my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wear Red

Want a great way to kick off Project Spectrum this year? Wear Red on February 1. You'll help raise awareness that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women in America. I'm going to be kicking around at home getting ready for my parents' visit this weekend (B turns 4 on Saturday), but I'll still wear red.

I love PS's format this year. The first two months are my favorite, of course.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Beloved Rabbie

Today is Robbie Burns's birthday. Rabbie is how it sounds in a nice warm, Scottish burr. Rabbie is the poet of Scotland. He wrote in the vernacular and captured a lot of folk tunes and poems (Auld Lang Syne being one example). He wrote on the early cusp of the Romantic era. He was sort of a contemporary of William Blake. He was a rake and poor and tried very hard to live his ideal of the Scots farmer. Like Wordsworth, he tried to work as a taxman, but was unsuccessful at that as well. He was dissolute and died young. However, his celebration of all that is Scots, from the cuisine through the history, lives on.

The Banks of Doon is one of my favorites. He published it in many different versions. The one I studied starts, "Ye banks and braes o bonny doon/how can ya bloom so fresh and fair". I prefer it to this one, mainly because of the first line.

I also like To a Mouse, just for the line, wee sleekit beastie.

I cannot read his poems aloud in my own dialect. I have to try to slip into a burr, just to do it justice. Of course, to talk in my native dialect, I'd have to slip my hick on.

Tomorrow, we go to the annual Burns dinner at Argyle Fish and Chips (home to the Piper's Cove, made famous by Mike Myers on SNL). They'll have Highland dancers, pipers, and an actor to do the traditional recitations. We'll have haggis and fish and chips and I'll be bringing my son, wee Angus (what, it is his middle name) closer to his heritage.

I envy my husband his Scottish family history. My family's been where they are for so long, NW Vermont is my heritage for the most part. The fact that we could walk in the town where his grandfather was born, on a different continent, was special. That and being able to justify a bagpiper at my wedding.

Hopefully, the sweater will be done in time. I'm on increase 22. It's going down to the wire.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

a matter of pride

I haven't bought any yarn since sometime in December (I do not count the manos from earlier this month, that was a gift). I haven't bought any fabric since the end of December. I'm not on a stash diet (although, I did tell myself no more fabric until I at least get my sewing machine working again). But, now that I've gone nearly four weeks wihout stashing, not buying more yarn is a matter of pride. I can think of some holes in my stash that I'd like to fill (not enough green yarn). I've seen some beautiful stuff that I'd love to own. But, right now, I'm able to resist. And I'm proud of that. Self-discipline's a good thing. So's self-indulgence, but I'm leaning toward discipline right now.

I'll probably fall off the wagon tomorrow. I usually do.

Hubby's sweater's not finished. Robby Burns Day is tomorrow. We're going to a Robby Burns Dinner on Saturday. He really wanted to be able to wear the sweater to dinner. I was so close. I had one sleeve completely seamed up last week and had him try it on and it was too small. So I extended the armholes some more. Then the neckline was too deep. So I ripped out below the neckline on the front and back and re-knitted them. Sleeve one was ripped down to the forearm and re-knit to be wider and is done. Sleeve two has been ripped and a few of the 24 increases have been done. My goal is to finish knitting the sleeve on the way home tomorrow (which means I have to have at least 20 of the increases done before bed tonight) so that re-seaming can commmence. That gives me tomorrow night and Saturday's nap to seam it. Hubby may be putting it on with ends not woven in as we walk into Argyle Fish and Chips on Saturday.

My kid is now out of his crib. Over Christmas, MiL and FiL handed me a flyer and asked if we would like a captain's bed with a bookcase in the head board. I said sure and went back to my champagne. I didn't really think about it again until MiL called Saturday to tell Hubby the bed would be delivered yesterday. So, Monday, I cleaned out Billy's room (we put lots of linens and baby stuff in storage) and tore down his crib. He slept on a fold out chair for the next two days. Then MiL was at our house for delivery yesterday. Whoopsie! I think we should have thought out the shopping a bit more. The bed didn't fit. You couldn't walk between it and the dresser.

We live in a 1920s dutch colonial. This means gables (I think they're called gables) in the bedrooms. It means B's bedroom is 10x10 with a gable and the largest closet in the house (it contains the chimney, too. It means two windows and a large radiator. Limited options. So there was much stressing until we got home and figured it out. Fortunately, I think critically and solve problems for a living (andn apparently with my hobby) and got us to a workable solution.

B's in 7th heaven. He loves it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

knit spotted in the wild

Here's a pic of my mom and B from our last visit to VT. As you can see, Mom actually wears her handknits. This is Freya in the wild. Mom likes her very much and claims to wear her a lot even when I'm not there. B loves his Nanny because she'll rough-house with him. He looks like he's trying to get away, but that's just so she'll squeeze harder.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Five Years

Today is my five year blogiversary. I never thought I'd last this long. Posting's become pretty spotty lately, but I'm not going anywhere. If I've kept it up for this long, I'm going to keep going.

Thanks for being here, listening to me, and sharing with me.

I had wanted to do something special for today, but life and work have been getting in the way. I will post the shopping I did the other day. I think a little Manos is a nice blogiversary treat!

