Friday, March 16, 2007

Spring, Spring, Where Are You?

You know, when it snows, I normally get as excited as my kids. But I'm looking out the window at this wet glop falling out of the sky and I'm just irritable. When the heck is Spring going to stop teasing us and finally stay?

Anyway, positive thoughts. My little niece, Keira, turned one the other day (jeez, that went fast. Any my nephew, Brayden, will be three in a few weeks - yikes), so we went over for a little party. Here she is (recognize the hat?):

What a little cutie, right? I can't wait to cover this little girl in Hello Kitty garb; I've already warned my SIL Julie that Keira will enjoy my Hello Kitty obsession to its fullest. Why don't they make Hello Kitty baby gear, anyway? I think I may have to apply to Sanrio for a license and produce my own.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Thoughts on last night's episode? I like that I got an answer to something we'd suspected for a little while now, and a meaningful flashback that provided that answer. Poor Charlie... any bets on whether or not he's making it out of Season 3?

Any commentary on the bit we saw on next week's episode?

It's been a while since Lost hasn't left me pissed off, so let's chat about it.


Rock star, baby! I know this looks like an oversized Rasta hat here, but it's the blanket - those bamboo needles were just what the knitter ordered; I cast on my five stitches and started to boogie. By evening's end, I was off the double pointed needles and onto the 29" circular. Whoo hoo! It's a lot of fun, but something tells me this is going to be a loooong haul - glad the teacher's baby shower isn't until May. I love the pinwheel detail; it's so cute.
Self Challenge Update: Still struggling with journaling food, but I am getting exercise. I am being mindful of what I eat, so I'm getting 'there' slowly but surely. Once I get out of this damned holding pattern with the job I'm hoping to hear from, I'm hoping to get out of this funk and get back into a routine, both of which will help me get fully back on the rails.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pinwheel Blanket

I came across this pattern on my website tour and fell head over heels in love immediately. It's round. How cool is that? If I could make this one work, I will be a rock star. I've included pictures of what the completed blanket should look like; I've also included a shot of my success at finally getting the five stitches cast onto three double-pointed needles. I must have tried this cast on about 50 times, but so far, it's knitting up nicely. I'll keep you posted; I am so psyched to do this blanket. I think I'll trim it in a nice chenille - but I'd better not get ahead of myself.
Also, in my quest to find all things sparkly and shiny to stick on my blog margin, I've included a new link to Naughty Secretary Club - get your minds out of the gutter; it's a crafter's blog by Jennifer Perkins, who's on two of my DIY obsessions, Craft Lab and the ultra-fabulous Stylelicious.
BTW, I'm in danger of becoming a crafting couch potato if I don't get some gainful employment soon. Now I'm DVR-ing Stylelicious, Knitty Gritty, Craft Lab, Uncommon Threads and Creative Juice. Creative Juice is very dangerous because they have crafting and cooking tips. Deadly. If I stop blogging for a significant amount of time, do me a favor and have someone check in on me. You may find me catatonic in front of my TV, remote frozen in my hand. Merci.
Yup... More Hats...

I fell in love with this Jester Hat from the Yarn Girls' Guide to Kids' Knits and decided to knit a few up. The pattern works out great; I loved doing it so much I threw a second one in there (my knits are on the right, the Yarn Girls' version is on the left). How cute will this look? I even went and bought one of those pom-pom makers, so I can get the fuzzy pom-poms down pat.

Guess what's holding me back? C'mon, take a good look. Seams. Sigh. I think I need to use my powers of Internet searching to find a site that walks people like me through painless seaming.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Dog Sweater

So my mom got a dog, Chester, through a rescue in her neighborhood. He's a Jack Russell Terrier mix and he's psychotic but lovable (I say psychotic because he has that crazy Jack Russell nervous energy - holy crap, I thought having two boys was tough). And he needed a sweater. Enter, Roe.

Go 'head. Ask me if the sweater's done. Now that we're looking at 50 degree days. C'mon. Ask.

What's left to do, you may ask? Um... seaming. I just suck.
The Dark Ages of My Hat Knitting...

I wasn't always in love with the idea of knitting in the round. It confounded me. It made me nervous. I decided I wasn't good enough to give it a shot, so I shied away from it. I could just sew the darn things up the back, right? (Yes, I know I've stated many times that I am a seaming delinquent, but I needed to be able to make excuses, okay?) So my hats looked like little Frankensteins, a jagged seam running up the back. I shudder looking at them now, the poor little things. (Yup, the blue, white and yellow ones below are examples of my earlier work.)

What changed my mind? Preemie caps. I'd been dying to do something for charity (we knitters are a charitable bunch - check some of them out at, and thought it would be great to do preemie caps for little premature babies. The problem? Can't have seams. They hurt the babies' little heads. Well, that just made me get all teary-eyed (you know anything with kids does that to me) at the thought of my Frankenstein-esque creations hurting a preemie, so I knuckled down and busted out my copy of SnB. I went to Rag Shop, bought a pair of 16" circulars, and went to work.

