Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So much to chat about, so few Republican brain cells

Well, I'd actually been looking forward to sharing all kinds of juicy tidbits about the upcoming election, completely non-knitting related but guaranteed interesting with stars like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow (who now has her entire TV show on podcast, you reading this, Yankee?) at the helm. However, life threw us a few curveballs and it's been difficult to get focused again. Too bad...so much has happened...John McCain referring to his audience as fellow prisoners, my-favorite-store-is-a-consignment-store Sarah Palin getting caught with $150,000 in clothes bought by the RNC, oh, so much. Well, let's join the chaos in progress, shall we?

First up, the apparent and apparently widening breach between John McCain and Sarah Palin:

Next, two of my favorite people in the whole world, Rachel and DNC Chair Howard Dean, discussing early voting. I think there is some fear mongering going on here, but I'll admit that many of us probably do need a fire lit under us. Personally, I don't think the prevalence of Dems among early voters indicates everything that the Democrats want it to, but we still are seeing some good signs there.

I'll also admit that I'm not entirely convinced that the white sector of the US is ready to drop its overt and covert racism in order to vote a black candidate into the presidency. In fact, I'm pretty much quaking in my boots about that one.

And lastly, from Keith, prominent Republicans are suggesting that the RNC give it up and help down ballot instead. When's the last time that happened? At least 12 years, I'd think...

Good signs, but as they say, the only poll that counts is the one on election day. We won't even really know who all these early voters are voting for until that day. Fingers crossed. And go vote!

Oh, I actually have a little bit of knitting-related news. Here is my latest project for Schaefer Yarn knit in September-October and packed up and mailed just before Rhinebeck:

Wow, kinda makes me want to hire a model for all of my projects! It's the Elaine Mitered Sweater, knit in Schaefer's Elaine bulky merino wool/nylon yarn, in the color Elena Piscopia. That's the Elaine, right there in the color shot. Got the pic above from Schaefer because I'm an idiot and can't ever remember to take a pic of my projects before they go out the door.

And Rhinebeck, what can I say? Whatever I say, it will have to be in another post because this is way too long already! I received my yarn from Schaefer at Rhinebeck and I will take pics of that haul, with a particularly pretty skein I'm hoarding for myself! Next post, Rhinebeck!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How did we get here?

I fear that, in these last 52 days til the US election, this blog may drift more toward the political, or the angry, or the railing against this crazy nation we have here, or all three. As proof, here is a little piece on Cindy McCain's struggle with addiction to prescription painkillers. This has been out for years, but the article highlights how "glossed over" the story has become, how "spun" it has become over the years by the McCains, and how the elite (yes, I said it, the McCains are the elite...what??? Not just the scrappy biracial community organizer whose family once lived on food stamps candidate???), well, the soulless elite anyway, can move around in the world without a care for whose lives they destroy.

And this next, from the well-anticipated Sarah Palin interview. What an idiot. Pay close attention to the "Bush Doctrine" section...jeez, even if she is an idiot, do you think McCain's people might have given her a little briefing on this so she wouldn't look so stupid talking about it? Watch her eyes when she says "In what respect, Charlie?" You can tell without a doubt that she is panicking because she has no idea what he is talking about and she's stalling for time. Or God, or something. Too bad the big guy couldn't help her out with that one.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The times, they are a changin'

Well, Obama and McCain may be deadlocked in the polls (how this can happen, in this race, is beyond me, except if the worst is true and white Americans are, at bottom, racists), but you gotta know that something good is happening if an out lesbian gets her own prime-time political talk show. And it's even better that it's my lesbian, Rachel Maddow! OK, she's not really my lesbian, I already have one, as does she...but, well, anyway, here she is, in her very solid, even impressive, debut last night. I'm so proud!

As I've said before, I've been a fan of Rachel's since I first heard her in the early days of Air America Radio. I knew she was a rising star then, as did many other listeners. I'm so pleased that MSNBC took a look and obviously saw the smart and savvy political wonk that we saw! Congratulations, Rachel! You have so many of us out here who are so proud of you and can't wait to see where you go from here.

As for Palin, I won't attempt to replicate the bang-up job that my friend Yankee Lagniappe did in her latest blog entry. Spectacular. I can't believe the American people are so gullible as to be taken up on this wave. Then again, considering they elected Reagan, Bush and then his son twice, I guess I really can believe it :(. Hmmm, interesting question...are Americans largely racist, dumb, or both? It's unsettling to be brought up face-to-face with the likelihood that we are the minority here. Change moves slowly...too slowly for this 44 year old.

Briefly switching to the knitting vein, I have no progress to report on my latest project for Schaefer Yarns...still looking for the perfect sized needles to get gauge! I will be starting this week and will post pics.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finish the Sentence Meme

Saw this on Nutmeg Knitter's and Wife, Mom, Knitter's blogs, and it looked like fun, so I had to do it, too!

