Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hi my name is Ellen and I:

Went to A Verb for Keeping Warm yesterday and spent $130. It was fantastic happiness. The Man-friend has been dying (no pun intended) for me to go for a long time. The lovely owners and operators of this wonderful local business, bring their business into Man-friend's restaurant all the time. And since he has this wife who is yarn obsessed and has a second husband called, "Knitting".

I brought my pattern. I bought beautiful yarn for the pattern by Sweet Georgia, and the correct size Addi 6 knitting needles.

And then ... I bought additional yarn (skinny bugga) for the same project. You know, in case I want to do it again.

The space is really bright and open. The front was full of women at looms weaving in lesson, and there was some local art featured. There is a big "kitchen knittin'" table that allows you to mull over your choices and colorways. A knitter sat there and worked on her beautiful project while people milled in and out browsing the lovely yarns.

Their hand dyed yarn is gorgeous, but wasn't right for this project. I forsee future purchases.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Secrets of the Dork

  • I still sometimes zip up my pants in such a hurry that I get my shirt stuck in them.
  • I sometimes shove money in my front pocket that (yes mother I know) should go into my wallet, which means when I have to go to the bathroom, the potential for dollar bills to rain to the tile floor allows me to recreate that strip club feeling at the office. Yuck.
  • I have walked around with one hem undone on my pants all day.
  • I am scared of the dark, dark -- especially in unfamiliar places.
  • I will not sleep until the mosquito is dead.
  • I have a doctorate in sideline coaching and an associate degree in backseat driving.
  • Things that smell like orange cleaning supplies make me want to vomit. They remind me of the cleaner they would use on the bus when somebody you know, vomited. I say this a lot. I cannot over emphasize my unhappiness with orange smelling cleaner.
  • I think eating banana with milky sweet tea is better than cookies and milk.
  • The very best ice cream is coffee flavoured ice cream, in a ramekin, in bed, alone.
  • My peripheral vision is so bad, I will not wear sunglasses as much as I should despite my fear of wrinkles and blindness. I am working on it.
  • I wear my headphones too loud in public, even though I find this a dangerous and disdainful practice. (I don't mean to wear it so loud other people can hear, regardless, if it's so loud that you're losing self awareness, it's too loud.)
  • I think empire waisted anythings are pretty Hot.
  • Even though I love Jane Austen something ridiculous, I think that I would've succumbed to talking smack about her and being a mean girl with the Bronte sisters.  I also think that Charlotte would've ended our friendship by saying, "dude you are TOO high maintenance." At this point, Jane would've seen through my facade of friendly overcompensation refusing to "take a turn around the park" with me and my boyfriend "Emerson" would've left me for Charlotte. Duh!
  • Matching buttons with buttonholes is for overachievers.
  • I don't think beef jerky is a survival food.
  • I think that marble cake tastes confused.
  • As bossy as I am I can never make up my mind. I look at deciding on what I want to eat as personal achievement.
  • I have been known to scratch my boob/butt in public, when I think no one is looking. Above the clothes, above the clothes.
  • Things I wish I kept in my purse at all times but don't: q-tips, duct tape, chapstick and hair thingies (pins, barrettes, bands).
  • I exercise better when dressed for the occasion.
  • I have decided I don't really like mushrooms as much as I thought I did. Maybe like 3 kinds are OK. Shh.
  • My liberal usage of ellipsis is BAD, but nothing compared to the shame I have for my over and improper use of quotation marks. Someone send a copy editor to spank me now.
  • Sometimes I still want to dance like no one's there. But I want to do it anywhere, like in the elevator or my cubicle or the corner waiting for the light to change. Exhibitionist or Impulsive?
  • I am a recovering loud laugher.
  • I'd rather wear cotton underwear than cute underwear.
  • I've been known to sleep on top of things that aren't people. (Books, pens, remote controls, tissue boxes, knitting notions)
  • Old people-lite trait: I love the smell of vicks vapo rub.
  • The smell of halls eucalyptus and coffee smells like burnt out Jr. High school teachers.
That is all I'm sayin' ...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'll be yarned...

Bored Twelve Year Old Voice Here: Oh my galoshes! I am sooo tired of working on my in progress projects. Alas my too cluttered house cannot take on another UFO.

