Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter break begins

I requested the week of Christmas off. The entire week before I was antsy pantsy excited.

Excited to knit, bake, have our parents over for a Christmas eve meal, to take The Kid to stay up in the snow for the first time.

I am grateful for all the things I am excited and busy for.

I wanted to do something that really kicked off that spirit. And I know I had a ton of prep work I could chip away at. I knew he'd love to hang out with his pals. I was selfish.

I made it a mom and son day. We went to see The Rise of the Guardians with junk food. Don't report my fake buttered popcorn and chicken tender feeding to the SF Progressive Parents movement. Then we went ice skating at the nearby Yerba Buena rink. There are 2 outdoor rinks up in the city for the holidays. But it was rainy and The Kid said there's more space indoors.

Anyhow skating was such a hoot we want to go back next week. Maybe we'll try it outdoors then.

Meantime we will continue making Merry.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More Downton Abbey Excitement

I love to see what other knitters are up to. I usually follow the links from one knitting blog to another. I find such interesting things. Knitters reaffirm my faith in humanity. It is something I am particularly grateful for this holiday season.

Anyhow, look what I found at luvinthemommyhood:

downton abbey knit along

Yay! She's got a whole post on the plans for a Downton Abbey knit along. I'm going to do the Jimmy Bean's Wool knit along as well. So the question for me is this two projects or one? I have been eyeing shawl patterns lately.

I feel shawls are very Downton, non? This one in particular has been calling me:

from Vogue Knitting 2012

It's the # 29 Textured Shawl. I love the fact this is knit with US 13 size needles with Mohair. I am hoping it's a lofty airy pattern, lofty and airy (a quick knit at the very least). I can see Mary rocking this for a little Matthew in the firelight quality time, heh.

Then again, I've been wanting to do this one for quite a while. It's got that lace, period feel, but on the other hand has a bit of a modern spin that I like, especially if given the proper colors.

Oh options!

But the knit along is definitely going to be a Shawl!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Knitting: Mission 1 Completed!

Woo + Hoo = Woo Hoo!

I managed 5 hand knit hats by 3pm (coffee time) on Dec. 17th. Speedy G is going out on holiday for 3 weeks and I was determined to gift the Koffee Klatch all at the same time.

The hats are a little homeadey, but the boys seemed to like them well enough. Honestly, I told them, not to feel obligated if it wasn't their thing, they could find them another home.

But first, I wanted pictures. I tried to match patterns to the person as best as I could. I think I did okay in that respect. Anyhow. Here are my FOs (finished objects, non knitters) on my friends.

For Speedy G, the fischer cable hat. Faux brim. I figured if it doesn't work for him, he can pass it on to one of his many mini-mes.

This is Harrigan sporting the striped side of the Christopher hat. A Madelinetosh knit!

Jhui, Mr. Slouch himself, so the last minute slouch was perfect. Cascade 220 Heathers, can't go wrong.

Then there is Mr. WP. Such a swell sense of humor and lots of good brown jackets, I thought a classic watchman's hat would go well.

And last but not least RJ, his love of burgundy both the color and the wine is not lost on me, nor his simple style.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's the status?

It was a strong desire to call in "knit". It was that adrenaline junkie feeling of, really that work stuff can wait. I'll still make my deadlines missing a day.  What I need to do is finish my knitting deadlines!

Well, it didn't happen. Guilt won out. I talk a good game but I never "call in". There are days you really need them for yourself or your family and you remember the value and importance. It's one of the few places in my life I have some discipline.

So ... I will be up late finishing this tonight:

Wish me luck. Shortly after I finish it, I will be weaving in ends for 5 hats, because I'm nothing if not an excellent procrastinator.

But after this I ask myself. What next? What do I knit? Is the knitting world mine again? Can I finally finish my sweater?

I will get it done this month. But first ... my sister's cowl, and maybe a pair of handwarmers, some decorations? and ... oh crap.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Family Quotes: Gentle Teasing, The Morning Edition

We were lagging by 5 mins this morning to get out of the door. The only thing we forgot were the library books, but I didn't remember that honestly until just now, ha!

Waiting for a light to change at the crosswalk, I look at my handsome son. 'Tis the season to be Mommy ...

Me: Hmm, you forgot to wash your face again this morning huh? You have bits of sleep in your eye, and milk on your chin.

Him in humble voice, avoiding eye contact: Yeah.

Me in a matter of fact voice .. very dry indeed: Well, that's okay you're too young for girlfriends anyways.

He smiles

Me:... And your friends already know what a dork you are.

Him: You know, I don't think I get all my dork from Dad.

Oh really?

Me: Yeah, I know.

French Onion Soup at Chez Maman on Hayes St.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hoarding Desires

Military Wool Blankets: In this case a lesson from tragedy. As a kid we always had these in the car, and in the extra linen trunk in our foyer of our childhood home.

Banana Saver: They look more ... nsfw than the banana slicer, but I suffer from that problem where if a banana is over bruised I won't eat it. Let's just say my point of over bruised is illogically under bruised.

Maglite: Back to safety first. Our last one was stolen from our old car. It makes me sad on the inside, but it also terrifies me that one or more loved one could be stranded somewhere in the dark.

Benedryl: Antihistamines are amazing. If you or if you have a child that suffers from various allergies or just bloody awful hayfever. This is the bringer of relief. Sometimes it doesn't come as quickly as you like, but it usually kicks in after a little nap. I have a child's dose in every purse/bag I own.

Okay so obviously I'm having some anxiety as worked out through my Hoarding Desires.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

They See You With Their Non-Knitter Eyes

from pbs site
Last night after an evening of shopping and dining out with the in-laws, the Manfriend and I had a night cap and a little conversation.

I confessed that I had ordered a little yarn. That I was very excited about it because the colorway (he doesn't understand why I can't just say, "color") is called " “Christmas at Downton". From the Ravelry pattern page:
Jimmy Beans Wool is hosting a Mystery KAL in celebration of season 3 of Downton Abbey! Our December Lorna’s Laces Limited Edition color is called “Christmas at Downton”. The color itself embodies late Edwardian style perfectly with muted tones of sage, teal, plum/cranberry, gray, and eggplant. It’s a simply gorgeous color that will be perfect for the design I have in mind…of course, you are welcome to use any sport weight yarn you would like. I recommend a more durable plied yarn for this project…oops, is that a hint? :)
Him: You mean like the Masterpiece show? Downtown Abbey? (yes, he often refers to it as Downtown Abbey --> sounds so much more urban doesn't it? Like there should be a hip hop soundtrack or something)

Me (emphatically, fan girl style): YESSS!

Me (animated, almost knocking over glass of red wine ... it's okay the couch is beyond help): Oh it's for a knit along the yarn store is hosting! See we all buy the yarn, and then they leave us a clue on New Year's eve, where we knit up a swatch for practice. Then we all get the first clue to pattern and knit while watching the first episode of the new season! I'm SO excited.

**Part of the reason I'm excited is because I should be done with my holiday knitting right? Except for the odd gift that's been pushed out for "Chinese New Year"

Him: Wow, people really do this?

Me: Yes! Knitters love them some Downton Abbey. They love Masterpiece, but there is a special place for Downtown Abbey in our hearts.

Him (smiling that Non-Knitter smile): Well, that sounds cute.

Me: Just smiling, big foolish, excited 'cause it's Christmas at Downton smile.

The non-knitters are very supportive in my house. They "understand" my people. They are open-minded and accepting of the random lists of yarn weights, things to knit lying around, along with my muttering for where such and such needle size went hiding. (Seriously, where do needles go when they are feeling lost, forlorn and forsaking their master?) They have seen the Lord of the Rings inspired knitting patterns, they are wise to the meeting of the knitting groups and craft fairs of all themes. And now they have been educated on the KAL better known as The Knit Along.

