Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pictures, mostly

So, here are the socks that I finished up. Nothing spectacular about them, but they're done, and it's been forever since I've had anything come off the needles.

Other things going on around here:

J got his new bed(s) a few weeks ago. After holding out for the really cute pirate bed for a week or so, we finally ended up going with the bunks. It just so happened that my sister had a set hanging around in her garage not being used, and since they're what J's been really wanting all this time, we decided to go ahead. They'll give him something to grow into for several years to come, and so far he hasn't gone tumbling down from the top. Of course, he's still not sleeping the entire night in them, waking several times and running across the house in a panic to find us, but we'll get there eventually. The bad thing about them is their size. They take up half his room! Case closed! We need a bigger house. Oh, and the cats like them, too.

And finally, some pictures from this weekend. We're all set for Halloween.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

A blessing and a curse

This weekend Michele and I found ourselves in a rare position of both having a few free hours on Saturday. Now, what knitter in her right mind would turn down a couple of good hours of knitting time, kid and husband free?

Now, refer to the title of the post-- the blessing here is that we've managed to find each other, and strike up quite a friendship in a state where knitting seems to be the most uncommon hobby ever. The curse is that we've managed to find one another, and yet there are just enough miles separating us to make any impromptu get-togethers nearly impossible.

We've talked a lot about getting together for regular knit nights, whether it be once a week, or every other week, or whatever, but so far the stars have not managed to align themselves properly. But Saturday, those few stolen hours were golden. Oh, and I think we may have found a mutually agreeable half-way point that also boasts decent coffee, a wi-fi connection, and sinful pastries. What could be better?

There's been a whole lot of nothing being knit around here. I don't know if it has more to do with just not having the time to do so, or a lack of enthusiasm for the stuff dangling from the needles, but it's been a boring several months in knit-land for me.

Imagine my surprise when Michele reached into her cute little knitting bag and pulled out the beginnings of a sock in the exact same yarn and color as the one that has been travelling around in my purse since August. Neat! To further the geeky knitter concidence-- we're both knitting the exact same yarn in the exact same plain-jane rib pattern. It was just enough to get my knitterly mojo flowing again. Oh yeah, and the kid-free time helped, too.

So, we sat and knitted our twin socks for a few hours, she doing a bang-up job of learning magic loop. Let me tell ya- that girl is tenacious! She doesn't give up, even when I was useless to help her figure out a delimma. She's a true problem solver, that's for sure.

We also sat oogling yarn online and putting the final touches on our joint order from knitpicks. We're so good at enabling each other. :) Our original plan was to order together so that we could get the free shipping, but by the time we were done, I think we could just about have qualified for the free shipping individually. It's the most yarn I've ever ordered at once, and it gave me little tingles of excitement, laced with pangs of guilt for spending that much. But I justified them away by tellimg myself that I would have spent at least that much on two sweaters (which is the amount of yarn I'm ordering) even at a bargain store.

All the excitement over our order sort of had us giddy, and also feeling a bit sheepish (pardon the crappy pun). I know people who can spend more than we did on just one skein of yarn. That's all fine and good if you can afford it, and I applaud you. But see, we have these pesky things like bills getting in the way of our addictions, and apparently neither of us are that far over the edge yet, so we knit with what we can afford, and not what we'd really love to. This, my friends, is how "The Broke-Ass Knitter's Club" ws conceived. Seriously, look for it on Ravelry, just as soon as I get around to actually setting it up. We can all get together and discuss the merits of cheaper yarn, and why it doesn't all have to suck. Maybe we can share our reviews of yarns we've substituted for the more expensive stuff, etc. Whatever-- we'll see where it leads.

BTW Michele-- you better get moving on those socks, girlfriend. The Orlando Needleworks Show is only a few weeks away! I kitchenered my last toe this morning.

And today, to celebrate, hubby took me to the mall (yes, that evil and suffocating beast of consumerism) and I bought myself a pair of adorable little mary-janes in which to show off my, as J-man calls them, "yarnsocks".

More about today tomorrow. This has been long enough... and there's not even a picture to break up the monotony. Bad blogger!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Honey

Today is Wil's birthday, and J and I have busied ourselves in the kitchen making him a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake as a surprise. I absolutely loathe cheesecake (yes, I do know I'm weird), so I'm sure he'll realize just how special he is. :)

We've also got a big pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove for dinner. I wanted to make something fancy and gourmet to celebrate the occasion, but he's on call tonight, and there's no telling what time he'll get home. No sense trying to make something that needs timing.

I really wanted to be able to get him something nice as a gift this year, but financially, it's just not a possibility. For the past couple of years he's bemoaned the fact that we don't have a very complete tool set. Sure, we've got a hammer, some screwdrivers, even a pretty decent set of ratchets, but anything requiring more power than my hand can deliver requires a call to my sister, or a trip to the parents.

