Thursday, November 30, 2006

One of Those Days.

First I took 2 kids to the dentist - 2 kids who apparently need to drastically improve their dental hygiene habits. I don't get it because I never had cavities as a kid and I ate a heck of a lot more junk food than they do. (Heck, it's just flat out too expensive to keep junk food in a house of 5 growing boys!) I've already tried switching dentists (you know - trust issues) but that didn't work so... I guess we just gotta do what we gotta do. Ugh!

This was followed up by a trip to the library where after an hour of selecting books, we found out that the books I had just returned a couple of weeks ago had actually been checked out in August, not at the end of September as I had recalled. Ouch!

I have since been at home in a very unproductive slump which, oddly enough, leads me to some....

Good News!

Sahara came out today! Yay! I already have it in my hot little hands but herein lies a dilemma that is leaving me sitting here knitting nothing. See, I had planned on casting on for the Arwen Cardigan from IK today. But now, of course, I want to start Sahara. So, now I have to decide if I want to use some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece that I have in my stash that I love and would make a very comfy sweater that I would get a lot of wear out of (yet seems totally unworthy of this pattern) - or - if I want to go find something a little more special like a silky merino. After this morning, my wallet is saying stick with the stash, but I do have a gift certificate to a LYS... sigh... decisions paralyze me.

And the best news... my hubby surprised me with the pictured Namaste Jetsetter bag this morning! I had very helpfully e-mailed him the Kpixie link and coupon code for it last weekend to assist him with his Christmas shopping and he was right on top of it! And gave it to me early! (I'm not sure what's up with the dorky expression in my photo above but my mom has the complete history of my life recorded in a series of photo albums of me with the same stupid expression as well. Whatever... we were in public... and we weren't going to stand around for re-takes.)

I love this bag! It is big, but not too big to be carried as a purse. And, as you can see, it has lots of room inside. I was able to tuck 2 knitting projects (Midwest Moonlight & socks) in one side, my little tools pouch in the center zipper pocket, plus my wallet, glasses, cell phone and Bible in the other! It even had room for the dentist's bill, treatment plan, and toothpaste prescription - yes, prescription - for my sons. (Did you have any idea that there was prescription toothpaste?? Yeah, that's what I thought.)

Anyway, it didn't even feel heavy. And I was very happy to have everything I might need right at my fingertips. (I have this sort of phobia of being bored... you know getting stuck somewhere with nothing to do... yeah, I know, don't ask.)

Well, now I need to go make dinner... and then I can return to not knitting. Hmph.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Raising a Yarn Snob

Parenting is hard work!

I know I'm stating the obvious... but in most aspects it takes years of diligence and patience before we begin to see the rewards of our commitment. Instant rewards are unfortunately rare and it is easy to feel that I am doing more wrong than right.

However, I was blessed the other day with a relatively quick return reward from my 9 yos. Apparently, I've done such a good job of pointing out the differences between a good yarn and a less expensive acrylic version (which I usually do out of self-defense more than instruction) that after seeing Wendy's Drive-Thru, he has decided he would like his own sweater... which he insists must be knit out of Karabella Aurora 8... his favorite yarn. Are you getting this? My 9 yos has a favorite yarn! And not only that, it's one of my absolute favorite yarns to knit with. When I informed him of the approximate cost of such a sweater, he merely shrugged and said "Okay." Sure, why not... he's not paying. But he wants it so badly that he's even willing to accept it as one of his Christmas gifts. Are you still hearing this? My SON wants me to knit him a sweater out of fine merino for Christmas! Ahhh.... makes a mother proud! (But fat chance of him getting a Karabella sweater before me! Well, we'll see.)

In the meanwhile, the following represents the extent of my knitting since the unfortunate "camo" sweater below...


Debbie Bliss Cashmerino - size 8 - 18st/4"
Artyarns Handpainted Stripes - size 8 - 18st/4"
Mmmmalabrigo - size 9 - 16st/4", size 8 - 19st/4"
(I figured this was the best place to record my measurements as opposed to my old system of, well, 1st not swatching, then 2nd, losing any little piece of paper I keep important notes on.)

No idea what to do with the yarn yet... but I've got numbers.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Is it Really a Good Idea?

