Archive for October, 2007

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Halloween-ed out

Halloween is my least favorite holiday. It’s totally pointless, beyond providing the kids a good time and bonuses for the CEO’s of candy companies. And that’s all fine, for ONE day, but Halloween always manages to stretch itself out over about 5. By the time it’s actually Halloween, I’M SO SICK OF IT! And here we are. The school and evening festivities in front of me, and I’d rather spend the day in bed. Of course, I don’t feel well, which contributes. But really, Halloween is pretty lame as far as holidays go.

That being said, here are some pictures of the pumpkin carving party Nate hosted Monday night.

pumpkins071.gif

pumpkins07-2.gif

There were about 20 pumpkins in all, spread out among 15 families. I’ve been a scrooge the past three years of this event and haven’t carved one myself, but the girls carved their own this year and there wasn’t any blood! A definite success in my book.

I finished the Esther hat for my friend Lisa.

lisaesther.gif

It’s such a pretty pattern. I hope she likes it. I knit this one out of Cascade 220, and as far as I can recall, it’s my first time using this yarn. It was fine to knit with, and it’s nice and soft for straight wool, but incredibly splitty on the crocheted edging.

Monday, October 29th, 2007

The camel silk is finally done!

camelsilkdone.gif

I’m not exactly sure what weight it is. I think it’s laceweight, which is what I was going for. It looks finer than fingering to me.

I have about 680 yards, I believe. I’m going to find an intricate little lace stitch to knit on small needles, and make a scarf. The reason I bought this roving back in January, is because one of the samples in my silk spinning class was a quiviat silk wimple in a beautiful little lace pattern.

wimple1.gif

wimple2.gif

Do any of you happen to recognize that pattern or stitch? I don’t. I know the pictures are bad, the lighting was horrible in that room. Dark and fluorescent.

Anyway, it had the same look to it that the camel/silk roving had in the marketplace, so I bought it. However, I don’t think I’d really use a wimple, so instead, I’m going to make a large, yet delicate scarf.

Abby’s legwarmers are done. She’s wearing them at school today, so I don’t have a picture for you yet. They’re like my muppet monster legwarmers. 2×2 ribbing with a picot bind off at the bottom.

Next up, I’m knitting an Esther Williams hat for a friend of mine that just had brain surgery, and had a third of her long blonde hair shaved off.

I need to make Liv’s legwarmers out of the tweedy yarn I spun for her this summer.

Veronica wants legwarmers before a sweater.

I’m dying to play with the romney. I want to blend it with alpaca and silk bits and spin up small amounts of different combinations that I will knit into samples for my sweater. I hope to dye it soon.

This week, we have Halloween (oh, the sock hop on Friday was SO much fun, and we looked great. Even me in a poodle skirt. I didn’t look nearly as humungous as I expected. I hope to get a picture of all of us), and Nate and I are going away for the weekend, so I need to get the house and kids prepared for that.

And I have to go shopping.

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Health Group- Year 4, week 17

It was a really, really, really good week. It would have been a perfect week, but I couldn’t exercise yesterday and more critical to the claim of perfection, I had sugar last night.

BUT….

I’ve met my calorie target every day this week and drank a lot of water. I exercised Monday through Thursday. And until last night, I had no sugar. (Except for one tiny bite of cookie on Monday, to save Clark’s face and clothes from a soft and gooey chocolate chip).

I am very pleased. I’m still not weighing myself, just trying to be healthy.

That being said, I have a mild UTI. I haven’t had one in years, but in the past when I would get them, I’d get rid of it by drinking a ton of cranberry juice, which has massive amounts of sugar added. One gallon of Cranberry Cocktail has 1961 calories. So, how am I supposed to get rid of this thing without doubling my calorie intake for the day? Because I still have to eat.

Lame.

How was your week?

Friday, October 26th, 2007

50s day

It’s 50s day at school today. Tonight, they’re having a Halloween sock hop. A few weeks ago, Veronica’s teacher held an after school workshop to show us how to make poodle skirts. I made one for Liv, Veronica, and two of Liv’s friends. Abby didn’t want one.

poodleskirts.gif

Well, now Abby wants one, and I kind of do, too. Though I’ll probably look like an elephant. It’ll be fun.

So once the fabric store opens, I’m off buy some felt!

