Monday, February 27, 2006


So I had this appointment this morning, nothing big, but I needed my husband to come along so he could sit with Daughter. The plan was to take two cars so Husband could take off directly after my appointment and head to work. We got going on time, which for us is a miracle, and headed onto the relatively major highway we have to take to get anywhere. I was in the lead, and just as I got up to 55 mph.......


The hood of my (2001, not really that old) Jeep slammed open. Yes. At 55 mph. All the way open, hitting the windshield area or at least the frame around it (the windshield wasn't damaged).

Luckily there was not much traffic, and I was able to sort of pull over and put on my hazard lights, but I couldn't see squat so it was difficult to maneuver. I don't think I'm a wussy girl, and I've taken care of myself on many occasions, but I have to admit I don't know quite what I'd have done if my husband hadn't been right behind me. All I could do for a minute there was sit with my hand over my heart, which was just pounding. He was able to close the hood but not all the way - the latches seem to be corroded beyond functionality. Still, we made it the mile or so back to the house.

So. Now my hood is, well...broken. Bent. Dinged. Scratched. And it doesn't close all the way. We are not sure why the safety latch failed - that's what it's there for, after all.

Thank God it wasn't nighttime. Had it been dark, the situation could have been much scarier and more dangerous. This is certainly not the worst thing that can happen in an automobile. And I really wanted to talk about knitting and sewing and my daughter and my weekend but right now I just feel rattled and frustrated...and I'm just thinking that this is one more thing chipping away at our awesome tax return. Boo.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just one more comment about the athletes...

and then I promise I'll stop. Ok, really it's a few comments.
  1. How much do I love Julia Mancuso and her tiara? A lot. Really a lot. She rocks.
  2. The gala skating event always makes me laugh a little...because no one falls on their butt. Though poor skinny little Sasha Cohen didn't do anything that resembled a jump, probably because of her sore leg/groin. I want to bundle her up in a sweatshirt and a blanket and feed her 10 cheeseburgers.
  3. Ok, I'm getting a little sick of Chad Hedrick and his mouth.
The charity knitting is done! Now there are approximately 40 total ends to weave in, which I will leave for the closing ceremonies. I need a day off from the boring knits to start something new. What will that be? Stay tuned!

The Trouble with Divas

Do you remember back in the 80s (I think it was '88) when that black girl was skating for the US - Debi something? Debi Thomas? - and she ended up taking the bronze medal instead of gold and she cried and ripped the medal off during the ceremony and just generally acted like a snotty bitch?

**Edited to add - Sorry! I am wrong...apparantly Debi Thomas handled her loss with grace. My memory is wrong. Thanks Karen, it was indeed Surya Bonaly who pulled off her medal. Like a little booger. :)

Fast forward to 2006, and Irina Slutskaya wins the bronze medal - at the highest, most important competitive event in the world - and though she held it together during the medal ceremony (only crying a little bit while the Japanese national anthem played), it was reported that she subsequenly chucked her bronze into her locker in a snit.

Dude. How many of those girls - Silvia Fontana of Italy, Tugba what's-her-name from Turkey, Poykio, Hughes, Rochette - would give their freaking right arm just to get on the medal podium? I'm sure many of you were moved, as I was, by Tugba's story of her family's sacrifice and hardship to get her to Torino. Neither of her parents were even there to watch her. Her mother didn't even get to see her skate on TV because she had to be at work! So many of these girls give up everything, and their families give up everything, to get them to the Olympics. And Slutskaya, who is no slouch and has enough medals and championships under her belt that she should be very, very proud and satisfied, acts like getting the bronze medal is a slap in the face.

At least Sasha Cohen had the good sense to say she felt the silver medal was "a gift" because she biffed and she knew it. Many other girls skated technically cleaner programs than she did, but they are going home with nothing.

I was a competitive athlete in my teens, and I knew that sometimes I'd be first, sometimes I'd be third, sometimes I'd be dead last. But I always did the best I could and I was always proud of myself and my teammates. As an adult I'm in awe of these Olympians who are capable of such artistry and athleticism. I can barely stand up on a pair of skates. And the thing is, there is a whole generation of young girls gazing up at these champions with absolute reverance. I want my daughter to aim high in her life and attempt whatever she desires, but I want her to do it with a good sportsmanlike attitude and with pride in herself and her accomplishments. And I will be so proud of her, whether she is first, last, or somewhere in between.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Few Questions

I have some questions.
  1. Why do children find that flinging food across the kitchen is totally rockin'?
  2. Why does the dog go freaking bananas wanting to be let out, only to frantically scratch the paint off the door two seconds later in an effort to get back inside?
  3. Why, oh why can't my husband manage to pick up his wet towel and hang it in the bathroom instead of leaving it in a heap on the bed?
  4. And finally, now that the knitting Olympics are coming to a close, what should I knit next?
Number 4 is obviously the important question here. I'm at this point right now:

And I have cast on for the final pair of mittens. I would have more than 8 rows of ribbing knit on the first mitten if Daughter hadn't woken up wailing every hour from 9 until about midnight. She was chowing down on some serious broccoli last night at dinner time and I think it might have caused a bit of a tummy ache. This is a tangent, I know, but it's nights like that when I get really apprehensive about having another baby. Daughter has been an excellent sleeper since she was 8 weeks old but I fear some regression and craziness when the new baby arrives. I like me some sleep, and I don't look forward to enduring several months of sleepless nights again. Because that's what it boils down to - endurance.


We are not talking about babies and sleeping right now - we are talking about me and my knitting. So here we go. I've boiled my options down to just a few, subject to change at my whim. The main point is that after many hats and mittens (boring!) I need to make something a little more interesting. Also, as it is almost March and the sun is actually shining today, I am feeling like I want to knit something with a Spring feel. Since my body is about to vanish again, I want something nice for myself, and soon. And since my brain is also about to vanish, I want to make something interesting while I can still concentrate. Ya'll know, right? Please tell me your brains turned to mush and trickled out of your ears when you were pregnant, so I don't feel alone in my stupid-ness.

