Monday, June 30, 2008

Tales of the Orange and Green

Two more squares done for the Hopps for Hope Lodge afghan. I'm liking these two. For my other afghan-a-long I did only one color squares. I really like the two color squares. And I really like the orange and green. Before I met Holly I would not have said I liked those two colors together. Holly - you've converted me. I dig 'em.
The one above is just diagonal garter stitch , you know, you start out with three stitches and every other row you k1, y0 and knit the rest of the row so it keeps increasing, then when you get halfway, you k1, yo k3tog until you get back down to 3 stitches. Fun and easy, perfect tv watching knitting.

The one below I found on line, I think at, and I'm pretty sure it's called star stitch. You would knit a couple for a border, yo, k3, slip the first k over the next two and repeat. Next row was all purls. Next row k3, slip the first stitch over the next two, yo and repeat. I think. You should probably check the pattern on this one. But it was also really easy once you got going and I think it's pretty.

I took the close ups because it shows how pretty the stitches are (please excuse that moment of self promotion there) and also because the long shot emphasized that fact that maybe my squares aren't totally square. Witness . . .

Oh well the good thing about sewing squares together is you can make it work, right? Channel Tim Gunn, whoever sews up this square and if I'm there during the sewing up, I promise to sew up my own misshapen squares.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Meme if You Want

I finished my star square and now am knitting another one with the same colors, but garter stitch, although it's the one where you start with three stitches, yarn over twice and keep going and then when you get far enough start decreasing. It looks nice if I say so myself. Gotta take pictures.

While some of you are leaving the workforce, I'm trying to bust my way in - at least part time. I got a volunteer job at the library! It's just cataloging historical stuff for their history room, but I'm geeked. I love libraries. I think I belong in a library. Or a yarn store.

And I applied for a job proofreading for the local newspaper. How fun might that be? And that one pays, probably not a lot, but maybe enough to make buying yarn not such a guilt filled adventure.

Anyway I was surfing the net and found this Meme and since I have no pictures I thought it might be fun. Do it on your blogs if you want to. But don't feel like you have to. But if you do let me know, I love finding out stuff about you guys!

1. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? No, just my husband. He's better than a stuffed animal.

2. Last book you read that was really super, inspiring, you'd recommend it to people. If you have someone in your family struggling with addiction, "Beautiful Boy" is a great book. The author's last name is Sheff and he writes about his sons struggle with meth. His son also wrote a book about his struggle with the drug called "Tweak".

3. What food totally grosses you out? Split pea soup. Can't even look at it. My mom used to make it and my sister would come eat bowl after bowl. I couldn't even look at her while she did it. Gross.

4. Movie that scared you so much you were afraid of the dark after. Oh "Silence of the Lambs". Me and Joe lived in an apartment when that movie came out. I would not go in the parking lot by myself after dark for years. (you know he kidnapped that girl from "Grey's Anatomy" in the parking lot of her apartment and kept her in the hole). I still can't even bear to hear it on tv in another room!

5. A song that makes you dance every time you hear it. Ok, this one is a little embarrasing. "Ice, Ice, Baby" by Vanilla Ice. What can I say?

6. Tattoos? Have one? Want one? Think they are gross? I don't have any and I don't think I want any, but only because I'm a total wuss. I think they are super cool and I love watching people get them on Miami Ink. In fact, if I had any artistic ability, I would love to be a tatoo artist!

7. When's the last time you laughed so hard you nearly peed yourself? Ok, this was hilarious to me and it needs some back story. My son is 5' 9" tall and weighs about 125. He's a stick bug really, but with seriously wide shoulders. So he's putting on his band tux up here and he comes out with the tux pants, whose waist is practically up to his nipples on and they are so tight he can't breathe! I was like "Dude, those look . . . " and my nephew, quick as anything, says "You look like a Matador". I did almost pee my pants, and he did look like a Matador.

Ok, that's it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

In Which Tracy Gets Her Groove Back

I was in a knitting funk while we were downstate. Before we left, I knit this much sock in one day. I thought I had actually ended my knitting career, my hand was all hobbled up and arthritic looking and it hurt so bad I actually put a heating pad on it! So when we went downstate, even though I took a square and this sock with me (and bought 4 skeins of sock yarn, needles and the book "Two Socks at a Time" - the magic loopy one) I knit nothing. Nothing.

Then I came home and saw all the progress people were making on the squares for the Barbara J. Hopps afghan for the Hope Lodge and knew I had to get back to the squares! I can't be shown up on squares made for a blanket with my sister's name on it can I? Well, yes. I can. But I am still putting forth my best creative effort. Witness . . . .
I don't know if you can see it, but embossed on this square is the sign language sign for "I Love You". I thought that would be appropriate. I love my sister, and sending out love to the people at Hope Lodge seemed like a good thing.

