Thursday, November 25, 2004

Finally some pictures

Not much knitting is going on at my house these days. My brother is in town from Colorado with his family, and I hung out with them all day Tuesday. I was so exhausted from that event that I practically slept all day yesterday! I'm just not used to all that activity I suppose.

I still have not touched the vest. Here it is, lying right where I left it when I discovered the error:

I just can't bring myself to look at it yet. So I started a prototype of a stocking I want to make, but I'm certain I'll have to modify the pattern. God forbid I just make something as it was intended. Here is the start:

I want the scallops to be more pointy. This one is worked using a double decrease, which I've never done before. You slip two stitches, knit one, and then pass both slipped stitches over the first. It's a little bit tricky but I think I've gotten the hang of it. Once you finish the cuff you join the yarn and work in the round, which is better. We'll see how it turns out.

Everyone is meeting at Jessica's tomorrow night for a SnB meeting. I doubt I will be there – it's just as far as my mom's house and it makes me pretty nervous going that far away when I could go into labor at any moment. (at least we hope.) And our Holiday Party looms two weeks away – if the baby takes much longer to get here I won't be able to make that either. Drat it all.

I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Update on the fifth graders

I spoke with Gloria (my mother-in-law) last night about her class. She said they are all knitting like crazy and some of them have finished five squares! One boy's mother made me a blanket to thank me for teaching him to knit. Apparently he was having a little trouble in school so she was reading to him every night, but of course he was fidgety and couldn't focus. Now he knits while she reads to him and he sits still! She was so grateful. And even Gloria says the kids are calmer in between activities because they have something to do with their hands. I'm so glad the project went well. We'll be sewing up the squares into a blanket after the baby gets here.

I have not had the courage to look at the sweater vest with the horrible mistake, but maybe today. We'll see how I feel.

It's still raining today and pretty cold out. Cold for us anyway – it's 52 degrees right now. Allegedly it's only going to get up to 55, but I'll believe that when I see it. More likely it will be close to 70, just like yesterday.

I'll probably finish a secret project today if I don't get involved with the vest. And I want to buy some material to wrap the gifts for my brother's family – I'm just going to make small bags to put them in with the washing instructions. They get here today and will leave by the end of the week so I want to make sure I send their stuff home with them.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

A Knitting Tragedy of Epic Proportions

The vest is sitting alone in the other room on the chair where I left it. The dog may decide to nest in it, but for now there is nothing to be done about that.

Last night as Florida beat Florida State, I finished the back. All 11 inches of stockinette stitch from the divide for the armholes. I placed the stitches for the front back onto my needle so I could work on the front today and be that much closer to completion. But a mistake reared its ugly head.

The cable is not in the center.

I counted stitches on either side. The number of stitches is not the same.

I hyperventilated a little, although that could have been a contraction. I did not cry. I simply set the knitting down and walked away. It remains to be seen if I am brave enough to pick it back up today and fix it. I know this will require ripping out the entire back, down to the armholes, and re-do the math to make the cable centered.

I can't fathom how I did this wrong. I was so careful. I counted and recounted. But still it is incorrect. This is what I get for modifying a pattern on my own.

In better news, the SnB group met for an overnight knitting party at Kid's Town last night. I haven't heard reports back, but I'm sure they all had a great time and got lots of knitting done.


The venue for our Holiday Party has been selected. It is none other than the Southwest Trading Company Warehouse. Soy Silk. Bamboo. Something called Diva. Wool. They are going to do a fashion show and offer us last year's yarn at a discount. (Last year's yarn? What are we, Chanel designers? "Oh, I couldn't possibly use THAT yarn, it's from last season.") The date is December 9th and if you are in town and haven't received your evite let me or Kim know.

As you may have guessed, I'm still pregnant. Just in case you were wondering.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Knitting for Knitters

I didn't go to the knit-in last night, but I hear it was tons of fun. I'm sure it was packed – she always draws a big crowd. Instead, Joe took me back to Delux, the fancy hamburger place on Camelback and 32nd Street. This time I had the Delux Burger instead of the Standard Burger and my goodness it was amazing. Carmelized Onions, two cheeses somehow infused into the meat (I think maytag and gruyere), arugula, and this fantastic bread. I highly recommend it.

Kim asked me the other day if any of my secret projects were for her. Sadly, no, they are all for family members. But I've been thinking about it, and I realized I wouldn't have the faintest idea what to knit for someone who is a knitter. You can't really get away with a quick scarf, because they will know how easy it was. And here in Arizona there is not a big need for hats and warm things like mittens.

So my question to everyone is this. Do you knit for your knitting friends? If so, what do you knit them?

Not much else is going on in the knitting world for me today. I may work on the vest a bit, and maybe the secret projects.....

