Thursday, September 28, 2006

Things that I've lost

Not sure if you noticed, but I signed us up the Zimmermann A-long. I might have posted the button a little soon, I'm waiting on the email acceptance. Maybe they'll take a look at the blog and say, "We don't need those bitches." If that's what happens, I may lose it, see I've been losing a lot of stuff lately. First, I can't find my copy of Knitting w/o Tears. Tore the house apart, so I'm scouring the city for a copy. I lost the most adorable picture of Gus & I at a family wedding in August. And really the most important thing, I'm slowly losing my love of Halloween. I've been losing that one little by little every year. No desire to construct a spooky graveyard out of nothing more than cardboard, leaves and spray insulation. No desire to line up the Peanuts Great Pumpkin toys. Nadda. As you know, this is a horrible thing to lose. It's Steak Knife's favorite time of the year. My life becomes difficult if I don't express sheer joy at his mention skeletons and jack o'lanterns. Last night, he put up all he decorations as Christmas stocking. He didn't say it, but I knew his was sad. Christmas stockings during the Halloween season? How dare you. I didn't marry this... I bet he was thinking it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I've Finally Done it. Gone Crazy.

I can't believe it, here she is in all her glory! This one's going to be called "Dolly". While I (I do mean our Mother) was sewing it up, I started singing Coat of Many Colors. You know I love a good Dolly Parton reference. Maybe I'll make something that makes me think of Jolene.

I finished the border and when I was BO-ing the last stitch, I almost started to cry. The pup kept trying to lay on it while I was working on the border. After the fourth time of me screaming, I think she got it. No dog, no food, no fooling around on the Dolly. Yes, Patons was cheaper & more accessible. Yes, wool is going to be fabulous in the winter. But it's going to be a bitch to clean. Honestly, I just want to stare at it all day long. The border became an obsession. Dishes are getting moldy and the clothes are piling up. I'm pretty sure my job is going to fire me, but the blanket is done.

Here's the goods:
Yarn: Variety of colors from Patons Classic Wool Merino. I used about a skein and a half of 9 colors.
Needle: US 7
Time: 6 long months
Pattern: Mason Dixon Knitting Mitered Square Blanket
Size: I don't know, BIG! I think it's slightly larger than the one in the book.

With this thing out of my WIP pile, I don't know what to do with myself. I may go into a postpartum. Steak Knife will find me curled up (under Dolly, of course) and ask, "Did you get Gus from daycare?". And a little dribble of spittle will slide out of my mouth. He'll call mom and say that he's concerned. She'll drive over and tell me to "drink your juice...drink your juice" (favorite movie line ever. I had to leave off the name, but guess the movie?). Oh how this blanket will have changed our family!

Ok, back to reality. I left my shrug at Mom's, so I'm knitless for a bit. I guess I could clean. Maybe I'll work on Steak Knife's X-Mas stocking. Maybe. I think that I should rest.

Going back to Dolly Parton. Did you ever pick up the Real Simple Food magazine? I made the Dolly Parton Dump Cake on Sunday. It's so trashy, it's good. Your mouth isn't sure what to think, but you hand moves the spoon back through the goop. All without thinking.

Happy Birthday to the Flyer!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Guess Who?

I present to you a little game for the weekend. Guess who has finished knitting and seaming her miter squares? Come on, guess?

Answer: Me.

No picture, because my camera has decided to pull a very mean stunt on this momentous day. New batteries, still won't turn on.
Now I've got to decide, knit sew or machine sew the squares together. If I'm going to finish this in time for a 2006 winter use, I'd better load up the car and visit our mother. But Steak Knife said that'd be cheating. I almost shoved him in the empty XXL Zip Lock bag. What do you think? Is that kind of cheating worth it? Kind of like if Jason Lee showed up on the door step and said, "Lola I've always wanted you." I'll post as soon as my camera decides to work.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

1/2 Empty Kind of Day

When I started knitting again, I stumbled on Craftster. I credit it with turning a hobby into an addiction. People were so nice! I'd make a garter stitch scarf and they'd react like it was a Monet. When I sank deeper into the addiction, I discovered Knit Blogs. For the most part, peoples' posts revolve around beautiful projects, sweet kids, and the other niceties of their lives. Bloggers are just nice people (except towards acrylic yarns). Ava, you know me. I'm perfectly fine with saying sometime shit stinks. Hell, I thought DH stood for "Damn Husband". Today is one of those days, and for no good reason. So here's the start of a Top 10 (I'm not that much of a downer to do 100) List of Things that Piss me off. In no particular order:

