Monday, August 13, 2007


I need to start this post with a warning: I have not searched the archives for this issue! Sorry, but I really just want to vent. I'm nearing the end of my Melon & I think that I'll be short on yarn. I have 5 repeats of the body left. This means I will have one ball left for the border. I'm pretty sure 110 yards isn't enough for a proper border. Anyone else have this issue?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Whatever Lola Wants

Won't you please join us for the party and click on the link for the new Two Black Sheep? Please update your Bloglines (it's easy as hell) and follow the misadventures of the Sheep sisters. Besides, Lola is cooking up a little contest full of all sorts of freebies . . . and who doesn't like free?


Friday, February 09, 2007

Sing, Sing a Song

I have been knitting on the EZ Fair Isle on and off all week, but honestly, does anyone really want to read about 13 inches of stockinette? No? Didn't think so! I love the yarn, the color is sublime, and the pattern couldn't be easier - note to all: haven't reached the Fair Isle yet - but it is boring. Grace is progressing nicely, but I've already chatted about how I hate the yarn and the pattern is straight forward yet confusing at the same time. What more is there to say until it is done?

Somewhere, back in the fall, I suggested to Lola that we use song titles for our posts. There were two reasons for this: I am not that creative when it comes to titles and Degrassi: The Next Generation does it. Truly, there is a third reason: I love music almost as much as I love knitting. Every once and a while, I will sit down to list my ten favorite songs of all times, so here is that list. Nothing is in a particular order and one of Lola's is in there for good measure.

1. "I'm A Slave 4 U" by Britney Spears. Say what you want about my girl Brit, but I love this song, as does Lola. There is something about it that makes me want to dance - which I can't - and pretend to be Britney. I, however, would know when to flash the photographers and when to keep my legs closed. This is my ring tone for Lola, by the way. If you ever hear a vaguely porno-esque cellphone ring, chances are it's me.

2. "Into the Sun" by Joseph Arthur. If you haven't heard this song, go out and get it! It plays during the scene in Saved when all the characters are searching their souls; if you haven't seen the movie, get it, too. I like the basic premise of the song that whatever you do, the person singing wishes you peace and love.

3. "Yellow" by Coldplay. When this song came out, we were taking our first trip to England. The girls and I stayed in a little coastal village in Scotland called Ayr for three days. The brochure showed pictures of folks frolicking in the surf and having a gay old time. Silly me, I packed their bathing suits. Ummm . . . Scotland in July requires a coat. The video for "Yellow" has Chris Martin singing on a beach which looks surprisingly like Ayr - classic love song which I love.

4. "Breathe Me" by Sia. This is one that Lola introduced me to. Sia's voice is beautiful and haunting. It is impossible for me to break away from this song once it begins: in movie trailers, bad television shows, stupid commercials, Barnes and Noble.

5. "Fancy" by Reba McEntire. My sister made me do it! Lola's favorite song is "Fancy," oh she of poor white trash fame. She had it played at her wedding reception and performed a lovely choreographed dance to it. At least she didn't ask me to list "Pussy Control" by Prince.

6. "If God Will Send His Angels" or "Stay (Far Away, So Close)" or "All I Want Is You" by U2. I am a huge U2 fan, always have been and always will be. It is hard to pick a favorite song by U2, but it would have to be any one of these three. There are a few more, but it is something about the pacing and the lyrics for these songs. The Flyer says I am nuts because I think that The Joshua Tree is vastly over-rated, but he did let me name one of the girls after a member of U2's child. Sick, I know.

7. "Thorn In My Side" by the Eurythmics. Lola and MR had "At Last" as their wedding song; quite classy if you ask me. The Flyer and I chose "Thorn In My Side." It fits our sense of humor, we love Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (better together than separate, if you ask me), and it makes for a good story.

8. "Feeling Good" by any artist who sings it. Bring it on Nina Simone, Michael Buble, Muse . . . it's all good. The beat is mighty fine for a little classy bump-n-grind and it is easy to sing along with it as long as you convince yourself that you are Nina Simone and not Michael Buble. Besides, Lola and I have a weird fascination with strippers and this definitely fits the bill.

9. "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. Yes, Otis Reading has a great version and Taylor Hicks sang a near-perfect version for his American Idol audition last season, but Sam Cooke is the artist I prefer. I nearly weep when I hear this song; play it at my funeral or I will haunt you, Lola.

10. "You'll Never Find A Love As Good As Mine" by Lou Rawls. Remember when Lou Rawls did a guest spot on General Hospital? No? Well, he was the choir leader at the funeral for Justice's mother. I was waiting patiently for him to break into "You'll Never Find," but alas, it was at a funeral. Hey, Lola, play this one too! Same goes for the haunting!

Knitting content is coming . . . as is a potential switch to another site! Stay tuned.

PS - Since one was Lola's, my official ten would include "Hallelujah" by just about anyone, but preferrably by Rufus Wainwright. The girls don't like it by Leonard Cohen but even his version has a lovely quality to it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

No song title post because no picture post

I'm about to rip out my hair.

