Archive for October, 2005

Actually, it doesn’t in this case. I love this sweater. It’s made from thick Cotton Tots, and it feels like wearing a sweatshirt. I can fasten the button and pair it with trousers and it looks nice, or just throw it on with jeans, which is how I’ll wear it most often.

But, really – I ask myself, if I saw this in a store would I say, “Oh, I really like that…” and shell out $30 for it?

I have to admit – I’m notoriously cheap, and yes that’s probably the best word for it. I rarely shop for myself, and usually buy items only if they’re on sale. I rarely buy trendy.

Since the kids were little enough to leave my eyesight in the grocery store, I’d send them off to bring things back to the cart, to keep them busy. They were good kids, knew not to run in the store, etc., and they loved to help. Easy stuff. Kaity – go pick out two boxes of cereal. Bud, go buy cookies everyone will eat… and they’d head off down the aisle, yelling “we know… on sale or Von’s Club.” However, I will shell out $8.99 every week or so for Starbucks ground coffee for our morning coffee. So I’m cheap – but I have my splurges, which I can totally justify to myself. Scott toilet paper, 1000 sheets a roll, so it lasts more than a day, but I buy boxed mashed potatoes for convenience instead of “real” potatoes. I’ll pay whatever it costs to buy boneless-skinless chicken so I don’t have to mess with a real whole chicken. I remember when my son was a toddler we were at my Mom’s and she had a whole roasted chicken on the counter, and he asked “why is there a big cricket on Grandma’s counter? Poor kid.

Cheap on my terms. but on my terms. But really – I knit cheap too. I find my pattern then shop around, on line, at my not-so-local yarn store, and figure out Karabella would be beautiful for this sweater – but I’m not spending $80 on yarn, with no guarantee it’s gonna fit in the end, or if I’m even gonna like it. So I settle. Maybe I’ll get there someday – but I’m not there yet.
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Yep – I really love this sweater, but if I play the game, I don’t know if I would have ever bought it ready-made. Does it matter?

Yep – I’ll shlep off to dreaded K-Mart of all places for Hanes socks on sale – and buy bundles for the family – cheap, boring tube socks and footies….. all so I can spend $9 on sock yarn for me, for one pair of socks…. duh! I mean, anyone can understand that one!

P.S. Here’s a closeup of the chosen button, and my nearly non-existent eyelet detailing. I thought the little flower was gonna be my first choice, too, but it just didn’t look right. So I went for simple – go figure.

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Okay – remember how I said I was a “one project at a time” kind of person – can’t have more than one thing going at once? Well, going against my better judgment and having two projects going at once has come back to bite me in the butt.

I come from a looooong line of “unfinished projecters”… my mom always has lots of things going, my Dad and brother are even worse, because they don’t finish stuff most of the time…. but they fully intend to, “some day.” I didn’t get that, though…. more than one project going at once makes me twitch.

Maybe it’s a “crafty people” thing. Like I’ve said before… I don’t think outside the box well, I don’t have the “muse,” – I don’t have a lot of original ideas. I’m a copier. I’m not the “crafty” type.

Now, Kaity, she takes after my mom – supercrafty… and Kaity also has about a million knitting projects going. It makes me crazy – everytime I see her she’s casted on for something else. “But… But…, you haven’t finished…..” She just gives me the “pshhh, I’ll finish it.” Oh man – I can hardly stand it. It makes me uneasy, I tell ya. Like looking at some of your blogs with the big “on the needles” or “WIP” lists…. with alllllll those unfinished projects – it makes me twitch, and they aren’t even MY projects!

Ok, let’s face it, I’m probably just jealous.

So, I figured, if I’m going to try and be crafty I oughta lighten up and at least get socks going on the side. Oy…. remember my blue cabled socks I was “making up the pattern” for? Well, I started them about three months ago, back before I was a knitting polygamist, fully intending to work on them uniterrupted until they were both finished, so I wasn’t writing anything down…. then I got sidetracked and seduced by my Marilyn’s Not-So-Shruken cardigan, and Ella, and my Sitcom Chic and, you guessed it, when I picked up the socks last night I couldn’t figure out what I was doing.

