Thursday, December 29, 2005

still here

Sorry people, I'm still here, but probably won't write until after the weekend. Crazy times. We finally had our family's Christmas tonight and I'm pooped. I thought it would be a blessing to have the last Xmas 4 days after the actual holiday, but then you figure an extra 4 days without sleep, knitting and crocheting and plastic canvasing along and I'm tired tired tired. Everyone was appreciative and oohed and aahhhhed and it was sweet. Mom & Dad got Jeff some craftsman tools and Jeff made my folks some beautiful wooden carved ornaments and a gift cert to their favorite restaurant. I got lots of good stuff! Gift cert's to craft stores, yarn stores, makeup (my fave mineral stuff), a sweet bag with pockets and leather and looks all official job-like (now that I'm working from my "virtual office" aka bedroom, I must look official, you know) that I'm thinking would be great for stashing a project in progress, and some other good stuff. It was a great evening, family, food, OH MY LORD, I've got to take a pic of my mom's present from my brother. OH OH OH I almost wet my pants. Pic and story to follow soon, I promise.

Happy Happy, Merry Merry and can we PLEASE stop listening to Christmas carols now????

Thursday, December 22, 2005

the boy did good!

click for bigger pic of my present!

He did great! We had such a wonderful evening! Did the whole turkey breast, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, crescent rolls, gravy thing and it was SO SO SO good! Kids all played well together, everyone loved their presents, we had a fire raging in the fireplace, played a bit of monopoly and then after kids were in bed, we snuggled on the couch. No big "L" words, but some very intense loving looks and then he said "we're going to be ok. you know, right?" I'll take it.

The pic above doesn't actually show the color very well, the stones are lighter with firey little bits of green. Sounds weird, but looks great! I didn't give him one hint as to what I wanted, but this was PERFECT! :) Big ass smile on my face. I gave him this black serving tray with photos put in of him & his boys, each of his boys' school pics and a pic of him and I and all 4 kids riding on sea-doo's. He has this big monster black leather ottoman as his coffee table and had this sad little silver tray that wouldn't even hold one drink without tottering. I also made him an afghan for his new dark blue leather couch in the fireplace family room. He seemed to really like them, he is all into that whole "making something by hand means something" thing, which I love about him.

MERRY MERRY HAPPY HAPPY and all that jazz!!! You all have a wonderful holiday, we're off to western KS to see the grandma's and will be back on Sunday night.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I may be on the naughty list now...

SO, I'm all in the holiday spirit finally, most of the craziness has passed, my children went to school yesterday (ONE DAY EARLIER THAN THE END OF TERM) with their little goody bags of hand-knitted scarves and wrist warmers for teachers, nurse, librarian and counselor. I've still got to finish an afghan by tomorrow night, but no biggie there as I'm already on the fringe. I wrapped almost every gift we've got last night, and was even in bed by midnight. WWWOOOOOOOO baby it feels good to be almost ready. I'm still searching for star wars lego stuff as the toys r us here is sold out, but it's not a must-have item. I'm still going everywhere trailing yarn behind me and my fingers have little grooves the size of the double pointed needles that are always in my cramped little fingers as I can't stop making wrist warmers. I've still got a few to go.

I was shopping my little heart out yesterday, stopped outside a hobby lobby where one of those bell ringers was singing. I mean this pure voice, it was amazing. I joined a crowd of about 6 people and sang along. It was such a great moment. We, total strangers, took a moment out of our busy commercialized day to bond together with song over the joy of the holidays. Beautiful. We sang silent night, holy night. Then moved to hark the herald angels sing...glory to the newborn king... It went to the next verse and I went right along. Third verse, I goofed in the middle and ACCIDENTALLY said "oh crap, shXt, I mean shoot, wrong verse". MOST of those around chuckled. I sang "third verse, same as the first" (I know, I am a total dork as I feel a violent femmes quote is always appropriate). ONE lady was not amused. She VERY LOUDLY told me off for cursing AT "our Lord and Savior J.C." and asked if I "ENJOY cursing AT baby Jesus" and stomped off. Cripes, lady, I figure the Lord knows I mean well most of the time. Spreading Christmas cheer wherever I go, that's me, the little potty-mouthed angel.

