Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Monday, my wee one performed in an Opera, Mystery on the Docks, performed in three acts. He was a rat.

Actually, all the performers were rats, mine was just the cutest (granted, my opinion is slightly biased). Our city's local opera company has a small educational program and through a grant, Little Clover's school was able to schedule a performance during the day. His music teacher was given two weeks to find performers and rehearse and she did a fantastic job. Roughly 20 kids from the third and fourth grades were selected to perform and Little Clover was given the chance to be on stage.

All of the children worked very hard to be in the Opera. They gave up a week of recess to rehearse the songs and the music. When the time came to perform, they were eager and excited to finally meet the grown-up Opera singers. Then, they performed for grades 1-5, who were an excellent audience. The children watched attentively and the story was quickly drawing them in. Of course, the Opera timed the breaks between acts at the most suspenseful moments, gasps from the children.

At the end, the cast came out for a curtain call while cries of "Bravo!" accompanied the applause. Little Clover beamed and the assistant principal told us we had a budding actor on our hands.

This was huge for Italian and I.

You see, our relationship began around theater. Italian was the technical director for our college theater. I thought he was cute so I joined the theater club. We spent our entire college career performing in plays, playing musical instruments, singing, and taking painting classes. When Little Clover was born, we naturally anticipated having an artsy child. Image our shock when we discovered he had unbelievable athletic ability. We tossed away thoughts of plays and music and plunged into baseball, soccer, and basketball practices. He is great at all things involving a ball and he is fun to watch.

Then, this year, he discovered he had talents in other things. It began with a lead angel part in the school Christmas play, then he began to plink out songs on the piano more and more and is now strumming a guitar. Who knows, maybe he's more of a Renaissance Man than anything else.

In case you are wondering, there is knitting in this post. I knitted the tail for Little Clover's costume using some Fun Fur from my stash and knitting an I-Cord around a couple of pipe cleaners.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Week in review

The week has been a busy week of accomplishments, celebration, and a little bit of pain. The pain has lead to some reflection and the accomplishments and celebrations have lead to much happiness.

We began by celebrating the ordination of The Godfather as a deacon in our local diocese. Our families being Irish and Italian are Catholic and The Godfather and Mrs. Soprano have spent the last five years, yep five long years of classes every other Saturday, studying to become a deacon in the Church. The ordination was very beautiful and shockingly long. It beats the snockers off a High Catholic Marriage Mass which is pretty darn long. It was worth it though and we are proud of the accomplishment.

Then, I began my Lean Sigma training, which I knew was a bit of a big deal, but I didn't fully realize how big of a deal it is. After discovering what I needed to do to become certified, I gained a large amount of respect for the Certified Green Belts and Black Belts I know. Once I recovered from the shock of what I was doing, the pain began and continued all week.

Being the overachiever that I am, I quickly volunteered for the first exercise we did. For my part, I performed squats for a solid 15 minutes. Sure I had fun, but my legs were killing me the next day! I felt like an out of shape sack of potatoes! The pain didn't stop with my legs, either. On Tuesday, we began statistics. I have not had to do advance math on my own without a calculator in a long time. I had to guesstimate the square root of 7 in order to calculate the standard deviation for a normal statistical distribution to then answer the question "At which point will 4 sigma be achieved." My brain was killing me.

Then, on Wednesday, I hit Ravelry withdrawal. I had not been on Ravelry for 4 days and I was itching to see what other people were knitting, what yarns people had just acquired, and what projects were in people's queues. I had not knitted in three days and it was getting to me. I called a special session at home and demanded a small excursion to celebrate something, anything!

We celebrated being Southerns and went out for crawfish.

They were yummy. If you have never had crawfish prepared in a crawfish boil, then come on down south and try it at least once. You will either love it or hate it. There is no in-between. We love it. We invited our neighbors to join us. At the invitation, they looked at us and replied, "but we have children." This is one of the best responses to an invitation I have ever received. They came with us and even brought the children.

Oh, after the crawfish, I had some renewed energy and made some headway on the Lotus Blossom Tank.

I even spun a bit. Tune in tomorrow where I tell you about going to the Opera.

