Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bright Lights

I was going to start off this post with a picture of my neighbor's light display. They have a front yard the size of a postage stamp and have as many large light up inflatable Christmas things in it as they can fit. I grabbed my camera and struggled downstairs to take the pic. I looked out the front door and saw the giant snowman glowing away. Then Dave started talking to me as I put on my coat (over my pajamas, I'm such a dork). I swear I was only talking to him for a few minutes (like 3!) and when I went outside (in my pajamas!) they had turned all their lights off! So, do you have your holiday decorations up? We still have our dead Santa on the front porch, but that's it.
In other news, I'm a little stiff and sore today. I fell yesterday in the basement while carrying down the laundry. (Tripped over the clutter.) At least I didn't fall down the stairs. So I was sitting there on the floor, bawling (it was the end of a rough evening) and the guys come down and just stand around looking at me. Then they started pulling on my arms. I finally managed to pull myself to my feet (sniffling) and they left. No "let me help you with that laundry", nothing. Hmmph. I'm thinking their Christmas gifts will be me buying toys for needy children in their name. (They have this gift tree with kids' names on it at work, and I keep taking another name because I think that these poor kids aren't going to get anything for Christmas. I'm on my third kid and I'm not telling Dave about it.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Trying To Be Thankful

In this week after Thanksgiving I'm trying to be thankful. Truly. But I'm not having my best week. Anyways, I'm going to list some nice things here and try to focus on the positive.
My friend recently finished her first sock. I'd like to think I encouraged and helped a bit. She was inspired and immediately cast on the second. She does have a bit of a dilemma, in that she had promised this pair as a gift, but now wants to keep them for herself. Such is the life of a knitter.
I also recently had the chance to teach a couple of eager young boys to spin on a drop spindle. I'm not sure how much they retained, but I left some wool and materials for them each to make their own spindles. If nothing else, I'll spin a couple of yards every time I visit until we use up the wool and then their mom can knit them something.
And my super power is still working. These mitts were mostly knit on Thanksgiving day. (Then the second was ripped and re-knit when I discovered it was waay shorter than its mate. I debated on redoing it, but then I was awake at 4:00 AM so I figured, why not? It's still a bit shorter, but I can live with it.) They're from a kit and the yarn is a hemp/cashmere blend. Not really two fibers I would have combined, but the yarn is yummy and they really do keep my hands warm.
So what did I knit during the ten hours of my trip to North Carolina and back? Well, first of all I found out that it takes all your three hours of daylight to wind two center pull balls of Socks That Rock without the benefit of swift or ball winder. Then it's too dark to start the dang socks. Other than that, I worked on this:

Irreversible. A few false starts in the dark, but then I got the rhythm down and I was ok.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fixed Up

I fixed up my spinning wheel this evening, at the cost of eight dollars and change for supplies and one broken finger nail. The plastic band(?) whatever attaching the footmen to the treadles had broken (Apparently by a home invader who entered, broke my spinning wheel, and then fled without disturbing anything else in the house. At least according to the boys who all swear they had nothing to do with it.) and needed to be replaced with something. The connection was made by some round solid plastic pieces which were held in place with screws. I was able to replace them with some nylon cord which I'm hoping will do the trick. But in gathering up all my spinning paraphenalia I found that my bottle of spinning oil had leaked and was just about empty..
So I decided to consult Alden Amos on what the proper spinning oil should be. But I couldn't find the book! I could have sworn it was on the top of the bookcase in my bedroom. Nope, not there. Then I remembered reading it in bed recently so I looked under the bed. Nope. Upstairs in the attic where I'd taken a bunch of spinning supplies lately. Uh-uh. How could I have lost it? It's not like it's a small book. (There's a reason it's titled "The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning.") I had given up hope and was about to blog about how I couldn't find it (and was debating calling Celtic Queen and asking her if I'd lent it to her and forgotten about it) when I spotted it on Dave's dresser. Success! (And I can't find a reference to spinning wheel oil, but Ashford recommends 30 weight motor oil, so I'm going with that.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm Hanging On (Barely)

I'm still hanging in there. I feel terrible, which wouldn't be too bad, except I suspect I look worse.
I'm still plodding along on the Pomatomus socks, taking two steps forward and one step back. I finished one Cotton Sock, The Grey, and have yet to cast on its mate, and I'm debating Christmas knitting.

