Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I just love the Naughty/Knotty knitters. It is a little kick-in-the-pants that I wouldn't get if I were knitting alone. I am prompted to actually accomplish something to have something to show everyone, and they do ask how my projects are coming along.

My Artfibers wrap was at a frustrating spot. I had miscounted or gotten distracted at some point and ended up with too many stitches and therefore didn't quite know how to fix it because I couldn't find the mistake. I have a sneaky feeling that part of my problem was the circular needles and the yarnovers. They don't seem to get along very well. I thought maybe I would take out the incorrect row and switch to straight needles, but I was procrastinating because I don't really enjoy tinking my hard work, especially since I dreaded how many stitches would be on the needle after I took out the row. What if it was still the wrong number? What would I do then? Yikes!

Anyway, Tracy yelled at me to just do it. Okay, gently prodded, but then I craftily distracted her by helping Lisa and never actually got around to doing it. When I got home I decided it was now or never, and I tinked, and it worked! I had 85 stitches just as I was supposed to. I celebrated by doing 4 more rows. Hooray!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I have big plans

I have not been the most tech-savvy person up until now. Carey is laughing hysterically right now, I know. But I am discovering I like this brave new world of blogging, digital cameras, web sites, and podcasts. I even check my email! Usually more than once a day, even. I amaze myself. I am even becoming one of those persons who is impatient with those who are not as with-it as I imagine I am.

Here is what I discovered yesterday-- Wow. A site dedicated to selling handmade things. It is new I think, and I hope it catches on. Big. I am going to list my stuff there. My fuzzy purses, knitting bags, and other things I haven't even made yet. The possibilities are swirling around in my mind.

The other thing swirling around the vast open space of my brain is entering in the fair. Entry forms are due next week, and I have promised myself I will take the plunge. I did enter the "Nine Fingers" quilt two years ago (another story for another time) but last year I let the date slip by. I am planning so far on entering the Norwegian mittens I made (I'll take a picture before I take the entries in) and I'm thinking if I try really hard, I may finish the silk lacy wrap. Not the knit-7-together one, but the more manageable one. It is pretty. Blue ribbon pretty, I don't know. There is a category for hat too. I could crank one of those out pretty quickly. Again, big plans.

I also bought a book today on blogs. I am going to try to improve my very tiny blogging skills, so I can keep up with the world and actually be close to really being one of those "internet people."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Nap Time

Tomorrow is the first REAL day of Kindergarten, the day they stay until 2:50. Their day includes "nap time" where I don't really think anyone naps. It should be called "recharge the kids' batteries" time, or "teacher sanity time". I was planning on choosing the most Grace-like beach towel we had and sending that along to do the job, but Alex informed me that I had to make Grace a pillow because I had made him one. He still keeps it on his bed. I didn't really realize that he still kept it around, even though he is in 6th grade, but if it is that important to him, then by all means, Grace needs a pillow too. (Emily had morning kindergarten and missed out on nap time).

I decided that since fleece is all the rage in the JoAnns Fabric circles, I would pick some cute fleece and make a blanket for her as well. I ended up with ballerinas since she is my budding dancer, and solid pink for the pillow. I chased all over town looking for the letters to sew on for her name (like Alex's) but in the end decided to embroider her name on it instead.

I hope it is on her bed when she is in 6th grade.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I don't have 10 business days worth of patience

My Knitpicks order did not come today. I have been waiting since the order was placed on August 10. That was an ETERNITY ago. Back during summer. Before school. I hardly remember what I ordered. Except, whatever it was, I WANT IT NOW!

I know the computer said it should be here tomorrow. I can't wait that long. Free shipping should have some sort of warning that your hair will turn grey before you actually receive your order. Don't you think they should tell you that if you want to receive it before you are ready to kill the mailman that you should cough up a few dollars?

I realize I am ranting. But it is yarn we are talking about here folks.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Where does the time go?

My baby is a big girl. Where does the time go?

My other babies are big too. I can't believe this is Emily's last year in elementary school. Just a few years ago, I was saying goodbye to her at Kindergarten's door.

My Alex is too grown up for soccer, now practicing tackles on the football field instead.

I'm not ready for this.

All this life stuff is getting in the way of knitting. My job as chauffeur has resumed and already I'm weary of the traffic. The only thing I have managed to do is finish Natalie's socks. DOLL SOCKS! Yikes! Productivity has taken a dive. I did start a different lace wrap, out of the ArtFibers silk yarn from SF. This one is a little more manageable than the pink one, and I'm still working on that one. I'm basically on row 10 of several projects. My problem is that I have to pay attention to each one when I knit or I am in big trouble, and sometimes I just need a mindless knitting project to do when I'm waiting around. I keep getting interrupted and then I screw up.

Here is Natalie helping me out. She says not to worry, I will pull out of my slump after tomorrow's field trip to Ancient Pathways.

Scrapbook Expo!

What a fun day! Mom and I went to the Scrapbook Expo in Pleasanton and what a nice, nice day it was! We didn't go overboard (close!) but boy did we get some cool stuff.