This doesn't stop them from giving me the side-eye from time to time.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Anniversary Eating

We started at Ad Hoc for dinner, had a lovely little early breakfast at our Inn (The Villagio in Yountville) and then lunch at Bistro Jeanty before heading back to the city.

This was a grilled salad with tempura mushrooms, carmelized onions and grilled escarole with a tad bit of fruit and cheese. So wonderful and different than the usual salad course.

Osso Bucco Meat Pies ... with a surprising and savory tasty kick. The "extra" dish at Ad Hoc that evening and absolutely delightful

Somewhat out of focus, but a lovely dish of Stuffed Veal and Grilled Romaine with Bulgar and Turnips and Persimmons.A fantastic plate of fall.

Dessert a simple build your own sundae. Manfriend poured his espresso over. Really, there was just not much room in us. Sharing one would've been more than enough ...

Leisurely Lunch
Duck 2 ways with a frisee salad at Bistro Jeanty. Man friend was very pleased.

My lunch, always an easy order for me. Sole Muniere. Lemons and Capers! Oh My!

That's my Manfriend. Such a good dining companion. He's pretty swell in a lot of ways.

TaDa, 10 years legally bound, celebrated with a little overnight-er and lots of good eating. I think that is the first time we've gotten "out of town". It was the weekend before Thanksgiving and it was a great way to start off being thankful.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Rainy Friday Post

The rain has me a bit nostalgic, and a little mopey. I want a hug and maybe my ginormous knitting mug of black tea and milk. I need to get the knitting needles a clacking and maybe The Kid and I would read some more of the latest Lemony Snicket book outloud to justify a movie moment later ...

I could bake something.

Maybe we should make a stew/curry/soup.

Pink Martini at the symphony last night was fabulous. Kappy took me as a holiday treat. It had been so long since I saw her, it was a double treat.

I can't remember the last time I was at Davies Hall for music culture. haha. I might have to go next year if they come back. I will probably buy their holiday album to infuse some holiday spirit. Although right now, I'm having a hard time wanting to listen to them knowing they won't have the full symphony behind them.

Such a brat right?

The Manfriend made delicious crab cakes last night. We had mini Baker of Paris rolls. They are really great. I will have to put them in the bread rotation; good for mini sammies, a dip of nutella, a spread of jam or a little melted cheese on one with a thermos of soup is making my son happy. We have had this thermos since 1st grade, but it is only now he finally has the strength to open it.Sigh.

My friend Rae was relating stories of his friend's 12 year old daughter's interactions. We both sighed. 12 yrs. It's going to happen I know. The kid parked it in the living room with us when we were watching Moonrise Kingdom (PG-13) (He was reading for most of it, and he missed the beginning when he was playing Minecraft.)
Afterwards he said, "I didn't really like your movie. It was kind of weird."
The Manfriend replied, "It was art."

You know The Kid missed most of the movie, but of course he was in the room for the make out scene. And I was making the "should we pause /fast forward face/crazy gestures" to Manfriend (there were puberty references I can't even say it! ack mom!)

Anyways, all I really ended up doing was bringing attention to it, w/my w/my knitting chair physical freak out. Good job Mom! I hate that. And he just looked up, made an embarrassed eww face and went back to reading yet another Rick Riordan book yet again.

I think tomorrow we'll keep it PG with my sister and nephew ;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lessons Learned

My whole idea to knit the left and right front at Aidez, and see if the pattern looked odd a few repeats in ... backfired. I am almost done w/the decreasing and I realize, by transposing the ear of corn pattern, it's making the two fronts look totally different - duh! I mean I write that and it seems so obvious it's going to be different. Anyways, most people won't notice it, but I will. I'm frogging the right side all the way back to the ribbing, and I've frogged the left side just to get rid of some pattern mistakes that I never bothered to notice. It's okay. I feel more comfortable now. I am glad I just decided to take care of it. The problem is I lost a lot of time.

Time I need for holiday knitting. I'm torn. I really just want to take the momentum I've been rolling with on this project and get at least back to where I was. On the other hand, December is just right around the corner. Looking at my last knit related post I realize I didn't even include on the "hopes & dreams holiday list" 2 cowls I bought the sparkly yarn for (Sis and Step Mom).

My mother is sending me yarn and a pattern she wants me to make for her. Apparently she purchased it thinking it was crochet. She said, "It says Easy, so I thought I would be able to do it. But you know, knitting is not really my thing."

Then she says, "I'm putting it in the mail this week. It says Easy, Ellen so if you can't do it, then I don't think you are a very good knitter after all." And then she started laughing as if she just said the best Grampa joke ever.


The yarn came. It's ribbon yarn. I've had to google a video of how to use this stuff. I think it can be done.

I finished hat 4/5 for the Work Koffee Klatch. The problem is I knit where I should purl and purled where I should knit in one section of the hat. (Dark brown yarn and bad eyes. sigh. I am thinking I will put a creative spin on it.) I am not feeling like ripping it out, though I'm comfortable with reknitting the hat in another yarn. How insane is that?

Hat 5 ... I don't think my color combinations for the Christopher is a good idea anymore. I will have to ... go to the yarn store and see if I can find a better match for the gray madelinetosh.

It's never as easy as you think, even if you don't really think it's going to be easy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Don't Talk With Your Mouthful

I woke up in a good mood today, but then The Kid was mean to me. And as much as I tell Sister, we are not supposed to take it personally. I did. I hate that. Thankfully Dear Manfriend took The Kid to school today so we didn't have to fake it for too long. My skin was crawling. I often wonder if I am really cut out for motherhood. ha! Too late now!

The Kid left the breakfast table, (without clearing his plate if I might add) abruptly. He barely ate. When asked why he said he doesn't like it when people talk with their mouthful.

Now The Kid has complained about this before. Usually at school and says he has to eat the rest of his lunch after school if he gets really grossed out. I do understand this. I do. I have not had a second date or two because of a guy that can't close his mouth, chew, and then tell his story. Apparently I'm a bigger hypocrite than I realize? (I'm not convinced I'm that bad.)

This is all More Irony, since the thing that bugs me the most about it is the lack of self awareness. The amount of stuff we are probably too lenient on with his manners is obviously not appreciated. For all the things that I try to be a good, like Mrs. B, and keep my calmness and gently point out the issue and not yell, he doesn't notice. I have to nag.

I'm ready to return to yelling.

So of course I am spiteful, despite my living decades of "experience" compared to this kid, the joy of motherhood experience and what not. I remind him of a few things he is inept at in the manners and neatness department. Of course Manfriend being from that same calm and quiet zen place like Mrs. B says, "Now, don't get into this for that." Ugh.

He's right of course.

So now, I'm left like a Russian Romance, from reckless actions ... guilt ridden and sad. The center star of my self-made tragedy.

I call the play, "Bad Mama".

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Rain

Oh Axel Rose ... I hope you're finding some laughs in life. I have a sneaking suspicion you have taken not just yourself but everything a tad too seriously for most of your life.

Today is 1 November. To remind us of the new month and the beginning of a Bay Area winter, it began to drizzle during Trick-or-Treating and became enough for an umbrella by the time we got home.

The time for things spooky are done. Tricks have been put to the wayside, but it was just the beginning of treats. Now we will have them decorated in green and gold, bulbs and stars, blue and white and plenty of sparkles. There is something sweet for everyone in the months to come.

The best, is just the cozy. I am looking forward to a few glasses of bubbles with A & Snoopy. Baking cookies and stirring soup with The Kid. Roasting meats and winter veggies with the Dear Manfriend.