Younger Son's birthday was yesterday and he made me feel guilty about not giving him a hand-knit sweater. To compound the matter, he's grown out of several of his previous sweaters, so now he only had three hand knit sweaters that fit him
(four, if you count the one I knit for his brother that he's absconded with -- pictured on him here.) That would be, let me think...exactly four more sweaters than I've made for myself. Also, Older Son wore his Irreversible Sweater out Saturday night (I think it was a double date, but he's not saying.) Gosh, it's a great looking sweater. And it really does look fantastic on him. But anyways, I feel appropriately guilty so I've ordered yarn for two sweaters for him. I might even get yarn for a third. The jury's still out. I really did want to make him a sweater, the birthday just snuck up on me. Kinda like Christmas is doing right now.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Have Nothing to Say

I'm writing to say I have nothing to say. I am finally feeling better from my cold. Sounding a bit better too. (If you could hear me.) Last week was pretty bad. I was worn out, and suddenly work became huge and I ended up working overtime, which didn't exactly help with the worn out thing. Friday I didn't even go to knitting. I worked late and by the time I got home it was after 7:00 and I just staggered upstairs and went to bed. Saturday I had to run errands and then Dave wanted to go out. I had to take a nap. And I was so tired I couldn't knit! But the good news is that I've been sleeping better since the time change. Although everyone who sees me says I look tired. I told Dave I think I need to get some industrial strength Oil of Olay or something. Ok, ok, an update on the knitting I've been too tired to do. Sunday all I was capable of was mindless knitting, so I worked on my current Cotton Socks (Cotton Socks, the Grey). I'm past the heel and gusset and working on the foot. Pomatomus are still struggling along, a few rounds at a time. And everyone at work wants fingerless mitts.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

Kind of appropriate that I'd be thinking about my mom all day today. I really miss her alot. Maybe I just need someone to tell me that everything's going to be okay. My best memories of my mom are from when Older Son was an infant and she would come to watch him. First of all, you need to understand that my mom was a Class AAAA neat freak. When I was little I truly believed she was Mrs. Clean (reinforced, no doubt, by the fact that my dad looked alot like Mr. Clean.) So when she came over and my house was a disaster, she could have taken me to task about it (her house was always immaculate and she had 6 kids) but she never did. In fact, she told me that I was trying to do too much and that I needed to take care of myself and just went through the house and cleaned a bit here and there for me. Anyways, this picture sits on my mantle. My sisters say Mom looks alot like me in this picture. Younger Son thought so too, when I got it down this evening. I'm not sure when this was taken, but I think she's in her early 20's here. I made her an afghan for her queen-size bed that she slept under every winter for about 5 years (I have it now, I'll be getting it out for my bed soon) and I knit her a warm fair isle scarf (she had emphysema and had to wear a scarf when she went out in the winter) and a lace afghan which was one of the first projects I ever completed that's still draped on the back of the recliner at my dad's.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I've been saving this picture especially for today! I feel like Yarnstorm, finding the perfect picture out and about. We're going to let the neighbors hand out candy for us this year and we're about to head out for a celebratory birthday dinner for my Scary Guy. We're going to the O for "fries as big as your head!" as I always say to the boys. Dave and Younger Son are downstairs trying to find the candy Dave bought. (Dave's accusing me of having eaten it.) Not much knitting going here, but we knitters are always ready for whatever the season brings.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I have one. And I'm miserable with it too. My sister came to visit from North Carolina this weekend and she put me to work cleaning my dad's apartment. I thought my sneezing and scratchy throat were just from all that dust we threw up. But then yesterday it became apparent that I was coming down with a cold, and I've been getting steadily worse all day. I can barely breath now. Dave won't even come into the same room I'm in, let alone touch me or anything else I've handled. I sent him off to the drugstore to get me some decongestants. I wish I had some mulled cider or even some hot chocolate, but no go until Older Son gets home from class at about 10.

