Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Moving On

First off, some knitting stuff. Here's the sweater I'm currently working on:
It's for Older Son. You may recall, he's a redhead and these colors will look good on a redhead (So Celtic Queen, who coincidentally by some freak play of genetics has the exact same color hair as OS, assures me.) And it was a skein of this yarn that was lost at Damon's. I'm knitting on size 6 needles, so it may take awhile. I think I'll do EZ's "Nalgar" shoulder, I've been intrigued by it for awhile and have wanted to try it. I think it also may enhance OS's broad shoulders.

Other Stuff
Thanks sooo much for your support of Younger Son and I in his troubles with bullies. I have homeschooled both of my sons in the past, but my husband insists that they attend public school. Bullying is endemic in the district, at least in the elementary and middle school grades. One of my neighbors actually moved to get away from it. In the incident where YS's glasses were broken, the children involved attended the elementary school, so although I reported it to the counselor at YS's middle school I didn't bother with the elementary school because I knew (from bitter experience, I tell you!) that the principal would do nothing. In fact I was kinda hoping to hear from her -- I SOOOO wanted to say to her "Well, as you so often said to me when I came to you with problems, 'It's one child's word against another's, there's nothing we can do'". While I don't go crazy maintaining that my kids are blameless (I know they're not saints) I do insist that rules be enforced equally and fairly. (Which they rarely were, hence my run-ins with the administration.) Also, I feel my role as a parent is to be my child's advocate (If I won't who will?). I could go on and on and list several horrible incidents, but that's not what we're all here for. The outcome I would like to see from the incident is this: I want the school to tell my husband and I that they have spoken to the parents involved here and have been assured by them that nothing like this will happen again. (I think that's completely reasonable.) If that doesn't happen then I will do everything in my power to get a restraining order against these people so I can have them arrested if they come near my kids again.

Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm Golden

Here's my finished bag to prove it. I used it last night and today for my carry-all bag, and it fits my purse and a small knitting project (socks) perfectly. It received many compliments at work today.

Next projects are socks (the Halloween socks revisited) and a multi-colored sweater for Older Son. Pictures tomorrow.


Thanks all for your kind words on the bag. The pattern was one my niece (aka Celtic Queen) lent me -- it's just titled "Entrelac Bag". I'm not sure where she got it, but I believe it's very similar to the "Market Squares Bag" pattern in the book Bags, A Knitter's Dozen.

And Yvonne -- about contacting the parents? Friday when the boys were walking home (I made Older Son escort Younger Son, hoping it would keep anyone from giving him trouble) they were accosted by the parents of one of a group of three boys (another three, and they were younger, but it was the same day) who had pushed YS down and broken his glasses. The parents stopped YS and wouldn't let him go until he told them his name, where he lived, and other information, then proceeded to threaten him. Gee, and I wonder where the kids get it??? Dave was finally moved to action and reported it to the school, and I gave OS my cell and told him if they saw these people again that he was to call the police immediately. (I'm still up in the air about whether we should have called the police then or not, but done is done.)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bag, Bucket & Bullies

Well, definately no armor for Dave. Damon's was not forthcoming with my yarn, so the skein is lost (I'm adding it to my "Skeins Out" total anyways, though.) I'm sure I'll still have enough yarn for my project, but there's still that nagging fear that I'll be short by just a few yards.

And look at this yarn-y goodness:

It's my Entrelac Bag, all felted and blocking on a bucket. Older Son called it a "bucket warmer". All I have to do is sew on the straps (I need to pick up a few buttons)and I'm done.

Ok, I'm going to vent here, so leave now if you just came for the yarn-y goodness.

