Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I am Mohair, apparently...

You are Mohair.
You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with
others, doing your share without being too
weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely
refuse to change your position once it is set,
but that's okay since you are good at covering
up your mistakes.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Knitting From My Sick Bed

Visual proof that knitting has indeed gone on...

I was on my sick bed all weekend with the most horrible pain I've felt since the birth of Le Bug eighteen months ago. Being stubborn, I insisted that drinking five gallons of cranberry juice a day and forcing, gagging, down an entire can of cranberry sauce would cure what I thought was just a urinary tract infection. When the pee turns red and clumpy though, you can't hide anymore and must face your worst possible fear.

The ER.

I hate doctors, and I especially hate the ER. It always seems that when I go, there is some sort of white trash, redneck domestic drama going on in the waiting room and this was not an exception. As much as it can be mildly entertaining, this time I just found it incredibly sad and depressing. Luckily when you have red pee, they get you right in without a lot of sitting around.

Diagnosis? An acute kidney infection. When your pee is red and clumpy you bet your ass something ACUTE is going on! The helpful doctor prescribed some really strong antibiotics and after a double dose yesterday to get things going, today, I feel much less like I want to spend my time curled up in the fetal position on the living room floor while an 18 month old rules the roost. (We are still home alone for the week, so I had no help).

But, while sitting on a heating pad and running to the bathroom every two minutes for absolutely nothing, I did get some progress made on this:

This is the baby cardigan with seed stitch bands from this awesome book:

Don't you just love the picture of that baby on the cover? What an angel! The sweater is pretty simple, not a lot of shaping--just simple increases and decreases. I have the back and both fronts done and am started on a sleeve. It is knit on US 3s for the body and US 2s for the seed stitch bands. It is supposed to be knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, but I am stash busting, so this is being knit in Bernat Baby Softee in white. I would love to make it again in the cashmerino...maybe when DH and I go for baby number 4 next year. This one is for friends who are expecting in the fall. I am a little nervous about knitting the seed stitch bands around the neckline. It involves picking up and knitting, which I have not done before and seems like a daunting task, but somehow I will figure it out.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Knitting Goes On

Today was my friend's funeral. What a surreal experience that was. For starters, her husband and her daughter seem to be in some sort of stoic, robotic state of denial. Not one tear or even the threat of a tear. Her daughter wore a lavender T-shirt, low slung jeans and stiletto sandals?? Her mother never would have let her wear that. I know she is only 16, and was dressed like a 16 year old likes to dress, but couldn't anyone else in the family have taken her to the mall for something, I don't know, a little less cheerful? A little more appropriate for her mother's funeral? Everyone else in the family was attired in the correct, navy, dark brown. Whether it was some sort of rebelliousness on her part or what...I don't know. She can be willful and headstrong...kind of like her mom. I was shocked though, and not just over that. Her friends were there and in the church vestibule afterwards, while we were all choking down cookies and pretending that everything was going to be normal and okay, she was standing in a corner, laughing giddily with her girlfriends like she was at a school dance.


I'm trying very hard to remind myself that she is only 16 and her mother wouldn't have wanted her to be throwing herself on the funeral pyre and all...but still. It just was freakin' odd. I have to believe it is some sort of weird denial or total cluelessness or I'll get pissed. It just was sad to me, it was clear she needed her mother to help her dress appropriately and act accordingly for the funeral, and there, tragically, is the irony. This, apparently, is her new reality without her mother's guidance.

Anyways...with the public grieving over for now (there will be more in two weeks or so when school opens and we have to have some sort of memorial for the students), I am back to knitting.

In Ohio, I began the Besotted Scarf. Poor is bearing the brunt of my grief in its very intricate little cables. I seriously need to learn how to cable without a third needle. Seriously...

It is hard to see the cabling here from my picture due to the evening lighting. The link shows it better. It is Xs and Os...hugs and kisses...besotted...get it?