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Knit In Tonight

Tonight is a Knit-in at Jessica's. I really wish I could go, I'm just afraid it's too far to drive. I'm sure everyone will have a great time and buy lots of fun yarn without me.

I've been working on the vest a bit, as well as a secret project that I thought was too difficult given my state of mind. Granted, I have had to rip out a few rows here and there, but it's going okay. I also had to learn how to purl two together through the back loops. I won't say I actually learned this, because it is entirely too awkward and hard. But I found this site that suggested I just purl two together and then flip the stitch clockwise – it works famously and I'm very happy.

I need to wrap all the gifts for my brother's family – they get here on Monday and I want to send everything back with them to Colorado for Christmas. I'm glad I'm done with all of them, and the only Christmas gift I have left is the vest. I also have to weave in the ends of Jack's blanket. I hate weaving in ends. But since I suppose he will be here soon it would be nice to have that done.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

No baby, just knitting

Yesterday a small gathering of the SnB group met at Lux Coffeebar. It was pretty well attended for a day meeting – I think about 10 people total showed up. We even had someone new named Julia who was from Omaha and then Kansas City. But the big news of the day was Kim finishing a sweater for her daughter Gemma. Here it is:

and a closeup of the bobbles:

It's not as blue as is showing up in the picture, but for some reason my camera always goes to the blue side of things.

It was also Kim's birthday yesterday. If I was a better friend we would have had cake and presents, but I could hardly get my act together to show up.

Nick was there with his new blanket he's making out of mohair and recycled silk. I swear, this guy has the best yarn. Here he is showing it off to my mother:

We're all proud of him for branching out away from the scarves.

Here is Julia on the left, Donna in the middle and my mom Sandee:

And then Kiki, Nick, and Shannon

Of course since I'm posting this I have not had the baby yet. He's still hanging out, getting bigger by the minute and making it impossible for me to be comfortable. I go to the doctor this afternoon, so hopefully he'll have some news for me.

Tomorrow night everyone is going to Jessica Knits for her Knit-in. Even if I am still around it's too far for me to drive right now. But I'm hoping to make it to the day after Thanksgiving, escape your family and knit night at Jessica's. We'll see how I'm feeling, and if I even have the baby by then.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My hands

I am still home waiting for the baby to come. This kid is about as stubborn as his father.

I have realized that my hands are hurting from pregnancy, not from knitting. It must be the large amounts of fluid trapped inside that make them hurt - I really look like someone stuck a hose in my mouth. But I haven't touched a knitting needle in days, and my hands still hurt. I hope this is something that goes away once the kid arrives!

Our SnB group is meeting at 10 this morning at Lux Coffee Bar on Central. I was hoping to be in the hospital by now, but no such luck. Fortunately the coffee shop is right down the street from my house, so even if I do go into labor (cross your fingers) I won't be far.

I haven't had pictures in a while, so here you can take a look at Jack's nursery, and my packed bags:

Sunday, November 14, 2004


I feel like a little kid who stayed home sick from school only to find out all the tv shows had been cancelled for some political event. I'm not sick enough to go to the hospital, but all I can do is lie around and wait to get better. Of course, getting better in my case means having a baby, and I'm not really sick. It just seems like it. I don't want to drive too far just in case of emergency, but I don't want to sit at home all day either. When I walk around my feet swell up, but sitting still makes me antsy. I can't focus enough to read or to knit, there is nothing on television worth watching, and I can only sleep so much.

My parents are coming over today to entertain me while Joe goes to work. He has one last deadline that needs to be met this week so he'll be in the office for a few hours.

I dreamt last night our baby was half cat, half rabbit. There is something seriously wrong with me.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

knitting in Labor

Well, I thought I would be able to knit while in labor, but it's impossible. Even right now, when I'm really just in early labor that doesn't really hurt, I can't concentrate enough to knit. I even tried to pick up my lovely Kidsilk Haze and start a scarf, but I kept dropping stitches and having to pull it all out. That stuff does not pull out easily - it gets knotted and yucky, so I put it all away and just watched television.

SnB group met last night at Changing Hands and I couldn't go, much to my disappointment. Of course I feel like any minute I will be going to the hospital and I need to be near, and then nothing happens so I keep missing stuff. I hope you all had a great time!

Friday, November 12, 2004

In Case of Emergency, I Have a Stash

Julie called me yesterday and asked me to pick her up a quick and easy knitting project for the hospital because she's going to be sitting a lot. I went through my drawers and came up with five possible projects! A hat, a pair of socks, a felted bag, a scarf, and a poncho. Hopefully one will work for her while she's hanging out there, and hopefully they will all go home soon so it won't matter.

