••• Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sundry Monday: Part Tuesday 

I'm tired.
I'm worn.
And bereft of apt verbage.

But the blog must go on.

She Sew Fine or It's Not a Keg of Beer, It's a Goiter.
Okay. Maybe she just sew.

This is a pattern I bought online last year, titled Cute Skirts. It's a great sew. Not only are the instructions easy to understand, there is plenty of sew op, what with the eight panels, each with its own attached flounce.

I apologize for the crap photo.

Lately, Whenever I ask Cabana to shoot me in a new garb, he pretends he's a professional photog on a shoot. He moves all around, zooming in and zooming out, never taking his finger off the button.

Well, that would probably work out fine if he really was a professional, and the camera wasn't set on auto shoot.

In this one, he captures the typically uncapturable Essence of Boob rays:

And here I am caught in the throes of the ancient Slappa Cho Cho fertility dance. ::Don't try this at home. Or anywhere. Unless fully protected.::

::I'm finding that one secret to a happy relationship is playing pretend games. For example, we not only pretend that he knows how to take pictures, but we also make believe that is not my stomach pooch under that skirt. Love. It's a beautiful thing.::

I have a few more items I'd like to sew for myself, but first needed to toss the Cakers a Hush Puppie, er Poodle garment:

Yes. It's too big. I've been a mile or ten outta the sewing saddle. Evidently, the ability to purchase the correct size pattern for a child is a delicate art. One I have not yet mastered. There's like 17 separate sizes of size 7, for children. Evidently I bought the wrong one. Go figger. ::Yes I measured her. She came out a perfect size 7. The OTHER size 7.::

While I am really enjoying sewing again, I had forgotten how complicated it is, in contrast to knitting. Even though you get quicker results than with knitting, with sewing, there's a lot more of the moving shit around. There's moving fabric and patterns, iron and ironing board, there's scissors and pins and instruction sheets and...cats.

Not Hard of Earring
I've also been dipping into the bead pool.

And Then There's the Neonic Knitting
I've been working on Wendy Bernard's Tomato, a freebie download over at IK. ::Sorry too tired/rushed/lazy for links.:: I had a picture for you, but in the cut and paste process, lost the photo. And it's not on this computer. So forget I ever mentioned it.

Last But Not Least
If you are in the Michigan, Kristi has organized a Yarn Crawl and potluck bbq in September for the Lansing area.

You can read about it here.

You can see the nifty button here ::please note how it matches my outfit above and my earrings.::

Pssst...Kristi! My button says Yarnapalooza and the event is called Knitterpalooza. Can you help me out?*

*Therapese for Whatchutalkin'bout, Willis?

P.S. I started this post last night and am just finishing it up here at work but now I have to go to a meeting after publishing with prejudice.

••• Friday, August 24, 2007

Eye Can't Be... 

...writing the last Eye Candy post of the summer.

My days will soon be filled with chaos and frenzy.

And summer will be nothing more than a fading impression.

Dang, that girl's got big feet.

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••• Monday, August 20, 2007

A Sundry Monday 

Today I decided that a major contributor to my current status of unbloggability is related to unresolved issues regarding our most recent stint at the cottage. A weekend that ended over one week ago.

Simply put, the weekend was amazing.

But over the past week, whenever I sat down to write about it, I could not find the words. It was as though my observations and feelings were in-capturable by language available to me at the time.

So there I sat, staring at the white blank of blogger, pining for more creative climes.

But I do have some pictures of some amazing weekend things. Yes I do. Pictures to which I will now attempt to apply a modicum of language.

::Remember to click 'em. Size does matter.::

Amazing Thing #1: The Pipples

Amazing Thing #2: The Water

Not only did the lake display an array of color and texture throughout the weekend, the water felt different.

Like a tactile elixir.

I swam a lot and for long.
A rare thing, for me.

