the orange yarn, please

Orange is too cool for shoes.

January 31, 2005

good stuff bad stuff

first, the GOOD stuff

hooray for my lovely friend susan (who is going to hit a lys with me this month!!) for tagging me with the music bug that's been going around. here goes:

1) Total amount of music files on your computer:

Yeah, my lawyer (read= husband) has advised me not to answer that one. Let's just say I used to be good friends with Mr. Kazaa (before I knew he was a bad man).

2) The last CD you bought was:
Keane - Hopes and Fears


3) What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?
"I'm Waking up to Us" - Belle and Sebastian


4) Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

a. "You and Me Against the World" by Helen Reddy - my mom used to sing it to me when I was little. sniffle.
b. "I Will," the Beatles. It's a song that's special to Marah and me. I used to sing it to her when she was a baby (now if she hears the first few lines, she says "Mom, stop!"). When she was 2, she tried to sing it to me. Too cute!
c. "St. Judy's Comet," Paul Simon. I sing it to Gabe. He smiles and sleepily shuts his eyes when he hears it.
d. "Never My Love," the Assocation. Mike and I danced to it as our first dance at our wedding. We're old souls.
e. "(Just Like) Starting Over," John Lennon. Uh, you know, the whole "my dad left when I was 10, the same year John Lennon was shot" thing. It just reminds me of that time period. As terrible as it was, my mom, sis, and bro and I got a lot closer and did goofy things (like spy on his new house while eating doughnuts in the car). So this song is kind of like happiness and sorrow all rolled up into one.

5) What 3 people are you going to pass this baton to and why?
elisa , b/c she rocks. heather, b/c she rocks, and alisha b/c, you guessed it, she rocks.



now, the BAD stuff
well, remember i had said cloudy seemed to be fine again? nix that. she started peeing again downstairs, and then proceeded to poop in marah's room. i called the vet. i thought she was fine, and i didn't need to do it, but i had to. obviously something's wrong, you know? well anyway, i could either collect her pee in her litter box and give it to them to inspect, or take her there, and they'd collect it there. okay, problem is, she doesn't pee in her litter box! so i had to take her there.

"sometimes it takes four days for a cat to finally pee when they're here, just so you're warned," the vet nurse said.

what will i do early tomorrow morning without my turner classic movies and knitting buddy? she always perches on the top of the chair i sit on, and then rolls around and trills loudly in the sun when i open the blinds. i hope she's okay. this sucks.

January 30, 2005

gabesoxyarnlove

fo alert! fo alert! i finished up gabe's socks. one foot fits fine; the other is a little snug - yet both socks measure out to be the same size. i guess his feet are a little uneven. i know they say that the typical human left foot is a little bigger than the right, but i didn't come across that problem with other socks i've knitted. well, he loves 'em and they keep his toes toasty, so that's all that matters!

one thing i noticed while knitting these - i used some heavy worsted for this pair, and the decreases were very obvious. i've decided that i prefer ssk to k2tog tbl. the latter looks a little sloppy. anyone agree? (or care? :p)

here they are (in a very wicked witch-esque pic):

ignore the toe in the corner. i don't know who put that there.

on friday, i ventured over to Labadie Looms, which is nestled in quaint little bird-in-hand (yup, that's really the name of the town). i got some great additions to the stash family. observe:
3 skeins of lamb's pride worsted in shade M110 - orange you glad

to go along with this, one hank of manos del uruguay kettle-dyed wool in colorway 106 (autumn):


i'll be using both of the above for my lucy bag. the main color will be the orange you glad color, and i'll every now and then add in some manos -- slub style. so it'll just be some random autumnal rainbow thing going on.

i also got some yummy opal magic sock yarn in colorway 1051:

i'm really excited about that! i also picked up some nature spun worsted in shade 109 - spring green:

for some felted mittens a la felted knits. it'll be my first try at mittens, but i'm hoping that it's just like a sock without a heel, but with a thumb.

wip report: i am done with kyoto's back and am now in the middle of the front left portion. i worked on it today when i was knitting with two great gals, rachel marie of gallery 141 fame, and faith from syndactyl salutations. i'd emailed/blogged with them before, but it was our first face-to-face meeting, and it was great! ( heather! i missed you! hope to see you soon :) )

kitty update: cloudy is doing tails better than she was a few days ago. on saturday morning, she started to show some energy and was back to eating. she didn't hide upstairs under the bed all day. saturday afternoon, she was lying in her favorite sunny spot. and this morning, we discovered that she has begun to use her litter box again. woohoo! (okay, so little things excite me!) i'm so happy to have my littlest girl back to normal, feeling good, and meowing up a storm. you know, cloudy is a very vocal little kitty. when we sneeze, she meows. i really do believe she's saying "bless you." (it may actually be "shut up" when i'm on my 14-in-a-row sneezing marathons.)

our house smells back to good and cloudy is sunny again. thanks again to everyone for their helpful advice!

