005

Two Good Books

I went into work for a couple of hours yesterday, and got a bit sore and worn out, so today is a day of rest for me. I have two good books that I've begun, totally different, and wanted to recommend them to you.

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kosova. Some call it this year's DaVinci Code but it is a bit more literary with a stronger sense of charachter. It is about a woman who becomes involved in researching whether Vlad the Impaler (aka Count Dracula) is still alive. Given the topic, it is a quiet and contemplative book (at least so far) and I'm really enjoying it.

Snobs, by Julian Fellowes, who wrote the screenplay to Gosford Park. This is a funny story of what happens when you 'marry up' into the British upper classes. Add in a theatrical backstory and it is a great summer read.

So there you go. I may start a fish or a Aran Afghan square today too. And hopefully get rid of this tormenting cough that I've had for a week.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

On the Mend

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Look, look, look: a sock. I finished all but the heel this morning, and even though it is a simple, straightforward sock it represents a return to some normalcy for me.

The sock is for Tim, and it is made from Lion Brand Magic stripes.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And here is a photo of the sock in progress in Costa Rica. Please note the following:

1. This picture was taken halfway through an eight hour hike up a river bed, over a mountain, and back down the river bed.
2.There was no electricity at Selva Bananito, hence the horrible hair day I'm having.
3. In the background is someone rapelling down the waterfall.
4. No, I don't take my knitting on jungle adventures as a rule, it just happened to be stowed in the backpack and I forgot to take it out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Slow down

One thing a broken bone (or any illness, I guess) teaches you is the value of slowing down. As a pretty hyper, multi tasking person, I'm constantly trying to juggle two or three things at one time. And now, no juggling for me. The simplest things like emptying the dishwasher, taking a shower, fixing the dogs' dinners, all take much longer than before.

But please don't think I'm complaining, because I'm not. Taking things slow is good, good for my body and good for my mind. Instead of whirling quickly ahead to check something off my to do list, I can take pleasure in some of the simple things: the beauty of stacked crockery, the look of love in a dog's face, the therapeutic nature of hot water. I like this slower life...although I'm sure I'll like being able to be a whirling dervish again.

I've even started back on surprises me how much I don't miss it, but I think knitting represents the 'healthy' multasking me and not the do one thing slowly and quietly me. I'm almost done with the cuff on the sock I started in CR for Tim...I'm so lucky he loves my socks.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Surgery Summary

I had surgery on my clavicle (collarbone) on Thursday, and came home on Friday. THe pain is mostly gone, it is just getting stiff and uncomfortable. There was additional damage that the xray didn't show (ie an additional little break) so now I think I have six screws in the plate holding my bone together.

I still don't feel much like knitting, or really much like anything at all, but the time seems to whiz on by.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Costa Rica!

I can wiggle into a position where I can type and where the arm doesn't hurt that much, so I thought I'd post a bit about our great trip to Costa Rica. Minimal knitting was accomplished, but maximum joy occured!

Day One: a four hour raft trip on the Pacuare river. We were in a group of 4 rafts going on an 18KM trip with class 2, 3 and 4 rapids. It was pretty much one rapid right after the other, which kept it fun. The water was so warm. It was an amazing trip.

That night we were driven by 'our' driver, Juan Carlos, to Reserva Pacuare, a working biology station wtih two researchers, eight assistants, about half a dozen volunteers, and some student groups. We were 'visitors' and were welcome to participate in any of the resarch activities that we wished. That night we went out on 'turtle patrol' to look for laying green turtles and also to look for poachers. Saw neither.

Day Two: started the day with a three hour 'nature walk' where we saw three different types of monkeys, lots of lizards, and Akami Herons. That afternoon, we participated in an excavation where we dug up a nest that was no longer viable...and we met a young hatchling and helped it on its way to the sea. That night, Tim patrolled and I sat and read.

Day Three: Took a canal boat ride on the canals around Reserva Pacuare, and saw more amazing animals, including a caymen and a sloth. Then, Juan Carlos took us up in the Jungle to Selva Bananito. RElaxed in our cabana hammocks and met the six or so other guests at dinner.

Day Four: An eight-hour waterfall hike, guided by Justo. We went with several other guests at the lodge: Cammy and Mark, newlyweds from DC, Haven and Elena from Key West, and Ryan from LA. An amazing hike up the Benanito Riverbed: we saw an eight foot long boa sunning itself on a rock (and we stood about 5 feet away). Tim rapelled down a waterfall and I rapelled down a40ft wall. Then to the hammocks, of course, and then to dinner.

Day Five: A wonderful horseback ride on "Amigo" which ended with me being thrown off (ugh) and a trip to the hospital in Limon. The upside was the ability to spend the day with Jurgen and Sofia Stein, the owners of Selva Bananito,and to hear about all their conservation work at the Lodge. We stayed on the beach in Limon in order not to have to ride up the mountain road back to Selva B.

Day Six: I rested at the hotel and was visited by the head of orthopedics at the Limon hospital who is friend of Jurgen's. A bit of a bumpy ride back to San Jose, and a delicious dinner at the Hotel Bergerac. Then home.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures really soon, including the pictures of me knitting at a waterfall. I probably knit about two inches of a sock cuff. Too much to do!

I am having surgery on Thursday and hopefully will start feeling better soon.

Monday, July 18, 2005

vacation adventures

I would love to post along account of our adventures in costa rica but...i broke my collarbone and so typing is a bit of aproblem. we had agreat time, broken bone and all, more soon.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


We had a good long weekend...a good mix of mellow and busy (mostly mellow, to be honest). We spent Saturday at the Art and the Vineyard festival (and even rode bikes there). Sunday we took a long walk with the dogs and then smoked ribs and toted them over to Steve and Jen's to celebrate Evan's first July 4th (well, July 3rd actually, but who's counting). And yesterday we slept in and hung out all day long. A good time.

I started on a 'real' lace project (ie using 'real' lace weight yarn), the 'lead or follow' lace scarf. Lace doesn't quite have the instant gratification of, say, socks, since you can't really see the pattern until it is blocked (or else I'm really, really messing this up). I am proud of myself for learning how to read the chart (which you kind of have to do when no written instructions are included) so something positive will come of this lace experience. The jury is still out on whether this is something that I'll want to do a lot of or not.

If you haven't gone there yet: please visit My Button Blog and let me know what you think of the buttons I'm working on! Thanks!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Fish and Fowl

three fishes
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished the third of the fish for the baby afghan-I'll make two more in the dark purple yarn and then possibly two more, then do a border around the whole thing. As you can see, the three fish don't fit on our coffee table so these are quite large. This is from Knitter's Magazine 51.

feather and fan sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And in the fowl department: I finished the first of the feather and fan socks from "Socks Socks Socks", adapted to 1. be knit on two circs (easy to do with 4 16 stitch repeats) and 2. to have an 'eastern' heel rather than the flap heel that I usually do. I have never tried one of these heels before--you knit 32 stitches with a piece of waste yarn where the heel goes, then you do the whole foot, then you go back to the heel, take out the waste yarn and put the live stitches on two circs and finish it off like you finish off a toe. I like the look much better, and you don't have to pick up stitches. My guess is that the heel doesn't wear as well as other types of heel, but we'll see. The socks are made from Kroy Jacquard sock yarn in the 'hip hop' colorway.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Frog Blog

The basketweave creel? That's pictured below? No longer. In WIP heaven. Frogged.

I just for some reason could NOT get the basketweave pattern right. After I frogged twice I figured it was a pattern that needed a rest from me (or vice versa).

So I started another fish...a safe project for a frustrated knitter.