Friday, July 28, 2006

A bad mood

I know I'm supposed to be finishing almost finished objects, and blogging old FOs so there is a record of them somewhere. But I don't feel like it today. I'm feeling melancholy. Melancholy and fickle. I don't feel like doing anything I have to do. And I can't decide what I want to do. I'm sad and angry. I exhausted but I don't want to sleep. I'm uncomfortable in my own skin, but I can't scratch it off to reveal something nicer.

I miss my Mom. I want her back and I want to throw a huge tantrum until I feel someone in charge is listening to me and will either a) return her to me or b) explain why not. But I know neither will happen. I've lost touch with people I love. I had a best friend in college. For four years we were inseparable. I don't know how we spent so much time together and didn't kill each other. We were room mates, took the same classes, same sorority, same everything together. Then we lost touch. To this day I can't say why, but it saddens me. Deeply. I miss her presence in my life. She was liquid gold sunshine, and just being around her was fun, and she made me fun too. Things were just "more" if she was there. And I miss that "more". But I could run into her at the supermarket someday. I could call an old friend and they could say "Guess who I saw the other day." She's still out there, making things "more." But I'll never run into my Mom at the grocery store. She's not anywhere I can touch. She's just gone. She's left this huge gaping hole I can't fill. I cry making lunch and tell the kids I'm crying because I hate canned ravioli. Not one of them ate the ravioli that day. I might have scarred them for life.

I'm sick of the constant limbo of waiting to hear about The Greatest's possible job. This waiting isn't a surprise, we knew it would be mid-August at the earliest before we knew something concrete. But this feeling of living a suspending life is wearing on one's soul. We need to take one course of action if we're moving and a completely different course if we're staying. Until then we do nothing surrounded by two lists of things that need done. It weighs heavy on my mind, even though I know I can't do anything about it.

I'm tired of half dreams, and unfulfilled dreams, and half knit garments.

I've got a secret project that is nearing completion. But I'm finding it's lacey goodness too tedious. I can't concentrate and focus the way I need to.

Evil taunts me and must be frogged.

I tried to cast on something new. But I don't have the needles for Starsky. I flip through my other patterns, but none really catch my eye. I find an aran sweater I love, but it is child sized. I know at some point I will up-size it, but not today. I try to hug my stash for inspiration, but there's too much to see at one time. Too many random possibilities. I need to organize it. But I just don't feel like it today. I resort to sitting in front of my computer looking at pictures of my stash to try and decide if I have yarn I want to use and what I want to use it for. That doesn't work.

I've cast on for Somewhat Cowl, but even as I knit I know my yarn sub is unsuitable and I'll never be happy with the results, but I knit and knit and knit anyways, just to knit. I can always frog it later with Evil when this strange funk leaves.

Until then I wander, unsatisfied, and cry.

I wish it would stop raining.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My sad sad mistake

I have this beautiful blue Koigu KPPP357Q-whatever. It's sock yarn. Very pricey sock yarn. Dreamy, soft, pricey sock yarn. I can't remember what The Greatest did wrong to allow me to order such pricey sock yarn, but it must have been something bad. This yarn is simply gorgeous. It is a beautiful blue color way with purple and grey undertones. I just love it. I stroke it, and we look at patterns together, my Koigu and I. I dream of wearing it. But nothing seem good enough for this yarn. Like an overprotective Mother with her dating son, nothing looked special enough for it. This yarn was in danger of becoming "too nice to knit with." And nobody wants that.

It is a cruel ironic twist of fate that curses some yarn to be so nice the knitter can not bear to knit with it and risk ruining all the thing that make that yarn what it is. Yarn wants to be knit. It doesn't want to stay in it's hank form. A hank is yarn's lowest form of being. It yearns to be touched and knit and purled. It wants to be something bigger than what is it, with form and shape and function. I longed to give my Koigu function.

So when I went on vacation I brought my two greatest loves, The Greatest and my Koigu. I decided on the River Rapid pattern for my long awaited socks. I loved knitting that pattern with it's clever slanted decreases, and the blue of my Koigu was the perfect cool stream blue. It was nice knitting for the plane and while The Greatest was doing his interviewing stuff. This knitting just seemed to flow together.

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Aren't they beautiful?

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Just look at them.

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The mock cables really do seem to flow down the leg like a stream. Just as I envisioned they would.

But what's this you see? Are these socks still on the needles? They're all done, why on earth would they still be on the needles? Why haven't I sewn them up and done the dance of the happy knitter? This yarn has almost reached it's full potential, why have I denied bringing it's dream to fruition by letting them languish on the needles unworn?

