a real post

“Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.”
Henry Ward Beecher

I am so sleepy. I meant to write a nice, long, post to make up for my paltry updates lately. To make up for my incoherency, I come bearing pictures (I actually managed to get pictures from my digicam to the desktop). First of all, a picture of me and baby T literally 5 minutes before we left to get me on my plane:

(can you totally tell I’ve been sick in this photo?)

And, here is a picture of Boston Harbor (WA) on the Peninsula. Right before sunset, ahhh, salt water:


And here’s the hat and wrist warmers I knit for Mum, using Malabrigo kettle-dyed merino yarn:


They took me all of, maybe, 6 hours of knitting. I love quick knits. They’re very soft, and cheered Mum up considerably (major achievement, all things considered).

In other news, I mailed my Hogwarts Houses Swap parcel to my partner today. It should arrive in two days. Hopefully, my partner won’t think I’m a total freak since I got a little too into the Wizarding spirit. It was too much fun not to.

In Knitting News, I have 3 inches on my silk pullover. I’m going to rip out my socks for the third time. I’m thinking of ripping the original La Primavera stole. I don’t have enough of the yarn, so I’m going to try again with my new Lorna’s Laces Helen.

And, err, I’ve forgotten everything else. Something to do with the new Colbert ice cream? Hrm. Ahwell. I’ll try again tomorrow. Night night.

I am not dead

This is an extremely quick update, and I apologize to everyone I seem to have been ignoring (I really haven’t, I swear!). Ten quick things:

  1. I am alive
  2. I arrived safe and early on Sunday afternoon
  3. I was kidnapped persuaded by my father to visit my Mum in Olympia before we went home
  4. Mum is very sick with the stomach flu (woot)
  5. It took me 24 hours, but I got the cable internet in her apartment to work. Yes, I am Queen of the Internets. Mwahaha. The Cable Guy Mum called said it couldn’t be done. I shall thwart him when I get the chance.
  6. I have knit a hat and matching wrist warmers for Mum
  7. Olympia is cute. I have many pictures.
  8. I am no longer sick (thank you everyone for thinking of me!) and am heartily grateful for it.
  9. I am obscenely late in sending out my Hogwarts Houses Swap package (as organizer, this is just embarrassing)
  10. I want my bed. Seriously. I miss it desperately.

4 lousy stitches

Weird little bit of advice (in locum for a quote): never take TUMs with the stomach flu. I just figured this out 1/2 an hour ago.

Anyway. (Eugh, eating something small didn’t settle my stomach, either, when will I learn?)

As I laid down last night, praying for either: a) Divine clemency in the form of an instant cure, or b) mortal clemency in the form of one of my relatives putting me out of my misery, I realised something. I had cast on 147 stitches that afternoon for the back of my newest sweater project. I was supposed to cast on 143 stitches.

I have no idea why this occurred to me at that exact moment, but it did, and I have to say I’m a little grateful it did. I had only knit one row, and thus only had to tink back 145 sts, and drop two. Why two, and not four?

Well, there’s to be an inch of feather and fan lace at the hem and lace is darned hard to seam, so I decided to add on a seam stitch to either side. We’ll see how long I remember they’re there before confusing myself. Anyone want to start placing bets?

I was a bit annoyed at myself, since tinking silk boucle is no mean feat and not something to cheer oneself up with. But, it’s done and maybe I can get some knitting done now. (It’s take all day for me to work myself up to any knitting at all, or sitting up, really).

I have a flight home tomorrow at 12:45 pm. A and TheBon talked me into it. Bless them.

Sumptuous plans

I am exhausted. Long, long day. A is still sick, and I’m praying that the nausea I’m feeling is just from eating too many hamentashen. Little D and I made 2 dozen hamentashen – triangular filled cookies to celebrate the defeat of Haman (he wore a triangular hat), an ancient Persian who tried to annihilate the Jews. Purim is the celebration of Hadassah (or Ester) a Jewess who defeated Haman with her uncle Mordecai. Since Purim is on Saturday, I volunteered to make hamentashen for little D use. So, here we are making them:


They came out very well, all things considered (I played fast and loose with the recipe). After a disastrous dinner, I finally finished swatching for my next project, the peacock pullover:


And, um, that’s it. I’m going to go and sit quietly now. Cross your fingers for me, since my train ride home is tomorrow night…

Spocks – finally finished!

ANOTHER finished pair of socks!

