Monday, February 27, 2006

a "hairy" problem

ok, gang, i need some help. i'm having trouble with my hair. for those of you who know me personally, you know how long my mop is. the last time i measured, it was 38". that was a year ago. it's down to my hips . this is the lower half, which has been combed out. for half an hour. and i have a headache from doing it. here's the problem. i have a knot on the back of my neck that is about the size of my two fists together. my big problem is that i cannot comb my hair out wet, and i have little time to do it when it's dry (which is quite rare. i put it in clips when i go to work, and then let it down after i'm home (around 8 as a rule) so it's not dry by the time i go to bed). i do only wash my hair every other day (my scalp dictates this, i would let it go longer if i could (my hair doesn't get oily, and actually stays in good shape for 3 or 4 days (now if only the scalp would cooperate))), but somehow, i have precious little time to do more than a rake through. hence the knot. i can't braid it before i go to bed, because it frizzes up around my head, and lately, it's been knotting up at the back of my neck when i don't braid it. i have a distinct feeling all this is related to the shampoo i switched to a month and a half ago. it's paul mitchell, moisturise. the one i used before was "clean" and it worked. however, they say to switch off on your shampoos. so i did. more sorrier, i couldn't be. my scalp is unhappy (dry & itchy (and this is MOISTURIZING SHAMPOO, FOLKS), and i can't seem to tame the frizzies.

any body got any recommendations? i'm in desperate need of help, because right now the next step is contact locks of love, and let them have the whole shooting mess. Mark would kill me, though. he keeps telling me "if you cut your hair, i cut mine." however, his hair, while almost as long as mine, is very easily combed wet, and being curly, shouldn't be combed often anyway. and i'm about to tell him "do waht you want, i can't stand this mop anymore."

thick, fine hair. and i do mean thick. i can't use regular ponytail holders. i have to buy the extra thick ones with no metal clasps, in order to put in a ponytail, which i don't do often, because it doesn't pull it up enough.

the average human loses 100 hairs per day. mostly unnoticed. unless you're me. then 100 hairs could create a small wig for someone on chemo, if trimmed properly, and used wisely. imagine 100 3ft hairs laying around. yeah, my vacuum cleaner hates me.

again, any recommendations: a new brush, shampoo, (i like my conditioner, it's always served me well), a new way to deal with it at night? anything? please? i do like my hair, but right now i'm not in love with it.

ok, you may resume your normal blog-reading, i'm done whining now

i didn't make it, but look at this!

the only "olympic" square is the orange one in the upper tight, but hey, i accomplished something else just as admirable! the other 5 squares were all done within a 36 hour period. as soon as i realized i had no real chance to finish, i decided that my personal goal wasn't as important as supporting my square team over at AC4C, and picked up my hook and whipped out these babies just before the deadline. and it will help make blankets for a bunch more kids this way. i'm a mother, i'm supposed to be self-sacrificing, lol.

meanwhile amie enticed me into ordering this stuff from amy, whom i believe was my sock yarn exchange pal (lemme know if i'm wrong!). amie had gotten some fiber from a friend, and had ordered some as well, so i had to go check amy's site (are we confused with all the amies yet?). and this stuff just called my name. and she had a full pound! who can resist a full POUND of handpainted wool that MATCHES? see, i told ya. i don't know what i'm doing with this yet, but it will be mine. unnerstand?
After my fingers yelled uncle from all the squares, i couldn't just SIT here, now could i? this is a chemo cap (probably for a toddler) for ACH (Arkansas Children's Hospital) which is AC4C's project for this month. i used the prize yarn i won for the crochet contest, and some amazingly soft old dupont acrylic yarn that i had used for one of the squares. i'm still trying to figure out why it was so soft. the inside of the hat is very fuzzy, and will be nicely soft for some poor little head.

Remember this? well, it's no more. i wasn't terribly happy with the 2x2 ribbing. it kept stretching out, while the rest of the sock was comfy. so i frogged it. that, and i need the size 1 needles for the sockpal000za socks. i MIGHT have another set around here, but that would ask me to look, and i'm not in the mood, lol. jaywalker will happen, just not right now. maybe it'll be summer knitting, lol.

ok, now for some amazingly stupid stuff. yes, liam is involved, lol. what in the world possesses a child to eat 3/4 of a pound of dried apricots? i know he was hungry, and he loves dried apricots, but good grief! i definitely need to work on moderation with this child. he had a belly ache the rest of the day, and took 2 hours to type a short keyboarding drill, because he kept having to run to the bathroom. well, he did learn! he says he'll never do that again (although he will still probably eat dried apricots, just not in that kind of volume!) when he finally abandoned the computer chair after finishing his assignment, i sat down, and had to get back up. not only did i need air freshener (i think they should call it refreshener, the air was just fine here until mr apricot decided to sit down), but i had to let the seat cool down! it was literally above body temperature! wow, that boy is his grandfather's grandson!

poor mark ended up with the crappy flu that everyone seem sto be getting, and he got ALL aspects of it. i never puked, but god my belly hurt. sean puked on two different days. mark, on the other hand, threw up all friday night, and did the bathroom 2-step as well, was fine saturday & sunday, then puked at work this morning. apparently that's the only time he did, but he was a bit wobbly all day. he's sleeping it off right now.