* When non-breast-feeders (I don't hate them. Really.), tell me "with all the advancement with formula the only difference between it & breast-milk is the price".
* Shopping for jeans or bras. For jeans, the squat test is never pretty. For bras, Mom ruined that one. Every time I try them on, I'm reminded of our dressing room adventure where you had to help her adjust the girls. That should send most into therapy, I'm just used to it.
* When your cable modem is slower than dial-up.
* When you tell someone your kid's name and they respond, "Oh cute. My terrier's name is Gus."
* Political ads. Candidate A hates dogs and children. Candidate B wants to kill cats and hates the elderly. Hmm? Who to vote for?
* You ask for a Dirty Martini and it's hardly dirty. More like someone just forget to wipe up crumbs. I want it filthy! Like Johnny Knoxville dirrty.

Like I said, it's one of those days. Suppose to turn right, instead you've turned left and there's a huge traffic jam that you can't get out of. Yep.

One bright moment, I only have 2 more miters left. I also got my package of Noro in the mail.
*I should add to the list, "When people start a super cool KAL and you have no time to start a new project."*

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Best Laid Plans

Yesterday, it would appear, didn’t go according to plan. I tried to explain the phrase “The best laid plans of mice and men” to my students last week, but it went over about as well as your Of Mice and Men comment a few weeks ago, Lola. I’m not into all that pithy “when life gives you lemons” shit. When life gives me lemons, I ask for the bottle of vodka to make lemon drops.

Universal Sock and Embossed Leaves Sock

Betty and Veronica decided against going into Brooklyn to see Stephanie. The last time she was in our area was on Gus’s first birthday. So were these folks, and I have yet to live it down. After plotting it on Mapquest and having the computer spit back some bizarre one hour and thirty-six minute driving quote (has it ever taken us 90 minutes to make it into the City from my house? Seriously?) I came to the decision that it would indeed be a fool’s errand. Sure, I moped, I gnawed, I harrumphed . . . but in the end, I acquiesced. The Frequent Flyer was very, very willing to make the trek and sit “enraptured” with me (as I do in the different comic book shops he frequents*), but I decided to head south and do some shopping. While I could focus on all the misses and sour notes, here is what went right yesterday.

- I bought several bras that fit mostly right. The cup size is still a little small, but it doesn’t appear to be verging on porn star status like the current crop.

- The cutest t-shirt with faux tattoos is on my back. If ever I were to get one, it would be a much smaller version of this t-shirt or the uber-cool knitting one.You can see the t-shirt under the doctor's bag WIP.

- I gave into the urge and bought the Tracey Ullman book. Not bad . . . you didn’t tell me about the leg warmers! They are too darn cute for words. I even went to A. C. Moore and bought the yarn for the doctor’s bag and cast on (I’m cheap . . . I bought Lion Brand Wool-Ease).

Doctor's Bag cast on

- I finished the Universal Sock from Knitty. And I learned a thing or two. First, my bind-off in pattern is spot-on for tightness. Second, the spot-on bind-off won’t fit over my heal. Third, I can un-bind-off and complete the yarn-over bind-off which will fit. Fourth, I probably will never make another toe up because of this. (I am modeling the Universal Sock and Veronica is modeling the Embossed Leaves Sock above)

- Found several great CDs at the Jukebox for mere dollars. Under the Covers Vol. 1 and Buena Vista Social Club are awesome . . . well worth the $7 (so was FutureSex/LoveSounds for just $2.98 more)

All in all, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been if I would have allowed my attitude to get in the way. The next time the Harlot is heading anywhere in a 100 mile radius, though, I will be there.

*When picking up the last case of DC Direct figures (yes, case), the guy behind the counter says, “Oh, we know just to get an extra for you.” I responded, “Please, don’t encourage this habit.” The Frequent Flyer says it’s a hobby (so would Steak Knife, I know). I counter that it is a habit; a minute later another comic book employee says, “You are right . . . this is a habit.” Off to get another fix, ummm round, of short rows in.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What's a Girl to Do?

