my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Monday, February 28, 2005

Angelina progress. See, nearly another inch! Posted by Hello

Oscars = seaming party

I had a good time watching the Oscars last night and up a couple of sleeves. Although, seaming Zipo was literally a pain in my neck, it's done! Finally, a finished sweater. I can't believe how long he's been sitting around waiting for his sleeves! He's from the All Season Cotton Collection and I started him in December for my dad's birthday and the Manalong. Yarn is All Seasons Cotton in Safari (discontinued and purchased on eBay last year). I love the ASC and the pattern was easy (except for the neck). It's reverse stockinette with no shaping. I did shorten both the body and the arms. My father comes from a long-line of leprechauns*. I promise a better picture once I get Dad to model it in April (along with Mom in Air and maybe my sister in that Grecian Plait I finished last summer).

I made some progress on Angelina Friday. The bus driver decided to cut through Hoboken because it was Friday (highways due tend to back up on Fridays). Unfortunately, the surface roads and alternate route were horrible! It took a long time to get home, which meant 3/4" knit!

I also hemmed some curtains and altered some jeans this weekend. I'd claim to be domesticated, but very little else got done around the house. I'd so much rather play with my son!

* We have some Irish heritage and one of my Uncles claimed to be a leprechaun when I was a kid, to explain away the lack of height my dad and his brothers have. Of course, my grandfather is taller than all of them and the shortness comes from my meme who is not Irish!
What's this? A really crappy (sorry) photo of an FO! Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

Swift Angelina

Well, she's not really swift. I've got nearly 3 inches done. Of course that's after a nearly 1 and 1/2 hour bus ride home, two and 1/2 hours of tv watching (part of Survivor, all of CSI: and Without a Trace), and the bus ride in this morning.

The swift refers to this bad boy. Who ever heard of a wood swift for $40? I think I got off scot free on the shipping, too. If you want a loom, this might be the time and place to buy one. They've got them half-price. I think they may charge shipping on those, though. Whoo boy are they big!

We did get about 7" of snow last night. It was tricky getting home. Lots and lots of fender benders on the road. They were pretty slick, but people drive like idiots. I could not believe the fools cutting off the bus. Dude, it's a bus; it'll win! The ride in this morning was fine.

There's a stench in my house. It's from the knitted bits decomposing on the compost/finishing pile. I can't believe I knit up Zipo in a month but have left him mouldering needing just sleeves and weaving in for nearly 2 monts! And poor Air. I started her back in September. She's in pieces! And Hello Billy only needs a zipper! I know I've said it before, but I think it's time for a finishing party. My goals this weekend are to get the floors cleaned in my house and finish a sweater!
Here's my progress on Angelina. As you can see, I've got nearly 3". Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Angelina begins. Posted by Hello
Last shot of my view.  Posted by Hello

bloggus interruptus

This post was started and then put on hold while I moved. Now that the computer is set back up, we rejoin blogging in progress:

snow, snow, snow (original post title)

They're forecasting another 4-8 inches for us. We just got 5 on Monday. Granted it's mostly melted away by now. Of course, today's snow is supposed to be heaviest just in time for the evening rush home! Yippee! I think I'll be picking up Billy at daycare and hunkering down at home. I'll raid the pantry for dinner. I hope Hubby doesn't have a hard time getting home from his night out with the guys tonight.

I re-cast on for Angelina last night on the subway, the bus, and watching Lost. Do you know how many times I had to count to make sure I had 218 stitches? About 8! I do really like the crochet cast-on and will use it again. Although, at this tiny gauge with unstretchy-cotton, my fingers started hurting. I've got two rows done. Ths is going to be a loooooong-term project; especially since I haven't had a knittable morning seat on the bus all week. Eventually she won't be busable at all. Like in ten inches (about 2 years from now), when I cast on 2 billion more stitches for the sleeves. I'll have to find a busable project. I know, I know, Hubby's socks.

I finally move to the new department today. Rumor has it I will be moving into the internal, box-like office. It's only slightly smaller, but no windows. I will be getting a table and chairs for small meetings. I had hoped they'd put me in one of the empty external offices (although the only available one has no view). But, they've all been spoken for. (I didn't think they'd give me the old HR director's office, but I had to ask.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

This is my in-office stash. The box on the right is last week's purchases. The two big bags in back are some vintage blue phildar. The two bags in front are Gedifra Cicco for Paris Loops. the stuff on the left is acrylic odds and ends. The big ones were from Kristen when she was moving. Posted by Hello

new look

I changed my template. I don't know why a woman whose favorite colors are red, orange and purple decided to go all blue. Wait, yes I do. It's just such an adorable picture of my boy!
I'm taking a page from Lolly's book. Note the scarf.

provisional cast-on

So, I started casting on for Angelina last night. I have to re-do the 216 stitches. My cast-on wasn't really provisional. I'd like to re-start today, but I'm not sure I have a crochet hook. The crochet cast-on looks like the easiest to master (especially since I've cast on miles of crochet stitches).

