Thursday, December 21, 2006


OK, let's review this for a second.
a. I live in New Mexico, have for most of my life. Was born here, now live here by choice, mostly for the sun-shiney skies and warm temps. Did I mention the sun shine? It's my favorite.
b. Along with "Land of Enchantment" we are known for our 345-350 days a year of sun shine, and low moisture levels. Less than 18" of rain per year is our average, I think. Humidity is usually in the single-digits. And when humidity is 100%, it's raining. When it hits 25%, we all melt.
c. That 18" of rain include approximately 3 feet of snow. It all falls in one place on one mountain, at one certain time of the year.
You can understand my skepticism when all the weather people started foaming at the mouth and screaming "It's coming! Batten down the hatches! The snow! The snow!"
Yeah, right. I've lived here for 40-something years, the last 20 in Santa Fe, and the most snow we've ever gotten in one storm was 8" - that was about 4-5 years ago, and the only way to get around town was on cross-country skis. Since I don't ski, you can imagine where this left me.
Anyway - it started snowing Monday afternoon/evening. I got up Tuesday and came to work, and watched it snow all day. About 2 in the afternoon, they shut us down and sent us home. It took me almost 2 hours to make my normal 50 min drive home. Yesterday, there was no school, no work (shut down the office cause the roads were too bad) and SNOW! It snowed most of yesterday, off and on. We normally get pretty dry snow - not a lot of moisture in it (horrible for making snow balls or snow men, won't pack together), this was sort of wet and sort of dry. The wind howled like a banshee at the beginning of the storm, blowing most of the snow God-knows-where. But, when it quit, the snow kept coming. They estimate that we got 6 inches in SF. It was probably closer to 12 - but easily half blew away. The ski area got 27 inches of snow. I don't know if that's a record or not, but I know the skiers are going to be very happy for Christmas.
And I bet you'll never guess what I did yesterday?
I knitted. DUH!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

We have Socks!!

Another weekend of endless knitting has produced this:

The cutest, tiniest baby socks I think I've ever knitted! Again, from "Not Just Socks" the baby socks pattern in the back. I LOVE self-striping yarn! After you make one sock, just count the stripes, and you have a matching pair. Of course, in this case, I counted rounds, 'cause it was just so tiny and cute. Each sock took almost exactly 4 hours - first one was finished while I watched "Its a Wonderful Life" Sat night. That movie will forever be in my head as "sock knitting".

Here's the whole family:

Daddy, Mommy & baby, all laying on the fan to dry. I'm still positive that nephew's socks are WAY too big, but his mom still says no, so we'll see next week.
I completely freaked out Friday when I realized that Christmas was NEXT FREAKIN WEEK!!!!!!!
I have the MYSTERY GIFT for my sister, and my daughter ever-so-gently reminded me that she wanted fingerless gloves for her favorite teacher, so I have EXTRA, ADDED PRESSURE - cause there just wasn't enough!!!!!!!
It's ok, I'll make it - I've got one more weekend to work on the MYSTERY GIFT, and I can get teacher's gloves done by Thursday - I KNOW I CAN!!!!
I'm going to my corner now, to knit and pull out more hair.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Of course, now that I look at the picture of the self-designed socks, I can see all the mistakes. I'm NOT re-doing them, I'm finishing them in the delusional hope that the intended recipient will not notice where I messed up the pattern.

The Weekend of Ceaseless Knitting

The weekend of ceaseless knitting resulted in this:

and this:

I'm feeling MUCH better about Christmas! The words "Christmas" and "Knitting" are once again allowed to be spoken together in my presence. I have to finish the second pair of socks (my own design, thank you very much!), a pair of baby socks, and a-hem - unmentioned Christmas goodness for my sister (who does occasionally read this). Of course, I still have to shop for those who are not getting knitted stuff this year, but I know what I want, all I lack are the funds, and I get paid next week, so it's all good!
Christmas, I'm ready!
Or delusional.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

One sock down!!

Well, the first sock from hell is done, and I'm working on the foot of the second one. And it's only 17 days til Christmas! And I only have one more adult pair of socks, one pair for baby socks, and one secret gift to do. Yeah, I'll make it - when I GET SNOWED IN SOMEPLACE!!!! This is it, people, the annual Christmas freak out! The socks from hell might have tipped me over the edge early this year, but I'm telling you - those socks are too big for King Kong to wear!!! My dearest sister (mother to intended recipient) assures me that he has HUGE feet. I keep thinking "Nobody but Shaq has feet that big!" I sent her the pic I posted here - and she asked me if that was a "normal" sized stapler. I guess it is - I mean, it's not one of those staplers that you can use to staple a ream of paper together, nor is it one of those mini staplers that are cute, and you can carry them in your pocket. I tried to think of something to use for scale that had meaning to everyone - my glass of water? No, it's pretty big. Same for the coffee cup. There's not a standard size for office calculators, and money is just not going to cut it. So, what to do? I'm going to knit the second sock so it matches the first - if one's big, they'll both be big (at least they'll match - I hope!)
This weekend the kidlet starts her first job. She is (of course) taking the car, so I'll be stranded at home. The house is (relatively) clean (Mom was just here, remember?) so I won't have that hanging over my head - I'm thinking massive knitting. I might get the next pair of socks started! Not done, but started - I'm delusional, but not THAT delusional! I'll have at least all day Saturday, and probably most of Sunday, although there will be laundry to do. So, maybe if I'm a good little knitter, and work really hard in the evenings and this weekend, I'll get all my knitting done.
CRAP! This has disaster written all over it!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Clowns and Cannibals

Today must have been harder than I thought, cause this is just about the funniest thing I've ever seen/heard/whatever:

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "This taste funny to you?"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

We have a Christmas Present!!!!

Or at least part of one - I thought this would never happen, given the inauspicious beginning. Here's the first sock:

The stapler is included for scale - because I'm freaking out about the size. Michael wears a size 13 shoe, apparently - which his mother assures me is really, really, really, really big - that's good, cause this sock is freakin' HUGE!!!! The other sock has as far as the gusset decreases done. Once I finish the toe on this one, then I'll do the other one. Then, I have to do GF's socks, baby's socks & sis's present. Oh, yeah - just freakin LOVE Christmas!!!!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I won't be defeated!!!!!

The Christmas present from hell is coming along nicely, thank you! I've managed to get almost half-way through the first pair of Christmas socks. Turns out I'm not capable of concentrating enough to knit them both on the same needles at the same time, but with 2 sets of double-pointed needles, and knitting a bit of each, I've managed to complete all the way to the heel on one sock, and am partially finished with the heel on the second sock. Depending on the evening's festivities (meaning what time I go to bed) I might actually have a completed pair before the weekend's over. And these are the BIG ones! Apparently my nephew wears size 13 shoes, so I'm doing his socks first - and I think I'm on target with the size. These are quite possibly the largest socks I've ever knit. I'm doing them on size 3's, using this wonderful yarn that's been treated with jojoba & aloe - very nice on the hands! Contrasting heel & toe. The yarn for the sock is turquoise & shades of grey, and the heel and toe are black. For his girlfriend, I'll used the same yarns, but I'm adding some colorwork to the top, sort of like Harlot did. I've already charted the pattern, but I'm thinking of turning it on it's side. It's a contrasting diamond pattern that's wider than it is tall, and I think doing it long-ways might look better on the sock. I've got to go back to my chart and count how many stitches in the pattern - it might not work with the number of stitches in the sock. Hopefully, I'll get to that tomorrow! I'm starting to get excited about Christmas - but the decorating is just not happening! The kidlet insisted we buy a new tree this year - it's all of a foot tall, has battery-operated lights, and nothing under it. I need wrapping paper, I need presents, I need somebody to do me something else for Christmas!!!!
Oh, well - it'll all come together, it always does, even if I am up til 2:30 finishing somebody's present - it wouldn't be Christmas if I wasn't!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Ok, I've never done this before, so I have NO CLUE what I'm doing, but here I go. There's apparently this guy doing a paper of some kind for MLA 2006, and wants to know something about how fast stuff travels on the internet. Or something.
Anyway, according to Moth Heaven and Julie this is a good thing.
So, link to this blog & ask all your readers to do the same.
I guess that all you have to do? I'm really not up on meme's.
Here's a definition
Sometimes I amaze even myself.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What the HELL was I thinking????

