Saturday, July 29, 2006

Short Saturday Sky

Here's my sky.


Can't see it? Too many clouds in the way? Yup. Rainrainrainrainrain. We are under flash flood warnings and downtown is accessible by one and only one road. (All the other ones have an underpass.)

Norma posted about people having the doldrums. This is how Fluffy feels about it.


And another baby pic, cuz it's my blog and I can.

all hail the mighty Juice

Friday, July 28, 2006

Gratuitous baby photos

So, the Harlot described me as the mother of a beautiful baby. (I gotta say, I beamed with pleasure when she said that IRL. Cuz she's seen a lot of babies.)
Anyway, since I have no knitting to post, and since I didn't take a picture of my bombyx top yet, and since I need very little excuse to show off my little man, here are some Bug photos.

(New skill - making thumbnails that open a larger image when you click them. Actually, my new skill was identifying the code source in someone else's blog, copying it and modifying it for my own use. Anyway, click for bigger photos.)

standing Bug
He's a standin' fool.

playing with paper
Paper crinkles in such a satisfying way.

oh the mess
Mama, I just love spaghetti.

sleeping Bug
Being cute is exhausting. Hmmm, this pillow smells like Daddy.

Even when he's grabbing my knitting, he's my little joy.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Harlot came a-calling

And I got to see her! Hooray!
What a great experience. She's funnier in person than she is in text, and I think that's sayin' something. Of course, this isn't anything that hasn't already been said, but I'm adding my voice to the chorus.
I took the afternoon off, and my buddy Lynn and I drove up early and had dinner, then wandered over to the shop. What a GREAT shop! They had looms and rug weaving equipment, roving and spindles and wheels, and more yarn that you can shake a needle at. There was one bit of bombyx top that called and called to me. I couldn't put it down. I petted it all night. (It came home with me. I will learn to spin later.)
My favorite part of the evening was when I incited her to say "arse". I am easily entertained and apparently a bit puerile.
And now, for some pictures.

Blogging the blogger:

The requisite sock photo

Having my books signed:

I was so excited that she recognized me that I still haven't read what she wrote in them

Mutual sockitude:

My sock is now two degrees of separation from Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Blogging while being blogged:

I hope the leaning back thing was her eyesight, and not her thinking, "Damn I need a wide-angle lens."

All in all, a great time was had by me and everyone I talked to. Next time she comes through, assuming she's not coming to Tucson, I will make plans to spend the night, or at least take the next day off work, so I can find that woman a good Arizona beer or six. And some margaritas.

Thanks for a good time, Stephanie! I hope Arizona treated you well.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A FO and a half

Yes, contrary to what DH thinks, I do occasionally finish things. (And if he ever mentions it to you, ask him about the trim in the office.)
Here is the half FO:

One green sock down, one to go. Please note in the picture how much yarn is left of the ball. I love it.

Here is the whole FO:

Ha ha, I got you, you thought it would be a knitted thing, huh?

Everyone is making or buying or swapping for these cute little knitting bags, and I always think, "Hey, I could make that!" So yesterday, I did. I would have liked a drawstring, but since I didn't have anything handy that I wanted to use for a drawstring, and I thought it sounded complicated, it's just open on top. The wrist strap

will allow me to knit while I'm riding my stationary bike. I'm slowly whittling away the excuses about riding. (Now I'm down to the biggie: arse pain. That, and the whole laziness thing that got me all flabby in the first place.)
It's shaping up to be another hot nasty day. Fortunately, I have no place to be, no errands to run, and just a few chores around the house.

Now, I must run. The Bug is making that chirping noise that I have come to realize means, "I'm going to get that keyboard this time!"

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Elton John

This post has nothing to do with Elton, but I have that stupid SaturdaySaturdaySaturdaySaturdaySaturday song stuck in my head. It's Saturday, and that means Sky Time.

This is the photo from this morning:

Here is a photo from this afternoon:

Looks like a nice day, right?


