Saturday, December 31, 2005

Smell Ya' Later, 2005!

It's the last day of the year! Remember when everyone was all afraid of the year 2000 and we all built bomb shelters and stocked up on canned food and bottled water and stuff? Heh. Seems like yesterday.

In honor of the turning of another calendar page, I have just a few things to say about the outgoing year.
  1. Britney Spears, what were you thinking marrying K-Fed? If you were that desperate to have a baby, you should have gone with a sperm donor. A sperm donor doesn't require that you support him (and possibly his other two children from another woman) while he makes his "rap album," goes to 7-11 for beers and beef jerky, and part-ays while you are home nursing that poor, poor little baby boy, whose father will always be Kevin Federline.
  2. Tom Cruise...seriously, dude. Get over yourself.
  3. George Bush. Come on, man. Some of us voted for you. Please start doing something that resembles a good job.
  4. American soldiers everywhere - God bless you.
  5. Tyra Banks does not need her own talk show. Enough said.
  6. Alanis Morissette's cover of Seal's song, Crazy, is wicked cool.
  7. So is Fiona Apple's new album. Go buy it.
  8. I knitted a lot of cool stuff this year. Mostly baby stuff, for my Daughter and several other babes who arrived in '05.
  9. I also made a bunch of quilts.
  10. And I gave birth to the best, smartest, most beautiful little girl ever.
Smell ya' later 2005...don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!

An open letter to the people who shop at my local Martin's

Ok, so I went grocery shopping today, totally by myself! Awesome! It is a really weird feeling to go anywhere alone these days, but with Husband being off until this coming Tuesday (that's TEN WHOLE DAYS), I've had enough togetherness for awhile. I needed to go shopping alone for the sake of my sanity. Also so Daughter wouldn't starve. We were completely out of baby food and the only regular people food she will eat is little bits of chicken, little bits of baked ham, and Alphabits.

Since I am sure all the shoppers at our local Martin's supermarket read my blog, I have a few things to say to them:

First of all, when I am piloting a grocery cart full of milk, many juices, ten trillion jars of baby food, fruits and vegetables, etc, I CANNOT STOP ON A DIME. Thanks a lot for turning your cart into me, stopping suddenly to get some cheetos, and just generally being in my way.

To the girl who totally sneezed on me in the personal care aisle, I really hope you don't have bird flu or anything. Cripes, couldn't you have sneezed into your sleeve or something?

To the lady looking at the vaginal creams while trying to look like you were looking at anything but vaginal creams, you could have just picked out what you needed. I don't know you, you don't know me, and honey, we've all been there. Just grab the cream and get it over with. Oh, and I'm sorry I practically had to shove you out of the way to get to the tampons.

To the gal with the leetle teesy newborn babe, please put on some actual clothes to go out of your house. Pajamas are for bedtime, darlin'. I'm not dogging you for being tired, lord knows I know about suddenly being home with a newborn and completely sacrificing sleep in the PM hours. I'm just saying that we'd all feel better if you'd jump in the shower and put on some clean pants.

To the woman and son behind me at the checkout, I'm sorry about how long it takes to unload ten trillion jars of baby food. Also, enjoy the two bottles of whiskey sour mix, five bottles of A1 steak sauce, and 8-pack of AA batteries you were buying. Sounds like a party!

To everyone driving in the store parking lot, NONE OF YOU SHOULD HAVE A DRIVERS LICENSE.

To the cart boy who helped me load my groceries into the car, thank you and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2005


Husband took this week off and so far we have done nothing particularly meaningful. In fact, we have been extremely lazy. Our big contribution to society since the weekend was to go eat $30 worth of strip steaks prepared by our friend at his new apartment.

I love my husband dearly, but I am looking forward to him being back at work next week so I can get back to my schedule (such as it is).

The only thing crafty that's been going on here (besides laying out fabrics, staring at them, rearranging them, staring some more, going to watch TV, coming back to stare at the fabrics again, rinse, repeat) is a lame-o pair of brown socks:

Crappy picture, I know. But in my extreme laziness I just tossed them up on the back of the couch where I am sitting because there's some light coming in the window...and I didn't have to really move much.

Anyway, that's Knitpicks something-or-other in Fawn. Quite scratchy, and the stitch definition is funky. Not smooth and nice like I'm used to. Hopefully these will soften up when washed. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Don't Really Know What I'm Doing

I need some help laying out fabrics for this quilt I have to make. It's a trip around the world quilt, and the fabrics were chosen by someone else. There are 24 different fabrics, mostly from the same collection. The above pic is brightened a bit...the fabrics are really more subtle.

Because it's a trip around the world, the last fabric loops around to meet the first, so I've put a neutral between the orangey-brown and the blue. Some of the prints are hard to see. Here are some closeups:

I've had these fabrics and the pattern for about a month and now that Christmas is over I really need to get this done (for the store). I'm not sure about this layout...I stink at putting fabric together for quilts.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why I Don't Post Pictures of my Family

While drinking my tea this morning, I was going through the blogs I read and came to The Big Trade-off, one of my new favorites. Karen writes great stories about her adventures in family life and I love comparing her experiences to mine. I do this with lots of blogs written by mommies.

