Friday, April 3, 2009

Sunny Spring Day

Today turned out to be a beautiful day! Cold, but beautiful. It was raining in the morning, but by the time I was done with work and out the door, it was gorgeous (sky-wise.)

I was reading Allure magazine, and they had a review of a local nail salon. Since the price was reasonable (manicure for $15, pedicure for $25, I believe), I thought I would go check it out. I've never had a manicure or pedicure (unless you count the acrylic nails (!) I had put on for Senior Prom in high school...[on a side note, acrylic nails in 1999 could be used as screwdrivers on 1970 VW Beetles... just ask me how I know!] ). I originally scheduled myself for both a manicure & pedicure, but upon arriving, I changed my mind and just had my hands dealt with. Outside, the temperature was hovering around 48 degrees F, and I didn't want to be forced out of my wool socks into flip-flops.

So, here is what $20 ($15 + a $5 tip I left) got me:

I chose a translucent OPI polish - it is vaguely pink with silver sparkles - which apparently isn't showing up in the photo. Was it nice? Yes. Do I think it was worth it? Meh...maybe if I had a special occasion to deal with - like, my birthday or my wedding day. The woman basically did what I do at home when I paint my nails - clean them, push back the cuticles, cut off any hangnails, file them, and paint them. She did include a forearm and hand massage, which was a nice touch (and she did this "snapping" thing with my fingers, essentially pulling on them with her fingers in a "snap" pose, which made them press harder on my knuckles. A very interesting sensation). The other thing I didn't like is that you can't see their autoclave where they supposedly put their tools to sterilize, and she used an already-used nail file on me.

The pedicure areas looked interesting - according to the Allure review, the chair vibrates. I also have ticklish-foot issues, and I am scared to get a pedicure because I don't want them cutting off all my callouses (which sounds gross, but otherwise I'd have blisters everywhere...)

I have to say, I am glad I didn't go anywhere more expensive. The place is called Hoa Salon, on 64th & Roosevelt Ave., if anyone is interested. :) (Right next to the Sunlight Cafe).


Next up: The current state of my knitting.

I just bought this skein of Plymouth Mushishi yarn at Acorn Street LYS here in Seattle (post-manicure). I'd been curious about it ever since I saw it in the latest Vogue Knitting, and I think it might make a nice February Lady Sweater. Another plus: 95% wool, 5% silk, 491 yd worsted weight, $23.95 at Acorn St. So, a little more pricey than the same amount of Cascade 220, but this has some silk in it. The shopkeeper's opinion was that it was another Plymouth attempt to capture some of the success Noro has had.

Here is my March 2009 RSC kit. Beautiful, as always! I think the pattern will be interesting to knit. It's by the Yarn Harlot. The yarn is beautiful, too... I guess I am getting drawn to more pink-based colors lately... Tina also included some fun "cut it out yourself" Blue Moon stickers, as well as the customary Dyer's Notes and "emergency" keychain skein.

Here's my Hemlock Ring Blanket in it's current state. Earlier this week, I got around to migrating the blanket onto a longer cable (all hail Knitpicks Options needles!). It has made the knitting much more relaxed; although I am impressed & surprised that I could fit that many stitches onto what looked like a 20" circular needle. (!) I'm into what looks like a mostly Feather-and-Fan-ish portion of the blanket. The Eco-Wool I'm using is very nice to knit with, as well. I can't wait to sling this over myself on the couch!

Here are my finished Monkeys! (Only took me 4 months!) I think the pooling of the STR Lightweight is really interesting. This is "Fire on the Mountain", which is interesting because the right sock in the picture looks nothing like what that colorway looks like on the BMFA website. I just washed them... I did wear them once, but I am pondering sending them to my friend Priscila isntead of those DK weight socks... *hm*.

Here are said DK weight socks. I'm doing them in a basketweave pattern. The yarn is from "A Swell Yarn Shop", Duets XXL (DK) weight. I feel like I have to knit really tightly, and since the basketweave pattern changes every two rounds, I am having problems memorizing it. At least I am past the heel and into the foot. I'll use the green contrasting yarn for the toes of these socks, too.

And here is my frogged-and-wound ball of STR for my Cleopatra's Stockings socks. This was the March 2008 RSC kit. I love the color of the yarn... I had some problems with the twisted stitch pattern on the foot... The toe was *interesting*... I am debating whether to follow their short-row shaping toe instructions or just use Judy's Magic Cast-On for my toes...

Finally, I just received Cookie A's new book "Sock Innovation". It's neat! I am looking forward to comparing it to Wendy Johnson's "Socks from the Toe Up" (which I believe I put on hold at the library).


On a random note, I am entrenched in reading "The Ringing Cedars Series" by Vladimir Megre. It is translated from Russian, full of historical and social footnotes for the non-Russian, and fascinating. My mom sent me Book 1, entitled "Anastasia", and once I started reading that I couldn't put it down. It's about a woman who lives in the Siberian taiga, and basically has miraculous powers that heal people and the Earth. It's also about these particular cedar trees in Russia that "ring", or resonate, because they are signalling to Man that they want to give back the energy they have been storing up from the Earth. It is so well written that I just let myself believe everything, not allowing the blurred line between documentary and fiction to bother me. :) It's just easier that way, sometimes. I starteed Book 2 last night, and the series is 9 books, all told. I know my local library branch has Book 8, Pt. 2 (aka "Book 9"), but the others I have put on hold as well.


Random Pontification:

Did you know that if you de-friend someone on Facebook, it doesn't tell them? I just used this feature to my advantage after becoming increasingly frustrated at a disillusioned acquaintance. I also blocked them from my intra-work IM service (which also does not alert the person to what you have done; it only makes you appear offline to them and they cannot IM you).

It has made my social-networking and work lives so much nicer!!


Other random note.

Daniel and I use Skype to communicate with each other. I highly recommend it. Lately, since he has not had internet access since moving into his new apartment, I have been making use of Skype's ability to call a phone directly. Calling Japan from Skype costs 6.6 cents per minute. Not bad. The only downside is that I have to wake up 15 min earlier than normal (so 5 AM) in order to get to talk to him. Since Japan does not utilize Daylight Saving Time, it is an 8 hour difference right now.

*Sigh* I miss that guy. But I did just order him up some sweater yarn from the WEBS Anniversary Sale. 8 balls of Cascade 220 Superwash in a light navy color. (I know that sounds weird; the color name was akin to "blue serge", which I associate with serge suiting). He wanted a navy sweater, so he shall have one! I didn't want to buy *dark* navy blue, though, since I would need 100 more lightbulbs in my house in order to see what I was doing!

(I also bought myself two skeins of Cascade Eco-Wool in a pale gray, to make myself the Owls sweater by Kate Davies... *whee*!).


So, I think this weekend will be composed of me either playing in Tori's yard or preparing some fiber for spinning, AND making sure I paint my window area!

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