Sunday, December 31, 2006

How did that happen?

Here it is, the last day of 2006. I try to remember not to wish away my days (Oh, I wish it was time to go home, Oh I wish it was Saturday already!) and yet the year sped by and has flown away. I wish I'd taken more video of my son. I wish I'd taken more PICTURES of my son. (I wish I'd made ONE SINGLE ENTRY in his baby book. I suck.) I'm pretty sure I could have been a better wife, and I'm pretty sure I fit knitting into every spare minute I wanted to. I don't think those two things are related.
Anyway, my resolutions are pretty thin this year, and really, I've been thinking about them for a month or so. Here they are, in a very general way.

  • Finish Sonnet and the socks I started for myself.

  • Always have socks on the needles, and actually work on them regularly

  • Learn to spin on my spindle

  • Lose one dress size

  • Take the Bug on an outing once every weekend, instead of indulging my inner hermit

  • Get a savings account and learn to use it!

I think these are attainable goals for the year, so I'm stopping NOW!

Happy New Year, y'all, and if you party tonight, please be very safe. (If you go to bed early like I usually do, don't be too hard on the hungover people tomorrow, no matter how tempting it is to wear a neon orange shirt and speak VERY VERY LOUDLY.)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tough lesson

Apparently the knitting goddess (I gotta come up with a (short) name for her if I'm going to be talking about her this much) was completely serious about the whole Zen knitting, no deadline thing. I thought the birthday party would be a reprieve, but no. No deadlines, period. It's done when it's done. I started to figure this out, with much cursing and frustration, when I decided to order more yarn.
(Pause in my kvetching to tell you about the adorable little finch pair outside - the male has a black head, a gray and white back, and the fattest, brightest yellow belly ever. What cuties.)
Anyway, I placed my order on Thursday, and the fastest shipping was 2-day. I thought that meant I'd have it by Saturday. Nope. When I called to see if I could even get it overnight(NO), I was told that 2-day would actually arrive WEDNESDAY. BAH. There is NO WAY I can bead up and knit two full balls of yarn in one day. Even if I call in sick on Thursday (which I am still tempted to do). I can't even show Aunt H what she'll be receiving, because I want to dye it a better color when I've finished it. I suppose I could dye it and the other yarn on Wednesday before I knit up the last two balls, so she can at least see how it will look. Is that just asking for Trouble?
In the meantime, I got some alpaca in oxblood from It's very soft and yummy - after working with it for a little while, the Tendrils yarn felt positively scratchy. It seems a little thin for worsted weight, but it's making a lovely soft and drapey fabric. I'm doing the ubiquitous Irish Hiking Scarf, and I think it will be lovely. It's a little thin, which should be just right for alpaca. I don't want it to be too hot.
...sigh... I so love cables.

Friday, December 29, 2006


Love it. Not true, but I love it just the same.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Getting there

Last night I measured Tendrils. I have 43 inches done, and the pattern calls for 65 inches before I finish off with the edge. I'm not entirely sure how long I'll knit it in actuality - there were more balls of yarn (Knitpicks Andean Silk Twist) with knots than without, if I remember correctly. I'm not sure what I've done with all my little bits and with the extra balls. I have two partial balls in my bag, which means that I should have two partial balls and some bits floating around the house somewhere. I suppose I should find them before I knit up all I have in my bag and have to get more or rip. It's my hope to finish up the knitting by the end of this long weekend, so I have the better part of the week to overdye it (and kill myself if I ruin it).
Damn, foiled again. Apparently the knitting goddess doesn't like it when we get too smug in our Zen-ness. (Can one BE smug and Zen at the same time?) Anyway, I have lost the last two balls of this damnable, dratted, flugen yarn. I had to order some more. Of this yarn I don't particularly care for. Oy. I had to have it sent two-day. I suspect that means it will get here next Tuesday, since that's two business days away. This means I will not be able to finish the bloody thing this weekend. This also means that somewhere in the house is yarn I dislike. It prolly knows I dislike it, so it's hiding. I have looked everywhere I can think to look, and it is gone. It will come out the day after I receive the feshlugen package from Knitpicks. Urgh.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


This is my back step.

and the back patio.
ice and leaves

This happened in ten minutes. See the hail? The ice? The BRRRR???? I know some of you up north are chuckling at me and my paltry ice. However, not four hours ago, the temp outside was 70 degrees. 25 degree drop in four hours. Brrrr.


