Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Holiday cheer

Ah, the holidays. A time for good food, good fun, and quality time with the family. So far our holiday get togethers have gone without a hitch. Nate has this week off and tomorrow morning, we head to Ohio. We will spend New Year's with my in-laws, as we do every year. No, I'm not complaining. Do you want to know why?

I want to start off by saying that I LOVE MY FAMILY. I love being able to spend time with Nate and Jess. But I have not been able to even (forgive me crudeness) take a pee without company. I cannot sit down without another body swooping in to snuggle up to me. Yes this was nice and cute, for the first couple of days. But I have stuff to do, and you'd be amazed how chores grind to a halt when you have to give "hug breaks" every few minutes. Again, I love them, but I cannot wait until the 3rd when life goes back to normal.

Now, knitting news.



*a tumbleweed rolls through this part of the blog*


I have none. Except to tell that all knitted gifts have thus been received favorable, and I have a request for ANOTHER poncho.

Other than that, I have not had time for any knitting. I am going through withdrawals, I am getting quite snippy.

I look forward to the trip tomorrow as it will give me time to knit in the car, time to knit while all others are visiting, and time to knit on the way home.

I plan on taking the afore mentioned poncho, (harlot pattern, black woolease) Nate's second sock, and I dug up an orphaned sock that I had made for myself, that I will work on the mate. We will see about my progress next week.

Head Cold + Flying = Bad Bad Bad

Trust me... You DON'T want to try flying with a head cold. OUCH

Plus it didn't really help that I was flying during one of the busiest times to an airport that was already dealing with weather "issues". Oh well.

My trip did "allow" for my first KIP experience which was pretty cool. Hey, four hours in a not so large, not so exciting airport in the middle of Iowa has GOT to be good for something, right? In fact I got most of Nathan's extra long scarf finished. I have pictures somewhere and will post them as soon as I get this whole thing figured out. Hopefully he'll like it or something.

My Dad loved his washcloth and his scarf (I have a picture of him modeling that too). He was so proud of my knitting, it was so cute.

I started a scarf with fuzzy yarn (Fun Fur maybe?) for my future stepmom. My Dad and I picked out the color of the yarn together. It's bright blue, I like it and hope that she will too. It's for her birthday which is January 6th... I'm hoping I have time to finish it and get it in the mail soon enough.

Ok I have some non-knitting news... I finally had the opportunity to flirt (or, in this case, try to flirt) with the attorney downstairs in my office building. Of course I take this opportunity today... When I'm looking less than stellar and due to the previously mentioned cold I sound like a flippin' frog! Oy. Oh well it's not as though he was the man of my dreams or anything. And he did look twice so to speak... Then again that was before I croaked hello at him... oh well. Plenty of fish in the pond, right?

Ok, I'm off to unpack (I'm really bad at actually doing that) and get some knitting in before I hit the bottle of NyQuil (the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, put you in a coma so you can rest medicine... you know the nectar of the gods when you have a cold). Is it wrong that I'm looking forward to that? :)


Thursday, December 23, 2004

You've got Monitor!

WaHoo!!!

I FINALLY have a monitor in my house that works (yup, E, apparently I got those plugs in the right place :) ) so now all I need is a digital camera and I can blog like a pro!

Knitting news... (shockingly I have some)

I got all but one of my knitted Christmas items done. Granted most of them are washclothes but, hey, Rome wasn't built in a day. I have completed two scarfs... One for a coworker's birthday (she liked!) and one for my Dad for Christmas. If I ever get there perhaps I can give it to him (more on that in a moment). I'm pretty pleased with both of them. The only thing I might do a little different is make the next scarves longer, but then again I personally appreciate a long scarf. I do have another scarf to make, this is the one Christmas item that I haven't even finished. Er, wait, I haven't technically STARTED that one yet. Details, details. It's for the lying cheating sack of poop so the desire to actually make it changes from moment to moment. Currently I'm placating myself by reminding myself that once it's done I don't HAVE to necessarily give it to him. :)