Option 1 - Sitcom Chic by Bonne Marie Burns

Looking closely you can see that the copyright date on this one is 2003. I've had it sitting here since then, and I've really been wanting to make it as a cute Spring cardi for myself. It was published in the Spring '03 Knitty.

I found this Cotton-Ease on clearance at JoAnn last year for $1.50 per skein. I got the last six in blueberry with this sweater in mind. This wasn't my favorite color, but it was the only one they had left in quantity. Had I known that Lion Brand was discontinuing this yarn (as well as Wool-Ease Sport, the bastards!) I would have sought out a lot more. The color isn't so right here - the pic showing all the yarn in the bag is better on my screen.

For more technical complexity, I could knit this Faroese Shawl by Marilyn van Keppel, in A Gathering of Lace. I have enough Knitpicks Shadow in vineyard to make this one happen.

And because I figured out the macro function on my camera, here's the detail shot of the Faroese Shawl. Mine would look more like the tan version, as the Shadow yarn is quite fine. I'm considering this one as a way to dip my toes into the pool of lace knitting. I'm not so experienced at it.

And in the "what am I, insane?" category, we have this stunner, the Feather and Fan shawl by Eugen Beugler, from the same book. I have just enough Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in stream to make this one.

Again with the macro! Here's the shawl a little closer. It's so stunningly beautiful that it messes with my brain. I am willing to try this now because frankly, I have to do all the complicated stuff I can before I have two babies to care for. When Daughter was born I basically had to hang up my needles for a few months out of sheer exhaustion. I knit a few stitches here and there just to satisfy myself, but nothing major got done until we were all sleeping full nights and I felt somewhat normal again.

I also have two baby gifts to create before June, and of course I'll want to get knitting some warm stuff for our new babe. Daughter was a Spring baby, so some of her stuff will work for the new one, but we will need some wee sweaters for our Autumn arrival. Oh, and I have the cutest toddler sundress pattern and twelve trillion yards of fabric to make summer clothes for Daughter. And also the hee-yooge pile of paid sewing that I'm plodding through. Which is what I should be doing right now! Yikes!

Have a great day, and if you feel strongly about what you'd love to see me knit next, do leave a comment. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Awhile back I posted a question about a "pop" loom tool that made flowers, which could then be sewn into things like afghans, etc. Several people volunteered suggestions as to what I was talking about...because I couldn't think of what it was called. I totally remember seeing the commercials on TV while watching The Golden Girls (shut up, so we were lame kids).

I was just watching Simply Quilts and couldn't believe my eyes when the commercial in question was played! The product is the Knit-Wit, and it also comes with the Doodle-Loom pom-pom maker. I love it! They've totally resurrected this product, probably because knitting is so big now. If you go to the site (like I totally did) and check out the patterns (ditto), you can actually see some of the afghans and projects from the original commercial, which was something like 20 years ago.

Ah, I love me some closure. Now I can sleep at night.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

***General Apathy and Major Boredom singin' "whatever and ever, amen."

I don't know what it is...maybe the fact that at this point in the winter we've been cooped up in the house too long without enough fresh air and sunshine...but I am so bored. The daily routine has become mind-numbing and I look forward to going grocery shopping just for the change of scenery. It's not too bad outside, just very cold lately, but it's bright enough and the fresh snow is quite pretty. Maybe I should bundle Daughter up and take her out in it for a couple of minutes. Meh. I don't even feel like doing that. Soooooooo bored.

But! Did you watch the ice dancing last night? That whole thing with the frigid Italian woman and her partner who accidentally dropped her? Whoooo! High drama at the Olympic games. It was really very sweet when they finished and she knelt on the ice in front of him. He deserved it since she was such a bee-yatch to him the day before. Their outfits, though? Still a thumbs-down from me. Why can't they just wear something tasteful and not so weird?

Thanks for playing along with the true/false meme. Here are the answers

  1. In college someone dared me to climb up inside the Golden Dome. I snuck up there but panicked when I heard a noise - I accidentally dropped my dad's old pocket knife and wish I could get it back. True story, but not about me. This was my dad. He really did it and got in big trouble, too. My dad is lucky he ever graduated with all the stupid crap he did!
  2. My ex-boyfriend found God and wrote a book about it. I helped him edit it before we broke up, and he dedicated the book to me. This is it! Any of you who are avid readers of Christian literature can pick up a copy of "Permissive Ignorance" and find several references to yours truly throughout. In the dedication/thanks section I am mentioned/thanked just after the author's family. When he mentions the 'girlfriend' in the text, that's me.
  3. I am named after someone famous. Nope. I am named after my two great-grandmothers.
  4. In 1998 I started running, and when I ran the Chase Corporate Challenge in 1999, I smoked the competition and came in 3rd. I wish! I did start running in '98 and I did run the Corporate Challenge in '99, but I was quite slow and just proud of myself for finishing it.
Well, guess I'd better go shower while Daughter naps. Then it's lunch, laundry, vacuuming, groceries, blah, blah, blah. Here's hoping your day is more thrilling than mine!

***Can you name the artist and song? Hmmm? Can you?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday

Man, it is cold today! The weather channel says it's 23 but feels like 10...and we all know that the "feels like" temperature is what matters, right? Crikey! It's darn chilly in the house and I think I might have to splurge today and crank it above 64. I fear for the child, who cannot yet adequately self-regulate her body temperature. She seems warm but why tempt fate?

Dulaan knitting continues apace. Two more hats down, bringing the total to 4. I'm about to cast on for the next pair of mittens. With the Olympics about 62% over, I have 75% of my knitting complete. So far, still on track.

a-buzz buzz

I didn't mean to make hats that look like a bee when put together. They're just the leftovers I had in stash. The black hat is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes (I think the color is called 'coal'), and the blindingly yellow one is Wool Ease in...uh...yellow, I guess.

