Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bits of Progress

First up:

This is a new attempt at sock making. The yarn is cheap, Lion Brand Magic Stripes in a colorway I don't remember...but isn't it colorful? I wasn't sure about it at first, but it looked so darn cute that I figured I could always give them to my 13 year old sister...but now that I see it growing, I kind of like them for myself! I am doing them top down, on US#2 bamboo dpns. I am just not ready for anything other than the classic means for socks. Maybe some time soon I'll try two circs. And eventually Magic Loop, but for now, it is dpns all the time.

Next up:

This is the start Part 2 of the Sheep Dreams blanket. [Part 2 because I had more than this knit and found a huge dropped stitch way back in the second row. Being the perfectionist that I am, I had to frog it back and start over]. It is 119 stitches wide and this stitch that they are calling the Ribbed Stitch has you knit into the front and back of each of the 119 stitches on Row 1, then on Row 2, you alternate between K2tog, and P2tog all the way across, then repeat over and over. It is pretty and looks great in the grassy green Knit Picks Wool of the Andes yarn. It's going to be a great blanket. I look forward to getting farther along on it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sheep Dreams

Hi, back from the weekend at my mothers. Tired, so it will be a quick pictureless post tonight--and back to work tomorrow after a week off.

: (

The Sheep Dreams blanket comes from the Knit Baby Blankets! book which is edited by Gwen Steege. It has a ton of really cute blankets in it and worth buying. The Sheep Dreams is just so cute. I can't wait to cast on for it one evening this week.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Here is the recycled sari silk scarf that the cats mangled last week. I patiently frogged it back to almost the very beginning and reknit it. The yarn is interesting. I'm not sure I'll ever need to make anything out of it again, but I like the colors. On the down side, it has a weird smell to it. I insist that it smells like body odor, but my husband says it doesn't. When I cast off, I will spray it with Febreeze and let it dry, then store it in a ziplock bag with a dryer sheet for a bit to see if that helps.

I might be all in my head--the whole concept of RECYCLED might be making me smell sweaty pits where there are, in fact, none.

I do like the unexpectedness of the yarn.

It's hard to see, but right smack in the middle of the scarf is a splash of pure white. So much fun.

We are off to my mothers for a few days of vacation...and a stop here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Wait is Over

It is really hard to see the differences in this outdoor picture between the Encore and the KnitPicks greens. But trust me, the KnitPicks is perfect. The exact shade of green that I was looking for. And I guess it isn't that big a deal to me that it won't be machine washable. Colleen will probably use it more for decoration anyways...

I also bought some of this to make a pair of socks:

Now the knitting can begin.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Still waiting...

The knitpicks yarn will be here any day now...and I am ready to go. Maybe tomorrow. The mailman already came through for the day, and no packages for me. Oh well...tomorrow is another day, right Scarlett?

Anyway, we are off this week from school for our Spring Break. That is nice. The weather is beautiful, a bit cool today, but sunny and that is all good by me.

I have actually been working from home since Friday. I put in for a curriculum development project and am getting paid to work on it from home. Just 20 hours worth of work, no big deal, but they are paying me $34/hour to work at home, on the clock, in my jammies. Sounds good to me...this will be my summer yarn money.

The bad thing about being a teacher is not getting a paycheck for the two months of July and August. You can elect to have money taken out each pay period and get it all in a lump sum at the end of June, but I never remember to apply in time, and so, I live off my own savings and the tax refund (hello! this year we got beaucoup de bucks back for some reason), but I am sitting on it to pay for all my trips to the yarn shop all of my summer bills).

Hey, guess what is for dinner tonight? [Attention Deficit Much?]

Yup, same as most Christians will be eating tonight...leftover ham! Yummy. Mashed potatoes. More Yum. And lastly, my infamous broccoli/cauliflower and Velveeta casserole. Tres, tres yum!!

Happy leftovers everyone!

Sunday, April 16, 2006


The Easter Bunny made his regularly scheduled stop here last night about 11:42 PM. I heard him, but didn't dare take a peek for fear he wouldn't leave any of the yummy Hershey's Special Dark Kisses that rumor had it he had in his basket of goodies.