That's what I felt like this morning when I had to get up for work. I may have said that very thing. I think people make the new year's resolution to get in shape in the new year because of all the excesses of the previous two weeks, or in some places, 6 weeks. (I am too lazy to maintain the holiday frenzy from Thanksgiving on.) Cookies for lunch, cookies for breakfast, cookies for desserts and snacks. January is one long sugar crash for me. My only saving grace is that I still enjoy my morning walks to work. (Ask me again tomorrow after the storm hits and we have sleet.)
Anyway, I have a few more days of Tendrils, and I find my devotion flagging just a bit. I am craving light fluttery fabrics. Something that weighs about an ounce, finished. I'd purchased some yarn ages ago for Clapotis, but I think life may be too short to knit the same thing twice. (Except socks.) La posted about wanting to make Faina's scarf from FiberTrends recently, and OH BOY do I like that pattern. It calls for sport weight yarn, which I just happen to have in a lovely deep red/wine that was to be the base of Clapotis-for-me. I think it might want to be Faina's scarf. I'll have to find something else to do with the laceweight I got to carry along with the sport weight in the Clapotis-for-me. I gotta call my LYS to see if they can get that pattern for me. I hope they have to order it - if they have it right now, Aunt H's Tendrils might get put off a little longer!
Hypatia, Patty, are you there? I have yarn for you!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Yarn Drawing Boxing Day!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day, whether you celebrate it as a holiday or not. (There are worse ways to spend a Monday than not working.
Anyway, today is the day I intended for Bug to draw a name for the yarn.

slips of paper

I decided that he would draw two, since I have two colors of yarn. (I got some other yarn for my own red scarf donation.)

two names

I did not actually wait for him to chew on them, as he selected the names while he was eating his bananas at breakfast.


Unfortunately, the two commenters who were selected left no way for me to contact them. Would Hypatia and Patty (not Patricia, sorry) contact me and gimme your info please?

In other news, we had a wonderful, if slightly hectic, Christmas. I am glad to be home, although the bits of wrapping paper and the lights look a little gaudy in the post-feast light of day. Now I get to spend the next year atoning for this season's excesses. Just like last year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

She smiled on me

The knitting goddess. Swift has been her wrath in the past, and now gentle and warm are her blessings.
Yesterday, I felt a weight lift when I said I couldn't finish Tendrils. DH and I have been in a rough patch since just before we left to visit the MIL, and it's just gotten worse. The stress of the holidays, MIL being ill... and then apparently, once, I jokingly said, "I'd rather knit than have sex" and he didn't get the joke. And he thought I meant ALWAYS. (While I don't remember saying it, I can see how it might cause hurt feelings.)
So, yesterday I didn't knit a stitch, by conscious decision. I made my boy some apple slices and went to fold laundry. While I was putting his clothes away, he came in and crawled up on my lap and hugged me, and just stayed there. And for once, I was paying attention and let him hug me as long as he wanted. (This turned out to be half an hour at least.) I wasn't worried about this or that or finishing Tendrils or wrapping Clapotis. I just got to hold my boy while he wanted some snuggles.
Later, after DH got home, I made some good hot chocolate with real chocolate and eggs and milk and cinnamon. (The eggs sound gross but that's what makes it rich and frothy.) We sat by the fire and had hot chocolate, we relaxed, we went to bed early and got actual real sleep. Real sleep rocks.
And the reason I think the knitting goddess was involved? Normally I see my aunts maybe twice a year, if I'm lucky. Always around Christmas, but any other time during the year it's by chance. I had resigned myself to having to mail their knits and not getting to see them open them. Yesterday, there was an invitation for a surprise party for Uncle N, Aunt C's husband. Thrown by Aunt H. I get to see them again in two weeks. Two weeks, I can do. I appreciate the lesson, and I appreciate the reprieve.
Tonight, pizza and hot chocolate with good friends, followed by some Christmas-light viewing, and maybe a little knitting by the fire. But just a little.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I give up

