Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

We're celebrating halloween with a stomach virus here. E had it over the weekend, but went back to school today. I hear my nephew had it over the weekend, too. A came down with it last night, and I started feeling a little queasy around midnight. Now Q is home from school, too, after tossing his cookies there. I had to call dh to leave work and go get him since I was here feeling yucky and I had a sleeping sickie. Oh! And just now the phone rang and E is feeling sick again. Gotta figure out how to get here home. Wonder how long before M has it.

So, I hope your halloween is much more pleasant! I'm glad we went to Halloween in the Park over the weekend, because it looks like Trick or Treating may be out this year.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I finished this cross stitch piece last night. It's called Resurrection, designed by Cross Stitch Art. I stitched it for my brother and his wife. I designed and added the letters and date. Now to frame it! This is the first time I've missed the deadline on a wedding piece, but they *did* announce they were finally getting married and then do it in about 3 weeks time. They should have it by their one month anniversary. I stitched on this so much before the wedding that I poked a hole in the side of my middle finger from pushing the needle. So. after the wedding, I took a little break to heal and finished it.

Here's a new picture of the Arrrgyle socks, on my husband's feet. See? There really are two. Socks. And feet.

And, because they're always a crowd-pleaser, another kitten picture. They're posing with M's new book. The boy (black and white) is definitely a Bandit, even though that started out as a joke name. We have to shut him in the basement while we eat. Even the good ol' spray bottle doesn't deter him. He loves the water. Olive is less demanding, very sweet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I'm such a whiner. Thanks to all my commenters on yesterday's post. Reading them all through makes me feel a little less whiney. And seeing all those people I know from such different places all in one place makes me feel like I can throw a great big party on here and have the greatest guests!

Do other people have the same problems I do with the word verification things? I mean, they're not actually words, just random letters. And they distort them so badly sometimes that I can't figure out what they're supposed to be. I've had to try three times before to get it to go through. (Thanks, J. Denae. Heh.) But sometimes they're really funny. They almost spell something really odd, but not quite. Or if you try to say them out loud it sounds obscene.

The spell check just asked if I want to replace "whiney" with "whinny". Neigh!

I'm going to go work out now. Maybe that will make me a little less whiney.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Totally random stuff.

This is a totally random post. I don't even have any pictures for you. Unless I decide to add in some totally random pictures.

My husband loves his Arrrrgyle socks. They have barely left his feet since I finished them. He has taken them off for washing and barely let them dry. He did wear regular white sport socks when he was wearing shorts the other day. He has posted about them on his favorite message boards. He has had people ask him what I would charge to make them a pair. I told him at least $100. They were a lot of work.

I fear I may end up having to knit him more socks. I didn't realize I was so selfish with my sock-knitting. I have made the kids socks. I have made my sister socks. I have made my nephew socks. But now that I have made my husband socks and he has shown such affection for them, I suddenly sweat at the idea of having to give up some of the sock-knitting I do for myself. What is going to happen when I finish his sweater? What kind of looney knitter fears that her husband may love her knitting too much?

I almost started crying while watching Deal or No Deal last night. I don't even watch it regularly, but my oldest *really* wanted to watch and I was just folding the laundry anyway. A man chose his first case because the girl holding it was a cancer survivor and his dad died from cancer and he's going to give 10% of his winnings to a cancer charity. My friend Kim is battling breast cancer. She is an inspiration. I'm not a cryer, but that really hit home with me. I love you, Kim. Keep up the fight.

Speaking of the laundry, it is taking over the house. I do a lot of laundry. I have four kids. It happens. When we put our house on the market, after getting rid of roughly half of what we own, we packed up half of what was left. Some of that stuff was winter clothes and winter bedding. It's cold out, now. Guess who had to dig through the stuff in storage and find those things? Guess who still can't find her favorite winter shoes? So, bringing out the winter stuff and packing up the summer stuff makes an even more massive amount of laundry. I'm so sick of laundry.

We got feedback on the latest showing on our house. They said it was cluttered. WTF?! See aforementioned packing and purging. Half of our furniture is in storage. We don't even have enough seats in our living room for the whole family to be in there at once, unless kids sit on parents or on the floor. We had Q's family birthday party here a week ago and we didn't have enough plates for everyone because I packed them up. There are still six people living in this little house. That requires a certain amount of stuff. We have less than that out. Hey *(@&%@$ potential buyers! All this stuff goes with us when we leave. Try paying attention to the house itself! The house I repainted in more neutral colors and the carpets I have shampooed 8 trillion times and the new roof and the 3 bedrooms and two baths for the cheap price. This is not a high-end house. It is not a high-end price. We would move out first and then show it, but fnancially, that is just not possible. I know it's just the opinion of one viewer, but it's really annoying and disheartening.

Our realtor spoke to the realtor of those people who were really really interested. What did the other realtor say? "They're really flaky. Sorry." Nice, huh?

So, if our house does not sell in time for our contingency contract on the other house to go through, we're pulling it off the market until spring. I just can't take it. We're in the midst of the winter slowdown, and I just can't handle this stress for the few lookers we'll get in that time. We'll put it back on the market in February. I don't want to do that, but I think it's the best option. We have to get a solid offer within the next three weeks for the other contract to go through.