And knitting of course!

Two months, for my main holiday knitting. Here are how things are lining up.

3/5 Koffee Klatch Holiday Knitting Hats are done. 2 to go. My plans are to to do a Christopher (maybe without the stripes depending on the time) for one pal, and my old standby bit of quality a Seaman's Cap for the other.

A scarf for mom. She requested this when we visited her for Spring Break in March. She asked for red, said no fancy yarn, but my lovely M-I-L gave me a box of vintage red silk ... and Mom might just have to "settle". I'm thinking about either this waffle pattern or this reversible brioche cable.

I'd like to make my cousin the GAPtastic cowl with some lovely misti chunky grey yarn I have languishing in my stash. However that might get pushed out to New Years.

I'm not a fast knitter, and I would like to finish my sweater and maybe one item for HM's baby before the end of the year. But I think that will be ambitious with what I've listed above -- and I simply must make time for my sweater (that includes error buffering time).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Need A Nap and More Knitting Time

I'm suffering from an acute case of Weekend Whiplash. It wasn't a bad weekend. It was a busy weekend. So busy, when my father asked what we did on Friday ... I couldn't remember.

(We ran the food order table at the school Harvest/Halloween festival)

The good thing is, I managed to knit.

I finished Koffee Klatch Hat #3! And I think it's not bad, and I feel confident it will fit. Crazypants!

I picked up the diaper pants project again. I was sooo into the idea of this when I started. I got the appropriate needles, and finished the ribbing and eyelet and was making pace and now ... I need to start short rowing. Ugh. For some reason, the thrill is gone. My eyes are wandering to other patterns now. I mean there simply has to be something better than what I'm doing ...

So I put them in a corner and picked up Aidez.

I am so embarrassed about my inability to read a "simple pattern."

Okay so I'm trying to knit the left AND right fronts at the same time. There are specific instructions for the left front. For the right there is this:
Work to correspond to left front, reversing all shaping and placement of pat sts. Bind off for armholes on WS rows. Work armhole decs at end of RS rows as SSK, k2.
Yes, I understand that I must reverse the order of the Rows. The problem is the rows, reference ... other rows of pattern. Do I reverse these as well?

for example: Row 2 of the Seed Wishbone pattern is:
Rows 2, 4 and 6: K2, (p1, k1) 3 times, p2, k2.
Do I knit: k2,p2, k1,p1, (3x) K2? Am I making this too difficult? Do I knit as usual just in the reverse order?

I pinged a friend/co-worker knitter and tried to email her about it. She said she'd get to come by tomorrow. What she doesn't realize is I'm itching to knit today.

I may have to go back to baby pants eh?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sorry I'm a Judgey Mean Girl

I feel like I should apologize for the previous post. I wish I was more like the other knitters I like to read. They include stories about their weekends and lives and are so much more positive than mine.

Even when they vent, they don't sound like a 15 year old who can't have new shoes and a candy bar.

I thought about deleting the post. But this is who I can sometimes be. And maybe it's a good reminder for myself to leave it here. I need to be kinder. I need to not be so defensive.

One can dislike, disagree and be respectful. (isn't this what I'm always lording over The Kid?)

So on that note. What can I say that is more positive about the world we live in and the people we share it with?

We keep trying.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Funny & Amazing Things (rambling story)

Today something pretty whack-a-doodle happened at lunch.

I took the F up to the Castro to procure some periodicals and new bedtime reading at Books Inc. (Love the store, helpful folks and they support our local schools) I bought some less than exciting pozole soup at Harvest and headed to the Market St. Island stop to take the F-line back to the office.

A train approaches as I cross to the stop.

A man approaches the stop.

He says something that sounds muffled because I've got my orange earbuds in and I'm rocking out to my Mom music.

I try to be polite and give people the benefit of the doubt, and take my earbuds out, "Just in time!" he says.

"Yeah, sure." I say, and he starts chattering. The old instincts are kind of kicking in and I think, hmm he's rather friendly, this feels like flirting?? But you know, I'm practical somewhere underneath this hot mess exterior, I rifle through my Mary Poppins bag looking for my Clipper Card/Bus pass. It's in hand just in time to see the approaching street car is labelled, "No Passengers -- Training Car".

"Oh well." I say. And -- honest, I swear he said, "that's okay I get to chat w/a cute girl."

I know!!

(And before you ask, no he wasn't cute. I wouldn't fix him up with a rebounding friend with a low batting average, if you know what I mean.)

Anyhow, I'm seasoned now. I am queen of the smile and nod. I can even do it without rolling my eyes or looking bored or thinking rude things. (scratch that last one)

He asks, "Do you get a lot of men flirting with you in this neighborhood?" -- dude you are killing me, but you are a braver man than I would have you pegged for. Can't kill a dude for trying, even if his taste is questionable. The Dear Manfriend is sufficiently brainwashed, it only took one kid and approximately 14 years to pull that off.

"Uh, no." I don't get hit on much anywhere, and really ... that's ok. (I need validation, but not that kind. It makes me ... uncomfortable.)

"Haha! I can't imagine why!" (dear readers this is sarcasm, because in case you aren't familiar, The Castro is one of the gayest neighborhoods in the global hood.)

I promise you I'm not inviting conversation at this point. I try to distract by helping out a lost City visitor at the stop. He persists.

"Oh man, I just came from downtown ... everybody is crazy for the Giants game!"  -- now if this was someone I was enjoying a chat with, I would tell them how I was super-cited as my little sister used to say, for the first game of the World Series. But such as it was not the case, I let him carry on ... "Geez, I was glad to get out there! People are crazy about sports. Some people act so stupid about it." - Another sign of my new maturity ... I didn't even quip, "Yeah, but people are stupid.". 

"You know, I loved sports when I was younger. But I liked to play, not watch. I'm a doer." -- Okay, I fall off the wagon here but bear with me. 

"Yeah, my kid is kind of like that." -- see dude? I gotta kid, I got responsibilities, so um you should yeah just go chat someone else up. I realize in hindsight that it's not uncommon for almost 40, disheveled women to have kids and be single. I realize I am often in my own little world.

"That's a good kid." -- yes he is, which is why I must apologize for comparing my sweet chip off a whackadoodle block to that ... man.

Wait there's more. "You know sports started off for the circus and the bread, like in the Roman times -- to appease the plebs and masses. No seriously, from ancient times. Before that, in Sparta it wasn't teams. They didn't have official armies (?) they would do sport so they could teach them to work as a team, so they would respond properly if they had to go to war ... blah blah blah ..."

Oh my. This guy really thinks I don't like sports. And thinks I'm unfamiliar w/the classics and is going to give me his bastardize version of history. It's been a while since I studied. But I don't remember it like THAT.

"Do you speak Spanish." Oh here we go. Ever are the trials of the Brown Unidentifiable Ethnic Girl -- I really should write a memoir (with a strong editor, yes HM, I know.)



"Yep, I took Latin for 4 years in high school, doesn't help as much." hint hint, I'm not a Classics idiot.


Oh here we go. If he says the word, "Oriental" or "Exotic" I might lose my maturity in a hot minute.


"Really? (insert some Spanish phrase here?? WTF) as the blessed street car approaches. Well, you know I'm from L.A. and pretty much everyone ..."

"Yeah, I can see that." Every *sshat ...

I climb into a single seat, and I think he understands that I am not inviting anymore conversation. Oh no, he wants to talk about how excited his kids are for Halloween. I let him prattle on for two stops when he gets off.

Okay let's deconstruct this before you tell me that I'm crazypants. (which I am.)

Dude came from downtown.

Dude got on the streetcar with me in the direction of downtown.

