Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On a whim

I asked for tomorrow off. My boss said yes. A whole day, eight glorious hours to myself. I want to knit, read a book, have coffee with a friend, garden, clean house, go shopping, sew, go out for breakfast, and get a pedicure, and get a massage, and...ok, take a deep breath. I am going to knit, and garden, as for the rest, well, it is only eight hours.

Lack of Pictures

I wish that I could post more pictures. I just don't carry around a camera,
and as my husband says, I let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Here is a picture of Fiona with the jack o'lantern that she sort of drew the
face for.

I just spent the last 35 minutes winding one hank of the Colinette
Parisienne into a ball. I kept going back and forth between asking "What
have I gotten myself in to?" and "I can do this!" (referring to knitting a
lace pattern). I'm going to make a scarf in a fern lace pattern. Here is another lovely camera phone snap.

This is a lovely post by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a.k.a. yarn harlot, including pictures of her incredibly beautiful wedding shawl.

I forgot to mention, Alex's hat is done! I washed and blocked it, so it will take another day to dry, but it is done!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Whew...now when does my weekend start?

We made it to the Halloween party and the birthday party. The dog has dog food. The laundry is done. There are still dirty dishes, but fewer of them. The house is still messy. I organized Fiona's drawers and pulled her summer clothes. I opened all the mail, sorted the bills, recycled 20 pounds of junk mail and envelopes, but I haven't actually paid the bills.

I haven't had a chance to knit or sew all weekend. But I did put together a crafting activity for the kids at the Halloween party. It went really well. I printed out masks in the shape of a bat, cut them out, and provided glitter glue, sequins, buttons, scraps of fabric, yarn and some roving in various colors. The kids really seemed to enjoy it.

I have a declaration to make. I will plant the bulbs I bought next weekend. It will be my number one priority. Period.

Tomorrow at lunch there is a knitting circle. I can't wait.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Third time is the charm

So I tried the hat on Alex last night. It was too small. I think I must have been smoking crack when I came up with the number of stitches the first time and then the second time I added on based on the first number of stitches. This time I have totally redone the math. I am casting on 53 stitches instead of the 35 (!) the first time and the 42 the second time. Yes, I'm sure you all know now that I haven't a clue as to what I am doing.

I told my hubby last night that if it didn't fit this time I was going to stuff it, sew up the end and call it a softie. : )

I'm a little overwhelmed today. The house is a disaster. Almost every dish in the house is dirty. There are at least four loads of laundry to do. Various preparations for a Halloween party tonight and a birthday party tomorrow. The dog is out of food and has been living on dog biscuits for the last day and a half. Did I mention the bills? Argh.

Friday, October 27, 2006

My Friday WIP update

I am to the point in Alex's hat where I should start the decreases. The last time I knitted I was talking to someone about something and ended up purling a row, where I should have knit it. I took that apart last night, put it back on the needles, but I wasn't sure which way the stitches should go on the needle. I knit half way across and thought, geez this is so tight, I looked and could see that the stitches were all twisted and then I noticed that I had dropped the second to last (or first depending on how you look at it) stitch, so I had to undo what I had done, take it all off, turn the stitches around and pick up the dropped stitch. Whew. Now I am worried that it is still too small. The yarn I am working with is beautiful, but it is a bit stiff. I think I want to try it on him before I start the decreases and the finishing, just in case. Third times the charm, so they say.

I so want to start on my scarf. I just can't wait to sit down in the quiet of the evening and wind the hank into a ball by hand, just getting to caress the wool, a promise of the scarf to come.

I also have something that I am working on as a present for someone, so I can't say much about it, but I am excited about it. It is small, but it is also a first attempt at a new craft. I am doing something to a one of a kind thing, so I think I will do some practice pieces first.

I had an idea for placemats the other day. I saw this tutorial on leaf printing fabric. I was thinking of taking 16" x 20" pieces of felt in a pumpkin color, doing leaf prints in bright yellow, red and green or brown and then running some rick rack about an inch in from the edge on all four sides.