I did buy some yarn this morning. Hubby told me last night that he really wants green socks and said he wouldn't mind if I bought sock yarn to make them. So I bought 5 skeins of some weird Turkish sock yarn. It's machine-washable, it's solid green. There will be enough to make his preferred lenght of mid-calf. (I don't think the wildfoote would have been enought at 440 yards). And it was cheap, cheap, cheap!

I hope we like the shade of green.

Just checked my bag. I do have a crochet hook. You know, I knew the cast-on was supposed to be provisional. I even packed waste yarn and used it last night to cast on 200+ stitches. Why didn't I check to see how one was supposed to provisionally cast on?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

stash storage

This seems like a very good idea. I would very much like to do it. I would include ideas I have for that bag of yarn and organize my craft area in the basement (including setting up my knitting machine).

I think I'll have time for that right after I get all the other housework I haven't been able to do done. I need to take a few days off when daycare is open so I can put together 6-7 straight hours of cleaning!

finishing pile grows

So, I made some good progress on FIL over the weekend. Well, that is until it came time for seaming. The yarn is too chunky to seam with and separating the plies is impractical. Well, it's not hard to do, but the plies aren't strong enough to seam with on their own. I think I may wander over to Purl at lunch and see what they have for thin gauge wool in navy blue.

I was talking to hubby about what my next project should be. I've ruled out clapotis in the Maha (it doesn't like to drop stitches) and couldn't decide between Angelina and an Easter cardi for Billy. Hubby suggested I start his socks. One problem, I don't have a pattern. I've found a couple of simple patterns, including a generator. So, I have to swatch the socks and see if they'll work. I only have 2 balls of the dark blue Preface. I hope that's enough (fortunately Hubby's feet aren't super big).

I did pack up everything but the pattern for Angelina to get started on her. I didn't have a knittable seat so it didn't matter that I couldn't start. I should finish the swatch, anyway before I cast on, right?

Well, first day in the new position. Must get things going.

Friday, February 18, 2005

TGIF, sort of

What a week. I'm glad it's Friday. I'm also glad it's a long weekend and we don't really have any plans. All we've got on our plates is going to dinner at my in-laws tomorrow night.

I do have a ton of housework and laundry to do. And I'd like to try to do some finishing (Air, Zippo, Hello Billy). Not to mention, the lovely fiber wants to be spun up. Oh, and thank you notes for Billy's birthday and our taxes.


I am sad that it's Friday because today is my friend Kristen's last day in the office. We've worked here together for nearly 7 years. She's my closest friend here and I don't know when I'll see her again. Bummer.

Not too much progress to report on FIL. I am past the pocket trim, but still quite a way from the armhole shaping. I had hoped to finish this weekend, but I don't think it will happen. Next week for sure. Then I can think about the two swatches I've started or maybe something else!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Don't tell FIL...

that I've gotten a bit bored with his blue-ness. I knit nearly 6 inches on FIL last night on the bus ride home, but he's just so blue and the right front is the same as the left front (but reversed of course). He's giving me the blahs.

Then, there was a sing-song voice from my bag. Knit me it said. I didn't want the talking yarn in my bag to freak out the people on the bus. So, just had to swatch the Maha (I'm tired of trying to spell it out). I whipped out the smallest needles I had on me and set to work. It's making a lovely fabric, although, my gauge is loose on 9s (the smallest I had). If I want to make Clapotis out of this, I'll have to try 7s. And it's colorful! I was a little worried when I first saw the balls in person as the colors are a bit brighter than I was expecting, but they look great together knitted up. I'm not quite sure what it will become. If I make Clapotis, I'll have 5 balls left. Enough for another Clap, but not much else.
My Maharajdah swatch (I think I always misspell that). Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Supportive Hubby

My husband wants to be supportive of me and my hobbies (obsessions?). So, when I said there was a knitting thing I wanted to go to in September, he tried to hide the pained look on his face. When I told him it meant 4 days in Atlantic City, he was more excited than I was. Stitches EAST here I come! Now, I just need knittinguniverse to get on the horse and get going with it. Sheesh, it's only 7 months away!

