Monday, February 26, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Heard at my house this evening:


I wish my life had a soundtrack so that I could hit rewind and play it over and over, but the memory in my brain is doing just fine for now.

I haven't stopped having fits of giggles all. night. long. Life with a 5 year old boy is waaaaaaay too funny 98% of the time!

(By the way, he was revelling in the fact that he was dressed for bed in a baseball pj top and a soccer pj bottom. It really was innocent fun, which made it THAT much funnier!)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Maryland winters are crazy. Absolutely. Crazy. This year we had the longest Fall ever - it stayed in the 60's and 70's well into December. Matter of fact, I was wearing short sleeves the week it turned over into "Winter" officially. And everyone said - this will make for a hard winter.

Well, "they" were right.

We had a "major winter storm event" this week. Snow, then sleet, then freezing rain for so long that we had at least 1/2 inch of ice on tree branches and oustide surfaces yesterday. The power is/was out all over the place, apparently the hardest hit area was Prince George's County where I live. I haven't been to work/school since Tuesday afternoon. And, since I have to go have a root canal tomorrow, this is a mini-vacation for me! I only taught one and a half days this week - what a vacation indeed!

The Boy has been having a great time. He thought it was wonderful to have the power out even though it was freezing out. That meant that all his people - Mommy, Gaggi, Pop-pop, and Grammy (even Ben, the cat) were stuffed into one room together. Not just one house, nosiree, but the same stinkin' room! Absolute HEAVEN for him. Thanks to the woodburning stove, all that togetherness was actually quite comfortable.

We had pots of water on the stove for hot drinks, and one warming up (actually BOILING!) soup for lunch. We were snug as 6 bugs in the same rug. The power came on at about 5pm, so we were only out of power for about 12 hours. Not a bad deal. Some folks were not so lucky, so I hope everyone was able to find a way to keep warm.

Of course, I did a fair amount of knitting with no power sources available for distracting me. I finished just about the whole front of my Greek Pullover.

For some reason, though, now I really want to finish up the 6th Sense Sock I have been working on to complete the pair I promised my mother. I've been working on them forever, but the pattern is really detailed, so I get antsy knitting it - it takes about 3x as long to go around a sock with a very textured pattern as it does a plain one, and since I've done a bazillion plain socks, it just seems odd to me! But, I'm ready to buckle down, so I'm about to go back to it, but wanted to post these awesome pictures of our winter wonderland first.


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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cheater, Cheater!

I have never been very good on a diet. Two weekends ago I went to the yarn shop for another little giftie for my SP9 pal, and left $$$-something later, with this:

Okay, so this is actually SOCK yarn - one of the allowables on the yarn-diet. I may or may not use this for socks, tho - I'm thinking another one of these, so this purchase may have actually been illegal. The jury is still out on this one.

Hmmmm, try as I might, this is definitley NOT sock yarn, and 100% illegal. In my defense, I think I was hypnotized by the dazzling deep purple color of this. Plus, it's Misti Alpaca. C'mon - a girl can only be so strong when faced with that kind of softness! Guilty as charged.

This is 100% an allowable purchase. Not only is it sock yarn, but it was purchased as a gift. I plan to send this to my former MIL. This yarn shop has this yarn specially made for them. I think it's even officially called "Knit Happens." The real point is, it's pink and green, the official AKA colors, which Joyce is still very active in, and loves. I hope she has fun finding a use for this yarn. I think of her every time I see those colors, and since she's a knitter/crocheter too, I know she'll like it.
Oh, and on a last note - Winter has finally arrived in the DC area. Last week it snowed and, as usually happens around here lately when there's snow, we were visited by a tiny angel:

I love it when that happens!


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Here We Go! SP10

So, SP 9 ended last month (technicall), although my pal is still going to recieve something mentioned in the post below (just in case she's reading this now, I'll leave it a mystery!), and my own pal gifted me with this:
this past week. (Thank you so much, Bentley! You were a GREAT pal!!)I'm glad I wasn't the only extended gifter around. The three months really flew by, and I was thinking I had a bit longer than I did! Everyone appears happy, tho, and I am getting another chance in March with SP10! Here's the survey:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love, love, love anything soft – alpaca, merino, bamboo, etc. If we’re talking name-brands, I love Koigu and Misti Alpaca to death!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Several small bags specifically designed to hold needles and notions – I’m surprisingly very organized on this end!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting for about 9-10 years, and would consider myself an intermediate knitter. Could probably be advanced if I were a bit more adventurous, but I love “predictable” knits and/or things that I am confident I can complete. I rarely go for super-challenging things like colorwork (although have been considering a very textured cardigan).