I tried to figure out the stitch counts – and what would have made the most “sense,” and which way the cables fell, front or back…. needless to say… I ended up with a mess, then tried to unknit and got a big knot where the cable was supposd to be – so I gave up and ripped the whole thing out, wound up the yarn, put it back in the cupboard and got out my Sock Garden yarn in that pretty geranium color.

Knitting polygamy – I KNEW it sounded like a bad idea… of course, you know what they say, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back. Maybe I can still pull off socks on the side, we’ll see. But, I guess I’d better at least learn to write things down, or quit trying to make up my own patterns and go back to basics. I mean, I haven’t even been knitting a year – who did I think I was fooling? But, I’m also a glutton for punishment, and I’m determined to make that blue yarn into cabled socks, or maybe some EASY lace design…. later though, after I’ve practiced my basics a little more.

Oh – and see that nice “ladder” between my needles… yep, I think I need to work on my basics some more… or knit them on two circulars. At this rate I am SO going to be kicked out of Socktoberfest – I hope Lolly isn’t looking!

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Ok – we really do think it is. We had a wonderful day yesterday- great weather, overcast so it wasn’t hot, NO lines…. we never waited over five minutes to get on any ride…. and great company – we met up with my sister and her family (they love Disneyland even more than we do, go every year, and were on day 3 of a 4-day stay!). Here’s a picture of me and the kids at California Adventure. The hubby didn’t get to come – had to work, but – truth be told, he doesn’t “do crowds” and Disneyland isn’t his idea of a fun day. Oh well, we missed him, but he was probably happier at work! That’s Kaity on the left, daughter #2, me, and our son.

No, I’m not wearing my Sitcom Chic as you can see…. at about 11:30 the night before I still had about two hours to go, and since I knew I would be braving the HORRIBLE L.A. rush hour traffic the next morning, and having to drive home LATE after a BIG day – I figured my time would be better spent getting a good night’s sleep.

Here’s a picture of our whole gang heading towards “Main Street USA” in Disneyland, and a picture of the lagoon at California Adventure.
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I gotta say…..we rode EVERYTHING we wanted to and wore ourselves out. Since we live in So. Calif, this was the kids fourth or fifth trip there- but Kaity had never rode anything more adventurous than Dumbo’s Flying Elephants before… so for us it was great watching her be brave and actually ride ALL the rides… She finally figured out how fun it is to be scared out of your wits and yell your head off on a roller coaster!
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The only low point of the day was daughter #2 got dissed by Pooh. I tell ya – it’s a sad thing watching a 16-year old running after her favorite character (she has loved Pooh forever), yelling “Pooh! Pooh! Wait! Come back! I want a picture with you…!” Really, I think he just didn’t see or hear her, but it was sad.

Oh- and here’s a picture of the great knitting bag the kids chipped in together for and bought me. How great are they! It really was a fun day, watching them enjoy each other’s company, buy things for each other, and encourage each other to be brave on the rides.

Now, back to the real world. School, work…. although it was kind of fun yesterday morning calling the girl’s school, while standing in line at the entrance to the park, telling Attendance that they wouldn’t be in school today because they were “attending a family function.” I hope they couldn’t hear the Disney music playing in the background. Hey – everyone needs to play hooky every once in awhile.

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I am SO not tangy

Oy – I am a knitting moron. My Sitcom Chic pattern is “Tangy.” Theorhetically, at this point I should be able to handle this. I made “Ella,” and she was Tangy. Somehow Ella even looks like the picture… yarn-overs included… Except I just now find out I’ve been doing my yarn-overs all wrong. Come on – any bonehead can do a yarn-over…..

