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25 posts from February 2005

28 February 2005

One to go

Dashwood3Dashwood4Isn't she lovely?  I'm almost there with Miss Dashwood.  I muttered all the while I was doing the bobbles, but it was definitely worth it.  I just love the little tuck or pleat or whatever you want to call it combined with the bobbles -- this is one pretty little hat!

While watching the Oscars, I finished the actual hat, knit both earflaps, and one of the ties.  They are 11-inch, 2-stitch, k1p1 ties -- not as bad as bobbles, but Oh My.  I'd considered doing something else, even considered pulling out a crochet hook, but they really need to be done the way they're written.

Dashwood6Dashwood5It's a very firm, dense fabric, and will be quite warm, I think.  Look at that curly, curly brim!  Blocking will happen very soon.  Ai wants one -- supersized!

My eyebrows got some exercise late yesterday while I was reading Wendy's post.  Wow, look out...  Here come da knitting judge!  Good grief.  It appears that the jury has deliberated, however, and Bad-Ass Knitting has come out on top.  Almost makes me want to start a garter stitch scarf on some big-ass needles.

In other news, that Curlie Girl ought to be having a debut soon -- Her Majesty St. Brigid is nearly complete -- and I can hardly stand it!

Kt was home this weekend and, boy, it was a busy one.  Ai participated in the solo ensemble music competition -- I missed one of her performances, and she almost did, too, because I was in the wrong room.  Argh.  She had a solo in the morning and triple-trio and madrigal in the afternoon.

In between, we did a little shopping while Kt gathered applications -- she'd like to find an additional job for summer.  At this time next year, she'll be studying abroad (England), so the wallet needs some fattening.  And while we were doing that, Ai learned that she got the job she wanted!  She's so excited (she'll start next Monday) and has already done the math (hours x wage = more than she's used to).

I got a bit of a start with the dreaded taxes, turned a mountain of laundry into a molehill, went to Home Depot to choose paint for the upstairs kitchen (very tricky), and watched the Oscars.  I love award shows!

25 February 2005

That Miss Dashwood...

All peaches and cream, sunshine and happiness; those big, beautiful eyes and that pouty little mouth -- don't let the little angel fool ya, she's got a bit of the devil in her, for sure!  Arrgh.  I'm nearly finished with the bobble border.  Bobbles.  I hate bobbles.  I'm taming them and it's looking wonderful, but beware...  There was no way I was going to be able to k3tog, or p4tog, much less k4tbl, so I pulled out my crochet hook and pulled the yarn through in the direction necessary to make the stitch.  Oh, much faster and a lot less angst.

I updated the St. Brigid photo album with details today, and cleaned up and changed the design of all the albums.  Still a little more to do, but much nicer!

G'night.

Resistance is futile

That's been said to me any number of times -- Christine said it about socks, Nathania about the Must Have.  Of course, they're right, but the thing I truly cannot resist is a face like this.

Dashwood1I have two hanks of the Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted remaining after finishing Mdd's Natalya, and it ought to be just enough for this wonderful hat.  I really can't tell you whether I'm more enamored with the hat or with the model, or even with the name -- Miss Dashwood -- it's all perfect!

Dashwood2My circ is longer than the one specified in the pattern, but that just means I'll have to switch to DPNs sooner, I suppose.  There is almost nothing in this world that makes me look or feel more inept than knitting with a circular needle. I think I'm getting a little better, but my discomfort with those is the main obstacle to my starting something like Rogue.  And doing a fancy, picot cast-on with a circ?  The thought made my arms limp, knees weak, and brain turn to pudding.  So I used a straight needle to do the cast on and then transferred the stitches to the circ.  It's gorgeous, isn't it?  I did my usual half-assed swatch and, as such, it was very close to gauge.  I'm knitting the 3-6 month size.  One thing I want to keep in mind as I knit this hat is what kind of changes I could make to end up with a Mr. Dashwood.  The picot edge would have to go, of course, as well as the bobbles, and I'd probably make the brim a bit shorter.  What think you?  Can this be made more manly?

Good weekend wishes to all y'all.

24 February 2005

Stood up

Mddnat2Heh.  Mom stood me up yesterday.  She made plans with someone else!  She did invite me to participate in the new plans, but I passed.  We've already rescheduled for next week.  Mdd was all in a tizzy yesterday morning, helping with Duncan for his trip to the vet, and she forgot her backpack.  When she called at noon to see if I could drop it off, I grabbed DH*, dropped off the backpack, and went out to lunch with him instead!

Mdd was so tired last night, but propped her eyes open long enough for me to finish her Natalya mitt.  Mmmmm, Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted.  (Thanks, Lynne!)  It took just about one hank and, wow, is it ever nice -- so soft!  Mdd does have a full finger and, as far as I know, this isn't any kind of teenage hand signal with hidden meaning -- she had a big ink blob on her finger and didn't think it was very photogenic.  She was planning on wearing her mitt to school today!

Project Runway seems to be my "finishing" show!  I watched the marathon on Sunday while finishing St. Brigid, and the finale last night while finishing the mitt.  I was both surprised and happy that Jay won, by the way -- very fun stuff.  I really loved Wendy's clothes and the colors -- Oh! -- I would wear those clothes, but I am old like her, maybe even "dowdy."  I'm a little more demure these days (and a little less, oh, shall we say "perky"?), but I've worn peek-a-boo stuff like the dress that made Michael Kors' eyes pop -- I think he had definite, pre-determined ideas about Wendy.  Kara's clothes were okay -- extremely well made -- but she showed her unflattering, hm, even hypocritical, side last night.

Cromarty20sleeve2aI thought about starting Miss Dashwood, but I don't have the correct circ in my paltry collection (I have the right size, but not the right length).  Duh!  I was just at my most local LY(&gift)S yesterday, too, with the Miss Dashwood pattern in-hand -- I never even checked my needle situation.  (And yes, I was wearing St. Brigid.  "Oh, that's pretty... we're really big into felting right now...")  So I cast on for the second sleeve of Cromarty!  I only did two rows, but sometimes the hardest part is getting started...

St. B also went to Target!  Mdd wanted to go shopping for a bra.  She's so funny.  She measured and told me what her size was the other day (I'm not sure where she got this measuring info), and said it letter before number, rather than the "normal" way.  She won't change the way she says it, either; I feel like we're playing Bingo!  She made two trips to the dressing room with seven different bras and none of them fit right.  Naturally, she wouldn't let me even squint into the room, so I had nothing but her description of what was wrong to guide me.  Turns out that she's not even ready for the letter part yet.  We cruised through the grrs department, where they go by number only.  By that time, of course, she refused to return to the dressing room, so I brought home two on approval.  They passed.