So I spent the weekend cleaning and got very little knitting done. We took a break on Saturday to watch the Breeder's Cup. I bet on Hard Spun (of course!) who placed. My sister picked the winner.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday and More Trees

More pictures of trees. Still not much knitting. I need to pick up some beads for my Leafy Heather, I think. It's been colder and rainy here in the 'burgh. I'm up in the air about knitting this week. Actually I'm up in the air about alot of things. But wait! I've been busy at work. I actually had to work an hour and a half over so far this week. I can't decide if I'm going to leave early or go out for lunch. Maybe both. Trader Joe's is within walking distance. I could go down and get a salad. But the cooler weather has me thinking of sweaters, too. There's the The Celting II, and Celting Remix to consider, as well as A Fairisle Vest and hmm, maybe a Chain Mail sweater. I'd also like to revisit Irreversible for Younger Son. I've seen some swatches and scarves in Araucania and I think it may be a good fit for the pattern. If I can only find some in a sufficiently murky man color. And then there is the lace. Leafy Heather is almost a done deal. Heather got the prelim pattern last night. She says she's waiting for the right tools to tackle it. I told her and CQ that I didn't want it to be too simple, but I may have gone too far over to the dark side. But honest, Heather! Stitch markers are your friends! The pattern repeats are logical! No large patterns over the width of the entire shawl (what killed me with MS3) -- these all have a logical progression and once you get started you almost don't need the chart. Really! And besides, it's not everyday you get to knit yourself a cashmere shawl. The pattern should be heirloom quality.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday and Trees

It's that time of year again, when I post gratuitous pictures of autumn trees for my readers who can't experience this wonderful color. I can see this tree from my front porch, and it shines like a beacon on the hillside, so when I was driving past it on Saturday I stopped and snapped a picture. We were having one of those wonderful autumn days where the sky is a deep clear blue. It's raining and getting colder now, so these leaves will probably be gone soon.

I really don't have much knitting to talk about, so if you're just here for the knitting, my apologies. I'm still working on the charts for Leafy Heather. Heather herself swatched the Heather lace pattern (I wrote it myself) and is raring to go on the shawl. I have some logistics to figure out on the attachment of the final border, but other than that it's just about ready to go. I just have to commit to spending some quality time with my pc doing some polishing. (Kinda like seaming, sewing on buttons and working in the ends on a sweater.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Lost Boy

Younger Son had a field trip today to the NASA WVSGC. He left at 7:30 this morning and would return at approximately 4:30 this afternoon. No problem. I had to get Older Son to an appointment at 5:30 and then had to get to my dad's to give him a shot. I figured we'd all go together and we could just grab dinner while we were out. I had to work late today so didn't get home until about 4:45. No YS. Well, at about 5:15 OS and I were getting ready to go. I figured I'd drive to the school (which was on our way) and pick YS up. Got to the school, sent OS in to ask if they knew when the bus would be there. No one was in the school. It's dark, locked up, no one home. So now I'm starting to panic. The kids should have been back an hour ago. Did the kids get back at 4:30 and something happened to YS? Did something happen on the trip? But if the kids weren't back, surely there'd still be someone in the school, right? I called the school and just got voice mail. Left a panicky message asking them where my son was, and drove home, thinking I might have missed him when I drove up to the school. He wasn't home, or anywhere in between. Drove back to the school to look one more time before heading to the police station across the street. Just before getting to the school, saw YS walking down the sidewalk. The kids had just gotten back, over an hour late. So there was my exciting day.

Tinking the Pomatomus sock again. I just can't seem to get this one right. And my CTS is flaring up in my left hand something awful. Bleah.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Swatch Me

I've been busy, knitting and ripping and knitting and ripping this swatch all weekend. I didn't want this shawl to be too simple, but I think I may have gone too far to the dark side. Although I was able to knit the dang thing I'm not entirely certain I'll be able to chart it. It's definately going to need a half dozen or so charts to get it done. But I'm totally hooked on the thing. It's hard to put it down, I keep wanting to do "just one more row". I've knit enough to establish all the patterns at this point, and I really think it's going to work out. (Well, if I can work out the charts, that is.) My last big hurdle is going to be working the border on the two sides. I think I'm going to knit it on, and not try to turn the corner with it, which I think would push me over the edge. The border, by the way, is knit in on the long edge and it's the charting of this border which I'm having trouble with. So I think it's safe to say that I'll be knitting it again, and charting every stitch. Ah, the things we do for our art (and friends.)