I really like this hat. I love how it comes together at the back. Maybe someday.

When I told Fiona that I was going to knit her a pair of socks she was very excited. She told me I should also knit her a pair of mittens, a scarf and a hat (she doesn't really like the Silly Cute hat, I don't know why). She also saw a little wool bear I had made for someone else and she wants me to make one for her.

My bulbs aren't in the ground yet. Soon. Maybe this weekend if I am lucky.

End of week meme from Pea Soup

1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 - in the book closest to you right now, what does it say?

At these advances Winterbourne goes back in his shell, telling her that he has engagements which will force him to go back to Geneva the very next day. Daisy is greatly piqued by this information. She thinks him horrid - and not without reason, for his conduct and demeanour have led her to believe that he is interested in her. There can be no other reason for his sudden departure than the presence of another woman in Geneva! Daisy has, of course, unwittingly hit the mark and Winterbourne is bewildered by her perspicacity and also by her 'extraordinary mixture of innocence and crudity'. Finally, she tells him that she will stop 'teasing' him if he will promise to come to Rome in the winter. Winterbourne, whose plans already include visiting his aunt in Rome at that time, has no difficulty in agreeing.

Ok, that was actually paragraph three because there wasn't a fourth. It is from Daisy Miller by Henry James. It is an extremely overdue library book.

2. If you stretch out your left arm - as far as possible, what are you touching?

My office whiteboard.

3. What's the last program you watched on TV?

I can't remember. We don't get any channels on our TV, we just watch DVDs. The last downloaded TV program I watched on our computer was the Daily Show, or maybe South Park.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.

9:25. It is 9:27. That is crazy!

5. Except the computer, what can you hear right now?

The HVAC and This American Life from WBEZ and Public Radio International

6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do?

I was walking from my favorite bakery, the Essential Baking Company, to my car with an order of Mille Grane toast with raspberry jam and butter and a double grande decaf latte. It is a beautiful morning, cloudy, but with a warmish wind.

7. What are you wearing?

A three quarter sleeve v-neck sweater that is celery, olive and light blue, dark jeans, light blue socks with a boxy geometric design that includes sparkly blue thread and last but not least my black Birki clogs (they aren't sexy, but they are comfy and keep my feet warm and dry).

8. Did you dream last night? If you did, what about?

I had a dream about finding this sweater/shirt at a store and really liking it. I knew it was my size, but it was so incredibly tight. I thought, well, it must be the fashion. Then I was talking to a sales person and they said it was only made in small and medium. (I am no where near a small or medium). Oh, I thought, and checked the tag and sure enough it was a medium. I was rather sad.

9. When was the last time you laughed?

This morning. When I went in to say good morning to my daughter she crawled up into my lap and then she pushed back on me, so I laid down on her bed and then did a sit up with her on me, then she pushed me back again. We both thought it was pretty silly.

10. What's on the walls, in the room you're in right now?

White board, metal shelves and cupboards, hideous putty colored paint that sucks the very life out of the room.

11. Have you seen anything strange lately?

Four or five days ago at about 830pm (well after dark), I saw a boy who looked to be about 12-14 years old standing next to a six lane road. He threw something small into the street, waited for cars to pass, then ran out and picked whatever it was up. He just stood in the little strip pavement that is not a lane, but is part of the street. He wasn't even standing on the sidewalk. He was wearing dark clothes. We were outside a restaurant, so I thought maybe he was waiting for someone to come out or pick him up. I waited for about 15 minutes. I was just so afraid he was going to get hurt. I called the police to go check on him, to see if they could help him or give him a ride home. I hope that I wasn't being a busy body.

12. What do you think about this meme?

I must admit I've wanted to do one for a while. This is thought provoking.

13. What's the last film you saw?

On DVD, Click. In the theatre, Little Miss Sunshine.

14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money?

Pay off the bills. Replace everything with environmentally friendly stuff. Setup college scholarships for the children of all of our friends. Buy a house for my brother and father. Go to school. Setup a scholarship for kids from the high school I graduated from (it is a school where no one is really expected to go to college). Travel extensively. And the list goes on.

