Now what? Part last.

You know, I started this list of questions at the beginning of October and I'm still answering them, I really should think a little more before I start rattling off a list of topics because I couldn't think of anything to post about. Okay, so where did I leave off?

Boy, have I been remiss in my blogging of late. It's already December and haven't made any entries in regards to my knitting since the end of October, this is very wrong of me. I plan to rectify this straight away but first I have a little old business to attend to and then I promise it will be back to regularly scheduled programming, read- more stuff about knitting.

Your twenty year old son is given a truck from his grandfather. It's a straight stick shift and he needs someone to teach him to drive it. Now what? Well, It's gonna have to be me, of course. Having his Dad try to teach him is a recipe for disaster. Putting the two of them in such a confined space would not be pretty. So, I'll teach him; I'm a better driver anyway. My husband would take umbrage at that statement, but it's true despite what he may think, just ask Ani. The only problem now is finding a time when my son's and my schedule will allow said training. So far it hasn't been working out too well, However, he's going to be working the third shift soon so I think we'll be able to schedule more driving time, perhaps in the mornings.

Your daughter's Chamber Orchestra wants to make a trip to Florida and you're having trouble just coming up with funds to get her the instruments she needs. Now what? Well, then you fund raise, of course. You saw that coming, did you knot?
Anne's violin teacher, Caren Simon, ( yes, the Caren for which I am knitting the Winter Sunset Cardigan, see here and here), has founded a new non profit organization: Artistic Youth Ensembles of Minnesota, or AYEM ( pronounced as aim, as in aiming for harmony.)

Caren, unable to suppress the pride and joy she felt in the music that these young musicians in the Uptown Chamber Orchestra were playing, shared her feelings with a fellow friend and director of hers Jonathan May who directs the Florida Young Artists Orchestra in Orlando Florida. AYEM has accepted an invitation by Jonathan May to Caren and the Uptown Chamber Orchestra to come to Florida and perform for and together with his orchestra in January.

In order to make this happen for the members of the who are unable to fund the trip on their own, ( read: my daughter) the members of the Uptown Chamber Orchestra and their families have been pooling their creative efforts to raise the money toward that end. AYEM has set up a fundraiser through Elegant Impressions. A portion of the cost for each note card, calendar or print will goes to AYEM to provide financial aid to it's members. I encourage you to look it over and see if perhaps there is something of interest to you.

A Tale of Two Daughters or Now what? part 4

Your seven year old daughter thinks she should be rich because she believes she saw God on the bus. Now what?
I have two daughters. Two of the most brilliant, beauteous, and wondrous girls you could ever hope to meet. Each of them brimming over with sugar and spice and everything nice and clearly quite mad. Seriously, they are nuts, Nutters, I tell you. Don't believe me?
One Sunday, Kati came to me while I was out walking the perimeter* and stated that she thought she should be rich.

Me: Why is that?
Her: Because I saw God on the Bus.
Me: You did? Did God talk to you?
Her: No, well it was more like the light of God that I

Me: I see. Why do you think that now you should be

Her: Because I was the only who saw Him.
Me: Oh.

I'm thinking I should consider knitting the sleeves on her jackets a lot longer so it'll make it easier to tie in the back. As to her older sister, I will let you decide. Ani: in her own words.

*I've already explain this in an earlier post but for those of you who didn't read it; I often will walk around the edges of my yard. I do this for many reasons really but mostly it's a comforting device. I never said that the girls didn't come to their craziness honestly.

Your sixteen year old daughter is miserably sobbing her heart out in the corner of her room. Now what? I don't have an Ipod. If I did I would include the song, Happy Girl by Beth Nielson Chapman on my playlist. In the lyrics of the chorus she sings, " everybody knows that the sweetest thing that you've ever seen in the whole wide world is a happy girl." Conversely a young girl miserably sobbing in the corner of her room will break your heart, take it from me.
The beginning of the school year was not going well for Ani. She was struggling with her journalism class. Now understand, Ani is a good writer. I'm not alone in this opinion, which is why I encouraged her to try journalism. Apparently journalism was not the way to go, for she hated it. She felt like everyone was getting it, except her. She was floundering in the deep end of the ocean and the sharks were circling. This is very upsetting for a girl who rarely, if ever, has had any trouble with any class before, especially a writing course.( On a side note, Ani was not the only one having trouble adjusting to the new school year. Perhaps not for the same reasons per say but from reading other blogs of her peers, the start of the school year wasn't going all that smoothly. Just sayin') The solution to the problem would require two things of her. First: admitting that she needed help and second: asking for that help. Neither concept of which she had much experience with but which, I am happy to report, that after her tearful meltdown did and has managed to turn it around. Yay, for Ani. I asked her the other day after talking about her writing if she has changed her opinion of journalism and she said no. She still enjoys writing but journalism just isn't her cup of tea. Kati just wants to know what gerbalism is anyway.

