Thursday, December 23, 2004

It's 19 degrees!

Holy buckets! It's 19 degrees at 8.30am. Sure, those of you in the frozen north are laughing at me but a mere two days ago it was 50 at this same time. Going from 50 to 19 is never a gradual thing in Texas. The good part - there is snow on the ground.

The bad part - it looks like this:


Not enough snow to do anything with and too cold to take the Bean out in. We all have colds right now so the last thing I need to do is take her out to play in the slush...

Poppy has been abandoned in favor of my raging cold. The only activity today is going to be getting my hair cut and a much needed trip to the grocery store.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Monday, December 20, 2004

Christmas kntting

For me!

Ironstone Yarns Pizzazz


The party was a smashing success (in more ways than one). The leftover dips were carted to a party the following night which was also a smashing success. It was a tiring weekend and, on Sunday, we did not get a day of rest. Rather, Hubster and Bean woke up with coughs and colds. Lovely.

Today was spent in futile hopes of getting Bean dressed up for a cute shot to send out with the Christmas cards. I'm one of those people who hopes that their Christmas cards will at least be postmarked before Christmas. Arriving at the destination may be a bit much to hope for.

I also wrapped all the presents I have and put them under the tree. (Bean's comment, "Oh, thank you!")

Tonight, I start knitting Poppy for Bean out of white fuzzy and sparkly Wool-Ease. I need to have it finished for the Christmas Eve church service. I don't think it'll be a problem but simpler things have hung me up before. I'm not worried about the separate pieces, it's the picking up stitches and knitting the band around the bolero that I may flake on.

That is the extent of my Christmas knitting. I have several presents I do need to knit. The recipients are well aware that these will be New Year's gifts (and not on the Day either). I also need to figure out something to give my friend's for their 10th wedding anniversary. We are going to dinner with a big bunch of people New Year's Eve (a cool day for an anniversary) and I want to give them something small but fun. I'm thinking a felted tea cosy and a funky teapot.

Friday, December 17, 2004

T minus 2 hours

These people are coming. To my house. With the den covered in paint samples that I loathe and detest but have not managed to do anything about in the last three years. Something about having a baby or some such...

The food is going to be ready. We have a guest room where I am frantically tossing everything that annoys me. If anyone opens that door, they may be crushed by the large amount of laundry I have not managed to fold.

My one saving grace is that Erratic Lawn Guy came today so hubster won't have to sweep the patio or porch.

Erratic Lawn Guy is this ancient man (in his late 80s) who mows half the lawns in the neighborhood. He always wears a fedora while mowing. He has mowed the lawn of this house since it was built. When we moved in, he told us his prices in terms that made it clear that if we knew what was good for us, we wouldn't mess with karma and would continue to employ him. When his rates go up, I consider the amount of money I'm spending on him mowing the lawn and contemplate saying, "No, thanks." But I can't quite muster the guts. One clearly does not fire Old Joe. (Seriously, that's what everyone calls him.) At least the yard looks pretty.

Party party party!

My husband has invited 50 of his coworkers over for some holiday cheer tonight. Granted, we'll probably only get a 50% attendance rate, but it's still a bit daunting. Moreso because I need to provide a variety of culturally sensitive dishes. We have regular Texas carnivores, vegetarians and vegans. I usually provide alot of food vegetarians can eat, but the vegans are not going to have as many choices. Given that this is a cultural and religious issue, I want to make sure there are enough things to make everyone happy.

The list of appetizers:

The ubiquitous chips and salsa
Cannelini bean dip with home-baked pita crisps (kind of like Italian hummus)
Veggie platter with curry cheese dip and a dip similar to bagna cauda but more dippy and less saucy
Blue cheese, walnut, and arugula crostini
Assorted fruit
Granny Smith apple slices with a smear of melted smoked gouda
Ham and turkey roly polys
The Cocktail Weenies of Death (in good Southern fashion, they feature a cup of bourbon - yes, a full cup)
Nuts and wasabi peas and other munchables

All I've done so far is go to the grocery store. Bean has her Mother's Day Out Christmas pagent today. People are coming at 5.30 this evening. I need to go to Toys R Us for a present for one of Bean's friends who will be here tonight. And I need to make a last minute grocery run for a few things I couldn't find yesterday.

It's going to be a busy day.

I also need to finish a scarf for a friend who will be here tonight, but that's going to be late.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The more I do the behinder I get

I finished Plum last Saturday and have yet to take a picture. Mother Nature did cooperate though and gave me some chilly weather.

I've been running around trying to get Christmas shopping done and get everything ready for a shindig we are having tomorrow night. My husband invited tons of people from work. Of course, he has yet to do anything to prepare. And I've been busy and ill and have not done anything to prepare either. I need some of those elves Stephanie was talking about. I may just lose my mind now to save time later...