The boys were up bright and early (6:30am) to do the yearly Easter Egg Hunt. The E.B.leaves plastic eggs filled with candy inside all over the place. This year, Le Bug was old enough to understand the concept and had a great time looking for the eggs, too.

A wonderful time was had by all...

now off to the kitchen to cook for dinner later. Hope you all have a blessed holiday with family and friends, or a relaxing day to yourself if you don't celebrate Easter.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

So says Tom Petty, and, sadly, so says I.

The KnitPicks yarn is taking forever to get here...well, okay 4 days, but still...I am impatient. I need to know if it is right, or else keep looking for something else. So, I wait...


I am not knitting much of anything right now. I am fixated on casting on for the Sheep Dreams blanket, and can't bring myself to work on much else. I am in some sort of a knitting slump. Dunno. Weird. I've been knitting up sample squares from my past Yarn of the Months club. [BTW Amy: I am still getting them, did you know that? You can cancel if you want, and I'll sign up myself...I don't want to be a yarn mooch! I keep forgetting to tell you, so here. : ) ]

In other, life, news...Today is BB#2's 9th birthday. He was my easy child...three hours of labor, start to finish, no drugs, no stitches, great nurser, slept all night right away---just easy.

How times have changed!

We took his two best friends bowling for his party.

Yes, the one is picking his nose...BB#2 is in navy, BB#1 is in green.

This picture pretty much (although blurry) sums it up. Crazy, hyper, bordering on naughty. Two friends may have been one too many. Next year, one friend. Even BB#1 got involved in the scrapping, wrestling, and all-around zaniness. Apparently being an almost-teenager doesn't make you immune to crazy.

There was only one angel:

and that only lasted for about an hour, before disintegrating into something that looked more like this:

This captures the insolence, the haughtiness, the Terrible Two behavior perfectly. (He wanted to VROOM his trucks down the lanes at the bowling alley...and didn't want to take "No" for an answer.

I need a drink...

or maybe many.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Oh, the Carnage!

So, today I got home late from work. We had a horribly stressful faculty meeting, but I digress. I came home late, Le Bug and all of his Terrible Two behaviors in tow, and I immediately hear Cooper, the Brainless Wonder, our neurotic chocolate lab, barking in the house.

Not ever a good sign.

I get to the back door, and said bundle of chocolate neuroses is jumping up and down higher than the window in the back door.

"Oh, Cooper must have to pee really badly because I am a half an hour late today," I innocently thought to myself and immediately opened the door. He hustled out as fast as he could, knocked over said Bug, and promptly got into his crate which is on the enclosed back porch, and cowered.

Not ever a good sign.

I slowly opened the door the rest of the way, grabbed Le Bug in my arms and set him inside on the kitchen floor and noticed that the cats, Tiger and Daisy were M.I.A.

Not ever a good sign.

I proceeded into the livingroom--all of about two and a half steps considering our house is microscopic--and that is when I saw it...

The yarn carnage.

And that is also when the swearing and screaming began. Me swearing, and okay, me screaming too. At some point in the day, the cats had raided my brand new knitting bag...

it is FINE, you can breathe now!...

and they had pawed out my current WIP, a recycled sari silk scarf.

May the WIP, well, may it RIP.

This next part is NOT for the faint of heart:

It was all pulled out and all over the floor. It was wet with dog slobber. It was horrible. It was so distressing that I didn't even have the strength to take a photo of it. All I could think of was to pick it up as quickly as I could. Like when your two year old falls down a bunch of stairs (stone ones, last week at daycare) and is laying at the bottom crying, and you KNOW you shouldn't pick him up until you are sure he doesn't have a horrible neck or spinal injury, but you do anyways, because, well, YOU JUST DO.

Same concept, only with yarn.

The dog is in the dog house. And so are the freakin' cats.

