Saturday, April 29, 2006

What, A Shrug?

I think I must explain myself. I am not one of those knitters who has millions of projects on their needles at a time. I generally have only one. Two if the project I am working on at home is too big for me to take with me. I don't know what it is. I would love to be able to have four or more projects on at a time, but it doesn't work for me. After finishing Starsky and the broken rib socks. Again, I only have one thing on my needles.

I look at all of these other blogs and see how they can post about a different project every day of the week, but not me. I am still working on my Potmatomus'. I am actually almost finished with them. But I hate to post about them again, I don't want to bore you.

So instead, I will tell you about my softball game today. We won. I went 2-3 and walked once. I made....blah, blah, blah, blah.

Just kidding, though that really happened. I will tell you about the shrug I made for my aunt. Remember when I was working on a shrug for myself, my aunt saw it and asked for one, too? If you don't remember read this. Well, I finished it a while back, but had no one to take pictures in it. I am a little broader in the shoulders than my aunt and did not want to even attempt. Thankfully, my sister is so sweet and willing to pose for me. So without further ado:

Here is the shrug that has been finished for so long, sitting waiting to be photographed. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Right after I took the pictures for my last post, I decided that the yarn really did not want to be Jaywalkers for a couple of reasons. Though, I did enjoy the stitch pattern, I somehow forgot how to do simple division when I was measuring and making my gauge swatch. See, I thought that I was suppose to get 9.5 sts to the inch, which I did. What I did not realize was that was for the zig-zag pattern. What I should have been getting for stockinette was 7.5 sts. When I tried the sock on it was a little big, also the color from the yarn really did not look great as Jaywalkers. So I frogged.

Now look what they look like:

They are Pomatomus from Knitty. Initially when I saw them, I wasn't interested, but they grew on me and I have to tell you I am glad they did, they look better in person. I adjusted the pattern so there is only one repeat on the leg/ankle of the pattern because I like shorter socks and I was also afraid that I was going to run out of yarn.

I was almost done with the toe decreases and then look what happened:

Can you see? I ran out of yarn.

I had a feeling something like this would happen as it so often does, you know how when you get to the bind off row of something only to find out that you don't have enough yarn for that last row and you can't just go back a couple of rows because you would mess the pattern up and have to go and buy a whole skein of that yarn for two or three meters of it. I don't even think I can count how many times that has happened to me.

But it is not as though I don't have another skein. I do have a whole other skein for the other sock. I am going to knit as much as I can with it and if I run out I have a little plan. I am not going to tell you now because hopefully it will not come to it, but if it does, you will find out how insane I really am.

And by the way, I am not a crazy fast knitter or anything like that. My older son woke up screaming and crying at 3 stinking AM. After getting him back to sleep, I couldn't so I was up in the middle of the night knitting and catching up on all of my TiVoed shows. I never realized how many shows I actually watch.

Monday, April 24, 2006


I have become an obsessed woman. Oh wait, I knit, you already knew that. Well I am even more obsessed now. What is it this time. It is still knitting involved, but now I am becoming obsessed with socks. Now for some of you this may not be a big deal, but for me it is for many many reasons. You see, I live in Southern California. Technically, I don't think there is a need for wool socks except for the two maybe three months that it is actually cold over here. Also, if you know me, I am usually either in flip-flops or running shoes (comfort baby). And up until a couple of months ago, the thought of knitting with long toothpicks did not spark an interest. I have however made socks for some special people in my life who always are complaining of cold feet (grandparents, uncle) but for me to make socks for myself, well, I just never really thought of it. I do however have yarn that I purchased for socks in my stash for gifts for my special peeps. One of the girls at my LYS told me that hand knit sock were the best, but at the time I wasn't really interested so all I did was smile politely and tell her some day.

I have a ton of Cascade's Fixation that I had purchased when I thought that I was going to knit nothing but swimsuits for myself after seeing the swimsuit episode of DIY's Knitty Gritty (I am not going to post finished photos of myself in it I want you to stay as readers not scare you off, but I will tell you that you really can wear the swimsuit in water, I wouldn't wakeboard or surf in it though, although, I can't do either, but that is another story.) So I have a ton of fixation in my stash and initially decided to make these for me.

