In keeping with my reputation as a joiner, I've decided to do the Ravelympics - similar to but not to be confused with the Knitting Olympics. (The latter is an every-four-year (quadrennial?) event held during the Winter Olympics and organized by the Yarn Harlot, and the former is being run through Ravelry. As if you didn't already know that.) I've signed up for two events - how fun is it that they have events? - the Cowl Jump and the Mitten Medley. I'm very much looking forward to it.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
*Disclaimer: This post is a bit out-of-date. We went to the ball game not this past weekend, but the weekend before. I considered not bothering, seeing as it had been a while, but frankly, I don’t get out that much.
The article was about how the presence of Big Papi made the people in my hometown a little bit crazy. The games for the weekend were standing room only when usually the stadium’s about half full, traffic was just nuts, and everywhere you looked you saw #34 tee shirts. By chance we had tickets to Sunday’s game, purchased a month ago as a Father’s Day present for my dad. So that morning we headed off to McCoy under the blazing sun.
We made sure to get there early, as we had general admission tickets and needed nine seats together. We managed to get them, but sadly, not in the shade. No matter – we were excited. My dad was easily the most excited; here he is racing Little Brother up the stairs to our seats:
We had some time to kill, but it was too hot to knit (I did have socks with me, though, and my sister was sorely disappointed they didn’t get confiscated. She said that would have been hilarious; I disagreed.) We just hung out, and after a while the players came out and started to stretch.
And sadly, Big Papi never did show up. Apparently he was healed, and headed home early. Jim Rice was there, though:
I don’t really know who is he is, but judging by the way people yelled, "Cooperstown!" when he went up to speak, I gather he is someone important. Even he complained about the heat.
Although we had a good time, and all the kids were relatively well-behaved, we ended up leaving after the 6th inning. The weather just got the best of us, especially Baby Sister. Next time: night game.
One last thing – I promised pictures of Little Brother’s tumbled rocks when they were done. Whaddya think?
We all agreed this one came out especially cool.
The plan is to get some more rocks on next week’s camping trip (!!!), order more of the polishing grit stuff, and start all over again when we get home. Hmmm – maybe it’s teaching him some patience. Imagine that!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
We're not much for gardening around here, really. We have a few bushes in the front, some lilies and hibiscus here and there, and a row of morning glories J planted to climb the chain-link fence along the driveway. But some of what we do have is blooming right now, and it's pretty.
The rose bush started as a potted plant, given to me by my father-in-law when I was in the hospital after Baby Sister was born. It looked pretty sad when we put it in the ground, but it made it. I'm glad; it makes me think of that happy time whenever I see it.
Posted by jenfromRI at 4:20 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I realize I never really put up a good picture of the skeins of contest yarn - an egregious oversight indeed! Just to remind you, this is 8oz (more or less) of shetland wool that Jess and I dyed with Koolaid and spun up for her contest benefitting the Relay for Life. I really enjoyed working with it; it had a great crimpy texture and it was very soft and sheepy-smelling. I ended up with two skeins, one of which made a lap at the Relay. They're a chunky weight, a little bit thick-and-thin, and still soft and sheepy.
The first time I showed you these mittens was Take 1, the pair that were too tight. I went up a couple needle sizes (size 6 to size 8) and knit Take 2. This time, I was unhappy with the way the colors looked. This particular skein of handspun had been navajo-plied, to keep the colors together. The result was long repeats of color; the mitten had a purple cuff, a while hand, and a bit of yellow right at the fingertip. It looked like the Easter Bunny's version of candy corn, and who knows what the second mitten might have looked like. It's too bad - those long repeats would have been great in a Baby Surprise Jacket, but I didn't have enough yarn for that. Anyway, I solved the problem by winding the yarn into two balls and doing narrow stripes.
Ah well. The solution must be to spin more, right?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Anyway, this time around was Little Brother, who turned 8 on the 3rd. The crappy thing about summer birthdays for kids is that it’s hard to get friends from school to come to a party. Little Brother hasn’t had much luck with it in years past, so this year he decided to just invite family. The good thing, however, about summer birthdays is cookouts. And ice-cream cake.
This one was made from ice-cream sandwiches layered with Cool Whip (thank you, Real Simple). And yes, I did leave his name off partly because it wouldn’t fit, but also so I could put a picture on the blog. More evil Mommy!