1. My uncle once…lived in California.

2. Never in my life…have I eaten octopus. Or eel.

3. When I was five…I loved kindergarten and had a best friend named Michael.

4. High school was…where I first learned to go after what I wanted and to work my hardest to get it. And to believe that good things would come my way.

5. I will never forget... the day that the twins were born. We knew our lives had been changed forever by those twelve pounds of miracle.

6. Once I met
Lyle Waggoner. Oh, I know, you are so jealous. Go ahead, click on the link, I know you have to...I'm so dating myself. But really, I was a little girl and I was so stoked to meet him. Oh, and I once was within about five feet of John Updike...very exciting, maybe even more so than meeting Lyle!

7. There’s this boy I know…who used to be the cutest kid, and just this year he got married and asked my kid to be his ring bearer. So adorable, my nephew.

8. Once, at a bar, well, probably more than once, I drank something called...a brain? A bloody brain? It was Bailey's poured into something, red, I think, so it curdled up to look like a brain would look, like, exactly like a brain would look... and it tasted great!

9. By noon…we knew we wouldn't make it to the beach to meet our friends on time, though I'd promised to get there by 12:15. We made it there by 12:35. Oops. I really can't stand to break promises, but I have equal difficulty with getting to places on time!

10. Last night…Our power went out for all of three seconds, which apparently was plenty of time to wipe out 100 hours of recorded shows on our satellite system :/. We lost several series, the closing ceremonies to the Olympics that we hadn't yet had the time to watch, and the finale to So You Think You Can Dance, which only I, out of all the family, had missed. It was so anticlimactic to find out from the kids today who won. I won't whine too much about it. Just a little.

11. If only I had…more discipline to get to bed earlier. Working on it!

12. “Next time I go to church” is something you won't hear me say. I've been done with organized religion since mid-way through college. Which, believe me, was a long time ago ;).

13. What worries me most…is money and my kids' health and safety.

14. When I turn my head left... I see the beach bag, still unpacked, from today.

15. When I turn my head right... I see the mouse whose battery light has been blinking at me for days. Gotta get on that. If you don't hear from me in a while, we now can blame that :).

16. You know I’m lying when…I'm not telling, then you will know when I'm lying!

17. What I miss most about the Eighties…is college, and having a much more carefree lifestyle. Many less worries than now.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be…Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. She seems really smart and self-possessed. And of course, since the movie I always think of her as
Emma Thompson, and come now, what woman wouldn't want to be Emma Thompson?

19. By this time next year…I will be sending my youngest to preschool...more free time for me, yippee! Oh, right, and it will be so good for her, too ;).

20. A better name for me would be…I can't think of one. Not that there probably aren't a few out there...I just can't think of a better name right now.

21. I have a hard time understanding…why I can't get better at arriving places on time.

22. If I ever go back to school… shoot me, please.

23. You know I like you if…I laugh a lot with you.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be…my parents and my therapist. They all had a hand in parenting me. Thanks, guys!

26. My ideal breakfast is... corned beef hash and scrambled eggs...heart attack on a plate, so I try not to have that too often! Man, do I sound old or what???

25. Take my advice, never…let anyone walk all over you.

27. A song I love but do not have is…"96,000" from "In the Heights". Take a listen:

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest that you visit… the Hasbro factory.

29. Why won’t people…treat each other better?

30. If you spend a night at my house…expect to wake up early, cause the kids all do!

31. I’d stop my wedding for…listen, if I even get the chance to marry my partner, there will be very little that I'd stop that wedding for!

32. The world could do without…people who value money or their own comfort more than others' feelings.

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than… to have to experience miscarriage again. I am grateful every day that we don't have to face that spectre again.

34. My favorite blondie is… I don't get it.

35. Paper clips are more useful than…rubber bands?

36. If I do anything well it’s…managing this brood. It's hard sometimes, but I asked for it and so far, I'm pretty proud of the job I'm doing.

37. I can’t help but.... think about all the knitting I have to do while I'm sitting here writing!

38. I usually cry… at sad movies.

39. My advice to my nephew/niece is… treat all people well and don't judge people on first impressions.

40. And by the way, it's time for bed!

The Girl Effect

Borrowed from Sara Skates, this is excellent...a hopeful video for a Sunday morning. Makes you think about the possibilities for us all.

Log Cabin Completed

It's done! Well, it was done a month ago and thanks to Wife, Mom, Knitter I have a lovely pic, but August was much busier than I'd expected (why is summer vacation always busier than the school year???) and I've neglected to blog this ginormous project to which I devoted all my waking hours for three months. Three months! I'd never knit for that long on anything before, and I will likely never do it again...well, unless it involves a marriage or a baby or a kid going off to college or something. Never say never, I guess!

So, without further ado, courtesy of Wife, Mom, Knitter:

It measures 70" X 75", which is weird because it looks much more rectangle-y than that on the bed. It's lovely, but it's really a summer blanket...it has even felt a bit too light during some cooler August nights. Now I know why I've seen so many tank tops knit in Silky Wool...it would work great for a summer garment! I'm still debating on whether or not to knit/crochet a border. I'm still not sure if it needs one. I'll keep thinking.

