Thursday, December 28, 2006

Well, Christmas Day has come and gone. This was a hard year to feel celebratory, but now that the 25th itself is past, somehow I feel like I can be a little more festive. Maybe it is because we have family visiting now. I am busy feeding (myself and others!), tidying up and visiting places that I don't always get a chance to visit. Today it was Ikea (this is a tourist destination if you are from Nebraska!), tomorrow San Francisco. It's nice to have something to do really and good excuses to get out of the house and abandon, I mean leave the children

I haven't gotten as much knitting done, although I did finish the socks for Bryan in time for Christmas. So funny. They were a surprise for him and yet I knit them right under his nose. He never even guessed that they were for him! I have to thank Isha's boyfriend, Patrick, for being my size model as I was working on them, but true to my past experience with the Sensational Knitted Socks book, I went by the measurements for the shoe size and they fit perfectly.

So, what did you get?

I got a wonderful looking kit to make a scarf or perhaps a wrap with some beautiful silk/wool in a lovely shade of light "sage" green. Ummmmm, I am trying not to cast on yet. It is calling my name though... Thank you!!!!

I received a set of Knit Picks' Options needles, from my husband (LOVE that guy!). OMG, I LOVE these needles! They are like Turbos in terms of the weight and the smooth factor, BUT, and this is where I always struggled with Turbos, - the tips are pointy! Oh, are they wonderful to knit with. They are fast and I find that I don't need to pay quite so much attention because the stitches pick up so easily. Very cool.

My daughter Anna also gave me a pattern, Seda's Vest from Knit Picks. Now I just need to get some yarn to get that started.

I am working away on the shawl/Christening Blanket for Danielle and the baby, but I am coming darn close to running out of yarn. I have ordered more of it, hopefully enough to complete it, but I haven't heard yet whether it has come in or not. Hopefuly soon!

Well, since we are still in the Christmas season and have not yet reached the 12th day of Christmas, I hope that you all are still having a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Of Cookies and Christmas...

Well. Christmas is almost here. While I am not "officially" doing any Christmas knitting, I do have a project that I would like to complete before the 25th. The socks. Of course, I finished one, weighed it, it was 50 g. Perfect! Weighed the leftover yarn... 46 g. Wait? Isn't this supposed to be a 100 g. skein? Yep. Damn. Got the yarn in Ashland too. Luckily, my old favorite yarn haunt, Uncommon Threads not only carried the yarn that I was looking for, but had a skein in that colorway as well. Saved the day.

Oh yeah, did I tell you that I posted a cookie recipe on another yarn blogger's cookie exchange (The Other Cindy)? You should go check it out, some of the recipes look pretty good!

Yeah, well. Must have been bad luck. My oven broke. Turns out that it would have been a couple hundred dollars to fix it and the repair guy sort of indicated that it might not be worth it since the oven (range really) is at least 10 years old. So, we went and bought a new range yesterday. The good news is that this is the one appliance that we have been secretly wanting to replace for years, although the timing could have been better (just replaced a washing machine in September!) But, we found a closeout model that suits our needs AND they are going to install it today! We might be able to make some Christmas cookies afterall!

Update: The stove is here! Ain't it purrty?

Friday, December 15, 2006

math before coffee

Well, seems I miscalculated how much yarn I needed for the shawl. That's what I get for shopping at 6:00 in the morning! Ah well, next time I will have a cup of coffee first. Yeah, I was looking at the specs for the shawl and since I was substituing a different yarn, I was going by yardage, which it had right there on the pattern in front of me, no problem! I can do these calculations-

"Hey Danielle, what's 5 x 175?" (She's the one studying to be an accountant after all...)
"I get 875 yards - that right?"
"Great, I think I need 840 yds. It says it right here"

Yeah, 840 yards. Well, seems that was for ONE hank of the yarn indicated. I forgot to read that bit afterwards that said, "3 hanks". That would be 3 X 840. A bit more.

I am 2/3rd's short.

So, while I am waiting for more yarn (luckily it's white, so there is less chance of having any dyelot issues!) it is back to socks.

Lanna Grossa, Mega Boots Stretch. This is one of the skeins that I picked up in Ashland in September. One of the employees at the shop had warned me that the yarn had a tendency to split, but honestly I haven't had any problems with it. Maybe 'cause I'm using dpn's that are pointy enough? Not sure. Anyway, I am pleased with the results thus far. Although they may turn out a bit big for my foot. Oh well, I'm sure I can figure it out.

I have two other skeins of the same yarn to play with also. (I keep finding sock yarn stashed into nooks and crannies around the house. Oh well, like the Harlot say's, "extra insulation!") Luckily socks are pragmatic AND comfy. Although they do get some strange comments in public knitting sometimes. One lady once looked at my socks that I was oh so happily knitting... "You can get them real cheap at Walmart, ya know?" Man.
She was lucky I didn't poke her eye out...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Whine and Poses

Well, we are getting back to "normal" around here a little more. Thank you, by the way, for all of the kind words and thoughts. It is nice to feel support and community when life hits a bit hard.

I did get a project finished recently. I know you've seen the latest Interweave Knits. The Wine and Roses gloves are simply to die for. However, seeing that I have made them for yet another of my teenage daughters, I have decided to rename them, so here they are:

Whine and Poses

I haven't been able to get them back from her to block them though!

