Sunday, February 27, 2005

Take Me to Your Leader

Kim, the woman behind it all, finally broke down under the pressure and started a blog. She made me keep it a secret for a while (although she told a few other people), but now I have been given permission to add her to my site. You will find her link on my sidebar for future reference. Now if we could just convince Michelle to write a blog everyone would be happy.

So do you think I got the back done on the red sweater? Not a chance. Tonight may be the night though, with the Oscars on and a baby who has a bedtime very soon.

My parents came over today and helped me grocery shop. I know, that doesn't sound like a real thing to do, but grocery shopping with a baby is not easy. He is so heavy, but he can't sit up, so you have to take him in the car seat or the stroller. The three of us managed just fine, but I certainly could not have done it alone. Even more shocking, I have to cook dinner this week. Joe is in trial and is unsure when he will be home each night, so I will be the chef of the house. Stay tuned, we'll see if I survive.

I hope everyone had fun at Jessica's today.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Joys of Motherhood

Jack and I were going to meet Pam, Melanie, and Michelle at Lux today at 2. Jack went down for a nap at 1 and got up a little late – around 2:10 – but we still would have made it. Except for the fact that Jack decided he was NOT going knitting today, and on top of that, he was going to scream and scream and scream for the next hour. He cried so much that he got those crying hiccups. It was really awful. I guess he tired himself out, because at the end of it all, around 4 p.m. or so, he looked like this:


I'm sorry for ditching you guys. Believe me, I would have rather been knitting.

So this evening I picked up the red baby sweater for my cousin. Sometimes boring knitting is good in times like these. I'm going to watch St. Elmo's Fire and wait for Joe to get home. If I sit here quietly and behave myself, I will finish the back tonight. (I love this movie. I forgot how much. It's back when Demi Moore was Aston Kutcher's age I think.)

Tomorrow people are meeting at Jessica's at 3. I don't think I will make it, judging from the way things went today. I am going to try and make Changing Hands this week though. I know it's a pain and I know it's crowded, but it is where it all began and I want to support that. (Plus I love the potato soup at Wildflower, so if anyone wants to meet for dinner let me know.)

It seems the controversy has all passed on the blog these days. Whew. So much stomach acid over something so silly. I had a dream last night that Jen and I were caught in a Tsunami in Boston. She was getting married there and we were on a beach when the wave started coming in. It looked EXACTLY like the wave in those new pictures released by the Canadian couple who died. Jen was buried in the sand and I saved her. I'm not sure if this is related to the whole thing, but it made me realize we are all making hay out of sunshine.

Parley and I have a question. Apparently someone in Denver is reading his blog, and then hopping over and reading my blog. I know it isn't my brother, and I don't know another single soul in Denver and neither does Parley. Reveal yourself, oh internet reader. We are both quite curious as to who you might be.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Weight Watchers Rocks!

What a wonderful day! It was supposed to be all rainy and cold again today, but instead the sun was shining and it really felt like a brand new world. First things first, I got on my scale this morning for my weekly weigh in, and I lost four pounds if you can believe it. According to Parley, the new diet is managing my glycemic index, which is what is causing the dramatic change. I don't really care at this point, I was just giddy with the news.

So I packed up the guy and we did a little shopping. I just bought a pair of Capri jeans at Old Navy, but they were 2 sizes smaller than the ones I bought at the beginning of January. Yay! I also stopped by Cost Plus and got a small gift for Jen, who is turning 30 tomorrow. You might want to stop by her blog and wish her a happy day.

To celebrate Jen's graduation to adulthood, I met her and Kim at Postino's for a little wine, lunch and knitting. We started at a table to eat some yummmmmy bruschetta and salads. Then we scooted over to the couches where we could spread out – two babies take up an awful lot of room. Here you can see how much fun we were having:

postino 2

And a close-up of Jen and Angus – isn't he getting big?

postino 1

It was a great time – we even talked politics (although I won't elaborate here.)

I barely got any knitting done. I only seamed up the back on the hood for the baby sweater. I still have to attach it to the jacket, which is not fun at all. Here is the hood on Jack just for fun:

postino 3

I got email from Michelle and we're thinking of meeting to knit at 2 on Saturday. If anyone is interested, email me or leave a comment. We haven't picked a place just yet, but maybe a bar, as long as there isn't any smoke….

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Let Them Eat Yams

Jumbo yams, originally uploaded by tienmao.

I did not cast on for flower basket - I read the pattern and it's so complicated my poor addled brain started to wobble. Maybe I will have to find a different lacy pattern for my yarn after all. Any suggestions would be welcome. And Michelle, I'll give you back your Interweave Knits next time I see you. I'm just not up for the challenge I suppose.

It may seem I'm obsessing about the fall-out in our knitting group. And I suppose I am. Of course, as a good American woman, my first reaction was to crave brownies, cookies, ice cream, anything bad and sweet. (And my mother will tell you, I don't really like sweets so much. So I know this is psychological.) But I started a diet last week and have been pretty good about eating well and staying on the plan. (Well, except for the fact that I didn't realize DRIED fruit was different than REGULAR fruit. I was putting dried cherries in my oatmeal - something happens when you dry a cherry to make it bad for you. Who knew?)

