Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday I took the day off since there was no school. We hung out with Mrs. B and her son and 2 other pals. We went to the movies and had a pasta dinner with their families after. I was thankful for good friends.

I ran/walked a 5k this morning, thankful for my health. It benefited the local food banks, and I am grateful to the people in society that look after the less fortunate of all kinds.

I came back and made sausage rolls as my appetizer contribution for dinner at my parents. Grateful for family and the plenty we shared.

Happy thanksgiving! I am grateful for all your visits and kindness and the good in humanity.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Rage Issues and Other Reasons Not to Be Like Me or Parent Like Me

Remember all that touchy feely stuff that I wrote about the holidays in the last post? Yeah, don't be so easily swayed by my desire to giftwrap the world.

Earlier this morning I was ready rumble in the dead end of my street.

What's wrong with me? Why?

Because I woke up this morning to the sound of a radio d.j. at 6am, again. Sometimes it's music. It depends on what my seemingly nice neighbor has on her favorite radio station. (She smiles  ... sometimes when we pass by on our little block -- we're city folk and not necessarily the chattiest of neighbors in general.)

I made up a story in my head she is a nurse, because she appears to get home around  6 am fairly regularly. I imagine she's peppy, getting off work after doing some hard good labor for others. She's enjoying her tunes, deafeningly loud in her car on the way home. The problem is, we can hear it through her car. through my closed windows and walls. (she has a great sound system.)

I once saw her roll home like this during the day, with her dogs (poor dogs!) in the car. But it was the day time, and meh. Whatever.

But 6am? Really? You don't think we can't hear you? You are really that self-involved?

And to give her the benefit of the doubt, I say yes. She doesn't know any better, because otherwise I would have to think she's a complete ARSE, whose parents should be called and shamed, STAT. Nurse or no nurse (remember I made this up) she's not very kind and compassionate or caring of others, now, is she?!?)

Also, I am not a morning person.

I opened my windows and leaned my head out to confirm it was her. I did not yell (though I imagine Manfriend was fearful I would) but that would make me no better than her. Then I slammed the window closed. I shouldn't do that either. It would suck to break a window because of my temper issues.

I laid there unable to think of anything else, but how that "young lady" needed a talking to (really I envisioned something a little more aggressive, but hey I'm not condoning my own unladylike thoughts).

Man Friend mentioned perhaps I need to work on my temper in a gentle non condescending way this morning, when I told him, I was disappointed I let stupid things rile me up. I know. I know.

I found out my quiet son has a temper, one that flashes especially for me. His father suspects it has something to do with my temper ... with him.  So when I thought I was being helpful sending my son an email of an online flute/music resource to help him practice. He finished practicing and made and sent me this:

The apple does not fall far from the tree. We're working on it. It's not you, it's me ... etc.

But hey, I'm glad to see him use that iTouch for something other than video games and Minecraft videos.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Are you ready to embrace the holidays?

Over at Pumpkin Sunrise there is a nice heart warming post chockful of knitting and holiday sentiment. It got me thinking (and itching to bake and listen to some holiday music).

And then today just as I was thinking:
  • Am I ready for the holidays?
  • What do I need to do?
I read a lovely post on holiday prep and the enjoyment of seasonal limited editions over at cakes, tea, and dreams. 

There are some valuable tips in there. I think the number one thing, is to be reasonable so you can actually enjoy the season.

The Manfriend seems to think I get a little irrational in wanting it to be great for everyone. I think he's just a bah-humbug. I started talking about "things" I wanted to do with my sister and our boys and he said, "Oh yeah, that's right, you like things all Christmassy and Holidayish." You would think we haven't been together just shy of 2 decades huh? rat bast ...

