Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sock Swap

I just want to straight-away apologize to whichever poor soul ends up at the receiving of my socks. These will be the first socks I EVER knit and while I have the best of intentions, I do not own a magic wand. So with that being said, I offer you this serene, peaceful picture from my hometown to think of when trying on socks that will, no doubt, only fit circus performers.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Warning: Written VERY LATE AT NIGHT under the influence of CHOCOLATE FROSTING

Bear's sweater has officially been sent to the Frog Pond. It's just such a monstrosity, and being midnight I am too tired to think clearly so, off with it's (2 inch) head.

In other knitting nonsense - I have joined yet ANOTHER TWO knitting adventures that will add buttons to my sidebar (ever see Office Space? I've almost reached the bare minimum! Ha!). There are TWO MORE knitting adventures that I want to join, but that requires too much effort and concentration at this hour. It will have to wait until tomorrow. After the sugar shock (and nausea, when did the chocolate turn bad?) wears off.

I'm almost done the zodiac baby bag for tomorrow's baby shower - who throws a shower at 5pm on a Saturday night? Nurses, that's who. And I am such a social butterfly that I didn't have to cancel any plans to attend. My one year old has a better social life than I do.

I'm going to bed to let my pancreas clean up this mess. Shinier seas tomorrow and all that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire

1. Do you knit, or crochet, or do both?
I only crochet when I absolutely have to, I'm a knitter.

2. How long have you been knitting\crocheting?
After much begging, my mom taught me when I was about 8. The first thing I made was a long rectangle with a hole in the middle for my head out of my mom's scraps. I wore it every night while watching TV before bed.

3. Have you knit dishcloths or dishtowels before?
No.

4. What are your favorite cotton yarns?
I've only knit with Rowan All-Seasons, Rowan Glace, and GGH Mystik before. They're all so different, I guess between the three, the Mystik.

5. Is there a cotton or linen you’ve been dying to try but have not?
Of course! Blue Sky Cotton, Fable, Jamaica, Cotton Twist, I could list more!!

6. Are there any cotton yarns you don’t enjoy knitting with?
Not that I know of.

7. What type of needle do you prefer using? (Metal/Wood/Plastic)
I like dark, smooth, wood needles, but will use Addi Turbo metal needles. I can't knit with plastic.

8. What other projects do you enjoy knitting or crocheting?
I like making sweaters and hats for my daughter. But I have been known to make tops for myself, ponchos, shawls, purses, etc.

9. Do you have other hobbies or enjoy other kinds of crafting?
I have a 19-month old so my hobbies are knitting and keeping my knitting out of her hands and mouth.

10. What kind of treats do you like? Chocolate? Candies? Nuts?
I am always a fan of chocolate, but sour gummy candies make me happy too.

11. What colors are your kitchen and bath decorated in, if any?
The kitchen is Caribbean blue with not-yet-there yellow accents. The bathroom is tan and darker blue.

12. What are your favorite colors and what colors do you dislike?
I love sun-kissed earth tones, yellow, orange, reds. I dislike neon and washed out pastels.

13. Do you drink coffee? Tea? Other beverages?
Tea in the winter, ice-tea in the summer, diet Pepsi all the time.

14. Do you have any kids (human or pet variety!)?
1 1/2 humans (a 19-month old, and a 11-year old step daughter part time), and 2 dogs.

15. Do you have any allergies?
None.

16. Please share 3 tidbits about yourself that you think your pal and other swappers might find odd or interesting.
1. I am a Registered Dietitian with a degree in Nutrition and am working towards my Masters.
2. If all goes according to plan, my husband and I want to have four children.
3. I got married at the top of Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire in September 2002 with ten people present, despite having a 200+ guest wedding planned for the following summer.

Now, some non-swap items - this is from Jacques website, This Kitten Knits, where, incidently you can see another picture of Bear in Jacques' design, Hey Mickey. "It is time for those of us in the online knitting community to pitch in and help out one of our own. Annie Modesitt and her family are facing a battle with cancer. As you know Annie is an amazing designer who has given us knitting wisdom as well as tons of beautiful patterns to knit. She is offering a gorgeous pattern for download that can be yours for a small donation that will go directly to her husband Gerry's health fund."

