Oops – Another Challenge

I do most of my bloggy reading via GoogleReader. It’s convenient. I can access it anywhere with Internet access and a web browser. I don’t spend time clicking through blogs that haven’t been updated. And it puts all the entries in a clean, simple format.

There’s one teeny, tiny issue with the fact that all the blogs look the same, especially when just scrolling on through. It’s easy to confuse them. Which is how I accidentally posted a link to my review of Under the Never Sky to the wrong challenge.


I’ve decided this means I just have to sign up for the other challenge, as well. Which is how I’ve come to sign myself up for the Mega Size E-Book Reading Challenge at The Eclectic Bookshelf. Twenty-five e-books.

Excuse me. I have some reading to do.

Winter Games

Before the Ravelympics, before Ravelry, for that matter (imagine that!), there was the Knitting Olympics. A simple concept: between the opening and closing of the Olympic Games, cast on and complete a project that challenges the knitter.

Two years later, Ravelry was in full (beta) swing, and teams and events were born.

Two years after that, another Winter Olympics season rolled around, and the Knitting Olympics returned.

I have actually signed up for the Ravelympics, entering as part of Team WeHo, for the West Hollywood knitting group that I haven’t actually attended in quite some time. I’m there in spirit.

But my spirit really finds its home with the purity of the Knitting Olympics. No teams, no events, no judges but ourselves. My challenge: to turn a bagful of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran into a Mr. Greenjeans.

Stash: DB Cashmerino Aran

I chose this sweater because (a) these skeins of Cashmerino have been sitting around for a few years and haven’t yet magically turned into a Cardigan for Arwen, the pattern I originally had in mind, and (b) I want a new cardi to wear to Stitches West, which falls on the last days of the Winter Olympics.

I was off to a fantastic start, casting on around 7:00 pm PST (despite NBC’s insistence on delaying the Opening Ceremony until after 8 p.m. for the West coast of the U.S.) and trucking on through to the point where the pattern changes from stockinette to ribbing. And then… equipment failure.

Mr Greenjeans

It seems that I do not have a US7 circular needle. Learn from my example, future Knitting Olympians. Check and double-check your equipment, or you, too, may find yourself halfway through the course without the right needle to continue, with your favorite LYS – after you’ve waited three days for your non-working hours and their posted store hours to coincide – inexplicably closed. Or maybe that’s just me.

A Hat Would Be Good Right Now

For the last several years, I’ve been a big proponent of sock knitting. They’re small! They’re quick! They’re portable! They’re way more practical than the big bulky sweaters I’d love to knit, since I live in sunny Southern California!

Yeah, it’s that “sunny” part that is mocking me at the moment.  The rains have come. And so has the cold. On Monday, I went running in a drizzling rain. On Wednesday, I went running on a clear early morning that happened to be 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Wednesday night, I bought running pants to wear instead of my running shorts, but this is not a running blog.

Yesterday, it rained on us as we picked out our Christmas tree.  It stopped, of course, while we were at dinner afterwards, but this morning, it was bucketing down. Cold, wet, fat drops of rain pelting our garden window, streaming off the eaves, and turning the dirt in our side yard to mud.

To be fair, it has warmed up. Yesterday’s high was 55.  This is good, because we have no heat at our house.

Early in the week, the heater abruptly started blowing cold air out of the vents. This was disconcerting, to say the least. No matter what we did to the thermostat, including turning it off, adjusting various switches, and hitting the reset button, had any effect. K called the HVAC company that the home warranty people had sent out for a previous repair. When the HVAC guy came, he informed us that the “computer board” needed to be replaced.  He turned off the system (yay – no more cold air!) and left, waiting to hear on whether we wanted to pay for the repair ourselves or go through the home warranty company, which he assured us would take at least a week.

Meanwhile, the HVAC company that the home warranty people actually called had not even called us to make an appointment to look at the problem.  They finally made an appointment with us… for today.

And then, yesterday, HVAC guy #1 returned with a computer board. Unfortunately, it was the wrong computer board, and the shop was about to close for the weekend and unwilling to either stay open to give the board to the guy or to leave the board where he could retrieve it.

All of this leaves us with no heat.  Still.  We are dressing in layers. My Bastille Cables sweater has gotten more wear this week than any time since I knit it, several years back.

Which brings me back to the socks. While I have been loving my handknit socks this week, I’m rather wishing I had knit more sweaters. Or maybe some hats. Hey, Laurie, could I have Dmitry #5’s number?