Anyways, I admit his probably laissez-faire mentality does lead to some ... overcompensation, on my part. Truthfully, I do not do him justice, because he has learned to embrace a lot of great pieces:
  • Tree selection and set up (although he probably loves taking it down and chucking it on the sidewalk more.)  
  • We have our movie watching/present wrapping evenings with red wine and chocolate. 
  • Christmas eve dinner with our parents and nephews and niece who sometimes wave around something they seem happy to receive. 
  • Christmas morning (if he didn't enjoy this, I think this is grounds for divorce.) where we put the "yule log" on t.v. and drink steaming cups of coffee and tea and cocoa and eat a sausages and bacon and breads.
Aww shucks!

I want to throw an oversized sweater/sweatshirt on and make a list, buy some wrapping paper and curl some ribbon (the truth is I'm craptastic with ribbon, but you know a girl can dream in craft right?)

I would like to take on some holiday crafts, like these little houses I saw on the Purlbee website. But that's not going to happen. I'll knit some more trees and gnomes/elves though :)

The thing I didn't do last year, that The Kid gently reminded me I didn't do (because of work) and requested for this year is to have an end of term after school get together. I pick him up, no after school care and we walk home with about 6 other friends (which is very interesting in our 2bd apartment), and we play some games, watch a movie,  eat and/or bake something. Parents roll in after work to pick up their *littles and join us in a glass of holiday cheer and a snack or two if they have the time.

It can be a lot of work, if not properly planned and if the kids don't get enough time to burn off some energy

Are you ready for the holidays? What are you looking forward to?

*they aren't so little anymore, maybe the siblings are.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Musings

Let's start with a true confession.

I need to stop holiday shopping for myself. What's that about? I apparently am obsessed with kitchenware. My new desire:
All Clad, Ceramic Baking Rectangle with ... serving trivet. I used Mrs. B's this weekend at the soccer team brunch and I was a new shade of green, ha! I haven't bought it, yet.

I finished A Red Herring without Mustard and I have to say, I'm looking forward to reading the next Flavia de Luce mystery, however I'm hoarding a few holiday themed mysteries, well for the holidays!

Next though on the reading list is Wonder. A multiple narrator story about being different (the boy has a facial deformity). The Man Friend and The Kid are waiting for me to finish it, since I bought and recommended they all read it before I did. I will attempt to provide a family review by the end of the month.

The Clapotis is the only thing I can knit right now. I'm sort of obsessed with it when I have time to rub two sticks together. It's times like these where you really just have to go with the mojo, not worry about "those other things" you've been meaning to knit ...

Which reminds me, I'm going to knit our 5th grade teacher a Misti Chunky alpaca Gaptastic cowl. I will have it done by the end of term. I swears it!!

Speaking of Cowls have you seen Lolly Knit's lovely Hunger Games: Catching Fire inspired Katniss Cowl? I think it's beautiful and would make a great gift, as well.

Ha! While I went to link to Lolly Knits, I see she's offering up a customized cowl for a shout out. However I just want to send her some props, and I will knit it myself and support her designs if I can get to it this winter. But enter her giveaway for a handmade gift for you or a pal!

Presentation / project review after lunch today. I wish I was going in to talk about knitting my Clapotis ;)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Random Chatter and How It All Comes Back to Sock Knitting.

I apologize that 2/3 photos in the last post were a bit out of focus. That was me attempting to focus. I think my eyes have gone farther than I want to admit. I apologize this picture is shadowy, but it was taco time.

My socks are slow going, but I do like socks or at least the process of sock knitting. Unlike other pieces of knitting I really see sock projects as something that "grows". Anyhow, I think as much as I want to make those Hermione's Everyday Socks that are all the rage, I want to do a pair of "vanilla socks" in stockinette. I guess I'll use the same pattern I've been using for my rib stitch one, and just change it to stockinette.

I worry and I fuss, a lot. I make my own personal wars. I often exhaust myself. I create my own tension. It's an embarrassing M.O.S. This applies far beyond knitting.

I worked on my Clapotis Tuesday night till 11:30 watching Moonstruck. I forgot how awesome that movie is. It's like a play. And Cher's hair is stylishly big for the times. Yes, I am old enough to remember those times :)

I went to a yarn store at lunch because I changed my mind about a color palette I had chosen for a project and well, it was near the library, where all I needed to do was renew my card. I went into the shop and completely forgot what I went in there for. I couldn't get past the sock yarn on the first right wall. Mesmerized. I touched and gently pat and pet the yarn until I found some that I thought might make good "man socks" not that I have anyone besides Michael Fassbender in mind. The yarn is self patterning. Should be fun. But wow, way off track.

