Saturday, September 26, 2009

Packing Is a Pain

As fun as the evening was tonight, the closer we got to home, the more stressed out I became.  I had spent most of the day wrangling my things in to two suitcases and failing miserably so I knew it was all waiting for me as soon as we got back.  

Sigh.  I am currently surrounded by lots of things I won't be taking with me Tuesday night.  It's funny because these were things I originally thought I couldn't live without, things I wanted to have around me before all of my belongings arrived via a slow boat and now I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to bring some of them home.   Time to further investigate my priorities.

Hindsight is such a pain in the ass.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heading Home

Maybe I was getting too comfortable.  Yesterday I found four good books at the library, started a scrapbook of Buddy for Mom and Dad, shelved Buddy's sweater for a bit to start a shawl and I even sat down last night and wrote a page and a half of something that wasn't an email or a blog entry.  Giving up and settling in just a little bit further.

I didn't expect the phone to ring but there I was, walking Buddy, when I heard Glen Hansard singing "Falling Slowly" from my pocket.  When I pulled it out, it was a 312 area code.  A Chicago area code.  Then there was a female voice with a British accent telling me that she was calling from the consulate, she had my settlement visa and would be issuing it by Friday.  "When were you hoping to travel?" she asked and I answered, "Any time.  I'm ready to leave any time."

I've been saying for weeks that I wasn't sure how I would finally react and when it actually happened I still wasn't sure how to react.  I smiled, I think a tear or two welled up in my eyes didn't seem real.  It still doesn't seem real.

I think it'll sink in tomorrow.  When I sit down and make a list of loose ends I've been dying to tie up, people to visit, airplane knitting yarn to buy for real this time....

Letting it sink in isn't all smiles and happiness, though.  It's like I told Matt today when we were talking about homesickness and adjusting to life in a new country, "It's not being there that I'm worried about, it's not being here that worries me."  I have lived in Ohio all of my life.  The furthest I've lived from my parents' was an hour and a half.  The thought of finally really leaving here is devastating - hello tears - and I know it's going to be so hard to get on that plane but when Matt finally gets to carry me over the that threshold, the life that I've been waiting 35 years for will finally get to start.  For that I am so thankful. 

So, if all goes well and my visa arrives when I hope it does, it looks like I'll be boarding a plane late next week and heading home.  Finally.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Visa Tidbit and a Little Knitting

Matt and I decided to give Worldbridge, the liaison company for the embassy, another call yesterday.   After being led to believe they were going to help us last time only to be let down, I was a little leery but I made a new friend recently on Ravelry who, uncannily, was in nearly my exact same position except that she received her visa weeks ago.  That was enough to make us decide that giving Worldbridge one more try might be worth it.

I can't quite say for sure yet but I think it actually might have helped.  I received an email this morning letting me know that my request had been escalated for detailed research.  I have every part of my body crossed in hopes that we get some good news. 

I cast on Kiri this afternoon in the Fino that I splurged on for my birthday.  I'm about fifteen rows in and I can already see the leaf pattern - for me, seeing the design start to take shape is what makes lace worth it.  It's like magic - a yarn over here a knit two together there....

Hopefully the yarn for the Gooseberry Cardigan will arrive tomorrow.  After coming home from the Wool Gathering on Saturday with no yarn (I had a really great list of possible projects, too), Matt suggested finding something online instead.  I'd been thinking about that cardigan since I'd picked up Interweave Knits - Weekend (I think there's a lot of good stuff in the issue).  It's top down but it still has some challenges and the sleeves are knit flat so I'll get to try at least a little seaming.  I'm not quite ready to dive into the world of expensive yarn for sweaters, though, so I found a nice red in Knit Picks City Tweed.  I really should finish Buddy's sweater first, though....

Speaking of Buddy - he graduates from puppy class tonight.  I haven't gone for several weeks because it's a couple hours of alone time for me and, honestly, I came home with a raging headache each time due to Buddy's barking.  He's just about the friendliest thing ever and he couldn't understand why he couldn't play with his classmates.  Mom and Dad said he's gotten better, though, and I can't miss the little guy's graduation.  We spend an awful lot of time together, after all. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Emily Is...


a lot of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made from this recipe yesterday.  Oddly, though, mine did not turn out quite as oatmeal-y as hers - but they're good.  

...not really knitting...

anything.  I just recast on a sweater for Buddy.  Considering that he still has some growing to do, I started out with a medium.  After finishing the back and trying it on him and laughing I decided to start over with the small which will still give him room to grow.


for a good book.  I have a decent list going but the library where I used to live beats the pants off the library out here where nearly everything I look for is nonexistent (or has 12 holds on one copy).  On a walk with Buddy this morning I did start listening to The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. 

...looking forward...

to the Wool Gathering.  I bought wool wash and a pattern last year because nothing really struck my fancy but this year I'm tempted by pretty sock patterns on Ravelry.  I'm determined to like knitting socks. 

to hot apple cider and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum.  I bought a half gallon of cider the other day and am just waiting for a night that's just cool enough to make of mug of this and sit on the porch.

to the season premiere of The Office.



a lot.  I really miss Matt and it almost physically hurts how much I want to get on with my life.  And not live with my parents.



that squirrel season started here on the first of September.  I would not know this if the fall issue of Wild Ohio had not shown up in the mail box today.  I've looked at past issues and they were about viewing and enjoying wildlife - this one, on the other hand, was all about hunting them and even included a recipe for Squirrel Pot Pie.  Gross.

