Friday, September 30, 2005

Pancakes for dinner and "chick flicks"

The hubby's out of town for a few days. He and his buddies are off mountain biking in Tahoe. This means, we take it extra easy around here.... dishes tend to pile up longer, and we eat stuff like pancakes for dinner. I catch up on my "chick flicks." Although it's lonely, and I'm tired of sleeping with the cat, it is quite conducive to power-knitting!
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I gotta tell ya - I'm logging lots of time sitting on my butt, knitting! My Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan is on the home stretch and will be finished tonight.... probably while watching What Not To Wear! This sweater is a definite what-to-wear.

So, tomorrow I'll post pictures. There may be a few surprises - let me just say.... you all will be very envious! I'll have to get approval/permission from all the parties involved first.... hmmmm, mysterious you say? Just you wait! Kaity and I have been really looking forward to tomorrow's outing!

Well, I oughta see if I can clear off some counter space and check the freezer for dinner - how does Tater Tots and mozzarella sticks sound? I already bought ice cream for later tonight.
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I can't believe I just posted that picture... most people who know me now would never believe it, I've actually become rather neat in my old age.

Hey - I'm not as bad as I used to be. We used to get really lazy, leaving it all until about an hour before the hubby got home. Luckily - he knows me well, and used to call, giving me about an hour's heads-up so I could whip the kids and house into shape. And I'm not alone, he's usually with my dad and brother-in-law, so my sister, mom and I had a fast and furious "they're on their way!!!!!" phone tree in operation. I've gotten neater in my old age, and his better habits have rubbed off, so I at least make sure the house is picked up and dishes done before I go to bed. The squalor actually starts to bother me, all on my own - who would have ever thought?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Go-Go Boots and Stitch Markers

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When I was about in the 3rd grade, Go-Go Boots were all the rage (ok, I'm dating myself). I really wanted some Go-Go boots. Like they wore on Laugh-In. I kept pleading with my Mom and she kept saying, No, they weren't appropriate and she wasn't letting me wear anything with heels. Ok, she was right, as usual - a 3rd grader had no business with Go-Go boots, but I still wanted them - BAD.

So, it's my birthday, and my grandma always took us shopping, to let us pick our present. Yes! I could just buy the Go-Go boots with Grandma - she would buy them for me. And she did. She didn't know they were forbidden, and I didn't tell her, and I figured mom would have to let me wear them. After all, they were my birthday present. Beautiful blue vinyl Go-Go boots with 2" heels. Man oh man... I loved them! Man oh man.... was my mom mad! I was never allowed to wear them out of the house. Learned a lesson, I did... There were other impulse buys, the kind you make as a kid - dumb buys, buyer's remorse later, but I really remember those Go-Go boots.

So, turns out, as an adult I'm not much of an impulse buyer. Quite the opposite actually. My sister calls me wishy-washy. I can go into a store, fall in love with something, carry it all over the store for half an hour, then put back and leave. She asks, Are you just taking that for a walk, or are you really gonna buy it? My sister-in-law always teases me about "should-a-boughts." Same principle. I go ga-ga over something, walk it around for half an hour, then talk my self out of it and leave (usually on a vacation, where there's no going back for it later) - then moan about not buying it.

So, now I've got it in my brain that I really want cute stitch markers.
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Come on, I need these like a hole in the head. It's not even that they're so expensive, but I can tell you, I've looked at them online a million times today, drool, and then click out of the site. The online equivalent of walking them around the store. Will I buy them? No.

See, I've got a perfectly fine collection of ugly plastic stitch markers in my Lucy tin:
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They're perfectly functional. I don't need stitch markers. I always talk myself out of what I want, but don't need....

What is wrong with me? I mean, come on, they're stitch markers for heaven's sake.... it's not like I'd be dropping a bundle or breaking the bank. Nope, I'm not getting stuck with Go-Go boots I can't wear out of the house again. Somehow, in my little brain - this all correlates.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

He Gets It!

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"Live to Knit, Knit to Live"

This is our kitchen pig. He's supposed to announce dinner every day - but I'm rarely on the ball enough for that - besides, he gets tired of announcing the same old things....

So, the pig's been used to herald birthdays, greet guests, welcome holidays, and display Bible verses.

Then the hubby took him over. For the last six months or so the pig has been my hubby's "pet" project. You see him in the kitchen holding the blackboard with that raised-eyebrow "look" and you know he's got another gem for us. Usually, it is completely random, an inside family joke, a funny picture, an obscure movie reference.... and always with that "creative spelling" of his that keeps us laughing.

This weekend the hubby must have noticed the furious knitting going on. He gets it! Live to knit, knit to live - a lot of truth in that! Knitting is down time, relaxing, enjoyment, creative....

I love that he "gets" it.