Dude stayed on the streetcar for what essentially is a 3.5 city block distance. (unimpressed on so many levels).

Dude smack talked sports AND the Giants fans/game tonight.

Let me show you what I looked like today (orange and black are the SF Giants colors). Let me remind you I just came from the bookstore:
Four Four Two is an English Soccer Magazine. Not that I like sports (sarcasm)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Click Clack Go The Needles

I would be lost without knitting. I try to work things out on my needles. It helps w/my anxiety.

My mantra these days is "Heal, heal, calm, calm." It really is effective with a K2P2 (knit 2, purl 2) ribbing combination. :)

I wish my father knitted. He could use some of that productive, calming methodology in his life. I think he's been bamboozled by retirement and his health. I think he's a little lost.

His best friend died at 55 years old after 7 year fight with cancer. He was at peace at the end. I think this helps my father grieve. He is giving a speech at the service today. I called him to let him know I was thinking of him and his BFF. I told my father I loved him and to stay strong. I could hear him fighting the tears. I quickly got off the phone.

Sometimes when I try to help I think I do more harm.

Click Clack go the needles. I can hear them now, "Heal, heal, calm, calm, knit, knit, purl, purl."

I had an appointment out in a part of town I am not usually by. I managed my anxiety with a little knitting while waiting around. I'm such a chicken. If tuna is the chicken of the sea, then I'm chicken of the life. ha! Anyways, I had to get strategic the night before about what to bring with me. Aidez requires too much thought. The diaper pants are in a weird place without the correct needles. And the Wonder Blanket aka The Monster is just too mighty to be towing about. Naturally this means a new project must be created.

Hence, Holiday Koffee Klatch Hat numero trois (yes, I see the contradiction).
 It's just the beginning. Yes, more ribbing :) But we're going places I tell you.

After my appointment, there is a little yarn shop Atelier around the corner.  Such a cute store, with lovely people and of course lovely yarn. 

I was just going for those US 6 16 inchers you know ... but look what I walked out with!
Venice Hand Painted -- gotta check the tags again.

Oh happy days!

I have some holiday knitting plans for these two. They gave me a pattern for a lovely cowl and the kind owner let me take a picture of the other colors, so I can decide what to make for myself down the line. 

The yarn makes me smile. I decided to ride that feeling so I picked up The Kid early for an afternoon feast. (I also hadn't eaten all day out of anxiety so win win) 

Root Beer Float & Library Books

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Weekend of Ribbing

Another weekend where I am at the whim of my 9 year old's social life. But really it was pretty awesome. Saturday was the LEAP sand castle building event. The first one I'd been too, and it was really well organized and lots of fun for everyone.

The kids were hard at work on their organized chaos. The adults from the construction and architecture firms were super kind and hard working with the kids. They even supplied a pizza lunch! Meanwhile, I was able to sneak off with my friend Mrs. B. to explore the food trucks that were there for the grown ups.

We ordered the weinerschnitzel from The Municher, a German food truck. I wish I had photos for you, but I was too busy stuffing face :) We sat on the beach wall and watched out over the ocean and the event below. We watched small children trudge through the sand and I had a lovely chat with a lovely woman.

The beach is not good for knitting on windy days. So the end of one of my Holiday hats stayed in it's project bag.

Fear not, I FO'd it later that evening during another sleepover. I act all put-out that the living room is taken over, but secretly I am tee-heeing in my room with Poirot reruns on and finishing off hats ha!

Tada! The pattern is from Purlbee. It has pleased me greatly. It knit quickly after failing miserably at the Big Rib hat ha!

So that left me Sunday to work on ... stuff. But what stuff? I was so unprepared for the next project I went to swimming lessons without knitting! I know! Catastrophe! I was forced to watch my poor son and another weak swimmer slip and slide over each other every few yards to the wall. It was like watching two otters in a kiddie pool.

So back at the homestead, I needed a project. Yes, I have Aidez on the needles and something must happen with this sweater. I love it so much and have such fear of murdering it. (Story of my life... the running theme paralyzed by fear, no?) So I picked it up and said, I gotta get through the 3" of ribbing for the front sides at least. I am not a speedy knitter, so I must make haste. Goal met. Reasonable progress my friends, reasonable.

Next goal, is to get through 3" of pattern, before I have to figure out how to mirror the right front decreasing to the left. (I realize this may seem obvious to most of you, but I'm not that smart.)

Well, I needed something else ... something new ... so I started some baby knitting pants. (I am not ready to face another round of dog sweater knitting and I actually feel OK with my Work Koffee Klatch Hat knitting progress --> 2 down 3 to go!)

So I did the ribbing for some diaper pants. From my ravelry project page:
It calls for worsted yarn. I thought I was using worsted yarn, but it seems more like DK, so I figured I’d try knitting a size large, because really … who can bother with getting gauge?

And because the needles are tiny and again I reiterate, I am s l o w, I was just shy of finishing the ribbing. Monday evening I managed to and stick in an eyelet row and switch to the larger needles. Alas, the needle part is too long for knitting in the round so I will have to go out and buy a pair of US6 16 inchers. Aww shucks, I have to go to a knitting/yarn store. ;)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Family Quotes: Bananas & What The Kid Says.

On the MUNI, on schedule, on time, on the way to school today, I look in my purse.

There is no banana in my bag.

Me: "Kid, there's no banana in my bag. I know you probably don't care. You don't even like bananas."

(I wait, expecting his spiel about how he does eat bananas, maybe one every 3 - 6 mos. ...)

The Kid: "Actually, I had a banana yesterday."

(Insert my Looney Tune bug eyes here)

Me: "The heck you say!"

The Kid: "I did. I ate one yesterday at Afterschool, only because I was hungry."

Me: "Well, I'm glad you ate a piece of fruit being hungry. You must've been hungry."


Me: "Wow, you ate a banana. I have to write it in my diary."

The Kid: Chuckle and snort: "Um, you don't really have a diary ... do you?"

Me: "No, I don't, but I have a blog..."

The Kid: "Really?"

Me: "Yeah."

The Kid twists his face in a way that says soo much.

Me: "Don't worry. I never use your real name."

The Kid: "Good."

This Could Be Going Better

Sort of the theme for the past few days... weeks?

I'll start you off with my mental state and keep it brief. I'm tired of talking myself into coping everyday.

Last weekend getaway/Camping: Equipped, but not fully ... We had no marshmallows and we had no firewood, and the Visitor Center/Ranger station had neither. These things were rectified the following day, when my Dearest ManFriend ventured out the State Park windy road to procure the camping experience. Oh and the first night, there was not enough air in the mattress, and it was too late to add any. We did okay that first night but the rest of the experience was pretty nice. We had one of those lovely long walks up and down hills in the woods. No one complained, everyone enjoyed, the weather was p e r f e c t.

Work: A sense of completion for small projects. Things should be done that aren't. I need to try harder.

Knitting: More on that sense of completion. Hats that are of questionable size. Dog Sweaters that are of every size but the right one. (Don't talk to me about gauge.)

I went with it and realized that I still cast on too much when the brim of the hat began to look like the body of a child's sweater, ha! ahh knitting joy. (This is with the brim folded, the other picture didn't turn out. I wish I had something for scale, but it's huge.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

She's Having a Baby

Goodness no! Not me!

Didn't you just read the last post? I'm a hot mess, I can barely handle what I have!

My friend HM is having a baby.  I'm so excited for her. On one hand I feel like we are having the baby, you know, like I got some kind of rights to it. (This is just a sentimental feeling people, don't worry I'm not going all Lifetime Channel Movie on her. I try hard not to boss anyone outside of my own home, unless it's my sister, because, well ... she's my sister.)