But when grandma asked for them, how could I say no. So when I went to replenish my stash a couple of weeks ago, among other items that we will not talk for fear of hubby reading this, I purchased two skeins of this:

I had no particular pattern in mind at the time, I just thought that they would make a cute pair of socks for somebody someday. Well, that somebody is me and that day is today (or whenever I finish them).

When I initially was working on my gauge swatch, I thought that they would make a cute pair of plain socks, nothing fancy shmancy, but when I saw the color, I thought hey wait, I think I know what would look good.

They are Jaywalker's by Grumperina for MagKnits. When I first started to work on my Jaywalker, I went to try and pull the yarn from the center of my skein and look what I found:

It is reinforcement yarn. Hooray! I feel like I just hit the jackpot or something. Though if I would have looked and really read the label for more than just yardage, needles size, and care instructions when purchasing the yarn I would have noticed the part where it said "+ 5 g of reinforcement yarn" just under the yardage. Even if I had noticed it, I probably wouldn't have figured out what they meant by that anyway.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Sweater and Socks

Hubby keeps asking me to make things for his friends daughter. Remember the gator and duck mitts? When I was done he had mentioned that I should make some for Valerie, his friends daughter. I think he thinks that she is our adopted daughter. I don't mind though, I do love making things, especially for little girls. So without further ado, here is the finished picture of the ruffled edge sweater I promised you:

Did you notice the socks? I made those as well. They were very simple to make. The only thing that they needed besides socks that can be purchased, fingering weight cotton, and a small crochet hook were 60 of these beads:

And they can be purchased at any craft store. I have seen these socks all over the place and they are not that cheap. I could make at least a dozen for the price they are asking for one pair. And mine even match the outfit perfectly.


I am so pissed. I was just about to publish a post and it somehow got erased.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It Was A Good Day

It sure has been a long week and it is only Wednesday. On Monday, I had a doctor's appointment. No biggie, just my yearly physical. I dropped B off at school, then K at my grandmother's. My appointment was at 10 and by 9:20 I was by myself. The thought alone gets me excited. I went to my appointment after having fasted for over 15 hours. You know your not supposed to eat after midnight on days like this. So having dropped the kiddos off a little earlier, I went to my appointment earlier as well and to my shock was seen as soon as I got there. Cool! While I was waiting for the doctor to come into the exam room, I was working on my "travel" project. When she was done with me, I went to the lab to get the blood work done. Now, I am no doctor or lab technician or anything, but when they were done drawing blood, I had asked them, if they were sure they got enough blood. Afterall, there were an awful lot of check marks next to the different tests that were going to be performed and they only took two vials. The nurse/tech/whoever said that it was enough.

Well, four hours later I get a call from the lab. It seems the nurse/tech/dumb*%$@/whoever did not get enough blood and I had to go back to give them more. That is why I asked before the first needle was out of my arm.

But it was a good day. Between picking up B & K, I was able to go to the bookstore. And you know what I got? Do you give up? I got this book. When I went in I had told myself that I was not going to get anything because I would order anything that I was interested in online, but when I saw it I just could not resist. I feel as though I am stalking her and anything she does. I had purchased her first book before I understood what a blog was, and found it hilarious, because afterall, I was reading about me.

Now I know I should post a picture of the book in my lap or something like that, but it has not actually seen the inside of my house yet. You see, it is in the car and I have been reading it while I am driving. I do not recommend this as it could potentially cause an accident or someone shooting you because you are not moving at the green light. I live in Southern California, didn't you hear about this phenomenon last year? Yeah, people shoot at others in cars, it gives a whole new meaning to the word drive-by.

In knitting news, I finally have pictures of the socks that I had started last month.

It was funny because after I started making these, I liked them so much that I decided to keep them for myself. I was working on them at my mom's house when my grandmother asked me what I was knitting. I told her that I was knitting socks, she came closer and tells me, "I want those!"

"Uh, okay grandma, I thought you didn't want any socks"

"Well, I like those, but you need to stop knitting them at the ankle because I like ankle socks and can't find any really good ones"

Who am I to say no to grandma? So these are now for her. The only problem that I have noticed with the socks I make is that they are hard to get on. I am not quite sure what to do. Should I cast on/off at the cuff with needles a few sizes larger or should I add a few sts? If anyone could help me with this one, I would appreciate it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Gators and Ducks

There are times when I am between large projects when I need some instant gratification. During those times I will usually go into my stash and see what I have and try to come up with something from there. Usually it is a hat. Well after finishing the sweater for my husband's friend, I was in one of those I want to finish something fast modes, not to mention that I didn't have enough* yarn to complete any projects that would take longer than say, oh, um all of ten minutes (I have since taken care of that problem).

