Friday, December 31, 2004

So the time has come to retire the Devan Along. It was really cool hosting it and I "met" some very cool women because of it. Of course mine is not yet done, but fear not, I think I may still be finished by midnight. If any of you are online around 12:01 AM (EST) come see if I made it in time.

Since my completed Devan's page hasn't worked well in a quite awhile, I thought I would showcase all the finished Devans here:







Thanks for participating and check back at midnight. I will post a pictured if I have finished.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I had a very busy holiday weekend, unfortunately that means that I got very little knitting done.

On Christmas Eve my husband and I drove out to Ikea and bought a few things. That night I put this together:

My new bed!

On Christmas day I sent Rinaldo and the boys to his family's dinner, without me. I stayed home and put these together:

I also re-did the boys' room now that I have the bookshelves so that kept me quite busy. I was really very depressed and more than a bit weepy. The first holiday season without my mother was hard. So I decided back breaking labor was the way to improve my mood. I have to say it worked quite well. It has also led to this whole "let's fix up the apartment mood" for me and Ray.

Yesterday instead of hanging out in the city with Katy and Jody, I was stuck in Home Depot buying more things to spruce up the house. I don't recall ever having such a compulsion to fix things up but I suppose it's another way of putting this year behind me.

I received some nice things for Christmas but I won't bore you with a list. I will say that Maribel got me Knit Wit, which I had been dying for and my favorite gift was a set of speakers for my IPOD. They're so cute the IPOD just docks right in the middle of them.

I will be retiring the Devan Along on Friday, let's see if I can finish mine by then!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Wednesday is Gift Day

The number one search that leads people to my blog is "ipod cozy". Now I have made two felted cozies that were frankly pretty sucky. I have always felt bad for those web surfers who when probably looking for a pattern, end up only finding a picture of my poor efforts.

The problem is that much like small dogs and children, IPODS must be kept warm in the cold weather. I don't really understand why this is but the batteries drain faster in the cold and the response is slower when you are using it. So I have continued to harbor a desire to make something to keep my friend warm.

This year Apple introduced IPOD Socks. For $29 you can buy 6 socks that are one size fits all for the IPOD. I looked at them in my husband's store and said, "hey, I can make a cooler sock than that". So here they are, my IPOD sock cozies:

first the mini

I don't actually own a mini so I used the store display at Ray's store. The wonderful and charming Ulysses is standing in as my hand model. While I have always loved Uli for his wicked humor, charm and good looks, I had no idea he had so much talent hidden away.

and the full model

(and yes that is my own Special Edition U2 IPOD, I'm a sucker for anything in black)

and the pattern:

IPOD Sock Cozy

Size 2 DPNS
Scrap sock yarn
Gauge 10st = 1"

Cast on 42 stitches (54 for the full size)

Knit in a 2x4 rib (K2, P4)
Continue until tube measures 4"(mini), 4.25 for full size.

Use the three needle bind off.
Turn inside out.

It's really basic and it's completely planned with simplicity in mind. It works up really fast and the best thing is that uses those small balls of yarn that get leftover when you make socks.

It's nothing anyone couldn't come up with, I simply did the math for you!

Ian performed in his first school show yesterday. So I will leave you with a completely gratuitous shot of my baby in a Santa hat:

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2004

I had a fairly low key weekend. Ray worked on Saturday, so the boys and I just hung out at home. Thankfully just as cabin fever was about to set in he called from work and asked if we wanted to meet him and go to Unos for dinner. We did the online curbside pick up which was pretty cool. The boys and I were very happy to get out of the house.

On Sunday we went to the mall to do some last minute Christmas shopping. Unfortunately Ian was not really in the mood to hit the shops. He really just wanted to run around. I remember when Avery was 3 he was the same way. I think he was 5 before we took him back to the mall.

Avery and I also had to hit the library for the report he is working on about Colonial America. Unfortunately the library in my neighborhood is closed on weekends due to budget cuts. So we went down to the main Bronx library which is open on Sundays. We found 3 books for him to use so it was a successful trip. If anybody has any info on tools used during Colonial times, please share!

