December 30, 2006

Fever

I woke up shivering in the middle of the night. Too cold and sick to get up and put on more warm clothes. Everything aches. I'll be a little quiet for the next few days, I suppose. And I don't think I'll be able to finish the second Railway Stitch sock before the end of the year.

December 29, 2006

Vogue Preview

It's up and not very inspiring.

I Am In Love

December 28, 2006

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Okay, I admit it. I can't leave Clare Tough alone. But I think she's baiting me.

More scrawny, sad models in schlumpy knits.


This time with flowers added which has really cheered up the models.


I call this one "the full Brazilian."


Ouch.

December 27, 2006

Traveler's Stockings



Pattern: Traveler's Stockings from Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Two shades of Koigu
Needles: US1 and O Addi Turbos
Changes: I used the larger needle for the upper leg portion after hearing from several people that it came out too tight. I used the contrast color for the heels and toes because I only had two skeins of the solid color. The pattern calls for three and it definitely needs three. I used all of the solid and didn't knit the legs as long as the pattern calls for.

Kitty the Second

Since the sun has apparently abandoned the city of Seattle permanently the photography is a little weaker than usual.

The half sewn kitty got all finished up and got her face sewn on.



She even got a scarf.



She joined her sister as Christmas gifts.

December 26, 2006

Happy Boxing Day

There will be knitting news tomorrow. But today I'm talking movies. I've had a chance to see several movies in the last few days. I saw Bette Davis, both young and old but always named Charlotte, in Now, Voyager and Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Now, Voyager left me feeling very disappointed in the end. The culmination of a story about a woman finding her independence ending with her having some freaky surrogate relationship with the daughter of the man she loves left me a little disgusted. Yes, it was a different time but creepy is creepy. And speaking of creepy, Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte is one crazy creepy film. At first I thought it was just campy. Davis plays an aged southern belle who is widely believed to have hacked her married lover to death with a cleaver forty years earlier. The film unravels into a deeply disturbing, though campy, psychological thriller.

One thing you can say for Bette Davis. The girl could knit.



That was no fake movie knitting going on. Her fingers were flying.

Wes and I also got to finally see The Departed. Things went much better than last time. I was amazed how wrapped up I got in it given that I knew how it ends. I saw the original, Infernal Affairs, a while ago. Infernal Affairs works well because it's a very sleek, tight movie. There's nothing extra there. The action moves quickly pulling you into the twists and turns. Scorsese's version is vastly expanded and it add lots of emotional weight to the story that is missing in the original. The performances are all great. I particularly enjoyed Alec Baldwin as a sweaty, manic detective.

Then this evening Wes and I saw Children of Men. By far the most visceral film going experience you will have all year. This film rips your guts out. It's dark; it's grimy; it's deeply moving. I started to cry over dinner discussing it with Wes.

The Traveler's Stockings are in the home stretch. More tomorrow.

December 24, 2006

Another Common Mistake

While having our Christmas dinner (going out for Chinese) Wes and I were playing a game with our older son. You name a food and the next person has to name a food that starts with the last letter of the previous food. As we were doing this our younger son was drawing lots of mythical creatures. There was Nessie, a yeti, a troll, Cerberus, a centaur, etc. He ran out of ideas just as it was Wes's turn to come up with a food that starts with "G." Wes said, "geoduck" (click the link and listen to the pronunciation if you're not familiar with it.) directed to our older son. Our younger son asked for clarification. "Is that a duck that's all gooey?"

A Scrubs Christmas

Here's a little Christmas cheer for the Scrubs fans out there. Enjoy.

Merry Christmas everyone!

December 22, 2006

Scenes from Home

Older Son, 8, reading a popsicle stick: What creature is always grumpy?
Mom: Me?

[The real riddle is "What sea creature is always grumpy?" Answer: A crab.]

December 21, 2006

Ways In Which I Am Weird

Rebecca tagged me for the weird meme. I'm not usually a memer but what the heck.

1) When I was a kid I loved to eat raw pasta. I still nibble on a few uncooked pieces while I wait for the spaghetti water to boil. I do not however still eat dog biscuits like I did when I was little.

2) I smell my children. It must be some kind of atavistic thing but when they are near me I give 'em a big sniff. I love the way they smell--sweet and warm and mine.

3) I am a very good parallel parker (this is not the weird part). When I was pregnant I completely lost the ability to parallel park. This happened with both pregnancies. I recovered immediately after having my kids.

4) I have to watch a tv series from the very beginning. If I hear about a good show three episodes into the season I can't watch it.

5) I routinely check to see if Wes, the kids and the pets are breathing while they sleep. I have been known to wake them if I don't see enough evidence of respiration.