Today she had a very thought-provoking entry about weirdos who exploit blogs for their own freaky pleasures. She has since removed it, and closed all comments. I completely understand her reasons for doing so, but I wish so much that she didn't have to. I wish that no one ever had to do this. But there are jerks out there who leave horrible comments and abuse the internet, so nice people who are just trying to share their experiences and find a community can't do so safely.

I had a profile photo of my beautiful daughter in yesterday's post, which I shared because I am so proud of her and I want the people I "know" who read this blog to see her too. But I have removed it now, because the internet is indeed a public place, and I don't want anyone seeing her anymore.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas 2005 Wrap-Up

So far, Christmas 2005 has been a great success around here. Lots of nice gifts were given and received, and we still have one more family gathering to go. Every year I give my husband a list of some things I would like to have, and every year he waits till the last minute and then buys everything on it. In a way this is really sweet, but when the Visa bill comes it will be a little less sweet. Eek. Guess I'd better use these a lot:

Knitting Vintage Socks

Knitting on the Road

Folk Art Quilts

That last one is especially good for anyone interested in Folk Art in general. I have a deep desire to decorate my home in Folk Art style but right now I am stuck with Early American Hand-Me-Down instead. I barely have time enough to do the things I have to do, much less paint wooden stars and angels to hang around the house. Hell, we've had the paint for our kitchen for almost a year, and the walls are still the same pukey yellow they were when we moved in. (Hopefully this will change soon, as Husband promised he would help me paint during his week off.)

Anyway, I digress. I also received some great CDs, clothes, and kitchen utensils. My mom made me some rad socks, but I wore them yesterday so I don't have a picture right now. Also, Husband is very awesome for getting me subscriptions to Piecework magazine and Interweave Knits magazine. Yeah baby!

I gave him Curve for men and a subscription to Men's Health magazine because he's into working out and stuff these days. It's not much but he's REALLY hard to buy for. He's a computer guy and he plays guitar. What do you get for someone like that?

So Christmas is over and now I just feel weird and deflated. The tree suddenly looks tired and droopy, and I have the overwhelming urge to start packing up the Christmas stuff. On our way to one of the family gatherings this weekend, Husband and I were discussing my attitude toward Christmas these days. I just don't feel excited like I used life is the same from one day to the next, unlike when I was in school or working and there was a defined holiday period to anticipate. He feels it will be different when Daughter understands what's happening and gets excited. I'm pretty sure he's right. It's not that I don't
enjoy Christmas, it's just a bit anticlimactic. And now I just see a looooooooooong stretch of rilly, rilly cold days ahead until spring. This morning I was even thinking about what I will plant in the bed in front of my house! A little early for that, I suppose.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Shepherds and Angels

...That night some shepherds were in their fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, and angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid," he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: you will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth."

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others - the armies of heaven - praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors."

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

My Dirty House Isn't Going Anywhere

I have nothing crafty to show today as I'm experiencing the worst headache ever while I try to finish the baking, the gifts, and the cleaning.

So I will prattle on just a little more about Daughter.

Right now she has nursed herself to sleep across my lap. She is on a pillow, her little body limp. Her underneath arm is extended and her top arm is flopped against my tummy. Her little legs are partly curled up. This is my favorite thing, watching her breathe and occasionally move her mouth in a sucking motion even though the feeding has ended and the source has been put away. She is so beautiful and I love her so much and sometimes I wish I could keep her just like this forever.

I think the work can wait and I will just sit here for awhile.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Daughter is Amazing (and Some Christmas Crafting Stuff Too)

Lovely and Amazing

I would like to go on and on for a bit about Daughter. If you are here for craft-related reasons, scroll on down.

Here are the incredibly awesome new things she has started doing now that she is a big grown up 8 month old:

She eats cereal. Real cereal. Big people cereal like Cheerios and Crispix. No teeth yet but those gums are hard and strong and she bashes the hell out of every little crunchy piece. Not only does she eat it, but she has started feeding herself. I love this because it means I can actually get some food into my mouth before it gets cold - the cereal keeps her occupied. I can't get enough of her chubby little fist cramming Cheerios into her mouth. She gets the most thoughtful look on her face while she works on bringing her hand up to meet her mouth. Sometimes she sort of misses, and I can't help but laugh. She laughs too.

She has started reaching her arms out to us when we come to her. When this happens I truly think my heart might burst and splatter all over the place and when they find me lying here I will have simply died from the cuteness.

She will gnaw off little bits of banana if you hold the banana up to her mouth. If she tries to hold it, the slippery fruit just goes flying and the dog gets a treat.

She now watches Sesame Street with rapt attention. This is good because after her morning feeding I can plop her down on a blanket, tune in PBS, and go get an english muffin and some tea. It is bad because I don't like seeing my baby as a drooling zombie. I have noticed that she pretty much ignores the sketches without bright colors. She likes the muppets the best. Overall verdict: God bless you Jim Henson and Childrens Television Workshop. This blog is brought to you by the letter Q and the number 9.

