Thursday, November 20, 2008

What laundry?

Today, on the latest edition of "Avoiding the Laundry," I bring you socks. Lovely, handknit socks. Random socks which I'm pretty sure have not been posted before despite the fact that they have been living in my sock drawer for, lo, so many months, and are now getting the chance to reside on my feet. Which, sadly, means more laundry.


Peak Experience socks. These were in the Twist sock-of-the-month (SOTM) club, oh, sometime.

Rather than give you all the details on all these socks, I'm going to link each to my Ravelry project page for each. If you want details and you're not on Ravelry, well, you should be.

Elegant Cable socks From SOTM club a billion (or about 2) years ago.

Sake socks. Jackie's design for Twist SOTM.

Road to Hana socks. From SOTM a while back.

Now, I'm not going to tell you how long those pictures were sitting in my camera before I managed to put them on the computer. I am going to tell you that I hid the camera from my husband, because, despite the fact that the camera was bought for the express purpose of ME having it, and not HIM, there were approximately 1 billion pictures of model cars, 10 of the kids and 5 of the knitting in the batch I downloaded from the memory card. He will have to go back to using his own cruddy camera which he made cruddy all on his own and get no more painty fingerprints on mine.

OK, back to the laundry . . . At least there are cheerful socks in there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I've made a couple baby gifts lately, for a couple babies.

This last weekend I went to a baby shower for an old friend. Turns out they had that shower just in time! She was being induced last night because of high blood pressure. I haven't heard anything yet, but fingers crossed that everything is going well!

I gave her these for her baby boy.
This hat (Reversible Stripes and Dots from Itty Bitty Hats.)
And this blanket, with sailboats on one side, and smooth superman-colored satin on the other.

The other baby shower was one I hosted for my sister-in-law back in September. Here's the package I put together for her.

I think I've posted most of those things in the past. It's the crocheted star baby blanket, a pewter frame that matches the nursery (baby bugs), some knitted socks, a Mason-Dixon baby kimono, baby bell bottoms, and a lovebug bee.

Here are the bell bottoms alone. They were a last-minute addition.
And the lovebug.

And the sweetest lovebug of all, my niece. She's dressed as a ladybug for Halloween. She's snuggling with her grandpa (my dad.) They look pretty content, huh?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saw this on Mental Floss.

Good Actresses in Bad Horror Movies

Score: 40% (4 out of 10)

Think you can do better?

Saw these on my feet.

I love knee socks. Unreasonably. Love.
Pattern is "Evening Stockings for a Young Lady" in Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. I used Knit Picks Essential sock yarn. Pattern called for 3 skeins, but I used one for each sock with less than a meter left over, even with the extra inch I added to the leg. So I have one skein left to play with sometime.

I know there are more knee socks in my future.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


That's my Myers-Briggs profile. Now, I've known this for about 15 years, so why bring it up now? I saw this "Colors of Fitness" inventory on Lolly's blog. Interesting. You know I can't resist an online quiz. My result was Blue Efficient. And while I see bits of myself in there, I decided to look up what my known Myers-Briggs profile pulled up. Saffron Efficient! That's more like it. This in particular sounds like me: "Independent, and often perfectionists, Saffrons are drawn to activities that require a high level of performance. Boredom can be a concern for Saffrons, and they find satisfaction in physical pursuits that push them to higher fitness levels."

Sounds like me in my knitting, in my workouts, in school, in work, in life.

It's so nice to be understood. :p

While I was puttering around, I read a bit about traits of INTPs. It all seemed very familiar. What surprised me was that, depending in which site I trust, only 1-3% of people are INTPs. I am a rare gem. ;) Makes me wonder which of the people around me would pull up a similar result.

Speaking of my fitness goals, my daughter M (11) asked if we could run the 10K next May, since we didn't make it last May. I told her we'll aim for it. My left shin is giving me serious trouble right now, so I'm not running on it. I don't want to end up with a really big problem. I never thought I would say I miss running, but I really, really do. More pilates for me. (I like pilates, but it's not the same as going out and pounding out a good run.) Pilates and other low-impact exercise. I know that's where I started out, but now I'm used to higher intensity and I don't want to backslide. I just have to keep reminding myself that its better to take a break and stay healthy than to keep going and have a serious injury.

But I really want to run.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I have this sticker on my shirt. Now go get one of your own! Vote!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm an aunt again!

