Friday, March 30, 2007
The purplish looking thing to the far left is the Ecowool Raglan for dh. It is actually grey and will be a simple 2x2 rib crew or v-neck. With me you never know. Andy loves ribbed fabrics (everything from t-shirts to skivvies, even my clothes) , so, he'll love this sweater. It is the EXACT color of his eyes. Steel Grey. The green is the beginning of Rogue. And the multi-colored, reddish stuff is the 2nd sock in the Koigu Odds and Ends socks.
Rogue is the most intense pattern that I will have attempted to date. I bought Knit picks Wool of the Andes for this project and I am unsure of the color, Heather Green. I am remembering back to how I felt about Miss Koigu and so I am pressing onward and figure that the green will grow on me.
BTW, there are 20 pages in the Rogue pattern. Check out all the pages to the right here. Those are just the CHART pages. This will NOT be a kid friendly pattern. Nobody, husband, or kid had better even think of speaking to me when I have this sweater out and in my hands!!
There, a picture of Rogue on the needles.
Would you believe that upon 3rd and 4th yarn yardage calculations, I am 50 yards shy of what I need? Yeesh. Gotta do another purchase. Maybe I will pick up another something or other. ha ha ha
Last but not least. I am a brand new sock knitter. Not to mention a gal who has BIG PROBLEMS with gauge. The sock on the right is about 25% too big. The sock of the left is the correct size, however, the cast off is a problem because it was a toe up sock. All you serious sock knitters who do Wendy Knits toe up sock pattern, how do you get the cast off edge to be comfortable? I am expecting tons of advice!!!!
I gotta go organize the day. Get the house clean for the Erev Shabbat meeting at our house tonight. Do school. And eat something eventually. Shalom friends in this Passover/Easter season. catie
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Other than focusing on the final stage of potty training, I have been very busy.
On the homeschooling front: I quizzed dd#2 on her letters and *gasp* she only knows half of them. I have been working on them half heartedly with her all year. The good news is that SHE WILL LEARN THEM eventually. Just a matter of time, and her mother refocusing back on Kindergarten. DD#1 , is doing well. She did 2 pages of her language arts wb today, ALL BY HERSELF. That means she did all the reading etc, by herself. That is a real milestone for me, as I have always had to hold her hand in them for the past year. The little man, well, he just disturbs us as much as possible. I figure the girls will teach him to read when the time comes!!
On the decluttering front: Nothing. Stalled. Except I have plans. I am going to clean out the girls toys. I have so many little, little girl toys, they don't have room for big girl toys. So, dear sil moving from Spain, they are coming your way!!!
On the gardening front: Me and the girls have started 30 tomato plants from seed. We also started nasturtiums, marigold, and loads of basil. Andy pulled out a bunch of sod and will borrow a tiller to make garden space. I can hardly wait. Fresh tomatoes and basil in August, here we come!! Haven't had a garden since we begun child bearing.
On the reading front: Nothing worth mentioning. Not even the Bible.
On the knitting front: Rogue's hem is cast on and one row of the hem is done. The odds and ends Koigu socks are butt ugly, but I love 'em. I didn't put much thought into the color mixing. Random. Andy's sweater is much neglected, but is good mindless knitting. It'll get knit on when we go to the beach in April.
What a long post. Not even a picture or 2. Hope you are all well. cate
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Still working on the Wendy Knits toe up sock pattern. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that pattern. I wasn't sure when I first saw Sallee and Nikki's examples, but after I cast on and experienced for myself the wonder and the majesty (ok, ok, I'll wax a little less goofy) of the brilliance of this pattern .... not to mention the simplicity, I was sold. side note: for all you grammar gurus out there, please ignore the grammatical inconsistencies in my writing.
Well, my kids are terrified of the thunder we are currently experiencing. So, I need to go and make sure that they are safe and sound, not to mention that I should unplug my puter.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Now, if you have ever talked to me on the phone, and are female (yes, I know men cook too), then I have probably asked you in the beginning of the closing of the conversation: "What are YOU going to fix for dinner?" Why do I ask that? I think it is because I am a foodie at heart and I get bored with my own ideas and maybe you are having something scrumptious and I might ditch my idea and do a riff on your idea.