I dug into my stash and finally made something that I had been wanting to make for a long while.

They are the Later 'Gator Mitts from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. They are the smallest size mitts for my youngest son. While I was knitting them, hubby looks at me then asks or should I say tells me, "You are going to make a pair for B, because you know if he sees K with them on, he is going to want a pair of his own."

Gee, I had never thought of that. Afterall, I am the mother, the one who is with them all day long. The one who knows that if one has something, then the other has to have it or they will be chasing each other around the house trying to get it from one another while screaming and crying. But, I wouldn't have thought of that.

After I had finished making the gator mitts, I let B see them and asked him if he wanted a pair. It was so cute because his eyes lit up and with that little excited voice that he gets said, "yes, mommy."

So then I asked him if he liked the gators where his reply was, "yes, but could you make me ducks instead."

"Uh, yeah, sure."

So after a few modifications, here is what I finally came up with:

I followed the basic pattern of the gator mitts. When I finished them, I had asked B to try them on. His reply to me was only if he did not have to take any pictures of them. He knows me so well. Mom knits something for me, mom wants a picture of me in it. Although, I have to admit I was a bit embarrassed when he said that.

These are great stashbusting projects. Though I can't tell you exactly how much yarn was used, I know it was not very much as I still have some left over. I may even try and come up with some other animals for some fun little gifts. The best part is that I think I finished the gators in less than 3 hours which included the seaming. The ducks took a bit longer, but that was because I was not working straight from the pattern and trying to come up with something as I went along.

Here is a pic of duck and gator playing with each other.

At any given time during the day, you could substitute my kids for the mitts. K is always jumping on B's back for "horsey" rides saying, "Yee haw tahowboy, gitty yup."

And here are pics of the boys playing with their mitts.

*I have since taken care of that little situation ;b

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bad Habits

I have some bad habits. I post about projects that I start and for some reason, do not seem to follow-up when I am done. Do you remember this post? Well, it is finished, but I don't have any photos. How about this one? Finished, no photos.

The reason there are not any photos of some of the projects is because I usually have to wait until hubby gets home from work to take the photos or trust my 5 year old to do it. I did the tri-pod thing for this post, but it took a lot of pictures to get those two and hubby gave me funny looks when I left it out in our room.

I apologize for my thoughtlessness and disregard for you. I say this with sincerity. I will try to be a better blogger. I will post pictures of finished objects especially when I post about their beginnings. And to show that I mean it, look at this:

It is the sweater that hubby asked me to make for his friend's daughter. I actually had it finished last week, but it has been sitting all by itself on our desk waiting and waiting for me to sew in the little label I made for it. As I had said in a previously, I wanted to try a few new techniques with this sweater, which I was able to do. There were three to be exact.

The first was a top down sweater. Thanks to this wonderful book. I don't know why but I was really intimidated to try the whole top down thing, but I did it and this is how it turned out. The second thing that I wanted to try was the whole knitting both the arms at the same time with two circs. I have to say, I did not care for this one. I think it actually took me longer to finish the sleeves than if I had done them individually on double points, but I have to admit, I do like the fact that I know without a doubt the sleeves are the exact same length. I love symmetry what can I say? The third technique was the magic loop. I used this method for the ruffled cuffs. If I don't have dpns with me, I will definitely keep this one in mind. The only thing about this was that I did notice a bit of laddering. It is probably me and not the technique that caused that.

The only thing left to do is block* the sweater and sew the label in, which has to be done by this weekend.

When that is done I will post more pics, I promise.

*A funny story (well to me anyway). Hubby was looking at the pictures from this post at about the time I was working on this. When I finished the sweater he asked me if I was going to block it. Now I hadn't planned on it, but since he actually asked and knew what he was talking about, I feel compelled to do it now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Death and Taxes

You know the saying there are two things in life that are certain, death and taxes. Well, I just got done with one and I am not looking forward for the other. This is the first year that we have ever owed Uncle Sam and Uncle Ah-nold. If that weren't bad enough, do you see how many envelopes are being sent out?