My new baby niece was born this morning at 4:40. She was 8 lb 7 oz. My sister-in-law was induced yesterday morning (past her due date), but that baby was still taking her time! SIL pushed for 2 hours. What a trooper. I'm going to go see her in a bit. My first niece and the first child for this brother and his wife, after 4 years of anticipation. They're over the moon.

I've been stitching lately. I did three little Twisted Threads gingham monthly pieces over the weekend. I'm in sleeve hell (which doesn't usually bother me) on the sweater I'm knitting and some small stitching pieces were the cure. Now I'm back to sleeves with only an inch of reverse stockinette left before I join to the already-knitted body and knit up from there.

In the absence of pictures, here's another blog quiz. lol.

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Non-conformist, Visionary, and Independent

4 Abstract, -4 Islamic, -5 Ukiyo-e, 3 Cubist, -1 Impressionist and -22 Renaissance!

Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which exists independently of what may appear to others as visual realities. Western had been underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. It allowed the progressive thinking artists to show a different side to the world around them. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a 'new kind of art' which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. Abstract artists created art that was diverse and reflected the social and intellectual turmoil in all areas of Western culture.

People that chose abstract art as their preferred art form tend to be visionaries. They see things in the world around them and in people that others may miss because they look beyond what is visual only with the eye. They rely on their inner thoughts and feelings in dealing with the world around them instead of on what they are told they should think and feel. They feel freed from the tendency to be bound by traditional thought and experiences. They look more toward their own ideas and experiences than what they are told by their religious upbringing or from scientific evidence. They tend to like to prove theories themselves instead of relying on the insight or ideas of others. They are not bound by common and mundane, but like to travel and have new experiences. They value intelligence, but they also enjoy a challenge. They can be rather argumentative when they are being forced or feel as if they are being forced to conform.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

(Now what does it mean that I had to correct some spelling in there before I could post this? :p)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another lame blog quiz . . .

Maybe I like these so much because I'm such a nerd. ;) And I think if there were questions about knitting rather than sci-fi, my geek number would be higher.

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test...

Pure Nerd

91 % Nerd, 39% Geek, 22% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Friday, September 26, 2008

Jane Austen, anyone?

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

Another silly blog quiz, found on my friend Christina's blog. If you've read a lot of Austen (or even just watched all those movies on Masterpiece Theatre) it's a fun little quiz.

Still running, still loving it. It's been hot here again (mid to high 80s) so not quite as fun as running on a cool morning, but it's still nice to get out and run, especially when the hubby comes with me.

I'm still knitting that never-ending shawl. It has become my nemesis. I ran out of yarn halfway through the first attempt at the border. After letting it sit in timeout for a while, I unraveled that border and chose one half the width. That should have worked, right? Ha! I got three quarters through that one before I ran out. I unraveled that one yesterday and decided to just do a row of yarnovers, a knit row, and a picot bind-off. The yarnovers will separate the bind-off like a border and also make certain it is loose enough to allow for proper lace blocking. I'm not declaring victory yet, but it's going well so far.

I want that shawl done, and those needles free for my green sweater! I've decided on Tussie Mussie from the Fall '07 Knitty. My yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK.

Oh, if you're a Twist Yarn Shop customer, check out the black Oblique cardigan on display there. (I just realized that's from the same issue of Knitty as Tussie Mussie and Mr. Greenjeans, which I knitted last fall and wore all winter. Love Knitty!) I knitted Oblique with the KAL there, and they're picking it back up. Check it out fast because once it gets cold, I'm stealing my sweater back. I haven't worn it yet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sad sock


I've been going through my pictures and my Ravelry projects trying to get things caught up. There are several projects lacking pictures and several pictures without project listings and lots and lots of pictures and projects that need to be added.

This is a sock that didn't make the cut. See, it even has sad cell phone pictures? I didn't even bother finding the camera for this when I decided to frog the sock a few weeks ago.

I love this pattern (from the Fall '08 Interweave Knits.) I love this yarn (Fibranatura Yummy.) I even like the way they look together. But two things doomed this sock to the frog pond: a gauge issue, and a knitter issue. I was knitting this sock on size 0 needles, which gave me a good gauge for fitting the sock, but it was really too tight for the yarn. It was making my hands hurt, which is bad. Also, this pattern has two different charts for the two different feet. In the magazine, they give you the instructions for the right sock first, but the chart for the left sock is on the left (thus first, in my mind.) You got it. I knitted the wrong chart, and it really messes everything up. So, away the sock went. I will knit these socks (left one first) and I will use this yarn, but not together.


