Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday means nothing to me...

Normally Fridays are my favorite day of the week. I can look forward to a little break, from work at least. This weekend however will be non-existent. We do inventory in my store this weekend. That means I work both days, yes it sucks to be me (and anyone who works with me).

I managed to finish the last teacher gift right on time:

I'm not sure how the teacher who I gave it to liked it but the teacher who is expecting couldn't stop oohing and aahing over the baby kimono, booties and hat. It's nice when gifts are appreciated.

On Monday to commemorate birthday week, I started my Loksins!:

I love, love, love them. They are so quick and easy. I was able to memorize the pattern repeat quickly and I can finish the 8 rows in a train ride. I'm about 3 repeats away from the heel I believe. Cassie recommends 9 repeats but I'll have to see if I want more or less. They are definitely washing away any ill effects my foray into toe-ups may have left;)

The birthday was excellent. I took the day off and so did Rinaldo. He took me to IHOP for breakfast and I was supremely decadent and had funnel cake for breakfast. Then we met up with Tisha and caught Live Free or Die Hard, which absolutely and totally rocked. There were some issues due to a small blackout that occurred while we were in the movies but we were on the West Side not the East so it just meant we had a little trouble getting home. The evening was topped off by dinner at Unos. Gift-wise the boys (with Rinaldo's help;)) got me Guitar Hero II, don't laugh I asked for it. I've been dying to play it. Not to mention I know the boys will love it too. Rinaldo got me a Stevie Nicks CD/DVD collection. Birthday week festivities end tonight with a trip to see Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare in the Park with Maribel,our friend Heather and Avery. Avery and I read Romeo and Juliet together last year (I decided it was time for him to get to know Shakespeare) and I think seeing it will really get him to appreciate it.

Thank you all so much for all the birthday wishes! I really appreciated them.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

On June 27, 1969 I was born.

Since I have control issues I attended my mother's baby shower:

I knew I was a star from early on:

Sadly I was afflicted with a lack of fashion sense:

Thankfully a love of black clothing and rock and roll hair helped during my teenage years:

Now all these years later I just know not to get in front of the camera at all;)

Thank you for all the birthday wishes!

Monday, June 25, 2007

What happens when you decide to have a blogger bash for your birthday...

Blog celebrities show up at your doorstep: is the world famous Onslow:
Bloggers eat amazing food made by a blogger, there's me, Kathleen, Maribel (who cooked), Tisha (sadly blogless) and Ann:
...after they are well fed, bloggers knit and help each other try new techniques and decipher patterns:
...sometimes they pull out ball winders and help each other wind up a skein or two as Chante and Risa did:
...and Hiro decided to give them a (not so) helping paw:
...children played (that's a new slide in the backyard by the way):
...the husband watched children play and eat:
...and the hostess racked up on the gifts:

There's a reason I invited other knitters to come over and celebrate my birthday;) Thank you ladies for making this one of my best birthday celebrations ever and not just because of the gifts, mostly it was the excellent company...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I actually finished the damn socks! Look they came out pretty damn well:

The second one was way easier and faster. It took me a little over a week but there were a few days where I barely knit on them at all so that was actually fast. I no longer hate toe up socks but it still feels weird. Next time I try them I want to do a heel flap and a different toe to see how that goes. Although I didn't hate the short rows at all.

This morning I cast on for a washcloth for Ian's other teacher:

Simple, quick, I've already had to rip it out twice, so much for non-taxing...

Go wish my dear Gina a happy birthday. While you're at it you could go wish Susan a happy belated birthday. It couldn't have been fun sharing your birthday with Father's Day! All us June babies gotta stick together.

Almost Friday people...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

After a hellish week last week a nice peaceful weekend was just what I needed. Of course a little fiber purchase at Knitty City didn't hurt either. I had an AMEX gift card sitting in my wallet since Mother's Day and it was time to set it free. In return they let this come home with me:

Isn't it pretty? Even Rinaldo comments every time he walks by it.

Saturday Ian and I went to see Fantastic Four as planned. I loved it but bear in mind you must be able to see it with a 5 year old's perspective to appreciate it. Any adult thought will completely ruin the effect;) On Sunday I got up early to set up Rinaldo's present which was a hammock. He loved it even though Ian had to explain to him that it was a present for both of them:

I didn't finish Anastasia but I really didn't expect to. I'm on the cuff and that's the home stretch for me. The second one is so much easier and it's also coming out way better. I'm still not a toe up fan but I'm glad to have added a new method to my repertoire which is all it was about anyway.