Merry Merry

I am pleased to announce that Christmas craft production is basically done. I have given up on the Conwy socks for my mother-in-law because they would never be done in time and the
y really, really, really hurt my hands. Like, really. Her birthday is in May so I think I will complete them slowly and give them to her then.

So she is getting one of these instead:

Santa and Rudolph mini quilt (I just noticed that I forgot Rudolph's face. Crap. Must now improvise because quilt is already sewn together.)

Santa and toys mini quilt

And by request, a mixer cover for my s

Isn't that exciting? Want to see it off the mixer? Sure you do:

So that's pretty much the end of Christmas crafting 2005. There's still that Irish Hiking Scarf I intend to finish but it doesn't have to be done by the weekend so it doesn't count.

To start the new year I will be finishing Kinsale and starting something new for myself. I want a slightly oversize (only slightly), roughly hip-length, cabled cardigan. I'd like to use worsted weight wool.
Any good pattern suggestions?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Make That Four

Two hats down:

On the left, a simple 2x2 rib hat for my 12 year old cousin, in Princeton Tigers colors. On the right, a complete Esther Williams for my youngest sis. The striped hat needs its many ends woven in, and both need some serious washing and blocking, but they count as done because the knitting is finished.

On to the next knits!

Monday, December 19, 2005


Only 4 and a half days left to get all this done:

And two of those gifts aren't even started. Can she do it, folks? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of Delusional Crafting for Christmas 2005.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Some Baby Stuff, and Some Knitting Stuff

The Babe
I love watching Daughter learn new things. I used to teach preschool and I was always ecstatic when I could see that a connection was made in a 3 year-old's brain...with my own child it is so much better.

This morning, after breakfast, I put her down to play on a quilt right in front of the Christmas tree. She sat for awhile and then, as always, she fell backwards onto a pillow. She's good at rolling herself over now, so she ended up on her belly, facing the few gifts I've placed under the tree. Two of those gifts are bottles of Cronfelt's Loganberry Syrup for my little sisters because they don't live in Buffalo anymore (that won't mean much to anyone who hasn't spent summers running around
Crystal Beach). These bottles caught Daughter's eye and I watched as she reached for them, stretching her arm so hard that her little legs lifted in the air. She tried SO hard to get those bottles. I didn't touch her or try to help her, I just sat on the edge of the couch, wringing my hands and whispering, "come on, you can do it!"

The poor kid hasn't figured out that if she could just hitch her little leg up, get a foot underneath her body and push, the world would be hers to explore. And yes, I know that once she is in motion she will stay in motion, but right now I am more concerned with her development and her achievements than I am with having time for myself. Plus, we have a playpen and we use it as such, so when I need to cook dinner/go to the bathroom/run the vacuum/etc. I put her in there and she is trapped for awhile.

Daughter will be 8 months old on Monday. How old were your babies when they started crawling?

Knitting Stuff
I have been knitting diligently on my Christmas gifts. Here's proof:

Conwy, Irish Hiking Scarf, Esther Williams hat

I work on Conwy as the pain in my hands and wrists allows. So far I am about 1.5 inches shy of finishing the leg portion of the first sock. If I can finish the first sock this weekend I will consider that a success. I am stretching my hands & wrists, wearing wrist braces, taking tylenol, etc. but the pain persists. I am blaming the metal needles. If it weren't such crappy weather around here I'd probably go out and get some bamboo size 1s but eh, I don't feel like going out in the snow.

I love knitting the Irish Hiking Scarf. It's just a fun, simple, and better yet worsted weight project, which allows me a bit of restful knitting when the Conwy sock is killing me. This is about 14 inches or so. Lots to go but it does knit up fast.

And finally, Esther Williams. I am coming to this pattern a bit late, as I see there was just a knitalong. I cast on last night when I couldn't possibly knit another second of Conwy. I completed 18 rows in very little time. I love it!! This is Cascade 220 in a lovely eggshell color. I think this hat will be stunning (and better yet, I think it will be finished this weekend).

This afternoon will be filled with visiting the parents. I'm hoping to run out for a few last Christmas gifts while Daughter sleeps at my parents' house. Anyone have good stocking stuffer ideas for a man?

Friday, December 16, 2005


Is it just me? Whenever I go to typepad blogs, the newest entries are gone and I'm seeing posts from about a week ago. Hmmmm. Weird.

Nothing interesting to say today, I'm afraid. I've let the house go long enough and I have a date with the vacuum cleaner.

(That is, right after I see Ellen reveal Lil' Snow...stuff like that kills me until I know the answer!)

Thursday, December 15, 2005


O Conwy, why dost thou hurt me so?

This is approximately seven thousand two hundred forty-three rounds of the first (first!) Conwy sock. I am a bit worried about this for several reasons.

1) It took me several days to get this far and how on earth am I to finish these by December 24? That's only 9 days, people!! And I still have 2 other knitting projects to make, as well as 2 sewing projects! Oh my god!