This year's expo was so different from others. Each year there seems to be a new favorite of the industry. One year all we could hear was the pounding of eyelets all over the expo. This year the favorite thing by far was chipboard letters and shapes. They were everywhere. At left is a sample of one of the non-scrapbook things made with the chipboard letters. This time, they used fabric behind what is normally considered the unused part of the chipboard alphabet. They spelled out the word CREATE and added all sorts of other embellishments and stamping.
Things like this were all over the Expo. Everywhere you looked were fun, creative and sometimes goofy samples. And big, big, big are small books and theme albums. They were everywhere! It was so inspiring to see all the new ideas!

Here are some photo highlights of the Expo.

To the left is a small book created by those ever-so-cool people at my favorite store, My Daughter's Wish, who had a booth at the Expo. They took a standard kit and made it their own!

On the inside of the book were individual pages featuring funky writing and doodling. The colors were vibrant. They added ribbon here and there and the result was a fun, fun little book.

Here's Mom by Skinny! (That Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich they gave us was an unexpected treat! What SMART marketing!)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sand, Sun, and Lace

Maurice turned 42 this weekend, and he wanted to hit the beaches of Orange County to celebrate. We made our way via train, bus, and another train to the St. Regis Resort on Monarch Beach, which is in/near Dana Point. VERY nice. Nice weather, nice beach, nice place, nice pool, etc...

This is the view from our room. Not a bad way to spend a weekend.

I tried to knit during the train trip. I honestly did. I was being ambitious and thought I could start my lace project. I copied the pattern, put it in a nice little page protector, took stitch markers to make it all neat and keep track of my place, and it was all supposed to be great. Except, lace is HARD! The knitting was not hard, just a bunch of yarn overs and k2togs, etc. Keeping track of where I was was hard. Not ending up with more or less stitches that I was supposed to was hard.

Then the pattern did this weird zig zag thing with the pattern repeat, and after consulting Maurice and Alex, who were no help whatsoever but were basically my only option, I sort of figured it out on my own. Did I mention there was a knit 7 together in this thing? Yes, I really said seven. I stressed, but I got that part. Then at the end of the row of 115 stitches with 8 k7tog clusters, I ended up to too many stitches left over. SO I HAD TO TAKE IT OUT! (Just that row) At that point, I decided I would have better luck in the privacy of my own home.

So I listened to some knitting podcasts I had downloaded on my ipod. I listened to lime and violet and CastOn. Talk about totally different, yet both got me through the Grapevine on a bus. Thank God listening to knitting is almost as satisfying as doing it. Better, I believe, than screwing it up, too. Here is my knitting enjoying the sea breeze on the balcony of my room.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Felted Pumpkins are Coming

I saw this pattern on knitty, and I thought I'd give it a whirl. I did, by random chance (ha) have some Cascade 220 in the drawer in both orange and green (imagine that), so I started making pumpkin pieces, sewed them together, and them tried to felt them.

My front load washer does a crummy job of that. I sent it through three times and I still see stitches, not the fuzzy felt look. I did wrap it tightly along the seam lines to create the "pumpkin" contours and stuffed with with Target bags and let it dry, but I think I need to send it to mom's to finish it off with a trip through a real washer.

I am finished knitting the vine and stem parts, and will just send them along to moms for the ride.

It is cute, but I don't really enjoy the sewing together of the pieces. That isn't knitting. I was contemplating them for a boutique option, but unless knit picks has some very cheap orange wool, it would probably not be cost effective.

This has been a slow knit week, too much running around trying to get ready for school next Monday and we are going to the beach this weekend. I am trying to get something started for the train trip. I have the raw materials, and am narrowing down the pattern alternatives. Socks or lace? Lace or socks? Lace socks? It hurts my head. When my head hurts too much I look at the pretty yarn and remind myself it is all worthwhile.

By the way, thanks to Grace and Alex (mostly Grace) I got the skeins wound into nice little balls. I really think I need the swift because soon my little winder helpers will disappear into the halls of elementary school.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Lisa is back!

Naughty/Knotty Knitters has been without our resident internet goddess/mom extrordinare/knitter Lisa. She returned today, looking tanned and happy and ready to face another school year. She is my total inspiration for all things blog-like. Check out her alter ego here.

I can't believe I didn't have the camera to capture a photo of all of us together. Next week I promise.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Socks are done!

Take that, little kid!

My socks are done, and I like them. I started the second one on Thursday at Naughty Knitters, and finished Sunday afternoon at 4:45. That is not a long time, right? Right.

In the meantime, we went to Visalia because I had a Knitters Haven itch. I went looking for sock yarn, and behold, I now have some Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in Winterberry. It is pretty. I also bought the book from Cat Bordhi on how to knit socks with two circulars. Now that I read the two pages of actual instruction on how to do it, I probably could have done with not buying it.

Anyway, I now have to decide on the next pair of socks. Toe up? Two circulars? If I choose two circulars I have to wait since I ordered two #1 circulars from knit picks a few days ago. Having two of the exact same addi turbos just seems too decadent, since they are $15 each. I have been listening to Lime and Violets knitting podcast and they are knitting the Baudelaire socks from knitty and I am thinking I might try to do them. They seem much more complicated, obviously, than my basic socks, but maybe I am ready for that.