These days I'm starting a mitered cardigan for Schaefer Yarns. It's fun, but the Elaine yarn I'm using is BIG...not only on the needles, but in the ball I've made from the skein...I almost have to hold it with two hands! Makes for a bit of an awkward time knitting. But the Elena Piscopia colorway (whose shot looks very much like it was taken in Elaine) is really winning me over. This is going to be a beautiful sweater. I'll take progess pics and post. Promise!

Next come socks for my friend's father and a silk scarf for my mom for Christmas. After that, I think my partner really deserves some socks after all the knitting I've done for everyone else! And me! Me! I deserve some too! I hear the Tofutsies in my stash calling me!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fifty Things

A Fifty Things about Me meme! Excellent, because I can't show pics of my work right now.... I broke our digital camera taking pics of our screens to show the glass shop. Actually, I don't really think I broke the camera, I'd rather like to think of it as old and dying of natural causes. But whatever led to its demise, the end result is the same. No pics to show :(. But I'll do a quick progress report after this fun meme....

1. Do you like blue cheese? No!

2. Have you ever smoked a cigarette? Yup, several. Started and stopped in my twenties. Never addicted, though my kids are absolutely scandalized that I ever smoked at all. Worse, I even smoked those clove cigs sometimes because it was oh-so-hip to do in the local pseudo-punk crowd. Did you know I was once a pseudo-punk? I was! Anyway, the kids think it's the neatest thing that I came home at 5 years old and told my parents they had to stop smoking because that's what we were told in school, and my parents did stop!

3. Do you own a gun? No.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? Never been, and I get so jealous when I see those Sonic commercials! They are so cruel to show them to someone who doesn't have a Sonic nearby!

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Yes.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? I used to love them as a kid. Now they kind of gross me out, but that usually won't stop me from having one if there are no hamburgers to be had.

7. Favorite Christmas Song? Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee.

9. Can you do push ups? 10 at a time, a few reps, but on my knees! I'm working on it :).

10. Favorite movie? Strictly Ballroom.

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? A twenty year-old beat-up Avon necklace that I use as a bracelet.

12. Favorite hobby? Knitting, eating :).

13. Do you work with people who idolize you? I don't think so!

14. Do you have ADD? No.

15. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? Perfectionism. Working on that, too. Kids help with that, a lot :).

16. Middle name: Ann.

17. Three thoughts at this moment: I can't wait for the two-year old to go to bed! I'm so hot, even with the AC on. I have to knit!

18. Three things you bought yesterday: pool float, swim diapers, Mickey Mouse underwear for the two year old...specifically requested, so I had to hunt them down!

19. Name 3 drinks you drink regularly. Coffee, tea and water.

20. Current worry right now? Having enough of summer left to finish my summer blanket!

21. Current hate right now? Political game-playing and scheming.

22. Favorite place to be? Beach.

23. How did you bring in the New Year? Party with friends.

24. Where would you like to go? Italy.

25. Name three people who will complete this. I don't know, I haven't asked anyone yet!

26. Whose answer do you want to read the most? I am addicted to reading my friends' memes...I want to read them all!

27. What color shirt are you wearing? Pale blue.

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Don't know, haven't yet.

29. Can you whistle? I can make a sound, but not a tune.

30. Favorite color? Red.

31. Would you be a pirate? Never.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Don't sing in the shower.

33. Favorite girl's name? My daughter's.

34. Favorite boy's name? Connor, right now anyway. Two year old, if a boy, was to be Connor Nathan.

35.What's in your pocket right now? No pockets.

36. Last thing that made you laugh? My SnB friends.

37. Best bed sheets as a child? Can't remember.

38. Worst injury you've ever had? Hmmm. I don't think I've had stitches, yet. I broke all four front teeth falling as a toddler - good balance, huh? Maybe I'll go with Nutmeg Knitter and say...giving birth?

39. Do you love where you live? I love it! I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 4. Yes, I said 4. Got a problem with that? :)

41. Who is your loudest friend? Has to be Yankee. But it's part of her southern charm!

42. How many dogs do you have? None.

43. Does someone have a crush on you? Yes, I'm afraid. My Oedipal 6-year-old.

44. If you could marry a movie actor/actress who would it be? Gabriel Byrne.

45. What is your favorite book? The Four Agreements. And I'm really not a self-helpy type reader. But this one, this book literally changed my life.

46. What is your favorite candy? Chocolate anything. Or anything covered in chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Did I mention chocolate?

47. Who is your favorite sports team? Kansas City Chiefs.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Oh my goodness. I can't think of one.

49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Watching Keith Olbermann talk to my girlfriend, Rachel Maddow.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning? Why did the kids wake up so early???

Fun! Whoever wants to take this, feel free! Just let me know that you did because I want to see your answers!

OK, progress...I am within TWO ROWS of finishing the length of my Moderne Log Cabin blanket! Hooray for me! Now I will have to add 33 garter ridges to the side to widen it a bit, this part is not in the pattern. Then the border but I won't even think about that right now.

