Friday, August 4, 2017

The summer check-in


August is upon us and I feel like I was just getting settled into summer.

Since I last posted I sort of barreled through June at work, trying to prep for holiday with my family. My sister, her son, my husband and my son all flew out to Germany together in July to see my parents in Germany.


My husband stayed a week, my sister and I stayed 2 and then our sons stayed 10 more days and my Mom flew back out to the states with the boys last night.


My sister and her family drove down with my Dad and Stepmother to San Diego for my other nephew's graduation from Boot Camp. My mother is flying down to join them. After meeting her bestie out in Las Vegas, Mom will return to spend a few days with each of her daughters before she returns to the Colonel who is working away and already missing her.

I packed way more knitting than I actually got done. (Isn't this always the case) And my mother had a gift for me ... GIANT knitting.


I have some loose ends I'm finishing up in the knitting world before I tackle that! LOL. We will see how this turns out.

This trip to Germany was really relaxing and family oriented. We had our usual walks in the evening and even added some morning walks in the woods when there was time.

We would go bowling on base or play German miniature golf (open 5-8) in the valley. So pretty, there were ponies and sheep just around the corner. We always saw a neighborhood crew of men were never playing but sitting out in the sunshine having a lazy drink and a long chat.



When we were out and about in the evenings we played Catwatch Germany 2017, where we would be on the look out for cats and take a picture of it. We are going to assemble a page dedicated to Catwatch in our photo album hehe.

As usual our parents wanted to take us out to dinner where we had some delicious things, but it was really nice to also BBQ at home. The kids would play badminton or hang out and chat with us. I got to take over the grill. hehe.


On a whim during the first week my mother decided we should take a "day trip" to Paris on the TGV. After she secured seats my husband and I found a really lovely AirBnB in the Marais that could sleep all of us. It was really family friendly especially for one evening and had a nice living space that we could all hang out in when my Uncles dropped by in the evening.



It was a whirlwind, but it was lovely to show the boys Paris at night and run out way past bedtime and walk to get them a crepe and some ice cream. Ahhh Paris.





We also took a day trip to Heidelberg which was a lovely University town complete with castle ruins and a river.


It was a great trip.

I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't already daydreaming about when and where I'm going to knit my next pair of vacation socks -- technically start them, ha!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday WIP


Proof that I have started work on the neighbor's baby sweater. Still just on the body right now, but the back and forth clickety clack of stockinette is calming and relaxing.

Hoping to finish this up by the end of the weekend and do a little work on my Mojito socks before starting another baby sweater.

What's your Wednesday's work?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A finished knit and some ongoing commentary

I finished Annie's socks a few weeks back but didn't block them and didn't get a picture.

Well here we go. After a few crazy weeks I have a finished knit!



Recently I got side tracked by Bridget's Mojito socks. I was so smitten, I started a pair of my own. Clare was kind enough to gift me this yarn after her last trip to visit the family in the UK. I went with the blueberry waffle because I've been dying to give it a try. It's delivering the fun.


My neighbor's baby was about 7 weeks early so I really must get on that baby cardigan. Time to put away the mojitos for a bit.

In other news, I did not get the new position I applied to. I knew it was a long shot. But I think I'm still a little unsettled in how it has left me feeling -- funny how that works. I think I'll use my summer as a chance to reassess my priorities. I'm not despondent or anything, but I feel much like that weird parenting emotion where you hope your child will do something without being told and yet ... they don't.

Disappointed but not surprised? Slightly irritated, but not dramatic?

On the family front, I'm down to ONE more soccer match for the season. A reschedule from April? I can't remember, anyways. I have enjoyed watching The Kid run around and improve this season, but being team Mommanager has been a little stressful this spring. I'm looking forward to a break.

The Kid had his last day of school on Thursday. It was bittersweet. I keep having these dreams of him when he was smaller. I dream his small voice saying, "Mama! looking for me in the apartment as if it were a huge mansion.

Anyways things are always shifting. Still trying to keep things somewhat tidy. Still trying to not yell so much. Still looking for another hour to knit. Still trying to sleep more.

What are you trying to do these days?