I realize I forgot to mention the 2 things I learned when I made Avery's ear flap cap.

#1 - I learned the cable cast on. Now it really isn't that different than the knit cast on which I already knew, but it's always nice to add to the repetoire.

#2 - I actually did a single crochet edging around the hat to keep the stockinette from curling. This is fairly amazing for me. I've always had problems doing more that a crocheted chain, but I have been secretly trying to learn. I've been using my Family Circle Knitting magazines. I succeeded a few weeks back in doing a swatch in single crochet. That inspired me to try it with the hat. It looked really good. It gave it a nice finishing touch. Even my husband commented on it.

I set aside the scarf this weekend so I could work on a secret project. I had hoped to share it today, but it's not quite ready yet. I am now planning for Wednesday.

See you then...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I had an excellent evening of knitting last night. I had bought The Misfits DVD a few weeks ago for $5.99 and last night I finally got to watch it. I really love that movie. Of course I have a huge thing for Montgomery Clift, even in his later years.

I was able to finish Tashie's hat. She was very happy:

I also started yet another Multidirectional Scarf:

This one is for my mother's doctor. She was so supportive and wonderful during my mother's illness. She was also always admiring my knitting. So I thought she would appreciate a knitted gift.

I was finally able to pin Ian down to take a picture with his hat. He's always willing to take a picture, he is not always willing to wear his hat!

It really is looser than I planned, but with all his hair it actually works. He even likes to wear it when he's outside.

This was on one of the Knitting lists this morning. It's amazing what people can do when they have time on their hands, they can even crochet chaos. What do you say Bron are you up to the challenge?

And finally yet another quiz, this one courtesy of Stephannie:

Punk Mama
You're a punk rock mommy! DIY is probably your
motto, because you're a punk mama at heart.
Your kids are getting your independent spirit
and guts, and learning to solve problems
themselves. You love it when they show their
independence, even when it's breaking your

What kind of a freaky mother are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Yup that's me...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Let's Do the time Warp Again

I had a very strong sense of deja vu on Monday. Maribel and I were on the phone discussing concert tickets. We are going to see Motley Crue in March and Duran Duran in April. Can somebody remind me of what year it is?

My husband is threatening to leave a comment on my post from Monday telling the world that I am lying about his sweater being finished. It's a minor quibble. The sewing is done so I consider it an FO. The ends however are not yet weaved in so he can't wear it yet. He is not happy about this. I had planned on weaving them all in last night but I would have had to have stayed awake past 9 PM to do that. That did not happen.

Tashie is also very upset with me because her hat is not yet done. We are having quite the cold spell and she keeps complaining that her head is very cold. Do you see the pressure they put me through!

I realized that I forgot to do my show and tell of what I got in the mail last week:

Yes, at long last it's my Charlotte's Web. I ordered a kit from Ram Wools. Here are the colors close up:

I'm very excited.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Finally I finished something big. The striped sweater is complete:

Forgive my poor husband looking exhausted, it was 11:30 on a Sunday night and we had a very busy weekend. I am happy to say he loves his sweater.

Here are the promised pictures of the ear flap hat:

and from the side:

Avery was also very happy with his hat as you can see. He decided not to have the braided strings hanging down from the sides. I think the hat is a little too long but he likes it and it keeps him warm. I'm beginning to suspect that I will never really be happy with any of my finished products. I always seem to be pointing out the flaws that I find with them.

Tashie's hat has been ripped out a few times. Various things have gone wrong. The gauge was off, one of my children tossed it off the couch and ended up causing stitches to drop. You get the picture.

Look at me posting at midnight, I'm insane. Time to go to bed. I have to go to work tomorrow and leave early to take Avery to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 10, 2004

I have been informed by my favorite 17 year old, my cousin Natasha, that I must amend number 10 on my list of 100 things. It should read "I am glad I don't have a daughter, except Natasha". As you may have guessed if you read the comment that she left last night, Tashie has no self esteem issues whatsoever.