How in the world did I make an entire “Ella,” and just now find out I’ve been doing my yarn-overs wrong? I knew I hated yarn-overs.

Look at this little close-up of the “eyelet detail” on my Sitcom Chic…. the holes should be very obvious – not!

Or this one….
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yeah…. I can hear you saying, “What eyelet detail?”

I’m knitting along, thinking, “Where are my little holes?, and why are my little holes soooo little? – Maybe it’s just this yarn….” I mean, Ella was full of holes, looking like they were supposed to…. so I must be doing it right.

Of course, my resident expert, Kaity, is at school and I can’t exactly yank her out of class because I have a knitting emergency…. so she gets home and I consult with her and – yep, I’ve been doing them all wrong. What the…..?!

Of course – I’m now way post the point of frogging this thing. I refuse to go back – and it’s NOT just because I want to wear it tomorrow…. actually, when I started it with this particular yarn, I wasn’t even sure I wanted the eyelets – and I’m NOT just saying that! Really!

So, I’m gonna carry on, and later if I really want one with eyelets, I’ll just make another. Yeah – that’s likely.

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We Are Odd

Dinnertime at our house is a dining experience. Now, I didn’t necessarily say a pleasant dining experience – but an experience nonetheless. The kid’s friends come over, and we try to be on our best behavior – but my hubby is the biggest kid and has a bizarre sense of humor… so things usually deteriorate into…. people laughing and me just hoping food isn’t spit. Friends always say, “your family is so fun!” Fun….? You mean there are people who sit quietly and politely with their napkins in their lap? Their husbands don’t start a fry fight…. everyone throwing them at me, of course. How do you stop that when the guy in charge is leading the fight? I sit there and say to myself, “this isn’t the family I pictured when we started….. that family was much better behaved.” Oh, who am I kidding, they were probably boring.

Tonight we were discussing how the hubby came home with about 40 pairs of tube socks he bought from some guy out of the back of his truck. Black market tube sock guy…. and, where exactly is the black market?

Then, Kaity was doing her sweet dance moves from Napoleon Dynamite when she thought no one was looking. That gets the ones who actually catch a peek snorting and laughing. Then the rest of the meal is spent shooting back and forth lines from the movie. I’ve lost all control, again. Snorting at the dinner table… how rude, how common – how everyday around here. Usually they’re all ganging up and laughing at me. “Ha, – mom, she thinks she’s so cool…, she can’t even get the line right”

Then daughter #2 was refusing to do the dishes. I told Kaity she could at least take out the trash and recycling to help, but she said she wasn’t answering to Kaity anymore and only if we guessed her name, would she comply. The hubby, says “I’ll guess your name… it’s “I’ll kick your butt if you don’t take out the trash.” No? Okay, how about “Lucky #6?” Where did that come from???? Lucky #6? The worst part is, that name will probably stick – like the time he named the poor kid across the street Justin Nick Time…. get it… Justin Nick Time -“Get it?” he kept saying…. “wouldn’t that be a cool name?” The hubby just kept saying it, over and over… “get it, get it?” The kicker – the kid’s real name was Justin Case…… now, that’s just as bad but, poor kid, to this day he’s Justin Nick Time around here.

Anyhooo….. this in no way has anything to do with knitting… except to say that me and Lucky #6 will be knitting like the wind tonight to get our projects done in time for our Disneyland trip Wednesday. I’m trying to finish Sitcom Chic – it’ll be down to the wire on that one. As you can see from the picture, I got both LONG sleeves attached and am about to start the eyelet detail in the yoke – then I should be home free.

