Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Project Spectrum Wednesday

Here is this week's tribute to the Blue, White and Gray of February & March.

This little gem is the baby hoodie for Piglet. The pattern is based on one from Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino book. Notice anything strange? Well, the sleeves are practically to the waist. If I have to lengthen the bottom I will just scream. Also, the hood is a little weird. I doubt he will ever wear the hood. Of course, I would have known all of this if the picture in the book had shown the baby standing up as well as the back!

And what is this mess you ask? Well, it is the Angelina. I have finished the body and am doing the lace trim.

This is the semi-provisional cast on being ripped out and the stitches picked up. It is taking forever! I started pulling it out on Monday night at SnB and then continued last night and I've only picked up about 1/4 of the stitches. I think I might have lost a stitch already. *Sigh*

I picked up some new yarn yesterday. It is Smooth DK by King Cole. It is 100% acrylic and so incredibly soft. I think it will become a vest for Piglet if I can find a pattern. I also snagged a copy of Sahara. Ewe Knit & Kits also had the yarn from Tilli Tomas - YUM! That is all I can possibly say to describe this yarn - just YUM!


Monday, February 26, 2007

Eating, Singing and Dancing

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.
You pull punches, but people still love you.
What Kind of Food Are You?

This is borrowed from Amy over at Knitty McPurlypants. What song is guaranteed to make you speed in your car? Dance in your seat? Sing out loud?

Here are my songs that make me roll down the windows, drive faster and sing realy loud (even if Big Boy doesn't like it!):

You're So Vain by Carly Simon
Any song by Jimmy Buffet
Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield
Somebody's Baby by Jackson Browne
Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leopard
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
There are many others but I just can't think of them right now.

I tag Susan, Janna, and Jayne to play along.


Friday, February 23, 2007

An Anniversary and a Splurge

Ten years ago these two crazy kids went and got themselves hitched. Sounds all romantic doesn’t it? Well, here’s the real story. Big Boy was renting a crappy house in Rosamond, CA and the lease was running out. We couldn’t move into base housing unless we were married. Since neither of us were crazy about a February wedding in New England (brrrrr) we eloped. Two days later we moved into a new house and began this crazy life together. I should also mention that the practical side of me wanted a ring that I could look at every day and be reminded of our love versus a wedding that I wouldn’t remember the next day, not to mention something I could hawk for cash if things didn’t work out. In the days prior to Internet no one would pay squat for a wedding video. The vain side of me wanted a ring bigger than my friends' and we were way too old and financially secure for one that required a magnifying glass. Here we are ten years, ten pounds (yeah right!), one kid, three dogs, three houses, three cars, three states and more than three gray hairs later (only on Big Boy and Calvin – what does that say about Annabelle and I?).

What have we learned? Compromise, Compromise, Compromise. Know who you are and who your spouse is but also know who you are not and let your spouse pick up where you leave off. You can still be a liberated woman and admit that your husband is better at something than you are. Big Boy handles money better so he gets the bills. I’m better at shopping and organizing and planting flowers so that is my job in the house. We accept our strengths and weaknesses and help each other along. We both kill bugs and put stuff together (except momma don’t do gas and electrical – ouch!). And of course, we both change poopy diapers but I would gladly give that job over if someone wanted to take it (if we win the mega millions this week I am hiring a nanny just to do poopy diapers!). We have also learned that no matter where you go you take yourself with you. Many of our friends think their problems will go away with the next assignment or the next job. They don’t. You are still the same people.

What are our goals for the next ten years? Um, stay married? Lose the ten pounds? Hopefully retire from the Air Force and start our second career, settle somewhere, buy a convertible and get the kid through potty training before Kindergarten. Probably not in that order. When Big Boy bought my ring I told him that I wanted to trade up a size at ten years. Well, this summer I excused Big Boy from that agreement with the understanding that I get a convertible at my 40th birthday (he has three ten more years to save up) and a three-carat ring at 20 years. I think it is only fair! Oh wait, by then we will be paying for Pop Warner, Little League, Karate, and new sneakers every month. SIGH!

Since this is a knitting blog... I picked up my copy of Lace Style this afternoon. I stood in the store and mentally dogeared the patterns I want to make. I am happy to see that it is not just scarves. The LYS is always so welcoming of Piglet and his stroller (probably because I have the Ford Focus of strollers and not the Excursion). The ladies always come over to listen to him snore. While I was there they introduced me to Jitterbug. It is a sock yarn from Colinette. My color is Alizerine. I was all set to buy some Koigu but this color was a lot more fun and $4 less in price! I think I will make myself some kicky socks to wear around the house.


