Monday, December 29, 2008

W is for ...

Weather appropriate knitwear. Yah, I am stretching it here for the abc-along but dudes! I'm running out of time. I knit my MiL the Spiral Hat from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. I wanted to take pictures so that I could send it off quick so that it gets to her in time for her birthday which is in two days. Which meant I had to hurry. Which meant I did a photo shoot in the bathroom. Which meant I didn't have time to shower and get all done up. Which meant that when my hair was down I looked like Slash.



Looking like Slash has advantages I'm sure, probably, for someone, but it seemed like all that hair was distracting from the hat. Unfortunately, without all that hair, I kind of took on a phallic form. Looking like a giant phallus? Also distracting from the hat.



I tried to get a picture of the back of the hat, I got two! Bonus!



After a quick scan of the photos, I realized that the lighting was off. Way off. So I moved to the other bathroom. But I was sick of the hat photo shoot by then and started farting around. I ended with a picture of the Cat in the Hat. It amused me!



So. I knit a hat for my MiL. I tried to have it done by Christmas but I cannot knit a hat in the time it takes to drive to New Joisey, so ix-nay on the hristmas-Cay resent-pay. It was really easy to knit and now I am gonna try to get it to her for her birthday. She can wear it in the winter, thus it will be weather appropriate. The End!



Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa, Sympathie, Color 3, Lot 3082, part of 2 skeins (note: I double-stranded the yarn). This is the same yarn I used to knit LB's sweater.
Needles: Susan Bates Circ, size 5.0 mm (US 8)
Pattern: Spiral Hat
Modifications: None.
Time: Three days.
Care: Hand wash cold and dry flat in shade or dry clean.

Satan Claus



As noted, I did in fact finish LB's stocking in time for Christmas. One might say it was a Christmas miracle considering all of the trials and tribulations it took to get to the finish line. In any event, come Christmas Eve, the stocking was hung by the chimney with care. A WHOLE LOT OF CARE! And, it made it to Christmas morning still full and still hanging.



Let's start with the good. I love this stocking. I think it's beautiful. I feel like it is whimsical and fun, yet not overly childish. Something LB will enjoy as a kid and appreciate as an adult. I love the design. I love the angora on Santa's beard and eye brows. I love the bedazzled bits. I love the little single stitches on the foot that look like hearts. Visually this stocking just does me right.



The knitting of the stocking was quite easy. Having knit a gazillion socks I did have some stocking-like experience. Nonetheless, I felt that the pattern was clear, straight forward, and easy to follow. The pattern was well written ... sort of. There was a small glitch. The pattern, a stock pattern for all of the stockings made by the company, is written for a stocking knit from the top down. The sample picture of this stocking, however, is of a stocking knit toe up. So though the pattern is great, it isn't exactly like the picture which might make someone, say someone neurotic and detail-oriented like me, twitchy. It isn't a huge difference, but it irked me. It made my eye twitch. I really wanted the foot stitches to be oriented to look like hearts. Also, I felt the snow looked more melty when they were oriented in the toe-up way. So after my first goof, I re-knit the stocking from the toe up. I used basic toe-up sock stuff, like a star toe done with increases instead of decreases, but used the pattern's stitch numbers. I also knit the stocking in the round, up to the chimney.



The bedazzling was also pretty easy. I felt like you needed a little intuition to make the package bows, but it worked out fine. I'm not such a great seamstress so the antlers and the chimney cement are not prefect, but they are good enough. In the end the bedazzled bits make me smile and feel all warm and squishy.

But even though I have a whole lot of love for the stocking, I also have a whole lot of fuckin-piece-of-shit-asshole for it too. Here's the bad. There was the whole bleeding thing. That REALLY upset me. When it dried and was still pretty pink, I wrote to the company, which I think is actually one woman. I first wrote on December 11, explaining what happened, noting that the instructions specifically said to block the stocking and asking for a miracle cure or a new stocking kit.

The response was not exactly what I expected. The woman stated that you never wet block anything red and recommended I use Rit dye remover or Synthrapol. She also noted that, "I did not state that items should not be wet blocked, probably because I have never thought of wet blocking anything, other than just lightly spraying an item with a fine mist, or as I said, lightly steaming it. I have washed many of these stockings with no problem, but I always use a really good wool wash like Eucalan." Ironically, I had wet blocked Monsieur Stocking in Eucalan. Not ironically, she made me feel like a dumbass.