Jeff and his boys invited me and my kids to their house Wednesday evening for our own little holiday celebration. We're bringing presents and food to do a big ol' turkey dinner with the works. We're just doing a turkey breast, and he's in charge of the bird and the stuffing (stuffing makes me gag). I'm doing the rest. Crescent rolls (from a can of course), veggies and mashed potatoes... LOVE that stuff! I'm really curious to see what he gives me for Christmas. I think it'll be something totally practical that I need, but I'm hoping for something entirely NON-practical that is just for fun. We'll see. It's our first present opportunity as we did the take-the-other-out-for-dinner-and-drinks thing for our birthdays in Nov. I'll put details up Thurs morning, don't worry!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Miss me? I sure missed you guys, I've got a lot of reading to catch up on now!

So I took a little trip to crazy-town. I went to the land of la-la where crafters go in the last week before Christmas. Yup, LOST MY FREAKING MIND. I ended up with a migraine, two days of lost time on presents and almost no studying for the big final. I decided I wasn't doing the damn final paper either. I got an A on the final, almost enough to get a B in the class (just a titch of flirting bumped me to the B). God, sometimes I'm glad to be a girl. 37 years old and FINALLY completed all the requirements to get my damn undergrad degree! woo freaking hoo!

OH I couldn't find a doctor to call in some imitrix for my migraines, mom was getting pissy as I kept taking her imitrix pills whenever I got one of those babies. Mom said call my gynecologist. WTF? I said, doesn't she sorta specialize on the OTHER end of me? but tried and she DID IT! I now have 100mg pills instead of mom's 50mg babies. They may just make me loopy as hell, but I'm glad to have them. Thanks for the comments, I thought I was the only one having that whole speech problem and was freaking out that I was actually having strokes. It's a bitch. Thank God the imitrix works for me, my friend is trying all kinds of freaky drugs to get hers under control. I only get them when I get too stressed so it's not too bad. The lovah-boy was very sweet and checking up on me the day of the migraine, but then was totally pissing me off last night on the phone while I was still hurting and loopy. Just little crap, but I'm like "you are NOT trying to pick a fight with a woman recovering from a migraine on the night before her final exam on her last class, ARE YOU????" Then (due to slow reflexes I'm blaming on the drugs) I came up with a zinger for a comment he made TEN MINUTES before. I called him back up, woke his ass up and said... "yadda yadda YADDA!" or whatever the clever remark was, can't remember now and he's like "oh. ok. goodnight." Today the boy must have been feeling bad as he called and was VERY nice to me all damn day. Damn straight buddy.

This will be a serious picture post, so click the baby pics to see big ones...

FIRST of all, we must all hail the almighty secret pal!!! See? did I lie? she was a-freaking-mazing! Pretty bag CRAMMED with....Fiber Trends The Sheep Tote pattern, Needle Felting Kit, AND natural roving variety pack to make the little cute needle felted sheep on the side, OH I've wanted this forever!, Second-Time Cool book for the Art of chopping up a sweater (very freaking cool), Stranded Color Knitting book, Stitch N Bitch Knit Happens Journal, psychedelic tin for notions, Ring Markers (I am ALWAYS needing those), cute pink rhinestone C keychain, a KnitPicks catalog with (drumroll please....) $THIRTY DOLLARS GIFT CERTIFICATE for YARN!!!!!, AND the coolest set of 1940's era "plain & thimble" soap, stitches hand cream, a thimble and a CUTE AS HELL little sewing kit. Are you in love with her too? I so am! THANK YOU KRIS for spoiling me all along!!!

So, what have I been up to anyway that made my brain go numb? Glad you asked! First, I finally completed the kids' latch-hook rug kits I'd started ages ago. Why now? Who the hell knows. They don't even count for Christmas presents, jeez

Next, everyone needs some tacky-ass plastic canvas gifts, don't they? Santa and his coasters are for one brother & his wife. Pig coasters with white picket fences (can you see the little curly tail?) are for my cousin, RV coasters with mountain scene holder are for mom & dad and there are actually two of the ugly apple gift totes to wrap my kids' teachers presents in. (OH I forgot to photo the pink sparkly scarf I made for Beth's teacher, crap.)

On to crochet work. For my daugher, a capelet made of lion brand homespun and trimmed in fun fur, which we all know is neither fun nor fur, but 9 year old girls love it. I'm also working on THREE crocheted afghans, but didn't wanna lug them out to take photos and NONE of them are done yet.