What I have in the house is limited. The freezer had no inspiration for me. I located some leftover chicken from the roast I had done earlier in the week and finally, I got it. Creamed chicken over rice. The creamed chicken will have caramelized onions, chunks of garlic, roux, thickened with chix stock and heavy cream. Plenty of salt and pepper. Finished with a little sherry. Fragrant, basmati rice. Peas or broccoli from the freezer with be my attempt at nutrition.
I thought of my mother. Mom was NOT a cook. We had no money to eat out, so she had to feed us with something. Here is the VERY limited list of what I remember her cooking:
1) Frozen cod poached (ahem, baked until it was like cardboard) in milk.
2) Spaghetti (from scratch, no onions, no peppers, I don't know what it had in it)
3) Liver and onions (the meal from hell)
4) Poppy Seed Chicken (actually, my favorite. I occasionally make it today)
5) Chipped Beef Gravy over toast (very salty)
6) Sausage Gravy and Biscuits (canned biscuits, no wonder I have bowel issues)
7) Poached Eggs over Collards (God save us)
8) Vienna sausages (What are those anyway?)
9) Hot Dogs (probably my favorite meal)
10) Frozen Burritos (my brother's favorite)
11) Mac and Chee (elbow mac layered with shredded cheese and filled to the rim with milk. Bake till set)
Makes me wonder what my kids will say about my food.
I was never hungry. I grew up VERY healthy. I have nothing to complain about. Thanx mom for feeding me.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I had gotten it all on and was looking 'mighty fine' if I may say so myself. All that for..... Roanoke Gas Co. men. I am 35 yo with 3 kids at home with me AT ALL TIMES and at least 20lbs overweight. Makeup makes a serious difference for a gal like me. At least one of them was lascivious enough to check me out. Kind of flattering (boy, I am getting old, I remember when that used to offend me). To top it off had a t-shirt made of cotton and Lycra in it. Bad choice. Whoa to us with love handles.
So, I spent the ENTIRE day multi-tasking. We did NO school because of the symphony of jackhammers, dump trucks, trencher backhoes, and some thing that pats down dirt real good.
Here is my list:
1) Knit Koigu Keepsake shawl while keeping Ethan, ds, from getting into the men's way.
2) Prepare to see Dixigirl at Barnes and Noble tonight while keeping Ethan from mortal injury.
3) Make list for grocery store while explaining to Ethan that "No, he can't help the big machines."
4) Try to spin a little while keeping Ethan from certain death ala jackhammer
proceeded to multi-task even after RGCo. left
4) Bribe children into goodness at Kroger with chocolate bunnies
5) Bribe children into room time with chocolate bunnies
6) Cook dinner while uploading these 5 pix to Blogger
All in all, my day went completely NOT according to plan. Oh well. At least Koigu got more rows than she usually would have.
Monday, March 19, 2007
I was complaining to Tanya, that the batts are spinning up thicker than I had wanted. It is a VERY bulky yarn. I have no idea when I am going to be able to spin even a light worsted or sport weight yarn. Yeesh.
Andy is working on the basement cabinetry that my grandfather fashioned with his own hands sometime in the 40's or 50's. He was an amateur furniture maker. I still have some of his creations. The most famous kind would be the fiddlers benches that he made. They are a foot stool in the shape of .... what else, a fiddle. I called him Pop and he scared me to death as a child. Gruff.
I am starting to panic a little bit. For several reasons:
1) Brother's yarn is going to make a large, warm bulky sweater. In my inexperience, I was thinking of something with a little more, I don't know, dare I say, sexiness? Sexy it will not be. However, warm, durable, and possibly weather proof. Yes, definitely. Now, what pattern should I use?
2) I have almost nothing on the needles. I absolutely THRIVE on variety and get bored easily. That is why I switch around so much. Andy continually remarks on how I read more than 1 book at a time. Well, doesn't everybody? That only makes sense. I can keep up with a lot of things going at the same time and still remain perfectly charming. Or at least I think so. This is probably not actually the case. Just wishful thinking from and ADD mother of 3.