I've got a good reason.

It's because I hate them.

I know, how could I hate them when they look so beautiful. I really have found the perfect pairing of yarn and pattern, beauty and function. What complaint could I possibly have against something that look so good?

In short: they feel like iron. I knit them on two size 0 circular needles. Until this week I have always knit socks on size 0. And my socks have always been soft and infinitely wearable. My Sockettes were the first socks I have knit on larger needles. Oh how I wish it had occurred to me to knit my Koigu on larger needles. The yarn felt thicker than my other sock yarn, but I didn't think that would be a problem. It was a little tedious to use on such small needles, k2tog was a little harder than usual, but hey, it's always turned out well in the past so I soldiered on. I persevered in the pursuit of perfection (say that five times fast) And now I have unwearable socks. They are so tightly knit they could stand up on their own. Sure, they would probably wear forever, but they feel so icky who would want to wear them.

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So my sad little unlovable socks are now

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two beautiful, slightly lumpy hanks of unfulfilled potential.

How could I not have seen I was making the most obvious of knitting mistakes. These socks were doomed before I knit the first stitch. Such a perfect pairing of pattern and yarn. Such an obscene choice of needles. Is it possible Boyd is behind this?

Sockettes anyone?

This might be a record, because I started them Sunday and I finished them Tuesday afternoon. I would have finished them Monday if I'd gotten to knit Monday night.

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Pattern: One Skein Sockettes

Yarn: Cascade Fixation one ball, and a bit of a second ball

Needles: 2.5mm dpns

Modifications: I used a slip stitch heel instead of the plain stockingnette heel. And I used a slightly larger needle. I had 2.0 mm and 2.5 mm, and 2.75 mm, but no 2.25 needles, so hey, I improvised.

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Review: I had this yarn left over from Mon Petit Chou (which I finished ages ago and really should block). I enjoyed working with it and wondered how a pair of socks would be with it. As you all know it was very fortuitous that this pattern arrived when it did. A quick easy knit, and the result is.....

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A very comfy pair of socks. They're spring and stretchy just like the yarn. I'd like to get my hands on a few more skeins and try some other patterns with this. I'm not sure if they would hold a pattern well, or show it off to it's best advantage, but I'd like to try. For truth in advertising, I've never worn shorty socks, and these feel as if they're in constant danger of slipping off, but I wore them all night last night and they didn't slip a bit. I just have to get used to my ankles hanging out. I did use more than one skein. For what it's worth my feet are a size shhhhhhhhh 9 so you might want to take that into consideration if you make this pattern and have some extra yarn on hand.

So there they are my very pink socks.

I actually have quite a few finished ages ago and never blogged (my IK Sweater, girly blues socks), and nearly finished projects (mon petite chou, IK Chemise, Koigu Socks). I think I'm going to try to take care of those this week and get them off my sidebar. Just a little house keeping. Blogs are so much work.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hey Lynda

Ask and you shall receive!

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And yes, he is riding his bike in the house.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I have earned the favor of the Knitting Gods once more

True story.

I was playing in my stash on Saturday morning. My poor beautiful stash. Oh how I wish I could keep you lined up on the couch to admire throughout the day. To pet, and rearrange, and swatch whenever the mood strikes. But alas, 50 sticky fingers say you can not stay there. So in the dank, faintly-smoke-smelling, child-free basement you must reside. To add insult to injury you are stored in garbage bags, living in constant danger of being mistaken for actual garbage and carted to the curb on Mondays. I am so sorry. You deserve better than this.

Anyways, I was hiding for a moment from the busy day ahead, playing with my stash and thinking of how I need to find a better storage system. I kept pulling out skiens and thinking they would make a great _____, knowing I don't have time right now to knit anything new, and that if I ever got a spare moment I would forget my ideas. I pulled out a random ball of Cascade Fixation left over from the finished-knitting-months-ago-but-still-haven't-bothered-to-block Mon Petit Chou and wondered if I could squeeze a pair of socks from that ball. I took it upstairs so I wouldn't forget about it, and maybe I could look for a pattern later.

We left the house, and the day indeed got busy. A morning project took the entire day, and before we knew it we were returning to the house dirty, tired, hungry, nearly bedtime. We stopped to get the mail and inside was a surprise package just for me from my Cheap-Ass Secret Pal. Such a happy end to a long day. Either the Gods themselves are whispering in my Secret Pal's ears, or she is psychic. Inside my package was

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A beautiful pen with matching note pad. And the cutest little post-it tags. Perfect for marking knitting patterns.