On the home front, I saw the dentist today, whom I have been avoiding because I knew what he was going to tell me, which is that I have to have some major dental work done (involving oral surgery) and spend hundreds of dollars. Merry Christmas to him! Dave is travelling out of town this week so I'm having to manage alone. I think I might clean out his dresser and closet while he's gone. (He says he doesn't read this blog. We'll see.) The guys have lost a season of Stargate (before they watched it) somewhere in the house. So all weekend long I have had to put up with them rooting around in my room and through my stash because none of them can believe that I don't know where it is and are therefore convinced that I hid it from them. Now, Finding Lost Things is one of my minor super powers, I admit. But in this case, I never touched it. I'm going to have to find the dang thing just to keep them from pawing the stash. They get it all a out of order and upset the delicate balance that allows me to find what I want relatively quickly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On My Mind

I've been thinking alot about lace this week (just don't ask me about MS3). I'm working up my pattern for the Leafy Heather shawl, so watch this space (or maybe this space) for more details. I think I have the patterns worked out for Leafy Heather, I just have to iron out a few kinks with the edging and work up a few more charts. Heather is swatching the main lace pattern for me (hopefully) right now, and if it looks good, I should be able to finish up the charts and give her the completed pattern early next week. My Pomatomus socks have hit a snag. I don't know what I was thinking (or smoking, apparently) when I started working my instep after turning the heel. I need to tink back several rows. I'm hoping to get straightened out and start moving forward again tomorrow. We'll see.

In other news, Older Son had to watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers for his Sci-Fi class today. When Celtic Queen and I discussed what we thought were the best sci-fi movies all of mine were from the 70s. What's up with that?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


This is something that's been on my mind lately. You see it all the time in the knitting magazines, knitters bemoaning the dearth of Men's Sweaters. And the designers try. They really do. But the result is always some monstrosity that no man in my life would be caught dead in. (And truth be told, probably not even then, some I've seen are so bad they could reanimate a corpse.) A week or so ago I was watching television (OK, ok, it was Stargate on dvd) and there on the screen was a guy in a sweater. (Orlin, did you see that episode?)
And after I got past the "Hmmm, that's a pretty good-looking guy" thing I was able to note that he was wearing a sweater. A basic small vee neck, full fashioned sleeve cap, otherwise plain stockinette sweater.
Alot like this. And it occurred to me, "THIS is really what men wear." OK, a classic Aran or cabled sweater, and maybe some stripes. But usually just a plain sweater in a murky man color (see photo). And we all already have this pattern, right? This is why there are no Men's Sweaters in the knitting magazines. So as a knitter, you really have to decide -- Make him a colorwork /textured monstrosity that will take you months to make and will spend eternity in his drawer/closet, or the B O R I N G plain stockinette sweater that he'll really wear. Knitters choice. But you have to ask yourself why are you knitting a sweater for him. So he'll have something he'll really wear? Or to show off your prodigious knitting skills? If you choose the latter, you can't really complain when he doesn't wear it.

Hmmmm, what is this? A bit of green lace??

Monday, October 08, 2007

Catch Up

Lots to talk about. Older Son has been commandeering my computer for school work, so I've been lax in my posting. I finished the first Pomatomus sock and started the second. I finished turning the heel on sock two and started on the gusset this evening. The Pseudo-Pod is stalled. I admit to a certain amount of knitting ennui. Maybe it's the heat, maybe I'm tired with these projects, who knows? I think it's the projects, though. Thing is, they're both small projects so I don't want to abandon them, they just need a little more work to complete them. So I'm trying to slog on through to the end, but it's not easy.

And the weather! It's been almost 90 degrees here! Not October weather at all. It's supposed to turn seasonal later this week. I hope so, I'm tired of summer already. Celtic Queen and I took the Celtings to a local farm for gratuitous pumpkin pictures and consumption of foods high in fat and sugar (the Hawaiian shave ice was a big hit). I also got some apples -- I'm very picky about my apple selections. I like a very crisp, slightly tart apple. My choice this time around was Empire. We went on a hay ride and there were fiber animals.
Sheep! And goats!
There was a llama too, but I didn't get a picture. CQ and I were the only people snapping pictures of the fiber animals.

Finally, I spent a very enjoyable evening with Heather watching Kaffe Fassett videos and eating some hot pepper mustard and peach salsa on pita chips (yum!). Almost like being at a workshop and as I pointed out, we can spend the difference on more yarn!

