Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mittens, Gloves, and Birthdays

Today is my daughter's fifteenth birthday. It's such cliche to say that I can't believe it, BUT I can't. She was sick yesterday and not feeling the best today either, but she still seems happy. This is the first year that we just gave her money. Of course, it was partly because she couldn't think of a single thing she wanted. No...not becasue she's so unmaterialistic (although she's pretty good about that) it's because we went way overboard for Christmas!! I truly have loved every stage she has gone through, not that some haven't been challenging!! (You'd agree with that, wouldn't you, Ann?) She was such a cute little girl, and I loved dressing her in little "girly" clothes. I even managed to knt her quite a few little sweaters, which amazes me considering that I was teaching all day. It helped that her dad was home with her USUALLY taking care of the household stuff. I remember that I used Brown Sheep wool for the pink sweater, but I don't know of the origin of the blue sweater's yarn. My mother-in-law bought it at a yard sale, and I lucked out because it's quality yarn, maybe had some angora in it. I've given away most of Paige's baby sweaters but I kept these two to be nostalgic over.
I've been working on some easy little mittens for my six-year-old neice for Valentine's Day. I thought the pink stitches kind of look like hearts. Nice mindless knitting.
I'm also working on some cashmere fingerless gloves. I'm knitting them for a sad reason. I 'm making them for a good friend whose eighty-year-old dad was recently killed in a car crash. You just don't expect that...not that you ever do, but it was about the last thing I expected to hear, especially since her mom has been battling cancer. My friend, Jill and I went to England together our senior year in college, and we both bought fingerless gloves in London. They were so cool in the 80s. I lost mine when we got back to the States, but I don't know if Jill kept hers. No matter what, they're mightly old by now. I thought it would be a kind of comforting gift maybe. I have to admit that I haven't even spoken to her yet. I just found out last week from another friend who lives in the same town as her parents in the Midwest. The pattern has you use a provincial cast-on. I had so much trouble with it, but I finally found Freegle's blog which has great directions. I'm going to check on her regularly.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lazy, Lazy?

I've always thought that I was fundamentally lazy, but then when I look at all of the stuff I get accomplished some days; I think how can I be lazy?? On the other hand, my bathrooms usually need cleaning and my fridge can be pretty scarry most of the time. I just don't know if I'm really lazy and don't realize it, or if I expect too much of myself and think I'm lazy when I don't get all of the stuff done that I think I should, I do know for sure, though, that I WAS lazy yesterday. I slept until nearly ten o'clock, something that was easy to do considering that I was up until two in the morning. Paige went to a dance, and I kind of dozed for a while until she called for a ride home at midnight, then I was out of luck...totally awake for two hours.

I did a few household chores such as dusting and sweeping, but that was about it. I had this nagging feeling that I should work on my master's thesis since this week I told the "information girl" at the University office that I was confident that I would be finished with it this trimester. This pile of books sadly looks the same as it did earlier this week.
I have twelve pages (14, if I use Geneva font:) completed for pete's sake.

I successfully fought the impulse to work on my paper; however, and spent most of the day on the couch knitting. I knit a pair of bootie with Debbie Bliss wool/cotton to go with the "Daisy Cardigan" from Simply Baby that I only need to add buttons to. I used a pattern from Zoe Meller's 50 baby bootees to knit.

They were really easy, knit on two needles, and I was proud and happy until my annoyingly observant and honest daughter pointed out that they looked like "they would fit a four year old." The four year old thing is definitely a stretch, but I think that they are probably more suited for a year old, which would be fine if I hadn't knit the sweater in a 0-3 month old size. I often have that trouble with socks or bootees. I think I'm just going to give the bootees to another friend I have who has a sixth month old.