By popular demand... the jeans are the Just Below the Waist, Curvy from Old Navy. My Old Navy store was seriously lacking in stock but they do have them online in two different colors and shipping is just $5 no matter how much you buy. Since I am always on there buying for the Piglet... The jeans also come in short, regular and long.

The other pair of great jeans are the Saturday jean from Ralph Lauren. Unfortunately I have not been able to find them since moving here. I like them because they are sized by inseam. I have a 32" inseam which is longer than a regular and not long enough for the long jeans. I usually end up with the long so that I don't look like I'm waiting for the flood :-)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Project Spectrum Wednesday

This is our sky yesterday. It was such a beautiful day. I opened all the windows and blew out the germs that were collecting in our own little CDC. The Piglet and I went outside to enjoy the fresh air and work on Angelina. He has never been outside except in his car seat and then he is usually asleep so this was sensory overload. His little head whipped back and forth checking out everything! Is he one cool dude or what?

I had a little education enhancement today. Since I bought books I like to refer to them as education and not stash. I purchased Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel (Glampyre Knits) and the Spring Knit It. I don’t normally pick up this magazine but they had some cute stuff this time. I also considered Cables Untangled but since I am getting Lace Style tomorrow I thought I should pass for now. If you like doing cables – this is the book for you.

I finally did it. I broke down and bought “Curvy” jeans. I actually bought them about two weeks ago but just finally tried them on this morning. I’m curvy. It was time to admit it. I have hips. I am not built like a boy. I only wish more jean manufacturers would figure this out. When I hit puberty my hips developed. My Nana would call them “birthing hips” – something every 15-year-old girl wants to hear (this was the same women who wouldn’t discuss sex because if you talked about it kids would do it). Anyway, I digress. These jeans are great. They fit perfect in the places they are supposed to fit. They are low enough to be “hip” and “in” but not so low I have to hide behind the cart when getting those bottom shelf items at the grocery store. I currently own a pair that was purchased out of desperation when I managed to rip two pairs in one week. Well, they fit in the store but I didn’t take the “stretch” into consideration. Now 15 minutes into wearing I could give any plumber a run for his money!

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Monday, February 19, 2007

The Crud!

I guess I was lying when I said the crud was passing. I guess it was Saturday when I woke up with an elephant on my head (although in my house it is likely to be a big white dog). I took a bunch of medicines and they worked - for about an hour. I finally gave in at 4:00 this morning. I showered, put on make up (because I don't leave the house without it) and drug myself to the Urgent Care. I figured no one else would be there and I would be seen quickly and since I wasn't sleeping anyway... It looks like I started out with the same respiratory virus as the Piglet (aw, the little shit is learning to share already!) and then somewhere along the line it turned into a raging sinus infection. He also suggested I stop and pick up some Nyquil to help me sleep. Well, the only place open around here at 5:30 a.m. is Wallyworld and frankly, that place scares me in broad daylight so no way was I stopping when only the freaks were out.

I got home around 6:00 a.m. and crawled back into bed only to have Big Boy ask if I had decided not to go after all. Glad to know he was worried about me. So, I am back in bed for yet another day, sucking down antibiotics and 800mg of Ibuprofen and snorting some Afrin and Flonase followed by a chaser of Nyquil (as soon as Big Boy gets up and goes to Walgreens for me). My Baby Baxter is snuggled with me and trying to help me type.

This makes a total of 6 trips to the doctor in one week for the Knotty family. You know it is bad when someone you have never seen before looks at your name and says "hey, you're Piglet's mom".


Saturday, February 17, 2007

The crud is slowly passing. I have not been this sick in a long time and admit I feel both guilty about having Big Boy do all the work and relishing that I have someone willing to let me languish in bed for two days. I do have the best husband in the world. This afternoon I was craving soup and he went to Panera for their yummy tomato soup. Tonight I was craving fudgcicles. He ran to the store to get me a box along with three new boxes of tissues.

I managed to get in a little knitting but not nearly as much as someone with nothing else to do for two days. After a while the knitting would grind on my nerves. I’m like that when I am sick – I don’t want to do anything for longer than five minutes.

Anyway, here is what I managed to accomplish (I apologize for the bad pictures):

Angelina – I finally made it through the 11 1/2” of ribbing, finished the bind off for the right side sleeve and am working on the decreases. At this rate I will never do ribbing again! The bottom photo shows how it will look when the sleeve is folded down and seamed. Of course I still have to do the lace edging.

Baby Hoodie – The shoulders are seamed (and why Debbie Bliss has you bind off and then seam them is beyond me) and the hood started. I am about 2” into the 8” needed for the hood. The first picture is the front of the sweater and the second is the back. There are several changes I would make to this pattern should I do it again. Not only would I do a three needle bind off on the shoulders, I would connect the hood to the back differently. She has you bind off the back and then cast on for the hood and later seam the two together. To me this is a lot of extra work. Maybe when I finish I will understand the method to her madness.

