Monday, March 31, 2008

And Again

My son's school is taking over my life.

Well, not literally. Not as much as it could be, I guess.

They are STILL closed. Still.

I do understand, and I have it a bit easier than some other parents who don't have retired/semi-retired parents in the immediate vicinity, or backup daycare at the drop of a hat. So, I'm not feeling it as much as others, but I am very concerned about his schooling. This has been a 2 1/2 week Spring Break so far. Notice I said "so far." We hope the school will reopen on Wednesday, but basically we're waiting on the county to file/approve paperwork, and, well. I work for said county, so I definitely won't be holding my breath!

The other reason that they are taking over my life is that there is an annual auction at said school. This year, it's being held at one of the historical mansions nearby. For "cocktail" hour. It's a black and white event, and I've not only got new duds, but I've decided that I NEED to finish my Swan Lake/Mystery Stole 3. In 12 days. I think this is doable, but since I don't think I ever finished printing out clues, this might be my version of Knitting Olympics right here, right now. I'm knitting it out of Brooks Farm Acero, in black. It really is lovely, and this will be the perfect event for wearing it. I MUST get it finished!

The really horrible part is, I stopped knitting on it this past Summer because I'd made a mistake I was too lazy to figure out. Not having a lifeline on a lace project can be a real bummer sometimes. And, surprise, surprise -- it didn't magically fix itself!

So, I spent all evening Sunday ripping back to the point just before the wing was to begin. That's the last place I could 100% say I knew where I was. Since I was already on line 80-something of the wing clue, that really, really hurt. I spent so long trying to get back to a place where I thought I'd be okay, but you know lace and yarn-overs and such. No dice. For this knitter, at least.

Here are some of the beads I had to pop off as I was ripping back.

And here's the new wing as of the beginning of Dancing With the Stars tonight.

Basically, I'm halfway finished with this stole, I think. I did a tad bit more this evening during Dancing, and while gagging my way through an episode of The Bachelor.

Is it just me, or has the bachelor gone down hill? Seems they scraped the bottom of the barrel for the "chap" they brought over from London, and the girls just seem to be trashier than usual. An over-abundance of trashy-types this season. Wahoo. I could really care less at this point! If I wasn't too absorbed in my new wing, I'd have changed the channel, but that would cut in on my knitting time!!!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

How Lovely!

My son's teacher called yesterday. Yup. On a Saturday. That can NEVER be good.

She said "There's no school Monday or Tuesday."

Wha????????????? . . . . . . . . ??

Me: "You're kidding."

Her: No - they need to update the security systems and get up to fire codes, so we will be closed.

Me: "But I was supposed to be 'alone' on Monday. I go back to school on Tuesday!"

Her: . . . crickets . . .

I know, I know. Don't shoot the messenger.


Okay, so I'll go back to the originally scheduled post, which was to show all the lovelies I've been finishing up, and update you on the fun we had before we realized that this is the Never-Ending-Spring-Break.

We had a full schedule for break this year. Gotta keep him busy, or he'll drive me batty. Here's how it went:

Monday - hang out, do some shopping, go to a Wizards basketball game - cheap seats, see everything, good time!

Tuesday - kidnap a neighbor friend for bowling, pizza, Cold Stone (yum), the local/awesome park playground, then drop said neighbor off at his daycare so we can make it to YOGA!!! Great day!

Wednesday - leisurely morning, mom fixes breakfast!!!, catch Horton Hears a Who, have a late lunch, bring The Boy back in time to meet his dad for dinner while I go to YOGA. Wonderful. I can handle this. I am Mommy of the Year!

Thursday - Our "getaway." We head into Baltimore at about 11:30, have a smooth drive up (he's learned to give me PLENTY of notice when he needs to potty), get in town about 12:30, stop to pick up tickets for our tour (more on that later), find out we'd better take the 1:30 tour instead of the 3:30, cause we're the only two booked for the later time. Okay, no problem. We can do this - we head off to Subway to share a sandwich and allow The Boy to run amuk on the ride/machines in the eating area.