No, no, I get to coach from the sidelines this time, and I mean this loosely, because I can only cheer you on and give you some random opinions about moi (of course). To tell you I got this parenting thing down is bullhockey.

This means 2 things have consumed my thought process regarding baby:

1) Babies are magical creatures. Babies are the new unicorn for me.

I am nostalgic and sentimental for all things. ALL. I creep into my child's room more than the usual, "Are you sleeping ok?" check at night. I stroke his hair and give his soft head a kiss and am practically reduced to tears when I stare at any picture of him before the age of 7.

I read an article in the DailyMail about Orphans in the 1800s in NYC and I basically cried my eyes out, in public, at work, and then donated a little over $250 to the local foster care social worker non profit. (Worker's Childrens Fund)

I made my husband watch the entire Dirty Dancing movie with me ... on basic cable. Yes, I cried.

Having babies reminds me of being younger, maybe lost, but younger. I seem extremely sensitive to the passing of time right now and change. Change is making me loopy.

2) I am obsessing on knitting patterns for smaller people. It's a little out of control. I have a list that looks like I'm going to be knitting this kid a small dowry. I know. It probably won't all happen, but I'm counting on myself to deliver at least 2 - 3 pieces by the time she squeezes that thing out.

What's on the list? Why I'm glad you asked!!
  • Knickers - knit pants
  • Cardigan
  • Shorts or overall style dress
  • Booties
  • Hat
The patterns themselves are very fleeting. I love one, 1 minute, and then another one more 5 minutes later. I will have to ping some of the lovely bloggers out there for some opinions if I get my act together.

In the meantime like many people, before I start on baby ... I'll work on something for dog! ha!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wow I'm really screwing this up

I have been trying so hard to be nicer to my child. Does this mean I'm not disciplining him and just letting him roll around in a pile of his own filth? No.

It means I'm not barking at him every 5 minutes and reading him the riot act for doing or not doing things that are actually pretty common for a 9 year old. You know, leaving stuff on the floor, forgetting his flute, not unpacking his lunch, leaving his homework at school, making a mess when he eats, groaning when he has to go to bed, or wake up. The usual. The list makes me cringe.

It's hard. My desire for him to be better than us is going to make him neurotic and I am suffering from such bad anxiety and not showing him how to properly cope that I'm the one who is really at fault. I'm supposed to be the grown up.

Freaking out is just going to make an introvert like him shut down and withdraw more and then rage like southern hurricane. Same sh*t, different year.

Self-awareness is grand, but it's just lip service if I can't change things.

It's also hard for me to let go of something I feel right about. I'm trying to summarize things. I want him to just try hard, try harder.

I think this needs to apply to myself as well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Knitting Woes Instead of Wows

Can you feel the weight of the gray that is called my knitting sadness? Can you hear the lament of sheep in the distance?

My friends, I bound off the lovely, inspired Color Affection that thousands of projects have come to fruition from. The fabric had stitched up so nice.

But in reality, my end result, sucked only the way a project touched by me can.

This will not make a decent gift.

The three color striped section was pulled too tightly between color changes (horrible technique I know, trust me, the shame is there!). There is pulling, puckering and basically a ruffle on that one end.

I think about it and feel sad.

I know, I know, frog it and try again. The yarn is lovely. But I feel like I would definitely do it again, to conquer it, to clean my technique. On the other hand, not w/that yarn. Like, I can't ... I just can't with that combination. I need a true fresh start.

So do I just donate it or try and salvage the yarn?

I can't think about that right now.

My case of the knitting sads was bad, like sit in a corner, pet yarn with a glass of wine bad. I had Sunday evening to knit, but I didn't feel like I deserved to, or inspired or whatever. I was "afraid" of picking up Aidez and screwing that up to. (Paralyzed by fear ... a running theme, yes I know)

What to do?

I picked up my Wonder Blanket and just knit garter stitch row after garter stitch row, hoping to feel better. I did. That knitting validation was coming back, and just like this project, it's been very easy going and natural. I knit on this basic piece of happiness still more than my other projects combined.

I am still mourning Color Affection but at least I can still knit forward.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The obvious report

I have an iPhone. I don't know how to use it much. I found out there is a maps app this weekend. I also forget I can take fancy photos of things.

If you don't drink enough water, you get dehydrated.

If you don't eat by the time you are supposed to, it can make you cranky, even if you are old and chubby like me.

There is never enough time to knit.

It's very hard to take photos of in progress knitting when it's bunched up on circulars.

Decluttering only works if you actually take the stuff out of the house and not just lined up in your hallway.

Uploading photos takes so much longer than I think, but keeping them on the computer and not sharing ... doesn't count.

Pedometers only work if you put the battery in them, and set a pace.

And that is the rundown of how I am still skipping the obvious.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I Smell a 3-Day Weekend!!

The gray weather came in this morning ushering in Labor Day the gatekeeper to the fall. It's supposed to warm up again tomorrow or so, but this is fine for everyone's mood now.

At school drop-off this morning everyone was chockful of excitement for the long weekend. Some people are already off early.

The parking lot at work looks like a desert. I wondered who would be in the office ... oh there were plenty of us still "cubing" it today.

Lists of chores have been made. It's chance to catch up a little after some serious lazy post work/workout evenings! They must be good lists too, because I see the tremors in the boys' eyes as I prattle on about how "We're gonna get things done!".

Time blocking has been declared! (The Kid has requested video game/computer time, I knitting and forced family declutter, The Husband, Sunday day trip) Expectations managed!

Anticipated disappointment: Between soccer practice Saturday morning and our day trip on Sunday I will probably not get a chance to watch any live Premiere League soccer. This is mitigated by extra knitting time at practice, seeing a LIVE MLS soccer match on Sunday evening and ... knitting in the car on our Sunday day trip :)

I smell cups of coffee, tea, chocolate crinkle cookies, cinnamon rolls and bbq.

I can feel soft yarn, hoodies covering my ears in the Sunset district fog,

I can see my overworked husband enjoying a chance to sleep in and take his time reading the paper and I can see The Kid furiously working on new Lego designs.

If I can have just some or any of the above, I'm a lucky one.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How I could be a better mother: Part 4,671

I will not use shame as a regularly scheduled parenting tool.

I will not do something for The Kid just because I'm feeling too lazy to teach him or discipline him.

I will not swear so much. (Honestly it's weird. It's like since he's turned 9 I've gone PG-13 ... sh*t! one more thing to not be lazy about.)

I will get a tutor for homework before I start talking out of my brown bottom.

I will demand he put in his practice time when he starts playing the flute (which I had no idea he had any interest in playing) even if my ears bleed.

I will work on my gentle methods of extracting personal information so I actually know something about my kid.

I will bring back board game night.

I will de-clutter on a regular basis as an example of not being so attached to stuff. I will teach him to let go.

I will make bake him something homemade tomorrow.

*Note I've deleted probably 10 other items. I was getting a little carried away. Need to save something for the next installment of "How I could be a better mother."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday's What's Up

 I am all over the place and figured I need a title that sufficiently covered my Randomania.

The hoodie is truly for everyone ...
queen hoodie


School is back and so are lice checks. I love the smell of leave-in Tea Tree Oil conditioner. No really, it smells clean.

The sun came out in San Francisco today and the walk from school to work was as pleasant as ever.

My stats for fantasy football have dropped me one in the ranking this week. I went from 11/19 to 12/19. I won't ever be number 1, but this sure is fun. Makes the BPL that much more fun to follow on the weekend.

So in my search for interesting "footy" things. I found this bit of superficial but absolutely fun. A more femme approach than say the also funny Dirty Tackle.

