Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Public Service Announcement

Two words: back up. Back up your computer files. Back up your photos. Back up everything on your computer that is difficult or impossible to replace. Especially back up pictures of your young children when they were babies. Failure to do so could result in long lectures from your husband with suggestions on ways to save photos, all of which are obvious and easy to implement. All of which are also all that and more of what you have already been lecturing yourself.

Back up your computer. Your sanity, and marriage, may depend on it. This has been a public service announcement.

As me how i know.

As you may guess, our home computer has crashed. A .exe file is missing or corrupted. An apparently invaluable file, that is essential for Windows. Our only hope is to take the whole tower to geek squad and see if they can pry our pictures out of the hard drive with the virtual equivelent of a screwdriver.

Today, it is all about the system32\ntoskrnl.exe file.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bam! Zoom!

I have exited the knitting black hole with a bang. This past weekend, the kids were playing happily together, the laundry was spinning, and I was a hunting widow. So I picked up my still-unnamed red sock, and before I knew it, I was decreasing the toe. I finished on sock (and immediately cast on the second sock as an immunization against the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome.) How did that happen? Not that I am upset, mind you. I just want to be able to repeat the event.

The fruits (so to speak) of my sweetie's hunting efforts have started coming home. We are now the proud possessors of over 100 pounds of venison. My first thought was "We are going to need a bigger freezer." To my surprise, all of it fit, except for about 20 pounds that is vacationing in the in-law's freezer. Ground deer, deer chops, deet steaks, deer loin, summer sausage, deer sticks, breakfast sausage. You name it, we got it. we celebrated by making two big pots of venison chili, and I am thinking of beef recipes that I can substitute with venison. At least the meat is useful. I am not looking forward to the day when the giant deer head comes home to be hung on the living room wall. That just seems like a very expensive decoration that I don't want, but i am trying to be understanding that this is my sweetie's first (and God willing, only) trophy.

Today, it is all about the warp speed progress.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

HP 7-1

I had an unexpected surprise on Friday night. Bugaboo begged to stay the night with Grandma and Grandpa, and I talked my husband into watching Doodlebug (after he was fed, diapered, changed, and tucked into his crib for the night.) So Mom and I were able to sneak out and catch the 9:30 show for the new Harry Potter movie. (My sweetie isn't as big of a fan as me and Mom, so he didn't care about missing it. He will catch it on DVD.)

It was a relaxing and enjoyable evening. The only way it would have been better, is if it had been a little lighter to knit. Then again, I don't think I even blinked, much less took my eyes off the screen.

Today, it is all about the surprises.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

That's my boy!

I am a hunting widow today. My sweetie has already bagged one doe this morning, so we will have some venison in the freezer this winter.

Meanwhile, I am home with the kids. I was skimming a newl;y discovered knitting blog, when Bugaboo showed off a new word. He pointed at the sock on the computer screen, and said "knit".

That's my boy!

Today, it is all about the vocabulary.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Return of Knit Night

A couple months ago, my sweeties asked when I was going to finish his hoodie. I told him that I would work on it every time that I went to Knit Night. By the way, I haven't been to Knit Night since before Bugaboo was mobile. He is over 2 now, so needless to say, it has been a while.

To my shock, he agreed. He told me to remind him of when it was every month (apparently putting it on the calendar isn't enough), and he would watch the boys. October was the first month. When I got home, I wasn't sure what I was going to find, but it wasn't what I did find: all was quiet on the home front, with both boys tucked into bed and sleeping. Monday was month 2. When I got home, little boys weren't quite ready for bed, but there was not chaos, and I will take what I can get.

What I got in return was two hours uninterrupted knitting time with knit-minded ladies, both months. The first month I worked entirely on his hoodie. Last time, it occurred to me that I said I would work on it at Knit Night, but I didn't say how long I would work on it. So I also worked on my still unnamed red sock. And I have worked on Twisted Tweed the past couple weeks too.

And if I took pictures of any other them, no one would be able to tell a difference. I hate the middle of projects. It feels like a knitting black hole. I enjoy the knitting process as much as the next girl, but I still want to see progress for my time.

But I am looking forward to next month.

Today, it is all about the monthly treats.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cast Your Vote

Today is Election Day. No matter who you vote for, be sure to vote. Every two years, we have an opportunity to overthrow the government. Don't squander it.

Meanwhile, I am seeking votes myself. I have been working on theunnamed red socks. The pattern is two purls, a knit, the staggered yarn overed pattern, one more knit. Looks great. But as I work my way down the foot, working the pattern on only half the stitches, it occurs to me that though the pattern looks like it is framed in purls, one side is, and the other side ends on the staggered yarn overs. I have considered dropping two stitches to add the purls, but that will make the stitch pattern slightly off-centered. Not that my foot is perfectly centered, so it is significantly possible that I would be the only person to notice. Though when I look at the sock on my foot, the lack of purls on one side doesn't jump out at me, especially the further down the sock I go.