Lucky gal that I am DA Sweater Guru looked at my wonky modifications on The Kid sweater and has given me a magic number ... 17 1/2 inches. I'll work to 17 1/2 inches and start shaping the neck, she also soothed my crazy head and told me that the pattern had an error. It wasn't me. Yay! It wasn't me!. The sweater may still be wonky, but there is a better chance of the dimensions working out to wearable. It's this or the trash ...

We sat in the cold grey light of the 5th floor Atrium knitting and chatting. Though DA gave me the push I needed to move forward ... I was envious with their Knit Along Cardigan. I want to do that! DA kept me from fidgeting too much and I managed to work on one shoulder last night.

I met up with DA and Lu to work on the other shoulder and was proud of myself for getting really close to finishing while DA tried to mark my armholes for me. Things seemed bright, things seemed happy and then ... they point out that the angles of my decrease don't look correct for both shoulders ... Oh no.

"Oh No." Lu says. "I can't bear witness to another moment.", citing the backside pouch pocket incident of 2010.

"Wait. wait!" I say, shuffling two printouts of the same pattern.

"It'll be fine..." The DA launches into soothing entreaties in a pre-emptive attempt at keeping away my wailing and the crazy...

"Hmm. hmm." But we figured it out! I repeated the same decreases for  the left shoulder that were only the decreases for the right shoulder. The right shoulder has it's own set of instructions that I sort of spaced out on.

Determined, I will undo and redo the left shoulder and try to stitch the front and back pieces together. I better get cracking or the DA will take the sweater away from me. I think she's more determined to see The Kid wear it than I am! ha!

I just keep thinking of the pattern maker's description of the Weasley Sweater: Homely. It's helping me manage my expectations ...

Until I freak out on them when I start their precious cardigan ... mwahahahaha!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Post Party Mortem

The Kid's 8th Birthday Super Extravaganza was great. It really was just a great mix of good people, fun conversation, Sunday afternoon grazing, and children that played really well together. This was despite a late start and me freaking out on everyone severely for a few days prior.

I may have been disgruntled about other items, but the fact that we had an event to host didn't work in any one's favor.

I like to feel WELL prepared. Not prepared. Well prepared. That's it. That's all I'm saying. It was a really good time.

The Kid is basking in the glow of it still.

In an effort to learn moderation (for parents and child alike) we decided that Henry could have a larger party with the party favor and activity (Ninjago figures/spinners) for all his guests and himself, if he agreed to give up his rights to a present from us. The party would be his present from us.

I strayed from this and bought him a pair of expensive rain boots. Partially out of guilt since I knew they were at least one size too small for him and it has been storming. I didn't feel too bad about it since I don't think he really sees this as the equivalent of a REAL birthday present, you know it's far too practical.

His guests gave him wonderful presents which we knew would happen . The food was tasty as Uncle E was kind enough to stick around and help us out with cooking some treats for the families. The Kid and The Man-friend made pineapple mandarin agua fresca, I got together the fruit, veggie and snacks and ran the panini maker. Uncle E fired up chix and waffles for everyone and it was a Lego/Ninjago fun-filled time.

The first hour the kids, just built from the box of Legos The Kid brought from home. (He refused any structure or Mom-invented activities.) Afterwards each kid got to pick a Ninjago from a grab bag in the blind. So it was fair. We didn't leave them in the original containers, b/c we bought 2 starter sets that included two guys and their "stuff" each as well as building pieces for the "arena". (The arena is just a bunch of cross hatched pipe pieces ... totally could make your own better). Jay was the hot ticket item, since you can't really get him without the starter set. Surprisingly The Kid didn't hoard him. So the kids basically played with those until the very end of the party.

We did cake, and presents (against my own desires) and cleaned up easily and sent people off with toothbrushes and candy. hehe.

Home brought great relaxation and easy sleep that night. I was so tired this weekend, I couldn't even knit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Initiating Intarsia and other new technical difficulties

So I know all 3 of you have been dying to know how the whole Harry Pooper Potter Pants sweater is going. It's going kinda wonky.

The Kid is somewhere between size Medium and size Large. I went with the larger size. However I modified the length since well, it just felt right.

Ahh, but here is where those modifications begin the domino effect. Just ask Hichu (aka IP, Ice Princess) and Lu.

I finished the back piece.

I started the front piece. I ventured into the tangled land of butterfly bobbins (fun to make!) and block lettered intarsia.

Woe #1 Contrasting color yarn, listed as "worsted weight" and from the same company as Main color is incredibly thinner in comparison.

Woe #2 Despite reading and rereading the excellent instructions in The Stitch N' Bitch sequel, I think that I pulled too hard in my color changes.