Monday, June 25, 2007

Christmas Knitting Goals

My knitting goals thus far, but seeing as how I tend to overestimate my ability to finish anything on time (see Fingerless Mitts, finished 6/24/07 for Christmas '06) I reserve the right to reverse, cancel, or abandon all hope before December 25th.

1. Piggle Hat

2. Red dress with matching Head Scarf for Bear

3. Ivory dress with matching Head Scarf for Kitten

4. Big Digger Sweater

5. Minnie Mouse sweater

6. 7 pairs kids socks

161

aka Progress, I guess.

Despite a second straight week of progress in the right direction, I am still disenheartened by the number above. Especially when I see how far off I am off my original goal.
I think about what I could be wearing instead of what I am wearing and it makes me want to, well, honestly, it makes me want to eat ice cream until I feel better.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Attempting to collect the life insurance

Me: Do you think that's fireworks or gunshots?

Husband: It sounds more like gunfire to me.

Me: Do you think we should call the police?

Husband: I don't think that's necessary. By the way, it's your turn to walk the dogs tonight.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Inventory - WIP's

Since I'm on a finishing sprint (despite today's horoscope that told me to slow down, it's only messing up my hair) I thought I'd show everyone just what those percentage bars really look like. So here goes...


The Garter Stitch Pullover - one side seam left to go.


Rowan Flame Halter, 1/2 of the front completed.


Honeymoon Cami - the bane of my existence.

Debbie Bliss Hooded Striped Top - had the entire back finished and then realized my gauge was off by 1/2".


Rowan Flame Cowl - swatched since December '05.


Fingerless Mitts - finally on their own. My Christmas 2006 knitting is done.


Bear's sweater - notice any problems with the 2" neck opening?



Round-about leaf tank - screwed up the edging and cannot for the life of me figure out how to fix it without starting over.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just what every kid wants in June

A wool hat. Behold, my cousin Joel's Christmas gift, a mere six months late.

Samantha, modeling KnitPicks' 11th hour hat.


Monday, June 18, 2007

162.5

It's been just Bear and I this week. My husband has been in Indianapolis at the Formula One race with a couple of his friends. (Just a side note - when was the last time you and a couple of girlfriends went away for a week?) Anyway...

I had high hopes for the week. I would clean the house and do the dishes each night after Bear went to bed. We'd walk the dogs on the "big" loop each morning. I'd make healthy, vegetable-based meals that any mom would be proud of. Yeah. So single moms, you're gods.

Bear and I spent lots of time outside this past week. Playing in the yards of friends and family until it was time to go home and go to bed. We also spent a lot of time eating pizza and other deliverable take out. (Which has made keeping up with the dishes pretty easy.) But look! I'm down one and a half pounds! I guess I have to attribute that to all that playing outside and being the only one to walk the dogs this week, with Bear in the backpack every single time.

I'll take my weight loss any way it comes and keep plowing forward.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Nothing Like the Last Possible Minute

Jen and company are leaving Saturday for Russia - and look how far along I am with the Garter Stitch Pullover...

Garter Stitch Pullover, freshly washed in Dreft and blocking on my living room rug.

So what if I have to meet them at the airport with it? The point is, this baby will be FINISHED ON TIME.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Reverence

A few days ago I posted about a patient of mine who had survived horrific odds to beat cancer, only to go home and suffer a freak accident. Yesterday morning, his wife made the brave decision to let him go.

I am without words.

This man was funny and sweet and tenacious in the face of such an exhausting personnel struggle. Later this week family and friends will gather to honor and celebrate his life. Let this be my tribute.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Unfair

To support my yarn habit I work a day job at a local hospital. Most of the time, my job is pretty mundane. Today, was not mundane. Today, knocked me down and kept kicking.