This is the Araucania Nature Wool in shade #10 that I was going to use for a felted purse. It really does have those subtle variegations in the coloring, it isn't just the weird lighting. It is nice to knit with, doesn't split much at all and isn't too too scratchy, although I definitely need lotion afterwards.

When we were in Cleveland, I went to a craft store just to see what type of yarn they might have since I didn't have the energy to drive into the city to one of the "real" yarn shops there. [I am a total loser, I know...but it is an 8 hour drive and I was tired, okay?] I went to Pat Catan's and left with this...

It is 10 skeins of Bernat Softee Chunky in navy blue. I have been wanting a washable cardigan sweater for myself in a basic color for months now and I think I will just knit myself up one. I had to buy this was only $1.47/skein. And it is softer than most acrylics. Acrylic is important when I know it will get covered in chalk at work. Since the yarn was so ridiculously cheap and I have more Feather and Fan scarves to knit for the holidays...

I also bought two skeins of variegated blue [BB#1 wants a scarf in shades of blue for winter], two skeins of dark brown [the new black says all the fashion mags, and I thought I'd like a scarf in brown...just to be hip, you know], and two skeins of rosey pink [because I am addicted to pink, probably as a result of being the mother of three little boys...God help my next child if it is a girl...she'll look like a Pepto Bismol bottle exploded in her vicinity at all times, I just know it!]

Then, I noticed that they also had Bernat Satin yarn...which I love. It has a pretty pearly sheen to it. And so, look what just jumped into my basket:

Two skeins of camel colored Satin for yet, another scarf for some lucky friend. I am a scarf addict. I need a 12 step program.

And then, ["No more 'and then'!"]then I saw this:

This is a wool/hemp blend. I have wanted to try hemp yarn for awhile now, because I've heard that it gets softer and softer and has a nice drape. I actually bought 9 skeins of this, but I gave some to my friend Amy who taught me to knit again last year. It is a pretty natural color and I think I will attempt some sort of a lace shawl out of it as it is a nice sport weight.

Someday, when I have sold a book or two, I will only buy expensive, snobby yarn, I promise, Yarn Goddesses, but for now, my loved ones will have to settle for average yarn with a lot of love knitted in. Somehow, I don't think they mind.

But...we are headed back to Ohio next week...I may just make it to here, or here,yet. So much for stash-busting, huh?

Now that my husband has his new job, we are planning on moving into a bigger, better house. Is it totally wrong that my first thought when he mentioned a finished basement and a fourth bedroom was--MORE STASH ROOM??

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Home, but no new knitting today...

We are home, for a week anyway, then we are going back out to Cleveland for a few more days since we didn't get to see my MIL very much as she had a business trip she couldn't get out of.

While I was out there, I got a voice mail message from the phone chain at work telling me that one of my colleagues/friends had passed away this past Saturday night.

She was only 49. She had a sixteen year old daughter who just so happened to be in Europe at the time on a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime trip that they had been planning for over a year.

Her husband was the love of her life, college sweetheart...They were married for 27 years.

We aren't sure what caused her death. There is some speculation that it was an allergic reaction to medication she was taking for poison ivy, of all things. Apparently she took her last dose of the day, went up to bed, and then never woke up again. Although, they are conducting an autopsy because her brother died of a sudden heart attack when he was young also. The wake is tomorrow night, the funeral on Thursday. Most people from work are going to the wake, I just can't handle it. I'm not much of a wake person, I prefer to remember the departed as I last saw them alive.

For her, that would be the last day of our school year, we had an incredibly boring presentation to sit through (HAZCOM) and she brought word games for us all to play (competitively--because she knew no other way). So we sat there, playing games, intent on beating each other, (but more importantly intent on beating her, because she always won), giggling and trying to look innocent when the principal cast us dirty looks. A typical experience where she was concerned. She was always the one who knew exactly how to lighten up a tense situation, how to brighten up a boring one, and how to give you just the right look or touch on the arm when your day was just total crap. And the day before we all left for Holiday break in December, she would put a spread on in the faculty room a la Martha Stewart that consisted of all sorts of decadent treats that had taken her weeks and weeks and tons of freezer space to prepare for us--running in and out between her classes to make sure the punch bowl was full (cranberry ginger punch--yum!) and there was fresh ice. Making TWO yule logs because one was just never enough, not with her homemade marzipan mushrooms on it.

