Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Joe!

I'd like to give a shout out to the most wonderful husband in the world who is turning the big 40 today! That would be Joe. My husband!

He's the smartest, most kind-hearted, funny man I've ever known. That's him keeping score for our daughter's softball team. He does that kind of stuff all the time. He's the one doing all the work and getting none of the glory. But trust me, he deserves the glory.

Anyway, I love him and am wishing him a great big world wide web Happy Birthday!

And look, here are two socks on two circs! They are being frogged as we speak, so a picture for posterity!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Well . . . we drove up north a little bit, to Rogers City. I guess it's what you would call quaint. I guess everything up here is what you would call quaint. You know, old fashioned and charming. Quiet. I guess I just miss the big city madness of Metro Detroit. I'm a big city girl. Well, I'm a big city suburban girl really. But we saw some . . . interesting things.

That's one of those humongous trucks in the quarry in Rogers City. That' s the big deal up here, limestone quarry. Isn't that where Fred Flintstone worked? A limestone quarry? Anyway, I zoomed in and got a shot of the truck. Exciting? Maybe if I had little boys . . .

Now this interesting little tidbit we found at the public beach, which was really quite nice. Quiet with clean sand and freezing ass cold water, but that's the norm up here. Yes my friends that is a miniature hand of the statue of liberty topped off by a tinsel covered flame. I don't know it's story, I'll just let you make up your own.

And this is square number four the Hopps for Hope Lodge blanket, moving right along. Square number three has yet to be photographed - it might be a little bit bigger than 12 by 12 but I'm sending it anyway. I'll take a picture later, and I'll take a picture of my two socks on two circs success because I'm frogging it to make bigger socks and I want proof that I actually conquered this method!

Well the kids are still gone, and today Joe is at work so I have the house all to myself. What to do?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Colors . . . . . Colors

Remember that crazy gang movie from the 80's? I think it was about the Bloods and the Crips. That's the song running through my head (by Ice T if I'm not mistaken - but I probably am, as rap is not my forte). But I 'm not refering to blowing people's brains out, just my camera and how I can't make it take pictures that are the same color as the actual item I'm trying to photograph. For instance, take the nasty fuschia colored Arucania I bought (I don't know why)
Now granted, both are craptastic blurry pictures but they don't even look like they are of the same yarn. They are! The reason I took pictures though is because the yarn in the skein, to me, looked so different than the yarn in the ball! I love the yarn in the ball! It's this sweet variagated (how do you spell that) pink. Look.Oh but wait, one looks red and the other looks, pink, but not the pinks in the actual ball. I think the top one is closest. I guess you guys will have to wait until I'm finished and maybe if I take sock pictures outside, I'll come closer to the real color.

This yarn? Right now two tiny little sock cuffs are resting on two skinny little circs waiting for me to finish knitting them! Yeah! I did it! I figured it out! I had to make the tiniest size of Emily's Socks (fewer stitches seemed to be the trick for me figuring it all out) which is size 2-4, but that's ok, because my niece Hali-Kathryn is conveniently age 3! So she'll be getting the learning experiment. Of course, they live in Alabama, and the need for wool socks there might not be so high, but her mom (who is my niece Bekah - Hali-Kathryn is my great niece, trippy huh?) is one of those people who saves everything hand made and is loathe to let her kids use or wear such stuff. She rocks in the sense that she'll still have all the handmade stuff we've made for her, where everyone else in the family uses it out of existence. So the socks will go to a good home.

Well, I'm off to knit some more socks, but also to focus on the Hopps for Hope Lodge afghan squares. People - did you know there are prizes from Briar Rose yarns to be had? Hop to Holly's blog to see the goods!

Off on an adventure, taking the camera!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Garbage Day

Joe is in the basement furiously going through the boxes we've had stored down there for about 3 months. My theory? Throw all the shit away - we haven't seen it nor missed it in quite some time. His? Throw it away, oh, except for this, and this, and we might need this someday. So instead of helping him, I'm just staying away because inevitably, we will fight and I don't want to fight today.

