Friday, July 29, 2005

I love a parade

Especially a parade of finished objects.

When I finished knitting Soleil, I put it on my dining room table to await my weaving in the rest of the ends (I'm about halfway through) and crocheting the neckband and armholes. And I counted the other projects on the table. Final tally: Triada scarf, Ines, Cookie, Lollipop, and tiny tee as well as a couple of other small bits and pieces.

I've been knitting and knitting but have wondered where all the finished objects went. Apparently, my dining room table has become...

The Black Hole of Finishing (dum dum dum)

I was sufficiently freaked out to finish finish (as opposed to finish in the sense of "I'm done with the major knitting but need to weave in ends, fix something, add a neckband" finished) a number of items.

The red one is the Cotton candy sweater
Knit from Pinguoin Corrida something (5 I think?) that has been in my stash forever.
Pattern from Midnight Knitter.

The pink one is Cookie from Rowan's Miss Bea's Rainy Days knit in the 3-4yr size in pink Cotton-Ease.

The red sweater is very stretchy and fits Bean now. Cookie, well, there's always next year!

For me

Rowan Linen Print book
Rowan Linen Print Blush (MC) and Refresher and Crush (CCs).

Meanwhile, I'm through the sixth repeat of FBS2: EB.

This means I'm about ready to cast on for another sweater. I'm thinking about the Wizard Sweater from Miss Bea's Dressing Upin turquoise Cotton-Ease with white stars. Cotton-Ease really is a perfect inexpensive substitute for Rowan's All Seasons's Cotton. I'm going to knit the edging in the main color rather than incorporate a third color as it specifies in the pattern. That will give Bean a pullover that will fit her this fall, since Cookie will be a bit big.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

For dinner last night the meal proceeded as follows:

Pour glass of wine. Make cheese sandwich for Bean..

Make salad for myself and my husband.

Try to eat salad.

Spend next 5 minutes trying to get Bean to sit at big table and
then decide that the three of us will sit at her little table.

Put cod in oven. Cod and sweet potatoes will not both fit in World's Smallest Oven.
Take potatoes out as they have been cooking for 75 minutes and are surely done.

Cook cod.

Try to cut open potatoes and discover they are curiously resistant to
heat and are still mostly raw. Put sweet potatoes in microwave.

Pour more wine.

Cod is done.

Eat cod while sitting on the floor.

Manage to convince child that fish is not contagious and it's OK to eat next to us.

Potatoes are done. Eat potatoes.

Listen to child expound on the disgusting nature of sweet potatoes and then sing
"Sister Suffragette" from Mary Poppins. Wonder what child would do with David Bowie's
"Suffragette City". Decide that as that song contains the phrase "Wham Bam Thank You
Ma'am" it would be best not to find out.

Remember salad. Pour more wine and eat salad for dessert. Do not feel European at all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pal o' mine

My secret pal rocks! Get a load of the booty. I feel pretty spoiled. There is a bar of Dagoba chocolate - a big favorite. A game. A little tin of groovy needle sizers. A rock that says Hope and has the kanji symbols for hope on it as well. And, of course, yarn.

Doodle the Poodle is shown at the right coveting the pink yarn.

Now, based on some emails we've traded, I'm pretty sure my SP had felting projects in mind when she sent me all of this glorious yarn. But, I looked at the pinks and the variegated and immediately started thinking up a sweater for Bean.

After she's done with it, then I can felt the yarn! Two gifts in one! The turquoise will be felted immediately!

AND, if that's not enough, the most adorable little knitting charm that depicts a ball of yarn with two needles stuck in it. I can't get a good picture but trust me, it's beyond cute.

How to seam. Notice the rest of the table covered in projects that need to be finished.

Tune in tomorrow to find out if I:

A.) Finished a major portion of those projects.

B.) Stuck them all in a closet and pretended they were finished so we could use the dining room table.

C.) Got drunk and went nuts with the scissors.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


I seem to have joined the lace craze taking the knitting community by storm.

I started FBS2: Electric Boogaloo*. I am starting the fourth repeat today. I'm really liking the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. It's yummy! This FBS will be a bit larger than the Cathay version. I have three skeins of Silky Wool (175m per skein) so I know I can easily knit 8 repeats and I may knit 9 depending on how bored I get at that point and how much I want to cast on for the next project.

It's extremely hard to get an accurate representation of the color. Trust me, it's very nice.

I also knit up to the point in Soleil where I divide for the front and the back. I'm going to finish the back and then worry about the front as I've decided to alter the neckline. As a short person, deep v-necks are often way too deep for my comfort. I'm also still going with the flow on the striping. Whereas the FBS is in a sophisticated color, Soleil is flat obnoxious. And I like it!