*I came home from work the other night and Deb Stoller's Stitch & Bitch was on the kitchen table.  I was a little confused -- Kt gave me "Nation" for Christmas, so this looked familiar -- yet not.  DH had been at the book store and he brought it home for me.  He wasn't sure I had it, or even wanted it, but it caught his eye.  Too sweet.  Plus, the other day, he says to me, "I think it's really cool that all our grrs know how to knit!"  I think a little lunch date was in perfect order!!

I might owe my sister lunch, too.  I'd sent her an email pic of St. B the other day and, she said in this morning's email, that she felt moved to tell two little ol' ladies who were looking at knitting needles in Wal-mart all about it!  I have no clue what my sister was doing in that department, either.

23 February 2005

Mesmerized

Dsc03905Duncan couldn't stop looking at his reflection last night -- or maybe it was all the pretty lights!  We caught him several times, sitting atop a small cabinet in the kitchen, staring into the blank TV screen.  He wouldn't even flinch when someone walked by.  The lights were on in a different configuration than usual and must have caught his eye.  Or else he's a little full of himself!  I thought, "He's looking at himself so much, you'd think he had a new sweater!"

Dsc03907Wish Duncan (a.k.a. Squitten) well as he's just been delivered to the vet.  He'll return tomorrow evening, a changed kitty, if you know what I mean.

Here's the view this morning off my back porch.  Our house is perched, literally, on the edge of a ravine -- a small valley, really.  It's a gray, hazy, cold morning, but the sun is just beginning to break through.

Dsc03906Mdd finally started to knit a little scarf the other day, and now looked what happened.  She was already in bed, I was taking pictures of the cat, surfing the 'net, or answering emails, while her yarn and needles became pet toys.  A little bit of a mess -- three balls of yarn entangled and this is what remains of two needles.  Looks, to me, like the work of a dog.

Dsc03894While I was sewing up St. Brigid on Sunday -- and watching most of a Project Runway marathon on Bravo (now I'm going to have to watch the finale tonight!) -- DH was busy in the upstairs kitchen.  Wow, what a difference to have that "paneling" trimmed off.  Next step:  change out the electrical devices and then priming and painting.  I am certain now that the mushroom/trillium tiles will have to be painted.  Originally, we were going to paint this paneling dark green, but I'm thinking lighter, and maybe even a different color.

I think I'm going to lunch and to an antique shop with Mom today.  Guess what I'll be wearing!!

22 February 2005

St. B afterglow

In our time together, we became quite intimate -- long evenings spent caressing, holding, yes, even fondling; I've shared my desires, bent and twisted you to my whim, yet allowed you to reveal yourself to me, teach me, steady, slow, and sure.  You did not disappoint.  I'm still awash in the afterglow, blowing smoke rings.

O O o o o

I'm utterly lost in a state of sweater afterglow.  If there never was such a thing before, there is now.  I'm there.  You've all made me feel like we're having an orgy a love-fest.*  It makes a person giddy -- ridiculous, even.  (Ya think?)
Oh, 's wonderful, 's marvellous...  I might be over it sometime next week.  Or not.

O O o o o O O o o o

You wanna know how much I love that sweater?  I did not sleep with it last night (I was both encouraged and admonished about that), but as I gently folded it and put it away, I thought, "I wish I could wear you again tomorrow. Who would notice?", "When can I wear you next?"... "I wonder how I'd like you in cotton?"  I've had similar, off-the-rack sweaters made of cotton in the past -- and have worn them to absolute shreds.

Hey, I have a (mostly) cotton sweater like that in the works!  Susan has a vague memory of my Cromarty in progress and wonders why St. Brigid reached the finish line first.  Heh, the brutal truth is that Cromarty was unplanned -- a total fluke -- and therefore had no rights at the front of the line!  I'm knitting it in Rowan Calmer, yarn that was purchased to make Audrey in my first knit-along.  I started it and made good progress, but there was a change of heart, and then a transformation.  At the time, I knew that I'd be participating in the St. Brigid Knit-Along, hosted by the wonderful Kathaleenie.

I had never knit anything from a chart before then, so to prepare for St. B, I knit the Galway hat from Aran Knitting, then a variation of the hat, and then, for some reason, decided to try Cromarty -- and I used some of Audrey's Calmer.  Just to see what it would look like...

Well, I liked it and procured the needed, additional yardage, dropped out of Audrey, made good progress, and then the St. Brigid KAL was underway and Cromarty took a back seat.  I'll be getting back to that one soon.  Though made of cotton, it's different than those sweaters I've worn to shreds -- softer, more delicate and fragile.  Those others were more like dishcloth cotton, so perhaps, someday...

O O o o o O O o o o O O o o o

After sitting with a finished, folded St. Brigid on my lap for a while on Sunday night, I pulled out the DPNs and the prized alpaca and cast on the Natalya mitt for Mdd.  That ought to be finished tomorrow (she wants only one), and then perhaps Cromarty will see some action.

O O o o o O O o o o O O o o o O O o o o

*Thank you all for your wonderful comments.  You've made me laugh and smile and even get teary.  I've been touched by every single word.  And I'll really try to pull myself together and get over this nonsense.

21 February 2005

St. B's last hurrah -- specs and stuff

Stb2Stb1Okay, it's obvious that I really can't do The Rachael very well; I tried.  I've got the I'm Your Mother/Are You Doing That Right look down pretty good, though, huh?  I hate having my picture taken! (Thanks to Mdd, my photographer, for laughing with me.)

St. Brigid

My first completed Aran sweater (Cromarty was the first Aran started -- and is yet to be completed)

Pattern: St. Brigid / Source: Aran Knitting by Aice Starmore (OOP, borrowed from a local library)

Yarn: Cascade 220, color 4010 (gold), purchased from The Boys at Threadbear; I ordered 12 hanks and used pretty much all of 9 (1908 yards) for the larger size without fringe, but with all the repeats / Needles: Size US 8 Clover Bamboo

Started: Sept. 10, 2004 / Completed: Feb. 20, 2005

Modifications:

1) The single line of straight stitch called for on either side of the braided cable seemed flabby, so I knit/purled through the back loop of those stitches throughout to twist it and tighten up the stitch.

2) The pattern called for 15 rows of K2, P1 ribbing to finish the top edge of the collar; I knit only 13 (and might even have preferred fewer than that).