Still running. I'm doing more pilates between running days in hopes that my lower legs will be happier that way. Don't worry, I'm taking care of myself. My whole body is responding well to the running, and I know I could run faster, but my lower legs are not happy when I do, so I slow down. Don't make fun of me if you see me out jogging along with my short legs. lol. I used Google maps to track the route the hubby and I took this morning, and it says we went 1.8 miles. My pedometer said 1.77 miles and I wasn't sure whether I could believe it, but it seems like it was pretty accurate (assuming Google maps can be trusted.) We ran for 3 minutes at a time today (walked 90 seconds between) and it felt good.

Friday is "Walk to School" day here, and I think we'll walk the younger kids to school and then run a convoluted route home. We'll have to go the opposite direction and then come back or do some wacky loops to fit the whole run in between the school and home.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mmmmm, cake.


This is the cake I made for my daughter M's birthday at the beginning of April. Hmmm. Seems I may be a little behind on the blogging. Isn't it cute? It was yummy, too. We made a banana cake with chocolate frosting. The face is vanilla frosting mixed with a little peanut butter. The recipe was on

So, about food . . . My sister's boyfriend (a fitness fanatic) is always saying that exercising will make you less hungry. Now, I will agree that it makes me crave healthier things, but less hungry? No way! The days I run I feel like I am starving all day. Starving! I could eat a whole cow. OK, maybe not a whole cow, but definitely a big steak. I usually make do with a hard-boiled egg, because I figure that means I need some protein.

Hubby made dinner (4 courses) all on the grill on Wednesday. It took a crazy long time. We decided that we don't expect to use those particular recipes again, but he's planning to do the grill again tomorrow. (I hope it's not raining at dinner time.) He got these recipes out of Men's Health magazine. There was a salad with grilled shrimp (yummy,) quesadillas (fine, but easier in the oven,) grilled corn on the cob (good) with a chipotle sauce (not so good,) and vanilla ice cream with a caramelized rum sauce (which didn't turn out right.) In any case, food I didn't have to cook is always better than the alternative.

Today was the third run of week 2. The hubby came with me again. It was pouring down rain (but no lightning) so we got good and soaked. I love the rain. It got me thinking about winter, though. I will run in the cold this year. Last year the cold (along with all the stress that was my life last year) got the best of me. If I can run in the rain, I can run in the cold. But what about when it's slippery? I suppose I will just deal with that when it happens. Maybe that membership to the Y would be the way to go. I am determined to keep going this time.

My calves will thank me for two days of rest, I'm sure. Week 3 running happens MWF next week. I think the hubby will keep running with me. We had a chat about the sudden interest in a healthier lifestyle and he admitted that he knows he's quickly approaching his mid-30s, which he says is not as young as he once was. Hee. He may be getting cuter in his "old" age. Ha.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The hubby came running with me today. He wasn't working today, so he was glad to come along. We got back home well before he leaves for work normally anyway, so we'll see if he tags along again. I think he enjoyed it. He's been surprising lately: reading Men's Health magazine, volunteering to cook dinner on the nights he's home at dinnertime. It's fantastic. A helpful man who is finally getting interested in taking good care of himself. He's never been a plump fellow, and still isn't, but his suit didn't fit for my grandma's funeral and I don't think he liked that. Plus, I think he sees how much better my mood is when I've been taking care of myself. I'm not sure what it is, but I like it.

Because we've been pictureless lately, here are some belated pictures of our silly underwater bathroom. We have three bathrooms in the new house, one more than the old house. This is the basement bathroom, which is across the hall from my two oldest girls' bedrooms. Seems like a great place for a fun theme to me. (Sorry for the sideways pics. Didn't have time to fix them today.)

The kids and I all smeared the white walls with whatever paint we had on hand and thought would make a nice water color.

Then, a couple weeks later, we all grabbed our smaller brushes and painted whatever "under the sea" things we liked. The whole family jumped in, all four kids and the hubby and I.

The woodwork and floor required a real cleanup, but it was worth it. Fun! We don't have pictures of it here, but I painted some really tall (and some not so tall) sea plants to fill in some of the space between other things.

In any case, it's a cheerful place to be (and pee.) Ha. :p

Monday, September 08, 2008

Still running, still knitting.