Darling Anna (above) and I spent the weekend traveling to and from Palm Springs. We went there for a feis (pronounced "fesh"), an Irish dance competition. This is a special one though, the Feile na Nollaig is held every year in December. It is a Christmas feis! Santa always makes an appearance and the feis musicians (they dance to live music) have a lively time enjoying food and drink, and drink, and... well you get the picture. There are special dances complete with Christmas themed costumes, dancing a reel to 16 bars of Jingle Bells and the like. Wild, fun, good times. Well, dear sweet Anna competed in many different dances, but one of which was what is called a Treble Jig special. This is a hard shoe dance that is typically danced at Championship levels, but she entered this special that was for Novice and prizewinner dancers and got 3rd Place! I am very proud of her. These competitions attract some very good dancers and she did very well. She also placed 5th in her Hard Jig and 2nd in her Single Jig! So, here is Anna complete in competition gear with her trophy...

Some day I want to knit her some matching socks ;)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Beginnings and the Space in Between

I have been busily knitting away on a new project, the Spanish Christening Shawl from the Folk Shawls book. It has been a little therapeutic for me. I started it this weekend, just the night before my father-in-law, Bruce, passed away. The shawl itself is a gift for my niece who is expecting a baby at the end of January. So at this time, one could say that Bruce and the baby are in something of the same state of being. One is descending to this realm while the other is passing away. It is an interesting thought in a way and one that comforts me. I wonder what they are each experiencing. Hopefully Bruce is telling the baby how wonderfully crazy our family is and giving it lots of good advice (including just how everyone is related, that might require a very large wall chart...). Maybe he is showing the baby all of the different birds that exist on the Earth. I imagine them in clouds and laughter and pinky-blue colors swirling around them.

Life and death being two sides of the same coin, I kind of consider birth to be experienced as a death in/of the spiritual world and death to be a birth into the spiritual world. It helps.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

To Everything There is a Season

My father-in-law passed away over the weekend.
I will miss him very much.

Somehow when I think of the last time that I saw him, I remember the way that he moved. He had a very gentle way about him. He was quiet and yet quick witted as well. He was a good listener. But I liked the way that he moved. He had dignity.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Otherwise Occupied

Oh I wish I had a space
A space to call my own
A place to put my knitting things
Where none can bring the phone.

I wish I had a space
A place to put my things
Where no one else can feel at home
Oh, that would make me sing!

I SO wish I had space!
Where none could bother me
My time would be my own and none
could tell me how to be.

Until I have some space
I guess I'll have to share
At least I really love this guy
Who's sitting in my chair.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving and Stitches schedule!

We had a great Thanksgiving and Jeni and I even worked some on our knitting. We must have been inspiring 'cause the next morning, at 5:30 a.m.(!) we were up and on our way to Purlescence for their Jammy Sale. I skipped out on wearing my jammies, but it was fun and there were a lot of people there! AND we were joined by my eldest daughter Isha, my ex-husband's fiance Hannah (love saying that!), and my niece Danielle who is expecting a baby (we were there picking out yarn for a shawl I am going to knit for her), but get this- Danielle bought her own yarn to knit a scarf!!!! Then I was able to teach her how to knit while we waiting for Hobbee's to open in the parking lot. I am so proud and she is a quick learner...
But that 5:30 a.m. thing? Yeah, only for yarn.

Then we all got together on Sunday and worked on our scrapbooks AND our knitting. Such the perfect weekend!


I am stoked. I was able to get all of my first choice classes!


Thursday: Traditional Shetland Scarf with Candace Eisner Strick.
Friday: Twined Mittens with Beth Brown-Reinsel (6 hr. class)
Saturday: Fair Isle Knitting and Flawless Finishing (Norweigian and fair Isle sweaters) with Beth Walker-O'Brien.

I am really looking forward to Stitches this year.

But, for now, I am back to my kniting....

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Spring in Her Step

The socks are loved and appear to be a perfect fit both physically and conceptually! I am sure that my lovely daughter will be most pleased to model them for us so here they are (enter catwalk music with a Washington-esque alternative beat...)

I have named the socks A SPRING IN HER STEP. Seemed most appropriate and the hope is that the "Springy" colors will carry her through the l-o-n-g gray days.

I am currently working on the Wine and Roses Mitts from the latest Interweave Knits magazine. Really a beautiful pattern that. These were originally going to be the Breakfast at Cafe Du Monde gloves, but I just couldn't figure out that pattern. I was mightily confused (How was I supposed to go from 50 stitches in one round to 70 stitches at the end of the next round with no apparent increases?! hmmmm) and then my daughter started to dictate changes that she wanted so I just steered her towards another pattern. Since we had changed plans I am not using cashmere for this, I am instead using the Louet Gems fingering weight yarn that I picked up from Purlesence. These are moving along pretty quickly, although I have learned not to work on them when my eyes are tired or after a glass of wine. Picking up droped stitches or tink-ing lace work is a pain in the arse. I have finished one and am about halfway done with #2. I am liking the yarn very much and thanks to Jeni for suggesting it!

Here is one more photo of the socks. They do suit her (and her boots!), don't you think?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dreaming of Stitches

I finished the socks.
They look good.
You will have to wait till Isha gets here to model them before you can see them.
They'd better fit.
She has small feet.
They are some rockin' socks if I do say so myself!
Judging from the weather they are having in Washington, she should be very grateful for them!