I should be at my Dad's right now in Cincinnati... but in case you haven't read a paper or saw on the news... a good chunk of the middle and east of the good ol' US of A got SPANKED with snow (at least by their standards). So all flights to Cincinnati from Cedar Rapids, Iowa were cancelled today. I am among the fortunate though because I currently have a seat on a flight tomorrow night, it's actuallly the same flight I was supposed to take today, just tomorrow. The poop's sister is somewhere between here and Lexington KY. She was supposed to fly from Lexington to Detroit to O'Hare to Cedar Rapids (that here, ladies and gentlemen, is a woman that needs to fire her travel planner). We know she got on a plane in Lexington but so far that's all we know. And when you look on the web for airports with "issues" because of weather include every single one that she is supposed to visit today. Thankfully I know her well enough (read: very little but enough to know this) to know that she is a pretty resourceful not to mention flexible person so I'm sure she'll be alright. So I hope everyone out there either was able or is able to get to their original planned destination.

Ok, another knitting thought, I was looking at the Yarn Harlot's website today (SHOCKING) and I'm in love with her Latvian (which I may or may not be spelling right) Mittens. E assured me that they are not nearly as difficult to make as they look. Now I know E, she wasn't saying this to lessen the fabulous job our Harlot has done but rather in her attempt to get me not to be frustrated and therefore not even try to attempt something that cool. Yes, E, I'm onto you. :) But I'll keep it in my "someday" file. You know someday I'll think about making something like that myself. I think I'll teach my coworker, Cari, how to knit first then maybe her and I can slug through it together. You know local moral support. We'll see... I just recently got Cari to say (without my prompting) that she would like me to teach her how to knit. *Insert evil laugh here*

Alrighty then, I have to go unpack some of the stuff I packed this afternoon (sadly only to repack tomorrow) and apparently there was something I'm allergic to in my bath water this evening. So I have these weird fairly burning itching spots all over my body. I've rinsed my whole body with a COLD shower (which made my apartment seem warmer, which was a bonus) and taken Benadryl. Hopefully I won't wake up horribly disfigured. But, hey, if I do I always have my "charming personality"?

Happy Holidays (whichever ones you celebrate) everyone!!




What was I thinking?

Tuesday night I was suffering some sort of delusion. I actually though I would finish Jill's tote bag to give her this morning. Needless to say, it did not happen. Yesterday I did not knit. At all. Nada.

Actually, Jess and I spent most of our day braving the cold and the traffic. It was "Do-every-errand-I-can-think-of-so-I-don't-have-to-go-out-again-before-Christmas" Day. Oh, and "Meet-Jill-and-the-two-Amys-to-plan-Katie's-baby-shower" Day.

So, Yesterday I called Katie to report that, although I had lots of odds and ends for Jill's gift, I had no bag. It's now in her hands. I dropped off what I had to Katie last night(before the snow hit) so she could present the gift to Jill today.

Oh and by the way, my mother called last night to ask me to pick up a gift she will be unable to. So much for no more errands.

Every year my family goes crazy at the holidays. We buy too much, we eat too much, we stress too much. Every year I try to simplify and every year I get pulled into this frenzy with the rest of them.

I think I'm going to crawl back in bed. Wake me for New Years.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A better ending

So, after I locked myself in the bathroom and wept a bit. Jess and I went on to salvage the rest of our day. (By the way, thank you, Cari for reassuring me that other children have these tantrums. Also, that others have "wax art" residing in their heating vents.) We didn't do too bad. We even ventured out and rounded up a few things to include in Jill's birthday gift.

Jill's birthday is the 23rd, and Katie called me to run her gift idea by me. Since Jill has taken quite well to her knitting lessons, Katie thought it might be nice to round out the basic "learn to knit" gear I equip my "students" with. So she had asked that since I would know what would be useful, etc, if I could give her some ideas. I offered to do the legwork for my very cute pregnant friend, if I could share in the idea and contribute to it. So Jess and I went out to round up supplies. We did pretty well too, with one exception. No knitting bag (the bag was not only meant to be useful, but also as a sort of "wrapping"

All the bags I encountered today were either way too old lady or so "unfun" tacky, that I could not pick one out. So, I'm attempting to make her one. It's sort of a suki bag that I am making with odds and ends. I do realize it may be tacky, but I am trying to go more for "funky". What do you think?
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So, I have popped open a bottle of Pete's wicked Ale, and I'm knitting what hopes to be a funky tote.

