••• Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Morning Knitting Porning 

Wherein She Dons a String of F Words, Like a Lovely Strand of Purls.

A Finished Object.

Do not adjust your dial. The perception of Fair Isle at this here blog, is not the Fault of your receiver. It is For Freakin' Fabulous real, my Friends.

I apologize for the poor quality of the first picture, but it best models the real look of the sweater, minus the haze. For the record, we were using my old camera.

This picture shows the best color, but was not part of the actual shoot. It was taken afterwards, while I gave the cute photographer a spontaneous shimmy.

The pattern is Wendy Bernard's Tomato. And what a Hot Tomater this one is.

As you can see, I moved the herring bone to far below the boob line. ::Yes Sarah, I do have a preoccupation with my boobs. It could be worse. I could have a preoccupation with yours. Hee!::
Pattern: Tomato. It can be found in Amy Singer's book, No Sheep for You and is also a free download at the Daily Knitting site, linked earlier in the post.

Size: 35.5 inch bust. I went for negative ease.

Yarn: Cotton Ease in Orange (duh) and Red.

Commentos: Well writ and a great knit.

Things I Tried to F Up But Didn't: I didn't want to fiddle with increases during the fair isle portion, so I sped up both the waistline decreases and increases by decreasing the number of rows between. I didn't plan this out at all, so the potential for it going bad was great. But it didn't. Go bad. To counter the extended waistline, I also squished the herringbone section a bit by taking out the row of MC at the beginning and the end.

Things I did F Up Without Even Trying: This will be a remarkably short list, my peeps. I know. Who are you and what have you done with Watchitmacaller? Anyway. I left out one row in the first set of the herringbone pattern. This pattern kind of morph's itself into view after a few rounds, so I didn't notice the error until I was a couple inches past the pattern. My knit confidence has been kind of low these last few projects, so I figured the sweater would be an overall mess, just from my having touched it, so why waste time correcting something so small?

I'm happy to say that you really can't tell there is a mistake unless you look real close. I dare ya. Actually, it kind of reminds me of the work of that artist who did the optical illusion morphing stuff. ::I tried to google him, but no luck. He had a coffee table book, in the 80's. I'm thinking morphing geese and some tower with water. Anybody?::

If I Knit This Again: I would make it a bit longer and maybe try it in a much nicer yarn.

Additional, Meaningless, Self-Involved Drivel:After I found the mistake in the herringbone, I started worrying about the shaping and how messed up that had the potential to be. That's kind of why I didn't post any pictures of the sweater in production. I was mostly afraid that online pattern designers are becoming so disgusted with my mangling of their artistry, that they're starting a special fund with which to pay me to never knit their patterns again.

But Then I Got to Thinkin': I could use the money. Maybe I should run with this idea myself.
Dear Designer,
Give me $200.00 or your new Baby Sweater pattern gets it in the eyelet. If you don't believe the damage I can inflict upon your good name, with only a pair of needles and some yarn, check out my blog at...

Yours Truly,
The Mangler.
Alas:This latest success would kind of take the teeth out of the potential terror of threat. I guess that's a good F'ing thing.
Posts may be few and far this week. Both of my babies have birthdays and a party ensues for The Cakers next Saturday. That means there's shopping and shopping to be done, between the usual suspects of major calendar suckage.

Coming Soon...a mother's rant on Homework for 1st Graders or 10 Minutes a Day, My Ass.

Maybe coming soon, email correspondence for those who wait. Heh. Like I have that many friends.

Lansing Lovelies: I have not responded yet to the discussion of a Grap party, because I've been ree ree busy and will continue to be so this week, at least. Please keep me in the loop. October doesn't work well for me until the end of it. November looks good, except for one weekend but I don't know which, yet. And yes, I owe a meme. In time, my pretties.

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••• Friday, September 28, 2007

Eye Candy Fraidy 

Fear have big eyes (sic)- Serbian Proverb

Before the school year started, I had bouts of anxiety in anticipation of several significant changes in my workload, including an almost full turnover in my caseload.

At this writing, the shit has left the launching dock, but not yet hit the fan. And my best estimation indicates that the fan will be shat as early as Monday morning.