I was unable to find a Rit dye remover that said it was okay for colors. The ones I found said for whites only or stated that they would fade colors. Not really viable options. I also did not find any Synthrapol. I ended up using Rit white brightener which stated that it was color safe. When that helped, but didn't solve the problem, I used Sharon's Solution (aside: I really like this for yellowed heirlooms like linen table cloths; it's never done me wrong). After using both (separately), a lot of the pink was out and most of the grey was out too. Unfortunately, some of the fibers were weakened so that several of the floats snapped. Or rather disintegrated. This happened in the foot area of the stocking, which got me all pissed off again, since the foot is what takes the weight of all of the stuff in the stocking. I was able to tie off all of the floats, or weave them in when there wasn't enough to tie off, so that the stocking looked okay from the outside.



At this point I didn't have enough time to knit a new stocking, had I even had one to knit, so I decided to proceed as planned and hope for the best. I bedazzled Sir Stocking and stitched him up. Oh how I suck at mattress stitch. My sucktastic mattress stitching is not the stocking's fault though.

Once the stocking was done, it was time for the liner. I had a friend sew the lining on her sewing machine (thanks Zazoo!!) and we made it smaller than the stocking itself.



I thought that if I made the lining slightly smaller than the stocking, it would take the brunt of the weight of all of the goodies inside. I am sure that LB will be quite irked by this when she is older and her stocking only holds one toothbrush and three chocolate kisses. In any event, once the lining was done, I hand-stitched it into the stocking. Let me re-phrase that, I stitch the ever-lovin-shit out of that bad boy. I figured that the smaller sized lining would do me no good if it fell into the stocking so I REALLY sewed it on. In hindsight I think that since the white floats snapped, and not the main red ones, the stocking probably won't fall apart if it gets weighed down. But I am a safety girl, so the smaller lining stays. Also, there is no way in hell I am unstitching it. I am so done with the stocking.

On Christmas Eve the stocking company woman wrote me, asking how the stocking was doing. I explained what I had done, down to the smaller liner, indicated I was stitching it in that night and hoping for the best. She responded by asking that I send her the stocking after the holidays and indicating that she would send me a new kit. Um, ??? I just spent a month of my life in high anxiety getting this stocking together. My daughter then used it for her first Christmas. I ain't giving it up. So I told her that I didn't want to give it up. I thought maybe she thought I had been trying to scam a free stocking kit from her, so I attached pictures of the parts where the red dye was still noticeable. She, however, didn't care about that and wanted the stocking so she could send it to the yarn manufacturer to show them the broken/disintegrated bits. Despite my refusal to send the stocking to her, she is still offering me another stocking kit. Quite frankly, I think this is the right thing to do but the wrong time to do it. If she was going to replace the stocking, she should have done it back on December 11. The whole exchange makes me feel a little weird. There is nothing overt, she never says, "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. YOU ARE A MORON." but that is kinda the vibe I get. Maybe it is the tone of the e-mails? Maybe I am just sensitive? For whatever reason, my panties are bunched. Which, incidentally, totally annoys me because I love the stocking. I'd recommend the kits. I'd knit another. But yet ... grrr.

So that is the story of the stocking. But for the part where it is apparently demonic.



Both my husband and his brother feel that I have created Satan Claus, not Santa Claus. When Boo first mentioned this to me, I almost choked on the M&M (peanut butter of course) I was eating. He said something along the lines of, "It looks great but what's the deal with Satan Claus?" After dislodging the M&M from my esophagus, I laughed. I thought he was talking about all of the crap that I went through to get this stocking done ... like it was possessed by the devil or something. But no. He means that Santa looks like he wants to suck your soul right out of your body, and feast on your kidneys for desert. Something about the eyes or the eyebrows ... he can't pinpoint it. He just feels like his mortality is in danger if he looks Mister Claus in the eyes. Trying to disprove such silliness, I asked BiL5 his thoughts while he was here. He was solidly in the Satan camp. Bastard!



Yarn: Elegant Heirlooms, Googleheims Stocking Kit purchased from Angelika's Yarn Store
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace Circs, size 3.25 mm (US 4)
Pattern: "Here I Go"
Modifications: Knit toe-up. Knit some of it in the round. Added extra stripe around white name band so both top and bottom had a red and green stripe. Added bells to reindeer collar. Made Santa evil.
Time: One and a half months.
Care: Prayer.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Joyous Festivus For the Rest of Us

The Danny DeVito of Christmas trees wishes you a happy holiday ...



And notes that even the dimmest, most flattering lighting can't make one look all that much taller and thinner ...



For those that are extremely observant, you might notice that LB's stocking is hung by the chimney with care. It was done in time and will get it's own   rant   blog post soon!

Oh and in case you doubt the Danny Devitoness of our tree, I refer you to Slim Shady of 2006.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

UPS

Dear UPS Man:

Please accept my apology for flashing you my milky white legs. I know they stood out spectacularly against my black underwear and stained hot pink tee shirt. It was not my intention to great you sans pants. When I saw your truck and heard the bell ring, I thought you were ringing and running. I had no idea that you would still be in my driveway, let alone at my door awaiting my signature when I flung open my front door. Had I known, I never would have answered the door without my pants on. Heck, if I was expecting a delivery I would not have been pantsless while standing on the ladder in the middle of the huge picture window next to my front door, re-hanging my drapes. Honestly, I typically wear pants around strangers.