and yes, i'm about to be a commercial, but i don't care. there is a new pizza place here in florence, called Firehouse Wings & Pizza. Those are not the only things they serve. however, the wings (which come in 1st, 2nd, & 3rd alarm, as well as general alarm (those are by special request only)) are quite tasty. and this is from a woman, who in general does not like hotwings. it's not the heat that bothers me, it's the frigging vinegar. i find no redeeming value in hot vinegar (this comes from working in a sportsbar and having to heat the damned shit on a daily basis). these have real flavor! we have'nt ventured beyond 2nd alarm, because those make Liam, my chilehead extraordinaire, take pause. i'm a little frightened of how hot the general alarms would be. And the pizza. oh my. the pizza. another fallout of working in the sportsbar was making pizzas in a wood-fired oven, and being generally unsatisified with the bigbox pizza places that are nearby. this pizza is fantastic. they don't over sauce, they use tons of cheese, and they have a nice variety of toppings, without being confusing. They also have a nice choice of specialty pizzas as well. we got shrimp & pineapple, and toasted raviolis, and right now between the 3 of us, there's 2 pieces of pizza and 1 toasted ravioli left. and i had 3 pieces of pizza. they don't do delivery (yet) but with them being only 4 blocks from my house, i can live with hopping in the car and fetching, particularly when i call i only have to wait 15 minutes. amazing stuff, i'll tell ya. Back story on this place: the owner really did work for the omaha fire department for a number of years, and when he retired, decided to give back to his local area. being my area, florence. man, this stuff is fantastic, and i hope he's here for a lot of years!

ok, now you can breathe, the commercial is over, lol

You might be a redneck if you've ever left a pair of underwear in the woods.
. . . in preparation for a romantic evening, ou stop buy the grocery store to buy a bottle of Mr. Bubble (um, ok, i don't like this thought (and yes, this was valentine's day)).
. . . There is a roll of toilet paper in your glove compartment.
. . . you make windchimes out of frozen orange juice lids (hey, it's recycling, that's being a hippy, not a redneck!)
. . . you've totaled every car you've owned.
. . . you'll answer to more than one nickname.
. . . you have orange road cones in your livingroom (ok steph, fess up!)
. . . your toenail clippers say craftsman on the side (wow!)
. . . you videotape fishing shows (my first ex would make me watch babe winkleman. i don't understand a man who WANTS to be called babe!)
. . . you've never stayed in a hotel without stealing something.
. . . you've ever videotaped a dog loving on someone's leg (and they pay money for this on AFV!)
. . . your favorite kind of wine is strawberry (deana carter might object to that!)
. . . your fence doubles as your clothesline (or deck? titter? chuckle? (i'm leaving now))

What i'm reading now:
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King (booktape in the house)
The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne (booktape in the car) i may actually have to move this into the house, because it's been hitting on some subjects i would really rather the boys not know about, lol, but oh my god, it's fucking fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuny! i've got the next two books as well, so i'll be continuing the fun.
The Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings. Amazingly enough, even though i'm taking my sweet time with this, i'm able to place myself right back in when i do pick the book up.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This is good, but if this is a prediction of the future, it's frightening. Year of our Ford? indeed.
The Vampire Vittorio by Anne Rice. I've been reading this at work, but they're cracking down again, so this may just come back in and be read.

I'll catch y'all on the flip side!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

so much for that thought

i've seen several posts asking if theyy're giving medals in tin, or aluminum. do they have stone? i don't think i even qualify for any usable metal. sigh. not only did it take me forever to finish the yellow square you saw on sunday, we ended up not having fried foods, because shortly after i got there, my stomach got very upset, and i basically developed a lovely case of the crap flu that has been going around the world, i swear. i ended up sleeping until mark woke me up at 730 and told me he'd fed the boys pizza, and that i needed to take them home. i came home, crashed on the sofa at 8, and slept intermittently until 1, when i got up and actually went to bed. it amazes me how the travel channel can replay the same show so many times ( or maybe it was an all alaska night?) anyway, so i'm so dreadfully behind, that i don't think i would even qualify for the silver (one day late) or bronze (2 days late) that have been bandied about at stephanie's, in the comments today.

so, do you want to see progress? ok, here goes.

this is the square i finished last night. it was started sunday, just before i was felled by that foul bug. this is redheart giant, i think toddler print? too lazy to go check my swatching notes, lol. now, the part that isn't apparent, is that it's done in a chevron pattern. you can't see it here, but it does show when you look at it. yes, it took me a while to complete. i'm not thrilled. however, there is this:
This was started last night (i stayed up late cuz i knew i was taking today off!) and finished it around 5. so i'm well on my way on # 9. still, there's 3 1/2 days left. to quote brenda dayne's opener: KNIT, KNIT LIKE THE WIND. sigh. dont' think it's gonna happen. sigh.
And now, my lovely readers, have a favor to ask. this is the sock yarn for my scopal000za pal. take it for granted that it's much bluer than this.not so neon. i've been casting around for a decent pattern to use, and i think i've narrowed the choices down to 3. the jaywalker that everyone knows and loves (do i really need to link it?). Pomatomus, from knitty. Wyvern by Marnie. sooooo, tell me what ya think.

Crochet Calendar:

2/9: Valentine's Day Tissue Cover. ok, corny! and the little blurb with it? "perfect for the holiday most likey to bring you to tears!". ok, whatever. not even gonna waste my time on this one.
2/10: Crocheted Heart. This isn't worked in the round, but like a v. cute.
2/11-12: Beaded Heart Bracelet. this is cute! and a "new stitch, called front bead crochet. may have to check this out further (when i'm awake, maybe?)
2/13: Desert Flower Crochet Thong Panty. not going there at all, ok?
2/14: Heart EArrings. um, same heart as 2/10, except with a little loop for earring wires.
2/15-16: Daisy & Rose Lace Collar. very very pretty, and qutie a challenge. just one problem. what would i do with it?
2/17: Pink Lace Afghan. sort of mile-a-minute, but with flowers joined together, and then crocheted around the strips of flowers. very pretty, but can't be terribly warm.
2/18-19: High Stylin' Pillow. ok, don't get me wrong, i have nothing against pillows. i use one or two a day, in fact. but waht in the FUCK is the deal with knit & crocheted pillows lately? every issue of any mag i've run across has one! for god's sake, knock it off!
2/20: Lacewing Network Scarf. this is made with Solomon's knots. i don't know waht those are, but the scarf is pretty!
2/21: Red Riding Hood. this is cute, but for goodness sakes, don't put it on a child over 4. please? for me?
2/22: Ear Cozy Headband. this is made with lion brand chenille, and worked in the back loops only, until you trim it. i 'spose it makes it fluffier? meh, does nothing for me.