Now What? Part 3

Your family only has the one vehicle to drive and it starts making a horrible noise while you're driving it. Now what?
So what do you get for your husband who really has it all but doesn't realize it? Um, how about a new rack and pinion? Which actually sounds kind of sexy but in truth it is a rather lousy birthday present regardless of the pretty penny paid for it.

You've, oh so patiently waited for the Firefly movie, Serenity to be released and because of your work schedule won't be able to see it until Sunday, but then your parents come up to visit. Now what? That one is a tough one. My mother has been feeling so terrible lately battling Meniere's Disease for the last month or so. So when they called and said they were going to come up for the weekend I was happy to have them come. I've waited to see Serenity this long a few days more wouldn't kill me, much. To my oldest son's delight my Dad gave him his old truck that he had put a lot of money and time in to fix up. My parent's decided to leave Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning as planned, because they wanted to beat some bad weather coming their way. So I did get to see Serenity after all on Sunday Night.
I really enjoyed the movie. Ani thought that the movie was a lot darker than the TV series, I guess I expected that. I didn't expect to lose some of the crew but I can't say I'm really surprised about it either, still sad though. I thought the movie held up on it's own, you didn't need to have seen Firefly to get into the movie though knowing some of the background of the characters made the viewing much richer. Who's seen it? What did you think?

You've neglected the gardening nearly all summer and now it's already October. Now what? Oh, who cares. I got everything into the ground that needs to be. I'll worry about the garden again next spring.

Rushing to finish up a job at work, a scanning gun that you set on top of a twelve foot ladder drops down onto your head causing your head to crack open and make like fountain. Now what? Well, I tell you what I learned about myself. I learned that I'm way more vain than I ever imagined myself to be. When the manager asked if I wanted to go to the emergency room to have it looked it at, she thought I might need stitches, I stubbornly refused. Here's what I thought to myself, going to the emergency room would mean that they would have to pull out the hair to first find the cut before stitching it. Truly it was hard to find because the head does tend to bleed a lot and I have a lot of hair. It wasn't the thought of the pain of pulling out my hair or the stitches but rather that I was convinced that the hair would grow back white and I would have a patch of white hair growing out the top of my head and that was the deciding factor for me. I already have silver streaks running along side my head like racing stripes. If I wore my hair up I could be a Bride of Frankenstein stand in. Most days I don't mind having my stripes, I figure I earned them, four children, come on. I've even tried to convince my children that they could be considered sexy, but they are having none of it. Ani says, we'll have no MILFs here. (If you don't know what a MILF is I'm not going to explain it.) No, I'm a Wilf, not a MILF, or as Ani would have it, I'm a Freak. Just not freaky enough to want to have another white streak coming out of the top of my head, BTW, I have reason to believe that the hair would grow in white, right Mom?

Astrodome Cap and Scarf

OK, sorry, so where was I? (You know this posting thing is a lot harder than you would think, well, maybe not for you.)
You finished knitting the Astrodome Cap and Scarf . Now what?
Well, I blocked it and the scarf is nearly twice as long as it was before. I suppose that's because it's knit in a 3 x 2 rib. The scarf was suppose to be about three inches wide but I decided to make it wider so it's six inches across instead. It is knit in wool, Waterspun from Classic Elite from my stash because I had all the colors for this project. I have most of the colors for the scarf in the Goddess yarn Julia that the pattern uses so I may make it again in that but just not right now.
I used a balloon to block the hat. I know I have a small head, it seems even smaller when you blow up a balloon to the same circumference as your own head and look at it, it seems like it should be bigger. It seems bigger looking at it from inside of my head. Anyway, let me tell you, pinning the hat out was quite the challenge, I would recommend using ball point pins rather than sharps. Don't laugh until you try it. Truly, I will laugh if you do. Try not to take me too seriously, I never do.

I've casted on and started knitting the Rogue Hoodie for Ani again. This is the second attempt, there was nothing wrong with the other one except I was getting the sinking feeling that it was not going to fit Ani loose like she likes her hoodies to be. So I measured a sweatshirt she liked and decided to start over a size larger. I wasn't all that far so it wasn't so terrible, I would have felt much worse if I finished it and she wouldn't wear it because she didn't like the way it fit.

Now What?


The exchange for the Buttonhole bags has been made and the bags have been redistributed. Now what?

You finished knitting the Astrodome Cap and Scarf . Now what?

Your family only has the one vehicle to drive and it starts making a horrible noise while you're driving it. Now what?

You've oh so patiently waited for the Firefly movie, Serenity to be released and because of your work schedule won't be able to see it until Sunday, but then your parents come up to visit. Now what?

You've neglected the gardening nearly all summer and now it's already October. Now what?

Rushing to finish up a job at work, a scanning gun that you set on top of a twelve foot ladder drops down onto your head causing your head to crack open and make like fountain. Now what?

Your seven old daughter thinks she should be rich because she believes she saw God on the bus. Now what?