It's not going to happen.
I finished Clapotis last night, ends and all. (Even the one that I cut without weaving in, that I had to felt to a nearby strand. Oy.) That leaves about 25 inches of Tendrils before Sunday night. Oh yeah, and a green dyebath for same. Not happening. If I had the next days off, maybe, but I don't. I have made the executive decision that the holidays should be fun, and my family should not be punished by my ability to knit to a deadline. So, Aunt H and Aunt C will get little wrapped boxes with IOUs for knitwear, and my family and I will get a few days of peace. I'm not saying I won't knit during those days. I'm saying I will knit for relaxation, but not at the expense of time with my child or hot chocolate in front of the fire with my husband.
Instead, I will knit on Tendrils calmly, not frantically, and I will start my red scarf to alternate when Tendrils starts to get me down. I'll remember that knitting is a pleasure, not a chore. Since the winner of the drawing for the red yarn gets to pick between the bright red and the brick red, I have a few more days before I can start it. Time to devote to loving Tendrils again, time to pick up Sonnet? Good holy cow, I think Sonnet even predates this blog. Lawdy, she needs to have some love. And there's always Dulaan(link to PDF), the scam charity run by the indomitable Ryan. (For those that don't know, the scam thing is now a joke, based on the ridiculous comment left a few years ago by someone who didn't believe that there were homeless children in Mongolia. Search her blog for details.) Anyway, lots of choices abound for me to enjoy knitting again, with little thought for deadline or compulsion. Looking forward to some downtime as this year dwindles. I will try to get some pictures of Clapotis this evening or tomorrow, if there is daylight available.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Calling Harry Potter

Cuz I need a few things. Like Hermione's time turner? Yeah, one of those. (The only problem with that is that if you used it too much, you'd die younger. I mean, you're still living all those extra hours, so if it added up to extra days a month or a week, your life span would be awfully short by comparison to those not using a time turner. Um, I mean,... well, yes, I do think about these things way too much.)
The other thing I want is that spell that makes the insides of things much more spacious than they appear from the outside. Imagine it - unlimited closet space! I wouldn't want much more actual house, because that would mean it would be more to clean, but can you imagine a walk-in linen closet? Kitchen cabinets that held both your everyday dishes and your china? Never running out of room in the fridge? Yeah, that's what I thought - you want it too.
Anyway, I have yet to finish Clapotis. Which means I haven't touched Tendrils. Tonight I'm finishing Clapotis and weaving in the ends before I sleep, period. Here's where the time turner would be extra-handy. I could finish a few hours of knitting and still get a full night's sleep. I have so much time devoted to non-knitting pursuits in the next few days, I don't know if I'll finish. Dinner with friends tomorrow, Santa pictures Thursday, dinner with other friends and a light-watching trip on Friday... I need to have a few days off work to get it all done, but with the MIL thing of two weeks ago, I have no time left. I would berate myself for waiting until the last minute, but I started both of these MONTHS ago. I should berate myself for knitting slowly, maybe. Yeah, that would be helpful.
And one more thing: if you've recently applied ben-gay to your stiff, pained fingers, you should probably avoid scratching your nose or rubbing your eyes. Just sayin'.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Complete denial.
Cuz it's almost 10pm, and this is what I have:

oh no

This is the yarn Jessie dyed for me. There is no more. That little ball is all there is left. I have about 50 ever-decreasing rows. I hoped and hoped and hoped that I would have juuuuuusssstttt enough.


I was so close.



a meme and more weird stuff

Bug screamed for 8 minutes last night. I think it might be working. DH slept in the camper and felt refreshed, so we're getting there.
Oh, and I would like to thank whatever nut first thought of using cabbage leaves to alleviate engorgement pain. I highly doubt I would ever stop to think, "Hey, these leaves would make a stellar bra" so I wouldn't have come up with it, but it worked.
Dont forget to go to this post and comment to enter in the drawing for some free Red Scarf Project yarn!

I like this meme, so I stole it from Anna The Fashionable.

Egg nog or hot chocolate? Yes please. Eggnog straight or spiked, hot chocolate Mexican style, with real chocolate melted in a pan, and fresh grated cinnamon.

Does Father Christmas wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Wrapped and unwrapped. Usually, big or unwieldy things (like Bug's first bike or something) will be set out, twinkling in the lights, but the others are wrapped.

Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Colored LEDs, the more the better. But never, ever, running or blinking lights on my tree.

Do you hang mistletoe? When I can find it.

When do you put up your decorations? It's a process. Usually mid December. I like the idea of leaving them up until twelfth night, but DH believes "out with the old, in with the new" and tries to take everything down by 12/31 every year. (Except that one year when the lights stayed on the shrubs until August...)

What's your favourite Christmas dish? Hmmm. Swedish meatballs made by my aunt. As a kid I hated to make them (imagine rolling about 5 pounds of ground beef the day before Christmas) but they are SOOOO tasty. Also those weird Corn Flake wreaths that would be toxic at any other time of year.