I got the Stitches West brochure.
Man oh man.
I highlighted all of the classes that I was interested in.
There are a lot of them.

I finally narrowed it down (helped along by the ones that were ALREADY closed!)
and registered online tonight. I tried to go with a bit of a theme, knowing that I have yarn for a Dale of Norway sweater as well as a Philosopher's Wool kit (from last year)and I would really like to start one of those soon. So I mostly went for classes that would help me a bit with one of those projects, plus finishing- cause I love it so much (note the dripping sarcasm here). Well, like I said we'll see what I end up with. Mostly I am looking to improve my technique on the more difficult stuff and am just loking forward to spending a weekend with my knitting! Man, I can't believe that I only found out about this last year. I am SO looking forward to this!

I'll let you know what I ended up getting in to.

I have picked up the husband/alpaca sweater again, but am already feeling the effects of the alpaca so I'm not too sure how long I will be able to work on it. Luckily my husband knows that I love him! I need to get some other project(s) on the needles though. Socks and some gloves for my other daughter. Yep, guess what. I am almost done with last years' Christmas presents.

This year they get cookies.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I know you're wondering...

The previous post is from my alter-ego. She doesn't have a name yet... I'll have to cogitate on that one. You see, I keep thinking that I need to make this a political knitblog. Do such things exist? For as my knitting is a certain part of me, so are my political thoughts and beliefs. I keep getting more and more concerned about the state of this country. It is time to wake up and smell the bush*t. Hope the Secret Service doesn't find MY blog. Cause if they do, they could arrest me, not charge me with anything- 'cause they don't have to anymore, and you all would wonder if I ever finished the socks...

Sock update:

I am in the home stretch. Isha will have warm toesies.

Ah, but what then.
Well, I have some thoughts, but it might depend on how cold it gets! I think I need a new scarf for one thing... Plus, I think I need to stay away from things that have to be knit and then assembled. Elizabeth Zimmerman and I are of like mind on that one. My only problem being that I don't care too overly much for the Norwegian yoke type styles she came up with to avoid sewing up. Maybe I just need to do some more research.

In the meantime, my husband is in China. I am PMSing, older teenagers are about to drive me to drink. Everyone here has been sick in the last week and I just want to crawl into a cave or something. It must be time to break out the extra dark chocolate and open up a good bottle of red wine. Problem is, it isn't quite as much fun when I'm all by myself.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Robert Newman History of oil

Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years - but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, the places oil centre stage as the cause of all commotion. This innovative history programme is based around Robert Newman's stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills with satirical impersonations of historical figures from Mayan priests to Archduke Ferdinand. Quirky details such as a bicycle powered street lamp on the stage brings home the pertinent question of just how we are going to survive when the world's oil supplies are finally exhausted.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Autumnal moods

Wow. I keep forgetting to post. Days go by very quickly and now there is a little "nip" in the air. Fall is my favorite season. The colors, the skies, the air. It is very stimulating and yet calming at the same time. Our school year rhythms have settled in. It seems that I don't have quite as much time for knitting during the day as I used to though. Now that Conner and Anna are older I find that they require me to be more organized in order to adequately support them with homeschooling. So I spend more of my "school day" time sitting at the table rather than in my comfy chair with adequate light so that I can knit. Hmmm. Oh well. Can't be helped at present I guess. I have also decided that I need a brain vacation lately and so I have been reading a bit more. Otherwise I am too tempted to peruse political news sites for too many hours a day and while I think it is important to be informed - sometimes one needs to take a break and get a little perspective. This is one of those times. So instead I am reading novels- don't even qualify as literature I'm afraid. Wow.

I am working on the socks still though. Working on the heel turn of sock #2, then I'm home free. They'd better fit though. Isha gave me some incredibly tiny measurements and somehow they didn't seem quite right so I made some adjustments. Oh yeah, Isha apparently finished a hat during a marathon movie watching/knitting session last weekend. Congrats! Next she'll start a knitblog...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dressed for dancing...

Well the sock is coming along and I am somehow getting it figured out. Of course I also realized that the heel pattern I am using was asking for 31 stitches on the heel needle and I have 32. I noticed this out about 1/3 of the way into it. Oh well. It will work out. I think that is what I like about knitting. There are rarely fatal mistakes. You can always either undo your work (I know, it's not always easy...) OR you can fudge your way through and make a better day of it. Today, I like fudge.

Life is going well. Isha said that the weather has been warmer up in Washington and she started classes today. The "boys" have been out of town for the weekend at a rocket launch in Nevada. These are held at the Black Rock Desert - Same place where they have the Burning Money - oops I mean MAN festival. Anyway, it has been pretty quiet around here this weekend and I haven't had to do much cooking either. Kinda nice! It is amazing when I thnk about just how much food those men folk eat! And meat! They seem to like their meat.

In the meantime, there has been much money spent in the last month on school tuition and now a new Irish Dance dress. Yes, Anna grew out of her old dress and as there were no (cheaper) "school" dresses available that fit her, we were placed in the position where we had to buy her a "solo" dress. But, we found one that fits her very nicely and the colors suit her well also. But it still hurts to spend a lot of money on such things. I am going to have to make do with the yarn that I have in stock for a while! But doesn't it look beautiful?!

Well I am off to go figure out dinner - either that or hide in my corner chair for a little more knitting time. I think I could get to the heel turn at least... No one will notice I don't think... Nah. They're oblivious ;)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

There and Back Again...