3) I ordered 1400 yard of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Forest Heather. It is only $1.99/ball. That means Rogue is only going to cost about $25. Usually, I would be ecstatic. I am concerned about the texture. Am I going to be covered in itchys all next fall/winter? I sure hope not. I intend to wear it NO MATTER WHAT!
4) DD #2, has taken to reading like a duck to water. Normally, I would be so pleased I would feed her nothing but chocolate cake for a week. But, dd #1, is clipping along at a slow but steady pace. I am reminded just now of the tortoise and the hare. Maybe it will be OK.
Well, enough panicking and should go take care of the Carding Machine's dinner. Later, catie
Saturday, March 17, 2007
This is an afghan from a good friend of mine. Carol, the one who is learning to knit. Her mil is old and can't finish this afghan, so she gave it to me. She wanted to find a good home for it. Well...... I am not really into Red Heart acrylic, but maybe one of you darling knitters out there knows of someone who needs and can finish a beautiful throw.
Carol also has given me a pot of daffodils. Daffys are my favorite flower. I have another friend named Ann, she is childless and single, who has adopted us as her Roanoke family. If she even finds out we are ill, such as when we had the dynamic duos of flu (respiratory and the OTHER), she is the 1st to go to Panera Bread and buy us chicken soup and baguette.
I aspire to be a good friend to people. Not just the casual kind. Arranging food for people, going to the hospital with them in a health crisis, fixing a simple meal for someone sick or with a new baby. I feel like this is what God has called me to do in this lifetime. Share myself with others what He has given me.
I have lost a friend recently, and so thoughts of what friendship is weigh heavily on me. What do you do when something happens in a friendship? When there is disagreement? I don't have the wisdom for that and I continually pray for the grace to be a friend. A real friend. A real friend lays down their life for the one they love. Laying down a life can look different than just making sure everybody 'feels OK'. Laying down a life is sacrifice. Sacrifice means losing something. The loss can be money, time, a reputation, respect of others...... Some of you out there REALLY know what I mean. What is the cost of real love? What is real love? Romance? No, laying down your life for your friend. The best example I have is Jesus (you say 'Not Again!!' , I can almost hear you). Check it out....
"Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." John 13:1 Then he girded his loins, washed their feet, and took their sin to the cross and nailed it there. That is a friend. A friend pays your bill for you.
So, consider these rhetorical questions. Just think about them. Who do you love? Who do you serve? Who would you spend your last night of earthly life with? Would you serve them that night, or expect them to serve you? Serious stuff for a fluffy knitting blog. cate
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It was such a beautiful day, I had to give it a try. The hat makes me feel like 'lady of the manor' , which is soooooooo not me. I am working on the Chestnut Raglan for my 3yo ds. It SHOULD fit him for 2 years or so, I am hoping. Kids DO grow like weeds, I know.
I am having quite a day. I am trying not to worry about events in life, but it is HARD! On the top of the list is the usual offender, money. Our money and, since I am the conservator of Mom's estate, her money. Andy is talking about refinancing the house, I think it is a GREAT idea. I'll keep you posted. I also have to drop some money at Once Upon a Child on spring clothes for the girls. That always sneaks up on me. Thankfully, a couple friends have given me enough clothes for ds for the spring, but we shall see.
Mom is having multiple health problems. She's had them forever, but still. The constant drain on her finances IS going to catch up to her sooner or later. At the risk of sounding callous, she is in TERRIBLE health, extremely unhappy.......... I just can't even speak what I am thinking, much less write it. (BTW, this is a shameful confession of mine, please be kind). She has advanced cardiovascular disease do to smoking and some new research tells us that teeth problems go along with heart disease. All that to say, mom needs her teeth worked on and the dentist has to consult with mom's vascular doc to do it. On top of all that, the medicare insurance co. had dropped her. She is costing them too much money, tell me about it. The good news, is that after she spends a certain amt of her own money, they will pick her back up again (0r so I hear). Getting old and being in bad health is a costly business.