My skin is still rough and painful from our Chicago trip.

I got a horrible flat tire. I took it in and was told that I needed a new battery and new tires (It has been over 72,000 miles). MR thinks that tires cost $30 each, so when I tell him the price, he flips.

Blogger is driving me nuts. I don't understand why you can change back to the widget format as easily as you can switch to the old format. We've lost Haloscan again. (I'll be thrilled with the new domain once it's up & ready. MR is loving the idea about creating our banner) Why?

Bloglines isn't taking updates from the new blog. I'd hate to switch and not get my updates. Don't take away my needle! Why, Bloglines? Why?

The new pay schedule is screwing up how I do bills. Getting paid every week was easier to handle than every 2 weeks. I'll get used to it in time.

I almost ripped out my progress on Nephew's Wallaby because I thought the size 6 was closer to a size 4. I realized that I cast on the same amount for Beaner's 4T sweater. Almost in a hysterical fit, I grabbed a ruler. I completely forgot that I increased after the ribbing . Thank god I didn't rip. I was one bad American Idol try-out from putting the Wallaby into the ball winder. I would have done it, that's how pissy I am.

One good note, I'll cast on STR G-Rocks without finishing my 2nd Pomo socks. I forgot that I need something to knit while at the beach in FL.

Another good note, Gus is putting so many words together it isn't funny. Somewhere he's learned to say "boobies" and he knows what they are. He's also learned where his penis is. We're not sure how this came about, but he grabs his diaper when I asked (MR was giving him a bath and having him wash all of his body parts. He didn't think he'd know penis. And he did. We don't go around saying the word).

Monday, February 05, 2007


I made it home. I'll post some details about our trip. Can't say to much about the actual contest (entire reason we went to Chicago) because I signed an confidentiality agreement. We had a lot of fun despite the -23 temperature that followed us. At about 1 p.m. on Sunday, the fun was gone. I had had enough. You'd think that you can't tell a difference between -15 and -23, you'd be wrong. I've got a list of things to do:

  1. get Gus and Pup from Mom
  2. clean up all of the mess from Chicago
  3. clean up all of the mess from before we left
  4. work (it is Monday, after all)
  5. oil change and tire rotation
  6. slather a horrid amount of lotion on my itchy body
  7. balance our checking account
  8. work with Ava to fix the blog (not sure if I like the Haloscan commenting)
  9. knit something

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Moment I Said It

Winter has finally hit the East Coast. Sure, we have dabbled in attempts for the past few weeks, but I think that it is here to stay no matter what Punxsutawney Phil or that ground hog from Staten Island has to say about it. It was 11 freaking degrees this morning on the way to church and only warmed up by about a degree in the ensuing 45 minutes.

Veronica kindly modeled the class hat even though Betty has claimed it

We had parent teacher conferences this week, which can only mean one thing: heartache. The conferences in February are the gut wrenching ones; we only ask for them if the student is in danger of failing the year so they are never truly happy conferences. I believe that I heard the following statements way too often: I don’t know what to do with him/her and I am not making excuses but (fill in the blank). You get the picture. I told the Flyer that if I had a dollar for every time I said that, I could book another trip to England post haste. Luckily I had my EZ Fair Isle sweater with me. There was a lot of down time in this conference, so I knit while waiting. In a few long conferences, I even picked it up and knit under the table.

Having a relatively simple pattern has come in handy recently. I knit the whole way through Pan’s Labyrinth last night which was probably for the best. Guillermo del Toro is truly a gifted filmmaker, but if you don’t know anything about him, I can understand why you walk out of the film thinking, “That was a little violent.” He is a horror film director, folks. The fact that he could turn out something relatively sedate for him speaks volumes. And, truthfully, the original Grimm’s fairy tales weren’t happy-go-lucky . . . we have Disney to thank for that.

What's going on

Grace is progressing nicely. I finished the other front and have begun the back. Unfortunately, it is a pattern that requires some attention, so I am only working on it when I don’t have something else to pay attention to. There are several things going on in the photo: Grace (fronts complete), the doctor’s bag from Knit 2 Together, my hat from the Fair Isle class, and the beginning of the EZ Fair Isle sweater (now about 12 inches in).

Thank you all for the kind words on the post about Clark. This might have been the first year that I really didn’t have a total break down probably because it was the first year that I confessed the willingness to trade away parts of my life just for a cup of coffee. On other brother news, our bro who is 25 has finally set a graduation date of June. Lola wasn’t too happy with the June decision because it conflicts with a family wedding. Truthfully, I would rather be at the wedding, but I am really looking forward to holding up signs spelling out “FINALLY” for the family Christmas card picture.


PS – Go Bears!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Silent Lucidity = (Silent) Poetry

Since the post titles have been song titles for several months now, I am not about to break a theme for the poetry reading. Besides, Lola is in Chicago trying out for The World Series of Pop Culture and Queensryche has a Chicago-based tribute band of the same name. This is the poem, "The Armful," by Robert Frost. I often reread it when things get a little out of balance.