She was outspoken and boisterous and vivacious and full of life.

And now she is gone.

And her daughter, being a teenager and everything that brings with it, might not realize everything that she was to so many people. And she has to grow up without her mother to share all her days with.

It is surreal to me...and makes me determined to hold my boys just a little bit closer to me, tell the ones I love that I love them a little more often, live my life a little more fully...

Rest gently dear will be missed...and never forgotten.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Talk Dirty To Me

Tomorrow is the day my husband gets back from his two weeks of reserve time in Seattle. It's been an interesting two weeks. Sure, we've been apart before for, for this long before, but the way different time zones this time was killer. I've actually missed him a lot more than I would care to admit to anyone, even myself. I was raised by a (basically) single mother who never seemed to need a man in her life, so to really need someone like I need him is a frightening proposition. But, it is all over tomorrow...he leaves Seattle at 7am their time and will fly straight to Washington, DC (Dulles, actually) and then catch a flight up to Albany, arriving here around 6:30 our time. I am sure tomorrow evening will be spend eating good take-out, spending some time with the Bug (Big Brothers 1 & 2 are with their dad until Sunday), and then going to bed early. What can I say?? I mean, it's been 14 days people! And conversations on cell phones only do so much, know what I mean?? (Like the title of the post didn't make you you go...TMI!)

Sunday we have to pack and run around doing errands and then Monday morning, early, load up the three real-live boys and the neurotic Cooper the WonderDog (it's a wonder he has survived my wrath this long!) who truly and honestly believes [as all Labrador Retrievers do] that he, too, is a real-live, people boy, and we are off like a herd of turtles to Cleveland. It is about 8 hours with stops for pee and poo and lunch. All I can say is, buying a freakin' minivan with the VCR built in was the smartest thing we've ever done.

Except maybe getting married and having the Bug...

Aww, I've gotten all sappy and sentimental...time to go.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I turned my back to The Bug for just a moment last night and sure enough he fell of the couch where he was tormenting--I mean, loving--the cat and fell face first into the coffee table. So today, he is sporting a huge shiner that is the lovely colorway: Black and Blue and Green.

I figure the first trip out to the grocery store will result in Child Protective Services being called on me. At least I did their job for them and took a photo for evidence.

Even though he doesn't look happy in the picture, he really doesn't seem to even notice the bruise. He hated icing it last night when it first happened. Have you ever tried to pin a twisty, screaming, 18 month old on your lap (all alone, with no spouse still, and his two BBs (big brothers) away with their dad) while you put an ice pack on his "ow-ie" for 20 minutes? I really should have gotten a medal for that.

This morning when I took this picture, it was horribly swollen still, but as he got around today, the swelling went down a lot. I'm hoping it looks much better by the weekend when we go to my in-laws so that they don't think I beat my child! Actually, I sent out an email to everyone I know today with this picture attached so everyone could see how horrific it is, so they won't be surprised. My MIL even sent me an email telling me not to feel guilty because when my SIL was a toddler she had to call Poison Control so often that the operator recognized her voice! Sure she was exaggerating, but I appreciate the effort to make me feel less guilty. And my good friend, Sharon, told me that her pediatrician told her that if your child doesn't fall at least three feet in his/her first two years then you are being over-protective! I had to laugh...probably true, but it doesn't assuage the guilt, you know?

I waited to post until late tonight so I could put up pictures of the Drop Stitch Scarf that I finished up tonight while watching "Dog: The Bounty Hunter" on A&E. That show is so cool...I'm getting addicted. Anyways, the scarf was knit on US 15s, not 13s like I had originally planned. Mostly because I had a brand new pair of Brittany Birch 15s that I hadn't been able to use yet and wanted to. The yarn is Lana Grossa Lux in the very unimaginatively named colorway #5. They should have named it "Shiner"! It perfectly matches all the pretty colors on my Bug's pretty little face. [How old can he be and still be called pretty by his mommy, btw?] The yarn actually reminds me of the colors of the dragon flies that live around here...ooohh! that would have been a perfect name too! But #5? Please, a little imagination people, come on...