I’ve been working on Abby’s legwarmers, out of the tweedy handspun I made for her this summer.

abbylegwarmersstart.gif

The first try, they were stiff and rough, so I ripped it out, downed the stitch count, and used a larger needle size. Now they’re really nice. I love the tweedy yarn. I totally want to blend my romney with tweedy bits for my sweater.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Lotsa wool

Wow, it’s dark outside. There are going to be a lot of pictures from the bathroom in the coming months. Even in my bathroom this morning, with an entire ceiling of glass, I was getting slow shutter speeds and blurry pictures. But they’re still cute.

Here’s 5.2 pounds of washed Romney fleece. And Clark, for scale.

clarkandwool1.gif

And that was about all the patience he had for a picture that wasn’t entirely about him.

clarkandwool2.gif

Here he comes…

clarkandwool3.gif

clarkandwool4.gif

That’s better.

But the wool truly is lovely. I can’t. stop. touching it. So, I’m wondering… Do I spin it first, or dye it? It seems that if I want to dye, say, 3+ pounds of it to make sure I have enough for a cabled sweater for myself, I should dye it first, because I can’t imagine getting that much yarn in one dye bath, thus having the same dyelot. But I just got it all dry! I don’t want to get it wet again before I can spin it.

Dangit.

Ok, another question… I’m contemplating color. Should I do an earthy, mossy green to play up my eyes? Or a reddish sort of plum? More purple than red, but with some red undertones to it. Something else entirely? Whatdya’ think?

And finally, I concede. I’m not middle-aged. After talking with a few of you and reading the comments, emails, etc. I agree that I’m probably too young to be middle-aged. But I’m no punk kid, either. I guess I’m just a grown up. How boring is that? But I’ll be middle-aged soon enough!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

A definition game

Ok, after a few comments and emails, I went and looked up the definition of “middle-aged”. I guess, according to the dictionary, I’m wrong. It says…

middle age-

the period between early adulthood and old age, usually considered as the years from about 45-65.”

I always thought middle-aged was the 30s-40s. 20s (now don’t be offended, I’m only a very few years removed from this, and I have many friends still in their 20s that I don’t view this way) are punk kids. And for those that aren’t, the 20s are difficult, struggling years. 50s are the beginnings of maturity. 30s-40s are in between those two stages, thus, middle-aged in my opinion.

This doesn’t mean that 50s are old. I have friends in their 50s that I don’t see as old. My mom and my in-laws aren’t old, but they don’t really seem middle-aged, either. They’re mature. Experienced. Over half way through with their life. (And thereby, past “middle”).

I’m 32. I have 4 kids and a mortgage. Out of necessity, I drive a big car with lots of seatbelts. While not a soccer mom, I’m a softball and a volleyball mom. I buy fine art.

High school students think I’m old.

I’m past the start-up phase of my life and family. I’m middle-aged.

I admit that I’m still a bit of a young pup, I may yet birth another baby or two, and I have a lot of experience to gain and life to live. I am in no way saying that I have all the answers or that I’ve reached a pinnacle. I am not claiming the wisdom of age, or anything like that. Merely that I belong to the classification. And to be honest, I’m all for it. Bring it on. Age doesn’t scare me. I don’t shy from it. My youth was in no way the highlight of my life. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. For as long as I can remember, (5th grade to be specific), I’ve wanted to be where I am now. And in my 20s, I looked at my in-laws and wanted to be where they are, not realizing what was right around the corner.

To be honest, it’s probably just an extension of my control issues. I like to be in control of my life. I will never be in complete control, because ultimately, God is. But there is a freedom in this stage of life that can’t be had earlier.

And I love it.

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Abby’s sweater photo

Abigail allowed me to take her picture today in her new sweater, tho’ I couldn’t get her to be serious.

abbysweatersilly.gif

The sweater is a little big for her. She’ll probably be able to wear it for a couple of years.

abbysweaterpic.gif

Not that it’ll get much use, because it’s “itchy”, which totally sucks, for both of us.

I’ve started on Liv’s sweater, but since it’s going to be random stripes of about 7 yarns to use up more stash, I’m thinking it’ll be less headache if I knit it in the round. I can only imagine how old counting rows to match stripes will be by the time I’m done. So I’m going to rip and redo, as I’m only a couple inches into it.

I’m not feeling very motivated though.