For every parcel I stoop down to seize
I lose some other off my arms and knees,
And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns,
Extremes too hard to comprehend at once
Yet nothing I should care to leave behind.
With all I have to hold with hand and mind
And heart, if need be, I will do my best.
To keep their building balanced at my breast.
I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;
Then sit down in the middle of them all.
I had to drop the armful in the road
And try to stack them in a better load.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

True Colors

I've got problems. Lots of them. All this pop culture knowledge is ruining my brain. I couldn't even remember that Simple Minds did the Breakfast Club song! Very confidently, I said, "Simply Red." MR shot me a look of horror and corrected me. All day I was trying to remember the name of the Phil Collins song with all the puppets. Land of Confusion. What the hell? And I paid for a plane ticket to test my pop culture knowledge? I'm ashamed. I even broke into tears when I heard Cyndi Lauper singing "True Colors" on an old Howard Stern show. I'm trying to merge onto the highway, wipe my eyes and sing the song at the same time. But that songs always gets me, so it has nothing to do with stress.

Yesterday, I realized I'm not prepared for cold weather outside of our city. We've had a mild winter like most. I didn't feel the need for hats or boots. Since I haven't felt like shopping since Gus was born (Yep, almost 2 years & I have no excuses), I don't have key items. I quickly found out that it isn't easy to find winter essentials in January! Found some boots that will do. And I've made a hat out of some old TLC Cara Mia. Its a plain spiral rib hat, but it reminded me why I dislike this yarn. Once you wear it for more than 20 minutes, it's stretched for shit. I started a simple beret and I'm hoping that it won't matter if it's stretched. The yarn is so soft, but it doesn't hold a shape. I bought a ton of it when TLC decided to get rid of it. Maybe I'll turn it into an afghan.

Thought I'd leave you a taste of the old MTV.

Oh, this is really gross (I swear I haven't done it), but have you ever typed in "ZIT" into YouTube's search bar? I can't bring myself to click Play.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Tonight is Your Night, Bro

Since the last post was so moving, I feel that I need to tack on a disclaimer for the next post.
Disclaimer: This post is full of silliness, shame and probably a crap-ton of grammatical errors.
Now I can procedde with my head hanging low.

You won't be hearing much from me this week. We're packing up and preparing for our trip to the Windy City. Last spring, we watched VH1's World Series of Pop Culture. I like to think that MR has more crap knowledge than I do, but I've been sinking to his level for the last 10 years. I'm not proud of this slide. Not at all. Mom would always say, "Don't fall in love with a man who's shorter than you." But Mom never warned us about falling in love with a nerd. So I didn't know what to do when Nerd Love came a knockin'. There were flags early in our relationship. Here's one example that should have sent me running.

Our first dating years were full of Star Wars events. The biggest flag came during the Phanton Menace premiere. I waited in a 3-hour line with him and some other friends. It wasn't until an MC announced a winner in the Best Wookie sound that I noticed a bar across the street. I left, sat on a stool and returned right before the MC announced Biggest Star War's fan. The MC was about to hand a shirt to a guy named Luke ("My parents named me after L.S" Really? What 30 year-old wasn't told that at least once?), MR stood up and shoved a card in the guy's face. "The guy with the Honorary Jedi card wins," the MC screams. The crowd fell silent. You could only hear my head hitting the pavement and some guy turning on his "lightsaber". The only thing that stopped me from passing out were the number of grown men in costumes. Anyone should worry about grown men in costumes if it isn't Halloween. Apparently, MR had hidden and "forgotten" about this card. He received it when he was a little kid after he sent in UPC codes from the figure boxes.

I've learned to deal with his "dorkiness". I always look for Marvel Legend variants while I'm on the road. If I do it in my spare time, we don't have to look while were cramming errands in before Gus' dinner. I took the time to Google all cult/superhero names before we picked a name for Gus. I almost caved for Ash, but I came to my senses. I've learned to fake an interested look and nod whenever I hear: Bruce Campbell, George Romero and Avatar

Anyway back to this weekend... After the show ended, MR put us on the mailing list. We submitted a questionnaire and got an interview time. We've been cramming our brains full of Pop Culture information. Robocop, Designing Women, Better Off Dead, Mars Blackman, etc. I'd like to think I will be the downfall of the team (Mark my words), but I beat MR during the original show. And I did this while knitting from a chart without a cable needle. I'd like to get to one Chicago YS, but the others think knitting is nerdy. I am hanging out with people that attend 24-hour Horror Marathons after all. Fiber is real dorky, people.

I'm bring along Nephew's Wallaby. I'm NO perfectionist in my regular life, but knitting is quite the opposite. I've knit Wallaby's k1 X p1 ribbing 3 times. The first time I didn't knit the ribbing on smaller needles. I didn't think it'd matter. Now I know why you knit ribbing with smaller needles. The second time involved a Tubular Cast-on. I was very pleased with it for the Pomathous sock. 112 stitches proved to be the demise of my Tubular love affair. I must have screwed up a knit or purl stitch. The ribbing was off and some of the loops just fell off the needle. I did a backward loop cast-on in the middle of the ribbing. I kept thinking, "What 5 year-old will notice that?" But the 30 year-old knitter kept noticing. So last night while watching Supersize Me (I knew there was a reason I skipped this movie), I did a long tail purl and knit cast-on on the small needles. I'm very pleased with the outcome and can't wait to work on it in the airport on Sunday. Friday's airport trip is to be filled with more pop culture cramming. That's what I'm told.