Still running. :) I'm doing couch-to-5K (again.) I made it to week 3 the last time. I'm on week 2 now. I'm definitely enjoying it more this time. I haven't managed to drag the hubby out with me yet. I didn't even get out on Friday, afflicted with 2 sick children. (They're fine now. Minor stomach bug.) Thanks, Stefaneener for the tip about the *ahem* intimate lives of couples who exercise together. That should hold some sway with the hormonally ravaged man. Oh, yeah only him. No one else. ;) I know he can't resist touching my back when I tell him to after I work out, even though he should know by now that I just want to gross him out with the sweat. (Sorry, was that TMI?) Anyway, he's either really dumb or unable to resist. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the one that makes me sound more desirable.

Knitting! Yes, I have been. I don't think I mentioned that I designed a sock for the Twist On Your Toes sock of the month club in July. They're the Bamboo Lace socks. I have to say I rather like them. :) Weird to be called a designer, though.

I was plagued by some kind of yarn-munching monster for a while there. (No, not moths! Knock on cedar.) I was only knitting two projects and I ran out of yarn on both. Annoying! One was a towel I was knitting on the fly (no pattern.) Totally my fault that I ran out. I knew I was going to, but I erroneously thought that yellow dishcloth cotton would not be difficult to procure. It took me weeks to find some! When I finally found some, I bought three more balls even though I thought I would only need two. Turns out I just needed slightly less than one. Oh well. The towel is now gracing my bathroom. :) The other project was a shawl. I should have had plenty of yarn, but halfway through the border, I ran out. It's particularly annoying because I don't need all that much more, but it only comes in a monstrous 1375 yd skein. Of course I bought the one I used out-of-town a couple years ago. Ugh. It's in timeout until I decide to suck it up and buy another skein. What will I do with all the leftover Skacel Merino Lace, color 91? :p

OK, enough whining. I have been having fun, too. I'm knitting socks for me, my 11 yo daughter, and a Jeanie shawl for fun. Up next are socks for the other three kids. We'll see how long I can hold off the green sweater yarn that's calling to me from across the room. "Knit me! Knit me!" Silly yarn. It doesn't have to act so desperate.

Enough rambling for now! It's cooling down here in Kansas. Crisp leaves, sweater weather, and lit fireplaces are around the corner.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Am I a runner?

First off, thanks to everyone for the condolences on my grandma's death. She was a great lady. The services were so nice, and the priest knew her very well. He gave a great eulogy during the homily. Afterward, Saturday, many of us went back to my parents' house and stayed until bedtime. It was great to catch up with family we don't have unstructured time with very often. Turns out my cousin's husband is some kind of board game aficionado. He was like the cruise director for anyone he could rope into playing. I discovered that if you sat at the table, even just to see what was going on, you were in the game. No backing out! You were learning the rules to obscure board games no matter how little brain power you had at that moment. We asked if he's busy Fridays (when we have family dinner) because it was a lot of unexpected fun.

Now about running . . . I've been doing it. Yesterday I had the first run of my life that I can genuinely say I enjoyed while I was running. In my very short, very sporadic running life, I have only ever enjoyed it when it was done. You know, like, "Hey! I did it! I did something very unpleasant that is good for me!" But yesterday I caught myself smiling instead of grimacing. I found a comfortable pace. I looked at the clouds that were spitting rain on me and saw how pretty they were. I was even friendly to the barking dogs running along the other side of fences.

I'm not even too sore today. I can feel that I did it in that good "my muscles worked" way, not in that "I don't think I can stand" way. I'm dragging my husband out with me in the morning. I convinced him that it will be like a date. Heh heh heh.

Does this mean I'm a runner? Only time will tell, but I just may be after all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My grandma died yesterday afternoon.

She'd had a stroke 2 years ago and had various health problems since then, but she was doing OK, despite her inability to speak. She was in assisted living and I saw her at least once a week, unless she was in the hospital. Monday night, she started breathing shallowly. They took her to the hospital and did some tests that indicated she had a blockage in her aorta. No way to operate, and even if they could, it would be prolonging the inevitable. She slept all day yesterday and died peacefully with her four children surrounding her.

I'm really sad, even though I know she's with my grandpa now. She'd missed him terribly since his death 10 years ago.

If you're the praying sort, please say one for the soul of my grandma (and godmother.) She was a lovely woman and I loved her.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Disney Princess are you?

You see past the bad things in people. You also don't settle for someone who is below your standards. You care about your education and you love your family. It takes a lot to win your heart, but once someone does they can count on you to be loyal.
How do you compare?
Take this test! | Tests from Testriffic

I'm not so into Disney, but I thought this was a fun quiz. Besides, I knew the result before I ever took the test. Belle really is the least princessy of the princesses. Not such a silly girl.

