Thursday, May 31, 2007


Tomorrow I will be walking in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. If you have never heard of this before, it is an all day/all night walk, usually held at a track. Teams must have at least one person walking the track the entire time, and you camp out in the center of the track, or near the track. I walked one year in high school, but I haven't done it since then. The ACS's official relay site is here.

Our team is walking to honor Old Friend's mom, a cancer survivor. Old Friend has done so much work over the past few months organizing the team, a bunch of fundraisers, tents for everyone, signs and other decorations (because a big part of the whole experience is making your teams's tent the coolest one), and all sorts of other stuff that I can't remember because it makes me tired just to think of it. It's a really impressive amount of work.

I'm looking forward to it, despite a little bit of nervousness about Baby Sister sleeping in a tent. J and the boys won't be there; they are driving down to Dover to see a NASCAR race (omg they are ridiculously excited, and I don't mean just the kids) so it will be a busy weekend for all. Wish me luck and I'll see you on Monday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

bust out the scrapbook,

it's my first meme!

Here are the rules, as if you haven't already seen these a jillion times: Tell seven things about yourself on your blog, then tag seven other people to do the same. List who you are tagging on your blog, and leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they've been tagged.

I was tagged by Cara.

1. I am a nerd in just about every way one can be a nerd. I love science and math; I think word problems are fun. I'm currently reading World War I: A Turning Point in Modern History; before that I was reading John Adams. My favorite radio station is NPR. My favorite tv station is PBS. I even . . . play Dungeons and Dragons. There. I said it.

2. In every presidential or gubernatorial (fun word) election I have voted in, primary or general election, I have voted for the losing candidate. If you are interested in public office, make me hate you.

3. I drink coffee and/or iced coffee pretty much all day long.

4. My husband, his two sisters, my sister, my best friend, and I all went to the same college, at roughly the same time.

5. I was the salutatorian of my high school class. I left my speech at home the night of graduation, because I am also incredibly scatterbrained.

6. I very occasionally get to meet famous people, because my sister is on the radio. Here we are with Barenaked Ladies (hee hee). I'm the one in the purple shirt grinning like an idiot.

7. I'm having trouble thinking of a seventh one . . .umm . . . I don't like cheese.

I'm tagging:

Geekzilla, Jayjay, Z, Dawn, Denyse, Heather, and Janine.

This was fun!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


It was completely unintentional, I swear.

Monday, May 28, 2007

busy, busy, busy

Jayjay made a great observation on her blog the other day: that the year doesn't really go from January - December. Instead, as all academics (and, I would add, parents of schooolchildren) know, the year goes from August/September - May/June, depending on the school. And this end-of-the-year time has been nutty. I've spent the past week or so writing the exam, writing the reviews for the exam, making sure everything is graded so the kids can know their grade going into the exam (or, as one student asked me, "What's the minimum grade I need on the exam to pass this class?" Love that attitude.). Next week will be giving and correcting said exam, then figuring out how to get all this information into the computer system. I don't mean to complain too much, though; I've really enjoyed this semester and this school and it's going to be a bit sad that it's all over. In spite of the fact that I'd like to stay part-time while the baby is little, I almost wish the teacher I've been covering for had decided not to come back after her maternity leave. Ah well.

I have been meaning all week to write about the wool fair, even though it was a very small one, nothing like the big events I've read about in various places. It was held at small local farm/living history museum, where the people dress in the period clothing and all that. My mom, Old Friend, Baby Sister, and I drove down. Baby Sister fell asleep in the car, and we squinted at all the signs as we got close, not being particularly familiar with the area. When we saw one that said Sheep Shearing we literally all yelled in unison, "Sheep shearing!" and woke the baby up. Seriously, we are such dorks. But we had a good time, and there was, in fact, sheep shearing:

What I thought was most interesting was the people dyeing wool using old, completely natural methods. Look at all the colors they got from the local plants:

These yarns weren't for sale; the tags say what was used to dye them. There were, of course, items that were for sale. There was a lot of stuff for spinning as well as knitting, and actually, I didn't see anybody knitting, but I saw a lot of spinning. It really made me want to try it . . . maybe when the kids are a bit older and I have a little more free time . . . because I'm sure I'll have so much more free time when they're teenagers . . . sigh . . .