And, Lucky #6, she’s knitting something for her sister (the one in the kitchen right now, doing the dishes loudly, so we all know how much she’s suffering). Lucky #6 – she’ll probably finish hers tonight…. she’s lucky like that…

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Yarny Goodness

Oooooh, look, look, look at the yarny goodness!!! Okay, you’ve probably already seen this beautiful yarn on Heather’s blog, but now it’s mine and so I’m showing it off! She sent it to me because she’s just SO COOL like that, because I gushed over how pretty it was. It’s even unbelieveably prettier in real life! She spun it herself – I’m not worthy. Thank you Heather! (She should probably check her mailbox later next week…. just saying, something fun might show up…)

I’m thinking this yarn might end up as stripes in a sweater… but I’m not sure yet. For now, it will live on my messy desk – so that as I’m working I can look at it, and stop and pet it from time to time. I’m taking it on a field trip to my not-so-local yarn store today to pick out something likely to go with it, so I can swatch around with it this weekend. I don’t know though…. this might be one of those yarns you can’t bear to wind out of it’s hank and actually use…. I might just have to look at it a while longer.

In other knitting news – lookie what I learned last night, thanks to Kaity – and her just saying… “Mom, trust me, you don’t have to understand it, just do what I say…”
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My second sleeve – knit on two circulars. Ok – now I know, for knitting purists, to knit one sleeve on wood DPN’s and then to knit the next sleeve on two metal circs is just asking for problems with gauge, etc. Gauge smage…. I’m going for it. Doesn’t make me twitch in the least. I’m so bored with these cream-colored sleeves at this point…. Ok, if it comes back to bite me on the butt… if they turn out weird, I’ll just have to walk around alot and stand so that you can’t see both of my arms at once. You know, a moving target. Besides, no one should be looking that closely, right?

It does seem to go faster this way – or perhaps it’s all in my mind – kind of a knitting placebo – don’t care. And yes, I made the long sleeve, didn’t give into the 3/4.

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Ok – we have three kids, now ages 16,17,19. Stuff goes on. Stuff I don’t want to know about, stuff I wish I didn’t know about…. stuff I’m sure I still don’t know about! They pick on each other, they “love” each other… stuff goes on. It’s like with babies, you learn which noises/yells are serious and which don’t require investigation. You can usually tell a “call 911” scream from a “If I have to come up there, someone’s gonna get beat” scream. (No, I don’t really “beat” them.)

It’s amazing the stuff kids will do- stuff beans up their noses, “trim” their bangs… oh you know, if you’ve got kids you’ve got a list a mile long of your own “stuff.” Most of it makes us laugh.

So, about a year ago the girls are 15 and 16, and they’re upstairs in their room. I’m downstairs. I hear this blood-curdling scream. A “call 911 scream.” I jump up and head for the stairs… then I hear uncontrollable laughter. I stop….hmmm, that’s weird. I guess their okay. I don’t go up and check. (I know, what was I thinking. I’ll tell ya what I was thinking… I was thinking I’ve been up those stairs a bazillion times already today, to break up a fight, to look at a cat doing something cute, to check on …. whatever). So, a few minutes later, another scream – you’d swear someone’s arm’s being lopped off or something…. but then, again with the uncontrollable laughter. I mean, they’re laughing so hard they’re probably peeing their pants kind of laughter. Now I’ve gotta know what’s going on. I head upstairs….

Daughter #2 is “waxing” daughter #1’s eyebrows – with duct tape. Oh – my – gosh. What are they thinking? Where do they come up with these ideas? Step away from the duct tape and In-Style magazine…. Do you know how lucky you are it didn’t work and you have ANY eyebrows left at all??? I mean, to begin with, duct tape is not a precision beauty instrument. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? Did you really think your sister had your best interests in mind when she was coming at you with the duct tape? Whose idea was it to begin with? And…. after it hurt so much the first time…. you let her do it again??? This conversation, of course, while I’m laughing so hard I’m trying not to pee my pants!

Short cuts- she just couldn’t take the time to pluck her eyebrows hair by hair…. so someone had the bright idea to find a short cut.

So….. my Sitcom Chic. Someone stop me – I’m desperately looking for a short cut. I’m making it with long sleeves rather than 3/4 sleeves, because I want a wear-everyday functional sweater, with full sleeves. But, don’t you know… I hate making sleeves…. they’re boring, and worse, there are TWO of them. I’ve got second-sleeve-syndrome already, and I haven’t even finished the first one yet.

