Friday, September 29, 2006

It's a good thing I love knitting...

...or I'd really hate knitting!

I had to rip back on Amy's first Jaywalker last night. I had completely screwed up the heel flap. I forgot to do the slip 1, knit 1 all the way across and instead had just knitted straight. Needless to say, the heels looked funny. I couldn't put my finger on it right away, but then I happened to turn the page and see a photo of the finished product and clearly, clearly, my sock did not look right. Closer examination revealed that the heel was indeed, screwed up.

So, I frogged. But, Grey's was on, and I was engrossed, and I may have ripped back a little too far. Days worth of progress. Gone.

It's a good thing I love knitting.

I set it aside after that, too annoyed and pissed at myself to continue. Instead I grabbed by Simple Knitted Bodice and did a few rows on that.

Can you see the progress?

Yeah, me either.

It's a good thing I love knitting...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Today was Flashback day at school. It is Spirit Week in anticipation of Homecoming this weekend. My girlfriend Sue and I decided to get back to our 80's roots. One of us took it more seriously than the other.

Any guesses which one of us?

(Notice the unfinished lockers? We are in the midst of a huge renovation/construction project at school this year.)

Yes, those ARE legwarmers...and NO, they are NOT vintage. I bought them last night at Target. They have lots. Apparently they are making a comeback. My hair is not anywhere near big enough. I guess you need a perm to make the teasing stay. I used Aqua Net and all, but the curling iron curls didn't cut it. Halfway through the day, I traded my horrid black bow for a side pony-tail. So sexy. You cannot see the clear lipgloss over pale pink frosted lipstick and frosted blue eyeshadow in this picture. I had to go to two stores to find anything even close and it wasn't close at all.

Sue was rocking a headband...and big geometric 80's earrings as well as her Capezio shoes! So funny.

Most of the teachers thought we were crazy...and they were big poops and didn't dress up.

Leave it to the English Department to be crazy.

In knitting news...I am working on Amy's socks. The Simple Knitted Bodice is just kind of hanging out in my bag, waiting. Apparently I can only be a monogamous knitter despite my best intentions to be a knitting 'ho.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Progress Report


I am up to the last two episodes from last season and then I can watch the new one I recorded on the DVR Thursday night! Hooray! Hopefully, this will all happen today.

Simple Knitted Bodice:

This is the beginning of the yoke. It is, of course, a top-down raglan design so the stitch markers are marking out where the back, fronts, and sleeves are situated. I have never knit a sweater like this before, so this is all new to me. I was worried that I wasn't doing it right until I noticed how the increasing was making those tell-tale lines on the sweater that I have seen on others. I was relieved...

I almost didn't take any photos today as it is really gray and crappy outside, but actually, these (taken without the flash) seem to be the best representation of the true color of the yarn that I have been able to capture, so go figure. Don't you just love the subtle variegation of the yarn? And It. Is. So. Soft! Very lovely.

I am knitting the size small. I was considering making the medium because I am right on the line measurement-wise, but I decided that I like the way the burnt orange sweater looks in the pattern better than the olive. And everyone says that the silk will "grow" with wearing, so I decided to play it safe and knit the small.

What will I do if it doesn't fit? Will I give it away to someone else?

Hell no!

I will rip it out and patiently, in a zen-like state (this usually requires alcohol), I will re-knit it in the larger size. I did order enough yardage for the medium, so yarn isn't an issue.

And now, a moment of spontaneous cuteness...The Bug, who discovered that Fudge Stripe cookies have a hole in the middle, especially designed for eyes.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Okay, I am through episode 22, the one with all the knitting and I have to take a dinner break...but as soon as I get the Bug in bed for the night, I am back onto the Grey's. [Can I just say, too, that the English teacher/geek loves that Amy (not my currently blogless Amy), the girl who made the cute button, underlined the title of the show like you are supposed to do if you don't put it in italics? Good girl!]

Have I said lately, how much I love this show? It is soooo good.

Anyways, I am knitting on the Simple Knitted Bodice.

I have not gotten very far. First, I had to make some new stitch markers for the project because it became clear to me that nothing that I had color-coordinated with the fabulousness of the Tilli yarn and nothing was good enough anyway. So, I whipped up some fancy jasper markers last night and they look great on the needles (the new KnitPicks options circulars which I am in love with! So pointy and good!). I really consider stitch markers like jewelry for my knitting in progress and I have way too many already...all colors, etc, but yet, I still needed to make more. Could not concentrate on casting on until I made more. I am too anal retentive, I know, I know. But I like things to be perfect.