In many ways she is right though. One of the reasons I enjoy the relationship Tashie and I have is because she is my ideal daughter and yet not my daughter at all. This allows for much more openess in our relationship. I like to believe that she feels she can tell me anything without fear of reprisals. It's always been that way between us and I think parents and children can really only get to this point when the child is grown and even then I suspect even in the best of relationships there are always things you can't tell your mom!

Having said that, I will say that if I did have a daughter I would want her to be just like Tashie. Who is growing into an amazing woman in her own right.

I was surprised at how easy it was to do the 100 list and also at how much more I had to say. Guess I love to talk about myself, big surprise there, I also don't have too many issues in the self-esteem department! I have decided to blame the lack of comments not to a lack of love from my readers but to the fact that the Harlot posted her 100 the day before. Obviously my thunder was simply stolen from me.

I finished the ear flap hat but forgot to upload the pictures. I've started a hat ordered by Tashie to her specifications so I hope to finish that this weekend. I am also plowing along on finishing the striped sweater for DH. I actually finished the collar last night.

I will also be attempting to control myself from buying this (the first kit on the list). Please remind me that I live in an apartment. I have plenty of yarn. I barely have time to knit, why oh why should I learn to spin. If one believes marijuana is a gateway drug, this is surely a gateway tool. Leading up to a spinning wheel, which I swore I would never get until we own a house where I have room for it. Stop me please!

I also got a package in the mail this week, but I'll tell you all about that on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I don't typically follow the crowd but...

100 Things about Me

1- I was born and raised in the Bronx.
2- When I was a kid I was dying to leave, now I never want to.
3- I was the only white kid in school throughout most of my elementary years.
4- I never had a problem with that.
5- It gives me a unique perspective on the world.
6- Both of my parents were completely blind.
7- I didn't live with them until I was 4 years old.
8- I lived with my grandparents, until my grandfather died.
9- I have a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful sons.
10-I am glad that I don't have a daughter.
11-Mothers and daughters in my family always have tumultuous relationships.
12-I love my husband very much.
13- Marriage is hard work.
14- Not as hard as I expected it to be.
15- I suspect it is harder for him.
16- Because he's married to me.
17-I can have very severe mood swings.
18- They've gotten much better since I've gotten older.
19- I have a very angry, violent streak.
20- I'm ok with that.
21- I've learned to work with it.
22- I think it makes me stronger.
23-I've know my best friend for 24 years.
24- Our sixth grade teacher sat us next to each other.
25- I don't know how I would have survived without her.
26- I used to think I preferred being friends with men.
27- I realize now I just knew the wrong women.
28- All my closest friends are amazing women.
29- I tend to make and keep one close friend from every phase of my life.
30- I was considered gifted as a child.
31- I was also considered an underachiever.
32- I attended Stuyvesant High School, one of the top schools in NYC.
33- I dropped out in 10th grade.
34- I am a walking contradiction.
35- I love that about myself.
36- I have Eminem on my IPOD.
37- I also have Rosemary Clooney, New Edition and Motley Crue.
38- See what I mean about contradictions.
39- I got my first job because I was offended that my boyfriend's sister worked in a bookstore.
40- I felt she wasn't worthy.
41- I knew I was.
42- Once I got a job in her store I dropped him and kept her.
43- I was 17.
44- I've been a bookseller ever since.
45- I've worked at 2 Barnes & Nobles, an airport bookstore and NYU's Main Bookstore.
46- When I was at Barnes and Noble I aspired to be a book buyer.
47- Now at NYU, I am.
48- I got my GED at 20.
49- I started college at 22.
50- I have an AA in Early Childhood Education.
51- I'm supposed to be continuing my studies to become a school counselor.
52- So far I've been too lazy to go back.
53- My youngest son has a speech delay.
54- This bothers me more than I can say.
55- I think the disabled are marginalized by society.
56- My parents and their friends were.
57- I think that's why I have issues about my son's problem.
58- I realize I am probably seriously over-reacting about it.
59- Both my parents died of cancer.
60- At age 63.
61- I figure 62 is going to be really rough year.
62- I have been overweight for most of my life.
63- I'm ok with that.
64- I still feel like I'm the same size I was at 17.
65- Though I am far from it.
66- I think I've gained too much this year.
67- I don't feel healthy.
68- I'd like to see the other side of 200 again.
69- That's my goal for the new year.
70- I'd be happy to stay at 199.
71- My grandmother taught me to knit.
72- I didn't do much with it.
73- Four years ago I saw a book called The Knitting Goddess
74- I bought it as a way to get back in touch with my spiritual side.
75- I ended up with a knitting obsession.
76- It makes me feel creative in a way I never have before.
77- My spiritual side still gets short shrift.
78 - I considered myself a witch as a teenager.
79- And a pagan as a young adult.
80- Now I think God is a power that is impossible for the human mind to fully grasp.
81- So any face and mythos we choose is a way to bring us closer to that power.
82- Therefore no religion is wrong.
83- Or right.
84- I still prefer a female deity.
85- I raise my kids Catholic.
86- I want them to fit in.
87- Until they choose to be different.
88- I love to sing.
89- I'm pretty good at it.
90- I wanted to be a rock star.
91- But I had nothing new to say.
92- I now want to be a star in my profession.
93- I'm getting there.
94- I love Fantasy and Sci-Fi.
95- I also love fiction, history and biography.
96- I also love comic books.
98- My husband and I collect them.
99- My favorites are female superheroes.
100- I have an impressive collection of Wonder Woman comics and memorabilia.
101-I could have gone to 150.