But really, I'm ready.

That doesn't mean I still can't be missing the sweet and gentle clarity of this:

p.s. I'll be reposting my last post. My pictures disappeared, and I know why. I blame myself.

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••• Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Little Things. 

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. – Robert Brault

My wedding anniversary is in August, and for the past few years we’ve celebrated by taking a 24-hour retreat at the cottage, just the two of us. This year, August flew by without adequate opportunity, so we stole our 24 this weekend past.

I’ve been kind of struggling with the words to describe the splendor of the weekend. There was no finely orchestrated event. No gastronomical galas. No one outstandingly memorable moment. Just a lovely, 24-hour spread of sensorial delight.

First we went for a hike in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. There are many hiking trails in the vast expanse of this park, but the one we took is only 5 miles from our cottage, and runs parallel to the Big Lake.

Here's an interesting tree we found along the path. It looks kind of old and tired. And pube-y.

After awhile, the sound of the surf was too alluring, so we hopped off the trail and onto the beach.

This is a fairly decent picture of me, taken by Cabana.

And a little Surf and Turf Manpie:

We took the scenic route out of the park. When I took this picture, I thought I had happened upon a very clever photographic concept.

In retrospect, or as seen through the rear view mirror of my mind, I must have been suffering from the collective influence of fresh air, natural beauty and good company.

A tall order of Tuesday-Leftovers-Saturday-Sky.

After some time on the beach at the cottage, we headed to dinner at a local bar, where we were served up a delicious meal of prime rib and baked potato, with a side of drunk Harley couples, for entertainment purposes only.

Back at the cottage, we caught a little sunset, campfire and coyote serenade.

The next day we just hung out on at the cottage. Some of us hung a little crazier than others.

That's my Cabana, swimming in barely-60-degree water. He wanted me to take a picture to show how clear was the water. I wanted to take a picture to show how clear was the insanity. You know, in the event of an inquiry.

As we were getting ready to leave, we received special anniversary homage from a couple of the locals:

::Please click on this one, for full impact of color.::

Afterwards, one of the ducks approached me to apologize and explain that they had originally planned a 21-Bun Salute, but with it being the migration season, the team was currently a little short-assed.

Butt really, it's the thought that counts.

And The Little Things.

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••• Friday, September 21, 2007

Knitter Faloozy Pt II 

Thursday Edition
But on Friday.

Just as my brain's been pickling in the brine of fatigue all week, so has this post been stewing in the juices of my draft post bin.

So let it be said, I have had a busy week. Monday was Open House at the school where I work, which went until 9. Tuesday was Blah-Blah-Blah Night at Cakers' school. And Wednesday I had a 7 a.m. meeting and had to stay late for another one. No wonder it's been so hard to get my workday rhythm going.

So on With the Show, This is It.

More Faloozies.

On the left is Sharon, who is knitting some lovely Sharon Stuff, while wearing it. That's right. I met Sharon briefly once before, and it was nice to be able to spend some time with her. Sharon is a very busy woman. After our party, she headed off to Contradance ::In case you didn't know, Contradance is dancing to music played by a Contraband.:: Sarah told me that sometimes the dance group will have a little party, which is called a Contraception. ::Not only are these Lansingites great knitters, thayze smarts to.::

Next to Sharon is Who's-Tonya?-Toya. A funny delight, that one. ::Watch for more on her. In the news.::

Here's another one of Sharon and some people I didn't get to meet personally, but it seems that they are all named a variation of Kelly**.

See the woman with the beautiful, aubergine, luminescent hair? I took about 6 pictures of her, but I'm not going to show them all, because that would make me weird.

But I will show you this one:

I kind of wish I would've introduced myself. Then again, I'm kind of glad I didn't introduce myself, but only because if I had, I may have been compelled to ask her if I could roll my face, ever so gently, into her luminosity. Of course, everyone would then understand why I don't get out much, and when I do, that I tend to keep to myself. And indeed, the self-imposed isolation is for the better.

This here is Deana.

I would've liked to have talked to her some more, but after I inadvertantly snapped that shot of her performing a local variation of the Slappa Cho Fertility Dance, we both felt kind of self-conscious.