I also have had to rip back and re-knit multiple times, not because it is hard, but because I am, apparently, a moron. Either I cannot count, or I drop a stitch because, hello?, is that Meredith KNITTING?? And so on...

But tomorrow I will post a picture of how far I get tonight. Tomorrow is sock knitting day...I am trying to be a knitting whore and have more than one project going at a usually doesn't go well for me.

I am, apparently, monogamous by nature.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fourteen Down, Thirteen to Go

Okay, so my plan to catch up on 27 episodes of season two in time to watch the season three premiere of Grey's Anatomy tonight is a complete bust...this week was just too crazy with work and now I am sick.

Sick enough to not even knit much. Too sick to watch TV.


I may even call in to work tomorrow and take a day to rest and sleep and try to get better. After I drive the boys to school and drop the Bug off at daycare, that is.

I think it's just a nasty cold, but I have a fever and body aches too. Is it too early for the flu? I thought flu was more of a winter malady. As long as it isn't strep throat, I am happy. Strep is going around school. I have three kids in my classes out with it as we speak.

I will set up the DVR to tape Grey's and get to it when I can...hopefully before next week's episode so I can discuss it with everyone like a real human being and not some nerd who missed the first 36 episodes and is not catching up quickly enough.

In knitting...Carrie asked about the yarn. I don't even need to tell you what yarn she meant. You all know.

It is absolutely beautiful. So much prettier than the pictures show it to be. The luster of it is is so rich and deep. It also is subtly variegated and that makes the tonality even deeper and more decadent. The feel? So soft you wouldn't believe it. I could rub it against my cheek all day.

This is the beginnings of my swatch. Yes, a swatch. I am being good on this one! You can see from this picture what I mean about the variation in the coloring. So pretty...

I haven't found many knots in the skeins either, which is good. Others have found as many as six per skein. I have put knots in accidentally as I try to wind it up without a swift. You know the kind I mean, when you end up with a huge mess of yarn and can't find an end any longer so you have to make one?

That kind.

In Amy's birthday sock news :

I have this much done of the fist Jaywalker for Amy. There has been a few little issues...mostly due to forgetting where I am at in the super easy pattern. Total user error, not in any way the pattern's fault.

Also, knitting when you are tired and sick, and also sick and tired?

Not so good for progress.

I fixed most of the mistakes...there are a few that I will know are there and Amy will pretend she doesn't notice! Right, Amy?

Only 30 days until Rhinebeck...will Amy have new socks to wear??

I think so.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Behold The Glory

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Husband, the Grocery Savior

Never fear, dears, my husband came through and saved my children from starvation and deprivation, or, less dramatically, from having to subsist solely on Ramen noodles and Easy Mac all week.

He bought the groceries for the week when he came home to visit us for the weekend.

He is a bit crazy.

He got out of his class in Virginia at 4:00 pm Friday, drove straight home to New York, spent the day on Saturday with us, and now has just recently left to drive back there for his class tomorrow morning at 7:00 am. It is a nine hour drive. He drove 18 hours to spend 36 hours here with us. Crazy.

We had a good day though. First off, I got stuff in the mail, and none of it was bills!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
My Knit Picks Options circular needles and some of their Classic DPNs. I haven't used them yet, but I will...

I also got this:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This is Knit Picks Gloss yarn, a 70% Merino/ 30% Silk blend that I am going to make some cabley socks out of. It is the colorway called Dusk. Very pretty.

Then? I found out that my Tilli Thomas yarn will be delivered on Monday. It is actually in town...sitting in a warehouse, or on a big brown truck...waiting to be delivered. UPS doesn't deliver on Saturdays, of is frustrating, knowing it is so close, and yet not here... Somehow, I'll work through it.

Then, we spent the afternoon watching episodes of Grey's Anatomy Season 2 on DVD. I am up to Episode 7. Episode 6 (the big train wreck where the two people were impaled together on the pole?) took a lot out of me emotionally...I needed a bit of a break after all the sobbing. And the weeping.

Next? We went out to eat at the kids' favorite place, The Country Drive-In. Virginia may have Sonic, but the CDI is the best. It is a warm-weather restaurant where you can order burgers, hot dogs, fish fry, fries, onion rings, and ice cream, and eat it outdoors underneath the most gigantic umbrellas I have ever seen!

Seriously, they are big. You can fit six, full-sized picnic tables underneath one umbrella.

Really big.

Even better than Country Drive-In? Taking Aunt Amy and Uncle Feeece [note the corrected spelling, Steve? Three e's just as you requested!] with us. They had never been.

They are converts.

