My condolences to my Green Bay friends. Tough loss. I hope Brett is okay!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
My condolences to my Green Bay friends. Tough loss. I hope Brett is okay!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I got an ipod a few months ago and signed up for an audio book club so I could get books on CD which could then be downloaded onto my ipod for my knitting amusement. I got the first CD but had no idea how to download it then lost it for about 5 weeks before I could send it back. Then I gave in and tried to sign up with the one-and-only audio book service that offers direct ipod downloads only to be informed upon checkout that the selections I had made were restricted by geographical boundaries and unavailable to me. Would I be interested in a different narration of Alexander McCall Smith's Portuguese Irregular Verbs? Oh, you mean the one not narrated by Hugh Laurie? Well sure... I can't see what difference that would make. Geesh... I might as well just buy the book and have my son read it to me while I knit. (Actually, that's not such a bad idea.)
Well, thanks to my helpful teenagers, I at least have those 80's tunes and the few episodes of House and Big Bang Theory I managed to download through i-tunes.
So here's the thing. My cell phone broke. And by broke, I don't mean stopped working... no... I mean DH carried 3 pieces of phone into Verizon for a replacement. Given my
So he comes home with the new phone... and this.
No, not the lace, the mini futuristic brain tapping cellular communication device.
Now if I had a job or lifestyle that relied heavily on almost constant hands-free telecommunications, I'm sure I'd be in heaven. But I have to tell you that the sight of people walking around with a phone literally attached to their head, well, disturbs me. I find it peculiar and a bit obsessive. (And believe me... I know about obsessive!)
You just watch... some day, when our children are having children, the doctor is just going to take that li'l sweet pea and immediately pop a little cellphone, gps, calculator thingy right in their ear so the dear child will be set for life. Well, at least until he's three and the technology is outdated.
Oh well... it has about as much chance of getting used as that Malabrigo lace beneath it has of ever becoming a completed scarf. The pattern, Easy Flame Scarf by Wendy Bernard, is quite catchy and the malabrigo is like comfort food but if it makes it past it's status as a pleasant diversion to an actual finished scarf, I have vastly underestimated myself.
Now that I've been sidetracked by this little earplug gadget that I've been staring at all day, here's what I really want to show you. It's my brilliant idea (an oxymoron to be sure if you've ever seen any of my other brilliant design ideas) for a cardigan. I picked up this Rio de la Plata way back when I should've been in Mexico at A Mano in L.A. Combined with some brown Cotton Fleece, I'm hoping to make a Seamless Yoke Cardigan based on the schematics in Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns.
After a rough start, I'm moving along again and sizing it in comparison to my Minimalist Cardigan hoping for a perfect fit. I'm usually more of a realist than this. Given my total lack of ability to visualize anything that isn't in 3D before me, I'm probably on a road to disaster but only time will tell. At least I can read while I work on it.
BTW - Ms. Bluejeans (aka Mr. Greenjeans) is done, I just need to weave in a couple of ends and give it another steam. It's destined to become a Christmas gift for my sister who fell in love with it and does it much better justice than I ever could. I'll get pictures up soon, along with the modifications I made.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I missed my high stress job with the overflowing inbox, endless to-do lists, and ridiculous demands on my time. Okay... not the stress so much... but the inbox and the lists... those I really missed. Being a very task oriented person, completing projects and checking them off my list was very important to my sense of accomplishment. The stacks of outgoing papers and records of completed phone calls were tangible evidence of my hard days work.
Tangibility. That is what I was really missing at home. Dirty diapers went in the trash, clothes rotated through the laundry cycle, and sweeping, mopping and dishwashing were endless, thankless tasks.
Initially I thought I'd found a perfect outlet in homeschooling... lesson planning, list making and, most of all, worksheets. What could possibly be more tangible than a stack of worksheets completed by
I think this is why knitting has become such a huge part of me. I almost always have knitting out and somedays it barely gets more than a glance but most days it gets at least a bit of my time and most of my evenings. It feeds my need to create and accomplish tangible work. Some days I may only knit one round on a sock. On those days I realize that I was so busy with my children and chores that I didn't even have time to knit. Then there are the days that I knit several inches on a sweater or sock giving me that boost of tangible work that I thrive on.