There was another lovely woman named Carolyn, who walked around all afternoon, slinging her adorable, well-knit baby in a baby slinger, whilst knitting. As evidenced here.

When I told Cabana about Carolyn's well-balanced skills, he said "Good thing you never tried that. I can just see me having to frog Cakers off of you..." Gosh, I love that man. He so gets me, yet still loves me.

Knitterfa Looty
I was only able to crawl to one yarn joint. But just getting around the yarn acreage of Threadbear really is a day trip onto itself.

Whenever I go there, it always takes me awhile to get my Threadbearings, and this trip was no different. The place is huge. And the sales... ::sigh::. I bet I loaded and unloaded my basket three times, after coming upon an even better deal than the current load.

I settled on Mission Falls, which they were practically giving away. The reddish is designated for a cable sweater for me, and the greenish will be a baby hat.

This stuff was also on sale, and will soon become a Mimi Long Gone scarf for mi mom.

And I bought this Chic Knits pattern, which up until today, was only available through venders. That other one is a Mac n Me scarf pattern. ::I hope the Ribby Pulli pattern has the short sleeved, scoop-neck version.::

Of course, the highlight of any visit to Threadbear is having some time with the Bears themselves, Rob and Matt. I also had a nice visit with a friend of theirs, with a lovely name which currently escapes me. ::Reason #47 that I suck at social: I forget people's names. Unless you're the Kelly who 30 minutes after waiting on me at the store, was sitting next to me at the party! She's a real sweetie, with a great attitude, in spite of having spent her entire 6th grade year isolated in a tunnel under the middle school.*::

If you haven't had enough, there is also a Flickr page designated to this event.

And now I'm done.

*More inside shit. Sorry. But not really.

**Totally made up.

Special Word to Kristi, Sue and Kelly, please don't plan the City Knitting visit this weekend. I'm going north for a belated anniversary treat, via a weekend of drinking and scrumping romantic celebration. I plan to return home with nothing less than a hangover happy glow and a full blown UTI heart full of special memories.


••• Monday, September 17, 2007

Knitter Faloozy: Pt 1 

Don’t you just hate it when a knit blogger posts about some social event, where people you’d like to meet, are meeting other people you’d like to meet?

Along with the upbeat, friendly narrative of these posts, there is the usual peppering of inside jokes and innuendo, the hilarity of which can only be known to those who attended. When I read those posts, I usually feel happy for the depicted participants, but also a bit left out. Lonely, if you will. Paranoid, even.

For that very reason I have mixed feelings about writing this post. There's a part of me that wants to be sensitive to the feelings and interest level of all 17 of my loyal readers. And there's another part that wants to say "Na Na Boo Boo. It's my turn now."

Na Na Boo Boo won.

And here we are.

The Faloozy Collection

Supreme High Priestess of the Knitter Faloozies.

She flips.

She thrusts.

She struts her stuff, y'all.

And she has ree ree white teeth.

::Just a thought for any future events: Keeping Kristi occupied with an important job keeps her away from the sauce. At least for awhile.::

The Minor Faloozies
I'm typically uncomfortable in a new social situation and usually creep around the periphery of said activity, until I find a safe spot to merge. For those of you with similar behavior patterns,I have figured out the perfect cure for situational shyness: Find the loudest, scariest, smart assiest person in the room, plop thyself down right next to her, and fasten your seat belt.

My cure has a name: Dirty Sue.

::Dirty Sue is not at all shy. Most powerful, smart-assicle beings have their own version of kryptonite. The camera happens to be Sue's kryptonite. And did you know she used to date Ozzie Osbourne? Stole him right away from Sharon. That's right. The bat head thing was actually her idea. After she tired of him, she kicked his ass home, and never looked back.* I know.::

What Kristi is to The Sauce elegant entertaining or Dirty Sue to bat cave savagery, Sarah is to knitting finesse. Seriously. And she's a fine smartass, to boot.