You know, I have lots of ideas... ideas that I think are good, even great. I have ideas, or let's call them opinions, about how most things should be done.... and I'm pretty sure that my way is the better/right way. As a matter of fact, people who know me well enough might even consider me an opinionated person (which I assume, in my case, means that I have lots of great ideas).

Well, as with the many things that come with age, fortunately wisdom is one of them and God has graciously allowed me to be humbled sufficiently over the years until I am able to accept and embrace the fact that I don't know nearly as much as I think I do. As a result, I have become much less judgmental and much more compassionate and understanding. (And people no longer seem to avoid getting stuck in conversations with me.)

However, if there was ever any doubt... if I had not humbly accepted this truth in the past... my experience with knitting would have totally thrown me for a loop because, the truth is... I have very few good ideas. I have no vision, no fresh ideas, and and no ability to improve any existing ideas/patterns. But most of all, I should never impulsively invest in 4 hanks of not inexpensive hand-dyed yarn without a corresponding pattern or specific instructions as to how to use said yarn.

I was so hopelessly drawn to the Artyarns Handpainted Stripes that I had to have it... HAD TO. (And remember... It was one of those days.) I pictured it as a simple 3/4 sleeve v-neck that would make a bit of a statement with my jeans. Something fun. I decided to use Wendy's Essential Stripe pattern for the basic sweater. The pattern is great, easy to follow and produces a great fitting sweater.

However, this yarn is in no way meant to be knit in the round. Now the top of the sweater (1st picture) is a perfect example of the unique colors and striping of this yarn. But as I began the knitting in the round part, I quickly realized that pooling was going to become a potentially major issue. So of course I stopped as soon as noticed this! Ha! (I chose instead to lose sleep while imagining other possibilities, only to wake up in the morning with a new wind of optimism and pick up where I left off.)

So, most sadly, this one is headed to the frog pond (a deep dark place in my house where it will remain out of sight until I am emotionally ready to face it it again) to be re-knit in pieces. I'm wondering however, if I can frog back to the underarms and split it there... knit the front and the back separately then seam. Hmmm.... most likely a bad idea.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's just a sock...

Well, I tried to proceed with my Vesper sock on the size 1 needles but it just wasn't happening for me. I was feeling a little disappointed with the yarn (and assuming it was my ignorance since the yarn is clearly hyped as being to "dye" for) since it just seemed, well, unimpressive. And when I got to the heel, I thought of Donna's sad tale (I'm so glad you shared this when you did!) and knew it was time to start over. So out came my little, slippery Knit Picks size 0 dpns. Much better but so slippery and awkward... so, a trip to the LYS was in order where I got some Addi Natura size 0 dpns. Love 'em! Love the yarn! Love the new "swatch".

After some errands we returned to pick up my son's new eyeglasses. (He somehow came to the realization on his own that the big black frames were maybe not his style - whew! - so we took advantage of our 30 days to get it right guarantee and made a swap.) His new ones are much *much* nicer! Anyway, we're sitting there waiting so I pull out the beginning of my sock on the KP dpns and begin transferring it to the new Addi's. So there I sit with pink yarn streaming out of my purse, needles dangling and one in my teeth, when my dear son sadly confesses to me that he was embarrassed to wear glasses. All I could think was how much I loved him for not being embarrassed to be sitting next to me at the moment. I explained that God couldn't make him totally perfect now could He?

BTW - does anyone have any experience with astigmatisms? His vision is pretty good, but he has an astigmatism in each eye which, we believe, is causing him to read slow & get headaches. He doesn't really see any visible difference when he puts on the glasses (apparently since his eyes have been so used to doing the extra work for him) so he just doesn't get why he needs to wear them. And I, for some reason, have major trust issues with medical professionals. (I never believe them... don't know why... and don't start analyzing me, it would take to long! LOL) Any advice/experience you could share would be most encouraging.

Well, today looks good so far. DH took most of the boys to a local youth football game, so aside from laundry, pictured is my plan. Oh, and I must place an order with Knit Picks for some Swish Superwash for Wendy's new Quicko-Cheapo (aka Drive-Thru) sweater... in red & gray of course! ("Drive-Thru" may have won the vote but I prefer Quicko-Cheapo and I'm going to take advantage of one of the rare opportunities I get in life to make my vote count even if I lost!)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I Still Read!