This IS a knitting blog, right? Scarf for Russell for bday and Xmas combined, fringe to be attached still and given Sat. night. Scarf made with plain ol' garter stitch on that WONDERFUL Schaefer's bumpy yarn. Wrist warmers for Joey's teacher and the librarian, nurse, music, art & pe teachers... OH and my mom and aunt. Three and a half pair down, a butt-load to go... LOVE this pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, they crank out in a few hours. I started with Art Yarns (sz 6 dpns) and then moved to Lorna's Laces superwash worsted weight (sz 7 dpns)and like that even better!

OH, I forgot about making this, I think I'm going to try to felt it and see what happens. Crocheted flower purse was a pretty fast project, so if it doesn't turn out I can crank out another one for my cousin's little girl and maybe for Jeff's niece too. (I just can't seem to stop myself now!)

And, last, but absolutely not least, we went and saw Santa Claus!

Tonight I've got TWO nine-year old girls a-giggling and one almost-6 yr old boy a-yelling just like in the Christmas carols, huh? I'm actually getting a LOT of crafting done! Feed 'em pizza, send them outdoors, then back inside and down to the nintendo room. I'm back baby, and I just might make it to Christmas without totally cracking up...maybe.

My wish is that all crafters finish their projects and still have time for sleep and spending time with family and friends on this holiday season (instead of sitting in the cold car saying "I'll be right there, stall the present opening for 5 more minutes, dammit!" like last year.)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

migraine yesterday

I had such a busy schedule set for yesterday, I was gonna conquer the world. Then I got this little flash of light in my vision. I thought, no. I didn't see anything. Then I think I saw it again.... This is not the start to a good afternoon, nope not at all. I ended up getting home in time to pop an imitrix (heaven sent I swear by this med.) and get into bed. I get strange migraines. I think they're actually mini-strokes and this probably explains a LOT for why I'm a titch ditzy every so often. I get loss of vision on the right side, my right side of my face AND HALF MY TONGUE goes numb, my right hand goes numb and I have a hard time forming words. If I don't get the pill in time I get the pain, but normally it's more of a dull ache with the meds, not too terrible as long as I can sleep for long periods of time.

I had just popped the pill and one of the other moms called needing to know where I took my daughter and her friends for Beth's bday party. I told her I had the start of a migraine and was on heavy drugs, so be patient. I tried to say "dye your duds" in olathe out by the movie theater." It was so strange. I could totally picture each thing I was trying to say in my mind, but the words wouldn't come out. It was like playing charades with a mentally challenged person. I finally got out "the place you do stuff to fabric....and it was out in the town where I work"...and I could not say movie theatre to save my life. I finally got out "you look at stuff up on a wall" and she figured it out.

So much for studying for my final or getting any knitting or crocheting done, guess it's time to take a break. Now I've gotta learn all there is about Hinduism, Buddhism, and other eastern religions before noon tomorrow. Guess I should'a done a bit more studying as the semester went on, huh? cripes!

I'll try to get my amazing secret pal pics up tonight amidst studying, you'll be amazed and envious of me. My kids were even going "oooooh" "wow" when I was opening the package, just like watching fireworks.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My secret pal strikes again!

Ok, I have no time for details now, I'll load the pic and give the goods tomorrow, I promise. Let me just say HOLY FREAKING COW I got the motherlode of good stuff! SP, you really were the best EVER! Each present I got was as big as the final send-off could have been and the final send off was a doozy!!! You also inspired me to try things I otherwise wouldn't have thought of, thank you THANK YOU thank you!!!

On home front, I'm wrapping presents, still crocheting presents, COMPLETED a few more projects, started a few more, I KNOW I know I KNOW it's insane. Holiday Dementia strikes again.

OH and my daughter of all of 9 years old got her first phone call from a BOY tonight. The father called first to make sure it was ok with me that a boy call my girl, just as friends, but still wanted to make sure. OH it was freaking cute, slightly freaked me out, but still freaking CUTE! OH how much longer will she still want to talk about her friends and boys with her mom? I sure hope a few years longer.

I also have santa pics of the kids to post too! I promise to get my rear in gear soon!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas Carols Knitting-Virgin-Style--come on, sing along!

It's beginning to look a lot like stress-mas!
Everywhere you go.
My schemes, they were so grand,
But now I'm crippled in one hand,
Knitting presents for every person that I know...