January 28, 2005

the line has been crossed

you know, the line that no husband in his right mind should ever cross? yes, that's right - i'm talking about

invading a woman's purse!

last night, i had to go to a meeting. when i got back home, the kids came running to the door to tell me that cloudy had had a few more "accidents" last night. great.

"she's hiding right now."

double great.

"dad was worried that she'd do something in your closet because she kept running in there, so he's cleaning it out."

cleaning it out (out out out out) *insert echo here*

triple great.

i look down at them, one eye twitching, as they continue in their unintentional pursuit to unknowingly drive me mad.

"and look, mom! we got some treasures out of your old purses. he's cleaning those out, too."

now, wait just a minute here! cloudy isn't going to make boom boom in my purse.

this, dear friends, is where my husband has crossed the line.

i already leave the door open when i go to the bathroom. my every waking minute is spent teaching my children or cleaning the house or cooking dinner. (i signed up for those roles, and i enjoy them. no complaints here.) but my purse? that's mine. no one needs to go in there but me. it's where i keep subtle reminders of who i am, right down to each grocery store receipt, inkless pen, and band-aid wrapper.

i think the worst part of it was when dh came downstairs and told me i had too many gum wrappers in my purse.

don't get me wrong - i love my husband. see, i am a very temperamental gal. he puts up with a lot and even spoils me something rotten. if i'm out of diet dr. pepper and he's in his pj's already, he'll get dressed and run to the store to get me some. he's a really wonderful guy.

but what got into him last night? what made him decide to invade such a sacred-to-me place? i guess that seeing as how he has forgiven me for a multitude of sins, i'll do likewise, this time. maybe when the aroma of cloudy's little "present" hit his nose, he went crazy and didn't know what he was doing. yeah, that's it. insanity by reason of cat crap.

but next time, if it happens again, i may have to sneak more than one of his goldberg peanut chews out of his secret stash to get even. then we'll see who feels violated. ha!

January 27, 2005

the secret pals questionnaire & a thank you

i'd like to dedicate this post to my secret pal :)

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I'm not a yarn snob, and I think every yarn has its purpose. The Red Heart was great for the Hallowig! But I wouldn't use it on my Kyoto sweater, just because I don't like the feel of it on my arms.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
No. I'd like to learn to spin, though.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Uh, sulfa drugs, but I doubt you'd want to send me any of those anyway :)

4. How long have you been knitting?
Since Fall 2003.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, but if I did, it'd be filled with books on knitting, cooking, sewing and homeschooling.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I love the smell of lavender, and I use Moonlit Path stuff from Bath & Body Works.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yeah! White chocolate is my favorite, and anything peanut buttery :)

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I'm currently fascinated with the stitch marker making hobby.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like anything from classical to contemporary, but I don't like C&W. I grew up listening to it and was horrified when I discovered that fact to be true. I also have a slight aversion to men yelling their lyrics. I can indeed listen to MP3s.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
I've been in love with orange since I was little. I even had an orange "mood lipstick" that would change colors depending on your mood. Mine was always . . . orange. I like any color except red and yellow. They belong on a hamburger if you ask me. Pastels are kind of pukey, too.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
One hubby, two kiddos, one pee-happy kitty, and a green anole are my happy housemates.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Uh, what? I wish I knew. I kind of like things they way they are now, although I wish we lived in a big old farmhouse in a small town *insert John Cougar Mellencamp song here*

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I love ribbon yarns and sock yarns. For worsted weight, I am a fan of Lamb's Pride worsted. I love how the thickness varies.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I never met a fiber I didn't like (except for that one bran muffin I had).

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
SOCKS!!!

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
See #15. But also, I really love making felted handbags. I'm a purse hound.

