Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Today is proving to be another of those days where I'm torn between being ecstatically happy and experiencing abject horror.

First, I slept until almost 11:30 a.m. today.  That is NOT like me.  I must have needed the sleep though because I woke in the exact same position I'd fallen asleep in.  Of course, after laying for 11+ hours in one position, my back was so stiff I could barely move for the first hour after getting up.  I also don't remember having a single dream which defies my recent activity.  Lately, I've been having The Weirdest dreams ever!  And having them all night long.  But what ever.  I'm relatively kink-free now and feeling very well rested.  Granted, the morning coffee "hour" is taking me straight into the evening coffee hour, but I won't worry about that right now.

Then there's the fear I've become a sadomasochist.  Lord help me, but I've started another mitered square afghan.  And once again, I'm using fingering weight yarn & #2 needles.  I really enjoyed knitting the last one, at least the knitting part.  Not so much the weaving the ends in part.  But the knitting was fun.  I enjoyed being able to change colors so frequently.  It totally kept me from getting bored.  It was also nice to put some of the scrap yarn to good use.  So last night when I came home from the The Knitting Basket with the bag of new stash and none of it wouldn't fit into the stash drawers, boxes or chest no matter how hard I shoved & cussed at it, I knew it was time to make another mitered square afghan.  This time, I'm putting a black border around each square in hopes that it will look like stained glass.  So far, I only have a couple of squares done so it doesn't look like much of anything yet.

On a ecstatically happy note, Wendy Knits put the first installment of  her Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl KAL up for grabs today.  Which of course I grabbed.  I love Wendy's patterns and find them to always be well written & error free.  And best of all, when I have those duh moments & can't figure something out, she always responds promptly to my questions.  Can't ask for better customer service than that!

Another ecstatically happy point is that I don't believe I have any stashed yarn that will work for the KAL.  According to the pattern directions I need solid colored fingering weight yarn and the majority of mine is variegated to some degree.  And why does that go into the ecstatically happy column, you ask?  Because it means another yarn shopping trip!  Ooh!  And beads.  I'll need to go bead shopping because I am NOT knitting those dang nupps.

On a abject horror note, Zack is still feeling poorly & I fear there may be an ER visit in our future.  He says he doesn't feel like going bowling tonight.  Aack!  If that kid doesn't want to bowl, he must be on death's door!

And now, my daughter is asking me to go on a walk with her.  No matter that it's about 100 degrees and about 4,000% humidity out there.  And it's threatening to storm.  Oh well.  We could both use the walk.

Twisted Tuesday

You've heard of Freaky Friday & now I have Marvelous Mondays going on.  Today must have been Twisted Tuesday.  It was definitely one of "those" days.  

It started out around 1:00 a.m. when I finished one project and immediately and excitedly cast on another.  Around 3:00 a.m., I started thinking that I really should go to bed, right after this row.  Finally around 4:00 a.m. I was having to tink more than I knit.  It was obviously time to tear myself away from the needles.  Specially since I had to get up early.  The Higher Powers must have liked what I was knitting because I woke up a little over an hour earlier than I needed to.  I had time to get a few more rows done!  I knit a while then got dressed in record time & had a few more minutes to knit another row.   Things were going too well though.  As I was opening the door to leave for my appointment, Hubby calls.  Crud.  I now have to drop everything on my schedule & take care of some things for him.  It only took about 15 minutes, but still.  It frustrates the daylights out of me when he does that.  Plus now I have to drive 120 mph to make up for those 15 minutes.

So I'm riding down the road, doing just under speed limit instead of 120 mph because the county is in the process of mowing along the edge of the road & their mowers are taking up part of the lane.  I crested a hill and Bam!  There in the middle of the road is a twisting, twining, writhing pile of snakes.  Eeeww!!!!  The mowers must have disturbed a nest.  A giant nest.  No, a Ginormous nest!  It was the craziest thing I've ever seen.  It was like a big giant tumble weed of snakes moving across the road.  Of course, I plowed right over top of them.  Eeeww!  And because I have an inbred fear of snakes, I'm sure 15 or 20 of them climbed up my exhaust pipe and proceeded to make their way into my car.  For that matter, a few of them probably crawled up on to my bumper & up to the roof.  I bet if I go check the car out, there'll be at least 5 or 6 of them twisted around my luggage rack just waiting to pounce on me.