6) I'm scared to go in the basement or attic after dark.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Knitters magazine has fallen into a time warp. And while they were there they took a bunch of stuff.



Do we even need to discuss the knitted items which combine lace with bobbles and fun fur? Good Lord, people, there's only so much I can take.

And as for the title. I think the only "chillin'" that Mr. Mondragon* and his staff engage in would also involve a nice Chardonnay. Let's leave the ten years out of date hip hop slang to suburban college students, okay?

And while Bill O'Reilly worries about the war on Christmas, I am concerned about Knitters' War on Breasts. Honestly, they hate them. I first suspected after the last issue came out with not one but two designs featuring the impossibly unattractive "tie under the booby" closure. But this new issue seems very concerned that breasts stay well covered --with large decorative elements.

There's Flowers Over Boobs



And Ropey Cables Over Boobs



And Giant Frogs on Boobs.





*Franklin has the best description of Rick Mondragon ever here.

December 20, 2006

At Least the Men in My Life Understand Me

I wanted to be upbeat. Really, I did. But it's hard when your son tells you during breakfast, "Hugo is peeing on your shoes." That's right. The little bastard let rip on two pairs of shoes. One pair went directly into the trash. The other can be washed.

I haven't mentioned yet on the blog that Hugo, our ten year old beagle, has been diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer. The doctor thinks he has two to six months left to live. The boys responded in typical child fashion. "When Hugo dies can we get another dog?!" We're trying to be extra nice to him. The medication he's one makes him very thirsty and have to pee constantly. Sometimes it's hard to be kind and loving to someone who pees all over the floor. But my older son keeps reminding me, "We need to be nice to Hugo."

Then he usually asks again if we can get another dog as soon as Hugo dies.

Today I let the children talk me into going to the mall. I don't really care if it's crowded. I don't need to buy anything so the long lines and empty shelves don't get to me. We went to the Lego store for our first stop. I reached into my cute little bag that I put my Traveler Stocking in before we left. I pulled out the sock. My heart sank when I saw that I had brought the second sock, ready to have a heel flap knit, but I didn't bring the yarn for the heel flap. Stuck at the mall with the kids with no knitting. So very sad. I did briefly consider running a few blocks over to Hilltop East and buying yarn and needles for a new project. But that seemed really extravagant. I sent Wes a text message to complain and even he suggested I go over to Hilltop. Plus I've seen other mothers — non-knitters ——* go to the mall with their children and not die of boredom.

As we sat at lunch my older son asked if we could go to the bookstore. I told him no, I didn't have my knitting. He looked kind of shocked and said, "Yeah, that wouldn't be a good idea."

*Wes and I just spent five minutes debating via IM whether to put spaces or not around these em dashes.

December 19, 2006

Daily Candy

Finally comes to Seattle!

One Step Forward



No steps back! I have no dreary downbeat news for you. I have one completed sock. It's partner has just been cast on. Tonight I will knuckle down on turning the heels on the Traveler's Stockings. Moving on! Woot.

December 18, 2006

More Crafting, Less Navel Gazing

I did some things other than ponder death and meaninglessness this weekend.



I started a new Wee Wonderfuls doll. I was planning on making the bunny since I made a kitty before but somehow I went on auto-pilot while cutting out the pattern pieces and ended up with the kitty head instead of the bunny. I've got the doll all sewn up as well as her shoes. I just need to finish stuffing, close her up and sew on her face. In other words I still have a lot left to do. I've also started planning my next doll--Spaceboy!

I also finally made some semi-reasonable knitting progress this weekend. I finished knitting the legs on my Traveler's Stockings and I turned the heel and completed the gussets on my first Railway Stitch sock. Hopefully by the new year I will be done with all of these socks and ready to move on to something new.

And if the sun could come out for maybe twenty minutes I might have a chance to take a photo of these socks so they don't look like dark fuzzy blobs.

December 17, 2006

The Queen

Wes and I went to the movies tonight and saw The Queen. It's an excellent film with a truly magnificent, fascinating performance by Helen Mirren. Watching the events unfolding in the film, which uses lots of archival footage, inevitably makes you think about your own experience of Princess Diana's death.

I don't share much of my personal history on this blog but watching the movie tonight brought up a lot for me. I got married, at 24, in August '94. Five months later, in January '95, my father died. I was exceptionally close with my father. He died 30 days after his 51st birthday. It was a terrible thing to happen to any family. To make things even sadder my grandparents has already lost their other son in his late 20s. He and his wife died together in a plane crash. My grandparents had pretty much fallen apart when my uncle died and then with my father's death they fell apart even more. And in August '96 my grandfather died.

