Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tis the Freaking Season

Know how I know? Cuz the drivers on the road this fine December morning were even more insane than usual. Prepare to drive your armored tanks for the next 30 or so days until the furor dies down.
And speaking of holiday furor, I'll not be eating between now and...oh... 1/15/11. I ate enough over the past weekend that, in addition to my normal reserves, I could go on a hunger strike for six months before anyone would need to worry about me. (As a point of reference, we expected 20 people. We cooked 35 pounds of turkey. o.O)
However, the holiday was a good one, filled with family and fun. T's parents were in town and helped us cook dinner, and then we puttered around all weekend. Friday was the train park, Saturday was the symphony, Sunday was the local park and some turkey soup and mulled wine. Fun, low-key, lots of stuff for the boys to do to burn off energy (they were with Aunt Nan while we were at the symphony) and no one killed anyone else.
Since I couldn't be finishing the last rows of the shawl, I dug out a hat I'd started for Smacky last year and finished it. Then we went to the park and it was coldcoldcold, so I started some Smacky mittens in the same yarn as the hat (Jojoland Melody) only held singly for the mittens. Baby mittens are freaking hilarious. Exhibit A: Smacky-mitten cuff.


I have just the bind-off on the shawl, and may even dye it tonight, or see if I can't finish a tiny mitten. Eensy mittens are super-satisfying, but dyeing the shawl means it would be pinned out tomorrow night. Dilemma!

Update! That thar shawl ain't touching them thar needles.


Still need to dye and block the beast and weave in the ends.

It's been darn cold - unseasonably so - here the last week, even getting to freezing last night and tonight. May have to make T some mittens, though by the time I finish them, chances are it will be toasty warm and springlike outside...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Hangover

The whirlwind of turkey day is over. Today is about drinking up last night's sangria, putting away last night's dishes, and eating pie and cookies for breakfast. Slow, relaxing knitting will happen as soon as I have the energy to think about knitting. US friends, I hope it was a good one. International friends, I hope your Thursday was extra special, what with the waves of turkey-induced coma emanating from our shores.
Now we start the graceful slide into the High Holy Days of Glitter. My favorite season of the year, in fact, due to the unusually high concentration of sparkle, glitz, and too-tacky-for-Vegas light displays in this country. (Yesterday, watching live TV for the first time in months, I saw a commercial talking about how buying an Audi for Christmas made it the "season of reason" and it meant you didn't have to go overboard for Christmas.) Bring on the shiny, yo, and peace out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Progress of a sort

Last week I was bored, so I wrote the post about how my shawl was done, I dyed it, it was beautiful, etc, intending to add the photos as they happened. From the moment I did that (which coincided with the moment I started the border) it was FRAUGHT with problems and issues. Not to mention the fact that no matter how loosely I do my nupps, give that there are so many YOs around them, they stretch and the looseness goes away, causing a purl-back row to go from 30 minutes for a nupp-less row to 2 hours or more for one with nupps. (Cuz there are like 60 nupps in most of these rows.) That being said, I am approaching the end. This last row had a few errors that I fudged, rather than pulling back two rows (or more) of nupps.


Later when I get the thing out to work on it, I'll pseudo-block the area to see if it's noticeable, but I can't really believe that it is. (In most cases it was an extra stitch, likely caused by missing a k2tog or knitting one of the loops of a nupp separately, a few rows previous.) I couldn't be chuffed to care last night, though. I am near the end of this monster, and it IS a monster, for all that I think it will be lovely and it will be a wrench to give it away. I have been 100% monogamous to this puppy, and I'm looking forward to a nice cabled scarf for a change.

Otherwise, life goes. I have been doing Christmas shopping early, in an effort to make this Christmas as relaxing and lovely for myself and for T as it will be for the children. Bug is super-excited and loves the glitz and sparkle of Christmas as much as I do, and Smacky has taken to saying "Oooooh" when he sees pretty things, in his tiny little voice, and it melts my icy cold heart all over again. If I can keep the cats and the Smackster off the tree, I will consider it a success. (Anyone know how to anchor a live tree to the wall, in any case?) In the meantime, though, we're still purging and working like crazy on the house to get it ready for Thanksgiving. T's parents are coming and my family is descending like locusts. My brother promised to make a Thai dish, we're making spicy chili cranberries in addition to the regular, and a few other non-traditional dishes that T wants thrown in. Can't wait. I love making T-day dinner. Now to decide whether to make a pumpkin cheesecake, or a milk-chocolate kahlua one. The shopping for this dinner was epic.


The cats are adorable, smelly, finger-biting, yarn eating monsters too. Yesterday I got out some yarn to show T, who's helping me figure out what to use for his dad's scarf. I left the hanks on the bed and went downstairs. A few minutes later, George came down skulking, and hid under my desk. Little jerk had one of the hanks of yarn and was carrying it like it was his latest kill. I rescued it (there was no noticeable damage) and the little bastige went up and got the second one. Then I noticed Smacky's hat out of the knitting basket, and one strand of the yarn stretched over the chair, mostly because George went over to bat at the strand in consolation. Icicle seems to have no interest in yarn or knitting, and will happily sit on my lap and purr away, so long as the yarn doesn't tickle his ears.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday Saturday

Okay, so I missed Thursday. And last week. Be thankful I'm doing it at all. (heh, see how I tied that all in?)

