Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quick Knit

I have lunch every Friday at work with a couple of friends. Lunch for a high school teacher means thirty-five minutes to wolf down eat a quick bite, usually in front of a computer, grading. I'd rather do that and leave earlier after school. So, it's nice that one day a week, I have a social lunch. When we first started having lunch together, we'd all bring food, but this year, my friend Nancy is the only one of us to bring anything usually, often the entire lunch. Nancy's son and his wife are expecting a baby any day now, so I thought I'd use some left over skeins of Debbie Bliss Cathay that I bought from Little Knits, one of my favorite online discount shops, a while back, to knit a quick little Autumn Leaves sweater for her to give them, to show my appreciation for her. I'm contemplating knitting a little pair of "Baby Janes" before I give it to her, but I have to hurry, considering that school's out next week, and we probably won't see each other during the summer, as she'll spend the summer in Reno.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

That's Better!

I lied. I did care that the toes didn't match with my Nemesis socks. I kind of knew as I wrote it that I didn't really believe that I was happy just to be finished. Since these socks were the first knitted gift I've ever given my friend Sara, who knows that I've been knitting since high school, I couldn't stand the thought that she might conclude that I'm just a mediocre knitter after all of these years! So, even though I enjoyed reading Caffeine Girl's post about seeing Sally Melville and how she said, "Don't let the process get in the way of progress," I unraveled about two inches on my socks and re-knit the toe and am now completely satisfied and truly ready to gift them.

Kai spent most of yesterday--I'm talking until eight o'clock last night--at the Valley Swim Meet at Cal State Bakersfield, which is about thirty-five minutes away from us. He lost his goggles in the Fly, so he didn't qualify for the finals individually, but both of his relays made it. Since the meet didn't begin until eleven, Russ and I decided to take the opportunity to go for a ride on the Kern River Bike Trail .  Russ has been telling me about all of the baby ducks he had seen earlier in the week, so I was excited to go. It was a beautiful ride, and we did see quite a few little ducklings, but they disappeared into the brush when we got too close. Smart babies since we also saw several hawks.

I had a great conversation a week or so with a friend at work about how many parents "live" through their kids. There can be a fine line sometimes, I think, between interest in your kids' activities and  becoming too wrapped up in them. I have lots of other interests besides my kids, but I have to admit that I can't stay away if they're competing in anything, especially swimming. One of the reasons that I always liked swimming was that there seemed to be fewer "Little League" parents involved, not that there aren't always some loud jerks over-zealous parents in the stands. Kai's team took seventh today, which may not sound impressive, but it was enough to medal, and if you saw their competition, you'd understand why that was exciting. It was a little bittersweet too because Kai is the only junior on his relay. His team mates will graduate next week, and that will be an end of a era. Oh, and, I also enjoyed today because....I got to sit in the stands and KNIT!

Sunday, May 08, 2011


They're not perfect. The patterning at the end of the toes doesn't quite match....and I don't care!

Gratuitous Rowdy Beagle picture. I was going to take a nap this afternoon, but he had my spot! And, yes, he is lying on my 40 dollar L.L Bean Starfish pillow.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


Well, my well-intended idea of posting food on Fridays seems to have taken the back burner for the past two weeks. Since I was sick, I didn't get much exciting cooking done. This morning, however, I woke up to a nice, tidy kitchen, which is always a sign to me that Russ has gone on a long bike ride. He seems to think I won't complain about him not accomplishing household tasks if he leaves the kitchen spotless before he leaves (He's right!)  Clean kitchen always inspired me to cook.

Paige made deviled eggs, using chipotle chiles in Adobo Sauce for Easter from a recipe my sister-in-law sent me. They were so good, and I couldn't stop thinking about how good those flavors would be in potato salad. So, this morning, I gave it a try. It's just me and the dogs at home right now, so I haven't had any reviews yet, but I thought it was pretty good.

Chile-Cheddar Potato Salad

3 lbs  boiled Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
3 eggs, hardboiled and cut into quarters
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp. canned chiles in Adobo Sauce, chopped
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt (I used Murray River Salt because I'm a salt snob.)
2 Tbsp. chives, chopped
1/2 cup red or orange bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds and rind removed! I might only use 1/2 a jalapeno next time. The salad seemed to heat up throughout the day)

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chiles,  and paprika. Add to chopped potatoes and blend. Add chives, bell peppers, and jalapenos, and season with salt to taste. Chill.

I told Kai that this picture looks like he's about to do one of those "learning to dive" drops into the water. he thought that was pretty funny.
I "legally" ditched school yesterday afternoon so that I could go to Kai's league swim meet, which was about thirty minutes away from us. I was a little disappointed to be going alone because Russ had to work and couldn't go, but I was boosted by the fact that I had several bottled waters and my Nemesis socks in my bag, along with my book club latest book selection My Jane Austin Summer. I was happily sitting in the stands, talking to Kai and one of his friends before the meet started when their coach approached. I knew what that meant...."Can you time?" Awwww! So much for knitting! Oh well, I got a front seat to the action. Kai had a pretty good day individually, and his relay took first, which they had anticipated but not so dramatically. Kai had the anchor leg, and you can see his feet are off the blocks with a good margin before the kid next to him. They're hoping to win the 200 IM relay in the valley meet  which is in two weeks, if they all have a great day, but that's a big "if."

I did get to knit a little once I got home, and I'm feeling like this may be the 'try" that actually results in a finished socks. It was so nice getting comments from commiserating knitters. I really do wonder about myself sometimes, but it was good to hear that most knitters have the same experience of ending up with rows of "mindless" mistakes that have to be unraveled.

Monday, May 02, 2011


So...I thought I'd be posting my finished Nemesis socks this evening. For quite a while, I had been holding my breath, worried that I was going to run out of yarn since Nemesis does use a lot of yarn. I even went to the Loopy Ewe website, considering buying another skein of Gertrude Eberle 2 yarn, but reconsidered when I remembered that it was a little on the pricey side. Happily, as I neared completion, it looked like I was going to make it, by the skin of my teeth. Then, just as I was ready to start decreasing for the toe of my second sock, I realized something that I had been suspecting for some time. My second sock was nearly an inch longer than the first. Awwww! I hate when I do things like that. I've held them up next to each other, stretched them both to fit, but there's no way around it. They're totally different sizes. I have to unravel my second sock. I'm not positive where I went wrong, but I think it's in the pattern a good two inches above the heel. This is nothing new for me. I had to re-knit part of the first sock because I re-knit a part of the pattern twice. It's amazing that I complete anything. I get distracted easily and am constantly having to start over.

Great! I've had a bad cold since Friday and even stayed home from work today, and I feel just plain lugubrious. I do love the word "lugubrious," but I don't like actually feeling it. On top of that, I feel fat and matronly...and like a bad daughter because I was going to call my parents last night, but instead chose to watch TV all evening, hearing over and over again that Osama bin Ladin was dead, which is a good thing...but not a productive thing for me to spend three hours being "re-informed" about....even if I did watch Anderson Cooper most of the time, which I never consider a waste, ha, ha.

So, I'll unravel tonight, and get going again as soon as I get caught up with the grading I've gotten behind on being sick for three days. How's that for an uplifting post??