3) As far as gauge is concerned, I was "close" with the US 8 bamboos. In the end, the pieces were blocked in the manner directed in the book -- pinned to measurements given and covered with a damp cloth (in this case, a fairly substantial towel, fresh from the "max extract" washing machine cycle), and left 'til the cloth was dry (approximately 24 hours). When the blocking cloth was dry, it was removed and the pieces unpinned; they hardly budged. The pieces reached the specified measurements without any difficulty (plenty of give) and, as knit, they could have been blocked slightly larger or even a little smaller.

4) I have not yet attached any fringe; I may do that in the future; it will definitely cut into a 10th hank of yarn.

Observations:

I love looking like an idiot for you people this sweater. It was a joy to knit and put together. It's comfortable to wear and it's pretty much turned out just as I'd hoped.  There is plenty of ease without looking huge; it's substantial, but not too heavy or warm. 

I started with the sleeves, then knit the back (these pieces were finished before Christmas), and finally the front and collar pieces (since Christmas). Originally, I was going to do one less repeat on the body than the pattern called for, but I changed my mind on that and I'm so glad I did.

During the next blocking, I will try to lengthen the sleeves just a bit -- they could be a tad longer for me.

I've created a St. Brigid photo album with some WIP photos and eventually I'll post these thoughts, and any others that might come to mind, over there.

Antique Emboss Filmgrain Glow

St. Brigid

Dsc03870

Dsc03871Can you believe it? I'm wearing it. Today. Right now.

Love, love, love!!!

This is just a quickie post with a couple of tantalizing pictures.  It took all day -- ALL DAY -- to sew on the collar and do the ribbing, sew down the ribbing, and weave in all the ends.  Man, a lot of ends, even though I got smart and spliced while knitting the last half.  But she's done.  Alas, by the time I was ready for photos, it was dark and there wasn't anyone to man the camera.

Thanks for all the encouraging emails.  You all made reaching the finish line even sweeter.

More to come.

20 February 2005

This preview is rated E...

...for EXCITING!!!

Dsc03852 Dsc03854

These were taken at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon.  Do you try on a sweater at the earliest possible opportunity?  I couldn't wait!!  By the time I went to bed last night, I'd tried it on at least three times and been poked by a pin at least once.  And, by that time, the saddles and sleeves had been sewn, as well as side and sleeve seams, and I'd loosely pinned the collar to The Sweater.

I'm going to go thread my needle...

19 February 2005

Yoo hoo

That lovely, dancing, Italian woman tagged me!  Here you go, Marta!

1.  How much space is left on your TiVo or Comcast box?

I don't have either.  We're always scrambling for blank videotapes or one that we can tape over!

2.  Have you ever bought a DVD of a TV series and, if so, which one?

No.  I have bought, either for myself or for giving, tapes of PBS shows/series, such as The Civil War.

3.  What was the last TV show you watched before reading this message?

NUMB3RS

4.  List five TV shows you won't miss...

Hm, I watch a fair amount of TV, but must-see-TV?  This changes with the seasons...  Right now, I'd say CSI (x 3), American Idol, and a toss-up between NUMB3RS (I love the cast) and House -- I can't decide which I like better.

5.  Name three people -- pass the stick.

It's quick and painless, grrs, really...  Ann, Katy, and Roxi.  These three seem to be very busy ladies -- I don't know if they even watch TV.  It'll be interesting to find out, huh?

LookatmeThe knitting needles are at rest, the braid for the collar having been knit, and the sleeves are blocking.  I think the sewing may begin this afternoon.  I folded up the front and back and, if I squint, it looks like a finished sweater already!

It's at the point where I don't even have to name that sweater!

"Mom, come and look at Mdd!"  Mdd was much more cooperative at dress-up than any of our pets ever were.

18 February 2005

Groovy

I heard "Feelin' Groovy" on the radio this morning and wonder if anyone in the world can listen to this song and not feel just a little better than they did before.  It's all groovy today, man.

Groovy Thing 1:  I did not need to turn on my headlights on the way home last night and I had to wear my sunglasses!

Groovy Thing 2:  Though the temperature plunged this week, the sun has been shining and it's definitely getting stronger.  Spring -- and the anticipation of spring -- is very groovy.

Groovy Thing 3:  Did you see it?  Kt left a comment on m'blog!  She reads my junk often and I'd recently mentioned that she should leave a comment, just a little "Hi" would make my day. Whoa, good one, Kate; I might have to have a plaque made.

Groovy Thing 4:  I found and posted (at left) a button for that sweet Miss Dashwood last night.  And I don't even mind that some people might blame me because she's butted her cute little self in front of all the other WIPs in their basket!

Not a Groovy Thing:  I nabbed that button off of someone's blog (saved it to my own computer, I know the rules) -- where, oh, where can those buttons be found?  Like, where do they come from?

Groovy Thing 5:  The front & back of St. Brigid have been completely blocked; I unpinned them yesterday and YOWZA!  The saddles are finished and sleeves await blocking.  The collar has been started.  Woohoo.  I was kind of expecting the sweater pieces to spring back a bit to their pre-blocked state, but they hardly moved when I took out the pins.  I'm going to like this fabric -- not heavy or stiff, and very soft.

Groovy Thing 6:  Someone landed here by searching for "pugs in springtime pics" and that, too, just makes me smile; conjures an image of Poe prancing among the daffodils.  Maybe Poe's mommy will be able to make that image a real one.  Hmmm?

Groovy Thing 7 (tentative):  Possibly the grooviest thing of all is that there's a very real chance for an FO this weekend.  No promises, but Monday could be a very big day.

*******

I love blogging.  My head's been swirling with various threads and incomplete thoughts and ideas that I did not even touch on in yesterday's post and other things that happened during the week, sparking completely different threads/thoughts/ideas -- and, really, I know I could tie them all together if I tried.  It's kind of a jumbled flood.  I am happy for a place where I can write stuff down.  It satisfies the frustrated writer -- the one who doesn't know what to write about.  "Write about what you know."  Well, no matter my level of skill, I know how to knit and it's a knitting blog, so there's a little knit-related drivel; and no matter my level of skill, I've been a mother for 20 years -- it's a big part of who I am -- and that subject works its way in.  A little bit.  Now and then.

I am what I am; it is what it is; que sera, sera.  What I write is not just for me, though; it is read by others, and I worry about sounding sanctimonious or even preachy -- I think I can sound that way sometimes -- and I don't think I've ever poured it out about something quite like I did here yesterday.  I'm the eldest of five; for a long time, I've been used to being asked for and dispensing advice.  My mother asks me for advice.  It's nature and nurture and circumstance and passion and love -- and sharing my experience and what I know.  Not right.  Not wrong.  (Though perhaps a strong opinion.)  Maybe someone will find a useful nugget.  I can't help but wonder how my mothering would be different if I'd given birth to Kevin, Andrew and Michael...  And would I be a minivan-driving soccer mom if that's how my kids' interests had guided me?  You betcha.  U-Rah-Rah!