It's going to be a long day

I should have known. Really I should have. Yesterday had gone so well. I should have known today would not have.

Yesterday went like a dream. No fits, and Jessie wanted snuggle time. We played, we laughed. It was a good day. When I went to bed at about 2 am, I felt pretty good. (Going to bed late is a pretty normal thing for me. It gives me some quiet time and some time to battle the effects a toddler can have on a clean house.)

I should have known, when at 5:30am Jess was up and ready to play. I begrudgingly got up with her and started my day. And it wasn't too bad. Until this was lost.
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Approximately at 6:30 am, Jessie, who has been shape obsessed recently and goes no where without her foam book with coordinating foam shapes, realizes she is missing the heart.

Three-year-old meltdown ensues. Jessie screams and cries and proceeds to throw a fit. All the while screaming "I wanna find your heart!" every two seconds. Things escalate from there. Meanwhile, I am FRANTICALLY searching the house. Which is hard to do because anytime I walk more than three feet from the screaming three-year-old, she starts screaming in the upper octaves.

Finally at 8am, (Yes 8am. This screaming fits last the ENTIRE time with the "I wanna find your heart" chorus continuing the whole time) I find the heart under the Christmas tree.

Now, many of you ask why I didn't make the screamer find the heart herself. Normally I do, and to her credit she tried. But due to her visual impairment this is a very hard task for her. Especially a red heart on a maroon carpet. If it was more that 18 inches from her face, I don't think she could have seen it. So I bear no ill will about it. I understand it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I just wanted to give a heartfelt thanks to those of you have posted such nice comments about my mitten. It really does mean a lot to me. Unfortunately, the way Blogspot is setup, I cannot reply to you personally, So, Cassie, Norma, and KarenK in Oregon, "Thanks!"
Thanks to you too Carma, we talk enough I didn't feel the need to include you above.

'Can't hardly feel my ears.

I have cast on my second mitten. But really that has been all I have been able to accomplish on it. With Fair Isle (especially being new to it) I find I have to knit loosely and have a minimum of distraction. With school out, and Nate starting his vacation midweek, I don't see that happening. I mean I guess I could find a way, but it requires me locking myself in our only bathroom to work on it. Jess only goes to school a for roughly three hours a day, but I think that has spoiled me. So, I might have to hold off on the second mitten until January third. That is the day my life is scheduled to return to normal.

So, I had decided to use this time to finish up (or at least work on) the 6 work in progresses I have. Yup all set to do it. I swore off all new projects until I had made some progress. That was Friday night.

Saturday afternoon My Mom and my 8 year old nephew, Austin, came over. It was cold. Austin was wearing one of the first hats I had ever knit. I had made it just for him. It is his favorite. It's a plain green ribbed hat. I noticed one problem. I can see his ears. He had grown so much in the last year, his hat no longer fit. It was too small to the point that I wonder how he's able to keep it on his head.

Austin, the master of subtlety, said nothing of his ill-fitting headwear. He tromped in and stated, "Whew, it's cold out there! 'Can't hardly feel my ears." He then walked up to me, looked at me for a good 10 seconds in silence, and removed his hat.

Point taken. Any other kid attempting this would have gotten an earful from me on manners, But I can't help to giggle at Austin. He's really one of the sweetest kids I know. He just has that quirky Krafft humor, and that Brandon self-confidence, that our family shares in.
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So I cast on this and I hope to have it done when I see him on Wednesday. Sort of a pre-festivities gift. Before he left he asked when Jess was gonna come stay with him now that school's out. (what other 8 year old do you know looks forward to their 3 year old cousin coming to spend the night? He very much likes to play the part of older brother, I think.) Not a word about that around his friends, of course, that would be uncool.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Pattern

Well, The thumbs done, and the pattern is posted. (see side bar) Not much else to report. Today is the last day of school before winter break, and there's lots to do. Later.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Giddy up

Wow, I am so excited.
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My mitten pattern actually looks like a mitten.
I have a comment from Cassie (ok, I emailed her and implored her to come look at my mitten. Because her mitten posts really gave me a shove in the mitten direction)
I have a comment from Norma (unsolicited. How cool is that?)
If you goggle "dork carma mitten" I am first. Now I realize that no one is going to google "dork carma mitten" but me, but hey, it's still a little bit of a thrill to see it there.
Did I mention my mitten pattern looks like a mitten? Yeah, that makes me happy.