Now, it's not a big secret that I'm the handyman of the family. I do most of the repair work around here. Although, to his credit, he's gotten better at doing some things. For instance, a month or so ago, he broke his key off in the front door and had to replace the deadbolt, and even managed to do so without me here to stand over his shoulder.

So, he's feeling all manly now and wants tools. Since I know that I'll either get the wrong one, or spend too much, I made him go to Home Depot with me last night to pick out the set he wants. He'll have to wait until payday, but he'll be getting this:

Actually, the set we're getting him comes with a flashlight, too. We've decided that this is probably the best deal. Ryobi makes a decent product, and since they make a whole line of tools that use the same battery, it'll make adding on to the set in the future easier. I'll be quite excited to see just how handy hubby becomes.

Either way, it's what he wants, and I only wish I could get it today and surprise him. Oh well, poor planning leads to poor results, I guess. At least he's getting the cheesecake. :)

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Sunday, October 14, 2007


Woke up this morning to a message on ravelry from someone I don't know. They want to use my picture of the sweater I knit for Baby Emmy on the pattern page. EEK! Ok. So some of you are great knitters, and you know it. Some of you can design things that are amazing, and some of you even have your handiwork featured in books, catalogs, and websites. Me? I just fiddle around with two sticks and hopefully come up with something that looks close to the instructions I'm following. Seriously.

I'm flabbergasted. Is that really a word? Seriously, I am. So yeah, those of you who are ravelers, do a search for the Bunny Hop Ruffled Baby Pullover and that first picture is mine, all mine.

Excuse me while I go shake my head in wonder.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007


Today J and I met Michele, her husband, and some of her co-workers at the college campus and participated in the Strides for a Cure 5k walk. Fortunately, my family has not been personally affected by breast cancer, and I've always jokingly sworn that it's one of the perks of having a less than spectacular rack, but it was humbling and amazing to see all the people out supporting the cause, many of them survivors, or walking in memory of loved ones. It gave me just the tiniest glimpse into what it must be for Erin and her family to walk in the Heart Walk in memory of their two children.

I hope to do it again next year, and maybe start my fund raising a bit earlier than the last minute, like this year.

The walk was invigorating, and the weather was gorgeous.

Afterwards, we all gathered at the Panera across the street from the college. Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones with this brilliant idea, and the staff was overwhelmed with all of us. But we managed to get a bagel and some coffee. After the throngs receeded a bit, we wrangled our way into a booth and Michele and I got a little bit of time to talk yarn and knitting. Thomas, bless his heart, is a patient husband. Thanks for letting us hang out a while and bore you. :) J did well, too. He was a stellar example of a well-behaved 3-year-old for most of the time. His worst habit was popping up over the back of the booth to oogle the folks behind us. Oh well, he's three, they can get over it.

After breakfast/lunch at Panera, J and I came home and started packing up all the stuff in his room. You see, he's not ready to let go of ANY of his toys. Not even the baby toys that he didn't even realize were tucked in the back of the closet. But, I did manage to convince him to place them lovingly in boxes (which I sneakliy sorted into 'go' and 'stay' boxes)to get them out of the way until his new bed comes.

Speaking of new beds... his new one is set to arrive tomorrow via Aunt Wendy's truck. Yay!!!

Obviously, that means that we gave up on the pirate bed idea, and went with the bunks. It'll be a stretch trying to fit a double bed into his little room, even with the paring down of toys, but it's the better option in the long run. Having the bigger bed gives him room to grow, where the pirate bed will be too "baby-ish" in just a year or two.

So, we've cleaned out toys, moved all his furniture, and disassembled his baby bed, tearfully. He's so ready for his new beds, but he's also having a hard time letting go of the familiar. Now, let's be fair, he's never really slept in this bed, so I'm not sure why he's so attached to it, other than the fact that it's always been there. But now that it's apart, he's doing better with it. I think that when the new ones arrive tomorrow he'll forget all about it. And he's super excited about getting to pick out his own sheets. At the moment he says he wants sheets with the planet earth on them. Wonder where I can find those?

Anyway, J wants me to fix popcorn and come "rewax" with him and watch a movie in bed. These are then things I'm going to miss. *sigh*

Growing up is hard.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Celebration week

Wow has it been a busy week full of celebrations around here!

First, Amanda's birthday, which we celebrated from afar. Then two days later, my other sister's birthday, then Friday, hubby and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. That's a whole lot of stuff for just one week!

Of course, with everyone's busy schedules, none of these occasions were actually celebrated on their actual days, but last night we left munchkin with the parents and hubby and I had the night to ourselves.

