Thursday, August 31, 2006

'Twas the night before Maui

'Twas the night before Maui, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even the dog Miles;

The suitcases were set by the front door with care,
In the hopes that the limo soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of seashells danced in their heads;

And Jeff in his undies and I in my p.j.,
Had just gone to bed after a long packing day,
When down on the foyer there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

The bag full of knitting projects had blown,
Across the hallway the items had flown.
Oh Koigu, Oh Schaefer, Oh Cascade 220,
Oh addi-turbos, Oh Denise Interchangeables, there were so many!
After many decisions and much soul searching,
Lornas Laces sock yarn is only with what I'll be working.

As I stumble to bed and turn out the light,
I send a thought to my blog friends...

Happy Knitting to All and to All a Good Night!

Peace out ya'all, we're outta here. Be back in a week! WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Thank you thank you to the Childrens Wish Foundation for sending our family! My son Joey has Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and is doing well. We're taking a TON of medicine (inhaled aerosol, liquid, gel, capsules, you name it, we got it) as well as a nebulizer and a big ol' air therapy vest on board, and have 2 metal detectors packed in the big checked bag. Can't you just imagine how much fun we'll have with the screeners? Good thing the kid is cute! We also have the challenge of taking a refrigerated antibiotic on board. I'm sure the gel ice-packs are a no-go, so dad suggested we just take it in an insulated bag and ask the flight attendants for ice on each plane.

We'll take an unbelievable amount of pictures, I've just cleared out my digital camera of 400 (FOUR HUNDRED can you believe it???) pictures sitting in there, so it's ready to go. Jeff's fixed his video camera and has it packed and the kids have disposable cameras, so we'll get to see their version of the holiday as well. I'm so flippin excited it's unreal. (oh, one correction on the Lorna's Laces pic I took yesterday. Apparently the blue/brown yarn was "too girly" and has been replaced by a horridly boring grey and black opal hand-painted yarn for Joey.)

Projects packed: Lorna's Laces sock yarn, 2 sets of sz 2 dpns and one ball of opal in the colorway "blah". That's it. I wonder if there's a yarn shop in old town Laihaina? hmmmmmm

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a little packing for the trip

4 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Pioneer (greys & blues & browns) will become socks for Joey, Mixed Berries will become socks for Elizabeth and 2 skiens of Flames for me with any leftover to make a pair of matching anklets for Elizabeth! I can only get along with this "looking like my mom is cool" stuff for a few more years if I'm lucky, so I'm milking it! (right now we have matching shrugs and a set of matching dresses, I figure 9 1/2 yrs old, I'm down to socks before total disassociation sets in)

I was in Olathe returning the sundresses I'd bought before my amazing trip to the swimsuit shop. The 2 dresses I'd gotten before were from the dress barn (nothing against them, they've got very cute stuff) BUT one really did resemble a couch from the 70's and the other looked like the dresses Elaine always wore in the 80's on Seinfeld, you know the long drapey ones that had no definition, just kind of like an 80's version of the mu-mu with buttons all down the front? And did I say they went almost to my ankle? OK, it's hard to find sexy sundresses in the fall! ANYWAY, back to the story...I was in the neighborhood of Knit Wits yesterday (just east of I-35 on 151st Street) and walked up to the door before I remembered it was MONDAY!!! She's closed on Sundays and Mondays since this is a small owner-run shop. The goddesses of yarn were smiling down upon me since Jan was in the shop doing some inventory work! She opened up the door and invited me right on in. I thought it was so sweet of her! I said, I can come back another time, I know you're not open, but she said "nonsense" and sent me on in. (the fact that I'm a total addict and OUT OF CONTROL in her shop I'm sure didn't have anything to do with why she let me in!) I got the sock yarn above and wandered back to her sale bins. OH OH OH people, she's got 6 BIG ASS BOXES of sale yarns that are all $3/skein. AND A LOT OF IT and good brands! I got enough yarn to make Beth and I each a sweater and am going BACK after I get back from our trip. She's got a small shop and has the best sale yarn in the world to make room for her stuff. Go check it out and please say you read about it on Christine's blog to make up for me always being a pain in the butt in her shop!

Seriously, $3/skein of all kinds of stuff, and a lot of it she's got entire bags of so you can make some nice projects! Go, spend, be merry!

YES I already have enough opal sockyarn to outfit my entire family, but I thought I'd gradually get the kids on board with softer socks as their first official socks from mom. Don't have any idea of what patterns I'm using, but I'm going to try to find something pretty generic and easy to do, toe up? top down? I think I'll try to wind them into 2 equal balls and then do toe up to get the most out of the yarn. That'll take care of my projects for the trip out & back. I've got almost all of one jaywalker sock done and hope to finish the other on the trip as well.

Teresa, you look gorgeous and so happy on your Hawaii pics! SO glad you & your hubby had a good time!! Countdown is now THREE DAYS and, um, NO itinerary or info on our trip yet. Not worried, nope, not me. I'm getting on that plane one way or another. I know the hotel is booked and that's good enough for me. Nope, don't know the rental car company we're supposed to use, but still NOT worried. I'm not going to call the foundation again until tomorrow and if I still don't have any info, they'll just have to give me as much info over the phone as they can or email it and get over it. Nope, not worried. School and work is all arranged for this big trip, children are beyond excited, I'm a titch excited too. NOT going to have it all fall through at the last minute. Not gonna happen. I have a swimsuit that LOOKS GOOD on me and new knitting projects to start DAMMIT!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

An accomplishment filled day.

