Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I'm a little out of my mind today. Yesterday we had our kitchen sink entirely replumbed (is that a word?) at the lovely cost of $275. We have a savings account but live each month paycheck-to-paycheck right now - every month we just scrape by without taking from our savings. It's our li'l nest egg and emergency money (we have investments too, for the long term). Needless to say, we cannot wait until our cars are paid off to ease the pain.

Anyway, this $275 has to come from somewhere, so after I paid Mr. Rooter I got on the horn to my old boss to see if she had any sewing for me. Crikey! She gave me like, 6 projects! So I will be buried under a mountain of sewing for the next week or so. I'll try to get here with knitting updates, as that's what I plan to work on for a few hours each night (if I can stay awake, that is). Husband has implemented a new "get up early and be at work between 7:30 and 8:00" plan so we are retiring earlier these days.

Hope you're all feeling more functional than I am today.

Monday, January 30, 2006

try not to be too jealous

Ok, back to regularly scheduled blogging. I really do hope some of you try that test I mentioned yesterday, though. It's extremely interesting.

The title of the post about Daughter eating pasta is from King of the Hill. Peggy makes the same meals each week, and Tuesdays are "spa-Peggy and meatballs." I guess your husbands don't make you watch low-brow cartoons on Sunday nights.

And now for the LOOT!

Hooray! I don't have to return the Waterman book to get this! My mom totally came through. I have my eye on most of the shawls in this book...I'm going to be busy for a long, long time with these patterns.

To go with the book, my awesome parents also gifted me 5 skeins of Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud (laceweight) in 'Stream' and 5 skeins of Knitpicks Shadow (100% merino laceweight) in 'Sunset'. I had already felt up the Shadow as I ordered yarn to knit Adamas, but the Alpaca Cloud is new to me. It is so soft it makes me weak in the knees. The color is heathery and beautiful - deeper than it appears in the picture above. The sun is actually shining today, distorting everything. I am thinking this blue would match my little sisters eyes remarkably well, and also Daughter's (assuming they don't change, which they still might). So either little sis gets a shawl, or Daughter inherits one. The Shadow is more of a russet color than the picture shows, and I think it would suit my mom, a fair redhead, perfectly. Perhaps she will get a shawl as well. I requested 5 skeins of each on my wish list so I would have enough to make things like the Fir Cone Shawl from Folk Shawls, but I still may have too much, even for the big shawls from that book. Maybe I can make a large shawl and also a lacey scarf from each color. Each skein is 440 yards, for a total of 2200 yards of each color.

We're not done yet! From my kickin' little sis (ha, she is 27, not so little) a big box o' more Knitpicks! I'm telling you, if you have a birthday or something coming up, make yourself a wishlist and tell everyone it exists. It's so fun! And you get what you really want!

Anyway, here we have 8 skeins of Wool of the Andes in 'Fern' which is slated to become Secret Garden for Daughter. It's an AS pattern from, I think, The Children's Collection. Please correct me if that's wrong. The color up there is totally wrong...please look here for a better idea. Also in the box were two hanks of Sock Landscape in 'Spring Prairie' - these colors are extremely beautiful and more saturated in real life than in that stinky pic. Finally, there are two skeins of Sock Garden in 'Zinnia'. These socks will require sunglasses for viewing, but I think they'll be cool. These two sock yarns are 100% merino, which means more hand-washing, but man is it worth it. I'll say it
again - merino yarn is made to be worn on the feet. Ahhhhh.

I also want to show off the aprons my mom made. These are reversible, with hemmed grosgrain ribbon ties. Mom has about ten thousand times more patience than I do, so these are simp
ly perfection. The one on the left has a coffee/bistro theme on the front, and on the right, a retro cherries/teapots/bowls pattern.

Here are the backs. The coffee one has fabric depicting market/fruit stands, and the retro one has an all-over cherry print on a gingham background.

My mom is incredible, and I couldn't love her more.

Ok, that's it for the 30th birthday. By the way, I love how Blogger updates your profile automatically so your current age shows up immediately. Nothing makes me feel more 30 than seeing it in print.