Amazing Thing #3: The Sky

Amazing Thing #4: The Sky Meets the Water Meets the Pipples

I'm over it.

Summer who?

I'm So Over Him, Too.
College boy returned to campus today. To an apartment. I was kind of happy to see him go because he'd been kind of a nerve prancer this summer, what with not having a job and all.

And keeping the hours of the vampire.
And eating all the pop-tarts. And peanut butter.
And tapping on my laptop.
And sitting in my knit spot.
And watching my T.V.
Loud. Ly.

Just hours after he was gone, Cakers threw a hairy fit over some ridiculous thing. I've been applying a swift kibosh to these outbursts, so was about to send her to her room, when I noticed that the crying had a different feel than the usual overdramatization.

Her sobbing was that of the truly broken-hearted, with a sorrow that resonated a bit with my own heart, under the crusty veneer. So I scooped her up for an impromptu snuggle, in a dining room chair. I kissed her head and rocked her slow and before she even said the words, my eyes were already welling up in anticipation.

I miss CAY-mer-on!.

It's a little soon for me to miss him outright, but I recognize a definite sense of melancholy over this departure. It's like I'm homesick, but still at home.

Everything's normal, but somehow not the same.

Or maybe I'm just feeling the reeling in the years.

Gainful Unemployment
My work year starts August 28, the first of three full days of professional development. Every year I start off feeling a little nervous about the unknowns. But as this school year approaches, I'm becoming increasingly anxious and distracted and having trouble sleeping.

With good reason.

Between significant changes in supervisory and administrative and speshul ed teaching staff, a bigger caseload and tougher graduation requirements, I fear becoming the impetus for the No-Sosul-Werker-Left-Behind. Or-Maybe-One,If-She's Pretty-Squirrely. legislation.

I had about 16 fucktillion more things to talk about, but I suddenly seemed to have lost my mind.

I lost my wind.

Mind, good.

Wind, gone.

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••• Wednesday, August 15, 2007

WTB? Wednesday 

This here is another shot from my evening in the neighbor's garden a few nights ago, at the cottage:

See that red ballish thing at the top?
Now, see that black shadowish thing inside the red ballish thing?

Here. Maybe this will help:

I know. What the Bug?

I can't figure out if he's riding a frisbee or hanging on to the steering wheel of a space ship. Either way, it's good to be home.

Block Party of the Mental Variety
My brain has been rendered temporarily inbloggable.
Duration currently unknown.

In the meantime, I'll be here, running rolling around like a chicken with its legs cut off.

••• Monday, August 13, 2007

Summer Dusk 

Cabana-Boy-Turned-Czar-of-The-Sand-Bar has decreed that the weekend officially ends in 2.5 hours. And it's a beautiful day. And the water temp is 82 degrees. And I'm only here at this computer because my swimsuit is in the dryer ::nite swim. Yum.:: And the dial-up gods are pedaling in my favor.

But the dial-up gods are as fickle as the Czar of the Sandbar is cruel.

And the dryer just beeped.


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••• Thursday, August 09, 2007

Giving Paws... 

...To the Dog Days of Summer.
And so it begins.

The days are getting shorter.

The neighborhood is getting quiet. ::Why is that the children disappear from the streets in August?::

And inservice itineraries are arriving in the mail.

All these things provide, in bits and pieces, psychological acclimation to the coffee-stoked reality that lies ahead: I'm going back to work.

Every August starts with a feeling of panic. It's not so much that I don't want to go back to work, because I do. I NEED to work. It's more about taking stock of what I accomplished over the summer. And what I didn't.

It's about counting coup and eating crow.
And making the most of what remains.

Tomorrow we're going back to the cottage for a long weekend. Our last until Labor Day. The In-laws are there. As is the dial-up that is rumored to have sent the Slowsky's to therapy, in search of their true bottom line.

All that being said: It's time for speed blogging.


I finished her. Sleeveless. I just couldn't deal no 'mo.