Oh, I'll just knit a couple pairs of socks. OK, 2 adult and one baby pair. And some gauntlets. That's it - not much for Christmas giving. I must have been dropped on my head when I was a kid - seriously! I have started the SAME FREAKING PAIR of socks THREE F*&(ING TIMES!!!! It's a really simple pair, no cables or fancy colorwork. Just straight-forward 2X2 ribbing, then stockingknit - but can I get more than a couple of inches done???? APPARENTLY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

i'm gonna go sit in the corner and cry now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I did it!!!

I went exploring today and found the new Village Wools. It's huge, it's gorgeous, and they had BOTH books I've been jonesing. I looked through "Socks, socks, socks" and it's now MINE, MINE, MINE! The extra-added bonus is I found sock patterns for nephew & his gf, so I don't have to send off for the kit - just get my butt down to the afore-mentioned Village Wools or to one of my LYS's in SF. VW also had Victorian Knitting Today, which WILL be mine, but at $30, we'll be a-waitin' for that sweet little purchase - prob after Christmas (since I don't have time to be knitting lace right now, anyways!) So, I'm feeling very happy with my non-progress on my Christmas knitting - I now know WHAT, I just need to find out WITH WHAT. I did my Target (pronounced tar-jay, thank you very much) shopping at lunch, too, so I get to go straight home after work. 'Course, lunch was an hour and a half today (thank goodness for maxi-flex!) so I'll be going home a bit later than usual, but that's ok. There's pizza and quite possibly beer in my future, so I'm a very happy woman. Crampy and Grouchy seem to have left the building for a bit, although Crampy will probably be making a re-appearance (judging by the way I feel right now). I've got ibuprofen to tame that little bugger - he'll be gone soon enough!
I'm feeling very guilty for the picture-lessness of my blog lately, so I took some pics of the lovely pink gloves I'm working on. Here's the glove viewed from the air:

And here's an extreme close-up of the stst portion of the palm:

See?? I DO TOO KNIT!!!! and occasionally take pictures.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What's a knitter to do????

OK, here it is, the last Sunday before Thanksgiving. Mom's coming on Weds, and the house is no where NEAR ready for her arrival. The kitchen still needs to be cleaned, dishes need to be washed, floors swept and mopped (although that sweeping part will be particularly hard, since my broom - both of them - was sacrificed to the "that-damn-dog-won't-shit-in-my-floor-again!" gods), living room floor vacuumed, and the general "stuff" picked up. Fortunately, the kidlet is good for some of this stuff. She loves the vacuum, so she'll do that part, and most of the picking up, but I'm stuck with the kitchen, since she has a pathological fear of putting away the dishes, or touching them at all, in any way, other than to use them to eat off of. I know, it's weird, but what's a mom to do? I've found it's best sometimes to realize when you've lost a battle and move on - there will be others, of this I am completely sure.
Rememeber back a few weeks ago, I was spouting off about this wonderful, locally dyed, hand-painted yarn that I'd gotten at my LYS? Sometimes I'm such a dork! It's Claudia hand-paint, and I'm in love with this yarn more than I can possibly say. I'm currently knitting my favorite ruffled gloves with what they've called "Peony", but I think looks like pink peppermint candy ice cream. It's a beautiful shade of pastel pink, with little stripey thinks of bright pink, and every once in a while there's the tiniest burst of the same bright pink. It's soft, and supple, and I think I can feel the lanolin in my fingers (ok, that last is probably just me being super stupid, but this stuff is AMAZINGLY soft!) It's like knitting with a pink cloud. OK, I'm officially the biggest knitting dork, but I don't care.
I've become obsessed with entrelac socks - OK, I've been obsessed with both entrelac and socks for a long time, but I was cruising over at Eunny's blog, and saw the BEAUTIFUL entrelac socks she's been knitting! I'm more than obsessed! I. NEED. THOSE. SOCKS! I've heard rumors they're the ones in "Socks, Socks, Socks", but I need to see an actual copy before I can be sure. I've got a BUNCH of left-over Koigu that I will use, if/when I find the pattern. I'm also loving the pink socks that the Yarn Harlot is knitting, and I think they're in that book, too. SO, the hunt is on! I might just have to order it, without looking at it first, since my local Borders doesn't have it, and I'm not going down town. I might stop at Michael's and look, they sometimes have "older" books, and maybe go to Village Wools tomorrow, to see if they have it. When I'm obsessed, I'm truely obsessed!
Welp, looks like I haven't taken any pics lately - bad me! I'll take some soon, so I have pics to post.
OH, YEAH - The reason for this post!
Not happening yet! I need to get the yarn for all 4 projects, and the patterns for the socks for my nephew & his girlfriend, and then I can start. So, that's the Christmas update. I hope I can knit these as fast as I think I can, or once again, Christmas will be late! Yeah, like that's never happened before!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Of Socks and Patriotism, and other stuff

It was a momentous weekend at my house - not all good, but momentous, nonetheless.
I was determined to finish THOSE SOCKS. The kidlet's been really more than patient, so I was determined to get them finished - plus, I found out that a table at the annual Community College Arts & Crafts fair was EIGHTY-FIVE FREAKIN DOLLARS I decided that I needed to knit something else. Nope, won't be doing that particular arts & crafts thingy.
So, I knit and knit and knit and. . . . well, you get the picture. I now know why people don't knit knee socks - if you think knitting a pair of "regular" short socks takes forever, try knitting knee socks. And these don't even go all the way up to her knees. After being determined to make the sock fit properly, I gave up and stopped a couple of inches short of the knee. So, without further delay THOSE SOCKS:

Friday was the Veteran's day holiday. I was off, and I "celebrated" both Friday and Saturday. Veteran's day for me is not just another shopping holiday. I grew up in a small town where we took our veterans very seriously. I went to lots and lots of Veteran's day services, bought lots and lots of poppies, and (even though this is a Memorial Day thing) spent lots of time placing remembrances on graves. So, I have a tendancy to take this day as it was intended - a day to remember those who fought for this country, for not only what they believed in, but for what I believe in.
Remember how right after 9/11 everyone was buying all the red, white, & blue t-shirts they could find. All those tacky flag shirts? The ones with eagles on a flag background? All the pseudo-patriotic crap that was around??? To me, patriotism is not something you wear, or put on your car, or even fight for. Patriotism is something much, much deeper - it's hard to describe, but for me, it's in everything we do on a daily basis. It's respecting authority enough to drive the speed limit even though you think 45 is a stupidly slow speed - there must be a reason for it. Patriotism is something you live out every single day of your life, in your actions and attitudes. There are some (ok, quite a few) who will be more than glad to tell you that I have the most un-patriotic attitude they've ever seen. But, I'll tell you - I respect the sacrifice those in the Armed Forces make every single day of their lives, with their lives. Those who are fighting in far-off countries, and those who are stationed "state-side." I've known many who fought, and many who died. Most didn't want to, but did it because they felt like they needed to do it for their country - for us. And for that, I will always and forever be grateful.
So, I spent the weekend knitting and appreciating our veterans. I hope they all had somebody tell them "thank you" - it's the very least we can do.

OK, back to the knitting portion of our program.
The other sock picture:

the socks used the toe & heel portion of this sock from Knitty. Then, I pretty much winged it - increasing when I thought I should, making the kidlet try the first one on almost daily, and then making the second one to match (with opposite coloring). They're kinda cool, and I wish I had the nerve to knit another pair, cause I'd like one.