So feel free to cast your vote. Drop down and add the purls, or leave as is? Sorry I missed the onslought of last minute 30-second media slots telling you which way to vote.

Today, it is all about the opinions.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Lost Notes

Today, I was tidying a little around the bedroom, and I found underneath my jewelry box some yarn notes. I had forgotten all about that yarn trip.

Well, that is what I call the day. I went out to to the "big city" for a wedding shower in September, and while out and about there, we passed by a yarn store. My sweetie was willing to indulge me in stopping.

Whew! I have never seen such a store. The yarns were so exquisite and exotic, I was afraid to even pet the yarn. And expensive! Quivit, cashmere, crystals, oh my! I just can't imagine paying over $ 100 for a single skein of yarn, no matter what I would knit with it. Even the clearnance racks were well beyond my yarn budget. I had an eye out for some interesting sock yarn to purchase, and I still walked out empty handed.

My sweetie wanted to stop at some sporting goods store (probably why he was so agreeable to the yarn store stop), and right next door was a Joann fabric. A huge Joann fabric store. What a smart store combination. Men to the left, women to the right, and we will meet in the parking lot between them.

I found more interesting, affordable and droolworthy yarns at JoAnns than I did at the pricey yarn store. I jotted down a few notes, figuring maybe we could go back to the big city again in a few months. Those are the notes that I found this morning.

I just have one more problem. I still have more yarn than time to knit it. But that is getting a little better.

Today, it is all about the dream yarns, both affordable and expensive.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Making knitting out if boredom

Continuing education Wednesday and today. Video replay. What a wonderful thing. It means that I don't have to trek 150 miles (round trip) for the live seminar. Plus, the mood is far more casual. People don't feel the need to feign interest during the more boring and useless parts. (Travel and cruise law? In my twelve years as an attorney, I have never had a cruise law issue. Who picks these topics?)

A little work, a little knitting, and we can skip the breaks and lunch to get done two hours faster. The proctor did decline the suggestion to view on fast forward, perhaps rightly so.

So I have been cranking out the sock inches. Twisted Tweed is nearing the heel. Probably close to the inch away that I thought I was at last weekend.

Plus, I did a little work on . . . . my red sock. Have I not named it yet? I am halfway done with the first sock. How have I not come up with its name yet? I will have to give that some thought.

As it turns out, if you lease a property at below market value to a religious organization, then there is a charitable purpose and you are entitled to a property tax exemption; if you lease property for below market value only because you are receiving government subsidies to off er low-income housing, then there is not a charitable purpose and you are not entitled to a property tax exemption. Welcome to my day.

Today, it is all about the learning.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The family taketh away, and the family giveth

Last night we had a little mishap. Bugaboo was doing something with a laundry basket and somehow fell and hit his head. I picked him up to comfort him, and saw the blood on my hand. Ok, deep breath. Don't panic. Forget that there is a very good reason that I never went to medical school, and let the Mommy training kick in. I spoke in soothing tones and cleaned a little of the blood that was dripping down his neck, onto his shirt, and onto my shirt.

The bleeding stopped within a minute or two. It took longer for my heartrate and breathing to return to normal. It took considerably longer to give him a bath to clean the blood, and try to look at the cut through that thick hair to ascertain whether or not stitches would be necessary. And even longer still to get him tucked into bed, with him milking the attention for all it was worth to delay bedtime.

So much for knitting last night.

But my sweetie, ever considerate of my knitting time (rolling eyes), created some for me this morning. He stubbed his toe getting out of bed this morning, and it was immediately obvious that he wasn't going to be able to walk it off. To quote the nurse that did the xray, he "did a number on his toe." Visibly broken and out of place. We decided to wait the couple hours to go to Urgent Care instead of the ER. Since I was now wide awake at 5 am, I did the things that I was supposed to do before the medical emergency last night, and was free to knit at Urgent Care. I will also be free to knit when I take him to the Ortho department in another hour, while they straighten that toe back into place and tape it in. Which leaves us all wondering how long it will take before he will be able to put his foot in a steel toe boot and go to work.

How thoughtful of my sweetie, to find a way for me to spend part of the day knitting instead of caring for children, doing laundry or working.

And while we are on the subject, why does one tiny little addition to the family increase the laundry exponentially? I am keeping track this month. 22 loads so far and counting. Yes, I started out October 1st with a weeks worth of vacation laundry piled up, but that is still far more than I would have expected. Now, excuse me, while I fold some clothes and start another load.