This white hat is the first hat I made for a preemie, on circular needles. The only problem is, the yarn gauge is a little too big - it won't fit a preemie. I hadn't figured out how to do smaller work, switching to double-pointed needles once even the circulars are too long. I've figured that out, too - that's where the umbilical cord hats came in.

Believe me, knitting on double pointed needles (dpns) is not as scary as it looks. It definitely takes some fooling around with, and some dexterity, but it's so much fun - and it's totally worth all the crazy looks you get from people who try to figure out what the hell you're doing.

Knitting has kept me sane in the months where I felt like I was worthless. Learning new things in knitting has made me stop feeling so worthless and useless. It really is as good as yoga.
I Said I Loved Knitting Baby Hats...

Got this pattern from One Skein, which has been a godsend since I have an incredible amount of stash yarn laying around. I love the cute little detailing at the bottom.

Hat Love

I love knitting baby hats. They're just so darn cute and tiny. And since I finally unlocked the mystery of knitting on circular needles, it's like a whole new world has opened up to me. My favorite hat is the Umbilical Cord Hat from that bible of fun knitting, Stitch & Bitch. Behold, in various needle and yarn sizes:

I'm seriously thinking of knitting one I can wear. It's just so darned cute. My next project using the hat is to see how small I can make 'em - I'm getting into knitting preemie caps for charity, and I just think these would be adorable.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ahhhh... almost done...

Biography Day is out of the way, and the Science Fair happens this week. I can finally get a break from Will's work schedule. I do not remember having this much crap to do as a second grader. I swear I'm the one getting graded.

So I can revisit some of the knitting I've been trying to accomplish. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to photograph the baby shower gift I made for Michele, a pastel variegated baby blanket that was a sampler - stockinette, basket stitch, and rib, with a garter stitch border. I've made it several times before; it's a Lion Brand pattern that I got from A Passion for Knitting, which has some really good patterns, especially if you're in a pinch.

Anyway - I'm going to shoot the hats and document my search for the next 'perfect' baby shower gifts. I've got two more showers to come, and I really want to stretch my comfort zone. So watch this space; I'll turn this into a real knitting blog yet.
The Joys of Having Boys... one has to know I'm secretly excited about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie... I can pawn it off on them

...a reason to bust out my old Star Wars figures to play with whining when I want to watch The Dark Ages on History Channel (well, except from 3-year old Alex, who takes it as a personal affront when Noggin is off the air)

...someone to have in-depth discussions about X-Men with, as well as fairly amusing debates about Justice League

It's good to be a geek mommy of boys.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Self Challenge - THIS is the year.

It's March, and that means it's time for my annual Self Magazine Self Challenge. I've yet to finish a full three-month challenge. Sadly and frighteningly enough, the closest I came was the year I was pregnant with Alex. I've gotta do it. I'll be so proud of myself and happier with myself if I do. I started out okay on Sunday and was fucked by Tuesday, but I'm going to shake it off and start again. I have to stop fighting myself on this.

Maybe once I get back into a F/T job and routine, it'll be easier. Still no phone call today. I'm hoping and maybe, just maybe, saying a little prayer.
Seven Deadly Sins...

Well, Pride and Wrath are my biggest failings... imagine that...

Lust:Very Low

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz
Needle Love

I've spent the last few days combing the web for interesting baby blanket patterns. I'm in a cabling state of mind these days, so I'm looking for cables like crazy. But you know me - I do love my skulls, and since Will is hankering for a skull blanket, I innocently googled the term, "punk knits" - and lo and behold, a plethora of skull-y goodness ensued, as did some other great stuff. There are tons of great sites out there, but the blogs are the best. Knitters ain't just knitting grandma's stuff anymore - hell, you know it by now. Bring on the skulls and horns. I love reading about other knitters, especially the ones who have the talent to create stuff on their own (I'm not there yet, but hopefully one day I will be). So I just wanted to mention a couple of the many cool knitting blogs I've since added to my Bloglines (thanks, Nancy, for suggesting that - now I actually READ all the blogs I've bookmarked!)

You Knit What?? does for knitting patterns what GoFugYourself does for celebrity fashion. They're not blogging anymore, but the commentary they've left behind is hilarious.

Vintage Stitch-o-Rama has great patterns including Ankh Earwarmers and the "Camisole of Death". Love it. She's also got vintage patterns that go back as far as the late 1800s - awesome.

I'll post more later (right now, my ancient computer is giving me attitude about opening up another Internet Explorer window and letting me cruise the many bookmarks I've racked up the past few days). Pictures to come, too; I've got an unbelievable amount of little hats I've knitted up (god, what did I do before I learned to knit in the round?) and I'm agonizing over which blanket to knit for Will's teacher, as well as a friend of mine in MD. I've found a couple of interesting patterns, at least, right?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Young Mr. Roosevelt

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, young Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Rider:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Will had to do a Herculean biography project for school, culminating in his dressing up like the person of his choice and giving a presentation. After seeing A Night at the Museum, Will was all about Teddy Roosevelt - and hey, a New Yawker could do worse, right? He was adorable and awesome, and I'm gushing as usual. :-)