Category Archives: Knitting

I think it’s catching up to me

I’m cranky today.  It’s a zillion degrees out and the stupid little wall AC that’s supposed to cool our entire apartment isn’t, I have a bunch of packing to do and mayhem-in-a-diaper is making that rather difficult, and for some reason my computer is running slower than molasses.

 

So rather than sit here and bitch anymore, I’mma do something about it 😀

 

Exciting thing #1:  You know my beloved Dyeabolical Strong Arm sock yarn, the one that’s been discontinued? I have made 6 pairs of socks with this yarn.  It holds up better than almost anything I’ve knitted with, and it’s squishysoft and gorgeous.  Magical!

 

I love that stuff.

 

So when Kara mentioned she was de-stashing some, well…

That’ll be greeting me in Ohio.  All the Strong Arm for meeeeee!

 

Exciting thing #2:  I have disposed of the remaining donuts.  So they’ll no longer be haunting me.  Also, this is why we never buy donuts.

 

Exciting thing #3:  Simon has some new skills:  shaking thing with rhythm, manipulating his stacking rings really quickly (laboring over each piece is so yesterday!), and banging on his little drum.  Yesterday afternoon he was playing with the stacker and I was packing in the kitchen, and he tossed another ring on the post.  By that point I had said “YAYYYY!!!!!” and applauded about 400 times, so my enthusiasm for the accomplishment was, understandably, waning just a bit.  So I said, “Yayy!” and went on about my business.  Looked over a second later, and Simon was staring at me, solemn-faced.  Once we made eye contact he slowly clapped, once or twice, to show me what I needed to do.  When I said, “YAYYYY!!!!!!!” and clapped, he burst into a giant grin and, satisfied, went back to his  stacking.

 

It’s like he was saying, “That’s right, Mama.  You’d BETTER be impressed!”

 

Speaking of the lil’ stinker:

He comprises Exciting Things #3 through 13,248,895.

 

Exciting Thing #13,248,896, though, is that in less than an hour we get to leave to pick up Jeff, and once he comes home I’ll have the rest of the evening free to pack.  Whoopee!   After Simes goes to sleep, I think I’ll try to finish the lef oof that knee sock.  I’m about 3/4 of the way there!

 

Now that we’ve danced to Gangnam Style 5 times in a row (at least 600k of its 1.75 billion views have come from our IP address), it’s time to go be a Mama.  That is, feed him Joe-O’sand sing Jayhawks songs off-key while I make a racket arranging pots and pans in boxes.

 

What’s your exciting thing for today?

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Less than a week!

This weekend was pretty awesome.  Jeff and Simon enjoyed a LOT of quality time together, while I worked on packing.  (Jeff says – rightfully so – that it’s better for him not to try and pack, since I’d just yell at him for doing it wrong.  Smart man.)  So my boys left me at home to get stuff done, while they went off on such exciting adventures as “get the oil changed!”, “buy more bubble-wrap!” and “walk the dog!”.  Regardless of the packing, though, I think some one-on-one quality Daddy Time is good for Mr. Simes.  Learn that he can exist without a boob 2 feet away, you know.

It all paid off, too.  The living room is now completely packed, except for the things we can’t do without (Simon’s toys, iPod dock, and PS3), and that’ll all be quick and easy to pack on Saturday or whatever.  The blue room is long since done.  The bedroom is mostly done, except for my top-of-dresser stuff (jewelry boxes, hankies, coin jar).  That’s 1 box and will take about 10 minutes.  Bathrooms will just take a minute and obviously need to wait a few more days.

That just leaves the kitchen.  Ugh.  Jeff got all our appliance boxes out of the storage unit on Saturday (knife block, KitchenAid, slow cooker).  I just need to buckle down and do it.  I hate packing the kitchen.  Everything is so fiddly and breakable and I always pack up some tool then realize the next day that I need it.  But last night I made us channa masala and naan and these little tandoori wraps for dinner (thank you TJ’s frozen section!) and I made a big deal about it being the ceremonial LAST COOKING EVERRRRR in that shoebox kitchen, so now we’re on tofu dogs, sandwiches and yogurt full-time.  Whee!

Yesterday while I was packing, I came across a box of Jeff’s old family photos.  Look what I found?

Who does THAT look like???

And if that’s not proof enough of Simon’s parentage, check out this one:

I showed that to Jeff and said, “NOW do you believe he has your nose?!”  (Jeff had previously maintained that “all baby noses look alike” and “it’s impossible to tell”, every time I or any of Simon’s grandparents insisted that there is great probiscular similarity.

 

Finally, a little glimpse into Simon’s future:

It’s the feet that kill me, there.  So wee!

 

What’s interesting to me is that Simon looks so much like my dad one minute, and so much like Jeff the next.  With just a change of posture or expression.  Genetics are awesome!

