Saturday, February 28, 2009


School vacation week is over, and so is the week after. The one where I try like hell to get everything and everyone back on track, including myself. I didn't do all that well either week. So I am now getting back on track. I got a lot of uninterrupted computer time this morning, I needed that! We played outside yesterday even though it sprinkled here and there. The 50 degrees was such a treat that even the kidsters didn't care about the showers. And even better the sun is shinning bright today. Just in time for a major Nor'easter tomorrow. Great.

Usually a snowstorm doesn't bother me. But this time I am on a deadline. A last day of school deadline. My mother offered up Eric Clapton tickets and a plane ride out there. How could I pass that one up? EC is my all time favorite by a landslide and anyone who knows me knows that. And a free plane trip! See, my Dad doesn't get around well anymore. He can't drive the 600 miles to get here and really can't even manage a plane ride. I saw him in November, but before that it was a whole year. I get see my mother a few times a year, but usually she comes here. It's much easier and cheaper to fly one person than for me to fly out there with the two kidsters. Hubster and I were going to take them out there this summer but if I've already been there in June, we just might skip the midwest and go somewhere a little more exciting (no offense to you midwesterners!). Hubster even arranged it with his parents to take the two kidsters on the Monday and Tuesday while he is at work.

But here is the problem...

The last official day of school (for Hubster) is the 16th, a Tuesday. The last day of preschool, or so they tell me, is the previous Thursday. They will have a cute little performance and graduation ceremony. Any snow days could push his last day precariously close to when I will be gone. The concert tickets are purchased, but not the plane tickets, yet. I think there is something Freudian going on in my brain that says wait a little while longer...

Since my last post I cast on for a bike helmet ear warmer I found on ravelry. I'm making it for Hubster, since he loves riding the mountain bike but it's so windy this time of year! Any other knitter would probably knock this thing off in an afternoon, but mine is taking a few days. And I had to rip back to the band after I cast the second pocket back on. I had done it backwards. Pay attention! Oh well, at least I have only about 15 more rows to finish. Should be done today. I'm going to try to make a second one if the yarn holds out. My mother's birthday is coming up in March and the only thing keeping her off of her bike is the cold. Another deadline...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Potpourri and a pint glass

I finished it today. I wasn't going to let a wasted knitting day yesterday and three wasted hours (my knitting bag sitting at home, me not) this morning get me down today. No way. Plus, Auntie is babysitting tonight. Tonight! So I needed to get it done today. Well, I just finished Sue's Hannah hat . I added quite a few rows this time before the decreases and think it will be a good fit. Yes it looks too big on me, but remember I have that tiny bean we talked about last time. Here are some photos...
I thought this one was pretty funny because the plant behind me looks like my ponytail.

I had hubster wait for me while I ran into Joanne's to get the glass buttons I had seen a few weeks ago. Even with the 50% off coupon, the buttons were still more expensive than the yarn.

And I don't have any way to block a hat so I came up with my own. I inverted a potpourri bowl (yes, it is still filled, I don't have time to be emptying it) over another bowl and put it on a pint glass. Let's see if it is something yummy...yup! Otter Creek Octoberfest. Mmmm. All this knitting and blogging is making me thirsty.

So what I really would like to know is this...
Can good knitting, a good pattern, and the best of intentions add up to a pretty hat or one that just looks like you got sick after eating too much cotton candy?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All work and no play...

make for a very dull post. Until today, I had no knitting time since the last time I posted about starting the orange (and pink and ochre-ish) hat for my SIL. And I wasn't doing all that great on the not being grouchy part either.

But today was a breakthrough day. I did some knitting in the car while hubster drove us around. Then while the youngest kidster took a nap I almost finished it. I managed to get about another 20 minutes while same kidster played on the computer this afternoon (you should see him click away. It's amazing. And he's 2!) I finished it! I was very excited. You know that wonderful feeling you get when you have created something from your own hands. Ahhhhhhh.

I was all set to post and congratulate myself on an FO, I even took the pictures! Then I tried it on. (Hear the balloons popping in the background). It barely nipped the top of my ears. And to put it nicely, I have a tiny little bean. I mean, really small. I can wear my kids' hats no problem. And my kids are 4 and 2. Ok, so you are wondering why I didn't swatch? What was the problem with this hat, it is the second time I've made the pattern, right? Well, first off, different yarn. Then, I generally don't swatch. I usually knit felted things, so there's no need. Plus, I am lazy and selfish with my knitting time. I don't want to waste a day making a swatch when I can get a few inches of knitting accomplished. I know, I know, I wasted the day anyway. So, while hubster made dinner I ripped it out all the way back to before the decreases. Back to a hat with only a brim finished and dinner with a grouchy knitter.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tidbits of knitting

Like a lot of bloggers that don't get a chance to post every day, I do create daily posts in my brain. The problem is that when the time comes that I can actually post, they are all mumbo-jumbo up there. It doesn't help that right now I have a tab open in ravelry, a tab open in facebook, and a tab open in my Yahoo, and a tab open in whatever. My "I only get an hour a day to knit" also transfers into my other favorite pastimes. Add to this the fact that it's Friday night, my kids are asleep, my husband is down the street, and I've had two beers (!!), and you can see how I might have a little problem focusing.

My biggest news is that I won a blog makeover!!! I won the blog makeover contest by inspired mama musings, which is a blog makeover by Summer's design blog! It's funny, you know, because I finally found peace with what I had. I guess that's life! And don't take me the wrong way, I am totally psyched to see what we can come up with!! And if you can't tell, count the number of exclamation points in this paragraph. Ha!