BTW- I'm knitting as fast as I can on my Marilyn cardi - pictures would be redundant at this point, the sleeves are taking longer than I expected. I was hoping to have it done for a special weekend debut..., but that's looking doubtful at this time. We'll see.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Grandma's Buttons

When I was a kid, both sets of grandparents lived across the street from each other. My parents were highschool sweethearts. For a long time I thought everyone's grandparents lived across the street from each other. It was certainly handy! Until my Dad's parents died, they all still lived across the street from each other.

When we would visit my Dad's parents, Grandma would let us play with her button collection. For me, it was a grand collection - for her, it was just all the buttons she'd snipped off the old clothes before they were turned into rags. Grandma was very frugal and saved everything. My brother and sister and I would sit on the bed, on Grandma's candlewick bedspread (which I am also blessed to have now), and spread the buttons out and arrange them into piles by size or color, or shape. I loved playing with the buttons.... all different kinds of buttons. I would imagine the clothes they came from - some were very pretty, some seemed exoitc, some were wood, some were costume jewelry, some I was sure had real diamonds in them.
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These are Grandma's buttons, and now they're mine for awhile.

I few years after Grandma died we were all at my parents for "Monday Night Dinner," and for some reason I was talking about Grandma's buttons - how I remembered playing with them when I was a kid. I few weeks later, again at "Monday Night Dinner," Grandapa handed me a bag.... it was full of Grandma's buttons. I probably hadn't seen them in 15 years or so. They brought back so many memories - and as we spread them out on the floor I began to remember all the different buttons, and all the memories. I cried, and I think Grandpa was a little surprised and confused. He said something about hearing me talk about them a while back, and thought I might as well have them. He had no idea anyone would be interested in a bunch of old buttons. What a treasure they are.

So, as I've been working on my Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan, and thinking about Wendy and her stories of her mom, it got me to thinking about Grandma's buttons. I thought it would be kind of special, since the sweater is kind of a tribute to her mom, if I could use some of Grandma's buttons for the sweater. Maybe make a someday-heirloom sweater I could pass on to my daughters, with Grandma's buttons, for her story to live on, too.
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So this morning I spread them all out again, began sorting and making my little piles, remembering all the different buttons, and seeing if I could find enough that would match. I found these -
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I'm not sure what they're made of. They look like shell, or mother of pearl, but they feel very soft, like soapstone. I think they'll be nice - and the sweater will always remind me of Grandma, and Wendy and her mom.

Friday, September 23, 2005

My Knitting's Calling Me

I'm supposed to be working.... I'm sitting here, blogging. I work at home, medical transcription. I am sooooo blessed. I work almost full time, but can pick my own schedule, so I get it all done while the kids are in school. I can still take afternoons off for field trips or lunch with a friend. I can play chauffer or drop forgotten lunch money off at school, or go and pick up a sick kid. I have two mornings scheduled to start late so I can go to Bible study. I can sit here in my PJ's or workout clothes...., if you have to work, this is one great job.

However, it is a job and I am contracted to get so much done a day. Usually I'm on the ball and just get at it and get it done - it's just that some days, like today, I'm so restless. I get up to switch the laundry, get yet another drink or snack, check the news, check to see who's posted on their blog, take a picture of the cat, look in the fridge for the 100th time (nothing new shows up), or maybe knit just one more row...
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My Marilyn NSS cardi is in the other room, and it just won't stop calling me. I'm at the point where I can try it on, and it's fitting, and it's going to be great! I'm thinking I may make it just an inch or two longer than the original, maybe flare it back out ever so slightly - but that's the beauty of top-down knitting, I'll stop when it's right. I'm loving this. How's it looking, Wendy - whatdya think?

Ok - I really should go back to work, the kids will be home soon - then it's impossible to get any work done! Well, maybe first I'll check to see if any of my faves posted. Maybe I'd better try Marilyn on for the 5th time today... Maybe I'll knit just one more row. Marilyn.... stop it, be quiet - I'm supposed to be working!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pleasant Surprises

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My daughters were born 11 months apart. No, we didn't plan that. Actually, we thought we had it all planned out. The Lord had been very gracious... when we decided to start a family, about 1 month later I was pregnant. When we decided to add another child, again.... done. I was blessed with easy pregnancies and healthy, big babies. My son was 2-1/2 when my daughter was born (the "knitting" daughter). We had a boy and a girl, and we were done.

Of course, the Lord new so much better than we. He planned our family, not us, and he knew we needed another daughter. When daughter #1 was about eight weeks old, I recognized those tell-tale signs. Lets just say, breast-feeding is not reliable birth control, actual birth control is not reliable birth control - God is birth control! That was a shocker. Not only were we not even considering more children, but come on.... 8 weeks! I hadn't even had time to have the margarita I had been craving through the entire last pregnancy yet! Not to mention lost any baby weight. We'd say, "Guess who's pregnant?", and everyone would guess my sister, any number of friends.... but no, that would be me again. Breed like rabbits, we do. Fertile Myrtle... I've heard them all. Less than a year later the nurses in the hospital are saying, "Weren't you just here?"