Favourite Christmas memory as a child? When Mom and Dad got us a puppy. Dad was so worried she'd be cold (she was in a box in the car, still warm from having gone to get her) so he kept saying "Open that one, open that one". It was a box with a dog brush and a leash, and the ribbon led out to the car. We didn't follow it, though, we just tugged on it until it all came in the house, then stared at my parents wondering WTF that was all about. Dad finally had to tell us to GO LOOK IN THE CAR.

When and how did you learn the truth about Father Christmas? My nasty older cousin told me. I must have been about ten. (I wanted to believe, and still do, really.)

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? My aunts on my mom's side always throw a big bash, and all the cousins receive a similar gift. (Everyone gets a shirt, or a CD, or whatever.) We got to open those on Christmas Eve. Now that we're all grown, I still exchange with my two aunts, so I open their present when I'm with them.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Colored LED lights, glass bulbs, and all the ornaments my mother bought me over the years. Plus new ones for The Bug.

Snow! Love it or dread it? Wish for it.

Can you ice skate? Not even to save my life.

Do you remember your favourite gift? Nope, but I remember the gift I wrapped myself. All the cousins got little portable radios for Christmas, and my mother asked me to wrap them. It never occurred to me that I would get the same thing, or that there was one extra, so I was genuinely surprised when I opened it.

What's the most important thing about Christmas for you? That feeling that, just then, all is right with the world. I know it isn't true and that poverty waits for no secular/religious holiday, but when it comes together, the petty family squabbles and the late gas bill are forgotten, for me, just for a little while.

What's your favourite Christmas dessert? Chocolate Christmas bells. It's crappy chocolate, but I love them beyond reason.

What's your favourite Christmas tradition? Walking through the Winterhaven neighborhood in my town, where most of the residents do a major, over-the-top display. There are horse-drawn carriages, hot chocolate, karaoke and a dance contest at one house, and everything is beautiful, festive, and tacky in a way that I still love. This ain't no Thomas Kinkade neighborhood.

What tops your tree? A woven straw angel with a red vest and red bow. I have no idea where she came from, but I associate her with my mother, and I love that little angel.

Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving. I'm sometimes a little embarrassed about receiving extravagant things (and DH is nothing if not extravagant at Christmas) but I love getting that One Thing that the recipient will just LOVE.

What's your favourite Christmas song? O Holy Night, sung by a male trio on an old record my father has. I have searched the innernets for it on CD, and have so far been unsuccessful. Also, Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt.

Candy canes? Not so much.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Thanks Lynn, I knew you'd come through for me with a well-placed Bitch in the comments. (See, Lynn loves me!) Hee hee.
I am tired. So tired, there are no words.
So I'll tell you all about it.
Last night was the first night in his young life that we allowed Bug to cry it out in his bed. He did so, with gusto, from about 2:30am to 3:02am, on the nose. (I looked at the clock when the deafening screeches stopped.) This after about half an hour of on again, off again whining. Then the darling boy slept until almost 7am this morning. I would have found that extremely pleasant, except that I was supposed to be at work at 6:30 and I had to wake him to dress him for school. Someone PLEASE tell me this gets better, because OY. During that half an hour of screeching, we also indulged in a lovely hissed argument, where the words "sadist" and "child abuse" were hurled at me in a fit of exhausted crabbiness. In DH's defense, he would likely not say such things during the day, but at night, his mouth hooks into the part of his brain that only knows his exhaustion, and usually in the morning he has no recollection of talking to me at all. (I say "likely" because, well, he's a guy, and you never can tell about their judgement.)
Really, I know it has to get better, because it was my pediatrician and his wife who recommended this path to me (after 15 months, Bug sleeping in our bed and nursing all night to put himself back to sleep wasn't working for me). My pediatrician and his wife used this tactic on their first, and not only did it not kill them, they went on to have and/or adopt seven other children. This may speak to their mental state, but they seem so normal in all the other ways. In the meantime, DH will sleep in the camper. Bug's screaming I can handle - the midnight fights I cannot.
During the actual pleasant part of the evening, during which we watched our show (Criminal Minds), sat in front of the fire, and relaxed while I knit and Bug played with his blocks, I got a good bit done on Clapotis. I think I have less than a repeat left before I start the decreasing, so having the knitting finished this weekend continues to look like a possibility. I might even have time to weave in ends, although I do hope to get many many naps. Of course, I have to go to Circuit City on Friday, so this may all be moot - I may not survive the crowds.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mostly because I'm a little nuts