Your sixteen year old daughter is miserably sobbing her heart out in the corner of her room. Now what?

Your twenty year old son is given a truck from his grandfather. It's a straight stick shift and he needs someone to teach him to drive it. Now what?

Your daughter's Chamber Orchestra wants to make a trip to Florida and you're having trouble just coming up with funds to get her the instruments she needs. Now what?


The exchange for the Buttonhole bags has been made and the bags have been redistributed.
We had the Buttonhole bag exchange a week from last Thursday. I waited to post about it because although there were seven bags exchanged only four of us were able to make the meeting and I wanted to wait until everyone got their bag back before posting about it. I want to send out a big thank you to Beth. I guess you could say that Beth is the one who ended up holding the bag. Three of them to be exact and none of them were her own, I had hers. She was also gracious enough to give me a ride to the meeting that I set up because I found myself without transport for the night. So Thank You so much, Beth, your the best.
It was interesting to see how even though everyone used the same pattern, how different they all were in shape and size. I'm afraid my camera doesn't do them justice. They were all so unique not a clunker in the bunch.

In the exchange I received the yellow and blue bag from Gina. In the bag was two skeins of blue Wool-Ease, of which I already have plans for. Thank you, Gina for the yarn and the bag they both make me very happy.
My bag went to Amy. Poor Amy this is the second exchange in which she ended up with my project. She said she wanted the bag but I can't help but think she may be wondering if she will always be exchanging with the same person. I promise if you're in the next exchange I'll try to mix it up a little better so you can receive the benefit of someone else's knitting and give you a little variety.
Did I say next exchange? Well, yeah, I have a notion for another exchange. I was looking at another knitter's blog who's participating in the Stitch Ya Neck Out: Necking with Friends exchange and I got to thinking that it would be fun to do something similar with the TCSnB group. I mentioned it to Dyann, Gina and Beth who were at the bag exchange and they expressed an interest in a scarf exchange so here we go again. Scarfing it Up: Paying Knit Forward. I'm still working out the details so I haven't posted to the group yet but I will soon, I promise.

To be continued....
(I have a few more answers to the above questions but not enough time to, so please forgive me this.)
Despite the odds I did manage to finish knitting the second sock for Katie. She didn't even have to wait until her next birthday for it to be finished. Adam I fear will probably not be that lucky. His birthday was August 31st and I haven't even started on his socks. I have the yarn and the pattern but can't seem to muster the desire to knit them, and if that's not bad enough, Kurt's birthday is next week and I have nothing, Sorry hon, nothing.
On that score, I'm not too concerned because he doesn't want me to knit him anything for his birthday anyway. According to him, there is nothing on his wish list that is knitted. I wouldn't know because I don't look at his wish list. What? I thought that was how we play this game. He totally disregards my wish list and gets me what he thinks I would or should want and for my part I reciprocate in kind. He's getting socks, just not this year is all.

Katie wearing her socks as earrings.

Do your ears hang low? Can you swing them to and fro? Can you tie them in a
knot? Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them over your shoulder like
a continental soldier?

If you've read Yarn Harlot's post about knitting a corset and questioning the location of her "girls" on her body then you'll know why I'm giggling a bit right now.

I developed a bad case of SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) while knitting these socks, which is to say that the charm of knitting these socks had worn off which made it very difficult to finish the second sock without straying a bit.
One such diversion that I have been working on whenever I didn't want to knit the sock is a Calendar project that I started back in July as a birthday gift. I have a pattern a day knitting calendar that I received as a Christmas gift. One of the projects in July is a Suzi Q shoe box doll. This amused my daughter Ani and me because Ani has a close friend that is affectionately referred to as SuziQ and has a July birthday. Clearly this doll was meant to be for her. I decided to try to make the doll look like her, despite the fact that she is going to think we're a little strange. ( Ah, I'm pretty sure that ship has sailed anyway)
Everyone who is isn't SuziQ can click here to see her. She is pretty much done except for one little detail that we haven't worked out yet. She needs a pair of cool SuziQ eyeglasses. Any suggestions?
Other things I learned while I was not knitting the second sock include learning a new way to cast on and a really easy way to do a Brioche rib without using yarn overs. The new cast is dubbed German Twisted cast on ( a more PC version of the Twisted German Cast On). Meg Swansen has an article about in one of the Vogue Knitting Magazines, I'd tell you which one except Katie was using it for something to write on and now I can't find it. It is suppose to be a very elastic cast on. I learned it fairly quickly as I'm apt to, and then promptly forgot how to do it, as I'm apt to, when I tried to show it to Julie at a Monday night SnB.

I learned how to do the brioche rib while playing with some yarn I have that plan to use for a sweater for my MIL. I was looking at the Borg Jacket Pattern, think Scandinavian, not Star Trek, and I thought I would cast on (yes, I used the new cast on) the sleeve to see how the yarn knit up in the stitch pattern. The instructions for knitting the cuff of the sleeve were as follows:
Work 9 cm in brioche rib as folls: Row 1 K. Row 2 *K1, k1 below* until 2 sts remain, k2. Rep row 2 only.
Try this if you are knitterly inclined, I found it fascinating. If nothing it will give you a good idea of how easily I am amused.