Special Presidents' Day Olympic coverage has started on NBC - which would be awesome except that I have so much work to do. Amazingly, the bathroom does not clean itself. Nor do the floors vacuum themselves, no matter how much you wish for it.

D'oh! There was just a major wipeout in the bobsleigh races! Oh terrifying it must be to flip that little sled going almost 100 mph. The two women inside are ok - it must have looked worse than it was. Yikes!

Please see yesterday's post and take a guess at my meme so I don't feel like a loser with no friends. I'll give the answers tomorrow. Hope you're all staying warm and cozy today!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

True or False?

I think I was tagged for the true/false meme by least I hope I am the Kate she is referring to! Oh well, this blog is all about me anyway, so I'm a-gonna do it. Plus it's my first meme! Me! Me!

Ok, if you want to play along, guess which one of these is true:
  1. In college someone dared me to climb up inside the Golden Dome. I snuck up there but panicked when I heard a noise - I accidentally dropped my dad's old pocket knife and wish I could get it back.
  2. My ex-boyfriend found God and wrote a book about it. I helped him edit it before we broke up, and he dedicated the book to me.
  3. I am named after someone famous.
  4. In 1998 I started running, and when I ran the Chase Corporate Challenge in 1999, I smoked the competition and came in 3rd.
Dude, you know what's hard? Making up stuff about yourself. Most have already done this meme, methinks, but I'd like to hear from Staci and Scout (if they haven't done it yet).

Saturday, February 18, 2006


I am cranking away at my Dulaan knitting with renewed energy, and here is why:

Thursday morning, I bundled Daughter into the car quite early, and we zoomed off to our big, fancy grocery store to seek out baby formula. I fully intended to buy every can on the shelf if need be, and in fact I did come home with about 6 kinds. We got in line to check out - a quick operation at 8:30 in the morning. There were only a couple of lanes open, and we jumped in behind a woman and her little girl. The woman looked to be a few years older than I, and the girl was perhaps 4. She was riding in the seat of the cart. The woman had a puffy jacket on (Buffalo Bills, maybe) and the little girl, a purple winter coat and a black, blue and red hat. The first thing I thought was that it looked like a man's hat - it was a bit big on her head and the colors were incongruous with the rest of her outfit. She had on clean white and pink sneakers and was quite adorable.

The mother was buying just a few things - maybe some cereal and juice and milk. I plunked my cans of formula, jars of baby food, bananas, soy milk, and whole milk on the conveyer (I bought everything I could to mix with the formula to make it taste better). You know how it is in the checkout, especially when the store isn't totally eavesdrop. Right? I hope you all do that too, or else I feel like a real tool. Anyway, she went to pay with a plastic card and said to the cashier, "this is food do I do it? I've never been to this store before."

Aw, man.

I complain occasionally on this blog about being "poor." I really have no right to do so. Husband does not make a million dollars, but we are able to pay our bills. We are able to heat our home (even if it's not quite as warm as we'd like), and we can put gas in our cars. We can buy diapers (generic to save a's a secret: they absorb pee and hold poop just as well as the name brands), we can buy daughter warm clothes when she outgrows what she already has. I am even able to buy 6 different kinds of formula and soy milk (quite pricey!) to cater to my daughter's tastes. Yes, there are months when we have to dip into our savings, but at least we have the savings there to catch us when the jeep breaks or the explorer needs new tires (I know, nice cars...but they are not new and you need 4wd in Buffalo). And yesterday, on the way back from the doctor's office, we stopped at Denny's for a little celebration brunch, not really thinking twice about dropping the 20 bucks. When I go to the grocery store, I know I can buy what I need to feed my family nutritious meals, and even occasionally a few treats.

And I complain about not really being able to buy nice yarns to feed my knitting habit, but really, if you saw my stash of yarns and fabrics, you wouldn't feel sorry for me. When I get a good look at it, I actually feel a little embarrassed at the bounty.

So after having that little supermarket scene rolling around in my head for the past couple of days, I have attacked my Dulaan commitment with a slightly different attitude. Hat #3 is almost complete, with hat #4 to quickly follow. After that it's onto the mittens, and then I think charity may become a bigger part of my knitting and sewing. Perhaps one charity item per month or so, at least until bebe #2 arrives and my schedule goes haywire.

Please consider doing something like this if you are able. We are all just a few paychecks or financial hits away from needing food stamps and charity, really. I'd like to think if my family fell on hard times, someone would do what they could to help us.

Friday, February 17, 2006

In which I barely manage to refrain from spitting 4-letter words

First, thank you to those who commented regarding breastfeeding and pregnancy. Your support was and is so important. This blog community affords us the opportunity to become "friends" through our words and experiences, and it's wonderful to know there are a few of you out there who will take the time to ease my fears and offer suggestions. You don't know me but you want to help anyway...I think that's amazing.

I went to the doctor this morning to be checked out, and yep, there's a pregnancy. It is still SO early - only about 6 weeks - and I don't plan to give a blow-by-blow of every little thing that happens between now and October 3 (current estimated due date). No one wants to hear that much about a pregnancy for that long! Besides, until we have an initial sonogram (in about 1.5 weeks) we won't even know if the zygote is alive and well. (Funny word, zygote. Don't you think?)

But anyway, here is why I currently have the desire to run around screaming swear words: I spoke to the doctor about the fact that I am currently nursing Daughter a couple of times per day (after buying every formula on the shelf I found one she will sip), and he was like, "ok." He did express a bit of concern about the thyroid medication I've been taking and its effect on a nursing infant, but then he looked it up in his little PDA (which apparently contains a medical encyclopedia!) and confirmed that the
drug is approved for breastfeeding. Do you see the point here? He says it is fine to continue breastfeeding Daughter as long as I am comfortable doing so.