It is like a spiritual experience...they make their own whipped cream for the sundaes, people. Seriously. And don't get me started on the french fries and homemade onion rings. Yum!!

Then? Home to our house to hang out, digest all the goodness, and knit! Amy was making the cutest garter stitch bibs from the new Mason Dixon Knitting book. They are just adorable. They made me want to have another baby just to use them. They are that cute.

We (Steve and I) are trying to convince Amy to start a blog for all of her knitting and beading adventures. I think we might be wearing her down.

We made plans for Rhinebeck. Only 34 days to go. I have a lot of knitting to do.

I broke down and showed Amy her birthday socks. I cannot keep a secret at all.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
They are, of course, Jaywalkers. I would speculate that I am one of only about two knitters in the entire universe who have not yet made a pair. (I say this, knowing full well that Amy has not made them yet either!). They are knit in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the amethyst Stripe colorway. I saw the yarn in Virginia when we were on vacation and just knew it wanted to be socks for Amy given her love for all things purpley.

The evening ended with other good things...but this is a family blog.

The romance continued this morning as Alan and I had to wash the cat's ass yet again. She is so fat she can't do it herself and things get, shall we say, interesting, down there.

That is love, darlings, my true love and I washed the cat's ass!! I bet you can't say that.

I bet you're glad about it too!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In which I inform you that groceries are over-rated after I have spent grocery money on nothing edible, and then act as if Amy is my only reader

Both out today. Both must-haves. The CD is John Mayer...that boy is a talented song-writer. I love his lyrics. And his voice. He could sing me the phone book and I'd listen all freakin' day long, I swear. This CD is just as good as his last, Try! by the John Mayer Trio. Bluesy. Raspy. Lovely.

The children need music in their lives, don't they? Note the justification for depriving my offspring from sustenance on the basis of developing their cultural lives. It's a valid point, isn't it? I'm not just reaching here people, I have a point! They also need a mother who has had her daily fix of Grey's so that she is not cranky and jonesing. [1180 minutes to catch up on before 9/21? Sure, no problem, it's not like I'll have to fix meals anyways...cold cereal it is. Blue Box mac and cheese. Hot dogs. Sandwiches. All good].

Speaking of needing music in their lives? Connor, the middle boy, got his French Horn today. Chocolate, alcohol, and a strong ability to tune things out will be required. Not necessarily in that order.

Pray for me, would you?

His holiday concert is on a Monday evening, Aunt Amy...I am sure he will subject you and Uncle "Feece" to the torture, I mean, invite you!

He told me they are singing songs in choir that his teacher says are "guaranteed to make the parents cry".

I doubt it.

Last year they sang songs from around the world...nothing too holiday-ish...they must be politically correct at all costs. I can't see more songs about the tropics and monkeys (yes, they sang a song about monkeys on an island at a holiday concert!) making me weep...I'm just sayin'.

It should be noted for fairness' sake that our school is public, and not a religious school and I understand the situation and need for religious sensitivity, but couldn't they do holiday songs from all different religions to include everyone? Instead of excluding everyone? No? Just monkeys climbing palm trees? Got it. Maybe the monkeys will at least wear a winter hat or something this year? I can dream, can't I?

In knitting news: I just got an email that my Tilli Tomas yarn is being scheduled for pick up by UPS and should be on its way. Maybe early next week? Can't wait.

I've cast on FOUR times now for Amy's birthday socks. FOUR. It's simple 2x2 rib. But it's kicking my ass. It might be the needles, my first time on metal dpns instead of bamboo. Don't worry, Amy. My goal is either Rhinebeck or your next birthday, whichever the yarn wants. You know how moody yarn is.

Speaking of...Rhinebeck that's time to plan our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I can only do Saturday because Al is flying home on Friday and out again on Sunday...we'll talk. I can always just meet you down there for the day or something...

Got to run...papers to grade.

Ick...I should have been a homework.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lest We Forget

I saw these in person...they still choke me up.

I don't have any words for you all today, instead I leave you with this.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nearly 9/11

It was my first full week of my full time student teaching assignment for grad school. I was assigned to one teacher, but had decided to also sit in on her next door neighbor's classes as well. A chance to see another grade level.

I had already had my baptism by fire and was teaching my teacher's classes while she either supervised or had some time to herself in the faculty room down the hall.

It was just before 9:00 am and another teacher walked in to the front of my room and handed me a sheet of paper. It was a photo printed from Yahoo news that showed an airplane plowing into one of the towers at the World Trade Center. Handwritten on the bottom, it said, "For your information only, don't mention to the students until further notice."

I did a double take. It seemed like a joke.