So to feed my craving yesterday evening, I pulled out a bag of cut-up yams I bought at Trader Joe's. I baked them with some olive oil. Now I know they are not remotely like a brownie, but they did the trick and I stopped feeling so awful, at least temporarily. And I didn't have to take any points. So the pounds will just be dropping off any minute now.

We'll see what the scale has to say tomorrow. I'm skeptical.

I'm not sure how I feel today about what has erupted in the comments of my blog. On one hand, this is a public forum, and if you decide to go on the attack you'd better be ready for the fall out. On the other, I think Illanna is a great girl and this whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

Without a doubt, this further proves my theory that women's organizations cannot go too long without some type of scandal. What is wrong with us, as women, that makes this so? If this were a group of guys, the whole thing would be over by now, no one would be threatening to leave the group, there would be decidedly less drama.

I'm way too old for this, either way. So pick up your yarn and needles, and let's all knit our way to happiness once again. And in the future, if anyone thinks I'm trying to offend them, please just email me privately and question my intentions that way. Then we can avoid drawing lines in the sand and making everyone crazy.

(And no Parley, I am not removing her comments. I don't censor my blog like SOME people I know.)

(And everyone else, the SOME people in the above sentence is Parley. I'm not trying to make inferences that other people are not allowed to censor their blogs. Just Parley, who removed a comment I made on his blog yesterday because I inferred he was not popular.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Elf Hat Pictures

Back when I first got pregnant I made a hat for Jack. Knowing nothing about babies, I made a huge size and a little tiny size, figuring one may fit him one day. I recently found the huge one and thought I'd try it on – of course it's still a little big, but maybe it will fit him this Christmas?

He wasn't feeling very photogenic, but here are some shots:

elf hat

elf hat 2

This is the best I can come up with for knitting photos. I haven't done anything knitting related today and probably won't until tomorrow. I have to sew the hood on the baby sweater and I just can't bring myself to do it for some reason. The red sweater isn't exciting enough to knit alone, and I can't find the pattern for the pink sweater. So very little to report on the knitting front. I'm actually considering casting on the flower basket shawl if you can believe it. The last thing I need is another project on needles, but that lovely knitpicks yarn calls to me.

I've contemplated the Illanna issue all day – that's part of the problem of staying home with a baby, you have a ton of time to obsess and wonder and surmise and think. I have received many emails and other feedback (my husband, Kim's husband, my relatives….) and a few comments were helpful, so I thought I'd share them with you all.

1. Consider the source. A 22 year old sorority girl? Open hostility and the propensity to become offended are requirements for survival.

2. Usually when women get mad about something, they are really mad about something else. I probably pissed her off long ago and she's just now lashing out at me. (Not a heartening thought, I can't imagine what I did.)

3. Women rarely attack alone. Most likely there was some discussion somewhere about me and my lack of tolerance for chain store shopping, and Illanna stepped up to voice the opinion of the group. (Not that this makes me feel better, now I'm wondering who else out there thinks I'm the devil.)

4. Getting mad at me for not liking Barnes and Noble is like getting mad at Parley for wearing blue. (Thanks Parley and Jen for adding a great deal of perspective to my day.)

5. Read her blog – something's up with her in general. She got mad at someone driving by who thought she was making a scarf and not socks. Hmmmm. Maybe she's misdirecting her anger a bit?

I don't care that people disagree with me; in fact I quite like it. Ask Joe. But the weird thing about this situation is I never saw it coming. One day Illanna and I are chatting about her degree program (hospitality) and the next she's removing my link from her blog because I said something as vile as (gasp!) I believe in supporting small business.

I tend to shy away from women's groups on the whole. (The exception is the Jr. League of Palo Alto – I loved those women and miss that organization a great deal.) Up to this point I have been so happy with knitting because it provided the opportunity to hang out with other women, knit, enjoy one another's company, and avoid the typical cattiness and drama that often goes hand in hand with gaggles of women. (Or are we flocks, I'm never quite certain.) Alas, those days are over, just one short year after the group began.

I hope this situation can resolve itself and we can all go back to talking about yarn and needles, as Jen would say. (Although if you're a knitter and feel like getting mad, go visit Richard's blog. A drag queen makes fun of men for knitting?)

In other more interesting news, we have another walker for the 3 day! Heather joined us online and we will all begin training soon. There's still time Jen. (And Julie, weren't you going to sign up? Mom? Shannon?)

The rain is coming back! Joy to the World!

Have a wonderful evening all. Drink some gin for me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Controversy on the Blog

Who would have thought that a knitting blog would cause such an uproar? Apparently I am able to offend people without even trying.

