Friday, June 29, 2007

Getting felt up at the pool (in a knitterly fashion, relax)

OH I love finding knitters. Lately they've been just coming out of the woodwork. I'm not doing anything different, I knit wherever I go. I'm "that knitting mom" when I'm sitting outside school or in pta meetings or in traffic (only at red lights, no worries). My main on-the-go knitting project is a plain old 3X1 ribbed pair of socks, something I can cram in a bag and pull out when I need to. I get into the water and play for a while, but the kids have more energy than I do, so after a while, I head to the lounge chair in the shade and pull out my knitting. I took my lacey tank top (pictured yesterday) along last time I took the kids. I sat there lounging, watching the kids and knitting away. After a while I noticed this mom looking more often and I smiled. She came over to admire. She said she's also a pool knitter, but today she was finishing up a book and didn't have her yarn. I showed her my project and she just lightly petted it with a look of longing. I offered her the ball and project and she SQUOOOOSHED it good. THAT'S a knitter. I loved it. We chatted, we compared, we squooshed, we bonded. I love that shit.

I meet my share of "Oh. You knit. I knit too" people who just stand there LOOKING at you. They're all very nice. They may knit, but they're not my kind of knitters. My favorite people are KNITTERS. Knitters who can't keep their hands off any fibers in the surrounding area whether it belongs to them or not. Nothing's more fun than being offered up a new yarn to feel up. LOVE THAT. Maybe it's just me. Do I offend other knitters when I ask if I can pet their yarns? I think that's the highest praise, to get a "ooooooh yeahhhhhhh" from a person squooshing the fiber I'm using. Maybe I just like being around people as nutty as me, it makes me feel normal.

Speaking of squoooooshy, Check out what Chery brought me back from Estes Park, CO Fiber Fest!!!! Oh holy crap, you just have to take my word for it, but this stuff is heavenly. Great squoosh factor, dyeable, 700 yards of cormo sheep wool. I can't decide if I want to dye some of it first, or knit and then dye or leave natural. It could make 2 pair of socks or a pretty wrap.....oh the possibilities. Did I say my favorite kind of knitter was one that let you feel up her yarn/feels up your yarn? Oh no. My favorite knitters are the ones that bring you heavenly presents of yarn and THEN you get to squoosh all her stuff. Not only did the woman teach me to do the 2socks on 2circs toe-up thing, but she gives me presents? oh yeah.

Here's what's on the needles right now except for 2 pairs of socks that are out in the car and I'm feeling lazy. Jeff's sweater is slowly getting longer, I've got about 20 more rows and then I have him try on again and decide if it's time to start the bottom ribbing. I'm going to be pushing it on yarn, damn I should have bought more at first. I may head out to KnitWits to see if they've got any more of this dye lot in the back. cross your fingers, otherwise I'll do the sleeves in another dye lot if I have to. I've also started a basic rolled edge hat for my best friend out of some brown sheep worsted (love that yarn) and that's the 3rd start of a crocheted ripple blanket for Joey made out of some big ol' pound things of acrylic crap. I've got some off-white and some variegated blue/green/offwhite/brown stuff. I'm learning that when you crochet the last stitch and then you make the chain 3 and turn, your damn blanket gets one stitch longer each time. nice.

My knitter's elbow is now hurting not only when I knit cotton yarn too long, now it hurts when I knit anything. Actually it hurts when I don't knit too. I'm teaching myself how to knit continental and spending more time crocheting to try to give it a rest. It sucks. I do the whole stretching and resting and knitting with my hands in different positions and such, but it's just not working.

Heading to the lake in a couple of days. Bringing one of those ugly floaty things that keep your glasses from sinking to the bottom of the lake. Jeff's going to have his boys for 8 days down at his lakehouse, which is pretty rustic. Since my daughter is gone with her dad for 4 weeks, it's just me and all those boys. Jeff's two and my one and Jeff. They don't bathe when they're "lakin' it". They barely brush their teeth. All peeing is done on trees. (They HAVE a bathroom, it's just not as much fun as peeing outdoors) I think I can handle about 2 1/2 days of this testosterone and then I'm running for civilization. It's a good time, but about 2 days is good enough for me.