 

I’ve had a hankering for donuts for a few weeks now.  We were going to go to the iconic Randy’s, but that never worked out.  So yesterday afternoon we ran to Abuelita’s (the LYS here in SouthPas) so I could get a sock bag since I packed all mine.  (I may have also run out with a skein of Pagewood Farms merino/bamboo sock.  Ssh!)  And while we were at it, we stopped by Winchell’s and got a few donuts.  They’re adequate – nothing to write home about – but to my donut-needing self they’re OMG SO GOOD.  I can’t keep my face out of that damned box.  This is why we never buy them!

 

But yay for breastfeeding – these things aren’t going to my hips!  Whoopee!  I may have to breastfeed someone forever.  Become a wet nurse or something.  It’s the best diet plan out there.  It will be a sad day when I must once again refuse cheesecake and hollandaise and french fries.

 

Now I’ve gotta get to work on that ( ::sigh:: ) kitchen.

 

Simon is currently occupied with his IKEA stacking ring toy.  He works tirelessly to get a ring on:

 

And then balance it carefully on the rubbery post.  Mission accomplished, he turns to me for grins and accolades:

And then I die of love and happiness.

 

Have a great day, y’all!

Laying low

After all of yesterday’s running around, Simon and I have stayed home today.  He made his wishes to that effect apparent when he took a 2 1/2 hour nap, from 9:30 to 12:00.  Little dude was tuckered out!

 

Yesterday evening we picked Jeff up from the train station and went up to this Mexican restaurant in Pasadena that we really like: El Portal.  Their fried fish tacos are the bomb-diggity!  And Jeff gets this carne burrito that’s essentially just a side of beef wrapped in a tortilla.  Massive.  Disgusting.  But he likes it.

 

The past two nights we’ve done something different for Simon’s bedtime, that’s actually worked out sorta well.  Our old routine (outlined in exhausting detail last week, if you care) was getting really frustrating for me.  Simon now likes to flip from boob to boob when he’s tired and avoiding sleep, culminating in biting me and whining once they’re empty and he’s not asleep.  So my new plan to put a stop to THAT shit has consisted of putting the boobs away, then pinning his arms down and doing the rocking back-and-forth and humming thing that I do when I’m wearing him into a nap.  Wednesday night the novelty of it was enough that he conked right out, but last night he struggled mightily (including several attempts to bite my boob through my bra/shirt.  Eewwwwouuuuchhhh!)  After he fell asleep from rocking, though, he startled awake a few minutes later and I ended up boobing him back down.  So we’ll see what happens tonight.  I still prefer boobing right up until he sleeps (because once he drops off he’ll usually sleep-nurse long enough to stimulate a second let-down), but I’m also a fan of keeping my nipples attached to my body, lol.  Nursing a big kid is a whole different game than nursing a tiny baby!  We still love it though 🙂

 

Yesterday evening I was thinking longingly of my long-neglected knitting, and all of a sudden I was struck by the undeniable urge to cast on for a pair of striped stockinette knee socks.  So I entered the blue room (which is where we’re keeping all our packed boxes) and climbed Empty Box Mountain to reach the far-flung Yarn Stash Binland:

And dug out a local handdye (La Jolla “Baah”) and some Fiberphile that I’ve had since the Great Stashbinge of 2011.  And then I fell asleep, because it was 10:00 an I am old.

 

But this morning!  While Simon slumbered on the couch next to me, I painstakingly HAND-WOUND both of these hanks (and the Fiberphile was more than a little knotty, I don’t mind telling you), since my swift and ballwinder are also buried and we got rid of the lamp with a shade that was perfect for an impromptu swift.

 

And I’m about to cast on in a minute here, if Simon will stay engaged with his toy piano and push-walker long enough for me to cast on 88 stitches and join in the round without twisting 😉

 

This afternoon – I’m posting here, so you’ll hold me to it! – I have got to work on packing.  Tea said she should be able to watch Simon for a bit, and that’d be great – it would give me the chance to get started on the kitchen.  Packing the kitchen is so deceptive – everything’s tucked away in cabinets, so it doesn’t look like *that* much, but then you’ve gotta wrap everything, and …buh.  It’s a lot.

 

The good news is that I put together a whole ‘nuther box of stuff for Goodwill.  Mostly Jeff’s stuff :-P.

 

Happy Friday!

 

(PS – did you know that though Pyrex is incredibly durable, when it breaks it shatters magnificently into exceptionally pointy little grains of glass?  And that then you have to not only sweep and vacuum up the shards, but also go over the entire floor with strips of packing tape?  There.  Now you know.  So you won’t feel compelled to break any and find out the hard way.  You’re welcome.)