Kitty is not dead; she is just laaaaazzzzyyy!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Baby Sweaters are Fun

I don't think that anyone faithfully reads my blog, but if they do they probably observe that I often start very cute projects. They also probably wonder why I never show them off when they are done. That would be because they often never become..."DONE." I started that little Debbie Bliss bear, and he's sitting headless in my knitting bag; I started that darling little Debbie Bliss sheep dress, and I unravelled it because...well, I don't remember why I unravelled it. But I am proud to say that I am going to finish this super easy baby sweater that I started last week. A more formidable knitter would have probably finished it in an evening or two; however, I did not. Still, I am going to finish it. All I have to do is to sew on the buttons, which I haven't bought yet and embroider around the yarnovers at the bottom to make little pink flowers. I started them already in the back. Now I just can't think about the fact that I can't imagine my friend I'm giving it to having time to hand wash it! Oh well.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Great Weekend

My sister and her family used to live three hours from us, and we would complain that we only got to see each other a couple of times a month. Then they moved to Indiana! I hate having them live so far away since we rarey see each other now. In fact, I have a year- old neice who I hadn't seen until this weekend. They flew into Sacramento and we spent the weekend together before they headed north to my parents' house another 250 miles away. We had a wonderful time together. We visited the Railroad Museum at Old Town Sacramento one day and the Capitol building on the next. I hadn't realized that our Capitol was so nice. One of my pics is of the kids standing in front of a statue of Columbus with Queen Isabella. The kids love each other, and I love seeing my kids enjoy their younger cousins. None of this was knitting related, except that I intend to knit for my neices and nephews more after seeing how cute they are (not that I didn't already know that). Little Quenby wore the alpaca hat that I bought at the Arcata Farmer's Market this summer most of the time because it was soooo cold.Another great thing was that I also had five hours driving to Sacramento to knit almost continuously, except when Russ decided that he needed a break from his driving duties. What a perfect weekend.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sheep Dreams

My in-laws always give my husband and me money instead of gifts for Christmas, which I appreciate greatly. This year, I bought one of those Dickens Village "houses" that I've never had any interest in at all..until now...because I saw one that was called "Wool House." I had to get right on ebay and end up paying $30 for a cheap piece of ceramic that was probably made in China. I just love things associated knitting, but It gets kind of ridiculous at times.... but it has a little light inside that you can turn on in the evening. It's just plain cute!!

My second purchase was a pair of sheep pajamas that I discovered in the Woolrich catalog. They're on sale right now for 50% off! I already have several pairs of flannel pajamas, but I am sleeping much better in these new ones! Now all I need to do is to knit some of those fiber trends felted clogs that everyone seems to be doing.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lovin' Seed Stitch

Let's see, I just sent a week working on a scarf using circular needles so all I did was knit, and now I'm excited about knitting a little baby sweater in seed stitch. I don't seem to be interested in challenges of any kind, BUT I do love the way seed stitch looks even though it's easy. The sweater pattern is from The Debbie Bliss Baby Knits book that I'm using for the little bear. It has an eyelet row that you embroider around making little flowers. I think it's going to be darling.

I'm a little worried about my little Debbie Bliss teddie. I was looking at Sweetpea's gallery and she looks like she is an accomplished knitter, but she wasn't very happy with the pattern. There are so many pieces that it's hard to put them together smoothly. I guess I'd better work on it a little tonight instead of doing seed stitch.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

First Finishd Project of 2007

I finished Paige's Harry Potter scarf last night. Paige did the last couple of rows so she could say she knit SOME of it! It was kind of fun to do some mindless kniting, but I'm glad I'm finished.

I also started piecing together the "little tired bear." I think I understand how it's all going to come together although the legs have me a little confused. Why are they stuffed separately from the body. We'll see, I guess.
I also started a little sweater for a co-worker and his wife who just had a baby. Yes, I knew this baby was coming, but I lost track of time I guess. They have four children already but this is their first together, The other children are adopted,so this baby was a suprise. A very welcome one!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

If You Can't Finish One Project, Start Another!

I mentioned my daughter's fifty dollar scarf several entries ago, the one that was going to make her fall in love with knitting. Well, she hasn't, and I've been monotonously trying to finish it because she does love the way it looks. It has graduated to the seventy dollar I scarf, I'm afraid. I'm out of yarn, and it's not long enough! Yikes, I never intended to spend so much on an accessory. It is beautiful though, and Paige will wear least once!

So, I decided to begin another project, the little sleepy bear in a lambsuit in Debbie Bliss's The Baby Knits Book. It seems like it will be pretty easy. I haven't had a lot of experience knitting toys, but I've always been intrigued by them.