2) The fabric created by this pattern, this yarn, and these needles is so dense I fear the socks will stand up on their own. My gauge seems good, so why is this sock like a little board? Hopefully they will relax a bit when washed...

3) MY WRISTS ARE KILLING ME. I am afraid because while they don't hurt during the actual knitting, they hurt like hell when I'm not knitting. I am attributing this to the metal needles I'm using. They have no give and it puts all the stress on my bony little wrists. I should have gone out and bought size 1s in bamboo. Do they even make sock needles that small in bamboo? Maybe Daughter and I will take a little trip to ye olde yarn shoppe before the weather turns beastly this afternoon.

Anyway, that's that. I have to stop writing and reading blogs...soooooo much knitting to do. And I made an army, an ARMY I tell you, of gingerbread men and women that need decorating. Must go take shower while baby naps...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sad Day...

Funeral today...never a fun thing, and especially not fun right before Christmas.

I knitted on the Conwy socks all the way there and back, and pain is shooting down my wrists like little burning bolts of lightning tonight. I have taken the evening off, but I am worried. If the pain continues, how will I finish the gift knitting?

This could be a crisis.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

yarny goodness

**Edited to add...the LL sock yarn colorway is called "peach," but it is really quite pink.

Yesterday's purchases. At the top, Cascade 220. At the bottom, Lorna's Laces sock yarn. Yummy, indeed.

I got started last night on the socks for my mother-in-law. She's getting Conwy from "Knitting on the Road." It's a fairly interesting 4-row pattern that looks nice in a solid color. Those size 1 needles are a trip though. I always make my socks on size 2s, but this pattern happens to call for both Lorna's Laces and size 1 needles. I went ahead with that size but I cast on 6 extra stitches (the pattern has a 6 stitch repeat) to make the finished sock a bit wider. My mother in law is petite but does not have extremely skinny ankles, and I don't want these to be too tight.

Here's what we're doing for the rest of the day!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Full Speed Ahead

Now that the Christmas dress is finished, I am motoring ahead with the Christmas gift knits. The Irish Hiking Scarf is almost one skein done, and today I purchased Cascade 220 in cream for an Esther Williams Hat for my sister (instead of Fuzzy Feet slippers), and also got some Lorna's Laces in a pretty peachy pink color to make socks for my mother-in-law. I've always wanted to use LL for socks but it's tres expensive, so I justified the purchase as a Christmas expense. Pictures tomorrow...I am feeding Daughter in one arm and typing with the other so taking photos isn't quite convenient.

Sadly, we have to attend a funeral on Wednesday. Is it terribly wrong of me to secretly be glad we have to drive about 2 hours each way? I mean, that's a lot of knitting time.

Friday, December 09, 2005


At last.....The Christmas Dress!

I can't believe this thing is finally finished. I am fairly pleased with it, but it is a bit too big for Daughter. I cast on for the next smaller size, remeasured Daughter, and freaked out thinking it would be too small. So I made the bigger size. Oh well, she will wear it anyway! It's also a little bit heavy. The yarn called for in the pattern is Sirdar Snuggly DK, which is definitely lighter weight than the Knitpicks merino I used.

The back:

That skirt is 80 rows of double moss stitch, folks. That's a whole lotta double moss stitch. The cables on the front and sleeves have bobbles in them, but I left them out on the back so she would be able to lay down without little bumps pushing into her back.

Closeup of the button band:

The buttons are really pretty. You'll have to trust me as I couldn't get a good photo of them.

A sleeve:

Pattern - from Sirdar book #241 - Design H
Yarn - Knitpicks Merino Style DK in Hollyberry (8 skeins)
Needles - US size 6 circulars and US size 6 dpns for the body and sleeves, US size 3 dpns for cuffs and collar
Gauge - HA! Who knows? I am way too cavalier about gauge, which is probably why I didn't have enough yarn to make the belt and I only have a few feet of scraps left. It's also probably why the dress is too big, though I am notorious for knitting too tightly so that would be weird.
Mods - I knit the collar and cuffs in moss stitch instead of garter stitch because I think garter stitch looks a little sloppy.

The outfit:

Cream tights and patent leather shoes. Awwwwwwww...

But wait, where is the baby??

I don't wish to get into a whole dissertation here, but I just don't feel comfortable posting pictures of my infant daughter's face on the internet for the world to see. You won't see me or my husband here, either. It's nothing personal...I'm sure you are all very nice people. I just don't want to have to worry about stalkers or child molesters. Thanks for understanding.

Speaking of my baby, she is looking for some attention. And there are two huge baskets of laundry waiting to be folded. And the floors are still dirty and there's dinner to plan and, and, and.....

Super cool or totally weird?

Not sure what I think of this. Part of me thinks it's cool, and part of me would be so embarrassed if this was my house.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


When I have not been caring for/entertaining/feeding my child today, I have been chained to my sewing machine.

The thing about sewing for money is you have to actually do the sewing in order to get the money.