Today, it is all about the unexpected.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Efforts at Eyeballing

We went camping this past weekend. Well, camping trailer camping. Since my sweetie hates to have me drive his truck if he can prevent it, that meant 90 minutes of knitting time each way. What a treat!

I worked on my Twisted Tweed Socks. Near the end of the drive home, I had a brief flash of delight. Hey, I think I am almost to the heel. Where is the first sock? See only another inch. Well, maybe two. Hmm, that is more like three. Ok, so I am halfway to the heel. Whatever.

Today, it is all about the inaccurate eyeball.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

I did a lot less knitting on vacation than I expected, for a number of reasons:

First, I forgot the headlamp. (To my husband: I know exactly where your headlamp is, and I will fetch it for you as soon as I finish what I am doing. To everyone else: if anyone perchance sees a headlamp around my house, could you please let me know where.) This limited my in-car knitting to daylight hours.

Second, I ended up reading more than expected. I got entangled a book that wasn't all that great but called to me during times of inactivity.

Third, I was tired more than I hoped, and knitting requires less energy and attention than other activities (see above paragraph).

So much for me making noticeable progress on my Twisted Tweed Sock, or Merry Berry shawl, or . . . .well, anything really. I did a few rows on each, nothing that anyone would notice.

Today, it is all about the missed opportunity.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vacation Promiscuity

Grandma's sock are finished! I dropped by to present them to her on Tuesday. She looked very happy. But, of course, I forgot a camera. I will get a picture of them the next time I stop in to see her.

This means that I am no longer forced into knitting monogomy. And just in time, because tonight we leave on a little vacation, so I am ready for some knitting promiscuity. Deciding on the perfect vacation knitting is so difficult. Worse than packing clothes. My husband always accuses me of packing too much. (Not that he wants to pack for the kids, or isn't grateful when he comes up with something obscure that we need and I pull it out of a bag.) I don't want to pack too much, but I also don't want to run out of knitting (not that I think I am going to finish the socks that are only 25% completed, but I could get bored with them or hit an unforeseen roadblock).

Right now, I am learning towards the two socks in progress, plus the new lace stole that I started a week or two ago. On the "maybe" stack is the Merry Berry Shawl. "Probably not" we have my sweetie's hoodie. When space is limited, a XX men's sweater that is 3/4 finished, along with the sweatshirt I am using as a size model, is not the best option. I will take it if he wants, and even work on it, but if I do, I don't want to hear one syllable about overpacking.

The toe-up socks for my mother are still at the toe (I got sidetracked for them with grandma's request), so I don't think that I will bother bringing those either. Oh, maybe I will bring something new to cast on! Decisions, decisions. I feel like a single girl with loose morals traveling through Europe without my parents for the first time. So many choices. I wan't to indulge in them all!

We are leaving this evening, to do most of the driving overnight while children sleep. I have my head lamp, so I can knit during the nighttime hours. (Tested on a short road trip over Labor Day weekend.)

Today, it is all about the multiple (knitting) encounters.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Downhill to the deadline

I have (finally!) started the decrease the toes on Grandma's socks. It is all downhill from here, baby. Every (other) row, there are four less stitches to knit. Grandma's birthday is next week, so the deadline is doable.

As a bit of celebration, and since I was under the erroneous impression that I had forgotten the sock at the office, I cast on a pretty lace stole. "Is that something new?" my husband asked. Even he can't mistake lace for a sock. "What about my sweater? When are you going to finish that?"

Me: "What sweater?"

Um, you mean the sweater that is hidden behind the sofa? I don't know what you are talking about. Apparently, my days of knitting monogomy aren't finished.

Today, it is all about the substitutions.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The flaw in the plan

The Plan: A last-minute camping trip required an hour long drive in my husband's truck. Ergo, he would be driving, leaving me free to knit. We had decided that the best bet was the leave in the evening, shortly before the kids' bedtimes, so that they would (hopefully) sleep the entire drive with minimal fussing.

The Flaw: Bedtime is after dark. You can't knit in the truck when it is dark.

The Solution: After the fact, my sweetie mentioned that he has these cool headlamps that he uses for hunting. We have two more trips of longer duration coming up in September, so I plan on, er, borrowing one (though I may forget to inform him of this) for those trips.

I was at least able knit a little on the drive home. On Grandma's socks, of course. I want to measure Grandma's feet. It may just be wishful thinking, but I believe that I may be getting closer to the toe decreases. I don't think I am there quite yet, but I want to measure to make sure that I don't accidently go too far.

Today, it is all about the best-laid plans.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New deadline

Over the weekend it occured to me: Grandma's birthday is a month away. Four weeks now. Wouldn't it be nice if I had her socks finished by then? Wouldn't handknit socks be a thoughtful birthday present? Wouldn't it be crazy for me to think that the socks I have been working on for six months will miraculously be finished in four weeks?