I want this to stand out, so it's all bold and stuff. Does anyone want to trade some Lorna's Laces for something approximately equal in value? I have two skeins of sock yarn in Peach (please go to solid colors, page 3), one in a center-pull ball and one in a hank. The hank is about half kinky from the sock I ripped (sorry). I don't think I love this yarn as much as others do, and I'd love to have something else. Obviously, I love Knitpicks products but I also love Fortissima sock yarns. Or it doesn't have to be sock yarn! It doesn't have to be yarn at all, even! Let me know what you have and we'll work out a deal!

Tune in tomorrow for some wips and updates. Nothing finished, but progress made!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

test yourself

I have more birthday loot to share, but that can wait for tomorrow.

Yesterday I took a very interesting test (which I found via Slate.com) that shows a person's racial bias. I don't know exactly who my readership is, but I am guessing many (if not all) of you are middle class-ish white women. You would probably (hopefully) say, "I have no racial bias." But this test will make you really think more deeply about that question. The article I started from is
here. The test is not difficult - it is purely subjective. But parts of it are somewhat complicated to understand if you're distracted. So put the kids down for a nap or wait till bedtime, then sit down with a cup of tea and take this test. It's pretty interesting.

(click on the research tab...it will ask for lots of registration information, but not your name or address...this is not one of those internet scammy IQ test-like things)

I am quite happy to say that my results indicated I do not judge people as competent or incompetent based on race, which I think I already knew. If you choose to take this test I would love to hear what you think of it.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Spa-Peggy and Meatballs*

I know you are all on the edge of your seats wondering what my daughter's eating habits are like these days. Well, last night we had pasta and meatballs for the first time in about two weeks. You may recall what happened last time we tried this meal with Daughter. I figured it couldn't hurt to try again...it's not like she won't have plenty to talk about on the therapist's couch anyway. I cooked the pasta and warmed the meatballs in the sauce. I took out a spoonful of mini-penne, put a sliver of butter on it, sprinkled on the tiniest bit of cheese, and cut each piece in half. I cut a meatball in half and mashed it up. All of this went on a plastic barnyard plate and, without fanfare, I placed the plate on the high chair tray and said, "there you go, sweetie."

Lord have mercy. I haven't seen her eat like that since we first gave her cheese. Sure, she dumped the whole meal onto the tray, but I could care less about that. I try to present the food on the plate to begin with, but I understand her curiosity makes her turn it upside down. That's cool. She did great picking up and feeding herself the pasta and some of the meatball. I sat there with a teeny fork and shoveled in the rest. In the end she ate - are you ready? - TWO meatballs and TWO servings of pasta. That's more meatball than I eat! She had eaten one and a half and showed no signs of slowing down, so when Husband took the last one out of the pot I let him know he'd be splitting it. Anyway, Daughter's Italian grandmothers are smiling down on her with pride, I just know it.

Let's see, what other kid stuff do I have to report? Still not crawling but she will roll herself many times to get across the room. If we hold her hands she will take a halting, sloppy step. She is babbling more and making different sounds, and also likes to take different toys and talk into them/against them, making her voice sound weird. Two of her favorite things to play with right now are a wooden spoon and an empty oatmeal cannister. Who needs baby einstein when you have kitchen items??

That's all on the baby front. As for knitting, I have decided on a personal goal for the olympics. I'm not joining the KAL or anything, I just figure it's a good, reasonable time frame to finish a wip. I started Kinsale (Alice Starmore) two years ago just after my birthday. Mom bought me the yarn as the clothes she bought me didn't fit, so she said I could use the money toward something else (duh, what else would I buy?). I posted about it a while back here, but progress was never resumed due to Christmas knitting. Well, yesterday I pulled it out and started again. It took a few minutes to get back into the groove, but I picked it up pretty quickly. It's amazing how much better a knitter I've become in two years - this sweater seemed much more daunting at the time but now I'm wondering why I didn't finish. All that's left is to finish the sleeves, knit the neckband, and seam it up. I am freaking a little though...I'm on my last ball of Silky Wool and still have all of the aforementioned to complete. I might have to go trolling for another hank on the internet or something. I'm not sure if the store where I originally bought the yarn still carries it. Anyone have experience with Elsebeth Lavold's yarns and dye lot? I'm just picturing the neckband looking crazy different.

Have a nice weekend!