First off, let me tell you a little about my day. Jack slept about 2 minutes last night, so I am as tired as a June Cow. I still went to the gym because I am sick to death of feeling like a slug. Then we met Julie and Mac for lunch and yarn shopping in Mesa. At lunch Julie mentioned that Mac sleeps 10 hours a night (He's 3 weeks older than Jack), and has for quite a while. Upon hearing this news I did what anyone would in my situation. I cried.

For some perspective, Julie has known me for 27 years (yes, we are indeed that old) and has probably send me teary eyed a total of ten times. Weddings, funerals, and the occasional sad movie. I know this open display of tears alarmed her, and for that I am sorry.

After yarn shopping, where Julie bought some fabulous eyelashy red yarn to make a scarf for her cousin Joy, I hopped in the car, fed the little guy, and attempted to drive him to my mom. Apparently he was not done eating, however, because he screamed to high heaven for about 15 minutes. I pulled over, fed him some more in a random office parking lot, and continued on my way. (Fortunately no one came out of the building because I didn't bother to cover myself while feeding the guy. If anyone had a problem with my public display of breastfeeding, I probably would have flipped them off. I can feed one-handed, I'm very talented.)

I dropped him off and sped home to finish a business plan for my dad and get it sent off to the printers. I was overwhelmed with stress, but luckily got it out the door just as my mom was returning with the screaming child.

And then I got Illana's comment via email. What a great way to end my day, knowing I have inadvertently pissed off a fellow knitter. Bonus.

I am now sitting on the couch with a much needed glass of wine and no knitting pictures to share.

If I offended anyone by saying I don't go to the Barnes and Noble knitting meetings, I sincerely apologize. I really think it's important to support local independent shops as much as possible. I like the smaller groups afforded by the coffee shop gatherings. I think it's fine for people to meet other places, and calling the other groups "factions" was really just a joke.


If Joe ever gets home I'm going to slip into the tub and try to forget about today.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Parley asked if I was bored with blogging. I'm assuming he was making a snarky comment about the fact that I didn't post a lot over the rainy, cold, lazy weekend.

No, Parley, I'm not bored with blogging. But thanks for asking.

(The rest of you, please see below for my actual Monday post.)

The Secret is Out

I’ve often wondered why Stay-At-Home-Moms always seem so fit. I would have assumed (rightfully so) that being a mom was tiring, time consuming, and left little time to work out. What I didn’t anticipate is how enjoyable the gym would become once I became a Stay-At-Home-Mom myself.

I used to be the kind of person who would grudgingly go to work out because I knew I had to maintain some semblance of fitness. I would get on the machine, whatever it was, and watch the minutes tick away, just waiting to flee the scene.

Today was a completely different story. I woke up to feed the small person and jetted off to the gym. I got on my machine and blissfully ellipticaled away my half hour. (Ok, yes, 3 minutes into it I thought I would die for a brief moment. And yes, once I went so slowly that the machine paused on me, but still.)

This is the big secret. The gym is the one single place you can go as a mom and not feel a single shred of guilt about being away from your little bundle of joy and happiness. I did worry for a brief moment about the fact that I left said bundle sleeping in his room under the watchful eye of his father. Joe tends to sleep pretty soundly, and I imagined coming home to a still sleeping husband and screeching baby. I quickly pushed the thought from my mind and focused on other, more pressing issues. Like which project should I work on at knitting today?

To answer that question, and finally arrive at the knitting content you all crave, I decided to work on the back of my cousin’s baby sweater. Her baby Quincy will be here any second so I needed to get busy. And the back is the most boring part – just back and forth, no shaping, no nothing, for 15 inches. I’m getting pretty close:

red sweater

The SnB meeting today was fun. Julie came with Mac for a bit and I got to hold him while she finished off her first Charm bag made of Lorna’s Laces Superwash. Mac is getting very tall, and has the smoothest skin in the world. Of course he’s talking up a storm (if you can call what these guys do talking, it’s more like yodeling. Or singing heavy metal lyrics.)

I love Coffee Rush – it’s a great little place down in Chandler and we usually get a good turn out. We’re going to try and have more day meetings when people are on spring break. I really like day meetings.

We also found out there is a faction of people meeting with a meet up group on Sundays at a Barnes and Noble. I am going to stick with what I believe, and stay knitting and small, locally owned business with good tea and snacks. So we may be starting our own Sunday faction…stay tuned.

Kim asked today where the pink sweater was – I haven’t knit on it in a while even though I love the yarn and think the pattern is cute. To show her where it is, and to humor Becky who likes it when I show people how cluttered my house is, here is a picture of the poor sweater lounging on the coffee table:

pink sweater

That box cutter is alarmingly close to my Debbie Bliss yarn. I’d better relocate the sweater before something bad happens.

Speaking of unfinished projects, we have a knitting cruise group together for September 17th in Seattle. 3 days of nothing but knitting, with a small break for high tea at the Empress in Victoria. I cannot wait. Think of how much I will get done. So far it’s my mom and Aunt Pat, Kim, Jen, Sherry and me. Michelle is thinking it over as well, and I think Peggy is going but I can’t be certain.