17. What are you knitting right now?
A pair of socks, the Kyoto sweater, and I'm really trying to cast on for the Lucy bag and Ene's scarf (from Scarf Style) but I can't commit to four WIPs - I'd go insane.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
I made one for my daughter. I think they'll go the way of the eyelash scarf.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
It depends on the project.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
They all serve a purpose, but bamboo is a girl's best friend.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Yeah, baby!

22. How did you learn to knit?
I took a class at a lys with my mom. We had so much fun!

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
It just turned one year old! Happy Birthday, forgotten scarf!

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
i like birds in general, and our family likes to go bird watching. but i guess my favorite animal would be a turtle.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
of course christmas is tons of fun and makes me feel very warm inside, but i really love valentine's day.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
i collect cookbooks and dust bunnies :)

well, secret pal, i hope this gives you some insight to the non-mysterious being that is me. (if you're one of my family or friends reading this who has no idea what "secret pals" are, it's like a mystery gift exchange thing that knit bloggers sometimes do.)

A NOTE OF THANKS
everyone was so helpful and considerate with their kitty cat advice. i really appreciate all of y'all taking the time to post some tips. i'll be taking cloudy to the vet to see what's up. in the meantime an update:

she hasn't gone wee wee or boom boom in her current favored location since i steamed the area. and thanks to the recent savory meals i've made, the scent of steamed cat pee is dissipating. she's currently cuddled up with marah, watching tv. which reminds me, we have to get school started! thanks again.

January 25, 2005

cloudy isn't being very sunny

meet cloudy. she's my cat. i love her to pieces. she's a year and a half old. again, i love her to pieces.


however, she seems to be having a problem lately with using her litter box. oh, she'd always have an occasional "accident" every now and then, but here lately, it's been more now than then. her favored potty place is behind the dining room table, right by the kids' schooldesks, where she plopped one out during marah's slumber party (good morning, girls! heh heh) and later on wee willie winkied on mike's shirt that was lying near that same area (why he put his shirt near the crime scene bewilders me, but i never pretend to understand a man's mind).

what's the deal, cloudy? it isn't new litter. it isn't new food. there is nothing new in or around the house. anyone have any tips or suggestions? feel free to throw 'em at me. i had to steam the floor yesterday several times just to rid us of the haunting aroma of cat pee. now it just smells like steamed cat pee. help!

to cheer myself up, i followed a link supplied by the zibnificant wendy . there's this awesome homespun yarn seller at this eBay store called life's an expedition. she has some wonderful blends of yarn there, and her descriptive names are very mouth-watering. seriously! "grape juice," "hazelnut latte," "frosted wheat," "charcoal fantasies . . ." okay, the last one isn't mouth-watering, but the yarn is gorgeous nonetheless. here's what i bought/bid on/won:


rose & jack (a la titanic)


grape juice (a la beverage)


cortez expedition (a la peanut butter sandwiches)

her yarns are blends of new zealand wool and either other wools, cottons, or synthetics. i'm just crazy about them. mmm-hmm! plus, she's supernice, too, and sends you cool emails :)

the other exciting thing that i'm, uh, excited about is this:

another felted bag :) what i like is how the handles double as flaps (or at least the shorter one does, as the longer one tucks inside it.) has anyone out there made the lucy before? i might use some caramel colored alpaca that i picked up last fall, although i'd really like to make a deep cranberry one, too. the pattern is by two old bags, whose city shoulder bag was the first felted bag i'd made (which was last winter).

of course i'm still plugging away on kyoto's back, but i had to start up a pair of socks for gabe. i'd made some for myself, for marah, and for mike - it was definitely his turn! i'm using a very heavy worsted weight on size 5's, and the yankee knitter classic sock pattern does cover weights from fingering to worsted, and sizes from babies to men, which is more awesome than marshmallows (which i don't like a lot, so i'm not sure what that means really).


warm feet for everyone!