I finally made it to town & ran into Target to buy a birthday gift & some Sudafed for my son.  I grab the intended birthday gift & head to the pharmacy area.  Instead of finding boxes of Sudafed on the shelf, there's a sign saying to see the pharmacist.  I see the pharmacist, he grabs a box of Sudafed off his shelf & asks for my drivers license.  He scans my drivers license into their computer & the computer tells him he is not allowed to sell me Sudafed.  What??  We move to another cash register and try again.  Same results.  He manually types in my info.  Same results.  Target won't sell me Sudafed.  You have to be freaking kidding me!

I finally get to the restaurant where I'm meeting a friend to celebrate our birthdays.  Of course, after dealing with Hubby, the snakes & the Sudafed fiasco, I'm a few minutes late, but she's a good friend and forgives me.  We had an excellent lunch while discussing our old age.  (She turned 60 just a few days after I turned 50.) 

After lunch, I head downtown to drop off some keys for my husband's business.  And as fate would have it on a Twisted Tuesday and since I'm stopping at traffic lights every 15 seconds, the a/c in the car dies and decides to blow heat instead of cool air.  Nice.  After missing 3 turns, I finally arrive at the address.  I'm thinking I'm going to a small bank branch, but nope.  I've arrived at a 12 story office building that takes up a full city block.  This should be interesting because all I know is that I'm supposed to give the keys to a guy named Walt and no one else.  Finding Walt proved to be MUCH easier than expected and after only about five minutes, I was back in the sweat box I call a car and was headed to the yarn shop.

Ahhh..... the yarn shop.  Bliss!  I got it confirmed that I was either going to have to un-do the bind off or simply fudge the dropped stitch in my recently finished striped shawlette.  And believe me, I will be fudging, not undoing the bindoff!   Next, I got some help  picking out a ruffle color for a baby blanket.  The blanket was knit a while back and I was waiting to find out the baby's sex before I decided what color ruffle to knit.  It's a girl!!  Next, it was time for plain & simple retail therapy.  The snakes, Sudafed & lack of a/c problems had driven me over the edge and the only way back was to fill a basket with yarn.   

I ended up with a couple of skeins of Cascade Ultra Pima cotton for the blanket ruffle and one skein each of Lang Jawoll Magic Degrade, Pagewood Farm Yukon in the prettiest, muted purples you've ever seen although it's looking sort of brown in the photo, and Manos Lace in shades of red.  

Next on the schedule was a quick stop at Walmart for coffee & bread.  And maybe they'd sell me some Sudafed.  Yay Walmart!  (Boy, I don't say that very often!)  Walmart sold me the Sudafed with no problems.  While I was walking through the grocery area, I crossed paths with a family in the midst of an earwig ordeal.  The mom had just been bitten by one & was fussing about how bad it hurt while one child chased the bug around on the floor & stomped on it while another child mentioned she'd been bitten by one the other day.  A few aisles later, I run into this same family again and they are once again stomping an earwig that has just bitten another family member.  All I could think of was, what kind of living conditions do these people have that they are bringing this many earwigs with them to Walmart?  Eeeww!

Eventually I arrived back home to find that the kids had covered every inch of kitchen counter with dirty dishes & I couldn't set the groceries down.  Argh!  It was at that point that I deemed the day Twisted Tuesday & vowed to sit my butt down and do nothing but knit until bedtime.

I hope your Tuesday was calmer.  I also hope it included yarn.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Marvelous Monday - Palette

It's Marvelous Monday once again!  Today I'm worshipping Knit Picks yarn, Palette.  It's a fingering weight wool, it's cheap ($3.39 - $3.59 per 231 yard skein,) it comes in every color under the rainbow and it's nice to work with.  While the skeins themselves aren't extremely huggable, the yarn knits into nice, soft, pettable fabric.  The yarn also blooms nicely when washed.  It doesn't get that fuzzy halo that some yarns get, but it softens up even more and creates a wonderful fabric.  And did I mention how many colors are available?  And that it's cheap?  That's cheap as in inexpensive, not cheap as in some piece of plastic junk from Walmart.   Oh, and did I mention that you can frequently buy it for even less because Knit Picks is constantly having clearance sales on kits that contain the yarn?  I love this yarn and I have drawers full to prove it!   Ok, I have drawers and boxes full.  It's my go-to 'I need to yarn shop or my head will explode' yarn.  And did I mention all the pretty colors?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bigger on the Inside

Finally - a photo of my version of Bigger on the Inside.