Look at these beautiful daffy's. That is what we call them around here. They are my favorite flower. My good friend, Carol Croy, bought them for me. Just because. I have been teaching her to knit, and she is a natural. I already told you that I talked her into making her 2nd project a simple raglan cardy. Looks great. I'll photograph it and post it after I see her on Friday. I just taught her to use dp's on Sunday.
I am in desperate need of some fun today. Any ideas, besides knitting and spinning? Hope you are all well and enjoying the weather.
Before I forget, the Tea Rose Halter Top in 3 ply Alpaca Silk is an ABYSMAL FAILURE. Oh well. In the words of Robin, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, FROG IT AND START OVER. If I frog that thing, I am gonna burn it. Hey Dixigirl, maybe we could work out a trade on some sweet apple green yarn for your friend's baby? Hmm, let me know. I have at least 2 fresh skeins if not 3, and 8 in the halter itself. Later, catie
Monday, March 12, 2007
Good Morning All!! I hope the new daylight savings time is suiting you all, ha.
The absolute best thing about Daylight Savings Time is that my dh comes home 1 hour earlier!!!! So, instead of 4:45, he comes home at what feels like 3:45. YES!!!!! Kids sleep in later too. So, my day is shortened by 2 hours!!! The only problem is the Fall Back. Yuck. Enough of that.
On to....knitting. With all the projects I have going on, I am already planning on others. Yeesh. I must be crazy. Not. Well..... This is going to be the Summer of Socks. Or SOS for short. I am in desperate need of socks. In fact, as I sit, blogging, I have one hand knitted sock in that German stuff with aloe and lanolin, on my left foot and a barefoot on my right. The foot with a sock, has a dropped stitch somewhere that I am gonna have to hunt down and fix. The other sock....... I am ashamed to tell you what happened to it. But since confession is good for the soul, here goes. I was knitting very pridefully away on the 2nd sock, did the heel turn, and thought since I am a pretty experienced knitter, I didn't need to refer to simple pattern to finish. I forgot to do the gusset *blush*. When I tried on 2nd sock, *(&^^%##$@!%$*(&^()*&. Embarrassment.
Socks are a new thing for me. But I am hooked. I am determined to be a dedicated sock knitter. I love the way my left foot feels and my poor right foot is calling for an intervention. "Why am I being left out, I am COLD". So, I am looking at all kind of sock yarn. Especially, Socks that Rock. I, unfortunately, was left out of their 2007 club. That will not be the case for 2008. I am also planning on using some of the Chestnut yarn that I spun to make a pair of socks as well. Just gotta get some strengthening thread.
Me and the kids are starting a new routine today. We are going to the library on 419 for school. We are meeting another homeschooling family and do it together. We will see how it goes as of my ds. So, gotta go. Have a great day. Catie
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Saturday, 12:15pm. I am alone in my house. Small miracle. I should be using my time wisely. Alas.... I am not. I have been listening to music, praying, telling Jesus how much I love Him and need Him. Spinning. Reading a book. Eating and making iced coffee. Ahem.
I should be taking a shower and doing my hair, we have discussed this before, no need to do so again. I should be deciding on dinner and beginning prep. Ok, got the steak defrosting. I should be fixing lunch for the masses before they arrive back home from collecting free firewood. Any number of things. But, now I am spending time with YOU. I really do think about who reads this humble blog and I appreciate your returning to read again. You are on my mind and even though I don't know most of you, I pray for you. God knows you. So, consider yourself prayed for and loved by someone today. Is that weird enough for you?
Above is a picture of a new soft drink I found in my local Fresh Market. Jamaican Ginger Beer. Non-alcoholic. I have no idea how they make it, but it is sweetened with all kinds of fruit juices. Nothing like Schweppes's. Not sure if i really like it or not. But, thought I would pass it along because I thought it cute.
Speaking of cute..... Toesies painted with Opi's 'Oh to be 25 again....' nail polish in my newly, crochet decorated flip flops. Don't you love 'em? I do.
I really am a fluffy gal at times. The older I get the more I embrace my femininity. The girlier the better (within reason).