Well, a new life is to be had. I pulled out sock yarn last week. It might even look familiar to some of you. Yes, the lemongrass yarn is getting a new lease on life. Of course, after I had cast on and happily knit away at it I had a sudden thought that perhaps I did not quite cast on the correct number of stitches. Argh. (I know- tuesday was talk like a pirate day...) Oh well. They will fit my lovely petite eldest daughter who is now up in Washington and COLD.

Last weekend was the marathon driving to get her to college. Friday wasn't so bad. Isha was with me and so was cousin Pete. Pete is a photographer and wonderfully creative and as he was headed back up to Seattle to live again, he came along for the ride AND shared in the driving! So, I DID actually have some time to knit on the way up. We stopped in Portland to have dinner with a friend there and then drove the rest of the way to Olympia. Long day.

On Saturday I helped my dear daughter to move all of her stuff, and then more of her stuff, and then she needed some more stuff and somehow we got all of that stuff into her leeettle room. (do you see the yarn?!)

Amazing. Kind of like a reverse Harry Potter tent. Anyway, I was very very tired that day and really looking forward to the drive home (!). All by myself. With a non-working CD player (that is another story about another daughter...).

So Sunday I was wakened by a somehow cheery alarm clock at 7:00 a.m. While I somehow became vertical and pulled clothes on, Isha made me a PERFECT bowl of oatmeal and some french pressed coffee. I tell you, I must have done something right. good kid. 8:12 a.m. - I then got in the car and drove......................

There are a lot of crappy radio stations up and down the west coast. It was so bad I even listened to the bad rap/hyphy (I won't EVEN repeat some of the lyrics...someone would report me!) CD that is stuck in my CD player because of a somewhat inebriated moment that one of my "other" daughters had. (she shall remain nameless but she knows who she is...)

2:38 p.m. - BUT! Half way between Santa Clara and Olympia is ASHLAND! And do you know what they have in Ashland? they have good coffee. They have good restaurants. They have good bookstores. They have.... a yarn shop. Ahhhh. Pay back time. I enjoyed a nice meal stretched my legs and did a little bit of shopping. Not too much. Just some sock yarn. Only three skeins. Then I had to look longingly at the bag as I drove the rest of the way home.

9:32 p.m. I arrive home. Long day

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Missed the Harlot

Yes. It's true. I was going to be there. I was going to bring knitting children. I was going to...

Oh, never mind. I was overwhelmed with the thought of organizing my day around this when I had family visiting from out of town and in the end I decided to skip it. I missed the sock, but Jeni thankfully gave me a blow by blow the next day as we worked on scrapbooks. I was going to tell her how much I love when she talks about her teenaged daughters since I have a crew of my own. So, another time.

In the meantime, the alpaca allergy has reared its ugly head again. I was able to get the whole right front done before it started bothering me. so, I guess I will wait a few weeks until I pick up the Left front again. But now I ned to start a good wool project. I have yarn for two sweaters (well, at least...) Monster projects, but maybe I just need to start one of them. Both are fairisle, one is a Dale of Norway sweater, the other is Philosophers Wool. I do think that both of them are knit in the round though. That would make them a little more friendly... Hmmm. I also have a niece expecting a baby in Jan/Feb. but I'm not sure she will appreciate a hand-knit item. Not that that will stop me mind you.

Look for new posts about new projects soon!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Over Hill, Over Dale...

Yes my friends, I am totally rolling along.

Do you see that?! That right front has doubled in size since last week!
I have been knitting for days now. I know that some of you never stop and all of that, but I guess that I have to acknowledge that I am a seasonal knitter. Another part of it, the reason why I haven't been doing much knitting is that my kids have been on school break. Today was our first day back at school. We homeschool, so why would this make a difference? But see, knitting is a great activity for me to do while we are schooling. I can't do much cleaning, cooking, or such because I can't be too much in the middle of something incase my help is needed. Plus, if I'm not in the same room or at least in earshot it is very easy for the kids to get distracted and start taking the leads out of the pencil, seeing if they burn, lining up all of the colored pencils in rainbow order, then numerical- yes there are always so many more interesting things to do when it is time to do schoolwork! So- I knit. I am there. I can see them. I can hear them. I can remind them of what they are supposed to be accomplishing. Of how LATE it is going to be when they get finished if they keep going at this rate- for Pete's sake. Who takes two hours to read 5 pages in a Bio textbook and answer 5 questions?!!! Yeah. That would be my offspring thank you very much. I knit because then at least I feel like I am being somewhat constructive and I can tie my yarn in knots instead of their necks... arrrgggghhh. Sometimes it's a really good thing to have something between me and my offspring.

So. Yeah- I also just saw a preliminary release of this movie "Scrapped". It's pretty cool. It is about this guy- tattoos, piercings, motorcycles, who delves into the world of scrapbooking and discovers a whole new part of his self. I am hoping to get a copy some time next month and have a showing or something. I especially like the way he decorates his scrapbooking bag! (Let's just say the Ramones are favorably featured!) See, it's NOT all just about pastel paper and stickers!

Well it is off to bed for me. I have to rise and shine early and since my husband is still on his round the world travels (in Helsinki at present) I am the one who will need be coherent in the morning. He SO owes me a nice night out! I'm thinking Mojitos...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fall is in the air

Well. I have started knitting again. I even did some KIPing yesterday evening at Barefoot Coffee Roasters alongside a decaf Cubano- yummy.