Monday, December 06, 2004

We put up our tree last weekend but I didn't get to take a picture until last night.

You may notice that it is boxing in my knitting corner, I'm surviving though. Ian likes the fact that we had to put the end table behind the tree. It allows him to climb back there and get DVDs out whenever he wants (the DVD rack had previously been turned to the wall to prevent us watching never ending marathons of Elmo, Bob the Builder and Dora everyday).

I started this on Friday:

Of course you can't tell what it is, it's an ear flap hat.

I spent most of Friday and Saturday on the ear flaps themselves since they double as swatches. Avery you may remember picked himself out some Alpaca at Rhinebeck to make a hat out of. I suspected at the time it was too thin but he had his heart set on it. However once I started knitting it was obvious that it really was too thin. I showed him how thin the swatch was and proposed that I double strand it with some Paton's Classic that I had in my stash. He reluctantly agreed but once he saw them knitted together he was happy again. I have to admit they look quite good together:

(Sorry the closeup is a little blurry, but I was too tired to take it again.)
He had also requested the design of it and so far he's pretty pleased. I'm happy because it's going quickly. After this Tashi has requested a hat made to her specifications so I guess of the few gifts I do actually make this year they will almost all be hats!

I am doing the world's slowest job on the finishing of the striped sweater. I have the shoulders seamed and about 1/4 of the stitches picked up at the neckline. Unfortunately the Stepford Wives was very short and that's all I got done and I haven't picked it up since. The movie was funny by the way, but I like the original so much better. I may pick the sweater back up tonight unless we decide to watch Hero. Subtitles and seaming just don't go together very well...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I finally finished the hat for Ian. Unfortunately he is at school so Curious George has volunteered to model it for me:

and here is the side view:

I've made this pattern before but I had huge problems with it this time. I kept screwing up the short-row shaping at the top of the head, while I was on the train yesterday. In the end I had to rip back about 6 rows when I got home to re-do it. I also am not too crazy about it in this yarn. It feels too loose. I should have done it at a tighter gauge. The yarn I used before was a Merino spandex blend that came out beautifully. I'll try it on Ian when I get home. I'm sure it's going to be fine and looser may be better for him because he has a fairly large head and a lot of hair. I do love the look of it. The colors worked out just like I wanted them to.

I'm off to Avery's school this morning for the Middle School Fair. He's in fourth grade so I don't really have to worry until next year but with all the issues in NYC with the middle schools I figure the earlier I start preparing the better.