Tuesday, July 31, 2007

fo: montego bay scarf

So I had this one skein of orangey-red Koigu, that I bought for no other reason than that it was $5. I decided to make the montego bay scarf, and I kept it in Baby Sister's room to work on while sitting with her as she falls asleep. So it took a month to make a short scarf, but I really like it:

I added the leather buttons to compensate for the fact that it's not long enough to wrap all the way around my neck without looking stupid. They add some versatility - and they were 50 cents! Have you done the math? $5.50 for this scarf! I am so impressed with myself right now. :)

I'm trying to get stuff finished up so I can bring all new stuff on our upcoming vacation. Camping trip! Saturday! Yay!

Yikes, this post is lousy with exclamation points. Better stop now before I hurt myself. (!!!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

books, outings, and projects

are what has been keeping me off the blog! 24 hours a day is all we're allotted? Really?

Anyway, first books. Harry Potter, of course! I was very pleased with how it all ended. I'm certainly not putting any spoilers here, but if you're into that kind of thing, check here. That was finished on Saturday, and I did not get to reread it immediately, as is usually my custom (first time through at a gulp, second time to catch what I missed), because my sister borrowed it. I did get to read the Yarn Harlot's first book, which my mother had brought over for me. So two great books in a week - not bad.

We've also gone on a few outings this week. I enjoy the word "outings," probably because of my deep affection for Mary Poppins. On Monday we went to the Capron Park Zoo - not the biggest zoo in the area, but much less crowded and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. We saw kangaroos,


and llamas, among other things.

But what impressed my children the most? A wooden box shooting bubbles into the path.

Um, I could have done that at home.
Tuesday we took a recommendation from Amy and went to the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum. The park it was in was beautiful, and the weather was just perfect. We stopped at the Jamestown library and its playground as well, and the kids had a great time.

Lastly, we went to see a friend's band play. They rocked. It was especially cool because they played at the local Arts in the Park, which I remember going to every week in the summer as a kid.

Sorry the only picture I had of the whole band has a prominently featured ass. He did the foot-on-the-drums thing a lot.

As for projects, I wish I could say it was mostly knitting, but I'd be full of crap if I did. There's been some knitting - I cast on a Baby Surprise Jacket that will either be for Baby Sister or the niece/nephew-to-be, depending on what size it comes out. The pattern is both as fun and as much of a leap of faith as I thought it would be. The major thing I have worked on, however, is organizing the pictures on my computer. See, I used to do scrapbooking, before I knit. Big Brother has a pretty big scrapbook of his babyhood, Little Brother has a somewhat smaller one, and Baby Sister was born after I learned to knit. Poor kid. So I had tried to organize the multitudes of pictures on the computer by subject, intending to print them a bit at a time and scrapbook as I went. Each kid got a folder, special occasions like camping trips or Christmas had their own folders, and so on. But when you get to the point where a single folder has over a hundred pictures in it, it's not terribly well organized, is it? So I decided to rearrange them by simply giving each month its own folder and moving things around accordingly. It is taking a truly stupid amount of time, and I sincerely hope finishing it will be satisfying. Ugh - I don't even want to talk about it anymore.

So, that's what's been occupying my time this week. Hopefully I will get to take some shots of the BSJ and put them up this weekend.

Friday, July 20, 2007

while I'm waiting

to go pick up HP7, I have a couple of Harry Potter-related stories I can't resist sharing.

Old Friend has been going out at midnight to get the new HP book since Book 4. I have been joining her since Book 5. The first time we went together, we went to Borders at 12 and got in line with all the other schmoes. Except most of them had pre-ordered, or put their names down at noon, or camped out overnight, or offered the Borders employees their firstborn child. So we waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . at about 1:30 dark rumors started to spread that they were not going to have enough books. Since we had several of Old Friend's cousins with us, who were about 14-15 at the time, we decided to leave. Driving home we saw a Stop & Shop open 24 hours, and remembered they had a book section. We went in. Shelves of HP5. No other customers. We got our books and went home happy.

The next time around we planned to go to Stop & Shop. We did so, and got our books with no problem at about 12:02. On the way home we were chatting about a mutual friend who was pregnant at the time, when Old Friend said, "Hey, guess who else is pregnant?"
"Who?" I asked.
"Me," she said, and I almost DROVE US OFF THE ROAD. Seriously, she said it as I was taking a turn. I almost killed a pregnant woman.

Life-threatening trauma aside, I am really looking forward to tonight. I plan to get the book, drive home (hopefully without incident), flop on the couch, and read read read until I pass out. :)

monkey socks, and I rock! Burma shave!

So psyched I got to use "burma shave" on my blog. But anyway. First things first, the monkey socks are done!

I used Cherry Tree Hill's supersock merino in the forest colorway, and I did stray from the pattern by using size 1 needles (addis, magic loop) instead of size 2's. I also made the heel flap a little shorter; it was just looking HUGE as I was knitting it. Oh yeah, and I knit part of the second sock while under the influence of painkillers.