What i'm reading
Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Vol III by Stephen King (booktape in the car, and it's freaking liam out, he's obviously not ready for ole SK yet)
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King (booktape in house, yes, i finally finished off Armand)
Why Girls are Weird. definitley a riot, keep an eye out for the contest.
The Vampire Vittorio by Anne Rice. this vampire is not related to any of the others.
The Queen Sorceress by David Eddings. Still plugging away, lol. i own this, so it gets put aside for the ones that are overdue at the library, lol.

Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

another one bites the dust

i finished this square thursday morning. i just forgot to post it, lol. this makes 5. this was done with the olive woolease (which looks a little more olive in this picture). the other is the same charcoal grey woolease i used for mark's sweater from last year (which is still not done, maybe i should have joined natalie's ufolympics) (don't worry, i have TONS).

I finished this square this afternoon. as you can tell, i'm behind. sigh. my arm was sore friday night, and saturday, i went to the dentist. i did knit in the office (and the chair, during the dead bits, like waiting for the novocaine to take hold), but they gave me tylenol 3, and said to take it before the novocaine wore off. as a result, i spent most of the afternoon sleeping. needless to say, i didn't take any more, and still slept like a rock last night. right now the only problem is a slight tenderness to the filling, and a very sore jaw (this tooth was WAY in the back, sigh). And yes, virginia, there is snow in omaha. not much, mind you, but snow none the less. which means i had to wear sneakers, sigh. blech. this miniature snowman was built by sean thursday afternoon. it's been so cold (it was a high of 1 on friday, ugh!) that i do believe this little bugger is ice now. isn't he cute?

i'll be back later, we're going over to watch Nascar with mark, and eat fattening fried foods (love having a commercial fryer!)


Friday, February 17, 2006


last night was stash swap at SoP. i think i brought home about twice as much yarn as i took, and i didn't bring any of mine back home, lol. the rust red is some irish tweed wool, that had been purchased in the 90's from a store in lincoln, ne, called miller and paine. the labels are cardboard tubes! the other yarn is alpaca silk. i have some in a dark purple and this stuff is delicious. i may or may not use this for a4a. the tipperary tweed is definitely going that route.

This is almost all of the rest i garnered. the redhear is for a4a, obviously. the other rust is unknown fiber content (thought to be woolease thick & quick, but not certain, so this will be earmarked for dulaan. the pretty stuff at the bottom is an alpaca blend which i'm thinking may be a4a, or dulaan, i dunno. i also got a small skein of dk weight alpaca, that one poor woman discovered she was allergic to and had to give up. this is nice stuff, and is local, too! done in fort calhoun which is about 9 miles north of omaha. that is going to be another night, lol

and my wonderful secret pal sent me a lovely valentine's day package, which arrived today. i think she did pretty good, considering this came from the UK & all. the yarn is Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb (50% wool/50%silk, and boy is this delish!) with a curly wurly scarf pattern. i've been wanting to make this, and now i have the perfect excuse! the heart thing next to the yarn is a deck of valentine cards (very cute!) and then the package below those is swiss chocolate. it was so cold today that the packing crackled when i brought it in (it was 1 degree @ 430 this afternoon), so i haven't sampled the chocolate yet. i didn't want to break my teeth, considering i ahve to go to the dentist tomorrow. and, of course, Knitting. i love this mag! this is the second one she's sent me, and the third i've gotten from a SP (this one and the last were both from the UK). i love you guys! thanks a ton, nonni, i love it! also, there was a sock monkey card (how did you know i have a secret passion for sock monkeys? my grandmother made them for me when i was a child, and i still ahve them!). in the card, she said that she was accumulating my last package, and that she would have to send this one by the slow boat, because of the size. the size? the SIZE?!?!?!?!? what in the world is she sending me? i can't wait! i've got a package assembled for my SP, now i need to box it up, and ship it to her. i hope she likes it. she's been away from her blog because of family issues, but she has contacted me via email, and i know she got the last package just fine, and loved it.

the funny part about hte swap was the fact that i had brought some yarn for show & tell, and everybody was "are you SURE you don't want to swap this?" i had to hide it, lol.

since blogger has been eating posts, i have to re-catch up on the knit bits calendar, sigh.

2/11-12: Knitting is a tentative process. at any oint a firm tug on an unsecured piece of yarn could unravel the entire work. because knitting uses no knots, every stitch is little more than a twisted and twined bit of yarn making up a simple tenuous web. when the work is finished, though, those webs coalesce into a garment rugged enought o withstand a lifetime of wear. - from Zen and the Art of Knitting by Bernadette Murphy.

2/13: Once you know how to put stitches onto a needle (cast on) and how to make the knit stitch, the purl stitch, and to bind off, you have the basic apparatus for knitting. beyond this, everything is a variation of the knit & purl stitches. you can create cable and intricate designs by changing the way you form these two basic stitches. multiply these varations with the variations of yarns available and you've opened a world of unlimited creative possibilities. - from A Passion for Knitting by Nancy J Thomas & Ilana Rabinowitz.