Tomorrow I am going to Fiber Factory to help Julie select some fancy yarn to make a scarf for her cousin Joy. Just watch me go in a yarn shop and not buy any yarn. It will be a good test of my inner strength.

If you weren’t at Coffee Rush today we missed you! We were noticing that Alison and Illana haven't been in a while, I wonder if Kids Town has swallowed them whole? And I know Becky is sick, and Melanie had to work, and many others had to work too I assume. Maybe more people will come to Jessica's on Sunday. I don't know if I will be there, it remains to be seen.

Hope everyone had a wonderful President's Day!

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Truth About Love Songs

I am sitting here in my office listening to my Rhapsody play list while the house cleaners work their magic, and I realized something. I love all these sappy songs, like "Your Body is a Wonderland" by John Mayer and "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS and "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down. But if a guy ever said these things to me I would think he was icky. This is probably the reason I never dated poets or musicians – I just found it un-masculine to talk about your feelings all the time.

I wonder what that says about me? I wonder how that will affect Jack?

I'm furiously knitting this crazy hood so I can get it done – it's quick, I just haven't had the time to sit still and work on it. But the babe is quietly sleeping, the laundry is almost done, and I have no plans other than to pick up the dry cleaning after 5. (I found a new dry cleaner where I can just drive up and they bring me the clothes. This is very important when there is a baby involved.)

So the plan is to finish the hood today and sew it on. I will take it back to Jonelle on Monday. Over the weekend I will work on the sweater for my cousin, once I decide what to do about the gauge problem. And I also need to pick up Clapotis and fix it – somehow the needle slipped out, dropping about 3 stitch markers. I should be able to figure out where they go, it's just a pain.

I don't have any pictures to share today as I haven't made a bit of progress on anything. Once the hood is done, however, there will be plenty of the finished sweater.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. It's supposed to be rainy and cold here which makes me very happy. This is the wettest winter I ever remember in Arizona and I love it. I think the out-of-town visitors would disagree, I'm sure they came here hoping for sunshine and 70 degrees. Too bad for you, we like the rain.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Best Laid Plans

My cousin Stephanie is having a baby shower this weekend in DC. I don't get to be there, but I was planning on sending a gift with my mom. Another baby jacket like I made Angus was the plan. Ha. I don't know who I was kidding. I did start it, but that's about it.

What makes me crazy is the gauge swatch I did. (psst. Hey Kim. And Jen. This is what a swatch looks like)


If you were to count those stitches, there are 9 in 2 inches. Therefore, my gauge is 4.5 stitches per inch, which is what the pattern calls for. But then look at this:


If you felt like counting them, you would see 10 stitches in 2 inches, for a gauge of 5 stitches per inch. Significantly different.

So why the change? Did I not knit a big enough swatch? Did my tension change that much? Should I rip it out?

While I decide, the sweater will sit here and wait for me.

I have to finish the hood for the baby jacket anyhow, and I cast on for it last night at Mama Javas during our SnB meeting. Jack wasn't super cooperative, however, and I only knit 3 rows. But it was great to see everyone. Jen, Pam, Melanie, and Kim showed up early, so we all got great seats. It wasn't a huge crowd which was nice. Some of our meetings have been getting so big lately it's hard to talk to anyone.

Here are some pictures from the evening:

mama ja 2

Sherry got her hair done lighter – doesn’t it look great? And on the far right is Kathy who is visiting from out of town and found us online.

mama jav

Look how smiley Pam is! And Kiki is in the background – she's been very ill and we were happy to see her.

Michelle lent me her Fall 2004 copy of Interweave Knits to check out the flower basket shawl. One skein of the KnitPicks glimmer yarn will make it, and I do like it quite a bit. I'm just afraid it may be too hard for me. Something else to contemplate.

Did anyone catch Jon Stewart last night? The entire first half was about bloggers and how they are changing the media. He was talking specifically about political bloggers, which of course I am not one. But it was interesting to see how this new fad is making the "real" media sit up and pay attention. (I've never been a fan of the media. I get my news from Yahoo headlines, Jon Stewart, the New York Times Magazine, and Joe. If it's not in one of those places I probably don't need to know about it.)

If you want proof that I allow people to hold my baby, head over to Jack's blog to see Kathy in action.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Car, Wr9ecked

No one was hu9rt. I 9ran into a wall. Sma9rt, huh?

Thus, no post toda6y.

Oh, and the 9random 9s and 6s? That's because I spilled tea into the ke6yboa9rd. Hopefully6 it will d9ry6 b6y tomo9r9row.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day to Me

Yesterday I was driving around running errands with the little guy – grocery store and Southwest Trading Company to be exact. One radio station was asking callers what they really wanted for Valentine's Day if they could have anything, and how likely they would be to get it. Of course people wanted to go to Hawaii, they wanted roses and chocolates, they wanted their boyfriends to surprise them with some extravagant gift. (Not surprisingly, all the callers were women. I think men hate this holiday.)