I can't believe it took me so long to load the photo.  Sarah & I are both happy with the way it turned out.  As you may have guessed, it turned out not to be a surprise for Sarah.  After seeing other people's, I had started to worry about my choice of yarns and showed it to Sarah after only a few repeats of the lace. She seemed okay, although not 100% positive, with the yarn color.  I proceeded with slight trepidation.   We were both concerned about the slight green fleck/tinge the yarn has but in the end, we are both pleased and Sarah even said she's glad we stuck it out, and that she likes the color even more than the original pattern's photograph.  Hurray!!

And since I've talked about the yarn so much, I'm sure you are wondering what was used.  I used a little over two skeins of Knit Picks Palette in Marine Heather and a USA #2 needle.  I am totally in love with the Marine Heather color way.  It's navy blue with a bit of green mixed in.  And occasionally, there's a blip of purple.  But as with most heathers, you have to look closely, very, very closely, to notice any color other than blue.  I'm so glad that I over-ordered the yarn because I have enough left over to make myself a hat & mittens.  Actually, I have enough left over to make a second shawl.   Hmmm, maybe I'll save it for the Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl.  Which, Argh!  The first installment of pattern instructions comes out on the day we leave town for a big bowling tournament.  If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!

And yes.  It's Memorial Day weekend here in the ol' US of A and yes, that is a Christmas apron hanging on the door in the background.  Why, I have no idea.  I woke up one morning and there it was.  It was such an odd thing to be hanging on an upstairs door, in the middle of April, that I left it there.  It's not because my housekeeping skills are so pathetic or anything.  Nope!  It's because it's such an odd thing to find when you wake up in the morning.  It's sort of become art.  That, and I'm curious to see how long it stays before someone else decides to remove it.  Besides, maybe it will still be there in December & I won't have to decorate for Christmas!

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Marvelous Monday

I've recently discovered a few new products that I'm weirdly excited about and wanted to share them with you.  And since so many folks tend to bitch about Mondays, I decided to start Marvelous Mondays where I'll comment positively on a new product, place, or food group that I've bought or experienced.   So, today's kick-off Marvelous Monday is all about EOS lip balm.  I have a major lip balm addiction.  For way more years than I care to count, I've used Avon's Care Deeply lip balm but I worry about the petroleum content.  I started worrying about it when I began running.  All that huffing & puffing I do and gasping for breath....  I had to be sucking in some serious amounts of petroleum .  EOS is petroleum free so no more worries.  It glides on smoothly, tastes good, but only for a moment (which I like because I want to taste my coffee, not my lip balm,) and its affects seem to last longer than any other lip balm I've ever tried.    It used to be that the last thing I did before going to sleep at night would be to swipe on a layer of lip balm.  When I'd wake in the morning, my lips would have that crunchy, I Need Lip Balm! feeling.  Since using the EOS, no more crunchy morning lips.  I can even make the coffee & feed the dogs before I start feeling the need for a lip balm fix.  Another thing that I really like is the shape of its packaging.  While it may not be so great for someone who carries their lip balm in their skinny jeans pocket, the shape makes it easily findable in a purse or knitting bag.  I now have four tubes in various flavors (maybe I should call them rounds) of EOS - one in the knitting bag, one at the desk, one in the bathroom & one by the TV.  And next time I go to the store, I'm buying a fifth so I can keep one in my purse.  I'll also be buying some of their hand lotion.  If it's half as good as the lip balm, I know I'll love it too!

Now, on to knitting news....

The Bigger on the Inside is finished and blocking as I type.  The pattern was a lot of fun to knit.  The lace pattern at the beginning drove me nuts until I had the lightbulb moment of putting stitch markers in between the pattern repeats.  From that point on, the lace was easy-peasy.  Trying to pick up the 311 stitches evenly spaced across the side of the lace gave me a few gray hairs until I had another light bulb moment & marked off quarters of the shawl & picked up even numbers of stitches within each quarter.  The first few rows of knitting those 311 stitches seemed to take a lifetime & I thought I might die of old age before I got the shawl finished but perhaps I stepped into a Tardis without realizing it because suddenly, the rows didn't take any time at all to complete.  I got down to the ribbing section and excitedly told my daughter I was almost finished with it, although it may take me weeks to do all that mind numbing ribbing.  But once again, time warped and after a couple of episodes of Buffy, the ribbing was done and so was the bind-off!   I'll post photos as soon as it's finished blocking.  The pictures I took before blocking were all horribly blurry for some reason.