So instead, I took pictures of my finished Slave to the Plurk socks! Yeah!
Let's call them Purple Plurkers. I think they are pretty. They are supposed to resemble the way the comments show up on Plurk.com, but I just like them because they are super simple and fit well into my Big Brother/Flipping Out/Project Runway knitting.

Here's a full on shot, but once again, I cannot figure out how to turn the picture around so you get the sideways view.Speaking of Flipping Out, have any of you ever seen it? OMG it's awesome. Bravo on Tuesday nights at 10 people, although on any given day you can catch the reruns. Jeff Lewis is this dude who buys and sells super fancy houses in California. He is potentially the person with the biggest case of OCD I have ever seen! He is the boss from hell, but after you watch a few episodes, you find yourself kind of liking him, maybe even feeling a little sorry for the dude. Check it out. Really.

And I decided to take a picture of the hydrangeas that neighbor lady planted. They are really pretty and a great opportunity for photo practice.
Oh, and I tried and gave up on that whole socks on two circs thing again. Now I'm working on one of the patterns from the book though, Emily's socks, the one's on the cover.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Photography - hey I'm Learning

That is one of my dad's giant dahlias. He has an entire fence full of them. They are about 12 inches high, with tons of blooms. He's bummed because he thought they would be all different colors, and they ended up being all orange. ( Holly, can you even imagine? A whole fence full of orange and green!) My dahilas? Not even picture worthy - they are about half the size of his and I only have three, and they only seem to bloom one at a time. Oh well, at least they aren't dead.

Those are my dad's roses. He's never done roses before and the bush was a gift from his sister, so he's pretty proud of them. Did I mention that my dad is 86 years old?
And he's really geeked about his hibiscus plants, this is one of two. He got them on the cheap and they are filled with blooms. When we were there this was the only one open, but tons of them are about to open up.

My own yard? Shameful. I did not inherit the green thumb. Mine is more like the thumb of doom for plants. I do have a reasonally successful tomato plant growing at the side of the house, but otherwise the only alive foliage in my yard was planted and is tended to by the neighbor. (Yeah, the one with parenting issues, she's quite the gardner - we all have our strengths and weaknesses!)

I'm still plugging away at my Plurks and Mochatinis - so ALMOST done with both! Next I'm going to attempt once more to knit two socks with two circs. My girls are on vacation so there will be no interruptions, maybe I can pull it off.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Knitting and Yarn!

That is the beginning of the first sock of a pair of Slave to the Plurk socks
(scroll down if it's not the first post, you'll see 'em - they are bright orange - Holly will love them!)
That is the first one finished and the second one begun! They are so nice to knit, simple, tv watching, knitting! And that's awesome because there is some serious tv watching to be done now! The new Big Brother is on, and that's three nights a week my friends. And what starts tonight? The new season of Project Runway! Yeah!!!!
And in anticipation of all the time I will be sitting glued to the television screen, I bought some more orange and green yarn to make squares for the Hopps for Hope Afghan-a-long! Today I shall surf the net and find some cool patterns for squares. After I take the girls to get their hair cut. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Head F@#$%ing itches!

Ok, my neuroses has completely kicked in. Full force. My head itches like a son of a whore. The girls are lice and nit free, they don't itch at all. My husband has made cursory glances at my head and proclaimed me to have none of the mess. But my head itches people!

Today when we were all at the pool, some sort of microscopic (well almost because if it were truly microscopic I couldn't see it right?) fell on my book. I was convinced it was a louse. I ran home, doused my head with poison, pulled all sheets and blankets off my bed and had a good cry. Then I ran that hideous torturous creepy purple comb through each and every strand on my head. My husband found me freaking out and voluntarily went through more hair than he normally would, bless him. He said my scalp is red. Red like burned. Possibly because I dyed my hair about a week ago, and have doused myself with poison twice in five days. Oh, and I pull it all back super tight in a pony tail so as to avoid any of the critters who might not have survived the bombing with the louse spray. So really, it's irritated and that's probably why it itches. But after looking at pictures on the net for too long (I was gonna post one, but really, they are gross, the stuff of nightmare, and I don't want to subject you to that!) can you blame me?