I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to make the jacket, but I think I will use this brioche rib method. I'm planning on knitting helmet liners for the soldiers in the gulf. Regardless of how you may feel about this war, I believe it is vital that we continue to support the soldiers who are there. Also in an effort to make a contribution to the relief effort for those affected by Hurricane Katrina I am knitting and donating the Astrodome Cap and Scarf from The caps are my new take a long projects.

Today is the autumnal equinox, I just like saying that, autumnal equinox. Don't you find words fascinating? There are just some words in the English language that are fun to say, ( yes Ani, I know I'm a freak) I can't say that I am sad to see the summer go, summer has never been my favorite season. I like the Autumn best, second would be the Spring, even Winter is higher on my list than Summer. I know not many of you may share this opinion but I wonder sometimes of those that claim to love summer so much would they be singing the same tune if they didn't have the benefits of AC? Just saying.

Tonight I'm having the Buttonhole Bag Exchange at the Yarn Cafe'. I ran this exchange throughout the summer for the TCSnB Yahoo Group. Each of us knit a buttonhole bag from the Mason-Dixon Knitting Blog pattern. The plan is to get together and exchanging the bags by numbering each of the bags and then have a drawing. I am interested to see how many people will actually be there. At least five people have said they won't be able to come, most are sending their bags along so we will go ahead with the exchange regardless but I do hope there will be more people there than Beth, her dd and myself. We plan on having fun regardless. I myself have never been to the Yarn Cafe' so just going there will be fun for me. I'm planning to send a picture of all the bags to Ann and Kay at Mason-Dixon because it is written in the instructions to do so. According to them, they live for this sort of thing.

Believe it or not I already have a new exchange that I would like to try. Scarfing it Up. This one will be by post though, because it is difficult to find a time that everyone can get together at the same time.

I think that is enough blathering for now, in my next post I will tell what I learned about myself after cracking my head open at work. Also there's the gruesome tale of death by badminton net in the backyard. Other noteworthy events include Hobb nobbing, a call from an old friend and an upcoming High School Reunion. Do I want to go? Also, why Katie thinks she should be rich and whether I need to get her physiological help

In the mean time

I know that I haven't updated in a while. I'm sorry. I'm not sure what is going on with me, I'm experiencing an indefinable restlessness, a growing dissatisfaction, I don't know, something. I haven't been able to put my finger on it but it's there. To complicate the matter I have been completely disheartened by a series of unfortunate events. First news from a friend that she is facing the very real possibility of breast cancer being followed up by the catastrophic events that have unfolded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Whatever my troubles they pale in comparison to these problems. I'm OK, or at least I will be. I have been knitting and I will update soon, hopefully.
In the mean time....I'm it.
Amy tagged me. So here you go everything you never wanted to know about me.

A little blog game.

Five Things

Ten years ago: I was crying. I cried like I have never cried before and hope never to again.

Five years ago: Starting a new job

One year ago: Sending my youngest off to 1st grade and adjusting to having my husband at home all day because he was laid off from his job.

Yesterday: I was sick and tired, my body ached all over, sorely in the need of rest.

Five snacks: Oatmeal raisin cookies w/milk, peanut butter and jelly sandwich w/milk, French fries, popcorn, pop tarts.

Five songs I know all the words to: Amazing Grace (The first & second verse), The Star Spangled Banner ( I also know all the words to the preamble of the Constitution, School House Rock, to my credit I knew the words before they put it to music.) Theme music to Gilligan's Island, Beverly Hillbillies, and Firefly. Happy Birthday, in various ways. I know most of the lyrics to many songs but those are the ones I'm pretty sure I could sing from start to finish.

Five things I would do with a 100 million dollars: New homes and cars for any of my family who wants it. Set up trust funds for each of my four children and for each of my nieces and nephews. Fund the Arts, fund underfunded Charities and maybe travel a bit.

Five places to run away to: Stitch n Bitch to get away from my family for a few hours. Home to Mom and Dad. I don't know, I'm not a runner. Canada. Maybe.

Five things I would never wear: White after Labor Day, just kidding I wear white all the time if you're counting socks and underwear. Socks in bed. Stocking Caps, they make me feel claustrophobic, I don't know, let's see, a bikini, a tube top or tutu or mini skirt.

Five favorite TV shows: Firefly, Desperate Housewives, Gray's Anatomy, The late, late show with TV's Craig Ferguson, Six Feet Under, Star Trek-any version

Five biggest joys: Spending time in the company of my family. The changing of the seasons. Reading a really good story. Manipuling material into beautiful things. Laughter, both being able to make my children and husband laugh and when they are able to make me laugh.

Five favorite toys: My children, sticks and big balls of string, garden tools, DVD player, books and the computer.