Then there are the days when I get inspired by a combination of yarns in my stash and become caught up in the grips of creativity. In between lessons, I firm up the plans that have been brewing in my head for a cardigan... and not just any cardigan... no, the perfect cardigan. School work continues while I spend every spare moment getting started and quickly adding inches to my piece of art.
However, just as tangible is the act of ripping all those inches out at 10:00 PM when you realize (what you had suspected since 10:00 AM) your sizing is all wrong and you're left with the same pile of yarn you started with. Lets just say that I'm not so much a "process" knitter and this, to me, is the most painful sort of tangible. And, yes, I know one of you gets to say "I told you so," so go right ahead.
To end on a more positive note though... it was House night... and he never disappoints.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I went and saw Wicked on Thanksgiving Eve. Three hours of knitting in the dark and only 1 little yarnover snag in the sock. Not bad. I seriously expected to walk out of the theater with a mess but kept knitting just to keep my hands busy.
The show was great! Terrific songs, beautiful voices, talented performers and an unexpected subplot to an old story. I would go again tomorrow if I could.
We spent most of the weekend taking it easy and visiting with family. I did find time to escape for some more Malabrigo although I'm not sure how the lace weight and I are going to ge along. I'm using the worsted for a Shifting Sands scarf. It's a great pattern that can be used with so many different types of yarn.
Oh, and of course there was turkey. (I always wanted the drumstick too.)
Now lurks those ridiculous weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas during which we attempt to resume a normal routine while the boys' enthusiasm and my stress gradually rise at proportional rates. (And this year we also get to continue to watch the college football top ten continue to unravel while we wait patiently to see if Ohio State will come our way for the Rose Bowl or to Louisiana for a National Championship game. I know... the suspense is killing you too isn't it?)
What are your favorite ways to get ready for the holidays?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Then for a really good time, he plugs the overflow drain so he can fill it as high as possible.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Huh? Now she wasn't talking about ego... nor was she making a traditional motherly reference to the size of their child's head. No. She went on to inform me that I've always literally had a big head. There was more explanation... something about Easter bonnets and whatnot. I found it odd, but also have heard mothers say much worse things, so I just let it roll. Mostly.
I really like this pattern (Foliage from Knitty) even though, as impossible as it is for me to consider, I think it may be a bit big for me. Also, I left it unblocked for a more "rustic" look. I would block it if I thought it would help, but in my case... well, I just don't think it would matter much.
FWIW, as I was doing some Picasa magic on the photos, my middle boy suggested that I crop my face out of the picture. What a confidence boost that was.
Oh well. The LYS just received a massive shipment of Malabrigo in a tremendous variety of colors and they are having a 20% off sale! I see more Malabrigo in my future.
Finally, here's a heads up on a contest and a great new cardigan pattern by Marie Grace-Yarn Slayer. One Lily Cardigan added to my list!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
This may not seem like a big deal, but because of the wide range of distractions that I so frequently succumb to, I can barely knit a whole swatch in one sitting let alone a hat.
It's Foliage from the fall Knitty knit with Malabrigo Chunky in Burgundy making this whole thing even stranger because not only do I
I actually really like this hat and think it will serve it's purpose at chilly sporting events to come. But as soon as I finished the hat, I realized that I was going to need to keep my neck warm in a color-coordinated manner. This led to a quick pattern search (I love Ravelry!) and a trip back to the LYS so I could start this neckwarmer.
I also came across the beginnings of this Whitby sock in my basket this morning. It didn't appeal to me at the time... but I really like it now so it got some attention this afternoon. Clearly I'm growing a bit fickle.
When I wasn't knitting today, I was doing about 10 loads laundry and playing Spiderman Memory with JoJo. Don't I sound productive? It's my feeble attempt to compete with the most over-achieving blogger I know. (Yeah, I know... laundry doesn't really compete with redecorating a whole room and crocheting a matching blanket in the space of a week... but I like to set my goals low so I'm more likely to succeed.)
But the highlight of my day was most definitely watching Ohio State beat Michigan. Again! Now we just have to decide if we want to fork out the money for Rose Bowl tickets or stay home and be thankful for our big screen TV.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I wanted to keep some of the shape of the leaves instead of blocking them flat.I could've easily left out a couple of the leaf repeats as it turned out a bit longer than I would've liked but I'm still thrilled with it. I've knit a couple of scarves from this book and have more on my list. It's one of my favorites.
Karabella Aurora 8 - 4 balls - Olive
Knit Picks Options - size 7 needles
Iron is set on steam and held about an inch above the garment while pins and sons hold and stretch into shape.