Now on the needles, I have a Color Affection shawl in shades of green & blue and one of those ruffled scarves knit with netting.  I'm a little late jumping on the ruffled scarf band wagon and it's one wagon I probably won't ride for long.  While I like the look of the scarves, I'm not a big fan of knitting them.  I'd already bought the yarn for two of them, (one for me, one for my daughter) so I'll do those and then I'll be unhitching that wagon for good I think.  Besides, I have about four more color ways for the Color Affection that I'd like to try.

Meanwhile, Sarah's slight lactose intolerance has suddenly become a severe intolerance.  Teen friendly dairy free meal ideas and/or recipes would be MUCH appreciated.  Specially foods that she could/would cook for herself since she finds herself frequently home alone for dinner.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thanks, Chris

I'm sending out a big Thank You! to  Chris Guillebeau from The Art of Non-Conformity.  Being beyond technically challenged, when I decided to start blogging I read everything I could find about how to start a blog.  Every single source I came across said I needed to sign up with AdSense, so of course, I did.  But having those ads on my page has always bothered me a little.  Ok, a lot, actually.  I'm not a big fan of other blogs that have ads plastered all over them, not to mention, most of the time, the ads that were showing up here had absolutely nothing to do with any of my topics.   And then there was the money - or lack of it, in my case.  I never made a dime off having those ads on my blog.

So, where does Chris come into play, you wonder?  Yesterday, Chris gave me permission to get rid of AdSense.  To be honest, I basically spent the day virtually hanging out with Chris yesterday.  I started off watching a video that ThinkTraffic posted which lead me to his website, which lead me to hours and hours of free downloadable reading.  Somewhere along the way, he discussed the option of not using AdSense and I found myself saying, "Yes, yes!"  So today, it's gone.  Wiped from the screen.  Hallelujah!   Not that I have anything personally against AdSense, I just didn't like the look of the ads on my blog and having them there was not doing anything for me.

Now, if I could only get rid of the Amazon ad.  I tried.  My blog layout screen says it's gone, but when I look at the blog, there it still is.   Hmm....  Maybe it has something to do with the thunder storms we're having.  I tend to blame everything on thunder storms.

In knitting news, I'm finally finished with the roof section of the Tardis's (Tardi??) on the Bigger on the Inside shawl.  Boy!  It must be bigger on the inside because it is taking FOREVER to knit!  I'm sure having 311 stitches per row & each row is different from the previous so there's not a memorizable pattern involved is part of the problem, but...  Anyway, I'm making progress.  Slow progress, but progress.  From this point on, the pattern is quite simple so it shouldn't take too long to finish it.  Or at least it shouldn't take too much concentration.

The other shawl I started recently, the striped one, is coming along nicely.  It's a true joy to knit.  I'm using two skeins of Mini Mochi in a two row striped pattern.  I LOVE the yarn and I always enjoy knitting with self striping yarns because the color changes keep me from getting bored.  This shawl is an awesome watching new (to me) episodes of Supernatural  project.   I'm still trying to figure out why I never watched Supernatural when I could have been watching for free on TV.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I don't actually watch TV, only DVD's that the kids talk me into buying because "it's a great show."  What ever.  I'm totally obsessed with it now.

For now, I better go see what I can do about my hair.   I went to bed with it wet last night & expected to wake up with rather flat hair from sleeping on it instead of the normal waves.  But nope!  I'm looking like Shirley Temple today.   That is, if Shirley Temple stuck her finger in an electric socket.  It's beyond curly.  Like freak show curly.  I'm not sure even my trusty hair clip will be able to tame it.  I'm starting to wonder if I was struck by lightening while I slept during last night's thunderstorm.  Good grief!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Things Never Change

Some things never change, like my shirt.  Good grief!