Younger Son was involved in an incident yesterday after school (while still on school grounds) in which three boys cornered him and forced him into a fight. Here's the vent: The school has a supposed "Zero Tolerance" policy for violence. What that means is this -- YS can't turn in these three bullies to the school authorities because if he does so he will be subject to the same punishment they are. No, I am not overstating this, I was told this point blank by the principal at his school: If my child is involved in any way in a fight, even if he does NOTHING (i.e. just stands there and takes the abuse) he will be suspended. (Let alone if he defends himself!) The only possible exclusion is if a teacher is standing right there to witness it and is willing to state this to the principal. I see this as a further victimization of a child who is being bullied, this time by the school. I'm also sure that since they've instituted this policy incidents of school violence have decreased (would you report being beaten up if you knew it would get you suspended?) So since YS pushed one of the boys trying to get away from the fight (and then proceeded with a fight until he did finally get away) not only would he be seen as being involved in the fight, but he would be the instigator so he would be punished the most severely. To top things off, his father was going to speak to the school on his behalf, but on hearing about that first push, refused. (Let's just not even go into that.) Lest you worry too much though, I stepped in at that point and called the school counselor. The outcome is that she spoke to YS and got the names of the boys involved and talked to one of them who she said was "very apologetic" about the incident. Hmmmm, I'm sure. BUT, because of the whole "Zero Tolerance" thing, I could not make an "official" complaint and so the other boys will not be punished. The counselor will continue to speak to YS and make sure he's not being harrassed. At least it's something.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Nothing Much

Not much going on here. I'm inspired by Jean to make a shrug. She is thinking about one for the Highland Games this summer. But no pictures, since it's meant to be a surprise for a sometime reader of this blog. I still feel icky. It's been a week, so hopefully I can call the doctor and they'll take me seriously.

Dave is off trying to get his shining armor by retrieving my yarn. Updates tomorrow. Hope everyone's Olympic knitting is successful!

Monday, February 20, 2006


That's what I am.
First off, yesterday I met up with Celtic Queen and Anne for the Knitting Olympics Team PGH Local Event (which looked alot like knitting and having lunch). I had a fabulous time! I was extremely thrilled to meet Anne, (but I think I hid it well -- being kinda sick with the chest thing), who was very gracious and seemed to have a good time also.

You see CQ and Anne here. The screen behind was showing the Olympics (CQ asked them to change it for us). CQ has moved on to blanket #2. Anne is working on Grapevine, which CQ and I greatly admired. My entrelac bag is on the table in the lower left corner. Also notice the sweater Anne's wearing, it's this one. I was most impressed, and now I want to make it myself. I have some yarn, and I may even have the pattern. (Either CQ or I have Starmore's Aran Knitting.)

And speaking of having patterns....Remember the whole thing about the Olympic sweaters? Well, I'm poking around the net and I see the Retro Collection from Dale with all the Olympic sweaters from 1956-1994. First I asked DH to get it for me as a belated Valentine gift. Then it hit me, the booklet looked awfully familiar. It seemed to me that I already owned it. But a cursory search (I was too sick to be up for more) didn't turn it up. So I called CQ and asked her if I owned it. She said she was wondering about me -- Yes, I did own it, didn't I remember? Well, duh, no. So I searched a bit harder and turned it up. (Dave tried to tell me he had run out and bought it for me already.) So I'll have to knit ALL the Olympic sweaters. I think I'll start with 1956 (those ones are easier anyways). And besides, I can't find Nagano or Salt Lake. (But at least I'm sure I already own them.)

And on the Olympic front -- the Entrelac Bag is knitted!

Here it is, ready for its trip to the washing machine. (I included the scissors for scale -- it was either that or a fork, which says way too much about me, I think.)

So why am I ungrateful? Because despite all this knitterly goodness I'm cranky and upset. I lost a skein of yarn yesterday at the restaurant. Dave even called them for me today and asked about it, which is another thing for me to be grateful for. They said it WAS there, and may still be. We were told to call again tomorrow. So am I grateful? No, I'm irritated that Dave's not storming the place to get my yarn back for me RIGHT NOW. I mean, this is YARN we're talking about here. He wasn't moved to go and demand my yarn even after I told him I was devastated by the loss of it. See how ungrateful I am. But really. It's YARN....

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Olympian Dreams

No knitting last night -- I spent the evening putting in (and fiddling with) my Olympic Countdown banner. See it over there in the sidebar? Neat, isn't it? Yarn Harlot had one, but instead of ripping off her code (which would have been easy) I got the one from my Spinning Page that counts down to MDS&W and modified it.