Anyways, here are some pics:

This is a bit blurry because it is so up close. I wanted to try to capture the colors, but this really washed them out and they are much darker and more rich and vivid than this...although this does show the metallic nature of the yarn.

This picture is a little closer to the true colors. It is a funky little ribbon yarn, mostly solid, not very ladder-like, and it has wool nubblies on it every so often that give it a little bit more texture and body than a plain ribbon yarn. I bought it at my one of my local yarn stores and it was a bit expensive ($12 for a 77yd ball and I bought and used 2), but worth every penny.

Up next?? I think I am going to use the Araucania Nature Wool I bought for a felted purse, and have since frogged, to make a Hello Yarn Besotted Scarf. I have the Araucania in shade #10. It has such subtle variegation that I love it. It is really great yarn. I got it in black as part of my Yarn of the Month package a couple of months ago and just had to get me some more.

I am determined to bust out my stash as Christmas scarves, hats, and shawls...and I am, so far, doing so well, that I may give myself permission to buy some new yarn when we are in Cleveland, if I can find a nice little yarn shop out there.

Oh, and Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy--My husband got the job! Way to go Baby...

Monday, August 01, 2005


The first Feather and Fan scarf is done. I say the first, because it turned out so wonderfully that I am certain I will be making more for Christmas gifts and I just have to have one for myself too. I know I said I was going to make it ridiculously long, but I ended up with just long. It is about 72". I started thinking about it and realized that just because I am tall and would want to wrap it around my neck a few times and let the ends still dangle down to my knees, that my more height-challenged friends and family might not be so inclined. So, I cut it a bit short.

Up next is a drop stitch scarf for my friend Amy who re-taught me to knit for her birthday. I am knitting it on US 13s, out of Lana Grossa Lux Yarn in colorway #5. It is a ribbon yarn that also has some wooly slubs on it. It is 40% wool and 60% microfiber. I bought it at my LYS awhile ago and haven't been sure who I wanted to make it up for. Amy is a perfect choice. After this scarf, I think I will finish the Debbie Bliss baby sweater and then try some hats.

Only five more days until my husband comes home and then we are off to Ohio for a week to visit his family. I have missed him a lot this past two weeks. Although we did have a bit of a tiff yesterday. It probably is mostly me being an insecure little baby...but he was meeting a friend for a baseball game and he was on the phone with me. His friend pulled up, he told me that he'd call me back in 5 minutes, and then didn't call me for 6 hours. Which left me feeling really annoyed, then angry, then just mind-blindingly pissed. Which I wasn't shy about telling him, when I finally called him and gave him an earful. He doesn't remember telling me he'd call back in 5 minutes and so he doesn't feel he did anything wrong.

Very convenient.

Today I am still annoyed, but not as pissed. He has apologized, but mostly because he doesn't like it when I am mad at him and not because he feels he was wrong. Which could get me worked back up to pissed really quick if I let it. Instead, I am practicing the art of letting things go. Today is the day he should find out whether or not he got the new job he interviewed for 6 weeks ago. Yep, you read that right...6 weeks of waiting on the stupid Human Resources Department at Lockheed Martin to look into whatever it is they have to look into. The friend of his who got him the interview told him weeks ago that his boss wanted to hire him, and the boss even called and said they would be sending him an offer letter...but 6 weeks later...nothing.

So he's been calling the little HR chickee every day to keep her on top of it. (I am sure she loves this). And this morning she told him she'd have the word for him this afternoon after she heard back from this one person she swears she has been waiting on all along. At this point, neither of us is feeling as confident as we did earlier. I guess we just have to wait for the official word and hope for the best. Keep your fingers crossed.