Monday, October 01, 2007


Busy weekend! Here I am with the Big Winner! The Elder Celting has WON! the Metropolitan level of the Elk's Soccer Shoot. I got some shots of the action, too (but I'm going to leave some for His Mom to post. And speaking of CQ, it was her birthday yesterday. She's 28 (again). The Celting Consort says she's 28 and will remain 28 until the Celtings catch up. That's the Celtings and one and a half of my Sons in the background.
I gave her yarn, and uh, more yarn. Claudia Handpaints, Koigu, and some wool for felted slippers.
I also finished the first Pomatomus (sorry, no pic). I've cast on for the second, but have only knit a round or two. And I've lost my notions bag with my scissors, stitch markers, stitch holders, and Chibi in it. :( Think good thoughts that it will find its way home. Dave and the sons are maybe not best pleased with me because when I found I couldn't find it last night (and after asking for help in the search and being ignored) I went on a rampage, flinging things about the house in search of it. I've come to the grudging conclusion that it is not in the house, so am broadening my search afar. If you see it, let me know!

Friday, September 28, 2007

I Plunged

I did it. I signed up for Ravelry. There are over 17,000 people in front of me. I see Heather has just over 10,000 people in front of her. Celtic Queen of course is already in.
I've been knitting on my Pomatomus socks (or unknitting, as the case may be.) I have a big weekend planned, as it is CQ's birthday, and the Elder Celting is competing in the Metropolitan District level of the Elks Soccer Shoot (he won at the local level). I would like to go (really) but started worrying today that my Sports Jinx might kick in. What to do? I'll discuss with CQ tomorrow. Maybe she has a good luck antidote for me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Last Rose of Summer

Roses are my favorite flower, so I planted three rose bushes last spring, a white (my personal favorite flower), a yellow (they were my mom's favorite flower so a sentimental choice) and a shaded yellow to orange (because I'm a sucker for multicolored roses). The yellow and white died, but this one seems to have survived my gardening style (dig a hole, stick it in there and leave it to fend for itself). This is its third (and probably final) bloom of the year. A bit overblown, but then aren't we all?

In knitting news, now that I have more yarn (thanks again Steel City Knitter!) I'm getting reacquainted with my Pomatomas socks. And still working on the Pseudo-Pod sweater for a future baby. I think, though I'm going to have to dissect Widdershins and rewrite for a smaller gauge for my next travelling socks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fait Accompli

The Jitterbug socks are done, finished, ends woven in and everything. I had to take Older Son to an appointment this evening so my car hood had to stand in as my knitting backdrop. Nothing says "I'm a geek" quite like posing knitting on the car hood in a parking lot and then taking pictures of it. I finished these up just in time, too. Steel City Knitter sent me more yarn to finish my Pomatomus socks. My knitting bag overfloweth. (Still working on the Pseudo-Pod, too.)

In non knitting news, I think I may have figured out the new DVD recorder. Cross your fingers for me. I wish I could somehow get my dad to figure this out. He would happily spend the next 5 years transferring all his video recordings to DVD. Also, I had lost the next book in the series I was reading (Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Did you hear he just passed away? Before the series was finished? I'm trying not to thing about that too much, it makes me a little crazy.) But after making OS search his room and the attic for me we found it on the floor by my bed. Ooops. (But really, it had apparently fallen off the bookcase over there and I never use that side of the bed anyways.) Hmmm. Heather has a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pudding Pie on her blog that I may have to try this weekend. Speaking of recipes, and cooking, I was thinking about making potatoes and eggs for dinner this week. Do you make this? It was a regular when I was a kid, but I myself haven't made it since the boys were very small. More peasant food, probably German (I've at least seen it mentioned in literature as German). City Chicken was another regular, which I didn't care much for as a child and so I never make it (I have a strict policy of not cooking food I don't like). I still see it in the grocery store and I wonder why it's called City Chicken. Is it a corruption of satay? Hmmm. Bet it is. Let's Google, shall we? Well, not according the Post Gazette (this is essentially how my mother cooked it, as well). Another source says no too.This one even says it originated right here. So I guess I was wrong. But I still don't care much for it and it's more expensive than real chicken now anyways.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Open House

Oh it was Open House at the school tonight. What fun! I signed up for parent/teacher conferences and it was like a walk in the park because I only had to schedule time with one child's teachers instead of two. I even managed to group them so as to minimize the climbing up and down stairs. Of course here at the beginning of the year the teachers are all very nice and want to appear approachable. We'll see how long that lasts. One teacher even commented on my knitting socks and told me he wore a size 12 shoe. I told him good luck with that.