I have to finish these socks, before I lose my knitting mind.

Excuse me while I finished cleaning the kitchen so I can knit before bed.

Today, it is all about the ticking calendar.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mere knitting mortal

I have been following the Yarn Harlot's self-imposed sock-of-the-month club with interest this year. Actually, it might be more accurate to say with shock and awe. A sock a month? How much knitting time does she have? I have been work almost exclusively on the same socks for months. Stephanie justs puts the rest of us mere knitting mortals to shame.

And if a sock a month wasn't bad enough, she posted yesterday that she finished a single sock in a single day. She totally deserves the hordes of adoring crowds that follow her blog chanting "We are not worthy." I have at least one fan of my knitting. Or maybe he is just trying to figure out why Mommy is taking pictures of her feet. (And please ignore the toys strewn all over the floor.)
Today, it is all about the mortality.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Conspiracy theories

I don't know how they have managed it (both being either completely or mostly non-verbal), but I know that the kids have started conspiring against me. They plan it that way. One goes down for a nap, and the other is awake. I finally get the second down for his nap, enjoy 9 minutes of peaceful silence (enough to knit one lonely row on Grandma's socks), and. . . . you get the picture.

Speaking of pictures, I considered taking some of the sock and shawl, except that they would pretty much look like the last pictures. Just scroll back a little to the previous pictures, and imagine an extra inch at the end. Then look at these two adorable boys. They are also conspiring to make sure that pictures don't show both of them smiling at the same time. Feindishly clever, and at such a young age.

I found out today that an old friend is one of the seven people a week that read my blog. (Hi Sheryl!) Knowing my former secretary is reading makes me want to proofread for typos better. Or at all.

Today, it is all about the conspiracies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mindless updates

Hospital knitting went fine, both the knitting part and the hospital part. The little tyke handled himself fine (aside from understandably impatient cries because he was hungry and couldn't be fed before anesthesia). Mommy and Daddy also handled ourselves fine, with minimum tears (Mommy) and impatience (Daddy.)

And the knitting was accepably captivatingly mindless. It had been so long, I was enjoying the project, but row after row of garter stitch is, well, mindless. I have kept the Merry Berry Shawl around for the occassional break from Grandma's socks, and have now remembered why I got a little bored with it.
Hundreds of tiny little stitches. Over two hundred and increasing. Of garter stitch. I used a smaller guage than the pattern specified (they were obviously smarter than I, and knew that the thicker the yarn for endless garter the better), so I have no doubt that I will end up with more than the 399 stitches listed in the pattern. There is no way I am halfway through it.

Then there is the slightly ruffled border. More increases. I don't think that I can count that high.

Today, it is all about the numbers

P.S. Grandma's socks are still progressing. Around halfway through the foot and still at it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Anything but socks

The good news is that I am anticipating an entire day waiting, with little to do but read and/or knit. The bad news is that it is because I will be hovering around a hospital most of the day. Waiting. Knitting. Waiting. "Minor surgery" and "very routine" are little comfort when it is happening to someone you love.

So as I am packing up a bag for the day (this is one of those occasions where knitting while I am endlessly waiting might actually prevent me from committing felonies), I am experiencing a project mutiny.

I just can't work on Grandma's sock s another minute. I have completed both gussets. Both socks are again in progress as I work down the foot, and I just need a break. I wasn't meant for this sort of knitting monogomy. I get sick of looking at the same directions. I tire of looking at the same colors. The pattern become less interesting. Even the usefulness is called into question. "These socks won't fit anyway." "It is summer, why would anyone need wool handknit socks." Even though Grandma said that she wanted it roomy in the calf, I know I have made them too big.

So I went in search of a second project to take. (I am bringing the socks. I am Catholic, and we have guilt perfected to an art form. These are Grandma's socks, and I self-inposed a moratorium on all other knitting until they were finished.)

I considered something lace, which has been calling my name for so long now it is screaming), but that was quickly disregarded. Instead of occupying my mind to a degree that would distract me from the minutes ticking past, lace would likely drive me crazy within moments. I don't think I am going to have the patience or concentration for lace.

So I am thinking this. It is perfect. Light. Portable. I am enchanted with the color. I am picturing myself wearing it on a brisk fall morning. Merry Berry shawl, why did I ever put you down? Oh, well that little tangle of yarn might have something to do with it, but that was easily remedied this morning.

Then I remembered. I had been second-guessing the eyelet row. The shawl is planned to have a white slightly ruffled trim, and I was afraid that the eyelet rows would detract from it's simple elegance. At first, I thought it was part of the shaping. I didn't realize that it was an eyelet decoration. It took me a shockingly long time to realize that, actually. It wasn't part of the original plan, so it is taking me a while to warm up to the eyelets.