Buddy flatulence.  Seriously.  Evil.


being thought of.  My friend Kim sent me these fantastic stitch
markers along with some sushi flavored lip jelly ("for raw lips") that
I'm happy to say does not taste like sushi.  How freaking cute is that
little acorn!?


to hear something about my visa some day soon.

...going to curl up on the couch with the latest issue of Real Simple...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Eighth grade.  My best friend's name was Nicole.  We loved Dirty Dancing.  We loved Patrick Swayze.  I remember going to see it (one of many times) for free over spring break at the theater at the mall.  I remember pausing the scene where Johnny gets out of bed just to see if we could catch a good glimpse of his naked tush (nothing but a blur no matter how many times we tried).  I remember loving the Mickey & Sylvia scene and wanting to be Baby as she danced her way home from rehearsal ("spaghetti arms"), down those wooden steps and across that bridge. 

I also remember buying the Us magazine with Swayze and his wife on the cover...I used an eraser to white out her hands and face and drew in my own gruesome representation of my crush's significant other.  I just read that they've been together since she was 15 and he was 19 which now, as a grown up, I think is pretty awesome. 

I can't say that I've seen many Patrick Swayze movies since Dirty Dancing besides, of course, Ghost (oh!  and To Wong Foo - love that movie), but it was still surprising and a little sad to read last night that he had passed away.  Thinking of him and our obsession with that movie made me remember a lot of good things about that year, though, and that's kind of nice.

A Knitted Something to Wear That Doesn't Go Around Your Neck

My first cardigan - the Shalom Cardigan.  



This was an amazingly quick knit - especially since Mom and Dad went camping all weekend and took Buddy with them.  I took full advantage of the time alone and knitted, watched a lot of Gilmore Girls and gorged myself on Doritos, donut holes and Ben and Jerry's ice cream.   

I read a lot of project notes on Ravelry before casting on for this and made a few popular modifications.  Instead of casting on 67 stitches, I cast on 77.  The pattern also suggests casting on 15 for the arm holes but I only cast on 10 and reinforced them with a garter ridge. 

I used the most popular yarn for this project - Cascade Yarns Eco Wool.  A cardigan for less than twenty bucks (fifteen for the yarn and four for the button) with only two ends to weave in and no seaming makes for a pretty fantastic first.  The only downside to this wool is that it still has a faint but distinct farm scent to it (yikes, thank goodness no one was home when I soaked it)...fortunately, I love this cardigan and it will get lots of wear which, I hope, will fade the smell! 

If I were to knit this again I would buy two skeins and make it a little longer (I made it about ten rows shorter than required and only had about three yards left after bind off) and would also make the sleeves maybe three quarter length. 

And because most of my things are on their way to England, I actually had to go out and buy something to wear under this!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Knit...

...a lot.  Toss together boredom, sadness and depression with a heaping helping of I Miss My Husband! and you get a very large serving of knitting (and a wee bit of crochet thrown in for fun). 



Summer Lace Shawlette

Cascade 220 Heathers #9564/ size 10 needle


Cowl'd and Frosty Morning

Misti International Chunky #701/ size 10 needle


Mason Dixon Washcloth

Good old Peaches and Cream kitchen cotton/ size 8 needle


Woodsy Acorn Pots

Vanna's Choice Solids/ size E hook

I made this to add to a package for Matt and filled it with leaf shaped love coupons.  Awww.

To add to the knitting maddness, I knitted a Shalom Cardigan this weekend while watching almost all of season three of Gilmore Girls and will post pictures after I pick out a button tonight.  Also, I'm halfway through an Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap with the leftover Cascade from the shawlette.  And I want to crochet a Little Acorn Project Bag from the Vanna's Choice leftover from the Woodsy Acorn Pot.  

I'd much rather, though, that my visa showed up and I could go home and forget about knitting for a little while (although the yarn for a super cute bag and the beginning of my February Lady Sweater are both already there [I, kind of unfortunately, had Matt take the FLS home in his suitcase]).  We found out a week or so ago that I'm not actually waiting for an email saying, "We're sending your visa!" (at least I hope that's what it'll eventually say).  Nope, an email letting us know that they've started processing it has to come through first.   We're coming up to week twelve which is the longest they say it should take.  I'm not relying on that tidbit of news, though, because summer is prime visa application time and we had that week of IT upgrades but I do have my fingers crossed that we'll hear something before the end of the month at least. 

Today would be good to hear something, though.  It is our three month anniversary after all....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Tennessee Towel

Kitchen towel 2 The Tennessee trip to LaFollette to visit Granny and Papaw was short but there was a lot of sitting on the back porch, talking, so I managed to do some rather fitting knitting in the form of a Mitered Hanging Towel from the second Mason Dixon knitting book.  

I left this one with Granny but might knit another.  I don't think I would make it a hanging towel - the finished product had a messy feel to it that I didn't like for some odd reason.  Maybe a different choice of color and a bigger button (this one was scavenged) would make a difference, though. 

I also seriously gained a couple of pounds and have to blame it on the banana pudding.  I love Granny's banana pudding.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Have a Great Weekend, Y'all!

Off to visit family in Tennessee for a couple of days.  A nice break with no internet (which also has a downside: no Skype chats with Matt) and, hopefully, at least a little knitting.

My backseat companion for the trip...


He agrees that I snap far too many photos of him...


And because I think his nose is his cutest feature...


Here's hoping he's this relaxed for his first long distance trip.  :)