I got to thinking about it – what did I want for Valentines? We celebrated Saturday night by seeing a movie and going to Eddie's, so we didn't have any real plans. And we weren't doing gifts because it's such a made up gift giving occasion.

All I really wanted was a quiet evening at home. No screaming baby, no barking dogs. Just me and Joe hanging out and having dinner together, and maybe a small cocktail. And a good nights sleep. The more I thought about it the more I realized I could have all this, it would just take some work. Inspired by Squareslant (her Feb 9th posting, to be exact), I realized no one was going to make the night happen like I wanted it to but me. I guess I could tell Joe "Come home, clean up the house, put the kid to sleep and let's have a romantic dinner." But how much better it would be to surprise him with a cleaner house, sleeping baby and romantic dinner.

The menu was already set (Joe plans our meals so I knew we were having hamburgers. Fine by me. Who cares if hamburgers are casual food?) so I just had to get the house, kid and dogs ready.

In honor of the occasion I went and bought a dress – sort of a 1950's housewife costume if you will. Here Jack is contemplating my gin:

valentine dinner 2

(I know I look a little crazed. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I haven't had gin in almost a year.)

We pulled it off! I got the baby to bed around 8:15 after Joe got home, I drugged the dogs (I just gave them Valerian, but if I had something stronger on hand I probably would have used that), I set the table and I put on a dress.

It was the best Valentine's Day ever. And I did get a good night's sleep (sort-of).

Now, on the knitting front. I took the baby jacket by SWTC to show them I didn't have enough yarn. Sure enough, Jonelle's mother was there and she needed 3 balls of yarn for her sweater made out of Phoenix. So they gave me some more and sent me on my way. Not without giving me a new project though. It's a little girl sweater made out of bamboo and it's super cute. Here is a picture of all the new yarn:

swtc yarn

The purple is for the new girly sweater, and the red is my free yarn! Free! Like I needed new yarn, but still. The little white skein is some handspun wool she just gave me for the heck of it – it's too small to do anything substantial but it's really really soft. I may just leave it in the skein and fondle it for a while.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Test Knitting Completed

At quarter to three yesterday, when I was supposed to be leaving for La Madeline, Joe came in and said “Aren’t you going to knitting?” At least I think that’s what he said. I couldn’t hear over the screaming child I was holding. No cooperation from the little guy. Poor thing is not feeling well and boy does he let me know it.

So I did not get to go knit. But I finally finished my baby jacket from SWTC. It’s supposed to fit a one year old. Here it is on Jack.

finished baby sweater

Don’t I look lovely? Sweat pants and no makeup do wonders for a girl, huh?

I am going to take it down today and drop it off sans hood. I almost didn’t have enough yarn to bind off! I wonder if they want comments on the pattern, or if they are just looking for samples. I had some issues with the pattern but I don’t want to be presumptuous and tell them what to fix.

I may try and make it down to Coffee Rush tonight to knit, but who knows? Joe and I already celebrated Valentine’s Day on Saturday and he’ll probably be at work pretty late. But I may just stay in and rest with the little man. I am so sleep deprived I’m bordering on psychotic. Maybe I should commit some crime and then blame it on the baby. Hmmm. What crime should I commit?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Yarn coming out of my ears...

Perhaps my post the other day was not so smart after all. Joe came home and said “What are you doing with all that yarn? I had no idea you had that much.” I had to tell him in all honesty that I didn’t photograph all of it. There is more. (He is threatening yarn suspension again. Instead of that I have agreed to finish some of my projects before I consider more yarn or even set foot in another yarn store. I have no will power, so I can't even look at yarn online right now.)

stash 1

These bags have sock yarn and poncho yarn that I am not currently working on.

stash 2

This drawer has yarn for a hat my niece decided she didn’t want, a cabled blanket I love out of Rowan Cork that I have to finish, and some white Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere.

stash 3

Last but not least, a stocking I started when I was pregnant (it was allegedly going to be a gift for the knitting Christmas party, but I never got it done) and some Debbie Bliss Denim Cotton Aran that will be a hat for Jack.

That’s all of it. I know it’s a lot and it’s very unorganized. One day I'll get around to organizing it all, but even I'm alarmed at how much there is.

On another note, I put Jack's hat on – the one he wore in the hospital and it fit him perfectly back then. Now it looks like he's trying to be jaunty.

red hat

It's hard to believe how much he's grown.

I got a haircut from my knitting friend Becky yesterday. It had been growing like a week since June and needed the ends cleaned up in the worst way. I was very pleased – her new salon is just lovely and she did a great job. My hair is not hard, but most stylists see it and want to hack it all off and do something crazy. I like long hair. I don't care if I'm fashionable or hip – I've never really been either one. I just want my long hair and I want to be left alone about it. So thank you Becky for doing such a great job. (You should go over to her blog and ask her what she is planning on naming her second daughter. And then you should try and talk her out of it. I usually stay out of people's business when they are naming kids, but in this case I think intervention is necessary.)