It's funny how much one changes after they've had a child. At 8:30 we were driving around town at a loss for things to do. Not fitting in at the bar scene, and not feeling like hanging out with the angsty teen crowd at the coffee house, and not really feeling like driving too far away since it was supposed to rain and be nasty all night, we finally just ended up at the book store sipping coffee and eating desserts while browsing magazines and people watching. Just 4 years ago we'd have just been getting our night started at 8:30, and instead we were both overwhelmed with the desire to just go home and get into our pajamas. After the book store, that's exactly what we did. But still, it was nice to have that quiet time without the kiddo to just hang out together.

J also went bowling for the first time ever on Saturday. We took him before dropping him off at the parents. He had a great time, and it's something we'll definitely do again.

Also on Saturday afternoon we all went to the store so Dada could see the cute little pirate bedroom set that J wanted for his room. Let's face facts here: J's three. For his entire life we've co-slept, and it's been wonderful. Neither of us have been in a real hurry to move him to his own room, but it's time. What better way to make the transition fun for him than to let him pick out his new bedroom furniture? Here's a little picture of the set he wants:

Okay, so it's not furniture that he's going to take off to college with him or anything, but it's cute, and he loves it, and it'll do for the next couple of years.

Unfortunately, it was found at a closeout store, and by the time we got around to actually buying it, they were sold out. We had the guy call around to all the stores in the county, and there are none left. There's a chance they might get some more in on the truck this week, though, so we're holding our breath and crossing our fingers.

If not, my sister has offered to let us take Steven's bunk beds, which are actually very nice. Now, I'm not sure that I'm ready for J to be climbing on bunks, but really it's what he's been wanting and asking for even before he saw the pirate bedroom. And we could take the ladder off until he's a little more coordinated with the climbing and only allow him up there when we're there to supervise him. And really, how many deaths are reported every year from bunk bed falls? So, we'll see.

Today we had this enormous celebrate everything at once sort of feast with the sister, the nephew, and the parents. I think that we probably ordered one of everything on the menu. It was a ridiculous amount of food, and we all had a ball picking and munching from all the various dishes. We all got to giggling because it was almost barbaric. Good thing the restaurant wasn't crowded, we would have caused a scene!

Now we're home, J and Dada are napping, and some folks are supposed to be stopping by to take a look at J's old crib/toddler bed. It's in perfect shape since he's only occasionally slept in it, and I'll be glad to see it go to someone who could really use it, but at the same time, it's sort of hard to watch something that symbolic go. My little baby is getting all grown up.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Wow... just wow

To somewhat quote Michele, how did it get to be October already?

It's not that there's been a whole lot going on, it just seems like the normal stuff takes up more time than it used to.

Ok, to be fair, I've picked up an extra shift at work to help offset the cost of J's speech therapy, so that eats up another day of my usual knit/blog/do housework time. I know, all you full-time working, family raising folks can stop rolling your eyes now, but I'm just not that good at time management, or scheduling, or something. I'm finding it overwhelming, and even with the extra shift I'm only working 3 days a week, four if it's my week to work Saturday. But to my credit, those days, except for Tuesdays, start hours before the sun comes up, and I usually don't make it back home until well after it's set.

Enough whining though, I'm just in a strange sort of funk. Odd really, because the weather has been cooling off, and usually fall is when I start to feel more alive and peppy than any other time of the year. I'll get over myself sooner or later, right?

The knitting world hasn't been treating me all that great, either. The shrug that I've been working on is currently in time out. You see, I chose it because it looked like a no-brain sort of project, two sleeves, a simple lace pattern across the back... yeah, well, somewhere in the first lace repeat I managed to get off track and, well, I'm trying to decide if I even like the project enough to rip back, or just frog it completely. Let's face it... dusty rose is not exactly my color, and I'm just not digging it at all. But there's a lot of time in those sleeves, and it seems a shame to just give up on it, so I'm giving it a little time in the corner, and we'll see if it comes out with a different attitude.

That leaves my little ribbed socks, which I'm nearly done with, but can't seem to find the oomph to finish. Yeah, how much oomph do you need to knit the foot of a ribbed sock? But still... it's coming along slowly.

I did finish a really teeny-tiny little project, and that did some good for my ego, but I can't show you just yet. I think I'm going to start knitting Barbie clothes for my friend's 4 year old, just so I can have the feeling of accomplishment that comes along with a FO.

But, when I've not been knitting, I've been teaching myself to spin. Look:

It's not very even, ranging anywhere from laceweight to sport, but I'm proud considering it's not a big lumpy tangle. The more I play with the spindle, the more I love it. It's quite cathartic, the repetitive motion of spinning. Possibly even more mindless than miles of stockinette. And again, there's the instant gratification of saying "look what I've made here."

Michele and I are planning on knitting the ballet cami together, just as soon as we both have the time and financial resources to order yarn for it, so there's that to look forward to. And I've got a whole queue full of stuff I want or need to knit over at ravelry, which is quite addictive. And I foolishly signed up for nakniswemo, which I'm starting to think I'll drop out of before I even get started.

Oh well, if only there were more hours in the day.