In any event, in addition to offering my apology, I would also like to offer my thanks. The fact that you maintained eye-contact, and played along with me, never acknowledging my pantsless state, the entire time I was signing your electronic whodickey was quite professional. If it was up to me, I would award you some type of UPS professionalism award for that.

Again, I'm sorry and thanks!
- SPR

Saturday, December 20, 2008

MIA

Dear Unknown Entity/Force:

Please quitting eating our socks, one at a time. If you really must, and by must I mean that you really need to eat our socks, this is a survival issue and not something you and your pals are doing for a good time, if you really must eat our socks, could you just take a pair? If one fills you up, save the other for later. A snack or even desert? If that's not good, then maybe you could store the extras, a baby sock might be an amuse-bouche next time? It would really be quite kind of you as this current one-at-a-time thing is making my eye twitch.

Sincerely,
SPR

P.S. Also, have you seen the middle of the foam O?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pavarotti

Today was a day of errands, which, in and of itself, not very noteworthy. It
was a day of errands which I ran with child in tow, which is also not very noteworthy, but pertinent to the story.

So after several hours and many stores, LB and I found ourselves at Lowe's looking at stuff for the bathroom re-model. She was at the end of her rope having run a lot of errands but she was trying to keep it together. We had picked out our medicine cabinet and a few other doodads and I was thinking it was about time to get her out of the store when it hit me. And by it, I mean the overwhelming need to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW! Do not stop, do not pass go, go NOW! Something had broken and needed immediate evacuation if you get my drift. Which, had I been home would have been no problem. Had I been at Lowe's by myself, or with LB and Boo, unpleasant, but still not a problem. But no, I am there with my infant, who is hermetically sealed into our shopping cart with some hippiedippie keep my kid germ-free seat, and a boatload, or cartload, of unpaid merchandise. Now there was no way I was going to be able to do what I had to do with LB on my lap which meant she had to come in with me. Which also meant that the cart was coming in too. But my cart was FULL and there was a big red sign saying not to bring "unpaid merchandise" into the loo. Unfortunately time was of the essence and there was no handy dandy table to load up with my unpaid merchandise, so me, I'm a badass. I looked right at that sign and I laughed, oh yes, I laughed as I pushed my unpaid merchandise laden cart right through that restroom door. Which you would think would be the end of the story ... Ha! Ha! Jenna pulled a George Costanza and brought stuff into the can. But no, there is more!

So into the loo we go and I am hurrying and I wheel us down into the handicap stall with the fervent hope that the kid and the cart will fit in the stall. Which, thankfully, they do. So, in we go. Everything goes smoothly and I am doing what I went in there to do, but while I am doing it I am talking to LB. Or, rather, I am providing her with commentary, via song. And she is not saying anything. Being that she was in the cart and I was, well, seated, we were at eye level and she is just staring at me with her "Dance for me Clown!" face. And I know that if I don't perform well the kid is going to lose her shit. So I am singing and I am making stuff up as I go, but it is hard to sing about things of a certain nature so maybe, just maybe, when I was finishing up, there might have been a verse which was something along the lines ... "Tee hee! I farted! Toot! Toot!" And that would be when a toilet a few doors down flushed.

Apparently in my hurry to get to the handicap stall, I neglected to notice that there was someone else in there. Needless to say, I felt a little dumb. But, being a mature adult, comfortable with the fact that I am human and do what humans do, I didn't say anything. No, instead, I waited (hid) until I heard the random woman open the main door to exit my stall. I figured she would never see us and I could escape unseen, if not unheard. Unfortunately my timing was off, as was my luck, and so time slows down and this woman looks over her shoulder towards my stall as she is exiting and she sees this huge, filled to capacity cart, emerge from the handicap stall. Then she sees the kid in the front. Then she sees me. And, what does she do? Does she keep going and leave? No! Does she, having made eye contact, totally inappropriate eye contact, smile and then leave? No! She stops, coos at LB and then says to me, "What a beautiful little girl!" Lady, I just committed some sort of crime against nature in that stall, and I sang about it, OUT LOUD, to my kid and you want to talk to me? Seriously?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pitiful

I haven't looked at the stocking yet so we're not gonna talk about that.

No, instead, let me tell you about the most pitiful e-mail that I've seen in a long time! It went out to our knitting group and was concerning food for our holiday party. Due to allergies, pregnancy, nursing, and general health stuff, we have some food restrictions. Doesn't seem like a big deal right? Well, when you speak to one person with one issue, isn't such a bad thing. But, when you line them up all together, HOLY CRAP!