The yarn is a fuzzy mohair, so ripping that much is out of the question, but I could just start over today. Any thought from the peanut gallery? To eyelet or not to eyelet? We leave for the hospital in an hour, so I realize that my window is small. I think I may have to resort to the unthinkable: ask my husband for his knitting opinion. That has had limited success in the past, so I am not optimistic.

Now, excuse me while I search for a magic piece of paper. What I thought were the directions at the bottom of the shawl bag turned out to be notes from a sweater I saw at the courthouse. The directions have got to be around here somewhere.

Today, it is all about the theraputic knitting.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Technology vs. Fiber

The Contenders:

"In this corner. . . .weighing 12 pounds, consisting of tower, monitor, keyboard and mouse, five years in age and dressed all in black: Technology!"

In this corner. . . with an anticipated finished weight of 100 grams, consisting of two half-finished knitted pastel striped socks, four months in progress: Fiber!"

"Let's have a good clean competition. No rabbit or kidney punches. No clinches. Wait for the bell, and come out fighting."

My computer sometimes gets a a little sick. It just runs maddingly slow. I run too many different programs, and every click of the mouse has a lag time. Today, I was knitting while working. Click, knit half a row, click, knit, double click.

I could have just re-booted, which usuaally rights the problem, but, well, then I would have been able to justify knitting at work, right?

Today, it is all about the contenders.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stolen moments

My sweetie and I went camping for the holiday weekend. Well, soft camping, since we were in a camping trailor complete with a/c and microwave. (And my sweetie learned an expensive lesson about why an Iphone doesn't belong in a boat. "Splash!") My mother and the inlaws were there, along with a friend that loves kids, so I was optomistic that I would have some great kid free time that would free me up for knitting.

Well, it turned out that it wasn't nearly as much as I hoped. I foolishly brought several projects. Not that I thought I would FINISH Grandma's sock, but more in case I got so much done on it that I was bored and could reward myself with a change of pace. . . . . I know, I am not sure what fairy tale was going through my mind. I did finish the gussets on one sock, and a good halfway through the second.

Now I go back to my usual block of knitting time: between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Of course, you see the problem with that plan. . . . that is when I usually clean house.

Today, it is all about the gussets.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"What are you doing up?"

My sweetie leaves for work around 5:45. Even if I am awake, I usually wait until after he leaves to start moving around, so that I don't risk getting into his way. Yesterday, I got up earlier. When he asked, I told him that I wanted to get a little work done before the kids woke up, since I was only going into the office for a half day. I spent about ten minutes before he left for arranging work materials, shuffling papers and looking like I was getting ready to work.

I was lying. My plan was to use the quiet time to knit. I wanted to finish those heels, and I needed a decent chunk of uninterrupted time to do so.

I forgot for one day that lying is bad, even a little white lie that doesn't hurt anyone. After my sweetie left, I took a quick shower, got a fresh Diet Coke and settled on the sofa. Before I could even open the knitting bag, I heard my newborn waking up.

Awake baby equals no knitting, and my punishment for lying.

And yet, all was not lost. Last night, I ignored the clean dishes in the dishwasher and the toys scattered on the living room floor, and convenienty forgot the fact that I had told my sweetie that i was going to go grocery shopping after the kids went to sleep, and I knit instead.

The heels are nearly done, and I found them to be easier than I remembered. I was able to modify the generic instructions without any problems, and even the progression of instructions appeared logical to me. A few more rows, and I will be ready to pick up and gusset.

I have a renewed urgency to finish these socks. Grandma ended up in the hospital this week. She broke her leg, so nothing too serious in theory, but at her age, anything can be serious. The surgery to place a rod inside of her thighbone went well, and they are hoping to transfer her to a rehab center sometime in the next day or two. Mom has been spending a lot of time at the hospital with Grandma, hence my part-time hours at the office. Can't watch two kids under 2 in a hospital room all day. We are looking at a month or two at the rehab center before she can go back home.

Wouldn't it be nice if Grandma could have pretty socks when she is at the rehab center?

Today, it is all about the urgency.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Turning the corner. . . .

. . . . and walking right into the math wall. Owing to grandma's aforementioned full-figured feet, these socks are larger than your average, and considering my lack of heel flapping and turning for a number of years, I find myself having to THINK about my heeling. I tried to think of the math myself, then throught that method had too high a margin of error. I have slow enough progress on these socks without doing some parts multiple times. So I tried finding a sock with the same amount of cast on stitches.

Success! Oh, wait, the random sock pattern has 44 stitches, and I have 44 on each side for a total of 88 stitches around. Ok, if I just double all the turning heel directions, I should be OK, right? Right? That is still math, but I feel has increased likelihood of success than me doing it all.