I finished the Heather Zig Zag socks for Schaefer Yarns. They are mailed already, but I didn't have a camera to take an FO pic anyway :(. Here they are, half done:

You know, just picture another one right beside it, exactly like that one :). That works, right? Sorry you can't really see the zig zags. Even when my camera worked, it was horrible with close ups...hey, silver lining...my next camera will probably be better with that!! Anyway, if you click on the link above for the socks, the pic there shows the pattern pretty well.

On to the remainder of the blanket, then to some socks for a friend's dad. Busy busy. Even if I have no photographical proof!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Anyone Else But You

I thought I'd share the song that runs through my mind on a continuous loop these days, the song from the movie Juno that everyone knows, here sung by the movie's stars, Ellen Page and Michael Cera.

Come to think of it, I've also overheard my youngest son humming this song through the house some days, so this is not just happening in my brain. I think it's gradually taking over the minds of the whole family. I got it as a late birthday gift and it seems it never stops playing in the car when the kids are there. Humming son actually said, "Mama, this sounds like kids' music." And it does. Most of the songs have this deceptively simple, innocent sing-songy quality while they speak to much heavier issues. I love this CD! Can you tell??

Check this out at 3:59 (or see the whole thing if you are an Ellen Page fan). Besides being rude, Barbara doesn't know what she's talking about. She "didn't get it"? I'm much older than that generation of singer/songwriters myself, and the message came through clear as a bell for me. I've been forced to watch more of The View than any human being should be allowed, due to my partner's affection for it, and I've realized through this little exercise in torture that Barbara can be quite judgmental at times and just plain not nice.

Anyhow, I love the song and the soundtrack (and don't even get me started on the movie!), and I'd highly recommend it. So would my kids. Just, if you are around them, don't utter the words "Tire Swing" or the two year old will start screaming until you find a way to play it for her. And you will, believe me, you will. Her screams are brutal.

Friday, June 20, 2008


There. I have been released from the daily torture that is my Moderne Log Cabin Blanket. Well, at least temporarily. A bit melodramatic, perhaps?? Listen, I love this pattern. The yarn is pleasant to work with...I might even venture to say fun. I know it's going to be a beautiful blanket. But frankly, the blanket-I-never-stopped-talking-about so long ago has become the blanket-it-seems-I-will-never-finish-knitting, and I've been feeling pretty trapped by it, more exactly, trapped *in* it (it's gigantic!), over recent weeks. I am on skein 17 of about 22 skeins that will go into this blanket, and I am ready to scream. I just can't feel how close I am to the end...I can only feel how many hundreds of rows I have still to go!

So, instead of stepping over the edge I've been teetering on into insanity, I have decided to step back from this project for a bit and move forward with another, one for Schaefer Yarns. I am knitting the Heather Zig Zag socks by Rebecca Hatcher, from whom I borrowed needles for the project...this has to guarantee some karmic goodness for this project, don't you think? And I am almost 100% completely and totally sure that these socks will not misbehave the way that blanket has with its allure of silky warmth which you will never fully know because you will never finish it.

Anyway, here was the blanket at last glance:

and thus far, with a 12-inch ruler added for scale:

Yes, it looks like I've made good progress, but that's just the blanket's evil magic working on you to trick you into wanting to make it. Actually, it's about a foot wider and two feet longer than it was in my last post but reality has nothing to do with this. Anyway, before I move on, I have to buy an extra skein of Silky Wool in red because the amount I bought according to the pattern ended up not being enough. Fair warning.

Yes, I really do love it, despite all the grumbling you hear. It's gonna be a great blanket.

On to the (relatively) instant gratification of socks! Yay for instant gratification!

I'll get back to the blanket, and soon. I am determined to actually use this summer blanket this summer. Though it really is warm enough for fall...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another meme

And it sounds like fun! And I have made great progress on my Moderne Log Cabin, but frankly, it's so gigantic to me at this point (the largest things I've ever made before have been sweaters) that I'm dreading spreading it all out for a pic. But I will try, and soon.

I've been tagged by Nutmeg Knitter for this meme, so here goes...

1) What was I doing ten years ago?

Ten years ago I was in a muddle of diapers, baby food and other unmentionables with nearly one year old twins. I was exhausted. And the happiest I'd ever been in my life.

2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:

- Order new glasses for the now nearly eleven year old twins, whose eyes seem to be changing faster than we can make eye appointments for them.
- Go to library to return books and entertain children who have been home from school since Thursday (!). Yes, I'm still exhausted.
- Return emails to folks who haven't heard from me since Thursday because of #2.
- Make muffins for the kids to take for snack tomorrow. Yes, it's because I'm *just* that kind of mom (can you hear the angels singing?) But it's also because tomorrow is shopping day and there is next to nothing in the house for school snacks. This way I get brownie points *and* I can sleep a little later tomorrow because no one will be harrassing me for snack ideas. I'm so smart :).
- Knit knit knit on the Log Cabin during every crack and crevice of time I can find around the above. This deceptively sweet little project has taken over my life like none other.