One year later, August '97, Wes and I made a trip to Florida for my grandfather's headstone unveiling. I was eight weeks pregnant with my first child. I was tired. I was sick. I did not want to be in Florida for the fourth time in four years (my dad's funeral, my dad's headstone unveiling, my grandfather's funeral). My grandmother kept a small tv in her kitchen that was on all the time. In her kitchen, full of smells that completely set off my morning sickness, we heard the news about Diana's death. We watched the world mourn for Diana while we dealt with all the loss in our own family. My grandmother seemed bitter that so much energy and grief was pouring out for a woman that the mourners had never known while her own loss was so deep yet unimportant to the rest to of the world. Five days later Mother Theresa died. Her death was completely overshadowed by Diana's. I commented that the loss of Mother Theresa was sad but that it wasn't a shock for a woman her age to die and Diana was so young (in fact the same age I am today). My grandmother pointed out she and Mother Theresa were nearly the same age.

Strangely enough, earlier tonight, I was pointing out to Wes that we always think we'll remember significant events in our lives without needing to write them down. But after the movie I started to talk to him about that week and he had no recollection of it at all. So I wanted to mark it down and hope that we will remember it.

December 16, 2006

You Know You're a Knitter When...

Someone at a party dumps an entire glass of red wine on you and all you can say is, "My sweater!" Followed up with, "My socks!"

I believe all the handknit items will survive but I did see my life flash briefly before my eyes.

December 15, 2006

Help Me Win

At Wes's new job there is a holiday cookie competition. I am so there. And I want to win. What is the absolute best tasting cookie recipe?

Photos to Go With Whining

From the parking lot next to our rental house.





What's left of the bad boy that killed the power to most of Wallingford.





I can hear the gentle whirring of the chain saws in the distance as our tree gets all chopped up and hopefully hauled away. I've been trying to reach the claims department for our insurance company but the office is closed due to a power outage!

That's Why She's the Yarn Harlot

That Stephanie. She has a way of putting things just so. Please go read what she has to say about this season of giving and consider doing what you can.

Crazy Wind Storm Aftermath

The wind and rain have died down. We could hear chainsaws going all night trying to remove the tree from 45th street. As I lay in bed this morning I heard Wes tell the boys that school was canceled (Noooooooo!). So I decided to try to sleep a little longer. Then the phone rang. We own a house on the other side of our block that we rent out. Our tenant called to let us know that a very large evergreen tree in the back yard just fell down, knocking down the fence and landing in the parking lot of the bank next door. Photos soon.

December 14, 2006

Windstorm 2006

What a kooky weather day we've had. The rain started pounding down this afternoon. Looking out the front windows of the shop was like being in a car wash. The thudding sound of driving rain and a sheet of water.

When I got home tonight the lights on the north side of 45th street were all out. The traffic lights were all out. When I got to Wallingford Center I had a pretty good idea why. There is a massive tree tipped over and resting on the wires. It must have happened pretty shortly before I got there because there was just one cop car and traffic hadn't been rerouted. People were just driving under the scary tipped over tree on wires. WTF? Traffic has now been directed up our street and there are lot of sirens on and off. And it's supposed to get worst later.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Three words.

Knitted. Human. Heart.

December 13, 2006

Star Wars Hat Pattern

The pattern is cobbled together from a few sources. I can't give you the pattern but I can tell you what I did.

I started with the We Call Them Pirates (.pdf) hat pattern as my outline. I got out some graph paper and filled the outline in with these motifs. I had to shave a little and ended up losing the dividing lines between the sections. I would do it differently next time. I think I might choose to knit the hat on 1s instead of 2s and make each section a little larger. The dividing lines really add something to the hat and also make the top decreases look spiffy.

So that's it.

Oh, Dale of Norway Falk in Natural and Black on US1s and 2s with Dale of Norway Stork in Natural for the inside hem.

There is also another Star Warsy hat pattern that's floating around now too. This one is all R2-D2s and is knit with more colors than just the black and white.

I'd love to see some other patterns put together with these motifs. What else can you come up with?

December 11, 2006

Another County Heard From

While sitting in the dining room knitting with some friends my eight year old wrote this message on his art easel.



It says, "THE ONLY THING my mom does is knit." It also has the notation, "This is not the original" because he erased it while I was getting my camera and he recreated it for me.

Tie-Fightin'-Storm-Troopin'-Droid Hat



The hat is dried and blocked. Unfortunately I blocked it too large. I will probably wash it again and put it in the dryer for a few minutes to shrink it back down. Instead of the Imperial March I know have the Star Wars theme song running in my head, sung bunny-style.