Turn, baby, turn!

Who knew that Sister Anna Marie would be right and I really WOULD need math as a grown up?

Today it is all about turning.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The sound of wings

Do you hear that sound? Far off, in the distance? Listen carefully. Flap. Flap. Flap. I have reached the heel flap on Grandma's socks. Flap. Flap. Flap. The heel is the halfway point of a sock. Clap. Clap. Clap.

The funny thing is. . . I haven't done a heel flap in a while. I have long preferred a short row heel for myself. Grandma's feet are, well, I hate to say "fat", but so it is. So I don't want the tighter fitting short row heels. And now I have to remember and/or look up how to turn a heel. I haven't done so for quite a while, and the only thing that I remember is that I spend the whole time thinking "this can't be right, I must be getting something wrong, this can't be right. . . .oh look, a heel!"

Today, it is all about the "wings" of the socks.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What sock?

No, Grandma, these socks are for me. Aren't they a pretty red color?

Socks for you? I am not knitting socks for you. Are you sure you are remembering right?

Pastel rainbow socks? No, I knit you a pastel rainbow vest a number of years ago? Are you sure you aren't thinking of that?

I am not knitting you socks right now. I don't knit socks for other people, only myself.

No, the socks that you tried on before were for me, I just wanted to see how they looked on someone else's feet.

No, I think I would remember if I were knitting socks for you. You must be remembering wrong.

Bye, Grandma, see you tomorrow.

Don't worry, I wouldn't really have this conversation even if I thought I could get away with it. And I will continue to resist the temptation to bind off and try to convince Grandma that I was knitting her ankle warmers and not socks.

Today, it is all about evil fantasies of denial.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dreaming in Color

I have heard that some people dream in color, and some people dream in black and white. I am a color person. I think it would be cruel for a knitter to not be able to dream in color, but I digress.

I dreamed about knitting recently. I am apparently so sick of Grandma's socks in progress, I am now dreaming of starting something new. The yarn was a gorgeous silky soft something in stardard rainbow colors with a very long color repeat. At first, I was thinking scarf. Then my dreaming self realized that there was enough yarn for a wrap, and that would show off the vibrant colors better. I decided to work side to side, to make the color progression even more dramatic. Actually now that I think about it, the colors may not have repeated at all. I think it just worked through the rainbow once, with my wrap starting with purple on one side and ending with red on the other.

I dreamed that I tried on the wrap, so that I was certain the pattern idea and yarn would work together. Then I cast on. Dreams are just magic. And I will have to keep an eye out for this yarn. I could always dye it myself, since I have been, um, dying to attempt dyeing (Sorry, couldn't resist). I have the dyes and blank yarn, picked up used for a song. But dyeing requires (child free) time, and that is a rare commodity these days.

Apparently, my dreaming self has more knitting time and variety than my real self. I am jealous.

Today, it is all about envying yourself.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Background: Patient was discovered by her husband face-down on the sofa with two unfinished knitted sicks clutched in one hand, and saliva dripping down one side of her chin.

Evaluation: Patient reports boredom, annoyance and frustation with the current sock in progress. Patient became defensive and agitated at the suggestions that she simply work on a different project for a while. "Don't you know the pressure of a knitting request from a 93-year-old grandmother?" Patient admitted to "accidently" leaving the sock project in odd places, for the excuse to work on a different project for a day or evening until the socks could be retrieved.

Diagnosis: Project Interest Deficit Syndrome (PIDS), time-pressured variety.

Treatment: Unfortunately, the only known cure for PIDS is a variety of pending projects. When forced by a deadline for complete focus on one project, the only hope is for the project to finish before the knitter suffers a complete breakdown.

Notation: The most severe case of PIDS on record ended with a permanent restraining order entered by the local yarn store after the knitter was discovered rolling naked in a large pile of alpaca and cashmere after breaking into the store in the middle of the night.

Today, it is all about the psyche.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Put your hands up and step away from the math

In mostly stolen moments, I have been working on Grandma's socks. I have cycled through the yarn's stripe pattern twice and estimate that I have one more to go before I can do my heels. The heels mark a halfway point in the socks, so I am 2/3's through the first half. That means I am . . . . 1/3 finished with both socks. When you like that, it doesn't sound like very much to show for two months' work. This would normally be the point when I would put the socks away for a while and work on something else, just for a change of scenery. But these socks have a deadline. I have to finish them by. . . well, no specific date, but as soon as possible. Grandma's feet are always cold, so they are just as needed in the summer as the winter.
Today, it is all about the thirds.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My kind of garage sale

My local yarn store had a garage sale this weekend. What a great idea! People brought their unwanted yarn/books/gadgets to the yarn store all week. The seller sets the price. When your items sell, you get gift certificates at the yarn store. Anything that doesn't sell will be returned to you, or found a new good home for charity, whichever you wanted.