In the world of knitting I realize my lovely Color Affection is going to have a wonky tight knitted edge where the 3rd section of the pattern with the 3 color stripes is. Sad face. :( I am in too deep to trying anything else now. I wish I had paid closer attention to other people's projects notes where they pointed this out as well. I suppose I'll have to have another try inserting a Yarn Over between the first two knitted stitches on the Right Side of the fabric and dropping the Yarn Overs on the Wrong Side. Live and learn. Unfortunately I will have used the Plucky Knitter yarn so I will have to go Stash Diving. This could be fun right?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Links Post and Random Web Observations

I've always got a million ideas. Unfortunately I don't have enough time to do the ones that actually hold in my mind.

Good thing I have this handy dandy blog! It's better than those silly Moleskin mini journals The Colonel lugs around in his pen pocket.

1. Obsessing about lace shawl patterns. Seriously obsessing. I think it's because I have some lovely lace yarn I've been wanting to ... well, lace all summer with still no success. So I give you The Henslowe. I saw it at the Fireflyspun blog. I hadn't visited here before, but isn't it lovely? I reference you to other sites, because I'm still not completely sure of other people's photos protocol, and I'm just not in the mood to be reprimanded. Is it weird part of the reason besides the lovely scottish style that I want to knit this is because of the name? We call The Kid Hen, and I'm feeling some of that ridiculous Mom squish that one gets when it's back to school and you feel old and life is fleeting and passing you by.

All the more reason to knit out some issue eh? The crazy is showing again, I know.

2. The secret stash. I must remember the secret stash when plotting projects. Where is the secret stash you ask? I show you ...

That's my file cabinet at the office. I know. I know no shame. Well why should I have any? That's a Verb for Keeping Warm Tussah Silk AND Madelinetosh. Sheesh. It's a drawer of happy after a bad meeting!

3. I finally signed up for my favorite run of the year. The Bridge to Bridge. It's super beautiful and fun and everyone is nice and charities win. Yay! This fall the event season is ramping up. It should be fun as long as I have the time! Must remember to actually run, jog, walk briskly? in preparation ... zzz boringtown...

4. Lunch ideas. So school is back on, and there are no more breaks from packing lunches. New is welcome, but really this?? Perhaps I am not super granola and crunchy and let my kid have processed foods/sugar every now and again but The Kid eats well, like San Francisco, Restaurant raised well. I mean he may be snooty and snobby in his own way, but this is just ugh. So righteously good for you that I want to vomit. I'm horrible. I know it. Maybe the cheddar crackers would fly but that's about it. And honestly, I don't have the interest to spend time to bake and spit those out, I am fortunate and can afford Annie's cheddar bunnies. But I won't lie, I'm completely willing to reach for the Goldfish with the "extra ingredients".

Ugh. Seriously why do I feel so personally offended by this post? Obviously just nice people offering healthy options. I have such a chip on my shoulder sometimes.

*Littlesnoopy and I believe in the small portions bento box style of lunch. Why do we believe in it? Because it seems that's when we get the most positive feedback as well as food consumed.

5. T-shirt bags!! Might have to dig through one of the Goodwill bags I STILL have not dropped off yet... I have a dragon t-shirt from the Chinatown YMCA 5k I love but never wear ...

So here is another glimpse into the fissures of my brain. Hope you don't have nightmares!

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's all just a mess

I've been trying. Really hard to sort through it all. I am unbelievable saddened by my ineffectiveness.

What is the opposite of making an impact? That's me.

So in an exercise for my own mental sanity let's see where else I'm inept and how I'm patching together resolutions:

1. I am not seeing my family enough, specifically my father and sister. They live in the area. Yes, my sister is busy, and my father doesn't much enjoy the commute to the city. But they are nearby, and I need to make a better effort. Because, looks splash! The summer went by and I barely saw them. Bad daughter. Bad sister.

Resolution: We are family, they are stuck with me. Call them, make a plan.

2. The clutter is not uncluttering. So much to go through, so much to get rid of. We have so much, and I know that we are already plotting how we can get more. I want space. I want a few nice outfits and yarn. So why do I have these other "things?"

Resolution: Take the 3 bags of Goodwill to the Goodwill this week. Create three more by the end of the weekend.

3. I did not back up the computer, upload the newest set of photos or shop for a new computer. It all has to do with computer. Even the iPhone can't save me from this chore can it?

Resolution: This is painful. Saturday afternoon, after I drop the kid off at a Birthday party, at least upload photos and back up on external drive.

4. I barely ran all summer. Just when I was working out consistently every week, I got hit by the summer cold. I barely made 45 mins. the other night of sustained cardio. I have to climb the get fit mountain twice as hard now.

Resolution: Thanks Nike ... I know ... just do it. Or better yet, keep going, don't think, just go. I always feel better. Start with a walk, start walking there, somewhere, anywhere.

5. Anxiety is mounting that I'm going to forget something else.

Resolution: Easy peasy pie. I love a good list. Write it down, prioritize. Strike an item, knit an hour ... or two...

Unbelievably Boring & Gray - "Now what?"

So ... my posts are sparse unlike my arse.

I attempt to write something and I'm shamed for lack of pictures in knitting posts and I'm shamed for how boring I am in any attempt at reflection.

Well it's up to me to make a change. Knitters and Dingy Moms must persevere.

I blame a lot of my ennui on my lack of supreme health. I cannot shake this throaty cough. (Though last night I slept pretty fabulously and I might've heard a few angels sing.) This has run me down far more than I realized. It's hard because I'm not outright bedridden sick, but do not have sufficient energy.

As in protest my hair seems to be "rooting" at an alarming rate. I bought some new dye two weeks ago, but have sort of just let it ... languish. I'm wearing my mood perhaps? The thing is I don't feel depressed, just tired.

I am returning to some exercise this week. But I don't think I'll be back to 3 days a week until next week. I can barely fold laundry without wanting to file a legal complaint. ha!

I am actually going to weave and block that Leaves Sweater for Ms. Jodi and ship it out to her. Just in time for teacher's new school year.

I've started legwarmers for Ms. Shay and I'm hoping... hoping that I can make some more progress on Aidez this month for myself.

The Wonder Blanket which I've decided to start calling, The Monster Blanket is toiling along at an acceptable pace. It's good for a few rows before dreamland.

I have delusions of other blankets but I might have to pace myself with casting on additional projects. School is about to start, and along with it, homework checks, soccer practice, and volunteering. That's returning to normal. (Secretly I'm grateful to know that my morning commute for The Kid is just less than 2 miles from the house instead of the all over the map day camps we had this summer.)

Also I have decided I might wholeheartedly join a knit a long Random I know. I'm usually so bad at making pace, I never join. I don't know how people like Project Stash do it. She's got a million going! I'm on the ravelry group for the Wonder Blanket, but that felt so low pressure, that it was OK. (That reminds me, I wanted to try her Miranda Hat pattern ... so much to do!) I really need to get over my sock knitting issues. I even bought some of those tiny sock making knitting needles.

I have had no kitchen mojo whatsoever. I haven't wanted to make a stew, a brownie a biscuit a rice krispy treat. Nada, nothing. Projects of fiber and that's it. I mean I cook, but I'm not project cooking or baking. And that's okay.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The truth about my knitting

I have fear of button bands.

Picked up Tea Leaves to work on the button bands with great dread. I did this cardigan in baby size and it was angry with me. The button bands I mean. It puckered. I took the Ravelry-ers (what is the proper term for the other fiber/yarn/knit/crochet nutters?) and picked up 1 for every two rows. This means I skipped every other slipped edge. I think it does not translate. I finished out 4 rows to see if I needed to rip it back. It's not the first time I've had to work something "simple" a million times to get it right.