Oh, and GUESS WHAT?????? KC has a new knitting shop!!!!! WOO HOO! Teri, the yarn whisperer, also is apparently omnipotent. She knows all, she knits all. She found out about a brand-new just opening shop! MisKnits is located at 3904 Terrace St in KC MO. They just opened up on Monday I think. I'm heading over this morning and will give you guys all the goods.

OH, One more enabling thing.....DSW has their monster shoe sale going on right now. 80% off a bunch of stuff plus triple points if you're a member (which you can sign up for free and then get your bonus points.)

Damn I hate being poor. I'm going to have to behave myself. Mostly. But I need something special to help me get through the whole boys peeing on trees thing, right?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Every little girl needs a little trophy

Well, I did some serious knitting on Saturday out at the KC Soap Box Derby race in KC! My girl raced two years ago, but it was pretty much go down the hill, lose, repeat and go home. This was a whole different girl driving a whole different car with a whole different attitude! She's such a quiet, gentle soul. I loved that fact that after a run or two down the hill and winning them all brought out this competitive, fiery girl (yet still polite as heck and gentle). I haven't figured out where that gentleness came from yet, but I do love it too. The girl ROCKED! She won and won and won and won until there were two undefeated kids left in her division. She finally started driving with a few tiny wobbles (later we found that her steering cable had come loose but you can't do any fixing or adjusting once the race has started) and she just barely lost and then ended up taking THIRD PLACE!!! Can I get a woo hoo? WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!!! I was so proud of the way she hung in there and raced against these kids (only 5 of 19 were girls) and just was such an elegant champion. The trophies are HUGOMONGOUS because this is the big season-ending race (her first for the season since we just got going again) and the winners of the two divisions go on to a week in Akron, OH and race in the world championships. The trophy is only 2 inches shorter than Joey. Elizabeth just about died when she went up and claimed her trophy and saw it was one of the three big monsters. We thought she'd get this nice, normal sized thing since it was 3rd biggest on the trophy table, but we didn't realize the 1st place trophies were in another area so she got the big dog. The car was a kit put together by Elizabeth and her grandpa (my dad) and Dad and some of his car-mechanical-engineer friends tweaked and worked on it hours and hours and hours. Elizabeth practiced and worked on learning to drive the lanes to get the best speed and least wobbles and they all just did great.

Here's a photo of the almost finished Coquette Lace tube top from Stepanie Japel's Fitted Knits book. I'm loving it, but will need to add some elastic thread sewed in around the top and may have to add straps. It's made of cashcotton, so I'm expecting it to get wider and then drop like a motherbugger once I wear it. I'll also wear it with a neutral colored bra, this black one looks funky through the lace pattern. Love this book! I just realized this is the 3rd project I've made from this book (sleeveless turtleneck top and ribbed shrug) and I love them all. I've NEVER made 3 items from one book before. I've also not posted anything about the last 2 projects in the fitted knits blog. Bad blogger. I'll get there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Survived camp but only barely

Monday at camp sucked. sucked hard. Let's just say rain, rain, rain, tiny bit of sunshine that baked the 100% humidity for a little while then torrential rain and wind. more rain. Oh and 26 boys in our troop where everyone else had 6-12. Also two schools joined together and the boys in one school were a titch more rambunctious than the other. I got punched in the side of the throat by an 8 year old the size of a 15 year old. His mom was there. He said he was "trying to tickle" me. His mom said, "oh those boys!" I thought I did well in not saying what I thought of her child and I also didn't pick the child up by the throat. Because boy scout moms are not supposed to do that I'm guessing. I had a good raincoat, so the only part of me that was really wet and miserable was my feet. They were squishy from 9am till I got home at 4:30pm. Let's also explain how much fun I had because I FORGOT MY FREAKING SOCK PROJECT. Sitting on the bus waiting to leave at 7:30am with no knitting. Riding for 20 minutes with no knitting. SItting under the shelter at lunchtime for an extra 45 minutes in the downpour with no knitting. Getting onto the bus early also in torrential rain and sitting there for 40 minutes before we left with no knitting. 20 minute ride home with no knitting. Combine the whole no knitting thing with squishy feet and psycho children (and some very nice and cute boys as well) made for one pissy ass momma.