Five people I'll pass this on to: Not sure yet.

Second Sock

Pumpkin Face is Seven

Happy Birthday to Katherine. Our little pumpkin face is now seven years old. On Saturday, (yes I know I'm behind in my posting.) we took her bowling, which was fun until she discovered she had the lowest score. (But really not by much, we're not really great bowlers.) However, the promise of chocolate cake with cherries on top and ice cream cheered her right back up and the rest of the day went on with out any more tears. Sometimes it's hard being the youngest in the family, especially when your siblings are all nine or more years older than you. On the plus side you do get better birthday gifts. Ani lacking funds this year told her she would draw her a picture of whatever she chose. Katie chose a mermaid so Ani drew her a mermaid pictured here, what Ani didn't know when she drew the picture was that I had a blue faerie Barbie that I planned to give her. They both have the same color skin and similar pose. Odd, isn't it?
Katie's a bright and cheerful girl with a wicked sense of humor. She graciously agreed to pose wearing her Swatch Your Step sock (yes, I said sock, singular. Since I didn't finish her second sock by her birthday she said, I could give her the second one for her next birthday. Does she know her Mom or what?) and Chocobo scarf that I made for her, only if I agreed to take her picture posing as a model as seen here.
So now,with a wink toward Lisa and without further ado...

Her name is Lola Katie, she was a show girl, with yellow feathers in her hair and
a dress cut down to there. She would Merengue and do the Cha Cha....

To my greatest relief the sock fit her quite nicely. I was worried that after I finished putting it together (it is knit flat and then the front is joined together before knitting the toe) it wouldn't fit. It was fun to try, I haven't decide if I like modular knitting, It's kind of fun but I don't like all the ends to work in, four ends for each module. It's a nice effect though, don't you think?

A story of OCD, sort of

For some time now I've been turning the idea of hosting a celebration gathering around in my mind. We have had reason to celebrate. My son, who had had a horrendous junior year, graduated from high school this past spring and about the same time my husband, who had been laid off from work for nine months, embarked on a new career working in a library and more recently my youngest daughter and eldest son will be having their birthdays in the next week or so. However, I may have some skills when it comes to knitting but when it comes to hosting a party I'm organizationally challenged, my own version of OCD. If I were to even consider hosting any type of social gathering I would have to do something about "that" room. This is what a knitter friend of mine refers to as "THAT" Room (I can't believe that I am going to show you this.)

In my home "THAT" room is in what other more normal families would use as a dining room. Ideally, in my dream home, my husband would have a library to house his extensive book collection and I would have a room to use as my studio space. Ideally, this room would have windows for light and a view of the real world and more importantly a door.