So, my house is a mess (in the sunray coming through the window I can see dried salt and bits of Christmas tree on my fake hardwood floors), I didn't even dry my hair today (and it is "growing out" from a really short cut so when it's not blown dry it's awfully reminiscent of John Stamos' hair in the Full House days [sorry if that gives anyone nightmares]), and I'm starving because Daughter has deemed it necessary to be entertained for almost every waking moment of her day and that means no time for me to make a sandwich. Ay yi yi.

Moving on...I have a really important question for anyone reading this. I mean, it's something that's been keeping us up at night. Does anyone remember the commercial from the 1980s for some sort of loom that involved wrapping your yarn around and around and then POP! and you had daisies (?) that you would then sew together to make an afghan? If anyone knows what that stupid thing was called, could you tell me? It's been bugging me and Husband for ages. We remember seeing it a lot while watching The Cosby Show and whatnot, and we can both picture the woman wrapping the yarn and POPPING the flowers off, but I can't find it on the internet and no one can remember the name.

The child, she is sleeping. Must go get something done.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What Will She Think in 20 Years?

What will my daughter think in 20 years when she sees photos of herself as a baby wearing this?

I really hope she thinks her mommy loved her so much that she sat up late at night, knitting and knitting to make adorable Christmas tree hats for her. Probably she will just think I'm a big dork.

Specs for the knitting knerds:
Pattern: Christmas tree hat, free here
Yarn: Knitpicks Merino Style DK, in pine and harvest
Needles: Susan Bates (I think), size 4 dpns
Gauge: around 6 stitches/inch or so...I'm not so much a gauge swatcher so that's an estimate
Mods: I cast on 90 stitches because the pattern is for preemies/newborns and Daughter is 7.5 months old. Her head is quite a bit bigger now than is was back then.

I liked this pattern...and I feel a little guilty that I mooched it from a charity pattern site. Now I really think I have to make some charity stuff and hopefully will squeeze it in around the gift knitting, the baking, the cleaning, and the general child care.

Also, once again, I LOVE KNITPICKS MERINO STYLE DK!!! This is also the yarn Daughter's Christmas dress is made from, and I would be happy if I could use it for every project I make for the rest of my life. It is so soft, and works up so wonderfully. I wish they made a worsted weight with such a nice hand (or maybe they do, I haven't tried all of their yarns yet).

So, here is the Christmas project list as of today:
Knitted stuff:
Little girl socks for friend's daughter: DONE (and wrapped)
Hat and mitten set for friend's baby boy: DONE (not wrapped)
Aunt's felted fuzzy feet slippers: DONE (and wrapped)
Daughter's Christmas tree hat: DONE
Daughter's Christmas dress: pieces done, washed and blocked, not seamed yet
Cousin's Princeton Tigers Hat: not started yet
Irish Hiking Scarf: like maybe 3 repeats done
Sister's felted fuzzy feet slippers: one about half done
Potential future sister in law's felted fuzzy feet slippers: not started, but she said she wants a teakettle, so that might be what she gets instead

Sewn stuff:
Other sister's cover for Kitchen Aid mixer: have fabric, haven't even started designing yet
Table runner or something for Aunt and Uncle (parents of cousin mentioned above): not even a glimmer of an idea for this one yet

Luckily the sewn stuff is fast. Too bad I still have to come up with ideas for those projects!

In sad news, I just heard that a friend has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that has already spread to her colon (and possibly elsewhere, I am getting this info 3rd or 4th hand). She has just had surgery to remove all the affected organs. This woman is someone I knit with on occasion, she is only 40, and she has two little kids. What is the deal with someone like that getting serious cancer? It's bullshit, man. So I am thinking the fuzzy feet that were intended for my potential future sister in law might go to this friend instead. I'm not sure what else I can do for her. I'd like to get something in the mail quickly.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I'm probably the last person posting about the new Knitty today, but I've only just now had the time to look over the patterns carefully. So far the general response seems to be "yay!" but my reaction to most of the patterns is "meh."

I really, really like Bristow, and I like that it was knit in a yarn I might actually be able to afford.

I also like Best Friend, but I'm almost going to pay $50 for one skein of yarn to make two little teeny purses. Yeah, right. I noticed the designer stressed several times that one skein makes two purses. Well I hope so, for fifty bucks! I suppose I could substitute. Let me rephrase: I would have to substitute.

I also kind of like Thuja, but the finished sock looks quite short, especially for a man. My husband wouldn't wear a shorty sock like that, so if I made them I'd have to mod the pattern for a longer cuff. Not a problem I suppose. Husband has actually requested some new knitted socks, so perhaps I'll place a Knitpicks order sometime soon.

And that's the truth. Thppppppppt!

(Anyone remember that besides me? Lily Tomlin in the big chair? Playing Edith Ann? She'd end each skit saying "and that's the truth," and then stick out her tongue and make raspberries. Awesome.)

I meant to post yesterday...

but Blogger kept telling me I was "forbidden" from accessing my own page. Hmph.

I haven't been kntting at all the last couple
of days. We've been getting all Christmas-y around here:

I thought we had a lot of ornaments but this tree is pretty big and there are some bare spots. I guess we'll have to wait a few years till all those funky homemade ornaments come home from school with our child(ren). It looks pretty nice though. Notice I even have some gifts wrapped and ready to go under there. Sweet! Looking at them makes me feel better about not having all my holiday knits finished.