Tahdah!

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ok, so it's still missing a thumb and is lacking some weaving and blocking. But essentially it is done. The best part? My pattern worked! Whoo hoo! I'm in the process of typing it out and I have yet to be able to successful tansfer the graph, but as soon as I finish that I will have my first written out pattern posted for all to enjoy. Oh wait-- here's the "palm view".
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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

purposeless amusement

Punk Mama
You're a punk rock mommy! DIY is probably your
motto, because you're a punk mama at heart.
Your kids are getting your independent spirit
and guts, and learning to solve problems
themselves. You love it when they show their
independence, even when it's breaking your
heart.


What kind of a freaky mother are you?
brought to you by QuizillaI know quizzes are basically a big waste of time, but they amuse me to no end. I think this one is accurate for the most part.

Tonight I have a stitch n bitch. We are to vote on our "name" I think i voted for "Knitfits". Right now it is tied with "knitwits" and the tie breaker poll will be taken tonight.

Jill thinks she may be coming tonight. Katie is still unsure. There should be a least a couple people there who have been unable to make the last few meetings. So It should be fun.

I'm knitting like mad to finish this mitten so i can post the pattern. More later.

NNK2

Ok, I've been holding out. I have yet another blog I read regularly, that I don't have linked on the side bar. Now Norma Knits 2. I always read her after I read Too Much Wool.

Anyway, Norma ran a contest yesterday and the comments are very entertaining. By the way, I love the idea of blog contests. Too bad no one reads mine, or I could hold my own. *sigh* Oh well.

My mitten is coming along. And Look it's actually the same one from the last picture. Amazing!
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I figure I will "test knit" one before I post the pattern on my free patterns page. Now the question is whether anyone wants my pattern.

Ok, ok here are the dang pictures!

Camera's up and fully charged.

Mitten, for a third time.
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UNdecorated tree, with 6 foot hubby to provide some sort of scale reference.
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Decorated tree minus hubby
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Stepmother's scarf, short one ball of silk garden
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Newsboy cap, for myself, in Jo sharp silk road tweed aran.
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I finished my book. An enjoyable read, especially since the author pokes some fun at the Borgia family in it. I think I'll have to pick up another of Mr. Maguire's books up soon. But first I have a few others n my imaginary reading list.

I caught up with the Yarn Harlot's entries today. Part of me thinks, "Wow. How cool would it be to have someone organize my time and tasks into a workable schedule?"
Then the other part of me snorts with a laugh and answers, "Please You'd never follow it even if you had a schedule." (You see I tend to have issue with anyone telling me how to spend my time, even a piece of paper. In high school I refused to read the "required reading" in English class, BS my way through the tests, and then go back and read the selected novel on my own. Yup, THAT stubborn.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Technical difficulties.

Due to a very harsh windstorm Sunday night, our phone service had been disrupted from early Sunday evening until about 10 am this morning.

I know I promised tree pictures, but my camera is charging (again) My batteries don't last for anything anymore. Maybe I need new ones.

Mitten news. I ripped out and started over. Why? In laying out my chart, I failed to realize that my hands are stubbier than most. If I continued with my original pattern, I would have an extra 3 inch of mitten with no hand to occupy it. So I went back to my chart and shortened it, but that meant overhauling the design as well.

I'm not complaining It's sort of fun, in a masochistic way I guess.