Project specs:
Yarn: Opal “Crocodile”
Needles: US 2’s (straights and DPNs)
Gauge: 8 sts/ inch
Size: US women’s 7.5
Date started: …?
Date finished: Feb 28, 2007
Findings: 14 antique bone buttons
Pattern: MINE!

… and, look, more photos…

I took this one right after I finished sewing on the buttons last night, as we watched LOST:


Before that, as we watched American Idol (just don’t ask), I worked with A on her knitting. She had just finished casting on:


And was, quite reasonably, please with herself. So, she called out to K, “Look at this beauty I have wrought!” (or something similiar). To which K replied, “I love you,” and went back to her computer. “She’s humoring me,” A explained. “That’s what she always says when she thinks I’m being silly.” A looked back up and called, “Yes, my love, but you don’t understand the complexity of my achievement!”

I think K actually raised one eyebrow, but dutifully came over to see what all the fuss was about. Watching A cast on another couple of stitches, K looked more impressed. “Huh. Now how do you make another row on top of that?”

“We haven’t gotten that far.” Right. So, I showed A and she knit a couple of rows (slowly but surely). K leaned over her shoulder, watching curiously, and finally declared, “I want to try that!”

So, she did. And to our bemusement, she started knitting:


A and I looked at each other. “Wow,” was all I said. I think A muttered something under her breath. But, she complimented K on picking it up so fast.

It’s amazing how humbling teaching someone to knit can be. I think it took me a full 15 minutes for me to knit my first stitch. It didn’t take K 15 seconds. Nor A, admittedly. Finally, K gave A her knitting back. A proceeded to knit through AI to the end of LOST (occassionally crying out for help) as I knit a button placket and sewed on the buttons for K’s socks, err, spocks.

Oh, and at some point therein, we blocked little D’s gansey for the third time. Let me retype that. THE THIRD TIME. This jumper is going to be the death of me:

But at least it looks better.

Something we can’t say for A this morning. Somehow she has the stomach flu (half of the office does apparently), and is lying in bed. K and I have taken Airborne. Heaven help us.

Darn, I have to make Hamentashen. And something garlicky for A to eat…

The City

“Men come together in cities in order to live; they remain together in order to live the good life.”
Aristotle

What a loooooong day. I got up just as A was about to run out the door, to work, and was given 10 minutes to decide if I wanted to go into The City (read: San Fransisco) or entertain myself in the south Bay Area. I opted for The City, but didn’t have any time to get a friend’s cell # or look up anything I might have wanted to see. I decided to play it by ear.

It must be noted that my sister’s ability to predict the weather is decidedly lacking. As we ran out of the house the sky was a rich blue. A mentioned that she was envious that I got to spend the day in The City with the weather so lovely. But, by the time Caltrain arrived in SF proper there was a very large, very dark, very black thunderhead floating in overhead:


As I walked towards Artfibers Yarns (TheBon insisted that I visit them, and I’m glad I did) the weather got decidedly damper. I was very glad to dash indoors and look at yarn for a bit. This store was incredibly dangerous. Like Knit Picks, they only carry their own yarns straight from the mills. They had some amazing mixes (cotton with stainless steel) and enough lush yarn to tempt me to bankrupt myself. I managed to rein myself in and only got enough yarn for a sweater. I was drawn to the silk yarns (who could blame me?) and to two particular yarns/ colours as well. I finally gave in and paid for the yarns I really wanted:

  • Zabumba: 80%/ 20% nylon boucle-like yarn in a tidepool colourway. It knits up to 24 sts/ 4 inches on size US 3 needles. It was so gorgeous and light (and expensive) that I got some to act as a decorative touch to the main yarn…
  • Hana: 100% silk, smooth and shiny and peacock blue. It knits up to 26 sts/ 4 inches on size US 3 needles. It was suuuuch a deep and vibrant colour and so soft that I wanted it the moment I saw it.

Soooo… yeah, more yarn. But I’m already designing the sweater it’s gonna be.

After spending too much money on yarn, I started walking. I didn’t know where I was going, so I decided to follow the trail of pretty, old buildings. Somehow, I ended up in Chinatown. Noticing that everything around me was in Chinese, I decided to do some shopping for presents. No pictures, sorry. Maybe later.

Anyway, as I left a little Pho restaurant the sky opened. Soon I began to wonder if I was going to need gills. By the time I got to the Caltrain station I was literally soaked. I had ducked into 3 separate buildings (buying more hot chocolate in one day than I normally drink in a week), under several awnings (huddled with other bemused walkers), before realising that I couldn’t get any wetter and just decided to walk it.