After I delivered the yarn to Julie and we had some lunch, I headed over to Sonoran Coffee House in Chandler to meet Jen and Kim for a little knitting. It's a great little place on Ray and Alma School with couches and good iced tea. I got more work done on the vest, Kim worked on a sweater for Gemma and Jen tore out some projects and I helped her with a sock. It was a lovely afternoon. Annette stopped by for a bit and I tried to help her purl continental style – I think she got the hang of it.

So this may be my last post for a while. I started having contractions last night about 7 – they are very mild and are still about 6 or 7 minutes apart, but they are certainly more regular than the fake ones, and they do hurt a bit. Of course we were at a party when they started and the hosts were discussing their art collection, so I sat in a chair for an hour trying to pay attention and trying to decide if the contractions were real or not. Once they finished and I was able to walk around they didn't stop, so we decided to head home.

Who knows though? I may still be around tomorrow.

SnB is meeting at Changing Hands in Tempe tonight. I'm sorry to have to miss it, I like meeting there. Hope you all have a great time!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

KIP at Starbucks

I met Becky last night at Starbucks down the street to knit for a few hours. It was good to get out of the house and get some work done on the vest. It seems I can really only work on it now if I'm with someone else, otherwise I get too bored. She is in the same boat, working on a black st stitch scarf with Red Heart yarn. Not the funnest project in the world! But it sounds like the recipient will really appreciate it so it's worth the sacrifice.

Today I'm hoping to meet Kim and Jen out somewhere as well, and maybe I can at least get the back done. The front will be a little more interesting with the v-neck.

But first I'm going to the hospital. Julie's baby is having some complications from the traumatic birth, and they are in the NICU for at least a week. This is the bad part about being pregnant with your best friend I suppose – I feel like I am not as useful to her as I could be given my condition.

So not much knitting will get done. The secret project is hurting my neck (small needles, lots of stitch changes and pattern reading), so I did a little work on my fun Gloria scarf last night.

And I need to apologize to Paula for getting her name wrong! I'm bad with names in person, but you would think on paper I could do a little better.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

R2 on stands now!

The new R2 magazine from Rowan is available. As with the first issue, there isn't much I would make in this one. Maybe this:

I've only ever seen this magazine online, so I don't know what the print edition is like. Most likely I wouldn't buy it though, I'd just like to see it. I'm sad to say these are the knitting projects of the much more youthful set of knitters. Sigh.

I worked on a secret project yesterday and it's going quickly. The vest is languishing in my purse, hopefully to get some attention this afternoon while I wait for the doctor. I think I should have used different needles. The Denise needles get stuck on certain types of fiber, and this is a very thin tweedy deal that doesn’t like those little joiny edges on the needles. I know if I switched though I would be in a mess of trouble with my gauge, so I'll just tough it out.

Pauline asked a great question via comments about why I am opposed to political discussions on blogs. I understand people have general blogs that talk about everything under the sun, but those aren't typically the sites I read. I'm merely pointing out that if you have a site devoted primarily to knitting (as in, the blog for a knitting magazine), you should not have an entire post about your political views. And with a few of the other knitting blogs, I have been personally offended (attacked?) by some of the commentary, and it makes me sad because these women are great knitters and I love to look at their projects. But it's hard to get past the fact that they are basically calling me a stupid Jesus freak who hates gays. I am none of these things.

As for comparing the election to 9/11, well, all I have to say is some of us are actually happy about the election, which was not the case for 9/11.

So I say it again. Politics and knitting don't mix.

Letoya asked if Panne Bianco is owned by Chris Bianco, the guy who owns Pizzeria Bianco. (Do you sense a theme?) Yes! He owns both. And both are magnificent. I highly recommend the fresh mozzarella and tomato sandwich at Panne Bianco. My only complaint is they don't have anything good to drink.

And finally, Beth asked for the rhyme teaching people to knit. Here's the one I use, but I know there are others. If you have one, please leave it in my comments so I can share it with everyone.

In through the front door
Run around the back
Out through the window
Off jumps Jack

I love comments! Thank you all who comment on my blog, it makes me happy every morning.

I don't have a list today because I'm running out of ideas. But I do take requests, so drop me a note if you have a list you want me to make.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

What, no knitting?

I went to visit Julie yesterday afternoon. No surprise, she wasn't knitting. The entire family was exhausted – little Mac only woke up to protest being moved, and then he settled into my arms happily. Once my mom got there I handed him off:

Both mom and baby are fine but tired.

I finished a secret project last night and it's currently blocking in the bathroom. I just have to weave in the ends and we're set. The vest is moving slowly now that I've divided the arms and have to work stockinette without the benefit of knitting in the round. So of course I had to cast on another secret project that was a little more challenging – I think right now I’m using knitting to distract me from my impending childbirth challenge.