Amongst ten or so people we have folks who can't do dairy, gluten, nuts, wheat, corn, potato, sugar or eggs. We also have a vegetarian and a sorta-vegetarian (though, quite frankly, I think this category is lame and should not exist because you either eat the animal or you don't, the end. Eating only chicken or only fish or only bacon makes you NOT a vegetarian ... you might be picky but you are not a vegetarian since the definition of a vegetarian is one who does not eat meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc. According to Wikipedia there are semi-vegetarian diets like flexitarian but I have to say that I think the internet made this shit up. I'm a flexitarian? Bah! Just man up and say you are a picky eater. And, this is all I have to about that!) and a total anti-vegetarian. Seriously? I'm not even sure that if we went to a restaurant that we could find someplace that could feed everyone. Initially, before this e-mail went out, I planned to make the good ole stand-by cheesy-chicken crescent rolls. In light of the list, this knocks out the no gluten people, the no wheat people, the no dairy people, and the vegetarian and it might knock out the sorta-vegetarian, so basically I'd need to make like three crescent rolls ... Boo would be happy because he would get a lot of leftovers but it wouldn't be very holiday spiritish. Someone jokingly suggested that we each just bring our own meal and I was like FOR REALS YO! I like me some meat and cheese. Wrap in a bread product and hot-friggin-damn! Can you say cheesy pigs in a blanket? But again, not in that holiday spirit.

Having been on a no-sugar lo-carb diet when I was pregnant, I understand how much it sucks to go to a party and not be able to eat anything ... also, don't want to be a Screw-Everybody-Scrooge so I've racked my brain and I think I have a food everyone can eat ... duh duh duh! Babies! It's really just a modest proposal I came up with. Ha! Just kidding. Though my kid is pretty tasty. She kind of tastes like chicken which would knock out the veggie head!

No seriously, my food idea? Beans! Now, I can't re-fry the beans and smother them in cheese, or veggies, or sour cream, which actually makes the prep very easy. Buy can of beans. Open can of beans. Dump can of beans in disposable holiday dish and bring to party. Done!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Willful Blindness

Sent husband into guest room to look at stocking, still can't look myself. His take: it doesn't look awful. It's just not super white. It looks like an heirloom (actually, he said old, but I assume he was going for a good old and not a bad one). Maybe I will look tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Seriously?

I just wet blocked LB's stocking, v. 2. This was a huge mistake. Let me re-phrase that, WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST DO? The pretty white snow dripping into the foot? Pink. The crisp white background framing the black letters of her name? Gray. Turns out the colors bled ... and stuck. No amount of rinsing seems to help. If you can guess the number of times I yelled fuck in my laundry room, I'll give you a dollar. I decided wine might make everything better. But we don't have any. I then decided to pin it out on the guest room bed (i.e., my blocking board) and hope that sometime tonight the yarn fairies come out and rescue the stocking. Maybe by putting my folly out here on the internet, karma will come wafting in the window and blow out the bad color? Gah! It's not that this is a particularly difficult knit, or that it is all that time consuming, and maybe the third time would be the charm, but you know what the second time was really kinda nice. Hell and damn.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Off

We bought our Christmas tree yesterday. We, well me, the decision maker, wanted a tall skinny tree. We went to a new place where they were very helpful in trying to find the perfect tall skinny tree. They showed me a dozen trees, even holding some up side-by-side. So how is it that I left the housing seeking Gisele B├╝ndchenhen but came home with Danny DeVito?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Me Like Booze

So we went out for Black Friday and were just poking around when I saw these at Pottery Barn ...



I said to Boo, "Wow! That is my kind of Advent Calendar. You do a shot a day until Christmas!" To which he replied, "Um babe, your heritage is showing ... those are for votives."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cubed

Question One: So when I came home today, it was to find a package waiting for me, or rather, waiting for Lady Bean. And it was from Crazy! Just when you thought we were done getting gifts from Crazy and it was safe to check the mail ...



So, do I open it now or do I wait to open it until we "set up XMAS tree" as directed on the bottom of the mailing label? Also, cool or creepy that she is still sending LB gifts?

Question Two: I mucked up LB's C'mas stocking.



What? You don't see the goof? Here, look again.



I zigged when I should have zagged. So obviously, I need to rip back. But do I rip back to the beginning and start all over? Maybe do it toe up and make the "snow flakes" face the same way they do on the picture of the stocking. Yah, I KNOW. It totally annoys me that the picture was obviously knit toe up while the pattern is written toe down. I don't think one looks better than the other. It just makes me twitchy that they won't be the same. Also, I think LB's name could be fatter. Maybe two rows instead of one. Sounds like I may have already answered this question, eh?