Postus Interruptus
I really meant to finish this post tonight. But I can't. I just finished a 14 hour day at work and don't have the witherall to rub two thoughts together. Stay tuned tomorrow (or the next day. Or so.) when we venture into the Mid-Michigan knitting underworld, in search of mystery woman Tonya*. ::Between you and me, I think some people know more than what they're lettin' on, regarding Tonya's true identity and probable whereabouts. cough-Toya-cough.::

Which reminds me, what ever happened to the stranger with the jumper cables?*

Also, in Part II, I'll be sharing more pictures, as well as the froots of my booty call, from the yarn crawl.

Please note that this post is going to press with little to no proofing or editing and rights reserved to clean it up later.

*May be an inside joke or something I just made up, with no contextual relevance to anything.


••• Friday, September 14, 2007

Creye Candy 

While Looking at this:

I'm thinking of this:

And this:

And it makes me wanna cry.

Speaking of Which
It would appear that over the past few weeks, I have had the knit stuffin’ knocked right outta me. Over Labor Day weekend I did knit up some knadorable burp pads and bibs from the Mason-Dixon book, for my niece’s new baby, but took no pictures. They were so much fun, however, a reenactment is in the works.

Otherwise I have knit about two rows in as many weeks, on the Neonic Tomato, a picture of which you have not yet seen, either. Consider that a favor to your eyeballs. Speaking of which, I figured out that the changing of the contact lens can do much good, in the consideration of eyeball comfort. That being said, I also realize that I have not been getting near enough sleep these days. Or alcohol.

Speaking of which, in less than a month College Boy will be 21 and therefore highly sendable to the store for booze for his poor ol' momma. Booze she’ll be sorely needing upon the dawning of the knowledge that her College Boy is 21 and highly sendable to the store for booze for his poor ol' momma. Booze she’ll be sorely needing upon…oh. Sorry.

Speaking of which, I keep sending that boy off to college, but he keeps coming back. Last week he came home for the weekend and never left the property. In fact, except to use the bathroom, he never left the living room. Even to sleep ::he brought all his bedroom furniture to college. Furniture I’m sure was whooping it up all weekend, in celebration of his boring ass absence.:: Apparently he has entered a new phase of human development that hereto now I had never heard of: Neo-Adult Parasitic.

I think my eagerness for him to pass through this phase is as strong as or even stronger than that of any other developmental stage I've seen either of my children through. The only possible exception would be that awkward period where Cakers insisted on using tampons for Butt Wipe Sticks and the applicators for Barbie Wands.

Gawd. No wonder I'm so damn tired.

Crawling in Love Again

I hope to reclaim some Knittin' Stuffin' tomorrow, when I participate in Knitterpalooza, a yarn crawl through Greater Lansing ::I know, I too had no idea that Lansing could get any greater.::. After we successfully deplete the city of all feasible fiber resources, we're meeting up at Chez Red Dog for a Knit Hang and Cookout.

I get kind of nervous around new people, but I'm very excited to finally meet Kristi, fellow soshul werker and former neighbor-I-never-knew. I'm also excited to see my T-bear buds again. It's been too long.

But now I gotta go. I only have several hours to figure out what to shop for and what to wear.


••• Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Need Therapy Thursday 

1)I'm so tired, it feels like my eyeballs are inside out.

••• Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Let-It-Flow Tuesday 

The New Face of Domestic Terror

And related, memorable movie quotes:
"You see, the menopausal lady don’t like people laughing. She gets the crazy idea you’re laughing at her. Now, if you apologize, like I know you’re going to, I might convince her that you really didn’t mean it…."- A Uterus With No Name, from a Fistful of Tampons.

"When a woman wearing an overnight-pad-in-the-daytime meets a man with a Winchester, you said the woman wearing an-overnight-pad-in-the-daytime’s a dead woman. Let’s see if that’s true…" – A Uterus With No Name from A Fistful of Tampons.

"I eat breakfast with 4,000 raging hormones, all trained to kill, so don’t think for one second you can come down here, flash your speculum and make me nervous."- Colonel Nathania Stirrup in A Few Good Menses.

"But being this is a Playtex Pearls Super Suck Magnum 44- the most powerful tampon in the world, and will suck those chinpubes back into your chinbone, ask yourself a question—‘Do I feel lucky?’"-Cherry Callahan in Dirty Cherry

"Here’s to 5 miserable months on the rag and all the irreparable harm it’s caused me."-Jackie Torrents from The Flooding.