Anyway, thank goodness the weekend (and an opportunity for the brain to clear) is upon us.  Have a groovy one!

17 February 2005

I've fallen in love

I have fallen in love with Miss Dashwood or, more precisely, with Gwendolyn!  Miss Dashwood is an adorable, new hat pattern at Knitty.com -- but, oh, what a beautiful child!  Now I need a baby to snuggle!  The soonest opportunity is a ways off yet -- my sister is at the half-way mark in her pregnancy and her bump is quite apparent... and I can't wait to smooch soft cheeks!  Speaking of said sister, I saw her late last week and gave her the Tanguy hat, which she loved, along with her birthday presents!

There was a lot accomplished yesterday, including the pinning out of the back of St. Brigid!  In the comments, Cindy said that she uses the same kind of cardboard thing that I do for blocking, but to circumvent any possible problems with moisture, she's covered hers with clear Contact paper.  That goes into the "Duh, why didn't I think of that?" category, with sincere thanks that people more clever than I (that would be you, Cindy!) are willing to share their ideas!  In other knitting news, I finished one saddle last night and got a start on the other.  Both sleeves ought to be completed tonight and they'll block while I knit the collar.  No, Elizabeth, no St. Brigid modelled today, but you certainly do humor me with your optimism!!

There was vacuumming, dusting, laundry, banking and grocery shopping yesterday, too, and I limited my blog-reading and emailing -- it's so easy to let that suck a few hours from the day!  Alas, nothing in the realm of taxes, except that the thought is really starting to linger and press down on my brain and I'm going to have to get it over with soon.

That's the knitting update.  The rest is pretty much a ramble.  In fact, it's the longest, most time-consuming post I've written!

I read a thoughtful post on motherhood yesterday which was prompted by Newsweek's cover story, "The Myth of the Perfect Mother."  It's no secret, I guess, that I enjoy my role as mother to our three girls; I never intended to blog about them as much as I do, but I find them so interesting right now.  Sometimes I think that I'm being rewarded for not completely losing it when they were toddlers.  It was not all sunshine and happiness -- there were some very hard times during those years.  It's not all sunshine and happiness now, either.  I have done the best that I could and, thank you, I'll take credit for doing a pretty good/good enough job.  That doesn't mean that I don't beat myself up every once in a while, thinking that maybe I should have, could have, wish I would have _________ [fill in the blank].  I think I'm a glass half-full person, though, because I never let myself beat myself to a pulp over stuff like that.  In the words of Doris Day, "Que Sera, Sera."

"Just Be."  No doubt, my kids were the most unscheduled on the block.  The priority was that they be free to use their imaginations and to create and to play.  Our porches and playroom (who am I kidding, the whole damn house) was always strewn from end to end with kids, crayons, markers, reams of paper, Legos, Barbies, Beanie Babies, velcro monkeys, Brio trains, beads, etc.

Mindless stuff, too, like when Katie & Ali were 6 and 4, my stepmother taught them to crochet.  They only knew how to make a chain and, supplied with the requested ball of yarn and hook, they worked together to crochet a chain that went from our house to their friends' -- three doors down and across the street -- and back.  "Mom, look what we made!"  As they got older, their play reflected a growing awareness of the world.  They'd videotape "news shows" and interviews; play detective, design sets and make movies starring Barbie and Ken, sew clothes for their dolls, do "experiments" in the kitchen, organize a neighborhood game of color tag, or "go exploring."

I'd help them when needed, but mostly I did my own thing, too.  I guess I was pretty unscheduled; most people would say "laid-back."  I have my moments...  There were a few birthday parties, and the time I got it together and made a bunny-shaped birthday cake for Ali's birthday which fell on Easter, and then modified the recipe and made a monkey-shaped cake for Katie's six days later.  There was the fabulous cooking-themed, sleep-over, combo party for them both (five guests each) -- that their friends still talk about 10 years later.  Most of the time it was, "Oh crap" and invite the neighbor kids for an impromptu "party."  (And there will be a party for Maddy this year!!)

"Benign neglect" is how my husband describes his childrearing philosophy; it is how his mother raised him, though not as deliberately.  I subscribed fairly early in our go at parenting.  "You never make your kids do anything!"  Those words were screamed into my face two summers ago by the above-mentioned sister.  And you know, she's right!  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  I think, for the most part, that it's a good thing; obviously, my sister thinks differently.  We're all entitled to our opinions -- and to raise our children however we like, as long as they're loved and safe.

I have encouraged my kids, but I mostly let them guide me.  Why would I put them -- and me -- through the wringer, making them do things that they don't want to do, just to keep them busy and occupied?  Is that what they call "building character"?  I think my kids have plenty of character -- more than most, if you want to know the truth.  We've done piano lessons, violin, summer school, library reading programs, softball, camp, etc.  The only rule is that if they start something, they pretty much have to finish; if they don't want to do it again, okey-doke.

Loved and safe.  There are as many opinions on the definitions of those things as there are stars in the sky.  I knew I'd have no problems with our school system when, on practically the first day of kindergarten, the grrs came home to tell me that they were "lovable and capable."  They also talked that year about "needs and wants," something that Stephanie* reminded us of recently.  And the first word on the first spelling test in first grade was the word, "responsibility" -- it was not a bonus word, either.  These things, really, combined with an awareness of others -- "The Golden Rule," if you will -- will take a person a long way.

I've been scared out of my wits a few times in the area of safety.  A person can only do so much.  The world is full of danger and much of it is out of my control.  Have I wanted to handcuff my kids to my wrists or lock them in their rooms 'til they're 30?  Yes.  Is that in their best interest?  No.

This is how it goes at our house.  Last night Ali came home and we talked about her weekend plans.  She scrunched her nose and said, "Well, I'm supposed to work Friday night, but I think I'm gonna ask off because I want to do something else.  And besides, I'm getting a new job."  (She has an interview for a new job on Monday; there's no guaranteed new job.)  (Oh, and here's where my mother would have hit the roof and I'll let you figure out/remember the ending.)  She went on about this-n-that, that-n-this, and I pointed out that it all requires money and she might want to think about it some more.  This morning, she told me that she will be working on Friday night.  There would have been stern words if her decision had been anything else.  I could have hit the roof right off the bat, but isn't it better this way?  Given the opportunity, I think most kids would do the right thing.  I don't think she's ever forgotten how to spell "responsibility."

