Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Joe Cool

This weekend, I did something extraordinarily grown up. I went to a rock concert. Okay, maybe the rock concert wasn't really "grown-up" but more of a "young adult" activity, still , it was supremely fun! A couple of our friends end up with extra tickets to the Foo Fighters concert and extended the invitation to us. We had a fabulous time. Only once did I think the music was too loud and wished for earplugs. Strangely, this thought raced through my head during the Rancid wannabe set (and I used to love Rancid at an oddly loud volume).

During the concert, I thought a few times about Little Clover and how much fun he would have had hearing the Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World live. He has recently discovered the joys of music beyond the pop on Radio Disney, and I'm quite impressed with what he likes. His musical journey is mimicking my musically journey. The first bands I discovered were my dad's bands. I listened to his LP Albums of the Beatles, then I found I like The Who, Rolling Stones, and CCR (I still dream of find a pair of blue and white bell bottoms like the drummer's when he was on the Ed Sullivan Show). My love for Simon and Garfunkel and Santana lead me to Paul Simon and ... Santana. Then, along came Guns 'n Roses, Rancid, Black Crows, to BNL (who my dad really likes). Now, I'm listening to Little Clover sing Rancid and Weezer and Guns 'n Roses and ... Santana, and I tell him, "Hey, I know that!" He looks at me with a little bit of shock, replying, "You do?" To which I say, "Yes, I do! Here, let me show you how cool I am!" I hunt for Guns 'n Roses in my iTunes library, only to remember that I never added them to my iTunes. I only had them on tape. So, I'm not really that cool after all.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I know better, I really do. I knew when I made the one little comment on New Year's Day about finishing Italian's Anniversary sweater by the end of the month that I was asking for the knitting fates to come down and laugh in my face. And they did.

What you see is a front and back of a sweater, a knitted collar, and one sleeve. What you don't see is the one ball of yarn I have left. Yep, just one measly little ball of yarn to knit a sleeve that required three balls of yarn. I asked Italian if he would like a vest instead of a sweater. He said no. I then asked if maybe he would like a one armed sweater. For some reason, he didn't bother to answer the question. I had a little feeling halfway through the first sleeve, when I was joining my second ball of yarn, I might not have enough yarn to finish the sweater. Then I began to wonder if I would have enough yarn to finish the sleeve. With some luck (which I am not counting on having), the three balls on order will be the same dye lot as the sweater. I am not optimistic enough to hold out hope. Maybe, I can convince Italian to stand with the odd dye lot arm extended out to the side whenever he wears the sweater.

Since I'm waiting for yarn to arrive, I've casted on for another project. I've decided to tackle my second goal for the Mission Possible 2008 Ravelry group I joined. The Vintage Velvet scarf from Scarf Style is in a purple shade of Touch Me Chenille. It will look lovely on a special someone.

The second of the Fancy Silk Sock is also keeping me company at work. During lunch, I take a little bit of time for the sock and a podcast or two.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Juxtaposition of opposites

Being a mother is a life of opposites. I want, need time to myself, but when I have it, I miss my men. I almost always have a shadow with me in the form of a little person, a grown person, or a four legged furry dog who thinks he is a person. I'm tough and can handle rejection or minor household repairs, but I'm also a softy who, from what I hear, gives really good hugs. I strive to give my family only healthy food to eat, but I find often do not have the time to cook, so I'm left heating prepackaged foods or ordering in. I keep myself available for my coworkers, my family, and my friends, but every now and then, I steal a little time for myself.

This week, has been a week of stealing time just for me. I started by prepping my guys for my absence. Monday consisted of a special home cooked meal, extra Mommy time for Little Clover, some play time with Spot, and wine and conversation with Italian. Then, I took Tuesday to go to the knitting guild with some coworkers. We even had dinner together before the guild meeting! This was my first guild meeting ever and the group of knitters where quite nice. I saw some familiar faces from other knitting events around time and I made some new friends. At guild, I learned a way to increase stitches at the end of a row of ribbing before beginning stockinette. (I'll post pictures of this technique later) I even finished fixing my entrelac socks from last year. They had been languishing in my stash because one of the cuffs was just too tight to slip over my heel. Now, they fit perfectly.

Now, tonight, I'm meeting up with a friend and taking a chocolate cooking class. I'll eat a healthy lunch to balance out the chocolate overload (as if there could be such a thing as too much chocolate).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


or why I love cow (and could never be a vegan).

From the lack of blogging, you can probably guess this week has been busy. I had a bit of a fire at work and had to work late a few nights this week. Fortunately, I also kept myself busy during the week with some fun activities, but had very little time for knitting. This is where the cow comes in (because I can't live without farm animals of some kind).

We have been contemplating buying new sofas for a couple of years, waiting for just the right sofa to magically appear at Costco one day. They did. They appeared this past December and I have been keeping a tab on the number of sofas the store has in stock. When the number of sofas in stock reached a low point, I asked Italian if he was ready to purchase these lovely, sturdy, goose down, brown leather sofa and loveseat. He actually agreed and the stars fell into place and we purchased said sofas! Then, we had to figure out how to get them home. Getting them home (it took two trips to the store), and into the house (which involved moving the current sofas into the drive and unpackaging the new sofas while outside because the box wouldn't fit through the door) took us a couple of hours. At the end, we had a nice new lovely sofa, that we could not lie upon together, unlike our old sofa. At least they look great.