January 23, 2005

today's forecast: knitty, warm and cozy

which means it snowed. big time. the perfect excuse to not run here and there, do this or that. just the chance to sit back, relax, and guiltlessly knit. ahhhhhh. better than calgon, i tell ya! (which i've personally never used. my mom forbid it when we were younger, citing its potential to make you break out.)

i finished up marah's yankee knitter classic socks, which i've now officially renamed "marah's birthday socks." i'm telling you, the creativity is just gushing out of my ears. anyway, her birthday is monday (she'll be 10 - double digits *sniffle*) and i really needed to finish these up fast. the problem was, i'd lost the pattern. i thought it was in my sister's car, but she looked, and no dice. so on thursday i went out and bought another copy at ye olde lys. on friday, my sis calls. "you still looking for the sock pattern?" well, it was in her car. so now i have two copies of the exact same pattern. one for each eyeball? each sock? each needle? pfft. i'm sure i'll find someone who could use it.

anyway, here they are, as modeled by marah:


i used size 2 brittany dpns, and some gorgeous trekking xxl sock yarn. i have a bunch leftover and might use it along with this plymouth italy baby cotton fingering yarn i got from elann last week.

i'd like to use the italy baby and the rest of the trekking and finally get around to making the hugs and kisses socks. however, i've still got kyoto to work on - i decided to frog the sash section and begin working on the back. it's straight stockinette, so i don't have to fuss with the double seed stitch just yet. thanks to everyone who gave me kyoto advice.

i also still want to do ene's scarf from scarf style and finally picked up some addi turbo's last week to cast on. that would be my first lace-style knitting, as well as my first experience with a chart, so i'm a little intimidated by that, but also rather excited. kind of like the first time you eat pufferfish. which i haven't done, but i imagine it's intimidating but exciting. or maybe just plain stupid.

anyway, an overdue fo shot:

it's my yo, drop it! scarf from snb nation. i actually finished it last week, but i kept forgetting to take a picture. i modified the pattern by not having two rows of knitting in between the yo/drop stitch rows. why, you ask? well, it's simple really. i forgot to. heh.

i leave you with a shot of the latest addition to my stitch marker family. remember when lisa (aka knittikins) discovered the joy of using hello kitty shoe charms as stitch markers? well, i spotted some shoe charms this weekend of a different kiddy variety. here's a hint of who it is:

who lives in a knitting bag right by your feet?
yellow, stitch-marking, and plastic is he!
his friend, who's a star, is pictured on one, too -
put them on your needles is what you should do!

sing it to a popular nickelodeon cartoon theme song and it's obvious!



hee hee!

January 20, 2005

kyucko

what do you get when you mix full mental engrossment in american idol while knitting kyoto?

you get kyucko. observe:


see that weird line in the middle of ye olde sash? well, i must've done a purl-knit row instead of a knit-purl row, or vice versa, versa vice. crapola, man. do you know how long it took me to do this, with its 210 cast on stitches and size five needles?!?!? well, it took awhile. i have to frog half of it. marah says "let it go! you can't tell."

but i can. i don't want to say "here's the sweater i knitted. and oh, here's the complimentary flaw i included."

marah said, "mom, it's your first sweater, relax."

uh, no, marah, it's my third.

"oh." she replied. "well, still . . ." she trailed off.

anyway, that was yucky, but this is the anti-yuck antidote. check out this awesome raok from illanna ! she took the pic i had on my blog (where moe was modeling mike's alpaca scarf) and turned it into a stitch marker - clever, cute, and very kind! she also included a very sweet, uplifting note. thank you, illanna! you rock and roll, sweet susie.



i also got my crafter's choice books that i'd signed up for:
the knitter's bible
knitting on the edge
felted knits
the knitter's handy book of sweater patterns

i'm excited to find a chunk of time where i can sit down and read these mamas.

and it finally snowed - and it's play-worthy snow! woohoo! hopefully by the next time i post, i'll have frogged half of kyoto and turned it into kyesso and not kyono!

January 18, 2005

ouch.

duh. no one told me that when you shut the trunk of your car, you shouldn't put your head in the direct line of fire of said trunk. um, yeah. ouch.

all ouchies subsided (or at least became forgotten) when i got to the front door today after a very long day - there was a big yellow envelope. see, a few days ago, the wonderful wendy of zibibbo fame told me to be on the lookout for a big yellow envelope. could this be the same one? oh yeah, baby! check out the sweet generosity of that sweetie in sicily:


(bad picture, great yarn)
this was some gorgeous turquoise sparkle and fluff that i'd admired in a scarf that she had made. "marah (my dd) would love that," i said. so she sent some to me with a note - "for your kiddo." marah was quite happy :)

but you know, i also got some of this:

it's orange yarn!!! hot hogjaws! i was so excited. wait, what's with the past tense?! i still AM excited!