Cabana took some pictures of me modeling Sahara, but they were horrible. I don't know if it was the angle from my leaning against the deck rail, or the camera flash picking up the white of my tank top through the sweater fabric, or a combination therein, but in the picture, it looked like I was nursing a six-pack of baby belugas under there. Not a lovely sight. Come to think of it, Cabana hasn't looked me in the eye since seeing the images.

Anyway. I hope to have a modeled view of Sahara to share in a few weeks, after I wrap up the Sea World tour.

In the meantime, the Effin' O Specs:
Pattern: Sahara

Yarn:Elsebeth Lavold, Cottin Patine.

Size: Medium

Comments: Really fun to knit, except for the parts that weren't. Some of the language in the directions was kind of confusing. One other thing I'm not crazy about is that the first decrease stitches in the front land right in the middle of the heads of the top two belugas. It gave my husband pause and has me thinking I may not be wearing it to work. Maybe some adolescent clients would find it distracting.

Would I knit it again? I initially was thinking that I would knit it in long sleeves for winter, but right now I'm kind of not wanting to think about it for awhile.
You might say that I'm...

...Sew Over Knitting
Sometime way back, I bought a sewing machine from the internets.

Because I wanted to sew.

But I didn't.


And for months, my new machine sat silent.

With the blue packing tape still sticking to its tiny parts and stifling its little hopes and dreams.

For whatever reason,the untaping of the machine and figuring out how to use it felt like a huge project. It didn't help that it was set up in the basement, two floors away from the ironing board, and the only available floor space for cutting patterns.

A few weeks ago I went shopping for patterns and fabric, hoping to feel some excitement and get motivated.

I mostly got a headache. It takes awhile to get your sewing legs back.

Anyway. I bought some fabric and a summery pattern for Cakers and even went so far as to cut it out. And there it sat. I just couldn't make myself sew in the basement.

Last week Cabana did some shuffling of large exercise equipment, and set up the sewing machine in a cozy corner in our bedroom.


I completed this outfit just minutes before a predesignated departure time for our Anniversary date ::Cakers invited herself and insisted on it including an Underdog matinee.::

My mom sewed most of my clothes when I was a child. Many times I remember her finishing up a hem or closing a neckline on a dress, while I'm wearing it, as the family is heading out the door to some event. I even remember being sewed upon in the car, on the way to the Sunday School Christmas program. And she always left a pin in. Somewhere.

Just like I did on this outfit. Cakers felt found it while at the movies. And I didn't close the elastic casing.

Next on the docket:

The top at the top.

Sew Seredipitous.
Sew. Before this, the last thing I sewed was my headpiece, for my wedding, which happened exactly eight years ago from the day I finished Cakers' outfit.

Last week Cakers announced that when she grows up, she wants to marry Tom Petty.

While at our anniversary dinner at Applebees, Tom Petty's Even a Loser came on over the Musak and Cabana looked at me and said "'Even a Loser gets lucky some time.' My theme song, eight years ago today."

Okay. I guess you had to be there.
I was.
And it rocked.

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••• Monday, August 06, 2007

Just a Couple Few Questions 

Do I love you, do I?
Doesn't one and one make two?

Do I love you, do I?
Does July need a sky of blue?

Would I miss you, would I?
If you ever should go away?

If the sun should desert the day,
What would life be?

Will I leave you, never?
Could the ocean leave the shore?

Will I worship you forever?
Isn't heaven forever more? (for evermore?)

Do I love you, do I?
Oh, my dear, it's so easy to see,
Don't you know I do?
Don't I show you I do?
Just as you love me. -Cole Porter

Happy Anniversary, Baby.

Eight years of spooning hearts.
Here's to eighty fatillion more.


P.S. I love you too, my little skater boy.

Almost as much as I love missing you while you're away at college.


••• Sunday, August 05, 2007

Midnight At the Oasis 

Put Your Camels to Bed.