Now, of course, we can't imagine life without "the Pud." (rhymes with wood). Not not her real name... she is the child who always decided what her nicknames would be. "Call me squeakers." And we did, for about two years. Don't know where she got it. Then, she decided she wanted to be called "Lilly." That transformed into "lilly-pud". To this day, 16 years later, I still call her Lilly and her daddy still calls her Pud. More than her real name.

Some blog we'll go into life that first year, with a 3-1/2 year old boy, not quite potty trained, an 11-month-old who can't yet walk, and a newborn.... born by C-section (my first), at more than 10 lbs. Let your minds wander a bit through that one!

So, of course, when people find out they're only 11 months apart (most people first assume they're twins), they mention something about her being a mistake. We've always made it clear to her that she was NOT a mistake, God knew we needed her. We always tell her she was a pleasant surprise!

These are another pleasant surprise:
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I really love them. I wasn't sure how the joints would be, if they would be smooth enough, or if they would come unscrewed, but I haven't had a bit of trouble. Of course, aluminum needles are my favorites anyway... I like the feel of them. And the click-clack sound reminds me of when I was a kid, listening to my mom knit. I love having any size I want, whenever I want it. Since we don't have a LYS here in town, I don't want to be slowed down by not having the right size needle. I'm a happy camper with my Needlemasters.

These were my mom's needles, she gave them to Kaity when she learned to knit. See, all aluminum, all the pretty colors. Yeah, bamboo are okay, but I guess I'm a simple girl. I'll go for the aluminum.
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Well, I guess that's not completely true.... If I could get a complete set of Addi Turbos for the same price - now that'd be a pleasant surprise!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Knitting Polygamy

No sir, not me. I'm a one-project-at-a-time kind of girl. So, the progress pictures on this blog may get a little boring. Here's the latest on my Marilyn's NSS cardigan...
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... and here's a close-up
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It's not really that bright pink in "real life."

I can really only have one project going at a time. Well, there's always a pair of socks on the needles, but that doesn't count. I have one big project, and one pair of socks, and that's all I'm comfortable with at once. I see the side bars on some of the knitting blogs with all the WIP's, seven or eight of them - I can't even fathom that! It would drive me crazy.

Now, I know I started my Sitcom Chic last weekend, but that was out of desperation as I was going out of town and really wanted a BIG project to take with me - the socks were getting to me. I needed a break from those little DPN's. Socks are supposed to be my break from my big project, not the other way around.

So, now the problem is I'm all hot and heavy into my Marilyn cardigan, and there's no way I could stop and pick up something else. That would be wrong. Don't even have the urge to..., however, I know in the back of my mind that I've got another big project started, it calls to me from the knitting bag, "Don't forget me..." Talk about twitchy.

The bigger problem is I think I want my next big project to be Ella, so the Sitcom Chic may sit there awhile. Ewhhhh, makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it. I've NEVER had a project that just sat there, unfinished, with no real plan. This is way too far into project polygamy for me. No sir, I don't like it.

Now, someday if you look over to the right and see a long list of WIP's, you'll know I've fallen off the wagon, had a major shift in my time-space continuum.... gone to the DARK SIDE!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sweater Weather!!!

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Ooooh, it's all stormy and sprinkly this morning. This picture doesn't even do it justice - it's actually a lot stormier out than the picture shows. Finally, a promise of sweater weather! Fall is my very most favorite time of year. I probably have more sweaters than anything else in my wardrobe, well except for shoes (52 pair at last count). Purses and jackets run a close second. I love the fall weather, bundling up, wearing layers, having a fire in the fireplace - love it all.

Last night we even had thunder and lightening, quite a surprise, as yesterday afternoon it was sunny and about 80 degrees. Something cool is blowing through. Hasn't rained much, just sprinkled, but it's enough to get me excited about a change in the weather.

Now, I love the rain... always have. My whole family loves the rain. I grew up when gas was cheap and people took Sunday drives. Now, we did that... but what my Dad really loved was rainy day drives. He'd pile us all in the Volkswagen Combi and we'd go off in the pouring rain, into the mountains, looking at rivers filling up, good stuff like that - okay, maybe not very smart, but we loved it. He'd drive through the deep puddles and gutters and we'd all yell "motorboat!" as he made huge splashes. My Dad is also big on thunder storms. I can remember as a kid - we'd all pile on the couch in front of the living room window and turn off all the lights and watch the lightening. We'd oooh and ahhh, and count to see how close it was getting. It was a big family thing. I've always loved lightening, and always been terrified by thunder. As a kid it wasn't too bad, kind a fun-scared thing... plus, we're all up past our bedtime watching lightening as a family - so it was fun to be scared. But, now that I'm older.... those big boomers really scare me. Kind of a bummer trade off, because I love the lightening.

