Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I blame the Noob.

I got taken down a notch.
First, though, I changed my swear word tagline in honor of October. (I change them monthly.) That one had been up there since Sept 1, but I think only Nora noticed it. (ETA: okay, only Nora said anything about it.) It was a little more blatant in the new template. Joan, in particular, was thrilled with it (NOT) so I changed it for her.

Now for the notch-taking. I think it was because I was all smug about all the crap I finished this weekend, and I was particularly proud of myself for swatching for Linden. Using the size 8 needles gave me 15.5 st/4in, instead of the 14 I needed. So, yesterday I went and borrowed Lynn in Tucson's size 7 Options tips to reswatch. [cue scary music] I finished the swatch this evening and proudly showed it to my knitting buddy Lisa. We discussed what a firm fabric it made, and I told her about the gauge, and then she pointed out the obvious. I needed to go UP a needle size. UP. UPUPUPUPUPUPUP. Gah. I am officially a dummy. I would feel less dumb about it if I hadn't actually gone and borrowed Lynn's 7s. (Bug lost mine for me.) I even ordered some new ones. I KNOW where my 9s are. Sigh.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Because I enjoy punishing myself

I switched my blog template for fall. Punishment double. To me, the defining feature of fall is the ability to sit outside on the deck and drink my morning latte without sweating a puddle under my chair or being eaten by mosquitos. During my two pregnancies, I have been unable to tolerate milk or the acid in the coffee. (I assume it's that, since I have plenty of caffeine in other things.) I'm going to miss out on the whole entire fall season of deck-sitting-coffee-drinking because I had to go and be all knocked up. I can have all the tea I want, but I'm sorry to all you tea drinkers, it's just not as good. This might actually be a forest for the trees moment, but I'm whiny so I feel all put out. So what did I do? Pick a coffee theme for fall. (Cuz blogger has crap for good Autumn templates, even from those sites that have actual GOOD templates (which is NOT the actual blogger.)
However, blogger also sucks in that all my sidebar items are ...
Okay, wait. JUST as I was typing the above sentence, I got an error message that Blogger couldn't autosave my draft. Is Blogger the beta of Skynet?
...back to the sidebar. All "gadgets". Not hardcoded into the template anywhere. This makes it all neato to add them in and fix them, but when replacing a template, one must save the code in each gadget to a Notepad file separately. "Download the entire template" only gives you the template. Not the gadgets. Those of you who are more code-savvy than I might realize this, but I didn't until after I uploaded and overwrote the template, and so. Sigh. I'm missing some sidebar content because I couldn't be bothered to care enough about the rings and buttons I'd had up there before.
And also, can anyone tell me why my nifty and offensive tagline of swears is off too far to the left?Thanks to the DH of Lynn in Tucson for telling me how to fix the subtitle. Now my offensive taglines can be clearly seen! Woo!
That being said, the weekend was not a total loss. There was... [gasp] KNITTING! Not just knitting, but PROGRESS. I finished my portion of the secret project, and made progress on the second Charade sock, and hold on to your knickers, FAINA.


It doesn't look like much, but it's twice what it was when I pulled it out of the hole it had been stashed in. A little "knitting maturity" goes a long way with this one, and I have had few of the chart-reading and YO-making problems that plagued me in the first attempt.
I organized my knitting basket and put only those projects that I'm actively working on in the basket, and removed all the rest of the yarn to the stash area. I might have worked on Gust too, if my needles hadn't been in Faina. I partially swatched for Linden. I even WASHED the swatch. Holy crap, do you hate me yet? (How about when I tell you I also cleaned much of the house, finished my laundry, made the Bug some playdough and baked both cookies and pumpkin bread? It's amazing how much you can get done when your kid wakes you up at 5am on weekends as well as weekdays. You totally hate me. It's okay, I'd hate me too, if I didn't have cookies.)

Friday, September 26, 2008


ETA again: anyone know why my blog subtitle is too far left? I don't know much CSS and have futzed with everything I can think of to futz with.