Other pressing knitting decisions involve what to knit at NK tomorrow morning, what to impress the little kid with at dance, and what to take on the train over the weekend. Such major decisions that involve deep concentration, and the wrong choice could have all sorts of consequences.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Taunting the ocean is not wise

I read in a magazine this week that if you're trying to do something creative and find that more often than not you just can't seem to get into the groove of things, that means you need a change of scenery. The magazine said a change could mean simply getting up and going for a walk, or it could mean hopping in the car and driving to a favorite spot.

Deciding to go with that theme, Mom, Dad, Emily and I all hopped into the car and set out for the central coast. We did a little shopping and we ate at our favorite place, Splash. After all that, Emily and I decided to stick our feet in the ocean. We found a good spot and played in the water, but really, it wasn't participating. We stood where the sand was soaking wet and the ocean refused to do much more than get the tips of our toes wet.

"Really," I said. "Ocean, certainly you can do better than that."
"Carey!" Emily said. "Don't taunt the ocean!"

Whatever. Right. What could it do other than splash icky seaweed on us? Well, I found out a bit later, as we were at our second stick-the-toes-in-the-water stop. At Moonstone beach, as we were just leaving, the ocean found its opportunity to pay us back for all the taunting. With our backs to the ocean, up came a wave. A big wave.

Both Em and I got wet up to our upper thighs, soaking our clothes. We learned our lesson. Yep. Don't taunt the ocean. It just isn't wise.

Here's Emily at Morro Bay, looking at the four sea otters in the water.

Bursting my bubble

Sometimes your bubble gets burst in the most unexpected places. I was riding the wave of productivity, feeling very proud of myself for finishing baby socks that I did without a pattern, a baby hat, and knitting an entire hat for Grace while on a three-hour train trip. That was a lot for a week's work, don't you think?

Well, apparently not. I was at Grace's dance class, and working on my new pink/purple sock, when this irritating little boy came up to me and asked, "Weren't you working on that last week? Why aren't you done yet?" Since he was around 6 or so, I didn't want to get into it with him and defend myself with my other accomplishments, so I just mumbled a few things and let it go. But it bugged me enough to finish the first sock.

I am also planning what I am taking to dance class next week. It has to be something grand enough to impress the irritating boy.

I realize that's more than a little crazy.

Maybe I'll wear the socks so he'll notice.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Grace is a Giants fan!

We took the train to SF to see the Giants. Grace REALLY wanted to go. I decided to go ahead with the scratchy cheap yarn hat, and knitted all the way there. I finished right before we got to Richmond, where we caught BART into the city.

I went to Britex, fabric store to the gods, and finally found pink fabric to make the perfect knitting bag. And we saw the Giants lose in 11 innings. We had fun, garlic fries and a foam finger for Grace, so it was a nice evening. Sunday we spent testing SF's public transportation and restaurants until it was time to go back on the train. For the record, I really love gelato in North Beach.

Alex got himself some cool shoes at the Puma Store, which although very stylin', kept coming untied at 10 minute intervals. Maurice, as usual, was the perfect SF tour guide and got us where we needed to go, even when we complained he was killing us with all the walking.

Not too bad for the dog days of summer!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Baby gift is done!

I finished the baby gift. I'm trying to take a picture of everything I do, even the small things. Here it is!

This weekend we are going back to a Giants game, although without Carey and all the other Stitch n Pitch'ers it won't be as much fun. I am trying to quickly knit Grace a Giants hat with the really scratchy and hard, but free, black and orange yarn that was in the gift bag. It hurts to knit with it. But it makes me knit faster.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Meet the Naughty Knitters!

We have never officially decided which spelling we are using for written communication, but I like naughty better than knotty, although it is nice to switch back and forth depending on our mood.

Here we are, Cindy, Nola, and Tracy working on our latest projects. Everyone is making progress! Tracy is working on her shawl (and finding it dreadfully boring) and her pink crochet purse, and Nola is working on the sock that I think she despises although it looks fine.

Hopefully Lisa will join us when we end our summertime break. We miss her and look forward to seeing what she has done over the summer.

Carey is our member-in-spirit, due to that silly employment issue.

I RSVP'd this morning to go see the Harlot in Los Altos. We'll see if we can actually make that happen, due to kids and impending soccer games. I hope so!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Two socks for the week

I started a new sock on Saturday at WW. It is very pretty! I love self striping yarn, it is like a surprise in a sock. I am using size 1 needles on the leg part since I have bird legs and the size 2s don't seem to want to stay up. I like the texture of the size 1 fabric. Maybe I'll just do the entire thing that way. We'll see.

I also experimented and made a baby sock. I did a bootie from a book I had but I didn't like it, so I thought with the Yarn Harlot's sock recipe I would fake a baby sock. It turned out okay, maybe a little big. The baby was born a few weeks ago, so maybe by sock weather he will have big feet. His name is Dominic. Maurice wants me to knit this baby something out of his family's tartan, which is black and white check. That sounds too complicated. I will make a matching blue hat to go with the socks, in baby blue worsted, maybe with white stripes.