*if you know what this refers to, you win a prize!**

**the prize is my undying admiration for your big brain!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Spaz Attack

Thanks, everyone, for the birthday wishes. I hate to disappoint but we did not go out and par-tay. Once I graduated from college and wrung out my liver I became a bit of a homebody. That and the fact that we don't have anyone we trust to babysit anywhere near us means we stick close to home. It's cool though - Daughter and I drove into Buffalo yesterday to meet Husband, Mom, and Dad for lunch at Romeo's bakery (no website but if you come to Buffalo you MUST visit...1292 Hertel Ave. Write it down. You'll thank me.), we then went to Target to get all the junk we needed (and some we didn't), and finally came home to clean up for my in-laws to visit. My mother-in-law brought dinner and dessert so I didn't have to do any work. Whee!

What's that? You want to see the goods?

I am happy to oblige:

holy books batman!

I know I mentioned this at Christmastime, but I must bring it up again - when a holiday involving gifts is coming up, I give Husband a list of the things I would like the most. In this case it was an Amazon wish list. When will I learn?!? He buys the WHOLE DAMN LIST! And I mean, that's cool and it's so fun to open a big fat box o' books, but he spent a bit more than I wanted him to. He justifies it by saying that 30 is a big birthday and I deserve lots of nice presents. Ok. I can live with that!

Above we have: Handknit Holidays, Last Minute Knitted Gifts, Weekend Knitting, Traditional
Knitted Lace Shawls, and Folk Shawls. Sheeyah! What a haul!

I requested these almost entirely at the recommendation of the internet. Everyone has been making such lovely projects from these books that I had to have them. Now I understand why everyone loves them so, especially Handknit Holidays, which leads me to the title of this post. I started going through this book yesterday morning with my tea (Husband let me open the box on Weds. at midnight), and with each turn of the page my hands shook a little more, my stomach jumped, my heart rate sped up, and I may have even squealed a little. Folks, I want to make almost every single project in this book.

Geez, I'm getting a little shaky just thinking about it again. As I went through it I mentally started
substituting yarns (mostly from Knitpicks - we're on a budget here, remember) and assigning gifts to the people I know and love. Ach! Those over-the-knee socks! The Regal Frost Cushions! The various stockings! The little stuffed animals! The Evergreen and Christmas Rose Gift Bags! The River Forest Gansey! The Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl! That last one is so getting knitted for my mom. I don't do colorwork on a grand scale ever, but for my mother I will learn. This wrap is so gorgeous. There are so very few designs in here that I don't like...I'll be busy for years from just this one book. If you don't have it, obviously I encourage you to get it right now. Go ahead. Place your order, I'll wait.

I am thinking I might return Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls and get A Gathering of Lace instead. Not sure. I have to go through it again and think about it. What? Have I ever knit lace before? Ha. Not really...just a tee-tiny bit of a lace edging out of fine cotton on US1s. But I really liked it and
think I'll continue. I already have the Adamas pattern (by the lovely and talented Miriam) and yarn to knit it, so hopefully lace will be added to my repertoire.

Anyway, I also received two handmade reversible aprons
(which I haven't photographed yet) from my awesome mom, a lovely outfit of gray wool pants, soft pink silk sweater, and coordinating soft pink wool jacket from my in-laws, and a box of chocolates from my bro-in-law and his girlfriend (which I am systematically working my way through this very minute). So far it has been a lovely birthday, with cards arriving from family and friends near and far. One girlfriend even gave me a "gift certificate" for an entire meal that she will prepare and deliver on the night of my choosing. So sweet! I like to cook but the very best meals are the ones I don't have to make.

Oh, before I go - I 'F'd an O' after finishing the kitchen paint job!
kool aid socks!

These are the socks dyed with kool aid that I started a couple weeks ago. The yarn is Knitpicks dye-your-own merino sockweight (fingering weight?), the kool aid is something like switchin' secret, cherry, black cherry, and grape, and the blue was made with McCormick food coloring and vinegar. I knit them on US 2s, 60 stitches, regular ol' heel flap, kitchenered toe. They are about 8" from cuff to heel, and about 9.5" long from heel to toe (I wear an 8.5 shoe). They are awfully hard to photograph for some reason.This shot is a little better:

The color variation is quite interesting and I think it's pretty. I wore these yesterday and I have to say, merino wool is simply lovely for the feet. It makes the handwashing worthwhile.