Anyway, today, I am thankful for too much. Too much to do, that is. I whine (an awful awful lot) here and to Lynn and others about how much there is to do and how I don't have enough time and blah blah blah. What a luxury. Think about it - I have a job which provides me some measure of income, and I have a little home to maintain. And I have knitting I want to do, and not enough time to do it. I have a stash of yarns and patterns waiting, and a whole brainful of creativity that is nearly spilling out my ears. And because I get SOME of it done, it means I do have at least some time at my leisure. Time to do with what I will. It's not enough - never enough! - but I have it. Today I'm happy and thankful that my list of things to do for the weekend includes a selection of wants, chores to maintain my little house that I love, playtime with my kids and T, and a whole lot of creative pursuits vying for my time. Instead of whining today about how there isn't enough time to do all the wonderful things I want to, I'm going to celebrate how there are too many wonderful things to do.
How sad, to be someone with all kinds of time and no enjoyable way to fill it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Halloween has come and gone. This weekend is our (likely) final trip to Tucson for my remaining stuff. There will be furniture shifting at the house and boxes moving and appliances exchanging, but I think we've broken the back of it and we're well on our way to having a nice, functioning home again. (I'm consistently surprised when I remember that "nice, functioning home" requires LESS stuff, not more, but that is probably something most of us struggle with, and I'm not yet willing to sell it all and live in a caravan or a 200 sq ft apartment under someone's stairs.)
This weekend I managed to clean the kitchen - REALLY REALLY clean the kitchen - and it's wonderful. T came in and saw it (he was volunteering at the Autism walk) and said, "WOW! Now what's our plan for keeping it like this?" lol He liked it so well he actually cleaned up after dinner and left nothing out! (We both have the habit of not quite finishing the tidying, so each night it gets a little more cluttered, until finally there is no room on any countertop and we are forced to eat out for a week. Forced!)
Anyway, in the course of cleaning and tidying and shifting, I have been knitting AND sewing. The shawl is a loooong slog (enjoyable, still, but a slog). I was berating myself over the weekend for being unable to finish it, since I only had 20 rows left. Then I did a little math, upon the realization that one row is averaging 15-20 minutes. Yeah, not this weekend. I'm nearly to the edging (perhaps there, by the time I publish this). I feel good about that.
(See the Christmas counter, people? It's bearing down. It's coming. It's already November, y'all. For those who knit for Christmas, get on it.)
The sewing is my FIL's quilt. Started in 2004, when my MIL fell and broke her neck. When she woke up in the hospital, one of the first things she asked for was the quilt Gramma had made her. I realized FIL didn't have a blankie of his own, so I set out to make one. As per usual, I petered out when it came to the quilting of the thing. I have made a couple stabs at it in the past, but this time I'm finishing the puppy and sending it for Christmas. Assuming I can find the fabric I'd planned to use for the binding, or indeed, if I can even remember what that fabric IS, I'll be in good shape.
Next up, a (nominally) twin sized blankie for Bug, based on his beloved Green Blankie. Said Green Blankie is minkee on one side, satin on the other, and he's carried it with him since Day One. I have four colors of satin for one side, one color minkee (in that same mint green as Green Blankie) for the other side, Big Alice's tutorials, and I'm going to get Joan on speed dial. Save me. (Sitting here typing this it occurs to me that I should make one for Smacky, who has few blankies of his own, given the crazy number Bug received as gifts. It's starting to get a little crazy around the edges of Christmas already...)
T tweeted before trick-or-treating that this was his first Halloween dressed as a "dad". It was excellent. My neighborhood seems dead most of the time (in fact, it's so rare as to be notable when we see someone walking about in the complex) so we went to my dad's, where my sister, her kids, my other sister and husband and a couple friends had gathered. Dad's neighborhood has TONS of kids so we had high hopes. It took a bit for Bug to get into the groove of the thing, and truly, the nardos who leave their outside lights on but don't answer the door? SUCK. We must have been the first out in the neighborhood, and went around the corner and fell in with a large family, which was fun for a bit. We parted ways and wandered up the next street, and when we turned the corner to go back to dad's street, it was a sea of humanity. HUGE groups of people wandering the streets. One family had a fire pit, some were sitting outside waiting - one tween boy was nice enough to remove his scary mask so Bug could go up and receive candy without fear. Smacky toddled along in his giraffe costume - I really thought he'd fight it but in fact refused to take it off for some time after we were finished. (It was a little short in the torso so the hood pulled down over his eyes a bit, but he still wanted to wear it all night.) He had a great time, Bug had a great time. When Bug got tired, he said, "Can we go back to Grampa's now?" and he ate a bit of candy and some dinner and passed out candy with his uncle while the rest of us ate pizza and drank beer and wine and chatted on the back patio.
(Clicketty Biggity)

Weekends are settling down, and we're enjoying some relaxing time. Knitting in the afternoons while the breezes waft in through the windows, bike riding on the local path, baking muffins with the boys (Smacky on the chair on one side, Bug on the chair on the other, each taking a turn stirring and tasting...) Almost don't mind the mountains of laundry and sticky spots that appear on the floors 12 seconds after I've mopped... Happy Fall, y'all.