Well, yesterday was just a day where I got things DONE.

#1. Finished tunisian crocheted bikini top & bottoms, decided it was assinine to MAKE your own bikini when you don't have one of those model bodies that look GOOD in a few pieces of string and have searched for YEARS for a suit to wear to mask and mold my body just so. I'm wearing it ANYWAY, because it is my #27 (or was it #29?) list of things I want to do before I die. (still don't have the list done, just working on numbers here and there.) It is a very cute suit and I highly recommend the pattern, it's just going to have to be donated to one of my skinny minny Asian girlfriends when the trip is over.

#2. Found a swimsuit that FITS me and LOOKS GOOD and I DIDN'T SHED ONE TEAR while trying on suits. This is a major accomplishment for me, so just humor me here. I have the most terrible time finding suits for my body and of course have those trauma issues almost every woman has at swimsuit shopping time, so normally it's a LONG ASS day of going from store to store, and the day usually ends with no suits purchased and much chocolate consumed. I have the one trusty tanky-kinda-top that covers the belly and bottoms that barely cover the butt as long as I don't move too quickly or lean to one side. I have had that trusty suit from Target for at least 4 years now. I've shopped at least 2 times a year since buying that suit and have yet to find one. I went to Target AGAIN and realized they only have the suit parts with the XXL tops and XS bottoms, um, not quite what I was looking for. No suits left in any store since everyone's stocking fall items.

Then I went to one of those specialty swimsuit shops in Town Center (not the normal swimsuit shops with surfer barbie dolls working in them since that just adds to the humiliation and generally pisses me off. I went to the old-lady-cruise and young-rich-2nd-wife kind of store.) I went to the counter, swallowed my pride and said "Please help me. I've got no boobs, a big butt and thunder thighs and I'm going to Maui in ONE WEEK and will be taking pictures we'll be looking at for a lifetime. PLEASE HELP ME." I then went to the dressing room, tried on over 40 suits she brought me (swear to God, I counted 42) and then FOUND ONE that WORKED and LOOKS GOOD!!! AND a cute cover up/sarong thing that goes with the suit without being too matchy. THEN she pulled out a cute cover-up/dress that makes me look CURVY and THIN!!! It was about the only thing in the store NOT on sale, at $75 for a terry-cloth-kinda material short dress. But it MADE ME LOOK SKINNY!!! Do I even have to type that I bought it? I cannot see spending $75 on a freaking coverup, but I think I'd eat catfood and toast for a month if I had to, or at least not buy any more yarn for a month, to make the sacrifice. IT MADE ME LOOK SKINNY DAMMIT!!!

#3. Finished CLEO, but no pictures taken yet.

#4. Decided to knit something for SOMEONE ELSE since I've been Madame Selfishista the last few months. I've got about half a prayer shawl done and am enjoying thinking positive healing thoughts while I'm knitting away.

#5. Washed my sizzle sweater and it's laying out drying. Decided it's going to Maui as the "dinner out" outfit. All weaved-in ends stayed woven in, mattress seamed sides stayed together, I'm quite pleased with myself.

#6. Got ahold of someone at the foundation sending us on this trip in SIX DAYS and conveyed my teensy weensy bit of stress in not having any documentation or paperwork what-so-ever in a pleasant, friendly manner. We're supposed to have things UPS-ed out on Monday, for us to receive on Tuesday, then we leave on FRIDAY morning, but still the company supposed to pick us up & take us to the airport is, um, NOT BOOKED YET, but apparently this is not stressful to anyone at the foundation, so it must just be me. I even told the lady very nicely, "you know, if I could just get our paperwork, I promise to never call again!"

#7. Did not ram my blazer through the back end of the lady driving the car ahead of me, 8 miles UNDER the speed limit, when I had to get back home to pick up the kids from school and she kept just slowing down WAYYYYYY before the streetlights JUST IN CASE they might turn yellow or red, which THEY DID because we were going so FREAKING SLOW even before she slowed down MORE and there was one lane due to road construction. Did I mention she had TWO Phill Kline for Attorney General bumper stickers on the back end of her car? DID I????? MAN that was hard for me.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Because you just can't milk a finished object too much...

The sizzle sweater after its debut to Garrozo's restaurant last night with Jeff & mom & dad for their 40th wedding anniversary dinner. After we got home we enjoyed the new screened-in porch Jeff built with a few beers.

Note the matching shoes please. I'm quite proud of them. In case I haven't mentioned it 14 times yet, I love this sweater!

Poor pluto. Doesn't get to be a planet any more. So sad.

I'm starting to stress a bit on our big trip that's in exactly 8 days. No paperwork has gotten here yet. Every time I call the foundation, our wish coordinator is all "oh. yeah. well. see....." apparently there's a bunch of kids getting sent off at the last minute without all their stuff coordinated yet. They have to get them done first, and can then get around to my family. yeah. Well, in about 2 more days, WE'RE gonna be one of those last-minute families being sent off without anything in place. cripes almighty. I'm TRYING to be patient since this is a CHARITY and it's free. I can't complain, but I can SERIOUSLY stress out, can't I? I called yesterday again and am trying as hard as I can not to call today, but will probably call just to check in. I'm trying to be understanding and taking the "hey, I know you have a lot going on right now..." tack but it's hard to keep the desperate scream of "WILL YOU GET THIS SHXT ORGANIZED BEFORE I RUPTURE MY BRAIN" come through my voice.