That's right three, so not only are we paying this great nation and the great state, the county of Los Angeles is right there with their hands out as well. It really sucks! Although, I really can't complain, it is not as though I did not know that taxes were due. In fact we knew even before we went for out tax appointment in February that we were going to owe this year (hubby goofed when adjusting his tax withholdings this year), but we did not imagine it was going to cost us our children's future education and vacations for the next thousand years. The thing that really sucks though is our property taxes. Why are they always due at the most inopportune times? Like two weeks before Christmas and five days before the other taxes? Wouldn't it be nice if they were due when we had more money, like never?

Anyhoo, did you notice the knitting next to the taxes? It is that sweater that I had mentioned before. The one hubby asked me to make for his friends daughter. Here is a better look at it:

This is the first sweater that I have started from the top down using this book. Initially I was very intimidated to attempt this for a gift that is due in less than two weeks, but if not now then when? After all of the increases, I really became more comfortable and really like the way it is turning out. My design ideas for this has changed about sixty-five million times since I cast on only to go back to what I initially had in mind. A ruffle going all around.

The birthday party for the little girl is going to be in about a week and a half, so there is not really any pressure on me to hurry. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

Initially I was not going to post regarding this subject matter since it has nothing to do with knitting, but something has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks.

I was doing my usual I have all of my things completed, I have nothing to do for a while routine of knitting and blog surfing when I came across a blog that basically slams others. This blog was judging others by nothing other than them having so many kids, a woman gaining weight after marriage, etc. Now don't get me wrong, I love my tabloids and joking with friends about this and that. I am not prude, but I have to say that this was the most judgmental blog that I have ever come across. I am hoping that she is tongue and cheek, but I have been wrong before.

So anyway after reading a couple of her posts, turning off the computer and dwelling on it some more, I am brought back to the computer regarding something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

My older son started his first year of baseball/t-ball in early February. He is the second youngest child on his team having turned 5 mid-February, the oldest children are a good 2 years older than he is and have been playing since they were B's age. He is also the second smallest child on the team. The only child younger than him is actually one of the oldest on the team. The point is my son is one of the youngest and smallest children on the team of 14 children. That is something that we do not have a problem with, it is what it is.

As I was saying, my son started playing when he was still 4 years old. Being four, his skills aren't that of some of his team mates, meaning he doesn't throw the ball quite as far, does not always catch the ball, etc. I will say that he is not at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to playing, but he is definitely not the star at this point either. In fact I would say that he is in the middle if I had to compare him to his team mates.

I am one of three team moms for his team, so I have been at every practice helping out where I am needed. At the last few practices, though I have been there, I have been pre-occupied with my younger son because I could not arrange childcare for him. Well two weeks ago my husband and I noticed that my son started having problems throwing the ball. For the life of me I could not figure out what had happened. B went from being able to throw the ball relatively decently to hesitating and shuffling his feet so much that it looked plain strange and awkward when he would throw the ball. During this time, we were not able to work with him outside of practice or the house because there was a lot of other things going on (me having the stomach flu, rain, B having the stomach flu, rain, and more rain) that prevented us from doing any legnthy type of practice. So for a few weeks we were kinda dumbstruck. My husband did however, practice throwing with him inside the house (they were soft balls that would not damage anything). Hubby practiced with B and what little time he/we spent did seem to help. I would shout out little pointers from the couch B would listen, hubby would reinforce. It was all good.

Two weeks ago I was at practice again with my younger son, when I happend to notice that one of the fathers was working with my son. I was about 30 or so yards away as I looked at the two of them working together. I see this man, whom I really don't know instructing my son on how to throw the ball. I see him pick up the ball and tell my son to SHUFFLE HIS FEET not once not twice but three times before he throws the ball. WTF?!? All of the confusion on why B was having problems throwing the ball was no more. I finally got it. So me being me, walks over to where they are and as politely as I can start talking to B, but also to the father. I casually say, "B, when you are throwing the ball you are taking too long to throw it, you need to throw it as fast as you can." My son says to me, "Okay mommy." The father looks at me and snaps saying, "I am trying to teach him the right way to throw the ball!" I must have looked at him with the most blank and surprised look ever. I stayed silent for a good couple of seconds and then told him, "Oh?" And he came back with, "See he is throwing the ball straight now." Me, "I see," in a really that is what is happening tone of voice because my son was throwing straight until he became your pet project. At this time the kids were all called in by the coach for some batting practice, I sent my son on his merry way, but looked at this dad who was looking at me with the type of look that you can not mistake. You know the look that is basically saying what does she know, a woman trying to teach this little boy how to throw. That was the look. I was so stunned by this exchange, I really did not know what else to say so I just walked away.