I had been looking forward to this all month. It turned out to be anticlimatic, for me at least. I saw other knitters with full baskets. I had one eye on Bugaboo, one eye on Doodlebug, and one eye trying to shop. Plus, I have some much great yarn at home, and so little knitting time, I had decided that I wouldn't buy anything that wasn't better than what I had at home. I couldn't believe it, but I didn't buy anything. I was tempted by a few things, but what is the point in getting a great deal on sweater yarn when I already have so many projects in the queue so it would just sit there with the rest?

At least it was a success for the store and other knitters, because that means that she will probably do it again. And maybe I can take better advantage then. And since I had both kids, no Sock club either. Sigh.

Today, it is all about the oppotunities that slip away.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Perfect Storm, the Perfect Calm

Element #1: My in-laws are moving. That means that for the past several weeks, they have been busy packing boxes, looking at houses, and fretting over appraisals, inspections and repairs. Therefore, very stressed and not very available to watch my boys. So my mom has been picking up the slack.

Element #2: It is tax time, spring, and finally time to sell my grandmother's house all at the same time. So my mom is sorting through records, sweating in her yard, and planing trips to Illinois to meet with relators and such. When she isn't watching my kids four days a week or more.

Element #3: My husband is not as proactive in taking primary care of our children as I would wish. Yesterday, he told me that he was taking a half day off for a dentist appointment, so after that and a hair cut, he would pick up our toddler so Mom would just have to worry about the newborn. He didn't, for reasons I am still not clear.

Element #4: Doodlebug had a little tummyache, and spent most of the day crying. Bugaboo was practicing the fine art of jealousy, disrespect, and doing whatever he had been told not to do. All while crying and whining whenever his little brother cried. By the time I picked (both of them) up after work, everyone was in tears, including my mother.

So last night, I arranged for me to stay home this morning, and for my mother in law to watch the kids in the afternoon. Mom gets a day "off", can de-stress, and get some things done.

Then last night, my father-in-law asked Bugaboo if he wanted to spend the night with them in the hotel, but he had to ask me. It was so cute, he walked right up to me and starting giving me kisses. So I packed off my tempermental toddler for the evening, my husband fell asleep on the couch by 8:30, and tucked my newborn into his crib. I was alone, all alone, and had the morning to get things done. I put a DVD in, and knit. That was the longest continuous time I have knit for . . . I can remember how long.

This morning, I slept in (which was not part of the original plan, but was changed during the 90 minutes of waking time between 4 and 5:30 am), have laundry going, fixed a filling breakfast, and will clean the kitchen. And I think I will still have time to do some knitting.

Today, it is all about the combined elements.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The endless middle

The disadvantage to knitting two socks at once is that it seems like it takes forever. You knit endlessly on the leg of the sock. Then there is the heel excitement. And then back to knitting endlessly on the foot.

I just have to keep reminding myself: I am knitting two socks at once. It will take twice as long. I am avoiding the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. I am knitting two socks at once. It will take twice as long.

When this little guy lets me knit, that is.

A better view of the socks. They are turning out very pretty. Grandma loves all things pastel, and she is liking the stripes.

Today, it is all about the spring colors, inside and outside.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In my spare time. . .

I have a lot less spare time than I used to. In my single days, I knit in the evenings. Every Thursday night I did kickboxing and painted my nails. I worked out an additional one to two times per week. On the weekends, I worked on my house, and worked in the yard, and rode my motorcycle.

Nowadays, when I get home from work, I am caring for children while I cook dinner, start laundry, and do the dishes. When Bugaboo goes to bed, I pick up toys, fold laundry, etc. On the weekends, I catch up on everything that was undone during the week. Unless we have plans, then I just start the week behind.

Does anyone know how long it will take to knit a pair of socks when you average 32 minutes of knitting time per week?

Like the new knitting model? He makes everything I give up worth it.

Today it is all about the losses. . . and the gains.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Toys

My birthday was last week, and I received some nice new toys. Some spiral DPN holders, and a new sock knitting book, and sock blockers.

And a new techie toy: a Dell netbook. I remember the laptop I took with me to college. Back when laptops were new. It didn't even have a mouse, but neither did desktops way back when. They have come a long way baby since then. This handy little device is super tiny and light, and it is even pink. :-) I am typing on it right now. Can't download pictures (yet), but I will figure that out soon.

I have been working on Grandma's socks too. It took two days to finish casting on, but I have been zipping along ever since. Two socks on two circular needles, simple ribbed pattern. I have about an inch finished. That doesn't sound like much, but considering how much time and energy I have to devote to knitting these days, it is huge progress.