A little background...
As with any local hospital, you have your regulars - the frequent flyers that for one reason or another come in again and again. You get to know them. You know their kids names, their favorite foods. They become part of the fabric of the hospital. When they're sick, you fight with them, and when they heal, you celebrate with them. Two weeks ago, we had one of those celebrations.

A patient was readmitted with recurrent symptoms after having surgery to remove some cancer. Everyone's first thought was that the cancer had spread. We were all wrong. We fixed the new problem and sent the patient home to their family. Today, I got news that the patient had a freak accident and is now paralyzed from the chest down. I have never cried over a patient AT work - until today.

I KNOW people get sick. I KNOW we can't fix everything. But how much is one person supposed to take? This person already fought the fight. And won. And now, the fight starts again, the road ahead will be longer, the fight tougher.

Paris, this is where the phrase, "It's not fair," should be used.

Monday, June 11, 2007

164

Perhaps that number has something to do with the Triple Chocolate Drumstick ice cream cone I had yesterday afternoon. Or the box of Macaroni & Cheese I ate for dinner. Or both.

In other exciting news, Laura found the Autumn Glory sweater I was looking for. It is just as fabulous as I remember it, though apparently I flipped through the magazine, as it is not actually on the cover (Cast On, Fall 2004 in case you're wondering). Thanks again, Laura!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Why it takes me an hour to leave the house in the morning...

Me: Bear, do you want to get dressed?

Bear: NO!

Me: Do you want to go to the balloon store with Mama?

Bear: Yah

Me: Then we need to get dressed.

Bear: Nooooo!

Me: Do you want to get a balloon at the balloon store?

Bear: Yah

Me: Then you need to put on pants, naked people are not allowed in the balloon store.

Bear: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Insert loud wrestling match, screaming, tears, and an extra application of deodorant for Mama.)

Me: OK, you ready to go to the balloon store?

Bear: Yah

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Official Yarn Ho

Since this is my second knitting themed "thing" that I'm doing this week and considering how freakin' excited I am about both of them, I have decided it is time to declare myself officially a yarn ho. Today's list of questions and answers are brought to your by the virtual knitting vacation, an anonymous swap for those of us vacationing in our own back yards this summer.

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?
I think this is the obvious answer, but Hawaii - it used to be it's own country and the
pictures are beautiful.

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?
Russia, in about two weeks, to meet my new nephew.

3. Have you ever driven across several states/provinces/countries?
I live in New England, so driving across several states is practically a daily occurrence. My
husband and I make the trip to western Pennsylvania about once a year to visit his
family.

4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?
Guadalupe, in the French West Indies. The island (when I was there right after graduation from high school eleven years ago) was definitely NOT a tourist trap. Virtually no one spoke English, we pretty much had to rely on our 8th grade French class & fend for ourselves. There's a volcanic tropical forest that takes up the entire center of the island - I was too afraid of the 100-something-year-old rope bridges to go hiking in it.

5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why?
Two years ago my husband and I went to Disney for Valentine's Day on a whim. One week later, we found out we were pregnant. That vacation was (unknowingly) the last time we were truly alone as a couple. Not that we would trade being parents for anything, but we both really treasure those memories.

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain. Sometimes... You know how when you go on vacation you'll eat at virtually any restaurant you see, you'll pop into a store because it looks interesting, and go to a play, just because. My husband and I try to do the same thing when we're home. Last year, we swore off chain-restaurants for a while and found some really great local places that we never new existed.

7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker?
Definitely a museum visitor. When I travel to someplace new, I want to know about that place, about it's history. I want to visit it's landmarks, it's zoo's, it's naturally beautiful places.

8. What's your favorite type of yarn?
I love linen & bamboo, but wool is a very close second.

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn?
Besides flashy acrylic yarn? It's got to be the old-school variegated yarn. Not self striping or something multicolored like Rowan Nostalgia, those are great yarns - more like Red Heart Multi, that has to be the worst yarn out there.

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet?
Mostly tops for myself and my 19-month old daughter. I designed a halter last summer for the baby that came out fabulous, but I have made baby blankets, mittens, hats, you name it. My next challenge is socks. Yikes.