So, the other day I needed a quick win. I decided to dig out and rip that lace. I hated it, and I wasn't going to bother to continue knitting on something I hated. I should know by now (see here) that when I want a quick win, I should NOT do anything that requires yarn winding.
Three days later, I finally managed to rip and reskein that yarn. (I had wound it in a ball doubled, and decided to skein it up singly so I could dye it, and well, it's a little fuzzy.) I only broke it (mumble mumble) times. Sigh. But, it's done, and it's lovely, and it's moving out of my house and going to live somewhere else. If anyone can rehab recalcitrant lace, it's Cookie.
Anyway, I don't know how quick that win was, but it's one more thing "finished" for the year.
ETA:(Oh yeah, and I looked back in my archives, and it turns out that I ALWAYS write a "I'm tense and overwhelmed because it's fall" post at the end of September. See? Nothing to do with the hormones.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's fall

And it's stressing me out!
I hesitate to make decrees like I did in this post, because I start to feel like I'm falling behind, even though I'm the only one I'll answer to, and no one will die (or even be slightly inconvenienced) if I fail to attain my goal or I change my mind. But still, I made it public, and dammit, I need to make progress.
I think I feel this way every year. I remember the rush of the school year beginning, trying to get school shopping and new supplies and everything ordered and done and ready to go. I still feel the urge to "prepare", despite the fact that I have no garden, I have no school-aged children, heat is a luxury and really unnecessary in my neck of the woods, and I can get whatever I want at the grocery store. I see Siri collecting huckleberries, Anne and Cyndy and Judy and Norma finishing up their gardens and putting up and canning for the winter. (oooh, such name-dropping.) Is it genetic? Do I feel like I SHOULD be preparing for the long, hard, 60-degree winter in Tucson? Is it something in my bones that makes me feel like I'm falling behind even though there's nothing out of the ordinary to do? It makes me tense and itchy and irritable, and I'm not even sure if there's a way to fix it. Would it help if I went to the farmer's market and bought and canned some produce? No idea. I can tell you that the idea of me running out and buying produce and canning supplies is not likely to happen, so we may never know. In the meantime, add in the insomnia, the work and house stress, and the hormones, and it manifests in my cranky ass self and occasional ranting emails sent to friends. (Sorry.) We'll just gloss over the (thankfully also occasional) screaming hissy fits.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I did a little on the blog over the weekend, while waiting for work things to load. (How did the internet EVER get so great if we all started on dial-up? I mean really.) I'm making progress on my end of year goals without really killing myself yet, though I'm also in denial about how quickly that end-of-year thing is coming up.
This weekend I did work, we all cleaned the house, and we had Bug's friends-party at Chuck E Cheese. It was quite nice - we actually had almost 20 people once you included parents, older siblings, and us, and we really didn't spend a whole lot more than we would have doing something at home. Plus, no clean up! No prep! No cooking! Except, of course, baking the cake:


After his "taste" (aka, licking the beater) We couldn't convince him that it was HIS cake - he was so sure it was for Daddy...

But seriously, Chuck E Cheese? Next time, if you're not going to serve booze, at LEAST give the parents a set of earplugs when we walk in.

And on a completely random note, apparently the fashion for fall is "retro-stewardess-schoolgirl", according to Kohl's.

I'm not sure what the field means.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Thanks for all the birthday luv for my little man. He had a satisfactory birthday that included a giant Thomas cake, Thomas figurines, new Thomas movies, and the ability to blow out a candle not once, but three times! (The kid can't NOT blow out a candle. He even involuntarily blows at candles on TV or in pictures.) He's enjoyed the new classroom at daycare too. For months, he'd stand at the gate waiting for his morning hug from Miss Sheila, and Thursday, he finally got to run triumphant through the gate and take his rightful place at her table amongst the other three year olds. I never quite noticed the longing he was feeling until I saw his face as he got to join the big kids. It's going to kill the whole family to leave this daycare in a few months. Seriously. It's quite possibly the best daycare in the whole world.


"Made in China" isn't coming so cheap as it used to.


I am making progress on my end of year goals.

First Monkey, done.


Second Charade, started.


I have a little secret project going on myself, which is actually quite tiny and shouldn't take up too much of my time. I still haven't mailed the Lene socks (though as of yesterday I had all the package bits ready to go and just need to pack them up) so I hadn't even swatched for Linden. Fortunately for me, too; there were some errors discovered, and I only got the corrected PDF this morning. Now I just need to decide whether the aunts will be getting applique projects (wallhangings or aprons or something) or lace stoles. Oh yeah, and get to working on all this crap.


OMG, and also, do you see my little counter to the left? People, less than 100 days till the Noob is due to arrive. Holy shit, I am not ready. (And knitters? Less than 100 days till Christmas. Just sayin'.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday

To my little blessing.



Who told you to grow up so fast?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The weekend is dead. Long live the weekend.