Next post will be cooking and baking adventures, till I have some more knitting to share!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Progress Post

I'm planning on finishing up that new pair of socks for my friend Annie this weekend. I did return the repaired pair to her because I was so excited to have actually pulled that off.


I have lost the ball band on this yarn, but it's a bit thicker than my usual stuff. It's sturdy and will be good for her padding around her big kitchen with a cup of tea and a laptop going and fresh granola baking. (Yeah, she's that kind of lady. Her 3 kids have a hot breakfast every morning and remind me to tell you how we met over her Martha Stewart Syle Homemade Kale chips some day ...).

Anyways. I love my double point needles for sock knitting. I like how they prop up the sock as if it's shaping up around an invisible leg, but I have had a hard time NOT knitting socks with the circulars these days. It feels faster. Also I feel like I'm constantly shoving my knitting inside a bag in a hurry and I seem to lose less stitches with the circulars. I know I have some point protectors ... somewhere, but that is the problem; they are somewhere, but where, I do not know.


I'm feeling really monogamous now so I'm pretty sure I will finish off this pair of socks before I cast on for a Gramps cardigan. Very truthfully, I really need to organize my knitting gear. I love my stuff, but it's a hot mess right now.

How's your knitting gear? Did you manage a spring clean?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gosh Darn it!

This is a story about me actually fixing a sock. I had finished the gusset on a pair of simple ribbed socks and was feeling the groove.

Then the holey sock looked at me from the side of my bed sad, despondent, neglected, cast aside.

My heart can be cold but it tries not to be cruel. So before I finished my new sock I picked up the broken sock, determined.

In my last post I "woe is me'd" a bit and you all were very supportive. Many of you are my people and suggested just knitting her a new pair. I've decided the new socks I'm knitting are already for her, so she'll definitely get a new cozy pair.

Steph suggested embroidering over it (fancy!) Nancy suggested pulling out the toe stitches just below the hole since the damage was up near the top of the foot. (Feeling too impatient.)

Autumngeisha sent a link I'd been eyeballing and it felt, right. This looked more my speed. I also used this one for reference from cookie A.

My first attempt I picked up my "anchor" stitches too close to the hole and it wasn't secure enough in my opinion. This time I knew better. I took the advice to pick up the right of each stitch I needed. It made it easier to see the spacing.


Knit a row! Purl a row!


Yes that's my keyboard. What? One must utilize the the lunch hour the best you can. After that set up row of knit/purl you pick up a stitch to the right of your first stitch to k2tog. That's what I'm doing below:


K2tog 4ever and ever. big hear eye emoji. On the otherside of your knit row, you pick up to the left and SSK. Purl as usual.


You need to eyeball before you pick up for those stitches that tack your patch down on the sides.


See the little patch coming along?


And then between mouthfuls of lunch at the desk and trying to darn a hole in my sock and take photos lunch was over so the rest of the photos take place at home in the knitting chair.

This was when my patch was of length. I just knit until I felt like it was sufficient, after lots of eyeballing. Now this is where you can start grafting with an egg. But that wasn't happening. I took Cookie A's cue and inserted a dpn a few rows above the hole to kitchener it off.


I turned the sock inside out to weave in some ends. Meh. Not pretty, I was worried it might feel bumpy on the foot...


But amazingly the patch was pretty comfortable inside. I think they'll be used as slipper socks though, not with shoes. The patch itself not being knit in pattern looks, okay. The SSK is a little rough, but I'll try to smooth that out next attempt.


Now, back to our regularly scheduled sock knitting. I've got small people cardigans to knit next :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Knitting Status

Indeed the epic baby blanket is finished.


It feels divine, but it was definitely a labor of love. The final edging didn't turn out exactly as I wanted it too, but I'm hoping after I block it, it will be a little less annoying. My measuring skills were wonk city.


I will not lie, as soon as the last end was woven in I couldn't wait to cast on for a new pair of socks. Socks glorious socks. Just something simple I said. I sort of blindly threw my hands in the stash and pulled out a perfectly purplish ball.

I was on auto-pilot for the cast on and ribbing so that dictated what non stockinette pattern I was going to do. It was a 60 stitch cast on so I went with just a basic ribbed stitch.