All in all, I walked 4 mi (I used the gmap pedometer and everything).

Well, that’s everything. By the time A picked me up in Mountain View, at another coffeehouse (yes, I ducked into another one and bought another hot chocolate), I was exhausted and wet and soaked and a bit wet.

Now it’s time to knit. And teach A to knit.

dancing about

“Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route.”
Charles Caleb Colton

I was awoken bright and early this morning by the cleaners arriving to scour the house (A and K engaged a company while A was pregnant). I dressed in a hurry and helped keep baby T occupied for the duration:

(are you totally plotzing?)

Then, once she was down for her nap, we returned to the cleaner living room whereupon I noticed that A was wearing the socks I finished for her last night. I demanded a photograph:

Project specs:
Yarn: Knit Picks Dancing in Jig
Pattern: … what pattern?
Gauge: 8 sts per inch
Date started: January 7, 2007
Date finished: February 25, 2007

After a whole bunch of errands (done after baby T woke up) (and, OMG, the staff at that Thai restaurant were so funny, we’re amazed the chef didn’t come out to play with baby T), A and I sat down for a knitting lesson at Starbucks, during little D’s piano lesson. We didn’t get very far because this one:

(don’t be fooled by her innocent expression)

proceeded to fall apart whenever A picked up her needles. Coincidence? We thought not. Whatever the reason, we didn’t get past the cast on stage. I think I’m going to try again in a bit. I had to lay down once we got back because I was on the cusp of a migraine (was seeing auras).

So, that’s it. More tomorrow. I have a sock pattern to try out.

SSE, or maybe ESE

I could neither remember nor find a quote I liked for this post. Ohwell. Tomorrow night.

SSE = Serious Stash Enhancement (phrase coined by Penny)

I’m writing this quickly in the time I have before dinner (the minestrone is simmering and K is blanching halibut). I promised pix of everything I bought yesterday (I refuse to look at the receipts), so here one is:


Left to right: Chasing Rainbows cashmere/ merino and cashmere/ silk in matching colourways (gonna be plied together), 3000 yards of ultrafine merino/ tencel lace yarn (120 grams), 100 grams (1500 + yards) cashmere/ silk lace yarn, Lorna’s Laces Helen, then below them are 3 pairs of Lorna’s Laces sock yarns (25% off! at one booth) that I have promised for myself.

So, there we have it. Luxury at it’s best.

Not much to report today, other than the fact that K and little D have a frightening love of Karaoke (A and I escaped to buy snaps for my Hogwarts Houses swap package). I still haven’t had a chance to teach A to knit, and baby T is still a bit fussy. Eerrr… I’ve forgtotten everything I meant to post, and baby T is crying. GTG.

I need to take more photos of the family later.

quick update and a piccie

Well, today was interesting (and exhausting) day. Today (in chronological order):

  • little D returned from his grandparents and turned the house inside out for a short period of time
  • baby T was a bit fussy (but adorable as always)
  • A, baby T, and I set out for Stitches (see photo below for pic of baby T in the minty raglan and bootees getting into her car seat…)
  • I spent WAY too much money. Pictures tomorrow (err, later today), I promise.
  • We lost the car keys and had to call for help (literally), only to have them resurface at the Lost and Found desk.
  • Grocery shopping (I promised minestrone soup for tomorrow night) and a very late dinner… slight ‘oops’ to be reported on the pasta front.
  • And, finally, Babel, one of the more depressing movies I’ve seen in a while. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it definitely wasn’t a pick-me-up type of movie.

Oh, dear, baby T is crying again.

green

“If your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.”
Bill Watterson

I consider it a major achievement that I managed to get grass stains on my green trousers this afternoon (beat that). I was trying to photograph the socks I’m making for K in their backyard, only to have the socks blend in too much with the grass to be noticeable. Ha. Their stone patio served as a better backdrop:


I had planned not to show any pictures of these until they were finished (I had wanted to submit the pattern to a knitting magazine), but I’ve decided that I don’t like the particulars of this pattern and shall try anew. Just in case you’re wondering, they’re called spocks (spats + socks), and they’re made from the Opal yarn that L sent to me. The buttons are functional and, despite my annoyances with the particulars of this pattern, I still like the concept.

I’ll just have to try again, this time without an eyelet insert. Mum wants a pair anyway.

I just hope they fit K and that she’ll like them. Uh oh. I think they’re home. GTG.