Of course the door would have to stand open while I was using the room because I tend to freak out a bit when I'm left alone in a closed room, cut off from the world around me. Besides that, my children would never stand for their mother to be anywhere where they could not see her or be able to pose to her the days most crucial questions. Important questions, you know like, What are you doing? Why? Where is Dad? Are you going somewhere? Then why are you wearing your shoes? Do you know where MY shoes are? Did you wash any underwear 'cause I'm all out? Do you have to work today? Why? I think I was bitten by a spider while I slept last night. Does this look infected to you? Have you seen where the TV remote is? What's for lunch?
These Q&A sessions will then be repeated intermittently throughout the day for periods less than but not exceeding ten minutes at a time. No, I'm afraid that mother being in a room by herself with the door closed would be simply intolerable to them. If mother is at home she must be accessible at all times. This even includes her time in the privy. Should she be in the bathroom with the door closed for longer than the allotted time ( see above) she can expect a knock on the door and the aforementioned quiz will then be repeated once again, only this time it would be shouted so that they can be heard over the sound of the water running from the tap, that she turned on so she could pretend she didn't hear the knock on the door.
My point was that ideally there would be a door, a door that I could close if in I ever wanted to. Say on a whim, I decided I wanted to invite a few friends and or family over for, I don't know, say to celebrate a birthday or graduation or new job or something. Then I would not have to panic, wondering how in the world am I ever going to find the proper place for all this stuff in this room. That's is what all that stuff is, by the way, it is stuff that hasn't been given it's proper place. My mother used to tell me that putting things in their proper place was a German trait. She would say that there is an old German adage that states ,"Everything has a Place and Everything in it's Place". I wonder if that's true? Not about everything having a place but if it's a German trait. The problem I have with this is that I'm not always altogether certain what is the proper place for all the stuff that comes floating into my room. When stuff doesn't know it's place it lands on the table or floor or chair until I get around to deciding where to put it all, let's just call this place limbo. My efforts to forward this stuff from limbo to it's proper resting place are inconsistent and episodic at best. I'm not sure how German I am because I'm having some trouble keeping up with the finding and the putting of stuff in its proper place.
This wouldn't be an issue if I had a door. If I had a door all I would have to do is close the door and hang a beware of rabid dog sign on the knob and voila my problem is solved. No one would need to know that I am proper placement challenged, it would be our little family secret, the skeleton in the closet so to speak.
But alas, in the shoe that I am living in with so many children that I don't know what to do with, there isn't a spare room with a door to hide my fiber excesses in and so, sacrifices have been made. Who needs a dining room anyway? I like to think that if we had an actual dining room set things would be different, but somehow I doubt it. Besides, we don't have a dog. Of course, there are other ways of warding guests from entering rooms you don't want them to enter. When Katie has a friend over, she tells them that you don't want to go in there. That's her brother's room and he is mean! It seems to work. Well, probably only on little girls.
My husband, who apparently is more German than I am, doesn't particularly like that I have usurped the dining room and turned it to my own purposes. And I can't really blame him, boy, I wish I had a door. In defense however may I point out that there are bookcases, tall and small, filled with books, CD's and DVD's lining the walls of our living room and our bedroom, and no, he has not read all of the books, most, but not all. Nor has he watched or listened to all the DVD's or CD's. If you were to total up the cost of his collection and compare it to mine, I think you'd find that his cost is probably ten to twenty times the cost of mine and why does he need to keep the books after he has already read them? Are they not just taking up space too? I'm just saying. So what if the things that he collects are uniformly shaped and compact units that sit neatly in rows on a shelf.
I could do as one of our friends did and wall off the dining room. It wouldn't be difficult, it may be a good use of those bookcases that I told you about. Hmm, I'll have to think about that. Blocking off the dining room would necessitate diverting the traffic flow through the house to the back through the hallway to where the bedrooms and bathroom are, which could be problematic as well, but those rooms have doors that I could close. This may not be such a bad idea after all. I wonder if it would make heating the house easier? You know what I need? I need to consult a feng shui expert. I wonder if feng shui has the cure for my OC disorder (Ha, disorder, get it? That's funny. At least I think so.) Whatever.
So round and round my thoughts go, I don't think there is going to be a party here, so invite me to your parties, I'll bring a cake. Speaking of cake did you see Tipper's birthday cake?
