Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My descent into idiocy

It is school time again. Time for plays and recitals and endless stretches of homework.

Tonight while my family and I sat around the table eating dinner and helping the kids with their work I came to a stunning realization:

The older I get, the stupider I get.

It's amazing.

I used to be able to name every state capitol, and every state. I knew the capitals of all the Canadian provinces. I even knew a large portion of the world capitals.

I used to know long division, and what an interger was. I understood the Pythagorean theorem, and how to reduce a fraction.

Tonight I worked with my son on a Virginia geography worksheet. It asked where the Chesapeake Bay is located. My son, with expectant eyes waited patiently for help. My response, with a generally northerly wave of my hand, was, "Up near Maryland somewhere?"

The hubby who is a staunch "West Coaster" guffawed. He just could not believe that I could not geographically place the Chesapeake Bay. The man quizzed me on state capitals. He showed me how to reduce a fraction and how to express a remainder in long division in a decimal. THIS IS THE MAN WHO SPELLS OFFICE, 'OFFIC'!!!!!!!

It's embarrassing. It's tragic. Apparently, I need to go back to 4th grade.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weekend Update!

Finally! A day off! A whole full day. from the time I get up to the time I go to bed! I may wet myself from excitement. In celebration I will make a long blog post with pics. I will make baked ziti for dinner. I will do laundry. I will spend the evening spinning!

First and foremost.... The SP8 updates. I sent and received my last SP8 packages.

My sender has been not only thoughtful, and generous in her packages to me, but we share the same name, which automatically makes her a VERY cool chick. Check out her blog here. She also apparently works in a yarn shop. I absolutely COVET her job. Here are the contents of my final and very much appreciated package. There was much squealing and "TOUCH THIS!!" involved in the opening. Hubby got that look in his eye as though he were considering having me committed.

-There was a hand embroidered bag. How she knew I've been coveting a little bag that I can keep my traveling sock safe when I stuff it into the purse of doom, I have no idea. She must be psychic. There was also an extra unembellished bag which I will be embroidering myself once I settle on a pattern.

-There were not one but 2! bags of luscious handpainted roving from Capistrano Fiber Arts Studios (By Lori Lawson) purchased at The Yarn Tree. Ms. Lawson, whoever you are, Your eye for color is amazing, and secret pal, you have exquisite taste. On the right in the pic is a kid mohair/merino blend in the "Red Ginger" colorway. On the left is a merino/bombyx silk blend in the "Marrakech" colorway. Please note that the bags were ripped open immediately to be fondled.

Thanks again!

Now to my Sendee. That naughty, naughty girl found me out!!! hehehe. She just got the last package and I'm so excited that she has liked all that I've sent. She is an absolute doll, and adorable to boot! I'm so glad to have met such a strong and intelligent person through this swap. Her blog is here. Stop by and give her some Blog Love.

Now to some REAL excitement. A Finished Object! and a lace one no less. My very first successful lace project. Why does lace have to be so frustrating, yet so lovely and tempting to me. Oh how I love and hate thee, lace knitting.

Sorry for the not so great picture, but this is the Branching Out scarf from It was knit in Peru DK Luxury yarn from AC Moore. It's a reasonably priced Merino/Alpaca/Silk blend and it is extraordinarily soft. If I recall it was about $5 a ball for 124 yards. I used 2 balls for this. It will soon be off to my Mother In Law for her birthday. Nothing says love like a wool scarf in August. I think I may be reblocking it though. I was half asleep last night when I blocked it and it looks a bit wonky in the photo now that I really look at it.

The real excitement in this scarf was when the Needle-Eating-Dog decided that my size 9 Bamboo Circulars looked really tasty with this scarf still on it. I came home to find the circs missing and the ball of yarn in tangles still attached to the scarf with dropped stitches. The tangle and dropped stitches took most of an evening to fix. NED still won't look me in the eye.