I swear this is the last post about lice. Knitting from now on, all knitting all the time. Well, maybe some other stuff, but no lice

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Saga Continues

Well we are through day two and we have no visible nits. Yeah! This is a good thing, but not to be called a cure, because the sons of bitches have a . . . whadya call it? 10 day life cycle. So we will check for nits for 9 more days then I will pour more pesticide on my daughter's heads. That's a best case scenario people. Let's hope it works out that way.

Did you know looking down at millions of hairs can make your neck hurt? It does. My head too. I think it's the intense focusing. On the bright side, the olive oil helped me because one of my girls had quite a bit of dandruff which can look like a nit (but once you've seen a real one you can tell the difference) but the olive oil got rid of that! Of course after two shampoos the girls still have nasty greasy hair, but lice like clean hair, so I'm all for gross.

On the really bright side, I got to knit a lot today. I called my lys and bought 2 size 1 circular needles with 24 inch cables, because since I can knit one sock on two circs I figured 2 socks on two circs would be simple! Ha! Yarn ends up on the wrong side of the needle to be knit with, it's just insane and there are no video tutorials online to figure it out! I'm a visual learner. But I wanted to make a sock called Plurk (ravelry link)designed by my friend Terry so I just started knitting one at a time. Have you all seen plurk? It's pretty cool. I joined. I'm friendless though, so you all need to join and be my friend!

I'll take pictures of my pretty purple plurks tomorrow and maybe I'll even finish my mochatinis. I'm so close, a couple more rounds of cable and a few ribs and voila!

I'm reading an awesome book - The Conjurer's Bird by Martin Davies. If you like a nice mix of historical fiction, a mystery and a nice love story check it out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ok, perhaps I'm done seething. At least for today. Poor girls! We went to get their hair cut and the hairdresser found one of those muther f*^%ing pests on my baby's head! We had them once before about six years ago, and let me tell you, I should have been hospitalized. Really. I completely lost it. I "relaxed" with the vaccuum cleaner in my hand. I vacuumed every surface in my house . . . . at least three times the first day! I threw away every freakin' toy including the plastic ones. Screw bagging up the stuffed animals, they went in the garbage. I used the damn pesticides on my girls' heads . . . twice. Why? Because I saw one of the creepy crawlies crawling after the first time! I made them sit in wood chairs on top of sheets and vacuumed underneath them when they moved. Finally, my husband caught me wandering vacantly around the house holding the vacuum cleaner like a lover and mumbling something incoherent. I'm not kidding people. He forced me to take a xanax and really, all went pretty well after that. We nit picked for a few days but we pretty much cleared it up. Probably the vacuuming.

This time, I don't know what happened. Some kind of super mom thing or something. I totally didn't panic. Sophie did. She had a screaming hissy fit outside of the salon (which is conveniently located in a strip mall) and can you really blame her? The idea that those beasts are crawling around on your head . . . yikes.

So we went to Wal-Mart, bought our drugs and assorted combs and brushes (I'm throwing the old ones away) and went home and de-loused ourselves. I deloused myself, because I trust no one in this house to check me for nits. I'm the only person who can do it correctly, so I guess I'm just screwed.

I didn't find ANYTHING on the child's head where the hairdresser said she saw a live one. Nary a nit and no dead bugs after the drugs. I did find about 15 nits in the other child's hair. Her hair. Oh my lord. It is down to the middle of her back and thick. Thick thick. I've gone over her about three times today and each time found one or two that I missed. Savannah's hair is thin and fine, which in general sucks for her, but rocks when you have lice. I went over her three or four times, found nothing and am positive I missed nothing. One thing that is kind of funny yet kind of mean is Savannah knows I didn't find anything on her head but did on Sophie's. She keeps inching away from Sophie when they are sitting down and looking at her and going "What's that moving on your forehead?"! I know she's just scared but Sophie thinks she's screwing with her. Ah, sisters.