Goddammit!!! This is one reason why I don't always like going through nurses on the phone instead of speaking directly to a doctor. I wasted no time in telling him which nurse I spoke to on the phone whose reaction to me was, "oh no, no,, no! You have to stop breastfeeding immediately!" And he seemed genuinely puzzled by it. He did say he'll have to speak to her about that, and that everyone has their own opinion about breastfeeding and pregnancy. But there is no medical reason to stop.

That nurse doesn't know what she put me through, mentally and emotionally, for the past 4 days. I'm sure she didn't mean to upset me so much, but the fact is that she did, and I don't appreciate that
she used her own personal opinion against me with such force, making me believe it was the doctor's opinion as well. I went to my appointment this morning with my stomach churning, my mouth dry, and my hands sweaty, thinking I'd be berated for continuing to nurse, and for not managing to wean in two seconds. What a waste of energy. Let this be a lesson to you, internet. Don't just stop at a nurse's opinion! Get to the doctor! (**Edited to add: I realize this might sound like a rant against nurses. It is not. I LOVE the nurses at this practice; in general they are gentle, kind, and understanding. I don't want anyone to be offended by my comments!**)

Just because I've been walloped by some personal news this week doesn't mean I've been neglecting my Olympic challenge. I'm a competitor, baby! I've still got my goal of 4 pairs of mittens and 4 hats for Dulaan. Granted, it's taken me most of this week to finish a pair of mittens, but now that things are under control on the pregnancy/nursing front, I'm ready to keep cranking out the knits. Here's where I am so far:

Two hats and two pairs of mittens, all still needing ends woven in. I'll get to that later on. These will all have to be washed and blocked, especially because I caught Daughter sucking on one of the green mittens yesterday. I don't think baby spit increases the insulating value of handknits.

After blasting out two pairs of mittens I'm a little mitten-ed out, so I'll be whipping up two more hats now. Time to dig through the big bin o' leftovers for some hat yarns!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Help Me

Ok, so yes, I seem to be pregnant (going to the doctor on Friday to confirm and all that, but come on, I know I am). I promise this is not going to turn into a whiny blog about baby problems, but I'm having an issue and what better resource is there than all my invisible friends on the internet? I need your help, ladies!

I'm not up for going into the whole story right now, but I really fought to get Daughter to breastfeed successfully. She last drank a bottle of formula the night we came home from the hospital, and since then it's been nothing but breastmilk (w/ solid foods of course). I never could get her to take a bottle again once she figured out how to latch onto me, but that was ok. I had no other plans than to be home feeding and caring for her. Plus, holy cow, formula is expensive! So it was a cost-saving measure too.

But! Now my doctor is adamant that I discontinue breastfeeding daughter right away. In fact, the nurse I spoke to wanted me to do it by the end of the week! HA! Show me a woman who can wean in 4 days, please. I'd like to shake her hand. But I understand the concern, and since Daughter was on the small side when she was born we want to give this baby all the advantages we can, so I'm willing to wean Daughter early.

The problem, of course, is that she hasn't had a drop of formula in oh, almost 10 months. And she HATES IT. I bought a small can of Nestle Good Start Supreme (with easy to digest comfort proteins...yummy!) based on the online reviews. People said it has the best taste and their kids just love it. But not my kid. She is used to getting water and juice in her cup, and today at lunchtime when I put this cup of formula in front of her she picked it up, eyed it suspiciously, looked at me, and took a tentative sip. Then she threw it on the floor. She also made a horrific gagging sound and shuddered. Ok! Wonderful! I tried it warm, I tried it room-temp, I tried it with an ice cube in it (thinking if it was super cold she might not be able to taste it so much). I even threw some juice in with it, thinking it might fool her into drinking the stuff. Nope.

Internet, PLEASE HELP ME. I am getting really nervous about Daughter's nutrition. Dammit, I want to just give her whole milk, but since I can't do that, I have to do this formula crap. Do you have any tricks? Is it better mixed with something else? Is there a brand that tastes better? Can I sweeten it somehow so it's more like breastmilk? I would cut the formula with breastmilk but I don't even have any in the freezer...I never needed it, and I can't start pumping now. That would sort of defeat the purpose of all this.

Please, oh please give me some ideas.

**Edited to add: I have been researching this issue feverishly this afternoon and you know what? There's a boatload of support out there saying it is ok to nurse while pregnant. It's only for 2 more months, and I've been doing it for one month now without even knowing it...Daughter really nurses so little anyway. She does less than 5 mins each side and she's done, and I am confident we can go down to twice per day now (morning and night) with some formula mixed into her cereal, disguised with fruit, until we can go to whole milk. My lactation consultant also said I can make up some of the calcium and whatnot with yogurt and cheese. I think I'll take this argument to my ob/gyn appointment and see what happens. What choice do I have? I can buy a can of every formula on the store shelves and they're all going to taste like crap.
My doc is older, and this may also be a CYA issue, but I have to provide nourishment to my child.

Thank you for your input!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Whoa baby!

  1. Wonder why period seems to be late.
  2. Tell self, "cannot be pregnant, cannot be pregnant."
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for about two weeks.
  4. Buy pregnancy test while grocery shopping just to prove point.
  5. Take pregnancy test.
  6. Wait 3 minutes.
  7. Hyperventilate when line appears after ten freaking seconds.
  8. Call husband in hysterics.
  9. Take extra test in the "bonus pack" to be sure first test wasn't defective.
  10. Realize tests are perfectly fine.
  11. Call 57 doctors to make appointments for ob/gyn exam and to figure out what/how much thyroid medication is safe and necessary to take while pregnant.
  12. Immediately begin weaning child #1.
  13. Weep.
  14. Pray.
  15. Begin coming to terms with the fact that child #1 will be barely 18 months old when child #2 arrives.
  16. Realize that this is a miracle.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tending the Earth

I gotta get out of bed
Get a hammer and a nail
Learn how to use my hands
Not just my head
I'll think myself into jail
Now I know a refuge never grows

From a chin in a hand and a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth
If you want a rose
...indigo girls

I'm tending the earth in my own way during these here Winter Games:

Two hats (one small, one quite large) and one pair of mittens (roughly pre-schooler size). The cream hat is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in cloud, which was ordered for a Christmas gift but not used. The red is some old leftover Galway that was sacrificed for my first attempt at kool aid dye. It came out a really scattershot red with lots of variation, and knit up it actually looks kind of nice. Both hats are 100% wool and will hopefully keep two children very warm. The mittens are Encore worsted, using what I had left from adult-size mittens I made for my potential-future-sister-in-law, back in '04. I had just enough...there are only a couple feet left over. But the idea here was to use up some of the oddball leftovers in my closet.