Fyberduck from recently was kind enough to host a Handspun Swap. My swap Partners were Fyberduck and Chipper. Here were my spoils:

A POUND of thick n Thin Handspun merino in the Vineyard colorway from spunky eclectic and an awesome red/with and blue skein with an accompanying Beaded skein from Chipper. I'm foreseeing a shrug and a funky felted bag to be made of these.

From Fyberduck, a skein of boucle made from kid mohair locks. It is gorgeous. So soft and light. I am totally inspired to dig in and wash up the pound of kid mohair that has been languishing in my stash. The second skein was some baby alpaca that hubby has claimed as a hat for himself. It is incredibly soft. It has reinforced my belief that someone needs to start producing alpaca underwear.

Finally a long overdue pic of my best handspun to date. 2 oz of Angora/silk/wool from Wild Meadow Angoras. I'd picked up 2 bats and the MDSW and finally got brave enough to spin them up. I ended up with close to 300 yds of lace/fingering weight.

I had originally thought to enter it in the skein contest at the Fall Fiber Festival. However, when I weighed it up it came to 2 oz exactly on my scale, and the contest minimum is 2 oz. I don't want to get disqualified because my scale is off by a tenth of an ounce or something, so now I am looking for a good lace stitch to make a scarf with it to enter into the Handspun knit item category. I will begin working on a new skein to enter into the skein contest.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

First Day Of School

Don't let the cuteness and sweetness fool you. Under that thin veil of innocence they are the devils beasts. The girl even has three heads and alternately breathes fire and ice.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I passed!

Very tired. must drag self to bed. Kids start school tomorrow. Please... send cyanide!

Also.... I passed my final exam at work today. 99%

I am so damn good, God wishes he were me.

Pardon me while I slip into a coma.......

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Knit-Geek Questionnaire (unrelated to any swaps or secret pal exchanges)

1. What's your worst habit relating to your knitting?

Startitis. Totally. I see a pattern in a book or magazine and I HAVE to make it. NOW. Then I end up with about a zillion ufo's laying around, and yarn and needles for 11ty billion more and not enough time or energy to do anything more than knit on my traveling sock.

2. In what specific ways does your knitting make you a better person?

I focus more. I'm able to apply more care to details since learning to knit. I've also taken up a long dead interest in math.

3. How might you or your life be different if you were suddenly unable to knit?

I've thought about this. I work in insurance claims. I hear of cases all the time where people are permanently disabled. If for some reason I had to stop playing with fiber because I was physically unable to do it I'd probably slowly go insane. Then I'd rediscover that the library has books that AREN'T fiber related and have a joygasm with reading all over again.

4. If money were no object, what one yarn, and what one tool or gadget would you run out and buy first?

The Yarn. Hand Maiden Sea Silk. I am intrigued and delighted by the idea of yarn from the sea. Especially one that will make me ache less. That is technology in action right there. I also love to support Nova Scotia in any way possible. I had the luxury of making a good friend from Nova Scotia who took me on several tours of the province. If I had to pick 2 dream place to live in the world, they would be Moab UT, or Nova Scotia. There is no beauty like these places.

Gadget?? Definitely a new spinning wheel. I've been drooling over an Ashford, but if money were truly no object, it would definitely be a Golding. Probably either the Habetrot or the Flock of the Shepherdess.

5. What knitting technique or project type are you most afraid of (if any)? What, specifically, do you fear will happen when you try it?

Lace. I fear lace. I am trying to conquer it, but it kicks my arse up one block and down the other. I don't know why, but I will follow the chart to utter perfection, and somewhere, somehow, I always either gain or lose a stitch somewhere.

6. Who is/are your knitting hero(es), and why?

Stephanie Pearl McPhee. Anyone who can have this much fun with yarn, and still make the same mistakes as the rest of us, and make fun of herself, and still have such a passion is nothing short of a Goddess.

7. Do you consider knitting, for you personally, a mostly social activity, or a mostly solitary activity?

I like to knit socially, but I seem to be short on social occasions in which to knit. I really need to get a really casual SnB started somewhere around here that is not at the LYS and not the once a month Library thing.