I wonder why none of the other mommies is putting any money in said machines. Just letting their kids climb, jump, and sprawl all over them. . . .????? Hmm. . oh well. We eat our sandwich, and The Boy heads back over. He wants a ride on the rollercoaster simulator, so I fork over a dollar. Make note of the sign saying two kids, MAX, everyone seated, blah, blah, blah. . . walk back to my table, turn around, and see 20 kids hanging off, climbing onto, pulling themselves up to the seat that's now got WAY MORE than 2 kids. Funny thing? NONE of the other mothers (whose kids are about to loose fingers and toes, or kill themselves by falling off and hitting their heads on the hard, tile floors - NONE OF THEM go over and tell the kids they shouldn't be doing that! Nope, just me. I walk back over (cause they're not my kids in peril), restate the 2 kids rule, look several kids in the eyes while in my teacher voice saying "you shouldn't be doing that!" and walk away. I get evil stares from other mothers, but still, no one gets up or tries to retrieve/save their own kid. Lovely.

On to the tour. We took the duckiest tour in town. HA HA. It was on the Duck Boat, and it was actually pretty nice. They took an old army war vehicle capable of land and sea travel, and outfitted it with bus seats and a sound system, drove us around town while giving some pretty good city history (I finally figured out where Poe is buried - although the creepiest part is that the church that owns the cemetery actually built ON TOP OF the gravestones - creepy), then threw us into the water and continued the tour.

The strangest part was this:

Now, I know it looks like the driver is sleeping or at least checking to see if his shoes are tied, but I swear he's checking gears or something. Look out the windshield. We are driving into the water!!! No more road in front of us, just water! we actually drove into the harbor! This day they only took us out there and turned back around because the winds were pretty high, but normally, from what I understand, there would be a good bit of the tour from the water as well.

Here's proof that it was Baltimore - The Boy with the Domino Sugar plant behind him. Classic Baltimore waterfront skyline.

Oh, I forgot to mention the best part of the whole tour - see the woman just behind the driver in the mirror? She's got the gem of the tour - a quacker! We all got duck bill kazoos! The kids loved them, and let's just say the adults made good use of them, too. Something to do with the YMCA song. I'll let you fill in the blanks with your imagination. It was Spring Break, after all!

After the tour, we were still undecided as to just what we were going to do. We've been to the Aquarium a zillion times. And amazing though it is, I just wasn't feeling it. I was trying to get The Boy to agree to Port Discovery, but he hasn't been since he was about 2 1/2, so he's not too sure exactly what's up with that, and I think it would be better with a friend, so we finally decided to take advantage of the historical ships in the area, and bought a ticket to give us access to all of them. There are 4 ships (USS Constellation, Lightship Chesapeake, US Submarine Torsk, and the USCGC Taney), and a lighthouse, which is free all the time. Not a bad deal - I think together, the tickets were $23.00.

A HUGE group had just gotten on the USS Constellation, so we decided to save that one for the next day. We went around to the Lightship Chesapeake, toured around it for a while:

then headed for the hotel. That was about all The Boy could handle - he had the POOL at the hotel on his mind, so we went to move the car and check in.

When we first checked into the hotel, things looked fine. Very promising, no issues here. That was at first glance. The first drawback was, the pool was still in "off season" hours, which meant that we had to wait until 5:00 to go in. Not a big problem, really. The Boy watched some Disney, I knit on a baby hat, and we were just fine. Here's the hat that I finished later that evening:

It's the newborn version of the baby hats in One Skein. I'll make the bigger version later, but the baby's about to be born any second now, so I had to get a move on. It's for my yoga instructor. I kept saying "gotta do" and now it's time!

I'll continue here tomorrow. It's about to get very interesting. Or, slightly embarrassing, depending on who you are and how you look at it! I've rambled enough for now, though, so I'll leave with one final picture - my FINISHED sock kit bag for my Hogwarts Pal. I am so glad to be finished with this one, and really happy with it. Not that it was a pain or anything, but I anticipated a different finish for it is all. It involves mail order mixups, some silly grommets, and one confused knitter, so again - a story for another time. Enjoy the pretty picture (and, of course, The Boy insisted he be in the picture).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sister O' Mine, Look Away!

