Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bye bye, long weekend

We took a lovely trip to southern California to give the Bug his first taste of the ocean.

Baby Hollywood

He didn't actually taste the ocean, but he did eat some sand.

I wanted to get away and knit, and I did. DH wanted to get away and eat fresh seafood, and he did. All in all, a successful trip.
I managed to do some knitting, although not as much as I wanted. I knit on and off for hours on my socks on the way, and they show notable progress.

I didn't get much knitting on the stole during the beach trips (see previous paragraph about Bug eating sand) but I knitted quite some time on it in the car on the way home. Since I'd had to frog to the SECOND lifeline when I got to CA, not as much progress as I'd hoped on it either. I did get some done, though, and will be knitting on it when I have time to concentrate. It is not SnB knitting.

Check it out, that tape says 31 inches. Only 49 to go.

This weekend will be spent at the lake. DH has promised that he'll watch the Bug long enough to allow me to rent a kayak and paddle around, which I've long wanted to do. Other than that, I will sit in the shade and knit, assuming it's not too sticky and hot to hold yarn. If it is, I'll sit in the air-conditioned camper and knit.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pride goeth, and all that jazz

If you recall (or if you don't), yesterday I smugly posted about my humility. You can do that, right?I posted about how, since I took the time to move my lifelines, the knitting goddess was pleased and she would ensure relatively smooth sailing.
Monday nights are all about TV for DH. He loves 24 and CSI:Miami with a deep passion that exceeds his love for family, home and country. So, I take my little iPod with my latest cast-on episode, and I sit in the bedroom and knit to my heart's content. Last night was a 2-hour episode of 24, so I got three hours of mostly uninterrupted knitting. (The Bug would sneak over and grab a handful of Frill occasionally, but I'd redirect him to his blocks and he'd play with them again.) I had been knitting for about an hour on and off, when it occurred to me - I hadn't moved my lifeline. WHEW, it's a good thing I'd been paying attention to the stitches. Since I was on the third row of a three row repeat, I figured I'd move the lifeline after the end of the row. Two stitches later, I realized I'd made a mistake. 20 minutes later I'd tinked back three rows and started again. I moved my lifeline this time, and every six rows thereafter.
Since May is for Green in Project Spectrum, and since May is almost over, and since I hadn't touched my green socks in weeks, I knitted on them for a while. They really are a pleasure to knit. I think they will come with us to the beach too. That yarn will be too sticky to be around the sand, but it will be great for car knitting. I would have posted a progress picture, but since the toes are about 1/2 an inch longer than they were before, I figure you can just imagine it.
June is for blue, and I have some gorgeous blue wool that Jessie dyed, waiting for my grand wooly-feet experiment. July is purple, and I have some of that waiting too. August is brown/black/neutral. I think I need Jen to send me some fudge royale. (scroll down) It looks like s'mores to me, but whatever it is, it looks DAMN GOOD.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I think I maybe like this stuff

Yes, it's true. I believe this lacy stuff with the YOs and the k2togs is kinda maybe sorta okay. I knitted all weekend on my stole, and with the exception of one incident that required frogging (half a row, oh thank you lifeline) it went very smoothly. I am not terribly afraid to type that, because I view it like this: every six rows, I make an offering to the knitting goddess. The offering is the time it takes me to pull out one of the old lifelines (I'm alternating two) and reinsert it. I offer this time to the knitting goddess, who then ensures that, since I am showing her the proper humility, the rest goes reasonably well. As long as I continue with the offering, the knitting goddess will continue to regard my stole with favor. Let's see if the photography gods were as kind:
The whole enchilada so far

the edge and the transition

cast-on edge with beads

I don't think the color changes in this yarn are as obvious in real life as they are in those pictures.

I started the second full ball over the weekend too. I'm not sure how much I have left - I bought four balls, and used part of one to knit Frill #1. The second ball I used completely, starting with Frill #2 and up through the body. I've only used a few yards of the third ball as yet. I did a felted join, and I love the way it came out. I can barely see it myself, and I know where it is. YAY! I have 21 inches done (plus the 7ish of the second frill). 60 inches, give or take, left to go! DH and I will be heading out to the beach for Memorial Day (cannotwaitcannotwait) and this is light enough for some beach knitting. I hope to get maybe two feet more done by this time next week. That would make me supremely happy.

Today's conference call knitting: green handdyed socks.