Well, it's quite possible that I have a wee bit of a competitive streak that was sparked when I posted about removing my book list from the side bar. Today I picked up Stepping Heavenward for the first time in 5 or more weeks and actually finished it. Although it has taken me months to get through this book, I have to say that if I had sat down and read it through in a weekend, so many of the lessons and rewards of this great read would have been lost on me. Whenever I did pick up this book to read, it seemed to have something to say that I needed to hear at that time.

I was just getting very involved in the book and likely to finish it in a matter of days when it was lost about 4-5 weeks ago in a stomach flu incident. I had to reorder a copy and it has sat here begging my attention until the defeat that I had accepted turned into a challenge. And you know what? What I read today, I needed to read now. I say this for many reasons but I will share that one is the focus on the role of prayer in my life. (Note the name of the book I bought yesterday.)

Anyway, we are enjoying a quiet (well, how about reasonably peaceful) Thanksgiving Day at home with a turkey in the oven, a jigsaw puzzle on the coffee table, and football on the TV and in the front yard. Perfect.

I did cast on for a Vesper sock last night. I'm loving the colors but the yarn is very fine. I'm using a size 1 but concerned that I maybe should get size 0. I did swatch... even put the swatch on scrap yarn to check the fit and it seems okay so I'll keep going with the 1s for now. I know it's kinda small, but will this count for you, Charity? (Please keep in mind my half-finished-sock swatch below.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


You Belong in Winter

Quiet, calm, and totally at peace...
You're happy to be at home, wrapped in a blanket, completely snowed in
Whether you're lighting a fire or having a snowball fight, you always feel best in the winter.

This is so true... I am totally a winter! "Quiet, calm, and totally at peace..." in winter. I guess the fact that I live in So Cal would explain quite a bit then.

Fancy Image DK Socks - quicky and squishy knit on size 4 needles.
Movin' on... with a little help.

How about a scoop of Neopolitan? Yum!

And look! I finished a book... and picked up a new one that looked particularly applicable to my life right now. They just left out a word... Too Busy (Knitting) NOT To Pray.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Be Thankful!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Patience - I Hear it's a virtue

I will swatch.

I commit right here, in front of all my cyberspace pals, to swatch.

I will practice patience and remember that swatching is better than frogging.

I will NOT start another project without swatching.

I will remember that this...
is not a swatch...

Nor is this...

And, this... Well, this is most definitely not a swatch...

This, this here, is a swatch.

Actually it's a swatch in progress. Okay truthfully, this is as far as I got with the swatch... And it was knit after the above pictured not-a-swatch-but-actually-a-sweater following a practically sleepless night of worrying that my gauge wasn't working out quite right (my stitch count was okay - almost - but row count was off).

I got lucky this time as the larger needle size did not work and I was able to comfortably proceed with the sweater knowing that I was using the optimum size needle for this project. However, my higher row count may require the purchase of another hank of this not so cheap yarn and considering that I initially purchased only 2 hanks of this yarn to use as a sweater accent... I am feeling the floor continue to slip out from under me a bit.

The good news - The sweater is fitting just right after joining in the round and the yarn feels (and looks imho) wonderful. So the 24 hours of anxiety has passed and I am thrilled and can't wait to finish.

However, I am attributing this partial success to luck only and will stick by my commitment to swatch... Real swatches... Not just 4-6 rows, but real 5" x 5" swatches! (Unless I can start with a sleeve... Or something else small...) Just saying.

On a less fortunate note... I took my 12 yos to the eye doc today and found out that he needs glasses. Okay, let's pick out frames... Now I have no idea what kind of glasses a 12 yo should wear these days (or any other days) but I quickly realized that he wasn't going to go for the cute little frames with footballs on them like his younger brother got a couple of years ago, so I settled for steering him away from glasses that made him look like a rapper. The gal helping us agreed with him that the boys these days did like the thicker, black frames so we set out to find a pair without dark lenses or red racing stripes down the side.

Now, I can't even begin to tell you how much this type of thing stresses me out. Standing in the middle of 5,000 pairs of glasses which I know nothing about while a 12 yo tries to make a decision. 1) I need/must be in the know (and pretty much start to fall apart if I'm not). 2) I despise relinquishing control in such decisions but realized that my soon-to-be 13 yos needed to be pleased with the final decision. 3) I couldn't find a tactful way to explain to him that he wasn't necessarily "hip" and would be much better off in a more traditional pair of glasses. Don't get me wrong, he is an awesome kid... intelligent, sensitive, mature... but, you can see where I'm going... not necessarily trendy or... hip.