It's beginning to look a lot like stress-mas!
Yarn buying's made me poor...
Afghans, wrist warmers and hats,
socks, ponchos and stuffed cats,
Why didn't I just buy them from the damn store?

It's beginning to look a lot like stress-mas!
I'm truly in denial!
Oh my aching fingers and back,
I must have been smoking crack,
All these presents getting finished with a smile?

It's beginning to look a lot like stress-mas!
Oh what a bitch!
Gifts may not be done on time,
Let's have another glass of wine!
There's love and STRESS in each and every stitch.
(Maybe I should aim for Xmas 2006!)

Stressed? Me? Naw, I've got total Christmas Dementia. I was actually at the Joann's craft store with a full basket of yarn, cheap yarn, and when I say full, I mean FULL shopping cart FULL of yarn. It was Saturday, December 10th. I somehow thought, hey, just because I haven't finished the 2 afghans I've started and the 6 pair of wrist warmers, put the fringe on the poncho for dd or even started the hat I was thinking of making for bf, why not start THREE more afghans. sure, why not. I was sitting there in line, adding up how much $$ I had to fork out and I swear to Goodness that it was over $100. I don't care how much I love people and want to create hand-made gifts for them, I'm not spending $100 on crap yarn. It's not gonna freaking happen. Then this nice lady ahead of me with TWO skeins of yarn said, "honey, you do realize you've only got 15 days, right?" I said, "oh, of course. Crocheting is much faster than knitting..." I stood there thinking WTF am I doing (I still had to get to the Studio for more artyarn skeins for more wrist warmers). I handed the poor girl at the checkout counter most of the skeins and kept enough for ONE more afghan to start for my son. It's his birthday RIGHT before Xmas, so SURE, why not? I don't need sleep, nope, not me. I can do anything. I'm super knitter/crocheter/plastic canvaser/cross stitcher... I'm also insane.

I think I've figured it out. It's like childbirth. There must be some hormone that comes into our bodies right after Christmas that makes us forget how horrible last Christmas season was. Every freaking year. You'd think I'd learn, huh? Nope. Not me, I was actually printing off patterns for new projects. My heart has been racing for two days now. I thought it was too much caffeine. Then I realized I'm even knitting and crocheting in my dreams.

Everybody now....It's beginning to look a lot like Stress-mas, everywhere you go..... Maybe it's just me. Other women I see in the LYS look totally sane. They seem to be shopping for pleasure. I'm lucky I'm still bathing daily and able to drive. Is anyone else out there going crazy? Or are you being smart and shopping at Target and Old Navy? I really should do that, but I still have 15 days left. Oh, 14. And a big-ass final in my class I'm not ready for. And children to raise. and a job. and a boyfriend. But still, 14 days is a lot of time....

Friday, December 09, 2005

snow days

Whew! Yesterday and today are snow days so TWO kids are home with me. It's FREAKING COLD outdoors, so we've only been able to play outdoors for about 15-20 minutes at a time. Since it takes about that long to get both layered into their snow pants, boots, scarves, mittens, hats and coats, it's been quite an ordeal. I think I froze part of Joey's face yesterday as he's got little red patches on his cheeks. nice one mom. jeez. I think we're staying indoors today, as it's all of 8 degrees out. The poor dog was funny as hell yesterday morning, Miles is maybe 6-8 inches tall, and the snow was about 8 inches with drifts. I finally had to carry him out to the road to walk in some tire tracks. He was doing the bunny in the snow impression and it was cute as hell.

I knitted and crocheted my little fingers off yesterday and now have 2 afghans half-way done, 2 finished scarves, another finished wrist warmer. Now I think I'm gonna switch to the voodoo wrist warmers from knitty. One sock puppet (a socklet that was going to be way too large for Joey so I added buttons and a mouth and he's in heaven) and a bunch of laundry and a little bit of work. I've got to work today from home, so the kids are playing video games (more good momming here, huh?) and watching tv for a few hours.

Sorry for the lame posts, got to run. I'm searching for a good hat pattern for a plain old men's stocking hat (maybe lined with a smaller hat inside?) to make for my boyfriend, still in the midst of YEAH, I can knit that too.... knitting dementia. I'm sure reality will sink in soon and I'll be freaking out.

Anyone got some fast crocheted afghan patterns out there, I'm trying to make one MORE before Xmas...I've still not done the wedding gift afghan for my brother & his wife that were married in JULY. cripes.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fantabulous day in court!