Story - when I had just met my husband, we'd probably been dating about 9 months, and I went camping with his family. We were in Panguitch, Utah, camping in the mountains, and I found myself in the middle of the biggest thunderstorm I had ever seen. It was pouring rain and we were all in the camper - one of those small old cab-over kind you put on a pickup truck... five of us, and I have NEVER heard thunder that loud - before or since. It was reverberating off the mountains and sooooo loud, and I was scared to death, however I was still relatively new to this family and trying to impress. I remember trying to find a place to hide and cry, so they all wouldn't think I was a big baby... but there was no place to hide, and they found me crying, freaking out actually. The hubby and his Dad were very sweet, and didn't tease me... and got me through it, and still talk about it to this day - but now they tease me! I've gotten braver as I've gotten older and had kids - you can't have mom freaking out and hiding and crying... I don't want them to be afraid, too! But, the thunder still freaks me out inside. And, my hubby tells the story to the kids every time it thunders.... "When I first met your mom...."

So, back to sweater weather - last year I made my first sweater:
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Of course, by the time I was finished it was all ready Spring, and I've only worn it once. It's Lambs Pride Wool, and has been too warm to wear it.... but very soon....!

However, I am determined to finish my Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken cardigan in time to wear THIS year. Here's my progress so far
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Peanut likes it. It's such a pretty color and knitting up beautifully. I love working with this yarn (Shine, from KnitPicks). Wendy's pattern is a breeze to follow, coming along very nicely, although I am a bit of a slow knitter.

See that little piece of yellow paper with Peanut and my knitting? It's a $25 voucher from my favorite not-so-local yarn store! They have a "frequent buyer program!" I'm going to put it with the gift certificate my brother gave me for my birthday and buy something beautiful to make my next project, Ella. Can't wait! So many projects..., I've got to learn to knit faster, or do less housework, or stay up later.... or, something! Got to finish these things while it's still sweater weather!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Yarn Order, House & Dignity All Intact

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Here I am knitting away, thinking, "This is the life!" It was a great weekend away camping with the hubby. This was actually a yearly event for a group my hubby is affiliated with - let's just say I was one of about seven women among about 150 manly-men, doing manly-men things all weekend, so I watched a lot and didn't get a whole lot of knitting done.

We left the kids home alone (we were only about a half hour away, and one of them is 20, an Eagle scout, and has a degree in Criminal Justice), but I still wonder what we'll come home to - but the house was relatively in order when we got back, and the kid's hadn't killed each other. I try really hard NOT to remember all the stupid stuff I did when I was younger. My hubby keeps telling me I have to let them grow up.... heck- they'll be 30 and married with kids and I'll still think they're not old enough to be on their own. Actually - any one of them would be fine on their own.... it's leaving them all together that worries me!

And, the yarn I was waiting for came while I was away, of course...
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but Kaity hadn't molested it too badly. Pretty Shine, in Orchid, for my Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan, and some pretty Sock Garden yarn in Geranium, all from KnitPicks. I started my Marilyn's cardi last night, and the Shine is knitting up very nicely. I had heard it pilled a little as you knit with it, but washes and ends up beautiful, but mine is actually not pilling or shedding at all - and it is SO soft!

I saved the best for last... the group my hubby's with always has helicopter support for emergencies and other things they need to do, and I have always wanted to ride in a helicopter, so I've been scheming on how to get a ride on this one for quite a while:
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They don't normally take people up "just for fun," legalities and all that, but yesterday was my lucky day and I was in the right place at the right time! It was awesome!!! I got about a 45 minute tour of all the back country near my home, and they did all the cool "swoopty" helicopter moves - I was in heaven!

Oh, and the dignity intact part.... I tend to get carsick easily, and ALWAYS get seasick - so I was a little worried. The pilots mentioned if you need to get sick, do it down your shirt.... ick - they don't want the inside of their helicopter messed up! But, I got a forward facing seat and I didn't even get queasy. Good thing - didn't want to have to barf down my shirt in front of the hubby and all his friends.... then I would have had to hide in the trailer the rest of the weekend and I would have missed all the fun!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Spy On Kaity For Me

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Here's the progress on my Sitcom Chic. I think I'm gonna like it..... it's really soft. However, since my yarn for my Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken cardi didn't come today... it means the Sitcom is the lucky winner for my camping knitting this weekend. Hmmmm, white knitting and camping, practical, no?

