Thursday, January 31, 2008

What's Doin'

My socks are almost done. Sort of. Both heels are d-o-n-e done, and one cuff is about a half an inch or so short of finished. Due to the skimpy yarn yardage, the cuffs will be shorter, though hopefully not freakishly so when all is said and done. I had some progress shots, but they are at home, in the camera. Whoops!

ETA: Home again, home again, jiggity jig!

Since I don't have pictures I thought I would share with you my recap of last night's SnB. I was recapping the evening for a friend who couldn't make it, keeping her in the loop and all that jazz. It is neither funny nor particularly insightful, but it does take up space and allow me to practice my typing skills.

Knitting was nice. I arrived a little early and then left at 9:30ish. The group was smaller ... X was having some gusset issues on her mitts; Y skipped part of her chart and Z had some mutterings about her "goddamn sock," you could say it was not a stellar night knitting-wise. Don't worry though, we still had fun. Oh yes we did! The conversation was good, though it did veer into scarey birth stories and something about frozen maxi pads? Let's just say the J's stared at each other all WHAT THE FUCK??? There was talk of germs and psoriasis, not birth related thankfully. I think porn may have come up, as usual, and there was the requisite celebrity gossip with A giving X and I a run for our money on knowing the down low. This is not acceptable! I will have to remember to check TMZ before coming to knitting next Wednesday night. The café brought us cheesecake samples and samples of decaf, sugar free, no fat, vanilla lattes. I suspect the latter was in part due to my recent decaf, sugar free orders. Some of us thought they were tasty, others, not so much. The café folks were excited about pushing the free samples, so I wonder if they were old. I wasn't ill, so I am thinking it was all good. When I was leaving I took a left over cheesecake sample home for Boo, a la, Here Honey! I brought you a present! I am an excellent wife. I joked about not spilling it on my way out the door and then dropped the fork onto the chair my ass had just been occupying. I thought that would be the only cheesecake catastrophe. Turns out I was wrong. I dropped two-thirds of the bite-sized sample on my shoe trying to get into my car. By the time I got home Boo basically had a cheesecake schmear. Not much of a present, but the man was smart enough to fake pleasure and gratitude.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ate My Way Through Boston

This past weekend I went to Boston for Girls Weekend v. 2 and it was lots 'o fun! My hostess gift was the most wretchedly painted pottery piece ever, painted during the Second Annual Girls Weekend v. 1. It was a huge hit though. Really it was. Madam Hostess was thrilled. As thrilled as if I had given her, say, a fresh pile of elephant dung.

Yah, the "blending technique" didn't work for squat. Even though I gave the worst, or at least most unattractive, hostess gift ever, no one kicked me, tripped me, or left me to fend for myself in a city full of people who talk funny. We saw a movie (27 Dresses, it was cute and didn't make me cry), wandered Quincy Market, rode the T (something I had never done before), and I even managed to get a row or two done on the socks (yah, I know, a row or two, not something I should be bragging about, but hey, I am now done with my gusset increases and it's time for the heel turn; that means I am halfway done, maybe even less since this yarn is skimpy with the yardage). Oh, and we ate.




Even with all of the normal day-to-day eating, I still had room for cake.

Surprise baby shower cake, yummm! Way back when I first came out of the we're-having-a-baby closet, Kay mentioned that she would not be throwing me a baby shower. To which I replied okay, we should have a Girls Weekend instead. Apparently I am a greedy biatch (something that Crazy thinks too as she is telling people that I am very selfish) because Kay thought this meant I was requesting a Girls Weekend Shower. I wasn't, but now that I've had one, I think I might advocate for some sort of deal in the future! If people agree, all Girls Weekends should end with me getting lots and lots of presents because I like presents, almost as much as I like cake!


Not only did I get great clothes and towels and toys, I also got some useful information.

Yah, it seems some people are worried about my parenting skills. Smart people! The shower was a surprise, and an   awesome   wicked cool surprise at that. I had a great time and Lady Bean is building a wardrobe to rival   mine   her dad's.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

B is for ...