This has nothing to do with knitting, but I'm also including a few pictures of a "surprise" that came in the mail yesterday. My sister-in-law sent Paige a delicious Crate and Barrel care package. It contained two Ina Garten mixes, one for lemon pound cake and one for brownies. heavenly....also already prepared and eaten:(

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Knitting Connections

I've had a terrible cold for the last couple of days, so I've had a nice excuse to lie on the couch a lot. During that time though, I have also managed to re-read A Tree Grow in Brooklyn, one of the books I'm citing in my master's thesis that uses a lot of ethnic food imagery. It makes me so happy that I have chosen a subject that I enjoy so much. I love how Betty Smith describes the way "Mama" could make even a meal of little more than cheap meatlof which ws mostly bread crumb into a feast.

Of course, I have also spent quite a bit of time surfing the net. I've been thinking a lot about the blog I read last week that was so condemning of the latest Knitters and of Rick Mondragon, basically "outing" him, even though I assume that he is already "out." Anyway, it's gotten me thinking about knitting blogs (and it's only because I am on vacation that I would spend any time ruminating about such a comparatively unimportant subject) I think the knitting world is pretty much like every aspect of life that I've encountered so far. People like to give each other labels, but the labels only hold up superficially. I am a Christian, but I am just as often put off by people who proclaim to be Christians as drawn to them. I am an English teacher, but I often have a completely different opinions from other English teachers.

So, getting back to knitting. I have no illusions that I have that much in common with someone just because they identify themselves as a "knitter." For me to enjoy a blog I usually need a larger connection. I have a list of favorites on my blog because every one of them has something that I have connected with beyond knitting. The blogs that I like are usually created by people who have families that they seem to adore and knit for; who live somewhat simply, often including asides about gardening, baking, spinning, or traveling...or (and this makes me really jealous)...raising sheep. Although I've never knit for charity, I'm drawn to bloggers who do. I often like ex-patriot bloggers - Danes in Santa Barbara or Californians in France, for example. If I find a "super-religious" blogger who also homeschools and has a "I support our troops," button, I usually continue surfing, even though I would have homeschooled if I hadn't liked our local schools and I care tremendously that so many young boys are getting blown up in Iraq. I usually smile at the blogs that have the "Knitters Against Bush" buttons, but they don't get on my favorites list just for that. Lastly, if a blogger uses the f-word or the word "dude", I figure that they're probably too sophomoric for me, not that I have such perfect manners, especially considering that I used the s-word in front of my high school students a month ago when I accidentally knocked a $1200 laptop off my desk!

So Rick Mondragon, I really don't care if you are gay, but it probably does mean that we have very little in common. You probably don't care passionately about breastfeeding or teaching your children to knit or to bake, or have plans to knit christening sets when you have grandchildren. You don't look like you have any intention of raising farm animals, or knitting cashmere baby booties for pregnant friends. Lastly, you aren't a woman, which certainly isn't your fault, but that's another reason I don't feel a big connection with you, and that's one reason that I probably don't like Knitters as much as I used to. It feels kind of slick and "New York-ish" lately and that' just not me. Now, if Mama Bear or Kristen Nicolas were to take over as editors, I'd be renewing my subscription..I'm lying. I'll renew it anyway. I'm just saying.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

I hate taking down Christmas decorations and never do it all at once. I'd leave our tree up until January 6 if I could, but the needles start falling off too profusely by New Year's, soooo down came the tree today. It was only a fifteen dollar tree, but I think that it was more beautiful than fifty dollar ones we've boughtin previous years. I wish I'd taken a picture of it. I did snap a pic of one of the little stockings I knit several years ago. My other "Anne" sister-in-law made the stockings which we all LOVE so much.The bottom pictures are from our Danish Christmas Eve meal. We had smørrebrød. We had to substitute French apple sausage for medisterpolse, but the rest was quite authentic.We all agree that it was a "Godt Jul." No, Kai is not pouring wine for himself; it's sparkling cranberry juice.

Haven't Shown Off Josie Kitty for Awhile

Do not touch the yarn or the power of Zeus Kitty will smite you!