I'm doing pretty well, I think, for being 3 days in. I would have done more, but Saturday ended up being crazy and yesterday ended up being a day of rest, laundry, cleaning, etc. I just didn't do the knitting I wanted to.

However, ya'll must have sent some good tax mojo my way, because our refund is going to be HEE-YOOGE. This does not put us in a much better financial position overall, unfortunately, because most of it will go straight into our IRA, which hasn't seen a contribution from us in several years. Now that we have a child, we are much more nervous about saving for the there goes the lion's share of the refund. We'll use some of the remaining to re-pad our savings account, which took a severe hit in the last year due to home, auto, and child expenses.

Hub and I agreed we can each have a little tiny bit of cash to do with what we please, as a reward for being pikers all year long. I bet I end up using mine for Daughter. Husband wants me to buy something "nice" for myself but I already have a serious s.a.b.l.e. problem with both fabric and yarn, so the idea of buying more craft supplies doesn't really turn me on. I guess I'll just save my money for a rainy day or a sweater I really, really want to knit sometime in the future. Or I'll buy clothes for my kid.

Hope all your knitting (Olympic or otherwise) is going well. And if you're buried under mucho snow right now, all I can say is, hahahahaha, it's your turn! Just kidding...I know how this paralyzes a place like NYC and I hope it clears quickly for you.

But speaking of people who are snowed in (lame segue), how cool is it that Emily Hughes (sister of Sarah, 2002 gold medalist) gets to go skate for the USA? It's sad for Michelle Kwan, but it's not like she doesn't have a heap o' medals and awards already. She wouldn't have achieved gold anyway, as her body was in no shape to be pushed that hard. I admire her courage in making the decision to give up her place on the US skating team.

Also, I'm not very interested in snowboarding in general (I have never felt the urge to rocket down a hill on anything but a sled, and not even that since I was about 10 years old), BUT how awesome is it that Shaun White pulled it out last night to get the gold medal?!?

And one final Olympics-related comment. Before we went to bed last night, NBC was announcing the following day's coverage, and Bob Costas with the dead eyes let us know we could catch Olympic curling live at 3 a.m. eastern. "Awesome, honey," I said to Husband. "You'll have to set your alarm for that most exciting event. I know you don't want to miss it - and it's live coverage!" (No offense meant to any of you who curl, it's just not that riveting to watch.)

HA. Guess who was up at 3:30 a.m. with a crying baby?

Anyway, time to cast on for mitten #3.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Off to a Good Start

The opening ceremonies are just about over. I have one complete hat and about 2.5" of the second to show for it. Photos tomorrow.

A few thoughts on the ceremonies:

LOVED the thing where they made the giant skier! If you missed this...well, you missed a really cool thing.

LOVED the way they brought up the Olympic rings. It gave me big chills. AWESOME.

HATED those doofy hats the Americans are wearing. Ugh.

CONFUSED by what Peter Gabriel was wearing on his head. I lurrrrrrrve Peter Gabriel and want to kidnap him, keep him in my closet, and make him sing for me at my whim...but I just can't get behind the - what? do-rag?

Also, if you read my 100 things (but of course you did! I am so interesting!), you will note that I am Italian. I surprised myself by being quite moved and proud that these games are being held in Italy. Yesterday I had to have some blood drawn and I sat in the waiting room next to a young pregnant woman and her mother. They were yakking away in Italian...and not just Italian, but Sicilian. Sicily is the land of my people. I was so jealous, as no one in my family can speak a word anymore. Anyway, hearing all the Italian being spoken on my TV just made me feel a weird...I don't know...connection, or something. Maybe that sounds dumb.

I am debating whether to push onward with hat #2 and watch the local news, or just go to bed. My wrists are a little sore from knitting so quickly and constantly today, so perhaps I should rest. We are having our taxes prepared at noon tomorrow, so I'll want to be alert-ish for that. Think "huge refund" thoughts for me!

Let's see your Olympic progress!

Get Ready...Get Set...

First I want to thank you all for the nice comments about Trellis. It was a totally fun sweater to knit, and I highly recommend the pattern to someone with at least a moderate amount of knitting experience. I think I'm going with plain ol' wooden buttons so they won't compete with the knitting itself. I tried the sweater on the child yesterday and it is too big, which is great - I was aiming for her to wear it this spring, summer and hopefully a little bit of autumn.

Second, a couple of you said you had some stuff in common with me from my 100 things. Peeps, ya' can't leave me hangin' like that! What do we have in common? Did your husbands propose to you in the supermarket too? My inquiring mind wants to know!

All right, on to the Olympic challenge. Real quick, head over to see Scout's supplies for Odessa. That hat's gonna rock the party, and I totally want it. What do I have to do to get you to send it to
me, Scout?

I spent my aimless night pulling patterns and supplies together for my personal Dulaan challenge. A quick trip to the library for Ann Budd's book and I'll be set. I can't believe I don't have a pattern for a child size mitten knit in the round. I can't believe I'm so lazy I won't sit down and figure it out for myself. Oh well, Ann Budd already did the work for me I guess.

supplies, ready to go

And for those of you who come here for the kid stuff: Daughter still refuses to do anything that resembles crawling. But! She will now fixate on an object, get it in her sights, and roll over 'n over 'n over 'n over till she reaches it. Which is cool, but also dangerous. We have two wide, flat steps in the family room (leading up), which she will roll to and use to try to pull herself up. I'm happy to see her try, but now begins the 'watch like a hawk' stage of parenting that will last till she's oh, about married.

apparantly rolling to the tv stand and rubbing your feet on it feels good

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Do ya'll have this problem? I finished Trellis and now I don't know what to do. I have Kinsale and Brown Sock to work on but I just don't feel like picking them up.