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A bazillion patterns. I confess, I'm a pattern whore. I love patterns. All patterns, and there are some great ones in here.

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A chenille washcloth (knitted by my Secret Pal?). You can not imagine how wonderful this cloth feels. I've heard of cotton washcloths, but they can't be half as nice as this one. My masterplan was to hide it before the children saw it, but I wasn't quick enough. It's been carried around and stroked by each child in turn. I must admit it is very nice to rub against your check. The last time I spotted it Meaty was wearing it as a hat, but it will be mine. Oh yes, I shall rescue it from the children, and it will be mine.
Lotion from my Favorite Store. I used to wear Bath and Body works lotion all the time. I'd buy a fragrance, and the body wash, and the body spray, and the scented glitter gel, and whatever else they decided to throw that scent into. A trip to that store was always pricey. Then I had one child, and I downsized to just the lotion. Then I had another child and I started buying lotion at Wal-Mart. Now I get my Bath and Body Works lotion in half-used tubes from my Sister. It's nice to have the whole package: lotion, body wash, and spray. It's even in my favorite scent. I used to love the lavender Freesia lotion. They stopped making it, then it was only avaliable on-line, then I stopped shopping there. This lotion is called Sheer Freesia, and it is every bit as good as that lavender lotion. It reminds me of the summer I lived in California, when I was young and spirited. The world lay before me and I had every hope that it would just bend to my will. I met The Greatest at the end of that summer. I was wearing a white tank top and freesia lotion.

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A very cute sock pattern, and YARN. Cause you know a girl can never have enough sock yarn. In a side note I tried to buy this colorway when Knitpicks announced they were discontinuing this yarn, but they were all sold out. I was sad but consoled myself with 12 skiens of the hydrangea. I'm very very happy to have my hot little hands on two more skiens of star gazer lily.

And here's where my SP starts to really channel her psychic powers, it's not enough she sent lotion in my favorite scent that I haven't had in years, and yarn in the colorway that I was coveting. She also sent

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Sweater Bags! To hold my yarn stash! Isn't that brilliant? Clear bags so I can see what's in them. Bags designed to hold sweaters so they'll keep out moths and other bad stuff.

But it doesn't stop there. She also sent

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A pattern for "sockettes." Short socks that only take one skien of sock yarn for the entire pair. As you can see I immediately cast on with my left-over pink fixation. I departed from my usual two at one time on circular needles, since my circs are size 0 and the pattern called for 2s. But they are a quick knit and I'm already a quarter of the way through the second sock (I've knit more since I took the picture).

So many many thanks and much love to my Secret-possibly-psychic-bigger-than-a-bread-box-shoe-lovin' Pal.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A meme

I've been tagged. I just love being tagged. It's like being picked first for a team in gym. Or at least I imagine this is what being picked first for a team in gym is like. I was never picked first for a team in gym. But don't worry, it doesn't keep me up at night...anymore. I am at one with my un-athletic ways. But now as an unknown adult on the internet I occasionally get tagged. It feels good. Someone knows who I am and is interested in what I might say. I've been tagged by Tam and I feel special. Now on to the meme.

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. dressing room attendant at Target
2. Dental Assistant
3. that girl who takes your money at the McDonald's drive-thru (that way I didn't actually have to touch the food)
4. Regional Manager for a company that sold shared office space

B) Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. Everafter
2. Anne of Green Gables
3. An American President
4. Dodgeball

C) Four places you have lived besides where you live now:
1. Moreno Valley, California
2. Jacksonville, North Carolina
3. Fort Sheridan, Illinois
4. New Concord, Ohio

D) Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Buffy
2. Boston Legal
3. CSI (original, I can take Miami, but never New York)
4. Law and Order (but only the reruns on TNT, never the new ones, go figure)

E) Four places you have been on vacation:
1. The Grand Canyon
2. Niagara Falls
3. New York
4. Fort Lauderdale

F) Four websites I visit daily:
1. Go Fug Yourself
2. Mammarazzi
3. Knitty Coffeeshop
4. More blogs than I care to admit to

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1. Ben and Jerry's (my current favorite is Black and Tan)
2. The Greatest's Cheeseburgers
3. steamed broccoli
4. cookie dough

H Four places I would rather be right now:
1. getting a massage
2. sleeping
3. in a quiet place knitting
4. did I already say sleeping?