It's giving me the happy. I secretly plan on knitting on this by headlamp as much as possible this week.

And that brings us to what I REALLY NEED TO DO.


Remember these? I knit them for my friend Annie. She gave them back to me with a small hole, wondering if I could repair it. I thought, hmm. I should learn about this.

That was almost a YEAR ago.

I started trying to repair it, maybe a little too late at night. It didn't work. But when I pulled it out ... I made the hole bigger.

Sigh. Any advice or reference for hole fixing is greatly appreciated.

Good knits and good things to you and yours.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The catchup

Well, well, well ... surprised to see me?

Yeah me too. I've been a boring knitter these days and roller coaster of busy so I just didn't post. But here is the catch-up:

Knitting: I am literally finishing the garter border on my baby blanket. I'm definitely at the yarn chicken point, but I'm going for it. If I have to back it out to get the right number of rows, I'll lifeline it to reduce pain. 

My plans of finishing it this past weekend were interrupted by a horrible stomach bug which I'm weakly recovering from. I wore my Ravelry hoodie and slip on shoes to work today, because that's about as fussed as I could be to get there. Unsurprisingly the work still tastes the same ;)

Things learned: My tape measuring skills may not be all I thought they were.

Baking: I had a good run of cakes for a bit.
A post shared by @theellenreport on

Then it went to pot.  I overbaked a bunch of stuff this weekend. I salvaged some cookies for soccer and the neighbors, so there's that. 



Secret Ingredient: Cream cheese

Family: Well, after a long arduous journey, we have pretty much finished the High School selection and assignment process. He was accepted to the 2 private schools we applied to (Drew School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) 2 wonderful schools. He also got his first selection in the Public High School Lottery selection, Lincoln High, which is a very large All American high school with lots of great classes and teachers on the other side of town.

He ended up accepting a spot at his first choice, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in Media and Film Arts department. 

It was a long fought battle. H. submitted an initial portfolio mainly of photography and I think one stop motion piece. He then went in for his 2 hour audition. My understanding is that this was 1 part panel interview, 1 part writing assignment and then they put you in a group of other stranger children and they story boarded and shot their bit.

After the first round, we received notice he was not accepted but they would like to see additional work from him. So then he decided to work on a screenplay sample. The initial draft went surprisingly smooth. The editing not so much. The last weekend before the deadline I sent him to his room to work / edit it down. He went in with 7 pages and came out with 10. Edit was misinterpreted.

After some stereotypical Angry Asian Mom moments his father took over and it got done. He submitted and waited. 

Then we heard he did not get a spot. So we waited for the letters from SFUSD with the lottery results, fingers crossed.

But before the letters arrived I get a call from SOTA admissions saying there was a mix up and they knew a lot of families had already made *decisions and they didn't want to complicate things and send us the letter if we didn't want it, but ... he was accepted. I said, "we'll take the complication." The letters came later that day, and he found out he got into Lincoln as did 2 of his best friends. But his heart was with the art and his besties were very supportive of him. It meant the world to him to hear his friends say they would have to make sure to make plans on the weekends. I thanked their mothers in tears after, for raising such sweet boys. 

*Private schools have a decision deadline. Deposits and acceptance must be must be made in a week. For us, we had a day at this point, we were lucky and pretty comfortable with most of the public schools in the lottery.

The application process to private schools and some of the public selection schools is similar to college, tests, interviews, letters of recommendation. Hell, even the decision process reminds me of college (Big envelopes vs. little envelopes.) 

Things learned: 

  1. I may not be a helicopter parent, though I may not be the disciplinarian I thought I was, I parent from a place of using negativity as a lesson too much. Dang.
  2. As much as I am a firm believer in best fit for your child, I am a child of public school and even if we had gotten the financial aid was leaning towards the public school hard. 
  3. I think we're going to use this as an intro for the college application torment. And I'm going to bank some of that money for that SAT prep thing.

So now, I'm basically trying to stay, get? healthy, be a good worker and start decluttering my apartment, hard core. Oh and swear less. It's all really hard.

But that's me. What's been a challenge for you? What have you been changing up?