This means that there can be no more stashing until September. No more yarn purchases. I must knit through the stash for the next 7 months and clear out some room! I'll also be saving my pennies for the marketplace. Yippee!
This is Phildar Maharadjah in an unknown color way. I'm taking it home tonight and swatching for Clapotis. Startitis anyone? Posted by Hello
My latest stashquisitions made it a happier Tuesday. La la la, yarn! Posted by Hello
Molly, Queen Bully of my Heart, wants to know if I'm sure I know how to work a camera. Posted by Hello

It’s Tuesday, but you could sure fool me

How dare I have a life! How dare I need to take 1 and ½ days off from the office! How dare I be distracted from my job for a week because my 1 year old son needs to go under general anesthesia! You would think I’m completely slacking off here and not getting anything done (you’d be partly right), or that I have nothing to do but what you need done. Oh, don’t worry about it. Forget to tell me when that URGENT thing you need done gets done while I’m at the surgery center because you asked someone else and DIDN’T TELL ME!!!!

Sure feels like a crappy Monday in the office!

Friday, February 11, 2005

knitted homespun

I just had to knit up my homespun yesterday. I actually caston sitting at my desk. I posted pictures below. Sorry they're not better. Someday, I'll have a better camera. I'm just happy I can post anything.

I really enjoyed knitting it up; it was exciting to think I was knitting yarn I made! I'm going to work on being more consistent with the next batch. I don't know what I'll be able to make out of it. We'll see how much I wind up with. Yesterday's swatch is the size of a couple of postage stamps!

FIL is moving along. I've got a few more inches and then it's time for the armhole. If I have any free time this weekend, it's going to finishing. I want to get Zipo and Air done. Especially Air. She's been around since September!
Here is the front side. Posted by Hello
Here is the reverse side. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

which color

I think this would make a great summer-weight clapotis, don't you? I know I'm a little late for jumping on the band wagon (usually am, my Charlotte is in skeins under my bed from this summer), but now I want to make one, too. So, which color? I think the white would be most versatile. But, I'm really torn between the red, orange, or purple.

Thick and thin

I didn't get to watch all of Lost last night. Hubby, the boy and I went out to dinner and by the time the boy had his bath and bottle, there wasn't much left to watch. I did enjoy what I saw and can't wait for next week.

Angelina (1940s style jacket from White Lies) was swatched for a bit, but not during Lost. During Lost and the first few minutes of Alias (which I've never gotten into), I spun a small sample roving that came along with my flame roving. I definitely need to spin in a different place. I worked this roving in my bedroom, on my bed. Not good for the posture or the eyesight. We have very bad lighting in our bedroom. I don't know if you can tell, but it's of varying thickness because my draws were of various sizes and it's underspun in some places and overspun in others. It was good practice, though. I have a better idea of what to do when I start in on my burgundy roving purchased with my spindle (no picture). I wound up casting on and swatching for Angelina during CSI:NY. I think I'm going to like knitting her up. It's strange going back to such a tiny gauge!

As for FIL, he's growing. I've completed 6 inches from the cast-on. It's a bit more interesting than straight stockinette, because you work ribbing on the zipper edge (as in photo) and on the pocket edge (not in photo). Of course, being me, I am working the wrong number of ribs on the pocket side. I'm short one. Oh well. Who's going to know besides me? Well, me and the whole Internet? Seeing as I have 2 subscribers via bloglines, I think my secret's safe even if it is posted for the whole Internet to see!

It's a dreary gray day today and I could use a nap. I've been a horrible sleeper my whole life (I'd love to blame it on the PPD or the SSRIs, but I've had insomnia since I was a kid). Why is it, that the people who have no problems going to sleep can get by on less and those of us who have horrible times sleeping, can't get enough?

Handspun in hand for scale of skein. It's itty bitty. Posted by Hello
Look, I made novelty yarn. This is my first handspun in some freebie wool. Colorway is denim. Posted by Hello
Progress on left front of FIL from yesterday and this morning. This is the zipper side Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Rowan 37

Must renew membership. Must have new mag. Many, many things I must knit. Pretty poncho for renewing!

FIL thinks I don't like him anymore

After my last post, the sweater vest was whining on the way home. He thinks I don't like him anymore. Fortunately, I had a great conversation with a woman who works for Anne Klein in the fashion district. She works with the seamstresses, translating the designs into working patterns. Sounds interesting to me! I bet she's got mad sewing skills! She liked my Phildar "thread" and we talked about knitting and sewing and her growing up in Russia and what she used to do to be fashionable. She had this girlfriend in college whose grandmother spun a wool-blend with the girlfriend's collie's fur. It made wonderfully warm and beautiful knits! We chatted about that and how people still do spin pet fur. (I suggested Persian or Himalayan cat fur would be nice.) Don't worry Molly, you've got short hair. No bully knits for me! It was a nice ride home and I saw her again on the bus in this morning, but I had to sit at the back.