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation?
Everything - well, as many projects as I can sneak past my husband. Who knows when there might be a 25 car pile up on the thruway or a freak snow storm that keeps you stuck in your hotel room for three days.

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet?
Before or after I became a mom? Before, I had begun taking sewing lessons and started scrap booking. Now, the scrapbook still has a few unfinished pages and that yellow linen dress I made? No one can tell it hasn't been hemmed yet when I wear it.

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)
No.

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?
I like bright earth tones - does that make sense. Colors that look naturally sun-kissed.

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)?
Sweet.

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know? I'm pretty much a homey, outdoorsy kind of girl. I still consider myself young (I'm not quite 30) but I was never a flashy, partying, ultra hip person.

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Things

Hope is having a contest to celebrate her first blogiversary. She wants to know what your favorite pattern is in each of 6 categories. Not that I've actually gotten around to MAKING any of these things, but here are my picks:

1. Hats & Scarves
Olive You! Itty-Bitty Hats

2. Shawls & Wraps
Color on Color Scarf Style

3. Hands & Feet
Over the Knee Socks Handknit Holidays

4. Bags & Purses
Backgammon Bag Weekend Knitting

5. Other
Cover skirt Vogue Knitting Summer Spring 2006

6. Other
Autumn Glory (?) sweater seen on the cover of a magazine when I was returning to knitting after a 5 year hiatus, I remember looking at the pattern and it was made by using single thin strands of yarn and changing the colors strand by strand to make an amazing sunset scene. If anyone knows this pattern - PLEASE tell me where I can find it.

164

While I am excited be trending in the right direction again, I am disappointed in myself for being so far off the goal mark. When this started, I made a little chart based on losing 1.5 pounds per week. This would get me pretty much to my goal of 125 by Bear's second birthday in October. I am now so far off track that I don't think it will be possible to get back to that original chart. But I'm apprehensive of dissmissing my chart all together. It's like saying this backward leap never happened, wiping the slate clean, and starting over. It feels like cheating really.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Progress

So Bear is growing, or has some sudden-onset sleep disorder. This morning she woke up at 6, went back down at about 8:30, got up at noon, and went back down at 3:30. It's 5:46 now and she hasn't stirred. Do I wake her? I don't really think she's down for the night. For now, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet. On the upside, I have gotten a lot of knitting done. Here are several pieces of Bear's sweater, blocking:




I'm also one sleeve away from finishing the garter stitch sweater. It might be finished in time for J&N to take to Russia with them. Something finished on time... that would be a first.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Forgiveness

During my pregnancy I met a girl, a few years younger than myself, at child birthing class. She had recently reconciled with her mom, whom she had not spoken to in five years, and moved back home from Florida after finding herself pregnant with an ex-boyfriends baby. We were due two weeks apart and became fast friends. She would frequently make the drive to our apartment (45 minutes is a LONG drive in Rhode Island) just to knit and watch girly TV with me. My friends loved her and quickly embraced her as the newest member of our circle.

When her son was born, I visited her in the hospital twice. He was the first newborn I had ever held and he was perfect. Tiny perfect ankles, tiny perfect elbows, a wrinkly little face that earned him the nickname Mr. Magoo. I fell in love instantly and secretly feared that I wouldn't feel the same about the baby still growing inside of me. (Fears wholly unfounded, I'd soon learn.)

During those early days of motherhood, we would often text message each other "You up?" at all hours of the night. We celebrated the little first together. He smiled. She can hold her head up. He slept through the night. And we cried over the little frustrations together.

She was the kind of friend that I could tell anything to and would have done anything for. And then Poker Night happened. Suffice it to say that amongst the partying, $60 went missing from my friends wallets. She was the easy target. She was going back to school, out of work, and still fighting for child support. I cut off all communication with her. When she invited me to her sons first birthday party I put the invitation in my keepsakes shoe box but didn't respond.

Today she sent me her graduation announcement. And an invitation to the party after. I miss my friend.

Bear, enjoying her first ever Valentine's Day present from Mr. Magoo.