Lady Eleanor – I didn’t work on it until today because a new skein of yarn had to be wound into a ball and I didn’t feel up to it. So far I have done 5 tiers; I will be at this a while.

Piglet’s Christmas Stocking – Nothing. Nada, Zip. There was no way I could read the charts and keep track of 4LPC, 4RPC, 3LC, etc. Just no way.
If you double click on the pictures you will get a better view of each item.

Piglet and I had big plans for this week. We were going shopping in Richmond with a few LYS stops along the way. Knitting Sisters is holding Lace Style for me so we had plans to go pick it up. Well, Piglet is feeling up to the trek but isn’t allowed around the general public yet and I’m just not feeling up to going any farther than the kitchen for a cold glass of water – thankfully I only have to step a foot out my bedroom door for that one.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Piglet Update

I will be very happy when the Piglet updates are once again about his height, weight and smile and not Doctor visits! Yesterday we hit pediatrics again and this time the Doctor told us that it looked like the bacteria in his blood sample was a contaminate, most likely from his skin not being sterile enough when they did the stick. No surprise since he was wiggling everywhere and it took three of us to hold him. He said no more antibiotics and we breathed a sigh of relief and headed home with a smiley baby.

At 1:00 this morning we got a call from Urgent Care saying that his blood work from Tuesday night had just come back and was showing infection and we would need to see Pediatrics today. Being that crazy hour and Big Boy not understanding all the details, we were confused. We assumed they had made a mistake. That's until Pediatrics called this morning to ask us to come back in. They still do not know the cause or strain of the bacteria and are hoping it is not Staph. If it is, he will have to be admitted for antibiotics but they are hopeful it is not since he no longer has a fever and he is happy, smiley baby again.

Thankfully I had already asked Big Boy to take the day off and care for Piglet. I am shit. My chest congestion and cough have spread to my nose and throat. Even if I felt up to caring for the little monkey, I am contagious and should not be around him when he is most susceptible to other crud. I haven't been this sick in years. I woke up this morning with the right half of my throat swollen closed and fire engine red. Big Boy called at the McDonald's to see if I wanted french fries and he knew I was really sick when I turned them down. McDonald's doesn't have soup. Thankfully we still have some Ramen Noodles in the pantry. My sweet husband made me some Jello. Of course I did manage to choke down one of the chocolates that came with the flowers Piglet sent me :-) So, I am confined away from Piglet but at least I have my trusty friend Baxter keeping me warm and cuddly.

I did manage a little knitting last night. I finally finished the 11 1/2 inches of ribbing on Angelina and started the bind off for the sleeves. I found an error in the pattern and strangely I haven't been able to find a recorded errata on it. I have emailed the company. I also started the hood on Piglet's hoodie from Debbie Bliss. I hope to post pictures soon. For now, I am off to eat my Jello!


What The F***?

I will have a Piglet update later this afternoon but for now...

This was posted as a pattern over at The Anti Craft. Now, while I may make one as a gag for a bridal shower or a hopelessly single friend I can't imagine using it for the purpose of this quote "delight your boyfriend". Big Boy would likely think I had lost my mind and have me committed.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

True Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day I am skipping my Project Spectrum Wednesday. This morning I explained to Piglet that Valentine’s Day is not just a conspiracy between FTD and Hallmark (despite what his daddy has been telling him!); it is a day to let people know how much you love them. It is also a happy day to look forward to in the middle of the ong drab winters.

I learned a long time ago that love and romance are not the same for everyone. I used to think that Big Boy was not romantic but I realized I had to learn his definition of romance and enjoy what he did. For him it is offering me ice cream at the end of a long hard day or bringing me a Cadbury Egg from his trip to Walgreen’s. We allow each other time alone and separate friends and it makes us appreciate each other more. Now that we have Piglet, romance is him letting me go knitting every week and me letting him go watch football at a sports bar. I once had a friend make fun of our relationship because we didn’t have a candlelight dinner every night and he didn’t send me flowers every week. Well, she got divorced and we are still going strong!

True love is him worrying that I am home alone with a sick baby and me being home alone with a sick baby and not making him feel guilty about something he can’t control. It is also staying awake all night to watch the baby breathe even though you are sick and exhausted. It is also sitting in the ER all day, realizing you have not eaten but worrying because the dogs won’t get their dinner on time. It is also having a sick puppy and holding his paw all the way to the hospital and sacrificing a lot of material stuff so you can afford to save his life.