2/14: The legend goes it is bad luck to knit a sweater for a boyfriend, as it guarantees that the relationship will end. if you've spent a month or more working long and hard on a sweater only to have him not appreciate it enough or not wear it very often, you might catch a lingering resentment and wind up dumping the ungrateful lout. - from Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook by Debbie Stoller

2/15: Working with natural dyes is hard, but the colors are beautiful and unpredictable. if i were getting the same color every tiem i would have been out of business a long time ago. just some of the things that can influence the natural dyeing process are the chemical and water content of the soil where the plant grew, the genetics of the particular plant, and even the weather on dyeing day. - Luisa Gelenter quoted in Knitting in America by Melanie D Falick.

2/16: For instant gratification, there is nothign easier or more satisfying than knitting a scarf. no pesky increases or decreases of stitches are required. scarves can be as long or short as you want. there are thousands of types and colors or yarns - so no two scarves ever have to be the same. scarves truly are a knitter's best friend. - from Celebrity Scarves by Abra Edelman

2/17: Dishcloth Pattern: Use 1 2-ounce ball of cotton worsted weight yarn (which i think is the only use for such yarn, it's too heavy for much else) and 1 pair of size 7 needles. 1) Cast on 32 stitches. 2) Knit 72 rows of garter stitch (knitting every row). 3) Bind off. 4) Using your yarn needle, weave all loose ends into the ends of the cloth and snip off. 5) Scrub away!

What i'm reading now.

i finished the time traveler's wife. michelle said i would need a box of tissues, but ya know what? the last 1/3 of the book alluded to henry's death, and even the last scene of the book. i wasn't surprised, and was actually comforted by some of the scenes. a very good book. however, as a substitute for diana gabaldon, i don't think so. i suppose diana is just a unique writer.

Nightmares & Dreamscapes, volume III (booktape in the car)

The Vampire Armand (book tape in the house, i save this for when the kids are in bed, so i have limited listening time)

Why Girls are Weird by Pamela Ribon (wait for the contest!)

The Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings (yes, i've started again in earnest, since i finished TTW)

i'll be away tomorrow, as we're spending the night at mark's. and yes, i'm officially behind, i finished off the last square this morning, and i'm only half way through the next. my arm hurts, ok?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

yeah i know

this has two shades of red. how was i to know that half a skein of supersaver redheart wouldn't make a 12" square? and deb, this is the last of the redheart that you sent me. still for charity! i'm a bit scared that i wont' make it. according to stephanie's ticker on her blog, we are over 1/3 of the way through the games. and this is square #4. i know we can all do the math. sigh. here's hoping for weekends and next wednesday off to remedy that situation.

oh & by the way, C is for candy. i know, i'm really late with my c post, but hey!

this is (almost) all the candy mark got for valentine's day. this is an accumulation between me & the boys. the m&m's i bought because he wanted to put some in the ginormous (yes, that is a word; me, the published author, says so, so :P) batch of chex mix, and walgreens had valentine's stuff on sale monday night. the miniatures are official candy from me for valentine's. the spongebob is from liam. what's missing is the russel stover heart with the guitar playing snoopy keychain. that was from sean.

and what did i get for valentine's day? a lotta love. oh trust me, there were a few material things, but having both my boys home (no matter how much i bitch) and my fiance firmly in my corner means a ton.

ok, now for the bitching portion of the post, lol.

please, please, please explain to me why a child will stick his finger down his throat so he can say he threw up and not go to school? and no, it wasn't liam. sean puked (no fever, and no protestations when i accused him of it, because of a previous conversation), and claims he can't go to school.

(ok, it's official, i'm pissed. i typed a whole bunch of stuff, and blogger ate half my post. you'll get the rest later, i'm whipped)

it's hip to be square

gee, i seem to be quoting musical lyrics for my titles lately. here's the latest in the square-athon. this is woolease chunky in some green. it looks sage in this pic, but it's more olive. a very fast knit. i'm on to the red garter stitch just cuz i didn't want to fool around too much.

on the home front, mark's blood pressure is down. not as low as i'd like to see (the bottom number was 84, which is better, but still a little worrying). granted he's only been on the medication for a week, so we'll see what happens. he keeps telling me he needs my doctor's phone number, so he can call and make an appointment, but when i offer it to him it's "tell me later, i don't have time right now." hmmm. well he'd better, because he didn't make an appointment with the people he's been seeing. i sense a nagging about to occur.

Knit Bits
2/6: I love the way multicolored yarns soften the edge of a piece or pick up colors from different sections and tie themt ogether harmoniously. Once i took up sock knitting, i began to use the yarns more and more. because of hte sock's samll size, the colors staged out in a pleasing and ever fascinating way. - from The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook by Lynne Vogel (i own this book, and it rocks! it takes you from dyeing to spinning to actual sock construction. amazing)

2/7: The town of Andover, MA, adjudged knitting a productive substitute for "larking about," and in 1642 decreed: "The Court doe hereupon order and decree that in every towne the chosen men are to take care of such as are sett to keep cattle that they sett to some other employment withall as spinning upon the rock, knitting and weaving tape etc. that boyes and girls will be not su ffered to converse together."
- from No Idle Hands by Anne. L. Macdonald

2/8: Mittens are for fun. They should be knitted in colors that make you smile.

2/9: The alpaca is a relative of the llama and it is found mostly int he high mountains of Peru, above 14000 feet. alpaca is long-stapled (meaning it has relatively long fibers) and silky, but not as elastic as wool, which leads to more stretch of the garment over time. Many alpaca yarns are found in their natural color (there are 22 officially classified colors). - from Knitting with Novelty Yarns by Laura Militzer Bryant and Barry Klein.