Saturday also include a lovely dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse to celebrate my brother-in-law's recent milestone birthday. Xavier Guy couldn't make the party, so we took his friend instead.

Mr. Coffee did a great job playing the part of Xavier Guy. He even let us call him by Xavier Guy's name all night. I believe this was a bit of a retort on Mr. Coffee's part because Xavier Guy's been spending quite a bit of time with Mr. Coffee's brother. That is a story for another day.

Because this is a knitting blog, I can't let a week go by without something knitting related. Therefore, I give a picture of why brothers should have their outfits approved before leaving the house together.

What is even funnier about the picture of the two guys wearing the same sweater is that I was present for the purchase of both sweaters and didn't say a word. I think it is a riot to see them dressed the same. It is probably funny to me because I am an only child and this phenomenon strikes me as sincerely funny. But the story gets better! Saturday, Italian's sisters arrived wearing the same sweater that they bought while on a trip together. They were together for a few minutes and didn't realize they were dressed alike until I asked if it was intentional. I guess it just runs in the family!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Time Management

After a full week back at work and school, I now remember why I don't cook. Between working long hours, being a mom, being a wife, and then taking care of the house, I don't have much free time. Lately, my day job has been consuming more of my time and I've found myself working a bit from home late at night, which shocks me. I never ever thought I would like a job enough to give up some of "my" time towards it, yet, I do. Of course, saying "yes" to something means saying "no" to something else and I have been sacrificing home cooked meals for more time to knit. I think it is a fair trade off. My family still gets relatively healthy meaals and a moderately less stressed mom.

I did also make time for a few other things this week. We've spent a few nights star gazing with the help of the Klutz Backyard Stars guide. Little Clover can now identify the Big Dipper, Orion, and the North Star. We also saw Mars, which is extremely orange in the sky. This star chart is the best beginner star chart I've ever seen. The folks at Klutz did a fantastic job and I think they are making a new budding astronomer.

Not only did I have a chance to stargaze, but I also met Kate Jacobs, the author of Friday Night Knitting Club. Kate was a pleasure. My local knitting group had the luxury of having lunch with her and we had a very nice time. Knitting is more of a backdrop in her book, which focuses more on character development. I look forward to seeing the moving when it comes out.

And to really round out my busy week, I finished a sock. The pattern is a Nancy Bush pattern with some modifications. Instead of casting on the called for number of stitches, I reduced the cast on to only 56 stitches. Then, I pretty much worked the pattern as written, with the modifications for the 8 fewer stitches in the heel. I could have made a narrower heel flap. I'll keep that in mind when I knit the next pattern from her book.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Normal Day

During a normal weekday, my time is filled with meetings, spreadsheets, more meetings, documentation, databases, and more meetings. The past week and a half, I took some time off and spent the day with Little Clover. My time was then filled with Legos, cooking, going to the Zoo and more Legos.

We built castles, and saw baby animal, including a baby flamingo.

The baby is the gray flamingo sitting on the ground. I was expecting a much smaller bird than the rather larger one we saw. It was still a cute little thing covered in downy feathers.

In the evenings, I still managed to sneak in a bit of knitting. In fact, I had enough knitting time to finish the front of Anniversary Sweater 2.0.

The sweater is much faster to knit the second time around. With luck and good knitting karma, I'll be able to present the sweater to Italian by the end of the month. Since I've said typed it outloud, I'll be expecting a knitastrophy any minute now.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Last night, Italian and I brought in the new year by cooking a wonderful meal and eating it at midnight. Our first meal of the year was a standing rib roast with a mushroom flan served over wilted spinach. We had a lovely wine with the dinner and a fantastic bottle of champagne. The meal ended with a made from scratch chocolate pudding and a toast for more to come in the new year. Italian and I had talked a bit about the previous year and we discussed some possible resolutions. I thought about my stash and the yarn and fibre in it. I also thought about how I'm not one who does well with deprivation. I don't believe in denying myself of things, but I do believe in moderation and delayed gratification. Without further ado, my resolutions for 2008!

  1. I will knit from my stash and only buy yarn when it truly speaks to me and after I've given myself a day or two of contemplation.
  2. I will be fiscally responsible and not shop for myself this year.
  3. I will spend time decorating the house, including the gardens. (This is where the moderation comes in. I'm not going to spend money on clothes, instead, I'll spend money at Lowes).
  4. I will organize the house.
  5. I will cook more meals at home.
  6. I will increase my spinning ability.
  7. I will exercise a few times a week. Playing football/baseball/soccer/indoor hockey with Little Clover counts as exercise.

As of the end of the first day of 2008, I've cooked at home, I've cleaned out some old things from the house we no longer use, I haven't bought any yarn (or anything else), and I played a short game of indoor hockey. So far, I'm doing okay.

Plus, Italian's sweater is coming along swimmingly! I'm almost done with front. I'll show you a picture later this week. In the meantime, Happy New Year! May this year be filled with half the sorrow and twice to joy of the last.