In which I die of warm fuzzies and appreciation

Working to shorten my queue of woefully-overdue posts, I HAVE to share this.

First of all I’ll say that believe it or not, I actually have some real-life friends (I KNOW!).  In addition to living in the computer, they also exist in meatspace, and before I left St. Louis we would regularly get together at this little institution called “Knitorious Knit Night”.

And for SOME REASON (hell if I can figure out why), they have decided that they like me.

They like me enough, in fact, to plan and purchase and dye and knit/crochet and wrench their backs seaming not one but several gifts for me and my little family.

I know, I can’t believe it either.

But look!  Proof!

A month later and I’m still all blubbery about it.  YOU GUYS!!!

I seriously almost cried, I was so touched.  I was touched until I died.

Wait, that came out wrong.

You know what I mean.

Doesn’t the Dyeabolical blanket look lovely in my spinning chair?

(Psst – that’s Dyeabolical roving on Gretchen, too)

LOVE.

(the matching pillow is in the rocker in our bedroom, where Simon’s asleep.  Don’t want to wake him…)

 

Guess what else?  That gorgeous Dyeabolical-dyed yarn is special for an extra reason, too.  A secret reason that I can’t wait to tell you all about.  LATER.  Much later.

 

And if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve already seen Simon’s blanket in heavy use:

And the car seat blanket, too (which has been SO handy, let me say!)

 

I just get so happy inside every time I look at and use these.  Almost like how I feel when I look at Simon, except I built him.

 

You, my dear knit night-ers (Ann and Rachel and Deborah and Kara and Mindy and Margaret and Rhonda and Lois and Cheyonna and Kim and Davina and Madeline and Monica and Sharon), are the awesomest people ever.  I ❤ you.  And when I’m back in St. Louis next October with a crazy 15-month-old, I’ll be sure to stop by and thank every blasted one of you in person.

 

<3.

Jeez, dude. It’s not all about you (only mostly)

We’re up for bullets again!

~ This is the first thing I saw yesterday morning:

I ask you, is there any better way to wake up?

 

(Also, I’ve decided that if he had to resemble me in one way, I’m glad it’s the pointy chin.  Looks cuter on him than it does on me, anyway.)

 

~We went on an adventure on Saturday, which necessitated getting my pressure canner, jars and supplies out of storage on Sunday.  I’ll give you one guess what we did (hint: it rhymes with frapple fricking).  FULL POST FORTHCOMING.

 

~I have made absolutely delicious bran muffins.  I should share that recipe with you.

 

~Simon hates tummy time so much…

…that he’s decided to learn to roll over, just to escape it:

::sniff::

 

~There has been knitting, but just the same boring-ass blanket I’ve been working on since July, so I’ll spare you.  But three words: Taupe. Moss. Stitch.  (Shoot me!)

 

~I’m about to depart on a Grand Adventure with baby and dog, before it gets too hot out (HA!).  I think today we might walk all the way over to the main drag and grab a coffee (extra espresso for little dude, of course).

 

TO VERK!

Five years ago today

I can hardly believe it, but it’s true:  five years ago today, I learned to knit.

On Thursday, June 7, 2007, when Jeff and I were newly married, still living in Kirksville and finishing up our undergrad degrees, I went to Wal-Mart and bought some straight needles and Red Heart, and did this:

It took me 20 minutes to cast on three stitches, and the rest of the afternoon to create a few wobbly, mistake-ridden rows of garter stitch:

My heart aches for the tender young thing that I was, so dedicated and so confused.

I started to sort it out pretty quickly, though: the next day I learned to purl, and three days after that I was off and running.

And I haven’t looked back since.

Now it’s been five years (my gawd I can hardly believe it), and I’m still on the knitting journey.  We’re living in a different city (soon, a different state), Jeff just finished law school, we acquired this thing sometime along the way, and there’s the impending arrival of Hoopling.  Our lives are just about as different as they could be.

Except for the yarn everywhere, of course.

So how does one celebrate an occasion so momentous as a half-decade knitaversary?

How about with an FO?

(Yeah I know, any more self-congratulatory pats on the back and I’m liable to pull something.)

As the Knit Night-ers can attest, a few weeks ago I got a bee in my bonnet to make Veil of Isis, after getting lusty-lusty grabby-grabby about the one that Amanda at Knitorious made.  So rather than steal hers, I decided it might be better to make my own.

About 6 weeks later, I was done.  But not without much wailing and gnashing of teeth and bitching about 1,004-stitch rounds. I may have even offered to trade Hoopling in exchange for someone – anyone – to bind off on this fucker for me.

But none of you jerkwads took me up on that offer (::accusatory glare::), so I just put on my big girl panties and did it myself.

SO THERE.

But anyway.

Summer 2007:  Red Heart and holey garter stitch.