2/10: One day Winnie asked "Do you think you would have any use for a few baby dolls in the clinic?" That's the church health center in memphis, TN, wehre we provide health care for the working uninsured and their children. We have 30000 patients. winnie brought out one of her dolls. "i've made these for years for all of my grandchildren, who are all now grown." the doll was incredibly cute. her husband, george, piped up, "she spends all her spare time knitting them." winnie has donated hundreds of dolls to the clinic over the years. the dolls enchant and distract our littler patients. indeed, some families iwht many children have several of her dolls. - scott morris quoted in KnitLit, edited by linda roghaar and molly wolf.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

by george, i just might make it!

square #2 is done! this is ALL crossed stitches, so i had to cast on 72 to get 12". and hard on the hands, too! having this one done this early makes me happy, because none of the others is this tough. right now i'm working on a basketweave pattern in olive green woolease chunky. only 40 stitches cast on for 12", lol.

I got some delicious yarn yesterday, but i can't post it, cuz it's for my secret pal. i'll tell ya what, though, this lady does LOVELY WORK. hand dyed, and mmmmmmm boy, scrumptious.

i also got an order from amazon yesterday, but i can't show that either, cuz it's for my secret pal, lol. she's gonna LOVE me. i need to get this assembled so i can ship it to her. her birthday is early next month, so i want it to get to her before then.


2/6: Natural Pillow. this is mixed fibers. each fiber gets a different knit pattern. kinda cool, but i'd like to know the fascination with knit pillows lately. heck, i was watching Trading Spaces saturday night, and one lady knit a pillow for the room they were working on.

2/7-8: Kokonut Baby Cardigan & Hat. The big focus on this is, of course, the yarn. however, it's not just a simple sweater, it is done in 2x2 ribbing, which can make things interesting. however, they did the sample in white. how boring.

2/9: Felted Beret. this is cute, but why do they do dark colors on a dark background? no artistic talent with some of these pics, i swear. and it's not even on a live model!

2/10: Himalaya Ribbed Wrist Warmer. This is cute, but once again, the focus is on the yarn. it's the recycled silk, which i hear is harder to work with. and the thumb is just a hole. hmmm.

2/11-13: I'm Twining For You Socks. This is using a Swedish technique called Tvaandstickning, where you use both ends of the yarn. looks fascinating, might be a possibility for Sockpal000za.

2/14: Folk Art Knitted Heart. imagine that, hearts on Valentine's Day. cute & kitschy. oh by the way, happy valentine's day, and for those without a valentine, will you be mine? just know we all love you!

Have a lovely day! (and yes, i know i owe y'all a c post, i'm working on it!)

Monday, February 13, 2006

cue olympic kettle drums

and this is my first display of olympic knitting. that's one completed square, and 1/2 of another one. i'm doing a simple square and a tougher one at the same time,t o give my hands a bit of variety.

speaking of variety, i had to rip out 1 1/2 inches of the jaywalkers, cuz i apparently dropped 2 stitches while trying the blasted things on. i'll tell you what, you haven't reached the seventh level of hell til you have to pick up 70 some stitches on size 1 needles. sigh. i'm glad i had my size c hook.

more later (i hope)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

olympic glory (at least i hope so)

well, things are going ok. i'm not ahead, and just barely behind. i'm actually working on 2 squares, since one is hard on my wrists (a kind of crossed stitch herringbone looking thing). the other one is seed stitch. sorry, no pics, yet, the herringbone one is at mark's and i want to take group photos (i'm gonna be posting my pics to the frappr map that stephanie has up for all of us olympic knitters. not everyone has put a pin on it yet (when i looked a few minutes ago there were 1444, andi believe that we are up to 4000, if not more.

liam is a little shit. he's behind on all his homework again. so he spent the weekend doing all of it. mark has been going into the school when he picks liam up, and talks to his teachers. gets all the assignments that liam is missing, and then makes liam sit until they're done. as of right now, all he has left is social studies (which he forgot at school, imagine that!) and a power point presentation for literature. of course, since liam was unable to complete this on the computer by the deadline, he gets to do it in poster form now. ah, such is life.

work is it's usual annoying self. i'm allowed 24 attendance points, and i've got 14.5 right now. i got a verbal warning (ooooo, i'm frightened), and my supervisor and i looked to see when i was going to have points drop off, and it's not gonna happen til may. sigh. i suppose i should use vacation in lieu of points, but i'm trying to save it up for the wedding. mark has put down for the week after off, for the honeymoon. i'm going to try for the week before and the week after, so i can finish up those last minute details (like the shawl i ahven't started yet, sigh).

you might be a redneck if you put ketchup on chinese food (oh my god, the evil demon sauce!)
. . . you plan your wedding for when the fish aren't biting (i probably have upset a ton of people, because i'm sure sept 16 is NOT a by week for nebraska or iowa state, lol)
. . . you think cappuccino is a tv detective.
. . . your wife bought you motor oil for your birthday.
. . . there is a tree growing out of a car in yoru yard.
. . . you own a pair of knee-high moccasins (i thought that made you a hippie, not a redneck?)

what i'm reading

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Neffennegger. i like this! it's definitely interesting, but i think i already have a hint of what is going to happen when henry is 43.
Girls are Weird by Pamela Ribon. i won this book in a contest that Natalie had a long time back, asking why girls are weird. i won, lol. she finally sent the book to me, and the plan is to pass it on to a contest winner here. i'll post the contest when i'm done reading it (it's pretty good (and weird) so far)
The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice. (book tape in the house, i've got 4 tapes to go!)
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (book tape in the car, i'm on the second book, and i think the voice is michael york (and lestat is french, isn't that interesting?)
The Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings. this book is on semi-hold, since i'm trying to finish book #1, since i believe it was on hold for me, and will probably be unrenewable.