You Think You Know. But You Have No Idea.
For the past 25+ years, I've been operating under the belief that "Heart of Glass" was my all-time favorite Blondie song. Two weeks ago, after driving around town listening to a newly found Once More Into the Bleach, I made a startling discovery: My favorite Blondie song is actually "French Kissing in the U.S.A."

I know.
I felt like such a fool.

I started knitting about 18 years ago. A friend first taught me how to knit a washcloth. Then she taught me how to read a pattern. And then I taught myself cables, intarsia and bobbles, in about a month's time. When I made my first sweater and came to the "picking up stitches" part, I asked my friend what to do and she said "do just what it says, pick up and knit." So that's what I did.

Fast forward--->A week ago, there abouts.

I was finished with the body of Sahara and was ready for the sleeves, starting with the picking up of the stitches, using the method started 18 years ago, as follows:
1) With right side facing, and knitting needle in hand, stab blindly into the fabric.

2) Take a sip of blush wine, being careful not to choke on ice cube.

3) Continue stabbing motion until a strand of yarn shows up on the needle, appearing as a new stitch.

4) Chug whatever is left of the wine-turned-to-water, from the glass.

5) Knit the recently stabbed stitch.

6) Sneak a shot of now-ex-husband's Wild Turkey.

7) Repeat steps 1-6, replacing shots of Wild Turkey for Blush Wine, sans ice, until required number of stitches have been picked up.
I think you get the idea.

The above steps, sans booze, applied to the armholes of Sahara, did not go well. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that the resulting product looked to be quite unwell. Queasy, even.

Of course, I kept knitting anyway. And blamed it on the yarn. Yeah, the yarn. It was, um, moody. Yeah. And all it needed was a good strong knit, including a well excecuted series of short rows.


First, I blamed it on the short rows. But in my heart of hearts, I knew I did those right. This time.

So I googled.

And I learned.

And I wondered: How is it that I'm the last to know that when instructed to "pick up and knit" stitches,I am not to pick up an already created stitch, but instead create a new one, a la hooking the yarn through the tiny girl parts of the stitch? And that there is no actual knitting in "pick up and knit?"

Being a bit lazy stubborn in nature, I pretended this ill-be-picked up-thing was going to work out, up until the sleeve was almost done. Then I did a try-on. Then I ripped.

Then I "hooked" up some new stitches, all good and proper.

And then I somehow put the stitch markers for the short rows in the wrong places. This happened when we were in the car, heading north.

Since I had already successfully executed the short rows in the recently executed sleeve,this mistake was easily blamed on my husband, who was driving the car. On purpose. I know.

So I ripped back to the pick up line and started over.
This time I thought the sleeve was going well.
But when it was done, and I tried it on, I saw that it was poufy.

In the directions for the short rows, you are instructed to go 2 stitches past the last wrap, then wrap and turn. Initially I was a bit confused as to whether or not I should go 2 stitches and wrap the third or wrap the second stitch. In looking at previous short row instructions in the pattern, I strongly wondered if they were telling me to wrap and turn the second stitch. So I did.

Given the resulting pouf, I wondered if I had wondered wrong.

After a quick email exchange with Wendy ::Who has been very busy with photo shoots for her new book, so I was very surprised at and appreciative of her almost immediate response. She must get up very early.:: I found out that I actually did the short rows properly and she suggested that I do more decreases.

Which I did. And it was better, but still poufy. Even my husband said it was poufy, and he usually tells me that I am too critical of my knitting.

And now I'm torn.

I really wanted the capped sleeves. But all of a sudden, I'm way over this little desert voyage on the Sahara.

I'm tired of knitting it.
I'm tired of ripping it.
I'm tired of thinking about it.
I'm tired of writing about it.

I got sand in my 'gina and my camel toes are begging for a cool dip.