The other monumentous stuff from the weekend: I need a new wiper motor for the car - wipers completely quit working. Not fuses, but wiper blade. Cross your fingers that it's as easy to replace as the voltage regulator on an old car of mine was - pop off, pop on! It's gonna be expensive - and more so if I have to find a mechanic (shiver!)
Also, the heating element on the dryer went out. Now I have to try to find a replacement, and find out exactly where it is on the dryer. I'm hoping that when I find the replacement, it's size and shape will lead me to one that matches, but is not working on the dryer. Fingers crosse - I hate all this stuff happening just before Christmas - ah, well!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Voting and other stuff

I did not vote yesterday - I was very wise and voted last week. When the very nice lady handed me my paper ballot, I didn't really think much about it - after all, I was, in effect, voting absentee, and all absentee ballots are paper. I sort of missed the little computerized voting machine, with it's lights, and it's little 'ding' when you pull the lever, but I figured it was a small price to pay to not have to stand in line for HOURS. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I found out that EVERYONE had to use those paper ballots! Now, they're not bad - easily readable, instructions are easy to follow, just fill in the little oval, but - I want to know just when we took a giant step BACKWARDS into the dark ages????? How is filling out a paper ballot better than a computerized one? I've been pushing those little lighted buttons since I began voting, and I never once heard anything about hanging chads, or people being confused about how to push a button, or anything. I've lived in NM my enitre life (my time in purgatory is not counted), and it never ceases to amaze me how badly we, as a state, can screw things up. One of our ealy govenors was a man named Lew Wallace. You might have heard of him - he wrote Ben Hur. In a letter to his wife, he wrote:
"All calculations based on our experiences elsewhere fail in New Mexico."
It's known as the Curse of Lew Wallace - and let me tell you - if it can be screwed up, messed up or cursed, it can be done in NM. Its a cross we bear to live in such perfect (well, mostly perfect) weather.
We're used to it.
No new knitting - still have to wind the latest purchases into balls.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Yarn and More Yarn

First, let me just get this off my chest: $40 FOR FREAKIN LION BRAND YARN?!?!?!?! HAVE THEY LOST THEIR MINDS?????
Ok, I feel better now.
My Mommy was feeling flush this week, so she sent me and the kidlet some money. I was responsible and paid a couple of bills, but I also bought yarn - like you didn't see that coming!
I got some really pretty Meilenwhiet (or however the heck you spell it) yarn to make a couple of pairs of socks. Soft blues and pinks - very nice. Also some gorgeous hand-painted yarn from a local spinner - I forget her name, but I will look at the labels, and post it later, because she does the most beautiful yarns! I got 2 hanks of a really pretty lavender-light blue colorway, one of a pretty pink, and one of a really nice sort of brick color.
I also ordered my sister's Christmas present today - since she sometimes reads this blog, I won't say what it is, but it's lovely, a knitting essential, and she's going to be very surprised. Monday, when I'm back to "regular" email - I'm going to see about getting this deluxe sock kit - as Stephanie pointed out $60 is a great price, and I wanted to knit socks for my nephew and his girlfriend, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these patterns - how cool to knit them socks that are basically the same colors, but different patterns? I'm very happy about my Christmas projects this year - now if I could only get the Arts & Crafts people in line, I could stop worrying about the rest of this year - yeah, right!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I have to write something, but danged if I know what to write! I'm still working on THOSE socks - although, I'm on the second one, so it's going along. I've been double-knitting a pair of gauntlets, they're coming along nicely, and I like having both hands working at the same time, even though the 2X2 rib seems to be slowing me down a bit - it hasn't stopped me, and I haven't made any serious mistakes yet - so we're still moving right along.
Still having litter box & cat issues - I may be short one cat by the end of the weekend - he almost met his maker this morning, and if I find cat poop in my chair one more morning, believe me, he won't be around much longer! GRRRRRRRR!
Ok, it's a short post, cause I don't have pics - I just need to take them, that's all!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

on being a mom

I was told yesterday that I'm a great mom. Ok, I think the term "Super Mom" was actually used, but still. It was on the phone, by one of the kidlet's teachers. I started to say something self-deprecating, but stopped myself, accepted the compliment, and moved on. After reading Stephanie's post I was thinking, I'd gladly accept any blame, were the kidlet out doing mischief - legal or illegal, but she's not. She really, genuinely, is a good kid. At 15 1/2 I keep expecting the screaming, horrible, nasty fights like I had with my mom. But they haven't materialized. Don't misunderstand, we fight. But, once the fight is over, it's over. We go back to being mom & daughter, friends, co-conspiritors, confidants. Truth is, I'm more impressed by her than I can possibly say. She, like me, is a larger-than-average person, but she has more self-esteem than I can muster on most days, she is not only happy with who she is, but proud of who she is. I guess I had something to do with that, although I don't know how. I made some conscious decisions, some not-so-conscious ones, but mostly I let her be her, something I didn't have. I raised her by myself - without husband (he bailed early on), family (they all live away, not far away, but away), and mostly without "the village". I carefully chose the people I allowed in her life - those I felt would benefit her, and those I trusted to not do horrible things to her. I've been lucky, I guess - most days I'm just seconds away from freaking out completely about the random violence that could snatch her from me - what parent doesn't? But you can't dwell on that stuff, because if you do, it WILL drive you crazy.
So, this turned out to be more maudlin than I intended, and was harder to write than I thought - I love my kid, and I do all I can to make her the person her dog thinks she is - and, thankfully, she is that person.
OK, now for the knitting - I'm working on gauntlets, two at a time, and it seems to be going pretty well - it's a 2x2 rib pattern, and I haven't totally confused myself to the point of no return yet, so I'm thinking this might work! Washed & blocked the latest pair of gloves - they are quite lovely - all lemony yellow and orangey orange! I'll take pics once they dry completely.
So, for now - that's it!

Monday, October 23, 2006

I forgot

On binding off THOSE socks - I used a needle 2 sizes bigger, and it was JUST what I was looking for - perfect bind off, and it's not too tight around the leg. Now, if I can just finish the second one!!!!!


Here all this time I thought I was unloved and unread!!! I just switched to Beta, and blogger showed me all these unmoderated comments - you like me, you really like me!!!! LOL
I'm such a COMPLETE DUMBASS!!! OK, I changed the settings, and now I can actually TELL when someone comments - i'm going to my corner now, i've been a very baaaaaaad blogger.

Those of you who've taken the time to post comments, I thank you so much, please forgive me for being such a dunderhead - i promise to do better in the future!

New stuff

I spent the weekend knitting. Not anything really new, but I DID get lots & lots done! I finished the 2nd fingerless glove in the loverly yellow & orange stripe yarn from Cascade yarns - and I have enough to make another pair - or something else. Pics once they've been washed & blocked. I've been obsessing about double-knitting ever since I read this article, and last night I did it!!! I followed the instructions in the article (including the cheating part for the caston, I just couldn't do it last night, but I will!!) And, guess what? Turns out all the struggle I've had teaching myself to knit continental has paid off! My feeble mind grasps working with 2 strands of yarn, one in each hand, and I was knitting TWO SOCKS AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!!!!! I freakin LOVE it! Now, when I knit socks for my nephew and his GF, it will take half the time. I'm thinking about trying to do it with gloves/gauntlets. It will have to be a pretty easy pattern, at first - I don't want to completely melt down by trying something tricky like a YO, or K2tog, or anything - I'm trying to pace myself - yeah, like that'll work!
I found a gauntlet pattern on Knitty (LOVE THEM) that I'm going to try - I wanted long, and worsted weight - this is it - I can make them longer, do some short-row shaping for width around the arm, and voila! Toasty warm gauntlets. If I don't completely loose my mind, I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

THOSE Knee Socks

It's not very often that the people in my life agree to allow me to knit something for them. And, when I do decide to knit something as a gift, I expect it to be worn, not put away in the closet and saved for "nice". Mom's a prime example. I've knitted I don't know how many items for her, and she doesn't wear them. She's perpetually cold, so last year for Christmas, I knitted her a really pretty (if I do say so myself) shrug. So she could sit in her chair in the evenings (or during the day) with her shrug around her shoulders and a blanket on her lap, and be warm. Does she wear it? NOOOOOOOO! "It falls off my shoulders," she says. I told her that she sits in a chair, what does she does that makes it fall off???? She just shrugs and mumbles "well, it does."
So, when the kidlet said she'd wear a pair of socks I knitted for her, I was thrilled. She liked the Tabi socks pattern (the one with the separate big toe) and she wanted knee socks and she wanted them in her school colors (I think we finally decided turquoise & black). Ok, I'm good with that - but do you have any idea how difficult it is to find solid color sock yarn? With all the wonderful new stripe designs (which I TOTALLY love, BTW), it's almost impossible. I mentioned in a previous post that we found some solid black and that she found some Koigu KPPPM that has enough turquoise (among the other blues) that she declared herself happy.
I've been knitting ONE SOCK forever! No one told me how long it would take to knit knees socks - especially from the toe up. I'm used to doing sock the "regular" way - top down, and when you've done the heel, you're almost done. A few rounds of stocking knit (after the instep) and then the decreases for the toes, the kitchener, and you're done! But working from the toe up, you get the "hard" (exciting) part out of the way first, then it's endless hours and hours and hours of stocking knit. Today, I finally finished the first knee sock - but when I did the bind-off, it was too tight, so I'm going to have to figure out a different bind off - this has to go over the calf (the fattest part of the leg) and still stay up. I did about 2" off 2x2 ribbing, and I think that's going to give it the firmness I think it needs - but I've got to figure out that whole bind-off thing. I'm open to suggestions. First I'm going to try a crochet bind-off, if that doesn't work, I'm pretty much stumped.