Summer 2012:  Laceweight merino and (even more) holey (but now deliberate) lace.

To quote my dad:  “I’d say that’s fair progress.”

Here’s hoping for many, many more years of knitting (and now, spinning)!

It would be an understatement to say I’ve been ‘bitten by the knitting bug’ these past five years.  I’m pretty sure that at this point, knitting should be regarded a chronic, incurable illness.  An illness that sucks up all my free time and too much money.  An illness that offers no chance of recovery (and, if I’m being honest, one that I have no *desire* from which to recover.).

Last week I was talking on the phone with my aunt, an incredibly talented and prolific quilter.  She and I started chatting about the idea of finding your true craft: the one which perfectly meshes with your proclivities and ambitions and passions, the one that comes naturally to you, the one that you can’t imagine living without.  Some people are easily multicraftural (I flatter myself that I might be in that number), but if you sit on them and poke them with pointy sticks I bet most crafters will admit to having one thing that they just get.  One thing that they’d choose over any other, that their lives would be truly empty without.

I think it’s safe to say: for me, it’s knitting.

I’m so glad I picked up those crappy-ass needles and that nasty acrylic yarn five years ago.

What’s your One True Craft?

Teh stupids: I have them.

Let’s play a game.

For one second, pretend you’re me.

(Stop crying.  It’s just a thought exercise.  You can stop being me in just a sec.)
You’re 26 years old and for the first time in your life you have real boobs(!).  You’re married to a dashing young lawyer.  You have a rotten cat and a rottener dog and a surely-rotten Hoopling on the way.  You have a whole closet of yarn, and half a dozen projects that you’re knitting – and enjoying – right now.  You also have a hamper full of dirty laundry and a sink full of dishes.

What do you do?

Let me tell you (since I *am* me, I am uniquely qualified to tell you this).

If you’re me, you ignore all your other knitting, and ignore the dishes and ignore the laundry.  Instead you pull out a skein of Skacel merino lace (which has been snuggled up in your stash since ‘way back when you lived in the place with that weird textured carpet)

And you cast on for a Veil of Isis shawl, post-haste:

I am uniquely qualified to tell you:  I AM SO STUPID, Y’ALL.

I have an Evenstar Shawl in progress.  I’m nearly done with the body of Featherweight.  I still have two Christmas gifts outstanding.  A garter stitch Habu scarf has been occupying one of my Clicks cables for nearly a year now.  A Hoopling will be emerging from my nether-regions in just four and a half months, and it will need to be clothed somehow.

So what am I knitting?  More lace, of course.  New lace.  A giant-ass square shawl on US1 needles.  (I blame Amanda at Knitorious for her gorgeous one, which I fairly drooled over last Wednesday.  Just goes to show – you never know when you’ll be blindsided by yarn.  It’s dangerous.)

Someone come take my needles away.

Or actually, don’t.  Not until I have the chance to knit this up:

That’s Dyeabolical Strong Arm Skinny in “Fate, PhD”.  AKA my new most favorite colorway ever.

Te amo, yarn.  Te amo.

Oh, and I may have also ordered a little something from TLE:

That was supposed to be black, with purplish blue streaks.  It was going to become Jeffsocks.  What arrived is, instead, most definitely a uniform dark purple.  He has declared the yarn inappropriate for his manly man feet, so into the stash it goes.  It may possibly eventually become one half of a Catkin.

And then I had a $25 TLE credit burning a hole in my pocket, so I caved and bought this for myself:

I’ve had my eye on that colorway since the dark winter of the Yarn Diet, and a skein has finally found its way into my grubby little hands.  I am happy about this.  I just want to own it, not knit it.  Not yet.

But friends, I have to tell you.  I love buying yarn.  I love having a hefty (by my standards) stash, and you KNOW I love knitting up that hefty (by my standards) stash.  That said, though, I think that as of late my stash has officially reached its own unique level of maximum reasonable heftiness.  I’m not quite ready to send it to fat camp or anything, but I do think it’s time for a little bit of portion control, healthy choices, and exercise.

Look, even Roxie is appalled at how bad it’s getting:

(You know it’s bad when even Roxie’s ashamed.)

So with that, I actually think I’m leaning toward another diet-y thing.  Not as long or as strict as last time, to be sure, but I also don’t think I can go stash-acquiring with the wild abandon I’ve been practicing as of late.

Let me mull this over for a while.  I’m not making any decisions yet.

But…there may be another diet on the horizon.

Someone hold me.

PS>Did you notice the stitch markers on that shawl above? I love them.  They’re my most favorite stitch markers ever, from BeaGin Design.  They’re perfectly unobtrusive in my knitting and come in a rainbow of colors, so it’s always really easy to keep track of all the charts and counts persnickety things that come up in lace knitting.