You must be tired of reading by now. Boy, can I be wordy. As your reward here is a gratuitous shot of my adorable child helping me with the laundry:

The heart-stopping cuteness makes up for the fact that she woke up wailing at 11 last night and would not calm down and go back to sleep until 1am when I finally took her to bed (which we do not believe in as we are afraid we will crush her if we fall asleep), cuddled with her, and sang myself hoarse. Of course she was back up bright and early this morning at her usual time. Schwa-?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I did it...I signed up for Sockapaloooza! I am strangely psyched about this. I hope I get a good pal and some awesome socks out of the deal!

Are you in?


Seriously. Painting a whole room alone = very tiring. Painting a whole room alone while also caring for an infant = something beyond tiring that I cannot explain.

Have any of ya'll tried that Ready-Strip stuff they advertise on TV? They show the lady sticking her hand into the stuff - it's supposed to be uber safe but will eat 5 layers of paint off your woodwork or something. I am thinking I want to strip my ugly kitchen cabinets (see pukey gold below) but I need something very safe (ie not fume-o-rama) due to the aforementioned infant.

Taking a knitting break...can't. paint. anymore.

It is snowing hard and fast outside. I think we're in for a good storm tonight/tomorrow. Good thing I have all that painting to keep me busy.

I'm Painting My Room in a Colorful Way...

...And when my mind is wandering
there I will go...

I may not be here much for the next few days as I have decided this will be home improvement week.

We are going from this:

(puke-tastic gold. much more hideous in real life)

to this:

(Lis Creme, almost the color of butter. hard to capture on film. calm and neutral.)

I simply could not stand to be in my kitchen one more second with that sick yellow-gold on the wall. Stay tuned, regular crafty updates will resume asap.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Whooooooo are you? Who who, who who?

I love The Who! But today we are not talking about that Who.

Today we are talking about:

That's right, Doctor Who. My husband loves Doctor Who and even has an autographed picture of Tom Baker. If you don't know, Doctor Who is one of those shows kind of like the James Bond movies where the actors are different but the idea is basically the same. There have been something like 10 actors playing this dude. It has recently been reincarnated on the BBC, starring Christopher Eccleston, who I think is really cute but I'm attracted to tall, lanky, geeky guys.

Anyway, if you'll notice in that last picture above, the 4th or 5th Doctor sported quite a scarf. The story goes that the director (I think) bought up a bunch of sport-weight wool in random colors and gave it to a lady in the costume department (I think) asking her to make a scarf for the character. She seems to have misunderstood and rather than making a 'normal' sized scarf, she used ALL
of the wool and made a scarf approximately 20 feet long. That's right, I said 20 feet. It wraps around the neck once and hangs to the floor on each side.

What's the point of all this? Husband has asked me to make him an exact replica of this scarf.

picture from doctorwhoscarf.com

Because I am an idiot, I said I would make it. That is how much I love my husband, folks. There is a great (and slightly scary and obsessive) site that tells you exactly how to make the scarf, complete with row counts and everything. My problem is, I don't know what yarn to use to make it. It's supposed to be sport weight. Now, this scarf is designed to hit the ground so I don't want to make it in 100% wool - it needs to be able to go in the washing machine. Superwash would be fine. As would a blend. What do I use?? If the Lion company cared about me and wanted me to be happy they would bring back Wool Ease Sport and that would be perfect, but alas...I don't think my personal happiness drives their business decisions. Also, I refuse to spend hundreds on a scarf that is designed to hit the ground. Around here we don't spend big money on things like that unless they are called tires. So what's a cheap-ish lightweight sport yarn I could use for this? Or, alternatively, I suppose I could use worsted and just knit fewer stitches and rows. The whole project would go a lot faster that way too.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 20, 2006


I have finally dug myself out from under the paid projects that buried me all week. I made two of these:


I did not photograph both (no point...they are identical) but trust me, there are two. I could show you the bags under my eyes from staying up past midnight all week to finish them, but then you would be frightened and never come back.

These quilt tops were strip-pieced, but in the end there are 1551 squares in each. Yowza!

I purposely gave my boss no warning that I would be dropping these off today so she wouldn't have any more work for me right away. I need a break from the roughly 20 hours of sewing I did this week, and if I had new project supplies I'd just feel guilty not sitting down and starting. Plus let's be real here - I haven't knit a stitch this week and it's killing me! The first circus kool aid sock is waiting for toe decreases and Trellis is stalled out at the beginning of a sleeve. Disgraceful!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Only in our Family

We just found out that Husband's 78 year old grandmother was in a drunk driving accident a few days ago.