OK, so I didn't get out entirely, but I was able to get to pay HALF my fine without having to go back to court. The D.A. said I had to get a lawyer and get a court date if I wanted to negotiate, but I said, "but that one lady earlier this morning was able to pay half her fee today, what about that?" (said with eyelashes a-blinking--it may be 1950's style, but I've got great eyes and can woo dorky men with them. The D.A. was not what we'd call a stylish man.) He said, well, the judge does have to power to override the protocol. I went up, did my stuff, and the judge told me I'd have to get an attorney to contact the DA and then set a court date for Dec. 21, etc. and I did the poor little single momma....I don't want to have to take more time off work....and just did the sad eyes thing (no 1950's blinking this time as the judge was a cutie, older man but a cutie). I said I could afford to pay half now, but attorney's fees would cost even more than the ticket I can't afford to pay now and ...... He sighed, said, "you can pay $90 today?" I said "yes please." And I paid my money and I am DONE! yeah for me! Glad that's over. I have been working on driving the speed limit lately. I never realized how often I was a speed momma. cripes.

I also sat & knitted along and finished another wrist warmer. 5 down and about 5 to go. Anyone out there got cold wrists? I can keep you warm baby. Add it to my Xmas list. On the way out of court, the man standing looking official with his gun said "You know you really aren't supposed to have knitting needles in the courtroom." and when I asked why he didn't come tell me to put them away he said he figured he could take me if I caused any trouble. bwaaa ha ha haaaaa I've got them all fooled. With 5 wooden size 6 double points I could take over the world..... please people. SO, if you're going into court, do the "don't ask don't tell" system. If you ASK if you can do something, people tell you no. If you don't ask, and just do it in a non-threatening way you can do whatever you damn well want to. I've used that philosophy in most of life. Antidisestablishmentarianism, it's a good thing. Ok, I don't actually know if that's what that is, it was just a word I remember winning a spelling bee in 4th grade with.

OH for all you Xmas party drinkers out there...(and you jazzercising/drinking/dancing fools too!) I heard something on the radio called Chasers. You take 2 pills with your first drink of the night and you're supposed to wake up feeling great. They sell them at Walgreen's, so I'm gonna get a bottle and try them out! NOT that I ever imbibe, no, not me. That wasn't MY face in the toilet hurling on my bday night. I figure it couldn't hurt.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

winter knitty's finally up!

Can't talk, gotta go check out Knitty. I'm now knitting presents for the kids' teachers, scarves, wrist warmers (my very new favorite knit EVER) and gonna make lovahboy a hat for Xmas, but it has to be washable and dryable, so I'm off in search of something not totally acryllic as it makes my hands itch when I knit with it. I can crochet with it, but not knit it. How weird is that? I'm only a yarn snob when I knit? wtf?

Off to gaze and create yarn shopping lists in my head. Oh, and work. Plenty of work.

Miss A, we need to get together more often! Maybe in Jan. we can do a once a month girl's night or something.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Just go ahead and sign me up for the old folks' home now!

OH HOLY DOG CRAP ON A STICK!!!!!!!!!!! So, first of all, for those that don't already know me and love me (or know me and tolerate me) I must state that I can be a titch on the dingy side occasionally. I also have some strange cosmic power where strange things happen to me or to those around me. Not always good, not always bad, just strange and funky. Life is seldom boring around me. I'm always worried that my children will have me committed as insane when I get old. I've always been borderline nutty so they'd have a lifetime of examples of why mom shouldn't be out on her own.... here's another one for the books.

So, wanna hear about my morning??? Remember I have a court date set for 8:30am on the 7th day of December. (yes, we ALL know NOW that today's the 5th of Dec. but work with me.) I must have read that ticket 14 times to make sure it was tomorrow (I have a history of things not working right so I was a bit gunshy). I looked at my calendar to verify Monday was the 7th (anyone got this one figured out yet?....NOVEMBER had a Monday the 7th...December's Monday is the 5th... yup hadn't flipped the calendar to December yet.) Ok, that would be bad enough, to show up on the wrong day, wouldn't it? Nope I don't do things that simply. I once had a music professor (when I wanted to be a professional flautist aka flute player) who always told me to stop worrying about making mistakes. She told me that if I was going to mess up, make it a monster mess up with every part of my heart and soul. That kind of stuck with me through life, so I just blame her.

