Friday, December 29, 2006

Almost Auld Lang Syne

Today is pajama day. Every couple weeks or so, I declare a day of no obligation and we all wear our pajamas all day. We hang out and know that we have no reason to schlep around the town. Of course the recent snowstorm helped this a bit.

I have been thinking about resolutions lately. I have a mission to lose some weight (I am at least 60 pounds too heavy) and I intend to make it my resolution this year. So then comes the devil's advocate--Resolutions are made to be broken, willpower runs out in February, etc.

I have a formula (this is the mathy, organized side of me coming out). Every week I will add a new habit. I have started (albiet early) to walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes every day.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I have mentioned before that I am an organized person. I start my Christmas preparations very early. The goal is to have the week before Christmas devoted to stocking stuffers, which is fun for me.

I was fairly successful this year. My SIL usually arranges with the parents to not do a gift exchange because there are several birthdays this time of year and it hits the budget hard. With two mortgages this year, we were more than eager to jump on the band wagon.

So how do you handle this? Two weeks ago we went to visit and celebrate FIL's birthday and the parents showered us with wrapped presents. They said they were tired of not buying presents and wanted to get us gifts. We appreciate the thought...

So now what?
We closed on our house so they know we now have some cashflow again.
They gave us the gifts two weeks early, and they are coming up on Christmas day.

Of course we will get them something, in fact we got the gifts yesterday. I just question their and honestly, our motives. And I really resented having to do the shopping so close to Christmas time.

I know everyone in the US is tired of the commercialism of Christmas. I know my rants are unoriginal. I also know I hate the pressure of finding the perfect gift for someone. My mother was surprisingly hard to shop for this year. And I am still not sure my ThYO will like his gift from Santa.

He really wanted a lego train this year, but with a one-year old in the house, Santa really can't bring one of those. We have explained this and he seems to understand but he looks at the picture so longingly. I know we're doing the right thing, we found him a toy we think he will like but it's so hard knowing he's going to be disappointed.

On the flip side, we also know he will play with his little brother's toys and completely disregard the fact that they're baby toys.

And as for stocking stuffers, the budget has run dry.

Friday, December 22, 2006

List of projects: December 2006

Projects on the needles
Debbie bliss denim cardigan
Dale Heilo cardigan from VK several years ago
Dale of Norway sweater I saw in magazine and decided to knit myself rather than buy for $400.00--this project itself needs a blog, maybe tomorrow.
Big, stole/shawl garment
Summer gameday sweater

Projects off the needles
Winter game day sweater
Lace stocking originally for me, but will give to my mom.

When fame goes to your head

It has come to my attention that someone actually reads my blog. I have a groupie.

Granted, I told her about my blog and she checks in just to see what I'm up to, but I still feel guilty for not blogging for a month. Bad me.

I'm dreaming of...

Well, I got my white christmas this year. In fact I got enough to make up for at least the past four years.

We probably got about two feet with this last storm. The kicker is the wind, which produced a few drifts. Some of which are over seven feet tall!

As the city was inoperable, everyone was outside yesterday shoveling and fraternizing. By mid-afternoon, the sun was out, the air was fairly warm and everyone on my block was sitting out in camp chairs swapping favorite brews (lemonade for the kids). Classic college town in action.

I decided to leave the house today with me kids to do some last minute shopping, and promptly got stuck in our street. Apparently my humble neighborhood is not high on the snowplow list.

A little perseverence (and a husband who works from home) got me out on my way. Luckily the main streets were dry. It's the parking lots that are sad. I swear the Home Depot lot rivaled the moguls of Vail.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Man I Love

I wanted to knit my husband a sweater a few years ago. I should have noticed that I was the only person who seemed excited about this prospect. I found a great pattern and a nice yarn but, alas, the yarn and pattern were not a good match. I knit the whole thing only to find it did not hang correctly and was way too bulky. By then I was already getting subtle hints and I never even showed the sweater to DH.

DH is a wonderful man, but he is picky about his clothes. Very picky. I can't even buy him clothes off the rack without exchanging them. He wants to be as nondescript as possible. A handknit item might make him "standout" and he doesn't feel standing out for any reason is a good idea.