Little Brother warmed his mother’s geeky heart by asking for awesome gifts like an ant farm, a rock polisher, and Legos. FYI – polishing rocks is a process that takes weeks, which makes sense when you think about it but was a great big surprise when we first looked at the directions (“Check your rocks in – 14 days!! What??”). Luckily, Little Brother’s favorite thing is numbers, and figuring out the date we need to check on each step (oh yes – there are several steps) then keeping track of how many days are left is right up his alley. Actually, I think his very favorite gift was a pedometer from my sister-in-law. He had long admired her “step-counter,” and was very excited to have one of his own. Though he didn’t put it on until late afternoon, he immediately set about getting in his 10,000 steps for the day. By running around the house, with Big Brother close behind to provide, um, motivation. No, really, I mean around the house:
Speaking of my sister-in-law, she brought along Brand-new Niece. And here’s a gratuitous cute baby picture!
Oooh, those chubby legs! The birthday boy, on the other hand, refused to let me get a good picture.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Pretend for a minute that I am not a fairly boring mother of three and fiber addict. Pretend, if you will, that I am cool.
Imagine that this is one of those webpages that teenagers might have, where they get eleventy-million comments from the same group of friends, 90% of which are inside jokes, and they write things that would likely make their parents cringe.
Are you there? Are you channeling Myspace/Facebook/LiveJournal/What-have-you?
Dude! Check out my rad new haircut!
Posted by jenfromRI at 11:21 AM
Friday, July 11, 2008
- Work work work work. Sadly, that nearly sums it up. The end of the school year/beginning of summer apparently comes in two waves: first the ohmygodI'mgoingtofailifIdon'tgetagoodgradeonmyexam!!! wave, largely high-schoolers. One day in the last week of school I did the same chemistry review sheet for four straight hours, with one kid after another. I thought my brain was going to leak out my ears. The second wave is the kids who want to catch up over the summer, or at least not forget everything they learned. Well, that's what their parents want, anyway. Not that they give us a hard time or anything, though - seriously, kids in a classroom and kids one-on-one are completely different creatures. It's amazing. Things seem to have settled a bit for now, though, thankfully.
- We played in the sprinkler.
- We had a summer storm.
- We went camping!
We went up to New Hampshire and camped in the Bear Brook State Park for a long weekend, so J and the boys, plus J's sister and her husband, could go to the NASCAR race in Loudon. It was a good trip - a bit rainy at first, but nice anyway. We got to try out the new pop-up trailer we got in the spring after finally admitting we had outgrown the 29-year-old one we inherited from J's parents. It was a little sad to see it go, but the new(er) one is so much bigger - it was awesome. I'm looking forward to going again in a few weeks. Our camping trips are full of traditions, both universal and more unique to our family. There are, of course, campfires, s'mores, and just enjoying the outdoors (Burma Shave!). And there's also cribbage,
and a day spent being all touristy. This time it was a trip to Weir's Beach, outside Laconia, where we took a train ride and dipped our toes in Lake Winnipesaukee.
- What would a vacation be without a trip to a local yarn store? The day everybody was at the race Baby Sister and I, Google directions in hand, attempted to scope out a few places. Unfortunately, my Google directions mostly took me to yarn stores that did not actually exist, and the one I did find was closed (Sunday, duh). My last-minute crappy research performs fabulously again! But we did get some great pizza and a little one-on-one time, and when we headed out on Tuesday we stopped at the yarn store on the way out. It was the Elegant Ewe in Concord, and I wish I could have spent more time there. I didn't actually buy any yarn, but I did pick up some nice fiber: blue/brown/yellow/green merino pencil roving, which I had never tried before, and some nice gray alpaca from a local farm. Both of which have been spun up already:
Lately I've been gravitating more to the spinning wheel than the knitting needles. I also spun this, from some batts I purchased on etsy:
Plans for all this yarn? I don't have any yet, really. Probably mittens, except for the super-chunky yarn from the pencil roving. I think there's only enough of that for a baby hat or something. Good thing I know of some impending babies. :)
Well, I think that's about all I've got for now. I wish I hadn't been so busy, because I know there are things I meant to write and didn't, and certainly things I meant to comment on elsewhere. How do some people balance this family/work/hobbies thing so elegantly and efficiently? Mind-boggling, I tell you.