Friday, September 29, 2006


For all my fellow federal employees - this weekend begins a brand new fiscal year. Hope last year was good for everyone, and this next year brings you all the rewards, health and prosperity that is normally wished at that "other" new year. For those who work in finance, hope this wasn't too brutal of a year end for you, and remember, there's always next year.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Hello all. Sorry I've been gone so long, but it's been really hectic here in the Land of Enchantment lately. Remember these?
Well, guess what? They look like this now:

Yep, my first try, and I got a blue ribbon! I'm little-kid excited! The orange-striped socks didn't win anything, but that's ok, they hold a special place in my heart - and really? The only interesting thing about them is the yarn. There were socks there that had actual cables and ribbing, and patterns and stuff. So, I'm ok with a BLUE RIBBON for my gauntlets! Not too shabby for a first try, even if I do say so myself. The Best-in-show went to a beautiful knitted afghan that one TWO best-in-shows - one for best hand-knit, and one for best afghan. I'm telling you, it was BEAUTIFUL. I was humbled to stand before it - someone put hours and hours into that blanket, and she deserved BOTH those purple rosettes.
So, my weekend was fun and exciting - the family was here and we all went to the State Fair. Wandered around and looked at all the pretty stuff. I'm always amazed by the work of others. Some of that stuff was just fabulous! There was a crocheted sampler with the Lord's Prayer and a picture of Jesus on it. Crocheted in that teeny, tiny cotton that you make teeny, tiny doilies out of. I haven't crocheted in about 10 years because my hands won't work that way anymore, but it was truly inspirational. I always think of myself as a not-professional knitter - kind of self-deprecatingly pooh-poohing what I do. But I was so happy and proud to have won that ribbon - it's probably one of the coolest things I've done. Now, what will I do for next year?. . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Week's End

Well, we're back from our wonderful trip. We had to go down south (southern NM) to rally 'round Mom, and testify against the ugly steps. Won't bore you with the details, but I'm really, REALLY glad that it's over.
The good news is, I had LOTS of opportunity to work on the kidlet's socks - heel was completed some time ago, and now I'm working my way up the leg, with increases for the calf. It's actually starting to look like a sock. When I get back to where I can post pictures, I'll post some. But for now, you'll just have to imagine.
I'm going to the State Fair, after all - so I'll learn my fate, as far as how the socks and gauntlets fared. Next weekend, sis, mom, and all the sis's kidlets (and dh) are coming up, and I guess we're all going to the fair. If I can (and if I have a reason to) I'll take pics.
In scary news, my cat has learned to open the bedroom door. It's more than a little frightening to think that I have to take steps to out-smart a 2 lb ball of fur. If she weren't so darn cute, there'd be problems. I'm actually beginning to believe that there is a plan for world domination. Vewy Scawy!!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Socks

The kidlet's first sock:

That's the bottom (sole) - here's the top (instep):

I'm calling these 'The Water Socks' - I think the Koigu looks like water, don't you? I forget what they called this, or even if it has a name - I was so excited that she actually found a yarn she liked, I didn't even realize it was Koigu until I got home and started working with it. This is KPPPM - and I have to say that I really, really love it! I've worked with KPPM before, and, quite frankly, I could take it or leave it - but this stuff is FANTASTIC!!! It's wonderful to work with, slightly shimmery, and the colorway really looks like ripples in a pond - to me, at least!
They're toe-up (my first) Tabi socks, and will be knee-highs (per kidlet's request). We'll see how close I get to what she imagined, but for now, they look like I'm knitting socks for a cloven-hoofed individual - I most assuredly am not! She has normal toes, just like everyone else, she just likes her flip-flops more than most. So, if I'm very lucky (and slightly good), she'll have socks to wear this winter.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back to work

And only a few minutes of lunch left. . .
I started and finished one pair of arm warmers. They're the ones from "Weekend Knitting" - fast, easy, and really warm. I also started the kidlet's socks. They've made the journey to work with me, and I'll work on them as I'm waiting for reports to generate.
September always felt like the New Year to me. School starts up again, the weather starts to cool, green chili is being roasted everywhere (WHAT an aroma that is! I LOVE it!!!!!) I never, even when I was a kid, understood why New Year was in the middle. It's the middle of winter, the middle of the school year, the middle of everything. It's cold, nasty, usually wet, and who wants to freeze their bum off just to party??? I'd MUCH rather celebrate the New Year when it makes sense! It's warm, and you can party at the lake, in the woods, or any place else your little heart desires without fear of freezing to death. Summer was never my favorite season, I like fall much better. My grandmother always said "You can only take off so much, but you can always put more on." I like that philosophy. And as I get older, I'm discovering exactly how much I can take off - don't ask. The onset of fall always makes me think of blankets - I love knitting blankets in the winter, when I have a big, warm, fluffy thing on my lap. Summer is for knitting socks, or something equally small - IF I knit at all! Fall is also for knitting sweaters. Sweater patterns I looked at in July and thought "UGH!!!" are now looking quite a bit more appealing - I might even manage to knit one or two before (ok, after) Christmas. OH, and BTW - the sky here in New Mexico turns the most beautiful shade of turquoise in September! I've never seen it this color any other time of the year, or anywhere else. Also, all the tourists go home - at least until the first snow.
Life is good in September.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

More knitting!!!! YAY!!

OK, so the kidlet finally relented and said she'd wear a pair of sock I knit for her - IF -
1) They have a split toe, so she can wear them with her flip-flops.
2) They are her school colors (she finally decided on turquoise & black, but it could have been either silver or white with the turquoise)
3) They're knee-highs that actually fit and don't bind, and go all the way up to her knees.
Do I know how to accept a challenge, or what??
I bought some really pretty Mango Moon yarn at my LYS today, it's kind of a mint green color way and reminds me of really soft house-shoes. I'm either going to make socks or gauntlets, I haven't decided.
I also got some of those "Knit Lite" needles. I got 8's and 11's - I've got a 2-needle arm warmer pattern that I think I'm going to do tonight - with the lights out, and my new needles. It ridiculous how happy it makes me to have new yarn and new needles, and new projects. I let the kidlet talk me into some really pretty variegated yarn at Hobby Lobby - totally acrylic, and totally perfect for knitting arm warmers that can be sold cheap at the Arts & Crafts fairs this fall. I also (with the kidlet's help) found the perfect yarn for her socks, so I'll probably be starting those, tonight, as well. It'll be a combination of these (for the split toe) and this - the perfect sock!!!! Pictures when I have something to show, I promise! You might be asking yourself how I can start so many projects in one evening. Well, let me tell you. Kidlet is obsessed with Nip/Tuck, and the final 3 episodes from last season will be on tonight, starting around 11pm, and she's insistant that I watch. So, I'll be up for a loooooong time tonight, and I might as well be industriously occupied.
OK, I'm off to take a nap - I'll be up late tonight, so I must sleep now.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

OK, I forgive

I tried to post last Saturday, and between blogger and a really slow connection, I didn't get anything posted! So here's part of what I tried to post - I don't remember all of, I was probably unusually brilliant, and blogger couldn't handle all that wit and wisdom, oh well!
here's the tunic I've been knitting on:

It's been banned to its corner until it learns to play nice. I completely frogged it 3 times, and had to rip back 4 inches - I'm a little tired of it for the moment.
Remember this:
And this:

Well, both have been finished, and today I entered them into the State Fair. I've gotten some good feedback from knitters who've seen them in person, so I feel pretty good about how I'll do. BUT, this is my first time entering anything since I was in high school, so I have NO CLUE about how it will go. The fair starts the 8th, and presumably the judging is sometime before then (DUH!) I'm not sure I'm even going, so I guess I'll just have to rely on somebody calling me and saying - DOOD! You won - Yeah, right!
OK, I should actually be working, so that's all for now.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

When my mind wanders. . . . .