My Olympic Knitting continues. I'm hoping to finish up a couple of skeins of yarn here soon so I can add them to my tally (yes, I'm over). I think I'm going to have lots of yarn left over after the bag is done. I'll have to knit a sweater to get rid of it. I'm ok with that, I like the yarn (Paton's Merino Classic) and the colors for a sweater. I think I'll get more of the charcoal grey and knit a fairisle yoke sweater but with the little fairisle band at the top of a sleeve. It'll go well with all my black skirts.

I ordered Torino today. So now that makes four Olympic sweater patterns in my collection:

Salt Lake,
and Torino

I'm contemplating making my inter-Olympic knitting goal being the knitting of all these sweaters. (And maybe as many other Olympic sweaters as I can find.) Then I can spend the next Winter Olympics wearing a different Olympic sweater every day. What do you all think? Well, I'm still feeling kinda crappy, and I'm hoping to be able to stay awake for some Olympic viewing tonight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bits and Boots

Olympic knitting continues. Thanks Holly and Yvonne for the well wishes. Physically, I feel better today, but I sound worse -- I've definately got a frog in my throat. I did not get any knitting done at lunch today, a friend coaxed me outside and I ended up buying these:

That's two pairs of boots. And I got them both for only $18! For BOTH! Don't you just love a bargain?

Otherwise, have you seen the latest Interweave Knits? Normally I don't notice these things, but just look at the model on the cover. Good Lord, someone please buy the woman a sandwich! She looks like a holocaust survivor.

I really wanna make the Sunrise Circle Jacket (and not just because I read Kate Gilbert's blog, but that factors in). It might be my next big project. Personally, I think they could have left out the dorky fingerless mitts and belt-bag and put the instructions for the jacket in the mag.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

News from the Olympic Knitting Front

OK, first things first. Here's the state of the Olympic project.

I have to report that I'm having some equipment issues. Remember the needle separation I had on day one? Well, it's happened twice more (once on each needle end). I must twist my needles in some funky way whilst knitting. It could be all that twisting around I do picking up stitches. Who knows? I'm not ready to throw in the towel on this Boye set yet, but it's getting closer. (This same problem is why I don't use the Denise set I bought a few years back too.) I think I'm just not cut out for those needle sets.

And I'm sick. Not so bad that I'll have to withdraw from the Olympics, but I think I'm going to miss my knitting workout tonight. I woke up with a bit of a scratchy throat this morning, and it's been progressing all day into a full blown cough/chest/throat thing. I'm headachey and have chills. I think I'm just going to go to sleep early. Great thing for Valentine's Day. Bleah. We're taking a raincheck on celebrations. (Although if things progress as they are I stand to lose my voice in a day or two. Dave may consider that a great Valentine's gift.)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Entrelac Entire

My knitting and I spent the weekend watching the Olympics.

It's all entrelac, all the time here. I am fairly confident that I will be able to finish my project, and I think I have accomplished my goal. That being to challenge myself by learning a new technique. (The time crunch thing just wasn't where I'm at.) Which I did. Not only do I feel I have conquered entrelac, I also taught myself to knit back backwards, a handy little skill to have in your knitter's bag of tricks. Neither of these skills were difficult to pick up, I simply needed a project to push me to learn them, which the Knitting Olympics provided.

Celtic Queen and I decided today that had we just been given the chance we would have been phenoms at some of the more obscure Olympic events like biathalon (me) and skeleton/luge (CQ). Glossing over the fact that neither one of us has ever, at any point in our lives, been particularly active in athletics or sports of any kind. What can I say? The Olympic spirit lives on in us all. We also agreed that we have to get the kids out there doing more stuff. (Have you seen the bios on some of these athletes? They all started out when they were like 7 or 8 at the latest!) Those boys have a lot of catching up to do!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Fanfare for the Common Man

Which was the Olympic Theme in the days of my youth (John Williams wrote a new one in either '80 or '84). Here I am casting on for my Olympic Knitting Project at a few minutes after 2:00 yesterday:

The original plan was for several of my co-workers to stand behind me cheering me on and waving Terrible Towels. The reason they did not is because standing directly in line of sight in front of me (behind the camera) was a Vice President of our company. So no cheering (not even from the one whose review I will complete.)