Today, it is all about the new toys.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Socks for Grandma

I can't find my camera this morning, so pictures will have to wait until next time.

I started my mother's socks a few days ago. Toe-up, a make-it-up-as-I-go general idea in my head, and detailed notes so I can replicate the finished product in a second sock.

Then, the other day, my mother mentioned that my grandmother wants me to make her a pair of socks. Now, don't get me wrong, I consider that a compliment to my knitterly abilities. However, agreeing to knit socks for a 93 year old woman carries a lot of pressure. THESE socks can't be procrastinated. THESE socks can be put aside in favor of the newest yarn, pattern or technique that captures my attention. THESE socks have to be finished, without undue delay. I am not sure that Mom and Grandma really understand that knitting a sock in sock yarn is not a small project, even if it is small in size.

SO, the first hurdle was easy. I already had the perfect yarn. My grandmother loves pastels, I had some Opal Petticoat, that I had frogged from a previously unloved project. Last night, I hunted down two Size 2 circulars, so I can knit both socks at a time. I also rinsed the yarn, to get the kinks out from its previous life. This mornimg, the yarn in nearly dry, and I can wind it into a ball. I hope to start knitting today.

Because with a toddler and newborn in the house, I have so much free time.

Today, it is all about the pressure.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Gift of Knitting

The disadvantage to giving someone a gift that you have knitted. . . is sometimes they like it TOO much. I knitted my mother some socks. They were finished a while ago, except for (pause for the chorus from the peanut gallery) "kitchnering the toes".

A year later (possibly more, but I am giving myself the benefit of the doubt), I finally kitchnered, the same time as I did my Pomotomus socks. I grandly presented the finished socks to my mom, and not long after, she proudly displayed that she was wearing them.

A week ago, we were arranging for a needlepoint piece of hers to be framed, so we paused at the sock yarn. I found one that caught my fancy, and so did Mom. After we finished with our purchasing, she handed her yarn to me. Um, it appears that she wishes me to knit another pair of socks.

Today, it is all about the complimentary request.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


We have some transitions around the house these days.

Bugaboo transitioned into a toddler bed. (He looks very excited about it, doesn't he?

Then he helped Daddy reassemble the crib for Doodlebug.

And last but not least, my Pomotomus socks transitioned from the knitting bag to the sock drawer. Woo hoo!

What to start next?

Today, it is all about the joy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Special guest

I received an email from my lys reminding me about Sock Club. Thank you. I had forgotten all about it! I had a goal too: my pomatomus sock only needed a toe. A toe is totally doable during two hours, right?

Doodlebug behaved himself. He slept the entire time, to the disappointment of all the ladies there, who didn't get to hold him. Bugaboo was with his Daddy. Mommy had uninterrupted knitting time. Except that I arrived a half hour late and got distracted by new yarn.

Ok, so the toe isn't done yet, but I am determined to do it today. My mother has my oldest son. The cleaning lady is (allegedly) coming today, so I am home all day with just the new baby. Laundry, and maybe a little work is on the agenda for the day, but all of that is behind the sock. The next post, I intend to be wearing my newest socks. (Ok, considering how often I post, that isn't saying much, but I still.)

Today, it is all about the resolution.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest post

Mommy asked if I could handle her blog post this week. It has been quite a week. I knew something was up when Grandma picked me up really early one morning. Mommy seemed a little distracted, and was playing with her phone a lot. Grandma came and picked me up, but I didn't know why. Grandma watches me sometimes when Mommy goes to that work place, but Mommy usually drops me off at Grandma's house. Just before Grandma and I left, Daddy came home from work.

I played at Grandma's house as usual. Grandma has toys that I don't have at home, and I like playing with Grandma's dog too. After dinner, Grandma brought me to this strange place. It was really big, and had a lot of people around. I held onto Grandma's hand tight. We went in an elevator, and down a long hallway. When we went into a smaller room, all the people I love were there. Daddy, and Grandma and Grandpa. And Mommy was lying in bed, with a blankie in her arms. I was a little afraid, but I looked at the blankie, and there was a little person there. Daddy says that is my baby brother. I looked closer, and he looked a little like me, but much smaller. Daddy called him Doodlebug.

I spent the next day with my other Grandma, and we went back to the big place with the long hallways again after dinner. This time I wasn't as afraid, and got a good look at my brother. Mommy and Daddy even let me touch his hair, as long as I promised to be gentle. He sure is tiny.

Mommy and Daddy brought Doodlebug home, and I have been learning about him. I can still only touch his head. He isn't much for playing yet, but Daddy says that we will play together when he gets older. Right now, he mostly sleeps. I kiss him on his head, so he knows that I am his big brother and want to play with him soon.

~Mommy's Bugaboo