We're meeting at La Madeline's at 3 today I think – I haven't heard back yet as to whether anyone will be there. Let me know if you're interested in going!

Update: Susan emailed me that they will be there at 3. As long as Jack cooperates I will be too!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Joe is the Cable Guy

If you call Joe at work and ask him when he is coming home, you will get one of three answers.

“A Decent Hour” – sometime before 7
“Normal Time” – between 7 and 9
“Late” – after 9

It reminds me of when you need your cable fixed and they tell you the technician will be there sometime between noon and 5.

The worst part is, he won’t even provide this general estimate until late afternoon at the earliest.


How am I supposed to plan dinner when he won’t tell me when he’s coming home? (Ok, that’s a total lie. I never cook dinner. But I EAT dinner, and I never know if I should have a snack or not. This is important stuff.)

I still haven’t finished the little baby jacket for SW Trading Company. And I am convinced I will run out of yarn before the hood is complete.

So I was sitting here thinking “I don’t have any blog pictures today.” I looked to my right, and saw this:


The socks for my mom that need to be ripped back and made smaller.

Then I looked further to my right and saw this:

coffee table

My fancy pink cabled sweater on the coffee table.

Then to my left:

The baby jacket almost done, sitting on top of my laptop on the dining room table.

Just to the side of there we have:


Two bags with pink yarn (for the sweater), Clapotis yarn, and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino sent to me long ago by Nancy.

And last but not least, my WIP bag:


You can see Clapotis, some Knit Picks Yarn, and some Lush I bought a while back as well. Jack is eyeing the yarn suspiciously, trying to come up with new ways to keep me from knitting. He knows with our current schedule there is not a chance on gods green earth I will get this all done.

Knitting on Sunday maybe? I heard from Nick (no Parley, not your Nick, knitting Nick) and he wants to get together with some knitters. Someone on the board was talking about it as well. If anyone is interested let me know – the rain is supposed to be over by then so we could conceivable knit outside.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Close Encounters

Do you ever go out in public with yesterday’s makeup on, hoping people won’t really notice that you resemble those celebrity mug shots on the smoking gun? You know, like Yasmine Bleeth:


I went to meet Joe for lunch last minute yesterday so he could hang out with the little guy, but since we had declared it pajama day earlier on, we both looked a little ragged. He was wearing his footed pjs that say “Baby Boy” and have a blue bear on them. Hardly the outfit for going out about the town. I at least put on a sweater and some jeans.

Of course this story leads to running into a former colleague. Carl Grupp, who I worked with many moons ago at Doubletree, and who was and still is one of the most attractive men I’ve ever known in my life, was walking across the courtyard as Jack and I were leaving.

I have learned my lesson and will not leave the house again without at least taking a perfunctory look in the mirror. Or maybe the answer is to never go out of the house again?

So I did get a small amount of knitting done yesterday. You can see the progress here:

baby sweater 3

I know, not much. But I only have 2 more pattern repeats and I bind off. Then it’s on to the hood. I hope I have enough yarn. I’m going to the eye doctor today, and hopefully to get my hair cut by Becky. I have to call and see if they have any appointments available, but first I have to dig around and figure out where she works again. (If anyone out there has the number and address, can you email it to me? I will be eternally grateful.)

Everything is such an ordeal for me these days.

I know I'm supposed to be doing some music quiz that Jen and Nancy want me to do, but I don't think it's going to happen. Suffice it to say that I have about a billion songs on my computer, but I usually listen to Rhapsody, which is streaming music from the internet. Is that good enough?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Knitting on Mill

Last night Jen and Michelle and I met at Coffee Plantation on Mill for a little bit of knitting. I did end up taking Jack – the beagle wasn't up for babysitting – and he was a perfect angel through the entire thing. Jen even got to hold him. Of course I forgot my camera so there is no proof, but you can go over to her blog and ask her. She'll tell you. I do let people hold my baby. (You can ask Pam too. She held him at Lux.)

We forgot it was Mardi Gras (or Marti Gras if you're Channel 12 News) and Coffee Plantation is right next door to Fat Tuesday. As I was walking by with my stroller and knitting bag I realized how different my life has become. We left at 8 after about 2 hours of knitting and the bar was just getting started – I remember the days where we wouldn't go out until after 9. Those days are long behind me.

I made a lot of progress on the baby jacket yesterday. The sleeves are seemed (and match perfectly I might add) and now I just have about 30 more rows to complete the front. Then I have to construct a hood. I'm not sure about the instructions, but we'll see how it works out. Here is how it looks as of this morning:

baby sweater 2

I really had fun last night – I love smaller knitting groups. It's funny how talking to people makes you realize things about yourself. I realized I am deathly afraid of getting pregnant again. Deathly. If it happened I think I would lose my mind. I was never really sure about the whole thing in the first place, but now that I know what it entails and I've already got one of these little creatures I am horrified at the thought of getting a second one. What people must do if they have twins!