Question Three: How long do green peas stay in one's system?

Monday, November 17, 2008

V is for ...

Various tidbits. Not necessarily interesting, but definitely varied.

*********************

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is a schmuck and I hope he gets spanked hard. This is a lot of hate to have for a random stranger, but I am okay with that.

*********************

The IRS owes us a thousand bucks that we overpaid. Karma: You ain't gettin it Mrs. Hatey Hatemonger, enjoy your spanking.

*********************

Knitting colorwork from a chart is easy. Much easier than knitting lace from a chart. Unless, of course, you are color blind. Then it probably sucks.



*********************

LB has teeth ... two of them poking their way in. Next week she'll be graduating from high school and by Christmas she'll be married.

*********************

In response to the proposed bailout, Bailout II, one which should help "make more credit available," I say, "Brilliant!" I mean obviously we should lend out more money, because now is time when people and institutions need more credit. After all, they are doing such a good job paying back the shit they already owe. Really though, I'm sure this time it will be different.

*********************

We've been teaching Lady Bean how to give Eskimo kisses. Only when she comes at you, she lowers her brow and opens her mouth. It comes across creepy and child molesterish. Not exactly what we were going for.

I obtained this image from here via Google. I think that means I can use it ... ???


*********************

Two days ago I woke up at 7:00 a.m. By 4:00 p.m. I had: found a dead mouse in the toilet, been pooped on (human), been puked on (feline), given a split lip (human), found a poop on the floor (origin uncertain), and stepped in puke (feline). Nonetheless, it wasn't until I was forced to console, coddle, and sing to twenty-two pounds of pissed off, not going to sleep, head-butting baby for an hour during which my baking brie turned into burning brie that I considered my day a dud. Don't fuk with the brie, that's all I'm sayin'.

*********************

If we really need to have a bailout, I propose another type. A bailout of our student loans. If the government bails out Boo and my student loans, I'll stimulate the economy with the purchase of a Porsche. This is a promise.

*********************

The phrase "stimulating the economy" sounds dirty.

*********************

I've started compiling a list of songs that I will have to ban in the next few months as they are not things a baby should repeat. There are a few though, that I have been able to re-write. For example, Offspring's You'll Go Far Kid, it's "dance trucker dance" instead of "dance fucker dance." Not sure why I'm yelling at a trucker to dance, or how the Offspring would feel about this.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blitzkrieg

Yesterday I was attacked by wild turkeys. No shit! Dogbert and I were outside when BAM wild friggen turkeys came flying off of MY OWN ROOF to dive bomb us (also, Dogbert = Pansy). Anywho, I got over this trauma and forgot to tell Boo this until we were watching a Louis CK comedy special (FUNNY!) about six hours after he'd been home. When I told my husband this he was appropriately horrified and yet amused that it had taken me this long to tell him. Later, when I showed him the pictures, he changed his mind and decided that Dogbert wasn't the only pansy! I believe, dear internet, that if you look at that pictures, understanding that I had wild friggen turkeys FLYING AT MY HEAD and it wasn't exactly a primo photo-op, you will see things as I do. To wit ...

I had heard something funny upstairs when putting LB down for her nap. I didn't really think about it though and went about my business. Once she was down, I went downstairs to the computer, ready to check my-email and make a C'mas Wish List for LB when I looked up and saw a turkey in the back yard.




Now I'm not particularly bloodthirsty, and I don't have some odd poultry aversion, I do, however, harbor much hate for the wild turkeys lurking in my hood. You see these little shits are dumb. DUMB DUMB DUMB. They block the roads and when you beep, they don't move. No. They just laze around. Annoying though it is, I had my SCREW YOU TURKEYS moment when they blocked my street and driveway and wouldn't let me come home. And I totally had to pee. I almost peed in the car and it was all their fault. So turkeys, only good on my plate, not in my yard. Which is why when I saw that turkey sitting there I thought, "Hmmm. I should let Dogbert out and have her chase the turkey away. Surely that will cause it to leave." And then I though it might be a cute photo-op, so I grabbed the camera and opened the door.

Dogbert and I walked out and I said, "Get 'em!" And Dogbert was all, "Huh?" She took maybe two steps towards it, not really sure what to do when we heard an unholy woosh and a mutherfukin turkey came flying off my mutherfukin roof!



And then there was another and another and they'd land and then chill like I wasn't shrieking, "Get em! Get 'em!" at my killer pooch next to me (which quite frankly is not surprising) ...





Because Dogbert was all, WHAT YOU TALKIN ABOUT WILLIS?



And then I stopped screaming and we hid until there were about twenty turkeys milling about. I had stopped taking pictures while we were hiding because there were turkeys, birds not meant for flight, flying all around us. And it was loud. And it was freaky. But the lack of photographic evidence of the attack of the killer turkeys does not mean that it wasn't horrific. It just means that I have a decent survival instinct.