Tuesday was much MUCH better. No rain, KNITTING and early in the morning I put the fear of ME in the few boys that I was trying hard not to pummel with my highly honed mom looks and one boy I even said if he didn't quit kicking and running away from the group and punching boys I was going to make him walk all over the camp holding my hand everywhere we went and I'd have one of the other moms kiss him. The rest of the day was smooth as silk. The moral of the story? Well if your kid is a pain in the ass, don't send him to camp with me. Joey and his friends had a ball. They shot bb guns, slingshots, did crafts, played games, went for hikes and just had a blast. I have to say my favorite part of Tuesday was ARMPIT FUDGE. mmmmmmmmm For those with kids that like to go camping, this is a must make! In a sandwich baggie you put 2 tablespoons of cream cheese, three little pats of butter, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, I think it was 2 table spoons of cocoa and a splash of vanilla. Smoosh the air out, seal well and wrap up and squish together to mix. In order to properly mix it all up, you've got to melt it down a bit. You stick the baggie in your armpit. Open the top and eat with a spoon and it's HEAVEN. Armpit fudge. It's a good thing.

What was I working on so dilligently at camp? I had my trusty mountain colors barefoot socks for Jeff. Now I've only made the boy worsted or dk weight socks on larger needles. I'd never made him a pair of the sz 1 beauties I make for myself. I didn't measure his foot, nope. I'm a sock knitter. I know how to do these things. I just cast on and went. I also didn't make them toe up so he could try them on. Nope. I was lazy, already had this yarn wound into a pretty cake, I just went to town. Did I have him try them on mid-way? nope. I was cocky. The knitting goddesses sure do like to bite cocky knitters in the ass, don't they? You think I'd have learned, wouldn't you? Well, I had him try one on after it had been bound off, kirchenered and ends woven in. I'd also started the heel flap on the 2nd sock. It looks like I now have an almost completed really dark and manly pair of socks for myself. cripes. They're actually much more dark grey/black with a little bit of dark red here & there than the pic shows. They're comfy. I've got one more ball of barefoot and I thnk I'll be winding that sucker into two balls and MEASURING his damn foot.

And the thing that looks like a dead orange animal laying on my bed? That splash stuff is kicking my ass. Why is it beginner knitters gravitate to that stuff? I think it's hard as hell to knit with. I was trying a drop stitch thing, but it's not working out. It's gonna have to be frogged and started over but after a few days' break. It is soft and looks better in person, but it still looks like a dead orange thing. I'm going to find a cute pattern for this wrap one way or another.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

And the score is.....Knitting Virgin 134 -- Moths 1

I finally got smart and started bringing my own damn lawn chair to the multitude of baseball games we attend for Jeff's two boys. Not only does my butt not hurt from the metal bleachers, this also allows me to be antisocial and knit to my heart's delight. I can avoid being crammed in like sardines and having to small talk with the exwife and also sit back a-ways from the more intense parents. Let me just say HOLY CRAP PEOPLE relax. They're TEN YEARS OLD. This is not the major leagues. HOLY CRAP! Most of the team is from the boys' private school and let's just say a few of the parents are living their lives through their boys a little bit. Just a little bit.

So, while pleasantly knitting away on my really orange socks the other evening in the grass way on the other side of the dugout with Jeff there was an attack. I was divebombed by a kamikazee moth in the center of my forehead. Seriously, this was an attack. Not a randomly flitting around moth flying into my face, no. This thing came at a direct dive from far in the sky and nailed me right in the center of my forehead so hard the thing DIED, or at least stunned itself, fell onto the ground not moving and then I stomped it dead. Jeff almost fell out of his chair laughing. He then explained that the word is out. The moths are out to get me now. I laughed and said bring it on furry critters, I can take it. THEN Jeff irritated me no end by wondering out loud if it was actually a pregnant momma kamikazee moth who was dropping eggs on my yarn before the crash. I laughed a little. Then thought. Holy crap, is that possible? No, no, no. That's silly. No reason to go running home to the microwave. It's fine. I just am thinking a little microwaving once the sock is knit wouldn't hurt anything.