And we had some drama, too. Shortly after casting on (which took 3 tries), THIS happened. A needle separation. It caused a dropped stitch, but I was able to recover, tighten my needles, and move on. So far no recurrence.

Knitting night last night and there was plenty of Olympic knitting going on.

Celtic Queen is knitting TWO blankets, one for each Celting. Here she is working on the first, a "regular blue" one.

Heather is making an intarsia sweater for her youngest (really cute, with a frog) which is her first intarsia project. And she charted it herself! I'm impressed. And she introduced me to Minkee -- I'm in love! Good thing I don't know how to sew (I don't need another stash, although I did dabble in quilting for a bit.)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

On Your Mark, Get Set...

I'm ready!!

Here are my supplies for my entrelac bag. All my yarn, my needles and pattern just prior to stowing them in my knitting bag for the trip to work tomorrow. I'll be taking a late lunch at 2:00 and casting on for my project then.

And here is the current state of sock #2 for Celting #2, and the remaining skein:

See how little yarn there is left? It's going to be a squeaker. Time-wise, too if I don't get knitting. I've only got tonight and my commute time in the morning tomorrow. Hope everyone else is ready for the Olympics tomorrow. Drink plenty of fluids, have a good meal, and get a good night's rest.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hump Day

Yeah, I wish. Some good news. The friend I made this scarf for:

finished up with treatments yesterday! Everything went very well, and the prognosis seems good! Hurray!

Work is crazy. I have code to write, and webpages to update, and spreadsheets to look at, and then all my "regular" work. But no overtime. Yeah. At least it's challenging. I'm hoping to hit the lottery -- $210 million.

And I'm knitting a little Celting sock. I'm hoping to finish sock 1 and maybe start on sock 2 tonight. I'll work on it tomorrow and Friday morning. Then Friday at 2:00 I'm casting on for my Olympic project: A Felted Entelac Bag. The stretch for me is the entrelac technique. Celtic Queen is very graciously lending me her pattern for the project. Dave is picking it up tonight so I can get all my supplies together tomorrow. And if I finish before the end of the Olympics, I can make the Danica scarf from the current issue of Knitty. Funny how that came out just in time.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

You Know You're Old When

Conversation with Older Son yesterday:

OS: Mom, were you a Dead Head?
Me: You mean like the Greatful Dead?
OS: Yeah, you know, like a fan of the Greatful Dead.
Me: I'm just a little too young to have been a Dead Head. Ask your dad. Did you see that cd I just bought? It's only one cd, that doesn't make me a Dead Head.
OS: No, I didn't see it, really. That's funny though. I was just reading about the Greatful Dead and Dead Heads.
Me (suspiciously): Where?
OS: Umm, well, you know in school...In, uh, American Studies..
Me (interrupting): You mean in HISTORY?!!
OS (laughing): Yeah!

Yes, I actually had just bought a Greatful Dead cd (a cheapie greatest hits thing) and yes, he showed us the textbook with the passage about the Greatful Dead and Dead Heads. I can't remember exactly what it said, it was just too depressing. Kinda reminds me of when they re-released the original Star Wars movies in theaters and all the trailers went on (and on) about how "An entire generation has never seen these movies as they were meant to be seen -- On the big screen." Yeah, thanks.

So in knitting news I finished my socks, and am wearing them today. Here they are on my feet (it really is tough to get a good picture of your own feet.) And I've started making some socks for one of the Celtings with the leftover yarn (so as to use the skein up completely and add it to my tally). I think they will be for the smaller Celting, there's not too much yarn left. Also, I've been wearing my Flashy Gloves this week, and I really like them. I need a hat and scarf though. I have this book and am sorely tempted by a tam. I could make a plain one out of the Flashy yarn. It would be a good way to get the pattern down before trying it in Fairisle. Maybe the yarn will behave better. But maybe not, and then I'm stuck with a tam I don't like. Hmmm. It's a dilemma. Of course, I could always gift someone with the tam. Hmmm... to be continued.....

