Friday, June 30, 2006

The Good Stuff

I made it through yesterday with most of my mind still intact. And I washed and folded all the damn towels!

Today, there is not much food in the house other than condiments. (Mustard sandwich, anyone? I have six kinds of mustard!) Bean and I will be making a major grocery run and hit both SuperTarget and Central Market.

We have had a major schedule change, as well. Bean does better when she eats around 5.30 or so and, frankly, so do I. If I wait and eat dinner with my husband at 7pm, I need a snack at 5 because I'm really hungry. About a week ago, I decided that I am going to eat with Bean and if he can make it home to eat with us, that's fabulous, but it's either eat early or buy a new wardrobe and I'm damned if I'm buying larger pants. Even if I start off with an apple, I'm into the cheese and crackers and then the game is over. I have cheese and crackers because I have a four-year-old.

Bean eats like we should all eat - mostly whole grains and raw veggies and fruit with very little meat or cheese. Last night, she and I had some pasta and a plate of fresh veggies (red peppers, carrots, tomatoes, celery and cucumber) with fruit for dessert (she had some vanilla ice cream with hers). I feel great after meals like that. When my husband got home, he had pretty much the same thing, with the addition of a pork chop. We sat around the table and watched him eat and she and I played SlapJack. Not a bad night.

Bean's toe looks a million times better this morning, which is a relief. So, it's going to be a good day.

I'm going to have a good day or go down trying.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Forget the martinis, Carole, I'm going for straight from the bottle.

Today, I managed to break a glass in the garage. Why I was carrying a glass in the garage is beyond me, but the damn thing exploded like a bomb. I'm fine, but it was just so much fun cleaning it up. At least no one has to sweep the garage floor anytime soon.

Since the den carpet is out being cleaned after last week's dog-peeing-on-the-rug extravanganza, I decided to let Bean sit in the den and watch TV while soaking her foot. She decided to reinact the effects of all that rain in the Northeast and dumped the entire basin of water on the den floor.

Major points to me because I did not even yell.

I very calmly sent her to her room, emptied the laundry room of dog towels, and began mopping up. And hour later and the floodwaters have receded, the slipcover on one of the den chairs is in the wash (I have no idea what Epsom salts do to upholstery and decided not to wait and find out) and I have mopped.

At least I had moved my knitting to the bedroom, so no Calmer was harmed in the flood.

Now I have to go back to washing because I have a couple of loads of sopping wet dog towels on the back patio waiting for their turn.

My mantra today: I will not have a screaming tantrum I will not have a screaming tantrum I willnothaveascreamingtantrum.

At least, not yet.

The Week So Far

Sort of like the Bridge Too Far.

In-laws came, went and conquered. Very pleasant visit.

Bean ripped a huge chunk off the nail of her big toe. She's now addicted to soaking her feet in Epsom salts, but I'm keeping a close eye on it. It is, of course, at the side of her nailbed and I'm concerned that she'll get an ingrown toenail.

My allergies are killing me.

Despite the fact that I walk/run three miles a day, I have suddenly gained 5 pounds.

My tooth hurts.

I have not had the time to knit, which ticks me off to no end. Unfortunately, the two projects I'm currently knitting are CeCe and the Diamond Fantasy Scarf. Must cast on for a sock so I have something brainless to knit.

I did read Skinny Dip by Carl Hiassen. I love Carl Hiassen - he cracks me up.

Tomorrow is Friday. Yay!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I had the permanent crown put on this morning and Holy Crap but it hurt. The dentist used some super-flouridated adhesive that went straight to the nerve and gave me one helluva headache. It was bad enough that he had to give me a couple of Advil just so I could leave the office. I haven't needed any other meds today, but now that I'm back home and not running around on errands, I can feel the headache starting up again.

I really will get back to decent posts soon. Things have been busy around here and fairly boring, so no posts.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I have loaded around 3500 songs to the iPod. I still have several drawers of CDs to go.

I wish it were easy to get tapes digitized. Because, Dude, I have most of the 80s and 90s on tape and there is some damn good shit lost in those boxes. Admittedly, there is some shit shit in the boxes as well, but I used to buy everything on tape because all I had was a boom box.

I don't think I'm going to attempt to digitize the albums. That would be work. It boggles my mind that I even have the option.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The outlaws descend upon us in about three hours.

Things I have done:
Clean the hell out of the entire house. Including many of the closets.
Knit half a cupcake for tomorrow's One Skein class.

Things I have not done:
Finish the damn cupcake
Cook chicken with which to make chicken salad for dinner.
Make said chicken salad.
Clean off kitchen counter and table.
Get my ass out of the chair to do anything really productive other than go for my 3-mile today.