What's that in the background? Yep. I'm no longer a STR virgin. Well kind of, I haven't knit from the skein yet. So I guess I'm the girl getting ready for prom. I've shaved my legs and talked to my girlfriends about birth control methods. Once the first pomathous sock is finished, I'll start knitting my G-Rocks socks.

Wish us luck, and quiz me if you want.

Friday, January 26, 2007

When We Were Young

I despise this time of year. It’s after the holidays and things have slowed down dramatically. The girls are usually done with their winter concerts and the days are dreary. This year we had a bit of a respite with the unseasonably warm weather thus proving that global warming cough excuse me, climate change is good for something. Hell, I threw myself into my UFOs with a passion that I haven’t seen in a while. But even this couldn’t completely lift me out of my funk.

Ava and Clark, September 1972

There’s another reason that I hate this time of year: it reminds me of my brother, Clark. He died on January 28, 1973, and hardly a year goes by when I don’t find myself in some sort of emotional funk or another even though it has been decades. It usually doesn’t take much to get me going. Sappy commercial? Here comes that feeling in my throat. Seeing a baby? Yup, that’ll do it. Talking to my mom? Sure to bring it on. Driving home without any thought in my brain? You guessed it.

Sometimes, I imagine what my life would be like had Clark not died. First of all, I would only have one sibling – him. Mom has always been fairly clear about that. Second, I probably would have never moved to Ohio and attended Miami University. This would negate meeting the Flyer and having the girls. Last, I don’t know that I would be happy. Suffice it to say, I have accepted that it happened; it was an accident. Nobody means for a nine-month-old to die . . . it just happens sometimes.

When the girls were little, I didn’t let my guard down with Betty – she is the second child - until she was one day older than Clark was. Surely, I thought, God couldn’t be that cruel, but I wasn’t taking any chances. It is probably the reason that I never wanted a son because I was afraid of what would happen: either he stays or he goes. How would go on if it was that latter?

As hard as it was on me, I know that it was harder for my parents – that much is a given. The fact that they stayed together amazes me every day because I truly don’t know how you bounce back from this kind of tragedy. It was only recently that I realized that it must have been worse for Lola, the other sister, and our brother because Clark is everywhere in our house. There is a picture of him in the family room, Mom passes on the nightlight she used for him, and every baby who is born has an instant comparison to his picture. I couldn’t throw away Clark’s piggy bank I broke years ago. Occasionally I will cut my finger on it when I reach deep into my sock drawer.

Thirty-four years have passed and I think I have finally learned a few things. I have three siblings whom I love dearly. I might not always agree with what the youngest two say or do, but I love them unconditionally. The Flyer and our girls mean the world to me (whether we are agreeing with one another or not). And I generally am a happy person. But sometimes, especially around this time of year, I wonder how much would I barter with the devil just to have a cup of coffee with my brother.

There will be knitting content tomorrow . . . I did throw myself into the UFOs in a tizzy, after all.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cotton Crush

Self-striping yarn is like a devil on my shoulder. "Come on darling, don't you want to see what maroon & yellow will look like together?" It has me ignoring the dirty clothes and the rumbling in my belly. I just keep knitting & before you know it, 3 inches hang off the needle. These socks were a departure from my usual routine. I haven't knit a heel flap, top-down or used a pattern since the Christmas of 2005. I love the PGR method, but sometime you just want a pattern. Especially for Toddler, I felt a little creepy when I measured his foot while he was sleeping. But here's the problem with this pattern, the foot part reads, "Knit straight until you're 1 1/4 inch from the toe." Once again, try to get an almost 2 year to sit still! I think that I could have finished the pair in a day, but the dog needed to be fed and let out.

Since I'm hitting the stash this year, I dug this out. Lorna's Lace in Vera for some Pomatomus socks. I can see why so many people love this pattern. The stitch pattern is easy and I like the look of a twisted knit stitch. I bought the yarn during my pink/brown phase (I'm in the midst of a green/brown phase) from ebay. Gus' socks were made from Reiga which is a nice hardy washable yarn. However, this superwash LL is so soft I almost can't wait to see how it washes.