In Arizona, "sky blue" is a HOT color. I have been running errands with the Bug for the last three hours, and we're melted. The sign on the bank near my house said 115. It feels like it. Then, at my last stop, the power went out. It was hot and sticky in the yarn shop. The lights were out down the street. And the cops came. I would personally like to have my taxes raised about 10% just to give compensation to the guys who stand on the hot asphalt in Arizona in July at 2pm in black uniforms with long pants and direct traffic, which then blows hot exhaust all over them. And they manage to look like it's no big deal. Crikey.

Anyway, this is all to smokescreen the fact that I have no knitting to show. I have been working on that green sock for days. The leftover ball has been 1/2" in diameter for about a week now. I'm in the black hole. Only this time, I'm making visible progress on the sock, but the yarn never diminishes. It's killing me.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Isn't that how the spammers spell it?
My innocent little (or not so little) box of yarn came yesterday. The rest of my binge is here. I managed to nurse the Bug before I ripped it open, but as soon as I finished and Papa got home, I abandoned them both for The Box.
Here it is, in all its glory:

I just realized I should have included something for scale, but it's too late now!

Here is a pic of the contents of that pile:

From left to right:

Is it a little scary that I noticed there were six new yarns on Knitpicks before they were marked as new? Should I worry that I know their product line that well?

Anyway, I can't start any of these projects until I get it together and finish some that are in progress already. It will be so hard to wait!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Why oh why?

Why am I so fickle? Why do I always need something new, when in reality I love working on (most of) the projects on the needles right now? I have been nearly salivating over the rest of the binge box that should arrive by tomorrow. I have daydreams about casting on for everything, and rolling around in the alpaca (I saw Fluffy do it once in a skein of acrylic, and she looked like she was having fun) and knitting with no interruption. Yeah.
Yesterday, I was home with a sick Bug. He wasn't actually sick anymore - his fever had broken Tuesday night - but daycare rules say fever-free for 24 hours. So, I thought I'd get a nice day to knit and play. Well, he wasn't feverish anymore, but he was still crabby and clingy, so it wasn't until after he went to bed for the night that I actually got to knit at all. My hands had been cramping a bit, so Tuesday at SnB I put down the tiny sock yarn and worked on the sleeves of sonnet. After a little bit of confusion (I was on autopilot and blew past the increase rows) I got into a rhythm. My hands felt great, so I continued on those sleeves last night while listening to an old Cast On episode. I LOVE this project. LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE. The yarn (Patons Fresco, sadly discontinued) is soft and generally easy to work with, the needles (Addi turbos) are slick and wonderful, and the pattern is easy enough that I can actually stitch without looking. I had about an hour and a half before I really got tired, and I enjoyed every stitch. I will actually be sad when this project is done, but then I will get to wear it! Can't wait.
(Someone remind me of this post when I am complaining about the never-ending sleeves...)

Monday, July 17, 2006

I like 'em!

I haven't played with my new needles much (that whole limiting-projects-on-the-needles thing) but I did switch the HPT to a longer cable and knit a row or two this week. Here's my take:
  • The cables are soft and bendy. They have a little more memory out of the package than Addis seem to, but they're still pliable enough that they don't bunch up in my knitting.
  • The joins are really smooth, both where the cable joins the metal and where the tip screws to the cable.
  • They seem to stay screwed together well for the little bit of knitting I've done with them.
  • The surface of the needles is slick like Addis, which I love. (I will stick with bamboo for lace.)
  • The points are super-sharp. I am not a fan of sharp needles - I like the blunt tips on the Addis. I will get used to these, though. Hopefully that will happen before I pierce a hole in the tip of my finger.

So far I am enjoying them. This is a good thing, as I've organized my little case and thrown away all the packing materials. I like the zippered inserts, although I wish a few more were included with the set. (Enough for all the tips and cables, anyway.) What I'd really like to see Knitpicks create is more tips: blunts for those of us who like Addis, and bamboo for situations where you want a stickier surface.
All in all, and assuming they wear well, I think it was money well spent.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

You're just jealous

You know you wish you were me:

The zippered case is there, it's just hard to see.