I absolutely loved Holly's two color block and all the two color crochet blocks from FatCat so I wanted to do one too.
That is a puppy nose in there. I picked up the camera and all of the sudden he turned into a ham! He demanded to be in the picture. Nothing I could do. Those are my skeins of Vanna White acrylic. Now, I am not a huge fan of acrylic, but given how expensive an afghan could be made with wool, I'm thinking I might be buying some more Vanna for my own afghan. It knits up pretty nice I think. It feels a weensy bit like Plymouth Encore, but you can tell it's not wooly. But it's soft and still holds it's shape so I like it.

Anyway, I found both those block patterns online. I don't remember where. The I Love You Sign came from somewhere on ravelry. If you like it, you can look up Savannah's Blankie on rav, and the lady who made that, has the entire sign language alphabet all patterned up for you!

So I'm off to knit some more.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In Memory of Nona

We had to do the saddest thing on Saturday. We had to put Nona to sleep. Wynona Judd Bedford lived a good, long life. She was fifteen years old. We got her one year after Joseph was born. We rescued her from the creepiest dog pound in Detroit. If you watch Animal Cops you've seen it. She was born on the streets of Detroit, her little tail was chopped off and she was the shyest puppy in the pound the morning we went to get her. All the other dogs were freaking out, but Nona was just sitting in the back of her cage, kinda like she is there.

She spent the first couple weeks curled up on our couch. We were afraid she wouldn't get friendly. Well, she did. We forgot to crate her one day and when we came home, our entire mattress was shredded and spread all over the house, and she brought us a piece of it with a big smile on her face!

She was the most loyal dog ever. When Sophie was born, she would lay underneath her cradle and growl when people tried to pick her up. She barked at every stranger who came to the door, but if you petted her, she would bring you a sock (her sign of love and why we never can find a pair of socks in our house) and you would be her friend forever.

A couple of years ago we thought she had a stroke and we thought we would have to put her down then, but it turned out to be old dog vestibular syndrome. This weird thing, where dogs lose their sense of equilibrium. She couldn't use her hind legs and her head was cocked to the side. Her eyes would sweep back and forth continuously. But we read online that dogs sort of reboot from this, and lo and behold a couple of weeks later she was back to normal. So we got two more years with her.

But the past few weeks she went downhill. Her legs would shake, she was skin and bones and I'm pretty sure she was both blind and deaf. Joe and I didn't want to remember her like that so we took her to the vet. Joe carried her in and held her on his lap and bawled his eyes out. I haven't seen him cry since his dad passed away. He said he almost took her back home. We couldn't stay and watch, we were afraid she would try to get away and then we would take her home! But she wasn't scared at all when we left her. I miss her so much.

The puppies are looking for her today. Thank goodness they have each other to keep them busy. Hug your old dogs today for me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Traverse City Yarn Store

We literally made it into the yarn store five minutes before it closed! (at 5:00) We left so late from here, about 2:30 and it takes 2 1/2 hours to get to Traverse City, so I figured we wouldn't eve make it. I didn't even get my hopes up. I decided to be content with the fact that I could go to Target.

We rolled into TC at about 4:45. We didn't even really have a map, I had printed one out, but forgot to bring it. I figured Joe wouldn't even care, but he did the most surprising thing. He insisted that we find it! And we did!

It was a nice little yarn store, but I tell ya, I still miss my lys's in Metro Detroit. It was a shame I only had a few minutes to shop though because the hubbo whipped out the credit card without even looking at the prices! Had I only known . . . As it was I only bought a skein of green Plymouth Encore and 3 skeins of yummy Plymouth Happy Feet sock yarn! I'll take pictures later today, maybe outside because the sun has made a rare appearance.

The mall was fun. Sophie enjoyed it immensely. We went to Limited Too. For those of you without pre-teen girls, it is THE place to shop. It's also hideously expensive. But when they have a sale going on it's ok. Sophie got some sunglasses and some cute little shorts.

I bought the new Janet Evanovich book. I know I could wait for it from the library, but without my connections, I would be waiting until the next one came out! So I bought it. Yay!

I'm boring myself when I read this post so I will cut it off now! Pictures tomorrow!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lazy Summer Happenings

In the name of trying to fit in up here, this weekend we went to RiverFest. And guess what? I brought my camera!

My dad came up this weekend to visit. Here he is with Joe, watching the wonderful LumberJack performance!

This was the highlight of RiverFest. Log rolling, ax throwing and general all around craziness with power and hand tools. While not at the top of my list of a good time, it went ok. They also had a crafts tent that the girls totally enjoyed and there was even a person spinning wool! (Of course I forgot to take my camera out of my purse at that point).