*I have to tell you that I recently received my own MSF tote bag, notepad, and bumper sticker.  These were definitely wants, but the purchase helps someone else with a need, so I think I'm okay in the needs/wants department.  They're available at Cafepress, though I don't know exactly where (if anyone can help with that link, please let me know!).

16 February 2005

A morning peek

BlockingfrontOh yeah.  I pinned out the front of St. Brigid last night and had myself a little peek this morning.  Someday, I'll buy some better pins and a Spaceboard; in the meantime, I work with what I've got:  a motley assortment of regular sewing pins and a cardboard thing that I bought at a rummage sale for $1.00.  It's big, folds up like an accordion, it's gridded in both inches and centimeters, and I haven't perforated it to death yet.  It's getting a little warped because I have even used it for wet-blocking.  I had concerns about odor from wet paper, but so far so good (nothing's ever sopping wet).  For the front of St. Brigid, I blocked in the manner instructed, using a freshly washed towel, spun on the "max extract" cycle, to lay atop the knitting.

Kristi has finished her St. Brigid!  Go see!  Inspiration...

I finished the back last night and got one of the sleeves back on the needles.  Today, after I do our taxes run the vacuum and do a little dusting -- okay, maybe I'll do our taxes organize (or even put away) paperwork the mountain of knitting books and stuff that's accumulated around my chair -- I'll do the taxes saddles.  Why put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today?  Taxes.

Aipotsfeb16Bowlfeb16Okay, now that I've set my priorities and have a plan...

Ali has a clay class for art.  Second semester has just begun and the pottery is already flowing.  I might need a whole new cupboard or something just to display her stuff.  Katie had an aversion to the wheel; Alison has taken to it like a duck to water.  The morning sun is streaming into my kitchen this morning -- just the kind of day I like for doing the taxes cleaning and knitting.

15 February 2005

Big plans

Edited to add PICTURES!  Sheesh, who knew that y'all would really want to see those dresses!  We aim to please 'round here, so scroll down...

DraculaswivesI know, you can't really see what the dresses were like, but it's obvious they were having fun with the cape part.  Quite the color, huh?  It was actually pretty flattering to them both.  Ali had an "okay" time at the dance...

KinshadesKatie found these huge sunglasses from the '80s while thrifting on Saturday; they're the kind where the arm thingies start near the bottom of the frame and swoop up.  God, I actually had a real live pair of regular glasses like that once.

I had a meeting last night and when I finally sat down with St. Brigid, Maddy was looking for a Skip-Bo opponent; I can't say no.  She won, though I have chalked up a few wins recently.  The end-of-game rules are always different:  if she wins, the loser cleans up; if I win, the winner cleans up.  Guess who's making up the rules (or who's a little slow on the take-up?).

ScrabbleI will surely finish the back of St. Brigid tonight -- only four or five rows to go.  I have big plans for tomorrow, including blocking the front and back pieces and working on the sleeve saddles!  I also plan to find my vacuum cleaner and see if I remember how it operates, but that's another thing.  Do you wonder what my priorities will be?

Thank you to the wonderful knit bloggers and readers who responded to my query about the blocking instructions.  Wow.  I love you guys!

AicatAiabAipatAli; Ali and her friend Abbey who scored the dresses; Ali and Patrick (the "little boy" who called me fat the other day).  What a uniform does for a feller, huh?

Contrary to popular belief my first impression, these were not handmade dresses, unless the seamstress had access to union tags.  I reinforced the seams by machine last night -- it made me think of Grandma and how she'd reinforce the seams of store-bought clothing on her treadle machine -- either the thread deteriorated over the past 30 years or there was some hearty partying at that first wedding!  There were lots of peek-a-boo holes that shouldn't have been there!  Anyway, aren't they cute?  I think they had more fun getting ready for the dance than they actually had at the dance.  It's senior year, do it now or never!

Okey-doke, y'all (Norma, Yvette, Cara, Katy) happy now?

14 February 2005

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nothing too special for Valentine's Day going on over here.  The kids don't have school today, for some reason, and there was a dance at the high school last night.  One of Ali's friends raided her grandma's closet and they wore matching, lime-green bridesmaid dresses, ca. 1975, from the friend's aunt's first wedding.  They're halter-style with a separate cape -- pretty funny, but really pretty cute on them!  I'd have pics if Ali hadn't run off with the camera.

We had a good weekend.  The weather on Saturday was nothing short of gorgeous for this time of year; we took our time and had a nice drive down to my sister's.  We had just enough time to hit a couple of second-hand stores before heading to the cabin.  There's a little more snow in that part of the state and I learned about Yaktrax, but not before I slipped and fell on the half-assed path between the parking area and my sister's cabin (my whole butt feels like one big bruise).  Thankfully, the fall doesn't appear to have affected my back (knocking on wood).  Anyway, I'm thinking about getting some Yaktrax for myself -- they made a huge difference.  The kids think I'm nuts, but it can be treacherous just walking the dog.  They're young, I'm old -- I am more fearful of falling every year.

I didn't get as much knitting done at my sister's as I'd have liked, but more than usual when I'm on the road.  As of last night, the front of St. Brigid is off the needles (after ripping and doing another repeat) and I'm so much happier with the length.  I had to rip the back only a few rows to get it back on the needles and I'm about half-way with that additional repeat.  They're not actually extra repeats; the sweater will be just as written.  No, Katy, it ain't no fun.  Mary Beth shared her Aran-ripping tips, and I think I do it similarly.  I only tink if there's just a short way to go -- a row, maybe two.  Otherwise, I rip it to the row before the one I want on the needles.  Then I kind of tink, but I do it on a right-side row -- it's easier for me to read the stitches on that side and know where I'm at -- putting each stitch on the needle as I rip.  I, too, fix twisted stitches when I come to them while working the row, rather than worrying about them as I get them on the needle.  If I pull a stitch out or feel like I might drop a stitch during this endeavor, I stick a cable needle into a few of the upcoming, yet-to-be-ripped stitches to keep them from dropping, too.  It is painful to rip, but really not as bad getting it back on the needles as I was anticipating.

So, I will likely have the back finished tonight.  Then I'll be getting more stitches back on needles so I can adjust sleeve length, if necessary, and do the saddles.  I don't know when or if I can get the book back from the library (interlibrary loan) and I didn't copy the page with the blocking directions.  Grrr.  I can't imagine that there's anything too special there -- can someone clue me in?  Damn, I wish they'd reprint that book.