3) Snacks I enjoy:

What don't I enjoy? I like the salty, the sweet, candy, fresh fruit, the stuff that's horrible for you and the stuff that's great for you. You will understand why I have to watch my snacking habits.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

- Set up great big college funds for the kids
- Buy a big house on the water (and vacation at Nutmeg Knitter's RI beach house! I love RI beaches!).
- Take all the kids to Italy like I had hoped to do when the twins were 10. My grand plan was to rent a villa for a month. These days, with jobs and other responsibilities, this feels like mostly a pipe dream. But I do hope to accomplish at least a part of this goal one day. I would love to show off Italy to my kids. They may just have to be a bit older. I must admit to a little trepidation at taking the younger kids overseas, and just the responsibility of managing the safety of four kids in Europe seems overwhelming to me now. So I guess it's not just a financial issue.
- Buy my mother whatever she wants.

5) Places I have lived:

RI, where I learned to love the RI beaches...CT for college....Urbino, Italy for a semester in college...MA for a couple of summers during grad school.

6) Jobs I have had:

Waitress (loved it!), more waitressing, anything-you-can-think-of in the library (for the most part, loved this too...in recent years I've unearthed a secret desire to be a librarian!), also almost anything-you-can-think-of in the mental health field. Stay at home mom. Big job. I'm exhausted. Did I say that already? I can't remember. I'm exhausted.

7) Peeps I want to know more about:

Wife, Mom, Knitter
Yankee Lagniappe
Costume Chick

My apologies if these are double tags for any of you! I am also way behind on my blog reading. Exhausted, did I tell you?

Monday, April 28, 2008

A little bit, and a little late

Yes, yes, I know that my knit blogging has been woefully neglected in recent weeks. Okay months. Unfortunately, what I have to show now is not all that I had intended to show....

Question: What do you do when you realize that half the knitting pics you tried to download to your blog file never made it, just vanished into the ether? Scream? With my daughter cornering the market on that extracurricular activity, it wouldn't even be noticed. Cry? I'm tempted, merely from losing documentation of one project in particular that I'd worked *so* hard on. But, you know, my brother just got his car stolen, with his *laptop* inside. I think I'd feel a bit frivolous crying, comparing mine to *that* loss (he's doing fine, BTW).

So, I guess I'll tell you about the things I can't show you, and I'll show you the rest. I'll get over it :).

First up, the item whose lost pic nearly brought me to tears: the Wrap Around Cardigan for my gig wtih Schaefer Yarns. I don't really like wrap-arounds, but this ended up being really cute (you'll have to trust me on this, because I can't even find a pic on their site). It's made with Schaefer's Judith yarn, which is 100% alpaca, in the colorway Rosa Parks. The yarn was easy to work with, but the construction took a bit of time, as it includes a front band that is worked separately and sewn in, then has four i-cords that attach to the fronts and sides for fastening. You know, for the wrapping part. I gotta say, I was very proud of that sweater :).

Next, the London Beanie for a friend, with no pic of my own to show :(. It was my first adult-sized hat and came out really nicely. I was told that it fit, too, which is a bonus :). Made with one skein of Cotton Ease in the Violet colorway (not my pic, either),

but I eliminated the stripey parts of the pattern. She really liked it :).

Now, my daughter's socks that I thought I'd never finish. If you remember, in November, they looked like this:

And in early March, they looked like this:

Kind of a problem, considering I wanted them for the spring. So I put all else aside and worked on these exclusively, finishing them just in time for Easter:

These were made with one skein (much less, actually) of Marks and Katten's Clown yarn, which is 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool and 15% nylon. I used the Child's Lovely Lace sock pattern from a slightly aged Paton's book, Happy Feet. The yarn is a bit stiffer than I'd like, and it doesn't give much on her foot, as you would expect from many cottons. I do still like the idea of cotton or cotton blend socks for kids, and I'm pretty sure I can find a cotton that gives a bit more. I want to try this again. My daughter likes them, but I think the stiffness gets to her as well, and they don't really fit into her shoes :(. That's a bit of a problem, since you kind of need shoes to go out. So, since Easter, they've been really fancy house socks.

Next, my latest work for Schaefer, the Winter Bag made with Schaefer's Laurel. This is a 100% mercerized pima cotton, in the colorway Frida Kahlo. I had lots of trouble with pooling on this bag in the beginning:

and I ended up splitting the one skein I had into two and working with two balls, switching off on random rows. All in all, it turned out pretty well:

with much less going on in the pooling department, and frankly, aside from the pooling, it was a fun knit. I also really love working with mercerized pima cotton, even more than any wool or wool blend, so this was a treat. Hmmmm, mercerized pima cotton kids' socks? Maybe?