I even went to a power yoga class this morning to help with the getting in shape and also to calm my brain. Holy crap, I always was under the impression that yoga was a bunch of gentle stretches. wow. I think I broke my entire body.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Queen of the Creepy Critters

So, last night on the phone my best friend Jildo pointed out that my blog has gotten quite "knitterly" lately. No good freak-outs, no rants, nothing but yarn and knitting stories. So very sad.

I was thinking on that and you know, life just is too happy lately. I'm quite boring now. I walk my children to school in the morning while drinking my first diet coke of the day *aaaaaahhhhhh*, work a bit, do some household chores, exercise, take a knitting break, work more, then walk back up to school and bring the kids home again. I've turned into quite the June Cleaver (minus the vacuuming in heels & pearls). My children even took flowers grown by ME to their teachers on the first day. sickening, isn't it?

Last night I took an evening bike ride to the library and picked out some new books on Maui and on knitting and was meandering on home down the long hill, enjoying life and thinking, what could I possibly blog about.....when it hit me. No, not an idea hit me, no, that wasn't it. IT hit me.

OK, so not this actual bug, no, he did not survive for a picture. I admit I stole this image of a KS cidada this morning off the internet.

Picture it if you will....riding along, swooshing down a long hill on a sidewalk in the dusky evening. Cicada's making their "wwhhhheeeeEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEeeeeee" and the breeze feels so nice against my face. I've got a backpack loaded with books, a BIG new bicycle I'm riding on that I have to be VERY careful as I stop or I fall over (I'm so not graceful it's pathetic) and this THING hits me in the chest between my shoulder and my neck. I curse, swerve, and try to knock the thing off me since it's decided it wants to STAY and not just hit and run like the average bug attacking a cyclist. Instead of brushing the monster (which is about 2 inches long plus wings) OFF my shirt, I brush it INTO MY TANK TOP. At this moment, I flip the bike over and roll and this thing is doing its screamm eeeeeEEEEEEEeeeeeeEEEEEEeeee and I'm doing my scream "OH MOTHERFUXXER HOLY SHXT...." (use your imagination, I think I even created a few new words in there. I wasn't wearing a normal shirt that you could just pull out or up and get the bug out, nope. I was wearing a nice little tank top with the shelf bra. This worked to HOLD the bugger IN my chest WITH me. I finally succeeded in getting the bug out, my shirt back on (I practically ripped the entire thing off me in the process.) and my backpack retrieved (somehow was flung into the middle of the street and almost got run over), and then I just laid there on the sidewalk trying to catch my breath while shaking off those BIG heebie jeebies, the ones that make you look like you're having convulsions.

This poor woman was walking her little yip-yip dog across the street. The dog was growling at me and she was looking at me like I was a raving psycho, not sure if she should come and help me out or not. I waved and said "it's ok, it was just a bug." She looked at me like I was some freak on a big city street who just peed on myself and was fighting imaginary creatures. Crazy people kind of stick out here in good ol' Overland Park, KS.

WHYYYYYYY do these creatures find ME? What did I do to offend the great bug goddess? Ok, so I've squished a few spiders in my day. I did let that one damn spider that Jeff named Gus live (even though I swear it must have been Guselda since now I've squashed at least 5 in the house that bear a strange resemblence to the original critter.)

More knitting content later. I pulled out the jaywalker sock #1 and started the slip stitches on the heel while working in bed last night.

Damn, I've still got the chills just thinking of that bug last night. I took the LONGEST hot shower I've ever had in my life last night. I can't believe I didn't get hurt on the bike flip. I landed on the grass and don't think I even touched the ground, I was jumping around like a freak trying to get rid of that damn bug.

I didn't share this adventure with Jeff because just the other day he saw me squash a spider and told me that bugs and spiders don't bother him because he is kind to them. He either lets them live in the house wherever they want (not anymore) or gently scoops them up and drops them outside. He said for every bug I squish, another is going to come and make my life hell. It's gonna be a long long life of bugs I'm afraid. Bug kharma. cripes almighty.

ICK. See, now you won't mind my boring knitting content any more, will ya?

Monday, August 21, 2006

How hot is it in KC?

Well, let's just say it's sizzle'in! A real-live FFO! (finished freakin' object) My apologies for more "artsy" pictures. I really did find the timer for my camera, I just can't make it GO on! cripes. AND I'm wearing a putrid orange skirt with the dark red sweater, not showing it off to it's full advantage, but I'm lazy and don't care. ANYWAY, here's what I got! I've still got to stitch the neckline together and sew in 3 more ends, but it's DONE! and I LOVE IT!!! I wish I wouldn't have been quite so modest in my neckline, I think I'll make one more and go lower like the designer did. GOD I love Wendy's patterns! She needs to design MORE MORE MORE sweaters just to make me happy. Is that too much to ask? I finally got smart and did a GOOD JOB of the mattress stitch, taking my time and using pearl cotton thread instead of the big cotton yarn. For those of you cross stitchers out there, I used DMC 498, or as I will always think of it, Christmas Red. It is my best bit of seaming to date. (ok the other seams in the past were really REALLY crappy, but STILL this one looks GOOD!)

That last one is the bikini without the side straps done yet and a buttload of yarn ends to weave in. I am LOVING the tunisian crochet. Once you get used to it, you just crank right along. I'm gonna finish the side straps and then start in on the bottom. It's weird. If I weren't going on this big ol' trip, there's no way in heaven I'd ever spend time and effort knitting or crocheting a bikini, let alone wearing one. I just think it's one of those things I want to be able to say I did. It'll go on "the list". You know that life list that's floating around blogland, where you type in bold the things you've done, like dancing in the rain (done it), buying the whole bar a drink (not on your life, I'm a cheap lush), and stuff like that? I think I need my very own list of cool things to do before I leave this earth, and I think wearing your own hand-created swimsuit on a beach should be number 27.

the list...

