Monday, November 27, 2006

Knitting DUH!

I didn't even think to post this earlier, but this is definitely knitting related!

The last time (ah, who'm I kiddin, the ONLY time) I was at a Redskins game, I knitted on this:

And wore this:

I quickly discovered that a Redskins game (particularly when they are playing, and beating, the Cowboys), is NOT the place to knit on lace. No sir. So, I put my stuff away and proceeded to watch the game. But, not before someone complimented me on the sweater I was wearing and asked if I knit it. I didn't, but my mom did - about 20 years ago, when Art Monk was a big name player (his humber is on the sleeves). It's really an awesome sweater, and it kept me pretty warm, even though it was a bit cold that day and we were sitting in the "Stomper" section - metal bleachers thrown in under the eaves for good measure, and extra ticket sales! Don't tell the fans in that section that they ain't the lifeline to the team, though - they are just as rowdy as the 50 yard line! OMG!!!

Oh, and who's that I'm snuggling with? :O) That's Courtney. He's responsible for the flowers a couple posts back. He makes me smile. I hope he sticks around for a good long time, cause I really, really like hanging out with him!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Scattered, Random Happenings

Even though I sometimes feel like I have no life (It could be more exciting, I guess), things have been very busy around here lately.

To start, of course, I've been a knitting fiend. I've decided that the two Christmas Knitting projects just weren't enough. So, that great sister of mine gets yet another knitted gift this year! And this for the girl who swears she hates knitted gifts. Either I like torturing her, or I'm purposely coming up with things she will like. Either way, here's the beginning of her knitted package:

There will be store-bought goodies to go with it, but if she doesn't like the utensils I am creating, she can always give them back! I love this cloth pattern. It's the Darrel-Waltrip pattern, found here Does wonderfully with variegated yarns, and I plan to knit the bamboo given to me by my secret pal into this pattern as well. I feel like the texture scrubs a bit better. Who knows if it's true, but it looks good!

I've also been doing this:


That would be one "Sizzle" - looks finished, right? But not quite! In fact, it's being ripped out. I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of the horrible mess I created by frogging Baby Alpaca!!! That stuff does not want to let go! It's a mess. I (*^%$'d up the back of the sweater and will have to spend some time (ha ha) figuring out how to get it back to two live sections on holders and the center of the back bound off. One day. I had visions of wearing this to work last week, seeing as how the end of the SKC knit-along for this one was on the 15th, but the knitting fates had other ideas. HA!

Then, there's been The Boy's swimming class finale. In which the parents are allowed to watch (they aren't allowed to be in the same room for the other classes. It took me a long time to be comfortable with this aspect of the class. Until the one day when I realized how much of a crazy man he is in the water, and thought to myself "I probably don't WANT to know what's going on in there! As long as I pick him up safe and sound at the end of the class, I'm good!") He, of course, is still a fish! He even went over and "saved" a classmate of his who was stuck in the corner and couldn't seem to kick her feet hard enough to propel herself forward. If the camera had been charged enough to be on for the whole 45 minutes, I'd have taken a picture of my son and the instructor both helping this little girl out of the corner. Instructor on one side, The Boy on the other. He's too grown! And, here's the proof that he's still a fish:


He'll be in the "Stroker's" class next time, but we are waiting for Spring for that.

And, finally, Thanksgiving. This year my aunt (whom I have always called "Muffet" - really confusing to me as a child!), her daughter, and her daughter's three teenagers came to visit. With their dog. And my aunt's dog. We had a very, very full house.

The Boy was thrilled. He thinks Sara is his long-lost sister. She agrees. They are inseperable, and I didn't have to play mommy all day long. I love this child. She casts a spell over The Boy each and every time she sees him, and he follows her around like a puppy. Of course, she gets climbed on, jumped on, and trampled, but she appears to love it! See:

Here's all the kiddos:

Here's the dogs:


Here's the "Old Ladies"!!!! My mom, my aunt, and my grandmother. See a resemblance? Scary, huh?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My Christmas Knitting List

No, this is not what I WANT for Christmas (can you say "KOIGU!"???) but, rather, what I plan to knit for Christmas. My SP9 hostess wants to feel better about her list. Well, I'll post mine, but I can tell you, Jody, it's not going to make you feel any better. You are much more ambitious than I am this year! I am only knitting two presents this time. Here's the very, very short list:

1. "Convertible" from Knitty for my mother. She has yet to figure this one out. I tried to hide the bag (yes, I did say BAG) of Koigu Kersti that came into the house by shuffling off three of the skeins to my secret pal for round 8. Hopefully, since that time she has not seen the other skeins flitting around the house. Had she known that 12 skeins of this stuff came in, she'd have probably hit the roof, since, at the time I bought the $100 bag of yarn, I was, well, unemployed!!!! Hee hee! Oops!