Woe #3 I will not discuss tangling and untangling.

Woe #4 I fussed for a while before beginning the block letter Intarsia. I am not sure if I was making sure that the placement of the "H" wasn't just floating out there way too low or if I was just stalling for time before taking my trip to Intarsia land. However now I'm worried I didn't clearly mark where the sleeves/armholes are supposed to go for the back piece, and so I don't really know what I'm doing "centering" the "H" based on the length of the back piece. ... Oh Sigh.

Woe #5 I'm gonna have to get some other people to Math for me so I can see if this is going to be irreparable.

Woe #6 The Kid figured out what it is and has high expectations. Silly little man.

Woe #7 From far away the block lettering looks fine, but the stitches are so loose (due to the thinness of the yarn) that if I don't have to rip it out anyways, I may have to duplicate stitch over it.

I went to bed last night exhausted for multiple reasons. I'm tired. I'm physically tired. I'm going to blame it partly on detangling, partly on the magnificent level of boredom seed stitch can bring a girl. Seriously, they should call it Seed Stitch and Bitch. Climbing into bed, exhausted, but feeling knitting frustrated, knitting unsatisfied ... I cast on 80 stitches and started a baby blanket for Badette. I do think this will knit up faster, like crochet. One row to remember. I wonder if it will be my new favorite blanket pattern or my new seed stitch. TBD.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stay At Home Day

Yesterday I got a call from Afterschool Care that The Kid, "wasn't his usual self". His cheeks were more than their "usual rosey", and he was really snotty.

I called the Man-friend who had been napping ill as well and said I was on my way to collect prodigal son. He said he'd pick me up and we'd go together, it was raining. of course it's raining...

The Kid had not taken off his army jacket all day long, and was sort of quarantined in a small desk in the corner with one other boy doing his homework. I had minature visions of Judd Nelson in "The Breakfast Club".

So now after another day, evening and night worrying about something that has to be -- the boys being ill, and really being patient even though I'm irritated at them for making me worry, I could barely lift my arm when the alarm went off this morning.

I feel as if I wear a mask of pressure like a bad Nyquil commerical. This I know would fade away, with just getting the hell out of bed and being Mom. However as The Kid hacked cough and wheezing in his father's spot in bed did not really get any better for a good 40 mins I figured I should just let him stay home. We made tea and oatmeal and listened to Harry Potter in the kitchen. We only bickered when he raised it too loud while I did dishes.

Yet the dishes and just the "everyday pick up" left me sweating and I had to sit down.

Completely disregarding illness, I seriously do not understand how Stay at Home Mother's do it. The Kid is older, ill with not the same zeal as say a true Saturday off. However I am constantly cooking, cleaning up the cooking, finishing half finished chores that the working couple did the night before. I am listening for the quiet of the laundry room, to do yet ANOTHER load. I could not imagine one or more child under 5 with the tantrums and the stubborness and the inability to move more than a snail's pace to try and put one's own shoe on. All the interaction to do that, with love and nuture ... really feeling okay reading that bunny story for the 5th time, while all the time, that prep for dinner REALLY needs to get done as well.

It's impressive and reminds me that I lean towards impatience and selfishness still more in my grown up age than I'd like to. However I'm more okay with who I am than I used to be, without all that over compensation. At least about this.

The funny part is I heard The Man friend ask The Kid, "How do you feel today?"

"Oh much better."

"Do you think you can go to school?"


Then he climbed into bed with me and started coughing. I think this was after I said, "Let's see how he is."

Yes part of me is being practical. I don't want to send him to school, just to be snotty, and germy for his classmates and weak ... to not have improved as well as he could've with one more days rest.

Yes part of me is fear of shame. I imagine school staff saying, "Did she send that kid back here again? Didn't we just send his ass home?" And horror upon horror if he actually did get sent home again.

Yes part of me was being indulgent. A chance for a few hours of peace between the two of us. Proximity that we both could enjoy, chores and snot rags aside ... we could drink some tea and rest and just maybe some laundry would be folded and stories would be read.

Hocus Focus

Lu said, "We forget to dream big."

Shing said, "We have to focus on the positive energy. We need to find ways to move towards the good."

HM said, "Why worry about it if you are doing what you can. If something comes up and you have to fix it. Worry about it then. Fix it then."

So I've decided, domestic, work-life and hobbies be damned, I need to think outside the triangle. I need to see beyond my realm -- without losing sight of it. I need to remember how to push myself. I need an exercise in focus.