Last week when I turned in the black/red/yellow/green quilt top, I was handed two Christmas kits to make ASAP. Here is one of them, quilted and bound:

Get it? It says "JOY." Cute, and fun to make, but the store is charging $30 for the kit. That seems kind of expensive, considering it's only about 15" X 20" finished. Oh well, my job is just to make the sample, and that part's done. I'm going to take this one in today and hopefully finish up the other tonight or tomorrow. Then, back to the Christmas knits!

On another topic entirely, our little darling sweetheart has backed up her waking time by a good hour and a half in the morning. It's totally killing me. Yes, I am spoiled and lazy. I don't know what to do with her when it's still dark body tells me it's NOT time to be up yet and I want to drift back to sleep while I'm feeding her. Since I'm staying off caffeine until she is weaned, it's extra hard to get through the morning. Plus, her morning nap is a lot earlier, which changes my whole day. Speaking of which, it's about time for her to get up.....

ps: I have been asked about the infamous Christmas, it is not finished. The parts are all done and waiting to be seamed. I'll be getting to that very soon.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Show Us Yer Knits!

Most boring progress pics ever:

On the left we have Daughter's Christmas tree hat.
On the right, an Irish Hiking Scarf (has anyone not made one of these??).

The tree hat is Knitpicks merino DK in pine, very lovely to work with. The hat itself is really boring; not much can be said about stockinette in the round. The scarf is some good ol' Wool Ease, charcoal gray, because it's a gift for a non-knitter, and a very busy non-knitter at that. I see this getting tossed in the washing machine and dryer and I'd rather all that work not end up a felted mess. It is a great pattern and I enjoy it quite a bit. It's amazing how fast worsted weight works up, especially after you've just made socks.

The Christmas tree* is up and awaiting decorations and big, fat snowflakes are lazily falling outside the family room window. This should be a nice day for some holiday music, cocoa, and tree-trimming with my little family. Unfortunately when we bought our last tree, it was a lot smaller than this one and we only bought 2 strands of lights (wha-?!?). I obviously did not apply my method of purchasing craft supplies & yarn to the buying of Christmas lights. So no decorating will actually happen until Hub goes out to get more.

*We are not cut-down-your-own-tree purists...if you aren't either, head to Lowes. We got a PERFECT 6.5 foot Douglas Fir for $29.98. A bargain where we live! (No, I am not affiliated with Lowes in any way. I just lurve to shop there.)

Friday, December 02, 2005

I am Superwoman Redux

Whew! Made it...

without even a scrap of yarn left. In fact, I had to use the tails from casting on to finish the last toe. There are quite a few ends woven into that toe, which may or may not bother an almost-6-year-old little girl. If she feels the bumps too much, I will rip back and reknit with some yarn I have that's similar enough to fake it. So, a warning to all y'all who might want to use Knitpicks Dancing for kid skein is enough for a 5-6 year old, but make your cuffs a little shorter than mine (I did 58 rounds + 8 ribbing rounds).

Goal for this weekend: make Daughter's Christmas tree hat, and get a good start on the ubiquitous Irish Hiking Scarf.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Later that same day.....

Ah. Now then, who was that nasty bitch who posted here earlier today? I am happy to say she has been banished from the kingdom. Before she left she got a lot of work done, though. All the vacuuming is done, the kitchen is cleaned up, the washer and dryer are humming, the baby is napping, and she made me a HUGE pot of tea. That, along with some Newman's Own organic sweet dark orange chocolate and some knitting, is just what the doctor ordered.

On Being a Mom

There is knitting content today, but it's at the end.


Today I feel selfish and nasty, and I don't care who knows it.

Yesterday the dog barfed in the dining room and peed in the family room on a quilt I made (it was on the floor so Daughter would have a place to play). So I
vacuumed and bisselled the family room carpet since the dog peed a gallon right through the quilt. Yes, we take her outside. I don't know what's up with this pee situation.

Daughter was whiny and inconsolable and did not take a good nap in the afternoon. Consequently she was miserable at bedtime and did not go to sleep until 10 pm.

I made a nice dinner that no one appreciated, I emptied the dishwasher, refilled the dishwasher, and washed the rest of the dishes that do not go in the dishwasher.

I watered the dying plant that lives in Daughter's room.

I febreezed the couches that smell like dog.

I took the dog out because if I did not she would do all of her peeing in the house, instead of just

This morning I have a hard, hot, painful lump that may or may not indicate a breast infection (could just be a blocked duct that Daughter is not emptying when she nurses, either way it sucks!)

Daughter is not in a good mood, probably due to her crappy night of sleep.

I am starving for breakfast (how did it get to be 11 am??) but no one is going to make me anything to eat.

I am supposed to be at my mother's house for lunch at noon and an afternoon of knitting and I just don't see that happening. Because my in-laws are coming for dinner tonight, which just means a
whole 'nother round of work. For me. And I am still in my pajamas, unshowered and yucky.