Because I'm not creative enough to have my own life list ready to go, here's the one floating around blogland. Feel free to copy & do your own.

Have you ever...

Bold the ones you've done...
1. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula.
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said 'I love you' and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
30. Asked out a stranger
31. Had a snowball fight
32. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
33. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
34. Held a lamb
35. Taken a midnight skinny dip
36. Taken an ice cold bath
37. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
38. Seen a total eclipse
39. Ridden a roller coaster
40. Hit a home run
41. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
42. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
43. Adopted an accent for an entire day
44. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
45. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
46. Had two hard drives for your computer
47. Visited all 50 states
48. Loved your job for all accounts
49. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
50. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
51. Had amazing friends
52. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
53. Watched wild whales
54. Stolen a sign
55. Backpacked in Europe
56. Taken a road-trip
57. Rock climbing
58. Midnight walk on the beach
59. Sky diving
60. Visited Ireland
61. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
62. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
63. Visited Japan
64. Bench pressed your own weight
65. Milked a cow
66. Alphabetized your records
67. Pretended to be a superhero
68. Sung karaoke
69. Lounged around in bed all day
70. Posed nude in front of strangers
71. Scuba diving
72. Kissed in the rain
73. Played in the mud
74. Played in the rain
75. Gone to a drive-in theater
76. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it

77. Visited the Great Wall of China
78. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog.
79. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
80. Started a business
81. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
82. Toured ancient sites
83. Taken a martial arts class
84. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
85. Gotten married
86. Been in a movie
87. Crashed a party
88. Loved someone you shouldn't have
89. Gotten divorced

90. Gone without food for 5 days
91. Made cookies from scratch
92. Won first prize in a costume contest
93. Ridden a gondola in Venice
94. Gotten a tattoo
95. Rafted the Snake River
96. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
97. Got flowers for no reason
98. Got so drunk you don't remember anything
99. Performed on stage
100. Been to Las Vegas

101. Recorded music
102. Eaten shark.
103. Had a one-night stand

104. Gone to Thailand
105. Seen Siouxsie live
106. Bought a house
107. Been in a combat zone
108. Buried one/both of your parents
109. Been on a cruise ship
110. Spoken more than one language fluently
111. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
112. Bounced a check

113. Performed in Rocky Horror..
114. Read - and understood - your credit report
115. Raised children.
116. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy.
117. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
118. Created and named your own constellation of stars
119. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
120. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
121. Called or written your Congress person
122. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
123. ...more than once? - More than thrice?
124. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
125. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
126. Had plastic surgery
127. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
128. Wrote articles for a large publication
129. Lost over 100 pounds
130. Held someone while they were having a flashback
131. Piloted an airplane
132. Petted a stingray
133. Broken someone's heart

134. Helped an animal give birth
135. Been fired or laid off from a job
136. Won money on a T.V. game show
137. Broken a bone
138. Gone on an African photo safari
139. Ridden a motorcycle
140. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
141. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
142. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
143. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
144. Ridden a horse
145. Had major surgery
146. Had a snake as a pet
147. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
148. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
149. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
150. Visited all 7 continents
151. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 5 days
152. Eaten kangaroo meat
153. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
154. Eaten sushi
155. Had your picture in the newspaper
156. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
157. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
158. Gotten someone fired for their actions
159. Gone back to school
160. Parasailed
161. Changed your name

162. Petted a cockroach
163. Eaten fried green tomatoes.
164. Read The Iliad
165. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read,
166. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
167. and gotten 'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
168. Taught yourself an art from scratch
169. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
170. Skipped all your school reunions
171. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
172. Been elected to public office
173. Written your own computer language
174. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
175. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
176. Built your own PC from parts
177. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
178. Had a booth at a street fair

179. Dyed your hair
180. Been a DJ

Friday, August 18, 2006

The new and improved bikini

OK, through a great amount of sheer will I have decided not to burn the sexy little knits book I purchased with my gift certificate. It is important to me that I didn't pay my own cash money for this book since it has pissed me off to such levels. Even with Teri's help, the top of the knitted suede bikini just looks like crap. It doesn't conform to my bod, it just kinda hangs there with a BLAH feeling to it. SO, I'm donating the book (with my own warning label of errors with NO posted corrections) to the local knitting guild. I have found a NEW cooler, sexier piece that I WILL make and WILL wear on the beach at least once on my big Maui trip. Nexstitch's teenie weenie bikini! It, unfortunately, is NOT knitted. It is crocheted. Well, not quite crocheted, TUNISIAN crochet. I'm not sure what the heck that means, but it's got fantabulous little movies to watch and learn. I just so happened to have the long afghan hook needed from a stash of metal knitting & crocheting needles I got from my Aunt Janice (bless her heart she died of breast cancer years back and was the one who got me started on my big ol' infatuation with all things fiber...cross stitch, crochet and now knitting). I'm about 4 rows in and am surviving. I already had blue berroco suede yarn, so I'm good to go. Got to run and find the weird hook things that hold it together. I'll post pics soon.