I love the way these came out, although I think I would do a different heel if I was going to do them again. The flap was plain stockinette and I think I'd do something a little sturdier.

And why do I rock? Because Amy says I do! She kindly nominated me to be a Rockin' Girl Blogger. Very cool.

In describing why she rocked, Amy mentioned her sons' cool taste in music. So along those same lines, my boys are big fans of Green Day and Weezer, sing along to Bob Dylan and the Beatles, and they even used to have mohawks:

Sorry about the blurry. Anyway, hopefully my street cred has been established. :)
I'm not sure how many people I'm supposed to nominate, but the only person I know (from commenting, anyway) who has not been nominated is Jayjay. Rock on, Jayjay!
That's it for now - I'd like to try to get some knitting in before midnight, Harry Potter time!! Yay!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

a day at the beach. . .

. . . is not how I would describe the past couple of days. Tuesday was Wisdom Teeth Day, and also Sleep a Lot Day, and even a little bit of Throw Up Day. Wednesday was much the same. My mouth has not even bothered me all that much, but the medication has made me very sleepy and nauseous. I remember nothing about the procedure itself - nothing between getting sedated and waking up in bed later that afternoon. The funny part is, when J was driving home afterwards, he stopped to drop off my prescriptions, and when he got back to the car, I was knitting on the monkey socks. Remarkably, there aren't any crazy mistakes, dropped stitches, etc. Must have been a plain knit row.

Sunday, on the other hand, really was a day at the beach! See?

We took the kids to Spring Lake Beach in Burrillville. Yeah, the address says Glendale, but that's a made-up RI place, like Rumford or South County. Do other states do this too? I've lived in Pawtucket all my life, but some might say I grew up in Darlington then moved to Pinecrest, although my zip code didn't even change, for pete's sake. Anyway, back to the beach.

Spring Lake is a very nostalgic kind of beach, with the fried concession-stand food and an arcade that had games from as far back as the early 1930's. They work, too, and at the original 1,5, and 10-cent prices.

The guys in that last picture have little stockinette and reverse stockinette sweaters on, but the pictures wouldn't come out very good.

We also, of course, spent plenty of time enjoying the sand and the water. Little Brother, especially, spent much of the day going on this little plastic waterslide over and over again (there he is at the bottom).

As an added bonus, we even got to see a tough-looking tattooed and buzzcut guy in a Winnie-the-Pooh chair:

Indeed, there is nothing quite like a day at the beach.

Friday, July 13, 2007

a quick knit

I managed to finish the cabled baby socks in time to give them to my sister-in-law on Saturday. Baby socks made from worsted weight yarn - yeah, they were a pretty quick knit. She thought they were really cute, and they were the first gift she's gotten for the new baby. I think having the first gift be something knitted is some good mojo.
These were one of those make-it-up-as-I-go-along kind of things, which is usually not great for anything in pairs, but these were done at the same time via Magic Loop so it was no problem. I'm definitely going to be using that technique a lot (thank you, Knitlist!). The yarn was Berrocco Touche, using size 4 Addi Turbos.
Since then I've gone back to the monkey socks, and I'm at the heel on the second sock. Hopefully they will be done soon. As for the mystery stole . . . well, the mystery stole has taught me a valuable lesson. It has taught me that I am more of a project knitter than a process knitter. Certainly I love the process of knitting, and in my head I know that time spent doing something I like is never wasted, but spending that time and effort on an object that will not get used is bugging me. The problem is that nobody I know who would wear a stole would wear the bright pink color, and vice versa. Including me. I'm so not sophisticated enough for a stole. I wear jeans and flip-flops daily, and my one pair of shoes with heels are literally gathering dust in my closet, waiting for the next time I have a wedding or something to go to. It's too bad, because I really like the mystery aspect, and the camaraderie, and the guessing at the theme of the stole. Too bad it couldn't be something I would wear . . . a mystery sweater would be a bit of a leap of faith . . . maybe mystery socks? Too small? Anyway, I haven't frogged it, but I've put it aside for now. Good luck to everybody else working on them - they are very beautiful, but just not me.

So why can't I think of a good title?

Your Vocabulary Score: A+
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!You must be quite an erudite person.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

kids in public

Sometimes I am quite proud of my family. Well, I am always proud of my family, but occasionally this is elevated to a kind of smug satisfaction, for which the gods will no doubt punish me at some point.
Last night we went to a restaurant and ended up being seated just behind our doppelgangers. This family had two young boys, just like us, and a baby girl, just like us. Unlike us, however, the father yelled at the boys constantly, mostly to put away their GameBoys or PSPs or whatever and eat their food. The boys, unsurprisingly, did not appreciate this. The baby (and this is of course not her fault, she was a baby, for pete's sake) intermittently let out a high-pitched shriek the likes of which I never heard. People were looking around for the fire alarm, I swear.
Meanwhile, my boys colored on their placemats (not without Big Brother complaining that Little Brother was copying his answers for the word search, I admit) and ate without incident. Baby Sister ate copious amount of pineapple and only fussed a little when we weren't shoveling food at her fast enough. She eats a lot for a baby that only put on six ounces in the last three months, although she grew an inch taller, but I digress.
So I enjoyed my smug satisfaction, and did not think about the word that Little Brother wrote on the driveway in sidewalk chalk. Nobody's perfect, right?