Somehow I managed to get to the end of the period, around 9:30 am, and then during my free next period, I literally ran down the hallway to the Faculty Room. There were a million people in there and I had to squeeze in and work my way toward one of the three televisions that were on. The second plane had hit by then, and they were starting to believe that there were more waiting, circling--who knows where--waiting to cause even more devastation, more chaos.

The administration decided not to close school although many in the area had...but hundreds of parents arrived to take their children home and hold them close. I was panicked because my two sons were in two different locations (school and pre-school) almost half an hour from me. My fiance was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All I wanted was to all be together, but I had to finish up the workday first, I had to keep it together for the students first, then I could try to keep it together for my own children.

Of course, word leaked out to students. Kids were coming in to school late after doctor's appointments and they told the others. They were quiet. Those of you who teach know that this is not their normal state.

The second teacher I was working with had disappeared. I soon found out that her ex-husband whom she was close with, and obviously still in love with, the father of her three daughters, worked on the 85th floor of the World Trade Center.

He didn't make it home that day.

She was out for weeks and I took over her classes because I knew what she had planned to do with her students. She needed to be with her children. I could relate.

After weeks, they finally recovered some of his body, although I remember thinking at the time that it was almost worse than if there had been nothing--the closed casket being worse than none at all.

He didn't live to see one of his children graduate high school.

None were married yet.

His second oldest went to these past Winter Olympics for women's hockey.

For me, although only touched by the tragedy on this peripheral level, I remember vowing two things.

One, that I would make sure that my children were always close by me when I finally got a permanent teaching job. (The one I have now lets me bring them to school with me tuition free even though we aren't in the district. It is one building Kindergarten-twelfth grade. We are under one roof all day long. And the new boy is just down the road, I can be there in two minutes). That day alone impacted my resolve to keep my family close.

Two, that no matter how much time passed, or what happened in the aftermath, that I would never forget the horror and the surrealness of that day.

The desperation of the people who jumped.

The bravery of the rescue workers who had to have known they would not come back down the stairs of the towers.

The boldness of the passengers on a plane in Pennsylvania who saved yet one more building's occupants from a certain fate.

The courage of the survivors who grieved publicly so that we could all feel their pain. Those who continue to grieve in whatever way they can. Including one young woman who went to Italy in February without her dad and played her heart out on the ice. [They won the Bronze medal and during the medal ceremony, I watched her face and knew without being psychic what she was thinking about most. I prayed that as they placed that ribboned medal around her neck that she felt as though it were her proud father's arms. I believe she did, indeed, feel him with her. She has said so. This is small comfort].

The ugly hatred of a few people who hate America so much that they could do something so heinous and cause so much devastation.

The beauty of people coming together despite religious, cultural, or political beliefs...united in common grief.

That day showed the worst of humanity...
but it also showed its best.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Grind

Well, the first week of school is in the books. Well, I actually haven't put anything in the actual book yet because at my school we will continue to get new students enrolling and leaving for the next few weeks...we have a lot of transient's a socio-economic thing.

My classes are good. I have three regular Ninth grade sections, a section of Ninth grade Honors, and a section of Juniors. I taught ninth and eleventh last year, the honors bit is new, but interesting. I only have 9 kids in there. How awesome.

The school building is a mess due to renovations and construction and we are in a temporary Faculty room with no telephone or computers, but in the end, next year, we will have a beautiful new addition and it should be wonderful.

Needless to say, though, I haven't gotten ANY knitting done this week. In fact, I have made negative progress if that is even possible! I had to rip out the Clapotis because I had screwed it up some rows back and couldn't figure out how to rip back judiciously and still remember where I was at, so I just frogged it all. It's a quick knit anyway, so I'll get back to it eventually.

My horribly extravagant Tilli Tomas yarn (thanks to everyone who left messages about how I DO deserve it!) still has not arrived. I only ordered it on Monday, and the online store DiscountYarnSale says that because they are a small outfit with reasonable prices, that it takes a bit longer. I am a little concerned because they are now showing that they are out of the Tilli yarn, and they had pre-authorized my debit card for the money, but now it doesn't show on my online bank statement as either pre-authorized or processed. I am wondering if I'll be getting a notice that it is on back-order or something. I'm trying to be optimistic and think that they shipped it today and the bank is in the process of changing it from pre-authorized to processed.

Never fear...if I can't get my fix there, I will find some place else. At this point I am over the shock and even if it's a little more expensive, I think I can order it without such an anxiety attack!

Today, school work...well, a little anyway and I want to cast on Amy's birthday socks. I'm determined to stay up late because I can. I feel like such an old fart when I have to be in bed by 9pm on school nights!!