When not working on my mitten, in the last few days, I have been reading. I took out a book from the library, and I must say I like it better than I originally thought I would. It's called Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire. It's a decidely adult version of the Snow white and the seven dwarfs tale. I'm hoping to finish it today so I can head to the library tomorrow. (it's along my errand route for tomorrow)

Oh! I have also been working on a birthday present for my step mother. I decided on a Noro silk garden scarf and the pattern for the pinecone scarf in the latest issue of interweave knits. But I have run out of yarn and need to get one more ball, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

I think I'll start my newsboy cap from the Stitch n Bitch Nation book. It'll be a birthday gift to myself.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

mitten progress

I know what your thinking.
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"Wait. Something's....different....."

Well, you see, I was about to start on the next part of the design, only to realize that if I rearranged things a bit, I would like it much better. Plus, I had noticed a couple puckers. These puckers mean I'm knitting way too tight.
So I opened up Excel and graphed things out. I do like it much better this way.
Also, I waited until everyone had gone to bed to start to work on my mitten. It's amazing how much of a difference a little peace and quiet make.

Tomorrow: Christmas tree pictures (hopefully)

Friday, December 10, 2004

Warning: colorwork can be addicting

See, Carma, you're Secret Santa does like you after all. (who was it??)

Hee hee and now you know why your cardigan, done on size 4 needles, has been taking me so long. :)

Well, I have started my mittens. Here's what I have so far.
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Sorry no braid thingies (I wouldn't have a clue how to make'em) Actually, no pattern for that matter. That's right no pattern. Just some measurements and a colored pencil mock up of a motif I'm going to use. Am I asking for disaster? It would sure seem like it. But if (by some small miracle) this works out and I like it, I'm taking detailed notes that may some day be transcripted to a pattern. Although I fear that I may become addicted to colorwork. It's fun, and it seems to go faster than, say, a normal section of plain Stst. I have been forcing myself to stop between designs and do other things, so the house does not fall into chaos around me.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

HOW many days???

Yeah so I decided to make my adorable little 2 year old neice the "world's easiest baby blanket" (this is according to E) for Christmas. Well I'm not the fastest knitter on the planet and the little tiny needles are killing me... But not as much as trying to go from the little needles to the big needles... MAN! I hope there is a trick to that and I sure hope I learn it fast. Otherwise she might get this blanket for her high school graduation. OY!

But in other Christmas related news... Nearly done with my shopping (and unlike E I don't start in August, I just have a MUCH smaller family and therefore MUCH smaller list of people to shop for), well I've ordered most everything which is another advantage. Knit a slew of washclothes and then buy everyone homemade ALL natural soaps from www.PrairieLandHerbs.com. I seriously think that I might be in love with Karla, their "Soap Lady". I HIGHLY recommend them. Even if you just jet on over to read about them, I guarantee it will be worth the trip. In fact I've talked them up so much in my office that my Secret Santa got me some of her soap. YAY!

Yeah, and my emotions hit a bit of a slump today (I know I know I'm an emotional wreck on the proverbal roller coaster) so I'm going to go dye my hair, take a bath, and probably knit some more on Sydney's blanket. "Baby, you're a free girl now...."

Not so much working as well tonight.

Ah well.

EVERY confidence

Let me start by saying I have every confidence that E can do it. I truly don't believe there is a stinking thing that she can't do. Heck, she's been my dorky best friend for YEARS and believe me that in and of itself is no mean feat (*Hugs to you*)


And I also want to point out the Tom Petty CD in the picture with the yarn... Yeah, yeah, yeah, I bet you thought I wouldn't notice. :) I may be ridiculously dumb in so many other areas but occasionally I stun even myself.

Ok, more on my knitting adventures (or rather mis-adventures) later... you know when I'm NOT at work (shhh).

Easily persuaded

I've been thinking of making myself some fair isle mittens. (I so badly want a pair) And, with the Harlot and Cassie's high mitten content, (they make it look so easy don't they?) I finally decided to go with it. So I bought my yarn; Jamieson's 2 ply to coordinate with the colors in my Noro Kureyon hat.

Here it is.
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Then I flaked. What the hell am I thinking? I don't possess the skills for beautiful fair isle mittens. But, since Cassie highly recommends mittens, (Mittens are small, easy, portable. They require only small amounts of yarn and are a great format for trying new techniques. She notes.) I'm going to give it a go. What results may be good or bad, but either way should hold some entertainment value. Now. Off to find a pattern.