Finally, something I am actually working on right now! Progress on the much-talked-about-and-finally-begun Moderne Log Cabin blanket, which used to look like this:
and now is starting to look like this:

I was a doofus and forgot to place something in the pic for scale, but I can tell you that the measurements in this pic were about 39 inches long and 38 inches wide...that would be a bit bigger than a baby blanket so far. And maybe in the next pic I'll actually get the stray yarn ends out of the way, who knows?

So, I thought I had more to show, but this will have to do til I finish that blanket, whose endless garter stitch rows fill every waking hour these days. I'm not kidding. Really. I'm not (help me!). I'll *try* to remember to take more progress pics as I get further along. Hey, I hear you laughing out there...don't misunderestimate me, I blogged twice in two weeks!!!

Yarn Nirvana

Yes, we made another trip to look at yarn we don't need and buy things we hadn't planned to! This time it was the CT Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival, and it was lovely. It isn't Rhinebeck, but I don't think it's really trying to be. It's just a modest, contained celebration of the fiber arts (of course with plenty of opportunities to purchase!), including music, food, border collie trials and real live alpaca! And the obligatory sheep and angora rabbits, of course :).

I took the trip with KnelleyKnits, WifeMomKnitter, CostumeChick, Yankee Lagniappe and blogless Pat. As expected, it was as much, if not more fun, traveling to and from the festival as was the event itself! As with Rhinebeck, my friends made the trip so much more than just another adventure in capitalism. Thanks, guys, I had a blast!

And, as expected, I didn't bring a camera :(. But I do have pics of my own modest take!

First, can't forget the family. I surprised them with this:

Maple cream from Just a Mere Tree Farm in Worthington, Massachusetts. If you haven't had it, you don't know what you are missing. It's a spread made from maple sugar, kind of like a Nutella for the maple crowd. In previous trips to Canada, this was a highlight of the trip, my partner being Canadian and having grown up on the stuff. I must say this made quite a hit at home.

Less popular, but still missing half its contents a mere two days post purchase:

Maple sugar, from the same farm. Great on toast or virtually anything you might want to put sugar on for sweetening.

And these for the kids:

Alpaca pops! Actually I loved them more than the kids, which is kind of dangerous for my waistline. Glad they are almost gone!

And lastly, these:

Raku-fired earrings from Keith O'Connor Pottery of Exeter, New Hampshire. So beautiful, I couldn't decide on which color to buy so I bought them both.

Yes, you read right, no yarn whatsoever in this haul. No knitting books, no tools. So boring, sorry y'all. I'm kind of feeling okay in that department and don't find myself longing for more yarn or more toys at this moment. Nevertheless, I still managed to spend more than I'd intended at the festival. As expected :).

My knitting is suffering from severe underblogging. Will catch up in the coming days, I promise! Well, I promise to try! Well, I promise to have every intention to blog and then apologize profusely when I don't ;).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Six-Word Memoir

Tagged again! Thank you, Nutmeg Knitter! I was tagged to do a six-word memoir. Sum up life in six words...this is *very* challenging.

Here's my best effort so far, with alternates at the bottom - because I think that life is just too big to be captured in six words!

It was never about the money.

Here's the NPR story that describes the concept and gives examples of six-word memoirs from writers and non-writers alike.

Here are the guidelines, should you choose to participate in this yourself:

Write your own six word memoir. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere. Tag five more blogs with links.

My alternates follow:

It is true. Knitting changes lives.
Four kids...what were we thinking?

Well, it's not perfect, but I still like my first the best. OK, I'll tag four...Once Upon a Cookie, The Original Test Dummy, Wife, Mom, Knitter and Passimenterie.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

An Alphabet Meme

Yes, I know....it's taken me forever to pick up my tag and do this :). Sorry, guys! Tagged by Wife, Mom, Knitter for a new meme! Here we go!

Here is what you do. Use the 1st letter of your middle name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names,things…nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person you took this from had the same 1st initial.You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

1. Middle name letter: A

2. Famous artist/band/musician: Alison Moyet

3. 4-letter word: Arse (thanks, Yarn Harlot!)

4. U.S state: Alabama

5. Boy name: Andy

6. Girl name: Arabella

7. Animal: Abyssinian

8. Something in the kitchen: Armfuls of Easter candy

9. Reason for being late? Ate on the run

10. Body Part? Ankle

11. Drink? Appletini

12. Something you shout: Ask your mother!

13. Something you eat? Acorn squash

14. A movie you've seen? About A Boy

OK, I tag Nutmeg Knitter, Once Upon a Cookie and The Original Test Dummy! Have fun!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I'm embarrassed. I know there is a war on. I know we have Americans (and even *more* Iraqis) dying or injured daily. I know our economy is tanking, and I know more and more of us are having trouble holding onto our very homes. I know our Constitutional rights are being stripped, one by one, or even two by two, on a regular basis and it makes me sick. Rachel Maddow tells me that she is a war issues voter, that this is her priority in the 2008 election. I feel so narrow and one-track, so much less evolved, when I think of this.

But I really want to get married. That's all I can think about when I consider our next president.