I) Four friends I think will respond:
1. Big Booty Knitswhen she gets back from vacation
2. Tam
3. Katrina
4. Turtle Girl

I'd tag someone, but I'm not even sure who's around reading these days. So if you read this, I command you do it (and leave me a comment so I can read yours). And Big Booty, you really need to update, so when you get back from vacation DO IT!

Thanks for tagging me Tam!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Home again, Home again, Jiggety-jig

I'm home safe and sounds. I'm not the greatest flyer in the world. And for some reason all our flights were turbulent. I kept telling myself it was no different than driving on a bumpy road. The thought didn't really comfort me, cause, you know, the road was far below us. But I kept chanting it still the same.

Things went well with The Greatest and his interview. He's got a phone interview next week. And if that goes well he'll have to fly out one more time for some final processing. And if that goes well we will be moving across the country. There's still lots that could go wrong. But we're hopeful.

We did enjoy our week without the children. We laughed. We ate relaxing quiet meals, two of which took place in actual restaurants. We logged some time in the hotel pool where I actually got to swim instead of just swinging kids around in the water. We went to bed late, and slept in late in the mornings. We've never had a honeymoon, or taken a vacation together, so this was a real treat. We must do this more than once every eight years.

The Greatest even tried to take me to yarn stores. One store we just couldn't find. Another store was closed even though their hours said they were supposed to be open. The third had an amazing selection. They stocked yarn I'd only read about. They had low end acrylic as well as high end silk yarn. I could have spend my children's college fund in this store. But we were there 45 minutes and in that entire time I couldn't get a sales person to talk to me. So we left empty handed. Which is just as well. I am on a yarn diet. I tried to organize my newly acquired stash the other day.

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It's just out of control. Mind you I'm not complaining about it. I've got knitting to keep me busy for at least a year.

We did one more exciting thing on our trip. We took a day (and it took almost the entire day to get there) and drove to the Grand Canyon.

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I knew the Grand Canyon was big. I mean it's called the GRAND CANYON for goodness sakes. But I was not prepared for how FREAKIN BIG it is. You can't see the other side. I thought it was going to be deep (and it was) but I wasn't prepared for how wide it is. And they don't have a fence around it. You can just walk right up to the edge of the canyon and fall in if you're so inclined. In an uncharacteristic display of bravery I climbed out on this ledge with The Greatest.

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Not the second ledge in the picture, but the first one. The closer one on the right. The one with the sharp drop off.

I wanted to take a picture of my feet hanging over the edge for my blog. But this was as close as I could get.

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Notice how tightly I'm holding The Greatest's hand in the side of the frame.

The Greatest has no fear, so he walked right up to the edge.

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Crazy man.

It was a long drive in the car. I got sunburned, and my legs were sore from all that walking. And it was worth it.

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A big Thank You to Maw-Maw and Paps for making this trip possible. Make no mistake the kids had a great time without us. I don't know who was more reluctant to go home, us or them. So Thank You Maw-Maw.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

I'd like to thank you all for your thoughts on my socks. I've decided to keep them because I just can't stand to undo all that work. Best case scenario, I find the perfect top and shoes to go with them. And at the very least? They'll keep my legs toasty warm under jeans this winter.

I will be absent from my blog for the next week. The kids are at their Grandma's house. The dog is at my Dads house. I am headed away with The Greatest on an airplane in a few hours.

He is trying to get hired out of state, and I'm coming along for the ride to check out the area. Please keep your fingers crossed that things will go well on his job search.

I'll miss you all and your blogs, but I'll be back in a week. I'll leave you with some cute pictures of my family to tide you over until our return.

happy kids

pregnant belly

cotton candy

serious sugar

sugar high

(Once again I'm mysteriously absent from the shots. I love being in charge of the camera.)


I'm not sure, but I think I made some fug.

It started out innocently enough. I saw this post by Marnie Maclean and I was in love. Not with her yarn, or her colors, but with the idea of KNEE SOCKS. I wanted to make some knee socks. I wanted to wear them with my short jean skirt, and some cute shoes (that I'll have to buy) and a cute top (that I'll also have to buy) and look cute. I wanted to knit something I could wear and look cute.

Now we all know I have this out of control stash, so I reached into the sacred garbage bag of yarn. I came up with four skiens of KnitPicks discontinued Sock Memories in Grandma. I figured four skiens should be enough, and it was.

Now Marnie might have been able to knit a knee sock with no leg shaping despite having what she calls a "shapely" leg. But I've got a four inch difference between my foot circumference and my "shapely" leg circumference, so leg shaping was a must. I know this yarn is stretchy, but I don't think it's that stretchy. So I made a gauge swatch, measured, mathed, and knit, and knit, and knit.