I'm having a dilemma whether I should pick up the new Justin Timberlake album. I held it for a couple seconds and then put it down just as fast. Why? We loved the first one! It still finds its way to the CD player. When I first heard "Sexy Back", I pissed. Where's the soul, J.T.? I know that this album you say is heavily influenced by Prince, but which Prince era? Cause I don't like new Prince. "Sexy Back" has grown on me, but I'm not buying an album hoping for that same reaction. What ever you do, don't sing "SexyBack" to a toddler and then say, "So you gonna bring SexyBack, Gus?" The folks at Trader Joe's are not as liberal as they'd like you to think. Give me a review if you pick it up.

2 more squares done, which means 2 more left. I'm going to have to bribe myself just to look at the Paton's Classic. I can hear you asking, "What else is in that picture?" I picked up 2 skeins of Noro and thought I'd see what a Lizard Ridge block would look like. The orange one has been blocked. I love the look of the unblocked ones, but I doubt they'd make a nice blanket. It's a fun pattern & I've fallen in love with Noro. I never thought I'd say good things about short rows. Apparently they have the same qualities as "Sexy Back". Don't think I've gone afghan crazy, I'll pick up a skein here and there. No more Blanket-Must-Get-Done gusto from me. I've learned my lesson. I also included some of the baptism books I picked up today (those are my 2 favorites). I had to cut the list at "There's a Monster at the End of this Book." I'll save that one for her birthday.

p.s. I've got to admit that "Damn Girl" is pretty good. I did some previewing of FutureSex/Love Songs.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Real Quick

Today's been crazy. I had a conference call at 11 a.m. and a few calls in the morning, but work wasn't the issue. For some reason, I felt the need to scrub the entire house down. In-laws are coming, but not until the weekend. I should know better. I think the fridge already has grubby prints and the carpet is full of crushed Cheerios. I think it was either clean or watch T.V. And TV was not an option this morning.

So here's some pictures from Knit 2 Together. I completely agree with you, I hate when you can't find images online. I want previews! So many knit books look alike and I get caught up in the surprise at the store. I've bought way to many books with that Christmas-morning mentality. Here are some that I sort of like...

(bag without the orange thingys, duh?)

And the new Knitty's up! Love Sherwood (this will be Gus' next sweater), Avast(will never make it, but it's in the Steak Knife m/b folder) and Cactus Flower. Oh, and of course I LOVE Lizard Ridge with the different skeins of Noro. I think that one will consume me.
Very quick post, but I wanted to get those pictures to you. Sleep on them.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ava's Two Truths and a Lie

My life really just isn't that interesting. Sure, I travel far more frequently than I did when I was younger, but nothing ever happens on those trips. This is the best I could come up with. Take your best guesses . . . it shouldn't be that hard.

Numero Uno: The first time that I met the Frequent Flyer was in chemistry class, but the first time I remember meeting the Frequent Flyer was in our service fraternity’s office for an interview (I was pledging and he was active). The Frequent Flyer stepped onto the rather large conference table, walked across it, put his hand on my head to steady himself, and lowered into a chair. We started our interview with the normal chit-chat (what’s your major, how do you like it here) when he discovered where my hometown was. Turns out he has a cousin who lives there and do I know him? My first thought is, “There are 60 thousand other folks who live there; I’m sure I don’t know your cousin, dude.” Through the course of events, we find out I do know his cousin (went to school with him, got him a job slinging ice cream, bit his tongue). It was a lovely conversation, really made an impact, blah blah blah. Over the next few weeks, I would see him once and a while in the office. One evening, he comes up and says, “Why are you such a bitch in the morning?” Me? A bitch in the morning? This one threw me for a loop because I never saw him in the morning so I asked what he was getting at. He says, “Every morning, I come in for breakfast at north quad’s dining hall and you are taking down numbers. I try to be friendly and make conversation, but you blow me off.” Turns out I thought he lived off campus and couldn’t figure out who this weirdo was chatting me up before I had had enough time to drink my coffee. Never made that mistake again!