But, here's the worst part.... it means my yarn will probably come this weekend, while I'm away.... and I just know Kaity is going to break in to my package and molest my yarn, BEFORE I get to. NOT acceptable. So, your assignment is, if you care to accept it.... stalk Kaity's blog this weekend and if she is cheeky enough to brag about molesting my yarn before me.... YELL AT HER!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Need An Upgrade

Well, I guess I should take today as a hint.... I need to upgrade my image. I have a stay-at-home mom, very low-key lifestyle. I even work at home, and can do that in my PJ's or workout clothes if I want to. The majority of my wardrobe is from Old Navy, Kohl's, and my nicer stuff is off the Gap sale rack. The only place I go I need to dress up for is church.... and believe me, our church is very casual. Other than that - Daily uniform: jeans, Old Navy T, converse or Birkenstocks. Sad. So sad that today I put on a pair of black short boots (now, this is really sad, $12 at Payless), and it made fashion news at my house.

Today, it turned out I actually had to go out of town, for a printer cartridge of all things. My big outing... Target. My new Levi's are slightly longer than my old Levi's, and today I had on my black Old Navy T, so I couldn't wear my brown Converse. The new jeans kind of drag in my tennies, so I put on a pair of black short boots. Seems innocent enough. Here's where it gets sad.... the kids come home and daughter #1 looks at me and says, right away, "Where'd you go today?" Um, Target and Michaels.... Daughter #2 walks in and says, "Why are you all dressed up?" All dressed up???? Now people... the only thing out of the norm here is a $12 pair of Payless boots! Same jeans, same t-shirt they see every day, in slighltly varying colors. It's pretty obvious, I need to kick it up a notch.

So, making the most of my trip to town, I go to Michael's to spend some gift cards. I'm panicking because I don't think the yarn for my Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan will get here in time for the weekend trip. So, I need a backup, quick and cheap. The other cardigan on my to-make-list is the Sitcom Chic. I want something comfy and soft, and preferable cotton, just up from a sweatshirt - you know, a throw on and go to Vons sweater. This is what I ended up with:
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Cotton Tots by Bernat, color, Sweet Cream. Now, it is super soft and is going to be soooo comfy, but come on.... could it be any more BORING! Sweet Cream.... give me a break. Now, in my defense I was first going for a beautiful rose color, then a nice blue... but they didn't have enough of either in stock of the same dye lot.... so there ya go. Boring, and sadly, I will probably wear it to death.

But....., when the yarn comes for my Marilyn sweater I'm dropping that Cotton Tots like a hot potato and starting in on the pretty stuff. Now, THAT'S going to be a great-looking sweater, and will certainly kick it up a notch. Wait 'til the kids get a load me in that, with some nice shoes even.... they might not recognize me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Small Town

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I live in a small town, which is somewhat of a rarity for Southern California. I love it. We live in a beautiful valley, about 30 miles inland from the ocean, so we actually get a little change in weather and seasons. Our town covers about four square miles, max. We have, I think, four stoplights. The town is so small that when you give your phone number to someone in town, you only give the last four numbers , everyone has the same prefix, so it's redundant.... kind of like saying I live in California, United States of America.... people just look at you like, "duh," if you recite your whole phone number.

It's the kind of town where you can drop your teenagers off at the local Burger King, the Towne Theatre, the high school football game, or shopping on the downtown drag, and not have to worry about them..... people watch out for each other, you know most everyone, and you can't get away with much. I love it..., my kids, not so much. Like the first time I let them meet some friends at Burger King for dinner and just dropped them off.... the next day I saw a friend in the movie store and he said, "Hey, I saw your daughters at Burger King last night, sliding down the kiddie slide on food trays." Yeah, I have my spys. It's a good thing.

Also, being it is So Calif, I'm not to far from decent sized towns. I can travel a half hour in any of three directions and get to a Target, Price Club, etc. Which is good, because we don't have much in our small town.... and there certainly is no LYS. This, is not such a good thing. My not-so-local yarn store is a half hour a way.... so I don't just scoot out there on a whim (which prevents impulse buying, at least). And then there's the agoraphobia factor.... I'm not really afraid of leaving town.... I just don't want to. I'm a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom, and the longer I stay at home, the less I want to leave it. I'm happy in my little rut. I'd just be a whole lot happier if I had a LYS. Hello, spending an hour in the car for a round trip really cuts into my knitting time!

I know a lot of people live in even smaller, more remote towns, but the California mentality has crept in enough that I want instant gratification when it comes to my knitting.