knit on, fellow olympians! (i watched the men's single luge last night. has anybody tested these guys' mental stability? i have serious doubts about a man who will ride a sled downhill at upwards of 88 mph, feet first)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

i get so lonely baby, i get so lonely

grab the tissues. i'm feeling blue tonight.

i have a Migraine. yes, that is a capital M. and i can't sleep. ugh. i hate being alone when i'm sick (and as far as i'm concerned, this qualifies. when your body has decided that light, sound, and food are the enemy, and that 95 degrees is chilly (ok, i'm exaggerating, but ihave the thermostat set at 75 (gasp, such profligate waste!), and i'm still freezing))) (oh my, triple parentheses, i need help), and that's what i am. the boys and i don't spend the night at mark's during the week, because it's so hard to get them going here, i can't imagine trying to do it there with all the supplies here. so, i sit here, miserable, and blue, and ill.

i even took a sick day, because i felt so crappy this morning. and i did nothing but knit. i made the cloud hat over at Ryan's for the Dulaan project, except i had to do some adjustments because the original pattern calls for one strand of worsted, and one strand of laceweight mohair, and i used two worsted weight strands of mohair blend, patons divine and lion brand jiffy to be exact. the jiffy is iffy (this is worse than drunk blogging!), but the divine is exactly that. so incredibly soft, and not too clingy, like some mohair, but just buttery soft and smooth. i'll buyt his stuff again, at $4.99 for 142 yards (100 grams). i like. but i started the hat last night because i was sick of squaring, and felt that working on my jaywalkers was a bit selfish, since i had predominantly devoted february to charity knitting, so i hatted. and it's comfy too! i'm tempted to keep itmyself, except it's tan. hmm. oh well.

speaking of charity, and olympics (what a segue!), i'm on swatch #11. this is in that olive green woolease chunky i was talking about. there's interesting bits of red and blue and yellow tossed in for flavor, and i like. i'm doing these in 6" swatches, so i can sew them together, and send one extra 12" square to lisa, the queen of squares, for a4a. blah. i hate tiny squares. the 12" ones are gonna be like washcloths.

i would like a little advice, ehre on the eve of the olympics (winter & knitting). should i do the complicated patterns first, and save the easy, like the garter and seed for the downhill slope (every pun intended, peoples), or do the easy ones first, so i have a good speedy start? what would you do? (as opposed to WWJD. i'm sure jesus appreciates my charitable efforts, but as to the order of my knitting? i'm sure he's got bigger fish to fry)

and it's calendar time. how about crochet?
2/6: Egg Coaster. this is to go with the toast coaster from last weekend. this would make a darling kitchen set, wouldn't it? a nice house warming gift, and a quick one at that (know anybody who's just bought ahouse?)
(and i just noticed that monday was Waitangi Day in New Zealand. anybody knwo what that is?)
2/7: Heart Crocheted Rug. this is made with fabric strips. i've done this before, and while it's nice, it's murder on the hands. maybe make a small one for the bathroom, and put those non-skid thingies on it? and we seem to have slid into the valentine week.
2/8: Lacy Bullion Heart. This is a "granny" square (if you work it in the round, as far as i'm concerned it's a granny). very cute, might be one for ac4c (hear that, lisa?)

What i'm reading
Man of My Dreams by Sherrilyn Kenyon et al. i know i've been reading this a long time, but it's work reading, and i get to read about 3 sentences between calls. and i've enjoyed the other authors enough that i think i'm gonna look 'em up on the library website and see if they have any other works out.
Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings. this is going very slowly, since i've got a book that i KNOW is on the reserved list and i HAVE to finish it in the 3 weeks time. this is
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffennegger. thanks to the ladies who recommended this to me. it took me a little bit of time to get used to the way this is written, but now that i get it, i love it!
The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. yeah, i know, i'm on a vampire kick. just wait, i'm into stephen king, next! (booktape in the car)
The Vampire Armand by Anne rice (booktape in the house) the house booktapes tend to go slower, because i usually just listen to these at night after the boys have gone to bed, because sometimes they cover ticklish bits. i did listen today whilst the kidlets were in school (blessed relief!) and got through 3 tapes! woot!

ok, now i lay my weary head to rest, i'll catch y'all later (and yes, alcariel, i'll be there tomorrow night, with my friend chris again (email me and i'll explain))

Sunday, February 05, 2006

i'm so behind

ok, i know, i've been lax about posting again. so, here goes.

mark's foot is doing very well, his blood pressure isn't. he goes back tuesday to see what they'll say.

sean is doing better. the boys spent friday night away, and they were very well behaved. i think the meds finally kicked in. the clincher will be monday when he goes back to school (he were out friday).

work is boring as usual, and now they're keeping tabs on daily allocated time. i got a slip in my folder that i had fallen below the 90% mark (by .24, sheesh). i always thought it was averaged. gee, maybe that day i had to pee alot? who knows with this lunatic asylum. gee, let's treat us all like we're 12 years old, and have no sense of responsibility. sometimes i get up to go pee out of sheer boredom, because we're not allowed to do anything at our desks, now. sigh.

i spent friday and saturday night at mark's, so i've been behind on my blog reading as well. we're going over to his folks this afternoon to watch iowa state play basketball (i don't know who the opponent is, lol), and then coming back to mark's to watch the superbowl. i could care less, actually, and haven't watched it in years, but the boys (liam in particular) want to watch it, and who knows, maybe the commercials will make it worth it. i'm taking lots of knitting.