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Nope

5. What's your favorite scent? Lavendar

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? My sweet tooth has gotten me into the middle of a root canal, but I still love Hershey’s Kisses and Skittles! YUM-O

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? Because of time, I only knit right now. I have tons of goodies to do scrapbooking for my son/family but never seem to get around to it – I usually have to wait for a snow day (like today!)

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I am a huge jazz fan, and got an i-Pod for Christmas. My computer and i-Pod entertain me all the time now!

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? My favorite all time is red! There’s nothing I really don’t like, but I tend to steer clear of yellow by itself (it can be lovely in hand-dyed, tho).

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I currently live with my son, mother, father, and grandmother in one itty-bitty house! Hopefully will change soon!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? All of the above.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Socks, hats, shawls

13. What are you knitting right now? I am in the middle of a shawl (Flower Petal from currently kicking my arse, and a sweater (Greek Pullover – IK 2005), and I’m madly planning a hat collection for a friend who is expecting her second baby in the Fall.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Circular in any form, although wood is the top choice if available.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I have a swift available to me – it belongs to my Grandmother, and one day, I’m sure, will be mine!

17. How old is your oldest UFO? You don’t want to know! I have the pieces of a sweater on my desk that is over a year old, but I am unhappy with the way it is going, so really it needs to be frogged!

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? TURTLES! (I’m a University of Maryland alumus – Go Terps!)

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I want to collect the Yarn Harlot’s books – I really love her wit and humor, and she's a master knitter! I already have "Knitting Rules!", and also have a gift subscription to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Not right now – I want to master what I know already!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am a sock knitter. My foot is a size 8 ½ to 9, women’s US.

23. When is your birthday? May 6.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lesson Learned

Okay, so, apparently, I'm a knitting idiot. This is a fact I have completely ignored and/or convinced myself otherwise up until today.

Actually, it all started a few weeks ago. I was busily knitting on this when I discovered a mistake. I attempted to fix it by dropping back a couple stitches just where the apparent mistake was. But, no dice. It's EXTREMELY hard to redo yarn-overs and lace accurately, and I'm no Yarn Harlot or anything, so fixing it was a big deal, but I thought I could eventually fix it. "Lifeline, schmifeline" was apparently my creed.

After I was finished unsuccessfully fixing the mistake, I decided to suck it up, and leave that one mistake in the middle of what will ultimately be THOUSANDS of stitches in the finished shawl. Trying to remember that really, I am NOT perfect, I pressed on, accepted the fact that there will be a mistake in the finished product, and began knitting again.

Now, apparently once is not quite enough to teach me a lesson (such as the extreme value of a lifeline), and I neglected to put one in even then!!!


So today, that little oversight bit me in the ASS!!

I discovered, again, the need to correct a mistake. So, since there was no lifeline to help me out, I had to resort to tinking, ever-so-slowly, the two rows needed to reach the mistake (a couple missed increases across the row). The tinking had been done, now it was time to re-knit. I re-knit one RS row, began to work the purl row between, and discovered a funny-looking stitch. I have absolutely no idea how the stitch got so crazy looking (it appeared as if it just materialized out of thin air - I tried to drop it back to fix it, and the yarn that created the stitch seemed to be attached to . . . . . . nothing!

I have no idea what happened to create it, or what the heck I did to "fix" it - see the pics - it's not really fixed at all, but, uh, kinda like the first mistake, it's now a part of this shawl for better or worse! From the front it's a bit twisted, and on the back you can see all the extra yarn that magically materialized! Say it with me "WTF??"

And, lesson learned - I have inserted a lifeline at this point, so that future errors won't do this crap to me again. The problem is, I now have 71 stitches between two of the markers, and 73 stitches between the other two (to include the one area where the "problem" was). So, now I have yet another dilemma to solve!

Good thing it's SuperBowl time . . . !

Wish me luck!