Bookworm

Not much knitting to report today. I stayed up late last night tandem reading three books. I wanted to read them all but could not decide which to start first. (I do this a lot)
I read the second book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. Not bad, not great but Lemony Snicket makes me giggle.
I'm also reading the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Truth be told, I've been reading it for a while. The stories are well written but they do become predictable after a while. I don't know if they really are more predictable, or if the reader "catches on" the Shelock's methods. Since it is just a collection of short stories, I read a story or two here and there.
I also started reading the Devil Wears Prada not too far into it yet, but I am already hooked.

It's nice to have my holiday shopping/knitting done. One less stressor to the holidays. ( I'm really not trying to rub it in. You must realize I start my holiday shopping in August. I see this as a nice little vacation from holiday stress.) Now, Thanks to Carma's post I need to go find my tom petty CD and listen to it so I can get "you're a free girl now" out of my head. Take care

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Carma,

Boys = PU

What else can I say?

When you're down...

there's no place to go but up.


Or so they say.

I don't believe "them" I think we should flog "them", frequently and with little remorse.

That being said, while I still find myself the occational victim to a crying jag, I think there might be a light at the end of my tunnel. (See a previous post from E for an explanation of why I am in said tunnel). Why you ask? While still dealing with the aformentioned sack of doo-doo am I able to see a light at the end of my tunnel?

Because just moments ago I found myself humming Tom Petty's, "You're a free girl now". Yup, the cure all song that E and I have played with abandon after breakups, etc (Heck we even played it at the end of a parole stint... long story for another day). Granted this light may dim if given time but I can see it right now and that's just going to have to be good enough for me.

"Baby, you're a free girl now...."

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Knitting progress.

Carma was out last weekend. As always, it was good to have her here.

She showed me her 9 washcloths. Here's the picture. ( I realize I don't actually have a pic here. My camera is charging as I type, so I will add them later.)
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Pretty good, eh?

She has since "branched out" to a scarf, and has learned to purl. She does not believe me, but now that she can knit, purl increase and decrease, she can make a whole lot of stuff. Saturday, we went shopping. We bought Carma circulars, which she has yet to make peace with (it will happen) We also perused Marshall's where we uncovered my dream knitting bag. Which I now own. (Merry Christmas to me)
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I have finished Abigail's pink, pepto bismol blanket.
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I have started what I think will become a scarfy cowlish thing.(Sorry no picture. I didn't like how it was turning out so i frogged it.)

The Hoodie is FINALLY sewn up.
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I have started Michelle's top. (met the same frogging fate.)
I have made real progress on Natey's socks.
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I have made Carma a replacement hat that will not try to leap off her head, unlike the previous one I had made for her.
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I have made Nana a cap. I like it so much, I think I will make myself one.
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Jessie wanted to model it. She likes hats.
I made my little sister a "school spirit" hat. (why else would I pair these two colors?)
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My first attempt at Fair Isle. I made Jess a new coat. She has yet to wear it, but that's a pretty consistent response to my knitting for her.
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The only pair of mitts I remembered to photograph before wrapping.
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Katie called last night while I was at my Stitch n bitch. SHe wanted to proudly proclaim that she had cast on, and knit 30 inches of scarf. I'm very proud of her.


Friday, December 03, 2004

Short but a little neurotic. (Hey, that sounds like me.)

In the next few days I am going to try to do something I have never done before. I will attempt to write out a few of my own patterns. If I am successful, I will link to them in the sidebar.
I can knit my own stuff no problem, but I find it very difficult to write them out. I don't know exactly why. Every time I try to write out a pattern it looks more like a formula, or I constantly go back and edit because I think there is a better way to do it. This is why I refrained from making my own needle case, and refuse to design my own knitting bag. The details would drive me crazy. Maybe this is why I have become estranged from my quilting supplies.

I also realize I am lacking pictures. I will attend to that as well.

Carma's coming today, and the house is a wreck. I have loads of errands I should run. I feel like crawling back into bed. *sigh* I know Carma would understand a messy house, but I don't want her to have to. So, I guess I should get off my duff and get to it.