life is much better in the present tense.

wendy, thank you!!!!

hey, did you ever use a pressure cooker? i did, but only once. i bought this great one last year, used it once, and put it away. i guess i was freaked by all those creepy stories about them blowing up in your kitchen or growing feet and arms and grabbing your children and selling them to carny folk. well anyway, i dug it up out of the disaster that is my downstairs linen closet (oh elisa? wanna come and pull some of your ocd magic on my house?) and managed to create a really awesome din-din with it last night - pasta e fagioli. man, it was good! the recipe was from lorna j. sass's vegetarian cooking under pressure, a cookbook i recommend highly. if you want to use a pressure cooker. or if you have one and don't necessarily want to use it, but feel obligated to for whatever reason. and you eat vegetarian. even if only on occasion. okay, shutting up. now.

i bid you adieu by sharing with you a beautiful mid-atlantic winter sunset (taken by a mediocre photographer using her mediocre camera):


January 17, 2005

huzzah!

i wonder why we stopped saying huzzah. it's a fun word. anyway, here's a list of huzzah-worthy things from the past few days:

1. we went to dc this weekend and took my parents. that was the most exciting part - my dad hadn't been there in over 30 years, and my mom has never been there. taking in history through their eyes made it all the more fun. here's mike, gabe and marah making pretty at the air and space museum:


this display always cracks me up - they show the different layers in an astronaut's suit. this layer is the first one - the "fecal containment layer." the guy's face shows bitter humiliation. it just cracks me up.



2. i finished yo drop it! and am pleased with the results. i altered the pattern by not including the "knit rows 3 and 4" directions. i'll take a picture of it and post it later.

3. it finally snowed! it's just a confectioners' sugar glaze out there - not a full-fledged vanilla buttercreme. but it's still icing, i mean snow, and well, huzzah to that. here's a front porch view:


4. marah helped me pick out the contrasting color for kyoto - she saw jo sharp's summer soho cotton in sailboat and suggested it, and it goes beautifully with the aruba aqua that we got from elann (it's four seasons roma). it looks pretty cool together:


5. gotta love this double seed stitch pattern:

it is going to take a little longer than i'd like, but that's okay. maybe it'll teach me some patience.

6. our state's farm show is over now, but this weekend on one of our local cable channels they showed the entire "sheep to shawl" contest. since i don't go to the farm show, it was a nice treat to be able to see the only thing i'd ever go for and not have to go to see it. (huh?) they sheer the sheep, card the fleece, spin it into yarn, and then get to work on weaving a shawl. the shawls are gorgeous - and the winning one (which was loosely based on frank lloyd wright's "falling water" ) fetched $2500 at the following auction. huzzah!

7. i've been raok'ed -twice! two sweeties, manda and kate both sent me gift certificates to adagio teas. i'm really excited! ever since i met up with heather and had some calming tea with her, i've been back into tea. i appreciate the kindness - thanks manda and kate!

8. american idol starts up this week!

now, 2 things not so huzzah-worthy:

1. i discovered that one of my brittany dpns has snapped in half. i pulled out my socks to finish up the last one, and i saw this big splinter sticking out of the one dpn. they have a guarantee - anyone ever take them up on it?

2. i lost my sock pattern ! i haven't seen it since saturday. i'm at the heel flap for the 2nd sock, and i don't know it by memory yet. guess i need to go to the lys and get another. drat it!

well, that's it for huzzahs and unhuzzahs. i better get the kids dressed for the snow before it melts. have a fun day!

January 13, 2005

a fun list of good things

top five reasons why i have a smile on my face today:

5. the o.c. is on tonight, which means . . .