So anyway, when all was said and done and the turkeys had made their way into the forest, I thought it was safe to come out. Dogbert concurred and actually left my side to do a perimeter check and take a wiz. And it was during this peaceful, idyllic, post-apocalyptic moment, that we heard a noise. A noise on the roof. A noise that triggered our post-traumatic stress response.



One of those fukers was still up on our roof. Needless to say, we turned tail and ran inside. We also may have locked the door because those turkeys may be dumb and lazy, but they may also be dexterous.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

U is for ...

Uh oh! I ordered a stocking kit for Lady Bean and was totally psyched when it arrived today. Totally psyched until I opened the kit that is ...



Me thinks I may have bitten off more that I can chew! Color work, charts, upside down charts!?! Uh-friggen-oh! The company that makes the kit noted in a dozen different places that you can contact it if you have questions ... that's a good thing! I have until December 24th to get this baby done, which is may still be cutting it close since not only am I skillz challenged, I am needle challenged too. I cast on last night and decided I needed to get smaller needles. I am a loosey-goosey knitter so even though I started on a US 5, the smaller size recommended, I feel like it looks a little loose. Ugg. Needles shopping, technique learning, this is going to be interesting!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Ragamuffin

No more teasing ...



One baby raglan sweater DONE! Of course, now that she has a sweater the weather has become decidedly warmer. It is nice knowing I have this much power over global warming. Call me Obama, you need not spend gazillions of our dollars on your green projects, I got this global warming thing covered!



But back to the sweater. It was an incredibly easy knit. And, if I wasn't so gefilte at seaming, I would make it over and over again. Especially since it not only will keep LB warm, it will also entertain her!




The rolled band was a little hinky when all was said and done. I assume this was my knitting, tension, and such and that a more advanced knitter could fix that glitch, or avoid it all together. Anywho, it rolled a lot more on the bottom than elsewhere, and it didn't roll uniformly, but I seemed to have fixed most of that with blocking. It still doesn't roll exactly evenly, but it isn't so far off that I scream "EGADS!" when I see it. I also ended up tacking down the rolls on the neck at each raglan seam. This stabilized the roll and made it more uniform. This also made the neck hole a little larger, which, it turns out, is perfect for our needs. I envision this as a going-over-other-stuff, almost outerwear, sweater. So a big head hole is good. Also, it makes it easier to get the Bean into it.



This sweater was an awesomely quick knit. Nonetheless, it still took me two inches too long. Which is to say, when I started this sweater LB had a twenty inch belly. When I finished it, she had a twenty-two inch belly. This was bad as the sweater was a wee bit tight on the gut. Even though it was quick to knit, I didn't want to do it over again. So, instead of ripping out or re-doing, I rigged it. I knit two two inch pieces and then seemed them into the sides.



It is only noticeable on close inspection or if you lay the sweater flat. Thank you busy-pattern furry yarn for your camouflaging properties. Overall I am pleased with this and expect that it will get a lot of use. You know, if it ever gets cold again. Or rather, cold before someone has a twenty-five inch belly!

Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa, Sympathie, Color 3, Lot 3082, 3.5 skeins (note: I double-stranded the yarn). I think this yarn may be discontinued - it was from my aunt's stash. It is 45% wool, 35% mohair and 20% acrylic.
Needles: Susan Bates Circ, size 5.0 mm (US 8)
Pattern: Raglan Sweater, Debbie Bliss, The Baby Knits Book
Modifications: Added a two-inch placket (seven st. wide) to each side seem.
Time: Not sure - about two weeks.
Care: Hand wash cold and dry flat in shade or dry clean.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

T is for ...

Tease.

I'm quite melancholy since the election results came in and so I decided that I needed some fun. I cranked the air conditioning and had Lady Bean model for a photo shoot of the sweater. Nothing like a model blowing raspberries at you to cheer you up. Until I get around to doing the finished object shots, here is a teaser ...


Sweater, pre-blocking, with wonky bottom roll:



Sweater, post-blocking, with slightly less wonky bottom roll:

Delayed

I had intended to take a cute animal picture and post it with some "Happy Halloween" sentiments. Unfortunately the only sentiment I seemed to capture was one in which it looks like Cat is dropping a deuce in a candy bowl ...



In other news the sweater is done and blocked and waiting for a day cool enough to be worn and photographed.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Practical

Boo: What are you guys going to do today?
Me: I'm thinking H.
Boo: Ok. Make sure you don't share needles.
Me: Not even LB and me?
Boo: Nope. It's never too soon to teach her good needle hygiene.