I suppose I'll go get my yarns and needles together for tomorrow's start! I'm shooting for 8 mittens and 4 hats in 16 days, all for Dulaan.


My old email address was not working properly so I've got a new one. See sidebar. Thanks!


I finished Trellis late last night - much to late to take photos and post them. So I did 100 things about me instead. Would it be terribly conceited of me to admit that was really fun? I mean, I could probably have done 100 more, but I tried to pick out the ones that would interest someone other than me.

Anyway. Trellis!


This is a great pattern.

a better view, and a more accurate shot of the color

the back

Wayne's World unneccesary zoom!

sleeve-y goodness

So that's Trellis. I think it took exactly one month from start to finish...I want to say I cast on January 8 or 9. Specs:

Pattern: Trellis from
Yarn: Sirdar Toddler Aran in 'putty' (a pretty blue with a hint of gray and green...which really does look a little like bathroom putty now that I think about it)
Needles: US 7, 14" wooden from Peace Fleece (can be found here by scrolling down)
Gauge: we've talked about my issues with gauge before, right? i wing it, baby
Mods: none

I said a day or two ago that the only thing that bothered me about this pattern was the collar, but that was before I constructed it. It is now my favorite part of the sweater - it's freaking brilliant, really, the way you knit it and sew it down, which makes it turn back all by itself. Awesome.

The only thing I might change if I knit it again is this: instead of all the garter stitch I might try moss stitch. I love the look of moss/seed stitch. I don't know if this would negatively impact the elasticity of the sweater, though. I'd have to try it and see.

Also, I have to say that the Sirdar toddler aran yarn is nice to work with. It feels just like cotton despite being 100% plastic. At $7 per ball (at my LYS anyway) it is no bargain for acrylic, but still, $14 for a baby sweater isn't too bad.

Now it needs buttons. Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Way More Than You Want To Know

100 things about me, me, me!!

  1. My name is Katherine, and when I was little I was called Katie. I switched to Kate at about 15 and still get really pissed when people call me Katie, though I can't really explain why.
  2. I was such a tomboy.
  3. I have never been girly, ever.
  4. I only started wearing makeup regularly when my friend's mom gave me a Mary Kay makeover during my junior year in college.
  5. I hardly ever wear makeup now.
  6. I am Italian and Irish.
  7. We only really 'do' Italian stuff.
  8. I have brown hair but most people think it's black.
  9. I have extremely fair skin.
  10. I have a master's degree in education.
  11. I hate thong underwear.
  12. I met my husband in a bar.
  13. While I was out with another guy.
  14. My husband proposed to me in the supermarket.
  15. My wedding dress cost less than my bridesmaids' dresses (each).
  16. I insisted on a small wedding and got my way (97 people including the wedding party), even though my mother-in-law's original guest list alone (120) was much longer than the final tally.
  17. I hate malls.
  18. I love to shop online.
  19. I have been knitting since I was about 8 years old.
  20. I learned when I was home sick with the chicken pox and my mom needed to give me something to do.
  21. I also crochet, embroider, and sew.
  22. I feel recycling is important.
  23. But I don't always do it.
  24. I talk too fast.
  25. I am excellent at doing math in my head.
  26. I also have excellent reading comprehension skills.
  27. I have had one poem published.
  28. The day of my daughter's birth was the best day of my life.
  29. I am often overly emotional.
  30. I twirl my hair obsessively when it is long enough.
  31. I have done this since I was a baby in the crib.
  32. I don't care if my daughter grows up to be beautiful, but I pray she is smart.
  33. I love root beer.
  34. I always have a cup of tea nearby. Always.
  35. I hate decaf anything.
  36. But I drink it because I am breastfeeding my daughter.
  37. I think every woman should breastfeed if it is at all possible.
  38. I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years.
  39. I have a varsity letter.
  40. My biggest regret is not joining anything in college.
  41. I studied for one semester in Perth, Western Australia.
  42. Mostly we didn't study, we went to the beach.
  43. I went through gallons of sunblock in Australia.
  44. I was a vegetarian from age 21 until I got pregnant.
  45. I craved only one thing while pregnant: ham.
  46. I have eaten a ham and cheese sandwich almost every day since I found out I was pregnant.
  47. I'm not a vegetarian anymore.
  48. I adore english muffins, toasted till crispy, with butter.
  49. I don't like flavored coffee creamers.
  50. I hate bugs.
  51. I am afraid of the dark.
  52. I would rather knit than do anything else.
  53. Except play with my daughter.
  54. I like to cook.
  55. I'm good at it.
  56. I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
  57. I hate vacuuming.
  58. I love fireplaces and woodburning stoves.
  59. I am obsessed with Little House on the Prairie.
  60. I love to read.
  61. I have tons of books.
  62. Even after giving away more than half of my collection to the Buffalo library system.
  63. I like chocolate.
  64. I really like sour candy.
  65. I love granny smith apples.
  66. I dislike delicate crystal, china, and silver.
  67. This was a major problem between me and my mom when I got married.
  68. I prefer primitive, chunky, antique-y pottery type stuff.
  69. I am good with money.
  70. I refuse to mow the lawn.
  71. I hate to garden but I do it anyway.
  72. Because I love having colorful flowers in front of my house.
  73. I like men to have very short hair.
  74. I love John Cusack.
  75. I think Shel Silverstein was absolutely brilliant.
  76. I am a conservative republican most of the time, but not always.
  77. I think Bush is a dim bulb.
  78. I am Roman Catholic.
  79. And I'm ok with that.
  80. I don't go to church anymore.
  81. I try not to fear the future.
  82. Or dwell on the past.
  83. But I have been known to google ex-boyfriends on occasion.
  84. I've always had more/better friends who were male.
  85. I don't have a favorite color.
  86. I prefer cats to dogs.
  87. My first pet was a fish named Elizabeth.
  88. When I was 17 I went to Harvard Summer School.
  89. Which is when Boston became my favorite city of all time.
  90. I've only been west of Chicago once.
  91. In 2001 I spent a week in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands by myself.
  92. I have an unhealthy love for jigsaw puzzles of 1500 pieces or more.
  93. I used to teach preschool.
  94. I am extremely phone-shy.
  95. I played the bassoon in high school.
  96. I like to watch educational television.
  97. I don't like movie theaters.
  98. I have two sisters, both younger.
  99. We all went to the same college.
  100. I store massive amounts of useless trivia in my head.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Rest in peace, old Dell laptop. You were an excellent companion and we browsed the internet, so happy together, for many years. You won't really be missed.