This project is going well, but it's lace, and, well, I'm a bit concerned about 1) finishing it in time since one repeat takes about 45 minutes (and there are at least 6 repeats left to go), and 2) where I'm going to block this sucker since I am determined to keep this knitted giftie a secret. Usually my knitted gifts to my mother go something like this: "Hey, mom, I made this XXX, but I think it's too big for XXXXX, try it on. . . Does it fit? Good, you want it?" :O)

I may have to put a certain someone up to a reall big test and see just how tolerant he is of my knitting habit by asking him if I can block it at his house when it comes time to do so. That will be a real test. Yes, he called it "cute" when I knit on this project at the Redskins/Dallas game, but will he really think it's cute when 5 feet of lacy, wet wool is drying on his living room floor or spare bed? We shall see . . .

2. My own version of "Sooper-Secret." I.e. yet another gift I am determined to keep a secret until the unwrapping! Thanks, Lacy (SP8 pal) for the idea! This is my creation for a friend who has stated what they want in a gift. I am just obliging by using my (??) talents to knit it (them) up. I hope it goes well. Here's a preview for those who are curious:

Friday, November 10, 2006


I have been thoroughly offended.

Apparently, the civil exercise of voting was the perfect excuse to STEAL FROM SCHOOLCHILDREN!!! Yup. While my school was being used for a polling place, some thieves decided to take advantage and steal from the building. I walked into my classroom Wednesday morning and thought it looked a bit strange, something was missing. That something was the brand-new flat-screen monitor for my brand new Dell computer. The one that has my grade book, test generators, and stuff FOR SCHOOL on it. I couldn’t believe it. I still can't believe it. It ruined my whole day. Seriously.

But, it gets better - or worse, if you think about it. Apparently, it wasn't just my computer monitor. Nope. It was every new computer monitor in the building. There were only 3 of them, besides the two for the secretaries in the main office. And all three of them are gone. They were in different parts of the building as well, so the stinkin' thieves knew exactly what they were doing and where they were going. They really suck.

But things began to look up as the week went on. Yes, I was still without the monitor (it was actually replaced by a very old, very small, very tired “spare” monitor from the supply closet, but Thursday afternoon, well, the pretties pictured in the last post arrived, and I didn't stop smiling the rest of the day. Not even when I had to send a student out of the room for being disrespectful. I'm not sure he got the hint that I was mad, ‘cause I was probably smiling when I kicked his little tail out of the room! Oops! But they're so beautiful, and such a nice surprise! I'm still smiling.

Then, looky what came in the mail:

A yummy package from my Secret Pal! There is a skein of Plymouth Yarn's Royal Bamboo. I've been wanting to knit with Bamboo for a while! Yay! I get the chance. This WILL be a facecloth just for me (thanks for the suggestion, Pal!) Then, to top it off, the package smells like heaven because it's filled with lots of Lavendar goodies! There's some lavender chocolate lip balm (!!!???!!!). Where in the world does this stuff come from? It smells like chocolate before you put it on, but when you put it on, you smell the lavender right under your nose! Yum!!!! There's also shea butter hand cream - lavender scented, of course, and, and, AND, there's a felted soap medallion from Wooly Scrubs (?).

My mom was admiring the goodies with me, and she swears that my secret pal must have gone to Stitches East this past weekend. . . . hmmmmm wouldn't that be interesting! My pal and I could have been shopping in the same place at the same time without even knowing it. Was she lurking around corners trying to see what I was up to? Is she a neighbor? Is that why there was, amazingly, no postmark on the package containing the goods pictured above? Well, 6 degrees of separation and all that . . . too funny. I love it all, SP. Thanks so much! Two great reasons to cheer up in one small day! :O)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Better Days

'Cause I know someone would want to see these. They really made me smile.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Stitches East - YUM-O!

This weekend, Leslye Solomon gave me the perfect justification for "stashing", "stash enhancement", whatever you may call it. She says that yarn is just sophisticated nesting material, and that women are just being good women by building our nests. I'd say I've got a pretty cushy nest here for myself, seeing as how I took her advice and behaved like a "good woman" for the rest of the day on Saturday at Stiches East.

The East version of Stitches was in Baltimore this year (and will be next year -YAY!), and it was, in my opinion, a huge success. I didn't take any days off to attend, but next year, I'm gonna. At least Friday. And I'm going to take a couple classes and take the time to enjoy the market a bit more. I love it when knitters get together. The compliments fly (it was bascially a weekend fashion show non-stop), people sat down and knit hats for babies, people sat down and learn to knit, people sat down to compare notes, share tips, and discuss what they have been working on, would like to work on, worked on in the past, etc. Incredible.

So, my weekend started with a long drive north immediately after work on Friday. I walked out the doors of the school at 2:25 - shocked all of my co-workers, and tried my best to wait patiently in traffic all the way to Baltimore. I vow not to have to do this next year. UGH.