And I made two knee socks.

But I'm not sure if cute is the word for them.


I think I might have made some fug.

Not fug?

I think they're fine as normal socks. And don't get me wrong, they would be really cute as little girl eyelet socks. But as knee socks? I can't decide, they might be just a bit...overwhelming? I don't know. As you can see they're still on the needles. I can't decide.

Do I sew them up, or frog them for the girls?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Eternal Flame

Candle Flame Shawl

Pattern: Knit Picks Candle Flame Shawl

Yarn: Knit Picks Gossamer in Blue Jeans, 2 hanks

Needles: Size 4 Addi Turbos

Modification: I used two skiens instead of three, 14 pattern repeats.

Review: This was a nice lace project. It was easily memorable, not too taxing on the brain. I loved the way the colors knit up.

Ocean water

I think it looks like the surface of the ocean.

I was finally organized enough to take a pre-blocking and post-blocking picture of the lace.


Lumpy Lace


Pretty Lace

Close up on the flame

I love the way the shawl turned out. It was gifted to my Sister-in-Law over the weekend. I hope she likes it as much as she says she does.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Feeling the Fiber Love

On Saturday we went to the In-Laws for some sun, sand and fun. Just a relaxing day on the water to laugh and surround ourselves with people we love.

Imagine my surprise when I was kidnapped.

I was taken against my will, thrown in the back of a Jeep (well not exactly against my will, once I heard the kids weren't coming I kinda jumped in the back). They drove for what felt like hours (ok, it was 10 minutes) to the middle of nowhere (truth be told it was a house just outside town). I was blindfolded ( they told me to close my eyes) and led into a room (it was more of a , no, wait, that part's true). The room was full of ......YARN.

It was a room just full of bags of yarn. They had been sorted by color, kinda, but that was it. Yarn everywhere. It was just overwhelming skiens and skiens of yarn of every color. Yarn in bag, yarn in totes, yarn in those big tins the Boy Scouts sell popcorn in. My Mother-in-Law has a friend whose Mother was a Knitter. They were cleaning out her home and I told to take as much as I wanted.

trunk o yarn

I was gifted with an overwhelming amount of yarn, needles, and patterns. I am truly blessed.

The children didn't come with us when we got all the yarn, and they didn't notice all the yarn in the trunk, but it caused quite a ruckus when we unloaded the car and brought all the yarn into the house. Meaty and Bird danced around it chanting "Yarn, Yarn." Pork Chop just looked up from her cartoons and asked "What's with all the yarn Mom?" ( I love the way she talks, like she fifteen, makes me laugh as long as she's not sassin' me)

overwhelming yarn

See that turquoise yarn? Right on top. I'm going to make a sweater for Bird with that. And the cream color wool is going to be an Aran sweater. There's sock yarn, and some skiens for cute hats, and ....oh, it's all so overwhelming I don't know where to start. I don't know how to sort, or divide, or store all the yarn. I need to match the yarn up with patterns. There's so much to do. Why am I wasting time on the computer when I could be playing with my new stash?

I think I'm officially on a yarn diet!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Leda's Farewell


And I just love it!

My last home was a hovel. There were cracker crumbs and cereal on the floor, and sticky fingerprints on the walls. There were toys everywhere, constant tripping over Hot Wheels, blocks towers in random places. I couldn't lay in the swing without removing the Barbies from it first. It was noisy and raucous. Sure some of the noises was laughter and love, but some of the noise was screams and fights and just, sigh, sounds of childhood. I'm sure it was one of the seven circles of Hell.

But I have been rescued. Granted a reprieve from the Powers that Be. I'll forever be eternally grateful.

I now reside here.

Rescued to Heaven

Note the tasteful decor, the clean lines, the elegant atmosphere. Note my new Owner lacks all traces of snot or peanut butter on her shirt. Nary a toy or child in sight. But if that wasn't enough....

Oh, the swing

There is a swing. A swing without Barbies, or Legos. A swing with a comfy cushion. Could things get any better? Turns out they can.

Wine on the boat

We live on the Lake. ON THE LAKE. There is a dock ten feet from the swing. There is wine and relaxation on the boat.


There is watching the Sunset on the dock.

This is peaceful.

This is Heaven.

I'm so happy.

I deserve this.

Note: Imagine Leda's disappointment when my children arrive on Thursday to spend a week with Maw-Maw and Paps. I can hardly wait.