As photographed below, albeit poorly, I did finish the back of FIL this morning. I only had about 11 rows to finish him up after my gab & knit-fest home last night. (I impressed the lady on the bus by being able to knit by feel. I tried to explain that it was straight back and forth st st, but she wanted to be impressed.)

I did pull out the Quechua and the pattern and my 5s, but didn't really get started. I didn't feel well last night and I'm so wiped out still. I don't know if I had a bug or if it's the lingering effects of a late night and stress. I'm looking forward to casting on. Hopefully, I'll get the left front of FIL started tonight on the way home and can cast-on for Angelina while watching Lost tonight. Well, cast-on the swatch anyway.
You can't tell, but this is the back of FIL. Completed back, I meant to say. Posted by Hello
Mmm. Lovely Phildar. Can't wait to touch you! Posted by Hello
It's Wednesday, but I look like Monday. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

booze & pancakes

For shrove Tuesday my hubby and I are having pancakes and bacon for dinner. It's something his family used to do. (Mine wasn't terribly observant, except Christmas and Easter, and that was for the Santa and the Bunny.) Does any booze go well with pancakes and maple syrup (I'm from VT, you don't want to see the rant)? It's just been one of those days and a few belts sound like a good idea. Of course, two weeks on a sandy beach sound better!

I think I need to start a new project or pick up the spindle again. (Last week, I did spin a few yards of a sample roving I got with my red flame.)

I think I may need to pick up the Quechua and size 5s and do something fun!

Oops, I stashed again, AGAIN!

This time it really is an oops. I completely forgot I had the leading bid in on this Phildar yarn until I got into work this morning and saw that I had won it. Fortunately, it’s in my favorite spicy-earth tones. It’s true stash yarn. Got no idea what I’m going to do with it! I like it lots, though.

I must stop buying things, though. (Can I overuse though a bit more?) For many more reasons than I care to enumerate. However first and foremost, I need a new PC at home. I tried to log into our on-line time clocks to approve last week’s timesheets and it just wasn’t happening. I think the hubby may have inadvertently downloaded some spyware (which I’ve also managed to do to the work laptop). It’s a ridiculously old PC anyway. The last straw was when I couldn’t read through my bloglines last night (after I gave up on the timesheets). Gee. It’s useless to me if I can’t keep up with the blogs!

I'm well into the armscye (is it an armscye if there is no sleeve?) of the f-i-l sweater-vest. Disturbingly, this super-fast to knit and cuddly soft yarn is hurting my hands as I knit with it. The fingers of my left hand get really sore and my thumb was killing me Sunday night after 2 hours of knitting in the car. I hope I can get over it. I love my Aran and DK weight yarns, but please. A girl has to have some fast knits in adult sizes! Especially this girl with so much yarn stashed for herself!

In non-knitting news, Billy will be having surgery next week. Monday morning at 8:30, he gets the tubes in the ears. At his age, there aren't many non-surgical interventions for chronic ear infections and fluid that just won't go away. I just read today that leaving the fluid in the ears may not affect language and speech development, but who wants to risk it? The ironic thing is that besides being in a large group daycare situation, we did everything right and he still got the ear infections.

Um, yeah. I'm sure there are tons of other things I could talk about. But I'm at a loss. I have to go put in for time off from work.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Oops, I stashed again

I just bought some Rowan 4-ply cotton in Fandango from one of my favorite eBay sellers. I think I might make this or this or this. Ivy or Alice would have to be done in one color. I think Arabella is pretty as well. Must find more time to knit!
I did go red today. (Surprise, surprise. I wear red a lot anyway.) Posted by Hello

red letter day

I realize I should have mentioned this earlier in the week, but today is Go Red for Women Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Women are more likely to die of heart disease than any other cause, especially as they get older. But, the symptoms of a heart attack in women are not the same as in men and not nearly as well-publicized. Get informed. Protect yourself. I've just signed up, won't you?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

baby, baby

The top picture is Billy at 2 days old in the special care nursery of the hospital. The bottom picture is Billy at 1 year and a day in his high chair at home. (I know it's not a great photo. I'll have better ones when I finish the birthday DVD.) How did one become the other? They sort of look like the same person, right? But one is about a third the size of the other. Billy was 7 lbs 2 ozs and 21 1/2" at birth, at his last well child visit in November he was 30" and his most recent weight was 25 lbs. I can't wait to get his stats on Monday. He's a big boy. He's also got 6 teeth and can stand on his own. He's very close to saying mama and loves to jabber on and on. He laughs and flirts outrageously. He loves to play with toys that have wheels and hugs our dog like nobody's business. He puts himself to sleep and is the joy of my life!
Billy, two days. Posted by Hello
Billy, one year. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Happy 1st Birthday to my Groundhog Baby