So, on days like today, when I've just downloaded my Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan pattern, but my online yarn order hasn't arrived yet.... it's completely frustrating. I want to start this NOW! (and of course, I didn't plan ahead). I haven't been knitting long enough to have amassed a "stash," nor can I really afford to just buy without reason, and honestly, in cases like this I'm not sure that would help. No matter how much yarn was in my stash, I'm sure I would not have just the "perfect" yarn... you know, the same reason you end up with 12 different bottles of nail polish, all basically the same red!

Well, I can afford to keep a small stash of sock yarn on hand, so at least there's something to hold me over until my Knit Picks order arrives.
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This is the beginning of my Jaeger Matchmaker cable socks. So far so good, I'm liking the cables.... I just don't know what will happen when I get to my gusset decreases. It works in my mind, but that's not saying much, expert that I am (not). So, we'll have to wait and see.

The problem is, I'm going camping this weekend (just with the hubby, no kids!), and I really want to bring my Marilyn cardi to start on, and I'm afraid my yarn isn't going to get here in time. If it doesn't, I'll just have to take pictures of my sock, by the lake, walking down a trail, sipping wine next to the trailer.... you've seen those pictures on the blogs. They crack me up. Socks have been to the Eiffel Tower, major league ball games, you name it. I love all those vacation pictures with "the sock" in the foreground. But mine really wants to stay at home and rest.... we'll see.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Things That Make Me Twitch

1. Brown belt - black shoes, or other way round
2. Wearing blues together that don't match
3. Wearing two different plaids, or stripes, together
4. Chipped nail polish
5. Flood pants
6. People who "break into" something new without reading the directions first.

So, being "twitchy" like I am, there is NO way I should love making socks so much. Truth be told, it's a relatively new love affair, I've only just started my 5th pair, but I think it'll last. They're so fun, so portable, so relatively inexpensive, and they work up rather quickly.... or can be ignored for awhile when you get enamored of a new, more exciting project... they don't get jealous, they know you'll be back.

Besides, I was NEVER going to attempt socks. That's just crazy talk - those should be left to the experts. I mean, you're talking heel flaps, turning heels, gusset decreases with those stitches going every which way - I'm still amazed when it all comes together and actually looks like a sock. Then one day I'm watching Knitty Gritty on DIY and the chick is doing Sock 101 - and ya know.... when you watch her do it, it all makes sense - now that's not so hard.

So, I start with BIG yarn and BIG needles and whip out a couple of pairs of slippers. This is SO fun! They work! Now I'm "all that" in my head so I head off to my not-so-local yarn store for some real sock yarn and.... oh silly me.... come home with Wildfoote and #2 DPN's. What was I thinking. My eyes are way too old for this. My regular old lady reading glasses aren't cutting it, and I'm not going to be so lame as to go invest in even more powerful $10 Rite-Aid glasses just for knitting (okay, so I probably will, eventually). You know, I've got enough things that give me a headache, like red wine, or bright lights, or getting too hungry, or my children.... I don't need knitting socks to give me a headache.... this is supposed to be fun, remember.

So, I persevere... with my splitty yarn and teeny needles, and red eyes. I'm heel flapping along now, and all of a sudden things are completely out of control... I don't know, I've split another stitch, or dropped something... who knows. All I know is I don't seem to recognize anything anymore. So, I call in the reinforcements.... "Kaaaaaity, I need help again..." "Oh, what NOW, Mom?" So she's sitting on the couch, with her young eyes, really concentrating, DPN's sticking out every which way.... trying to figure out what in the world I've done.... and then she just starts cracking up. "Ah!, I just poked myself in the eye with one of your stupid #2's!" Oh yeah, people, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye!

Well, eventually she gets me going again, and I actually finish BOTH socks (thank goodness they're only footies). They're full of mistakes, but whatever, you can't see them from where you live, or stuffed in my tennies, and I've learned some valuable lessons: No more Wildfoote, and no more #2's, at least until I get better granny glasses.

So, seasoned socker that I am, I'm off to pair #4. Lion Brand Magic Stripes. I know, I should just run the other way any time I see anything that says "Lion Brand," I'm never happy. But, hey, I need the practice before I invest in the good stuff, they're washable, and who am I fooling, fashion plate that I am, I'm only going to be wearing them under my jeans and with my Converse. Off I go, so far so good, they're looking pretty good except for that funky red stripe they've thrown in... but whatever. I'm heel flapping away, and start to pick up the stitches along the sides of my heel flap and think... hey, I should probably check the directions, see how many they picked up (like mine is ever anywhere near that.... but whatever) and there it is, Mother of Pearl! (Purl??, hee hee), you gotta be kidding me. "Hey Kaity, check this out, is this the way you make yours?" "Yes, mother." I'm on pair #4 and I just now notice the pattern says to do a decreasing gusset round alternating with a plain knit round. Hmmm, I've never noticed that, I just decrease every round. Same with my toe decreases. Really? So, I go pull out all my old directions from my other socks and, what do you know... alternating rounds, who knew? So much for reading the directions!