Friday, July 6, 2007

What's that noise?

Do you hear it? That sucking sound? What is that?
Oh, I know . . . IT'S THE SOUND OF EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO READ THE YARN HARLOT'S POST FROM THURSDAY BEING INEXORABLY DRAWN INTO MYSTERY STOLE 3. Including me, and I've never knit (or, quite frankly, worn) a stole. Here's my ms 3 so far:

I started late, and I knit pretty slow, so I don't have any illusions about keeping up. Still, it sounded like fun. In the past week or so, what with (finally) getting around to joining the Knitlist and (finally) getting my Ravelry invite, my knitting community has ballooned, and I thought I'd keep it going. Let my inbox runneth over!

As for specifics, I didn't want this project to actually cost me any money, so I'm skipping the beads and I'm knitting from stash yarn. The only thing I had that was an appropriate weight is yarn I recycled from a sweater last winter. Not a handknit sweater, but a pink J. Crew turtleneck I got as a gift. Not really my style, but the softness! I don't know the exact fiber content, although I seem to remember it had some cashmere in it. Again, the softness!

So this whole thing is really an experiment for me: I'm still a lace novice, I'm not sure how the yarn will work, I've never done a KAL this structured (for lack of a better word) before. I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I'm on Ravelry!

Yaaaaay, Ravelry!!

I got my invitation yesterday (I squealed when I saw it, I'll admit it) and it's as totally awesome as I thought it would be. I can feel myself getting more organized.

I also finished up my sister's pedicure socks and packed them up to send to her (after taking a couple of pictures, of course). J asked why I didn't just give them to her when I saw her on Saturday, but what fun is that? Getting packages in the mail rocks, especially when you are not expecting them. Because you think your sister ran out of yarn and stuffed the socks in the bottom of a bin, never to see the light of day again. But I wouldn't have done that, even if I hadn't serendipitously found another skein. Nah, not me. Cough. So, how about those pictures?

I also started the baby socks for the niece/nephew-to-be. Two socks on one circular, woo-hoo! I like this technique a lot, even if it requires a bit of concentration. I haven't fused them together yet, knock on wood.

Funny how even though I haven't really made any progress on the projects I have stalled on, finishing the last few rounds of my sister's socks (I ran out of yarn ridiculously close to the end), starting something new, and putting stuff up on Ravelry has made me feel all sorts of productive. Mmmmm. Must bask in the glow while it lasts. Avoid looking at laundry pile or kitchen sink . . .

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

lucky number 7

It's Little Brother's 7th birthday!

We're going to a cookout tonight, not for his birthday, but for the fireworks at a local landmark. My sister-in-law has a pretty good view from her house, so we don't have to fight the traffic. We know a bit more than we'd like to about that particular traffic, because the hospital at which Little Brother was born is close to the stadium. I could actually hear the fireworks going off as he was coming into the world. Seriously, that should have been a warning. ;)

His party will be Saturday, because there is no better day for a 7th birthday party than 7/7/2007. He gets the good party, since it can be outdoors, but I don't really think any of his friends from school are going to show up. He invited three, but with the holiday, and it being the summer, he hasn't yet had school friends at his birthday parties. Hopefully by the time he's old enough to mind, he'll be old enough to get the concept of contacting friends in the summer. The school year ends, and it's like he forgets these people exist. I don't know, maybe it would be different if he didn't have a brother and sister, and if I didn't make as much of an effort to do fun stuff in the summer (thanks to some great ideas from Amy!).

One thing we've done that was admittedly more fun for me than for the kids was to visit the closing sale at Lacewings. This is the third LYS to close its doors in the past few months - good in the short term (sales!!) but bad down the road. I picked up some super-soft yellow in a cotton blend for making baby socks (for my first niece/nephew!), a skein of handpainted wool that I had ogled in there a few times, a skein of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino for $1.50 (!) and, much to my surprise, I found one single skein of the Lush I had been knitting pedicure socks for my sister out of, the ones where I had run out of yarn. Yay!

I let each of the boys pick out some stuff too. Big Brother got some bright red Tahki Cotton Classic, and Little Brother got this crazy wild sparkly bobbly stuff, which he finger-knit a scarf out of on the way home. Chances are he'll never touch it again.

Sorry to end abruptly, but I've got a cookout to go to! Have a great holiday!