I've been helping my mom clean out my grandma's house a lot lately. It's a lot of work, but I have come home with some treasures. We have also found a lot of trash. Literally trash. I mean, empty plastic bags, old pill bottles, random stacks of crumpled tissue paper. The house looked like it was in good shape (it's a beautiful old house), but you look a little deeper and it needed a lot of organization. It's SOOoo much emptier than it was, but there's still a long way to go. I don't know what the plan is for getting rid of the last things no one wants. The house needs to be sold to someone who will love it and take care of it. It's a historic home that has been completely restored. It's been 2 years since grandma had her stroke and moved to assisted living. The house needs a family again. It will be sad to see it go, but it will be good to have someone in there taking care of it the way it should be.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

These crack me up.

McCain and Obama paper dolls. I got the heads-up on these from my regular Dover books e-mail. What fun we could have with these! Heeeee.

Barack Obama Paper Doll Website

John McCain Paper Doll Website

Mosaic Meme

The kids go back to school Thursday. Everyone is excited. M (11) is trying to go down there every day anyway just to open her locker and walk back home. Nutty kid. The schools are at the end of our street. It will be nice to be so close. Registering them last week was the nicest school registration experience I've ever had. Everyone was so nice and helpful. They seemed genuinely happy to be there. The school facilities are great, too. It's wonderful to have school be such a positive place!

I don't know that I'll be blogging more once they're back to school, but I will finally have the time to go to the grocery store by myself and work out without having people interrupt me 18 times in an hour. In the meantime, here's a fun meme to tide you over.

Meme Mosaic

Here's the meme:
Type your answer to each of the questions below into a Flickr search. Choose your favorite image from the first page, then copy and paste each of the URLs into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).

The questions:
1. What is your first name? (Lara)
2. What is your favorite food? (lasagne)
3. What high school did you attend? (Kapaun Mt. Carmel, had to drop the Mt. Carmel to get results)
4. What is your favorite color? (blue)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (no big ones, but I went with Milo Ventimiglia)
6. Favorite drink? (Diet Coke, yes I know it's evil)
7. Dream vacation? (New Zealand)
8. Favorite dessert? (chocolate cake)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (artist, still figuring out what that means)
10. What do you love most in life? (my family)
11. One word to describe you. (creative)
12. Your Flickr name. (bzzlarabzz, had to go with bzz)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Look, stitching!

My friend Christina sent me the chart and threadpack for this piece as a housewarming gift right after our move. She said this little piece would be something I could finish fast and give me a sense of accomplishment amidst the chaos of moving. Smart woman! It was really fun to stitch and turned out very cute. I always love stitching with Crescent Colours floss. It is so smooth and shiny and the colors are beautiful.

Speaking of moving, here are a couple of pictures of the new pad. I probably could have gotten a picture of the whole front in one if I had crossed the street, but I didn't. My side of the garage is nearly empty. I should be able to park in there in two weeks after we take the rest of the empty boxes to the recycling truck. (It only comes around once every two weeks, and we were out of town this weekend when it came.)

This is my first porch that is big enough to hold a chair, much less two and a little table. :) I've enjoyed sitting out there in the evenings with my knitting and a citronella candle.

You can see with the landscaping, I keep having surprises popping up. I have never been a gardener, but I keep looking things up to see what I can do not to kill them. My dad says I should go to the local nursery and get a book about plants to help me identify things. I sometimes have problems telling if something is supposed to be there or not. My policy so far is to leave it if I'm unsure and pull it later if I don't like it or it's getting invasive.

We love it here. I made a list this morning of all the house projects there are to be done. It's not too long, really. I didn't get any of those things done today, but I did get the van cleaned out after our weekend trek to Branson. That's a pretty big accomplishment, really. ;)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rainbow herring

I finished these socks a long time ago, sometime in May.

may1508 006

They are the Red Herring pattern from Knitty, made with Noro Kureyon Sock and gray Knitpicks Palette.

may1508 005

They really are both the same length. I must have been holding my legs funny or something. :p

The Kureyon Sock is very interesting. I didn't mind working with it, having worked with Noro before, I knew what to expect. We'll see if the socks soften up as much as the other Noro I've used has.

I did a short-row heel rather than the afterthought heel the pattern called for.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the colorwork. I haven't done a lot of it in the past, but I can see myself doing much more in the future.