It has been a busy summer. I have spent a lot of time getting my new business started and I feel like that was time well spent, but I have missed having time to knit, so hopefully know that things are moving along a little easier in the business area I will now be able to get more done. I have picked up the husband sweater and am actually hoping that he might be able to wear it by the time it gets cool enough for one. I need a cheering squad though. Hopefully some of you can help with that. The back and half of one front (it's a cardigan) are done, so I still have a ways to go.

My youngest daughter is now a teenager and so I am currently residing with SIX teenagers and dear hubby is once again on a business trip. Damn, why does HE always get away? I know, those who travel for business always say that it isn't as much fun as you might think, but it sure sounds more interesting than staying here in the adolescent pit. Well, at least they are interesting teenagers who watch and read things of interest. At least I can have real conversations with most of them most of the time. I just must admit that I am looking forward to school starting again and so that we can get back to having a regular schedule again. Although for some reason I seem to be itching for a road trip. I inherited the gypsy bug from my dad I think.

Well, I should start winding down so that I can get some sleep tonight. Toodles... ; )

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Okay, this is great. I really have done very little knitting and just hadn't been feeling inspired to do so and now, after the worst heat wave this area has ever seen, and in the space of one week I have received:

The new Knitpicks catalog. They have new yarns that I really like. They have a new interchangable (a la Denise) needle set, but with turbo style needles rather than plastic. They have a new knitting bag that has an attachable purse and different sized "project" bags. Very cool idea. I love knitters. They are fun, pragmatic, thinking people.

The new Interweave knitting magazine. Many lovely patterns in there. Of course, most of the ones I really like are using alpaca or alpaca blends. Yes, I can sub other yarns, but why does that always happen?! Ah well, I am totally jazzed to get some fall knitting going!

And FINALLY it is cooling off. This global warming thing is really something. And yeah, on that note you really do need to see An Inconvenient Truth. If you haven't seen it yet, well I don't know what to say. Bad, bad person you.

I was in Yosemite earlier this week with my family and my husband's family including many visiting relatives from the Netherlands. It is so beautiful there and I really wanted to stay longer. But I had promised to leave earlier with one of my daughters because she was scheduled to work on Thursday and otherwise she wouldn't have been able to go camping at all - I knew that she really wanted to. So, anyway, we left early on Thursday, leaving the rest of my family and visiting relatives behind for a few more days, drove back home (4+ hours, during which time she also managed to get car sick in my new car- argh) - she showers, changes and takes the bus to work and THEY DON'T NEED HER! I cannot even begin to tell you how pissed, disappointed, frustrated, etc... I was. I wanted to be back at Yosemite. I wanted to be hiking, swimming in lakes, enjoying starry skies, evening campfires and camp coffee in my sleeping bag (my husband always makes it and brings it to me). Man that sucks.

Anyway, this is a bit of a rambling post, but I really am looking forward to getting some knitting going again. Think I'll go do a few rows on the husband sweater!

ta-ta! (oh yeah- I would add photos except that my camera is still in Yosemite without me!)

Friday, July 28, 2006

an appropriate funny...

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway.

Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the woman behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, "PULL OVER!"

"NO!" the woman yelled back, "IT'S A SCARF!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

non-knitting post

Somehow it just isn't in me to knit or post on a knitting blog these days.

I am feeling quite overwhelmed about the world political situation. I feel frustrated, manipulated, and almost emotionally abused. Sorry. I know you don't come here for this, but I just don't know what else to say. Every day that goes by I feel like I don't know what to believe. I feel like our president is a puppet in Team America (mind you, I haven't seen the movie though) and whoever is holding the strings is obviously thinking of bigger things than we are seeing on stage.

It's like the middle of a chess game. I love to play chess, but I hate that part. You have to commit suicide, sacrifice pieces, just to get the board cleared so that you can play an end game. It is tedious, stressful, messy and dangerous. The game can turn on you so easily if you don't anticipate your opponents moves accurately.

This whole thing with Israel/Lebannon/Gaza - Syria/Iran/Iraq. I have no idea how this is all going to play out but it pains me so. And I still ask myself the question, are they trying to distract us from something else? And if so what are they distracting us from? And exactly who are "they"? Do I sound crazy yet? I have just read so many strange things in the last week that I may not make sense. I can't exactly put it together yet myself, but it just seems to me that there is more than meets the eye here.

I will get back to knitting if for no other reason that it will distract me a bit and help me stay sane. I just feel like this is a very dangerous game that is being played and the timing just seems really contrived, I am just left with the questions, "why?"

Thursday, June 22, 2006

This just in...

Yarn Harlot is coming to Los Altos!
September 9th at Full Thread Ahead.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I know, I know....

It has been a while since I have had a chance to sit down and create a proper post. Don't expect it now either. This is the crash course season of my life. From June 5th- until the 26th I have: three birthdays in the family, three graduations in the family, ...

(Me and my son at his 8th grade graduation. Is he a 14 year old boy or what...) family reunion (in Nebraska), a graduation party and an open house for my new business (Creative Memories- quality album making and scrapbooking supplies- let me know if you are interested!).