Abbey of my new favorite chili recipe, Chili All Day, tagged me for the music meme, which I did a little while ago (it can be found here.)  I found that after I'd finished thinking up 100 Things, I couldn't stop, and it's the same with this thing.  So, I'd like to add "So Happy Together" to my list of favorite songs -- I know I thought of many others, but that's at the top of the list.

11 February 2005

Blahblahblah

GrandmapillowAll I'll say about St. Brigid is that I've ripped the lovely front neck and shoulder shaping and it went well -- better than expected.  I'm at about the half-way mark on what I think will be the last repeat.  Yup.

Let's brighten things up with flowers!  This pillow is mostly my maternal grandmother's work.  She did embroidery, hooked rugs, sewing -- it's her treadle sewing machine in the picture.  She reinforced the seams of every piece of store-bought clothing that came into her home on that machine.  I think she had a bad case of startitis, perhaps a phobia about finishing.  My mother says that Grandma never finished anything, and she left many unfinished projects.  She died when I was 8 and somehow, this pillow top came to be in my possession -- the cross stitch was complete except for one corner of the border -- it lay folded in a drawer for many,  many years; I'd pull it out and admire it from time to time.  Eventually, I took it to a shop and matched floss as best I could -- gold, baby blue, and a darker blue -- and finished it off.  I bought some satin for backing and made it up (not sure satin would have been used originally, but I didn't know any better).  Unfortunately, the satin of the pillow top is starting to show some wear.

10 February 2005

Screw that groundhog!

PugPansies_1Pansies and pugs mean springtime!  There was a wonderful promise-of-spring surprise waiting on my doorstep yesterday.  A present from a pug-loving, Onslow-owning, Blue Plate Special-knitting, east coast knitter!  Thank you, Ann!  These very sweet plates will easily find their place in my collection.  The pansies used to be pretty much confined to the living room, but a good number of things have found their way to the upstairs bathroom and now, with the pansy wallpaper in the upstairs kitchen, there's plenty of room for more!!

I have it on good authority that Onslow may be back on the road today -- will be keeping my eyes peeled for an update.

NeckThere's St. Brigid's neck version 1.0 -- a completed left shoulder and a start on the right.  This will all be ripped so I can add another repeat.  The woman in the mirror last night didn't like what she saw.  The Oatmeal comparison and the "you're fat" consultation aside, I've got to go with my gut on this one and my gut says to do one more.  That means one more added to the back, too.  It's not so much that I think it'll be a teensy bit shorter on me than I'd like -- I could live with "teensy" -- it just looks unbalanced, even incomplete.  A minor setback about which I am very zen and process-y.  So, perhaps I'll finish the front and back over the weekend instead of by the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, the girls and I are heading south for a cozy overnight in a one-room cabin -- they are very excited to visit their auntie.

09 February 2005

What was the question?

I'd like to spare you the blow-by-blow, row-by-row, got-a-ways-to-go finishing of this sweater; maybe wow you by starting Clapotis or some Latvian mittens (maybe I'll win a pair to ease the pressure), or tell you that I've succumbed to the Must Have KAL or started Rogue or joined the Fisherman's KAL, or cast on for the sweaters I've promised Katie and Ali (the yarn for these mocking me daily, I should just put it out of sight) -- knowing that Maddy is waiting in the wings, wanting only a single Natalya mitt, and DH wants a sweater (but he doesn't know exactly what kind), or that I dusted off Cromarty (languishing since September, when I actually thought there was a chance I'd finish by Christmas?).  All these are among the things that float through my head whilst I work row-by-row to finish this sweater.  Alas, none of the above.  I finished the last full repeat for the front of St. Brigid last night and tonight will commence with the neck shaping.

In other news, I am not in jail.  There were two incidents last night that could easily have led to incarceration.  The first was when I stopped to pick up Kate's paycheck.  I have been picking up her paycheck since September when she went back to school.  Last night, the young buck assistant manager was flexing his scrawny muscles by refusing to give me her check without written consent from Katie.  He went on and on, as I felt my face get red and the steam come out my ears, finally calling the "real" manager (who I'd missed by 15 minutes) who, of course, told him to give me the stupid frickin' check.  I did manage a "Thank you," but I really wanted to break his skinny little neck and that would surely have led to the first arrest.

The second arrest would probably have been only for assault rather than murder.  As I neared the end of that last full repeat, I thought that I really ought to make sure that the length was good -- it's last call for pattern repeats!  DH was already handy, but I wanted Ali's opinion, too.  I called her in from the kitchen and her friend Patrick, over for a quick visit, followed her.  There was a moment of silence as I "modeled" St. Brigid and DH & Ali contemplated all there was to comtemplate.  That's when I heard Patrick say, "You're fat."  Ali looked at me, her eyes wider than mine, and we turned toward Patrick with a "Whhaaa??"  That silly little boy was smiling at, talking to and petting the dog.  So, saved himself from assault and me from a second arrest.  Good one, Patrick!

Oh, and the decision was to leave it as is -- seven repeats.  It will likely block just a bit longer than Oatmeal, hitting right about the top of the thigh.  To fringe or not to fringe...

08 February 2005

Planning for the future

I started the last full repeat on the front of St. Brigid last night.  Woo!

Is it too early to be thinking about my FO photo shoot?  Well, I can't help it; I am.  I can't wait to do The Rachael -- it'll be my first!  I'm pondering locations, considering photographers, wondering if it will be warm enough to shoot outdoors!

Heh.  All I need do is read through the rest of the pattern to bring myself back from FO Dreamland.  I have a long way to go -- saddles, blocking, collar (a long braided cable), more collar (ribbing!?  that conveniently slipped my mind), sewing up, maybe the fringe (undecided).  Then I knit some more and find myself dreaming again...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments yesterday about St. Brigid and the very utilitarian Oatmeal!  When I mentioned the Must Have KAL the other day, Nathania wrote (complete with evil laughter) that resistance is futile and Norma all but rubbed my nose in her red-orange tweediness, writing of love and happiness (though there's been recent mention of crap).  Now, Elizabeth tells me that her Must Have is like my Oatmeal -- the sweater she reaches for first!  I always imagined that I'd feel that way about Must Have.  Oh, where's my resolve?

Will there be a completed pair/trio of MSF today?  My heart skipped a beat when I saw "Vicki" in the list yesterday.  WooHOO, it wasn't me -- I've still got a chance at an email from Stephanie and those mittens...