And finally, kittens are cute, but kittens make me crazy. :p

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Disturbing developments

Disturbing developments at our house. Look at this.

Kittens. In the house. KITTENS IN THE HOUSE!

My husband is a big softy. These are the latest in a long line of kittens produced by irresponsible neighbors. You mention spaying and neutering and what do they say? "Oh, we're not spending money on that". Then don't get the freaking cats!!!!

It has not yet been determined what we are doing with these kittens. I think they are probably moving with us. (If that ever happens. Urg.) One of our cats ran away about 6 months ago and she has been very missed. These kittens have very different, but great, personalities. And the other indoor cat seems to be OK with them. Not snuggle up with them OK, but no hissing when they enter the room. She's not really one to snuggle up with anyone but my hubby.

The black and white one is a boy and his been dubbed Bandit. The grey one is a girl and is known as Smokey. Yes, Smokey and the Bandit. It's horrifying. I'm calling them Smitty and Olive. And yes, if they are staying with us, they will be neutered and spayed.

Here's another disturbing development.

The back of an arrrgyle sock. Scary, huh?

But the other one turned out OK, and weaving in the ends wasn't too painful.

These are my first intarsia, first argyle, first socks ever knit for my husband. It's good I wanted to try them out, because if I was knitting them purely because he liked them, it could have been bad. They're not perfect, but they're pretty cool, I think!

It was my son Q's seventh birthday last week. Here are some things that are important to a boy turning seven.

I knit the fingerless gloves with some icky acrylic he chose long ago at the craft store. He loves them because they're his favorite color. He calls them his racing gloves.

And here are A's wristwarmers I knit for her when she was home with me last week. The ribbing pulls in when she takes them off and they look too tiny to fit on a human. She looks so cute wearing them!

She says I should make some for the kittens.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Flashing that Sock Stash

I have a helper at home this week. A is my kindergartener. She had school Monday, but the rest of this week, they have kindergarten assessments, so she's here with me, except for the 40 minutes we went to the school this morning for her assessment. She loves the ways of the yarn, so yesterday afternoon, we decided to do a little stash-diving. That's mostly "leftover" acrylic stash. Most of the stuff I really love is better organized in the cubbies. A said she was going to choose some of the yarn to be her own. She chose all the little bitty balls of leftovers. She also talked me into knitting her some pink wristwarmers. They were done by this morning, and she wore them to her assessment. She said they helped her think better. LOL.

She spent some time drawing after we were done stash-diving, but she was a little cool, so of course she had to wear a lace shawl! That's my birch, knit with Rowan kidsilk haze.

Now, to the point of this post. Sock yarn stash! As a part of the socktoberfest festivities, I'm sharing my sock yarn stash. Counting it up, it looks like only 10 1/2 pairs of woman-sized socks! I've done pretty well on keeping it under control. I do have two pairs of socks on the needles right now, in addition to this. Most of this is yarn I bought "just because". I know I will use it, but I don't have any particular pattern in mind. The green was bought to make some leaf-motif socks. The two skeins of sockotta (bottom right) were bought on vacation this summer because it was a good deal, and it was pretty, and they don't have it at my LYS. (OK, they don't have much of anything at my LYS.)

The little balls and deflated skeins over to the left are leftovers. There's enough of that autumn-colored knitpicks yarn to make A the rpm socks she wants, "just like yours, mommy."

So, pretty standard, kinda boring sock yarn. LOL. I don't have any of the fancy stuff. I've never seen it in person. I did join a monthly sock club so I can try new and different stuff. I'm only on month two, but it's been fun so far! I knitted the first pair and wear them, and I'm currently knitting the second pair. When I get that new stuff, I want to try it out right away! And I always have to have a small project to carry around for all those "waiting" times.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mason-Dixon madness continues!

I don't know if I'll ever get tired of knitting things from this book (Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne). I wouldn't be surprised if I eventually knit almost every pattern in there. I don't know what it is, but they are just so satisfying and fun!

These are the latest. Baby bib o' Love, with added ruffle, and Baby Genius burp cloth. No. I don't know anyone personally who is having a baby girl right now, but someone is getting a cute gift when they do! The ruffle pattern is "Lace Bells" from Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein.

I was knitting the burp rag as something midless to carry around with me, and I wasn't paying attention and made it WAY too long! So I ended up ripping almost half of it to make it a normal length. Then I had enough pink left over (from a 100 gram ball of Lily Elite Cotton) to make the bib. Just barely. I actually made the straps a teensy bit short, but they still fit around the neck of my nine year old daughter comfortably, so I'm thinking a baby will be fine. (She thought it was a tank-top front and was holding it up to see if it would fit her. LOL.) That ruffle sure did suck up a lot of yarn, but it was worth it, I think!

I have some blue and the leftover white in this yarn to make a boy set sometime, too. I really like this yarn, and I'm hoping to find it somewhere local.