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm thinking of being a bad girl at lunch today. I've got a gift certificate to Purl that's been burning a hole in my pocket since October (it was a belated birthday gift). I'm thinking I'll buy some Manos to make a vest (kind of like this one of Ruth's, but I'm thinking garter stitch with those super wrappy rows, like CAP's orange scarf). Just a thought. Also, since I'd be out, I'd have an excuse to buy something for lunch and not eat the frozen lunch I have no interest in. Yes, I know it's much healthier and more frugal to eat the frozen lunch. I don't care. I'm a bad girl.

In other news, seaming avoidance has caught the Husband's attention. I was crocheting away on my little bag when he asked "shouldn't you be seaming my sweater." And I said "No, I've got plenty of time." They he asked if I would be able to get it done in time for next Sunday (1/20) when he's going to be Lay Leader at church. I said, sure. Really, if I put my mind to it, I could probably have it done for this Sunday, but he's just going to be sitting in a pew while I'm in my puke gold choir robe, so he wouldn't really be able to show it off anyway. I've been wanting to double-check a couple of things before I start. No since having bad seaming ruing the sweater.

Here's where I am with the bag. One panel and the strap done. Panel two started. I'm still not 100% sure about construction. I don't know if I want to put pieces between the panels or just go with a tote-style shape. I should have plenty of yarn if I want to do side and bottom panels. Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

back to hooking

Over a year ago, I was going to crochet a felted bag. I didn't get terribly far. But, I did purchase some additional yarn in case I ever got re-started. I did the other night. I was thinking of doing a large circle or square for each side piece, but the color repeats are too short. I'm really liking this and can't wait to see what the colors do when I felt the pieces. I think I'm going to crochet them all together before I put it in the washer. I'd be a lot further along if I hadn't re-started last night with a different hook (same size, but slightly larger barrel giving me looser stitches) and if I hadn't been reading so much lately (I've got a bit of a crush on Jack Reacher from Lee Child's series).

Over the phone yesterday, a colleague asked what I was working on, so I told her about Hubby's sweater. She works in our Totowa office, so isn't here for knitting lunches. I brought in the body pieces to show her (she's got meetings here today) and figured I should post a pic for you all, too. Soon, I'll put the sleeves in.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

bad new years suggestion

I've been passing this magazine on news stands since I've been back to work, and I'm not sure who the woman is on the left, but I've got to wonder why in hell we're supposed to be idolizing her pre-pubescent body. I really don't want to snark too much on someone's physical appearance, but she's completely flat. Did they photoshop out her bosom so that the W would fit? Believe me, I get wanting to be skinny. I've come to accept the fact that I'll never be thin again and I'm not going to say that women shouldn't be thin and people shouldn't try to be healthier, fitter, and leaner, but should we be promoting a physical form that denies puberty? Will we be celebrating her breast augmentation in two weeks?

Okay, done with that. It's been bothering me for a week. I had to get it out.

In other news, I've gotten serious striping at this gauge in plain stockinette. I'm going to try something else. I've got Sensational Knitted Socks and Knitting Vintage Socks with me. I will find a pattern that works at this gauge in my foot size!

In other, other knitting news. Hubby's St Andrew's sweater has a neckline. Seaming to commence. (I've decided to not block the sweater in pieces. I'm not sure it would do much for me in 100% cotton.)

Finally, I'm a complete and utter idiot. I entreat you, if you have the slightest inkling you might be leaving your house without your keys, check before you get on the train and can't retrieve them! I had to wait a half-hour between connections this morning for Hubby to catch up with me so I could borrow his keys for B pick-up this evening. I swear, I'm a tool.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Three week whoopsie!

I've been working on this Monkey for about three weeks. I kitchenered the toe this morning. Couple of problems my gauge is way off (8.5 per inch as opposed to the 8 called for) so the sock is too narrow even for the pattern (which would still be too narrow for me). It is also way too long in the foot. I don't know what I was doing, thinking I needed an 11" sock, but my foot's not even 10" long!

So, even though I love the way the colors worked out, this incarnation is not going to last. I'm thinking I might try a sock similar to what the trekking socks I just finished. I'll start it on the way home and see how the colors work out.

Did I ever mention that my son has three cavities? I see I didn't even mention our appointment last month. He did great with the counting and the cleaning and everything. We were so proud of how he reacted. B now has three fillings. I had deep, deep shame, thinking that my poor brushing means the tooth fairy will be taking three amalgamated teeth in a couple of years, but the dentist pointed out that some people have natural pits in their teeth that become cavities, even though B's been on flouride since infancy. The kid was a champ in the chair this weekend. I guess the cavities were shallow, so no pain, but he just sat and cooperated and was great! If only naptime went as well this weekend.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Sometime this week, I'd like to round up my 2007 FOs. Dad's sweater counts, but I never took a picture of it!

This year, I want to knit more, exercise more, eat healthier, and spend less. But, if all I manage is to be a loving mom and wife, the year will be a success.

I cannot believe my baby will be four a month from tomorrow. Party planning to commence. Mom and Dad are planning to come down, I'm very excited. Even though Dad may have to be drugged into a stupor to make the trip.

Happy and Healthy 2008 to you and yours!