07 February 2005

Oatmeal

OatmealThis is Oatmeal.  It is to me what Plain Vanilla is to Norma.  Y'all know what I'm talking about.  This is my comfortable, "go to," everyday sweater.  "You're wearing that again?"  It's a cardigan, but I always wear it buttoned.  It's not knit very well (I wasn't purling correctly at the time), but I love it -- the yarn, pattern, fit, pretty much everything!  There's hardly any shaping, and it's mostly stockinette with twisted rib from the shoulder to just below the arm.

I originally knit this sweater in Debbie Bliss DK Merino.  It turned out a little too small for me and none of the girls liked it, so it marinated until I finally frogged and started knitting it again last month.  "Eh," I wasn't thrilled.  I used some of for Mom's Natalya mitts (which she loves, by the way, and they aren't scratchy at all).

My sister had been visiting from Kansas when I was knitting the original and she decided to cast on, too, with stash yarn that she just happened to be hauling around in the trunk of her car!  Once back in Kansas, she decided that she just wasn't into it, so shipped it to me.  Voila!  Oatmeal, my favorite sweater.  I think it's about two years old -- from Vogue Knitting, a special issue in 2002 devoted mostly to men's sweaters (pattern #Compare_122).  The yarn specified was Adrienne Vittadini "Emma" (cotton/viscose/silk).  The yarn from my sister's stash was Classic Elite "Mackenzie" (70% wool, 30% silk) tweed.  I wore the sweater to Katie's LYS on Saturday (more on that in a minute) and the shop owner and a customer both described it as "oatmeal" -- with no prompting from me -- and likened the yarn to Peace Fleece, for those of you who know what that's like.

Feb6aSo, Oatmeal is kind of my standard.  And it's the standard to which I'm comparing St. Brigid.  Really, all I want is a sweater that looks good and fits.  Right now, it looks pretty much right on, and St. Brigid will be a little bigger when blocked.  Perfect.

Feb6cOn Saturday, Ali and I made a mad dash to Kate's school because her roommate was moving out; the 'fridge and microwave were the roomie's, so they were going, too.  Katie could certainly survive without a microwave, there being one on the floor kitchen, but absolutely nothing is safe in the community 'fridge, so we went to buy a mini for her room.  We ended up with both for less than $140.  Ali had to be back for work on Saturday night, so we couldn't linger long, but we had a great time -- went out for lunch, did a little shopping, had a car wash (it was a gorgeous day!), and visited Katie's LYS (literally, right around the corner from her dorm).

The LYS was small, but nice.  Lot of samples.  Samples help sell stuff, ya know?  I now have a mitten pattern on back order -- flip-top mitts -- for Ali -- and she made me get the Donegal Tweed yarn for them already.  I fell in love with the Clocks vest sample, from Folk Vests, knit from Mission Falls 1824 Wool, and bought the book.  (It's been a folky few weeks 'round here.)  I've seen that book a number of times before, but that sample did it for me.  And I wear vests.  And there are other intriguing patterns in that book.  I don't know when I'll knit it, but I will.

On Sunday, I was in my PJs -- at least for most of the day -- celebrating International Pajama Day and having a big bowl of Cheerios for breakfast 1:00 p.m.  I was the only one home for much of the day, which means that eventually I had to walk the dog.  So I did have to put on some real pants, but believe me, they were COMFY!

Since I was dressed, we went over to watch the Super Bowl and have pizza at Mom's.  The only good thing about the Packers not being in the game is that I could relax and knit -- and I did.  I'm mid-way through the fifth repeat and I think it likely that St. Brigid's front will be done by the weekend.  Woohoo.  I'll cheer about that since the Eagles gave me nothin'!

04 February 2005

I am 46% Asshole/Bitch.
Part Time Asshole/Bitch.
I may think I am an asshole or a bitch, but the truth is I am a good person at heart. Yeah sure, I can have a mean streak in me, but most of the people I meet like me.

I feel a headache coming on, so there may be a temporary increase in the bitch percentage.  Just fair warning.  Otherwise, I think this is pretty funny (and true).  It feels like a head cold and just the thought of it makes me feel at least 14% bitchier.  I've had two kids with sore throats in the past week, a sister with a killer sneezy-sniffly-cold thing, and I heard this morning that an area high school was closed today because there were so many sickos.  I nearly overslept today -- okay, I did oversleep (there's a reason my bedroom clock is 20 minutes faster than any other in the house) but I salvaged it -- and now I think I know why.  Grump.  I want to be in my PJs on Pajama Day because I want to be, not because I'm sick and can't move.

Gorgeous!

Oh, the weather!  When was the last time I felt 40 degrees?  It must have been November.  It's was mid-40s yesterday and there's a promise for today -- plus sunshine!  The snow's melting, there are puddles, I've heard birds singing.

Spencer.  Annie Modesitt's pattern in the Fall '04 issue of Interweave Knits.  I've loved this sweater since I first laid eyes on it, except that I'd never be able to wear a true Spencer Jacket -- I'd have to modify it, probably adding another repeat.  Which would make it not a Spencer, but whatever.

Must Have Cardigan.  That's also been stuck in my head -- for almost a year now.  I finally bought the pattern a few months ago.  So far, I've resisted the KAL...  This does not make it easy.  Nor does this -- those cables look like they're gonna pop right off!  And the color on this...

St. Brigid.  There was a tiny one-step-forward, two-steps-back dance going on last night, but I'm leading the dance once again...

Have a great weekend all.  Wishing you sunshine and at least 40 degrees!

03 February 2005

The next step

SupervisorWallpaperdoneI finished the wallpapering yesterday and I had a feline supervisor.  The tile that you see behind Duncan is a problem.  They're nice tiles -- handpainted trillium and mushrooms stuck randomly throughout -- in good condition.  They don't "go," but they're not coming off -- that's too big a can of worms, too many unknowns.  I'm happy to ignore it, but it's a thorn in Ali's side.  Do we dare paint it?  Can I fashion some kind of cover-up?

I had plenty of wallpaper and only had to use a few of the pieces that had registration problems -- and those I placed mostly above doors and windows.  DH stained the crown moulding yesterday and might put it up today (it's pickled, same as the ceiling).  He'll work his way down, building the cap and applying the strips to the paneling, and then he'll bow out and let the painting/decorating team take over.