And, in other news, the sweater is done. I just have to seam!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Over-Under

I am currently working on a sweater for LB, the Bee Fields Shawl, and a triangle shawl that I really don't like and will probably frog. That being said, I really want to finish the sweater, so that I can make LB a hat, and then knit her a Christmas stocking. If I knit for an average of two hours, twice a week at SnB, what is the likelihood LB will have her handknit stocking hanging by the chimney with care come Christmas? For the purposes of this question, be advised that the stocking has a lot of colorwork and I have never done color work. It is also charted, and I've never used a chart. Oh, and I have to spell out and chart her name too. And, is there any chance I will be wearing the Bee Fields while we open presents?

Yah, I know, STOP LAUGHING. Denial, it just ain't a river in Egypt.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Progressive

I was reading Lady Bean some nursery rhymes from my copy of The Real Mother Goose. My copy, as in the copy that was given to me in 1974, and is old and yellowed. Anywho, we were reading and came a cross Robin and Richard.



I thought it was awesome. Two men in bed together, in a children's book? How very progressive for the 70's!

I also came across this ...



and giggled like a little boy. Hehe, it says cock.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Repose

LB is sick which means she isn't sleeping through the night. Which means I am not sleeping through the night. This was doable as a co-ed. As a parent, it BLOWS. Yesterday morning I loaded up my toothbrush with face soap. Normally this would be a "that sucks, need more sleep" type if thing. I'd wash off my toothbrush and start over. Which was what I did. Except it sucks extra-hardcore since I now have to traverse to New Friggen York City to buy may face soap, a face soap sold in drugstores ... Damn you Connecticut! And damn you Bubbles too! How dare you introduce me to an awesome drugstore type of face soap that is reasonably priced and works wicked well on my overly-acne-prone skin. That's right. Get me good and hooked on a totally normal mainstream product and then BAM quit selling it in my state. SERENITY NOW! Oops, I digress.

So, sick kid, not sleeping through the night for four birthcontrol-inducing nights, doctor's appointment, diagnosis: respiratory virus and ear infection, prescription: amoxicillin and "taking it easy for a day or two." Which brings me to my point ...

Taking it easy, baby style:
Go to bed at 7:00 p.m. Cuddle down in soft footy pajamas, with soothing sound of vaporizer gurgling like a creek in the background and the refreshing, snot-clearing smell of menthol wafting through the air.

Taking it easy, parent style:
After putting baby to sleep, grab glass of wine and collapse on couch. Realize shirt stuck to upper chest with baby's mucous. Shrug and drink some wine. Ponder getting your knitting out from way WAY far across room. Realize that if you are going to get up to get knitting, you might as well go wash dinner dishes and bottles and get that chore over with. Go wash dishes. Break ridonculously expensive glass baby bottle in sink. Cut finger. Drop the F bomb. Thrice. Decide knitting and wine was way to go. Finish dishes. How is it 9:45 p.m. already? Decide to check e-mail. Computer sucks you in ... Holy crap, it's 11:30 p.m. Decide to go to bed having not knit or finished wine. Forgo any real nightly hygiene ritual (hell, face soap is at a premium anyway) and instead fall into bed with mucous matted shirt. Fall asleep at midnight.

Taking it easy, baby style:
Wake up screaming at 12:10 a.m. Feel crappy and want to spread the crap.

Taking it easy, parent style:
Jerked awake after just falling asleep. Realize this is going to be a LONG night.

Taking it easy, baby style:
After being changed, fed, and rocked, scream and cry. Keep screaming and crying. Scream and cry self hoarse. May be because miserable. May be because mom's singing voice sucks and needs to be drowned out. May be soothing creek and refreshing menthol are now annoying. May be just nighttime fun. Fall asleep cradled in arms of mom. Scream when she approaches crib as if crib is the root of all evil and HATE HATE HATE. Mental telepathy to Mama: Taking it easy means you carry me Clown! Rinse and repeat until so tired can not muster screaming or crying anymore. Snuggle into crib like there was never any hate.

Taking it easy, parent style:
Deal with sick and screaming baby. Vow never to have sex again. Hours become blur. Hips sore from walking laps with twenty pounds of baby. Realize baby is asleep for real. Dump her in crib and weave down hall into own bed. Fall face first onto cat who has taken your spot. Drift asleep with mouth full of cat fur.

Taking it easy, baby style:
Wake up at 7:00 a.m. chipper and bright. Coo and giggle.

Taking it easy, parent style:
Hear baby waking. Start mental chant, "ten more minutes, ten more minutes." Hope it works like Good Parking Karma chant.

Taking it easy, baby style:
Realize the Clown is not coming after two minutes of cooing and start to scream.

Taking it easy, parent style:
Damn you Karma!