I do have a cast on to report! I started a hat for my sister in law. She is a fixture in our family. She is my kids' #1 aunt, playmate and friend. She is our A1 babysitter and all around fun person. Even better, she calls us her "fun family". How great is that? And being a teacher, will be doing some sitting for us this week! Anyway, she has this favorite orange fleece she wears and I thought it would be fun to make her a hat to go with it. She liked my Hannah hat and wears a pony tail too. Not like me who wears one every day, but often enough that she would be able to get some use out of it. So I have this yarn. It's probably the first yarn I ever bought. You know, that cheap almost pretty stuff. It looks very orange. It has some nice other colors in it, but being a thick and thin I wasn't sure that I would ever be able to make anything decent out of it. I've finished the rib section and was pleasantly surprised to see that it self stripes, sort of. I'm not too thrilled that all the other colors (pink and ochre, yeah, ochre) seem to show up more than the orange. Unfortunately I'm going to have to hurry up and finish it before I decide if I like it enough to gift it. I would like to finish it this week, as a thank you for the babysitting, but can't really gift that ugly thing, can you? I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Oh, did I mention that I won a blog makeover?!?!?!?

Yup, it's the beginning of school vacation week. That means that hubster and kidster #1 are home, and that our "normal" (ok, I'm trying to stop laughing, really I am) routine is completely thrown to the dogs. I probably will not get my computer time, and I'm going to try real hard not to let that me get too grouchy. I'll let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Now I can get on with some knitting!

I managed to put a collage together from Picassa that I'm happy with. I had to download Picasa because the web based one didn't have that function. While I'm not happy about having yet another photo program/service (hmm, Phanfare, Photobucket, Flickr, Picassa, anyone missing?), I can see the usefulness for making custom photo headers. This was one of my collages that I had to keep shuffling the pictures so I could get the three I wanted in a row. Boy, did that take a while.

I thought about making the header seasonal, but I was so depressed with the snow pictures that I had to put something up there that I would actually want to see.
So, without further adieu, here's my new header with actual pictures of my backyard. The dark green background might not stay, but the header will, at least for a while. I find it inspiring!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blog obsessed

I have been so obsessed with my blog lately that I can't seem to get anything else done. Forget starting the taxes. I haven't paid bills in at least a week. And don't even ask me about the state of my house (I have two young boys, so insert mental image here). I decided that I didn't like the Blogger template as is, so set out on a search for a new template. Well, forget about that! I would need another week just to hit all the sites, let alone preview all the templates I thought would work. Then I came across a blog from Liz, Knitting is my free Therapy, while on ravelry (another obsession of mine, but I'm sure I'll get into that later). She was talking about how she changed her regular Blogger template into three columns. I thought, "Yeah! That's what I need to do!". She was kind enough to send me the link to the instructions (which are here, if you want to know) and I worked on it. I like it well enough, but I'm not sure if I'll keep it. I think the real problem was the pale green background I had before. It made it seem like it had a nuclear reaction going on. Not the natural, easy-going feeling I was looking for. So I changed that and now it's ok. The real thing I need to do is fix my header picture. I know what I want but I just don't know how to do it. I like the picture I have (it really is my backyard!) and would like to keep it as a larger rectangle in the middle, but want to add two other pics I have on each edge, as squares. I don't have any photo editing software so I'm not sure how to go about this exactly. This is my next obsession...

Maybe then I can get some knitting done, huh?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Win a blog makeover!

Inspired mama musings is having a giveaway on her blog. It's a blog makeover by Summer's design blog worth $100. Go to inspired mama musings to enter!

The best of luck to all of you who enter, but I hope I win!

Commitment issues

This happens to me every time I finish a project. I can't decide what to make next. It's not that I don't have a few things in mind, it's just that I can't seem to commit. I only knit for such a short time each day so I guess that I want is...
I want a project that will be fun.
I want a project that will be exciting.
I want a project that will be challenging.
I want a project that will make me stop hoarding my yarn!
BINGO! We have a winner.
Yup, there it is folks. Why is it so hard to pull a yarn out of storage and commit it to a project? It's certainly not doing any good sitting in the bin in the back room. I mean, it is lovely and nice to look inside and see all the pretty colors pooled together. But it's not like the bins are going to get together one day and say "Hey, look what we decided to make for you today!". No, the only way something is going to get knit is if I go and do it myself. I have to bite the bullet and pick a yarn, or two, or three, pick a project, stick them together and just do it.
Oh, this all sounds so great and self-helpy. I hope I can really do it.
But not yet, I have some curtains to make for a certain 12 year old niece first.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Knitting in the car

The retro ski hat is finished! I managed to knit the top half after the stripes all on Friday. I knew I was going out and wouldn't have my evening knitting. I brought it with me in the car and worked on it for five minutes at a time! But hey, a few rows each time was more than I would have gotten done. I'm going to have to do that more often. Last night I just finished the last few rows and did the bind off. Dh was so kind as to pose in it for me. It hasn't been blocked yet, so I am hoping to make the top a little less funky when I get around to doing it.

Knitting in my car (while I was waiting in a parking lot here and there) got me wondering. I've seen people do all kinds of things in their cars, while driving. Some are so common they aren't even surprising anymore, like putting on makeup, eating, and reading. I've also seen someone putting on nail polish, people making out, and unfortunately one time I saw someone physically fighting with their passenger while driving. Yes, while driving! So I wonder if anyone has ever knit or seen anyone knitting in the car while they were driving? I would love to hear about it! Or maybe you want to tell me some other funny driving sighting!