She was the drunk driver.

(she is fine...no one was hurt)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Pleasant Evening

Today was rough but tonight was better. Daughter ate a great dinner and came out of the whiny mood she was in all day long, Husband actually made it home in time for family dinner (he was late every day last week due to his department moving to new offices), I got the house relatively straightened up, and after Daughter went to sleep I got another quarter of the first quilt done. I should be able to easily finish the first tomorrow morning and at least get a good start on the second (I am making two matching quilts, one for each store location). I am aiming for completion of both quilt tops by Thursday night. Hopefully I will have a photo of the first tomorrow.

Mommy's scraps are fun!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Bad Mommy, then, Good Mommy

So last night I thought I would try to give Daughter a whole meal of "big people food" in place of baby food. I made homemade meatballs so I'd know exactly what was in 'em. I cooked the pasta way, way past al dente so it would be soft for her. I bashed up 1/2 a meatball and made sure it was all cool enough for her to eat. We sat down to dinner and I started feeding her teeny bits of spaghetti and meatballs.

Husband was watching, asking me if feeding her spaghetti and meatballs was really a good idea. I insisted it was, as I've read and heard that at her age she should be able to eat anything we eat, as long as it's not spicy or made up of potential allergens. Also, she is doing a very good job gumming everything I feed her. So she would take a mouthful and then just sit, lips pursed. She sort of chewed, and swallowed, and opened her mouth for more, until after about 5 or 6 bites she started to cry. Her face turned red, tears started pouring down, and her mouth just hung open revealing little bits of meatball. It was the saddest thing I've ever seen.

What a total bummer. She then refused to take anything from me. Husband had to take over and give her applesauce and little pieces of ham, which she happily ate.

Fast forward to tonight. Do you guys have that awesome section in the supermarket where they make rotisserie chickens so you can totally fool your husband into thinking you made dinner? And the counter nearby where you can get everything from potato salad to baked beans? Yep, Daughter and I were there tonight, partaking of the pre-cooked items. I got one of the chickens - they rock, and last time we had one she ate some and seemed to like it. They're small birds, enough for 2 hungry adults or a little family.

We got home and I decided to prepare her a plate. We have adorable little barnyard themed plastic 3-section plates for her so I put little bits of chicken in one section, 5 little strips of American cheese in another, and some cut-up peach in the third. I figured she might try the food and/or flip the plate onto the floor. Doesn't matter...we have a canine vacuum cleaner.

I am happy to report that she inhaled the whole dinner. She was a blur of two little fists grabbing chicken and shoveling it into her mouth as fast as possible. When the chicken was gone she started on the cheese, and moved on to the peaches. I've never seen anything like it. I thought she might still be hungry, so I cut up some more chicken for her. Peeps, she ate half a chicken breast. Husband called to say he was on his way and I told him to hurry it up or there wouldn't be any left for him.

It appears that I am back in her good graces.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A Back, a Sleeve, and a Heel

Thanks again for the advice, Internet! It seems there is no one "normal" baby - every child develops at his/her own rate. I crawled, walked and talked at a young age but my husband never crawled at all, just pulled himself up on the furniture at about 1 year and started cruising. On the food front, yesterday the diapers were a little...ummm...loose, I guess. I am blaming this on the cheese, so we will hold off on dairy until we talk to the doctor next week. I know dairy can damage the intestines if given too early (the digestive system is not mature enough to break it down properly) so I will wait.

Onward to the knitting progress! Last night I finished
the back of Trellis and started a sleeve:

needs blocking!

I also worked most of the heel flap on the kool aid sock:


The heel looks pretty nifty. Here it is up close and personal:

to stripe or not to stripe?

Yesterday it was sunny and 60. Today it is snowing sideways. Winter is back.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hey Jealousy

I did approximately zero knitting yesterday due to running errands with a babe and subsequently collapsing with exhaustion at 8:30 pm. So today we will talk more about baby stuff!

Thanks for your great advice about feeding new things to Daughter, internet friends! I can't fully express how much I appreciate your suggestions. My mom is a wonderful resource, but she raised babies in the 70s and 80s using the Dr. Spock book and times have changed a bit. I was fully weaned to whole milk at 9 months, and also ate only table foods at that age. Today I think the medical community would pooh-pooh only whole milk at 9 months, but we shall find out next week.