While it called for a steam block, I definitely think it would benefit from a more thorough wet block. This shawlette is so clearly "not me" that I felt silly even modeling it... but it will be lovely on my MIL and perfect for keeping the winter chill off her neck.
Interweave Knits, Spring 2007
Blue Sky Alpaca Silk - 3 hanks
Knit Picks Options - Size 4
Now on with my day...
BTW - What's the best way to use Flickr with Blogger. I get very inconsistent results trying to use the Blogger Uploader (the li'l picture button) so I often end up having to use the direct html link. Thanks.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
These are my "House" socks...
I started them for the season premiere so I'd have something easy to knit while I watched. The yarn is Socks that Rock mediumweight in "Lucy" colorway. The colors are perfect and I love the striping effect.
Without any regard for what others may think, I love my clear clogs!
When I haven't been finishing, I've been frogging and swatching.
Now I'm off to nurse my headache.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I finally got around to adding the buttons to Juliet from Zepher Style.
I've knit a few of their patterns now and always enjoy them. This was so cute I had to give it a go, but I'm not really sure it's "me". Having spent more than a few years in maternity clothes, I have a difficult time wearing this sort of baby-doll style without feeling dowdy. On the other hand, I feel hip enough to get away with wearing it either.
Juliet - Size Small
Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed 06
8 hanks doubled
Size 10 Knit Picks Options
The excitement of finishing Juliet was only dimmed by the reality that I was going to need to frog most of Mr. Greenjeans. I just knew it had to be done, and Julie agreed. So, I frogged and re-wound (untangled) the cabled bottom... and then I did something really crazy and knit a swatch with cables and all! (The pattern calls for going down a needle size when starting the cables but I wanted to try it with the same size needles to loosen the ribbing up a bit thereby freeing it from my rear end.) Actually I've knit several swatches since yesterday when I realized I was sinking into a knitter's bog. So, once my swatches are dry (yes! I even washed them!), I will know how to continue.
One of the yarns I swatched was this new Dream in Color Classy in Cloud Jungle. I plan on using it to make a largish, comfy, throw-on-in-the-morning-with-jeans type of sweater.
Friday, November 09, 2007
We (13yo, 10yo, & myself) were supposed to be at Homeschool Day at Six Flags Magic Mountain today, but JoJo is not feeling well so I sent the boys off with some friends and stayed home with 8yo and JoJo. Once upon a time, this would have left me feeling quite left out... but after my last trip to Six Flags (which was followed by multiple doctor and cardiologist visits), I'm feeling a little relieved.
Not that I'm relieved that my son is sick. No, that wouldn't be right (although I must say that they are awfully quiet when they are sick which isn't such a bad thing if you know what I mean). I just don't mind missing the rides this time.
Poor little guy... quietly sleeping in the afternoon. Big Brother was kind enough to play some x-box with him when he got a bit antsy. (Wasn't that sweet.) And I found out that there's daytime TV on for grown-ups! When I realized that I was alone in the room watching Drake & Josh, I was able to get my hands on something I almost never see... the coveted remote control. Since I am a woman of great depth and learning, I quickly delved into The E! True Hollywood Story. I am always seeking truth so the fit was a natural.
Anyway, I did do some heavy cleaning this morning to relieve any guilt that may come my way as I settled into a day of doing not much else at all. My day of quiet... did I mention the quiet?
I've been working on Mrs. Greenjeans but I must admit to being more than a bit concerned. The top seems to fit well... but the bottom... well, I'm counting on the magic of blocking to free the ribbing. Part of me is afraid to keep going... I'm dying to start some fair isle mittens because, well, obviously I'm needing those as our temperatures drop into the 60s... but I just can't bring myself to stop between sleeves. Do you know if I can block before I add the ribbing around the front and neckline? At some point I'd love to get an idea of this is going to work before I commit too much more time.
Animal Planet... I am now in a room with a sleeping child watching dung beetles. Do you have any idea how long it takes me to realize these things?
Oh! If you, like me, have been a bit concerned about the content and developments on House this week... check out this clip from next week's episode. Click next to "VIDEO" on Wilson's picture. I found it great for a laugh and some hope. Hope for the show that is... because that's what's really on everyone's mind isn't it?
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I love the pattern and the beautiful Lorna's Laces Tuscany.