I'm trying very hard not to cast on for anything new until I complete Soleil.

I'm on the home stretch.

Must. Not. Knit. Denim. Yarn.

Must resist siren call of Rowan Memphis that really wants to become a sweater. Must.

*Someone wrote something about not being able to say anything "2" without adding Electric Boogaloo after it, and I have to admit that I have an embarrassing tendency to do the same.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

How Big Is Long?

The Cherry Tree Hill Oceania Never-Ending Shawl is progressing along nicely. I'm about 1/3 finished with it. It measures 37 inches long and around 50 inches wide at this stage. I'm trying to determine how much longer I'm going to knit on this sucker. The issue is that, while it is very long, it's not terribly wide. When I do the finishing triangles on the ends, the width will increase a bit. I guess I'll keep knitting until I am too bored to continue ;>

I will say that this has been a very relaxing knit. It's not the lovely lace of the FBS or the other fabulous things that the Summer of Lace is producing, but it's been a great mindless knit for a hot and overly busy summer! And it's going to be fun to wear. There is a little bit of angelina in the yarn that provides some fun sparkle without being overly "bling-bling"*.

You think this is a picture of a couple of tape measures, right? Not to the Bean. These are How Big Is Longs. About a year ago, she took one of my tape measures and walked around the house measuring things. She told me she had to find out how big is long. So, whenever you pull out your tape measure to measure something, remember to find out how big is long.

God help me I just used the word "bling".

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

FBS and Cocktail Weenies of Death

The Flower Basket Shawl is complete! A bit over three skeins of Debbie Bliss Cathay.

I gave it to my mother. I'm a bit underwhelmed at her response but that's the peril of knitting for others ;>

The Cathay blocked out beautifully and the points on the shawl are staying nice and pointy despite my worries that the cotton would present a problem.

Yesterday, I bought some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in a blackberry color to make an FBS for myself. I thought about just going for black, but black is so hard to knit and I knew I'd just get lost in the lace. This color is nice and dark but with enough color to be easier to see while knitting.

Looking at Ann's platter of Pigs in Blankets reminded me of a fabulous party recipe. The recipe originates with my mother, but I've tweaked it a bit.

Cocktail Weenies of Death

1 cup ketchup (I can't answer for the results if you use other than Heinz)
1 cup brown sugar slightly packed
1 cup of bourbon (Weller is our house pour)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 or 2 tablespoons sirracha chile sauce or Tabasco
2 pounds cocktail weenies

Put first five ingredients in a crock pot (or a large saucepan on meium low to low heat) and mix well - get the sugar dissolved. Drain package of weenies and add to crock pot or pan. Heat in sauce for around 2 hours. Stir every half an hour or so and make sure it's not bubbling too much. Take off the lid and avoid the stampede. Needless to say, this is not a child-friendly dish.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My milkshake is better than yours

You need approximately 4 ounces of chocolate milkshake to dilute the (admittedly nasty) flavor of 2 1/2 teaspoons of griseofulvin to an acceptable flavor for a three year old. I now need a beer to wash the nasty taste tests out of my mouth. The things I do for my child.

More fun ringworm facts: while ringworm on the body can be easily cured by the application of something like lotrimin, once it's on your scalp, it has pretty much invaded your body. That's why ringworm is not a big deal for most people. But no one in my family does anything halfway! The good thing is that they gave us a precription shampoo as well and between that and the medicine, she can still play with her friends and everything. At least it's not The Summer of Confinement.

In Bean Knitting News, I have some pretty duck egg blue Debbie Bliss Cotton Silk Aran. I'm thinking about Poppy again.

This starts me on my rant of how there are a few too many Debbie Bliss patterns that look really similar and have very similar construction. Two examples:

Poppy, Molly, Bolero, Fiery Bolero, Shrug

All of the above are boleros that look pretty similar.

Lola, Lara, Mia

The above three as well as Molly and Fiery Bolero (I haven't read the Bolero and Shrug patterns, so I'm not sure about how they are knit) are all knit in one piece from sleeve to sleeve.

I'm not saying they aren't good designs. After all, I've knit Lara, I'm knitting Fiery Bolero, and I'm about to start Poppy. I'm sure you could come up with a similar theory for Rowan patterns but, if so, it's at least not half so obvious to the casual observer. But, Rowan has a number of designers so, while the work may have similarities within the porfolio of a designer, overall there are enough different designers to make it a bit more interesting. To me, Bliss is starting to get repetitive enough to where a few other designers under her umbrella might help. Alternately, I guess you could think of these as her "signature patterns". Or, maybe I'm just overthinking the whole thing as usual.