Monday, February 06, 2006

Button, Button

Team PGH has a button!
Thanks to the very talented Yvonne for the button. Feel free to use it, download it your own site, yada, yada.

I knit (well, re-knit) socks this weekend. I had to rip out the socks I made from the yarn my excellent Secret Pal Holly sent me. (The originals didn't fit anyone). I'm finishing up this pair and they fit me perfectly! And I think I'll have enough left over to make a pair for one of the Celtings, thereby using up another skein of yarn. I'm so clever. (That's why it took me 3 tries to get the dang socks to fit me.)

So I'm contemplating what to do next for the commuter knitting. Of course, next week it will be all Olympics, all the time. But until then? Will the socks keep me busy? We'll see. I think I'm making the Market Bag for the Olympics. Hard as it is to believe, I've never done entrelac, so that's the stretch for me. I've got to go visit the Celtic Queen to borrow her pattern so I know if I need to get some yarn. And if I finish before the end of the Olympics? I think I'll go on a finishing binge and try to finish up as many projects as I can (I have several that I've completed the knitting on, they just need "finished" to be useable.)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Here We Go

Just for the record, I will NOT be watching the game. Every time I watch, the Steelers lose. The Super Bowl in '95? First game I watched all season. The AFC Championship last year? First game I watched all season. The fumble in Indianapolis? I walked into the room and glanced at the TV. So I will be in my room watching Season Two of the Mary Tyler Moore show and knitting instead. The neighbors will let me know when the game is over, I'm sure.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Olympic Event

Here's my announcement. There will be an "unofficial" (isn't this whole thing unoffical?) Knitting Olympics event for all those participating. Any and all Knitting Olympians are invited to attend.

Where: Damon's at the Waterfront
When: Sunday, February 19 from 1:00-4:00 PM

Our plan is to take over the joint and knit while watching the Olympics. As with any true Olympic event, family and friends are welcome to cheer the knitters on. Please contact me at laurieDOTgrahamATcomcastDOTnet if you definately plan to attend and let me know how many are in your party. Right now I'm going, Celtic Queen is going, and Heather is going. If alot more people are going I'll need to alert the restaurant (and maybe the media).

I'm going off to promote in some other blogs. And if somebody could get us a button? I've plenty of talents, but they don't extend in that direction. We're going with Team PGH.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Just Call Me Granny

And boy, after the week I've had I sure do feel like it! Twice this week I came home and I was too tired to even eat! (And if you know me at all, you know that's absolutely unheard of for me.) My internet has been down all week too, that's why no blogging. So here's the entry I was going to give you all on Monday, and we'll go from there.

I was a grandmother last weekend! Here's a picture of my grandson:
Yep, he's one of those electronic babies. Older Son had to bring him home and take care of him for his Life Management (or whatever the heck they call that class now) class. OS didn't really come up with a name for him. I called him "Diggy". And guess what? Dave and I had to baby sit! OS had an opportunity to go out but he didn't want to with the baby. Dave and I wanted him to go (he never does, this was the first time all year) so I babysat. Then we went out to dinner. With the baby! Dave made me put a blanket over him, though. And I bonked him off the door leaving the restaurant and made him cry! I guess I'm not ready to be a grandmother after all. Anyways, I don't think this is a fair idea of what it's like to be a parent. The thing should require attention much more often. And it had this funky head thing going on which made it very difficult to hold it without setting it off. I think it taught the kids to just plop the baby in the carrier and leave it there until it cried. (Which was every 4 hours, almost by the clock.)

So knitting news, I finished the Flashy Gloves. Here's where I was last Monday on glove #2:

and here's the completed pair (I apologize for the clashing pink background, I was very tired and I can't find my white thingie. Also note and give me bonus points for not displaying obscene gestures with them, though I was sorely tempted.): I've cast on for a pair of socks for my commuter knitting.

If you're still with me, I am attempting to coordinate a Team PGH event for the Knitting Olympics. I need to consult with my co-conspirators and will give all the details soon!