You see, I’m a lesbian. I can't get married like many, well, like everybody else, can. Oops, sorry, in Massachusetts I could, but I'd have to live there and I kind of like my home now, and my kids have their friends and all that…you know, all that uprooting, ugh. And after all of that, my marriage license would only be good in my state of Massachusetts, and maybe New York. Should we cross the state line into Rhode Island, all of our rights would vanish.

I’ve been with my partner for 21 years. As my son says, we've been together longer than many people have lived (at first I thought he’d heard of some horrible plague overtaking the adolescent community, but eventually I got his meaning). We've been together for 21 years, but we have *none* of the rights that you all marrieds have, well, except for those we've spent oodles of money contracting for with a lawyer. Crazy, ain’t it? Geez, I just want to get married.

But which of the candidates will give me this? None that I can see. Kucinich was my guy, but we all know how that went down. Clinton is a friend to our community, I believe this, but I just keep thinking she'll end up as unable as her husband was to give us what we really need. Obama, well, I worry that he's not truly on board with any of this:

See? I think he likes to sidestep that messy marriage debate when it comes to our community. And I really had to dig to find anything even remotely relevant to our needs on his website, a short blurb on enforcing hate crimes legislation. Um, I need a little more, Mr. Obama.

And dig as I might, I couldn’t find anything on Clinton’s site related to my rights, to marry or otherwise. Well, at least Hillary spells out her opposition to marriage loud and clear. Yay?

Marriage is what we need, a common term that conveys the same meaning to all about what we have built, my partner and I for 21 years, but so many more of us for even longer. A common language of rights and responsibilities that is understood by police, hospital staff, teachers, town clerks, even the guy at the mini-mart. A word that gives the message to all that we are equals in the eyes of the law. We are waiting, have been waiting, for a long time, and frankly, I’m getting old. I really need this sooner rather than later. But I just don’t see a “sooner” happening.

For now, I guess it’s time to become more evolved. Doesn't mean I'll be satisfied.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Two Socks


My socks, made from Mallika 100% superwash Merino, by Yarn Ahoy. I know there are lots of shadows here...the front room has great sun in the morning, but it's often a bit intense and of course at a low angle, and this is the result. I'd tell you that I'll do better next time, but knowing my photographic skills, I'd say that this is about as good as it gets. Unless I start taking pics on the back deck again, and there is *no* way that's happening until at least March. Maybe April, even.

There was, however, another shadow, off to the left,

which had nothing at all to do with the socks, except that there was a slow determination, little by little,

inch by inch,

to ruin the shot.
It's okay.

She's just trying to get in on some of that solar heating action. Who can blame her, seeing as it's 11 degrees F today (-11 C)? There's enough sun for all of us.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Sigh.....my current crush....uh, no, NOT Pat Buchanan, as hot as he *is*. No, it's Rachel Maddow, progressive talk radio host and my personal hero from Air America. I listened to her for years and loved her for her brains, but it was merely a platonic love. It wasn't until she got noticed for the sharp political wonk she is and started making visits to Countdown with Keith Olbermann (oooh, another platonic crush of mine) that I actually saw her and started my present swoon. Hotness, brains, just enough wonkiness to make her sufficiently hip yet not quite geeky, and a little pink lip gloss most assuredly forced upon her by MSNBC makeup... ahhh, it just doesn't get any better than that :).

And yes, my partner knows all about Rachel and suffers through my excited schoolgirl giggles every time the woman shows up on Countdown. And no, we will not talk about the thing *she* (my partner, not Ms. Maddow) has for Aishwarya Rai (except I will say that Bollywood movies are a lot more fun than people here think they are, and, well, Aishwarya Rai is really and truly HOT, as well as half a world away so I'm not worried :) ).

Monday, January 28, 2008

One Sock

Well, one and an eighth, maybe. I've been spending the last few weeks only knitting my Berry Sunburst Socks and so have been sparing you all the umpteenth pic of these socks knit up once again :). *But*, I've finally moved on to these, in beautiful Mallika sock yarn from Yarn Ahoy:

No, I'm not knitting on circs, just holding the toe stitches til I can see if I've judged my yardage allowance for each sock correctly. As beautiful as this yarn was in the skein (as you can see for yourself in the link above), it is even more gorgeous knit up! It's been a pleasure to work with...the yarn is 100% superwash Merino in a DK weight, thick and soft, and it runs so smoothly between my fingers. I'm knitting on 3's so it's also a quick knit, quite a treat for me lately! The socks above are for a customer, and I'm again using the WEBS sock calculator pattern because my customer liked the Berry Sunburst Socks knit that way.