Well, short story longer... he finally found a pair he really liked, I sucked it up and we went to the counter where the manager stopped by and said, "Wow, you're a nice mom!". Wait a minute... something's wrong. I look up, "Why?" She replies, "Prada... these are nice glasses for a 12 yo," and walks off. I snuck a glance at the price tag, ran back to the Ray Ban shelf, tried to sell my son on the first pair he had liked that I shot down before the mounting stress caused me to give in and give up. Heck, I was even scrambling for the pair with the red racing stripe! But it was too late. His mind was made up and mine was wiped out. I must've looked a bit faint... or maybe she was dreading having to start over with us... but the sales gal was able to get us the 50% discount that they offer on the children's glasses since he was only 12.

Me in Target's finest, my son in Prada. Go figure.

BTW - It didn't occur to me until this vert minute that I could've quite possibly waited a day to gather some information, check out some pictures, or at least sleep on it. Nope, I'm a "now" kinda gal.

Patience I tell you... it's killing me.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Used to Read

Sadly, I think I need to delete my little sidebar on books. I suppose it's not really interesting or newsworthy to have the same books posted for months on end. At this point the list either depresses me or, more helpfully, reminds me that I am reading a couple of books and I could quite possibly put down my knitting or the computer and read... but that rarely actually happens... okay never. But some nights it will remind me to get in bed earlier so I can read for a while. But now my 4 yos has broken my 3rd book light of this year so I can't even do that. (I have no idea how he actually does this as there is usually no apparent physical damage.)

I used to be a constant reader. I'd fly through books, trying to keep a balance of inspirational, educational, and fun books (my favorite is historical fiction) on my nightstand. (Whatever was there, I can assure you that I was a woman of some intellect and mysteries which revolved around broken knitting needles and alpaca ranches were nowhere to be found.) I remember the days of Amazon frenzy when I would have book stash... boy, the books sure took up less room than yarn! And I actually managed to get through most of the books I bought in a respectable amount of time. Actually I guess I have to take that back about the amount of room books take up because a quick glance around any room of my house is sufficient to remind me that books are much harder to cram into drawers or tidy plastic bins than yarn.

Then there was the year or so after my 5th son was born that life simply took over and I didn't read at all. It was a difficult year to say the least but that was then.

It was 2 years ago this month that a friend taught me to knit (a trendy fun fur scarf) and 2 years ago this week that I first passed the hobby on to my friend Julie when I taught her to knit. (I know this because I remember she stayed up knitting all night before hosting Thanksgiving dinner.) Yet Julie has somehow managed to keep a sane balance of knitting and reading - accomplishing quite a bit in both areas.

I really love to read. So why don't I? Heck, I rarely even pick up my favorite magazines anymore. I guess it's just the season. When I'm knitting, I can still be with my family, interact, watch a movie, help them with homework, etc. I can't do any of those things when I'm reading. Knitting somehow feeds my soul a bit without taking too much of me away from my family. Maybe I need a book club or something to keep me challenged and motivated.

Anyway, I am getting plenty of reading in with my boys so that makes me happy. My 9 & 7 yos love books so this makes me very excited. (I think in my early homeschooling, book-loving enthusiasm, I unfortunately managed to push my older boys away from a love of reading. Or maybe it's just who they are - but as a mother, you know that I have to take the guilt/responsibility regardless.) Last week when we finished The Horse and His Boy and I asked my 7 yo what he wanted me to read to him next, he quickly plopped all 3 books of The Lord of the Rings on my lap. He will gladly listen to me read as long as we can each afternoon. 9 yo listens some days but since he has picked up an interest in historical fiction and nature he often prefers to spend his time with his own books.

Now that I think about it, I'm also reading The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster with my oldest son since 1) he prefers to be read to than undergo the torture of reading it himself, 2) it gives us a chance to discuss it as we read, and 3) I find it fascinating. Hmmm... so I guess I am still reading.

Anyway, I decided to use Wendy's Essential Stripe pattern to make a v-neck sweater with my newly acquired Artyarns Handpaint Stripes. I love the way this yarn is knitting up and it is so soft and squishy (much nicer than their Supermerino which a very knowledgable LYS friend advised me to use for trim only). Here's some football knitting from today.