Anyways, on to the knitting news. The Jitterbug socks are almost completed. I knit more at Open House after this picture was taken. I only have a round or two to knit and then cast-off. These babies just flew off the needles. Love the pattern (Widdershins) love the yarn (Colinette's Jitterbug). A bit of problem with the yarn, though. When I was winding it at Heather's, it had several breaks in the skein. I initially thought OMG, it's moths,and right there in front of another knitter; which is the knitter's equivalent of a very public and extreme attack of flatulence. "Well," I thought, "the knitting will tell." And so it did. Not moths, I think. I found 2 clean breaks in the yarn and 3 more weak spots, but no webbing or cocoon casings. I'm going with a caustic, I believe this skein may have had some undiluted acid dripped on it during the dyeing process. If it was just the breaks I'd have said that it was an unfortunate encounter with a box cutter during unpacking, but the last weak spot (which was a little crunchy as well) convinced me. Mystery solved, as far as I'm concerned. The sooner I finish these and get them washed, the better.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wake Me Up Before You GoGo

Here is the toe of my latest Travelling Socks project. It is Widdershins, knit with the yummy Jitterbug yarn that Celtic Queen gave me for Christmas last year. I've got the increasing done and now it's just knit to the heel.

In non-knitting news I've been actually working at work (shocking, I know!) and next week promises to keep me busy as well. The guys are doing mostly ok, but I don't know what got into them tonight, it was like they were just going out of their way to be annoying to me. And bickering. About everything. At one point each of the boys had the other's memory card and they were bickering about exchanging them, and about who would get to play what game. That's what I get for not going to knitting. Urgh.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It's Talk Like A Pirate Day. I can't believe I forgot while I was at work.
To celebrate I've completed the Perpetually Travelling (No More) Socks. There they are in all their endlessly ribbed glory. I will present them to Older Son on his return from class later this evening. This frees me up to start the Jitterbug Socks, as soon as I find some size 2 needles. As you may (or may not) recall, my favorite size 2s are stalled in the Pomatomus Socks I don't have enough yarn to complete. So I either have to rip that sock, or find another pair (I believe I have set of Inox size 2s around here somewhere.)
Or I could work on more baby sweaters. Chalk one up in the "You get what you ask for" column. After stating last week that someone else I knew had to have a baby so I could have a flimsy excuse for continuing to make baby sweaters, Younger Son informed me today that one of his teachers is expecting. I'm sure my other friends are heaving a big sigh of relief that they won't be called upon to step up to the plate. Here is my Pseudo-pod sweater, which is worrying me with its propensity to roll, even though there are 8 rows of seed stitch at the bottom. I believe that a bit of judicious blocking will set things straight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Need to Work on My Image

Well, I didn't get out to get a picture of the knitting before it got dark, so I have no knitting to show. I started the toe of the final Perpetually Traveling Socks (Yay!) and I think there will be just enough yarn. Tomorrow will tell, though. I've also worked a few more rows on the Pseudo-pod and am still very enamoured of this yarn. (And CQ I will probably never do the "Knit Buttons in as You Go" thing because that would require either a)some kind of foresight and pre-planning on my part or b)some self control to hold off on starting the new knitting project until I ran out to the store and bought buttons. Neither of which are qualities I'm really known for.)

So the point of this post is something that's been on my mind for awhile. I kind of mentioned it to CQ in an email today when we were discussing why people wear colors that don't suit them. I said some of it could be that these were colors that suited when they were younger, but now that they're more mature they are no longer right. I fall victim to this myself. I am constantly surprised when I see my reflection and I look like this: Because in my mind, I think I look like this:
Never mind the fact that I haven't looked like that for almost 15 years. It's still always a shock. I'm not really sure what to make of this, it's just something that's been on my mind for awhile. I don't know if I'm in denial, or if it's an aging thing. Is everyone surprised they're not 20 anymore? Or am I just really, really slow on the uptake? Where did those 20 years go, anyways? It's those boys -- they've sucked the life right out of me!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm a Winner

Celebrate with me! Today I won a game of Spider Solitaire at the most difficult level. Yeah baby! I said I would do it and I did.