I swear some days I must smoke crack when I'm not paying attention. I'm not much of an outdoorsy girl. yes, I have gone camping a lot lately and have been heading to the lake and doing outdoorsy things, but it's because of the family and honey. I would be perfectly happy looking at the great outdoors through a window from the airconditioning. Ah well. Somehow back in April when it was lovely outdoors I decided it would be FUN to volunteer for Joey's cub scout day camp. Doesn't that sound fun? Well now it's in the 90's, I'm a readhead and sporting a lovely sunburn from TWO HOURS in the sun while wearing slathers of sunscreen and has got to be in the 80% humidity lately. I think when I volunteered I was thinking a couple of hours, should be fun. We have to be at school at 7:30am and don't return until 4:00pm. crap almighty. I've got my water bottle half filled and freezing and my lunch made and my raingear packed. I'm also bringing sock yarn because you just never know. At least there ought to be some knitting time on the bus. Fuxxing outdoors. I'm going Monday and Tuesday. Joey goes Wed & Thurs too. Tomorrow's forecast is for afternoon storms and high humidity.

OH and last Thursday I went to Wamego, KS to visit my best friend in the world, Jildo! We went out for lunch at Chili's in Manhattan and then I talked her into going to the local yarn shop Wildflower Knits and picking out some yarn for me to knit her a hat and a wrap. The girl had never been into a yarn shop before and I totally corrupted her. We petted almost everything in the shop, tried on all kinds of fun samples and decided on some pretty light brown lambs pride worsted for a winter hat and some furry stuff for a shawl/wrap thing. The woman chose furry stuff. I told her only because I love you this much will I knit furry crap for you. It's not actually furry crap, it's very soft and snuggly and in the prettiest orangeish colors of a fiery sunset. But it's furry. BUT Oh we had fun in that shop! I think we must have been in there for over an hour, not too bad for a non-knitter. I gave Jildo a sqaure shawl I'd made from beautiful blues of Koigu that can be worn as either a triangle shawl or a lap blankie. She seemed to like it. It's such a great feeling knitting for people that you love and that appreciate it!

Cross your fingers (or your needles) for no rainstorms in KC tomorrow. Fuxxing outdoors.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Powered up and ready to roll

YES! I found the freaking power cord! (and there was much rejoicing...yeah...yeah...yeah) Monty Python Holy Grail quote, I am that big of a dork. Well, the power cord was still plugged in to the wall in the corner of the office crammed under the big bookshelf full of knitting books and magazines, etc. I totally forgot I was working on the floor last week or so when I last caught up on reading blogs. cripes. Then the camera's cord mysteriously appeared AFTER I went out and dropped $30 at best buy to get some card reader thing since it was cheaper than buying a new camera cord. Man, I'm worse than a little kid. I have ONE DRAWER that my car keys have to immediately get placed in. If they don't go in there, they are GONE. I was working off Jeff's spare set of keys that I wasn't supposed to know about for 2 weeks last time I lost my keys. I now have a drawer for power cords of all sorts. Ok, so it's half of my bra drawer. It works. The good thing is that I'm BACK!!! LOTS of blogs to read and catch up on now.

I promise to post something interesting later, for now I'm just happy to get back to posting! WOO HOO! Here's what I've been working on lately...Completed my two-toned ribbed shrug from the Fitted Knits book. I've already worn this thing 15 times and LOVE IT! Next are two hats made from stash yarn Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Worsted Superwash wool. Joey chose the one modeled by me for his new winter hat (made from Chicknits free hat pattern, the one with the folded brim actually fits me too, but as you can see, I have yet to find a hat that I look good in, so with the super stretchiness of ribbing, will work folded up for my nephew, a toddler. Colors are army-ish looking and look cute on little boys, but Joey's not around for modeling, so you get stuck with my head. He wants gloves made with the remaining yarn, so I'll give them a try. In the 4-item pic are some unbelievably beautiful hand dyed fingering/lace/? weight cotton that followed me home from Cottage Fibers on our knitterly weekend. I don't have any freaking idea what I'll do with it, I just had to have it. AND it was on sale. No idea of yardage, but 4.1 oz for 30% off of $20, can you blame me? It had to be mine. The red tube is a diet coke cozy for my best friend Jildo to check out. I'm using cascade fixation (the stuff with elastic in it) and using the pattern from Knitting with Balls. The dark thing is a freshly turned heel and leg of the first sock of mountain colors bearfoot that is still slowly progressing. The orange is what I cast on to take to the stitch n pitch game this weekend. LOVING IT! Lucy Neatby yarn in vibrant orange and pattern is Hedera. I realized I am, in fact, an idiot. I kept thinking I had the pattern memorized but not quite getting there. So, let's just say this leg will have some wonky lace. I am an anal knitter, but I draw the line at frogging lace socks. Not gonna do it.