The upside is that my lovely husband is taking Bean with him to the airport, we have a fridge full of beer, Bean is currently napping - thus guaranteeing a cheerful child later today, we have beer AND wine, chicken salad doesn't take very long to make, the top of the cupcake won't take long to knit, we have limoncello in the freezer, I mopped a few days ago so the floor is pretty clean, it takes 15 seconds to sweep everything from the counters and table into a pile and stuff it somewhere, and we have beer and wine and limoncello and xanax.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Here's to cashmere

What to my wondering eyes should appear in the mail today?

A package from my fabulous One Skein pal. A skein of cashmere yarn, some nice smelling candles and fun M&Ms chocolate Lip Smackers, which totally cracked me up because when I was a kid I always had my Bonne Bell Lip Smackers.

My fave was the Dr. Pepper one. Inevitably, the dog would find my smelly lip glosses and hide under my bed to eat them, growling at me if I tried to intervene. What fun!

Salves the sting of my idiocy with the gas door yesterday...

I haven't been knitting much because I've been otherwise occupied. With my birthday present of an iPod.

I've ripped about half of my CDs at this point. I've discovered that I have a heckuvalotof CDs.

We have been in the process of planning a nice family vacation to Taos for the Wool Festival, Santa Fe, and the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. Come to realize that at some point during that time, my husband may be in Japan for a conference. (No, I don't get to go this time.) Ixnay on the anplay.

My husband overestimated the level of my disappointment and decided to make it up to me by booking the family a lovely vacation to La Cantera outside of San Antonio a bit later this summer. It'll be hotter than hell in July, but it's going to be even hotter here so what the hell. (Pun intended.) I'm a lucky woman!

We'll probably stop in Austin on the way back. Of course, it'll be the week before Stephanie Pearl-McPhee will be at Hill Country Weavers. The last time we went to Austin, it was the week before the Habu show. Do I have timing or what? Maybe I'll get lucky and she'll make a quick stop in Dallas. I'll be relaxed enough after a few massages that I won't care much ;>

A Very Expensive Day

Productivity doesn't pay.

Yesterday, I was all efficient getting my errands run. Got gasoline. Ran the car through the car wash. Booked the babysitter so a client of my husband's could take us to dinner last night. I finished cleaning out the junk room, tossed a bunch more stuff and organized the rest into bags for photos, office supplies, paperwork to be filed, etc. I cleaned my closet. I cleaned Bean's closet. Washed the sheets in the guest room and remade the bed and put out towels for the in-laws for this weekend.

Dude, I was prepared.

We went to get in the car last night and discovered that I had managed to rip off the gas door in the car wash.

We got home from dinner and the dog saw us and peed on the nice carpet. Granted, the carpet was due for it's yearly cleaning, nevertheless, I wasn't planning on having the carpet people pick it up today.

Grr. So much for a clean and organized home. No matter what I do, the Fates are going to spite me. I guess they are getting even for my rant yesterday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Things to remember in summer

Summer in Texas is hot. We are the type of people who realize that we're about to break the record for most days over 100F, and we root for the hot. We wear long pants and long sleeved shirts to the office or grocery and take a sweatshirt to movies because we know that the few seconds of sweat in the parking lot are going to be greeted with a blast of arctic air inside.

The North has windchill; we have a heat index. Y'all have ridiculous heating bills; we can't sleep with the windows open because the low is in the 90s.

I know it's hot. But, please consider the following:

If your abs cannot sustain a pack rating of a minimum of four, please put on a shirt.

If you have enough body hair to confuse a person as to whether you are coming or going, please put on a shirt.

If you are one of those guys who gets sweaty and rashy in the sun, KEEP YOUR DAMN SHIRT ON.

Seriously, Target sells really cheap running singlets (tank tops) for guys. Buy some and spare us the view. I know you are the guys who would be the first to comment on my figure were I to embark on my morning run in a sports bra and Sharks (do they still sell Sharks?). Get some self awareness and realize you are no longer 23. It's great that you can still wear the same waist size you did in high school, but dude, your inseam used to be 32" and it's now 24" due to dunlop's disease (his belly done lopped over his belt).

And those of you who are in fabulous condition, have 12 packs, a lovely tan, and are veritable Greek gods of physical perfection?

Set a good example and put a shirt on anyway.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I have been b-u-s-y. Lots of knitting for classes and none for me. And tons of cleaning. My in-laws are visiting this weekend, and the spring cleaning bug has bitten me hard. A bit late, but a bad bite nonetheless. I took all the laundry stuff off of it's shelf, cleaned the shelf, washed all the cleaning rags, and put them in a box and put everything back. I cleaned out my junk room.

To give you some perspective on the seriousness of the situation, I've been destashing. Now, it's not to the point where you really have to worry, because I haven't gotten to the ironing yet. But the week is young and I might...

The Knit Kit Questionnaire:

What are your favorite colors? Bright colors. Reds, oranges, pinks, blues, purples. I usually loathe yellow or green (unless it’s chartreuse), however I don’t mind if it’s just a touch of those colors. I don’t like earth tones or pastels.