speaking of knitting, i FINALLY got something done with the grey yarn i've been wrestling with for 3 days. i did a crossed stitch basketweave looking thing. it looks pretty good. and i'm almost done with #9.

i went to hobby lobby yesterday, and they had flowers on sale for half off, and i've been waiting for a sale like this, so i bought a TON of flowers. hey erin, we got some work to do! lol. i also bought a skein of chunky wool-ease, in an olive green, and that is going to go for squares as well. those will work up quick, lol. i jsut have to figure out what i'm going to do with them. i'm thinking i'll do 2 different squares in each of the olive green and charcoal, and swatch them in 6" squares, which i can stitch into a 12 inch square as well. the wool-ease will be for a4a, as i can't use it for any other ac4c project. i finally found a use for the leftovers, lol.

and since i'm soooooo behind on the calendars, i'm just gonna do them all. back the regular schedule tomorrow (if i'm lucky, lol)

You might be a redneck if your school cafeteria serves venison.
. . . you use a piece of bread as a napkin.
. . . you've ever been on television not wearing a shirt (gee, does that mean playgirl is redneck?)
. . . you have a front door but no steps to get to it.
. . . you have a tennis ball on your truck antenna.
. . . your birth announcements inclue the words rug rat.
. . . your dog wears a shirt with cut-off sleeves.

Knit Bits
1/23 One of the oldest and most unique crafts, knitting has been virtually untouched by modern inventions. Needles have been made lighter and the yarn more interesting, but the technique remains the same. You still use only two needles a ball of yarn, and two basic stitches - knit & purl.
1/24: If you can go into almost any store today and find beautiful knitted sweaters, hats and scarves, you might ask - why bother to knit? But the "shear" joy of wearing a sweater you made and the accomplishment you feel from the whole process is well worth the effort.
1/25: Yarn companies offer free patterns for easy-to-knit projects that you can make by using their product. Some designers share their favorites with the general public on the Internet. Copyrighted patterns are free for personal use - just don't copy and distribute them to others.
1/26: woolgathering\WOOL-gath-uh-ring\j(noun): indulgence in idle daydreaming.

In Wales, woogathering, or gwlana, was a social custom adopted to provide for poorer wives of laborers who did not have access to wool of their own to spin. It involved walking along hedgerows and stone walls and picking off wool that was left behind as the sheep had passed by. Later, after the custom was in little use, woolgathering was considered an unprofitable enterprise. Its practitioners were perceived to wander aimlessly and gained little for their efforts. Hence the association of woolgathering with your mind wandering aimlessly. - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
1/27: The fact is taht women woolgatherers would begin their walk as early as 4 o'clock and could pick up 2-4 lbs in a day. Friendships developed amon woolgathereres as well as local farm families. These women might do chores of an evening at a farm in exchange for room and board for the night. - From Hip to Knit by Judith Swartz.
1/28-29: Sally Fox of Aguila, AZ, is developing, though careful selection and cross-pollination, a naturally colored cotton that is long and strong enough so that it can be spun on industrial machines for mass manufacturing. Several colors are now available. - from Knitting in America by Melanie D. Falick
1/30: Yarn fibers come from multiple sources. Natural animal fibers that can be spun into yarn come from sheep, rabbits, goats, alpaca, vicuna, and even the musk ox. Plants give up yarns such as flax and cotton. Of course, fibers such as nylon, acrylic, and polyester are all strictly man-made.
1/31: Gauge is the most important principle in knitting. People knit so differently in matters of tightness or looseness that it is totally impossible to recommend one size of needle for everybody. Gauge means the number of stitches that you achieve to one inch using the wool and needles you plan to use on the project. Get the gauge right and your measurements accurate and the sweater will fit. - from Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann
2/1: Worsted-weight yarn is useful for everythign from garments to afghans to accessories. Bulky yarn is heavy, thick yarn and works well for heavy sweaters, coats, and afghans.
2/2: Every generation puts its own spin on the craft, and for today's knitters the emphasis has been on using chunky yarn and fat needles for quickly completed projects; exprimenting with exotic fibers and creating colorful garments. - from Stitch'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook By Debbie Stoller (not STOLE-IT!)
2/3: Right now handicrafts in general and needlework in particular are flourishing in a new Golden Age of popularity. Perhaps the hectic pace of modern life leads people to seek moments of peaceful satisfaction. Perhaps today's more cultivated tastes prize the inimitable beauty of handwo9rk above the lesser charms of machine-made goods. Perhaps the labor of the needles seems attractive to more people because it is now a luxury rather than a necessity. - from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G.Walker
2/4-5: Yarn comes in different plies. But this has nothing to do with the thickness of the yarn. One-ply yarn is a single twisted strand of yarn. Twist two together and you have a two-ply yarn. Three strands twisted together make a three-ply and so on. Three ply silk would be a much thinner yarn than a one-ply of sheep's wool.

1/25: Neopolitan Ribbon Scarf. non-pattern. nuff said.
1/26: Alpaca Weave Scarf. this is interesting. you do a type of filet, then take strands and weave them the length of the scarf.
1/27: Crochet Mary Jane Slippers. These are very simple but cute.
1/28-29: Mobius Scarf/Shawl: This is doen with lace weight mohair, and is very interesting how it's done. and it's a true mobius as well (i still think it's spelled wrong, lol).
1/30: Blue & Gold Flower. This is done with lion brand chenille and cotton, and is very pretty. would make a nice pin, or an embellishment, depending ont he colors you used.
1/31: Snowflake Picture Frame. This is darling! of course, that looks suspiciously like little max (annie modesitt's son). a good granny gift.
2/1: Girl's X's & O's Scarf. This is darling. it starts with a simple dc scarf done in stripes, but then is embellished with circles that are stitched on in contrasting colors, and the fringe is crocheted. cute.
2/2-3: Chevron Circus Gloves. These are cute, but i think, unless i was doing these for a child (or a lunatic, lol) i'd use more subdued colors.
2/4-5: Toast Coaster. These are kitschy, and cute. and very easy.