I may see if people want to get together to knit tomorrow night. We have a SnB meeting on Friday but I can't make it, and I want to work on this vest. If anyone is interested let me know and we can pick a place.

Gloria called me last night to tell me one of the boys in her class made a hat for Jack, and another boy had finished two squares over the weekend. I think the project has been a great success so far. I hope to make it back Friday and see how they are all doing. Eventually we'll need to sew up all these little squares and finish the blanket. Ugh. I hate finishing.

Many of you know how I feel about mixing politics and knitting. Yesterday on the blog Amy had an entire post about crying over the election. This is a published author and business woman who puts out a knitting magazine four times a year. (A magazine I love, mind you.) Why is she bringing politics into her blog? I don't read her entries to find out how she feels about George Bush, I read them to learn about interesting patterns and yarns. If I want to hear about the election and how the poor democrats are mourning all over the country I would read political blogs by people who have a little more experience and information on the topic. I am very disappointed in her.

Kim and I had lunch yesterday in Chandler since I was going to be in the area. She suggested I make a list of my favorite restaurants in Phoenix – I don't eat at chains if I can help it, and encourage people to branch out when they consider going out to eat. There is so much good food out there, and I guarantee you none of it is found at the Cheesecake Factory.

My Favorite Phoenix Restaurants:

Pizzeria Bianco (You have to wait forever, but it's worth it)

Eddie Mateney's (A brilliant chef. The food is somewhat Mediterranean.)

Christopher's Fermier Bistro (Wines by the glass list is great, food is French, the bread will make you cry it's so good.)

Vincent's on Camelback (If you don't want to throw down a million dollars for dinner, try his market on Saturdays. He serves sandwiches, omelets and crepes, along with various other dishes. But dinner is worth the money, especially if you get the rack of lamb.)

Rancho Pinot Grill (I haven't been since we moved back, but I have great memories of this place, both food and ambiance wise. I love a place that decants wine.)

Bario Café (Very crowded, noisy, and oh so good.)

Efe's (Turkish food, which I didn't even know what it was until I went. Incredible food, but be careful not to eat too much pita ahead of time.)

Carolina's (Incredibly cheap Mexican food, and the best tortillas you will ever taste in your life. The interior resembles an industrial cafeteria)

Mi Patio (Also Mexican, also cheap, but more traditional sit-down food.)

Cherry Blossom Noodle Shop (Interesting mix of Asian and Italian noodles. And the bread basket they bring has banana bread, which is pretty random. But very yummy food)

Monday, November 08, 2004

Julie had her baby!

Julie Clark had her baby boy, John McConnell (Mac) at 4 this morning. He is 7 pounds 14 ounces and 20 inches long – I'll have pictures tomorrow to share. There's more on my baby blog about her delivery if you're interested.

I took Gloria to Jessica Knits yesterday and we got her knitting again. She was having trouble with the "Out through the window" part of the stitch and getting everything all twisted, but she finished about 10 rows while we were there and it looks like she's got it down. She bought herself some fabulous yarn to make a scarf so as soon as she's done with her charity square we'll get her cast on for her first real project. We ran into Kiki and Val at the shop, plus we met someone new from London who may come to one of our meetings. I think her name was Carol.

And then, Gloria bought me this yarn!

I cast on for a scarf so I would have something easy to work on as I get closer to having this baby and have less and less focus. The yarn is called Isis and it's really soft and floaty. I love it. It's something I probably never would have bought for myself because it's so fancy.

The vest is moving along – I'm working on the back now so I don’t have to think about the cable for a while. Becky commented that the cable would take up some room, but I think I'll be okay because I added 8 stitches to the pattern. I guess we'll see when he puts it on – can you imagine if it doesn't fit? I'll cry.

And I made progress on a secret project last night – I think I'll be casting it off soon. I love finishing projects! I may get a few more things on needles this week so everything I'm doing for Christmas will at least be started.

No list today, I was up and down all night worrying about Julie, I'm a little tired. I'm going to take a nap before I head down to Chandler to see baby Mac.

Thanks Illanna for the link to the diamond bag pattern - I think I can easily modify that one to be exactly what I want!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Master Knitting

Has anyone ever heard of this program from the Knitters Guild? Some people were talking about it at SnB the other night so I looked it up online. Apparently you pay a fee and send your swatches in to the guild and they judge you. (Because I love to be judged so much.) It seems you have to keep doing the swatches until you get them right and they deem you a master. From what Becky said, they give you pointers on what you can do better with each swatch. But the confusing thing is they have three levels – Advanced Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Do you have to start at beginner? Has anyone out there completed one of these "courses"?

Today I am taking Gloria for her first yarn shopping trip and she's going to make a scarf. I'm so excited for her! She wants to wear it for Christmas – I think she'll have it done way before then, especially because it will just be stockinette. I'll try to remember to take pictures, but whenever I go the Jessica Knits I get distracted.