I FINALLY finished Sooper Seekrit. Although she knows they are for her, maybe my sister won't look too closely at these pictures? Who knows. I am sure she will like them, having seen them or not - when her feet are warm and snuggly, she won't care if the surprise has been spoiled (will you??).

So, here they are. . .

This is the first socks I have knit with any of the Potters Covers yarn from Dharmafey, and I must say (again), she is BLOODY BRILLIANT! Not only would I never have figured these colors would look good together (they totally do), but her depth into each story/illustration/book is really amazing. This colorway was from Book 1, HP and the Sorcerer's Stone. And, look closely now. . . there are 'STONES' IN THE FRIGGIN DYE JOB!!! Little flecks of red that take up almost exactly one, single stitch. Just like a stone. Un-believeable. I love it!

I first grabbed this yarn thinking - I need to make my sister a pair of socks for her cold feet this Winter, and what better to use than Potters Covers since, as she has already been quick to remind me (before she knew that they were, indeed for her, that she is the one who introduced me to all things HP. But that's a story for another time.

After I started knitting, I thought - 1. Man, this yarn has a great sheen to it! 2. I'm lovin' how the colors make bands together that go around the sock. and 3. I wonder if my sister will send me HER Sorcerer's Stone yarn if I send these to her???? (Cause, see, a couple times I considered knitting them in MY size instead of hers. . . I know, I know, but look closely at the pictures, the heel is totally too short for me - they're hers all the way!!!)

I can't wait to knit up another pair of socks from the Covers club. I'm thinking I should start with the latest - Half Blood Prince, which is purple and green, for St. Patrick's Day. If I do manage to get them cast on before the end of the month, I'll go for it.

Here's the scoop:

Yarn - Dharmafey's Potters Covers sock club in "Sorcerer's Stone"
Pattern - Wendelin socks, from Quietish (BRILLIANT toe-up pattern)
Size - I followed the pattern pretty much exactly for this, although I did alter it a bit for my first HP pal (hi, Rani!) who has very thin, delicate ankles - I only used 56 stitches for hers.
Time to knit - FOR-E-VAH (I have knitting ADD)

I'm off to cast on for a baby hat, since I finished an item. Nope, nevermind that I have several works in progress, or that I have a set of socks who need their toes straightened out, or that I cast on for another Juliet on Sunday. I care not. There's a baby coming (and soon), and I need to get knitting! Think I can make it by tomorrow night's yoga class???????


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Picture update

Hey, y'all. All I have time for is a basic picture update right now. It's officially Spring Break, the boy is with his dad for one last day, and I NEED to enjoy my last minutes of freedom with "nothing" to do. I plan to 1) watch Pride and Prejudice, while 2) finishing Sooper Seekrit, then 3) going to yoga class. I refuse to answer the phone. Every time I do, someone needs me to do something. I'm on "my" time, and I refuse. I'm not even cleaning, though Lord knows, I need to. I went to church this morning, so I feel very justified in taking the rest of the day for "rest." :O)

Anyway! Yesterday, I went to see my sick auntie. She's had shingles, bless her heart. I do not EVER want to get this. I WILL be getting the vaccine as soon as I am old enough, and continuing with my yoga practice to make sure I am never feeling stress enough to allow this stuff to come out in me! It's serious, y'all. She has been miserable, and my mom and I figured some company that could take care of itself and not care if her carpets needed vacuuming was just what she needed.

We took some crafty goodness with us:

We needed to work on making handprints into fish. My mom is making a quilt for my son's class to auction off, and she'd already gotten them to make their handprints, but then the technical part of making scales and smiles was needed. This worked like a charm to pep up my dear auntie (who I call "Muffett"), and she was off to being creative, which she really has a knack for. I even had her do The Boy's handprint, cause I didn't wanna mess it up. Look at this final picture. Any of the fish who have their scales on backwards were done by me. I suck. But, they are cute, and once in a while, fish swim to their own beat, just like people, right?