I get both kids up and running, drop them at school at 5 till 8am, right on time. My wet hair is frozen as I didn't have time to dry it and I gotta get to the other end of town, find a parking place and get to court by 8:30. Look out, low fuel light comes on. dammit. OK, no problemo, go to gas station. Look in purse to make sure I've got a check to pay for the ticket if they don't let me out of it, NOPE last one was used up, none ordered yet. OK, no problemo, hit the atm at the gas station. Gas station's atm is having "communication problems" DAMN. No problemo, go to the little drive-thru atm across the street. Did I mention this is at State Line Rd and 103rd where you cannot get across traffic??? Find a nice man who lets me across the street. Got the cash, can NOT get across traffic for TWO lights, say FUXX IT and go to Wornall's entrance an entire block out of the way. My honey calls me and apparently I just flew by him on the highway and didn't even see him. Good luck kicks in and I get past FOUR cops (city AND state troopers) doing speed traps. (some luck here as I didn't think it would help me get out of a ticket by getting ANOTHER one on top of it, huh?). I make it to Santa Fe and am going down the road, I just might make it, and the TRAIN light starts flashing...the bars aren't down yet, we can make it we can make it, but OOOOOOHHHHHHHH the car ahead stops early just to be safe. We must be safe, must'nt we? OH, I sit there for THREE minutes (it seemed like an eternity) and then safety sam ahead of me WAITS just to be sure the train is really gone after the bars go up....OH MY GOD GET OUT OF MY WAY PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Finally I get to the courthouse and have 2 minutes to spare, find a parking spot RIGHT IN FRONT (which never ever happens), run through the building, find the traffic court after taking 2 wrong turns...sit and wait. and wait. and wait. I'm rolling my ball of yarn, talk to another lady who ASKED at the courthouse door whether she could bring in knitting needles and was told no (mine are just always in my bag, so I had mine). and waited some more. 8:50am the judge comes in and I notice everyone else has a LOT of files and lawyers and such. There's no police in the courtroom and the cases are all about people with DUI's and HITTING people with their cars and such, no just trying to get out of speeding tickets. I pull out my ticket, slip out to find a cop outside the room and ask WTF? It appears there is ANOTHER freaking courthouse in Olathe. Yup, I'm at the wrong one and it's now almost 9am. cripes. He gives me directions (complicated and I'm already frazzled).

I book it out of there, follow most of the directions, can't find the damn courthouse. How hard is it to find a little building with a bunch of flags in a little town anyway??? If the cop would've said "right down the street from the Great Plains Mall" I'd have been there instantly. Nope, he said "old highway 56 and Harrison" great. That helps. not. Drove around until I found three Olathe cops sitting talking between their cars and they showed me where the courthouse was. Municipal court. great. I get there at 9:05am. I ask the clerk if I'm in the right place, tell her I'm late, she tells me to go on in and they'll get to me. So, again, I'm sitting, winding my ball of yarn, watching this nice judge talk to people about why they didn't do their house arrest, how they can't pay their debt today, but next week..... and on and on and on. No policemen in the courtroom here either I notice. I think "hmmmmm" not again, I whisper to the D.A. sitting up there looking bored. He said this is the municipal court, and it is the only courtroom, but today was "failure to pay" day or something like that. I tell him the mini version of my morning from hell and he asks to see the ticket. He said "your court date is set for Wednesday." I go "OHHHHHHH" (said like Grace from Will & Grace from the gut and with much pain). He said, "you know you can just pay outside today." and I'm like "not now I can't, with all this effort invested, I wanted to see if there was any way to pay a lesser fee." and he said then I have to come back and see me on Wednesday. dammit.

SO I go to work. Remember the work stress? Well, it's much less now thank you very much! This job that I was dreading and hating and trying to get out of last year and now am trying to hold onto with every fiber of my being because it's PERFECT for me and flexible and all that but I wasn't sure if I'd be employed after Dec. 31??? Remember that??? well NOW I find out I'm still going to be employed after Dec. 31 (can I get a WOO HOO??? WOO HOO!) AAAAAANNNNNNNNNDDDDDDD I'm getting a Christmas bonus (not supposed to be very big, but it'll be something) AAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDD the raise I was supposed to get on Aug 6th is now kicking in (also small, but again it's more $$ in the pocket and actually more than the raise I got last year when we were still a "normal" company) AAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDD I'm getting an extra check for the backdated time that should cover the speeding ticket plus a tiny bit!