Speaking of football... the BUCKEYES WON - YAY!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Total Yarn Gluttony

Stash? What's that you say? Do I have stash? Well, I guess so... I guess that's whats in those bins upstairs. But, well, what can I say? And as for you... I know you want to see. I know that there are at least of few of you who will be feeling a little less guilty and a little better about yourselves at the expense of my weakness. I also know that one of you will feel a little justified in making your own trip to the LYS this weekend. See, this is what it's all about... Knitters helping knitters in any way we can!

Anyway, I have been coveting this Artyarns Supermerino and Handpaint Stripes at the LYS ever since they so colorfully stocked the shelves with it many weeks ago. After much careful thought and deliberation, I finally decided that it would be a good substitute for this sweater on the cover of YarnPlay. I hope to make a shorter sleeve version so we'll just have to see how it goes. (It's much darker forest greens in person.)

The following I blame exclusively on Wendy. Mmmmmmmalibrigo... here... at our LYS! I don't even feel the need to justify this... it's Malabrigo! (in Purple Mystery)

And, of course, we have not forgotten the significance of tomorrow...


Get 'er done!

(I must however offer my deepest condolences to Michigan on their lost of their legendary coach, Bo Schembechler. I know he'll be missed.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pac-Man Shawl?

I couldn't wait to post these pictures. Ella is finished and I LOVE it!! I have not taken it off since our little photo shoot a couple of hours ago and just may leave it on to keep the chill off (if there is one) at our Park Day today. (My boys think it looks like a bunch of Pac-Mans - hmph.)

The V-shape really keeps it in place without any fussing. Now I want to knit another shawl or wrap. Any ideas?

I also finished up the OSU socks for my mom with 2 days to spare before the big game on Saturday. I just don't know what's gotten into me!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hat Lady... Not!

Blocking pins... hmph. Couldn't find them (quick enough) so since I am a woman of very finite patience (& time), I settled for regular old pins from Target. (I know... rust danger... I'm also a risk taker.)

Great... we're blocking. Uh Oh... Hmmm... can you spot the problem?

Or do all of you use pizza boxes when your knitted item exceeds the space of your blocking board. One might think it was sheer luck that I happen to have pizza boxes in the house just when I needed them but, sadly, there is almost always a pizza box in my kitchen. (Let's just say that the kids have started to complain when I say pizza is on the way.) Funny it is, how I can always find time to knit but have a thousand handy excuses for not being able to cook a real meal. Oh yeah... I'm busy knitting at that time of day. Just kidding (sorta), my job as sports chauffeur is what usually interferes.

So now I'm at the really hard part of patiently waiting for Ella to dry while frantically keeping all children and food away from the kitchen.

Meanwhile, I've been carrying around some Noro Silk Garden that caught my eye at the LYS recently that I have slowly been turning into a hat. Not that I needed a hat (or can actually wear one for that matter) but sometimes such things are irrelevant... sometimes I think that this time it will be different... sometimes I have a great imagination.

So, I knit up the hat and I was right... look at these colors... gorgeous!

However, I was unable to get any of my sons to get a decent photo of myself in the hat. And after much dispute it was agreed that it was not due to their lack of skill with the camera but instead to a lack of a decent model. Now I am not a vain woman and have a pretty decent sense of humor about myself but there are times that I just have to draw a line... So after a quick model sub (on the new hat owner) here's a decent shot of the hat.

My only request is that he not let the dogs eat it. (They seem have an affinity for Noro Silk Garden.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Almost Ella

The knitting of Ella is officially finished! Please note that I do not include end weaving or blocking as part of the official "knitting"; and these minor finishing details are under no time constraints. However, my curiosity regarding the magic of blocking actually has me wanting to soak and start pinning right away... and I would... but I have nowhere near the number of pins I will need on hand. (Guess where I'll be heading first thing in the morning???)

I'm definitely concerned about the size. I used a finer yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport) on smaller needles (size 7 - but I knit lose) than the pattern called for... and, well, I didn't, um... you know... swatch. Actually, the advantage of having a knitted and blocked swatch swatch didn't even occur to me until about 1 hour ago when I realized that having such a measurement available to me at the beginning would have let me know if I needed to modify the pattern to add some sections.