I know I could have been a be-atch and told this man to #*%& off, but children were present and like I said I was stunned. I was also insulted by his sexist attitude. First off this man was rude, he undermined me as a parent in front of my child. Fortunately my son did not really understand this mans blatant disregard for me. Second, the man does not know me or my background. Who was he to judge my abilities?

What this man did not know at the time was that I, a woman, have been playing baseball/softball for the majority of my life. When I was my son's age I played baseball up until junior high school, that's right baseball. When I got to high school I played softball for one year. I have never been away from the sport for more than a year or so at a time and the last time I did not play was because I was pregnant and the doctor told me that I could not play during pregnancy, not that I didn't want to. Another thing that this mad did not know was that before I had children I was in education, not just in the class room teaching, I was a physical education teacher to elementary school age children. Yes, I taught elementary school PE. You should have seen the look on his face when he found all of this out, not from me mind you.

This man was offensive for many reasons, but the thing that gets me is this, I am very reluctant to coach other children on the team unless asked to by their parents or the coach. I would never go up to a parent and tell them they are doing things wrong on any subject matter (unless health and safety were a concern), I am not that child's parent. I know from having lived life, that parents no matter what their personal skill levels, will get offended especially if someone tries to teach their children another way to do something and are treated rudely when this person is doing so, especially when they do take the time to work with their kids and are at practices with their kids. As bad as you may want to show kids something you think is better, you sometimes have to bite your tongue and just let it go. The only one that should be showing the kids what to do at practice is the coach and anyone he decided should be helping the kids or that kids very own parent, not just the person who went to the local sports store, purchased a glove, can catch and kinda throw, comes to practice, and plays themselves off as a coach. Because you did this doesn't mean you are capable of teaching kids (although getting a degree saying you can doesn't either). But the thing is this, you don't just assume that your way of doing things is the right way and don't assume that because someone doesn't fit the "profile" or the stereotype doesn't mean they aren't. In other words just because I am a woman doesn't mean I don't know anything about sports or physical activities.

I could go on and on about this, but hey this is a knitting blog. And now for your knitting pleasure:

Friday, April 07, 2006

I Have Starsky, Where's Hutch?

I have a finished project. I have a finished project. WooHoo!!! I actually finished Starsky on Sunday, but it has been such a hectic week that I did not have time to take photos. I kept waiting for hubby to get home from work early enough to take the pictures, but it just never seemed to happen. Then I realized that one we own a tri-pod and two our camera has a self-timer mode. So after about one hundred gazillion self portraits, here are the two that are the best:

Back shot of the sweater.

Front of the sweater
I have actually been wearing the sweater all week. I love it! It is warm, but not too warm. The only thing that I have noticed while wearing it is that the ribbing around the front and collar tend to pull the sweater up and make it a little shorter. I think if I block it again and with a little wear, it will soften up a bit.
It was a little weird towards the end of this project. I started feeling a little sad in some ways. I know I am a dork, but I was feeling sad because I didn't know exactly what I was going to work on next. This happens to me at the end of every project I do. Remember, I am not the knitter who has multiple projects going at a time. In fact I just graduated from only having one to having two, a home and a travel project and that is only because of this project that I just finished. So bear with me. Anyway, I was feeling a little sad and then when I was working on the belt hubby asks me if I could knit something for one of his co-workers daughter. Instantly I was happy again because this would give me a chance to try a couple of techniques I have been looking forward to. I will post about them later.
Oh, and by the way sorry about the photos, it was very early and I had no caffeine in my system, you're just lucky I am awake enough to have realized and been able to edit my jammies out of the back shot.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy 8th Anniversary!

I can hardly believe it, but guess what today is. Today is my eight year wedding anniversary. That's right, eight years ago I was walking down the isle. It has been an amazing experience thus far. Look at us now.

I can't wait to see what the next eight has in store for us.

Happy Anniversary Honey, I love you.