So imagine my shock when he asked me to knit him something! He tagged along with me to a LYS I've been wanting to visit. He sat down among some books and showed me a pattern for a Christmas stocking and asked if I would make it for him. I was stunned, but immediately recovered and showed him what yarn he should select (Cascade 220 of course) while I looked at his pattern. I am knitting something for my man.

Now I am gently bringing up the idea of a sweater. A plain oatmeal or gray sweater. Maybe a tweedy gray...with a simple textured pattern...or a subtle cable...or a simple aran sweater...with several cabled patterns weaving up the torso...a full blown fishermans gansey!

Do you think that would make him standout?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pathetic Excuse

I'm very busy these days. I realize there are very few people who are not busy and I do not presume to assume I'm busier than they are, but I have been too busy for blogging.

It's easy for me to snatch bits and pieces of time here and there, but I use it for knitting mostly. Especially when the holidays come around and those bits and pieces are harder to come by.

I have a close friend who is always in awe of my knitting and where I find the time. I am in awe of how beautifully clean and sparkly her house is. It's simply a matter of priority.

I have completed and brainstormed a few projects. Pictures will follow.

And in other news, our house is finally in escrow! Yay! We close before Christmas (just barely) which means Santa will have an easier time finding my ThYO a gift.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Life is a Highway

A certain Disney Pixar movie came out on DVD this week. My ThYO has been in love with this vehicular movie since he saw it in the theater--three times. So my FIL came up for the evening and brought the movie along.

I knew FIL would get the movie. I had been hoping to save it as a Christmas present but DThYO had been under the weather all day and it just hurt my heart to see his little flushed cheeks and glazed eyes. The movie made him feel 150% better.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


My house is in chaos. Not my household, my house.

I realized this when I looked up from my naptime knitting. It makes sense that my house is in chaos, because for the past couple days my knitting has been in chaos. I have been swatching, frogging, starting, frogging and in general going nowhere. Even my WIP's can't hold my attention. What could have been causing all this cluttered knitting? AHA! A cluttered house!

So, I took some of my precious naptime and sparkle-cleaned the most obvious culprits. And now I have a teeny tiny grudge because I had to clean up the supplies that were used by my Boys to make my birthday card. I waited three days, and no one picked up. That just isn't fair.

But now the house is reasonably clean and now maybe my knitting will become inspired again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The System

I am an organizer. I am not necessarily a cleaner but I am an organizer. I'm also a very mathematical thinker. I come up with logical ways to accomplish things. It helps me preserve my sanity.

Several months ago I did a yarn inventory in Excel. I was curious about what I had and how much and I thought it would be useful to have a list of some sort.

I had over two hundred balls of yarn. YIKES!

I have groups of 10-20 that are dedicated to projects, groups of 5-10 that are dedicated to projects in the making. Piles of yarn that have no project but I got enough so I could do a project should one come to mind.

Then there are the randoms. This was what genuinely shocked me. There were the odd balls that were left over from completed projects. Balls from projects that I scraped. Balls that I loved or wanted to try that never made it past the speculation stage. Random balls from when my mom cleaned out her stash. The list went on and on.

But I love yarn and my hobbies are the one frivolous expense I give myself.

So I came up with a solution to help me deplete my stash but still buy yarn:

For every two balls I consume/sell/give I can buy one ball.

That's it. That's the system. It's simple. It's motivating. It's easy to moniter in Excel. And best of all, I now only have 127 skeins/balls/cones of yarn in my inventory. I have made progress!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Too many calories, too many years.

Today is my birthday. As a rule, I do not like large festivities surrounding this day. I prefer to spend my energy on Halloween and Christmas.

The traditions I have regarding my birthday:
  • My dh makes the cake of my choosing. He does not bake and half the fun is watching him fumble around in the kitchen.
  • There is only ONE candle on mommy's cake. I have young children and I need to start that tradition early before thay learn to count past thirty something.
  • I do not have to wake up early or change a diaper.
  • We have the dinner of my choice.

This year I found a recipe for sour cherry cheesecake brownies. Black forest cake kept popping into my head, but I make the best black forest cake and that is also where the recipe lies--in my head. It was too much work to write down the instructions, so I chose brownies. They are sitting in my refrigerator right now and they look really good. A little good vanilla ice cream and a dollop of hot fudge and we are good to go.