Last night we went to a new restaurant called Delux – it's a fancy hamburger place with 50 beers on tap. (I splurged and had a Fiji water AND an iced tea. This pregnancy won't get me down, no way.) I had my felted bag with me, the one that looks like Grover, and the waitress was in love with it. She asked me if I sold them, so of course I said yes! I gave her my information and she's allegedly going to call me later about making her a bag. The problem is, I have no idea how much to charge for it. I'm going to add up the cost of the yarn today and try to figure out exactly how much time I think it would take. It's so exciting! Of course she wants them for Christmas though, so I'm not sure how that would work with little Jack on the way. Hmmm.

So we got home and I really wanted to get to the armholes of the vest so if I had time to knit at Jessica's today I wouldn't be on the hard part. Of course by adding the cable and modifying the pattern a little to suit my dad's size, I had to do a lot of math to make certain the cable would be in the center of the sweater. I hate math. It was really only counting and adding and subtracting, but I felt like every time I made a decision about where to cast off the armholes it was different than the time before. It really shouldn’t be this hard.

I had to stay up past eleven but I'm already on to the decreases in the back. It's raining here today (thank goodness – it was 87 yesterday which is far too hot for November) so the picture required a flash, which washes out all the cables. But you can still see how far I've gotten.

As I write this Joe is in the kitchen making a frittata. He's never made one before, so of course he's got the recipe book out and he's chopping all kinds of things. From here it looks like sausage, tomatoes, cheese, artichoke hearts and maybe green onion. Yum. I don't know what got into him this morning or why he wanted to make an elaborate breakfast, but I'm certainly not going to complain.

Today is Julie's due date! Hopefully the rain will bring her baby out into the world – I know she is very uncomfortable and isn't sleeping well. Not that she'll sleep any better with a screeching newborn, but at least she won't waddle so much. I still have 11 days (not that I'm counting).

Today's list was recommended by Parley. It's the ten things I like about Thanksgiving, since it's only a few weeks away.

No gift giving required
Pumpkin Pie
You can start listening to Christmas music
You can put up the Christmas lights (right Joe?)
My brother, his family, and my 92 year old grandfather Avery come to visit
Leftover turkey sandwiches
Joe takes time off work without checking his email obsessively
The holiday part is over early, so we can laze around the house and do nothing
It's usually cold enough for a fire in the fireplace
Jack will be here this year (one can hope)

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Maybe knitting is a cult?

Not only did every single fifth grader learn to knit yesterday, so did my mother in law, Gloria! I taught her on recess and she picked it up very quickly. Tomorrow I'm taking her up to Jessica Knits to pick out a scarf project and get her started. (If anyone wants to join us we'll be there about one). She called last night with a "yarn emergency", a comment that made Joe roll his eyes as he handed me the phone. I couldn't diagnose her problem over the phone, so I'll have to take a look tomorrow. She could be knitting through the wrong side of the stitch, but I'm not sure.

The kids were very excited to finally get knitting. Apparently it's become quite the fad at their school, and everyone is carrying around yarn at recess and lunchtime. I think they should start a club for after school because they all want to make things now other than squares.

Our first finished "square" is displayed here, by Christian:

And here is Gloria learning:

And Nick, who talks nonstop about how hard it is to knit and has a gauge that resembles lace even when he's knitting stockinette:

Luckily for me, the mother-helper from last week did not show up, so I didn't have to contend with her condescending to the kids. She would have gone crazy with some of the squares that were occurring – holes everywhere, dropped stitches, weird loops. Sometimes I couldn't even figure out how to fix their problems, so I would knit them a new row to have clean stitches to work with – I thought that was better than make them rip stuff out so soon.

The vest is almost to the armholes, and I think it will go very quickly from there. Then just a few secret projects and the holiday knitting is over! Oh, wait, except for the illusion scarf. Damn.

Joe and Parley go to "Daddy Boot Camp" today, where they learn how to care for a baby. Since neither one of them has any experience with kids it should be very interesting, I just wish I could go and take pictures. Joe was attempting to get out of it by saying he remembered helping his aunt take care of his cousin Philip, and he knew about cleaning the umbilical cord. Philip is a Junior at Notre Dame, so I don't think that experience was recent enough to help much.

Apparently the Wendy Knits/Dishcloth Queen battle has reached a stalemate. Dishcloth password protected her site, so no more people can comment on her meanness. Comments on Wendy's blog have reached astronomic proportions. Ah, c'est la vie. I'll have to search for my daily dose of angry banter elsewhere.

Now that my Christmas knitting is almost complete (okay, not really, but sort-of), here is a list of things I want to knit for me me me me me.