Last but not least...... What I have been doing when I am not doing what I SHOULD be doing. Koigu Keepsake, Brother carding and spinning, fluffy flips, and the handspun raglan for 3yo ds.
Masses have returned and I am the great unwashed. Gotta go jump in before I loose my window of opportunity. Later. cate
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I got up this morning, and the caring for physical bodies began. 1st, however, my java had to be acquired. Thankfully, dh, takes care of that for me and all I have to do is pour, add Splenda and 1/2 and 1/2. Knit a bit on Keepsake Shawl. Then, breakfast for the masses. Spin a bit. Then, off to school. By the time I was in the bath getting my own body ready for the day, it was 11am or so.I even splurged a bit on myself and pumiced my feet, used a scrub and after I made lunch for
masses, applied the toenail polish you see here. The scrubbing is quite necessary because of the winter dryness. The pumice reveals much nicer skin.
The conveniences of modern life give me the ability to live in quiet luxury. Luxury? Surely not, you say. Well.... consider if I was born 100 years ago, romantic thought. I would probably have 10 children ( no bc not to mention the afore said children born at home with no pain killers, horrible thought) by now, and if I was a typical middle class gal, would have to do all the cooking (from scratch), make all my clothes ( I don't sew), and who knows what else. Ask Robin, she is a reenactor, she knows all about what a typical woman's life in some yesteryear was like. I would think that playing that way would be fun for a while, but Claire Randall and Jamie Frasier, I am not.
Think of all the work that has already been done for you. Just to rise and shine. Water-pumped right into your house, and away too!!!! Food-conveniently packaged and kept cool (no killing or harvesting by us necessary). Warm h20 for a bath. Hair dryer, makeup, deodorant, creams for every type of skin ailment-they work most of the time. Clothes-premade, usually. Knitting needles-standardized sizes. Computer-connect to the masses. Phone-talking to friends, no travel required. Yeesh, I could go on and on. My beloved grandmother saw the dawn of each of the modern conveniences.
Much to my shame, I don't really like doing all the niceties of caring for the body. They just take up too much of my day. The cleaning and grooming are a pain not to mention if you want to be stylish. And I do. I would rather be reading, spinning, knitting, playing with kids outside, or talking to you.
Even with all of these wonderful things, I still worry that I don't have enough. That my kids aren't healthy enough. Where will my kids go to college, will they measure up? Will I be able to care for my mother if she moves to Roanoke? How can I repair my relationship with my brother? Goodness, the 'what if's' are enough to have me running to the MD for some Xanax. That's why I like Jesus.
Jesus is one of those people I wish I could have followed around for a while. He sure got peoples attention. Dropped 'bomb' like statements that got people all stirred up all the time. Yet, he was a joyful man. All were drawn to Him. People don't like sour pusses. Masses of people followed Him around. I'll leave you with this quote, by the Man Himself:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet y our heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin......"
Sermon on the Mount, Jesus
FYI: my homeschooled girls have just caught honeybees in Mason jars. Gotta go rescue the honey makers!!!!
Monday, March 05, 2007
I bought Cascades Ecowool in this color I am typing with. This was supposed to be for Rogue, but the gauge is wrong and the color is wrong. So, it is now a Raglan ribbed pullover for Andy (dh). The cool thing about Ecowool is that the colors are 100% natural and the yardage is INSANE!!! It has like 450 yards/$15 skein.
My friend, Carol, bought some gorgeous, hand dyed cotton yarn to make a simple raglan sweater. The book The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns is the book that made me a sweater knitter. Any yarn, any gauge can be turned into a sweater that fits. Granted, a simple sweater, but, a sweater nonetheless!!!! She can knit and purl already, all she has to do is learn how to use them in combination for a seed stitch border and a few decrease moves and she's a winner!!!!
I also started a raglan sweater for Ethan (ds) in my Chestnut handspun!!! Yet again, The Knitter's Handy........ Love that book!! Almost done with the body. Soon, dp's for the arms and in a matter of less than a week, presto * a handspun sweater is complete!! Diana, caught me in church yesterday, knitting with it.