Then I did ass loads of laundry (still doing them) because I really think that (and the vacuuming) are what kept us from a reinfestation. That's what the Harvard Website says and I trust the Harvard dudes. Google lice and you will come up with millions of different stories and opinions. I'm sticking with the big guys.

Just to be on the safe side we are now all sitting with our heads doused in olive oil, wrapped in saran wrap and covered in shower caps and we will remain so until tomorrow at which time we will wash our oily heads and pick nits again. Well, I'll nit-pick the girls and pray there are no nits in my hair.

Those of you who have gone through this before, doesn't it suck? I know in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't. I mean, my kids don't have cancer (although I could just have possibly caused some sort of damage to them what with all the pesticide) right? Lice don't hurt you, they just make you crazy.

If you haven't gone through it yet, I pray you never have to. Please wish us well.

Can Lice Live in Wool?

Oh yes my friends you read that correctly. I'll update you all when I've quit seething from anger and yuckness. Any advice will be appreciated.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Heat's Bringin' Out the Crazies

First, a wee bit of knitting to take the edge off . . . . .
Here are my new socks, made from Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet in some sort of brownish purply color (love it!) The pattern is Cabletini, you can find it on The Loopy Ewe under free patterns if the link doesn't work which is highly likely! But I'm gonna call 'em "Mochatini" you know, after those hideous drinks that look all pretty like chocolate but taste like straight vodka. I know some of you may enjoy those, but I prefer my drinks to be fruity and not taste like alcohol! (Even though I need some in it!)
Isn't the cable pretty? You may have noticed that I found my camera. Well, Savannah found it when she was cleaning up the loft. Look at the picture below. . . .
Evidence! She totally misplaced it, especially since this was NOT the only picture of her! There were like 20! Can you tell it's totally a self-portrait? Love it.

The crazy new mom next door (I say new as a way to excuse her behavior, but really, her kids are 6, she should be more broken in by now) has banned her children from playing with mine because they are too old. Now look, it's not like my 12 and 10 year olds are banging down their door to ask them to play, it's quite the other way around. And all they want to do is get Sophie to play softball with them or do crafts. But apparently( since she used this line with me - I know what I was doing when I was 12) she thinks all 12 year olds are little pervs or something.

I tried to explain to her that Sophie was a young 12. I don't think she thinks its a good thing to have a 12 year old who isn't really interested in boys yet (she thinks they are gross and they are, witness her brother) or doesn't care about Abercrombie and Fitch or all the crap the mean girls gossip about. HELLO! Rookie mistake!

I believe that you should expose your kids to lots of stuff when they are still under your control, so you can explain things to them, tell them why something is dangerous or stupid. Older kids can be good or bad influences. As long as the older kid your kid wants to hang out with isn't doing drugs or something, use it as a lesson if they are doing something you don't like. And trust me, Sophie is not doing anything this woman wouldn't like.

But you know this is America, a free world and I'm allowed to parent however I want as long as I don't abuse my kids right? So I guess she is too. I just told Sophie to tell those kids next time they ask to play that their mother won't let them play with older kids. Ha! Then she can deal with the crap, not me!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Camera Fairy Stole My Camera

It's missing. Not just misplaced because it's been missing since before the fourth of July! No one in this house will admit to messing with it. However, it is not in the place which I last left it, which is right here by the computer. So you tell me. I suspect Savannah, as the last time I downloaded pictures there were about 20 of her hamming it up and taking pictures of herself. She can't resist that for more than a couple of days so I think I need to go scope out her room.

And oh, I had so many photo ops this weekend! The parade of course, which my dogs and children were in! They walked with the groomer. So cute! Then there was the lameness of the Maritime Festival. Now, if you like the Maritime stuff I'm sure it was ok, but when you are used to a regular carnival like we have downstate every fourth, this one made me sad. It really was all about the ships.