I find this puzzling since I like to think of myself as a woman of some intelligence so I'm not sure why I rebel against the value of the swatch. Obviously my lack of patience exceeds any intellect that I think I possess. Hmmm... Let me rephrase that... Obviously my great enthusiasm and passion for a lovely new project sweeps me away, suppressing my usual wisdom and compelling me to throw caution to the wind. There, much better.

Anyway, as you can see, it is not quite shawl length in back but I have high hopes for blocking! Optimism reigns. And if it doesn't work, I will still wrap it somehow and where it proudly... it will just be my extra wide scarf! (I'll have to work on getting a decent shot of the colors later. They are definitely closer to the 2nd picture.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Confession

I did it. Now I don't say this with pride... more as an admission, or confession if you will. But, look what I did in church this morning.

I was sitting off to the side surrounded by my family and friend. A quick surveillance led me to the conclusion that nobody could really see me (and truly, by biggest concern is distracting other people... I do not think the good Lord would be offended), so I pulled out the tiny beginning of my 2nd OSU sock. I'm telling you... I heard every word our pastor said and my mind never drifted to things I needed to do later or the upcoming week or anything. Since this is a constant struggle for me, and always has been even back in my school days, I found it quite settling to have my hands busy. I don't know that I'll make a habit of it... it still makes me feel a bit naughty... but what a blessing to be able to focus on a sermon!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Blog about Nothing

I seem to have a bad case of knitting paralysis. I had some time to knit today... but I mainly just thought about knitting. I thought about my WIPs yet none of them inspired me to pick up the needles (and the OSU socks needed to be saved for Survivor knitting this evening).

I actually swatched for Interweave's Wanderlust Hoodie with some DB bulky merino that I got for dirt cheap from Little Knits but when I felt the weight of the swatch, I just couldn't get excited about knitting such a sweater on the first day in 2 weeks that our temperature has dropped below 80 degrees.

The other day I attempted to start a top down pattern of my own design (I use that term loosely) with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I would tell you about that but the idea is better left in my head... it worked much better there, where I can picture it perfectly. But I was quickly put off by the tremendous amount of trial and error were obviously going to be part of the process. (It would've ended up in a dark closet painfully forgotten.)

I could use the DB merino to make Interweave's Provincial Waistcoat but that would require, well, a waist... (think 5 kids).

I also am dying to knit their Viennese Shrug but I'm sensing a conflict here with my Old Navy t-shirts. (I'm already pushing it with Ella.)

I actually really like their Arwen Cardigan (pictured)... and it would definitely work with my Old Navy wardrobe... and I have the suggested yarn in the suggested color in my stash! Why doesn't this excite me? Actually, it's the only picture I could get to post without major distortion... could this be a sign?

I could always start new socks, but yet I can't. Hmph. Paralysis. Obviously something in my life is flipped upside down. I mean, I'm not only not knitting... I'm writing about not knitting. *sigh*

I would like to knit a hat for my 7 yo son since I've been on a hat roll lately but he is insisting on a mask... a knitted mask that will come down over his face with holes for his eyes and mouth. Short of that, he won't even pick out a color. (He only lives in this solar system part of the time.)

In the meanwhile, I'm open to suggestions. You vote and I'll cast on.

On a bright note, I did manage to snatch some Vesper sock yarn this evening from Knitterly Things before she sold out this time! You know, for my collection. :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Hat & Socks

One Rams beanie knit with Karabella Aurora 8 (the perfect merino!) In case it's not obvious from this picture, he actually loves the hat.

And one pair of RPM socks from knit with Socks that Rock in Dutch Canyon colorway (a fabu sock yarn - super rich colors!)

My little photo shoots usually have to take place in my front yard which brings a multitude of strange looks from the cars I try to ignore driving by. It's like they've never seen someone taking pictures of their socks before - geesh. (I'm still working with my 7 yo on those close up shots.)

Why not the backyard you might ask? Let me show you...

wild boys with baseballs and basketballs hurling through the air...

And wild dogs... the one on the left is a giant spastic lab puppy who has been known to eat wool beanies... and missing from the picture is a bouncy little beagle.