I’ve tried this one sleeve on numerous times, trying to talk myself into 3/4 sleeves – it really wouldn’t be so bad…. Okay, it’s not what I want, but I would be done sooner. The constant cream-coloredness sleevage is boring me to death at this point. No, I really want full sleeves – just suck it up and keep knitting. If I give in to my impatience and knit 3/4 sleeves I’ll be unhappy every time I put it on.

Okay, okay, okay…. I’ll keep knitting. But, I’m gonna get a hold of Wendy , now that she’s mastering the two socks on two circ’s method, and have her teach me, so I can do two sleeves at once…. I mean, worse than second-sock-syndrome, who wants a sweater with one sleeve.

And, if I show up on this blog in a cream-colored Sitcom Chic with 3/4 sleeves, it means I’ve given in – someone come over and beat me.

BTW – do you know how hard it is to get a picture of your own eyebrow? Oh, and sorry girls, I just had to share ; )

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Dam*ed If I Know

Before my grandparents died, they did a lot of world travel. My Grandpa would always take slides instead of pictures, and we’d all gather at my parent’s house to watch the slide show and hear about their trip. One trip was especially memorable, and funny, because they had lost Grandma’s luggage somewhere (ok, so now I know that really isn’t funny…), and in almost every picture Grandma was in the same purple shirt. Grandma in front of the Taj Mahal, in the purple shirt…. Grandma in front of the pyramids of Giza, in the purple shirt… and our all-time favorite – Grandma on a camel, in the purple shirt. We were just cracking up at the end of the slide show, yelling out “there’s Grandma in her purple shirt!” Come to think of it, I’m not sure Grandma was as amused. When we cleaned out their house after Grandpa died we came across that picture of Grandma on the camel…. we laughed and cried, and everyone wanted the picture! A family classic.

Another fond memory of their slide shows was that they went so many places, and took so many pictures, and didn’t take any notes… that half the time they didn’t remember what the pictures were of. “Hey Grandpa, where’s that castle?” “Damned if I know…”, he’d say. “That’s a pretty lake, where is that?” “Damned if I know…” We also laughed a lot about that. It’s one of those phrases we fondly recite whenever applicable.. and laugh, and remember Grandma and Grandpa, and Grandma in her purple shirt on a camel!

So, I’m thinking of using one of Grandma’s buttons for the closure on my Sitcom Chic. (See Sept. 26 post for “Grandma’s buttons”). Those are the likely candidates pictured above….. and I’m asking for opinions. The ones on the top are some kind of shell or abalone. The brown one on the bottom right you can’t really see well, but it has an art deco-kind of bow in the center. The toggle button on the bottom left is wood. Which would you pick?

I’m gonna do a one-button closure like on the picture below. I need help deciding.

Which button do I like best? Damned if I know.

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In honor of Lolly’s Socktoberfest 2005, I give you this very busy picture of socks, past, present and future.

The finished socks in the forefront are slippers I made, my second-ever pair of socks. These are made with Manos del Uruguay, on #7 DPN’s – the total learner-cheater way to make socks! I got the pattern from Knitty Gritty on DIY. It’s rainy today (love it!) and I’m gonna wear these in front of the TV tonight watching Gilmore Girls, knitting of course.

What will I be knitting?? The little blue pair of socks by the pumpkin paper bag. These are my Jaeger Matchmaker Merino socks I started a while back, and got excited about finishing because of Socktoberfest. The pattern is one I’m kind of making up as I go along, so it’s anyone’s guess what will happen with the cables when I get to the heel turning and gusset decreases. I mean, I think I know – I do have a plan of sorts, so we’ll see. This is very nice yarn, and sooo soft. I’m likin’ it.
The future socks will be out of this pretty geranium-colored Sock Garden yarn out of my stash (ok – so that one skein makes up my entire stash…. sad, I know). The color is beautiful and I can’t wait to see how it knits up. It’s gonna be footie socks, made from my favorite footie pattern, from Mind of Winter. I like knitting footies, they go fast, and I actually wear a lot of footie socks – so it’s a win-win.