Finally, delurk Typepad users! Delurk and give us advice! I hate that if someone leaves us a comment, we can't respond to most since they have to have a Blogger account. Is Typepad like this? I was already to tell Cara how I really wanted to invite Sonny & Carly to our wedding. Ava & I thought this was hilarious. We'd have entire phone calls during General Hospital, and only talk at commercials. Maybe it's good that I couldn't email the story. She'd think we were insane. Hell, maybe we are.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

General Hospital Theme

How can you ignore the plea from one of your favorite nieces? I can't. Unfortunately, there will be no pictures for this post, or really any substance. I've been out of the house for a couple days now. We spent a lovely evening with my MIL over at MR's brother's house. When we returned on Sunday, I packed for a work trip. Very early on Monday, I hit the road with an agenda. Visit my favorite northern YS and buy yarn for Nephew's (what are we calling him?) Wallaby. The day went sour when I saw that the lights were off and the sign said, "Appointment Only." Day tipped farther when my appointment had to reschedule. I picked up some Paton's Decor (I don't know why. I think it's close to Encore and I'm tired) and started swatching when I got to the hotel. Tried to sleep after Heroes. Unsuccessful and have been for the last 3 nights. So once I hit PUBLISH, I'm falling on the couch.

See what'd I tell you, "no substance". I could tell you how my SIL's scientist friend has convinced her that babies can't taste anything, and this is why baby food veggies taste so bland. This news came out when I told her that I hated how they tasted. If we gave him baby food veggies, I always spiced them up. Thank god my MIL told her to feed Little One a lemon or fruit and decide for yourself. Or I could tell you that Little One is never allowed to cry. They are quick to soothe her back from the brinks of tears. Or I could tell you that I almost started to ovulate when Gus leaned over and kissed Little One without being told. If she was laying on a Pottery Barn for Kids catalog, an egg would have dropped. Gus kept calling her, "My baby." He would say, "Hold My Baby." And then he'd kiss and hug her. I could also tell you that he loves saying, "Hurray" with a lot of emphasise on the first syllable. We also like to encourage this new word. I could tell you all about this stuff, but I'm so tired I just don't give a shit (I shouldn't cuss, but I'm tired). I'll post soon with some finished Toddler socks.


Friday, January 19, 2007


Today, began in a most spectacular was. I truly had high hopes for it as I awoke to snow - SNOW - in the Poconos. A two-hour delay? I'll take that. What? A closure? In my district and not Betty and Veronica's? Damn, I was a good girl. And then it all unraveled.

What the fuck was I thinking?

Not that I am a perfectionist, but I do strive for it. A teensy, tiny little mis-cross about six rows back was bugging the shit out of me. I should have fixed it as soon as I saw it, but I honestly thought it wasn't anything major. Finally, it got the better of me, probably because I was obsessing about it and because I found another mis-cross just like it down a further 12 rows. I thought to myself, "Damn, Ava, you really don't have a clue what you are doing?" Just to prove myself wrong, I attempted to fix it.

Before I go on, those of you not related to me by blood should know the following: the sweater is being knit for Beaner, the daughter of the other sister. Beaner was born in England (a country whose spell I have fallen under - and yes, I know that grammar was abhorrent) and I bought the yarn at Liberty on my last visit. The other sister doesn't knit even though Lola and I have tried several times to teach her. In addition, Beaner looks a whole lot like her Aunt Ava, I title I don't like but the other sister insists on it. I know when to admit defeat. Anyway, the fact that this sweater has not been frogged defies logic. Partially, I feel like I am knitting a bit of home into for Beaner. In reality, I am a masochist and don't know what the hell I would do with the yarn that I now have grown to despise. I hate this yarn. Sure, it is softer than soft and the pink is my kind of thing, but I can't stand knitting with it. It looks like yarn that is spun on a drop spindle (not that there is anything wrong with that - just giving you an idea of what it looks like) and it catches on my uber-dry skin. This is definitely my candidate for January's UFO; otherwise, it is a DUFO (Destined UnFinished Object).

There, all better

Here is what a little patience will do for you. I am not even going to tell you how many needles I used at one time (okay, it was five, including the crochet hook and it counts) or what an ass I looked like trying to fix the stitches. In the end, am I happy with the results? Sure. Am I thrilled? Not a chance. To fix those other two errors, however, I am going to go the duplicate stitch route. Beaner will never know.


PS - Grace is the name of the pattern from Rowan for Soft Baby (the yarn of my nightmares), what I needed to fix those six rows, and a great song by the late Jeff Buckley . . . but I didn't need to tell you that one.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ring of Fire

So little Gus is back home. I can't tell how much a weekend is needed without diapers or saying, "Be careful." We had all these glorious plans. Fantastic restaurants. Maybe a trip to a flea market. Sleeping in. Drinks with friends. Well, we accomplished one of those. Guess which one? Sometimes I miss the days of the Bouncy Chair (after the colic days, or course). However, when MR got home last night, Gus kissed him at least 6 times. "I didn't even have to ask" MR said. You don't get that from a 6 month-old.