The week started well. I finally received the official promotion that I've been waiting for. I've been doing the job a few years now but it's taken a while to get the job reclassified in the NYU bureaucracy. That helped to shake off more of last week's ugliness. This morning I was given a venti instead of a grande chai so today is going well so far too. I suppose after last week there was no place to go but up.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's been an awfully ugly week... at work. Lots of drama. For the most part I am only peripherally involved but just knowing some of the things that are being said and done makes me feel really slimy. So to save my sanity I am taking a half day today and hitting Knitty City. A little retail therapy is always useful. Thankfully I can do this guilt free since I am part of the Summer Blockbuster Swap over at FiberFlix. I have to buy yarn for my swap buddy. All the fiber fun, no guilt. It doesn't get better than that.

Anastasia is actually moving along at a good clip. I'm already doing the heel. There is a faint possibility that I will finish it this weekend. That would make me happy beyond belief. A couple of washcloths for teacher gifts and then on to Loksins and Swallowtail. My goal is to make myself the Loksins for my birthday (11 days until the 27th). They don't have to be done by then but they should be in progress.

Father's Day should be low key. Avery has a chess match tomorrow and Ian and I are going to see Fantastic Four 2 so Rinaldo should have some peace and quiet for most of the day. No official plans for Sunday but that sounds like a good plan in and of itself after this week.

Have a great weekend everyone and pass along Father's Day wishes to all the Dad's out there...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Since people actually asked here it is:


Worsted Weight yarn in beige

Size 8 needles

Size 8 dpns (for i-cord)

Black scrap yarn

Red scrap yarn

Tapestry needle

Pipe cleaner


Cast on 20 stitches

Knit in stockinette for 10 inches.

The last row worked should be a wrong side row.


Bind off 3.

Knit 4. Continue in stockinette for 4 rows.

Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning and end of 4th row.

Work 2 rows even (2 stitches).

Increase 1 at the beginning and end of next row.

Work 4 rows.

Bind off.

Reattach yarn bind off 6. Repeat ear shaping for right ear.

Reattach yarn and bind off final 3 stitches.


Cast on 7 stitches.

Work i-cord for 2.5 inches.

Bind off.

(make 2)


Cast on 4 stitches.

Work I-cord for 4 inches.

Bind off.

(make 2).


Cast on 8 stitches.

Work I-cord for 6 inches.

Insert pipe cleaner.

Bind off.

(make 2)

I don’t do embroidery well so I did his eyes, nose and mouth before the sewing. Sew on his legs and tail. Then begin sewing the side seam. At the halfway point sew in his arm. Do the same on the other side. When only the top of his head is open, stuff him. Then sew him closed and sew on his ears.

I'm not really a designer at all. I just kind of wing things so I'm sorry if these instructions are unclear. I did actually had to look at the doll and de-construct him to figure it out since I didn't make any notes as I was going along.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The End of the Tail...

Saturday night I finished the final repeat of the second chart of Swallowtail. That meant I only had one repeat each of three more charts. I was pretty excited then I looked at it, I mean really looked at it and counted my stitches:
I seem to have managed to do one extra pattern repeat on the right side. In a specific sense I have no idea how this happened. In a more general way I totally do. There was this one point in time around row 42 where I kept have one more or one less stitch and I decided to make them disappear or appear as needed rather than being a good girl and tinking back to fix the screw up. It doesn't pay to be lazy, particularly when you're doing lace.

This is where Swallowtail was last night:
I decided I would rather do it the right way from the beginning than try to rip it back to where the trouble started.

The Corona was there for medicinal purposes...

Friday, June 08, 2007


I finished the first Anastasia sock, see:

I don't love it. I don't hate it but I don't love it. The colors are very pretty but I am not enjoying the toe up thing at all. It makes me feel like a novice all over again. I don't enjoy that feeling. I did do EZ's sewn cast off which is kind of cool. I'm sure it will come in handy for future projects. I feel I should also mention that my issues are not pattern flaws. I think it's well written and makes a very cute sock. I also think it's a really good choice for a first toe up sock since it's very clearly written. It's just me and my issues. I will make the second one though I'm just going to take a break this weekend and get me some tail, Swallowtail that is. That should chill me out a bit.

In the interests of full disclosure I did participate in a bit of retail therapy to help ease the pain of my toe up struggles. I bought Cassie's new sock pattern. I figure having that to look forward to will get me through the second sock.