Then, I also had the chance to felt the bags I've been meaning to. I LOVED IT!!! Here's the one for my Hogwarts Pal:

And here's the one for me:

Forgive me for not mentioning the patterns, I need to get to lounging, and I've actually misplaced the pattern for my bag, but I will do some searching when I get around to cleaning this week, and I'll report back. Promise!

Hope everyone is being crafty and productive, healthy and happy! Happy Spring Break!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Good grief!

Quidditch ~ Round Three

1. When Rita Skeeter prints a bad articles about Hagrid in the Daily Prophet, which Professor teaches Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class while he is away?
a. Professor Trisonikly
b. Professor Snape
c. Professor Grubbly-Plank
d. Professor Meshdeh

2. What was the article Rita Skeeter wrote about Hagrid called?
a. The son of Fridwolfa the Giantess
b. The Truth About Rubeus Hagrid
c. Dumbledore's Giant Mistake
d. Half Giant at Hogwarts

3. When the school champions were being chosen from the Goblet of Fire, whose name cam out first?
a. Fleur Delacour
b. Viktor Krum
c. Cedric Diggory
d. Harry Potter

4. What is the spell Ludo bagman says to magically magnify his voice when he commentates?
a. Sonorus
b. Sonafy
c. Lumos
d. Sonatus

5. What kind of dragon did Cedric have to face in the first task?
a. A Hungarian Horntail
b. A Swedish Short-Snout
c. A Welsh Green
d. A Chinese Fireball

6. Who raised the trophy after winning the world cup?
a. Troy and Moran
b. Troy and Quigley
c. Quigley and Moran
d. Lynch and Connolly

7. How many bedrooms did Mundungus Fletcher claim to have?
a. 4
b. 8
c. 10
d. 12

8. For what did Moody mistake his birthday gift of a carriage clock?
a. An intruder
b. A basilisk egg
c. A bomb
d. A Blast-ended Skrewt

9. What did Mr. Ollivander produce for the end of Cedric's wand?
a. A bunch of flowers
b. A fountain of wine
c. Twittering birds
d. Silver smoke rings

10. The dark mark is on Snape's left arm.
a. Yes
b. No

Picture Scavenger Hunt


A Basilisk

Mundungus Fletcher

Amos Diggory

Posted by Cassandra Puddlemere at 8:33 AM 2 comments

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spreadin' the Luv

Apparently, I am destined to share this gift I have for luvin' some yarn. My sweaters have been making a splash at work these days. Juliet and Tree are always big hits when I wear them to work. The Duster has made two appearances at work as well, but I think (not to ring my own bell or anything) that it's just too "too" and nobody asks if I made it, cause they just figure I couldn't have. So only one or two comments. Overall, I think Tree is the favorite.

But I digress. With all my advertising lately, I have two teachers who keep asking me to 1) teach them to knit, or 2) help them "read a real pattern." I'm taking that to mean more than a scarf, cause that's what they already do knit. No problem, just get me over the 3rd quarter report card requirements, lemme rest for a good week and two days, and I'm there! After Spring Break, I hope to set up a coaching session one day a week, or give more help if needed, like to the one teacher who wants to learn. I'm all for creating another addict, I mean KNITTER!!!!

My knitting also had a starring role (well, okay, a walk-on part) in the school's Motown review/play today. The student who was to play Mrs. Barry Gordy was to be on stage for a while, and needed something to do, so I taught her to knit. She picked it up really quickly and seemed to like it. So much so that she tried to show a friend how to do it. Apparently, it's a bit hit with the students AND the administration - it kept the two girls quiet for quite a while at rehersals, which apparently is sayin' sumpin. Tonight they both chased me down the hall when I returned to help with the play, asking when we could get together so that I could help them knit.

Spreadin' the Luv. Oh yeah.

I've also finally been nominated for that blog award. Which is cool, but I need to finish report card comments first. I know. Lame, but hey, I'm a busy woman! I have several people in mind, kinda wondering if I can keep it to 10 or if I need to make my own rules. . . hmmmmmmmm


Saturday, March 08, 2008

SO! Silly. . .