THEN!!!!!!, I swatched some of my Blue Sky Alpaca in the Tea Rose Halter Top pattern this morning. Off to lys to buy needles, again. While I was there, my kids were being kids, and one of the ladies fussed at them. Oh well. Mosaic was so kid friendly. While I was there a toddler and a puppy were in there and no one fussed at them. So, I got that co and working this AM after finishing up Mia's standardized testing. The new needles and unusual knitting time was my reward for finishing up that horse hockey (excuse my language, but it really was what it was).
Well, I am full of knitting news. How bout y'all? Did anyone else co 3 new projects in the space of 3 days? I must be crazy!! I love multiple projects.
Gotta go plan dinner. Hamburgers and some kind of Hawaiian rice with hopefully some veggies. Have a great day. Thanx for reading. Go cast on something new. Catie
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I did try to fit in. I permed and did other unspeakable things to my hair (didn't know about teasing yet) to try to get the frizz that was required by my peers to be considered socially acceptable. I would put mousse in my hair. You remember the terrible stuff that made your hair stiff as straw. Then, I would use a red hot curling iron and spray Rave hairspray on it as I was cooking my hair. The smell was unforgettable. I really wanted hair that sort of looked like this. Fleece. Fluffy and gorgeous. Unfortunately, that curl would last only until I left the house.
My mother, of course, was horrified. She was a child of the 60's and everything was 'just so.' I remember my senior year, I was going for my portrait and mom and I had the biggest fight to date. She slicked my hair completely flat on my head and in a bun. A BUN. This is 1989 y'all. I wanted big hair. Huge hair. Curls. I was humiliated. *sigh* I am glad those days are over.
The 90's were better hair years for me. The style was flat. All one length and pulled back. I loved those years. I just let my hair grow and grow. By the time I was in the People's Republic of China, teaching English, my hair was to my waist. Not healthy, but long and I loved it. So did the Chinese. Long blonde hair in a culture of nothing but black hair. I attracted a lot of attention, not all welcome.
Recently, I have been unable to care for my hair. Due to the fact that I have 3 small, children and I hardly have time to eat much less 'do' my hair. Finally, I had so many tangles in it, I went to the St. Pierre salon in Salem and had a kid with hot pink, blonde, and black hair (Elaine) cut my hair to chin length. I even had the dreaded bangs cut back in. I haven't had them since 7th grade. I came home and my children were horrified and my dh tried to like it. I also found myself the proud owner of some new styling products. All of them to help my hair look 'artfully' arranged or rather 'artlessly' arranged. Who knows. Here is a list and description of them:
1) Rusk Mousse: I have to cover every hair on my head with this stuff. It provides max volume, body, and control. IE: a 'piece' effect with curl separation
2) Rusk BloFoam: Death defying volume applied at the roots for those of us who are 'texture' challenged. IE: hair follicle will be almost at a 90-45 degree angle from my scalp.
3) Rusk Wired: Flexible body and 'pliable' support as it creates texture. Creates gravity defying body. Eliminates frizz and maintains moisture with heat appliances. Contains Thermplex and texture from within. Here is list of ingredients in this product. #1 Wax (I use this in soap for very hard bars), #2 Castor Oil (I use this in soap and it makes huge white bubbles), #3 Alcohol, #4 Dimethicone (this ing has many applications, such as, curing colic in babies), #5 wheat protein (hey, we eat that), #6 rice protein (can't I get that at the co-op?) and last but not least various and other sundry petroleum products.
Do these products work? Yes and no. The bottom line is CONTROL!!! I washed and fixed my hair today in honor of the RV/spinknit night. It was really fluffy and now, it is not. At least it does not look like fleece and yet is not flat either. At least it doesn't look like my hair in my teens nor a place where rats would be comfortable abiding. So, I like my $30 worth of hair styling products.
Here is some of the fleece from above spun up. I had carded in some dark blue, Caribbean blue, and moss green. It reminds me of the John Will Creasy print that I inherited from my parents. Very wintry and cold. Love it. Started to knit some up to see if I want to continue. And, I think I do.