Friday, May 19, 2006

On the wisdom of lifelines

I have finished both frills of Frill to my satisfaction. On Wednesday, while watching Criminal Minds (is anyone besides me totally in love with the super-nerd, former model kid?) I knit 15 rows into the body. I just whipped them out. I thought, "This is super easy, and the next 345 rows are going to just FLY by."
Last night I sat down to knit, and by the second row, I'd seriously damaged the stitch pattern. NO idea what I did. I tried tinking and reknitting, and that got me a few more rows. Then I did something even weirder, and when I tried tinking that, I dropped stitches.
And I hadn't moved my lifeline from the night before.
You may remember from a previous post that I did not use a lifeline and had to frog the whole dratted frill. I got smart this time. I used a lifeline between the frill and the body, until I got my groove in the body and knew what was going on. I should have moved it up. I didn't.
Pride goeth before a fall.
All frogged, all the way to the top of the frill. Last night got me back six measly rows, and first thing this morning I moved my lifeline up. Painful lessons.

Anybody know how to photograph black/grey variegated knitted lace?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Oh Tracy

So, my friend mentioned she needed new socks. Purple socks, to be exact. So I made her some yarn. (Okay, I dyed her some yarn, and wound it on the maiden voyage of the Mother's Day Swift. Shall I call him Jonathan?)
Anyway, I love the way it came out.

First, in the skein, which I think shows the colors better.

Next, in the ball. I think I wound it too tight, and it's very very dense.

Next, an artsy picture. This was an accident, but it looks to me like the ball is peeking into the frame, like it's shy or something.

Hey, it's my blog, I can post all the weird photos I want.

Anyway, if Tracy doesn't like it, Tracy can send it back to me and *I* will have happy purple feet.

Monday, May 15, 2006

There oughta be a law.

Well, yesterday morning I showed you what my Mother's Day looked like. Sun, pool, waffles, babies, all the usual good stuff.
Then in the afternoon I sat down to read my blogs, and came across this:
Grace's boyfriend, Justin. Little Justin is gravely ill, and he needs a blue blankie to match Gracie's pink one. I mean it, there oughta be a law. It's a Wrong so Wrong in the universe when babies are sick and suffering. (Do you hear me, Israeli Supreme Court?)
Oooh, politics.
Anyway, I knit like a fiend:

Five blue squares for Justin. This is that JoAnn Sensation Tesoro wool, which I love. I discovered, though, when knitting Grace's squares, that this is apparently the AntiWool. It GROWS in hot water. Yes, it really does. Some of my Grace blocks grew an inch in both directions. So I knit them small. A couple were maybe too small, and now look a little lacier than intended. Oh well. If Cynthia doesn't need them or they don't work, she can use them for coasters or give them to the dog.
They go in the mail today, knit with love and prayers and tears of sadness for Justin's mom, and gratefulness for me. I only asked for one little miracle, Justin-sized.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Happy day to you!
This is what my Mother's Day looks like.

The reason for the season!

Hot sunny days by the pool. We invited the relatives, but have no idea if they'll come.

How did the baby know just what to get me?

Homemade waffles! Not pictured, freshly sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

Time for not one, but TWO homemade lattes in my favorite mug.

And for Sandy:

I hope your day is happy, whether you're with your mother, or children, or friends, or just enjoying the day on your own!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I hope you dye

Because it's really fun.
I have three hanks waiting for me to have some free time, but I did these two over the weekend. Pictured here with the green I did a few weeks ago, now turning into toe up socks.

I wanted the red to have more streaks of yellow, but I think they faded away a little because the red is so intense. The other one faded out a little more than I'd hoped, but I think that's the nature of dyeing cotton yarn. I like it a lot, and I think it will be a fun and interesting knit. I hope to have time to knit socks from it in July, for the Project Spectrum month of purple.
I hope to finish those other three either tonight or tomorrow, so I can rinse them before we head off to Phoenix for my brother-in-law's 60th birthday.
(Oh yeah, and a little birdie told me my baby asked his daddy to get me a swift and a ball winder for Mother's Day. Oooohhhhhhhh yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You can't have it all, can you?