Friday evening I was hoping to get to the market before it closed, but no such luck. Too much traffic, so I took my time, got a shower, changed, and then headed off to the Fashion Show and banquet. I quickly found a table with one empty chair, and was welcomed quickly into that impromptu little fold of knitters, made up of a smaller groups of knitters from New Jersey, Long Island, and Baltimore. I fit right in, and everyone was very friendly. I had been a bit nervous about going to this even on my own. My mom and aunt couldn't justify spending $75.00 on a ticket, but the joke's on them, because even though I didn't win one of the raffles for various items before the show started, I was one of the lucky ones who won the supplies to knit one of the garmets featured in the fashion show!!! Great Yarns (link later) was generous enough to donate a kit for their Concerto jacket, and it's the most wonderful shades of reds that I could ever ask for. I've been wanting something red lately, and now I have it! FREE! And, without dropping numbers here, lemme just tell you that, even with the $50 I later spent at the Great Yarns booth buying buttons for said jacket, I still came out ahead with that small purchase, the ticket, and probably even my gas to Baltimore and back! Apparently I was very lucky that day! Unbelievable!

The next morning, I had an 8:00 class with Leslye Solomon - Design Your Dream Sweater. I now have more confidence in my knitting/creating skills, and found out that Leslye is a wonderful, smart woman, who has made it very easy for knitters to design their own stuff. You should check it out. Special graph paper with cliffs-notes and all! I'll be trying my hand at designing soon, and I have tons of ideas floating in my mind now. The first one will be to create a pattern to redo one of my favorite sweaters I currently own. It's a storebought silk sweater, and, well, store-bought silk sweaters never last for very long. So I'm going to design one of my own. I love the way it fits, and I'll be very upset when it wears out. Then I'm going to try one for Zac with a hand-warmer pocket in the front. He loves my sweater like that, and shoves his hands in the pocket every time I wear it. So, I figure that's a winner!

After the class, the market was open, and I did plenty of damage. Just looky:

The Haul:

Free "Concerto" jacket ('cause I won it!):

Some of the fuzzies and frillies in this jacket may have to be replaced with more sensible, calm yarns, but it won't even be started until Chrismas break from work/school, so I've got plenty of time to think about it. One of the yarns was that Berocco "fun" stuff with other, brightly colored tissue-y stuff throughout it. I promptly gave it to my Aunt for some wrist-warmers for my 13 year old little cousin.

Corn yarn - yes, you read it right, this stuff is 100% CORN. Unbelievable. It's a really soft, light ribbon yarn that I can't wait to knit up into a scarf. Oh, and secret pal, I hope you're not looking at this, cause some of this is probably making it's way to you, too. :O)

Crappy picture, I know, but I was trying to show the label that says 100% Corn!

Euroflax Linen (!) for a Sasha skirt.

I have to knit this skirt! I heard several people in the booth where I purchased this remark that you'd have to be very thin to wear this. I promptly let them know that I was wearing it no matter what. I think it would look nice on someone curvy (like me), and besides that, it's just fun. It's got four lace rows/ruffles. Not fitted at all, so I think it's going to be very much fun to knit, and even more fun to wear, so who cares if I'm not the thinnest person to wear it. It's gorgeous, and therefore will make me look the same, right? I may have to suggest this to the SKC next go round!

Acero - Brooks Farm. 'Nuff said.

It's gorgeous, right? It's a blend of 60% wool, 20% silk and 20% viscose. It's going to be my first try at designing, too. Don't hold your breath for the updates, but it's coming!

Halloween Festivities!

Halloween, in a house with a small child, is always a busy time. We have been disscussing the costume, the events, and the order of things for quite some time now. Basically, it even worked out like we planned. But better.

The day started, of course, with me in teacher-mode, trying to convince 22 6 year olds that, yes, they would be expected to do WORK all morning long, or there would be no Parade in the afternoon. My school, and many of the schools here, take the "devil-worship" aspect of dressing up for Halloween (yes, I do know the religious, All-Hallows-Eve, foundation of the day, but, apparently, PG County didn't get the memo). So, to make it a purely child-friendly event, we allow the students to participate in a Storybook Parade. We take it seriously. Students have to read a book, do a book report, and even bring said book with them during the parade, where they are dressed up like a character from the book. I was impressed - all but one of my students who dressed up did exactly that. We won't mention the one that didn't. He's a story book in and of himself!! So, here's what my afternoon looked like:

Very cute. My favorites (not that I have favorites) were the Grouchy Ladybug. Awesome!, and Gloria Estefan. She came complete with hands-free microphone! Again, awesome. What was even more awesome was that this girl probably even read the book herself, without too much help from mom. She's an awesome student, and one of the ones that reads on a second grade level here in the first quarter of first grade! I love my class!

Anyway, then the evening looked like this:

And that? That's a gummy eyeball that was waaaay, waaaay too realistic for me. Turns out, it was way too realistic for Zac too. He promptly spit it out after this picture, and he ain't eatin' the other one he found in his candy stash!!! Too funny!