So I am giving myself approximately the rest of the calendar year to figure out two things.

1) How does one hold a public event in this city? What needs to be done? What are realistic costs. The event is decided on.

2) How does one go about getting a sample or prototype produced for a potential product? (Yay, alliteration!)

The event is like a music festival, the product is a gadget. The event I am just seeing if I can follow through with all the personal follow-ups, persistent phone calls etc. The prototype (giggle) I waffle on how much I like it, but am more curious to see "How does that really happen?" and will push my researching skills.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Keep Feelin' Fascination ...

That song is sooo much better for getting stuck in your head compared to that Katy Perry "Fireworks" song. They love that girl on Youtube. Fireworks, is really catchy, and really easy to sing out loud so we all find ourselves singing it in the household. Someone catches the other singing it and groans. Now when someone's being obnoxious we refer to each other as "Katy Perry", as in "knock it off Katy Perry ..."

We are a funny bunch, the family.

We all have our things we are a little ... obsessive about. The Kid is obvious with Harry Potter, Legos, and Ninjas. The Man Friend with his periodicals, and penchant for World War II Non Fiction and sports viewing.

Yet when I see one of them get caught up in the article or the project that the boys don't want to walk away from (this is more the younger than the older) why am I so easily irritated? Why am I affronted or shocked?


For all the poor torture that I inflict on The Kid with "Whyyyyyy is that not done (you can substitute done with, clean, finished, put away etc.)??? Stop daydreaming, you need to focus on what you're supposed to do!"


I tell myself, "I knit almost everyday. Just a little bit. Surely this should quench my desire to fiber away the day right?" Nooooo. I am determined to stay up and finish Ms. Vikki's hand warmers. Oh but before I sleep I should really start that other piece to the sweater if I'm going to make my milestones. I realized that I didn't bring any knitting in my bag just in case there is some random 5 mins. I get between work, dinner date and PTA meeting and home that I get a chance to knit! I am going home to get something else ... I could get my knitting, and then I realize, I could start another project here, w/that lovely Alpaca and silk on US13 Needles I keep hoarded in my work file cabinet.

Oh yes, the problem is real and fascinating. I'm sure they could do a 30 mins. special for me on A&E or something.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Family Visits and The Nook vs. Knitting

A pleasant and productive weekend has ended.

I could really use another day off (don't we all say that every Monday?).

My parents flew back to Hawaii after doting on all of us, especially their grandsons. And right now, my sister and her son are on a plane for Honolulu to visit for a week and half. Sister and I will return with both our boys in May for some crazy Hawaiian shenanigans as well as our Colonel Father's military retirement. Big days, and fun days to come.

With all this family in and out of the house, you'd be surprised I'd have anytime to myself. My family is pretty awesome I must remind myself. I worked the whole week they were here so they would meet up with us in the evenings for dinner and "parlor time". Parlor time is where the men would read and the kids would play and Mom and I would drink wine and half-ass do the dishes.

They would leave around The Kid's bedtime. This would leave me just enough time to tidy up a little more and read or knit.

This weekend the Nook won out big time. Granted the two books I finished A Stranger in Mayfair and I am Number Four are both under 300 pages.

A Stranger in Mayfair was just what I wanted, just what I expected, though a fairly easy "solve" in terms of mystery. Upon this criticism, Man-friend reminded me, that it really is reading Charles Finch's character description and his smooth way to move the plot along that is the enjoyment. Hmm. I suppose so. I thought it could've been more clever, but it would be hard without introducing more characters and I suppose that could derail that pace I am fond of.

I am Number Four proved to be entertaining. I wasn't sure what to expect. Sci-fi, aliens on earth aspect could mean anything. However in terms of Young Adult Science Fiction with a dabble of teenage romance ... I liked The Hunger Games better as an introduction to a series, book set up. On the other hand, I'm grateful that I read the Hunger Games trilogy after all the books are out, because I still want to know "what happens". I'm impatient like that.

Based on a post from Crazy Aunt Purl I also downloaded When We Were Strangers.  Hello!! This is so feel good squishy, that I should pitch the Lifetime channel the screenplay myself. I mean, yeah, trials and tribulations, but for the most part it works you on the goodness of people. I'm not that far deep in and I'm sucked into it like a RomCom with commercials on a sick day. In fact if this thing doesn't let me down, I will send my mother a surprise copy. 