Wallpaper1Here's a closer view of the paper.  The background is off-white, but with a hint of pink -- the wood on the ceiling has a bit of pink, too, and they really look nice together.  There's kind of a dusky, antique coloring to the paper, which I really like.  The yellow pansies have an almost parchment look, very similar to those in a favorite, vintage Paul de Longpre pansy print* I have in the living room.  I'm no professional, but I don't think I did too badly matching at the seams.  (I did get paid to paper once; DH worked for a firm that designed trade show displays and one of their customers was Kohler.  They had a few displays that needed papering and I was tapped.  It was very cool, but scary -- limited quantities of expensive, handmade wallpaper made me kinda nervous.)

I had an email last week from Shelli in Canada.  She'd been searching for paint in a terra cotta color and was having a hard time finding one that wasn't too orange or too brown or too red.  She perused the While You Were Out album and asked for details about the color we used.  I copied and sent all the information from the sticker on the paint can.  She wrote yesterday to say that she'd taken my email with her to the store, had a can mixed to specs and it's perfect!  Yay!!

Wallpaper2Wallpaper3*I meant to tell this story at Christmas, but now's as good a time as any.  Quite a few years ago, I was at an auction with Mom and my sister Sharon.  I must have been distracted because by the time I realized that a beautiful, half-yard-long pansy print was on the block, Sharon was already bidding on it.  And she won it.  And I pouted and drooled.  Even though it wasn't mine, I think it's the item that made me a bonafide pansy collector.

A few years later, downsizing and preparing for a move from Wisconsin to New Mexico, Sharon decided that she didn't want to take the print with her, but neither did she want to give it up, so she gave it to me for safe-keeping.  Eventually, she landed in Ohio and had room for it, but knowing how much I loved it, she let me keep it a while longer -- with the understanding that I'd (happily/sadly) give it back at any time.  During a trip to the Outer Banks one fall, we planned to stay overnight at her house.  Knowing we were coming, she asked if I'd bring the print.  Oh, I was very sad to give it up, but it was time; we had a few good years together.

All my siblings were home for Christmas (festivities at my house!) and another sister, Karen, had my name that year.  When I opened her gift, I immediately turned, in complete and utter disbelief, to Sharon and said, "Thank you," then, rather confused, to Karen.  On my lap was the pansy print I'd just delivered to Ohio.  Karen had bought it from Sharon to give to me.  It was one of the best gifts I ever received -- so completely from the heart -- and like a gift from both of them!  Sharon says that that's the best gift you can give anybody -- something that you have that you know would make someone else happy.  I think she's angling to have it re-gifted one of these years...

If you've stuck in there this long, then run right over to see Celia.  She is a funny, funny lady and sure makes me look forward (even more) to International Pajama Day II.

02 February 2005

Happy Groundhog Day!

My day is still rather up in the air.  One thing I will be doing, at some point, is wallpapering.  I ought to be able to wrap that up in a couple of hours and clean up all my junk so DH can move on to the next stage...

I got the Spring '05 anthropologie catalog in the mail the other day, and pages 31-33 made me wonder why we're busting our butts.  (One word:  dust.)  I love the green cardigan on page 18, too.  I think I'm half as tall and twice as wide -- no, she's a stick, I'm probably four times as wide -- as that model, so no clue how it would look on a real person/me.

Closure1One of the things I've been scouting for when thrifting is belt buckles like this.  The other day, I found only one -- huge, hideous, gold.  This buckle was found among the buttons and things in Great Grandma's sewing machine drawers.  It's just big enough to use as a closure for my Shapely Shawlette.  When I first came upon it, I thought it was black, but it's really a very deep green.  And I think it's Bakelite, which is very cool.

It really hit me yesterday that I have a significant FO on the horizon.  I hope I'm not jinxing anything, but I think it's very possible that I could have a new sweater by the 1st of March.  I'm not officially setting any goals (and sooner would be just fine, too!), but I am feeling very focused and determined -- feelings that increased with every encouraging comment yesterday.  You guys are the greatest cheerleaders!  I finished the first repeat and started the second last night and, if I remember correctly, the front will have one less repeat than the back because of the neck shaping.  Whoo!

01 February 2005

I'll admit it...

...I'm looking at the pictures, too.  Sandy cracked me up in yesterday's comments when she said that she didn't believe I bought my "little magazine" for the articles!  To be accurate, it's Knitter's #11, Summer 1988, and there's really only one picture that I get even close to excited about -- the Willesden Cardigan & Vest by Nancy Bush, a cabled v-neck pattern.  Otherwise, there are lots of big, round, padded shoulders and angular/modular patterns -- not as bad as another '80s knit magazine I flipped through where the models, with shoulder widths rivaling those of Labelle, looked ready for Sunday's big game.  There really are some interesting articles, though I haven't yet read any of them.  There's Knitster's Notebook by Nancy Bush; an interview with Joseph Galler who was 86 at the time and had, with is wife, a yarn showroom/warehouse in NYC (how is it I've never heard of Galler yarns before?); interestingly, the Forum article is entitled "Copyright -- when is it wrong to copy?"; there's something called Ginny's Secret Seam (from looking at the pictures, it seems to involve a knitting needle and a crochet hook); an article about linen by Nancy Bush called "Fields of Flax"; lots of interesting tidbits.

Jan31Back26sleeveNow here are some knitty-porn pics of my own to get excited about!  The bulk of two sleeves (sans saddles) and the back of St. Brigid!!  It's Cascade 220 (color 4010) -- yum.  I cast on and knocked off a few rows for the front last night.  There's a long, long way to go, but I'm on the downhill slide.

Lynne tagged me for the music meme.  I probably listen to less music right now than at any other time in my life...

1) Total amount of music files on your computer.  I have no idea; probably not many since it's fairly new, and none of them would be mine.  I had some on our old computer, and the kids had TONS, but they were lost when the hard drive croaked.  It looks like my album collection would rival Liz's in size, though; can't give 'em up.

2) The last CD you bought was:  Not for me; three Disney Karaoke CDs for my nephews and the Honey Soundtrack for Mdd -- all for Christmas.  Mdd actually went out and bought the stupid soundtrack for herself just before Christmas -- after I'd already ordered -- so I still have it.  Anyone want it?

3) What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?  "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," Eurythmics.

4)  What are your five favorite songs and why they mean the most to you (now here comes the good stuff!)

  1. Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler.  Best friend.
  2. Old Time Rock 'n Roll, Bob Seger.  Dance!  Broke a shoe to that one once.
  3. What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong.  Hope.
  4. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Judy Garland or Eva Cassidy.  More hope.
  5. I Only Have Eyes For You, Art Garfunkel.  Love.
  6. Bonus:  Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, B.J. Thomas.  The 45 I got with my first record player, along with this LP.

5)  What 3 people are you going to pass this baton to and why? To be determined.

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