Loser, that is me.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Deed is Done

Chalk it up to the time...almost midnight.

Or the fact that I was just harshly awakened from a deep sleep by a little Bug screaming, "Mommy!" at the top of his lungs.

(He wanted his blanket that had fallen out of his crib).

Or the fact that my husband left this evening to go back to Virginia and I am a bit sad.

Or that tomorrow, today?, is my first day back at work in, like, 10 weeks. For those of you who aren't teachers--you know how you feel tonight after a long weekend? Multiple by ten and you might be close.

Whatever moment of weakness you want to chalk it up to...I am soon to be the proud owner of enough Tilli Tomas Pure and Simple to make the Simple Knitted Bodice. Thanks to Discount Yarn Sale who had, well, a SALE, on the Tilli yarn--$21.42/skein instead of their regular #25.20/skein and $28/skein most places online.

I'd figure out how much I saved on the 6 skeins I ordered (to be on the safe side...the pattern said 5 but it was close on yardage), but to be wouldn't make me feel any better, and every time I calculate the cost of the fabulousness, it makes me feel a bit nauseous and light-headed.

I ransomed my children for the Ruby Wine colorway (see previous post, I am too shell-shocked to link to a new picture) because everyone seemed to agree on that. Including my husband who pointed out that I can wear pink under that color red more easily than the American Beauty colorway. Does he know me or what??

If I like the yarn, later, I may buy just one little skein for a scarf for the winter.


I think I need to recover for a while from this first.

Oh, yeah, and I ordered the needles I needed for the thing too. KnitPicks options. I got the individual tips and cords to try them out (relax, honey I didn't buy the whole set!). They are so ridiculously affordable that I almost didn't feel guilty buying them hot on the heels of the yarn.

I said almost, people, almost.

**Thanks, Al...I'm not sure I do deserve this...but I am tired and weak.**

Saturday, September 02, 2006

O' Tilli Tomas, Tilli Tomas, Wherefore Art Thou Tilli Tomas?

My students struggle to understand that line in Romeo and Juliet...they think she is asking where he is, but in fact, it means why is he Romeo and a Montague, and forbidden...
Well, I figured out that all the yarn indecision all really stemmed from one simple fact:

I really want the Tilli Tomas yarn that the Glampyre Simple Knitted Bodice calls for.
I scoured the Internets for possible substitutions, but they were all lacking something. A certain je ne sais quois. I really tried to find a good substitute. Berroco Softwist came close. Andean Silk, was almost there until someone in the blogosphere said it is a bit on the fuzzy side...makes sense, alpaca and all. The SKB cannot be fuzzy, it is not a fuzzy sweater. So I scoured some more. Hours yesterday. Hours. I scoured...

I did.
I was ready to compromise.

Then my husband ruined everything. He uttered these powerful words...

"Sweetie, why don't you just buy the silk yarn? You deserve it."

This did not help with the self-deprivation at all.

So now...
now it is down to this:

Moroccan Blue

Ruby Wine


American the roses, I love roses

photos courtesy of Littleknits

And on the topic of roses...and wonderful husbands who spoil me:

I'm leaning toward one of the red yarns. I love the blue, but I can't see wearing the blue with jeans (too much blue), and I've already decided that if I am spending $140 on yarn for this sweater--Did I just say that? Help me darlings, I feel light-headed--if I am spending that kind of money...I am wearing that freakin' sweater A LOT and that means jeans, because except for work, I live in jeans.

I can see the ruby yarn with dark wintery lipsticks...but the true red...ah, American Beauty, I love me some roses. Hopefully my love affair with Tilli will end much more happily than Juliet's with her Romeo.

In Bug news. He discovered Magic Markers. Let me rephrase, he secretly discovered Magic Markers.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Luckily, they are washable Magic Markers!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Friday, September 01, 2006


As in waffle.

As in I still cannot decide on a yarn for the Simple Knitted Bodice pattern.

As in the KAL started today and I still cannot decide on a yarn...

I will be the last one done, you realize this, don't you?

Anyways...this is my last weekend before returning to the classroom next week. The weather is supposed to be kind of crappy here in New England...rainy and coldish. Good knitting weather. If one had, I don't know, say, the perfect yarn to start swatching for her SKB!!

I have to make one more of these:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Just a wee little sock,
for a wee little foot, on a wee little boy named Cael.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Another shot for scale, that is a quarter next to the sock!
My husband is flying home today for the long weekend...right out of the hurricane. Thankfully. At least, he is supposed to fly out...we'll see if the weather at the airport cooperates.