(Yes, Amy, in case you are wondering, the wiffle ball bat did come out, although I couldn't catch him because he was too fast!)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Math...not my strong point

Bloggy Dearest,
Okay, so.

I am NOT a math teacher.

I tell the kids this all the time in class when they expect me to know their current GPA up to the minute--complete with the late essay they just turned in, that is currently ungraded and in my hand still.

NOT a math teacher (pointing at self crazily).
This is not a surprise to anyone who knows me.

However, even I can do this math.

The six skeins of Lambs Pride Superwash that I deemed too expensive for Colleen's Sheep Dreams baby blanket in the perfect shade of grassy green:

$8.50/skein x 6 = $51.00

So now, here is where it gets annoyingly depressing and frustrating:

5 skeins of too green Plymouth Encore from Ebay:
$4.64/skein x 5 + $6.95 s&h = $30.15

3 skeins of [gasp!] cheap, too grayish-green acrylic:
$2.14/skein x 3 = $6.42

8 skeins of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in the colorway "Grass":
$1.97/skein x 8 + $3.95 = $19.05

Here goes!
Stick with me here, complicated calculations are taking place!

$30.15 + $6.42 + $19.05 = $ 55.62
spent on yarn for the project already, and with no guarantee that I will find the KnitPicks, which has not arrived yet, perfect either.

Does anyone else see the problem with this, or is it just me??

The Math Wizard

Sunday, April 09, 2006


My mother has always taught all of us to keep our options open, so in honor of her wisdom...I went to the craft store today in search of [gasp!] acrylic yarn for Colleen's baby blanket. I found some in a color that I thought was close to what I want. However, when I got it home, I am not so sure. Good thing it was cheap [gasp!]acrylic (and even cheaper given that all the yarns were 25% off today!). I think I paid $2.14/364 yard skein. I could easily justify not using it at that price!

This is a funny story, I was standing there at ACMoore with three skeins of this cheap Red Heart [gasp!] acrylic yarn in my hands and a lovely lady of a certain age (older than my mother, but not quite AARP material) who was standing next to me also perusing the cheap [gasp!]acrylic, said to me, "That is a lovely color of green." I said, "Do you think so? I can't decide." She nodded and reached over and touched it lovingly and said, "Red Heart is the best yarn you can buy. I've been knitting with it for almost 40 years." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Red Heart is the best yarn you can buy? Apparently, there is an entire generation of women who have never knit with natural fibers or good quality yarns...I wanted to scoop her up and take her here and show her what really good yarn looks and feels like.

So, I brought the [gasp!] acrylic home and took a photo of it next to the shockingly too Christmasy green Encore [gasp!] acrylic blend:

Definitely more grass-like, as evidenced by the closeness to the green of the front bush...but still, somehow not exactly what I want. I'm off to order the Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Grass. We'll see how that goes.

I see two green Holiday sweaters in the future with whatever yarns I don't use.

I also bought a book while I was there:

It has some really cute things in it and I am all about the stash busting...I've limited my new yarn purchases until I can get rid of some of what I already have. Much of it from the early days (more [the whole gasp! thing is getting old, I I'll lay off for now!]acrylics, lots of Lion Brands, etc...).

Well, I am off to organize the new knitting bag (see yesterday's post for a photo) exciting!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Weekend Roses...

Every weekend when I go to the grocery store on my weekly excursion, which I dread...I buy myself some pretty roses to make my day. These are this weeks, aren't the beautiful? Maybe not as funky as last week's roses...the blue ones, remember?...but still, breath-taking.
These will help anyone get through the annoying, velour track-suit clad, brigade of elderly people who have nothing better to do than stop their carts in the middle of the aisles and wander about aimlessly on a busy Saturday morning.
But, I digress...

The Mailman Loves Me


It arrived today.

My heart-stoppingly expensive, but worth every penny, gorgeous custom-made knitting tote. Isn't it gorgeous? I tell you what, I am so glad I splurged and bought it for myself. It is absolutely wonderful. The craftsmanship is unbelievable, this girl is good. I can't get over how nice it is. So much nicer than el cheapo knitting bag that I have been using. I can't wait to get it all stocked up. There are like a zillion (okay, maybe only seven) interior pockets. I want to have some quiet time to get it all organized and set-up. Now I just have to decide what project will have the honor of being the first to go in the new bag.