15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

This is tough. The one thing that keeps coming into my mind, and it isn't pretty, is that I have been molested, raped and fondled at different times in my life by five different people. I used to wonder if I had a sign on my forehead or something.

16. If you could change ONE THING in this world, without regarding politics or bad guilt - what would it be?

Every child would be loved as much as I love my daughter.

17. Do you like dancing?

I think so, yes.

18. George Bush?

I despise him. He disgusts me. That he is in office and people still believe in him and his policies makes me feel physically ill at times. My favorite anti-Bush bumper sticker reads "George W. Bush is a lying sack of shit." I think that is enough for now.

19. What do you want your children's names to be, girl/boy?

The other names we were considering for Fiona were, Athena, Genevieve, Catherine, Sophia, Ian, Liam, Ethan, and Aidan. There were others, but those are the only ones I remember.

20. Would you ever consider living abroad?

Yes. I would love to live abroad. I spent 3 months in Japan, does that count?

21. What do you want God to tell you, when you come to heaven?

I'm not really expecting there to be God or heaven, so if there was, I guess I would hope that he would say good on you for being true to yourself.

22. Who should do this meme?

Anyone who wishes to.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I haven't posted for a long time because I wasn't sure if I should and then I wasn't sure if I wanted to share.

Last Tuesday a dear friend went in for a prenatal visit and found out that her baby had died. She was 29 weeks along. She gave birth to Addison Cooper on Thursday. He weighed 1 pound 11 ounces and was 14 inches long. He had long, perfect feet just like his daddy. His hands made me think that he might have played piano one day. One of the first things I saw was his right ear. It was just so perfect. His funeral is tomorrow.

Miscarriage and stillbirth aren't talked about enough in our society. It needs to be out there, not to scare prospective mothers, but to make it easier for people who suffer through this awful thing to get support and understanding. I was lucky enough to have been present for my friend during her labor, along with her husband, another friend and the midwife. Every woman needs a doula, especially a mother laboring to deliver a child who is stillborn. She needs the support and love of her family and friends. Just being there to listen, being present, being yourself is so important.

Here are a couple of webites that were helpful
and the MISS Foundation.

Sands had a section on clothes that were made for babies who die. That part really got to me. I felt that I had to make something special for Addison. I knit a hat (actually two, so the family could keep one) for Addison. My friend wanted to keep the blanket he was wrapped in at the hospital, to make a little shadow box memorial for him. They were so great at the hospital. They did ink footprints and then did a little plaster cast of one of his hands and one of his feet. They also took pictures. She and I were talking about what to put him in, in the casket. She wanted to put him in something warm but wasn't sure what. I was able to needlefelt a papoose kind of blanket for him from natural Corriedale wool roving and secure it with some left over yarn from the skein for making the hat. I feel a little weird talking about the "crafty" things that I did for him, but it was so important to me. It was my way of saying "you were loved."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

An adventure

The sewing machine repairman was able to do his job. My but he was an odd duck. He told me after he got there that I should just go about my business, but he ended up calling me to the machine or engaging me in conversation about every 90 seconds.

Last night I decided to jump in and work on Fiona's costume. It was wonderful. It only took about two hours total to figure out the measurements, cut the fabric, gather the crinoline-like material, and put it all together. I bet if I knew what I was doing it would have been even faster! : )

I definitely need to take some sewing lessons. I found a class here that I think will work for me.

I finished Alex's hat, hurray! It was too small, boo! But I've already started it again and I'm about 2/3rds done, hurray!

These little booties are so cute. I first saw them on Sooz's blog. I'm really tempted to try making them. I also found a tutorial for a patchwork and chenille quilt for a doll, a good Christmas gift for Miss Fi. And this wrap, how cute (and easy) is this?

Oh, and the pièce de résistance, I discovered Colinette Parisienne at Weaving Works. They had it knit up in a fern lace scarf. It was so beautiful. So, now I am going to knit something for myself for the first time ever.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm finished, almost...