Blueberry Goodness, or more specifically, Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast with Blueberry Syrup.

My aunt and uncle use to vacation in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, for three or four weeks each summer. And each year, my husband and I would crash their vacation for one weekend during which we would gorge ourselves on all things lobster and blueberry ... though not at the same time, I can't think of an instance where lobster and blueberry would work well in the same dish.

Anywho, it was during one of these times that my aunt discovered this recipe for Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast with Blueberry Syrup. At the time she almost pooh-poohed the whole thing since you have to make a custard like thing and soak the bread overnight ...

Since she had all the ingredients, however, she decided to go for it. What a fortuitous decision. This shit is good! It serves like, fifty, but somehow the four of us managed to eat the entire dish one morning for breakfast.

When you're making it, the homemade blueberry syrup may seem a bit like overkill, but when those bluberries start popping and melding into the syrup ... oy!

This is the blueberry french toast that I forgot to make for Christmas brunch. I ended up making it for our New Year's breakfast and have had the pictures chilling in the camera for sometime now. Though the pictures languished, the blueberry goodness didn't.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm Shipping Up To Boston

The titled of this post is a nod (actually it isn't so much a nod as plagiarism) to the Dropkick Murphys and their song I'm Shipping Up To Boston which, if you have functioning ears, I'm sure you've heard as it is played everywhere and all the time. I'm going to Boston this weekend for a Girls Weekend v.2, and I keeping singing it to myself when I think about what to pack, where we are going and so forth. Basically it is on endless mental replay which wouldn't be so bad if every friggen sports franchise in Boston hadn't co-opted the song as its own. I liked that song, a whole lot, until this co-opting started. Now, I kinda twitch when I hear it. Since I don't want to be the only twitching person, I'm aiming to make our hostess twitch when she sees the hostess gift I'm bringing. It is even better than re-gifted apples. And by better I mean, not at all good, but hard to reject being that the nice intent is there. Heh, I can't wait to see her face.

Anywho, this weekend, Boston. This weekend, also the start of my "all weekends-all booked" through March. I feel like I have such an exciting life. I don't, but it is nice to pretend. Sometimes I also like to pretend that I am a fairy queen with huge boobs, who can fly and perform magic with her mind, but that is a whole 'nother post for a whole 'nother time.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A is for ...

I've joined Vicki's 2008 ABC-along group on Ravelry. The deadline for joining is today, so I am jumping in at the very last minute. Well, maybe not the very last minute as I actually joined yesterday, but damn close. Anyway, despite my late start, I do in fact have an A, and I suspect it is an original A at that ...

A is for Amtrak

As in, a very pregnant lady shan't fly to Washington DC for the shower her law school buddies are hosting, instead she shall train there via Amtrak. Alternatively, A could also be for Alcohol, as in, the group I shall be Amtraking to, will be imbibing much alcohol. I could say that they are being driven to drink by the thought of me reproducing, but I suspect it is more because they are a lushy group.

Also, A is for Awesome, as in, "Dude, I think my socks are going to be Awesome!"

Well, I think so, despite my the look that my adorable model gave me which makes me think she would argue with my exclamation of awesomeness.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Working Out The Kinks

Scene: Completing the questions on the Prepared Childbirth Class Questionnaire.

Me: Okay, question: Who would you like to be present with you during your labor?
Him: Circus clowns. Heeeheee. Circus clowns. Heeeee, I made myself laugh.

Me: Okay, now we're on to Comfort Skills. Question: What comfort skills do you plan to use during labor?
Him: [silence]
Me: Um, domestic violence?
Him: Sounds good.

Me: What are the hobbies/activities/sports you enjoy?
Him: Me or you?
Me: You.
Him: Um, exotic dancers, drinking, gambling. Oh wait, no, not gambling, casino gaming. It sounds better.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Good Stuff

I'm going to tell y'all about my adventures in black-eyed peas, the food, not the band. So if you are not a big fan of black-eyed peas in any form, and want to hear about something else, well, I've got one thing for you. Something that made me laugh out loud and almost choke on a cookie, granted it was a somewhat dry, sugar-free cookie, but still. Now that I've built it up, you're bound to be disappointed. Oh well, here it is. I'm going to tell you now. Be prepared. I received a letter from a potential client seeking representation in a divorce, wherein, she said the following:
My husband is a cheat and this year he gave me an STD for Mother's Day.