Because I am the Knitting Virgin, I am not a knitter who just instinctively recognizes when a pattern is going wrong. I now always google for errors on any new books or projects just in case. My perfect example of a GOOD responsible author is to do as Debbie Stoller has on her Stitch N Bitch books. I post these not to show she has errors since almost ALL knitting books come out with errors. It's just going to happen with that many people and machines involved. Responsible, lovable authors post their damn corrections out on the web. I LOVE my SNB books and I'm telling you, I love Debbie Stoller even more now. Here's the links to her books' corrections just in case you are a closet SNB-lover too.
Stitch N Bitch the knitter's handbook corrections and SNB Nation corrections
the Happy Hooker Crochet SNB corrections

That's what I'm talkin' about.

My goals for the weekend are to FINISH my sizzle sweater and get a boob or two done on the bikini!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What I heard this morning that made me snort in a most unladylike fashion...

"It's a sad day." *sigh* was said by this lady next to me at the bank this morning. The teller said "oh, why, did someone close to you die?" "No, my children are all back in school" *sighhhhhhh*

I thought she was kidding, so of course I said "YEAH! HAH!" and then this loud laugh/snort thing came out of me. Ummm. Yeah. She was serious. I think she also is suffering from a frontal lobotomy, but that's just me. I was like "let's break out the booze people....WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!! It's 8:10am!!!" This is my first summer as a "stay at home mom" sorta. I was also having to WORK at home and entertain children and all that. I have been counting down the days, the hours, the minutes until my freedom. It's also good for the kids, don't get me wrong. They had a BLAST and loved their teachers, but Lady, seriously, there's more in life than being all verklempt because your children are not hanging at your sides every moment of the day. Let the little birds fly a bit. You still get them at 3:00pm. No worries. After getting looks of death from the lady as well as all three tellers (who are too young to have children and know the joy of the first day of school ANYWAY) I went on my way and enjoyed the crap out of my quiet morning.

I've now got CONNECTED SHOULDERS on the sizzle, and am ready to sew the sides. WHY can't I ever figure out that damn mattress stitch? It always makes me sleepy. I think I'll bring it along to the Yarn group tonight and find someone to take pity on me.

Here's the parting shot this am before we walked to school. Yes, those are berbera daisies grown by MOI taken to the teachers on the first day. Who wants apples, anyway?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Results of the 3 day diet

Well, it wasn't a 10 lb loss miracle, but it was a good jumpstart on getting the numbers on the scale to start moving. Morning of Day 4....153.2, so 5 pounds gone. I'm sure it was mostly water and other icky things, but still I feel better, ate a lot of roughage and protein and am going to try to eat normally for a few days and do it again. My overall opinion on the deal is "mehhhhh whatever." moderately ok, but I'm a believer basically.

On to more important things....KNITTING! I'm steadfastly trucking right along on the sizzle sweater, not doing ANYTHING else until it's DONE (so not like me, the multi-project-wonder) but I want to see if it fits!!! I'm almost to the top of the shoulders and ready to join the thing. Then a bunch of seed stitching borders around sleeves and v-neck and I'm wearing it one way or another.

I haven't done a thing on the sexy little knits bikini once I got the top triangles done and started in on the bottoms as I got fed up with the entire concept. I think I'll just crochet a bikini as it will probably have a better fit. I'll get my corrections done and forward them along to those interested but otherwise I'm about ready to tank the entire book. I hear there are errors on the other items I was looking at doing too, and they're just not cute enough to warrant that much effort on my part. (Hey, the 5 lb skinnier me is just not as patient as before.) Anyone wanting the book, email me and let me know. I'm done with it.

We heard from the foundation on our Maui trip!!! WOO HOO BABY it's getting close to beach time! We've already received 2 junior metal detectors for the kids to go treasure hunting on the beach, we'll also get boogie boards & life jackets rented for the week for my 2 kids, a family ticket to a big ol' luau party, a 6 hour boat ride with 2 snorkeling locations, private surfing lessons for the 2 kids for 2 hours, and the rest of the week is ours to wander around the beach. I'm trying to figure out what the new flying restrictions are, this NO bringing water on-board, no hand-held electronic devices, etc. is going to be a pain with that long in a plane with 2 kids, but hey, we can make it through anything! I've got to get some good knitting projects picked out to take along. Anyone heard anything on the ol' knitting needles controversy with the new restrictions in place? I'm guessing socks with wooden dpns should be ok. I'll have to check the rest of the stuff. Teresa, have fun on your trip!!!! I know you'll come back all relaxed and tan and beautiful, heck you're going OVER looking all relaxed and tan and beautiful!

Later Gators, we're off to the CF clinic for a last checkup and extra school forms and other fun stuff like that!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Knitting again

I'm BACK! I knit along, all excited with myself, last night about 12 rows on the front of the sizzle. It's just about long enough to split for the neckline and add another ball of yarn. I took the kids to the dentist's for the before-school-cleanings and said, wait a minute, WTF? I'd MAJORLY screwed it up about 12 rows before, where I started last night. cripes almighty. Though I know there are many perfectly logical ways to deal with this, I am a bit of an anal knitter, and this is the FRONT of what should be a sexy sweater that I really want the front and back darts to match for shaping, etc. Basically, the entire time at the dentist was spent frogging and now I'm back where I started AGAIN. *sigh* It is looking cool, though and I'm so glad to have my fingers holding needles again. I get a bit tired in the wrist so take many breaks, but it's still KNITTING!!!!!