Ok, now that I've had my congratulatory moment, on to the knitting. I finished the Babies and Bears sweater. I had enough yarn for the hood after all (and then some.) I just have to purchase and sew on some buttons.
Of course, flushed with my baby sweater success I immediately cast on and began knitting another baby sweater. Love this yarn (Zitron Life Style in the color green.) Is it not the perfect gender neutral color?? And note, please that my knitting needle is perfectly color coordinated.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Here is a picture of the Perpetually Travelling Sock, along with the tangle of yarn that is all that is left of the skein I'm knitting it from. I still can't determine whether or not this will be enough to finish it. (No real fear here, I have another skein of this yarn....somewhere.)
And here is a better picture of the B&B sweater I'm working on. I love this yarn! First, the colors are just absolutely gorgeous. Second, though, the hand is soft and wonderful...this may be the self-striper you're looking for CQ! I'm bringing it to Bloomin Yarns tomorrow (where I bought it) so if you'll be there you can feel for yourself (and then get your own.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Love

I'm in love. Here is my new project I cast on last night. I love the yarn (Wisdom Yarns Poems), I love the color (#553), I love everything about it. I don't think I'll have enough. (I'm making yet another baby sweater. Someone else I know needs to have a baby, this is becoming indecent.) I'm working on a Babies & Bears sweater, it's been awhile since I made one. Celtic Queen makes them all the time, and I was inspired. But the pattern calls for 420 yards and I only have 300. I'm hoping if I eliminate the hood I'll be fine. Cross your fingers for me. And I'm seeing the end of the Perpetually Travelling Socks. I think the Jitterbug is up next.

My current new obsession is Spider Solitaire. According to what I've read, you can win up to 50% of the time (Highest Difficulty). HA! I haven't been able to win a single game and I've played hundreds. The closest I've gotten was one suit eliminate (on two separate occasions). I thought winning was impossible. But now that I know it's possible to win, I'm a woman obsessed! With God as my witness I vow I will beat this thing.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Update on the baby sweaters of last weekend. I got a thank you from the mom and she says they're planning on using the smallest sweater and leggings set I made for the baby's homecoming outfit. I'm so pleased and happy! I was secretly hoping that would be the case when I made it, but didn't want to say anything.

School updates -- the boys are still getting up and going every day, and no calls yet about missing homework assignments.

Knitting updates. Still working on the Never-Ending Travel Socks (these seem to be taking forever) and the Even More Enduring Cotton Socks. Let's not talk about MS3. And I'm fighting off some Startitis. I want to start a cable sweater for the Younger Celting (Celting II -- The Return of the Aran). I got some yummy limey heather yarn at the yarn sale this weekend. Celtic Queen did not win the knitted fashion show on Saturday with her completed MS3 (which was a miscarriage of knitting justice). It's breath-takingly gorgeous. I'm waiting for pictures (hint, hint). I also want to start a Babies and Bears sweater and the Pseudo-Pod sweater (both of which I have the yarn for already) and there's the Green-Eyed Boy sweater destined for the Elder Celting. Oh yeah, and some Leaf Lace. I'm starting to rethink my pattern choices. I have to start swatching. I don't want it to be so simple as to be boring, but then again, not too busy either. Maybe if I'm wandering around the South Hills with my skein on Thursday someone will take me in and wind a ball or two for me...

Job updates. I've got a genuine project keeping me busy this week. And it even uses some of my special skills. Yippee!