I don't understand it. I am not a bad wife, bad housekeeper, bad mother...yet some days I feel like a failure in all of these roles. My house is a mess. Why is my house a mess?? I am always cleaning it! I am always running after the people and animal, picking up after them. The dust bunnies congregate in the corners, the laundry is freaking multiplying, and pieces of my house are actually falling off, people. FALLING OFF.

So I feel mean and selfish and crabby and I just wish sometimes that someone would take care of me for a change. Boo. Thpppppppttt!


Here are the Knitpicks Dancing socks I'm working on for a Christmas gift. I'm getting a little worried about the quantity of yarn I have left. For some reason I knit faster and faster when I am running out of yarn. I might make it, we'll see. If not, an emergency Knitpicks order will be placed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sewing for Dollars II

Oh how I love to finish things. Witness:

You may not be able to tell, but that's a pile of money laying on my family room carpet. Well, really it's Shoo Blue Fly by Nancy Odom (P&B Textiles, for anyone interested in that stuff). I believe the collection is called "Gather Sunshine." But it will turn into a (small) pile of Christmas cash for me once I hand it in tomorrow.

Here is a closeup of the blocks:

The colors are a little more true here.

I am quite proud of how this quilt top came out. I took my time squaring up the blocks and trimming the top before adding the borders. Usually I don't have the patience for that and I just wing it when it's for me or someone who doesn't know anything about quilting. But when it's going to hang in a store for the world to see, I take my time.

Here's hoping the boss likes it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sewing for Dollars

Nothing exciting to talk about today. Just working at the first Dancing sock (turned the heel and just started the gusset). I really have to take advantage of Daughter's naps today to work on the quilt I'm supposed to be making for money. It occurs to me that it is almost December 1st and if I want some Christmas money, I have to get this project turned in. So far only 2 blocks of 12 are finished and that's just no good.

The happy news is, it's in the high 50s here today and tomorrow, so all the mounded up snow is melting and we will be able to get to our mailbox without walking in the street. I can actually get to my car without risking death! I would love to go somewhere.

But, duty calls.

Off to the sewing machine!

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I am so amazing. I finished a whole gift in like, less than 2 days!

Ok, it's not so amazing, really. The hat and mittens, for my girlfriend's son, are worsted weight (Plymouth Encore) so they were fast. But the socks, for her daughter, are teeny little Knitpicks Dancing, which does not go so fast. On the bright side they are for a 6 year-old, so they are going more quickly than adult socks would. Does anyone have a 6 year-old girl around? Could you measure her ankle? I have cast on 52 stitches and this yarn stretches a ton, but I am worried they will be too small.

This weekend will be spent visiting family and weatherproofing the house (putting lovely plastic sheets on the windows, etc.) so I don't know how much knitting will get done. Hopefully Daughter will at least nap semi-well amid the chaos and I can power through one of these socks.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Free Pattern

As promised on the Holiday Gifts Knitalong, here is the Thumbless Mitten pattern. I used Daughter as the model for size and she has very long fingers, so you may want to knit fewer rows when knitting the hand portion. Measure your baby's hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger and go from there! Also, these were knitted tightly on US 6 needles to create a dense fabric for warmth.

Size: 6-12 months

Yarn: worsted weight wool or wool blend (I used Plymouth Encore)

Needles: US size 6 dpns

Cast on 30 stitches and divide evenly over 3 needles.

Join, being careful not to twist.

Knit 4 rounds in seed stitch.

Knit 12 rounds even (K every round).

Decrease for wrist:
(K1, K2 together) around (20 stitches)

Purl 4 rounds.

Increase for hand:
(K2, inc. 1) around (30 stitches)
Hint - pick up the bar between stitches to increase, and knit through the back loop to prevent a hole.

Knit 24 rounds even (or fewer if your baby has smaller hands).

(K4, K2 together) around (25 stitches)
(K3, K2 together) around (20 stitches)
(K2, K2 together) around (15 stitches)
(K1, K2 together) around (10 stitches)
(K2 together) around (5 stitches)

Cut yarn and draw up through remaining stitches.

Weave in all ends.

Please knit and enjoy this pattern, but please do not use it for profit. Thank you!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

And an FO in a Pear Tree

Christmas FO number one:

Awesome! Turns out you can knit a whole baby hat while watching an evening of TV. I whipped this baby out while watching House and SVU. I knit a whole heckuva lot faster when watching Hugh Laurie. I heart him.

I have also started the first thumbless mitten to go with the hat. If anyone wants an easy pattern for thumbless mittens knitted with worsted weight, I will be happy to post the one I made up.

I think I can grab a shower, knit the rest of that mitten while watching the Macy's parade, and finish the chocolate pie I'm taking to my parents' house today...all before Daughter wakes up from her morning nap. But only if I hurry. Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Severe Weather Warning

Uh-oh...Buffalo's getting a little too much press right now. Might make it a little challenging to go over the river and through the woods tomorrow. Might end up staying home eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and knitting all day. (So it wouldn't be all bad.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Not Out of the Woods Yet

This blog should probably just be called " The Ongoing Saga of My Daughter's Christmas Dress."