I also took the time to clean my knitting plate. I started a pair of socks for our annual Labor Day camping trip. I turned the heel about 2 months ago, and left it in my purse. Having nothing to knit, I picked it up and finished it on Thursday. Not letting that second sock get me down, I started it as soon as I dropped Gus off. I knit and knit. I planned perfect sock knitting activites. On Sunday, we watched the first DVD of Wonderfalls (I'm about to holler! If you haven't seen this show, rent the DVD! It was only on for one season. Quirky without being annoying. Sort of like Joan of Arcadia, without the preaching.) And I knit some more. I wanted to see how far a ball of yarn would get me. One ball of Trekking XXL #100 & an Addi's 40 inch size 0 will get you a decent pair of socks. I use the PGR method, so my foot length is about 7.5 inches. My leg (from bottom of my ankle bone) is about 10 inches . I think I got about 8.5 stitches to the inch. I probably could have added another inch to the leg, but one of my balls was short and I didn't want to chance it. I'd take a picture, but then I'd feel like I should shave. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow. But don't hold your breath, it's still winter and I got my Leg-Shaving Rules.

I really have nothing to knit but 2 blankets. And since one is all Noro and I'm trying to stay out of the LYS, Lizard Ridge is waiting. I did add a block to the Baby Miter Blanket. Must have been fate, since I got the call that we've got a new 2nd cousin (I'm sure he's far more removed than that, but it gets confusing. So he's a 2nd cousin). I'm sure that this baby is going to bring much happiness to their family. And maybe a little peace & guidance to one member.

Have I said how much I love our mother? Here's what Gus came home with:
We picked out the material a couple weeks ago, but I'd forgotten about it. I love fabric so much. Sometimes I just like running my fingers over the bolts. Unlike me, Mom puts it to work. I'd just let bundles of it sit around our house. Look at those pants! How can you be upset with a kid wearing smiling Popcorns? She also made him some pj's out of the sheet material. I thought my wedding dress was my favorite Mom Creation, but these are running close. I think that MR wants some too. Maybe we'll have a family pj party. That'd be pushing it.

Off to try & work. Sometimes I hate working at home. The View calls. All My Children and the Baby Blanket are screaming at me. Don't even let me tell you what the Dirty Clothes are saying. Flithy beasts.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pink Cadillac

What the hell, Lola? Seriously, give me a chance to blog . . . three posts in as many days. Work must not be that busy, eh?

It looks better now

Anyway, we have been firing on less than all cylinders in our house, probably due to the lack of food in the fridge. It was so bare that I had to take a quick photo. Time was at a premium last week and shopping for grub was the least of my concerns. Lest any of you think that we are in dire need of assistance, please note that we have the necessities: beer, cheap wine, and salsa. Anything else would be overkill. The Flyer and I did go grocery shopping and it looks much more normal now.

As the title of the post suggests, I am truly in a pink mood. Just about everything that I knit these days has a ring of pink to it. Beaner's sweater is one fifth of the way done (holler) and I can't say that I am loving this yarn. Sure it is softer than soft and the color is sublime, but I don't like the texture. It feels the way that roving might feel if I had any inclination to knit with it. If you look closely, you can see the flub that I made in the diamond pattern. Why do pattern writers insist on making the directions challenging? I envision them sitting in a smoke filled room saying things like, "I know that SSK would be simpler, but hehe let's say this and see how many knitters cry!" I do love cabling without a needle for this, though I did have to find a way to remember where to put the needle to travel the stitches the correct way. Believe it or not, I had to quote Kevin Costner's "Back and to the left" line from JFK to get the stitches going the right way.

In the pink

Cara was giving away skeins of STR to all virgins of the fabled yarn. I decided to give up my own Jaywalker virginity and give the pattern a chance. Yes, I own a pair, but Lola knit them so they don't "technically" count. The outcome has been outstanding. Even though I didn't pick a striping yarn, I like how the pattern is knitting up with the herringbone pattern. If they fit the Flyer, I may give the Trekking XXL a whirl in this pattern for him. The other pink WIP is the fair isle hat that I have in progress for my class. I am thinking green and lavender for the contrasting colors . . . what do you think?

Hope you enjoyed your weekend of freedom. I loved, absolutely loved, talking to Gus on the phone. Mom put him on several times and each time I got a "Hi" and "I mama." Sweetie pie!


Gilly getting comfy

PS - do you have a baby sling I could borrow? Gilly has become a severe nuisance when knitting. She looks for anyone - and everyone - to pounce upon. That's the Betster working on the Central Park Hoodie. Veronica is making an EZ raglan out of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino SuperChunky.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Spring Cleaning

We did a little cleaning here at Two Black Sheep. We've added some new blogs that we really enjoy, and gotten rid of one that has gotten confusing (I hate not knowing what I'm reading). The Lo Down is a brand new blog, and she's been reading us since we started in August. We're flattered and can't wait to see her projects. This list is only a small sampling of our blog list! The blog sidebar isn't large enough for everyone, so we put the rest on our Bloglines. Bloglines is like giving a kid one of those supersized Pixie Stix right before church.

You know that I love Ms. Jolie. Loved her since Hackers. I didn't really mind the creepy brother stage. Making out with Billy Bob almost turned me off. Ah, but then she became a Goodwill Ambassador. Could she flirt with me any more? Yep. Any one who compares a newborn to a blob is a woman after my own heart.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Gone Away From Me

I'm surprised that I can even muster up the strength to post. It's such a sad day. The poor Buckeyes lost. Oh, how boys? How?