4. i have been successful in making dinner at home the past few weeks (as opposed to blowing money at restaurants);

3. i am going to a lys (oh susanna!) today or tomorrow to get the rest of my yarn for kyoto;

2. i was accepted onto the fiber raok ring! woohoo!!!! and last, but not least:

1.
that's my marah, knitting away!


i also need to report that i'm a part of the sock it to me sock knitalong, and it's great fun. it's actually the nicest kal i've joined - everyone is SO friendly and encouraging. i love it there! click on the blue link two sentences ago to check it out.

i have a kazillion billion things to do today, mostly girl scout related. i'm beginning to feel a little spread too thin as far as scouting is concerned and will be giving up a portion of my responsibilities at the end of this year. i'm a troop leader and organizer/consultant, as well as the day camp director and events coordinator. i feel very happy and good with this decision - i'll finish up the year and then hand the reins over to someone else. when i spend too much time focusing on a volunteer activity and not as much time focusing on matters at home, that's not good for anyone.

it's another grey day here. which do you use, grey or gray? i feel like "grey" is more mellow, as if "gray" were brash. anyway, it's also almost 60 degrees. i wish it would snow and be cold and normal. january is not behaving this year.

i think we're going to the smithsonian air and space museum this weekend, to satiate gabe's hunger of all things spacey. last weekend we visited the u of penn's museum of archeology/anthropology. it was amazing there - all these statues that people used to worship for various religions sat silent and stony in the galleries. it made me wonder how much energy these blocks of marble and stone have absorbed thousands of years ago from people who put so much hope and emotion and faith into them and that which they represented. you could almost feel the energy flowing out of these faces. marah was scared. it was a little spooky.

anyway, i hope we also get to the smithsonian's national museum of american history. i live for the first ladies' gown display! i've always held some major awe for all things historically presidential.

i must go now and pick up some colonial tape looms for my girl scout troop - we're doing a "yarn and fiber arts" badge, and i'm teaching them how to weave a tape next week. have a great day!

January 11, 2005

it's january 11, which means that . . .

i must wish a happy birthday to that colonial cutiepie, mr. alexander hamilton:

happy birthday, al! feel free to visit your morbid side and leave him a little note.

well, today was my first knitting club meeting - and it went very well! i ended up having about 15 girls and their moms, and we squeezed into a cozy little nook at the bookstore. i only had to teach three girls how to cast on, and one of them already knew how to knit, so it wasn't as hectic as i had worried it would be. we meet again next month, when we'll be learning about essential knitting tools, different types of needles, and all about a kids' knitting book (kids knit, sarah bradberry). this time around i gave them info about different types of yarn, and i passed around a few samples of them, minus cashmere, angora, and linen. they seemed to really like the mohair!

marah is working on a cat toy from the above mentioned book. isn't she doing great?

she's using up some of my leftover cascade quattro, as i'd mentioned before. she has a few more decreasing rows, and then she's ready to cast off and add some fringe, a string, and a bell for cloudy to enjoy :)

i finished one of my trekking xxl socks from the yankee basic socks pattern . i chose the 3x1 ribbing. i've decided to give these to marah for her birthday, which is coming up in two weeks. she'll be 10. where did the time go?!

i hope she likes them! i'm happy to point you in the direction of a knitty bloggy friend's first sock - the incredibly beautiful and kind elisa! she did an awesome job! welcome to the world of socks, elisa. now you will never escape. mwah hahahahahhahah

while i'm working on that, i need to focus on kyoto because the yarn for the top portion finally came in!

i need to go to a lys and get some black for the bottom and then i'll be a castin' on!

January 08, 2005

a delicious end to an undelicious day

let me just say this: i am not the morning person i used to be. while i can still get up at 7 and be happy and cheerful, i can't get up earlier than that and maintain said cheerfulness like i used to. see, i had to get up at 5:30 this morning. now maybe some of you think i'm a wake-up wimp, and you're probably right. but it was the fact that i had to sit through an hour car ride to gettysburg and then have my butt meld to my metal seat for 7 hours during a girl scout training, and then ride another hour home (with a headache bigger than mount rushmore).

the scout training was for being director of this year's day camp. isn't that the same thing where i broke my leg last summer? yes, it is. i'm giving it another try and will vow to keep my bones intact. the cool part is, mike agreed to be my assistant director. our theme is "dragon days," which will be focusing on the middle ages, and i'm so psyched! he has a ton of great ideas. reason number infinity why i love him so.

enough of this mushy stuff. anyway, the delicious end that came to this undelicious day was the french toast casserole i had made for the kids (and my parents, who watched the kids). it is beyond words delicious. not because i made it, but because the recipe is kick-hindquarters. i'll post it at the end in case you don't believe me and want to try it yourself!