Elfin, from Rowan 34

Polkadot sweater, also Rowan 34

A big felted bag with diamond shapes. I don't have a pattern, I'm just imagining this in my head.

A pink sweater out of Cashmerino Superchunky. When I was in a car accident about 10 years ago, the firemen cut off my favorite pink sweater. I have never found a replacement, so maybe it's time to knit one.

Christmas stockings – I know this isn't technically for me, but I'm really the only one who cares about decorating for Christmas, so it kinda fits.

Some type of cute cabled hat, probably out of Baby Casmerino. Or maybe Calmer.


A cover for my stick shift – it gets super hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter, so it needs a hat. Oddly, a preemie hat is just about the perfect size.

Something out of Lorna's Laces superwash wool, maybe a scarf.

A cute poncho that will be useful for nursing the baby in public. I know ponchos will go out as quickly as they arrived, but I still think I need one.

Friday, November 05, 2004

SnB Fall Newsletter

The new Stitch-n-Bitch newsletter has arrived! If you didn't get yours, email me at badams at and I'll send you a copy. I'm trying to get it uploaded to a link on my blog, but so far no luck. It's full of great information and Kim worked very hard to get it all together (especially considering committee members like me didn't turn in their stuff on time!)

I'm off to visit the 5th graders again today. Apparently they are all very concerned that I will have the baby and some of them won't have learned to knit. Oh, the tragedy! We should be able to get the rest of them knitting today as long as they stay focused (yeah, right). Apparently one of the boys already finished his square! I really love this project and I think once they all learn to knit it will be tons of fun. We can have them make Christmas presents, or more blankets, or hats for chemo patients (although I don't know about double pointed needles with this crowd.)

And finally, I finished Vincent's hat. I just sat down yesterday with my TiVo and forced myself to get it done. It's twisted k1p1 rib so it doesn't go as quickly as a normal hat, but it didn't take too long. The decreases just make it a little uneven at the top. But I think it turned out well, and I'm happy to have another project in the finished pile. I also worked on the vest – only about 2 more inches until I divide for the armholes.

There is a huge war going on in the knitting blog world between Wendy Knits and the Dishcloth Queen . I kid you not. Wendy is the one who threatened to stop blogging the other day. Dishcloth apparently has been leaving "anonymous" comments on her blog, which of course Wendy traced, and now I think Dishcloth is getting inundated with angry knitters via email and comments on her blog. This is more exciting than the campaign, let me tell you! I was wondering where I was going to get my fix of name calling and random accusations once the election was over, thankfully these two have stepped up to the plate for me.

My list today is full of wishful thinking – when this kid arrives I doubt I will be going anywhere!

Places I want to go

British Columbia knitting cruise
Stitches West
Hawaii to visit my friends Edward and Amanda
The Amalfi Coast
Tahoe in a snowstorm
Napa in the fall
Washington DC (Joe has never been, which I can't believe!)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Knitting Last Night!

I was so tired yesterday I forgot to mention we were meeting at Mama Java's last night for Stitch n Bitch. It wasn't as large of a group as normal, I know some people didn't come because they were up too late the night before waiting for the election to finally end. We had a fun night anyway - everyone is surprised to still see me, hoping I have finally given birth. No such luck, Jack is staying put for the time being. (If you visit his blog you can see my theories about that.)

Nick showed up, our token male knitter, and informed us all that he's moving to Long Beach to help some girl with her shoe company. What? Nick, we formally request that you change this plan. Where will we be without your fancy scarves and billion dollar suede belts? Unless you can find a suitable replacement for yourself, I have to object to your decision.

I also found out at the meeting that I'm missing some people's blog entries. Bloglines has just decided not to update my SnB group for some reason – it is saying there are no new posts, yet when I got to the individual blogs there are plenty! I wonder what is happening? I'm very disappointed because after the fact I found out that Jen was going to knitting early. I could have gone! Stupid bloglines.

Some pictures from the evening:

(If you look in the back corner you can see my dad)

And yesterday I finished the red baby hat and knitted one in off white. I decided to use a cute little Anne Norling pattern for the second one to make it a little more interesting. It doesn't look quite so fluffy in person. I'm just relieved that Jack will have a hat to wear home from the hospital.

At knitting I worked on Vincent's hat. I couldn't pull out the vest because – as you can see above – my dad was there. He brought my mom to knitting and then hung out at the coffee shop.

My two big goals today are to finish that dang hat and do at least 4 more inches on the vest. By that point I will be ready to divide for the armholes and I think it should go pretty quickly. Those two presents will put me in great shape for Christmas knitting.