Sometimes, like when I'm driving, or trying to fall asleep, or watching something really lame on TV, my mind wanders off on it's own. Not a very smart thing to do, but then, given my normal mental state - everyone needs a break every once in a while.
So, here for your amusement are some of the things my mind wonders about -
Mostly the beginnings of things - like who *was* the first knitter? Was it some Egyptian dude that looked at reeds (or bamboo, or whatever) and the cotton plants, and thought "I bet if I sharpened these sticks, and made string out of that white, fluffy stuff, I could make something to wrap my feet in."
Or maybe it was a Scottish dude, watching his sheep, freezing his nether part off, who thought: "I bet I could make something out of that string they get from the sheep's wool and cover my freakin freezin feet."
Can you just imagine some guy with big, callused hands trying to use size 0000 needles to make stockings??? Keeps me laughing for days.
What about mushrooms? Remember, in school when they taught us about fungi? And musrooms are a fungi? And that the good ones we eat and the poisonous ones that kill you look *exactly* the same??? Who gets to test them? And, when he finds the poisonous one, how does everyone else know which one he ate? And, while we're on the subject of mushrooms, who was the lucky guy that got the 'in-between' one (you KNOW which one I mean!)?
And who the HECK decided that Brussels Sprouts was a food?
And who was the first guy to look at a cow, and think, MMMMMM, barbeque!!?????
And who was the bright one that pulled a turnip out of the ground and decided "I think I'll eat that."?
I have more, but I'll stop for now.
Have a great day!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Well, it's finally happened . . . . .

I've gone 'round the bend. Thanks to the shining example of Samurai Knitter I've decided to enter some hand-knit items in the State Fair. No, I haven't gone as wacky as she has - I'm not knitting a sweater on needles too small to see, but I do have some socks that turned out pretty cool, and a pair of gauntlets that I'm pretty proud of, so I thought I'd do a "sock" entry and a "gloves and mittens" entry. I'm so freaked out I can hardly stand it. The very thought of "experts" scrutinizing my work is almost more than I can bear. I don't know when the exact judging will be, but I have Aug 30, 31 or Sept 1 to get my stuff over there. They'll be awarding ribbons, and the "Best in Show" gets a one year membership in the local knitting guild. That could be kinda cool.
So, NM has gone from "the Land of Enchantment" to the Land of Sogginess. It's rained almost every day for the last 3 weeks. We keep getting flash flood warnings and I have a question. After 3 weeks of almost solid rain, when does it stop being a "flash flood" and become a FLOOD???? I mean, you'd think the surprise indicated by the word 'Flash' would have diminished at this point, wouldn't you?
OTN: finished the latest fingerless gloves and have started the lace tunic from Elann. If I could find the pattern on their site, I'd link to it, but they seem to have taken the pattern down. It's knit with their "Endless Summer Collection" Connemara - and apparently Summer is NOT endless. I had to frog it 4 times - the first 3 because I'm apparently hopeless at counting, and the 4th because the sizing was off. When/if they put the pattern back up, I'll link to it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


After all the last few months, a "surprise" vacation seemed in order, and that's where I've been the last week. Mom came to visit, and it was slow at work, and I needed to take kidlet to register for school, so it all came together at once, and I was able to take a week's vacation. Had a really swell time with Mom - reminding me once again why I don't live with her anymore. Got to do some back-to-school shopping, took my sister to Village Wools, where I bought more sock yarn, and she bought some needles (which turned out to be too short for the project she was starting). Mom's favorite thing to do is go to the movies, and since I've been too broke to go for a while, we went to see Pirates of the Carribean & The Devil Wore Prada.
I also obsessed over the new Vogue Knitting magazine, and after HAUNTING Borders for 3 days, finally found it at Barnes & Noble. I hate being so obsessed, but I HAD to have those sock patterns. Now that I have them, I don't know where to start, but I'm thinking of the toe-up socks (scroll down, bottom left). I got a really pretty yellow & orange colorway that I think will look wonderful with this pattern - besides, I've never knitted toe-up. So, we'll see. I finished the sock from Not Just Socks - they turned out really, really well - even down to matching the stripes - I'm thinking they might be state fair material, but that would mean I can't wear them until after the state fair - can I stand it????
I started another pair of fingerless gloves from Not Just Socks - they're turning out kind of cool - the hand-painted yarn is making some kind of cool designs in the gloves - pics when they're done.
OK, gotta go for now - back to work on Monday.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Oh F*(&@!!

Well, it happened. After approximately 6 weeks (I lose count, I'm easily distracted) I finally, FINALLY got - - wait for it - - my period. For those of you just joining us - I'm not a big fan of euphimisms. Don't like "Aunt Flo" or "my little visitor" or any other cutesy, let's-not-talk-about-it phrase used to discuss what is, for most of us, a normal bodily function. Messy and disgusting, yes, but normal, none-the-less.
Let me just say here, that I've never had a peaceful, happy relationship with my period. In high school, I missed 1-3 days every month, laying in bed, alternating between wishing I was dead and sleeping the drugged sleep that only narcotics can provide. Prescribed, you dorks, not illegal ones. Imagine my wonder and surprise several years ago when they came out with the news that Darvon could cause uterine cancer! Guess what I took for cramps??? Yep, the one and only! Life is good. NOT.
Anyway, I did some calculating several years ago, and figured that between puberty, menopause, peri-menopause and pregnancy, a woman only has about 5-6 really good years when her uterus isn't causing some sort of problem. That's not much, people, and most of those happened before I even knew I had a uterus! So, one of the great things I discovered (which they don't tell you, probably because if most women knew this, they'd either off themselves or their uteruses) peri-menopause is much like puberty in reverse. Think of it - periods that show up when (and if) they decide to, with no discernible cycle, mood swings that would give you whiplash if not careful, and leave even the most sympathetic female scratching her head (forget it, guys, you will never, ever understand, quit trying), and hormonal rushes that make Mt. St. Helens look like a baked alaska. I love it - what else would I do for entertainment?
So, yeah, today is crampy, tired, leave-me-alone day. At least it's Friday, and I'm off all next week.
In knitting news, I finished the sock last night (in a fit of hormone-induced mania), and started the second one. However, in a very uncharacteristic attempt to match, I'm going to rip out what I've started, and try to start sock #2 in approximately the same place (yarn-wise) I started sock #1. It may or may not work out, but I'm going to try it (and not get too anal about it, if it doesn't). When both are done, I'll post a pic, and we'll all see how close I came.
OK, I'm going to go lay over a desk or something, in the hopes that the pressure will make my uterus stop its complaining. It's going to be a FUN day.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the rain has stopped

I know, I know - we need the rain, and I do feel ashamed for bitching about it, but REALLY. I live in the DESERT SOUTHWEST for a reason. Ok, lots of reasons, but one of them (a really big one, actually) is the lack of humidity. I HATE HUMIDITY!! I've lived where they have it, and with HUMIDITY comes nasty things. Things like "heat index" and "chill factor" and other things. Like creepy bugs that fly - they shouldn't, but they do. So, it's been humid the last few years days, and I'm tired of feeling wet all the time. No, it's not really all that hot - only about 80-85 or so, and I'm really, really sorry for those back east who are melting. Really. But I live here for a reason. I LIKE single-digit humidity. I can't breathe in 84% humidity, and if it's not raining at 100% humidity, there is something seriously wrong. My rugs in my house feel like I've got a leak somewhere (I checked, I don't) and all my clothes feel like they just came from the washer. It's nasty. And knitting?????? I told my favorite LYS owner that I was not knitting anything larger than a sock until this weather goes away. And I meant it! To wit:

The totally loverly, totally hideous sock!!!! I love the colors, and really, who, but me, would wear orange and red socks?? My mother would say 'no one'. I'm not sure she's completely right, but it's the first sock I've done in about 3 years, and except for the instep decreases, I like it! Oh, and the bucket-o-soda? I forgot how big Panda Express's large is! Enough for me and ALLLLLL my friends. So, if you're sweltering, and need a little pick-me-up, I've got PLENTY o' Dr. Pepper!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oh, yeah! I remember now!!