Why not? Because I have the rockin'-est husband EVER and a mere 24 hours after good ole laptop was knocked off the couch (I know, I know, it shouldn't have been precariously perched there in the first place), I have been outfitted with a fancy new (old) one! Husband is a Computer
Guy, and when he does work for people they often give him their old stuff. So our house is a computer graveyard but! it comes in handy in situations like this.

The only problem is the T key is have to push it really hard to make it work. I can live with that - hey, free laptop.

So I finished up Charlotte Simmons this afternoon. I have to say, it was pretty good but damn, that Tom Wolfe is a wordy bastard! And really, enough with the swears. I can just picture him sitting there in his all-white getup, gleefully typing f-bombs, really capturing the spirit of college kids everywhere. Or something. Anyway, it's a decent story if you stick with it for the first 400 pages or so. The action picks up after that.

Trellis: almost finished. I've seamed and now I have to knit the collar. The only thing I don't like about this pattern so far is the collar, which is knitted up from some held button band stitches, and then sewn down. I probably could have altered it in some way but I'm not that ambitious. I predict it
will be finished tomorrow.

Here is some sewing!

badly cropped photo

This is a personal project (not a paid one) - Martha's Tree, I think. It was the "mystery project" from the employee appreciation party at the shop where I worked. I finally got around to piecing it. Not sure how I will quilt it yet. Possibly by hand.

closeup (again with the bad cropping)

BIG flower

This is a paid project. There will be 2 the same, pieced and buttonhole stitched. I don't get to pick the fabrics for the paid stuff. There are lots more projects I'm working on, but they're all in various states of completion.

Blogger totally just ate the rest of this post and I don't want to re-type it, so I'm off to bed. Damn you, Blogger! I shake my fist at you!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Monday Schlock

Knitters (and everyone else, for that matter), look at this shawl. All I can think when I look at it is "air." So light, so beautiful. Perfection.

We didn't watch the superbowl - Hub had work to do so we just listened to my very favorite music station of all time - it's like easy listening for the alternative set. Lots of cool Edie Brickell, some Tori Amos, Norah Jones, a little Dave Matthews, and generally awesome coffee house versions of all the best songs.

Anyway, I knit away on Trellis for most of the weekend, but didn't meet my goal of finishing the pieces. I'm about halfway through the right front, which is the last portion to knit. Then I have to block, seam, and knit the collar. I'm hoping to finish the knitting tonight, but we'll see. No photos as it's dark and stormy today so they'd be crappy anyway.

I've also been working on the pile o' paid sewing projects - most are almost complete and I'll try to photograph them today or tomorrow. Karen asked to see some sewing and I'm happy to oblige.

In addition, I'm slogging through I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. I took it out of the library sometime around New Year's Day and have renewed it once already. I made it to page 420 this morning, so I'd really like to get through the last 200, just to see if Charlotte finally gives it up, if ya' know what I mean. Also, the rest of the story is pretty good...except I don't like Tom Wolfe's way of explaining everything to death. I know he traveled to many campuses and did lots of research to make the representation of college life as authentic as possible, but some of it is a little over the top. Also, he tends to write like and old person writing for another old person. An example (my own words, not a quote from the book) would go something like this: The students were engaged in "moshing," a type of dancing taking place at wild rock concerts in something called a "mosh pit." One girl screamed, which is a high-pitched sound emitted from the throat, often in excitement or fear.

Sometimes it's almost enough to make me want to throw the book down in disgust, but I persevere because the story is ok.

It's freezing here - in the 20s (which is still pretty mild for Buffalo for this time of year). We have the heat at an astounding 64 degrees, but our old crappy boiler and not-quite-right thermostat and drafty, shabbily constructed house combine to make it much cooler than that. I put Daughter to bed in a union suit, blanket sleeper, and socks, and cover her with a light fleece blanket, a light wool blanket (koigu...delicious), and the quilt I made before she was born, folded double to make it smaller. I also fill a hot water bottle and tuck it under the covers. We keep a thermometer in her room to monitor the temp (see boiler/thermostat situation above) and last night I freaked out when I saw it was only 60 degrees in there. I don't know if that qualifies as child abuse, but it has to be close. Husband and I said, "budget be damned!" and cranked the heat up a few degrees.

We are really wishing we had a woodburning fireplace/stove to cut down on heat costs, even if we only used it in the family room during the day. Right now we have one of those 'fake' fireplaces where you flip a switch and a 'flame' appears, but it burns through gas the whole time you have it on. We can't justify its use, so it sits there. At the beginning of this winter we considered having it removed and selling it, to pay for installation of a wood stove. But that would require the rebuilding of the wall, additional brickwork, and the cost of the stove itself, so we deemed it too expensive. But I can tell you this - we will never again live in a house without a woodburning fireplace or stove of some kind. And if gas prices stay where they are, we may still go with replacing the faker fireplace. After paying two $300 gas bills in a row (for my 1500 sq. ft. house) I am thinking the switch might be worth it. How are ya'll doing it? Are heating costs smashing your budget too?