Medicated milkshakes and Cookie crumbles

The first dosage of the ringworm medication went down with a heaping helping of hysterics. I feel like the worst kind of dog making my child cry and utterly helpless at knowing that we were going to have to go through this every freaking day for the next two months. Then, my brilliant husband saw the trees through the forest and told me to make milkshakes. Now I'm on a quest to figure out the minimum amount of milkshake needed to disguide the taste of this nasty medication. And hoping like hell that the Bean doesn't get tired of milkshakes!

Yarn souvenir from Creative Corner in Des Moines, Iowa!

Opal Handpainted!

Cookie is seamed and complete minus a collar.

I tried the sweater on Bean.

It's a bit big.

You're thinking that this "mistake" could have very easily been avoided if I'd taken her measurements properly. Ah, but I did take her measurements. You know how sometimes you want a big. sloppy sweater to hang out in? And, although it's way too wide and long. it still looks good? I knit Cookie too big to see just how big it could be before it was "too big in the wrong size sense" rather than "just a bit big and sloppy". Because children's clothing only fits for a short time and, while I want the things I knit to look nice on my daughter, it certainly doesn't hurt me if it fits her for a couple of years.

I knew it would fit at some point, so it's not like it was wasted effort. I've dicovered that I need to knit the 2-3 year size in the sweaters in the Miss Bea's books and add a bit of length to extend their lifetime.

I may wait to knit the collar until the sweater is closer to fitting her.

Now I have to start another sweater that will fit her this year ;>

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Just turn on a fan

Yesterday afternoon, we had a whopper of a storm. An hour of hard rain and about 20 minutes of marble-sized hail. The power went out and didn't come back on until almost 9.30pm. It's funny how bored I got last night when it was too early to go to bed. My husband and I started laughing and I said, "Gee, I guess we could talk to each other or something." I wasn't quite up to knitting by candlelight. I'm all for romance, but I needed my arm to fan myself.

I called my mother to let her know about the storm. Oddly, they live 10 minutes away and didn't get the storm at all. I told her about the power being out and said it was getting a bit hot and she said, "At least you have fans to keep you cool!" Uh, yeah. I have a magazine and my arm...

For some reason, my mother always thinks that if the air conditioner is off, that it's broken. She forgets the whole I don't have any electricity part of having no electricity. We have this conversation every time my power goes out. I live in a neighborhood where storms seem to concentrate and there are tons of trees - the power goes out alot.

I made the mistake of leaving the light switch on the Bean's room and after the power came back on, I tried to sneak in and turn it off but she woke up and told me, "That wasn't very nice of you to wake me up." She kept admonishing me and I started laughing. "Don't laugh at me!", she said. I told her, "I'm not laughing at you; I'm laughing because you make me happy."

This morning was the pediatric dermatologist. Bean has ringworm. (I knew it.) The treatment is TWO MONTHS of oral antifungal antibiotic. The only good part is that the medicine needs to be taken with fatty foods, which means I'm going to give her a bowl of ice cream when she takes her meds. I just need to remember that I am not being medicated and I do not need ice cream . I can just see it, "Child gets ringworm. Mother gains 20 pounds."

Edited to add: Woohoo, IT'S back! Now, if only they'd have it on cones!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Lucky after all

Yesterday, Bean and I were supposed to go to playgroup. I kept her home because we were both tired and because I don't know what this mysterious, baldness-inducing rash on her head is, but if it does turn out to be contagious, I'd rather not have to call everyone in playgroup about it. I was talking about the whole thing with a good friend on Thursday and saying, "At least if it is contagious, it's not very contagious or we'd all have it. And Thank God it's not something awful like lice."

Last night, my friend calls me. One of the mothers at playgroup found lice yesterday afternoon on both herself and her child. At least I'm not having to deal with that particular drama.!!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Tripping Pt1

Since Bean is now three, we decided to try and travel light. Dr. Pig and I used to be the sort of people who could take one small suitcase and a daypack for a long weekend trip. Having a child changes that because not only do you need all of the child-related items, it's a good idea to pack a few extra shirts and such for yourself because of the inevitable Attack of the Jelly Hands (or Yogurt Face).

I asked Bean to help me pack. I told to pick three toys to take with her and we picked 5 videos. The Dr. and I decided that we wouldn't let her know we had the travel VCR until we really needed it. The only packing problem came while we were in Iowa and Bean realized she did not have any dress-up clothes with her.
"But I want to be a priiiiiiiiinceeeeeeesssssss."
"Sweetie, you are always a princess."
"I can't be a princess in shorts."
Fortunately, I had packed an extremely twirly dress that sufficed when combined with the ballerina slippers.