Not a whole lot of knitting, and no pictures to be had. Actually, lots of whining ahead. If this bothers you, feel free to stop reading.
So, last week my son was "sick". When I say "sick", I mean he had a non-contagious rash that took a solid week to go away. Not contagious, but he couldn't go to daycare anyway. I emailed and asked my boss if it would be alright to work from home, which I am perfectly set up to do. The answer was a resounding, "Not only no, but HELL NO." It took me two days to get over the resentment and worry about my job. Here I was at home with my mildly-ill, but still happy-as-a-clam son for five days straight, and I was stressed about work. About missing deadlines, about having to work overtime later, about using up all my PTO, and finally about losing my job, which WILL happen, and sooner rather than later. I can tell that my boss's fuse is running awfully short with my son's inability to avoid germs. By Friday I was feeling good about the fact that I got to spend another day alone with him - such luxury - and then Monday I was rested and ready to get back to work, in spite of the knowledge that I had burned ALL my vacation time to sit at home.
Tuesday afternoon, I get the call - he has a fever.
Say it with me, people:
Papa picked him up from daycare, gave him tylenol, and put him down for a nap. He woke up two hours later, fever free. HOORAY! Except daycare won't take him back until he's been fever-free for 24 hours. So I had to spend the rest of my afternoon trying like crazy to find someone to take care of my baby at home. The only nanny service I could find is going to cost me $150 for ONE DAY. And now that I'm here at work, I'm worried about not being at home.
So, I have a baby I love, and a job I hate. Should be an easy choice, right?
But I'm just not ablewilling to give up the things that my paycheck allows me. I don't want to give up health insurance, or vacations, or Netflix, or yarn, or coffee on SnB night, or trips to Montana for Bug to see his grandparents. I know my husband isn't willing to work his butt off to barely scrape by. He might be okay with it for a little while, but after a short time of having no money to go boating or camping with, he'd be pushing me to get another job. I could get another job. There are currently almost no jobs in my field anywhere nearby, and none at all that are part time. I could take a job for less pay, but I'd still have to work 40 hours or more to survive on a lesser hourly wage.
Why is this so hard? Why is it so difficult for corporations to support families, and for career-oriented, family-not-oriented women to cut us "breeders" some slack? I can get my work done at home, even if I was there full time. I can give you a big stack that I've finished by the end of the day. I actually get more done at home than at the office, because I tend to work during the time I'd be getting office-ready and driving and having lunch, too.
(The thing that really cheeses me off once a year is the travel-survey we have to do, so the company gets a thumbs-up from the county about doing our part to reduce greenhouse gasses and pollution. Telecommuting is always a choice, but very few in our company qualify. I feel like they're rubbing it in my face that I have to be in this heinous office instead of my comfy home.)
I know this is something that nearly every parent deals with. I KNOW that. Really I do. Which makes it all the more incomprehensible. What are we going to do about it? Somebody has got to make a change somewhere, and you know it's not going to come from the upper echelons of government and big business. What can WE do, here, down here in the grass, to make this more tolerable and support our families better? Somebody help me, cuz I'm not able to figure it out on my own.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wasn't there a song

About Desirée?
Desirée was my sockpal, and boy, am I lucky!

Last night my husband brought in this innocent looking little box:

I was feeding the Bug, so I figured it was just the dyes I'd ordered, and didn't get too excited. Then he read the label. YAY! SOCKS!
But there was so much, I couldn't believe it:

A lovely photo card, a hand-written note, two stitch markers my sockpal made herself (cute little wooden stars), some of the sock yarn for mending, two more balls of the same yarn in a different colorway, and (not pictured) a chocolate bar.

The chocolate bar didn't make it past breakfast this morning.

And here they are in all their glory:

Note the cool heel, which you can't really see in my lousy picture:

It makes this neat star pattern with decreases toward the center of the heel. I gotta find out how to do that heel. I kinda suspect it's the peasant heel style, where the heel is added on after the rest of the sock is knit. You know, because of all the extensive experience I got knitting those two pairs of socks in my WHOLE life.

I feel a little guilty for not including all the extras in my sockpal's package. This being my first swap, I was unaware of the unspoken "must add extra goodies" rule. I hope she's not too disappointed - I will do better next time, and I can't wait for the next swap to begin!

Thanks again, Desirée!

Monday, May 01, 2006

That lusty month of May

Okay, so my mom listened to lots of show tunes, and I can still sing most of them all the way through. So?
Anyway, it's the Month of Green. Since I have none of the green that allows me to buy more yarn (I don't even have a green credit card) I have to show mostly non-yarny things.
First, my favorite thing of all:
Green pillow, green blankie, green binkie.
Still Life with Bug

Some yarny goodness. (I think I need a bigger stash.)
green knittening

A view of my backyard. Pretty green for the desert, no?

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I had a picture of my green bike on the trainer, the one on which I intend to ride away the pounds. However, I could not get the photo to upload. Apparently, the universe has decided that I should not make any promises with regard to that bike. It needs a cushier seat, and someplace to hang my yarn while I'm pedaling.

Some beautiful stitch markers, by Rabbitch. (The photo just doesn't do them justice.)

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A pretty green dragonfly chime.

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