Thursday, August 30, 2007

One Week

One week from today, I'll be leaving for my Ironman in Madison, Wisconsin. Thankfully, due to the crazy traveling I did last year for work, I was able to use my frequent flyer points to buy a plane ticket. I was so dreading that drive. Especially the drive home. Now, I'll be traveling in style...well, as in style as you can get when flying United.
Due to my extreme hatred and mistrust of United, my bike will be hitching a ride with my friend Carolyn from Tulsa. I barely trust them to get me there (if they can just get me to Chicago, I'll be able to rent a car and drive from there), so I have absolutely no confidence that they'd actually get my bike there. So, I'll be dropping my trusty Kuota off at her house on Monday so she can start her journey north on Tuesday. It's going to be a busy weekend getting everything ready along with completing my last bit o training. The long-term weather reports are looking good for Madison right now, but as the people who raced there last year discovered, it can turn from perfect to horrible without much warning. I'm hoping for perfect this year, but I'll be prepared for horrible. That means a very full suitcase. I think I'll be taking two. One for my triathlon gear, and the other for clothes.
The training has been good the last couple of weeks. Ashford helped get me through an indoor bike ride:


And my friends Andrea, Megan, Jenn and Tracy have help get me through my long runs. It has made the long runs go by so much faster and they're much more fun. They've taken shifts so I have had the motivation to keep going. It's been great to have them be a part of my training, and because of them, I've had a several great runs to lead up to Ironman

This afternoon, race numbers were posted. I'm #2180, so I guess they're expecting me to show up and race. It sounds like a lucky number to me.

But enough about the Ironman. This last weekend, I finished spinning another one of the rovings that Linda and I dyed. If I were the type of person to jump up and down clapping and squealing over a skein of yarn, this would be the skein. It's such a beautiful rainbow, and I'm impressed with how well I was able to keep it so even. Hooray!

I also cast on for the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann with the orange and purple yarn I spun from the roving Linda and I dyed. It is the first time I've dyed, spun and knitted the yarn. It's extremely satisying. I had to try out this pattern by EZ. One, because it is super cute, and also because of her last name. I doubt we're related (her last name is spelled wrong!), but EZ is a bit of a superstar in the knitting world. I just hope I have enough of the yarn. If not, I'm going to have to try to remember what I used to get the colors.

And it can't be a blog post without cute kitten photos.

Xena and her entourage:

Psst, come here...yeah, you. Let me tell you something...

How can you resist this face?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Just in case you were curious...


I'm going to have to work on my zombie eluding skills. I'd at least like a 50% chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A "Fair" Weekend

This past weekend was my third weekend in Des Moines in three months. And this was the first one that didn't involve a wedding. Instead, the highlight of this trip was the Iowa State Fair. Going to the fair is something I look forward to every year. I've only missed being there one year in my life, but there's always something new to see along with my old favorites. My niece, Megan, started off the fair on a high note by winning 4th place in the kids plant competition.


Her prize winning plant was only a few feet away from the world famous butter cow, and the special butter sculpture of Harry Potter. The butter cow exhibit is always a must see, and this year's didn't disappoint. Other highlights of the fair included my annual foot long hot dog, the hard boiled egg on a stick from the Egg Producers, going down the big slide with Megan and having my 2-year old nephew show us all how to drive the John Deere tractors.

After two days at the fair, my legs were worn out, so instead of relaxing, my sister Linda and I spent Saturday dying yarn and roving. We took the lessons we learned from our first dye day, and came up with some really beautiful color combinations.


Once again, we tried many different methods.

This was our first attempt working with roving. It was looking a little rough as it was drying, and I think we could have been a bit gentler with it, but it turned out great.





I've started spinning the purple and orange. It is going to be gorgeous! I can't wait to start to knit with it.

And we also dyed a bunch of fingering weight sock yarn.











The group photo - Once again a successful day.

It was another wonderful weekend with my family. I just wish I could figure out a way to make the drive shorter. Six hours in the car gets a little boring. Thank goodness for my iPod. I was able to listen to several podcasts while I drove.

When I got home, I found that the kittens had once again disobeyed orders and grew while I was gone. The are getting so big so fast. They're just so cute and so much fun to be around

If that glass wasn't there, the squirrel on the other side would be in big trouble.

It's a kitty noddy.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Pretty stuff

I'm sitting here recovering from my failed attempt to run 18 miles this evening. The heat (I love Oklahoma in Aug.) and my 90 mile bike ride yesterday made it pretty miserable. I made it about 10 miles, so it wasn't a complete loss, but I'd like to get a good long run under my belt in the next week or so.
In happier news, I've finally taken photos of the lovely rovings I picked up a week ago at the Christmas in July fiber festival in Kellyville. It was such a fun event, and there was way to much to choose from, but I think I brought home a nice selection. The coolest thing was that the majority (if not all) were from Oklahoma, or at least within the region. I'm happy to know that I would be able to support my habit locally if the Internet ever breaks.


Some light tan soft, from JR Alpacas. This photo does not do it justice. But I was a bit rushed...more on that later.

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My beautiful rainbow colonial wool roving.

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This is my favorite. It's merino wool in a colorway called Sandstone. At first glance, it looks a little bland, but then you notice the bright blue and red streaks that run through it. I can't wait to spin this!

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This is why I was rushing through the photo session. Purl, the mighty roving hunter, was on the prowl. I couldn't even take the merino/angora/cashmere (wow!) out of the bag. So, imagine a fuzzy bunny soft roving. It's undyed, so I'm waiting for it to tell me what color it wants to be, and what it wants to be made into. It is just so cool. That was the big splurge for the day. I'm going to have to spin it in a kitty proofed room.

I can't just post a crazed kitten photo. They sleep too. And they're pretty darn cute when they do.

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They also can look sophisticated and not roving crazed.


And here's Xena, who is still not happy about the kittens, but seems to have accepted that they're here to stay, sleeping in her favorite spot. It's a pretty expensive cat bed.
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I'll have more to share soon. I've finally reached my goal of becoming a Loopy Groupie at The Loopy Ewe, and I have completed a full pair of socks. I think it still counts as a pair even though one is a green/purple monkey sock, and the other is a red magic loop sock. Eventually, I will have a 2nd pair that is exactly like the first. I've cast on and made decent progress on both of the 2nd socks. I hope I'll have some quality knitting time while I'm in Des Moines for the Iowa State Fair.