Yesterday, I was dying for some caffeinated goodness while I was driving. I just HAD to have a diet coke. Just my luck, no fast food places around, and only one run-down, rinky dink gas station with a set of vending machines on the side. I decided to go for it, and use my "toll change" in my car to get a soda from the machine, so I pull over. Then I remembered that most machines these days take dollar bills (or more), and dug out a bill to take up to the machine with me as well.

I get up to the machines and see that there's already a guy there, reaching his hands through the chain-link fence they've got securing the machines (what a world we live in), and can't quite reach the machine. Huh. He starts mumbling about the "guy" that's coming to help, and how he's taking too long already. Apparently, we're both dying of thirst and caffeine withdrawls!!

We wait a few more minutes, a bit more grumbling goes on, and I hear someone else approaching. Thinking it's FINALLY the "guy" I don't even turn around. Then, a voice from behind says "Mention my name real loud, and I'll bet he gets over here." What the. . . ? Who the heck is THIS who thinks so highly of himself?

I turn around, and I'm looking DIRECTLY IN THE FACE OF SEAN COMBS (aka "Puffy" "Puff-Daddy" whatever-the-heck he's calling himself these days).

Uh. Okay. Dude, why the heck are you lining up for a vending machine? Don't you have ten zillion sodas in your limo? And what the heck are you doing on Route 301 in Upper Mayberry? I say as much to Puffy, who just gives me a charming smile and continues to wait.


I turn to look for said limo, and see that he's just driving the Hummer today, so maybe he really doesn't have sodas himself right now.

Could be.

Soon after, the problem is solved, all those waiting get their caffeine, and go their separate ways. Puffy got a Sprite - is that his current endorsement??

As I'm getting in my car, I think "Man, I've got a really great blog coming about THIS afternoon adventure!" It'll be the most exciting one this year, next to the great Tilted Duster post that everyone liked so much! Aren't my blogger friends going to be jealous of THIS one!!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you - I was dreaming the. Whole. Thing. Even the part about blogging about the dreamed adventure!!!

I think something's wrong with me.

What the heck was THAT about???


Thursday, March 06, 2008

You Are a Red Crayon

Your world is colored with bright, vivid, wild colors.

You have a deep, complex personality - and you are always expressing something about yourself.

Bold and dominant, you are a natural leader. You have an energy that is intense... and sometimes overwhelming.

Your reaction to everything tends to be strong. You are the master of love-hate relationships.

Your color wheel opposite is green. Green people are way too mellow to understand what drives your energy.

I love these sappy quizzes. I kinda figured I'd be red - it is my favorite color, after all!

I'm still struggling with my knitting, but this time I KNEW it wasn't going to work out. I began to cast off my pal's bag with too little yarn left to cast all the way off. Grrrrrrr. I'm so silly sometimes. Now I'm looking into the crochet cast-off. I really don't want to rip another single stitch on this bag. I'm SO beyond ready for it to be over.

So, the only reasonable thing to do is to completely ignore it, and knit on my sister's "Sooper Seekrit." I'm sure it will fix itself.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Time OUT!

Currently, all of my knitting projects are in time out. Or, maybe I've put myself in time out, since it's all my fault. Either way, both the projects I have been able to work on in my scarce spare time lately have become huge PIA's, so they are in time out. First, I realized I picked up incorrectly on my Hogwarts Pal's project bag, so now I can't for the life of me figure out where to put the holes for the straps. Lovely. I've tinked and re-knit the strap row SEVERAL times more than I care to count. Dang.

Second, I'm up to knitting the toes of my two-at-a-time mismatched socks (supposed to be done by the end of February) and, even though I've knit a bazillion socks in the past, this time I forgot that you CAN'T knit the decrease rows every row, or you get seriously messed up toes. DOUBLE DANG!!

So, with that said, I'm not even going to ATTEMPT to touch the Clapotis I'm working on, for fear of screwing that up, too.

I think I'll go read some Harry Potter till I get sleepy enough to go to bed officially. Since it's midnight, I feel justified. Hopefully my mojo will return tomorrow.