knitting: i got some elsebeth lavold silky wool in color 20 the other day so i can make "ene's scarf" in scarf style. it's going to be my first chart pattern, and i'm nervous but very excited. i'm hoping i can borrow some smarts from fellow knitters who have charting experience (hi, papaya - aka fruitychick) if i ask nicely enough (or entice them with girl scout cookies!) :p

so anyway, here's the yarn, along with marah's debbie bliss merino dk in a lovely grape color, which she'll use for a drawstring bag she's going to make as her next project:

i do still plan to make kyoto, but my yarn hasn't arrived yet from elann. and i am still making those fun trekking xxl - yankee socks, but i have to start something else. it's a sickness, i tell ya. a sickness.

speaking of sick, that's how i felt when i discovered that not only did a.c. moore have no more of my giglio ribbon yarn for my yo! drop it scarf, but it's been discontinued by the folks at knitting fever. whatever for, i don't know. i have a passion for ribbon yarn, but oh well. i guess they don't give two rats' buttocks about me and my passions. pffft i say, pffft. well, i did lots o' googlin' last night, and i found that knit2purl2.com has it, and - get this - at a discounted price. i guess that's the good thing about discounted yarn - you'll miss it, but you'll get it cheap as dirt while it lasts. i got another ball to finish up my ydi! scarf, as well as some in another color to make one up for a special sister who puts barbie boots on her fingers and makes them do a cabaret dance while singing barry manilow's "daybreak." she knows who she is :)

oh yeah, here's that recipe - it's from marah's new cookbook, blend it!:

Overnight Baked French Toast
12 slices firm white bread (I used Texas toast)
6 large eggs
2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch salt
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
4 T. butter, softened
1 T. maple syrup

1. Arrange bread slices in four stacks in 8" square baking dish.
2. In blender, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and blend until smooth. Slowly pour over bread slices; press down bread to absorb mixture, spooning egg mixture over any uncoated bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, stir brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup until combined. Spread evenly over each stack of bread. Bake until knife inserted 1" from center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

If you have a bad day, make sure you've made this and have put this in the fridge the night before, and have it that night of the bad day. You will feel better, honest.

January 06, 2005

sock-o-rama

i was a little fearful of these little kate moss inspired dpns. i mean, size 2 and all. the smallest i'd used before was a 5. but you know, they really aren't that bad! fortunately i haven't wanted to snap them in between my fingers in a moment of frustration, so they may last.

here's a wip shot of the one i'm working on now:

i've enjoyed this sock so much that i've almost kept myself away from it. does that make sense? it's like i'm being a miser with myself. maybe i think i don't deserve the sock. maybe i need to get out more.

i'll admit, i am 80% on the way to getting cabin fever. no, we have no snow. yes, i have a car and can drive it. but i haven't wanted to leave, really. like tonight - i could run to a.c. moore and get that last ball of giglio for the yo! drop it scarf, but it's so foggy out, and i don't feel like dealing with that. yesterday, it was a little icy. the day before, too rainy. are these excuses, or am i just being responsible? or is being responsible an excuse?

do i know what i'm talking about anymore? in a way, but not 100%.

today i taught 4 people (3 were young girls) how to knit. i have 19 people coming to the junior knitters club next week. i'm kind of nervous because many of them have either not knitted yet or are new to knitting, and i'm worried that i won't be able to pay enough attention to each person to help them enjoy their club time. i am excited, though, because i'm going to show them how to make knitting journals, using a covered composition book technique that Denise from creative exile kindly shared with me. i can get cheap composition books (like 4/$1) at a local amish grocery/discount store. i am majorly psyched.

marah knitted today! she was working on a cat toy from her new knitting book, and she learned how to knit two together. i was very proud :) the tough thing is, she's using some of my leftover cascade 220 quattro, and the plies are splitting right and left. she's having a hard time judging if something is a stitch or a split. while it is tough, i can help her through it knowing that any future ply splitting will be a piece of cake for her! or maybe a piece of ply. :p



January 04, 2005

Gimme an R! R! Gimme an Uffles! Uffles!

and that spells ruffles, as in i finished it this morning. woohoo! it's supposed to be 86" long; i think i made mine about 80". mike kept saying, "how long is that thing?" he's supportive and kind and all that good stuff, but once he starts noticing my knitting, it tells me that i'm either making something extremely weird, or something extremely big. since ruffles isn't all that weird, i'm going with the big option. in this case, big=long.