Other than being funny (well, it is, if you're like me and an asshole with a twisted sense of humor), it is ripe for witty responses like ... What is the return policy on that? Did he mean to give you a FTD? Yah. Okay. That's all I've got. Moving on to food.

My people, be it the people of the South, the eccentric people, or the people of superstition, they believe that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day brings you good luck. Growing up, my mom would make a big ole bowl of black-eyed peas, some collard greens and some cornbread. I, not liking the black-eyed pea overly much, would count out three hundred, sixty-five peas and eat those peas, and those peas only. I decided that if I ate one pea for each day, I'd be good for the year. I don't believe there is any basis in fact, or superstition, for this, but it worked for me. As I've matured (that sounds better than aged, huh?), I've developed a like for the black-eyed pea. Nonetheless, a big ole bowl of 'em doesn't really appeal. All of this is the long way of explaining why I took a black bean croquette recipe, played with and made black-eyes pea croquettes for New Year's. As for why I took pictures of my black-eyed pea croquette adventure, well, that's because BeFri likes food pics.


I served the black-eyed pea croquettes with some homemade salsa, of a sort, and some homemade bread, and was pretty pleased.

If you are looking for a fun way to use serve up some black eyed peas, or you need some fiber, try this recipe. Substitute black-eyed peas for black beans, add some curry powder and some garlic to the croquette mixture and voila! Oh, and if you are making the salsa and you seem to have lost/misplaced/eaten your avocado, trying mixing in a little plain Fage yogurt.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Love My Dawg

I've been having some issues making my socks work. Originally I was going with the Bellatrix Sock pattern but they kept coming out way too big. I really think the pattern would have worked nicely with the yarn, but no matter how much I futzed with the needle size, stitch number and pattern itself, they weren't working. Even if I had stumbled upon the right mix ...

... I would have been screwed since Baby Girl decided to eat my pattern notes. Bitch!

Sooo, I gave up on Bellatrix (for now) and decided to play with different stitch patterns. I was looking for something that, most importantly, had a stitch count that created socks that fit. But I also wasn't feeling anything ribbed or super lacy. I really like the yarn so I wanted the colors to be the attraction, not the pattern. Normal people would have done plain knit stitch socks, but I have my own special brand of crazy, so I came up with a variation on the feather and fan thing.

Up close I don't think it is all that impressive.

But from a distance I think they kind of look neat. Right? Right! Yah, yah. I know the stitch pattern isn't really much to look at but it does have enough going on to keep me interested and the colors aren't pooling too horribly. Oh, and, I have managed to keep my pattern away from Cujo, all three copies of it, so I should be able to finish the pair!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Not Quite Ready For Parenthood

Me: Did you look in the gift box we got for starting a baby registry?
Boo: No, not yet.
Me: Oh, you should. There is some neat stuff. And, they gave us a free bottle.
Boo: A free bottle of what?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sexually Harassed?

I do believe I may have just been sexually harassed ...

Office Investigator (i.e.,70+ Year Old Puerto Rican Man): They had a Hooters' beauty contest the other day and I was looking but I didn't see you there.

Me: Gah???

Comme Ci, Comme Ça

My husband is always pretty honest about my knitting projects ... he was the first one who said my fingerless gloves were really homeless lady and not New York City chic. And, when all is said and done, he usually seems to get it right. So when he said my lace cap looked funny, like a bastardized prayer cap men might wear in a mosque, well, I probably shouldn't have told him to fuck off. I probably should have started frogging the cap. But I didn't.

Maybe it is the brown of the cap with the brown of my hair, or maybe it is the shape of my large cranium, but whatever it is, it's not so hot on me.

Even making funny faces can't seem to make the cap less "Let's go Pray!'