Yeah, so- I haven't gotten too much knitting done. I do need to get a project travel ready though. Friday night, immediately following my twin step-daughters' graduations I will be flying to Denver (arriving 11:30 p.m.) and then driving to North Platte (hope to arrive before dawn- ugh.) So, some knitting would be nice. I have yet to cast on another pair of socks, so I am sort of in stagnation mode. I need something, quick, easy and successful.

I will keep you posted.

Friday, June 02, 2006

It's June?!

Holy Mother of all creation,

It is June. Spring is going to be gone soon and somehow it almost feels as if it hasn't quite arrived yet. Climate change. Hmm. On that note, please do go see An Inconvienent Truth this weekend. (See post below to link to a website that will give you locations, times and such.) I will be taking my family and going at a to-be-determined time on Friday. I am even going to suggest that we walk there. That would be almost revolutionary to my much chauffered offspring. On a related note I am going to go to a meeting this evening for a local "POST OIL" group. I am hoping that they will acknowledge my knitting as a skill set worth sharing. I am not too sure that I have much else to offer. Actually as far as that goes, given the state of my knitting recently, I'm not sure I have that to offer either. Here is a synopsis of my knitterly state of affairs:

Socks: nothing on the needles. My glorious Socks That Rock sock has been frogged. I tried to save it. I tinked, I partial-frogged and I tried knitting a test swatch for a pattern alteration. Somehow none of it "caught" and so I now, once again, have a ball of yarn. No photos. It's too depressing.

Sweater: The husband sweater is still on the needles. But every time I take it out of its bag I feel like I am being attacked by alpaca. This really sucks. I really don't want another unfinished project hanging around. No one needs that much guilt and I have my fair share already thank you very much.

Vest: See sweater. Vest is alpaca.

I really need a project that I can get excited about and finish. I know that I should just right away cast on with the socks again, but somehow it isn't the same once you have already knitted it up and seen what it looks like. It's not that you don't want to do it, but that same excitement, the exploration of the unknown, it just isn't there the second time around. Plus, that just really seemed like a "Spring" color and I'm just not there anymore. Argh. It's enough to make you want a good stiff drink.

Maybe I need to go back to scrapbooking for a few weeks. Much less traumatic.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I was gonna be so proud...

I must digress for a moment...

Did you see American Idol last night?! Oh my f*&%!$ing gosh!!!! PRINCE!!! (or whatever he is currently known as) -Prince on American Idol?!!!! Whatever, he was brilliant as always, but I swear my jaw dropped to the floor. Made my day in a sick kind of way.

Now- on to the knitting. So, I have been working on a sock. A beautiful pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. The Socks That Rock colorway (Lemongrass) was beautiful and it was striping nicely with no major pools. See? :

Gauge: 8 st/in on #2 dpn's.
Yarn: Socks That Rock- med. wt.

But now I am realizing that it is just too big. See, since it is a 8-stitch pattern I had to cast on 80 stitches instead of my usual 72. I thought it would be a better choice than the alternate 64 stitches. Everything looked fine, I don't exactly have dainty legs so I figured I was good to go. I cast on, I knit, nice pattern and then I started to run into a problem around the ankle. It just was looking downright beefy. So, I decreased all the way down to 72 (rather than 80) stitches at the heel gusset but now the pattern is just too big over the instep and the whole thing is just looking a bit large. Plus, it is also starting to pool with the green on one side and the yellow on the other. Fine, but it doesn't exactly match the rest of the sock. So, I figure my choices are as follows:

a) Rip it all out and start over trying the 64 stitch method. Stick with the #2 needles and pray that it stripes nice.

b) Rip it all out and cast on 64 stitches with a slightly larger needle size, #2 1/2 or 3. This would make the sock a little bit bigger, but might make it less comfortable and/or make the pattern look a little "looser". Not sure. Keep praying that it stripes nice.

c) Finish the sock and hope that it will shrink a little in the wash- although this still doesn't solve the instep or the puddle of color issue.

Any and all advice will be welcomed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Go see this!

Seriously. Take your friends. Pledge to go on the website (link in title.)
But for this, you might want to leave your knitting at home....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Stash and Yearn

I guess I have been busy lately. Yeah. Stressed with kids. You'd think that I would have this down by now, but somehow they keep evolving and throwing me for a loop. I was recalling lately about how people used to stop and stare at me anytime I went anywhere with all of the kids when they were all younger. Just imagine this youngish looking mother (31ish) followed by six children between the ages of 2 and 8. Mamma duck and ducklings. That was me. People would literally stop and stare, ask "are they all yours?!", and then inevitably someone would say, "Just wait till they are teenagers!"


Well guess what, they are all teenagers. (Well almost anyway, Anna will be 13 in August. Close enough. She is in her 13th year.)
Somehow, while I knew it would be difficult, I just never expected it to be so constantly emotionally straining and frustrating. Maybe I am expecting too much from them. Maybe I worry too much? Probably. But it is sometimes hard to trust when you know they aren't being 100% honest with you. It makes you wonder, just what exactly are they being dishonest about? And somehow I have a feeling that my imagination is very much worse than the reality. Ahhh..... I need to exhale.

Well the good news is I reminded myself that knitting makes me feel better. It really does. When I say that knitting keeps me sane in my profile, I'm actually not exaggerating. I think it just gives me something completely different to think about for the time that I am able to devote to it. I can focus on creating something beautiful and forget about my worries.

I did have some good news last week. When I was in Olympia, WA I found a beautiful pattern for a Dale of Norway sweater. I also found a perfect wool to use- a dark heathered navy blue. BUT they only had 3 balls and I needed like 16 or 17. Well, they tried to order some more for me but were not able to get it for me. Sure I could have found a different color, there are plenty after all, but I really LIKED this color! Not quite black but also not a "wrapping paper" color (don't ask). Anyway, I finally found an online vendor , who you have to call by phone, and who orders directly from Norway so eventually I came home to this:


No. Don't expect to see the sweater any time soon. I am committed to finishing some other things first, but I will do it. I think this purchase might have officially put me in the "stasher" category though. Better than slasher... (that would relate more to the first part of my post..)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sensational socks and alpaca allergies....

Somehow Spring has come and gone. Summer weather seems to be here already. It is hot. It is humid. It is uncomfortable. YUK. Maybe the long gray days weren't so bad after all? And now, when it is hot and sandal weather, I have completed my first pair of socks (wool, 'natch.) Wait, let me try this again...


There that's better.

Thanks to Jeni, I already have a plan for pair number two (yeah!) and I also managed to cast on the right front piece for my "husband sweater" (aka "the black fog"- an upgrade from "the black death") But here is the rub. The yarn for his sweater, Andean Silk from Knit Picks, a lovely blend of wool, silk and ALPACA- well let's just say that's the problem. I am, apparently, allergic to alpaca. Did I tell you I love alpaca? It is yummy soft and warm and light. But every time I work with it my eyes get itchy and my nose and throat feel sore and scratchy. I have checked this against the vest I am working on as well- 100% alpaca- and the same thing happens.

I have to rotate working on these things with the good 'ole wool, but I am desperately hoping that it is only WORKING with the alpaca that is the problem. I used to have an alpaca sweater that I wore often and I don't remember having that problem. But now I am concerned because the reaction seems to come much more quickly. Does this means that the allergy reaction is getting worse because I am working with it so much? This sucks.

Oh well, luckily I like wool too. Guess I won't be running an alpaca ranch after all...

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Well. A finished object! (insert drum roll........)

My first sock!

It fits perfect and I love the colors. I needed something a little more uplifting after the long grey days of winter. Maybe that was the problem with my last sock. It wasn't bright enough. Anyway, the winter blues have been cheered and I have already cast on for the second sock! (No SSS here.)

Happy May! I am off to whip together dinner and go to the knitting Meet Up. See you there!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A grey day fit for a frog post

Well my wonderful almost done and looking good sock had a problem. But didn't it look good?!

Do you see the problem? (note the lack of remaining yarn....)

I know, I know, most of you reading this have already heard or even observed my resigned expressions of discomfort, bummedness and sighs of acceptance. But can I tell you again how bummed I was?
This was my first sock!
I had tried it on!
It fit!
Alas, no more yarn in that particular hand-dyed lot could be found. I probably should have just used a different color when I ran out of that, but, oh well. It is too late. It has been frogged.

I don't want to talk about it anymore. It is a grey day and I am feeling like Eeyore.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tank Cozy

This is the coolest thing EVER! My eldest sent me the link- I don't know quite where it orginally came from, I certainly can't take credit- but I absolutely HAD to share! A knitted Tank Cozy...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Travel Travails Transcended

Well, I had intended to create a post about our journey up north to Washington and Oregon. It would include photos like this:

"SHEEP!" That was me, pointing them out to my poor daughter who had to try to capture a clear image as I was driving at some undocumented speed down the I-5 in the middle of Oregon.

And this:

This is Herman the Sturgeon. He is 67 years old and 10 feet long. That is one big fish. He lives at a fish hatchery along the Columbia river.

It would show the reason why we went to Olympia, Washington in the first place...

It would show you my lovely yarn purchases I managed to squeeze in (or at least evidence of such- bag carrying)

I was going to demonstrate the environmental difficulties I faced in my travels:

(I'm not sure which is the more threatening environment, Mt. St. Helens in the cloud covered background, or the car with these two enclosed in it.)

And show reunions with dear friends from back in the day:

This is Karena who lives in Portland. I don't think she knits.

But this is a knitting blog afterall, so I'll just show you the yarn...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Travel advisory- blue skies visible

Well, I haven't been able to figure out a way to post pictures from the hotel computer, but we are currently in Olmypia, Washington! We had a lovely drive up (took some pictures of sheep!), stopped in a yarn shop in Portland, missed the one in Hood River, and today went to the Museum of Flight in Seattle. I figured if I commit half of a day to an airplane museum for Conner's sake that he won't give me too much grief for going to yet another yarn store tomorrow ; )

This trip has definitely made me see the advantage of having a laptop with wireless built in. Somehow we have one just old enough not to have it and now all of the hotels assume that you have one as well. Of course we have the complimentary "high-speed" computer in the lobby, but %&*^#! it's a PC! Ack! They have three and this is the only one that seems to want to let me check my e-mail. Oh well. I do actually remember the days when you were out of touch when you traveled. No cell phones, laptops, etc... NO, I don't remember dinosaurs thank you. It's possible that I will be able to use Isha's computer to get a post with pictures going tomorrow, so until then- neener, neener, it's sunny here!!!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Wait, I almost forgot a most newsworthy thing. The sky is blue and the sun is shining!!!! Quick, grab your knitting and head OUTSIDE!

Purls of Wisdom

Wow. I just realized it has been a week since I have posted. Well, I am slowly recuperating from my sprained ankle. You would think that I would have lots of time to knit with a wounded ankle, but alas this has somehow not been the case. I have just spent more time puttering around the house because I am S-L-O-W. I have found it hard to knit while on Vicodin.
I have also been spending a lot of time on the phone offering emotional support to my afore-mentioned eldest daughter. She had a lovely visit here and then when she returned to Washington the adventures began. You know the kind, those everything-that-can-go-wrong-does-go-wrong adventures. The kind where you can hear the mischievous angels snickering as they duck behind a cloud because they are just messing with you big time. But somehow these life adventures always bring you to another level of consciousness so you can't get too pissed. She has an old Volvo. The brakes went out. She needs new brakes. New brakes that will cost more than the car is worth. She is in Washington to go to college. She doesn't have any money. School started on Monday and she lives about 8 miles away at a horse ranch without any access to public transportation. She is screwed. SO, she is now going to move into student housing and leave her boyfriend to fend for himself at the horse ranch. He is not so happy. Drama. SO glad I am over that stage of my life! (It will get better dear, I promise!) Just remember that it is the irritation that forms the pearl!

I will be heading up to Washington to visit her next week and help her finalize all of her moving (let me know about any "can't miss" yarn shops along the Interstate 5 corridor between California and Washington!).

Hannah came for knitting on Saturday. She is moving along with her purse and hopefully took it to Mexico this week and is almost finished! Dan is slowly accepting her new knitter identity. I am working on the black hubby sweater and a couple of socks (two different pairs-) as well as the German Clock Vest. Hopefully something will move towards finished status soon. Had a lovely time at the knitting meet-up last night! Knitters are some of the coolest people!!!!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gimp or Pimp?

Well. I have been out of sorts lately. Somehow, on Sunday, at a beautiful gathering in Danville, I sprained my ankle. I am grateful it is not broken. But maybe that would be easier. A broken ankle would get casted and would require me to completely stay off of my foot. But, alas, I am only slightly injured. My eldest daughter, visiting from Olympia Washington, graciously accompanied me to the medical clinic on Monday and after the x-ray I was told it was "only a sprain." I am supposed to ice it (it's cold enough already!), keep it elevated (I have found this hard to do while puttering around cleaning up after the kids) and perhaps use a cane to help take the weight off of my ankle. Well, after spending several hours waiting at the clinic I was ready to go home. Tired, pain, let me just lie still thank you. My eldest daughters took it upon themselves to go procure a cane for me. Thrift store, vintage store and they return with what was dubbed a "pimp cane." (That is what the vintage clothing store called it anyway!) Somehow I am envisioning an whole new Senior Center craft activity, "Pimp your Cane." A few sequins, glitter tape, maybe some airbrush flames.... could be fun!

In the meantime I have been trying to some knitting done, directing dinner making from the couch, finding a cane handy for swatting mouthy teenagers, and I finally got a picture of Isha with the Helmet hat and fingerless gloves before she went back to Olympia. Ain't she cute?!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I wonder...

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Proud Mama

Knitting update.
I am actually doing finish work on my Moonlight sweater!

Two sleeves set in and easy-ish side and sleeve's to go, a few buttons, and I may even get to wear it while it's still chilly!
I am 30% (perhaps optimistic) done with my hubby's Ribbed Diamonds sweater.
I am about 40 % done with sock #1
I am enjoying knitting on the German Clock Vest.
I need to learn how to put one of those WIP sidebar thingys on my blog. Any tech advice out there?

My eldest daughter is returning for a visit this weekend. She is living up in Olympia, Washington and is getting ready to start school at The Evergreen State College next month. Cool school. I would have loved it when I was her age. But guess what, when she called yesterday, we talked about.... knitting! How cool is that! I guess she just finished a hat. Her own pattern with a bit of a swirl. I am such the proud mama! I will try to get a picture of it to post. Of course this means that she now has two hats, since I made her one and sent it up to her in January, which she STILL needs to take a picture of so that I can post it... hint, hint.
I will have to be sure to get her something while she is here to support her knititng habit. I am hoping I can talk her into coming to the knitting Meet-Up next week and hope that she can get some fun yarn... It's only fair since the straight needle holder that I use actually belongs to her ; ) It will be great to see her, I think that she is going to be really shocked to see the room that she shared with her sister and what it is now like without her. It is CLEAN!

Speaking of clean, I just had a gross out moment. I looked down at the keyboard that I am typing on. Ewwwww. Yuck. gross. there is quite an accumulation of stuff between keys and collected in the bottom-ever so gracious of you Apple-clear part of the keyboard. The keys themselves aren't actually too bad. Probably because all of the gross stuff is on the hands that are typing here. I'm not sure if I can take this apart and clean it, but I think I may have to do that before I type too much more....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fun with Hannah and Cindy

This is Hannah.
Hannah is the fiance of my ex-husband, Dan.
Hannah knows how to knit but hasn't done it in a while.
Hannah is cute and fun.
Dan thinks Hannah hangs out with "his" family too much.
Hannah is welcome any time!
Dan can come too.

Hannah wants me to be her knitting "master".
I am opting for knitting "sensei".

Hannah likes purses.
Hannah likes pink.
We bought pink (and a little green) to make a purse.
Hannah started knitting.
It will be felted.
It will be cute.
Hannah is my friend.