I went to KIP (knitting in public) last night, and had fun as always! I took my two oldest daughters this time, and they had so much fun, it's going to be difficult to make them stay home most of the time. But mom needs her "me-time"!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Found this quiz on my friend Michele's knitting blog. :) Pretty accurate, but I don't think I'm as flaky as this sounds.

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are interchangeable.Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!

Take this quiz!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Socktoberfest Questionnaire

Lolly posted a socktoberfest questionnaire, so I'm answering it here. I hope you enjoy my sock history.

When did you start making socks?
One year ago, September 2005.

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I was visiting a friend halfway across the country, and we saw that the Yarn Harlotwas going to be visiting a yarn shop near her while I was there. Of course, we had to go! And if we were seeing the Yarn Harlot and her traveling sock, we needed a sock of our own. My friend, Christina, does not knit, and I was a novice, but I dug out the sock yarn and needles I had brought with me (see, it was going to happen anyway . . .) and cast on a sock that afternoon. I worked the cuff before we went, but I was not pleased. The ribbing was too loose and floppy. But, we used it for pictures, and I told Stephanie that I was unhappy with it. She told me to go down a needle size and try a 2x2 ribbing rather than the 1x1 my pattern called for. I ripped it after my vacation was done and re-did it, much better! I basically taught myself with Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy, a free pattern from the ballband of Lion Brand Magic Stripes sock yarn, and a little help from the Yarn Harlot.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
They were those Magic Stripes socks. They've held up great. They fit me well, and so far, they haven't gotten worn out at all. I wear them quite a bit in the winter.

What would you have done differently?
I don't think I would have done anything differently. Getting a little tip from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is a great way to knit your first pair of socks. :)

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
I loved my Trekking XXL I bought, not having a clue, that evening when we saw the Yarn Harlot. So Pretty! I haven't bought any of the really fancy sock yarns. I've used lots of utilitarian yarns, and they've worked great. Right now, I'm using some jaggerspun 3-ply that's very splitty. I started these socks on wooden needles in order to be able to take them into the courthouse for jury duty. But, now that that's done, I'm switching back to metal!

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I'm a very good crocheter. I've crocheted for over 10 years. But I've never crocheted socks. I don't think the fabric has enough stretch. I prefer to knit them on DPNs. I'm not fond of two circulars or magic loop. I love shiny, slippery, pointy metal needles. The Susan Bates silvalume ones are my favorites.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I prefer a flap heel , generally. I like the way it snugs up to my heel, and picking up stitches is fun. But I actually do short and flap heels about evenly. Short row heels require less thinking for me, so I kind of default to that when I'm just whipping up a generic sock.

How many pairs have you made?
About 16? I believe I've made 9 pairs for other people and about 7 for myself.

Yay for Socktoberfest!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fetching Fetching

That's one of those words that starts looking funny if you read it too many times. Fetching fetching fetching fetching fetching fetching fetching. See? A little too close to retching. But I only have two fetchings to show you. (No retching.)

These are the fetching wristwarmers from the summer 2006 issue of Knitty. The dark pair I made for myself shortly after the issue came out, from Reynolds Odyssey. The cables show up much better in person, and the yarn has so much depth. These took one skein and I have one more of the same. Any grand ideas for it? The purple pair was made from leftovers of KnitPicks merino style. I made a sweater (recently finished, but not yet shared with you) for myself from it. These wristwarmers were a gift for my sister's birthday a couple weeks ago. I knew she would love them, but I was surprised by how excited she was about them. This is really a great pattern. It doesn't take long, and the cables aren't too complicated, but they look (and feel) so nice! I like how the cables around the wrist give it a little tighter fit right there.

Totally unrelated non-knitting content:

I had jury duty this week. Like most other people, I was not looking forward to it, and would have gotten out of it if I could. But, there I was yesterday morning. My number was called in the second group of prospective jurors, and from the pool of 28, I was one of the chosen 12. Only three of us were women.

The trial commenced after lunch and continued until 4:30, when we were dismissed until this morning. Of course, you can't discuss the case with anyone or form any solid opinions until you deliberate. Then, when it's all done you can blab all you want.

This morning, we were all there on time, with our juror badges on (which let everyone in the courthouse not to discuss anything related to any trial where we could hear it). We sat in the jury room, very carefully not talking about it, until our jury instructions were ready. Then we went back out and heard the instructions and closing statements. Then it was time to go back into our little room and deliberate.

It didn't take us long to come to a verdict, but we did carefully consider all the evidence. It was a fairly cut and dried case, and we all hope that the 5-6 years the defendant will likely get at sentencing will be enough to help him make the decision to turn his life around. We didn't know what the sentence would possibly be while we were deliberating (and we couldn't consider it, even if we had). The judge told us later when he came back to talk to us. We also didn't know that this young man who is now barely 19 and has been in jail for the 5 months since the crime was committed already had an assault conviction on his adult record, as well as at least 3 juvenile felonies in another state.

It all makes me wish that a young man wouldn't build this kind of record. That he wouldn't be homeless, with no one to come to his trial, at 19. I just really, really hope that the system can help him and he can overcome his past, and his past bad choices, to emerge better on the other side. In any case, I'm glad he won't be back on the streets for a while.