Anyone ever heard of the Cleveland Three-Day Diet before? It was supposed to be a big hoax from the 70's, but Karen (wife of Trapper John across the street) swears by it. She said she did it 3 different times and the 2 times before she turned 40 it took off 10 pounds in 3 days and she kept it off. The 3rd time it was after she was 40 and it didn't do much but make her pee a lot. You're supposed to flush your body of toxins, etc. I think it's basically a lot of protein and fiber and water water water which does seem to make me FLUSH a lot, but I don't know if it's a bunch of toxins going down there or what. (sorry, bathroom humor is very lame, but I've been stuck in small surroundings with only one girl and four boys, that's the best I've got) I thought what the heck, why not jump start the old' diet/workout plan because bikini time is coming up in 3 weeks...

Is it a fluke? or is it the best thing to come out of the 70's besides the songs "It's raining men" and "I will survive"? Only time will tell. Starting weight yesterday am 158.2. This am I weighed in at 155.4. I'm sure it's all water, but it was fun to see the numbers go down anyway. I'm getting tired of tuna, but haven't gotten too hungry yet. I'll let you know how it goes. I know I KNOW those fad things never work, but let me believe anyway! I have lost about 9 pounds on the sensible eat less and exercise more B.S. logical plan, but we all need to believe in MIRACLES, don't we? I am proud of myself that I no longer have any backfat. (how sad it is when your back boobies are bigger than your front ones? Can we say "ick"?) My tummy is smaller, and I just have those good ol' thunder thighs. I am pretty happy with how I look, I do have more energy, I'd just like to see the numbers go down, is that so wrong? I also think I've come to terms with realizing women are sexy no matter what they look like. It's in your HEAD and your ATTITUDE. I felt GOOD hanging out in my swimsuit at the water park for the first time in my life. I didn't really care what anyone else thought (a first for me). I just had FUN with my family and didn't worry about it. "Yay Me!" as my daughter would say (Damn Disney shows---any other parents of tweens recognize that quote? It's either "yay Me!" or "aw, snap!")

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back from Branson

Well, I had hoped to have a picture of my completed, or at least almost-completed sizzle sweater to show you all after my trip. I mean, 3 hours down there, 3 hours back as well as misc. time spent sitting around relaxing, right? Unfortunately the only time I spent knitting was on the way down, due to this...

This is what's left 2 days after "the incident." The incident came about due to my normally wimpy-not-letting-go-of-mom's-leg son deciding he was suddenly a man and RIDING HIS FIRST REAL ROLLERCOASTER. I about crapped my pants when he wanted to try it. We'd already done the American Plunge or something (like KC's Log ride but BIGGER hill) where I'd screamed like a little girl and he ENJOYED the big hill. SO, we try the powder keg. LOTS of hills, LOTS of speed, including the fastest I've ever gone up a hill and absolutely the fastest I've ever gone down. This ride had ME hurting, he was very brave until about half-way through, so I reached over and held onto him with all my motherly might and he lived. After walking off the ride, I started feeling this throbbing pain in my wrist. Somehow I'd burst the vein blood vessels in my right wrist and it was black, purple and sticking out by at least an inch and a half. I about passed out on the spot when I saw it. CREEPY nasty thing. We got a paramedic walking through to check it out, who gave me a baggie of ice and a towel and told me to take some anti-iflamatory pills. It's now just a nasty looking old bruise and a bit sore, but at the time, let me tell you, it HURT and I couldn't hardly move my hand. I was so pissed once I found out I couldn't HOLD A KNITTING NEEDLE!!! I can just type today, am going to try to knit very slowly maybe tomorrow. Much ice, aleeve and Mike's Hard Limeades later it was feeling mostly numb and I was doing fine.

Pics from the day...

The last pic is of this quaint Hillbilly Fortune Teller, spin it and read what it says. Mine said "You drive faster than your guardian angel can fly." Damn straight.

OH and the high pressure timeshare spiel...Lordy Lordy! We barely made it out of there alive. Jeff had promised the kids they could be as obnoxious as they wanted. They kept offering to take the kids to the "movie room" or the "kids playland" but we were smart. Their final guilt trip when they had heard "no thank you" 4 or 12 times, was this guy who with a straight face tried to give us a hard time saying "but don't you want to be spending quality time with your children every year, don't you deserve that as a family..." while our kids were (swear to God) standing ON TOP of chairs and tables and jumping off, popping balloons, throwing crayons and belching. I looked at him and said "sir, we take vacations to get away from these monsters." and smiled. He handed us the checkout ticket for our free hotel rooms and we waltzed right out. I highly recommend obnoxious children if you ever find yourself in a timeshare situation. Rent them if yours are too well behaved.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We're off to the OZ again...

Apparently we just can't get enough. This is our first official vacation with the entire brady bunch together. We're heading to Branson, MO to go to "steal your dollar city" aka Silver Dollar City and some big ol' water park. We're doing one of those **groan with me now** DEALS where you go to this horrid 90 minute brainwashing presentation about timesharing in the Ozarks and they give you a hotel room and tickets to the attractions. **GGGGRRRRROOOOOAAAAANNNNNNN** I'd rather fight a hoard of Lake scorpions. Ok, not really. I was totally NOT in the decision process when Jeff signed up for one of those "great deals" as I think they're run by satan's junior army and hate the very idea of them. Ah well, what could go wrong?? HAH!