Which is a damn shame because this cap, it's made from bison, "100% American Bison fiber." Or, in layman's terms, squishy, soft, yummy goodness. It feels lovely. Unfortunately, there is an inverse relationship between the way it looks on my head and the way it feels. I can honestly say it looks better on my dog as a beret than on my head as a cap. I am kind of wishing I never broke the tail off so that I could frog that hat and use the skein for something else. But I did break it off and feel kind of like I am committed. I guess I could just join the cap part of the skein with the leftover part of the skein if I happen upon a divine pattern.

The yarn was from last year's Rhinebeck haul and hails from Still River Mill. The pattern came with the yarn. The pattern itself was really simple. Knitting the pattern, less simple, as I'm sure TWG would acknowledge.

It calls for four US size six dpns, which totally did not work for me. I had needles falling and dropping and stitches sliding around and having to be moved from one needle to the next and it was bad. I used a lifeline at the end of the ribbing/beginning of the pattern and I totally needed it. Repeatedly. I tried two circs, but that also was suckalicious and required the lifeline. After ripping back the third or fourth time, I ended up going with one shorty (twelve inch) circ and knitting in the round. Once I did this I motored right along and never needed a lifeline again. In fact, I felt so comfortable knitting it this way, I didn't even bother putting a new lifeline in. So if you are going to make this cap, I recommend one short circular needle.

I did have an issue when it got down to the end. The directions read, All rows - *k2tog: repeat from * until there are 4 stitches left. With tapestry needle, thread the tail of yarn through the remaining stitch loops and tighten. When I did this (that is, knitting two together round and round until I only had four stitches left), I found the top looked gathered and not as polished as I would have liked. I don't remember the sample cap at Rhinebeck looking this way so I re-did this step three times. Each time I got the same effect. Either I misunderstood what they wanted me to do, or this is the look of the hat. Either way, eh.

Yarn: Still River Mill, Luxury Bison Down, 1 skein (125 yards/25 grams). I have a good hunk of yarn left. Maybe not enough for another hat, but a good amount nonetheless.
Needles: Susan Bates Circ, 12 inch length, size 4.25 mm (US 6)
Pattern: Buffalo Gal Lace Cap
Modifications: None. I did the pattern exactly as written.
Time: 6 days.
Care: Um, not really sure. "No special washing is needed, just treat like all other fine washables." WTF? "After each washing, your yarn will be softer, fuller, and have a beautiful golden halo." Great, but how do you recommend that I wash it?? Grr.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lace Cap

I started the Buffalo Gal Lace Cap ...

I finished the Buffalo Gal Lace Cap ...

Now if I could just get a picture or two of it all finished and pretty on ME ...

Then I could move on and tell you about the trials and tribulations of my latest sock.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Argosy is done, finished, complete! This was a quick knit and other than turning my fingers a horrific shade of pink, that required immediate hand washing when I finished knitting, it was a great knit. Pattern and yarn played nicely together.

It was damn near impossible to photograph this scarf well. Not the pattern per se, though since I made it so long, that didn't help, it was the color that was anti-photography. As you can see the red is a different shade of red in every single picture. I think the one down below with the dog (looking pitiful) is truest to the actual color, though it's not spot on either.

Speaking of the color, did I mentioned it turned everything red when I was knitting it? What, I did, twenty times? My bad. Well it also bled like a mofo when I washed/wet blocked it.

I thought the red water was totally blog worthy which led my husband to ask me a bit later, "Babe, why is the camera in the bathroom?" Anywho, I washed the scarf and then I rinsed it. After the first wash, I did a vinegar soak hoping that would set the dye ... despite the internet's contentions that it wouldn't. The internet was right. After the vinegar soak, I washed and rinsed this little guy another SIX times. After rinse number seven, the water was still pink but I was tired and so I decided it was done enough for me. We'll see if it discolors my neck.

In real life, i.e., when I am not taking pictures of myself in the laundry room, I plan to wear the scarf dangling long, using the folded in half and pulled through the middle loop method. It is a great length for that. For the purposes of trying to get the whole thing in a picture, I used it as a wrap ... on me and the animals. This pleased some of us less than others. If Boo didn't have a sinus infection, I would have wrapped him up too!