Here’s a better picture of my blue cable socks and the Sock Garden yarn.

And, about the Sitcom Chic…. the good news is I’ll be able to finish it in time for Disneyland, because Disneyland got postponed until next week, instead of tomorrow. Well, the kids aren’t too happy about it, but come on people, it’s all about the knitting and getting a picture for ya’ll of me wearing my sweater, standing next to Mickey, or Pooh, or whoever I can wrangle. Hey! – maybe I can get one of them to hold my socks-in-progress for a picture. I love those silly pictures! There ya go – something to look forward to next week.

PS – the cut off to sign up for Socktoberfest is tomorrow….what are you waiting for? – Join the fun!

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Remember I mentioned a few posts back about our trip to Europe, BK (before kids)? Here’s a picture of me (on the right) with my MIL and SIL in the alps, wearing hats the guys bought.

This is the trip where we optimistically bought the skis, and the tandem. This is also the trip where my luggage got lost between Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Now, normally my MIL and SIL and I were about the same size, so I could have borrowed clothes for a day or two until my luggage showed up – but, no, remember – I was six months pregnant. Me, the only one with “specialty clothes,” gets the lost luggage. So, the 2nd day after being in the same clothes, we went to a German maternity store and bought some clothes. This was way back in the day when people actually wore “maternity clothes.” Now, you can wear most anything as long as you can make it fit. Just what I wanted to spend my vacation money on…. German maternity clothes!

About a day after this picture was taken, I came down with about the worst cold I’ve ever had. Now, I’m in a German pharmacy, none of us really speaks any German, and I’m pointing to my belly and my stuffy head, trying to explain that I neeeeeed something, but I’m pregnant. Through hand gestures, I ended up with something, not sure what, but it worked. The day after we got home I ran to my OB and showed him the foreign medicine – “pleeeease tell me this was okay to take, I have no idea what it is, but I was desperate!” It turned out to be a European equivalent to something like Sudafed, and all was well. My first born wasn’t going to be born with three eyes or anything.

Now, what I wanted to spend my vacation money on was crystal and dishes. My MIL and SIL and I had scoped it all out, and found out where the Villeroy and Boch factory was in Germany. We got directions from the hotel desk clerk and got the guys to drive us out to the country to the factory. We were so excited! We were gonna buy tons of dishes, dirt cheap because the exchange rate was good, and ship them home! Wooo Hooo! We get there, and it turns out to be the Villeroy and Boch factory that makes sinks, and toilets….. not a dish in sight! NOT what we expected. Who even knew V&B made toilets! I can tell you, the guys never let us live down our trip to the “toilet factory.”

So, this Cotton Tots yarn I bought for my Sitcom Chic is not what I expected, either. I never thought I’d LOVE it. Really, I only bought it because I had a gift certificate to Michaels, and this was the best yarn I could find for the purpose, and I really didn’t want to spend any money. But, I have to tell you, I LOVE this stuff!!! It is so thick and soft. This is going to be like wearing a sweatshirt, but just slightly more fashionable. Here’s my progress so far:
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This sweater is made from the bottom up, and I’m up to where you bind off for the sleeves. Now I’ve gotta make my sleeves and attach them, then work the yoke. I was hoping to have it done for a trip to Disneyland this Wednesday – but that’s not looking likely. I can’t knit that fast! I tried to farm a sleeve out to Kaity – but we figured I’d just end up with two different length sleeves…. so I’ll be patient and do it myself.

The cream color is getting a little boring, though… I must say. I’m gonna be ready for some color changing on my next project. I’ve got me another harebrained idea – just the thing. More on that later!

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