Saturday, February 04, 2006


If this doesn't make you tear up, I can only assume your heart is a cold black lump.

I think I might revise my Olympics plan. Now that I understand the winter games start next Friday (instead of yesterday as I'd originally thought...dur), I may just finish up all I can on my current wips before then, and knit hats/mittens/etc. for the Dulaan project during the games. I was going to knit for myself and for Daughter (2 sweaters that have been waiting patiently in the stash for almost a year) but I realize we have enough warm clothes to keep us comfortable in our drafty house. There are cold babies and children in the world who need our knits. I'm thinking if I really work fast I can make at least 4 hats and 4 pairs of mittens in 2 weeks (child size).

Who's with me?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Oh Dear God

If you think you're having a bad week, go read the last 4 or 5 entries by Imperfect Mommy.

I just want to hug her. Once she isn't contagious, that is.

Pack 'n PLAY

*Disclaimer - this post contains my opinion only. I am not telling you how to raise your child!*

edit: I don't mean to sound like a neglectful mother or anything in this post. I don't just dump my kid in the pack 'n play and ignore her for the day...I only meant to justify its use. If you read regularly you'll know that Daughter is the light of my life and there is no greater joy than holding and playing with her.

I was reading Daring Young Mom today (you should too, she's hilarious and poignant) and she talked about finally putting her infant son in the Pack 'n Play so she could regain some sanity and get work done.

I clearly recall my baby sisters playing in the "playpen" (as they were called in the 70s and 80s) so that my mom could cook dinner, take a shower, breathe, etc. And I use my pack 'n play religiously.
My daughter is just over 9 months old but I have been putting her in there to play since she was really wee. She napped in the bassinet part quite often for the first few months, and when she could sit up I started propping her in there with pillows and some toys. Now she sits perfectly and, as she has shown no inclination to pull herself up, I sit her up in the bassinet and let her play solo. I figure she is learning independent play in a safe environment. If I put her on the floor to play I have to worry about the dog getting too close or Daughter rolling herself somewhere unsafe. I reserve floor time for when she has my undivided attention.

I can tell you honestly that she will sit there playing intently for up to one solid hour (though I don't often leave her in there that long). She is very serious and industrious about her play, moving toys around and talking to them. When she's really into it I hear her whispering, "hoh noh noh noh, hoh noh noh noh." I play music at a low volume all day and sometimes she'll stop playing, look up, and
start bouncing along with the song. It kills me every time.

Anyway, my point is that people shouldn't feel guilty about putting their kids in the pack 'n play. I mean, after all, the thing has "PLAY" right in the name. When I was pregnant all the 'old school'
moms (my mother and her contemporaries) would ask me if I planned to use a playpen. This was the single greatest, most oft-repeated advice I heard from them - that I should embrace the playpen. I admit, I didn't know if I liked it at first. It seemed like I was putting my daughter in a cage or something. But she is perfectly happy in there, she can see me (over the top or through the mesh sides), and most importantly she is safe. Let's be honest - we have ALL reached a point with our babies where we are losing it and need a breather. The pack 'n play is the safest way to contain the child and give the mother a very necessary break.

Sometimes when I'm feeling the stress, I plunk her in there and sit on the couch (like 3 feet away from her) and knit a few rows.

Anyway, that is totally only my 2 cents.

And now, some knitting!

What? This is a knitblog? Sometimes ya' wouldn't know it. I have indeed been plugging away on my wips at night when I'm too tired to sew. My goal, however silly it might be, is to get the 3 projects currently in progress off the needles by the end of the winter games. Husband and I have a truly unhealthy obsession with watching the Olympics so we will surely be glued to the TV for the
next 2 weeks. I am hoping to finish Kinsale, Trellis, and the second plain brown sock. Kinsale just needs the sleeves finished, the neckband knit, and to be seamed. Trellis needs 2 fronts, a collar, and seaming. The second brown sock has about 1/2 of its cuff. I think it might be do-able.

Here's progress on Trellis. I finished the second sleeve last night before bed.

seriously unblocked. and slightly blurry.

I am enjoying this a lot and so far have found no problems with the pattern. It's a simple, quick knit in worsted weight, and I am cabling without a cable needle for the first time. Why? Sheer laziness, folks. I was too lazy when I started this sweater to get up and find the same size dpn (which I prefer for cables) so I went for it and just started cabling without it. Pretty cool method, though for some projects I think I will still need the help of the extra needle.

I biffed on the sleeves and made them a bit shorter than the pattern calls for, but I think they'll be ok for Daughter. I'm hoping they'll block out a little longer. The whole thing is an unblocked mess right now, as evidenced by this sleeve:

much less crappy in real life, I swear

Geez, that garter stitch pulls up like crazy. If I made this again I might sub in seed stitch instead. Oh well, I am hoping for a successful blocking experience. I'll be casting on for the first front piece tonight.

Daughter is down for her morning nap, so it's time to take a shower and head to the sewing machine.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Question

Do any of you feed your children tofu? If so, how do you prepare it? I am thinking this might be something Daughter would be able to gum (still no teeth).


I've got nothin' today. Just sewing like a freak.

I will give you this: my petite little daughter can belch like a trucker. Seriously.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

To my Sockapaloooza Sock Pal

Hello! Whoever you are, I am so psyched that you'll be making socks for me! I've been feeling a little guilty that I said I like tall socks (a long cuff) because that is a lot of knitting and a lot of yarn. Please, if that would be a hardship in any way, by all means make a shorter sock. I'd hate to think you'll be sitting there plodding through these 8" cuffs and grumbling about what a sucky person you were given.

thank you

God bless you, my wonderful daughter - this morning you have entertained yourself for one solid hour in your playpen, which is more than any mother has the right to expect.

I have done much work and now we will play together.