I remember what I don't like about knitting socks. It's not the heel flap, it's not even turning the heel. It's those damned instep decreases!!! I'm knitting the first pair of socks from "Not Just Socks", and I swear, I had to rip the damned instep out twice before I overcame the ADD and got the decreases right even on both sides. So, now I'm doing the boring part - knitting the foot. The only thing that makes this bearable is that it heralds the end. Then I have to do another one.
Ok, onto more worrying things. As all both of you know, I've been knitting a really long time. I've never designed (at least outright) anything. I've always "adapted" patterns. There's just something in me that WILL NOT allow me to follow a pattern from start to finish exactly. From buying the exact yarn to using the exact needles to finishing exactly as it says. I've done that so seldom, that it stands out in my mind as something "new and different."
BUT, when it comes to actual taking-the-string-and-making something designing, I'm like the buzzard in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon: "Nope, nope, not gonna do it, can't do it, duh, nope, nope......"
Until now.
Let me start this particular part of the insanity by saying that I love entrelac. My first introduction to it was when I was in high school. "Woman's Day" or "Family Circle" or one of those "ladies' magazines" had a pattern in it for a dirndl skirt. Unfortunately, I lost interest before I finished it, and lost the magazine with the pattern in it.
So, lately, I've been doing the entrelac socks from "Knitter's Magazine", and wondering if I could make an entrelac skirt that I'd wear, and that would look way cool ("way cool" being a user-defined term). Then, I looked in one of my (many, many) knitting bags and found an old project. It's a sweater made with mitred squares, and lots and lots of colors. I have a bunch of partially used skeins of yarn in lavendars, pinks, purples & scarlets. So, my mind has been spending all my sleeping hours working on this (unbeknownst to me).
This morning, on the drive to work, my mind went:
TA DA!!!!!
And presented me with an almost complete design for an entrelac skirt.
From the waist band, to the first row of triangles, to increasing both needle size and block size until the skirt is the right width/length.
Now, most people would be scared, or at the very least, startled by their very own mind springing something like this on them in the middle of traffic. But not me. You see, my mind can't keep a secret. And, one or two of the other little inhabitants in my head sort of let it slip that I was trying to work out how to do the waistband. "Waistband?" I asked voice #2. "What waistband?"
"Oh, nevermind, just think about it."
"Well, ok. I guess it would depend on the gauge, but figure about 7 or 8 stitches per inch, measure your waist (HORRORS!!!!), multiply times 8 (to be safe), cast on that number, and knit in st st for 1 inch. Then, purl on the knit side, then go back to st st for another inch. How's that?" That's when the TA DA!!!!! happened!!!
So, I'm seriously trying to remember what I did with the graph paper I had years ago, what size and how many circular needles I have, and what the color combinations are going to be.
Stay tuned to this space - something just might happen.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Poking my head out

Just testing the waters, here. Nothing catastrophic has happened in the last 48 hrs, but I'm not sure the bad-karma stuff is over yet. There have still been minor set-backs, but they've been followed by solutions (at least I hope they're solutions) and we've even had a little good luck for a change. Kidlet got a pretty good payout on a lottery scratcher - now if we could just hit "the big one!" LOL
STILL finishing sis's sock - I want to knit this so badly I can hardly wait, but I need to finish this stupid sock and the baby blanket (although I might hedge on that, since it won't really be needed for another couple of months). And, at some point, I need to start Christmas presents - yeah, right, Christmas!
Yarn Harlot is coming!!!! She'll be here next week, "if the good Lord's willin' and the creeks don't rise" (as my gramma used to say). She's been "upgraded" to the Jewish Community Center for her talk, and that'll be fun!
OK, I should go get some "real" work done!

Poking my head out

Just testing the waters, here. Nothing catastrophic has happened in the last 48 hrs, but I'm not sure the bad-karma stuff is over yet. There have still been minor set-backs, but they've been followed by solutions (at least I hope they're solutions) and we've even had a little good luck for a change. Kidlet got a pretty good payout on a lottery scratcher - now if we could just hit "the big one!" LOL
STILL finishing sis's sock - I want to knit this so badly I can hardly wait, but I need to finish this stupid sock and the baby blanket (although I might hedge on that, since it won't really be needed for another couple of months). And, at some point, I need to start Christmas presents - yeah, right, Christmas!
Yarn Harlot is coming!!!! She'll be here next week, "if the good Lord's willin' and the creeks don't rise" (as my gramma used to say). She's been "upgraded" to the Jewish Community Center for her talk, and that'll be fun!
OK, I should go get some "real" work done!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Suckage continues

So, just to re-cap. Last Weds night someone decided that I needed one less window in my van, and used their BB gun to convince me of the same.
Last Sat, one of my daughter's friends decided that he needed to bail out of a moving vehicle, hitting his head on the pavement *hard*, and today she attended his funeral.
Last Sunday, one of the tires on my van decided that it needed a rest, and sprung a leak. Daughter was at a friend's house, and her dad graciously changed the tire for us. Thanks, Dad!!
Today, on my way to work (at 6:30 in the *Freaking* morning!) the other tire decided that it would give up the ghost, too. So, instead of coming to work at 7:30, like I normally do, I called a tow truck, and had to replace BOTH tires! Made it to work by 10, so I only have to work until 7:30 PM to make sure I get my 9 hrs in, and so I can flex out tomorrow.

Whoever is in charge of the karma carnage that is going on, I'VE HAD IT!!!!!! I'm not ready to declare war yet, but I'm damn sick and tired of all the bullshit!!!!!!!
That is all.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I like crazy!!!

I got an email this morning that had a long list of "Whys", but the end was my favorite - it said: 1 in 4 has a "mental problem" think of your 3 best friends, if they're ok, then you're it! I HAD to laugh, cause I already knew I was it! Ever since high school (or college, it's hard to remember back that far) I've done almost daily sanity checks. I discovered that I don't always see the world (or react to it, for that matter) as others do, and sometimes I've been considered downright odd. Eccentric. Weird. And it's totally ok. I've also known for quite some time that even though "they" (the great, mighty, all-powerful "they") make the rules, I don't necessarily have to live by all of them. Yes, I do obey traffic signs (or at least try to), and yes, I do get that one about not killing other people, animals, etc. But the really important ones, like we all must eat low-carb, or high-carb, or only veggies, or only meat or that we have to wear certain colors because "black is so slimming" or we have to have the latest celebrity hair cut, or whatever just don't cut no slack with me.
When my daughter was diagnosed with ADD several years ago, the nice mental health people gave me a book. No, I don't remember the name, but it was about ADD. It had a long list of "symptoms" and as I read them, they started to sound more and more familiar (Nancy, you should pay attention here). ADD does not only mean a complete lack of focus, but it can also mean hyper-focus. You know, when you're watching TV, or reading a book, and someone walks up to you and scares the living CRAP out of you 'cause you didn't see them??? There are other things, too - but the longer I read, the more I realized that I, too, was ADD. Had ADD. Whatever.
Anyway - life became so much easier - and I was now equipped to help my daughter without the benefit of Ritalin. See, I was ADD before there ever was such a thing - as were a BUNCH of kids in my class. We made it through, and most of us without the benefit of medication (I'm not talking about the self-medicated ones, we'll discuss them later). Anyway, I decided, or sort of fell into, "owning" my mental health.
I embrace ADD - love it, live with it, I say. And, I'm convinced that all my mental problems stem from knitting. (You didn't think I'd get to the knitting today, did you???)
Here's what I've formulated so far:
ADD: Multiple projects. I couldn't tell you how many projects I have going right now - a minimum of 5. I get bored, I do something else for a change. On the other hand, I started and completed my neph's hat in one evening. Easy Peasy.
OCD: I count. All the time. I don't count when I type, because I have to focus on where the fingers are and how to spell words (which could also be an OCD-thing, I'm not sure). But I count. Stairs. Steps. How many up-and-down trips on the cheese grater it takes to get enough cheese to make tacos (21 to 36, depending). Stitches.
I was watching Monk the other night, and they were in a room with other crazies, and his assistant leaned over and said "You're not the craziest one in the room anymore." I DIED laughing. How totally cool!!!!! To absolutely KNOW that you are not the craziest one in the room!! There are days when I'm pretty certain that I'm not the craziest one, but there are days when I KNOW I am. It's ok, they say that those who don't think they're crazy are the ones who need the most help. As long as I'm certain that I'm not sane, I think I'll be fine - oh, and the happy pills hold out.