It seemed okay. But instead of knitting under the influence of wine, I was knitting under the influence of the Olympics and fatigue and I can't say I was tracking my rows and stitch counts very well.

I'm on button band #2 (sans the button holes) and just kind of saying a garment prayer of please let this turn out because it's giving me anxiety.

Which leads me back to the truth about my knitting. I think there are times that my fear of screwing up delays my completion. I think there are times when my anxiety to complete something has me barrel through with errors. Often these errors are not fixed. It's like, fine, I cheated on my boyfriend just to ensure I'd end the relationship since I didn't have the stones to do it the right way. (Wow does that make any sense?  Am I reading too much *celebrity smut?)

Knitting fears, life fears ... bah! I tell you I'm a ball of anxiety, a ball, people. People tell me I'm not enjoying life when I have these bouts, that I'm unable to be thankful for what I have. FIE I say. It's the complete opposite. It is because I care and value things so much more than I am capable of handling. I know what is it stake. I know how easily things can go wrong. I know I can lose a little or a lot and I'm not a very good loser, at least not on the inside.

Thank goodness there is yarn to keep my hands busy, and my mind a little calmer.

*Love Lainey Gossip. Love the celebrity smut. Does it make me a better person? No. But I like it. Forgive me friends, for I have DailyMailed too much...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What I Learned This Holiday...

I am the last one to get my land legs back from water travel (Clipper Ferry from Victoria Island to Seattle)

I am a little evil when I'm hungry.

Never eat a Space Needle hot dog -- even if you are VERY hungry. (Husband has sworn off hot dogs indefinitely after a bad one. For him to swear off the hot dog is a big deal. Sausages are apparently still OK.)

I think from indulging in so many lattes while on vacation, I have learned I'm kinda lactose intolerant.

I am the most forgetful one in the family, despite the fact that I badger everyone else and run through their checklist. (I left my swimsuit at the Stanley Park Public Pool changing rooms and had to go back for it ...)

My husband has anxiety dreams when away from home. The funky small double beds at the Waterfront Marriott didn't help. Amazing how we payed HALF the price for the room at The Blue Horizon in Vancouver and were TWICE as happy there in terms of room accommodations. (Although we should've taken the fancy shmancy ginger orange toiletries from the Marriott ... ah best not to clutter.)

I don't snack on holiday like I do at work.

I found my new favourite pastry. I love raspberry croissants. Unfortunately they are in Seattle from Le Panier. (I know, it's not savory crazypants!!)

My Kid knows his Japanese ramen. He specializes in Shoyu and Chashu if you must know. (Don't hate on the fact it's a chain ramen house. Trust me, this was some tasty stuff. I had the only non Asian with me in the joint.)

If I lived in the Pacific Northwest I cannot say I would embrace the fleece, but I would totally nurture the wannabe jogger/runner in me. The weather is perfect for it. I would also learn to knit socks, for sure.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Family Quotes: My Mom

Me: Hey Mom, I see all these cool sewing projects on my knitting blogs. People who knit love to sew. I should really learn how to sew. Even the nephew is doing it!

Mom (in her exasperated tone): I have been trying to get you to sew forever.

Me: I know ... but ...

Mom: Next time you are out here, you need to put the needles down and sew some napkins or something. You can knit whenever you want. You need to learn how to sew.

Me: O.K.

Mom: That reminds me. On vacation, I want you to put down the needles and spend some time with your family. Look up from the knitting and enjoy your vacation.

*Put your needles down said 2x. EVIL

This is why mothers and daughters endlessly bicker. No matter how much they love you, they are going to tell you to do the opposite of all you desire. Because it's good for you.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What's Next?

This week, I have not knit for a few days in a row. This is kind of sad since I was really on a roll again. Maybe I can finish another sleeve over the weekend. Maybe I can cast on something new!!

I have to be strategic about it. We leave for a small getaway for Seattle and Vancouver in just a little over a week. I will obviously need to bring knitting. I would like to bring things that aren't almost finished, so I don't have to haul around dead weight. I know this goes against what other knitters do. They seize the travel time as a chance for completion. Hmmm. Well ... maybe if I pack light on the shoes/clothes.

The plan is one something mindless, because as much as I would love to whip out some intricate knitting, I need something that I can look up from and enjoy the view on the train from Seattle to Vancouver. However I'm not going to bring the garter stitch Wonder blanket, too much bulk. But garter stitch is the idea ... so i will pick up Color Affection. I ordered the kit a while ago, and have been hoarding it :) I reread the pattern and it feels familiar enough. Though ... I will screw something up, I usually do, ha!

I also need something different and fun. So ... I've been whining about Rock Island, really wanting to make this for Mrs. P. but the truth is ... I'm afraid the chart reading will make me blind in frustration when I'm supposed to be enjoying my holiday. So I will cast on for it this week, and see if it's something I can actually travel with or if it's something I will need to set aside until I return and then go back to in the silence and solace of my bedroom.

If it is something that requires complete focus (which is something I lack) then I will bring a couple cakes of Peruvia Quick to cast on the ever popular Aidez.

Happy Knitting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Small Wonder

Evelyn @ Project Stash is perpetually posting knitting ideas and this seemed like such a good idea.  A mindless knit of 170 sts in garter stitch. Use up the stash, make some stripes and lots of happy.

After finishing one sleeve on the  Tea Leaves cardigan (@10pm!!) I got ants in my pants and joined Evelyn in casting on for the Wonder Blanket.

Cast on 166 with some lovely heathered green. I was just shy of 170 and a lazy beast to undo my cast on for 170.

I'm slipping the first stitch for a cleaner edge.

I realize I have a bunch of Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn that I got for random scarves, handwarmers and baby blankets. I have sometimes whole balls of yarn. So this will probably be more color blocked Wool-Ease, but I'm SO excited to have something move this yarn out of my stash and make something practical with. There are more babies and couches to warm this fall/winter. I sense this will be the first of "Wonders" to come.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Kid Inspiration

I had set the pace for Sunday in advance. I am determined on managing tone and pace. There were things to do, but if there is time to relax, then everyone feels like it's manageable and there are less moments of opposition. Also The Kid asked if there would be time to kick around at home.

At swimming lessons,  I watched The Kid swim back and forth across the width of the local pool (with breathing yay!) and I was very proud. His class practiced diving for the first time. It was a beautiful Esther Williams moment of belly flops of the cute and shivering.

We had big bowls (size small!) of albondigas soup and ate beans and cheese with guacamole and chips for lunch  and fresh squeezed orange juice, even though The Kid said he wasn't hungry. right.

We came home and there were some small chores (left mostly unfinished) and individual play. We let The Kid flip some channels while we knit and read and he lounged in his post lunch food coma. He finally found the Food Network. More specifically he found, The Pioneer Woman. I have read her blog on and off through the past few years because there is usually something accessible to me and she's not snooty.

He got really into it. He pointed out this recipe and said, "I think we could do that!"

I said, "Yes, we'll use some good jam."

"Oh, squares? Hmm, I would cut them in rectangles, like bars."

"We can do that." (sheesh, presentation critic eh?)

The other recipe that caught his eye was her broccoli and cheese soup, served in little bread bowls. He loves soup, and though he's not a fan of broccoli, he was intrigued by the bread bowl and the kids his age, gushing over the meal.

Meanwhile his father walks in and starts commenting on the recipe. "Hmm, I don't think I would cook the broccoli in the cream. I would boil it in stock chicken or veggie and ..."