Last night I decided that a slice of cheese was unlikely to kill Daughter, so I cut a Kraft single into strips and offered it to her. I happen to think American cheese is foul stuff, only good on cheeseburgers, but my little darling disagrees. She inhaled it. I could not give her the strips fast enough. I almost wept with pride as she figured out how to get the end of the smushed cheese strip out of her right hand with the fingers of her left. When she had finished the whole piece there were only about 4 or 5 little scraps on the tray (where she missed her mouth) for me to scrape up. I don't know why stuff like this floors me like it does...the only explanation I can offer is that she is my first baby and I never know what she will be able to do until we try.

Also, I am proud because these are her accomplishments, and because there are things that many other babies her age can do that she cannot (yet). A few minutes ago I received an email from a good friend whose son was born 6 days before my daughter (we missed each other in the hospital by one day!). He was just over 8 lbs at birth, compared to Daughter's 5.5 lbs. In a physical sense he has developed much faster than she has. This email contained a video of her son crawling around and pushing himself up to sit. He is smiling the whole time, showing off his 4 teeth.


Jealousy rears its ugly head! Daughter a) does not crawl, b) cannot push herself into a sitting position, and c) never ever ever ever smiles when a camera is near. I don't care about the teeth because she is still nursing 3x each day and I don't need her to be chomping down on me with anything other than gums, thanks. And she smiles all the time, just not for pictures.

I know, I know, I should not be jealous or worry about Daughter. She is well within normal parameters. And her method of doing new things is to just do them, with no prior warning (note to self - lower crib mattress). This is how she rolled over to her tummy the first time - she just did it, bam, done! We never saw her try any other time and suddenly she could just do it.

Also, this little boy to whom I am constantly comparing Daughter cannot pick up a Cheerio and get it to his mouth. HA! Take that! (So mean, I know. But I am jealous. See above.) Daughter picks up Cheerios, cheese, and fruit, and gets it to her mouth just about every time. She also holds her own sippy cup - in fact, she grabs it from my hand. She waves, and will initiate "so big." She is also mind-bogglingly capable of entertaining herself with toys/clothing/fringe on a blanket/the dog, so I can get a lot done. Overall I think she is a genius and my brain knows that she is developing normally. Is it unusual that I just get pissed off when other babies can do more physical stuff? I don't know.

Morning naptime has ended. I hear singing from the crib. Maybe we will go for a walk today as it's 56 degrees! In January! In Buffalo! Hope you're having nice weather too.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Progress 'n Stuff

First, I want to thank the girls who come here and comment on child-rearing. This is technically a crafty knitting and sewing blog but I really appreciate those of you who come here to talk babies. Daughter is the number one most important thing in my life and I worry endlessly about what she is doing/not doing/supposed to be doing. It's great to get some feedback from other moms!

Today I want to ask you about food. Daughter is 9 months old next week (the 19th) and I am wanting to start her on some new foods. When did you/when are you planning to start feeding your child(ren) dairy products, such as cottage cheese, whole milk yogurt, american cheese, etc.? How about eggs? Wheat bread? Other table foods like meatballs and pasta with sauce? Daughter doesn't have any teeth yet but she can chew well with her gums, and the books I read say it's important to get babies used to chewing right about now. She eats pieces of banana and peach, as well as cheerios, teething toast, and pastina. We go to the doctor next week and I will
ask their advice at that time. But I also like to hear what other moms of my generation are doing.

And now, here is some knitting:

funky kool aid socks

trellis from knitty

I think I am liking the kool aid socks. There's an interesting striping thing happening, as you can see. The Knitpicks dye-your-own sock yarn is lovely to work with and makes beautiful stitches. I will probably use it again to experiment with dye, but I'm bummed that it's hand-wash only.

Trellis is a great pattern - easy to follow and so far, no errors or anything weird in the pattern. I'm about 11 rows away from finishing the back, but as I watched the opening to Conan O'Brien last night I realized I'd better put the sweater down and head to bed if I wanted to get up this morning.

Obviously the sun is blazing today so Daughter and I are heading out to do errands. It's going to be 52 degrees today! In January! In Buffalo!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Funky cool, or funky weird?