Our Stitch-n-Bitch group seems to have exploded. The message board is teeming with new meetings all over the place. I think it's great, but I'm wondering if people are still able to get to know one another very well. The meetings are so large I imagine a new person feels very out of place. (I would anyway, but I'm always like that in large groups.) I don't think there is anything to be done about it, it's just an observation.

I have some work to do today so I may not get much knitting done. I have to finish this baby jacket so I can get back to Clapotis. And my pink sweater is just sitting on needles. Of course I can't quite locate the pattern right now so it's just as well I have other things to keep me busy.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Knitting News....

So much to talk about today. Yesterday was knitting at Kim's, where I taught Sara how to use double pointed needles and I worked on my SWTC baby jacket a little. I actually got more knitting done when I got home, but it was really fun to hang out with a bunch of other moms and knit. Here is the progress on the jacket so far (Pam asked Jonelle about posting pictures and she's fine with it)

baby sweater

I was almost through with the first sleeve before I figured out I was knitting this sweater from the top down. I kept looking at it and thinking "Why all these increases? No baby is shaped that way." Of course now it makes sense, but I was confused for quite some time.

I got home yesterday and guess what was waiting for me? You got it, my Knit Picks yarn:

knit picks

$32 total – you get free shipping for orders over $30. Does that look like $30 worth of yarn to you? I was amazed. The blue is called Shimmer I think, and it's an alpaca/silk blend lace weight yarn. The yellow is the worsted weight Alpaca/Silk/Wook and it's really soft. The red is the plain wool, worsted weight, and it reminds me a lot of Brown Sheep. I think it would felt really well too. I am using it to make a sweater for my cousin's baby though, so I'll save the felting for later.

Also in the mail I got this cool newsletter from Elann:


I guess if you register on their website you get this in the mail. They send samples of the yarn that will soon go on sale, as well as the sale date. Brilliant. There is a great cotton inside that I may order for a sweater for Jack.

Tonight I'm meeting Jen at Coffee Plantation on Mill– I don't know if anyone else is coming, but it should be a good time. I used to go there in High School when it first opened and eat cheesecake brownies and drink iced tea. It was good clean fun. See mom, we weren't always getting into trouble.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Meeting Tomorrow (Tuesday) Night

Jen and I are meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 5:30 at the Coffee Plantation on Mill Avenue in Tempe. Unless I can convince the beagle to babysit, Jack will be there too. Please join us - fun will be had by all!

Learning Curve

Knitting has taught me a few things about myself.

One. I can't do math. As in, I can't necessarily tell you if a number is divisible by 8. And if I have to figure out how many rows I need where there are 8 increases across the row it will make my brain hurt.

Two. I make stupid mistakes because I don't pay close enough attention to what I'm doing. In this particular baby jacket I'm making for the Southwest Trading Company as a sample, there is a 7 stitch border. That means you have to knit the first and last 7 stitches, even on the purl side of the work. Of course on one row I forgot. And of course I couldn't just leave it because they would notice. If it were my jacket, for my baby, I would have left the mistake and moved on. But it wasn't, it had to be right, and I had to rip out.

Three. I hate ripping back work. It is depressing. You are making progress, but it's backwards progress.

Four. I love free yarn. I'm knitting this particular baby jacket with Oasis Soy Silk, a yarn I have never purchased because I was afraid I wouldn't like it. Well, let me tell you something, this yarn is cool. And I'm not just saying that. It will be light and soft when knit up, and it's a pleasure to work with – even ripping it out wasn't as bad as with some yarns. And it never splits.

I was going to post a picture of my progress, but Illanna mentioned that our samples may be a secret. I'm going to ask Jonelle next time I'm there, but just in case I'll give you this picture instead:


My beagle Guido cuddled up to the project while I was away tending to Mr. Wonderful in the next room. (He missed us because we took the baby and escaped to the mountains for the weekend. I think this was his way of protesting.) The trip was fun - I got in some great knitting and we all got to relax just a little bit. Here is what it looked like out the front door:

car in snow

Yes, that is snow. And yes, it's only 1 ½ hours away from Phoenix if you can believe it.

Today is knitting with babies and toddlers at Kim's house. I'm looking forward to it – I think it will be much easier to tend to the little guy at someone's house instead of at a coffee shop. Not that I mind the coffee shops, I just dread having to change his diaper because they never have those little fold out changing tables so I end up on the floor.

If anyone wants to go knitting tomorrow night let me know. I was thinking somewhere in Downtown Tempe maybe – kind of halfway between me and the East Valley. I know there is a bookstore on Mill, but if there is somewhere else better to go I'm all for it.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Life is Not a Competition

I met Kim and her friend Elaine (I think that’s her name, correct me if I’m wrong Kim) at Fiber Factory yesterday. Elaine just learned to knit and was picking out yarn for her first project. She is making Constant Companion to hold her knitting stuff. You’ve got to love a new knitter making a knitting bag! It’s going to look great and she had fun at the shop – although I think she was a little surprised at the cost of things.