The fireworks were pretty cool though. We sat on the huge rocks at the side of Lake Huron and watched the fireworks over the water. It was rocker. This year they had new ones (to me anyway) They would start of like those big balls of white points and then the points would all melt into each other like snow!

The next day I could have taken pictures at our friend's cabin at Hubbard Lake. It was a beautiful day and I remembered sun block so I didn't burn! Sophie was finding petoskey stones and catching crawdads! One that they caught was looking like he suffered from some sort of pollution or something, he was missing his front pincers and an antennae. Our friend Lily made some killer Pina Coladas!

Yesterday was chill day, but I could have taken pictures of the strawberries Savannah picked on the fifth and that we made into Strawberry Smoothies! Yum. Alas, no pictures, but I hope the description kept you all interested until I find the dang camera!

I'm still knitting away on my Tapestry scarf, almost through one skein. It's curling horribly at the edges, but I'm hoping blocking will straighten it out. And five of my 11 squares for the Not Your Ordinary Block Exchange have come in so far! It 's so exciting getting stuff in the mail! Speaking of , I need to mail my squares for the Hopps for Hope Lodge Afghan to Holly.

Gotta jet!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Amy's Yarn Finds It's Special Purpose!

I thought this chevrony pattern would suit the Rowan Tapestry that I won from a contest on Amy's blog. What do you think? Sunsets, fall leaves . . . hmmmm. . . do I detect a theme?

Foliage all done! I think I knitted it on needles that might have been to big. They were the only circs with a small enough cord I could find. So it's sort of short and squat but still wearable as evidenced by Sophie . . .
And here are my nicely blocked socks. The reason I blocked them was to see if they would make a better picture that way. I'm not sure. Blocking is great for some things, like lace and sweaters, but when you put on a pair of socks, they kind of conform to your feet, blocked or not. Maybe I'll just try to perfect the "socks on feet" pictures in the future.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Necessity Being the Mother of Invention

I don't have sock blockers, but I love the way socks look in pictures after they've been blocked, so I made my own sock blockers out of wire hangers! And look, the coolest part? You can hang them up to dry - cuz they are hangers!

Here's the obligatory shot of them on my feet (pre-blocking). I tried and tried to get a picture without the puppy in it, but he was seriously licking the camera! He loves the camera.

They are Monkeys made with Alpaca Sox sock yarn. Of course, I threw away the band so I can not tell you the colorway.

I'm also working on a pair of socks for Sophie, out of Panda Wool, purple and pink. I'm making them like the great old tube sox (except with a short row heel) of the seventies - you know with the bonus stripes at the top? They will be a Christmas surprise, so I only knit them when she's not around.

In the meantime, I've got to have something to work on so she doesn't get suspicious. My fingers were itching for some bigger needles and fatter yarn, so I grabbed my lone skein of Manos Del Uruguay which has been languishing in the stash for well over a year and Raveled it to see what you can make with one skein of the stuff.

Foliage! Ta-da!
Isn't it just the perfect colorway for something called foliage? All nice and fall like. I'm loving it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Two at a Time

What the bejezus is this mess? Am I just stupid? Do you people have this book? Can you knit two socks at one time? Because I can't. Just can't. Like, whipped the needles and yarn across the room can't. And I'm totally bummed because that book cost a lot of money! And so did the stupid 47 inch Addi Lace Needle that I had to buy to knit two socks on and that I will never use for anything else.

I tried for four hours at least to make a go of it. I even knit just the one sock at a time with the magic loop method. Which I could do, but seriously, all the pushing around stitches and pulling out cables just took too long to make it worthwhile. But when I would try for two at a time, I just ended up with twisted skeins of yarn, cables everywhere, and somehow I kept losing the little loop of cable you are supposed to have between the stitches on each sock.

I really want to learn how to do this. I don't want to give up. If any of you out there have mastered this technique and have any advice for me, please throw it over here. I need help! : )