Better to stick to things I know better, like knitting. My little girl will turn seven on Saturday. I promised that I would make her a pair of socks and a fluffy yellow chocobo* scarf. The color of the yarn she chose is an array of bright colors, colors you would see when you open a new box of crayons.(BTW, school starts Sept. 1, yay) I originally thought that I was going to make her a simple pair of toe up socks. But I couldn't do it. It was too boring for me, so I perused my knitting magazines for patterns and decided on the Swatch your Step pattern in the Knitter's Summer 2003 issue
After experimenting with different color combinations from the yarns that I had on hand, we decided on the red. Now the question is whether or not I'll be able to finish the socks by her birthday.

I think that I can finish A sock by Saturday, I never promised that they would be done by her birthday.Not to worry, she probably won't be wearing the socks this month yet anyway. I have finished the scarf, however.

* A chocobo is a largish yellow bird from the Final Fantasy Game series.
For the record Katie took this picture.

Living La Viva Cicada

In the summer I take my knitting out of doors. Winters are long in Minnesota where I live and you will spend the better part of the year inside, so unlike my children, who prefer to spend their time playing video games indoors, I will take my projects outside, to the backyard usually, whenever I get the opportunity. When I go outside for the most part I am left relatively alone. The children will wander out to see where I am, see that I haven't completely abandoned them and to be certain that there is still someone to complain to about their hunger and the lack of food service, then mumble something about how it's hot out here and there being too many bugs out here and then go back into the house to pitch battle with dragons and conquer the evil doers of whatever world they are in and once again I am left to fend for myself out in the wild.
In past summers I would putter around the yard, imagining myself as some sort of earth goddess and play at being a gardener. But this summer has been too hot for playing in the dirt, I'm afraid that the only energy I've expended for upkeep has been the occasional watering of my poor flowers and walking the perimeter.
Do you walk the perimeter? Strictly speaking it isn't exactly walking the perimeter that I do, because I don't necessarily walk the outside edges of the property. Usually I will walk from the back door of the house , which is actually a side entrance on the north side of the house , and walk toward the west around the house down to the front sidewalk , walk around the boulevard gardens then come back up to the house and walk around the south side of the house to the backyard along the tree line to the garage. Then around the garage to the edge of the drive way on the east end of the yard, then back along the fence on the north side and back to the door. I don't know exactly why I do this, I think mainly I do it to see the flowers and how they're blooming but sometimes I just do it because it gives me something to do.
When my son was younger he would walk around outside and tap trees with a stick. I've asked him if he knew why he did that and he said he couldn't explain it really, except that it comforted him. My youngest daughter likes to dangle a chain in her hands and hold conversations with different imaginary characters again it comforts her, Ani has something she does to comfort herself but she would not want me to say what that is, walking the perimeter comforts me. The thing is I would like to be outside more but there isn't much outdoors that I like to do, so I have to come up things to do while I'm outside. Since gardening wasn't happening this year I've been taking my knitting outside with me to keep me occupied. So I've been sitting in our screened gazebo knitting, because the kids aren't wrong, there are too many bugs in the yard. Bugs like this guy (gal?) here. In an effort to bring down the power bill we have been hanging the laundry on a line outside to dry. One morning as I was bringing a load of clothes out to hang on the line, this cicada decide it wanted to hang out with us, there he was just clinging to the screen door. Since he was posing so nicely I decided to take a few pics of him. He's a beauty ain't he, they're big buggers too. Over all they are harmless, the only thing I would charge them with is disturbing the peace.
I can't say that it is really any more peaceful in the backyard than in the house. First there is the sounds from the city, as my husband puts it, planes, trains, and automobiles. We are in the flight path of major airport and regularly have planes flying over, we have a train track that runs behind the house,and there is a parking lot beyond the end of the drive way. Second there are the people. Yesterday I don't know where it came from exactly but a girl screamed very loud and long, it sounded like a scream from a horror movie. I wonder if she saw a cicada? And third, there is the sounds from nature. The birds calls, the squirrels squawking and the sirens of the cicadas. The sirens of the cicadas being the loudest of all.
On Friday my husband and I rode our bikes to the Uptown Art Fair. We enjoy looking at all the exhibits but agree that there tend to be a lot of repetition in subject matter when it comes to the photography especially. So we thought we would make our own art and take a few snapshots of say, a red door, or windows with green frames, or a bicycle against a wall or clothes hanging on the line. Therefore I am pleased to present for your viewing pleasure, a work I think I'll call,
Ani on the line -Basic Black- a study in summer colors.