I love them! So cheerful.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"When your friends think smile, they think of you. There is not a day that goes by that you can't find something good about the world and your fellow human."

I hope that's true. :)

Speaking of sunny, here is the little yellow hoodie. I am very happy with how it turned out. It had way too many little pieces to sew together, though. It's very soft. Knit from Bernat Cottontots.


This picture is courtesy of M, my 11 year old daughter. I need to tell her about taking pictures of FOs straight on. :) She's having fun with the camerra now that it holds over 1000 pictures instead of 3. She was taking pictures of any of my knitting she could find.

Off with me! We're going to go visit some friends who used to live around the block from us. Lunch and fun! A couple years ago, they moved to the next state, but now they're back. Unfortunately, I couldn't convince them to move to our new small town. They chose one on the other side of our metropolitan area, 35 minutes away. But, we'll drive this time and see their new house. They'll drive next time and see our new house. Maybe we can meet in the middle sometimes and do something in town. Hopefully we can get together once a month or so.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I saw this on V's blog. Fun!

Looks like I've got a big gap in the northwest. I think it would be fun to eventually visit all the states. (And perhaps go back to some of these I only saw as a young child.)

Here are a couple pictures of a finished pair of magic booties and the baby pants. The hoodie is now seamed up, all I have to do is the buttons and loops.

june12 015

june12 014

These photos are courtesy of my oldest daughter, E. She has more patience for taking 3 photos at a time and uploading them than I do. She took them on our front porch. For the first time, we have a porch big enough to allow sitting, so we got some things to sit upon. It's very nice to sit out there in the evening if it isn't too hot, or raining sideways. If it's raining straight down, we're fine. But there's been a lot of sideways rain, and also lightening, lately. It's been a stormy spring and summer so far!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So far, so good on the yellow baby sweater. It seems to be doing just fine. I've been knitting the Magic Baby Booties in free moments. They are brain-free knitting and fast and cute. I knitted a pair on Wednesday that accidentally matched the new pants and in-progress sweater. You just knit them from sock yarn leftovers, which I have plenty of.

I am planning to buy a pair of little pants to match the pink and cream kimono. That seems to be the best solution. I don't know that I'll have a lot of luck finding a good color to go with it. It's a funny pink and a heathered, natural cream.

I have a baby surprise jacket, also, that would look good with a lot of different colors of pants. I finally sewed buttons on that today. It's been sitting buttonless for a very long time, because my buttons were packed, and since there were no babies in need of it, it waited. Now it's ready.

I finally ordered a memory card for my camera. It should get here this week, I hope. I had been looking in local stores, but no one stocks them anymore. Must be a format that is going out of style. So, you may get photos yet! I'm itching to update my ravelry projects.

You may get to see my house eventually. :p

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ahhhhh, summer.

Summertime . . . and the knitting's easy.

Or not.

I'm trying to knit a baby sweater. It's giving me fits.

OK, it started with a baby kimono I knitted a long while ago, simply because I wanted to. I thought,"Oh, that kimono and socks would be a great gift for one of the many babies that will be coming along in the next 2-8 months. I think I will knit some little pants to go with it."

I started out with some baby bell bottoms. I knitted one leg and it was wide and stumpy and weird. No go. Rippit.

Then I went for a pair of the baby pants from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts." I've knitted them before. No problem, right? I decided to add a little ruffle to the bottom of the legs. Things were going along swimmingly until I got 3" from the top of the pants and ran out of yarn. A couple emergency stripes later, they are adorable.

And too big. There is no way they will go with that tiny kimono.

OK, another sweater now to go with the pants. (Try to forget that the whole point was to gift the surplus kimono.) I started a girly hoodie in a deep blue. Lovely! And tiny, I noticed, after knitting a hood, a yoke, and two sleeves. Rippit. Also ripped up the pattern, because the tininess was only one of its many problems. (Suffice it to say that I had to rewrite the stitch pattern to make sense, and none of their stitch counts at the end of the row were correct, either for their try at the stitch pattern or mine.)

I'm getting ready to start my next try. Different yarn, a pale yellow. Different hoodie.

Wish me luck! If this doesn't work, every baby is getting a storebought pack of burpcloths.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Feeling unfinished

I've been reading blogs today, between prodding children, and I've found a lot of people feeling restless, unfinished. We're all antsy. Things to be done, faced, finished and we don't know how, don't have the means, or don't want to do it.