So, I really should save my time and go over and pay, right? nope. not gonna do it. Wednesday morning I'm gonna get to the right courthouse this time and sit & knit until they call my name. :) Wish me luck! (again)

My hair stayed frozen until just a few minutes ago. Thank God for Allegra the magnicent and a hair cut I can leave the house without doing ANYTHING to! I need a drink. It's got to be beer-thirty, that doesn't sound good, but margarita-thirty, mmmmmmm. that's what I'm talking about!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Is there a patron saint for speeding tickets???

I don't know why, but I keep flashing back to Christmas at my grandma's old country church (the only thing left in the closest town to her farm) and the old people reciting the rosary and then the ...."blah blah blah saint XXX pray for us.... blah blah blah" and wondering. We Catholics have saints for almost everything. Why not one for getting out of tickets? come on! This is not sacriledge, it's quite serious! Saint who-ever, be on my side tomorrow morning as I go into court in the dreaded sin city of Olathe... more to follow later.

Knitting news...finished TWO pair of wrist warmers and am wrapping them tonight before bed. I think this is a new record for me, having actual gifts WRAPPED in the acutal first few days of the month. freaky, I know it. I'm so the beyond the last minute know, still sewing in ends in the car on the way to the holiday celebration house...waiting in the car to wrap the gift while the family goes inside thinking mom's totally lost her mind and may well freeze to death in the car, but not really being concerned kind of thing.... you know, right? I'm not the only one? Maybe I am, but I have some damn fine gifts under the tree by present-opening time! Usually. sometimes. (ok, so my baby bro and his wife's still not received the afghan promised in the wedding gift card in July, but hey, it's Xmas season now and they live in FLORIDA for Gosh's sake. I told him by the time it either freezes in Naples, FL or they move somewhere cold, I'll have a blanket done for them and congratulations. I mean, COME ON!!!! They need bottled water and ice for hurricanes, not afghans to keep warm, right??

Wish me luck tomorrow at 8:30am people...we'll see how much crying helps. dammit. One hundred and eighty freaking much yarn could THAT buy??? damn damn damn damn DAMN!!!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Knitting Virgin's Guide for How to make a center pull ball of yarn without cursing...too much tutorial

If you're one of those talented people who just "gets" stuff, go away. This is for the rest of us. I struggled and struggled and read online and got frustrated and almost gave up on trying to do this. The other day when I was messing around, it finally all clicked. It's so easy it was amazing! If I can do this, YOU can do this too! I recommend ALWAYS having the LYS wind yarn for you, but if you're like me and get yarn from a secret pal, or as gifts from family, or from online stores and you don't have the cash for a swift and winder, here's how to do it!

The first thing to remember is DON'T WIND YOUR YARN TOO TIGHT.... Click on any of the photos to see bigger images.

STEP 1: Start with some lovely yarn

STEP 2: Untwist yarn and cut any pieces where it's tied together.

STEP 3: Either leave yarn on floor or use the back of a chair, a loved one's arms, or your feet to spread out the yarn in a big oval. (my arms get tired unless I wind from the floor). Wrap the yarn LOOSELY around your two fingers of one hand. Once you get good at this, you can keep the tail tucked between those fingers and hang onto it throughout the process. I'm not quite there yet.

STEP 4: Pull the yarn off your fingers and squish it between your thumb and fingers, this is the wad or guts that you will start knitting from.

STEP 5: Begin winding yarn LOOSELY around the wad, do about 8 wraps before changing direction. I try to do it diagonally and only move the yarn a little each time as I go. Your goal is to have a smooth ball to pull from, so don't do too many big moves like sideways then up & down and back, try to meander across the ball with your yarn. Remember sewing classes LONG ago where you had to wind your bobbins on top of the sewing machine and it would wind its way up and down gradually? That's what you want here. YOU MUST KEEP YOUR THUMB ON TOP OF THE WAD THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE PROCESS!!!

STEP 6: Continue wrapping with thumb still in center of ball, make sure you don't wrap too closely to your thumb, as you want some room there.

STEP 6 1/2: Still wrapping, make sure to go slowly when pulling your yarn from the oval as it has a tendency to get all tangled up at the end. There was a bit of cursing at this point (see the yarn all piled up as it should NOT be...) you can take your thumb out, just stick it back in the same spot and keep going after taking out any knots you encounter. At this point in the process I always say the nursery rhyme Little Jack Horner, sat in his corner......stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plumb...." At that point my children roll their eyes and leave the room.