I've gotten more sleep, I've recovered from my election hangover, so here is today's list:

Reasons I'm Glad the Election is Over

I don't have to watch any more political ads on TV. (There were two really bad local ads. One accusing a candidate of funding windmills and flowers, and another against the Light Rail. Ugh, they were awful.)

I don't have to look at Teresa Heinz Kerry's hair.

SNL will be about something OTHER than the debates.

Michael Moore did not succeed.

The signs will be removed from my neighbor's yards. (Hint: If every other yard has the same sign as you, then you are all preaching to the choir. You can take them down and not change anything.)

Traffic will not get backed up because the president decides to visit and they have to close all the freeways.

Knitting blogs will go back to being about knitting, the thing we all have in common. I would much rather people rant about fiber than about politics.

We don't have to hear about President Bush stealing the election, hanging chads, butterfly ballots, etc.

Hillary can run in 2008.

Americans can become Americans again and stop fighting with one another. We all want the same things for our lives and families, we just have different ideas about how to get there. Now we can all wake up every day, revel in the fact that we live in this country, feel lucky to have a democracy, know we have done our civic duty, and work with one another to make things better. (I know, it's asking too much. But I'm feeling optimistic today.)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Baby Hats Anyone?

Last night I started feeling weird. Not bad weird, just a little weird. My back was hurting but in a different way than before, the fake contractions were coming more often. I just felt weird. Then I realized I hadn't packed for the hospital. It's only 2 weeks away, I should have been packed by now, blah blah blah. So I did a load of laundry and started gathering stuff together when I realized something horrible. The baby does not have a hat to wear home from the hospital.


How is it possible that my child doesn't have anything to cover his bare little head? What kind of knitter am I? Fortunately the kind with bunch of yarn sitting around, so I quickly cast on a little hat for the babe. I know we don't live in Antarctica or anything, but it does get chilly. The boy needs to cover up. Here it is so far.

And I had been so good all day, working on baby Vincent's hat. I had only just set it down to try and figure out when to start the decreases when I realized my dilemma. Hopefully both hats will be completed today.

I am bleary eyed and fuzzy this morning from trying to stay up until someone called the stupid election. I want to fly to Ohio and poke out the eyes of that stupid secretary of state. Who has a law that says you can't START counting ballots until 11 days after the election is over? And the Iowa people quit counting because of fatigue? Give me a break.

On another sad note, no more caffeine for me. I know, I know, I was supposed to give it up when I got pregnant. But it was too hard, so I cut back to one (ish) caffeinated beverage a day. Now I was reading about breastfeeding and I learned that caffeine stays in an infant's bloodstream for 96 hours! Last thing I need is another reason for the kid to not sleep. I'm going to ask my doctor about this fact today and make sure, but I'm guessing I'm going to have to cut it out. Damn. I love caffeine.

No list today, I'm too dang tired. I'm going to watch CNN and wait for something to happen.

(And Alison, I don't think you're heartless! I know most people get sick of hearing the same things from women over and over again. It sounds like a good thing that you got rid of your roommate.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Frog and the Gorilla

I still don't really know why ripping out knitting is called frogging. But whatever the reason, I had the pleasure of frogging the poncho that had begun to resemble a gorilla. I love the feel of that yarn, I just wish it was a color other than black. I decided to try it as a harlot poncho instead and see if it looked better knit in the round. So far so good. I may just keep it for myself.

Someone's blog yesterday reminded me of Russian Joining This is a way of joining your yarn so there aren't any ends to weave in when you're finished. Since I hate to weave in ends (my baby blanket is still full of hanging yarns), this option is perfect for me. I'm trying it on the harlot poncho to see how it looks.

I have got to finish baby Vincent's hat. It's not even going to take me that long, I don't know why I'm putting it off. Probably because I don't love the yarn as much as some of my other projects. The silky wool of my dad's vest is just lovely, that's my favorite thing to work on now, and some of my secret projects are fun as well. Sigh. I guess I'll just finish the darn hat and be done with it.

Joe bought me a present at the grocery the other day – Annie's Organic Macaroni and Cheese. I had it for lunch yesterday after my massage and boy was it yummy. I'm not a fanatic about the organic thing, but if there is ever an option I will choose the more natural. (This doesn't happen at restaurants or coffee shops – I usually just have to settle with conventional foods on those occasions. And trust me, I would never ask "did you use organic flour to make this brownie?" I just eat the dang brownie.) Someday soon, hopefully before the little man starts eating solid foods, I will convince my mother of the importance of organic.

Alison made a comment:

" It's rough being the friend that girlfriends come to and cry on (over and over expecially when they don't learn their lesson the first 100 times) - so I've taken the quote as my own when listening to my roomate cry over guys over and over again..."Gosh Colleen - I guess he's JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU!" It works - she no longer crys on my shoulder! And I am happier becuase of it!"