On Saturday night I finished the September month of softies doll. Hurray! I still had to finish her apron. What is a baker's daughter without an apron. I also let my daughter play with the doll. She was much loved, to the point that I don't know how long the doll will hold up. She has been named Rebecca. I hope to get her picture posted in the next couple of days.

I went to the Washington Arboretum on Saturday and bought bulbs galore.
They were half off. I left with two medium bags full. I can't wait for
spring to come!

Fiona and I hit a pumpkin patch on Sunday morning. It was just the right size. Not too big for a preschooler to get tired of walking around in and not too small that we might as well have gone to the store. They also had some hay bale mazes and a bean pole maze that Fiona thought were fun. One of the pumpkins is covered with lumps that look kind of like peanut shells, it definitely has the creepy Halloween vibe going. We bought an entire wheelbarrow full of assorted pumpkins. It may be a bit over the top, but I'm really in the mood for Halloween this year.

I was brave yesterday and learned how to thread my late grandmother's Pfaff 130. I was able to sew about six inches and then it conked out. I called a repairman. He will be coming to the house on Saturday. I have never used a sewing machine in my life, so this is going to be quite an adventure.

Friday, October 06, 2006

WIP Friday

Well, life has intervened again and my craftiness has ended up on the back burner. So the September Month of Softies doll has been sewn. I started to cut out the pieces but was interrupted by having to go to bed. What a pain. I have come up with several crafty ideas though in my "spare time". I think I will have to buy/make a book to put all of my ideas and plans in, so that I will stay organised and, most importantly, not forget anything. I haven't touched my knitting since Tiff Niff decided that it would look better spread around the room.

I am hoping to go to the Seattle Arboretum and pick up some bulbs to plant. I bought a few crocuses last year, but they never made it into the ground. This year I swear that I will plant some even if I have to stay up until midnight.

No, I stuck a bead from Audrey's necklace up my nose.

If you pick your child up from daycare and notice that she has the sniffles, and you say, "Oh, you have the sniffles?" And then she replies, "No, I stuck a bead from Audrey's necklace up my nose." I have something for you to try before you head off to your pediatrician or the ER. They taught me this at the ER last night. Hopefully you will be able to save $500 dollars and do this little trick at home. Have your curious little monkey lay down. With your finger, close the nostril without the bead (or whatever), ask monkey to open her mouth, seal your lips around her mouth as if you were giving CPR and then blow very hard. The little hot pink bead from Audrey's necklace will smack into your cheek along with some snot. The reason that the blowing hard works is that the vocal cords will snap shut and the air will be forced out the partially or completely blocked nostril. Of course, if there is bleeding or a bad smell or an uncooperative child or you just don't want snot on your face, go see the pediatrician.

I really thought my posts were all going to be about crafty stuff and not about medical stuff. I am considering going back to school though and pursuing a medical degree, so, maybe it isn't so outlandish that these things come up.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Subconjunctival hemorrhage

After taking my shower this morning, I looked in the mirror and said WTF is that?! The top half of my left eye looks like it is awash in blood. Apparently a little blood vessel broke just under the surface of the white of the eye. It may change colors like a bruise and last as long as 10-14 days. It doesn't really hurt, it just aches a little. And it looks awful!

I finally got started on the Month of Softies doll face. It is coming along quite nicely. I didn't remember to take into account the stuffing though, so her features will be a bit off, but that is ok.

I'm pondering the next project from Month of Softies. It has to be black and white and orange, but other than that it can be any kind of softie. Hmmm.

A couple of weekends ago we went to Elliot Bay Bookstore. They were having readings of banned books and they had some tables of banned books in different parts of the store. I picked up a copy of Fahrenheit 451, something I've often thought of reading but never got around to doing so. If I hadn't read that it was written in the early 50's, I would never have thought it was an older book. Here is an interesting tidbit, a short run of the first edition was bound in asbestos. I think I will need to re-read it to really absorb it. I was reading in a candy-book/escapist sort of way.

I'm also reading Positive Discipline, Positive Discipline for Preschoolers and The Brothers Grimm Complete Fairy Tales.