I walked out and remembered I had put in an order of sock yarn at knit picks less than 2 weeks ago.


On my way back to the office, I remembered I couldn't eat yarn so I stopped at a local taco truck and sat in the sunshine and knit my sock, while I waited for my order. It was a pleasant moment.

When my order was ready a co-worker was going to walk back with me, and he looked around for my knitting and when I told him I stuck it in my purse he said, "wow you stashed that fast and efficiently."

That was another pleasant moment. What can I say, I'm always pleased when knitting gets some recognition.

Today I carried my knitting bag in my purse again to lunch. However I read instead. I was enjoying my book too much, because I overate (it was delicious, but more than enough). I "had to" double-espresso to recover.

Next time, I'll sock knit while I wait for my food and save the reading for a cup of tea or a glass of wine at home ...

*happy birthday little sister

Monday, November 11, 2013

Shiny Happy Beginnings

This is the beginning of an autumn Clapotis. I'm going to modify the pattern to fit 1 hank of  Blue Heron Metallic. I picked this up in a Seattle yarn shop, So Much Yarn. A cute shop, with really friendly people.

I have had to start this project twice. Even after knitting for the past few years, I'm not very good at reading patterns, I sort of fumble my way along. I think I was watching a documentary though the first time I cast on, or it was very late, and I wasn't convinced I had properly increased ... anyhow, here I am.

I have also slowly started reading A Red Herring Without Mustard. 

This is Book 3 of the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. I have a stack of books (pensive and perhaps very emotional) I've been meaning to read, but I don't want to work for it. I want escapism, so I can't promise you I'll ever read those books. I am really unable to commit to reading right now anyways. All my free-time is envisioned with yarn and needles :)

A common ground is just a cast on for now. Hopefully I'll have something to show you soon...

Have you started something new lately?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Finished in October, posted in November

"October is officially over!" says the CIA's official Zombie hunter. (yeah, didn't know they had those did ya'? - me neither, till Halloween.)

I finished an Autumn in New York because  I wanted to KAL for both Evelyn of ProjectStash and Kepanie of Knitspiring Odyssey, and it's a fabulous excuse to revisit my Tosh dk stash. hehehehe.

I love New York and have a strong desire to visit it in Autumn -- or spring, since I have been in summer twice and winter once. Who am I kidding, I'll take New York whenever I can :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Some Questions About Sock Knitting

At long last here is my first pair of socks.

As you can see, I am already thinking about a second pair for some fall/winter knitting. I picked this yarn from the fall swap with Kathy. My package came from Nancy the amazing knitter and life adventurer of Wyoming Breezes :)

But sock making has me a thinkin'. I have so many questions:

Blocking Techniques: Does getting those foot shaped blocking things make a big difference? What's an agreeable way to block socks?

Turning the Heel: When it says slipped stitch at the beginning of the row, I slip knitwise for the knit rows and purlwise for the purl rows, is this right?Where is it best to insert / pick up extra stitches when it seems I do not have enough based on the slipped stitched edges alone? I feel like I force it and get a bit of a gappy heel seam.

Patterns: What are good beginner patterns? Toe up or cuff down? Magic Loop? dpns? I saw that Wee Pleasures knits two bloody socks at a time. Les Wow! Do you do this too?

What is your sock wisdom? Do tell.

Friday, November 1, 2013

We Have A Winner

You're all winner's in my eyes. However we have a yarn winner for the October Yarn-Away and that is Evelyn at Project Stash. The random number generator picked #4 and that is Evelyn!

Evelyn, I will contact you via Ravelry to get your mailing address and the Sitka is yours.

Wishing you all a lot of happy knitting. I value every visit. We'll have another give-away soon. 'Tis the season.