Thursday, September 06, 2007


My absence here can be explained by the fact that I am struggling with a stomach bug. Bleah. I got sick Monday afternoon/evening and ended up calling off work on Tuesday. I'm still not feeling 100%. Tonight at dinner was the first time I've eaten "real" food (it was nothing at all on Tuesday, then the BRAT diet since.) And I'm still feeling a bit peaky. But on the plus side I've lost five pounds! So anyways, what did I do with my weekend before I got sick? Well, I only get about two invitations to social events a year, and this year they both happened to fall on the same day. I had both a baby shower for an old friend and a wedding to go to on Sunday. Unfortunately, they were over an hour's drive apart. So while the guys went off to the mountains (where the wedding was) on Friday I stayed here to hold down the fort and go to the baby shower. I was simply amazed at how much stuff I got done Saturday morning without any guys lounging about in their underwear getting in my way! So after completing a few errands I had some prep work for the baby shower.
Lots of baby sweaters in need of buttons. Apparently I have a "thing" about sewing on buttons. Who knew? So we have let's see...1,2,3...4 sweaters in need of buttons. I might have gotten a bit carried away with the baby sweaters. But I had some lead time and I was obsessed with the baby sweaters. To be completely honest here, I have yarn to make another one that I didn't get around to knitting. Fortunately, they were having a Button Sale (50% off) at JoAnn's this weekend. So I got some buttons. Can you guess which ones go with which sweater? Here's the line-up:
The little pink buttons with the little white sweater. (Not pictured here -- there were leggings that matched this too). The sweater is from a Paton's Preemie collection, it's actually a real newborn size. I designed the matching leggings myself. I thought these buttons had a nice retro look that went with the sweater which I felt kind of had a retro feel to it. The larger sweater is the Peapod Baby Sweater by Kate Gilbert. The buttons match the sweater, so the leaf design takes center stage. I was hoping for something a bit more flashy, but couldn't find anything. This was a nice compromise. The very plain pink buttons go with the Lace Sweater. This is EZ's "Favorite Baby Sweater". I subbed out the lace pattern for another from BGW. I think this is English Mesh. And finally, the lime green buttons go with the Striped Sweater. Devan from Knitty. I love this pattern! I think this is the fifth one I've made. This is Lion Brand's Jelly Bean Stripe. The striping is random enough that I just knit the whole thing with it. I've also knit it in the same yarn in the Denim Stripe colorway for a boy sweater and it's really cute too. I was standing there looking at buttons and found a match to the blue in this sweater but thought, "No, that's not really the color I want to hightlight." And then I thought about what color I did want to highlight and there were the lime green buttons!
So I sewed all my buttons on, made it to the shower but had to leave early to make the wedding. If you're reading this Jean, my timing was perfect. I pulled into the parking lot, walked up the hill to the pavilion, sat down, and the wedding started immediately. Like they were waiting for me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nothing Much

Nothing much to talk about here. I'm working the heel on my current travel socks. I know I say this all the time, but it's true. No matter how many times I've turned a heel on a sock it's still magical to me. It just never gets old. Otherwise I'm avoiding my MS3. I did a little work on it on Saturday and ended up out of synch. Argh! I've tinked one row back and am going to try and sort it out, but I may have to tink another two rows. Argh again! But on a positive note I got the latest Yarn Barn of Kansas catalog. Can't wait to order some more yarn. Wait..I have too much yarn. But I need to insulate for the winter, right? Hmmm, this could take more rationalization than I originally thought.

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Bane

I spent the weekend working on my Cotton Cable socks. And I came to a difficult decision. Although I think they look pretty good, the cabling is 1) Too much work 2) Too difficult to execute, 3) Not stretchy enough, and 4) Just a bit too lumpy/bumpy to make comfortable socks. I think the pattern would do well in wool, but the cotton was just too unyielding. I decided that the effort just wasn't worth it for a guy who really wouldn't appreciate it and would possibly not wear them. So I ripped it out and will start again with my generic ribbed sock pattern. Seems like plain vanilla knitting is all my life can handle at the moment. Ah well, I'm sure the pendulum will swing the other way another time.

In other news, the Sons have both gone back to school. Older Son is a freshman at Pitt, and Younger Son is beginning 8th grade. (Does anyone else take pictures on the first day of school?) I had to take a picture of YS, it's required for his Science Fair project. That's right, the Science Fair. Bane of my existence. You would think, with two scientists (I'm chemistry and Dave is physics) in the family as well as a good mix of engineers and computer professionals we'd have it made for the Science Fair. Ha! The Sons have it in for me. And the school too. YS has the same evil science teacher OS had. And what do they need a picture of the boy for anyways? Sounds suspicious to me. I can't believe we have to do another Science Fair. This may turn my hair completely white. I should count my blessings, though, OS had to do two Science Fairs in three years. I'd hold out the hope that I've learned my lessons from those experiences, but there's no chance of that. Not only am I apparently a slow learner, but the boys are smart enough to think of NEW! and IMPROVED! ways to make my life miserable. I'm afraid it's going to be a rough year.