Numero Dos: Lola and I have a huge extended family . . . one that we actually enjoy being with. When our cousin in Atlanta got married, we knew it would be a big to-do: great hotel, great party, great stories. We started noticing that things were a little odd at the hotel when people dressed in latex and as Sailor Moon started getting on our elevators at regular intervals. Turns out there was an anime convention at the hotel, and it was only going to get weirder. Later that night, we took the Metro to our aunt’s in Buckhead for the rehearsal dinner. Lola and I checked with Daddy-o to make sure he could drive us back to the hotel since we were planning on drinking heavily (it’s a family thing). No problem, says Daddy-o. About ten vodka tonics later, we go to find Daddy-o. He forgot about the promise and started drinking himself. The only thing we could do was drag ourselves back to the hotel, but we were so tanked, we weren’t sure we knew which way to go. Enter the wise and sober 9-year-olds to the rescue: Betty and Veronica. Thanks to the girls, we got back to the hotel in one piece and were able to witness: three girls in matching ninja costumes falling on their faces in the middle of a six lane road, several ladies leading their “mates” around on leashes, talking some sense into my cousin who wasn't too sure she wanted to get married (also more than a little tipsy), another cousin stopping several convention goers from appearing on the wedding video, and Daddy-o surviving a gun being pulled on him (that is another story).

Numero Tres: Betty and Veronica are twins. If you haven’t figured that out by now, shame on you. They aren’t identical, but they are close enough that Daddy-o has a hard time with them on occasion. We were living in Michigan at the time and were at a mall sinc the living arrangements weren’t so hot (living arrangements were actually in a hotel the Frequent Flyer was managing at the time), so any time away from the place was a godsend. The girls were little, maybe two, and were hungry. Not wanting a full blown temper tantrum on our hands, we ducked into a fast food place and got kid friendly food for everyone. Half way through the “meal,” the Frequent Flyer says, “I want to get out of here. That woman keeps staring at the girls and she’s giving me the creeps.” I turn around just in time to see a middle aged woman quickly put her head down and begin showing way too much attention to her fries. We hurried out of the restaurant but couldn’t seem to shake the woman. After about the third store of her following us, the Frequent Flyer had had enough and went over to talk to the woman. Thankfully the Frequent Flyer got to the woman before I did because I had the mace ready (hey, it was close to Detroit, cut me some slack). She got all flustered and pulled out a business card. Turns out she was a talent/booking agent for Emergency 911 and was always looking for twins to play the role of children featured on the show. We took the girls in for an audition and the rest is history. Betty and Veronica were featured in several of the productions in the early ‘90s. Sadly, they never got to meet Mr. Shatner. His scenes were filmed away from children for some reason.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Quick Update

It's the weekend, so I know that I won't talk to you for a couple days. I'm loving the new book! I've also realized that the yarn I was using for Rowan's Betty was being wasted. I've made it through 1.5 repeats on the Pimlico Shrug's lace pattern. This thing is going to be so soft! The merino on Betty was turning out stiff with all the K2tog, P2tog, M2 in each stitch. Who wants to destroy perfectly good softness for that nonsense? Not saying that the Pimlico Shrug will be a T.V. friendly knit, but I'll enjoy it more than Betty (not your Betty, of course).

So WIP's:
2.5 blocks left on the damn afghan
Pimlico Shrug
Purse sock (I don't think I should even have to count that one).
Not bad. I feel good with only 2 real projects. And should one really count an enormous afghan? I do need a hat. Winter's a coming.

p.s. Big game tomorrow night! Different team, what's up with Big Ben sitting out? Isn't he bad enough to play with a little tummy problem? Oh & I want the beard back.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I was really hoping for a not-so cute kid (admit it, there are some).

I've got to tell you something Ava. I hate to admit this, but Tom Cruise has done a good job. That Suri kid is cute. You know it took a lot for me to say that. Nothing against babies (however, I really don't like newborns), but I loathe him. I've despised him long before it was popular to do so. At least 10 years, right? I won't say "hate" because Mom would yell at me. And really, he's never cut me off in traffic or called me the C word. But there's just something about him that makes me want to cut myself. He's in my very exclusive club of celebs that I want to spit on for no good reason. Right along with Vivica A. Fox (sure, she was ok in Kill Bill) and Kari Wuhrer (almost ruined my love affair with Mr. Sonny Corinthos). Please don't ask me to explain. Really, I have no reason for wishing that one of these stars will take a nose-dive on Skating with the Stars. One star that almost makes that list was Tracey Ullman. I'm annoyed when people use bad fake teeth. But her new knitting book gets her off my list.