I couldn't help myself...yesterday I cast on for socks using the Knitpicks dye-your-own sock yarn I kool aid-ed to death the other day.

definitely funky...but in a good way?

I basically stuck 1/3 of the hank in a pot of water and kool-aid three times. The greenish color is 3 packets of switchin' secret (my favorite color), the deep red is grape, cherry, black cherry, and a little ice blue raspberry (don't know the proportions, sorry), and the blue is actually 40 drops of McCormick blue food coloring along with a glug of white vinegar in about a quart of water. I did one color at a time and let them simmer gently until the water turned clear. There is a lot of very subtle coloration in the resulting yarn. I think I like it.

we are also patriotic

That's all the news from the Buff. The sun was out almost all day, which did much for my demeanor, but now dusk is a-coming and the forecast calls for rain.

Monday, January 09, 2006


It is so dark here today I cannot even express it. Here is an attempt (taken through my living room window):

sad, no? (we live next to a wooded lot)

I tried to take a photo of Trellis anyway:

that's my shadow

So that's what I accomplished this weekend. I am enjoying knitting with the Sirdar Toddler Aran. It is 100% fantastic plastic but it feels like cotton. The resulting fabric is soft and drapey.

I'm afraid there's not much to say today. It's really dark and gloomy outside and it affects my mood. Hope it's bright and sunny where you live!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Itchy Twitchy

My mom asked me once if I ever have the sensation that my hands just need to knit, like they're itchy-twitchy and knitting is the only thing to do.


Last night, after I fixed my spacebar (an involved adventure in which I snapped off both alt keys by accident and subsequently had to fix all three keys), I managed to knit about 10 more rounds of the second boring brown sock while watching the second half of Revenge of the Sith (not my choice). However, this morning I looked at good ol' boring brown sock and I just couldn't do it. Instead, realizing that Daughter is rapidly growing into and out of her clothing and is now wearing 12-month sizes, I cast on for Trellis.

fresh snowfall, fresh project

Yes, it is startitis rearing its ugly head, but whatever. Life is short and Daughter is growing like a weed. This is Sirdar Toddler Aran yarn in a very pretty blue. Our camera is of the not excellent variety and this is the best pic I could get against the snow. I like this yarn and I am hoping and praying there is enough to make this sweater in the 18 month size. The pattern calls for 5 balls of yarn at 98 yards each: 490 yards. I have two skeins of yarn at 258 yards each: 516 yards. Will I make it with only 26 yards to spare? I guess I like a challenge.

And can I just add that when we had Daughter out for dinner last night, she was dressed in pink overalls, and a shirt with pink flowers on it, yet the restaurant staff called her "buddy" and "little guy." Dudes, seriously. Get a clue.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Ruby Tuesday

I've knit one whole round in the last 2 days. Just been busy with the stuff of life...laundry, cleaning, etc. I did manage to dye a skein of Knitpicks dye-your-own fingering weight yarn last night using kool-aid and food coloring. I think it's the ugliest dye job ever but we'll see when it's fully dry and wound. Photos to come.

In family news, Husband, Daughter and I went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner tonight. It was our first time in a restaurant as a family since July. Daughter is now 8.5 months and can sit in wooden restaurant high chairs. She does tire quickly though, when forced to sit that way through a whole meal. We are so lucky that she will maintain a cheerful mood and eat Cheerios while we eat. She also very much enjoys drinking from a straw.

Unfortunately she ripped the spacebar off my laptop and I can't get it back on, so I am typing and pushing the little blue spacebar nub with my thumb. Very annoying!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Still Going...

I am the energizer bunny of quilting, people. Still sewing strip after strip after strip...

un-pressed strip sets with their selvedges hanging out

I am very bored with this project. I still have 11 of these giant strip sets to finish, then they will be cut in the opposite direction, and sewn together in strips again. BORING. I am not a fancy quilter by any means, but I do like just a little variation in my piecing.

In more fun news, in honor of my big fat important 30th birthday which is just around the corner, I have created obscene wish lists at Knitpicks and Amazon. I sent them to Mom and Husband in the hopes that they will share with others. Knitting is my main hobby with quilting a close second, but I can't very well send people out to buy me fabric, so I am hoping they will supply me with knitting goodness that will last me a looooooooooooooong time. Husband thinks I am crazy and possibly trying to accumulate all of the wool yarn in the western world. Ha! I am indeed a little crazy, but my
stash is actually pretty tame.