We didn't leave until around 1pm on Friday, but made it to Carthage, Missouri in reasonable time.

We got a king bed for all of us.

I used to have some nostalgia for all the time The Bean spent in utero elbowing me in the ribs and digging her feet into the sciatic nerves in the left leg (she was transverse). After the reanctment that was staged Friday night, I think I'm over it.

Saturday, we had the choice of going to the Precious Moments Chapel (only with tongues firmly in cheeks), but decided instead to make the Annual Pilgrimage to Cabela's in KC. For the uninitiated, Cabela's bills itself as The World's Foremost Outfitter. They have a great selection of cute t-shirts and "sporty" clothes and we always get a few things. They also have several huge fresh water aquariums with sport fish in them and a disturbing number of taxidermied wild animals around the store. The Bean thought it was great. While I would have given quite alot to be able to go into KC to eat a burnt ends sandwich at Arthur Bryant's*, that would have extended our trip by an undoable amount, so I had to make do with a grilled chicken salad at the Cabela's restaurant (the place is seriously huge). Bean was able to get a bowl of Cheerios and a cup of yogurt, so it was probably a better deal because there is no food at Bryant's that we'd be able to get her to eat.

We didn't make it to Iowa until dinnertime. Notice I haven't mentioned the VCR yet! And I did not spend the whole time entertaining her. Instead, I finished the back of Cookie!

The 4th in the Dr's hometown is always filled with alot of fireworks and visits to old friends who still live in the area. The people across the street from my in-laws had some serious fireworks going on. I don't know how much money they spent, but I'd estimate into the serious hundreds. Of course, we had a few as well, but nothing like the semi-pro set-ups across the street. Bean was most impressed and not frightened at all. I've learned that the main thing is all how you sell it. Last year, I told her the fireworks were "pop-pops" and it was just noise. She accepted that explanation and found it all fun this year. She doesn't like the really loud stuff, but she just covers her ears and laughs.

Later: the mini-midway, the parade, the catfight, pictures, and yarn.

*I will always be loyal to Texas barbeque over other versions, but I have to admit that the burnt ends make me seriously consider alternate barbeque religions. Thank you to Poppymom for continuing to torture me about my failure to accomplish the mission this trip.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Because you were all waiting with bated* breath

Went to the grocery store. Have food. Tummy happy.

Made anti-baldness appointment with pediatric dermatologist. Recommended doctor is in a teaching hospital and only sees patients on Tuesdays. Other recommended doc had no appointments until two weeks from now. By which time, I imagine the side of Bean's head would be pretty damn bare. So, at the horrifyingly early hour of 8.15 am next Tuesday, I have an appointment. I say horrifying not because 8.15 is that early, but because I will have to leave the house at around 7.15 to get there on time. Which means I have to wrangle the Bean out off the house at 7.15 am. I was hoping I wouldn't have to do that until kindergarten.

Bean's favorite new movie is Mary Poppins.

Must not forget to pick up dog from vet's in about an hour.

Requisite knitting content: Over the course of the trip, I finished the pieces of Cookie, knit a great whack of Fiery Bolero before discovering that my row gauge is waaaaaaaaay off, and knit a few inches of Soleil. Am currently trying to decide if I should just finish the bolero and enjoy a roomy fit or set the project on fire.

* Yes, it is bated and not "baited". I always cringe whenever I see "baited." And imagine that person with fish breath. For more info, go here.

Take a deep breath

Whenever I get back from I trip I get all frantic about unpacking and doing all the laundry and sorting the mail and and and...

It woon't kill anyone if I don't vacuum today even if there is dog hair on the floor.

It's OK to get all the laundry done and put away, but I don't *have* to unpack the suitcases today. Really, they can wait.

I should go to the grocery store because food is a nice thing to have in the house. But, we do have milk and bread and a bunch of frozen veggies so if I don't have time to go today, Dr. Pig and I can order out and I still have food for The Bean. Because she's three and she's Picky.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th

Remote bloggin from Iowa. Oh, do I have some stories to tell you when I get back. for now, a few teasers will have to suffice because this is dial-up.

Cat Fight at the town parade. Grown women walloping each other. My regret is that I had no video camera to cature the event and send off for Cops. Maybe I should have gotten that camera phone after all.

The proposed visit to the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri was scrapped in favor of the Annual Pilgrimage to Cabela's.

This afternoon is the family picnic. It will be a nice, mellow picnic punctuated by more fireworks than I think Dr. Pig will be able to set off in the next two days. You would not believe the fireworks that get set off here by the residents.

The pictures will be worth it.