Seriously, I'm better prepared for this weekend's adventures! I've got extra cashola for if the great deal suddenly falls through, I've got lots of yarn packed, sunscreen, swimsuits, white trash tank top to sweat my arse off in at the amusement park, and LOTS of ALCOHOL!! They were actually out of my new favorite thing on the planet at the local liquor store, Mike's Hard Limeade, so I had to settle for some cranberry/lemonade crappy ass thing, but I'm tough so I can survive. We've got captain crunchberry cereal and milk for the kiddies and Mike's hard cranberries for momma. I already told Jeff he's driving, I'm totally white trashing-it all weekend long. NO hot rollers are going along (yes, I'm still stuck in the 80's get over it, I like my big hair dammit) no curling iron, just one tube of mousse and a ballcap and waterproof/sweatproof mascara and lip gloss. and yarn. what more could we need? OH B.C. Gotta have that. Don't need any more little mouthy children running around, we've been blessed enough thank you very much. LOVE my kids and Jeff's kids, but OH LORD we don't need any little "surprises" do we?

I'm off early in the am, won't post again until at least Sunday night, have a good week! Four loud children and Jeff and me in a big ol' red cadillac driving through the winding carsick-inducing roads (the only thing around here with enough seat belts for the whole gang). Wish me well! I hope to have lovely pictures of my finished Sizzle sweater to post...Finished up the back mostly, put it on its holders and such. It looks to be the right width for me, but it sure is looking LOOOONNNNNGGGGG. Hope it turns out. I'm not gonna stop and count and figure things out as that would just piss me off. I'm just gonna knit. knit and purl. and knit some more. That's it. No thinking, just faith. Lots of faith. Lots of cranberry lemonades. (can you tell I've already dove into the cooler? cripes almighty it's gonna be a good weekend!)

Lake critters and knitting bags

I'm still moving slowly today, thank God for Imitrix! I think it just wipes me out to be around 4 children all the time (we're almost to the end of Jeff's big 2 weeks with his boys and my 2 kids--they all get along most of the time but it's a LOT of kids in a small house). I end up getting stressy and pissy and then migrainey and it's not a pretty picture. How did the mothers of the 50's and 60's do it back when families were all 4-6 kids each? I thought on it last night in an imitrix-induced haze and figured it out. ALCOHOL! Seriously! LOTS and LOTS of alcohol. Plus, mothers could just open the door Saturday morning and kick her children outside into the neighborhood to not be seen again until dark. Each family had a lovely little wetbar on the dining room buffet, happy hour every afternoon to evening....The words inside this card read "Monica, dear, that was a precious little story. Now, be a sweetheart and fix mommy another drink."

SO, this weekend before the total stressybiotch set in, I was knitting along on the sizzle sweater, having myself a good time while children were jumping into the lake, running around after salamanders and tubing, etc. When Sunday late morning came around, I picked up the dirty clothes from the floor, shook things out in case any little baby spiders were trying along, picked up the sizzle from the ground, and WHAT do you think fell out of my knitting bag? Go ahead, guess!

Only, this wasn't a picture of the actual critter. (I was afraid it would eat me so I wasn't gonna go get my camera so I found an image of the bugger online. Apparently Missouri is home to the striped scorpion. lucky us.) After much heeby-jeeby-ing and screaming and a few curse words (ok, more than a few) I realized I was the only one in the house with this monster (AT LEAST 3 INCHES LONG no less). The kids and Jeff & my dad were down in the water at the dock. Mom was sleeping upstairs. I was freaking out, couldn't find anything to smash it with except one of my flip-flops. After smacking it twice, I swear to God I heard it say "BRING IT ON BABY" and it flexed its curled stinger tail and came TOWARDS ME! (I'm covered with chills even just typing this crap, ICK). So, for once being thankful I have big feet, smashed the critter with my 9 1/2 size foamy flippies until it was no longer moving, then gave a huge ROAR of the mighty knitter protecting her yarn. Could you imagine if I took the critter home with me and stuck my hand in to pull out my yarn? OH MY GOD!!!!!!!

Did a few more rows of the back of Sizzle last night, don't exactly know when to bind off the middle neck and start the shoulders, so I put the whole thing on an extra circ needle and am going to hang onto it until I get the front of the sweater done and figure it out then.

I think I've had quite enough of nature for the summer. Nature is best admired through the glass window of an airconditioned vehicle. Less creepy. And I went and found a true love of a nature boy. I'm doomed.

Monday, August 07, 2006

sizzlin right along

SO, while shopping with my best friend Jildo the other day, I came upon a pair of shoes ON SALE for $20 at the Jones Store. The color spoke to me. I am normally not a red-wearing person, but I am trying to get more color into my life (hence the purple sweater just completed and the orange-phase of this summer). I pulled them out of the box to put in the closet (they've been in my trunk for a week at least) and HOW COOL IS THIS????? The same exact color as the cotton yarn I got for my sizzle sweater? How cool is this? very.

The back of the sizzle. I'm knitting it on needles 2 sizes smaller than those needed to get gauge on my swatch. I don't know why the 4" square turned out fine, but the sweater is much larger stitches. I don't really care any more. I'm just making it. I'm also making 1 size smaller than I need, I figure the cotton will stretch sideways and this is one that I'd like to be form fitting. I may curse a great deal if my little experiment doesn't work out, I may have to find a skinny minny to take the sweater off my hands when I'm done, but so far, holding the back up to me seems to fit ok, cross your needles for me! I should finish up the armholes soon but have a stupid says to knit until the armhold depth is 6". Is that measured around the armhole or straight? I don't know. I'm gonna just knit and hold it up against my body until I like the look of it. The sweater is going remarkably fast even though it's good ol' stockinette stitch and I do not enjoy the purling along every other row. I'm such an in-the-round knitter. I thought very seriously about knitting it in the round until the armholes and then going back & forth, but that took too much darn thinking. Maybe if I like it, I'll do it on the next one.