Friday, April 18, 2008

One weight lifted, another one still weighing

I did it! After more than a year, I have finally spun and plied a pound of bamboo fiber. This project was wrought with disappointment and dashed dreams, but it is done and over. The bamboo entered my house because it looked interesting and fun. Plus, honestly, how hard could it be to spin? For a brand new spinner is is really freaking hard to spin! I hated my singles because they were inconsistent and slubby and thin. Plying it though, made a fairly consistent yarn, one I may enjoy using, which taught me spinning lesson one: don't judge a yarn by its singles.

This bamboo also taught me spinning lesson number two: Plying sucks up a lot of yardage. My hope was to have enough yarn to make the Green Tea Raglan from Interweave Knits Spring 07. That didn't happen. In fact, I have almost half the amount of yarn I need. I was surprised to realize a sweater requires two pounds of material to make. I will not spin two pounds of 100% bamboo anytime soon. This lesson will give me the experience I need to plan better. Granted, when I mentioned my shock to my spinning guru, she seemed nonplussed. I should also seek out the guidance of those who know more than me.

So now I have about 500 yards of finished bamboo yarn sitting around my stash. This yarn seemed to have no purpose since it would not be able to fulfill the purpose I had in mind. This leads to spinning lesson number 3: Let the yarn decide its future. Once I accepted the yarn would not become the sweater I wanted, a new project popped into my head. I've been longing to cast on for the Green Gables sweater. I've loved this little sweater for a while now, but have never gone out to buy the yarn and have put myself on a yarn diet for a while. Wouldn't you know, the bamboo is the right gauge, and the perfect quantity for me to make the sweater now. The world is balanced.

Of course, being balanced means that I have released on burden, but still have another one to teach me. I've never been bothered by knitting the second sock. I

Usually, a third sock is a nonissue. How often does one need to knit three socks? My Uptown Socks are not bringing me much joy right now because I knitted one sock, ripped it back to the cuff when I couldn't get the sock over my heel, have reknitted it now, and am sad at knowing I still have to knit one more to have a pair. Not only that, but I have lost one of my Tufootsie socks and must knit yet another third sock to complete the pair. Maybe knitting the bamboo will keep my spirits up.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April showers

Bring May babies and out of town guests. Teelee drove in for our friends baby shower and stayed with us at Clover Field. She brought her littlest one who graciously modeled the finished Baby Surprise Jacket and hat.

I still marvel at how small a baby sweater looks and how I'm sure it will never fit a baby, yet it always does.

I found perfect green buttons this week with little teddy bears on them. The mom to be seemed to really like the buttons and the sweater as a whole. I hope both she and the baby enjoy the gift.

in addition to modeling sweaters, Lollipop kept my little guy entertained. Little Clover enjoy having a baby in the house and helping out. He fed her a few bottles
and expressed his desire for a baby brother to Teelee. Teelee asked what if he gets a baby sister, would that be ok? Little Clover sighed and replied, "Well, that would be disappointing." At least I don't have to worry about disappointing him anytime soon.

After the little people went to bed, Teelee and I took the rare opportunity to catch up in person. We sat on the sofa, chatting, drinking wine from a bottle with a pretty label(Aaron you would be so proud), and knitting. I taught Teelee to knit during my last trip to see her in November. She not only stuck with it, but asked for a little stash enhancement excursion. I willingly took her to my favorite shop in town and we picked up some yarn for the Mudflap Girl tank from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. She's well on her way to becoming a knitter.

On a professional note, I just got accepted into Lean Sigma Training. Whoo hoo!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


What does a knitter do when the Yarn Harlot isn't coming to her town? She goes to the Yarn Harlot! At least, that was an option I was leaving open for myself. The Yarn Harlot was in Nashville for a book signing and having never seen her in person, I cleared my calendar as best as I could and left it open for driving to Nashville and back. I'm pretty sure she is worth the effort. I decided though not to go. I didn't like the idea of being away from my family for the entire evening, so I opted to have an evening of quiet sublime home-life.

I prepped my toes for sandal season. I spent some time reacquainting myself with the laundry. We still seem to have some differences and have agreed to separate again for a few days.

I had a "family mini movie night" where we had a carpet picnic while vegging out in front of the television. Pokemon is getting more thrilling with every day.

And then I took some Alchemy bamboo out of hibernation and casted on for the Lotus Blossom Tank. This time though, I remembered how to count to 50 and that 4 sets, not 8, equals 200. Which leads me to a proud mommy moment!

My kid figured out the Fibonacci sequence all by himself.