1/23: Felted Bag. this is icelandic wool and mohair. it's cute.
1/24: Eric's Super-Warm Dog Walking Hat. this is knit in a tube, both ends closed, and then one end tucked into the other, for a double thick hat. very nice.
1/25-26: Bavarian Strolling Socks. apparently these are called such because of the color combination used. they are very nice. i'm sensing sockpaloooza material? (yes, i joined, lol)
1/27:Tomm'ys Tartan Vest. hmmm, this is nice. theyr'e trying for more sweaters/vests for the march project of a4a, so maybe i'll adapt this to my handspun?
1/28-29: Easy Elegant Moebius Scarf. this is not done in true moebius fashion. it's worked, then twisted and seamed. still it looks nice (and it's spelled right, too!)
1/30: Cable & Rib Cap. this is cute. this would be good for dulaan (which i need to get started!)
1/31: Trellis & Ridges. This is cute, and as stated, would be good for a cardigan, baby afghan, or sock. i don't think i have a good use for this right now, though, because i need solid patterns. maybe this would work for sockpaloooza as well?
2/1: Match My Coat Cap. cute, but the name is odd.
2/2-3: Americana Sampler Socks. These are cute, too, another candidate for sockpaloooza (i could go through both calendars, and find a ton, it's just a matter of choosing one, lol)
2/4-5: Neck Nestle. aka neck warmer. another dickey. sheesh. this one is beaded.

What i'm reading
Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings (book 2 of the Belgariad)
Man of My Dreams by Sherrilyn Kenyon (et al, lol)
The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice (book tape in the House)
The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice (book tape in the car, i'm on the last tape, whoopee!)

and now i must dash, my hands are killing me from all this typing and i need to get to mark's.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

now that i've depressed everyone

Sean has just gone to sleep. sigh. hence the poem.

I've just started the heel flap for the jaywalker socks, so no more fitting shots till i finish turning the heel. the flap seems terribly wide to me, but we'll see. it's been a good fit so far.

no progress on the shawl, sigh. i had planned on trying to take yesterday off, but they cancelled all preVTO, so i ended up leaving at 2, because mark's foot burst tuesday night, and the doctor asked him to come in at 140, hence, the necessity of me getting off early, so i could pick up liam from school.

mark's foot is ok, but his blood pressure is not. it was 182/114 yesterday. i'm really getting worried. he goes back next tuesday to see if the new dose of his BP meds is working well. i don't think so.

we took Mom to Pizza King tonight for supper (cloth napkins, ooo, what chic!), and while dinner was tasty, sean was a major pain. upset mark to the point that he put on his coat, and walked out for 10 minutes. EVERYBODY was upset with him at that point. sigh.

stephanie & i seem to be on the mend, at least temporarily, lol. she called tuesday night because she wanted to know if i was going to claim her on my taxes. by all rights, i could, since i provided more than 50% of her support, but she had to go to the doctor twice (she has strep throat, a sinus infection, and trench mouth (ew, double gross!)), since she had an allergic reaction to the medication they gave her the first time. what this boils down to, is since she's no longer in school, she's no longer covered by my insurance (and hasn't been since summer's end last year). and her steadfast refusal to go to the doctor when it was very evident that she needed to (fevers like she was having need to be attended to) has put her in the position of having doctor's bills that need paying. so i let her claim herself. i told her to tell whomever helped her with her taxes (read that as DID her taxes for her) to look at the Earned Income Credit, as i know she falls under the income guideline, and could get more money. every little bit helps, and while i may not be letting her live here, i'll help when i can (when it doesn't involve me giving her or anyone else money for her). i'm just glad she was willing to talk to me.

and on that exhausting note, i'm going to bed. i'll be gone for the next 2 days, as mark & i have to fetch the bed we took to missouri for steph in the first place. sigh.

Have a good weekend!

silent poetry reading

Frustration fuels my rage
Shaking the bars of my cage.
This feeling wells inside
And pushes the desire to hide.

The pusher is in my mind.
And no solace can I find.
My child refuses to see
what he is doing to me.

Resentment of his lack of care
and not caring how i fare.
This child of my womb
causes feelings of being in a tomb.

Why won't he heed me,
and act like he doesn't need me?
I fought so hard to bring him back,
and yet he makes me feel like such a hack.

I see the temptations of his father
The need to be a fuss and bother.
Simple things seem not to suit him.
The prospects i used to see now dim.

I love my child and he claims to love me
but sometimes it feels like a forgery.
He talks in ways that seem so fake
i'm not sure how much more i can take.


i'm not dead yet

yes, i've been watching monty python again, lol.

this is to let y'all know i haven't died, or fallen off a cliff, or any other craziness. what i have done is had no time for ANYTHING! i'm on my 8th training swatch, and having a hell of a time finding a pattern i'm satisfied with. i tried to teach myself to do brioche last night, but i kept screwing it up. is the yarn over BEFORE or AFTER the purl? i'll investigate further tonight. no pics as well, sorry.

however, in sporting news around the globe, i won the crochet contest at the Michaels @ 144th & maple here in omaha! i got fun fur type stuff and more crochet hooks, lol! 360 stitches in 10 minutes (single crochet for those in the know).

i'll try to post tonight, but we're taking mark's mom out for her birthday, and who knows how long that will run, lol!

have a good day!