When I heard that she was putting out a knitting book, I was irritated. Once again, no good reason. Trying to kill some time, I went into a bookstore. Huge knitting selection! I found this Knit 2 Together and Debbie Bliss' new one. I flipped through Ullman's book and was happy. Since I have a growing library of patterns/books I'll never use, I put it back. "I'm not going to give in. Oh no!" But then some of the patterns were taunting me. And guess what? Just like T. Cruise, I did a complete turn around. Snatched it up and bought it. The damn book even made me quit another project and start a new one. My Betty is going to be frogged and I'm using the yarn for the Pimlico Shrug. Betty was not fun to knit and I wasn't picking it up very often. And that's the story of how one more knitting book was added to the Lola library.

p.s. "The Debbie Bliss one?" I hear you saying. I'll take a look the next time, but it seems like it's full of patterns she already done.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ergo, The Bunnies Are Sad

The Frequent Flyer likes to recall a time when Betty and Veronica were little, say four-ish and still in car seats. We had an old Honda hatchback car then so getting two little girls into the car in the first place was one of skill and patience. Lots of, "Hold Daddy's shirt while I get your sister in the car," and "No, you can't bring that fuzzy caterpillar in the car." Anyway, the story goes like this: for some reason, I wasn't there which in and of itself should be a sign that things might be a little silly. The Frequent Flyer was taking the girls to the mall and "The Sweetest Thing" by U2 came on the radio. Since the old Honda didn't have air but a kick ass stereo (read - so damn hot in the summer when the windows were rolled down that you couldn't hear the kick ass stereo), the song was playing oh-so softly. As the story goes, Betty sings the oh-oh-oh part while Veronica chimes in on the sweetest thing part . . . and a family urban legend begins.

The girls are great for those little nuggets of humor and navel-gazing while in the car. Yesterday was no exception. We were listening to Veronica's new favorite song by Cartel and somehow we got onto the topic of Death Cab For Cutie's latest video. Veronica is describing it to Betty and me and she comments that there are sad bunnies in the video. Here is what transpired:

Betty: How do you figure they are sad? They are just rabbits.
Me: Yeah, I thought it was the one with the dude in the hole which winds up being his kitchen.
Veronica: Okay, there are two bunnies in the video and the lyrics are so depressing. Ergo, the bunnies are sad.
Betty: (pausing to take it all in) Excuse me, did you just say "ergo" in that sentence?
Veronica: Yeah, I used it correctly. Who cares?
Betty: Because nobody uses "ergo" any more. It's a word the same way "gams" or "ampersand" are words.
Me: Yeah, but was he in a hole?

People should use "ergo" more. It is being bandied about in the Ava house and is written on the white board with a big "Do NOT erase" bubble around it. At home, I get to speak like I am college educated; at work, I have trouble spelling the easiest words. I have a theory that the more bad spelling you are exposed to (keep in mind I teach 7th grade English so I see a lot), the worse off you are spelling-wise. I might just start using it with my students to see what happens.

Embossed Leaves Sock

Sad bunnies aside, there was a flurry of activity on the embossed leaves socks. I haven't picked this sock up since April and was oh-so close to ripping it all out because I feared I wouldn't be able to figure out where I left off. And then I saw it: a note. A note which appeared to tell me where I left off, a note which could save my fingers the heel turn, a note to energize my knitting. The note said simply, "Four rounds 4.17." I took that to mean that I had completed the fourth set of repeats in the pattern so I began with round one. Simple enough. Nope, the note meant I had completed the third round in the repeat and needed to begin the fourth round of the repeat. I didn't figure this out until I finished the first half of the round. Tinking this pattern is a pain, but I did it anyway since the leaves would look all wonky otherwise. That being said, I am down to a set of repeats before I begin the toe decreases.

I am not too sure about the magic loop method, Lola. So unsure that I went out and bought three sets of double pointed needles (Betty has another set and I can't locate a third). I just don't like the way that the cables stretch the edge of the knitting. I'll finish this set with the magic loop, but I think I might use DPNs to do the next pair of socks.


PS - The Frequent Flyer and I went to see Crank with the uber-dreamy Jason Statham and I don't think that I could recommend it to anyone other than Steve since I know how much he loved The Transporter. Oh, don't get me wrong - plenty of lovely shots of Mr. Statham's chest and bare buns, but honestly, I was glad it was the matinee price.