I'm somewhat disappointed that no one wrote "GIMME THE YARN, BITCH" in the comments of the last post yet. I thought for SURE at least Rabbitch would wander over for the sheer joy of cussing at me in print. Giving away yarn is definitely a good way to boost the comments. Hee.
Anyway, my little counter is starting to freak me out. No knitting was to be had last night - I skipped SnB and instead spent my evening fighting with DH and shrieking. It was So. Fun. Yup, skipping knitting with friends in order to feel bad, cry and sit in icy silence was totally glorious.
(Can I tell you that we're all a little tired over here, and we're trying to wean The Bug AND get him to sleep the night in his crib at the same time? And can I also say that engorged DDs are LARGE and UNWIELDY. And I bump things a lot, and it hurts.)
Hmmm, I was going to write about how I was in a good mood, but it turned into a post about my underwear and the giggling induced by same. Apparently, when I am tired, brand-new polka dot skivvies entertain me to no end. (I would like to thank whoever it is at Fruit of the Loom who realized that not all plus-sized women want undies that require a full yard of fabric each. Is ANYONE really comfortable in those bloomer-sized things?) Anyway, before I allow myself to really get going on the undies theme, I will just say, go comment on the last post for the chance to have some red superwash from knitpicks.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

please excuse my absence

We have been away. Last Monday DH received a call that his mother was dying, so we scrambled to find plane tickets to Montana and flew away. We actually had to fly to Spokane and drive to DH's hometown, about four hours away, so we didn't get there until Tuesday. When we arrived, we found MIL sitting up and smiling, thrilled to see The Bug and feeling much better. Fortunately for all of us, she rallied and was stable and feeling reasonably well when we left. We were granted more time to spend with her, and DH got to sit with her and talk for hours, and she got to see her youngest grandson, and we are thankful.
I didn't get as much knitting done as I would have liked. I didn't touch Tendrils, but did make a dent in the last ball for Clapotis. I spent way too much time chasing Bug away from all the detritus that forms the household of an old woman. Unfortunately it was a little too cold for him to play outside much, especially since the ILs don't have a fence, and the Bug had his eye on the neighbor's swingset. He had to burn off all that toddler energy playing with the VCR, shredding MIL's magazines, unloading all the cabinets in the kitchen, and banging on the china cabinet full of hummingbird figurines. Poor FIL was at his wits' end - there was no place for him to find peace. I think he was glad when we finally left.
Anyway, this is my artistic Clapotis picture.

Fluffy Bug

It's all I have, though with some diligent effort I think I can finish that puppy this week. It would be much easier if that pesky work thing didn't get in the way.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be off reading the 300+ new blog posts on my Google reader. Whew.

Oh yeah, and I have some yarn to give away for the Red Scarf Project. Keep an eye out for some form of contest or another. Maybe I'll just make you comment and then pull a name from a hat. I'm lazy like that.
Yeah, that's it. Leave a comment in this post (only this one, I'm too lazy to compile names from other places) and any names in there before Boxing Day (12/26) will be placed in a hat. The first one Bug chews on will get three balls of Knitpicks Swish in either brick or bright red. I'd prefer you use the yarn for the Red Scarf orphans, but really, it's up to you.
(ETA: I should probably not have tacked that little yarn giveaway on the end of a depressing post - thanks for the well wishes, but you get entered in the contest even if you only write GIMME THE YARN, BITCH in your comment. Although I might spit on it if that is your comment, and you win...)

Friday, December 01, 2006


The knitter version of IT is nearly as scary as the Stephen King version, especially for slow knitters like me.
I think it is time to add a few hours to my day and give up a little sleep here and there. I hate to do it, but I don't think I will finish otherwise, and since Aunt H only received her Christmas quilt (intended for Christmas 2004) in September of this year, I would really like to avoid having things on the needles. I would have plenty of time, but I can't seem to convince DH that it's perfectly reasonable for him to assume responsibility for all household and parenting chores. I don't know what his problem is.
We put our tree up early this year, since Oldest Stepdaughter (OSD) was visiting. Bug looooooves it. He did the Happy Baby Stomping Dance around it the first morning, trying to decide what to rip off first. Once he realized he could reach almost all of it, he dove in with wild abandon. I will tell you this: the shatterproof ornaments from Target are FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. He bangs them together, on his bananas, on the floor, on the dog
Fluffy Bug
and they do not shatter. He did manage to break one, after nearly two days of constant assault, when it landed just so and broke the little bit that holds it on the tree. I think it's fixable.
in flight
Click for closeup.

Anyway, more knitting to come, and by all that is holy in this world, after Christmas I'm knitting something for ME.