She also made me a matching needle case:

Today I finished up the gift for my co-worker. I ditched the absolutely gorgeous, but completely ass-kicking Shining Star hat in favor of an old stand-by.

That picture is really washed out, but the alternative is this one:which has a ridiculously yellow cast to it. The lighting sucks here right now...I should've remembered to take photos this afternoon when we had more natural light. The bonnet is modified from this hat on Larissa's blog. It is very cute and girly, isn't it?

Next up? I'm not sure...maybe a tank top for summer for me. I have some natural colored hemp yarn that I've been wanting to knit up. Or some pale aqua Trendsetter Dolcino ribbon yarn that I meant to make into a tank last summer and didn't get around to.

I should be starting Colleen's Sheep Dreams baby blanket soon, but I am not happy with the Plymouth Encore that I bought online. It looked good on my monitor, just the right shade of green, but in person, I am not feeling it. I will definitely turn in to something, someday, but it isn't Col's blanket. It isn't a grassy enough green. A little too Christmasy.

I am thinking about ditching the whole machine-washable thing and going for wool. I mean, Col probably won't use the blanket much anyways. I'm going more for a keepsake than everyday if she had to hand-wash it, she would. If that is my decision...I will probably go with the appropriately named colorway of Grass Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks or maybe the Fern colorway. I haven't decided. I think I'll order one of each and see how I feel. I can always make them into Holiday scarves or hats, right? Or maybe, horror of horrors, I will find a suitable color in [gasp!] acrylic yarn.

Good thing I'm not a complete yarn snob yet, I will at least still consider acrylic. Either way, I need to find a yarn that is the right color and speaks to me in a way that this Encore does not.

Any justification for adding to the stash seems to work for me!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Definitely not THAT good

Okay, so the cast on for the Shining Star is kicking my ass.

You have to cast on 5 stitches. Then put one on each of 5 dpns. Then you immediately start YOing and I can't figure out how to keep so few stitches tight and in a circle and not falling off and not making me want to rip my freakin hair out by the roots swear like a sailor.

I may have to find a Plan B hat.

I wonder if I could knit it, I am definitely not that good.

Finished Feat

I've been working on a little something for a co-worker who is having a little pink one in June.
Cable booties from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit by Zoe Mellor. I knit them up in a cashmerino blend in pale pink and cream on US Size 3s. They are just so cute and tiny! I knit the 0-3 months size, and I am convinced they are still going to be too big for a newborn. They were an interesting knit. You start out with the six stitch wide cable strip:
Then you pick up 64 stitches along one side...
and then, knit 10 rows in an interesting slip/garter stitch pattern, until it looks like this:
Both the top and the sole are knit flat:Voila! And then you seam them together. If you look closely, you can see the decreases on the sole (the piece with the cable strip) that help curve the sole when you sew it up. You end up with a seam down the center of the sole, up the back of the heel and up the back of the cuff. Then you have to fit the top of the bootie around the other side of the cable strip. Wet them down, stuff them full of white paper towels (white only to avoid any color bleeding onto the booties) and leave to dry.

Tah Dah!

Another gratuitous Bootie Shot.

By the way? The kick-ass, custom made, knitting bag shipped today (Priority 2-3 Day) and she sent me this teaser...

I can't wait.

Tonight's knitting? Casting on for a baby size Shining Star hat by Kate Gilbert to match the booties. I will knit it in the cream color.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Goodies in the Mail

I came home today to a teensy tiny box, wrapped up in a trash bag (its rain-snowing today here in NY) sitting forlornly on my doorstep. I couldn't imagine what was in it.

Surprise! It is the black Plush for the Sheep Dreams blanket that I am making for Colleen and Marc's little one on the way. This is the black for the little rebel black sheep in the corner. So cute...The Cream Plush is also on its way from a different online source.