I must confess, however, that while ordering the Mallika I just couldn't resist ordering some Yarn Ahoy goodies I'd been eyeing for myself:

Sweet! The colorway above is This Way and That (which Yarn Ahoy seems to be out of right now), and below is Berry Beautiful. Also 100% superwash Merino, these are fingering weight skeins and something about the feel of the strand makes me wonder if I should add a nylon reinforcement yarn to the heel and toe of any socks I make with the yarn. We will see. Those socks, unfortunately, are not even on the radar right now. What's next after my Mallika sock order is the Isabella for my partner, hopefully to wear by spring, the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting for the summer, and some yarn company knitting as well. Here's what I received from Schaefer Yarns for the last bit of knitting I did for them!
You can't tell here, because as hard as I tried I kept cutting off the tags in the pic, but the name of this yarn is Susan. It is 100% mercerized pima cotton, in the colorway Catherine the Great. It is probably the prettiest cotton I've ever seen. I'm mulling over possibilities for it now. This was kind of an impulse pick for me, and while I love the yarn, I do wish I'd had a project in mind before I'd chosen. I'm thinking cardigan for my two year old, but then again she rarely wears cardigans, and my efforts may go to waste. I once made a cardigan for myself in a pink ribbon cotton (ah yes, I hear my friends gasping in shock at the thought of *me* wearing pink!), and I loved it, but the question is, will she?
I think I'll wander around Ravelry to see what others have made. Any suggestions? Total yardage is 1410. Please leave a comment and let me know the great ideas you would have for this yarn!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tagged, again

Got tagged by CostumeChick for another meme...thanks, CostumeChick!

This is a name-seven-quirks/habits/facts-about-yourself meme. After you're done, you tag seven more people. You can't tag who tagged you, and you can't just tag whoever is reading. Ok, here we go...

1) I waitressed in high school. It was one of the most fun jobs I've ever had. Maybe even the most fun.

2) I actually thought I would have a psychotic break when my dad passed away. To this day, I still can't believe I didn't.

3) I skipped the fifth grade. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, and I'm still not over it.

4) I had five siblings. One of my brothers passed away from a heart attack at the age of 43. I am 43 right now.

5) I walk and exercise regularly. I am driven by the facts that I'm in my forties with a two year old, my family medical history is not the best (see #4), and my father passed away at the age of 64, when I was just barely out of college (he was an older parent just like me).

6) I am powerless over chocolate. Oddly, considering my focus on healthy living, I only realized this in the past year, when I saw that same crazed look in my daughter's eyes when in the presence of chocolate.

7) I met my partner at work. I chased her. A lot. Which is weird because it's the first time I'd ever done that, and weirder still because it was my first relationship with a woman. I must have been really sure, I guess.

That was fun, and painful. I tag JennM (just in case you needed another!), Knelley, the Original Test Dummy, and Sarah.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Me, defined

mad-knitter --

Like in nature to a kangaroo
'How" will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com

Yea, I can live with that. I kind of like kangaroos. Tough, but soft and a bit unusual. I like it.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Kos and Colbert

In ambivalent anticipation of both Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart coming back to air on January 7 (although I love them both, I can't stand that they are going forward without their writers - strikes don't work unless there is suffering and that suffering spurs negotiation), I offer you two of my favorite people in the world, The Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas and Stephen Colbert, together on the same stage.

Let's hope the writers are able to return to work ASAP. Otherwise, the shows can't possibly be what they were, and I'll surely lose more and more respect for Jon and Stephen. I really can't believe they are doing this.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Got Tagged

I tore myself away from the New Year's Day Dirty Jobs marathon (and an Intervention marathon yesterday...how much better can it get???) to check on my friends' blogs, and I see that I was tagged days ago! Sorry all, it's been a hectic holiday week, but I'm here now :). Yankee Lagniappe tagged me for knitter's resolutions for 2008. And I think knitting accomplishments for 2007 too? I'll start there, cause I'm not really a New Year's resolution type of gal.

Knitting Accomplishments for 2007

1) Joined the local SnB, and I knew immediately that this is where I belonged. Thanks to all my SnB friends for making my 2007, a trying year at times, a bit brighter!

2) Visited WEBS for the first time with a long-time online friend whom I met in person for the first time that day! It was so much fun, a trip I will never forget.

3) Tried spinning with a drop spindle. A bit challenging, mildly rewarding thus far, and in the end something that gets pushed aside for other knitting projects most of the time, but something I will come back to when my life settles down a bit (though I am afraid that won't be til my ten year olds hit college!).

4) Visited my first sheep and wool festival with a great bunch of friends. Yarn is hip and cool and trendy and all, but I know it was my friends who made this day the wonderful experience that it was :).

5) Sold my first knitted items. *That* was quite a heady experience. So neat. I'm grateful to those who would this year welcome my little projects into their homes and their lives. Thank you!

6) Completed a project with a short row/wrap and turn combo. Challenging, but darn it, I was committed! And happy with the completed project.

Is that it? I don't know. I didn't set out to do too much this year, and frankly, some days just making it through the day was something to celebrate, so I guess those 6 things are quite enough.

Knitting Resolutions for 2008?

I don't know, I just don't do this kind of stuff. How's this...I resolve to go to SnB, to be there for my friends, and to keep knitting. Those are things I am happy to accomplish in 2008.

Thanks for the tag, Yankee! I tag anyone who is reading this and who is interested in thinking about such things.