I have to say, I really don't mind playing the advice-giver. I think these are hard lessons to learn – it certainly took me forever. And I know how much it sucks to be sitting in the middle of a bad decision and trying to figure out what to do about it. It's a horrible thing to fall in love with the wrong person. As women, I think we were taught to place a great deal of importance on "being in love" and not as much on making sure the person is right for us.

My mom offered to come over and do my laundry yesterday! Isn't that nice? Okay, there is one good thing about being pregnant. You can spend the entire day getting a massage, napping and knitting, and your mom will feel sorry for you and offer to do your chores.

And today's list:

Reasons to eat organic

Conventional cows are injected with hormones, eat feed full of pesticides, and have a diet that is not natural to a cow.

The abundance of corn in the diet of a cow changes the makeup of the meat, and creates bad cholesterol in people.

Conventional chickens live in the dark, also are filled with hormones (some growing four breasts instead of two!), and also eat food full of pesticides.

Organic meat is grown without the use of chemicals – so you are just getting the meat, not any of the additives ranchers use to "beef up" their cattle.

Therefore, the meat tastes better.

Organic vegetables are grown without chemicals as well.

Conventional vegetables are chock full of chemicals. Not just pesticides, but things like Miracle Grow that make the plants bigger and less flavorful. (If you've ever seen Miracle Grow, it looks like Draino.)

Organic food does not have as long of a shelf life, so it is significantly fresher when it gets to your table.

Organic farmers are typically independent families who take care of the environment and manage their crops intelligently.

Organic food is known to cause fewer food allergies in small children.

Monday, November 01, 2004

We are far too young and clever

Do you remember this line from the song "Come On Eileen?" It's by far one of my favorite lines to a song and I heard it on the radio yesterday driving home from our mini-knitting meeting.

We hung out for a few hours at the Coffee Plantation at the Biltmore Shopping Center. It was a lovely day for sitting outside, knitting and chatting. There were only four of us – me, Jen, Pam and Melanie – and it was a good size. Usually our groups get so big it's hard to get anything done. I finished another few inches on the vest, Jen started a hat and got pretty far, Pam got a ton done on her felted bag, and Melanie solved a cable problem on her baby hat.

If you can believe it, I forgot to take pictures.

But I did get pictures of our Jack-O-Lanterns. Mine is the one on the left, which only means I drew the face on it. Joe was nice enough to do all the carving this year, I just couldn't get excited about wielding a sharp object. The little one is the fetus pumpkin for Jack – it has a face, it's just not quite carved yet.

You can see the dogs in the window. Halloween is not their favorite holiday

This picture is crooked. I must be having trouble with balance.

We bought a ton of candy, mostly because I wanted a lot of leftovers. But by 7:30 we ran out. There were 8 million trick-or-treaters on our street, I could not believe it. We shut off the lights and hid in the back of the house after we ran out, and still two people rang the doorbell. (Don't people know the Halloween etiquette? If the lights are off, don't ring the bell.)

There was one little family that just about broke my heart – they didn't have a single costume between the three boys, and you could tell the mom was tired and hoping no one would point this out. The bags they used were from the evil empire (Wal-Mart) and they only took one piece of candy each, so I gave them an extra. I wanted to bring them inside and find them costumes. I know there are a lot of charity organizations that help families for Christmas and stuff, but maybe we need one for Halloween.

Becky starts her new job today, and I know a lot of our knitters are excited to go check out her new salon. Good luck Becky!

Today I should get a lot of knitting done. Nothing is on the agenda other than a massage and pedicure, both of which I need desperately. My toes resemble the claws of a gargoyle.

The list today will be lines from songs I like. Joe is often amazed that I know every word to every song that comes on the radio, even songs I don't like. I think that's why I never got into certain types of music where you can't tell what they are saying. For me, most of the music is about the lyrics.

"There was a table set for six and five were there. I stood outside and kept my eyes upon that empty chair." – Indigo Girls
"Even the dust devils pray that they'll catch her eye." – The Peacemakers
"Where is my John Wayne? Where is my prairie son? Where is my happy ending? Where have all the cowboys gone?" Paula Cole
"I could hide out under there. I just made you say "underwear". I could leave but I'll just stay. All my stuff's here anyway." - Barenaked Ladies
"There she was, like double cherry pie. There she was, like disco super fly." Marcy Playground
"Is she smart? So well read? Are there books, are there novels by her bed?" Natalie Merchant
"If your bottle's empty help yourself to mine. Thank you for your time. Here's to life." – Refreshments
"I'm as dark as December. I'm as cold as the man on the moon." – Sting
"And they tell me that women grow on trees, and if you catch them right they will land upon their knees." – The Housemartins
"So you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts. What's so amazing about really deep thoughts?" - Tori Amos