I need to clean my house, and throw away about half of my girls’ bedroom, since they clearly do not have enough drawers to contain their possessions. Once it’s more organized around here, maybe I’ll be able to relax enough to knit again. I have a stack of projects promised to my children in front of me. They all want legwarmers, fingerless mitts, sweaters, etc.

And we’re getting to that time of year again. Clark needs a christmas stocking.

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Health Group- Year 4, week 16

I exercised once this week. Didn’t eat well.

My days always START out well. Once late afternoon hits however, all my resolve goes away. I wish I knew why, because in the mornings, it’s truly easy to eat healthy and avoid bad things.

I’m not weighing myself.

I’ve had a hard time getting back to no sugar, which is a shame, because my skin is returning to normal. That’s not a bad thing, but I’m disappointed in myself. I was interested to see what continuing with the cut in sugar would do for me outside of weight loss, or lack thereof.

I’m going to continue to work on exercising, cutting sugar and eating healthy, but I can’t focus on the pounds anymore. I don’t seem to be able to control them, no matter what I do, and it irritates me. I know this is a totally yo-yo attitude for me, but this week, I’m swearing off the scale again. I truly appreciate your tolerance with me. You’ve been excessively kind.

To be honest, if I owned a sledgehammer, my scale would be in little bitty pieces right now. As it is, I spent a considerable amount of time this week thinking of something else I could sufficiently smash it with, to no avail, so instead I just fantasized about obliterating it.

That was almost as good. It made me smile.

I contemplated just going out to the driveway and throwing it repeatedly against the concrete, then stomping on it…. but I live in a neighborhood, and although I don’t make a habit of altering my behavior for the sake of others’ opinions of me, I thought that a public demonstration like that is something I’d come to regret.

Besides, if I removed myself from the situation and pictured it from the bystander’s perspective, seeing a middle aged, overweight woman going postal on a digital scale on her driveway seems pathetic in a way I didn’t want to attach myself to.

For the moment, the scale is safe. Besides, Clark likes to play with it.

All of this being said, I feel good. I’m not depressed. I’ve felt pretty all week, and I’m excited that I’ve (at least this week) given up waiting to shrink to knit another sweater for myself. I’m going to dye and spin up that romney, and make a nice, big, roomy sweater. For me. The way I am now. And it’ll look fantastic .

Friday, October 19th, 2007

I love it!

I’m stash busting again. The weather is turning chilly, and I find myself void of gloves and mitts. My white gloves I knit years ago from A Gathering of Lace have been “decorated” by my children with red Gatorade. It won’t wash out.

Of my two pairs of fingerless mitts knit from the second S&B book, one was appropriated by my mom, the other, after having been borrowed a few times by my husband, have gone missing. (They were knit from a very dark brown and tan colorway of Manos del Uruguay. They looked manly enough for him to get away with it. Don’t fret).

Also, my purple fingerless gloves in progress are stalled, and will take some serious sleuthing to finish, as the first is done, and the second needs to be. My pattern notes were written in about 10 different places, and rewritten as I frogged and tweaked. I have absolutely no idea what the actual numbers are to finish the pattern. So it’s going to be a matter of reading the first glove and taking my best guess. I’m probably not going to be able to share that pattern, as I don’t know it. Sorry.

So, back to the stash busting…

I had about 1 & 3/4 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold’s Angora in the most delicious red sitting in the stash.

My hands were cold.

angoramittfirst.gif

It’s gorgeous.

This pattern, I’ll be able to share. What’s better, it works up fast. I knit most of it in an evening, and now that the pattern is written out, the second one will be faster.

Sweeeeeeet!

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

What a guy

I came to find out that while I didn’t get any pictures of our outing on Saturday, Nate did with his iphone!

romneygroup.gif

romneygirls.gif

I think my first batch of washed wool is dry

romneyshelves.gif

If I’m a good girl, clean the house a bit, and exercise, I’m going to wash some more!

The camel/silk roving is FINALLY all spun into singles, and I’ve been working on plying it. It’s taking a really long time. I don’t think I’ve ever spun this much yardage out of a single roving, and I’m anxious to see how much I end up with.

plyingcamel.gif

And today, Clark has joined the masses of toddlers (though he still isn’t toddling) that wear colanders on their heads.

colanderclark.gif

Which had me totally flashing back about 8 years to Abigail.

colanderabby.gif