I'm there with ya.

We are racing to finish the school year, but neither the kids nor I really feel like sitting down and doing it. We've been doing marathons of work to get to that completion percentage, but no one kid is completely finished with anything yet.

All the schoolwork is getting in the way of me finishing anything else. The house is a mess. (Believe me, with four kids and a non-neatnik husband, the house is rarely up to snuff.) I want to organize, I want to paint things. I want to GET THINGS DONE!

It's not happening. I have to just plod along on what we're doing and remember that the summer fun will come soon enough.

(Please don't tell me I'm a freak for thinking summer fun includes organizing and painting. I like it. And I particularly like it when it's done and looking lovely.)

I also want to have people over and drink icy, fruity drinks and grill things and hang out in the sun.

I want to get the school books out of my dining room and gear the kids up for the fall when they will be attending new schools.

There is so much I want, and so little is happening.

That song from Santa Claus is Coming to Town keeps popping into my head. "Put one foot in front of the other."

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

You never will get where you’re going
If you never get up on your feet
Come on, there’s a good tail wind blowing
A fast walking man is hard to beat

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

If you want to change your direction
If your time of life is at hand
Well don’t be the rule be the exception
A good way to start is to stand

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

If I want to change the reflection
I see in the mirror each morn
You mean that it's just my election
To vote for a chance to be reborn

(repeat chorus twice)

See how it says "repeat chorus twice"? Yes, I know it's the construction of the song, but I think it's a good reminder that we have to just keep going. We'll get past it and soon we'll look back and see what we accomplished.

Keep on going, everyone!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Baa, baa, black sheep . . .

Have you any wool?

Yessir, yessir, TWO bags full!

These are my first raw fleeces, from two Icelandic sheep named Carry and Alle. The fleeces were already very clean, but they still get a bath.

They are currently making my hall bathroom smell all sheepy while soaking in some hot water and Dawn dish soap. Once they're clean, I'm going to have to figure out where the cats won't try to attack them while drying. :p

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Funny. The only celebrity I've ever been told I resemble is Renee Zellweger. But Drew Barrymore is my husband's #1 celebrity crush. Hee.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I may be predictable.

A package came in the mail today. Q ran out to grab the mail from the mail carrier. He came running in and said, "Mommy! I think you got yarn!"

"Noo,"I said, "it's not yarn."

"It's squishy like yarn."

I told him to open it up and see what it was. He opened it and said, "It is yarn!"

I said, "Noooo."

A said, "No! It's wool! That wool stuff mom spins into yarn!" (Making little spinning movements with her hands.)

I said, "Nooooo. Open it up the rest of the way."

"Oh. It's a blanket. Why did you order a blanket?"

"It was free with my order of our TV cabinet and patio panel."

"Oh, OK. I thought it was yarn."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tractors, ugh!

There are tractors working behind my fence. They are noisy and annoying. Our backyard backs up to what used to be railroad tracks. The tracks have been removed and the resulting trail covered with gravel. Sometimes we see people walking or running or riding bikes back there. The kids and I did a bit of all three evening before last.

Last week, there were surveyors back there one day. Yesterday, some trucks came and dropped large yellow pipes along the (former) tracks. Today, there are tractors and diggers. Noisy. Annoying. I have no idea what they're doing. I wonder if they notified people about it before we moved in. I should ask the neighbors.

We have a wooden platform in our back yard that looks like a half-built kids' playhouse. My kids like to climb up on it and see what is going on behind the fence. It's rainy today. (And NOISY. And ANNOYING.) So the kids have not gone out there.


Oh, I have a new digital camera. I love it! Except for one thing. It holds three pictures at a time. Three. I need to buy a memory card for it. :p Maybe I could then take pictures of the NOISY, ANNOYING TRACTORS!!!!!!!

(And my house.)

(And my knitting . . .)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Habits of the Modern Stitcher

I haven't been stitching a lot lately, but unpacking my completed, framed pieces and finding homes for them in the new house has me thinking about it. So, here's a meme I found on V's blog.

Habits of the Modern Stitcher

1.How do you hold your fabric?
I stitch in-hand (no hoops or frames) so I just hold the fabric in my left hand, rolled up if it's a large piece.

2.Floss licker?

3.How do you thread your needle?
I pinch the end of the floss between the thumb and forefinger of my left hand and kind of squeeze it into the eye of the needle.

4.What needle do you like best?
For the fabrics I use most often, a 26.