We're going to my parent's for dinner. My mom is so happy to have me back home. She quickly volunteered to make my B-day dinner--Black and Blue salad. A wonderful concoction of salad greens, a supurb cut of steak grilled extra rare and blue cheese dressing.

My stomach is already rumbling.

Need a notion for a notion.

Yesterday I was kicked out of my house by my dh. He had to help my sons make their birthday cards for me. So I went to the only place I knew I could meander for over an hour--my LYS.

I have no budget remaing for yarn--we have two mortgages going until we sell our house in Washington, but I did need buttons for my coat. Luckily, my dh (he really is a great man) had purchsed a gift certificate for me on our anniversary (he had discovered that seven is the "wool" year--isn't that cute?). So off I went to find the perfect buttons.

Alas, the perfect button was in bronze. As the coat is black, white and shades of gray this would not do. Luckily, I did find other buttons to love.

The picture kind of sucks, but I think they will look great with the coat.

Now I need a project that will use those adorable bronze buttons. Those adorable bronze with enameled edelweiss, shank buttons. Sigh. Like I really need another WIP.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Is it "Finished" finished or just finished?

I finished it. I finished my coat/parka. The Turkish patterned, Norwegian constructed, Icelandic wool project.

I can honestly say I have never finished anything this persnickety. I have always veered toward more challenging patterns but this is the most challenging one I have finished.

So now I must confess. I am not as up to snuff with my finishing techniques. I can tackle cables and fair isle and I have knit a good foot or two of lace but I am less than average when it comes to finishing a sweater.

Now I have this beautiful coat and it deserves to be blocked. Which means it will probably sit around for another couple weeks while I try to think of a way to not have to block it.

This afternoon I put the coat on and paraded in front of my husband.
"Look, isn't it nice"
"You finished it! You should wear it this weekend."
"Um, still need to...oh never mind."

I know finishing isn't hard. But I am very mathy when I knit and it bothers me to know that all those calculations can fly out the window with a bad blocking job. Of course, if I finished more projects, I wouldn't be as scared.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Smells like wet sheep

A couple years ago I found a pattern in an out-of-publication book for a Parka/cardigan knit in Unspun Icelandic. I fell in love. After a year, I decided I had been good enough to my yarn budget to allow the purchase of said yarn. Last March I started knitting the thing.

I love Seattle. The weather is gray a good seven to eight months of the year which is very condusive to my knitting. The one drawback (for a knitter) is that the weather never gets very cold.

So in June, when the sun began showing it's face again, I realized "I am never going to wear this." I wear shortsleeves and a light rain coat during the Winter. Why on earth did I buy all this wool? Spun from sheep that live in Iceland no less. It was quite a depressing thought, especially since I was a good 40% into the project. I set it aside thinking I might finish it for my mom. In about ten years.

Then I moved back to Colorado.

I am so close to being finished I can taste it.

Pictures will be posted when I can accomplish such a technical feat (it's more a timing/computer sharing thing than an incompetance thing).

The monster that lives in my three year old

I have a three year old. Those of you that are parents will probably sympathize with me.

Everyone has heard of the terrible twos. When my son was two, all of the sudden the rule changed: "If you think two is bad, just wait for three." How reassuring. Insert new baby brother here and now we have an emotional rollercoaster in a child who is too short to safely ride.

Fortunately, there haven't been very many comments about four. Unfortunately, the joy of four will be lost among the chaos of another two.

This must be why parents strive so hard to be grandparents.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The first blog


If you are reading this, I can only assume you are bored and have landed on my blog by accident.

Of course the ideal first blog would be witty and clever. I'm not an idealist.

I'm new to this blog thing. I'm still curious about why anyone would want to air their cyberdiaries but here I am.

What you can expect to find here:
Status of my knitting projects
Anecdotes from my family-a husband, two sons and a cat. All boys.

I'm a stay at home mom in a small city in Colorado. I grew up outside Denver, but I have spent the past six years in Seattle. Before that I spent a couple years in Minneapolis. Two months ago I moved back to Colorado.

My interests include, but are not limited to sewing, knitting, cooking and general creativity. Knitting is my focus right now (after kids and husband of course). Another blog in the near future I'll post my WIPs. The list is so long it would take me hours to type it up.

If you got this far, it's time for you to go back to work or go to bed.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin