Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Well, the boys were somewhat appreciative of their knitted largesse. Here's Older Son holding his sweater. He did wear it for a bit Christmas morning. After he had taken it off for his shower he came down with it and demanded that I show him the "right" way to wear it. I told him there was no "right" way -- it's completely reversible inside/outside front to back. "I'm always wearing it the wrong way!" he grumped. (Yeah, he's that negative.)

Here's Younger Son wearing his sweater later in the day. I admit that there was a bit of finishing that still needed to be done on it when he got it Christmas morning. The sleeves are a bit too long, but it fits well enough, even over a sweatshirt, as seen here.

NOT completed are The Husby (but you knew that) and the Fuzzy Feet for OS. I'm pretty upset with him (I said he was on the Naughty List), which will take me awhile to get over and which makes me disinclined to knit for him.

My Christmas gift was a new (to me) loom. It's a Harrisville 22/4. With the bench and everything. I picked it up on Saturday, and haven't had a chance to play with it yet. I got other stuff too. Now I have to get some yarn to weave with...

Hope everyone else had a great Christmas or whatever you celebrate, and that you got what you wanted (or even maybe what you needed.)

Monday, December 25, 2006

And So This Is Christmas

Well, we did finally get the tree up. And decorated on Christmas Eve, true to my German roots (at least that's the way I'm painting it.) Dave is waiting for me to help wrap gifts. Our Christmas Eve included dinner with the Celtings, then off to church, where the boys were part of the nativity scene.

Older son is Joseph, Younger Son is the Magi on the far left. I was tickled that the only animals present were sheep. I asked the boys to pose with them, and they agreed.

They're really trying to get off the Naughty List.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Elves

I have wasted entirely too much time tonight here: But, I made elves out of Older Son, Younger Son, the Elder Celting, and the Younger Celting. I even did Heather and her boys. No one I had a picture of was safe. (Except me, of course.)

Ok, ok, on to knitting. Not much done here. I was making necklaces last night (which were warmly received) for my coworkers. My Sadist was I'm sure happy with his gift of cash, since I didn't get the gloves done.
Here's the first. It fit me, but was too tight for Older Son, and he pronounced it "ugly". He was openly relieved when I told him it was not for him. Since it fits me, and matches my black coat, I'll make the mate for me. Sometime next year.

Have you seen the new magazine Craft? I'm definately going to look for it at the newstand. It looks like a winner to me. The cover robot is by Jess Hutchison. She did Kate for Knitty last year. I'll buy the mag just for the pattern. (Her oop pattern book is on my wish list for Santa.) And yes, I just recognized the robot, I didn't have to look it up.
Edited to add: I just looked further at the site, and it seems that although they show the Jess Hutchison robots on the cover with the banner "Stitch a Robot" the actual mag does not include a pattern for them. The pattern is crochet. As well as the dolls pictured with the logo "Knit Happens" as the website. Hmmm. Let's move this one from "Strong buy" to "Hold".

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Smells Like Christmas

I had to attend Younger Son's Christmas concert tonight -- it was the first time I've been able to see him perform. Anyways, I rushed home and showered (I'd been riding the bike at the gym after work) and decided I wanted perfume that smelled...Festive. So I dabbed on some Chanel No. 5. Smells like Christmas to me. Who knew? There's YS to the left, the last trumpet player to leave the stage. He was way over there -- I couldn't really see him from where I was sitting (which was in the absolute farthest seat from him in the auditorium). But there was some light, and I got alot of knitting done while listening to the rest of the concert (I was too busy trying to find YS while he was on stage to knit).

Here's The Husby. The yarn is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes. I like the yarn alot. Wish the skeins were 100g instead of 50g, though. This is three skeins of knitting. So far I'm knitting up a skein a day. But with 19 skeins for the sweater, you can see I might fall short for Christmas. Also, Older Son is dropping some really broad hints for a pair of Fuzzy Feet for Christmas. What's a mom to do?

Also, I stopped at the craft store (Pat Catan's) to get some yarn for the above mentioned Fuzzy Feet, and they had a bunch of yarn on sale for $1 a skein. So I bought 28 skeins. (Come on, it was a dollar a skein!) Also, the wool yarn was on sale too (but not for $1 a skein, it was $1.50) so I bought 10 skeins of that. (Red and blue, I'm thinking stripes. And maybe some mittens -- hence the 10 skeins). Last I heard from Celtic Queen, she was headed off there to get some yarn for her own Fuzzy Feet gift giving. I wonder how she fared. I'm thinking of joining Wendy for . I could so totally do it. I think me an 5 other knitters could spend the whole year knitting from my stash.

Holly, I tried to upload a picture of the pooping sheep, but Blogger feels that I've used my quota for images today. (I was hoping for a holiday reprieve, but no such luck.) Here's the link, though: Pooping Sheep mouse over the sheep for a larger view.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Little Rough

Knitting on Friday! Zeepo was there, along with his wife Carol. We had gifts. I got some bright sock yarn, and my favoritest gift, some personalized stitch markers. They have my name! Also a pooping sheep, the 2007 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar (both already on my desk at work), a fantabulous sock knitting bag (can't wait to try it out) and a gift card for some craft buying action. I gave everybody yarn and jewelry. I'm making more jewelry now. Pictures, hopefully tomorrow.

Otherwise, I had a rough weekend. And a rough night tonight. I had to make my own way home from PT. I'm cold and not happy.

Also, the Sadist gloves are no more. The first glove is done, but that's all I'm going to say about it at this time. I started on the The Husby yesterday. Not feeliing all that inspired to move heaven and earth to get this done for Christmas, though (see above).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dude, Where's My December?

Here's the first Sadist glove. I'm almost ready to start on the fingers. And doesn't that thumb gusset look great? With luck, I'll finish up the pair over the weekend. I have until next Thursday so I'm pretty hopeful. The Husby sweater, on the other hand...I don't know. I may need another all-nighter (or two). The last item I stayed up all night on Christmas Eve to finish knitting for my husband he never wore, though. So I can't say I'm inspired to do so again.

There's a new love in Dave's life. He stopped on the way home last night and bought himself a new Martin guitar. He's out on a date with it right now (really, he's at choir practice trying it out on the church's PA system, alongside his old guitar so he can see how much better it sounds).

Gorgeous sunset today, again with the "I should take my camera with me." Therapy, I thought the Sadist would be mean, (because I think he wants to get rid of me) but it wasn't too bad. He still twisted my arm, though. My knee is still better -- I actually took some steps today that weren't painful. It was strange and kinda refreshing. Funny how you can take something like walking without pain for granted for so long....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's Never a Good Idea

To pull out your knitting at 3:00 in the morning because you're having a bout of insomnia. Let this serve as a warning to you all. Because you know (and I have to admit, I did, but shrugged it off) that in the cold light of morning you're going to be doing some ripping. I'd love to show you a picture of the Sadist gloves, but they're in the exact same spot as they were in the picture I showed yesterday. (No wonder I thought it was Wednesday.) For the third time. I realised I'd messed up the thumb gusset late last night, so I ripped. Then reknitted, and realised (when I'd gotten to the same spot) that I'd forgotten to increase when setting up the patterns in the first round. By then it was 5:00 AM (the alarm goes off at 6:00) so I opted for the hour of sleep and ripped and reknit today. So I'm in the same spot (one and a half pattern repeats) that I was yesterday. But gee, that thumb gusset looks great. And I think they may be the right size.

And in other news, my knee and shoulder (which were extremely painful) suddenly feel much better. It happened last night sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning. It was like someone turned a switch. I told the Sadist on Monday when I was at therapy that my pain was at a 6 or maybe a 7 (on a scale of 1-10) with my knee. Same all day Tuesday (I could barely walk). Today it's a 1 or a 2. Here are the three possible explanations:

1) I exercised more -- rode the bike yesterday for 20 minutes instead of 15, did 10 extra squats, an extra set of step-ups, plus contractions and leg lifts.

2) I took naproxin every twelve hours for the preceding 36 hours.

3) When I told my friend at work, she gasped and said that she had been really praying for me last night.

I'm going for options 3 and 2. It couldn't possibly be the exercise. Maybe you've all been praying for me too. I'll take the miracle (it's that time of year, right?) I mean, it was truly a very sudden thing with the pain/no pain.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Is It Only Tuesday?

All day long I've been thinking it was Wednesday. Tomorrow's going to be a big disappointment. I'm knitting the Sadist Gloves. This is one and a half pattern repeats, which is my progress for the day. I think I may have to get a move on here. The pattern is an amalgamation of the glove pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Knitting Patterns by Ann Budd and one of the palm patterns from Knitting Fairisle Mittens and Gloves by Carol Rasmussen Noble. I'm hoping it will be big enough for a man's hand. So far it's possible it's just one giant swatch and I'll have to rip back and reknit. Yep, we're nothing but edge of your seat knitting excitement here.

I saw my orthopedist today. He gave me a cortizone injection in my shoulder, and he wants me to continue with physical therapy for both my knee and shoulder. Call back next year if I'm still having problems. Both are still painful. I told him The Sadist twisted my arm. (Really we discussed physical therapy, and although I told him I can do the exercises at home, I can't do the manipulation. He checked my range of motion and agreed that a little more therapy would be good.)

I had a couple of realisations when I walked out of work today and saw a couple sauntering down the street towards me. One, men should never wear jackets belted at the waist (leather or not). Two, I really should carry my camera with me.

Monday, December 11, 2006


The pieces of Christmas Cables are done. I have only to block, sew, and knit the collar to finish. I'm trying to figure out where I will block. I'll have some extra time tomorrow morning before going to the doctor. I think I'll stretch and steam on the bed. I'm hoping it will be done before I get home tomorrow night.
With that done, I cast on last night for some gloves for the Sadist. The cuff is done and I'm about to start on the patterning. I was originally going to knit them in navy and grey (to go with his amazing blue eyes) but I saw he had a black coat, so black it is. I'm thinking I'm just going to do an all over 4 stitch - 4 row pattern from Fairisle Mittens and Gloves. It's one of the palm patterns. I'll do the fingers in Fairisle, too. I hope to get them done this week. I think he's getting tired of seeing me.

Also, I have to start on The Husby. Which needs to be done by Christmas. And unlike Heather's husband, mine is not only tall but also a bit -ahem- wide as well. I think I'm going to be sick of dark green. Then there's my own sweater. I'm beginning to question whether I'll make it or not. Wonder if Yarn Harlot's knitting hotline is up again this year? I could probably use some encouragement. (Or more chocolate, or maybe the good drugs) Did I mention I don't have my tree up yet? So far my Christmas decoration (note -- there's no 's' there!) consists of an unplugged "Giant Illuminated Talking Santa" that my MiL sent over out on the front porch which blew over in the windstorm a couple of weeks ago and so is laying there face down. Yeah, a dead Santa. That's me!! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Have a Bad Feeling About This

Still here, still have no time. I'm very concerned about my sleeve. It's looking not quite big enough. I keep telling myself the kid has skinny arms (which he does) and that I can block it out (which I can) but still, I don't know. I'll try it out on the kid tomorrow. I may end up ripping out and restarting. Christmas is looming, though, and I still have two more sweaters to knit, and they are for us larger folk. Still feeling a little knitter burn-out.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Under Pressure

I'm not dead (yet, although I had PT today and I feel it may be imminent). Busy at work, and dealing with some personal issues (some health/financial issues with my dad, and both my kids have decided to self-destruct in the same week). I'm still knitting my sleeve, and the pressure of the deadline knitting must be getting to me because I've been NOT knitting. Doing just about anything else (well, not cleaning or anything drastic like that.) Hopefully I'll have more to post later in the week.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday With Sheep

Much madness at work today. I came in and things weren't working. Just for the record, folks -- Computer applications work better if you actually start them!

Older Son took pictures of sheep for me while he was on his class trip. (Sheep courtesy of Mt. Vernon, Virginia.) How sweet is that? Although, he also took several pictures of pigs while he was there too. I'm thinking those were for his dad. There were also several pictures of other class members. Should I be worried that all but one are of several cute young girls? (And there was one of just one girl. OS will neither confirm nor deny the existence of a girlfriend. Hmmmm.)

The back of Christmas Cables is almost done. I think I have one or two more rows and then will cast-off at the shoulder. I will do that tonight, so I can start on the sleeves tomorrow on the bus. Yawn How exciting! After the sleeves I'll be starting The Husby, Dave's Christmas sweater. It's very similar (and was inspired by) Heather's sweater, which she is making for her husband (Mr. Dude, of the freakishly long arms). So the question is....Will I lap Heather on the husband sweater? Tune in next week...

Monday, November 27, 2006


Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I did not cook a turkey, but was relegated to side dishes. No green bean casserole, though -- the In-Laws said they didn't want any. So I made my Spinach/Phyllo thing and then used the other packet of phyllo dough to make what I call Cran-Gri-La. I've described it as a car crash between baclava and cranberry sauce, but you could also think of it as Cranberry Paradise. The In-Laws tried a few pieces and sent it on home with me and no one else here is eating any so I've eaten far more of this over the weekend than is good for me. I'm telling you, my culinary genius is wasted on these peasants. So how do you make it? Glad you asked.

1 8oz package of craisins (dried sweetened cranberries)
1 6oz package of orange flavored craisins
2 cups of orange juice
1/2 lb of pecan halves (optional -- pecans can be toasted before adding)
2 Granny Smith apples
4 oz honey (I used tupelo honey)
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 package of prepared phyllo dough
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In 2 qt saucepan combine craisins and orange juice, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer until craisins are plump and liquid is absorbed. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Meanwhile, prepare crust. Melt one stick of butter and butter a 13" X 9" pan. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough in pan and brush with melted butter. Drizzle honey over sheet (sparingly! There's lots of layers!) and brush evenly over layer. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top, and brush with butter and honey. (Tip -- we tested, you really need to brush the butter first, then the honey, apparently the honey needs help to slide around). Continue to layer phyllo sheets, with butter and honey between layers, sprinkling with cinnamon only every second or third sheet, until you have used approximately half your sheets. Melt more butter as needed for brushing. Peel and chop the apples, and add along with pecans to craisin mixture. Spoon over phyllo crust, spreading out evenly, and drizzle with honey. Layer phyllo sheets over top, again spreading butter and honey between layers, with cinnamon sprinkled every second or third layer. (Another tip: Because the sheets are so thin and the cinnamon so dark, it shows through for several layers. For aesthetic reasons I didn't add cinnamon to my layers for the last 4 or 5.) Brush the final layer with butter and honey and score diagonally to make diamonds (they really look more like parallelograms). Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 - 50 minutes, until it is golden brown. Cool completely, and cut along score lines. Serve pieces individually. (You really need to do this -- the honey makes it too hard to cut into this while eating; you can't use a fork, it really has to be picked up and eaten as a piece.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holiday Prep

For no reason, here's a picture of Dave and I, circa 1988. We look so young. See what having kids does to you?

I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving. Not really. I worked 9 hours today under pretty stressful conditions, and I'm whupped. (I also went to the gym and rode the bike and did squats again [whine, whine].) I have side dish patrol at my Mother-in-Law's. Thankfully someone else is making the turkey. I'm trying to get Dave to find out what time dinner is tomorrow. Also, whether or not I need to bring the green bean casserole. It's just not Thanksgiving without it. Something CQ and I were discussing today. She's making apricot pie, and I'm making my spinach/phyllo dish (which I'm feeling kinda ambivalent about, because although I love it, I think of it as an Easter dish.) CQ said her mom called about the pie and started dictating how she wanted it to be. CQ was all "Hello? If you don't want to drive the bus, then you can't decide where it's going." How does the saying go? "We add to holidays at great risk and detract at our own peril"? Something like that. Our family's traditional meal includes the usual, turkey, stuffing, cranberries. But also apricot pie and green bean casserole (see above). It used to involve "Holiday Pudding", a concoction involving lime jello, crushed pineapple, and marshmallows (Yeah, I was a child in the 60s), but none of us like it anymore. But over all, we're pretty flexible.

I'm still knitting Christmas cables. I expect to get some knitting in while waiting for Older Son's bus to pull up tonight (he called and told us he was late already).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Unlikely Santa

There I was, knitting away at Christmas Cables on the bus, when a kind of scruffy looking guy (in a red hat no less!) came and sat down beside me. "Oh, I used to do that!" he announced. "Yeah, right" I thought to myself. But I said, "Yeah? That's nice," politely. "In, over around, off; right?" he asked. "Yeah, that's it," I said, smiling. Then we lapsed into the silence of commuters on the bus for awhile until he caught my eye and asked "Do you have any little ones?" "Yeah," I said, "but they're not so little anymore." "Well," he said, "You can take this for them, I got it for free, and it won't fit me." And he pulled out a brand new sweatshirt with the Grinch on it. I offered to pay him something for it -- it still had the price tag on it, which read $19.93. But he refused. I told him I'd pay it forward, and he agreed. And then he wished me Happy Holidays and got off the bus.

In other news, PT was extraordinarily painful for me yesterday. I told The Sadist that my shoulder was sore -- it was feeling like it did way back when this whole thing started. So he made me lay on my stomach and he twisted it up behind my back. It hurt so much I felt like I was going to throw up. He kept saying "Are you OK?" and I was trying not to groan or scream and mumbling "Yeah. I just need a second here." That will teach me to open my big mouth. Also, I went to the gym at work today and spent 10 minutes on the bike and did my wall squats with the big ball. And I also did another exercise The Sadist had me do -- I put a medicine ball between my knees and squeezed it while lifting my feet up. I had to go sit on the bench in the locker room because there was really nowhere to sit in the gym and besides, it's not really the kind of exercise I wanted to be doing in front of all the guys working out, you know? Some young girl walked in while I was doing it and looked at me funny. Hello! I'm weird! And of course now I'm all sore and achy. And do you think I could whine some more about having to exercise?? I'm so not the gym kind of person.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Sorry, no knitting pictures today. I'm working on the back of Christmas Cables, which Surprise! looks just like the front. I started the back on Friday, then again on Saturday when I realised that I could not reliably count to 8, let alone any number over 100. But I finally managed it and now I have my cable patterns set up and am cruising along.

No pics because Older Son has my camera in Washington DC for his class trip. He says he won't be taking any pictures. Makes me think he's up to something. He also says he didn't buy me a souvenir in his allotted evening of shopping. I believe that.
As part of this trip he'll be attending a performance at the Kennedy Center. We had quite the discussion about appropriate attire (especially shoes) for the Kennedy Center. I suggested his suit, but he insisted that because he's attending a comedy, the dress is much more casual. So we finally settled for his grey dress shirt, black twill pants, and dress shoes.

Finally, a couple of observations from the weekend. Rachael Ray is everywhere! I saw her face on no less than 4 magazine covers. She has what? 3 or 4 TV shows running? And she's hawking everything in the grocery store. I'm starting to feel like a total slacker because I can't deal with the one job, one house, one husband, two kids, one dependent parent. And also -- what's up with Honey Bunches of Oats cereal? It's like the CSI of the grocery cereal aisle. There is something like 5 or 6 different variations on it. I have trouble finding the 'plain, regular' version for the boys.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Attack of the Giant Centipede

I've started working on the neckline of Christmas Cables. I think it needs to be a bit wider (maybe more than a bit, like maybe I need to rip it out and start over again, but we'll see. I'm nothing if not optimistic.) Basic, basic shaping on this. Drop shoulders, trapezoid sleeves. I've been thinking about sleeves. I usually relate the sleeve patterns back to the sweater. I think I'm going reuse the Aran Braid cable and the Coin cable closer to the center of the sleeve. And I was thinking about a smaller version of the Wheat Ear cable. But then I looked at the picture from yesterday and thought "That looks like a giant centipede," and now it's kinda creeping me out.
Anyways, here's a close up of the Coin cable, since it's on the edge it tends to curl up an get lost in the big shots. Right next to it is the Aran Braid. I'm hoping to finish up the front here and get started on the back tomorrow. Hmmm, I might have this sweater done before the end of the month. But that still leaves the sweaters for Dave and I, and we have a bit more acreage to cover with knitting than the stick brothers. I'd also like to make some gloves for my PT Sadist (he definately needs to have warm hands). I'm thinking some Sanquhar patterns in navy and grey (because he does have those amazing blue eyes). That will be my bus knitting when I move on to the Husby sweater (too big for the bus) don't know about the size 000 needles, though.

I forgot to check my Outlook before I left work today and so I don't know if I have an interview tomorrow or not. Rats. That means I have to dress for an interview, so it's a suit for me instead of my jean skirt. And the same again next Friday, because I know I have an interview then.

Also, I've been maybe just a teeny bit anxious lately. This has manifested itself in a sleeping problem (can't fall asleep, can't stay asleep) and also in recurring anxiety dreams. I've graduated from the school anxiety dream (I either can't find my class, or I have to take a final in a class I've never been to, or both -- I have to take a final in a class I've never been to and can't find) to a work anxiety dream. Interestingly enough, when I have this dream, I'm working at the job I left 13 years ago, not my present job; and I'm always returning to the job. I've had this dream several times now, and my work environment is becoming more and more industrial. My old boss always features prominently. Do you remember Miles, Michael's nutcase boss from ThirtySomething? Yeah, he was like that. So, I'm only sleeping about 4-5 hours a night, and that has been fraught with dreams of running around an industrial looking lab (in lab coat and latex gloves) dealing with my psycho ex-boss. Fun. Who knows, maybe tonight it will giant centipedes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Spot On

I am knitting away on Christmas Cables. Despite my best efforts. Last night I cast on and knit the first row/level of Criminy Jickets' Garterlac Dishcloth (Well, I actually intended to make a scarf with the left over Camo yarn, not a dishcloth.) The only thing that stopped me was the realization that it was too wide (I added an extra triangle/square) so I ripped back. This pattern though? Great for a variegated yarn. I see lots of cute baby blankets in my future. Then today I came home and found these in the mail. Look, a yarn sale! Also!
This yarn is on sale! For only $1.99 a skein!
They have this color too! I know, I know, it's freakin' Red Heart for cryin' out loud. That's all that's allowing me to hold off. Look at it, though. So tweedy, so spotty, so yummy-looking. Ok, ok, I'm a sucker for the spotty yarns. Just something in my make-up. But a yarn like this in a natural fiber (even a blend!) and I'm all over it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


It's my knee! It's stitch-free! And I can drive now! The surgeon had pictures of the inside of my knee when I went to see him today, but I was not really all that interested in seeing them. But he said there was no arthritis at all, so that's good news. This picture doesn't really do justice to the bruised halo around my knee (although that's fading away now) and you (fortunately) can't see the patch of hair that was under the bandaids so didn't get shaved with the rest of my leg. But both the doctor and the physical therapist did! Look, it's long enough to braid! How appealing and attractive!!

In the Weekend Knitting News, I presented Younger Son with his knitted birthday gifts. The sweater fits perfectly and looks great, but you'll have to take my word on it for now. Pictured are his feet in his own Fuzzy Feet which he and I closely supervised the fulling of to ensure they did not shrink too much. He is liking them very much. Can you just feel the fuzzy love?

We saw Santa Clause III The Escape Clause and I recommend it. We all really liked it. A friend saw it with some borrowed 5 year-olds though, and said that they didn't really get it. So it might be more for an older crowd.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Clapotis Movie Conferences

On the knitting front, I have not worked on Christmas Cables today. (I may after I'm done posting here, though.) I am almost done with my Clapotis. I have 'turned the corner', if you please. BUT (Cue the suspenseful music)
This is all the yarn I have left. Will it be enough? Will I have to rip back all my decreasing plus another twelve rows? Will I be forced to buy another ball of yarn and use only three feet of it? Only time will tell. Tune in next week for another exciting episode of As the Stash Grows.

Big plans for the weekend. Younger Son turns 13. (How the heck did that happen??) We are planning to go out for breakfast and then to the movies to see Santa Clause III. One of our biannual trips to the movies. I was surveyed last weekend on my movie habits and it didn't seem so pathetic until I said it out loud.

Survey Guy: Have you been to the movies in the past 2 months?

Me: No.

SG: How about in the past year?

Me: Yes.

SG: How many times have you been to the movies?

Me: Once.

SG: sounds a little desperate Does anyone else in your household go to the movies? Your children, your spouse? (Like I don't know who else lives here.)

Me: No. We go to the movies twice a year. We went in May and we'll be going again next weekend.

SG: sounds a little freaked out Ok, uh, thanks for your time....

But it's true -- we go to the movies twice a year. Once for Older Son's birthday in May and once for Younger Son's birthday in November. (We saw X-Men III for OS's birthday, btw. This is just a year of IIIs, I guess.)

Parent/Teacher conferences today. Two solid hours of "I really like him, he's a great kid, but..." Not too bad. YS has improved, OS is holding steady at commendable. If we could only push YS into the doing well category. And I had to get a key for the elevator -- no stairs for my knee! I kept telling teachers to call me. I felt like Blondie...

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Jean Miles posted yesterday about the old UseNet group rec.crafts.textiles.yarn and it got me thinking about when I discovered the on-line knitting community. That was back in '96. I posted pretty regularly on r.c.t.y (and r.c.t.n., but that's another story), and even wrote the first FAQs for r.c.t.y. (Wonder if they're even still around?) I joined the KnitList too, but that was when the List Nazis were in full swing (I'm sure she's probably a really nice person, but one of the major reasons I haven't gone to Knitting Camp despite my love for all things EZ and Meg Swansen is because Amy Detjen is involved in it.) So I didn't stay in for very long. That was around the time that Rick Mondragon was banned from the list. (Every time I read one of his "Letters From the Editor" columns I think about how the KnitList shot themselves in the foot on that one.) But for the most part, I liked the on-line community. Started a couple mailing lists myself, did an exchange or two. Then life got busy (I moved out of the country for awhile, then went back to school and started working full time) and I cut back. I picked up again in 2002 and discovered the world of knit blogs and on-line knitting magazines. And here I am writing about my knitting most days.

In other news, my dad is doing okay. I stopped in and saw him today after PT. He's sore from his fall, but doesn't seem to be seriously injured, so I'm relieved. We're getting him a lift chair this weekend (he slipped pushing up from his chair) and he's using his walker around the house.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Limping Along

I'm getting along ok without my crutches, but I'm still limping. I have to remember to do my exercises tonight -- I have PT tomorrow. Yippee!!

My dad fell today. Fortunately, I happened to call within minutes of when he fell and when he didn't answer I called Celtic Queen and sent her off to the rescue (she lives right up the street). I'm concerned, and worried, and frustrated. This is the third or fourth time he's fallen, and it's only been good fortune that we've gotten to him quickly and he hasn't had to spend a day laying on the floor, unable to get up. He's resistant to all our suggestions of things to help him. Maybe this time he'll be shook up enough so that we can get him one of those call services.

So I've been a bit preoccupied. Only a couple of rows on Christmas Cables. But my Clapotis is nearing completion. I'll probably start decreasing for the end sometime tomorrow. The end is in sight there!

And I'm interviewing tomorrow. Should be interesting. I spent the greater part of this evening looking at interview questions, so I know what to ask. Some of them are real toughies! Based on these, I'm not sure I could pass muster!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Cables, No Crutches

Here is the Christmas Cable sweater. The cables here are (moving out from the center): in the center the lovely Wheat Ear Cable, then the Little Plait, then the Horseshoe, then the Triple Gull Stitch, then the Aran Braid, then the Coin Cable. All except the Aran Braid are in BGW's First Treasury. The Aran Braid is in the Second Treasury. It's interesting to note that I have chosen a couple of cables that are twisting every row (Little Plait and Aran Braid). I like these alot, and the Wheat Ear twists every fourth row, still pretty tight for a 3 X 3 cable -- Think I might be wound just a teensy bit tight?? The yarn is Chaco, a no-name worsted weight wool I got for I think $1 or $2 a 100gr ball from Little Barn at MDS&W.

My Physical Therapist says I don't need the crutches anymore. In fact he laughed at me and told me I was more of a hazard with the crutches than without. (It's all that grace and coordination.) I'm still a bit leery and fearful of re-injuring my knee, so we agreed that I'm going to use a cane for a couple of days. And I have a rash on my leg. Well, it started on my leg, but has spread to my other leg and my arm. I called the surgeon, but his office says it's a matter for my PCP. I'll call them Saturday morning. Which I think is stupid. I could call now and have them schedule me for Saturday, but nooooo. They can't schedule an appointment for me for 6 weeks (and that's for a weekday, not a Saturday). BUT, if I call with an emergency on Saturday, they'll see me then. Makes sense, right?? Meanwhile, I probably have some hospital incubated super resistant to everything staph infection.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I've started the Christmas Cables sweater. I spent the weekend babying my knee, so was able to get in plenty of knitting. I had to add two more cables, I added the Horseshoe Cable (for luck) -- actually two of them, one on each side. I needed a little more width. The total width of the front is 19.5" (so total circumference of sweater will be 39"). I've knitted up the first skein (of 20, so I think I'll have more than enough!) so far. This is going to be a simple drop shoulder style.

My Clapotis is coming along, I've started on skein 6, which is the last skein before I start decreasing. So I hope to get it done this week.

My knee is feeling better, I was able to put some weight on it today. I'm starting to be frustrated about all the stuff that is not getting done around here. The guys have not been as helpful as I would have liked. Although I did get some vegetables (asparagus) for dinner tonight (but I had to ask).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Swatch Watch

This is the state of the swatch for the Christmas Cables sweater. It's actually the whole width of the front/back of the sweater. I was initially thinking that I'd make this sweater the same way I did The Celting with no ribbing, so that this could be the front if it worked out to be the right width. But as I'm thinking about it, I decided that I wanted a nice twisted rib, so I'll have to start over anyways. I've got a couple other cable patterns ready to go so I can augment if it's not wide enough (I guesstimated that just over 100 sts in cable patterns would be enough). The patterns are: From BGW Treasury I Coin Cable, Triple Gull Cable, Little Plait, and Wheat Ear Cable; and from Treasury II Aran Braid. Each cable has 2 stitches in reverse stockinette around it (BGW did that) and there is one twisted stockinette stitch between each of the cables. The set up is as follows: Coin Cable, Aran Braid, Triple Gull Cable, Little Plait, Wheat Ear Cable, Little Plait, Triple Gull Cable, Aran Braid, Coin Cable. I'll knit a couple three four inches and measure the width to see where I want to go. Hopefully I'll be done swatching and started on knitting the sweater front by the end of the weekend.

And Clapotis! A veritable black hole of knitting. I keep buying more yarn and knitting and knitting and knitting and the dang thing isn't anywhere near being done! It tricks you with the decreasing and increasing and moving markers around every couple of rows so that you think you're making progress, but really you aren't. This is skein #5, and by my estimate I'll need at least 2 more skeins, maybe 3 (it will take one whole skein to decrease). CQ has graciously agreed to take me to buy more yarn tomorrow, before Friday Knitting at Barnes & Noble. So come and check us out. I'll be the one with the crutches.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Christmas Cables

Yarn? Check
BGW? Check
Needles? Check
Barely intelligible scribbled instructions? Check

Yeah, baby we're ready to start knitting the Christmas Cables sweater! Inspired by KnitPicks Amhra'n Gra' I decided to make Younger Son's Christmas sweater a collection of cables. I got Dave and Older Son to find my yarn and BGW Treasuries, picked out 5 great cables and I'm off the races. Well, I'm swatching. Depending on how things look I may be adding in an extra 4 st cable. We'll see. That's what swatching is all about.

Feeling better today. My knee is much less painful, and I can almost put weight on it! Work was better, but everyone still makes fun of me, and I still feel guilty about asking my minion to get me coffee. BTW, I came back from my surgery to find out he is leaving at the end of the week, so I'll be interviewing in the weeks to come. Fun.

We have about 5 pounds of Halloween candy left over. I ate so much candy today I'm sick. You know, what we tell our kids not to do.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I'm pretty wiped out. Work today, then PT. I didn't get home until almost 8:00. And all I'd been thinking about from 3:00 on was a vicodin and an ice pack. I went to bed as soon as I walked in the door. Dave had to send me up dinner. I feel kinda bad because it's his birthday, but I'm too exhausted to make any kind of effort. (And he has his Tivo to play with.)
I was happy to come home to a package from my 'Favorite Sister'. I'd been looking at the Kitty Bartholomew book for awhile, so was happy to get it! I've been browsing, it's pretty good. Decorating is a common interest my sister and I share (but you wouldn't know it looking at my house!) I'm too tired to write more (or even knit anymore -- the vicodin is starting to kick in) so I'm going to bed. Talk amongst yourselves...

Monday, October 30, 2006


I am on the mend. Sunday was my worst day. Apparently all the drugs/shock/whatever wore off all at once. I actually took a shower tonight, and I feel like a new woman. I'm off to work tomorrow, so the long knitting vacation is over. Still having a bit of trouble with the crutches though. I did make it downstairs today (no one was here to feed me) but then the realization hit me -- you can't carry anything while you're using crutches. So I could make myself something to eat, but I couldn't take it anywhere to eat it. I was famished by the time Older Son got home from school.

So what did I accomplish while I was lounging around, watching Season 5 of The West Wing and knitting?

Camo Christmas is done. (The first of the Christmas sweaters! Yeah!)

A pair of FuzzyFeet that will be supplemental birthday gifts for Younger Son were cast on and completed. YS desperately wants a pair of these, and we had a bit of a fulling debacle with the last pair. I'll be more careful this time.

And lots more knitted on the Clapotis. I think I'm going to have to get more yarn for this, which means I have to get someone to drive me. (No driving until I see the doctor again in 2 weeks.)

I'm hoping to start on the next Christmas sweater tomorrow, but because of poor planning on my part, I'll be dependent on one of the guys to find the yarn and the pattern books in the stash. Wish me luck, it's going to be an ordeal...

Friday, October 27, 2006


I am safely home and in surprisingly minimal discomfort after my knee surgery today. (But I have taken a vicadin and am having more trouble than I would have expected typing.) I'm still having trouble with the crutches, as I told CQ when I called to give her the sad news that I had indeed survived and she was not about to inherit my stash. You know, because I'm so graceful and well coordinated.
Really the only casualty was my Clapotis, I missed an increase at the end of the row, and had to correct it on the next one. The yarn is Soy Wool Stripes in the Natural Navy colorway. It is my current "on the go" knitting project. I'm hoping to finish and wear it for Thanksgiving. I'm still working on Camo Christmas at home. And oh, how terrible, I have to sit all weekend with my leg elevated, watching TV and knitting (and with the occasional narcotic supplement). The only fly in the ointment there is that I'm dependent on the guys to bring me food. Well, I was hoping to lose some weight anyways.
I'll leave with another photo of the Celtings, at the request of my Evil Twin. I love this one!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Knitting Night

Celtic Queen and I arrived for our regular knitting night at B&N at South Hills Village to see in our regular spot by the cafe (and knitting books):

John Ratzenberger. I did not speak to him, but Stacey did, and said he was very nice and even did the voice of Hamm from Toy Story for her daughter. So I guess I can forgive him for usurping our knitting spot. Although I did mention that we should go and take over the spot by force seeing as how we had a bigger crowd of knitters than he had for his book signing. And he didn't come and see us, even though we were making things in America. (And really, it's not like he could have missed us -- Stacy's husband came over and told us we were so rowdy he could hear us all over the store.) I presented CQ with her slightly delayed birthday gift:

The KiPper bag set from KnitPicks. And CQ heard about my bad day last Thursday and got me this:

Trekking XXL in the bright primary colorway. Yeah! Happy colors! She told me she got a skein for herself and I mentioned I was jealous because I'd been looking for it, so she went back and got me my own skein!

Soccer was cancelled this weekend, so there was no shivering and knitting on the sidelines for me. But the Celtings invited me to lunch with them instead.

Aren't they a couple of cuties?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Camo Christmas

Here's the state of the Camo Christmas sweater. This is the outside (as I'm knitting).
Here's the inside. I (and just about everyone else I've shown it to) prefer the inside, so I plan to finish it with that side out. I'm hoping to get the body done tomorrow or Saturday.

My KnitPicks order arrived today! I'm going to tease you and say I'll have pictures tomorrow of all that yarn-y goodness (and other stuff too!)

Here's how things went when I got home:

Me: Is this my box? Yay, my yarn's here!

Older Son: Oh yeah, Mom, a box of yarn came for you today.

Younger Son: Uhh, Mom? There's a box of yarn here for you.

Dave: Laur, I think there's a box of yarn for you in the hallway.

Yeah, I live with a bunch of comedians. I had a bad day at work -- I blew up the system and it was all my fault. Really. Programmers running around, processing delayed until tomorrow. All because I screwed up. Makes me feel special, you know? At least my boss was understanding about it. And I'm getting one of my minions (well, my one and only minion) to fix things so it doesn't happen again (in other words, to save me from myself). So I at least have a plan in place when I get asked about it. I can't wait for knitting tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Still knitting the Camo Christmas sweater. Everyone I've shown it to likes the backside better than the front, so that will probably end up being the "right" side when it's done. (But I'll still make it reversible.) As soon as it gets to the joining of the body and shoulders I'll have to take something else for bus knitting. I have to make another pair of Fuzzy Feet for Younger Son (for reasons I can't go into at the present), which I hope to get done by his birthday. So probably those, then the SWS Clapotis for Thanksgiving. By then I should be ready for Younger Son's Christmas sweater, the Celtic Christmas - it's going to be a grey aran. Then the Husby. Dark green wool with a center cable inset. And finally me. Greys, black, and burgundy. I'm doing a Lopi design. And then? Who knows. Maybe some gloves, maybe something in "plain, regular blue", maybe a snowman hat or two. It's all about the edge-of-your seat knitting excitement, right??

Since I'm lazy and don't feel like taking a picture of my knitting (it looks like yesterday, just an inch or so longer) I'll direct you to a local blog project. Elizabeth Perry is doing an online drawing project in which she is drawing something from the Carnegie Museum every day it's open thru June 30, 2007. Check it out! If you're planning on visiting the museum with kids, this would make a great scavenger hunt. Or, you can look for things you've seen on previous visits.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's a Guy Thing

After a false start (Hint: Don't cast-on a new project late at night when you're really tired) I've knit this much on Older Son's Christmas sweater. It's a 4X1 rib, and I have to tell you, I'm digging on the reverse side (the top of the circle in the pic). I'm going to finish it so it will be reversible. I'm also really liking the colors here. This is Red Heart in the "Camouflage" color. (I know!) But these are OS's colors. And I wanted a variegated. I could have used Patons Camouflage yarn, but there's a story there. I was sitting with Celtic Queen shivering and knitting at the Elder Celting's soccer match, and she was telling me all about the sweaters she was going to make for the Celtings out of the Paton's yarn. Later that day I stopped at the craft store and Lo and Behold! there was the Camouflage yarn! And I thought "Hmmm, Older Son would look really good in those colors." But I couldn't do it, it was right after CQ told me about her sweaters! It'd be like I was copying her! So I didn't get it, but then I was buying another plastic cedar yarn storage bin and the Red Heart was there and....well, I was weak. Why is it so hard, to find manly variegateds though?

In other news, I'm waiting for my Knit Picks order to arrive. I'm hoping that it gets here by Friday so I can take it to knitting. (And as much as I love Knit Picks, they need to work on their manly colorways.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Let the Holiday Knitting Begin!

The Birthday Sweater will be finished tonight! We're moving on to Christmas knitting. Well, maybe I'll throw in some Thanksgiving knitting. I picked up some SWS in the "Natural Navy" color to make myself a Clapotis. I have a nice navy (really my fave new color dark indigo) outfit that it would look fab with for Thanksgiving. So, it might be bus knitting. I've got sweaters to make for all four of us for Christmas. Plus maybe some other holiday knitting. Will I make it? Who knows? You're all here for the edge of your seat knitting excitement, right?

I was angry at everyone in my house Friday night, so I left and went to the bookstore where I hung out until they closed (knitting, of course) and bought this book. I like it! I might start a project to knit every pair of socks in the book.

By Sunday I was (barely) on speaking terms with my family, and Dave took me to Michael's so I could check out the SWS (on sale, btw). I liked it, and bought some. Then I popped next door to Half Priced Books and scored this book for only $12.98. I'm enjoying reading it.

So why are kids so difficult? Is it just boys, or me, or what? Anybody with answers, please clue me in!