My Knitpicks Options needles came today! I'm very excited. I gave serious thought to removing my sleeves from the Addis and putting them on the Knitpicks. I feel so well organized now - I have at least one type of needle of every size from 000 to 11. (The Knitpicks needles only go down to size 4 US, but I have other types below that.) Now I feel good about starting new projects - before I always had to buy several sizes of needles because I never ever get gauge with the recommended size. I tended to stick to things for which gauge wasn't important for that reason. Yeehaw! Now I can start the wrap sweater and Bombshell from BGK (as soon as I finish the other projects on the needles)!
I guess I should get at them.

Uh oh

First, my Saturday sky duty:

As a bonus, to show you how hot and nasty it's been:

That bush is the same type as the one to the left. It's not changing colors for the fall, it's burnt. The front of the bush was fried by the sun.

Next, projects. The sock proceeds apace.

I have turned the heel. I added a little shaping across the top of the foot, near the heel. I have big feet and wide ankles, so in order for the heel to fit me in a standard toe-up, short row arrangement, the instep is stretched most unattractively. I hope my little (half-assed) attempt at shaping works out. More importantly, I hope I remember what I did for the next sock. This is where that two-at-a-time thing would have come in handy. ;-)

Anyway, I have made a little deal with myself to limit my projects. One for me, one pair of socks (also for me) and one gift on the needles, and no more. This means I have to finish that sock and get the Heinous Purple Thing (HPT) done. The binge has started to arrive...

Three balls of Elann Esprit in soft periwinkle, and three balls of Elann Esprit Prints in lilac medley. The best part is that they coordinate. If I do indeed get one sock out of one ball, I'll use the remaining ball of each color to make a two-toned pair. I hope this is nice sock yarn to use, because I really want a pair in each color and print. I'm channelling Margene on the sock thing. I have sugarplum dreams of a whole wardrobe of handmade socks. Will they match anything I own? Do I care?

The knitpicks stash (by far the bulk of the binge) isn't due for about 10 days yet, so I have time to move on my sonnet sleeves, my HPT, and my Frill (yes, two gifts, but I'd already done it, so now I have to whittle it down) before it gets here. Here's hoping for fast knitting. (Anybody else hear "Knit. Knit like the wind." when you read that?)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Feast or famine

It turns out that I am not a steady yarn buyer. I have a stash, most of which is either leftovers from a project, or destined for a project I just haven't started yet. I surf yarn sites obsessively and wonder what it all feels like, and imagine what I could make with it, but I generally don't buy indiscriminately. Lately, it's been a couple of balls of cotton for facecloths, and a couple of balls of acrylic for baby hats.
No more.
I had a binge. A serious binge. I ordered yarn for four garments and three pairs of socks. Plus the Knitpicks needles. It should all arrive in the next week. I will be rolling in yarn. Buried in it. I am so excited about it I can hardly think. 100% alpaca for a clapotis for me. Yarn for two Christmas gifts. Enough Elann Esprit for at least two pairs of socks, and maybe a third. Shine Worsted for Bombshell, from Big Girl Knits. I feel like I won the lottery. (When DH saw the bank statement he said, "You spent HOW MUCH on yarn?!" I reminded him of the boat in the front yard and told him I get a lot more yarn before we're even.)
In the meantime, I am working on the Sonnet sleeves (slowly), the green socks out of my hand-dyed, and Frill. (Well, Frill is on the needles, but I haven't worked on her in ages.) I have been sock knitting, and loving it. I did have to take the second sock off the needles - too fiddly. One sock on circs is flying, though.
Now if you'll excuse me, my son is licking the pedals on the piano, and I should probably stop him at some point. Or clean the pedals.

PS - Lots of good thoughts to LeeAnn.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mixed veggies

I finished the punkin hat and the tomato hat over the weekend. I wanted to get more and more knitting done, but I ended up casting on for that blasted tomato hat about 4 times. (Note to other knitters: there are corrections to the pattern in the comments below the pattern.)I had also made a squash leaf, but it was clearly for a much bigger punkin than I'd made, so it was as long as the hat is tall. I believe a second, larger punkin hat is in order.
Anyway, here they are:

Obviously, the punkin is for a newborn or a preemie, cuz holy cow it came out tiny.