STEP 7: Tuck the last tail outside on the bottom somewhere, fold up the yarn tag and put into the hole from your thumb, and admire the thing of beauty you have just created. Bring your children, husband, or significant other into the room to bask in your glory. Ignore rolled eyes and comments that the nursing home isn't far away. You did it, You are an amazing fibre queen (or king as the case may be).

STEP 8: Using the yarn...this is the true test. Take out yarn tag, stick your thumb and a finger in there, wiggle around and pull out the very center part of the ball. If you wound too tightly (as I did in the yarn pictured) it will be a mess. Cursing here is allowed. Don't give up, wiggle that thumb around a bit more harshly and keep pulling, you WILL find the little wad of guts you started with. Just keep unwinding and knit from the guts until you get to one yarn strand coming from the ball. If you did it perfectly or if you are a truly gifted person and still had the little tail, it should go smooth as silk. Knit or crochet your little heart out.

You will get better with practice. These are really lovely and look beautiful set out in baskets as home decor too!

Lawrence Ladies and the quest for the damn dpns

I forgot to post about meeting some of the Lawrence Knitters the weekend before last! I met Elinor, Camille and Beth at the Yarn Shop & More where we petted and admired yarns, then we went to the Plaza for eating at an Irish Pub and off to the Studio. I had my daughter's bday sleepover so had to run home, but really enjoyed meeting them! It's funny how knit groups are so good for the soul! Here's their site Knit Lawrence. If you're in the area, get yourself over to Milton's, I keep trying to get there but my Saturdays are still too hectic!

I did go to TWO Lys's yesterday and mostly behaved myself. Instead of the more pricey Koigu, I'm going to work up some superwash Lorna's Laces shepherd sport yarn ($10/skein 200 yds) for mom's wrist warmers. I'll let you know how they go as I think this could be a fast knit for presents! I was home rolling them into center pull balls and thought I'd do a tutorial as I keep running into knitters who are MUCH more talented than I am that are still rolling old fashioned (and quite frankly pain in the butt) regular yarn balls.

After doing all this, I felt like quite the accomplished knitter, I could conquer all, I am instructing people in this glorious craft.....etc. THEN I realized I'm a freaking idiot. For TWO HOURS I searched and searched for my doublepointed needles (size 6) that I bought last week at the Studio. I know I bought them. I know it. I put ALL my knitting stuff and stash in ONE PLACE so they HAD to be there. They weren't. I looked at least 4 times in the same drawer. FOUR TIMES. I even completely emptied it on the 3rd time and apparently thought just in case, let's look again. I was all upset, not going to work on any of my existing projects, NO I wanted to start the wrist warmers. dammit. Finally I gave up, went to bed, where I had NOTHING new to read, re-read HP #4 in preparation of seeing the movie (no, I haven't seen it yet, I don't get out much). I was all kinds of pissy.

This morning, I grabbed my son's sock (soon to be a sock puppet) in the ziplock bag to toss into my purse, and what do you know, THERE were the damn 6's. In the sock. cripes. Now I've found 4 of the set of 5, but can't remember where I put the damn last needle and the little package it came in. The pattern I use calls for all 5, so I'm off to the damn LYS again today. BUT the good news is that I've got a punch card all ready to go for $15 store credit! woo hoo! I think I'll pick up 6s and 5s just in case I need them to hit gauge.

Some of you will remember I'm not a fan of the dpn. I actually burned the first set I had to work with. In the grill. burnt to ashes. They don't really burn easily, either, I had to get some gasoline to throw on (we were out of lighter fluid). ANYWAY I have been experimenting with the 2 circ needles thing, and I can't believe I'm saying this, think I like the dpns better. *gasp* I'm not saying I care for either one very much, but I may just be getting the hang of the whole knitting with a living porcupine/leaving ladders big enough for firemen to climb up problems. They're still there, just not quite so bad. Maybe practice does make perfect. Right now practice just makes "not quite so horrid." I'm good with that.

Non-knitting news, I'm applying for student loans and trying to come up with a plan B should the jobbo be gon-o on Jan 1st. Lovahboy gets taken out tonight for sushi. I hope they serve cooked steak. If not, it's gonna be a lot of rice for this girl tonight.

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