Monday, November 05, 2007
But my real reason for not blogging has been lack of anything to show for my time... and the only things that I've felt a very strong conviction to express were hardly worthy of their own blog. But since I'm here, I'll put it right out there...
If you have a child in youth sports...
1) Look around in you in the stands before bad mouthing the coaches of your child's team. You never know when you may be sitting in front of an annoyed coach's wife with some tiny, sharp sock needles in her purse.
2) If your son gets knocked unconscious during the 2nd quarter of a football game and is experiencing any confusion as to why his head hurts... he is not ready to play by the start of the 3rd quarter... or any other quarter that day. Yes, dads, this applies even if the team is already down 2 key players and they desperately need your boy in order to have a chance to win. And it still applies to single elimination playoff games. You should not be mad at the coach for being unwilling to risk your son's life for a youth game.
Whew! I feel much better getting that off my chest.
So as for knitting... let's see... well it's getting pretty bad. I have half a sweater, half a scarf, half a pair of mittens (Lobster Claws from Morehouse Merino), 3 half pairs of socks, and yarn pulled out for about a half dozen other sweaters I want to knit. Oh, it may not technically count, but I am also halfway through a book.
But, after a long wait, I got Cat Bordhi's new book in the mail today, so I'm feeling a bit motivated now to finish at least a couple of 2nd socks so I can move on. (It's the little "rule" I've just given myself. Like the "rule" I gave my son that he can't have a pet turtle until he can keep his room clean. I think my chances are only slightly better than his.)
Anyway, I ordered it out of curiosity and, I must say, against my better judgment since sock knitting books overfloweth in my home... but I'm so glad I did. While there are a few pairs of socks that make me think, "Well, just because you can, doesn't mean you should," for the most part I am overwhelmed with delight. I've had my nose in it every chance I could get today, fascinated by the beautiful designs and unique techniques.
She starts with a couple of small sample socks, which I would normally be quick to dismiss, but I can see that they are going to be essential in order to grasp a better understanding of the "architecture" she uses. Her basic instructions are very clear and visually distinct. Their construction requires some special alphabet stitch markers that I was able to order from one of my favorite etsy shops so my goal is to finish a sock or two before they arrive. (Take note... if you plan to order the book, order the stitch markers at the same time because you will want to get started!
So obviously I'm going to need some good TV knitting! One of my favorite shows of the new season is Big Bang Theory on Monday nights... ooh! That's tonight! Anyway, it's hilarious and I've downloaded the first few shows of the season that we missed onto my ipod, so hopefully this will help me get past the halfway point on something.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
It was immediately clear there was filming in the works...but out of view of my mom's, so we left JoJo with Grandma and decided to try for a closer look. First, we very casually drove by. Although they were clearly going for secretive, we are sharp cookies and were able to pick up on their subtle clues.
I nonchalantly snapped a couple pictures while driving by. (Totally casual to be sure.)
After invisibly circling the parking lot a few times and scoping out an adjoining empty parking lot with some nice bushes that offered a secluded yet clear view, we got a bit bolder and decided to just park near the location. (The location, by the way, was an indoor rock climbing spot further affirming my suspicion that they were shooting an opening sequence.)
We boldly approached the first security guard and asked if we were able to walk down the lot among the equipment and crew. He smiled, shrugged, and didn't speak English... we took that as a yes and sauntered onto the lot. See, we're clearly getting closer (and dorkier)... my son was actually happy to pose for the picture but since he is a teen now, looking happy is out of the question.
Then the battery died on my camera.
Having only recently rolled out of bed and thrown on some sweats... I was quick to realize that this was the cherry on top of Murphy's Law and I would no doubt bump into the man himself if I strolled any further.
However, my son (who, again, was much more excited than he looks) nudged me along and we approached some workers, "grips" to be exact, who were very helpful. They were, in fact, filming an indoor opening scene and, no, Hugh Laurie was not expected... "but you never know".
No, I guess I won't. I do have some self-respect and sitting in bushes all day waiting for a glimpse of a celebrity, even him, crosses that line. Well, at least the risk of being caught spying through bushes crosses that line.
Oh well, I'll just have to wait for next Tuesday like everyone else.
On a brighter note... the new Interweave Knits was in my mailbox when I got home! What a great issue! I like it even better in person and have earmarked a couple of sweaters I can dig in my stash for! More on that another day.