Survived the lake with 4 kids, but ended up fighting a migraine today so am going very slowly.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Gore doesn't look so crazy now, does he?

Geez, global warming anyone? anyone? OH we had a big rain and thunderstorm last night and this morning is positively lovely outside. I sure hope the rest of the country gets this cooler weather soon. It's scary seeing all these people DYING from the heat right and left.

I cast on for Sizzle last night with my red cotton and was debating back and forth on what size to make. ALL my cotton sweaters I've made (ok so I've made ONE, but you get the point) turn out bigger than they should be. I made a REAL gauge swatch. A big one, almost 4 inches square. I even WASHED it. Seriously. I was doing laundry anyway and threw it into the batch. I measured and measured. I changed needles and did it AGAIN. I think the planets must all be out of alignment now, that's probably how we got the cooler weather. It's just wrong, I tell you, for me to be that frikkin organized. wrong wrong wrong. WELL I got gauge SPOT ON and started in. I knit and even measured as I was knitting along and held it up against me and realized after about 4 inches of the back that it's um, TOO WIDE again. cripes almighty. I've heard over and over that cotton sweaters end up migrating wider and wider as they're worn and washed and I want this one to be form fitting, so I picked up some needles 2 sizes too small and frogged and recast on. I'm just finishing the seed stitch border on the back and am about to start the stockinette stitching, I'll check it in a while and see what happens.

I also have the first 3 inches of lace pattern done on the bikini bottom front. I am adding about 2 1/2 inches to the front AND back to see if it can actually cover the goods (have you SEEN the picture of the bottoms, even on skinny minny models it made me cringe). Call me crazy, but though I AM making a teeny weeny itsy bitsy bluu-uu-uu-ue suede bikini to wear on the other side of the earth where no one knows me, I'd rather not make people cry. Thanks to Rina for sending her notes along for what she did on the dreaded bikini. Her completed one looks GREAT!

Got to go, work is calling, headache is headaching and the kids are bouncing off the walls. Not much knitting ahead today, but we're heading to the lake, so I'll hopefully get something done this weekend.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The reformed cotton hater drops some serious cashola

Who IS this woman? The changes us newbies go through on this yellow brick road to total knitting obsession are really amazing. This same woman who burned her first set of wooden doublepointed needles in the grill and danced a little heathen "death to pointy sticks" dance now is soothed by the process of picking up a sock or sleeve working with a series of sticks. This same woman who gave away all her cotton sock yarn because the very touch of it in her hands creeped her out and made her very pissy now went to a big ass yarn sale and spent $200 on COTTON!!??!! WTF? COTTON? Well, it's really pretty cotton. It's weird. I've spent the last few evenings poring through old magazines (mine and Teri's too thanks babe!) and books and it's like they're brand new to me. The patterns I am attracted to now don't even resemble the ones I originally bought the books or mags for in the first place. Maybe I'm growing as a knitter and as a woman. Stranger things have happened.

Enough sappy stuff, we want PICTURES!!!! Right? Well, you're getting them anyway. Click the pics to get them bigger and in all their glory.

My shopping spree at the Studio... I got a Rebecca magazine that I swear I have, but couldn't find the damn thing. FULL of cute cottony sweaters and tanks, another pattern book with cute cottony and nylon/acrylic crap cute sweaters, 3 hanks of pink/orange/grey/purlple cotton for a sweater for my daughter (no pattern picked yet), 2 hanks of blue hand-dyed looking stuff for a little tank for me (no pattern picked and only 400 yds of yarn, so it'll have to be something pretty basic and little), the red is for Sizzle, the blue berroco suede is for the Sexy Little Knits bikini, and the hand-dyed lovliness is 2 hanks of about 840 yds each, destined to become something amazing, I just don't know what yet. It hasn't spoken to me other than to tempt me to spend more money than any woman should buy for fibers that did not come from an animal. Isn't it lovely? HOW heavy would a sweater of that become? I'm thinking I may have to do a little top and return the other one, but I want to make sure I have enough yardage first.

Though this looks like a really ugly bikini, it's actually the parts of cleo from knitty, a summer tank-ish top made out of 2 strands of knitpicks cotton/acrylic blend.

Teri helped me chart the Blue Suede bikini top as it SHOULD HAVE BEEN in the Sexy Little Knits book. Thank you thank you THANK YOU TERI!!! Again, I'm not bitter, I understand errors in printing, you should just POST THE DAMN CORRECTIONS ON THE INTERNET if you publish a book so knitters like me don't have ugly veins pop out in their temples and foreheads at 2am. Seriously, Ms. Designer Lady, you are a published author, you are an amazing successful fashion designer, you are freaking SKINNY TOO, please be nice enough to post the corrections. That's all I'm saying. I took it a step further and actually charted out the whole thing as since I'm making the teeny tiny size on the tops, there wasn't room for repeats and this way looks pretty good. I've still got to attach all the strings and ties and such and do the bottoms, and since the "LARGE" size on the bottom is about, oh, 6 inches too skinny for me, I'll be doing some charting there too. I'll post my chart once I get it officially printed and scanned so others searching out there may have somewhere to start.

OH my daughter is working on her first circular needles project and has about one inch done on her first felted bag with a beautiful malabrigo in blues & greens. Very cute!

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