I didn't buy much, just the sock yarn I mentioned in the last post, and a spinning kit intended for kids. It contained a drop spindle made with a CD, and a bit of wool, which I don't really think had been processed all that much. It cost a $3 donation to the museum, so I said what the heck and picked up. I used it to make some incredible crappy yarn.

All in all, a pretty good day.

While I have been blog-absent, I got tagged for a meme! I am unreasonably excited about this, it being my very first. It's the "seven things about you meme" and I plan to do it very soon, as soon as I can find seven people to tag who have not yet done this (it seems like everybody has!) and who would have any idea who I am if I tagged them. Coming soon! Oh, and FO's coming soon too!

Monday, May 21, 2007

knitting, of course

I totally admire those bloggers who can write entertaining posts that tell us all about what is going on in their lives while at the same time having an actual theme, something that ties the whole thing together. I enjoy reading such blogs and I wish I could do the same. But alas, my posts, such as this post right here, are usually disjointed and kind of random, a paragraph about one thing followed by a few hits of the return key then a completely different topic. Because a bit of space is totally an adequate segway. Anyway, I'm about to do it again. And again and again.

Big Brother finished his red garter stitch thing. I wasn't sure what he had in mind for it when he started, but he decided it was long enough and asked me to teach him how to bind off. (That's just how he asked, too. The kid definitely has the lingo down.) He made it into a tube and whipstitched it, then gave it to his sister to be her toy. "Look, she can stick her arm into it!" he said. Such a sweetie. I think one reason he wanted to quit with the red was that he was ready to move on. Immediately after finishing Baby Sister's toy he picked out some new yarn and asked to learn how to do stockinette stitch. He also chose to try size 5 needles, where the red thing was knitted on size 10.5's. This second project is proving a bit more challenging, but I think he'll get it.

Oh, and I finished some stuff too!

The first two pictures are my toe-up socks, my first complete adult-size pair of socks (I'm not really counting the pedicure socks seeing as they didn't have toes). The yarn is ArtYarns superwash merino, worsted weight, I'm not sure what the colorway was called. I knit them on size 4 Addi turbos so the fabric was thick and totally squishy. They still fit into my shoes though, as I found out when I wore them to the wool fair on Saturday. I'm running short on time so I will post about the wool fair later. The third picture is actually a purchase from said fair, some dye-your-own sock yarn that I dyed with Kool-Aid. I had never tried it before and it was so cool. The picture is really blurry but the color is about right. Where are you, sun??

Friday, May 18, 2007

ready for my closeup

So on Monday, I arrived at the Kaplan center with my resume, test scores, head shots . . . okay, that's my last "audition" joke, I promise. Anyway, I was still kind of unsure about what topic I wanted to use for this five-minute "teacher audition," so I brought notes for three different ones, planning to choose on the fly based on what other people were doing. Shrewd, no?

I ended up talking not about anything knitting-related, but about another hobby of mine, letterboxing. I thought that I had sweated and stumbled through the whole thing (teaching an hour-long physics class is way easier than a five-minute presentation/audition, btw), but afterward a couple people told me that letterboxing sounded really fun, and on Wednesday I got an email accepting me into their teacher training program. So - yay! This is not exactly a high-paying job, but I think it will be more reliable than the in-home tutoring and it will enable me to stay part-time a bit longer. If I can do that until Baby Sister is in school, I will be very happy indeed.

And on a totally unrelated topic, take a look at this!

It's Big Brother's first knitting! I'm so proud!

eye candy Friday: lilacs

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

my weekend was great, thank you very much

On Saturday, I went to Yarn It All in North Attleboro with my mom. We each bought some Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn - she's knitting her first pair of socks! My mom's been knitting forever; she does a lot of blankets, sweaters, slippers. But she was kind of in her groove of using only straight needles and worsted weight yarns. Well, she picked up some beautiful yarn - deep blues and purples - and a set of Addi Turbos, and now she's working on some toe-up ribbed socks. Her excitement when the toe was done was just awesome - I felt like I was returning the favor of her teaching me to knit.
Speaking of toe-up socks . . .