"I’m sorry I ate your FSH"- Hotto Flash in A FSH called Wanda.
A semblance of a real post is in our collective futures. First I need to find the cave where my family has taken refuge.

p.s. Please ignore the little arrows around the raging uterus. I don't know how I missed them.

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••• Friday, September 07, 2007

Eye Like Candy 

Eye dew.


••• Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Daze 

Lessons From a First Grader
I always face the new school year with a bit of trepidation, but most years I'm mostly excited about going back. As I mentioned a while back, this year the usual trepidation has been raised to levels of true anxiety, with no real basis, other than a few changes in the work environment. And any other work-related horror the mind can conjure, at 3 a.m.

And I really should know better.

In my 13 years with the school system, I have faced/overcame/survived some very intense, short and long-term professional challenges.

But just as every year is different from the one before in terms of unpredictable stressors, each school year also guarantees at least three specific, predictables: A beginning, an end and lots of breaks in between.

Segue Alert:

This past weekend, Cakers and her father hatched a little plan for her to go tubing. Alone.

When I heard about this plan, I immediately put to it, a gentle kibosh.

To Cakers I said: Ummm. This is something that daddy and I need to talk about for a couple of days, then decide together. ::i.e. Tubing, my ass.* With assorted, flying monkeys.::

To Cabana, I said: Tubing, my ass. With assorted flying monkeys.
She's too young. I mean, technically she’s still in kindergarten.
She needs to practice more with a grown-up.
Behind a paddle boat.

For one day, I held firm.
Then, late Saturday, Cakers asked again.
Her dad then approached me, in private, and made an appeal.

She really, really wants to do this, he said, then promised to go really, really slow.

It was a spectactular, late summer evening. The water was like glass, with nary an enemy U-boat or warship in sight.

So, armed with the knowledge and conviction that my husband loves Cakers no less than I, and would never put her in harm's way, I found the courage to let go. Or at least the courage to let her go tubing.

That’s not to say that I wasn’t scared.

I was.
And thrilled.
And proud.
And even a little envious, of her sense of adventure.

But mostly I was terrified.

Initially this post was going to be about fear. You know, about poor me, having to go back to work with all those big, mean scary changes. And how my big, mean husband and little, mean daughter committed against me, that heinous act of emotional terrorism.


But after I uploaded the pictures to the blog and started to write, a totally different story emerged. A lesson, if you will.

A lesson for the mother olden,
From her little daughter golden.

You see, the pictures depicting Cakers' little adventure on the high seas no longer looked like a scary venture, but instead reminded me of the phases of a typical (and survivable) school year, for me.

And it goes something like this:

1)The Fresh start. Note the hair, all flowy and light. And the coy little smile, nervous-yet-excited.

2) It gets Dicey. After a month or two, the year begins to reveal its true potential, forwarning the need to hang on and hunker down.

3) The Occasional Slap Upside the Head, When You Least Expect It. Self explanatory.

4) The End of the Trail . By that last day of the school year, this is pretty much how I feel/look. Flat and weary; with my hair stuck to my brain.

5) But Then... It's summer. Again.

And then I realized it was gonna be all right.

p.s. Please click pics for enhanced perusal.

p.p.s. I meant for this to be a Labor Day post, but my labors yesterday were happily redirected.

p.p.p.s. Where'd my baby go?

*Has great google potential.

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••• Sunday, September 02, 2007

Eye Candy Friday 

The Sundried Sunday Edition.

Those pictures were taken on a boat ride, Friday night. After sitting through three full days of Professional Devolvement Development, that sunset cruise and related sensory accrouements, were a collective sight for sore brain.

::I started my attempt at uploading the pictures on Friday night. I got not far. Yesterday a sweet friend agreed to upload them for me, from all the way over there in Idaho. Ain't this a wonderful world?::

We're cutting the weekend short and heading home today, after stopping at another family gathering. So I'll see youse on the other side.

p.s. Those pics were shot with my old, wee pixelated camera.