OOPS! I forgot - I started Halfdome last night, twice. Remember the ADD-thing? Turns out I can't count stitches, after all. Anyway, it's started. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sadly, Sadly

I've been sadly neglectful of this blog for a while, and for that I apologize.
Life is full of suckage these days - thankfully, today is not as bad as it has been. I won't bore you with the details, just suffice it to say that the week of the 4th will go down in infamy in my book.
I started and finished Sock Monkey on Saturday. It's last year's Christmas present for my nephew - Knitty saved my ass! He wanted a knitted monkey to use for his web site, then he decided he wanted a beret - so, VOILA!! One gift down, 1 1/2 to go. I also finished 1 of sis's socks - am working on the other one. Should I tell her that I got the first one done in a week? Nah!!! :D
I adapted the gauntlet pattern in "Not Just Socks" to make what I call a "Glove-let" - similar to what the Hollywood set is wearing - basically it's just the thumb and a bit to cover the hand. If you use a pattern and completely change it to fit your needs, is that an adaptation??? Hmmmmmm. . . . . . .
So, I have to finish the second sock, knit a hat for other neph - thinking about this one - finish baby blanket for neph's new son, and THEN I'm going to make this with some lovely purple yarn that I've searching for a project for. I hav 4 balls of it - not sure if that's enough, but I can get more, if need be. I don't think it has a dye lot (my favorite kind of yarn, I can buy bits and pieces a little at a time). It's something from Mexico that Hobby Lobby puts on sale every once in a while. It has nothing about the yarn on the band around it, except the content (acrylic & something) and the washing symbols. No dye lot, no sizing, nothing. So, I decided that it's lace weight, and I'm going to make that shawl. Wish me luck with that.

One of the really horrible things that happened this last week was that a friend of my daughter's was killed. 18 years old, and made a stupid, stupid judgement call, and died. As you can imagine, everyone is devastated. It's the first time Arlana has had to deal with the death of a friend (not her first time dealing with death, she was with me when her Poppy (my Dad) died). It's also the first time she's had to deal with the fact that things can change so quickly, and teens sometimes make bad choices. We don't know if he was high (we suspect so) or if he was just being foolish, and she switches between being sad and being angry.
Me? I go between aching for my daughter and wanting to wrap her in a blanket and lock her in her room. Once again I'm reminded how little control we have over our lives, and those of our children. We never know when we kiss them good bye in the morning if some idiot is going to make the decision to drink and drive, or if some gang-banger with a grudge is going to choose to take his anger out on the people at the mall, or if the brakes on the activity bus are going to fail as it's bringing our kids home from a day of skiing.
What Arlana doesn't know is that from the day she was born, I was determined that I would never end a phone conversation, or leave her without her knowing that I love her. Every time we speak on the phone, and every time one of us leaves, we say I love you. I've never failed to say that to her, and I hope I've never failed to make sure that she knows those aren't just words, but the sounds of my heart.
My heart breaks for her friend's family - I can't imagine the pain they must be enduring. I want to find them and hold them and tell them that their son left too soon, but that he did so much good while he was here. I never met him, but the outpouring and the remembrances I'm hearing from his friends touches me deeply. And, I can't help but remember the friends I've had to say goodbye to too soon. Those who didn't make out of High School, and those who did, but not much beyond. As Arlana likes to remind me, I'm old now, and I lose more every day - but that doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye. I'd hoped she wouldn't have to learn this particular lesson this soon, but I guess not.

Monday, June 26, 2006

More Gauntlets

Just when I think I'm over my obsession with all fingerless forms of hand ware, it happens!!!! There I was, knitting my 6th gauntlet (#2 of the 3rd pair, for those of you counting) and thinking, "ok, I'm over this - ready to do something else for a change. Maybe I'll work on Nancy's socks - should get those finished" when what comes on TV but E! News Weekend (I know, I'm easily entertained, but don't blame me - there was NOTHING else on!) They're doing some article on some premiere, or party or something (I know, BIG surprise!) and Paris Hilton was there (ANOTHER surprise) wearing these funky looking gloves - no, not the ones that are only the fingers (WAY stupid looking), but the ones that are only the hand part - nothing on the wrist or the fingers, but just covering the palm and back of the hand. I looked down at my gauntlet, and inspiration struck!!!!!! What if I did just the hand portion???? I was so obsessed that I HAD to start it. So, I finished up the gauntlet (DAMN!!!!! forgot to take the pics, but I will) and started the new "glovelet". First one went really well - I'm thinking of submitting it to Knitty - I know, insane, but what the heck, we all have to start somewhere, and I've always said that my sanity was a matter of how you look at it. Some days are better than others, and today just MIGHT be a good day! LOL
Until I get the new gauntlets posted - here are the gloves I made before all this gauntlet madness:
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Meet The Pets

Today we meet some of my pets.
First is Peanut - she's the youngest and smallest of the cats. Peanut is 3 years old, but is the size of a 6-month old kitten. She was the runt of the litter, and I think they gave her to us too early. She got the name "Peanut" for 2 reasons - our favorite show at the time was "Dead Like Me", and the main character was called "Peanut" by her boss. Secondly, she was so tiny when we got her, she fit in the palm of my hand, and her favorite place to sleep was on my shoulder.
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Peanut does not like the heat. In this pic, she's on the back of a lawn chair in my living room, under the ceiling fan, and between the 2 air conditioners that are running. She usually sleeps in my room - when I got up the other night, she was collapsed in my bathroom floor, begging someone to blow on her, or something, just to create a breeze. She REALLY doesn't like the heat!

Next is Samantha. As much as Peanut hates the heat, Samantha hates to be cold. He can frequently be found in the winter on my bed (heated water bed) under the covers, with only the very tip of his paw sticking out - in case anyone is looking for him.
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Here is Samantha, sleeping peacefully in the heat. When he's happy, Peanut is miserable, and when he's freezing, she's frequently running around the house like a crazy person.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Finally!!!! Some pictures

OK, I've finally overcome my fear of taking pictures, now I must overcome my fear of posting them - so here we go!
Latest completed gauntlets:

Close up.

The gloves I did before the gauntlets (ok, only 1 glove, but will model both soon.)

And, finally - the newest gauntlets - detail, cause they're not finished.

All are from Not Just Socks, and I'm totally obsessed!!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Traffic Rant

OK, I promised myself I wouldn't do this - but I just *have* to.

1. Speed limits are THE LAW!!!!!! They are NOT suggestions. It is ILLEGAL to go OVER the speed limit - It is also ILLEGAL to drive UNDER the speed limit. They have this wonderful thing called "Cruise Control" - USE IT!!!!!!!
2. If I am doing the speed limit, and am passing someone who is not (doesn't happen often, but it does happen!) DO NOT run up on my ass and expect me to speed up to get out of your friggin way!!! NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!! If you're in that big a hurry, next time leave 15 minutes earlier.
3. I have the RIGHT to be safe in my own car!!!! If you tailgate, cut me off, or do anything that I perceive as endangering me, I will either:
a. Honk my horn (that's what it's there for)
b. Flash my lights at you
c. Flip you off - or -
d. All of the above
DO NOT get pissed off at me, or act surprised because you can't drive!!!!! You KNOW you're wrong - drive like a normal, civilized person, and PERHAPS people will not get angry with you!!!
4. Stop signs (you know - the BIG RED OCTOGONS with the word STOP printed on them) - are for STOPPING!!!!! Don't look at me, and blast past it.
5. Red lights, similarly - for STOPPING!!! See above.

OK, I feel better now - have a great day, and drive safely!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What a long, strange - whatever!!!!