So, this is my FIRST pair of socks actually made correctly, and check it out... I'm sure you can see it.... Oy, do they make me twitch
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I mean, I just about unwound the whole stupid ball of yarn making sure I found the correct repeat, you know, so the stripes would match and I wouldn't twitch.... and I work cuff down, so look, it's perfect, until about the gusset decreases, then the yarn just loses it mind and goes off on it's own, who knows where, never to return..... Ahhhhh!!!!!!!

Luckily, as you can see, the twitchy part is hidden in my shoes
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So, really you'd never know.... but, hey, you've gotta understand, I'm twitching every minute I have these puppies on. And, no, I don't wear them like that.... all Pippi Longstockings-like, my jeans are not flood pants and they cover it all..... (still doesn't stop the twitching).

Glutton for punishment that I am, I just cast on for my blue Jaeger Matchmaker socks, and I'm thinking long socks with cables down the sides. No, I don't really have a pattern, but I have a hairbrained idea that might work, and I've done cables before.... once. This should be good.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I finally got around to putting the straps on my tubular camisole - Stefanie's pattern from Glampyre knits. I made it with this color-your-own wool from KnitPicks - which I dyed with a combination of Kool-Aid I could never recreate. But I really love it. I love the color, loved working the pattern, and love how it turned out. However..... this is the way I've seen most people wear theirs:
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I am never going to be comfortable with this, because:

1 - I am over 40 and have three teenagers, and I think I've missed the window for wearing spaghetti straps, and am not going to set myself up for their ridicule - I do have my limits.

2- I am a bit heavier than I would prefer to be.... and I have "tharms." You know, arms that are shaped more like thighs. I'm not gonna be drawing attention to the tharms.

Actually, I have beatifully sculpted muscles from going to the gym three to four times a week, you just can't see them under the layer of fat I'm still trying to work off.... so, I'll wear mine like this:
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I really do love it, and think I'll get a lot of wear out of it, under my jackets, though. And the BEST part is - between the $3.49 for the yarn, the $4.25 for the pattern, and about a buck's worth of Kool-Aid, this beauty only cost me $8.74!!!! This is the deal of the century! I think I'll be buying a lot more of that yarn!

And, check it out -
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Yeppers - it's my birthday today! I guess I dropped enough subtle hints, because lookie.... my sister-in-law gave me a subscription to Vogue Knitting, and the hubby and kids came through with my Needlemaster and that cute little sheep tape measure. I hope I like the Needlemaster - I'll have to let you know. I have all kinds of needles, plastic, wood, aluminum... and my favorites, my Addi Turbo's, but I can't afford an entire collection of Addi's, and other than the Addi's, I really prefer aluminum.... so we'll see.

Tomorrow we do birthday dinner at my parents with my family..... we'll have to see if they caught those hints for gift certificates to my favorite not-so-local yarn store.....

Oh... and as a birthday gift to myself.... I clicked the "Add To Cart" button on my Wish List order from KnitPicks. Sweater yarn is on it's way for my Sitcom Chic. I'll show it to you when it gets here.... oh, and, of course, more sock yarn!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

How I Ended Up A Blogger

Honestly, before this May I had never been on a blog. I had been on a TON of knitting websites, but didn't even know there were knitting blogs - until Kaity wanted one. Being the control-freak Mom I am... she had to persuade me it was "safe" and then I had to start stalking her blog, just to make sure who was watching hers - because you never know what kind of knitting weirdos there could be out there. But, she started getting a small following, and they were all these really nice people, not scary at all.

So, then I started checking out the blogs of her knitting friends, and I ended up getting hooked. It's kind of like looking up a word in the dictionary - and half an hour later you've looked up so many words you don't remember why were you were there in the first place! I'd get myself six blogs deep... or more... I didn't have a clue there were that many. It's a big ol' blog world! After a while I found a few I really liked, like Wendy, or Ruth, or Heather - and found myself checking them every day. I even got to "guest star" in Kaity's blog. I loved seeing everyone's projects, and hearing their war stories, what yarn they liked, what patterns they were using.... and like most of us, cracking up with Wendy every day.

After a while I found myself thinking, "If I had a blog, I'd write this about these socks," or whatever it was I was working on. Long before I started this blog - it was a blog running amok in my own little mind. Then, last week I'm sitting in my office at home (supposed to be working) and I'm stalling, checking on Kaity's blog, and I noticed up in the corner the little "Get Your Own Blog" button. I clicked on it and before I knew it - I had a blog.... but I'm REALLY blog-challenged, so once I got past the blog name and my profile, I didn't have a clue how to do anything else.