Quite a productive weekend for us. Saturday dawned, cranky and pissy. We had a birthday party to attend, and the parents of the birthday boy were having as bad a day as we were, and the child and parents were about 45-60 minutes late for their own party. However, once everyone got there, they sucked it up, got to grilling and playing and bouncing, and everyone, including my cranky self and my cranky ass family, had a grand time. Then we all went home and had a nap and pancakes for dinner, and really, how could we stay pissy after that?
This morning the DH woke up all ready to clean. It's a good thing, too - it's been two weeks since the cleaning lady came last, and since we aren't terribly efficient, we'd clean bits throughout the week, so the house was never clean all at one time. Today, though, the DH got a wild hair, and gave me new carpet.


Not really, but he spot cleaned and rented a steam cleaner and sucked tons of dirt, mud, dog accidents, kid food spills, etc. I do not exaggerate when I say that the carpet had at least 20 large dark stains this morning. (He even managed to get out the spot where Bug stepped on a blackberry in the middle of the carpet.)
I can't even begin to tell you how much better everything else looks just to have the carpet clean again.

This weekend I also finished the rest of my appliqué homework.


I worked on my end-of-year goal. Haiku, DONE!


I think the little pearly heart-shaped buttons make it special, and I hope they draw the viewer's attention away from the wonky sleeve seaming. What a weird construction - I don't think I'd do another side to side sweater with a one-piece body. I didn't like sewing the sleeves in. BUT! Done it is, and since the little girl it was intended for has long since outgrown it, it will go to one of the Bug's little girlfriends, if it fits her.

Speaking of the Bug, he's growing up. Dammit.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

A test of my resolve.

Two of them, actually.

Today, I stayed home from work and went to my LQS. (LFS?) Recently when Cassie and Lene started up their joint quilting blog, my interest in appliqué was rekindled, but I've never really seen it done. I'm quite visual, so to learn to appliqué someone needed to show me. Anyway, they had a beginning hand appliqué class, so I signed up. I was happy to see that there were only two of us in the class, so we got a lot of direct instruction while still having fun and chatting. I came home and finished my little class sample and made two of my homework assignments.


The red one was the first one I did, and the other two I did this evening. I'm supposed to do a total of six - the red one is cut-away, and the other two are needle-turn. (From what I can tell, the only difference between the two is that for the first one, you cut the fabric away as you stitch it, and the second you cut it to the seam allowance ahead of time. Semantics.) Anyway, I kinda totally love this and would still be stitching away if my legs and arse hadn't fallen asleep from sitting there for so long.

The second temptation came in the mail. I wasn't expecting it so it was a nice surprise.


I was supposed to receive a shipping notice, but seriously, how can something from "beaverslide" NOT fail the porn filter?

Anyway, heads up, Lynn in Tucson, because if ever you ask what tweedy yarn you should use for a project and you haven't already checked for Beaverslide, I shall taunt you and deny you cake. This stuff is some serious YUM. Soft but woolly, sheepy but somewhat refined, tweedy without being annoyingly so.


That is 15 skeins of sheeptastic goodness. (Seriously, y'all, making a sweater coat for a plus-sized gal is no small undertaking. And also, thank goodness this sucker doesn't have to button over my bump.)


That picture is fairly true to color, except the tweedy bits aren't so bright in real life.


That's kinda more like it.

So, now I have the means to make my Linden AND I have the knowledge to sit and stitch tiny hearts to tiny squares for no discernible reason, other than the fact that I clearly like fiddly hobbies.

And, filed under Reasons People Suck, here's one for you. Our new house has a pool. It's neat, and I'll be excited to have one, having grown up with one myself. (Seriously, though - we move from the desert to the coast and THEN got a pool? Sheesh, I do things backwards sometimes.) Anyway, the realtor was nice enough to go out again and send us some pictures so we could show our families, since we forgot to do it while we were there. We noticed two fence slats missing that had been there before, so he mentioned it to the listing agent and told her they'd need to have that fixed before we took possession. She groaned, and proceeded to tell our realtor they'd already had it fixed once, in addition to going to the neighbor's and telling them it was trespassing to use the pool since it wasn't their property. What kind of gall does it take to do it after you've been told not to already? And to make it patently obvious who was doing it? (Apparently the listing agent got her husband to dress "like a detective" and hand-deliver a cease and desist letter on her company's letterhead. Hee.) The worst part of it all? There's no effing lock on the effing gate. They could walk in whenever they wanted and not damage the effing fence.
Lest you worry that have enough gall to try it again after we move in, I will show you my security system.

P6250012 P1040028 P1040030

They sound more ferocious than they are, but I'm not telling the new neighbors that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is it too early to be nesting?