I've been doing a bit of knitting and have some fun things to share. It's going to have to wait until another day though. I've been waiting to post until I had a pic of Plum and look where that got me. Maybe the blog fairies will inspire me tomorrow!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Frogathon and a philosophy

I'm having to do an unreasonable amount of frogging on Plum. That damn Debbie Bliss and her lack of schematics. Sure, the sleeve says it's going to be 17 inches, but I was only about halfway through the raglan shaping on the first sleeve when I realized that what they meant was seventeen inches from the underarm - sound OK until you realize that the underarms on this sucker are about halfway down my ribcage. Meaning the sleeves were going to hang down past my fingertips. R-r-r-rip.

The philosophy is something I call the Guest Soap Philosophy of life (or GSPL). It's something worth remembering around the holidays. Sometimes, you get a gift of a little box of pretty soaps or candles or some other especially nice little something and you save it. You put it away for "nice", or save it for when you have guests. But, the guests never come. The occasion is never quite nice enough and, after awhile, the soaps don't smell quite as nice or the candles get dusty and melty. The GSPL is Use the Nice Stuff First. Every day is worth something nice. We, as human beings, deserve nice things.

My husband usually gives me some nice perfume and lotion set for Christmas or my birthday and I have to remind myself that, just because it's Tuesday and the only places I'm going are the grocery store and the playground, it doesn't mean I shouldn't enjoy a bit of luxury.

As a knitter, I sometimes have to remind myself that sweaters are meant to be worn. Granted, I'm not wearing Lara in lovely Alpaca Silk on a daily basis but that's only because it's 63 and sunny today and I'd die of heat rash and not because alpaca silk doesn't exactly mix well with Ol' Jelly Fingers. If we ever get any weather approaching fall (I've given up on winter), I'm going to wear it and damn the torpedos. It may get jelly on it. I have a sink and some wool wash. And a good dry cleaner.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A new word

And that word is ...

PANTIES! (That's going to get me some interesting hits on Google.)

Yes, yesterday there was an entire afternoon sans diaper. Those of you without children are likely to be worried that I'm a bit obsessed with my child's toileting. Those of you with children who are already toilet-trained are thinking "Thank GOD that's over with." Those of you who have children yet to be toilet-trained are probably reaching for the bourbon just thinking about it.

The only problem with panties is the complete refusal to have any other item of clothing on (other than socks) because then one would be unable to engage in constant admiration of one's Hello Kitty panties. Fine with me if you just want to wear panties but, no matter how sweetly you ask, I'm not joining you. Really. No, really.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Greed will out

Not only did we repaint the foyer, living room, and dining room and host Thanksgiving in the same week, we also started the massive undertaking of potty-training The Bean (because I'm apparently completely certifiable).

A friend stopped by and brought her a fairy Barbie which, helpfully, came with a book in which said Barbie was playing with mermaid Barbies. Bean sees this and says, "I want a Barbie. I want the blue and green Mermaid Barbie." I said, "Start using the potty and you can have it." She says, "I'll be right back." I followed her back and there she was, sitting on the potty.

One week later, Mermaid Barbie (who is far sluttier than her predecessor) and Fairy Barbie are best friends. It's amazing the amounts of flesh these Barbies expose but, the clothes don't come off on these versions, so I'm not complaining overly much. I briefly contemplated buying one of the books on knitting for Barbies but I came to my sense when I realized that a 2 1/2-year-old was unlikely to have much success dressing a Barbie. Maybe in a couple of years...

An FO!

You have to excuse the wonky picture below but my 2 1/2-year-old took it. Given that, I think it's actually a pretty decent picture.


I'm pretty pleased with the finished boject.

Plum, on the other hand, is going less well. I'm on the third try. The first frogging was one skein of yarn because I did the increases on the wrong side of my marker resulting in a dart unknown to modern knitting. The second frogging was because the second size was so huge you'd have to be about 8 inches taller than I am to wear it. Six skeins frogged. SIX! ARGH!

Plum is out of Debbie Bliss Book Seven in Cashmerino Superchunky.

There are only two sizes listed for Plum. I based my decision to make the second size on the fact that the smaller size measurements were listed as 39 inches for the bust and 19 1/2 inches for the length. More or less the same measurements as the size I made in Lara. I wanted Plum to be a bit more generous so it would be a nice cozy and sort of sloppy sweater but this is ridiculous.

Whoever took the measurements was smoking something. Granted, I think the bust itself will measure 39 inches. But the hips are a good 8 inches wider. The measurement of the hips for my original attempt at the 36-38 size was 52 inches. Yes, I am getting gauge and I went down a needle size. Wild. The small may still be a bit big. That being said, she sure is pretty.

Not the greatest picture, but it's overcast all of a sudden. That is the back and sides. Hopefully, I can complete the back today. This version seems a bit short to me whilst still being too wide. If this version doesn't fit, I think I'll just give it away because I don't think the yarn can take another frogging. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Lara is almost complete. I have two more repeats of the sleeve decreases and then the cuff. I am very excited to have this project almost complete. I've enjoyed knitting Lara, but she is so heavy that I'm getting a bit tired of the sheer bulk of the knitting. I'm also looking forward to embarking on some small projects. I need to finish a bit of Christmas knitting and I also need some instant gratification.


I will admit that I did cast on for Plum. I'll be working on that as well but with the short rows, I may have a short attention span for the project for a while.