8. Is there a particular regional tradition in knitting that you feel strongly drawn toward (e.g., Fair Isle, Scandinavian, Celtic, Orenburg lace)? Any theories as to why it calls to you?

Celtic. I love Arans and Ganseys. I can trace my ancestry there, but then, I can also trace ancestry to even more interesting places. I don't have any sound theories, but it may have something to do with masses of graceful arching cables twining and dancing across vast expanses of moss stitch being quite possibly the most lovely thing I've ever seen.

9. If you were a yarn, which yarn would you be?

A funky thick n thin crazy colored, to die for soft handspun. Think Handpainted Yarns Lettuce Violet colorway. It's lovely. Nice to work with, soft on your hands but it has some crazy character.

10. Some statistics:

(a) How many years have passed since you FIRST learned to knit?

Less than one. I learned to knit last October.

(b) How many total years have you been actively, regularly knitting (i.e., they don't have to have been in a row)?

See above

(c) how many people have you taught to knit?

4. Both of my kids. and two of the kids my hubby works with. I've had adults ask for lessons, but none of them have come through.

(d) Roughly what percentage of your FOs do you give away (to anyone besides yourself, i.e., including your immediate family)

so far? 50%. I see things going downhill soon though.

11. How often do you KIP (knit in public)? i.e., once a week, once a month, etc. Where do you do it?

Daily. I keep a sock with me at all times for the inevitable waits in lines that seem to take up the majority of my life.

12. If a genie granted you one hour to stitch-n-bitch with any one knitter, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

Stephanie Pearl McPhee. Why? See Above. I'd even bring the beer.

13. What aspect or task in knitting makes you most impatient?

seaming and weaving in ends. For reasons that I feel are completely obvious.

14. What is it about knitting that never lets you get bored with it?

Creation. I love to make things. Beautiful and useful things are even better.

15. Describe how and where you most often do your knitting - where do you sit, what is going on around you, what tools do you use and how are they (dis)organized?

fave place is on the couch. I keep the tools for that project on my little sofa table. There is usually a movie or a cd on in the background. My family is around me bugging me (hmmmm I think maybe I just figured out my lace issues).

16. Which one person is the recipient of more of your knitting than any other?

So far... me. Everyone else has gotten something fairly equally though. Hey. it's my hobby.

17. What's the oddest thing about your knitting, or yourself as a knitter?

Knitting skipped a generation for me. My grandmother was a knitter. My mother had no interest at all. I had no real knitting influences in my life. I just knew I needed to do it.

18. What do you see yourself knitting - if anything - twenty years from now?

Probably the same aran sweater that I started for hubby months ago.

19. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have only ONE SKEIN of yarn, which yarn would it be and what would you do with it?

Some Zephyr laceweight and the Peacock Feathers shawl pattern. If I'm on a deserted island, I'd have nothing better to do than work out my lace issues. Sure the yarn would get ratty after all the times it would be frogged, but who is going to comment? The palm trees?

20. If you were allowed to own only one knitting-related book, which would it be? (you'd be free to browse others, but you couldn't keep them)

Ann Budd's Handy Book of Knitting Patterns. It has just about all the basics covered including sweaters. That and some creativity would keep me knitting happily for years.

21. Is knitting the new yoga? Why or why not?

Ewwwww. No. That's like that saying "pink is the new black". No. Just No. Pink is pink. Black is black. Yoga makes me very very sore. Knitting is knitting.

22. What important thing are you trying to put off doing whenever you knit?

The laundry.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quick! Someone get me a bucket!

My brains are leaking out of my ears, and I certainly don't want to have to pay the cleaning bill. Brains on the carpet make a nasty stain.

So much has happened recently. It seems like time is just gone the moment you blink, and I'm sure feeling it today. I do believe I'll be passing out oooooooh just about the time this blog entry is done.