But The Kid and I were not having any of it. We're going to try HER method first and then he can Iron Chef his version afterwards. I think it's important to let The Kid explore what his first inspiration is. He doesn't have a lot of recipe experience. He needs a baseline. It's like the experienced knitter that prattles off the mods you can do to a pattern to achieve something. But if you want what the pattern is ... you follow the pattern the first time to understand it. Otherwise you're getting something different. (that's okay too. I'm just trying to further justify why my husband is wrong. ha!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Kid Comments On Knitting

This morning over breakfast The Kid says, "You know I might want to learn how to knit."

I controlled myself over a nice cup of Kona blend. "Sure dear. If you want to, I'm happy to show you. I'm sure you'd be great at it."

"Would I start with a hat or scarf?"

"Start with the scarf."

"But I may not want to learn now."

"Whenever you want, just let me know." (A chance to share my other love with my other love? It is too good to be true. Enjoy this moment!)

I think this all came about from Steve & Kate's camp, which has all kinds of activities, including crafting ones that my son seems to avoid. He's done everything from run around like a crazy beast and fall of the slide, video game, make music "tracks" and hang out in the lounge playing board games in bean bag chairs. My nephew goes to a different location and he whipped up a pillow for "Peanut butter" his little dog stuffie. He made it on their sewing machines. I cannot even use a sewing machine.

Anyhow, I thought the morning conversation on knitting was the perfect way for him to model my finished Christopher hat.

Project Stash was whipping a bunch of these out in the winter and I promised myself I would make one. I am definitely not a quick knitter, but that didn't upset me as much as the messiness of my stripes. I pointed it out to The Kid and he said, "Yes. It would look much better if the stripes went all the way around without that little bit missing." (you can see an example pic on ravelry, I'm too embarrassed to put it on blast here.)

I was worried he would hand off the hat (which he'll probably do anyways, but give me at least a day where you like my handknit.) "I am thinking it just looks like a seam right now."

Well anyways, I am not thwarted. I will try the hat again in another set of colors. I enjoyed knitting it, and that is what matters most. Maybe I'll have someone to join me to enjoy the stitches ...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A piece of knitting.

I know I haven't really written about knitting in a while. (Thank goodness whispers Harrigan). Mainly because I am embarrassed I do not have pictures, and I know it can get boring listen to someone ramble on about what they'd like to achieve.

(I'd like to achieve a lot on and off the knitting scene just in case you were wondering ...)

Well I finally weaved in the ends for my blanket for MoMo's family. It wasn't so painful, since I was watching Two Towers, which makes even folding laundry relaxing.

I wish I had a long shot of the entire blanket to show you, unfortunately I do not really know the best way to take a picture like that. I should ask littlesnoopy, aka Ms. Photo Know How. I like her smarts, she's always very supportive and gentle and even when I don't understand something obvious doesn't make me feel like a dumb@ss. (This is an important quality in a friend.)

Stay tuned because thanks to the new apps for Ravelry, Wooly and Yarma I think I might actually have a few photos of some additional "moments of completed knitting".

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Am I a 12 year old boy?

So I was  following the ticker on for the Germany vs. Italy Eurocup Semifinals and came across this quote:

"... team look vulnerable on the counter here as they have just two defenders back. Everyone else is upfield for the Mannschaft."

No I won't lie. I was snorting and giggling like a dateless dork.

And all it means is team or crew. Did you know this?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Validation for Ignoring My Kid

Harrigan sends me an article which he says is, "right up your alley".

He's right. I live for this kind of stuff. It's where I find my soapbox.

I love talking about entitled behavior, entitled adults and spoiled and indulged children. I'm righteous ... but to a point. As we all know, I am Tiger cub mom. Not a true Tiger Mom. I'm soft and squishy around the middle since The Kid came out and I will never have visible abdominal muscles.

They are lurking there somewhere underneath. I'm just not as tough as I would like to be.

I'm angry sometimes. I'm tough without rationale at times. These are all hypocritical and a waste of time and do not deserve any validation in parenting, except for the fact it's bound to happen. However I use them as parenting tools probably more than I mean to, more than anyone should.

Anyhow, I say all this stuff to him how he needs to do more, and he has to prepare more as he grows up. But it was all just words to him.

I hate the idea of talking and explaining things that in my opinion should be expected of you. You live in a house, this house is shared space, do your part and clean up. Starting block, would be, take care of your own crap first.

I don't mind getting him water when he's thirsty ... if I'm closer. But it shouldn't be expected that I'm going to do it, because you asked me to do it. You should try to do things yourself. Sometimes one try isn't good enough. If you can't reach, what can you do to reach it? Pull over a chair? What? If someone thinks for you all the time, you don't think for yourself. If someone does for you, you don't do.

We are rational this week. I know when he gets something and he gets away with something it's because I'm being lazy. I am a lazy beast. I am.

I think the starting point is letting kids find something to do on their own. If you're bored, find something. My mother used to say, "Only boring people get bored." She said it a lot when I was growing up. 

I think he reads because we ignore him. (Well we're reading or knitting when we are ignoring him at least right?) Seriously if I can't expect him to find something to do on his own for fun, how I can I expect him to pick up his clothes or make dinner?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekend Recap

It was a good weekend. Fun times, solid sleep and a relatively happy household. Highlights:

Weekend kick off cocktails with littlesnoopy.  We went to Heaven's Dog for happy hour and had a lovely early evening of chatter and snacks. The salt and pepper jalapeno chicken wings are really good and not greasy. The siu mai dumplings tasty served w/Sriricha and hot mustard, but no soy. The steamed spicy wontons? meh, will not be ordering those again. I was sad to go home, but knew for the sake of sobriety and a 9am soccer practice I should.

France vs. Spain quarterfinal viewing at the Peacheys after soccer practice. Good times, except for the beatdown The Kid and I took from the other children for being France fans. And France couldn't find the back of the net or turn on the pace and energy.

Impromptu Date Night. The Kid was whisked up by his friends for a group sleepover with pizza, ice cream and a movie (spoiled!!). So the Manfriend and I had the evening to ourselves. It was kind of precious how he offered to go out, since I know he is exhausted on Saturday and usually prefers to fall asleep by 9pm. Ha! Anyhow, I really didn't feel like being out and about. So we read and watched an old Japanese horror movie, Battle Royale and made pork belly fried rice together and ate at a NINE pm. We were crazy. We also were both snoring by 10:30pm. I gave up when I ripped out the left side edging of my cardigan.

More zumba shake it on Sunday morning. The class was packed and despite an early bedtime I was still tired, but Rossy (pronounced Rosie) has such an amazing energy that it's hard to care. I always feel better after I go.

England vs. Italy Eurocup quarter finals viewing. I had my first bacon butty sandwich. Hot pots of tea and mimosas also accompanied this fun viewing. One family brought their England flag. It was a frustrating match, despite how adorable Joe Hart looked in the goal. Another favorite (of mine) ... eliminated.

Mother/Son book club is in full effect. It's informal, but I appreciate it. The Kid said, "You should read my book Mom, I bet you would like it." Well why the heck not? He's excited about his book. More importantly he wants to share and that is like a comet. Enjoy it while you can. So I started reading "The Red Pyramid" by one of the authors the kids seem to really like, Rick Riordon.  I give him an update where I'm at, and what parts I think are funny. He wants to know what parts I think are scary or the creepiest monsters etc. Good times.

Bad home dye job. The color? Jungle brown.

I decided to start a side project, like this for fun. The Manfriend and I often discuss what would be good supplies in case of the apocalypse. I'm not saying it's brilliant, but it's fun. Too many Mad Max movies as kids? Anyhow something new.What would you pack for the apocalypse?

And now we move onward. Another week of summer. New camp, a professional soccer match, a hair cut and I hate to say it, I'm going to have to cast on something new...