here i am in ruffles, sans head:


(edited to add: i made it using highland collection peruvian wool from elann, in the russet shade. sorry 'bout that!)

i wore it to a local elderly day care today, when i took my homeschool girl scout troop over to play some table games with the folks there. we had a small turn out of girls, but we still had fun! the girls played jenga, a fun card game called "tutti frutti," kerplunk, and did puzzles. but what has this to do with ruffles? well, one of the ladies there was staring at my scarf like crazy and asked me, "what is that you're wearing?!" it's funny - she didn't ask it in the sense of "what is that delightful accessory you're wearing?" but more in the vein of "you may need assistance with that thing you have hanging around your neck." i told her it was a knitted scarf. she just kept staring.

and that's pretty much the reaction i got to it all day, really. just staring. my friend rose said it was pretty cool, but mostly everyone else just stared. is ruffles stare-worthy? or was i unbeknowingly wearing a pepperoni from today's leftover pizza hut lunch somewhere on my shirt? unless the latter is true, and said pepperoni fell off while i didn't see notice, i may never know.

i'm psyched. know why? i have started up a homeschoolers knitting club! oh yeah!! we're meeting once a month at the local barnes and noble, with next week being our first meeting. yes! i have to feature a book each month, so i'm starting with kids knit by sarah bradberry. marah's going to knit some of the projects in it to show the group what can be done, and that things can be done. i also hope to take them on a few field trips, including a local alpaca farm. this is too cool!

a few of you have mentioned lengthening kyoto. yeah, i'm not a midriff-baring kind of gal (i have two c-sections to thank for that, but that's okay), but i like the idea of wearing it shorter over a longer tee shirt. i may lengthen it after all, though. i think i'll have to play it by ear (or by midriff).

while working on kyoto, i'm going to continue my yankee socks, and i might start up the forbes forest scarf out of scarf style. i still have that yo! drop it scarf, too, but i have to run and get another skein of giglio for that.

but right now, i'm not running anywhere. my ear hurts when i swallow, and i feel like i've been steamrolled. yippee!

January 02, 2005

my last fo of 2004

was this pair of socks for mikeypoo:


he says they're really warm, and he loves 'em! they're done using the same pattern as before, the cabin fever "first socks," and i have to say i have really enjoyed doing socks with this pattern! i used plymouth encore again, and it was okay, but a little fuzzy.

i was working on mike's socks while we were driving to his parents' house last week, and we had stopped to get gas. i noticed two of the station workers there were looking at me and laughing, and i was starting to grow paranoid. well, mike was out there pumping gas and was told me that they were astonished to see someone knitting with five needles. "do you see that? she's knitting with five needles," said roscoe (i don't know if that's his name, i just assigned it to him). i was happy to hear that it was astonishment that had them laughing and not anything hanging off of my nose.

so i finished those socks on new year's eve and immediately began with another pair, using brittany's in a size 2 and trekking xxl , a gorgeous fingering weight sock yarn:


it's fun, albeit a little different than the original socks i'd done, which called for worsted weight yarn and size 5 dpn's. i have to say, i'm in love with brittany dpn's! they really hug the fiber well, without making you manipulate them too much to let go.

the pattern i'm using for this new pair of socks is awesome - it's from yankee knitters, and it's their "classic socks" pattern. it gives you the directions for using fingering, sport, and worsted weight, as well as sizes ranging from baby to men, all in one pattern. there are a kazillion numbers listed in the directions since there are so many options, so i really had to circle the size i was doing so i wouldn't get lost!

just to weird myself out, i work on the socks for an hour, and then go back to scarf style's "ruffles," using size 6 needles and worsted weight wool. my fingers take awhile to get used to the difference in weight!

this week it's back to normal - back to homeschooling (we've had off for 3 weeks), back to planning for Girl Scouts (cookies go on sale tomorrow!), and back to basic homemaking stuff (now i can't use wrapping presents or xmas shopping as an excuse for not having dinner ready!). while i feel a little blue that xmas is over, i kind of am welcoming the return to routine. we took down all the xmas deco yesterday, and it's a little sparse looking, i must say!

another thing - i joined the kyoto knitalong, which officially begins 1/15. i am excited to begin!

happy 2005, everyone!