Torture Point for When We Were Strangers: The main character embroiders and knits. Which of course makes me want to knit and embroider. However when you have the Nook in your hand you can't do that.  I will try to make some knitting tracks this week, just as soon as I finish that book ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Self Sabotage

I'm really quite good at it. It's part of my talent to over complicate and easily distract oneself.
  • Parents have The Kid, The Car & My Keys
  • Man Friend does not have car to get home quickly. Man Friend has another set of keys.
  • I should keep a copy of keys at my desk. There is a hardware store across the street. I have not made a copy of keys.
  • I have been itching to go swimming again since Sunday. I could go today, as I wait for everyone to return from their days ... except I forgot to pack my swim gear, because I was running late.
  • I didn't even have to take The Kid to school this morning. However I needed to take a cup of coffee this morning before even trying to look at my cubicle. I was late.
  • I have an old suit in my file cabinet. Yeah. That is NOT happening. In fact it should be thrown away. -- Great, another to do for Monday ;)
  • Well, we have no idea what we are doing for dinner. However I don't think that it will involve much food for the three that are eating ice cream at Fenton's right now. haha!
  • I packed my knitting. Thank goodness!
  • I think I will distract myself with some local stores.
  • I think if they are not home by then, I will knit on the sidewalk.
  • I better pee before I go.

Year of the Rabbit

Today is the beginning of a new Lunar year. I hope  happiness and success and good health is abundant among us.

I'll tell you what is not looking healthy and abundant, my boobs in this less than supportive "activity" bra. We're talking no underwire, no special reinforced fabrics or padding. I think it is old Pre-Kid days. You know pre-breastfeeding, pre-consistent-chubby-feeling & being days. I wore it because it's lunchtime Yoga. You know, I was trying to be practical. Anyways, I was practical, but now I'm also a lethal combination of self-conscious and feeling "blocky on the inside" as well.

Balance, trying to improve the balance in our lives.

Improve the yarn buying balance with the yarn stashed around the house ...

I have decided to use some dk swirl from lorna lace that I have had stashed for the Effortless Cardigan. I have enough, and I think there may be a chance the variegated yarn could pool and work against me ... I think it will be a fun knit.

I will buy some Madelinetosh for tea leaves and enjoy myself.

I have decided to NOT buy any cascade superwash because ... I don't need it. I'm hoarding already 2 projects deep and struggling to finish my simple little projects now. I need to slow my yarn purchasing roll.

I have decided that happiness and success and good health isn't going to come about like magic. Unfortunately I'm going to have to change. Drat. I'm not very good at that.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cardigan Craziness and Permission for More Craziness

The Craftetarians at the work knitting group are lining up Knit-along ideas. We are back on the sweater train. Our Sweater Guru promises good times and lots of support. Well I think her optimism and enthusiasm were a little infectuous because I ended up breaking down and buying the Madelinetosh pattern for Tea Leaves Cardigan.

This naturally led to price-checking Madelinetosh, for not one but two projects. I must be losing my ever yarn lovin' mind.

I've had two or three different sets of crafty friends bring up Stitches West and ask if I plan on going, at least to the Market place. Stitches West is inevitably on Henry's birthday weekend every year. And this year, I just don't have it in me. I need that Saturday to prep. Maybe next year I will take time off and take a class or two too. That crazy talk doesn't fill me with burning, longing, yarn energy. No I shall pass this year, to go another.

However, I feel I have a free pass for a yarn order. You know what I probably would've ended up spending if I actually went. I even went so far to ask what the Man-friend thought. He concurred.

Purr. Yay for Yarn!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I like Post-its. They are gentle reminders of what I need to do. They are transferrable, I can move them from one stack of to do to another. The fact that they are easily moved, makes me feel they list items that I can move off the list as with just as much ease.

Post-its are in my workstation area where there are various stacks of papers that need to be reconciled, reviewed or updated.

Post-its are in my daily planner with some item that I've been wanting to do for a few weeks, but is a low priority, so it advances along with the weeks until it gets done.

There is the Post-it on the outside of my daily planner that reminds me, this needs to be done ... now.

The Post-it in the kitchen that is supposed to be our grocery list shows us as ... hungry.

There are the Knitting Post-its with a few pattern repeats, or the names of projects or objects I want to start. If you could see my Post-it now it would look something like a cardigan festival. I'm pre-ordering yarn. I'm having it shipped away from my man-friend. I'm preparing to hoard yarn.