To make myself feel like I could actually accomplish something I finally truly finished the baby stuff I had made. Look at the cable booties with the ribbon finally inserted:
Pretty cute right? I also sewed in the ribbon on the baby kimono II:
...and the first one:

See look I can knit pretty things well. Occasionally anyway...

Yay Friday. I'm out of here at 1:30 to pick up the boys at school. Since MIL has an appointment. I think we'll bake in the heat of the backyard.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Procrastiknitter is having a contest to celebrate her blogversary. She wants to know what are your favorite patterns. As I am low on blog fodder at the moment, no Anastasia sock 1 is not finished, stop asking, here is my entry:

  1. Hats and Scarves - Lady Hat / Irish Hiking Scarf At this point I have made about 3 or 4 lady hats and I still love it. It works in any color. I've only made one Irish Hiking Scarf but it was so much fun I've been dying for an excuse to make another.

  2. Shawls and Wraps - Clapotis Yes, I'm a sheep but I love my clapotis and I love making them.

  3. Hands and Feet (mittens/gloves/socks/slippers) - Knitter's Handy book of Patterns Basic Sock pattern. This pattern never fails me and I can screw with it anyway I like. I often refer to it when doing other sock patterns since I like the math breakdown on it.

  4. Bags and Purses - Booga Bag My most successful felted bag. I've made a few and I'm planning at least one more in the next month.

  5. Other (sweaters, baby, toys, kitchen, bath, gifts, etc.) A plain basket weave pattern for baby blankets. Just my trademark baby gift pattern. I don't have to think about it and it always looks good.

  6. Other (sweaters, baby, toys, kitchen, bath, gifts, etc.) Anouk I had a hard time the first time out on Anouk but the second one went better. In the end it's one of the times where the finished product far outweighs the process but it is such a beautiful dress it's worth every minute of knitting. Next girl baby I'm trying Alison's dress modification.

I'm off to Chuck E Cheese tonight for Ian's school's fundraiser. Pray to whatever deity you like for me!

I hate that place...

Monday, June 04, 2007

It's like inviting an alcoholic to a wine tasting...

On Saturday I attended Book Expo. I actually had a bit of a preview because there was a pre-show conference in Brooklyn on Thursday. It was for college booksellers and they invited a few authors to speak. I came home that night a few books richer. Saturday was the motherload however:

These are the books I picked up for me, I won't show you Avery's stack. It was an embarrassment of riches for the young adult set.

These are the autographed ones:
Meeting authors at Book Expo is fun because they need your help to sell their books so they tend to be very sweet;)

Because all roads lead to knitting I, of course, met a blogger:

Crazy Aunt Purl was there hawking her book. She was quite overwhelmed but very, very funny and nice. The book looks great from the skimming I did so far but you'll have to wait for October:P

My secret joy at Book Expo is the chance to add to my bag collection. There were some very nice ones this year. This wins as the cutest bag of the show:
I was using it yesterday and it is surprisingly roomy for such a small bag. This is the bag I used for work today:
By the end of the show it had at least 15 books in it of varying sizes and it didn't complain once.

I also like a good messenger bag:

I haven't actually used this one yet but I'm sure it will have it's chance at some point this week.

The Harlot was there of course. I skipped her signing as a been there done that kind of thing, besides I was busy snagging free books. I did attend a panel later with her, Debbie Stoller and the lovely Mason Dixon ladies. The organizers obviously didn't know of Stephanie's feelings about having enough chairs as there weren't enough and the room was really small. In the end Maribel and I left after only a few minutes in since it was mostly directed to booksellers as a forum for why they should carry a good range of knitting/craft books. We already know that!

I'm exhausted, my shoulders still hurt from carrying all those books but it was so worth it. Thank god it only comes to NYC every other year. It will take me that long to get through all the damn books!

Friday, June 01, 2007

I thought I'd give you a progress shot on Anastasia:

She's actually further along than she looks but I couldn't navigate through the dpns to get to the heel. I did an excellent short row heel if I do say so myself. No holes. I'm very proud.

A few more notes on the knitting front of the bbq. I failed to show a picture of the lovely Shameka who although late came with the most amazing red velvet cupcakes. If you look closely the picture of Chante in Wednesday's post you can see them. The sadly blogless Tisha brought her sock but no one had a chance to show her how to start the heel. Don't worry though I have her going on her heel flap now.

Miz Chante outed herself on her blog yesterday she was the "hooker" at the bbq:

Of course being a true knitter at heart as Maribel pointed out in the comments, she begged for needles and sock yarn before the day was through!

Have a great weekend everyone!