Still knitting squares. Almost done with all my NYOBE squares. Then I will let myself start my Hopps for Hope squares. Discipline people. Well, not so much. I seem to be suffering from second sock syndrome. Here is my Alpaca Sox Monkey.

Almost done, except I can't find a darning needle. I started it on Friday and had a marathon knitting session today while watching "The Other Boleyn Girl". This movie was awesome. Have you all read the book? Read it. Seriously, one of the best books I've ever read. And the movie, as all movies made from books, not as good as the book, but definitely worth watching.

It's just me and Sophie and Joe here this week. Joseph went to AirForce camp. He thinks he wants to join the Air Force. I keep telling myself if I tell him what a stupid idea that is he will just think it's the best thing in the world to do, so I keep my mouth shut and wait for the phase to pass. Not that I have anything against the armed services, Joe is a veteran, I just think it's really a dumb time to join right now.

Savannah went downstate with my dad. She is going to the mall today! She's so excited. There are no malls around here. They have something they like to call the Alpena Mall, but trust me, it's not really a mall.

Sophie is going to the Talented and Gifted summer program this week. (just a little shameless bragging there) Today she learned to stand up while having her arms hooked with someone elses behind their backs. It's supposed to be fun. She assured me it was.

Tomorrow afternoon Joe is taking us to Traverse City with him. I can't wait! I hear there are yarn stores there! Gonna google 'em in a minute! And supposedly, Traverse City has a real mall! I'll charge up my camera and show you all how the trip went soon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Square

Well, I found this really cute little pattern for an afghan square. Seed blocks! Fun and easy, perfect for a square which you plan to knit sitting in front of the television watching such trash, as say, The Mole!I had part of a skein of Wool-Ease left and just started knitting right away. About halfway through I realized that I wasn't gonna have enough. That sucked. I kept telling myself I could do it, somehow streeeeeech the yarn, but alas it wasn't to be. I frogged it. All that work. Oh well. I found some pretty yarn, an entire skein this time and started it all over. Now I'm about half done with it and sure that I will have enough yarn. Plus as a bonus, while I was cleaning the craft room I found another skein on neutral Wool-Ease. Rocker! Really, because I went to Jo-Ann's and Wal-Mart up here, and there is no worsted weight Wool-Ease to be found.

While I was at Jo-Ann's, I did find some pretty orange and green yarn! It's the Vanna White line, which is all acrylic, so I'll need to double check with my Zombie peeps (ravelry link) and see if that's ok for our Hopps blanket. But the colors were so perfect, I could not pass it up.

I'm afraid that's all I have of late. Squares, squares, and more squares. Here are some squares waiting to be mailed. I've also got 2 lace wraps on the needles, being neglected at the moment. And one plain vanilla sock out of Alpaca Sox in Eastery colors also sitting alone in the corner. They are there as reward knitting. If I get enough squares done, I let myself knit the other stuff!

Friday, June 6, 2008


I found this one while surfing. I'm not gonna tag anyone, but if you want to do it, I'd love to read your answers!

1. What were you doing 10 years ago? I was taking care of my newborn baby! Savannah turned 10 on May 19 this year. I was also juggling a two year old and a first grader!

2. Name five things on your to-do list for today?

Gotta go to the sixth grade talent show to watch my daughter's dance
Laundry (always on the to-do list)
Watch the last few episodes of Heroes season two on
Knit some squares for Not Your Ordinary Block Exchange
Figure out what the strange bumping feeling coming from the back of my car is (could a zombie have snuck in there unbeknowst to me?)

3. Five favorite snacks

Potato chips - almost any kind
Hummus and Tabouleh
Ice cream sandwiches
McDonalds Hash browns

(this is a continuously rotating list as I consider myself a junk food junkie!)

4. Five places you've lived
Oakland County Mi (this is where I've lived most of my life, in different cities)
Kalamazoo, Mi
Vichy France
Caen France
Alpena Mi

I also lived in Lansing and East Lansing Mi while my husband went to MSU. Go Spartans!

5. Five jobs you've had

Restaurant hostess
Secretary at Hospice of Michigan
Legal Secretary
Library clerk

6. There were seven questions but I can't remember one! The last one was who would you like to hear the answers to these questions from?

Everyone! But especially my peeps :


Have a good weekend everyone! Off to watch Heroes.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I have to admit it, maybe it will help, you know, like working the 12 steps. Isn't the first step admitting you have a problem? I do. I am a project slut. I was going along, all happy knitting my NYOBE squares (although you may notice they don't particularly look square - if you stretch them they do!) alternating them with the beautiful Muir.
I was almost done with my fourth repeat . . . .
when disaster struck.