It's been a very long, weird 2 weeks. I've been working extra hours, knitting obsessively (what else is new??) and trying to make believe that I actually do have something resembling a life. I don't think I'm actually buying it, though.
The kidlet went to her HS's graduation on Thursday - 2 hrs in the sun - can you say YEOWCH?!?!?!?! As my mom said, she's doing her imitation of a blood blister. Bright red, thankfully no blisters. Yes, we ALL know the dangers of skin cancer, and it's been drilled into her head (I've had 3 removed, and she's seen the stitches and the scars), but some things apparently must be learned, rather than taught.
I'm currently working on my second pair of "Fingerless Gloves" from Not Just Socks. I finished the gauntlets a couple of weeks ago, and hope to get the pics up soon. The first pair went to my sister, with the promise that I would eventually finish the socks that I'm currently knitting for her. But, I can't help the obsession - I've got to knit more fingerless gloves and gauntlets. I'm thinking that they might sell really well at this year's arts & crafts fairs. So, I'm planning on making several pairs - and also finishing the baby blanket for my soon-to-be-born grand-nephew, the socks for sis, the monkey for other nephew, etc., etc., etc.
I'm also trying to figure out where and when to teach some knitting classes. Lion Brand yarn has started a knitting club, with instructors teaching knitting, and then those who learn are eligible to start their own knitting clubs. Lion Brand has several patterns from which to choose - all are very simple, and look really easy to teach. Of course that depends on those learning. I've not had a lot of experience teaching knitting, so wish me luck!
I'm also the area coordinator for this year's Knit In Public Day - June 10, 2006. I've got to find some place that we can knit without actually booking a park or something. I'd love to be able to go to the mall, or to a nice, shady park to knit, but I'm not sure I can do either without first getting permission, and shelling out some bucks. I'm going to look around today, cause I've got to get the info back to Danielle. For more info, check out her site:

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Of Swatching and Blocking

The quick post is - I don't. I don't swatch or block. OK, technically I block - in the washing machine.
Here's the thinking:
I used to swatch, when I first started knitting. I'd dutifully knit my little 6-inch square of yarn, measure, rip out, knit it again, re-measure, rip it out and knit the sweater (or whatever) anyway. I knit to gauge. I always have. My grandmother taught me to knit - she never said anything about knitting swatches (or blocking, either, for that matter, but that's for a later discussion), she just knit. She had a stash of pattern books that would make ANY knitter absolutely DROOL with envy! I have most of them. Some are far too delicate to even look at, let alone use to knit something. But a lot of the styles are back in fashion - it's kinda cool! She also never taught me how to read a pattern (that I remember), I just kinda had to figure that out myself. So, knitting a gauge swatch was new to me. When I came back to knitting after about a 5-year stoppage, the patterns I was seeing all had this "gauge" thing on them (this was in the 70's) - I didn't know what it was, and when I figured it out, I thought it was a waste of good knitting time to knit a small square of fabric that you were going to rip out. I never even considered knitting it, and keeping it someplace. Besides, when I started knitting again, I jumped in with both feet - my first project was an Aran pullover with a front pocket and a hood - like the hoodies my daughter wears now. Knitting a swatch gauge for that would have been a freaking nightmare! One gauge for each cable pattern? I don't think so!!!!
So, anyway - I don't knit gauge swatches.
As for blocking - pah!
It's a piece of string that you've formed into a different shape! Of COURSE it's going to look a little funky when you first finish it! But, a quick round in the washer and dryer, and, voila! You have a wonderful garment that looks like what it's supposed to look like - a sweater, a blanket, a pair of gloves or socks, whatever.
Now, I've gotta say here that I work almost exclusively with acrylic or acrylic blend yarns. I knit things that I want people to use - I want them to feel free to use the blanket I've knitted them, spill coffee on it, and know that they can throw it into the washer and dryer, and it's going to come out looking substantially like it did when it went in - maybe cleaner, but mostly the same. This is especially important in the case of baby blankets. See, I've had a baby - and I certainly did NOT have time to hand-wash some precious thing that somebody gave me. And, face it, people, baby stuff is just nasty - from formula to baby food, to juice - it all gets spilled, and it all makes a horrible (possibly staining) mess. Another point in acrylic's favor - it's really hard to stain.
I took a class in modular knitting one time. She was a lovely lady who's name escapes me at the moment, and everyone else in the class was simply awed that she had agreed to teach this class. I'd happened to be in the yarn shop she was scheduled to teach the class in one day, saw the sign-up and signed up. Anyway, she said that her favorite blocking technique was the washer. So, I felt vindicated.
There's nothing like a quick spin in the washer (full wash/rinse cycle) to make a sweater behave like a sweater. And, if it's acrylic - toss in the dryer, and you can wear your new creation the same day you finish it.
That's another thing about me - I have no patience.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Today has been VERY stressful! Work and home life have conspired against me, and I'm so stressed out that I just wanna go 'way! I want to knit, I want to learn how to spin, I want to be incredibly rich, so I can do what I want, when I want. Unfortunately, since I'm a working stiff, and the lottery gods are not smiling on me, I'm at work. Stressed out. Wishing I was any place else. Wishing I was knitting. Wanting my mommy! Wanting to go home, and curl up under a soft blanket and sleep.
First gauntlet is almost done - hopefully this weekend (I want to finish it tonight, but know that's not going to happen - even if I knitted on it all evening, I wouldn't finish, the yarn & needles are WAY to small to allow that kind of progress.)
So, I'm going to go back to my pouting now. (In my best Eeyore voice:) thanks for listening.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Today I am a mom

Today, my daughter turns 15!!! She's an awesome kid, and while I'd like to claim some (ok, all) of the credit - I can't. I tried like hell to raise her so she wouldn't spend any part of her life in the Pen, and so far, that's working out pretty good. But she's as sharp as they come, and all the stuff they say about "little pitchers have big ears" (I NEVER understood that!) is absolutely true. I could list all the stuff I've done wrong, and can think of very little I've done right -
she doesn't drink, smoke, do drugs, or any of that other stuff that drives parents right straight up the wall. She mostly does her best to be who she is - one thing I know I taught her - and to stand up for what's right and just, and she just rocks - so, for today, let's salute my kidlet! The one and only thing her father did right! LOL

I'm currently knitting the gauntlets from "Not Just Socks" - I'm using the Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch - NOT what the instructions called for, but it's got the most amazing color fade I've ever seen!
Of course, the baby blanket, leg warmers & socks are still on-going. The ADD/OCD won't let me focus on any one project for too long! LOL

Saturday, April 29, 2006

First Blog!!

OMG! I can't believe I'm actually starting a blog! I've been lurking around, reading all sorts of knitting blogs, and decided that I just HAD to have one of my very own. I'm excited and scared at the same time - my daughter says I'm a dork - and I guess I am. I'm at once intimidated and inspired by the blogs I've read - to say that I feel unworthy is an understatement. I'm going to try to make this interesting, funny, maybe informative??
A bit about me - I'm 40-something, divorced, with a teenage daughter who has a wicked sense of humor. I also live with 3 cats and 3 dogs, so as you can imagine, life around my house is never dull. My cats and dogs all speak perfect english, and, unfortunately, they all (except the baby, Fritzi) seem to have picked up my sailor's mouth. I'm sure they will all make their views and ideas known at some point or another.
I knit - that should probably be first and foremost. I can also crochet, but knitting is my passion. I have more projects going than I probably know about, but currently am working on 3 (I think I see a pattern here).
Current projects:
A baby blanket for my nephew's first child, a boy to be born the middle of June. Blue & white diagonal stripes. It's knitted on the diagonal, and I've turned one corner. Variegated blue stripes alternating with white stripes.
Socks for my sister - a late Christmas present. I gave all my sister's family "gift certificates" for Christmas - allowing them to choose the item they wanted me to knit for them. I've finished my bil's gloves, and my neices' skater-boy cap. Currently working on the intrelac socks from Knitting magazine - maybe a couple of years back, I'll have to get the issue, and let you know.
Third project is leg warmers for me. Very simple, modified pattern, using the brightest colors I could find.
I still owe my nephews their Christmas presents, one wants me to knit him a monkey for his web site - I found the pattern, just haven't started it yet - and the other wants yet ANOTHER hat. So, I'll work on that, and get it done soon.
I guess that's it for now - I'm so excited to be starting this! It'll be fun and games for all!