Even though I don't exactly know what went wrong ::Maybe I have small armpits?::, if I were to try the capped sleeve again, I might reduce the frequency of the short row wraps, and maybe wrap on the third stitch after all. Or cast on for a smaller size sleeve. In a look around blogland, I saw that some finished Saharas had the pouf and some didn't. So yeah, that was helpful.

On the other hand, er, arm, a completed, sleeveless Sahara is just a rip, two pick-up lines and a lacey border away.

And it doesn't help that I'm being taunted by this:

The yarn store near the cottage had 25% off all Rowan. So you know, I had to. ::I also learned that Rowan was bought out by Coats and Clark. I know. What would a couple of 200 year-old explorers want with a yarn company?::

I'm kind of tired of cardigans, so I think I'll do that pattern as a pullover. And yes, I realize there is a stockinette pullover with that trim in the pattern book, but I want the texture of the cardie, in a pullover.

All of a sudden I can't stand the sound of my typing voice. So I'm off for a cuppa and a rippa and to enjoy the sights and sounds of this:

Umm..that would be rain.
That's okay. I didn't recognize it at first, either.

p.s. Thanks for the props on the glasses. I wore reading glasses from 4th grade through my thirties. My closeup vision is now perfect, while my distance is deteriorating a little every year. Suckage.

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••• Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Little Knittin', A Lot of Knuttin' and a Whisper of a WTF 

Not Necessarily in That Order.

The Knuttins

The weekend with the family was fab. The weather was perfect and the only plumbing-related near-catastrophe was a backed-up sink from my having stuffed too many egg shells into the garbage disposal.

But if one is going to exercise one's unalienable right to be a total plumbtard, there's no better time than when surrounded by the loving support of family.
My 76 Year Old Mother: I never would've put all those shells down the disposal.

Me: So where were you 20 minutes ago?

My Mother: What?

Me: I also stuffed a paper plate down there.

My Mother: You did what?

Me: And an avacado. And your camera case. And a tampon. And an ovary.

My Mother: Over where?

If you can't beat 'em, mess with 'em.

As The Egg Turns
We are now home from the cottage. Up until late Tuesday, Cabana was still awaiting further orders on his job, so we stayed at the cottage until late Wednesday. It was actually a good time to leave, as it was getting too hot for even being at the lake. ::Yes, there is such a thing. Humidity,heat,sand and no-AC are the classic ingredients for a motive-for-murder cocktail. And the water temp had reached 84 degrees.::

Boys With Fine Asses Like Girls Who Wear Glasses.
I got new glasses. I really, really like them. As in, I really, really keep going to the mirror to really, really take another look. My husband really, really likes them too, and keeps really telling me so.

Except for weekend mornings or evenings after work, I wear contacts, mostly for cosmetic reasons. I'm now rethinking that habit. And can't help but wonder if I've reached a new level of old, to recognize that I look better in glasses than without. And most amazing of all, I could give a waxed ass.

The Saga of the Saharried Knitter
To be continued....

But only after this sneak preview.
Of a sleeve.
About to meet its maker.

Actually, we've already met.
But more on that later.*

Straight From the Sole
En route to the cottage, I usually take my potty breaks at Burger King. While the B.K. loos in northern Michigan are not luxurious by a log shot, they are usually clean and smell mildly pretty.

On this last trip we stopped at McDonalds because Cabana wanted their coffee, but not near as much as I wanted to wipe my ass with this:

Yep. That's toilet paper from McDonald's.

When it's just dangling off the roll, it appears to be of normal width, if not thickness. ::The thickness is Casper the Ghost-like.:: However, when you give it a friendly tug, it turns to that. And yes, I actually stole a wisp of toilet paper for blog fodder.

I wonder what gauge it gives?

*I had meant to give a full update on Sahara in this post, but the post had already grown longer than Great Aunt Nee-Nee's left boob. Besides, it can't hurt to have a post in a back pocket, along the lines of Aunt Nee-Nee's right boob. And I'm tired.::

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