I want to do a special post to commemorate Billy’s first birthday. I’ve been kicking around a few ideas. There’s always re-hashing the birth story, writing him a letter telling him what he means to me, etc. They all feel hackneyed. I’ve seen them on lots of blogs, done much better than I could do. I think I’ll just write a few lists:

12 things in my life that have changed in the last 12 months:

Sleeping in is being in bed until 7 am
The greatest sound in the world is now MMMMAA MMMMAA MMMMAA
I own more cheerios than anything
Free time = play with Billy time
My needs come last
My bladder is way different
I’m so much more patient
It’s easier to let things go
If he’s okay, I’m okay
I’m not okay, if he’s not
There are toys everywhere
The attic is being used for clothing storage

12 things I’ve learned being Billy’s mom:

It’s okay to ask for help
Housework is unimportant
Except the floors should be clean for crawling lads
Formula is expensive, so are diapers
My job is my job
My family is my life
Trust my instincts
But, listen to advice (some of it is useful)
Waitresses love little kids
It’s easier to smile
It’s okay that my needs come last
It’s wonderful to be alive

12 things I love about Billy:

His smile
His laugh
His joy in people
How everything is so new
That everything new is wonderful
Those blue eyes
The whorl in his hair
The way he loves to be upside-down, in the air, or swinging round
The way he flirts with everyone
His adoration of the Molly-dog
The feeling of his sleepy head on my shoulder
His sheer Billy-ness

12 wishes for the next 12 months:

That they’re healthier than the last 3
That he stays such a happy boy
That daddy gets the hang of changing diapers
That he starts to like the bath again
That those teeth start to bother him less
That weaning from a bottle is as easy as from the breast
That he keeps growing and developing as well as he has
That we keep loving to learn together
That he loves the ocean as much as daddy and I this summer
That Molly becomes his best friend again (she runs away)
That he always knows how much we love him
That they go more slowly than the last 12

I’ll have pictures tomorrow.

Here's the right pocket of f-i-l's vest. A couple of more inches and I get to cast off 42 stitches. Then I'll be cruising! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A good day and then WHAM!

As I said in an e-mail to my sisters, yesterday was a pretty good day. I got to tell two people they were promoted, got to leave the office by 1, bought a zipper for Billy’s sweater (and one for F-I-L’s sweater vest), had a good visit with the doctor, we’re going to start weaning me of my meds after my next appointment in April. Then as I was waiting for traffic to clear so I could pull onto North Ave from the Parkway, I got rear-ended. Fortunately, Billy was not in the car and I was not hurt. But my poor van (the party-van according to the Marist gang), is all banged up. I don’t think we could open the back end if we wanted to. Fortunately, the lights all work. She’s going into the shop on Monday, but we can use her in an emergency. The car seat has been moved to the VUE. He’ll be our main wheels until she’s back.

So, yeah, that sucked. What sucked more is it took four police officers from three organizations to get us back on the road. It took over an hour from start to finish. The first police officer said we were in a different town. The second set of two said we were in their town (which is also my town), but that we were technically on the highway still. So we had to wait for a state trooper. He was pretty prompt. Strangely, the NJ state police don’t give you a copy of your accident report. No, you have to mail away for it and send them $10! I wonder if that was McGreevy’s doing.

I was a complete and utter flake about it all. I think not getting the accident report threw me. I didn’t get her insurance info. But, Hubby to the rescue. He’s so good at picking up my pieces. He got us an appointment with Geico’s preferred body shop (where the adjuster has office hours). He even apologized for taking over in case my feminist sensibilities were offended. I told him nope. His talents lie in the bureaucracy, I’ll let him deal.

In other news, Billy’s still freaked out about taking a bath. I don’t know what to do. We’ll ask Dr. Maggie for advice at his well-child visit next week.

On a very happy note, my gorgeous fiber came today. Weee! Must learn to spin!!!! See it below, posing seductively with the progress on F-I-L’s sweater. I say the pockets on this vest are being done ingeniously. You cast them onto the sides of the back and sew them to the fronts. One less seam to handle.
Mmm. Sexy fiber and sweater progress. Posted by Hello
None the worse for wear. Posted by Hello