There are many things I would love to be knitting, but to sort of 'cleanse the palette' I am making boring old brown socks:

so plain...so brown...so boring

I promise these are actually brown (Knitpicks Essential sock yarn in "Fawn") but it is actually sort of light out today and my camera doesn't know what to do.

Sock #2 is started and hopefully will be finished sometime early next week. Then I have two very cute baby sweaters to make for Daughter. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Slogging through...

I don't really have the time to spend sitting at the computer today, reading blogs and writing my own. And yet, here I am!

Must work on quilt...must work on quilt...must work...

When you have a hobby you love and then someone starts paying you and imposing time limits on that hobby, it becomes a lot less fun.

336 strips of fabric cut and laid out in order

Sewn into 56 strip sets

A long way to go

In a fit of stupidity, I got out a bunch of pretty pastels and 1930s-ish prints I've been hoarding for a zillion years and of course now all I want to do is play with them:

Crappy pic...sorry...soooooooo dark here today

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back to Normal

Ah, Husband has just left for work. Hallelujah, we are somewhat back to normal! Also, the sun is peeking out just a bit, which makes the day look a little more promising.

Our New Year's Eve was fun - we had my bro-in-law and his girlfriend over and we ate ourselves silly. There was much cheese and little sausages from Husband's work gift basket, and chips and crackers and beer and wine and mixed drinks. In short, nothing at all healthy was consumed, and we all felt kind of gross the next morning. But not hung over, thank goodness. We also took several hysterical pictures of Daughter with my beer bottle. That's Klassy with a "K," people.

Last night I got to venture out by myself! Again! It is a rare thing around here. I took myself to Target, and you can bet the car radio was a-blastin' all the way there. Anyway, I was amazed to find that Target still has some quality Christmas items in stock. Witness:

Bag o' bows: $1.24
Gift boxes: depending on the size, less than 10 cents each
Tree skirt: $1.24 (you can't even buy enough felt to make a tree skirt for that price!)
Awesome NOEL stocking holders: $6.24

I am in love with these heavy metal stocking holders! I made 4 coordinating Christmas stockings a couple of years ago, under the assumption that we would probably have two children, but we have never had holders for them. I never wanted to buy them for big $$$, but when everything is 75% off? Absolutely.

The only fly in the Christmas ointment is that my mother-in-law, who simply cannot help but do things like this, bought Daughter a Christmas stocking with her name embroidered on it from Lillian Vernon. It sort of smells like a third-world basement. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, we now technically have five stockings, with one oddball that doesn't match (don't get me started on what this does to my mental state). Luckily, I guess, she also bought a holder for the stocking (also doesn't match, of course...please pass the medication). So I bought the set of 4 stocking holders figuring I can hang the 4 matching stockings and, as I put it to Husband, if we accidentally have 3 children, we're all set. Because my money says we won't end up with embroidered-name Christmas stockings for future children. I know from personal experience that only the oldest child gets that sort of thing.


So there is much to do this first week of 2006. We have a small pile of returns, which I hope to get done in one quick trip to the mall. If someone could explain the Gap's policy of making baby pants so short they don't come down past my daughter's knees, I'd appreciate it. I mean, she is on the tall side, but she's not a freak or anything. What babies are they using for size reference??

Moving on, we also have thank-you notes to send out to the people who left gifts for us at my parents' house but who we did not actually see. This is only a big deal because it necessitates a trip to the post office for 2 cent stamps. I bought about a zillion Muppet stamps when they came out, not anticipating a postage hike. Poo. I could have semi-avoided this problem by not being lazy, and writing the notes immediately after Christmas when the postage was still 37 cents. HA! It would never happen that way.

There is also a library book to return, and a package to drop off at UPS. So if I do it all in one day, that's...let's see...about 4 times I have to drag my infant in and out of the car? Ick.

I also really have to finish that quilt (the strips are all cut, just waiting for me to sit down at the sewing machine), and start mentally preparing myself for my 30th birthday, which is coming up in, oh, 23 days or so.

I should take advantage of the time I have while Daughter is happily playing with her toys and get some work done around here. I hope you all enjoy your first back-to-normal day!