So, poor Kaity - I'm picking her up from school and as soon as she gets in the car I hit her with, "Guess what I did today?! I made a blog!" And I tell her I need LOTS of help. I've got ideas like crazy and no idea how to do anything. But nooooo, she has her own life, Church Youth Group, homework, and has to go to school again tomorrow... Finally, she has time for me! She's such a trooper. See all that stuff on the right... the cute button she made me, the names of my friends blogs, my FO folders - she did all that, and I have no idea how... I stay away from the right side of my blog. But, I can post and add pictures all by myself now - get me!

So, lookie, lookie... I can post about this purse I finshed:
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I got the idea from Ruth. I made it with Rowan Big Wool, and it worked up beautifully.... but I don't like the handles I picked - I should have at least put it on black handles. Better yet, I'd much rather make it into a clutch like Ruth did. So, I'll offer this one up to my girlies and make me a new one.

And check this out...
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Yummy new sock yarn! I think I'll try something new with the Jaeger Matchmaker, socks with cables.... yeah, that oughta give me a few fits. The Sockotta hasn't "spoken" to me yet, so I don't know what kind of socks they will be.

Loooove the sock yarn, but now I'm on the search for a "big project....."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

How I Ended Up a Knitter

I don't have the "crafty gene." My mom has it, in spades.... it just skipped a generation. My sister and I look at the stuff she makes and shake our heads- not fair.... we didn't get the crafty gene. Mom, she does it all.... and very well.

Now, I'm not totally unfortunate. I can do stuff. I can sew if I have to, I scrapbook, I was actually quite the smocker when my girlies were little, I've done my fair share of cross stitch, I've stenciled, I even play the piano, but all of these things.... I can only do them by the book. What you see is what you get. I have no creativity, imagination, no muse. I can follow a pattern, I can steal an idea if I see it, and if it's simple enough... but I don't make stuff up. It's even the way I cook. I just don't think out of the box. Nope. (However, I am not completely symmetrical, matchy-matchy like my sister - now that's just sad!)

I never did knit... well once when I was little my Mom tried to teach me... it was going to be simple - a nice, square dishcloth. Mine ended up a triangle - go figure. I just didn't get it. Put it down and never looked back. Never once had the urge to knit again - didn't interest me, I didn't get it.... it was too hard.

Enter my daughter, Kaity - she is why I ended up a knitter. She got the crafty gene! She's just like my mom. Makes stuff up, has her own ideas, throws caution to the wind... amazes me. About a year-and-a-half ago she thought she'd like to learn to knit. I told her, "Go see Grandma, I can't help you ..." Mom taught her how to cast on, knit purl, set her up with some needles and yarn for a scarf, and she was off. Got a CD and surfed the net, and she was doing all kinds of knitty-stuff. I was fascinated. Kaity could knit. Knitting is hard! But, she also plays the guitar (taught herself), paints.... like she tells me, "I'm fancy like that.... I'm just like Grandma, I can do stuff!"

So, last winter we're house-bound, it's been raining cats and dogs for days... and I pick up Kaity's knitting - just to see if I remember anything. After a little coaching I could knit, just knit, not purl, but I did a few rows back and forth on her scarf. And I didn't want to put it down! It felt so good! It was so relaxing. I HAD to knit me a scarf! So, like I said - it's just pouring, and I get Kaity in the car and we're off to our not-so-local yarn store - I had been there once with Kaity, before I "got it," - it was okay, if you like yarn. But, now I couldn't wait to get there and touch stuff, and pick me out some yarn. We get there - and they're closed on Mondays..... I almost cried.... so we go to Michaels, what a letdown, but at least I got some yarn... and I started to knit.

I haven't stopped since.

With all my other hobbies, they were fun, but a little stressful - I would tend to be a perfectionist and obsess over things.... man - I LOVE to knit - it's so relaxing, I even can imagine things and make things up - think outside the box! There's something so different about knitting! I can even make mistakes, and even leave the little ones in there - pshhhh, who's gonna look that close?, who's gonna know? It's like nothing I've ever done....
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So here's my latest project, socks of all things, I never thought I'd get good enough to make socks. The funny thing, this is my 4th pair, and I just figured out was making them wrong all along... who would have figured I would ever NOT be anal about following a pattern - the others still looked good, they fit my feet - what's the big deal, so now I know better. Live and learn..... knitting makes me so happy. THANKS KAITY!!!

Oh yeah... that crocheting in the background of the picture - my Mom did that.

  • Knit Picks Palette Fair Isle Cardigan (on permanent hold - reconsideration status)
  • "Turquoise Jeans Socks", made up rib pattern, Claudia's Handpainted
  • Clementine Shawlette, Interweave Knits Spring 2007
  • Bonita, Interweave Knits Summer 2006
  • Clapotis, Knitty, out of a yummy Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn
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