So I've been thinking. And cleaning. Those two things are things I generally prefer NOT to do in great quantities, but hey. I've been thinking a lot about what to clean next, what to pack up, what we can do without for a few months, etc. And I've also been looking at my blog. Specifically, at that list of WIPs over on the sidebar there. The other day, I was randomly thinking about some strange conglomeration of things, when I remembered one of the members of my blogroll likes to start the year fresh, with respect to projects. (I can't remember if it's Jared or Dave Daniels, or both.) The idea is to finish up what's on the needles and rip what isn't finished, IIRC. When I first read that a year or two ago, I believe my reaction was somewhere along the lines of "that's nucking futs." This year, though, the idea is growing on me. I mean REALLY. Look at that list.
Votive sleeves: I have 2 1/2 left, and I want to finish them for Christmas. Assuming I can still find the wire, that should be eminently doable.
Monkey socks: I have the better part of one done.
Gust: still in the early stages
Lace: I still have doubts about this one - it's a secret project and I don't love it. I'd be avoiding it simply because I don't want to face the inevitability that it needs ripping.
Charade socks: one down, one to go
Slippin' Slidin' Socks: not on the list. Early on, could probably rip without much anguish if I needed to. I think I have, maybe, an inch of cuff done.
Garden lattice socks: need to rip back half of the one finished sock, so if I ripped the whole thing I prolly wouldn't cry.
Faina: I struggled with the charts. I still love the pattern, and I'm much better at reading charts (and lace, for that matter) now. Maybe it's time to let Faina out again.
Sonnet: Going to rip it. No question.
Haiku: needs to have the sleeves and buttons sewn. C'mon, yo, leaving it like that is almost sinful. Finish that dude.

What I have is, at most, two lacy scarves, six socks, 2.5 tiny candle holders, and finishing up a baby sweater. In the writing of this post, I've already decided the secret lace needs to go. (I have this feeling that there are other things, but if they've been UFOs so long that I can't remember them, they're getting ripped.) I also have the better part of four months. Really, that should be doable.
Even if I throw in Linden, I still think it's doable. It starts to get a little dicey when I think of knitting lace shawls for my aunts for Christmas, but I was still batting that idea around and I hadn't settled on it yet. I obviously am not going to finish my summer knitting goals, but hey, at least I got a little mojo back. I think I might be talking myself into this idea of finishing up the year's (and last year's) projects before moving on into '09. Do I sound like an annoying go-getter? Do we hate me yet?

Monday, September 08, 2008

It begins.

We have a purchase contract on a house in CA. I have an acid stomach. I realized over the weekend that I have never once intentionally moved more than a few miles in my adult life. (I ended up in Tucson for school, always intending to move back to my family in Phoenix, but never did, so intentions-wise, that doesn't count.) All the moves in the past 20 years were close enough to run back to the "old place" for another load of stuff after work. This time, it ain't gonna work that way, and I think I might be in denial.
However, I had reached the point where there weren't any closets left to clean out that could be done without a hazmat suit. (The guest room is now a giant pit of despair, and I never moved all the craft stuff out of Bug's closet when my craft room became his room, so now all the craft things are wedged in there with pieces of toys and parts of cribs.) I cleaned out my closet.

Before: (La, don't look at the shelf, if you value your eyesight or your sanity)

I took everything out.

(That laundry basket is DH's work shirts, which go to the laundromat to get washed and pressed, because Mama don't iron, and apparently, neither does Daddy. Mama's just smart enough to buy clothes that don't require it.)

I sorted it into piles. One to sell, one to donate, one to wear, one to pack.


Then I decided I was too lazy to take them to the consignment store, so I smooshed the to-sell and to-donate piles together. I hope someone shopping at the Goodwill store finds a great job wearing my interview dress.

I packed the to-pack stuff in a box. GASP. The first box of stuff to move. Holy crap, y'all, that means this is actually happening. (Living in the southwest desert generally means that one does not really have "summer" and "winter" clothes, one has short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts. I do not pack away summer clothes in the fall, etc. so I can't even pretend it's just seasonal.)
Some of the wintry-looking stuff (velour skirts, sweats, that type of stuff) got thrown in the washer, and I hung up the remaining clothes.


It's hard to see there, but I think after all is said and done, there were three bottoms and 5 tops in there. Sigh. I have more in the wash and a few maternity things winging their way to me, but for the most part, I'm going to have to be really good about the laundry for the next several months...

(Sadly, I am aware that for a great majority of the world, what I'm whining about is actually an abundance of wealth. I will try to remember that when it's 7:30am and I realize I forgot to run the dryer with all my pants in it...)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some observations.