But...there is progress! Blocking, even!

I am really not the best blocker in the world. Half the time I don't even bother. But some of these pieces needed bossing around, so here we go. I filled the washing machine with cold water and soaked the pieces for about 15 minutes, with just a little bit of mild detergent. I should have used wool wash, but I don't have any.

After they soaked and Daughter ate some lunch, I took the pieces out and carefully squeezed out most of the water. Then I gently rolled each piece up in a towel. A little bit of the dye came off on the towel, but I didn't see any in the water at all, so once again a big thumbs up for Knitpicks.

Then I just pinned the pieces out. The collar and sleeves are on my blocking board, but we went to the ironing board for the front and back.

The back. The button bands needed major stretch-age. I probably should have gone up a needle size (from US 3 to 4). But I think it will stretch; it's merino after all.

The front. Just wanted to stretch the cables open a little bit here, so they are visible. There was really no way to block out the enormous skirt, because it's so gathered at the waist, so I'm just leaving it to dry. I think it will be fine. I mean, this is a special project and all, but it's going to be worn by an 8-month old baby on a major holiday. She'll be passed around, and sitting and laying on the floor.

But we are not out of the woods regarding the yarn shortage issue. Visible in the upper right corner of that last picture is the little bit of yarn I have left. I can't believe this. I always have so much yarn left over, but this time I am praying to just have enough to seam.

I should really clean my house while these pieces are drying, but Christmas is less than 5 weeks away now...and I can clean the house December 26th, right? Onward to the gift knitting!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sock Knitter's Crack

Oh my God...I just discovered this book and I swear it is like crack for sock knitters...

I want it!!!

Almost Finished...

Dress Update

All right, here are the parts of the infamous Christmas Dress. I still have to somehow squeek out a collar from those puny little balls of yarn there in the middle. The collar in the pattern is a garter stitch monstrosity that I was planning to modify (to moss stitch) anyway, but it looks like it may be modified even further due to severe yarn shortage. I still have to seam this thing! And there's barely any yarn left! Crap, why didn't I do a gauge swatch?!? Oh, who are we kidding, I never do a gauge swatch. Muahahahaha!! I'm insane!!

Closeup of the panic-inducing collar area

No, it's not your eyes. It's a little blurry. I suck at taking pictures. That is really a very little tiny bit of yarn. Why oh why didn't I order some extra? STOOOOOOOPID!

Curl up and Dye

I am OBSESSED, I tell you. Obsessed with making all my cream wool yarn into goofy looking hanks of fruity goodness. I don't know wazzup with these colors, I just opened up random packets of kool aid and, using one of the many little blue booger-suckers you get at the hospital when you have a baby, squirted random colors onto the wool. Super fun! And I finally found a use for some empty baby food fridge is being taken over by little jars of extremely concentrated kool aid. My husband is thrilled with this development.

Ready to Stitch

Here is the new quilt, (almost) ready to sew. I am ready to stitch the shoo-fly blocks (the pieced blocks in the picture). This is a really pretty fabric line, but the fabric choices in the pattern picture are not quite my taste. So thppppppptt! I changed them.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Christmas Dilemma

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas this year is, like, eleventy billion more hours in the day.

And could I get that gift early? Like today, maybe?

Christmas Dilemma

There are two beautiful scarf patterns, the Irish Hiking Scarf from Hello Yarn, and Dad's Sharfik from the amazing Grumperina, that I am contemplating as a gift for the priest who married us and baptized Daughter. We never acknowledged his services monetarily for the baptism, and he thinks it's way cool that I knit (he brought it up during both our wedding ceremony and Daughter's baptism, don't ask me how). So I thought I could maybe whip up a worsted weight, cabley, dark colored scarf for him. Unless that's a weird idea. Which it might be. I'm not sure.

Christmas Dress
Still going. One side of the back bodice to go, as well as the button band and collar. This week, for sure, I swear!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Thanks a lot, Plowguy

I realize that this is Buffalo, and I realize I live just a couple of miles from the shore of a Great Lake, and I realize it is November 18th. Yet I am somehow surprised and obsessed with this big snow dump we've just received.

This is what my car looked like after Husband shoveled it out of the driveway. First he just tried to blast through the snow with his truck, but it was plowed up to both of our tailgate windows, so that was hopeless. He finally realized he'd have to shovel. We'd love to have a snowblower but we're just not quite affording those kinds of neato toys right now.

Good job with that shovel, sweetie!

Meanwhile, I entertained Daughter and baked up a storm (only partly because having the oven on makes the kitchen kind of warm and I don't have to feel like a crappy mom because my baby's feet are cold). I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, date bread, beer bread, and chocolate cake for my mom's birthday tomorrow. I didn't get any knitting done yet today but I did cut out the shoo-fly blocks for the paid quilt. No one wants to see a picture of endless rows of dark red double moss stitch anyway, right? Hopefully by the end of this weekend I'll have completed all the dress parts, so I'll be showing those off.

Everyone is in bed so it's time for mommy to have some quiet time with her knitting.