Oh, and I have no idea why I named this post Argonauts ... this scarf is lovely, but it won't get you any closer to the Golden Fleece!

Yarn: Artfibers' Basque, 1 skein (330 yards/150 grams), color 12
Needles: Susan Bates Circs, size 4.25 mm (US 6)
Pattern: Argosy
Modifications: None. I did the pattern repeat 32 times, which falls somewhere in between the recommended numbers. After blocking, my yarn gave me (roughly) one hundred and nine inches of length (significantly longer than the larger sized pattern specs) and seven inches of width (an inch wider than the larger sized pattern specs).
Time: 9 days.
Care: Hand wash cool, dry flat.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I'm a knitter! I have two finished knitting projects! Huh, wait, what? You don't believe me. Is it because I haven't blogged about them yet? Yah, that would be because they need to be photographed. My husband really likes one and said the other is a total dud. That might be why I've slacked on the pictures.

* * * * * * * * * *

During the first week of January, that is from January 1 to January 7, my local weather low was -3F, that is negative three degrees Fahrenheit. My local weather high was 52F. What the hell schizoid weather?

* * * * * * * * * *

Apparently I am very pregnant ... Yesterday, for the first time ever, a random person noted my pregnantness. Someone in the gym locker room reeked of cigarette smoke and Random Stranger 1 looked at my belly, smiled, and said "Obviously you aren't the one smoking." To which I replied, "Yah, I traded in my pack of Marlboros for my vat of Smirnoff." Actually I didn't say that, I just smiled and thought how odd. See, when you are a woman of a certain size, people just assume you are getting fatter not growing another human being so they don't say anything at all ... unless you are particularly unlucky. About an hour and a half after Random Stranger 1 commented on the belly, I encountered Random Stranger 2. I was with my personal trainer and she noted to a very skinny woman sporting a beach ball belly, "Look! You both are pregnant." To which Asshat, I mean Random Stranger 2 said, after looking me up and down, "Oh? Really?" To which I replied, "Are you always so rude, inconsiderate and mean?" Actually, I didn't say that either. I just looked at her and smiled and said "Yah, really [bitch]."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hurling, Not Curling, Unfortunately

Dear Cookies,

I'm sorry I "tossed" you. I promise not to bend over to tie my shoe if you promise not to shoot wave after wave of stomach bile up the ole esophagus.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Forecast 08: Mild Slackeritis

All over the internet I've been reading these mad crazy lists filled with the knitted goodness (and sometimes, let's be honest here, the knitted badness) that people have finished this year. I read in awe, and embarrassment, because y'all are knitting ninjas and me, I'm a slacker. I decided to see exactly how much of a slacker I really am and I did a little tally of my finished objects for ought-seven. I would say I am only a moderate slacker. I'm not as big of a slow poke as I thought, though there is room for improvement (as well as variety).

I finished one scarf. That would be the Branching Out that I just finished and it would be for me!

I finished nine pairs of socks. A pair of Monkeys for my personal trainer, Monkey peds for me, Wild Kat peds for me, Monkeys for my Sockapalooza pal*, Chevron socks for me, Queen Kahuna peds for me, Anastasia socks for me, Feather and Fan socks for me, and Jaywalkers for me. Yes, in case you were counting, that is seven pairs of socks for me and two for others. I like knitting socks. Socks that I can wear.

I finished one shawl. A fringy shawl. I've worn it once. I love shawls but I'm not exactly sure when to wear them.

I also finished one square for a baby blanket.

I have three items sitting unfinished. The Argosy scarf which I am currently working on and then, well, then there are my kangaroo duo sweater and the Ronald McDonald looking Jaywalkers. Two UFOs in the most UFO kind of way.