Are you a new sock knitter? How long have you been knitting socks? I’ve been knitting socks for a few years now.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? I love multicolored yarns or variegated solids (lighter and darker variations on the same color).

What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn? Wool.

Where do you usually knit socks? Everywhere. That’s the wonderful thing about socks – they are so portable.

How do you usually carry/store small projects? I have a sock bag but I usually keep several socks going at one time so I’ll be definitely using the bag from this swap!!!

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns? I change all the time.

What are your favorite sock knitting techniques? I like to experiment. As long as it doesn’t require insane levels of concentration, I’ll try it.

What new techniques would you like to try? Dunno.

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting? DPNs

What are some of your favorite yarns? Koigu, Socks That Rock

What yarn do you totally covet? Sock Hop, Vesper, and Fleece Artist

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? Never thought about it. I knit socks to have a portable, fun project. I don’t want to knit something really complicated – it takes the fun out of it and makes it harder to enjoy the process. (You hear that, Margene? ;>)

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? Crystal Palace DPNs, Addi Turbos.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Superwash wool in fun, bright colors.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? Chocolate.

What’s your favorite animal? I have been informed that I have to say lemur.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? I have a 5-year-old dog and a 4-year-old daughter ;>

If you were a color what color would you be? Red or bright pink.

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s). I have a wonderful soft striped shirt that has embroidered flowers all over it. Comfortable and funky.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? The sky. We have big sky here in Texas.

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read. It's not necessarily the best quote ever, but the funniest one lately is: "If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?" Steven Wright

(Personally, I think Barbies have some sort of asexual reproductive ability - it's the only explanation for the ever-increasing number of Barbies that are dumped out of the Barbie box.)

Do you have a wishlist? Nope

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? I need my bangs trimmed.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Meme from Margene and Cara .

Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Birthday Presents

I'm as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.

I inadvertently sort of shot myself in the foot for my birthday. I get to have a crown put on today. Or, rather, the first part of the crown. Whee! I grind my teeth and, while I had a huge cold earlier this spring, I went a few nights without my mouth guard in order to be able to breathe easier. Bad move on my part. A friend of mine called me a few minutes ago and said, "At least you'll be the Birthday Queen now." Funny stuff.

Oh well, at least I like my dentist.

And, Bean seems to have picked up a cold, so I don't think she's going to be attending MDO summer camp today. There go my lunch plans.

Ah well, with maturity (cough, cough) comes the ability to deal with adversity. And the foresight to ensure I have limes with which to concoct birthday margaritas!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

K is for Kinky!

Yes, I was early for M yesterday, but I'm really late for K today.

K is for Kinky! I don't know if I'm going to vote for him, but it's nice to have the choice. Frankly, anyone would be better than our current governor, the Kenbot Rick Perry.

The Diamond Fantasy Scarf is progressing nicely. The STR medium weight is wonderful to knit with. I'm not sure I'm going to do a larger one with the Kidlin Pixie, though. I think I'm going to be teaching a lace class at the shop in a month or so and I want to use the Flower Basket Shawl as a beginner pattern. Therefore, I need to knit another FBS.

I thought alot about what would be a good beginner lace pattern. The advantages of the Flower Basket Shawl:

The pattern makes a lovely small shawl, but can be easily continued through more repeats to make a larger shawl without requiring any math from the knitter.

It uses a provisional cast on.

The pattern itself is relatively easy and you can use stitch markers easily (unlike DFS where the stitch markers just got me in trouble). The border is also easy.

You can use almost any thinner yarn - The class is going to use Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool - two skeins make a slightly larger FBS. I knit this pattern using Silky Wool last year and was very pleased with the results. It's gorgeous, very comfortable for Texas weather, and easy to frog.

And, most importantly, this will be my third FBS, so I know the pattern well enough to be able to spot errors without having to sit down and stare at the darn thing for half an hour to figure out where it all went wrong.

So, if you have any lace knitting tips that you think are really helpful for beginners (not beginning knitters, but rather people who have not knit lace), please let me know!!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

M is for Matching

Or, rather, not matching.

Jaywalkers socks
STR Lightweight Hard Rock colorway
Clover 1 DPNs

Both socks were knit the same with the same skein of yarn. One flashed all the way down the foot and the other one didn't flash at all. Wierd. It doesn't bother me in the slightest, other than wondering how I managed to get the last one to not flash.

My Dyeorama pal that I sent to was Jacki (Lufah) at Cidermoon. She told me her dream yarn would be turquoises with brown and gold. I think I nailed it. She seems very happy. The yarn is brighter than in this picture.

I used a combination of drinks mixes and Spectrum food dyes. The brown is tamarind Kool Aid. The gold/orange is a mix of mango and tamarind.