We were reading The Math Curse, which is a super fun book and I highly recommend it. Some where in the middle of the book, the main character begins to see sequences and the sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 was laid out on the page. I told him the next number in the sequence was 21. He looked at it for a bit, and I counted silently to three which is the recommend wait time before one supplies an answer to a question. Just as I was about to open my mouth and explain the sequence, he looked at me and said, "34 must be next, then," and correctly explained why. I almost cried. Of course, he had no idea what the big deal was, making the moment better. I then tried to explain binary and completely bombed explaining the concept. I'll save that for another day.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Thank you for the support last week. I didn't think my last post would really garnish much comment, but I got quite a few words of encouragement. Thanks. I had a few other reassuring moments as well last week. A baby gift I have been working on drew to a close last week. I casted off this weekend and will have time to make one more little gift. I haven't found the right buttons yet, but honestly, I think that should be a relatively easy task.

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket
Source: Knitting Workshop by EZ
Yarn: Rowan Purelife 100% Organic Cotton and Natural Dyes (3 balls)
Needles: US Size 6 Denise Interchangeables
Notes: I love the yarn and I like the pattern. The pattern is easy to knit and you don't have to think about it, just follow the directions. The pattern truly is just a blob of fabric, then you kinda fold it and the next thing you know, you have a cardigan. Very cool.

The yarn was great to knit. I have had some problems with cotton hurting my hands, but this cotton was a pleasure. It is soft and felt more like wool. It is also light instead of heavy like other 100% cottons. I could seem myself knitting a three quarters sleeve sweater with this. The colors available are muted and subtle as well. Overall, I think I will buy more of the yarn.

In addition to having an FO this week, I also received some reassurances in the area of spinning. I've been struggling with spinning bamboo. I thought I was making great progress as a spinner, but I've had difficulty with the bamboo singles coming off my wheel. The singles have been inconsistent in size and have been disappointing. I thought I was a pretty bad spinner. Then, while at my LYS, I noticed she had a Ladybug wheel. I tried it out. Not only was the wheel a dream to spin on, but my yarn was consistent and beautiful and well spun. My confidence came back. I also discovered the new going rate for the Schacht Matchless, which I have, and the price has increased $200 in a year. I definitely made the right choice in asking for the Matchless when I did.

Finally, I need to send out some reassuring words. Between Saturday, April 5 and today April 7, I have the joy of celebrating four birthdays. My best friend, brother-in-law, and hubby share April 5 as their day. I love them all and each holds a very special place in my life. The years we have spent together are years in which we have all grown and changed and I am fortunate enough to know that we grew together as we became the adults we are today.

I feel especially lucky to have Italian as my partner. He brings a twinkle to my life and I look forward to seeing him every morning and wishing him good night every evening. I hope he had a great birthday weekend. I love you :)

Today is Italian's dad's birthday. He is also a great man who inspires me with his love for his family. Happy birthday, Dad.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


This weekend, a very minor event caused a disproportionally large downturn in my mood. At first, I was agitated and disgruntled because of a small little email. Then, I because more agitated and disgruntled because I was agitated and disgruntled. I felt that I was going way overboard and couldn't figure out why this little email consisting of a few sentences was bothering me as much as it was until it suddenly dawned on me. I wasn't upset by the email. I was feeling dismissed and discounted and it wasn't the first time I felt this way with a particular group. I have felt discounted because I had a child. I've felt discounted because of a zip code. I've especially been discounted because I knit, and heaven forbid, spin.

Granted, we all make minor judgment calls when we meet people or even when we have known people for years. I wonder though how often these "small" judgments prevent us from seeing individuals as they are. I have had people make assumptions about my political beliefs, my religious beliefs, my interests in certain activities, and my values because of my address/ the car I drive/ the number of kids I have/ my hobbies/ the color of my hair/ where I go to church/ where my son goes to school/ my love for the color red. Then, people act on these assumptions in both positive and negative ways without ever taking the opportunity to find out if their assumptions are true.

I get odd looks when I pull my current socks on needles out of my designer purse while wearing a suit. I may be hard to pin down into a certain category or group, but then again, aren't we all? Shouldn't we be proud of the fact that we don't fit neatly into a boxed in statistical grouping? More importantly, I think we should try very hard to not box anyone else in, either. I know I hate the feeling of misunderstanding that accompanies being dismissed and hope I remember the feeling well enough not to do it to anyone else.