Baby Jays!

There they go . . .
And some for me!

Then on Sunday we went out to breakfast, which I love, and spent some quality time in the backyard.

Did I mention I finally replaced the broken camera? Yay!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

mother's day

Reasons I love my mom:

  • She is unfailingly kind.
  • She taught me to knit, for which I am eternally grateful.
  • She likes to bake. And share.
  • The single mother thing. I can't even imagine.
  • She laughed when I told her my favorite joke, the tractor joke*, which usually makes people groan and/or roll their eyes.
  • She is the most even-tempered person I have ever met. I can count the times I have heard her swear on one hand.
  • She does sweet, quirky little things for my kids, like buy them a box of Cocoa Puffs at Christmas, because she knows I don't buy it. They love this kind of thing - the first time she did it, Little Brother exclaimed on opening his gift (Oh yes, they are gift-wrapped boxes of Cocoa Puffs), "Coo-coo Pops!! How did you know?"
  • She always let my sister, my brother, and me be who we are, even when we cut off all our hair, dyed what was left bright red, and wore silver combat boots to school.
  • Did I mention she taught me to knit??

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. There's nobody else I'd rather be slowly turning into.

*Q: What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?

A: Where's my tractor?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Little Brother just informed me that he's going to have a blog and it's going to be called "Mister McKnittin' ".

That kid kills me.

Monday, May 7, 2007

what is this, American Freaking Idol?

I heart the internets for many obvious reasons, and one of them is craigslist. I used to spend way too much time there (before I discovered knitting and blogs) but now I just mainly peruse now and then. One thing I always check out is the job listings, whether I'm looking or not. The ones in the "etc." category are often amusing, but at the moment I really am looking so I've been checking the "education" category.

So I ended up filling out an application to teach SAT prep courses at Kaplan, and the first thing you need to do after you've applied is audition. Yup, I said audition. I have to teach a five-minute lesson on something, and it can't be academic. Hmmm . . . non-academic subject . . . something I'm interested in . . . yeah, I think it's going to be knitting-related. Of course, I can't actually bring in yarn and needles and teach people to knit in five minutes, so I'm not exactly sure how to approach this. Plus it needs to be, you know, not boring. (I don't mean to speak heresy here - of course we all know that knitting isn't boring.)

I immediately called my Radio Personality Sister, figuring she'd know a bit about being entertaining. Her suggestion was to focus on how knitting has its own language, maybe break down a pattern and explain it. Is that entertaining? I mean to a non-knitter? I'm open to any and all comments/suggestions!

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Alternate Title: Things I've Been Meaning to Blog About All Week
  • Baby Sister's birthday party! Finally! It was so cute, she had a lot of fun. Here are some of the obligatory cake-eating pictures:

And this - I don't know what's up with the face she's making, but it amuses me:

  • She and her boyfriend Magic Baby were just all over each other. I'm sure we'll discourage this much more when they are teenagers. In the meantime, to hear them together is very funny. She hides and calls, "Magic Baaabyyy . . ." until he finds her. I've been told he says her name in his sleep. These, by the way, are two babies who have yet to say, "Mama."
  • knitting: no pictures of this at the moment, still between cameras (grrr). I've finished Baby Sister's Jaywalker socks - they are so freaking adorable I can't even tell you. Then, with perfect timing, what should arrive but the new IK! And it had a whole article on toe-up socks, which included the super-cool eastern cast-on. I was having issues with the provisional cast-on for the short-row toes on the Jaywalkers: I couldn't seem to pick up the stitches in the right place on my crochet chain, and when I went to pull out the chain, I ended up having to cut it out of every stitch. So the cast-on in the magazine was just what I needed: a way to do the toe-ups without the short-row toe. I think it was fate.
  • This weekend was pretty busy - we had a yard sale at my mom's. I was very good: I brought home less crap than I left home with. Is this just me, or do multi-family yard sales end up being, to some degree, a Crap Exchange?
  • Little Brother's teeth have finally started to grow in after setting some sort of record. They fell out in November. That's over 5 months, people! I've never heard of anybody being sans front teeth for that long. It was fun to sing the song to him at Christmas, but by Easter . . .