And here is the Bug, modelling the tomato. It's a little small for him, but he has a big head.

And now I will go pretend to work, while trying to keep my eyes open. The Bug has been cutting a new tooth or two, and has been unhappy all weekend. This is the first time teething has caused him discomfort, so it's new to me. I can't say that I am fond of it.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Saturday again already?

Thank goodness.
That means it's sky time.

This is soooo misleading. Yesterday we had a huge crazy storm and got 4/10s of an inch of rain in about 20 minutes. It was awesome, and I was sad that it was over so quickly.
It's also July, which means it's project spectrum purple. I haven't seen much purple in blogland, I wonder if most are just too hot and tired to think about purple. I wear a lot of purple, but don't have much. I have that purple grape-y sock yarn I died, but as I didn't finish May's green socks and didn't even start June's blue socks, I don't think I'll cast them on just yet.
I do have this.

It's a shawl/wrap thing for my MIL. It's actually not nice at all, bulky acrylic yarn and fun fur stripes, but I made a scarf out of the same stuff (in pink) for my niece last Christmas, and MIL loved it. So she gets one. I think I will try to add some neck shaping so she can wear it comfortably in her chair.
I'll be knitting all weekend, pending approval by the boss:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Oh so fruity

I did it, I effed an Oh. Here it is, Citrus Hat with Bebe.

And here's the Bug, looking coy.

Citrus hat, made with far less than half a ball of Red Heart Soft Yarn in yellow, and a scrap of green.
My own pattern (as much as a roll brim hat with regular decreases can be claimed by anyone)
Size 5 circs, which I hated so I switched them out for DPNs.

Now, off to make a punkin hat for somebody's little punkin.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Remember me?

Yes, I am a bad bad blogger. I haven't posted in over a week. I have been knitting, but slowly. I have no FOs to show, because no Os have been effed. (Thanks, Jen, or was it La, for adding that verb to my vocabulary.)
Anyway, in a nod to Sandy, I thought I'd join Saturday Sky. We've been having some cool and unpredictable skies lately, so I thought I'd share.
Here's this morning's sky:

Here's one from last week:

Taken through my dining room window. Like I'd take my beloved camera out in that!

I did finish the body of Sonnet, and cast on one of the sleeves. Here she is, drying after a double run through the washing machine to rid her of the feet smell.

I have been working intermittently on the sleeves, but yesterday I got the desire to make fruit hats for Jeanne, at the request of The Harlot. I was very lucky to be able to nurse my son as long as I have (and I'm still going!) but many I know either were unable to produce milk or were discouraged by the circumstances of their jobs and couldn't nurse or pump more than a few weeks. I am fortunate enough to be a well-educated white woman with a white-collar job, all of which contribute statistically to the likelihood that I'll nurse my babies. I think it's shameful that we get so little support. So little maternity leave. So little information. (And I live in the state where, however briefly, a city passed an ordinance allowing officials to prosecute women for trespassing if they were nursing their babies on city property and someone felt uncomfortable.) Why is it okay that Hollywood celebrities show up to functions wearing sheer gowns (or worse) but a woman nursing can cause a stir? Why can girls parade around with their underwear hanging out their jeans, or wear pants so low-slung that creative shaving is in order, but a woman using her breasts the way they were intended can make people "uncomfortable"? (Barbara Walters, I'm looking at you.)
Wow, I hit my own nerve there. I should change the name of this blog to Ranting and Raving.
Fruit hats. I'm making baby fruit hats for Jeanne to give out to people who come to her WIC program on nutrition and nursing. If you wanna help, email The Harlot for more information. Her information on nursing is much better than my little rant, too. Now that I have fulfilled my duty to Sandy and also got my little flip-out off my chest, as it were, I am going to go knit some citrus.