OH I had the best knitterly weekend! For the official KIP day, my girls went from 8:30am till probably around 8:30pm. I missed out on the whole getting-lost-almost-getting-carsick fun, KnitWits, the farmer's market (my kids and I did a run-by and fast checkout of the art vendors and told my kids "look for knitters!" but we didn't quite hook up with the girls. I dropped the kids off with my cousin and was kid-free for the rest of the afternoon. I ate really good greek food at the festival, got some knitting and chatting of knitting and gossip in, took the world's longest short-cut across the city to Cottage Fibers and then headed for home. The rest of the gang finished out the day with dinner at the Blue Koi. I finished my day sitting a few seats in front of Jeff's ex-wife facing into the setting sun trying to work on my hederas while sitting through a two hour baseball game.

Sunday I went to the Royals Stitch N Pitch game with my knitterly girls again. HOT HOT HOT and sweaty woooooooo boy. But let me tell you, it was a great game! The Royals won 17 to 5. For those of you non-basebally or non-KC, the Royals really REALLY suck lately so it was quite a feat. The tote bags rocked. I love them. The stuff inside, not so much. I'm not complaining, it's just that hearing about the awesome yarn and needles and accessories knitters got in different parts of the country compared with what we got... ah well. The bags are cool and the day was fun! I'm thinking we need to have knitting be a major part of more weekends around here.

Kids are surviving "camp mom" and I guess this mom is too. I'm trying to work in the am and have succeeded in getting my kids all excited about the reading challenge at the library. Then we either go to the pool or somewhere else on a field trip, farmer's market, bowling, hiking, whatever I can find.

Here's a view of Turdy. Yes, TURDY. I asked Beth why she named her little friend after poo and she didn't even realize that Turty sounded like TURDy. He came to visit our neighbor yesterday and the kids (after a few tears) accepted that it wouldn't be fair to make Turdy live in a box when he could be outdoors with his little turtle mommy and turtle daddy and turtle brothers and sisters we carried him down to the creek. Am I evil or what? Poor kids. I'm sorry, but we just got rid of a PET CRAWFISH that stunk higher than heaven. I'm drawing the line at having ONE DOG as the pet population from here out.

Also Summer Knitty is out. I'm gonna go check it out and see if there's anything I can't live without. OH YEAH, you know I've got to make the backless tank top, and how cute is that skirt on the cover? I think it has my daughter's name all over it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shortest Knitting Virgin Blog post EVER

OK, so apparently my power cord to the new laptop is WITH the camera cord which are apparently NOT IN THIS FREAKING UNIVERSE! I have actual pictures of actual completed items, people.

No time, almost out of power. The countdown's on.

In a nutshell, weekend ROCKED. Mountain Colors Barefoot is totally my new preferred camping/outdoorsy sockyarn. No koigu wimpies allowed. I love my koigu, just not in the great outdoors. Family is great, played poker and drank, OH LORD how I drank with my uncles and cousins and tore it up with my little partner in crime cousin K till 4am. Yes, 4 freaking am. Then I went in and slept on a thin layer of canvas on top of soggy dirt. Not quite mud, not quite dirt. Still, it was a good thing. The food, the KNITTING I got done, if I had pictures and power cords, I'd be showing you. The kids got Jeff and my younger cousins and brother Will & his young wife Raegan and about 20 some people out there and had a full contact two hour kickball game. I had a two hour nap and it was good. In the game, Jeff got drilled so hard in the head that he had blood in his smile when he got up saying he was ok. My sister in law Raegan had a serious bruise on a shin, kids all seemed ok, the teens and 20 yr olds tore up the 30-40 yr olds.

Going to the stitch n pitch this weekend with some of my girls, woo hoo!

I'm leaning towards keeping the orange glasses. Everyone but Jeff and my brother like them. The orange is growing on me and I don't notice the green so much. I figure I can just wear contacts if I feel like I'm clashing too much. Jeff came home from his business trip and told me I looked like that old guy that owns the Oakland Raiders. Art Shell? Thanks babe.

Almost out of power, I've cleaned most of this damned house looking for those things. Wish me luck! I finished my two toned ribbed shrug from Fitted Knits and LOVE IT. damn cords.

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