Taking it easy, baby style:
Get changed, fed, and fluffed into new pair of clean, sweet smelling, soft footie jammies. Roll on bed and chase cat. Pluck cat fur. Wonder why dog stays three feet away at all times. Rub eyes and yawn in subtle sign that naptime is immanent. Gently carried to crib where screaming commences. Want Clown to know would rather be playing. Fall asleep after two minutes of screaming since point was made. Take nap.

Taking it easy, parent style:
Put baby down for nap. Decide to nap too, being last night was rough. But first, check e-mail and FaceBook. As approaching computer, decide to put load of laundry in first. Sort, dump, and set washer. Realize stuff is in the dryer. Hit "touch up." Add another ten minutes to the twenty given for touch up. Should be able to check e-mail and FaceBook in thirty minutes. Go to computer. Forgot coffee. While pouring coffee, decide to start cooking sweet potatoes for baby food while on computer. Ponder this Betty Crocker turn and shake head in mystification. Scrub and nuke potatoes. Return to computer, with coffee, while potatoes nuking, open browser, hear baby start to fuss. Turn volume down on monitor as if this might make baby stop fussing. Holy crap! It works! Return to keyboard. Potatoes done nuking. Get up to take them out of microwave as dryer buzzes. Fold clothes. Put in next load as baby starts to wake up and demands cuddles. Realize opportunity to nap has gone the way of the dinosaur.

I could go on, but really, you get my point. Only one of us is taking it easy. That same one is also cracking the whip for the Clown.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

S is for ...

Socks! I knit LB socks from some cursed yarn from my stash. Originally, the yarn was to be socks for myself but then my yarn was hit by a car and the socks, well the sock remnants, were tossed into the frog pond. Now that my heart no longer leaps into a gallop at the sight of the yarn, I decided to turn it into some baby socks.

The socks have been done for several weeks now but I haven't been able to share because trying to photograph the socks on LB was damn near impossible. I wedged her into the Bumbo (a foam seat which you can use to help babies sit up by themselves when they can't actually, you know, sit up by themselves). LB's thighs are a little large for the Bumbo. Getting her in is no problem. Getting her out usually requires some grease. It is effective though, in keeping her put, because no matter how hard she bucks like a bronco, she can't get out. Wahahaha. Nonetheless, having her contained in the Bumbo wasn't actually all that useful for the picture taking thing because, well ...



When she does sit still, it's because she's getting into mischief, or rather grabbing at her sock-clad feet! Maybe if I had put the socks on her earlier in the day and then just stuck her in, she would not have figured out my intent. Live and learn. Anyway, I gave up on getting her to model and approached the dog. She was not pleased, but agreed to model.



Unfortunately her feet are bigger, or rather, dog shaped and thus incompatible with human baby socks. Instead, I had her pull a Chuck.



Obviously she is no Chuck - she's not much of a 'balance things on her head' kinda gal. She pouts. But we got the shot. I probably will never get another like it because I forgot to give her a treat when I was done. Whoops.

In the end, I can tell you that I knit my baby some socks. It isn't because I totally love her lots, though I do. I knit them because I am too cheap to buy the Robeez that I like ($30 for a pair of shoes that will fit for what, 30 days? I don't think so) and the style I like doesn't come in the Fauxbeez. She has one pair of Robeez that EiC gave her and we love them. But they are pink and don't go with everything ... I can't believe I just said that. But it's true. The Mary Janes that I like are much more neutral. But I am cheap. So, I figure if my baby can't have the shoes all the cool kids have, well then, she can have some cool one-of-a-kind socks. Work with me.

Anywho, I did the toes first and then the foot. My standard approach. I didn't have any heel patterns with me when I needed them, so I went with an afterthought heel. It was my first afterthought heel and I misjudge the length so I had to make the heel a bit petite. It's fine though. Baby feet are squishy. I then did a rib with the absurd hope that this would cause the socks to stay on. I figure the rib would pull tight. It does, but grabby fingers can still get the things off. When the socks were done I decided to add an afterthought ruffle. Having never done a ruffle before I just kind of winged it. I picked up stitches and then knit each stitch front and back. For four rounds.



As you can see, I over winged it, making a JUMBO ruffle. Note-to-self: One or two rows of ruffle would have been adequate. Heck, three would have been quite nice. Four? Over kill. I wasn't about to rip it out though so jumbo ruffle it is.



LB loves the socks. She can't keep her hands off the ruffle which must mean they are winners. If only they fit for more than a month.

So, S is for sock!


Yarn: Madelinetosh Hand Dyed Sock Yarn, Sweat Peas
Needles: Addi Circs, size 2.5 mm (US 1)
Pattern: None - toe up sock, after thought heel, ruffle added after cast-off.
Modifications: n/a
Time: 10 days.
Care: Machine wash cold, air dry.