So, today is my birthday.  It's one of those BIG birthdays, one of the ones where everyone sends black balloons & the number ends in a zero.  One of the ones where, as a special birthday gift from the government, you get to deal with DMV and renew your driver's license.  Thank God for on-line renewal!  Specially since I thought my old license expired on the 31st, not on my actual birthday.  Luckily, I've been working on my procrastination problem lately & I logged in to DMV this past Thursday.  Saturday, my new license arrived in the mail.  And since they used the same photo as the last license, I'm wearing the same shirt.  The same shirt I was oddly wearing for the license before that one!   This means my drivers license will show me wearing the exact same shirt for 15 years in a row!   Good grief!

Oh, & I thought the colored version of my driver's license photo was bad.  You should see the new black & white version.  It's down right scary!  Oh well, at least I am well past the age of being carded & rarely have to show ID anymore.

In knitting news, I've been making slow progress on the Bigger on the Inside shawl.  I finished the lace area & have started the Tardis section but I've only gotten a few rows into it.  It's my family's fault I'm not further along.  God bless them!  They gave me a new season of Supernatural for Mother's Day & quiet time to watch the DVDs.  It was a true gift!  But, I quickly realized that I can't watch new episodes & continuously count stitches.  I promptly tossed the shawl aside & cast on a new one in a much simpler pattern.

And, Friday night I was at the bowling alley waiting for Zack to bowl and trying to knit on the Bigger on the Inside shawl.  The dark bowling alley & the dark blue yarn I'm using weren't compatible with my aging eyes & I had to put down the shawl.  Luckily, I had some spare yarn & needles in my bag so I cast on a pair of mittens.

Obviously, the knitter's ADD continues.

Since today is my birthday, I'd like to take a moment to remember my parents & to thank them for birthing & raising me.  I know I didn't always make it an easy or enjoyable task.  Personally, I've always thought it was odd that the child receives the birthday gifts & acknowledgement, not the parents.  Don't get me wrong - I love gifts.  Bring 'em on!  But wouldn't it make more sense to celebrate the parents for bringing the child into the world & for raising him/her in a manner that allows the child to survive another year?  Anyway, thanks Mom & Dad for having me, and keeping me all those years!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Knitters ADD

I'm suffering from Knitters ADD.  I have way too many projects OTN.   Too many projects that I want to finish.  Projects that I want badly to finish.  So of course, I can't decide which one to work on.  I've spent the past few days rotating through them, knitting a row or two on one, putting it down & picking up the next.  I'm making no progress.  I need to just pick one & finish it.  But instead of doing that, I'm sitting here immobile, unable to choose.  I'm also sitting on my hands trying to ignore the impulse to go browse Ravelry instead.

One of those OTN projects is the mitered square "thing."

It turned out to be a lap robe.  It could easily have been an afghan - I had plenty of scrap yarn & I was enjoying working on it.  Wasn't getting bored in the least.  But I was super excited about the Dr. Who shawl & wanted to be done with the miters so I'd be free to start the Tardis's (Tardi?)  The miters are almost done, I just have to finish the border.  I'm struggling though because I know when I finish the border, I'll have to deal with all those loose ends on the back.

Oddly, the loose ends don't look all that dramatic in the photo.  Maybe I'll have to make that picture my screen saver until it's done.  Just a little something to remind me that weaving in the ends may not be as bad as I imagine.  Obviously, I'm not a big fan of weaving in ends.  Thus, the project languishes.

Next up is the Bigger on the Inside Dr. Who shawl for my daughter.  The yarn arrived on Friday & I promptly got busy knitting.

Wow!  Have you ever seen a dirtier computer screen?

Not a lot of progress has been made on this shawl but I keep reminding myself, it's bigger on the inside.

I also want to knit a Color Affection shawl but I can't decide on the colorway.  I may have to knit five or six of them.  I keep rearranging yarn & coming up with new colorways.

On Saturday, this appeared in my mailbox.  And it's so much prettier in real life!  Not sure exactly what it will end up being, obviously a lace shawl of some sort, but I don't have a specific pattern in mind.  Yet.

There's a pair (or two or three) of socks OTN, as well as five or six other projects I have absolutely no interest in finishing.  Maybe one day...

Luckily, I did finish the twin baby blanket set.

For a closer view of the detail...

I very much enjoyed knitting these baby blankets & I understand the twins' momma was happy to receive them.

Meanwhile, it's homeschool bowling league day.  I better log off Ravelry & go get dressed.