As promised, my details about Beaner's sweater.

Simple seamless yoke from KwoT made from Wool of the Andes. It's a 4T and I used 3 balls of the main color (maybe). I also used some leftover WOTA for the yoke. Here's what I've learned this go around:

  • Fair Isle gets easier with practice. I like the picking of the yarn with my left hand, but not enough to convert to Continental.
  • Planning a fair isle motif takes a lot of planning. Still not sure about how to incorporate a design while having to do decreases. I'm sure an adult sweater would be easier with a motif since you'd have a lot more room to create. This motif was mapped out as I was knitting the sweater. Won't do that again
  • Must remember to do the short-row neck shaping in stockinette and then start the ribbing for the collar. To me it looks nicer.
  • Love the Knitpick Options! I was able to knit both sleeves at the same time with Magic Loop. Doesn't work that well with the Denise needles. I love Magic Looping it and these needles will allow me to do that with any project.
  • I never get bored with small sweaters or the seamless action.

I've included care instructions with the sweater, since my mother gave me a horrified look when I said "wool". On the opposite side, I placed a photocopy from the book that was the inspiration for the colors. I'm hoping that Other Sister will find the book at her library.

I was going to bitch about some shit, but I want to be more positive this year. If I can make it through the month (who are we kidding, the week) , I'll call myself a success.


p.s. Did you put the Trouble album in our sidebar? I forget, but I love that album. The title of the post is the last song I heard from this album (In honor of the Buckeyes' defeat). Shelter is on one of Gus' lullaby cds. I cry ever time it plays.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hang on Sloopy

Here is an actual question from SK on Friday night:

"I was looking in one of my design magazines, & I saw some cool knit creatures. Do you think you could teach me to knit?"

If he wanted to get laid, it worked. Can you imagine real knit porn? Man walks in and says, "Did someone order some US 19 DPNs?" <insert Porn music> I'd tune in.

The next night, we put Gus to bed and I grabbed some Paton's Classic Merino and my Denise's 8's. I cast on 20 stitches and showed him one stitch. That was it, he wanted to get his hands on it. I swear it looked like he'd been doing it for years. He did 3 rows and then tossed it aside saying, "My thumbs keeping wanting to do something." <insert more Porn music> But he was full of compliments and respect for knitters. Since I get a lot of crap for knitting "all the time", I felt vindicated. He did very well for those 3 rows. He knit super tight, but he knit. The shock doesn't end here! Oh no, sister.

The next morning, I was making waffles. He walked out of the kitchen and when he came back, he said "I left to knit one another row. Go look. I think I dropped a stitch." He even used the lingo! There was one more row and a split stitch. Yep. I'm a proud mama. In honor if him picking up the needles, this post is dedicated to my husband.

When we started TwoBlack Sheep, I don't know if SK took us seriously. He wanted a super cool name, and he came up with Steak Knife. I'm not sure why he thought this was cool, but we went with it. SK was born. Now that it's been a couple months, SK says on Thursday, "I'd like to be known as MR." MR stands for Medium Rare. Why?
"I'm the middle child. I do everything middle of the road. Nothing extraordinary, except meeting and marrying you (his words, honest). And I'm a little pink on the inside."

Please, don't ask me to explain his thinking. I've stopped trying to do this about 10 years ago before our second date. He left a note written on masking tape, "I will be at your door at 7:30 p.m." There was confusion about our first date. I say that he stood me up and he says I left two minutes after 7:30. That's two minutes after the start of the date. Never mind our silly beginnings, I introduce to you MR! I love you my big T-Bone. That's all the mushiness you'll get for 2007.

Here's 2 more pictures from our weekend. Gus really misses the Christmas tree lights. He used to lay on his belly and look at the lights. Now he does the same thing, but says "lights on" to the red light on the power strip. Oh it's sad and cute at the same time.

A preview of Beaner's finished seamless yoke. Poor Gus has to model everything. I'll post details tomorrow.

Off to prepare for the big game! Someone better bring the dip. Go Bucks!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


We got tagged by Mrs. Frick and she gave us B in honor of Biscuit's new eating habit. I was going to have Ava type something up. She has loads more talent when it comes to the written word. She'd come up with classy stuff and mine would just be crass. But since the title of the blog is Two Black Sheep, I've got to add a bit of Cheez Whiz to the party. Go on and guess which B's belong to which Black Sheep. And if you want to join the alphabet fun, leave us a comment.

Boys: I have always been very vocal about wanting to have boys. I didn't go the, "As long as it's healthy" route. Isn't that a given?! I just thought I'd be a better Boy Mom. So when they day came to find out, I was so afraid that the Dr. would say, "It's a girl!" and I'd have to fake happiness. I'm not saying that I'd shun the kid, but I just really wanted a boy. Hey, I'm honest. This picture is from our New Year's day and it's exactly how I wanted to spend it. It makes me real happy to say, "Here are my boys." Ok. Ok, the Pup is a girl. But we gave her a boy name.