The blues were dyed in two sections. The lighter section I dyed dry so the yarn soaked up all of the dye before I even got it into the microwave. Then I overdyed it with more Wyler's Berry Burst mixed with a touch of the Spectrum blue. The result was a fairly regular heathered effect.

The darker blue - which is a true turquoise - was dyed using a drop of green Spectrum, some blue Spectrum, and more of the Wyler's. I was very pleased with the results. I dyed it in very long sections, so it should produce long stripes of different blues with shorter stripes of the gold and brown. I can't wait to see this skein knit up!

This week starts Birthday Week! Last night, I went out for mojitos and Cuban food with a few friends and the festivities will continue for most of the week. The Bean is extremely excited and keeps asking me if I want a Princess party or maybe a zoo party. I take it we need to go to the zoo soon.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

L is for Lethargy




Granted this is the car thermometer and it runs a few degrees hot, nevertheless it's early June and we've seen over 100F all week.

It's gonna be a scorcher this summer.

Thank goodness I have lots of friends who have swimming pools. Because the best kind of pool is a friend's pool.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Town & Country

Not only was there a ten thousand square foot lakehouse; there was a 2500 sq ft guest house with 4 bedrooms, lighted tennis courts, boat docks, piers, and the most fabulous pool complete with a little poolhouse with wet bar and two bathrooms. The poolside and cabana furniture was all from Smith & Hawken. I'll bet they spent about as much on poolside furniture as I've spent furnishing my whole house. Of course, their guest house for the lakehouse is bigger than my house! And the interiors are gorgeous. Unbelievably gorgeous with fun touch like lamps made from bait cans and other cool stuff that managed to look fun without being overdone. It was an amazing time and I'm sorry I can't show pictures. I don't have any problems showing pictures of my stuff, but I can't show pics of things belonging to friends' of mine. It just feels wierd. And really, I can't ask her because she'll think I'm a nutburger. Suffice it to say that the whole thing should be featured in a magazine and, if it ever is, I'll notify y'all.

My Dyeorama yarn has been dyed and mailed. It turned out gorgeous. It's not even my colors and I'm sorry I can't keep it. I'll post pictures once she gets the yarn. I dyed it into very long repeats, so it should stripe. I also managed to get one color that should at least heather but maybe even jacquard a bit! Woohoo!

Friday, June 02, 2006

The other half

As I've mentioned before, I'm on the board of a local charity. Every summer, we have a board retreat. This weekend, I'm going about an hour away to Corsicana to the lakehouse of some people who have more money than God. These people are seriously wealthy. They don't just have university buildings named after them; no, they have a *school* within the university named after them.

I was informed that, "we can sleep 16 in beds and then we'll have to pull out the air mattresses." I asked if I needed to bring a sleeping bag and she laughed and said they had everything we needed. Apparently, the "lakehouse" is about 10,000 square feet (yes, you read that right, ten thousand square feet). I don't know if that's right, but Holy Cow - even if it's close that's like 5 of my house.

It's going to be an interesting weekend. Unfortunately, none of them knit.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oh yeah, that knitting thing

Still doing it.

A pair of Jaywalkers knit in STR Rock Star. I'm to the gusset on the second sock.

The bottom sock is the first in a pair of Oak Ribbed Socks from Nancy Bush's amazingly good Knitting Vintage Socks.
I'm using some Regia 4-ply in Party.

I like Knitting on the Road but I love Vintage Socks. Sometimes, it's hard to match a variegated yarn to a pattern and really make the most of both. The ribbed socks in this book are great for variegated yarns. They give the yarns just enough oomph (and offer a more interesting knit).

The Oak Ribbed Sock uses a French Heel and a Round Toe. The French Heel is supposed to fit a high arch well. I have extremely high arches and, upon reading the heel pattern, I had my doubts. But, I should have trusted Nancy Bush. This is a great fitting sock. Although the ribbing helps a great deal. I can see more ribbed socks from this book in my future.

This is the beginning of my first Amazing Lace project. Yes, I said first.

This is the Diamond Fantasy Scarf. I'm using Socks That Rock medium weight in Ruby Slippers.

The wonderful Cara sent me this yarn and it's just fabulous. Nice and squishy and gorgeous colors. Forget Socks That Rock - it's now also Shawls that Rock!

I'm probably going to knit a Diamond Fantasy Shawl in the Kidlin Pixie I was dithering about a few weeks ago. My main problem with the Pixie is that I only have 750 yards and many of the patterns I was considering required prayers and pattern alterations, which is more work than I want for the summer. The shawl version of DFS should come out perfectly without pattern alterations. Yes, this will give me two red DFS versions, but one is variegated superwash merino and the other solid linen and mohair "laceweight" (Louet says laceweight, but I think it's more like "not quite fingering"). And I love red. So, enough variation for me.