If you have to go to city court, all the world's unwashed masses will be there, and they will sit by you.
If you have to go to city court, you should go early in the morning, in the hope that said unwashed masses will not have dragged their overhung arses out of bed and marinated in that cheap cologne yet. If you wait until after lunch, may God have mercy on your soul.
Thank FSM, Hestia and Cthulhu for remembering to stash your knitting in your bag before heading to city court after lunch.
Thank every other deity out there that you do not work at city court and have to listen to all those sob stories all freaking day long.
The time it takes for them to call numbers I916 through I957 (not to mention the As, Cs, Ds, and Fs) will allow you to turn a whole heel and knit one Monkey repeat. Even if you are a slow knitter and stop to admire the yarn each row.
Just because you *call* them formal shorts doesn't mean I won't ridicule you for wearing them with heels or pretending they're work-wear.
The pleasantly warm feeling you get when you leave the icy building and step out into a warm September afternoon dissipates quickly when you parked too far from the court building and have to walk through the scary part of downtown where there is too much concrete and no shade to speak of.
Toll House Brownie cookie sandwiches with mint ice cream are pretty durn tasty.
Toe-up gussets, Wendy-style, mean you don't have to alternate which rows start with a slipped stitch to get eye of partridge when you turn the heel. If you do this, you will end up with a standard slip-stitch heel pattern, which, while lovely, was not what you were going for.
Some people will be too lazy to rip it out and will pretend it was done intentionally.
People who do not like teenages as a rule are probably best served by avoiding the 7-11 near the bus-stop near the local high school at 2:45 in the afternoon.
People do not like others in their personal space might consider letting the teenagers pay for their drinks first when they're standing behind you cussing about the bus trundling up the street.
It's also probably best to avoid striking them. There are more of them than there are of you, and they are younger.
The fact that Blogger spell check recognizes Hestia but not Cthulhu may surprise you.
One of life's little pleasures is walking on a recently-mopped, cool tile floor barefoot.
Waiting for a box of yarn is like waiting for Christmas.
USPS's online ordering system is fan-freaking-tastic. Use it for your holiday shipping and suddenly you will love the post office, instead of passing it with dread each day your packages go unmailed because you do not have the intestinal fortitude to stand in that line with all the other lost souls. (Bonus - when they ship you your stamps, you get a nice email telling you they were "carefully packaged".)
When the bank sends you the signed purchase agreement on the new house in another state, you might be surprised that your reaction falls more along the lines of "Oh God I gotta pack" than "YAY!".
For all my tough talk and swagger about not giving a shit what others think, there are still a few people who can shut me down and make me feel like a shy, nerdy, awkward 7th-grade shadow of myself in 10 words or less.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

You people.

Here I post about DH's reaction to my weird dream, and you all chide me for subconsciously picking Jessica Simpson instead of some hotter, brainier chick. ;-P
The Lene Socks are washed and dried and awaiting the rest of their little box of stuff to join them. I told DH I'd mop tonight, but I think it might be more important to go shopping. >:-) Actually, I could probably do both, but I don't want him to know that.
I ordered my Beaverslide yarn this morning. I went for the new 3-ply McTaggart Tweeds, in a medium brown. (Autumn Dogwood, if you care.) I'd originally envisioned the coat in a bright lipstick red, but lately I've been rocking the brown maternity shirt, and DH mentioned how nice I looked in brown, and well. Brown coat it is. I can't wait to get started on it. Please remind me I said that when I'm whining about the acres of stockinette.
In the meantime, I've been Monkeying with some Fleece Artist (in Marine) to keep me busy. It was part of a prize from Joan, who knows from good prizes. Blogless Lynn wasn't kidding, that pattern goes fast.


I'm learning that I really don't like turning heels, except for the standard heel flap, but I hate casting on stretchily (is so a word) and prefer to knit toe up. Even knitting a toe-up gusset is distasteful, as the gusset grows and grows instead of shrinking, as it does from the top down. I'm giving some thought to knitting a sock starting at the top of the heel, with a provisional cast on, and then knitting up from there. That way I can make best use of the yarn, I don't have to do that heinous cast on, I get to do the beloved heel flap, and I know I won't run out of yarn on the foot. Best of both worlds, or ridiculous fiddly overcomplicated procedure? Who knows until I try it? (Hey, I only just heard about Houdini socks, so I still have a ways to go before I get to Most Complex and Unintuitive Way to Make Socks.)