I haven't exactly been burning up the needles, but then again, I did finish an average of one item a month. If I was to have a knitting goal, I suspect it would be to knit more, like maybe an average of 1.5 items per month. Not much of a goal, but a goal nonetheless. I'm not foolish enough to say "Goal: Finish the Kangaroo Duo Sweater," though that would be an admirable goal. And, I really would like to wear it. Maybe I will try to knock it out once I finish Argosy. I have a few more of the middle repeats and then I think it will be time to do the bottom decreasing repeats so Argosy's end is near.

If I wasn't a bit  crazy   superstitious   paranoid  eccentric, I might start knitting baby items which are small and quick and good for the purposes of cranking out hand knit items. But I am  crazy   superstitious   paranoid  eccentric, and I worry that it is just asking for trouble to start knitting for the Lady Bean. So for now, I will poke along, knitting things for myself, and hoping to finish my that damn Kangaroo Duo.

*Speaking of Sockapalooza, there is a rumor going around that Sockapalooza 5 will be coming up soon! This excites me. I kind of think as Sockapalooza as charity knitting with instant karma mixed in ... you are 'charity knitting' a pair of socks for some random person but the karma is instant because BAM you get your own pair of knitted socks at around the same time. Your pal doesn't come through? Well obviously you did something to muddy your karma. I am sure many people will find this definition of charity abhorrent and to them I say, pooh! Pooh! Yah, yah, I hear you, you don't knit for charity so that you can get something in return (which I think is a lie, you are getting something in return, even if it is smug satisfaction for doing something nice). Whatever!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

You know what "they" say about the best laid plans ... well let me tell you, I had some great plans. I was going to ring in the New Year with my last finished object of ought-seven and wow you with gorgeous pictures of Branching Out. We could have given it an artsy name, Branching Out: In Nature, In the Wild, In Use on My Neck. It was going to be great. But. But when we got "on location" there was some black ice and some slipping and a booboo and some more snow and um, not so many great photos. There were still lots of photos, of the mediocre kind. To wit:

Scarf in snow ... looking unblocked, washed out and not eye-popping green:

Then there was me, trying to be a model ...

Unfortunately, after watching Boo almost bite the dust, I took two steps out of the car and bit the dust myself. So my modeling was overshadowed by this ...

Which, as an aside, sucked extra special since I was wearing my wonderful snow boots, snow boots that are suppose to prevent these types of things from happening! And the whole damn thing was compounded by some of this ...

The snow messed with our camera's ability to focus, as well as my cameraman's ability to focus, so my grand plans went out the window and I instead played with this ...

The dog and I were quite busy, so we got a whole lot of pictures of this ...

Which turned out just fine because when we went home to have a late breakfast and relax, Baby Girl was tuckered out and relaxed too ...

In the end we had a lot of fun, and Branching Out got some real "it's cold out, I need a scarf" use, so there yah have it, a mediocre but fun filled photo-op.

As for the scarf itself, well I totally enjoyed knitting this scarf. A lot. I didn't find the pattern memorizable. Nonetheless, it was easy to follow and it made sense when I was knitting along. I used a row counter, but even without it I would have been able to figure out which row in the pattern repeat I was on as I found it easy to figure out and follow from looking at the work. So, if you are looking for some easy lace, I would say this is a good place to start. This yarn is also a nice yarn to use. With one caveat, it sucks to rip out. When I was futzing with needle size, I ripped out two or three attempts and it was like ripping velcro. So though the pattern is a great beginning lace pattern, the yarn might now be the best starter yarn. If you don't think you are going to have to rip back, then by all means, use this yarn, it is soft and yummy and delightful to knit.

Also delightful and yummy are the things I have cooked today. Things which I will tell you about later on since this post is getting long and, um, it's not easy being green!

Yarn: Artfibers' Kyoto, 2 skeins (220 yards/100 grams), color 38
Needles: Susan Bates Circs, size 5.0 mm (US 8)
Pattern: Branching Out
Modifications: None. Not really. After blocking, my yarn gave me fifty-seven inches of length (two inches shorter than the pattern) and seven and a half inches of width (half an inch wider than the pattern specs).
Time: 8 days.
Care: Hand wash cool, dry flat.