Whoever said kids aren't easy deserves the Understatement of the Eon award. Last week when finally getting home on friday from work for a peaceful evening I found that hubby let the kids take the dogs for a walk. they left around 4. I got home around 5. Not too unusual. There is an awesome nature path that encircles our neighborhood. Comes complete with beaver dam, protected wetland area, trees, random paths and lots of critters. This place screams for exploration and it circles our neighborhood perfectly so no mater where you wander through too, you can always get back to the subdivison. We assume the kids are there. At around 6, I drive through the neighborhood since they haven't shown up yet and we are getting a bit worried. Usually they are back within a couple hours, or they've gone to a friends house. This night though, they knew when dinner would be ready soon after I got home. Just a tidbit about my kids....... They will NOT miss a meal. You could plop them in the middle of the desert, and they will find their way to the nearest refrigerator. So I get back home and hubby and I eat, then put the kids dinner away for when they get home.

This is when we start to think that it's time to go looking for them. We head out to the nature path and find my daughters friend Nora's father out on the path too. His kids have also disappeared. We walk the length of the path on one side of the neighborhood. No kids, but Nora's father, Grizzly Adams Jr finds some fresh tracks. We turn around where the path reaches the point that it meets the new neighborhood behind ours. I take hubby to the other side of the path and drop him off to head home and see if they've shown up at home yet. As I pull onto the main road in our neighborhood, Grizzly waves me down to pull over. It's now 7:45 and we are about to call the police. But lo and behold, The kids have turned up. At the new Target. This means that our children have walked the dogs through our neighborhood, across the new neighborhood, through a large construction area, across a very busy highway, and up to the new Target where Nora's mother works.

Needless to say the adults were less than amused. The children are still grounded. They may stay that way until they are 40. That's only if I decide to be nice. On the upside, the dogs thought it was fabulous. A long walk, a ride in the car, and they got the kid's pork chops and pecan rice for dinner.

On the work side... I've caught up in training, and I've found out which desk I will be taking over and to what Supervisor I have been assigned. I take my licensing test next week along with the final exam for training. I'm excited, but nervous. it is a LOT of work. I'm finally realizing why it is so common to hear of people in my position to work late. however, all the files I work will now be MINE. I have ownership of them, instead of how I previously work-shared with an entire department. One idiot could flush a months hard work down the toilet in the space of a 3 minute conversation. Now I'll be the only idiot to flush my files. Hurrah!!!!

Aaaaaaaand in fiber news. I'm getting ready to send out my last one skein SP package and SP8 package. They'll likely be going out saturday. I think I'll be holding off on multi shipment SP projects for a while. My partners have all been lovely, but it seems like the moment I make a commitment of some kind, that is the exact moment life blows up in my face.

Other fiber news:

-I am halfway through the cashmere Branching Out. I'm curently in the process of frogging back to find where I lost a stitch, and have already had to do that once, but lace still seems less daunting already. Pictures soon.

-I finally spun up my angora/silk/wool from the MDSW. I ended with 270 yards of fingering to lace weight yarn. I am in love. I may tell hubby that they angora has replaced him for cuddliness.

-We found a new fiber shop! It's a bit of a drive, but the owner fixed up mom's new wheel and I have spent ridiculous amounts of money there. She also has her own cormo sheep. I bought 8 oz of cormo roving and plan to spin some lace weight with it. It will be a shawl eventually. By the time I'm done spinning it, I'll finally be confident enough with lace that a shawl will be a possibility!

-I have bought entirely too much yarn and fiber recently. The yarn shop had a sale last week, and one of the local fiber shops is having a sidewalk sale this weekend. How can I possibly resist?

-Dad finally settled on apattern for his Aran Sweater and I have swatched one of the cables. We picked knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bare as his yarn. I only ordered one skein of it, worried about it being rough, but that stuff is incredibly soft. Dad felt it and said, "I love this wool". This is after feeling many options for yarn including Cascade, different merino's and even an alpaca blend. I'll be making my knitpicks order soon. Maybe I can sneak in a set of their interchangeable needles without hubby noticing. :)

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. I hope to have some to post soon.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

checking in.

It's been crazy here!

I just got done filling in during my off hours at my husbands work. working 7 days a week sucks.

Will post more later. for now.... sleep.