5.Are you a needle loser?

6.What fabric do you prefer to stitch on?
Linen, 32 ct or higher.

7.Bobbins or floss bags?
I use the DMC stitchbows.

8.Are you a scissors collector?
Not really. I have maybe three pairs of embroidery scissors and none are anything amazing.

9.Do you do your own framing, and if so, do you lace or pin?
Yes. I usually lace. I used to pin.

10.Are you a floss floozy?
What did you call me? :p I do have a lot of floss.

Yes. But I have my preferences. A good cotton can have as much sheen and smoothness as a rough silk.

Not usually.

13.Are you a pattern or designer snob?
No. But I do have my preferences, of course.

14.Do you get antsy when you give someone a stitched gift?
Rarely. I only stitch for people who I know will love it.

15.Have you reached S.A.B.L.E.?
Does it really matter?

16.Do you wash your projects?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Long time no see!

Organizing after a move is a lot of work! I'm up to my ears in it!

Yes, we moved! And there is now a contract on the old house. Cross your fingers that everything goes smoothly with that. It only took 4 days after we moved out to get a contract.

I've also been dealing with the fact that some of our furniture just doesn't fit right here. lol. We didn't move any of the stuff we didn't like. The old computer desk, an armoire from our room, some storage shelves in the basement. They're all being picked up by Amvets. But I have some nice oak bookshelves and they just don't fit anywhere upstairs! I managed to find a decent spot for them in the basement, but I think I'm going to need something else for upstairs, too. Also, our TV armoire ended up going to the basement rec room, so there's no TV in the living room. I thought I might like that, but now I realize I really would prefer to have a TV up here. I found a TV armoire on clearance at Domestications that is the right height. A little tricky because it needs to be short enough to go in front of a half wall by the stairs. And it was the mission style I like, in real wood. I got the shipping notice on it today. This way I can still close the armoire and pretend there's no TV when I don't want to see it.

The sellers here took all the curtains the week before we closed on the house. Honestly, I didn't make a big deal about it because I was planning change them. The living room curtains had jungle animals on them. :p They took the rods, too, which is fine because they weren't to my taste. All the bedrooms have blinds, but we've been living without window coverings over the patio door and the living room window. That window is almost 10 feet wide! I had been having a hard time finding a curtain rod that would be long enough. Well, I was at Super Target over the weekend and they had a nice hefty rubbed bronze one long enough. And it was on clearance! $24 for a nice curtain rod. I ordered some drapes from, on sale, and used a coupon code. I ordered Monday, they came Wednesday morning! I need to buy the rings now. All told, it's going to be less than $200 to have this window treatment done and it will look so nice. I also ordered a patio panel from Domestications for the patio door. After I have it up, I'll have to decide if I want some kind of tailored valance over the top of it. No ruffles!

I have a goal to have no boxes in the living room by Saturday. But, I just tracked my new TV armoire and it should be here tomorrow. :p I'd better get back to work.

Friday, January 25, 2008


The Recipe For Lara

3 parts Originality
2 parts Desire
1 part Glamour

Splash of Tolerance


I thought this was cute. I love that my recipe gets to be chugged.

Knitting and spinning continue apace. I've decided to stitch a mystery sampler from Papillon Creations. It looks like a nice, small, fun piece to do.

The hubby is doing well at his new job. It offers many great benefits (besides the higher paycheck.) It has been nice having him home in the evenings. I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday, and when the major activity of the day was done, I just wanted to curl up on the couch and watch Ugly Betty (and maybe some Celebrity Rehab. Shhhh.) He took it upon himself to make a list and go to the grocery store all on his own. And the stuff he bought actually makes sense. He didn't come home with 18 bags of chips and a candy bar. He actually bought milk and bread and lunch meat and cereal for the kids. Shocking! Then, he made the kids help put it away.

Then, he accidentally turned on the wrong burner on the stove and exploded my new casserole dish, which was holding the cooling brownies my oldest daughter cooked while he was gone. I can still smell the lingering odor of brownies afire.

But he put it out and cleaned it up and apologized. Nobody's perfect. Certainly not me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Spinning Wheel!

Over the weekend, I finally found time to put together my spinning wheel. I love it! All the kids have taken turns treadling.

It's a Fricke S-160-DT.





And a box of fiber, waiting to be spun!


I haven't yet gotten fiber and wheel together, but I have read my book and just need to find a little time to focus and try it out. I'm so excited!

(Sorry for the blurry pictures!)