I noticed that I didn't have enough stitches to finish the row. Found my mistake and started to tink back when (gasp) stitches started falling off the needles! You know how when you do a slip two knit one pass the slipped stitches over, you need to pull up the two slipped stitches when you are tinking before you unknit the one stitch? Well I forgot. And shit started unraveling like mad. I think I yanked up all the dropped stitches, but I'm not sure and I'm not sure how far they unraveled.

It was so depressing because really the only solution I can see is to rip back the whole thing. I didn't use lifelines (I will from now on though!) because I thought I was above them. Too cool and all you know? I just couldn't face it anymore.

Then, staring at me from the bookshelf was that gorgeous little pile of yellow Malabrigo Lace. And what was it sitting on top of? Why, the pattern Adamas which I had printed out a few days ago, thinking that when I finished Muir I should cast on for that. Well, Muir looked doomed. Very doomed (although in the light of day she doesn't look that bad) and my fingers were literally itching. I managed to make it to this morning. When Joe left for work and before the girls got up I knitted up the first chart!

So, I don't have a very good project reputation, but I never really did anyway! And I don't feel totally bad because the reason I printed up Adamas is because I saw it on the YarnHarlot's site. She found it forgotten for about a year in the stash. Which mean even she casted on something else and left some lace unfinished!

I gotta run to the school for the fourth grade play! Maybe I'll take the camera!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Puppies Walking

That's Bits and Kibbles going for a walk. Notice how Bits appears to be running. Well, really he's trying to run. He's pulling so hard at the leash that he makes constant hacking noises and he doesn't stop! Poor Kibs is running as fast as his little legs will carry him and he never even manages to pull his leash taut.

Joe says I'm supposed to make Bits walk beside me. How? I've yanked him back to my side a gazillion times and he just doesn't care! He wants to run!!!

It's so funny because our older dog, Nona, she loves going for a walk for the smells. She is constantly stopping to sniff people's yards, fire hydrants, electrical poles, whatever presents itself. Bits' nose is always on the ground but he never stops. He doesn't even stop to poop. He poops while he runs. Kibs begs to be picked up about halfway through our walk/run because he's too tired to continue. I don't blame him. I'm winded myself.

I'm home now, the puppies are sleeping in their crate and I'm going to knit some more squares for my Not Your Ordinary Block Exchange on Ravelry. It's fun, but the gauge thing is frustrating me. I've been stealing stitch patterns from socks that I've made! Some people are knitting 12 of the same sqaure. No way could I do that, I would be totally bored and never finish. So I'm jazzing it up with some different stuff. Plus, I must admit, I'm not being project faithful as witnessed by the previous entries about socks and shawls and such. :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

My New Obsession

I have a new obsession. Actually it's part of an obsession I developed when I learned you could watch entire seasons of tv shows on, which we subscribed to when we moved to Alpena. First it was Weeds. Then Friday Night Lights, now my friends, it's Heroes. OMG! I, like, found the greatest tv show ever freakin' made! Do I sound like a teenage girl with her first crush? That's cuz, like, I am!

Tell me someone out there watches this show too. I love the actors, I love the stories, I love everything about it, even the fact that it's slightly cheesy! It reminds me of Alias, also cheesy, but my brother and I have a theory about Alias that I think aplies to Heroes too. It's supposed to be cheesy! It's not meant to be taken seriously. For goodness sakes, it's a comic book! It's fun! And all the boys are totally cute! Anyway, I've only got a few episodes to go left in the second season. And I just read today that the third season doesn't start until *gasp* September!

I knit while I watch it. Except the parts where Hiro and Ando are speaking Japanese, then I have to stop and read the captions. It's perfect for knitting squares for my NYOBE.I swiped this pattern from my Stitch-n-Bitch Nation book. It's a pattern for one of the scarves, something about a mock cable. I had to reknit it about four times before I got gauge. I hate gauge. But since I have to send this to someone who is expecting a 12" by 12" square, I gotta do it.

It's also really great for socks, once you have the pattern memorized. These are my upside down nutkins
Upside down because the pattern was written top down but I wanted to knit them toe up. So instead of flipping the pattern, I just knit them. I think they still look pretty cool.

I'm also working on Muir. Everytime I go to take a picture of it, my camera is indisposed. You know, naked because it's charger is being charged, or just not where it should be. When it shows up it is full of pictures of little girls hammin it up! Anyway, I love it, Muir, it's out of the same yarn from which I knit Kristin's Charlotte's Web. I think I heart lace now.

I gotta go get my kids. Only 4 more days of freedom. I'm ready for summer, but I'll miss all the computer viewing tv show time!