Yes I know these last two are terrible pictures but I am literally leaning out of the door to the backyard to take these pictures for fear of being trampled or nailed by a bad throw.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Project Fizzle (or Knitter's ADD)

A new project! You know the feeling... you can't wait to start. You shop for the yarn, find just the right color and weight. If you're like me, you probably then have to wait at least a few days for the mailman. You cast on with great enthusiasm, (and come on now... what is better than casting on for a new project?), rejoice in the feeling of the yarn and the texture of the stitches. Your eyes are firmly set on the finished item... whether it's a scarf, socks, shawl or new sweater... you start counting the days. Ooooh... I'm gonna whip through this one! I just lovvvve this project! My level of commitment to a new project is intense. I could knit hours on end (I'm pretty sure without eating or sleeping) when new projectitis sets in.

So... I'm wondering what happens. Because at some point, my attitude changes and becomes one of - "Almost done, almost done... just a few more rows... I can do it, I can do it...." My joy has turned into determination and that lovin' feelin' is no more. (This is, btw, the point at which the inner debate begins as to whether or not I just need to start something new.) Why am I no longer excited? Why do I just want to be done already? Why do I feel tormented by the need to finish? Instead of a basket of joy and escape, I have a basket of "have to's" and believe me, I enough of those in my life. I will sometimes put things aside for short breaks but this scares me because I can't stand the thought of the hours invested if I "forget" about it and never finish.

Then there are the deadline projects. I avoid these at all cost because nothing will zap my interest as quickly as a deadline. I think it's my mild rebellious streak (my mom may dispute my use of the term mild here). Thus the sad state of the OSU socks that I'm determined to complete for my mom by the #1 OSU vs. #2 team-I-will-not-name in 2 weeks. BTW, I had to restart them because they were coming out way too big (what did you say? did I check what? gauge?) but I really like the less predictable look of these new ones.

Maybe I need to start a new sweater....

Well, my phone just rang for about the 1000th time this week. I didn't answer as I'm sure it was another political call which just amazes me considering the feelings most people have about telemarketers. As if a computer voice on my telephone is going to convince me of the integrity and character of the person or proposition being represented. Well, you know, except for those calls we Californians get from Governor Arnold... how dedicated he is to take such time to call each of us personally! Actually it is pretty funny to answer the phone and hear the Terminator on the other end. (Political side note - this does not reflect in any way my opinion of him... just my opinion of the abuse of my privacy via the telephone in general.)

Okay, rant over, I'm going to order a pizza and go vote.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I hadn't been to a real amusement park for 20 years until yesterday when I took the three older boys to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Now I LOVE roller coaster... I love to wave my hands and scream like crazy. But, even though I'd seen the commercials, nothing could quite prepare me for the advances that have taken place in roller coaster technology in the last 20 years. Of course being the fearless roller coaster freak that I am, I confidently and enthusiastically followed my more up-to-date friends to Tatsu, the newest and one of the more extreme roller coaster in the park. We rushed through the gate following our overly excited kids to the ride, manuevered the very short line (the park was closed for Homeschool Day!), and quickly took our seats. Being easily distracted, I didn't pay much attention to the ride until I watched the people in front of me straddle their seats, the get "locked down" chest, waist and feet. The car then tilted back away from the ground so these people were hanging there staring at the ground below. And then they took off... up, down, around, over loops, under loops... you name it they did it... all the while hanging from the track. At this point, several things went through my mind such as is their a bathroom nearby and, mainly, "Why?" Why were doing this... why did I want to? Heck, 2 of my own children opted out and were waiting below, but here I was standing in line waiting for... what?

Well, I did it! Hated it, but did it! We then proceeded through a series of coasters in which you were either suspended, standing, flipping, looping, going backwards, and, my favorite, the one with the 240 some foot drop that exceeded speeds of 80 mph. What a blast. When I returned to the wretched Tatsu for one more ride at the end of the day (don't even ask why I'd do it again because I couldn't tell you, then or now) I found that I loved it too.

Well I carried a purse specifically so I could carry my camera (and knitting) because clearly this was a day of endless opportunities for great photos but only one of the two came at of my purse... I'll let you guess. (Here's a hint.)

So to make up for lack of fun family pictures, I'll share a few shots of things to come... Heck, that's what you're really here for anyway, right?

SWTC Karaoke with a fingerless glove pattern for fun...

A skein of Noro Silk Garden picked up at my LYS visit this morning because the colors were amazing. It will be a hat for me.

And my favorite... A Morehouse Merino Rattlesnake Scarf pattern for little guy. Just couldn't resist.

Now off to football... we're in the playoffs baby!

(Didn't that sound good... do I sound properly enthusastic about what could possibly severaly more weeks of football?)