Anyhow, we had lunch at the Picnic Company afterwards and chatted about various issues and items. Okay, really, we gossiped about people we know. But not in a bad way. I think the over-arching theme was dealing with women friends who are overly competitive. As in “I’m a better mother than you because….” type of people. Of course they are never that overt about it, these ARE women we’re talking about.

It just occurred to me as I was driving home that this is not a competition – none of it. At the end of your life they don’t hand you a prize. Best Knitter! Best Runner! Fastest Pie Crust in the West!

I wonder why we as women tend to compete with one another. Any comments on this topic would be welcome.

I’m off this morning to visit our friends at Southwest Trading Company. They need test knitters and I am going to be one! They supply the pattern and yarn, as well as enough yarn for me to make a project to keep! I’m very excited, they have some super cool stuff. And what better way to get free yarn. Free! Do you hear that? Free!

I’m also anxiously awaiting a package from Knit Picks. They said it shipped Tuesday so I should have it today, don’t you think?

After all this yarn overload, we’re heading out to Flagstaff this afternoon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for snow, but it’s looking unlikely. At least I will have some good solid knitting time in the car and hopefully during the weekend as well. We’re taking our Godfather movies to watch and maybe a few other DVDs.

Jen has some valid concerns about the 3 day walk and I figured it best to address them here. She is worried about raising $2100, and thinks it unfair that if you don’t raise it all you can’t walk. For the first problem, I think we will all be able to raise the money – as a team we can spend the next 8 months coming up with brilliant ways to get funds in the door.

For the second problem, I can see your point. My only argument is that this event is very expensive to run, and they want to be certain to cover all costs and make a significant donation to breast cancer research. I find it refreshing in a way. I’ve attended so many black tie $100 a plate fundraising events where you know most of your ticket money went to pay for the event, so not much money went to the charity in question. At least here we know a significant amount of our donations will go to fund research.

I hope you decide to join us Jen. Remember, the shirts are REALLY cute. I will make it my mission to be sure you raise all your funds.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Finished Object!

I finished the sweater for Angus last night. I’m meeting Kim at Fiber Factory at 11 and I wanted to have it done to take to her. Here is a picture:

angus sweater done

If any of you want to join us please feel free. I won’t be buying any yarn, considering I need to finish Clapotis, the pink sweater, a pair of socks, and Julie’s birthday gift (her birthday was in November. But to my defense, she has had the yarn since then.) AND, I’m expecting my Knit Picks yarn any day now and want to make a sweater for my cousin’s baby shower at the end of the month. Dang, that's a lot of knitting.

The Chicken Hat seems to be getting a lot of attention. Click Here for the pattern. It's sized for a baby (who would put a baby in this hat? That just seems mean.)

I'm off to deliver Jack to Grandma!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Sock Needles are sharp!

Although Clapotis beckons me like a Siren, I opened my knitting bag and returned to a pair of socks I started for my mother before the baby was born. The reason these socks had been abandoned is due to the inherent slipperiness of the needles. All three needles fell out of the sock, and I had to rework them into the stitches. Not an easy feat. Plus I kept poking myself with the needles and they hurt.

But it’s done, the sock is on it’s way to completion. I am horribly afraid I will run out of yarn on the second sock. The evil people at Arizona Knitting told me how much to buy, and I don’t trust them any more than I trust my dog.

Here are the socks, from Fiber Trends Walking Away Socks pattern:

mom socks

I did not go to Changing Hands last night, although I really wanted to I thought it was best for the little man and me to stay in. I did some knitting, we had some pasta and watched American Idol.

This weekend Joe and I lucked into a house in Flagstaff so we’ll be leaving Friday afternoon to head up to the snow! I’m excited to get away – I think it will be good for all of us – and I will have plenty of knitting time. This may be the last time I see Joe until Memorial Day, so I’d better make the best of it. He has a case that may go to trial, which makes his schedule a little wacky.

Hope you all had fun last night – it sounds like it was pretty crowded. I know over 50 people RSVP’d, so I’m sure it was a good group!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Chicken Hat

Parley’s friend sent him a link to this hat. It reminds me of that friends episode when Joey got a turkey stuck on his head. I think he (the friend, not Parley) wants one:


Unfortunately it’s a baby hat, so there would be a lot of monkeying around trying to get an adult size. I emailed the pattern writer and she gave me some hints for making it bigger, but her biggest problem is with the drumsticks (horns?)

We’re knitting today at Lux at noon, and the regular group is meeting at Changing Hands at 6:30. I don’t think I’ll be going tonight – it’s just too much at that time of day for me right now. Have fun knitting without me and I’ll certainly be at Mama Javas.

We have a third walker – Eva signed up and for some reason it didn’t notify me. Thanks Eva! We’re excited to have you. Please let me know if you are thinking of signing up, I’d like to have get-together for all potential walkers and talk about fundraising opportunities.