December 10, 2006

Sunday Morning Funny

December 9, 2006

Three Years

Blogger is promoting a new beta version. After convincing me to try it out I found that my blog is too large for the upgrade. I have written 1238 posts. And I started it all, it turns out, three years ago today. So happy blogiversary to me.

I have said it before but I'll say it again--thanks to all of you for coming by each day, reading and commenting, offering help, laughs, hugs and commiseration. You make this gig a lot of fun.

Slow Down

Sorry everyone. I had hoped to show you the completed hat today but I only had a few minutes to knit yesterday (lots of holiday errands and a party to attend). Part of my day included the soul-crushing search for a suitable outfit for the party. I cleverly decided to start thinking about what to wear about five hours before the party started. This season's styles don't seem to favor the busty girls. Not like they ever do but this season the cleavage on all the dresses is cut down to your pupik. After finding nothing I went home and literally emptied out my entire closet. I sorted all my clothes by size and started boxing up stuff that doesn't currently fit. I finally settled on an okay outfit accessorized by my Birch shawl. At the party one of Wes's co-workers, who is a new knitter, upon being told that I had knit my shawl pulled it off of me and stood, looking at it alternately murmuring "oh wow" and "holy shit." Then she gave it back and said, "I've got a lot to learn."

I have another inch of hem to knit on the hat, need to tack down the hem and need to block. Then photos!

December 7, 2006

Star Wars Update

The site with the charts I referred to yesterday seems to be down right now. Here is another source of charts.

Updated Update: The site with the motifs I used is back up.

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

"Get interesting options with an easy vest and coordinating tee."



"Whoops" is right.



Second Creepiest Mannequin Ever.

December 6, 2006

Cue the Imperial March

I was feeling a pang of guilt over not starting the pirate hat for my son. The little angel on one shoulder said, "You promised it to him a year ago." The little devil on my other shoulder said, "You already knit that pattern once. Having to knit it again will be totally boring." I had to admit they were both right. Then a customer came to the shop to pick up some yarn for a vest her husband is knitting for her son (got to love a husband who knits). He is making the argyle vest from Men in Knits. Only, instead of argyle across the chest, he was inserting these Star Wars motifs. And lo, the clouds parted and the angels sang. I had my solution.



My son likes to provide his own background music. When he's playing or running or eating or doing just about anything. But he always hums the same tune--the Imperial March from Star Wars. Sad, isn't it?

December 5, 2006

Back in the Loch With You, Nessie!*

I've got two new NLFOs**.







Mouse over for my latest creations.

Goodbye baggy, saggy Mia. So long overly long sleeved, boxy-shoulder Butterfly. Some day you may become A Cardigan for Arwen and a Sunrise Circle Jacket. Perhaps not. Only time will tell.

I had a sad moment last night when I realized that there are more rows in Frost Flowers than I had thought. This means that I have even less done. I'm back down to 21.9% done. I keep reaching for that ever elusive 25% and just can't get there.

Thanks for all the hugs and commiseration about my public meltdown. I'd love to say that it's the first time that my children or I made a complete scene in public.

*Name that quote!
**No Longer Finished Objects.

December 3, 2006

Nice to Meet You

If you were in Kidd Valley* this afternoon and saw a pale, fatigued woman with a wild look in her eyes screaming at a crying little boy then, hey! nice to meet you. Now I'm sure you were averting your eyes while thinking, "What's wrong with that crazy bitch?" But I'll tell you; it was a long time coming. The child and his brother were returned to their home safely though angrily and had some "quiet time" while mom managed to overcome her seething rage (and make a big casserole of mac and cheese for a potluck party). I will try not to leave the party and "forget" to bring the children back home with me.

*The extra D is for delicious.

December 2, 2006

Rose-Kim Costume Department

Wes is off shooting a film today. The film has a Girl Scout-type character in it. She needed a sash and a beret.



The beret is from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, knit in Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patiné. The yarn was chosen to match a skirt. It was not the ideal yarn for a beret, I realized as I knit. It's 100% cotton so it's heavy and floppy. I knit it on a US5 instead of the 7 recommendedd on the ball band. It's cute but I'm worried it won't fit the actress all that well. The sash was done in the laziest manner possible. I "hemmed" the edge using Stitch Witchery. It took about ten minutes to put together.

I also finally sewed the buttons on my Meathead and posted my photo to the Flickr pool. There are some great hats there.

This was all done after I got home from the Seattle Spinners group last night (and some late night nibbles with Molly). After getting all of that done I wanted to work on my shawl. I stayed up really, really, really late. Like however late you're thinking I stayed up, add at least another hour. I got it in my head that I needed to finish round 100. When I looked at my spreadsheet this morning I discovered that I hadn't even knit 2%! Argh.