To complete the diptych is Buckman on the line:year round wardrobe- no long sleeves please.

Speaking of art I completed my op art project, which actually is a buttonhole bag, as I'm sure you already know. Here is the bag before felting. It measured 12.5 inches across the center of the bag before washing it. After felting, it measured 9.5 inches, it shrunk to three quarters of it's original size. Pretty cool.

This buttonhole bag is for an exchange I'm having with some of the knitters in the TCSnB group. All I have to do now is come up with something to put in the bag for a surprise gift. I've been knitting Katie' chocobo scarf and it's coming along, it's my take along project and I carry it in a little clear plastic bag so it looks like I've got a bag full of canary feathers. I've also been working on a calendar project, it too is looking pretty cute but I'm not ready to show it yet. So I give this Ani and Kate at play.

Op Art

Exactly what is that suppose to be?
If I may ask?

You may.
It's my newest diversion.
I call it my new
Op session

What does it look like to you?

Pumpkin Face here, thinks it looks like a funky hat.

He said " Hey, I like your socks."

After some discussion, the knitters in our SnB decided we would become ladies of the evening. That is to say, we added a Wednesday evening meeting to our current SnB schedule. Seeing it was a such a beautiful evening, I ditched the family and headed out to Eden Prairie to knit with the ladies. There I was, enjoying the cool evening air sitting in the courtyard of the Dunn Bros. where we've been meeting, with my newly finished "Go with the flow" stockinged feet propped up on the next chair, knitting away on a bright yellow scarf for my daughter Kati and sipping my Chai Latte Ice Creama... all by myself. Where were the ladies? At about 20 minutes after 7:00, the thought occurred to me that I may be at the wrong Dunn Bros. Amy had sent an e-mail saying that she would be at the other Dunn Bros on Wednesday evenings because she had karate lessons for her son close to there, but that didn't start until August. But I'll bet that Beth already moved the meeting to that one and I didn't get the message. (See, I was going to check my e-mail before going but someone was hogging the computer) So I packed up my bag, grabbed my latte and headed for the car. As I was nearly to my car, a young buck who's path was converging with mine said "Hey, I like your socks" as he passed. I replied an automatic thank you and plunged into my car, where I sat stunned a bit before I laughed and laughed and laughed.
I mean the socks are fantubular and all, but being a woman in her forties I am realistically aware that I am mostly invisible to most men of his age. But hey, who needs sex appeal when you have sox appeal? That this guy was able to see that I was wearing fantacular hand knit socks floored me. I rushed to the other Dunn Bros. to find the other ladies of the evening and share my "shocking" stocking story. It was good for a few giggles and some speculation. Do you think he's a knitter? Do you think he recognized that they were hand knit? Of course, we all thought the same thing - This you have to blog.
So there you go. Go with the Flow Socks designed by Evelyn Clark. Summer Interweave Knits 2005
Knit in Lana Grossa Merino 2000 Superfine wool color 482 - I call the color -Raspberry.
I knit them in tandem using the magic loop method. I used a circular needle size US 1.
These were the first pair of socks that I knit for myself to wear. I had a few problems that dammed up the flow, I had to redo the gusset twice , not because there was a problem with the pattern but rather a problem with my ability to read and follow the pattern correctly. I ran out of yarn and had to buy another ball, fortunately the yarn shop had another ball of the same lot color and the circular needle that I was using broke and I had to buy another needle. Still all in all I am quite pleased with the socks and as I was soon to discover quite remarkable, making all the trouble totally worth it.
Yesterday was a bust. I spent the whole day at the computer attempting to work out the problems we are having with the printer. I'm trying to figure out why it won't print from all the users on the computer. It will only print from mine and Kurt's because we are administrators. This is a big problem when the kids need to print school papers, etc. It should be working for all accounts. I set the printer up in shared programs, it's still giving me trouble. The second problem and main reason I took on the computer yesterday is because it is printing the pdf files in some form of computer gibberish. I can't print any of my knitting patterns that I've downloaded from acrobat. Now I know what your going to say the problem is not with the printer but with my reader and your probably right but I figured as long as I was fixing one printing problem I would try to fix the other as well. So I checked for downloads for the printer from the manufacturers sight and found two. That took forever to download and I don't think it did me any good. I tried this and I tried that, I uninstalled the printer and reinstalled it. After spending most of day fussing with the computer and printer, guess what? Now it won't print any file. It says that it is printing but nuh- ah. So when the day was done I was no better than when I started in fact I was worse. I have such a love/hate relationship with this computer. Right now I'm on the hate side.
Despite the heat of this summer I have been knitting. What else is there to do? Reading, sure but if you can get someone to read to you, then you can knit too. Which is what we've been doing, Ani is reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and I am knitting. If Anne's not available I have books on tape or CD to listen to, as well. I just got the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. The story is written from the point of view of a teen with Asperger's Syndrome, this interested me, because I have a teen with Asperger's syndrome. I have heard mixed reviews on the book, but I think I'll "read" it anyway.
My "Go with the Flow" socks didn't exactly flow as I would have liked. I ran out of yarn. Had I knit the socks toe up, this wouldn't have been a problem, as the knitters from the SnB so helpfully pointed out. Fortunately I was able to pick up another ball of yarn from the yarn shop in the same lot number. Then, as I started knitting the toes the cord to my knitting needle broke. It was a thin cable and I guess it couldn't take the abuse it was receiving using the magic loop method that I was using. SO, back to the yarn shop to buy a new needle because I didn't have double points in this size to finish the socks. Addi Turbo's this time, stronger cable and smoother join. So the socks are flowing once again. In fact they are finished and fantubular if I do say so myself. The pictures are forthcoming.
I've dragged out the Monk's Travel Satchel. I'm currently knitting the front and back of the bag. I picked up stitches from the bottom of the bag and am knitting up, attaching it to the sides as I go. On the back of the bag I'm double (triple knitting, really) the pockets on
as I go.
It's a bit complicated to explain, but there you have it.
And then there is the sleeves of Caren's sweater. Here I'll admit that I haven't been too inclined to work with Shetland wool in this weather. But there it is, if you are curious about how it's progressing.
And one more pic. This is a baby blanket that I started back in June at Gretchen's place. Gretchen is currently in a stash reduction phase and in an effort to get rid of odds and ends of yarn we got together to knit for projects to be donated to charity. So when I'm not in the mood to work on any of my current projects I work to complete this blanket.
So, since the socks are finished I need a new take along project. My little girl's birthday is next month and she wants a new pair of socks and a scarf like I made for Ani ( BTW ask Ani what her friends have dubbed her scarf. Here's a hint F. V.) So I think my next project will be Kati's yellow Chocobo scarf. I'm not too happy about that because the yarn is Splash, it is fringe yarn and I have some trouble working with these types of yarn. If you drop a stitch it is so hard to find it to pick it up back onto the needles.
One more thing, I have a project from my calendar that I'm working on. It's a gift for SuzeQ, a friend of Ani, so I won't say much until it's finished.
And then it was time to go in.

It's too damn hot...

... to post that is. With the current record breaking hot streak- nine consecutive days with the temps in the 90's - and no a/c we decided not to have the computer on for most of the day. I was reading mail and checking favorite sights but I didn't take the time to blog. So now that we've been given a slight reprieve from the heat, I have a bit to catch up you up on.

Harlot said it was too hot in Toronto to knit. Pish
I give you Exihbit A., knitting in public. The first annual TCSnB picnic was held in Minnehaha park on Sunday July 10th. There we are knitting in 90+ temps.
And here... although I have it from Corgimom seen here in the green tank that she was actually frogging the purple tank that she is working on.

And here... Checking out the booty at the stash swap.

More booty, some of the door prizes generously donated by local yarn shops and TCSnBers. I myself recieved a knitting accessory kit donated from Zandy's , a handy little thing to have really.

I brought the clothesline as promised and hung out the linen washcloths, These are the cloths from Deepa, Harriet-Lime Dragon and myself. Aren't they just,( to quote my dd), fantabulous? I think so. The picnic was good food, good company and great fun. I'm sure to be repeated.