In the package is also a little splurge that I just had to have. Some Koigu KPPPM sock yarn in colorway #304. I cannot get my camera to take an accurate picture of the colorway. I've tried a million different shots and no good.
Here is the photo of the color on the website which is amazingly accurate, at least on my monitor.

It is a gorgeous colorway. It reminds me of lilac bushes...glossy deep greens and all shades of lilac. I can't wait to be good enough to make a pretty pair of lace socks for myself out of them!

The online store is called Kaleidoscope Yarns, and I am pretty impressed with them. Reasonable shipping rates and SO FAST! I ordered this on Sunday night, and today is Tuesday. Granted, it didn't come far...from Vermont to New York, but still. Very quick!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Quack! Quack!

We got back so late last night from our Honor Society field trip to Boston, that I can't seem to feel alert today. I am getting old, man. I went to bed at around 11:30 and woke up at 7:00, and feel like I haven't slept in days! It didn't help that I have had a bad stomach bug with cramps and poopy issues.

The field trip was really nice. Thank God! It was a pain to plan, kept running into one issue after another, but all in all, it pulled together at the end and it was good. First we got lost, of course, I think this is de rigeur when you are from a relatively small urban area and go to the big city (any big city). You have to have your chartered bus driver get lost to keep you humble. Oh! And so the kids will ask their fearless leader (that would be me) "Mrs. F? Haven't we driven by this weird homeless guy like forty-five times already? Are we lost??!!" Ummm, no my babies....just sight-seeing. Did he just stand up and pee into the street, almost hitting the bus' wheels? Indeed, he did. The cameras were out and snapping. All I can do is hope that they had the flashes on and only got a nice glare off of the window!

We got to the Museum of Science an hour late, but they held our show time for us for the Star Wars Exhibit, which was much appreciated. And the lady who checked us all in told me in confidence that "you aren't hungry for hamburgers at the Food Court." WINK. WINK. Gotcha lady I don't burgers.

Of course, two boys had to order them anyways...just to spite me. Apparently, they weren't as bad as school cafeteria food, so it was all good to them.

We checked out the museum, and loved the Star Wars exhibit:

This thing is called a Waamba or something similarly crazy, if I remember correctly, and let's face it, I was sick and cranky and with 34 kids. I might not remember anything at all!

then went outside to get on one of these:

Le Duck Boat. (La Duck Boat? isn't French anyways, is it?) This was a blast. At first I was leary because our driver was...oh, damn I wish I had thought to snap his picture!...was dressed as a----


This is NOT an every day occurence, let me assure you all. Even the cynical children (8th-10th graders) didn't quite know what to make of him. He had the boots, and the silk sashes, and the tight leggings, and the ruffley shirt. The earring! Everything but the hat. His name was Captain Kidding. He was a great tour guide. He kept them quiet and interested and most importantly, HE LET THEM DRIVE THE FREAKIN' BOAT! Once we got out on the Charles River, he let them take the wheel and gave them really cheesey Pirate Tatoos! The loved it. Apparently, you are never too old for a cheesey Pirate Tatoo because one of my co-workers asked for one as well. But anyways...

Then we rode the T (subway) down to Quincy Market. Do NOT ever pronounce this correctly in Boston or else people will deliberately pretend not to understand. It is apparently pronounced "QuinZy" and the rest of the world has not received the memo. The subway conductor gave us bad advice and we got lost again. Lost in the subway system in a strange city with 34 children and some very pushy street vendors.

I may have sworn in front of the children at least once...oops!

Finally, we made it to where we needed to be and ran around QuinZy Market for an hour buying snacks and souvenirs. I bought my husband these at Exotic Flowers right there in the shadow of Faneuil Hall.

Don't adjust your monitor, they are in fact, BLUE! I am quite obviously a country bumpkin not well-aware that roses can be sprayed blue. Aren't they pretty? He liked them alot.

Well, I am off to find some Black Out Plush for the sheepy blanket, the first place I tried to order it was out of stock.

And then, a nap.