Boobs: When you come from a family of big boobed women and you've got little ones, they come up from time to time. And when you're going through puberty, it doesn't matter if the family boobs are perky or saggy. It doesn't matter how many times you hear, "Oh they hurt your back. I'll give you some of mine." I remember in the 6th grade having to go through the annual scoliolis test. The school nurse told me to remove my top. I whipped off my Peter Pan collared shirt, and the nurse screams, "Oh my god! Cover yourself! Where's your bra?" Obviously, I didn't need one or else she'd be prepared. Only once in my life did I want to flaunt my boobs. I hadn't nursed the baby in about 3 hours and I needed a new bra. I should have known better. The woman measured me at a D cup (not right at all) and I had just bought the smallest pair of jeans I've ever squeezed into. I told everyone that passed. Then I started to leak, not sexy. But for a moment...

Bad Boys. Bad Boys: I love Cops. Once, we saw cameras around a police cruiser and I begged the husband to take his shirt off and walk around the car. Everyone knows that Cops can't resist a shirtless man. He wouldn't do it.

Boil: Ok, this is gross. Our father exaggerates every story he has every told, but the following one. Our family loves popping things (someone uses her fingernails and kind of hurts people . . . she knows it). Anyway the story, my dad was playing basketball and some kid had a huge boil on his butt. The coach took him into the locker room and had the team hold him down. The coach heated up a Coke bottle and put it on the boil. My dad said it exploded into the bottle. I really wish I could have been there. I said it was gross.

Boucle Yarn: I don't know why, but this stuff creeps me out. Can't & won't touch it.

Bitch: The word has never, ever bothered me for one single second of my life. You could call me a bitch and I wouldn't even bat an eye. Please don't get me wrong, I am probably one of the biggest proponents of equal rights that you will ever meet (I did get a little teary eyed listening to the NPR rehash of Nancy Pelosi taking over as Speaker of the House), but the word bitch doesn't have any effect on me. I don't consider it a term of disrespect; the only time that I find it remotely derogatory is when it is used in a rap song. Then, I find that rappers - folks who really have a grasp of the English language - take the easy way out.

Bags: If in the previous post, I confessed that I had a yarn problem, I probably should have been very honest and said that I have a slight bag obsession. Hardly a week goes by that I don't either buy a bag or decide which bag will be purchased next. Since this is B, I must also confess that my favorite brands are Burberry and Vera Bradley. Vera Bradley has come lately to me as my very first job was ironing borders for the company that made Vera Bradley bags. Mom was the master seamstress for their company and did all the finishing. At 12-years-old, I was grateful that anyone was willing to pay me to do work . . . even if it meant ironing yards of quarter-inch borders. Each yard was worth 10 cents so after multiple burns, I eventually made an honest buck. On and off, in and amonst baby-sitting jobs, I earned money the old sweat-shop way. Is it any wonder why I shyed away from them for fear of burning?

Breathe: Whenever I hear this song, I am firmly rooted to the spot. Even the Hilary Swank movie currently being pimped by the song gets a little more credence by Sia's breathy voice (and trust me, this movie does nothing for me . . . and I am an English teacher). I'll sit through commercials for the University of Pennsylvania's medical institutions just to hear this song. The last episode of Six Feet Under, a show I never got into, will remain on my television just to hear the song. Granted it doesn't make me cry like Coldplay's "Yellow," but there are notes and words in that song which conger up emotions I don't usually get. If ever I were to create an "all-time favorite" song list, this one would be two or three. Of course, the song title for this post is pretty damn awesome as well.

Books: Still have yet to meet a book I don't like, although I am getting rather fickle about them. If I don't like them in the first 50 pages, I don't bother any more. Honestly, life is too short for boring books. That being said, our mom doesn't like to read, but she understood that value of reading and so we were inundated with books as kids. Some of my best memories were going to the main library in my hometown to get new books with my dad. The Westing Game (humor me) may be the single finest example of literature that I have ever found; I still read it every single year, but there are so many worthwhile books out there to read. For some reason, though, I always have a plethora of Red Dress Ink books since the plot is so easy: girl finds boy, boy annoys girl, girl finds another boy, this one shits on her, first boy turns out to be really nice . . . the end.

One of these books is written by my brother-in-law . . . guess!

Baby: It isn't really a secret in our house that I go through periods of wanting another baby. The Flyer and I were really young when we had Betty and Veronica and our odds at having another set of twins - 60% - weren't what either of us would call betting odds. So, at the age of 25, I had my tubes tied. About once a year, I think about having another child, but I have realized that I don't really want to raise another child, I just was to be pregnant again. You see, I really, really enjoyed being pregnant. I loved just about every aspect of it except for the bedrest (notice that wasn't a B word). Whenever I see a pregnant woman, I get a little envious of her probably because I know that it will never be me.

This post was brought to you by the letter B and the number 10. Go on, ask for a letter. There's a little bit of a Black sheep in all of us. Show us what you got.