Poor Piglet. Yesterday was a rough day. He coughed all day to the point of gagging. Nothing made him comfortable except just letting him sleep in his car seat. The Urgent Care called in the afternoon to let me know that his blood work was back and it showed signs of infection. They asked me to bring him in for an antibiotic injection. By the time we got there he had a fever (and I felt like a bad mother because I hadn’t taken his temp yesterday). They had to insert an IV so they could draw blood and do his antibiotic. It took two techs to find one of his tiny veins under all the fat. Then, I had to hold his arms and chest, one tech had his legs and the other did the IV. He nearly kicked it out because he was kicking the techs so hard. He had two more chest x-rays where they had to put him in a Plexiglas contraption that would hold him perfectly still – he looked like Hannibal Lector but with his arms over his head. He coughed, he gagged, he screamed, he pooped, I cried. There was talk of admitting him but instead they opted to send him home with Tylenol and instructions to watch him. He actually slept really well last night (but I didn’t!); I think he was just too exhausted. This morning his fever is gone and he was starving and I even got a little smile out of him. He has to get one more dose of the antibiotic today. It will be several more days until we know the strain of bacteria causing the infection. Big Boy was trapped away from home, enduring an ice storm. He felt terrible for not being here. Today he is coming home because they do not have power to finish their exercise. It will be a quiet Valentine’s Day but that’s ok. We have each other and COOKIES, what more do we need?

Monday, February 12, 2007

How Did You Spend Your Sunday?

We had Piglet in the emergency room all day yesterday. He has RSV. The poor little guy was poked and prodded and still kept smiling and sleeping. He was only upset when they had to draw blood and put on the oxygen mask. He finally settled down when they let him have his binky with his oxygen mask. So, now he has to have decongestant every 12 hours and Albuterol inhalant every 3 hours and we have to watch him closely for his breathing. Apparently RSV has a short incubation period so he likely picked it up last week at the mall or grocery store from some other child who didn’t stay home when they were sick. Piglet already had a small cold so it made him more susceptible to picking up this virus. The pediatrician told us to look at as building an immune system and now that we have the emergency room run under our belts we are officially parents. Big Boy is going out of town this week leaving me alone to deal with a sick kid – it’s a conspiracy I tell you!

So, our trip to the ER brought on some great stories. I just can’t help but look around and analyze people! First there was the guy who came in and had his hand down his pants holding onto his “goods”. One would assume he had some sort of tragic gonad accident but in fact he said he had been throwing up for days and was dehydrated and hoarse. The story gets better! When asked when he last ate and said “this morning, I had eggs, waffles, hash browns and some bacon”. If you are running to the bathroom (and he was. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the bathroom) why would you be eating all that at breakfast?

Then there was the family with a small child who was having blood drawn. I was so stunned by what I saw, I couldn’t move. The grandmother was lying over the child holding it down, the father was standing to the side and the mother was taking pictures with her cell phone. I’m sorry but if my child is to the point of being restrained, taking pictures is the farthest thing from my mind.

After hours of holding Piglet on that hospital bed my arm and butt were going numb so Big Boy took over and I got in a little knitting and a peruse of my Spring Interweave Knits. Not much called out my name. I did like the sweater in the ad for Filatura Di Crosa Porto Cervo Long Print. I also liked the articles on Bamboo, Joan McGowan-Michael (I’ve made a few of her designs and they are great!) and Eunny’s socks. I don’t know about using 5 skeins of Koigu but you could shorten them and leave off the tassels for fewer skeins. One thing about this issue that made me quite happy – different models! I kind of like the Slanted Neck Pullover as a casual spring sweater. I’m sorry but the Bandeau and Halter should have been left in that 1975 time capsule. I like the way the Bauhaus Fair Isle fits the model. In fact, this is one of the few men’s sweaters that make the man look like a man! I don’t do Fair Isle but I could see using the pattern in a plain yarn and Big Boy actually wearing it, however, it has steeks and I don’t do steeks! I also really like the sweater in the ad for Sublime by KFI and Shrug Me Tender by La Lana Wools.

Call me crazy (I know you will) but I really like the thong. The reason I have turned away from hand knit thongs before is because A) they were made from some terribly itchy yarn and B) it just isn’t sanitary. But, these are darn precious. I showed them to Big Boy and his face lit up like a little kid with an Easter basket. He asked if I could make it this week while he is gone. I am trying to figure out if I have any yarn in my stash that I could part with for something like this. I don’t think I am willing to give up the Artyarn Silk for this project!

I also received my Patternworks catalog today and I have very little good to say about it. Most of the patterns were dug up from 1950!

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Pattern Hell

Thanks to all for the wonderful comments about Piglet’s photos. He was sort of a Valentine’s card – the Picture People had a special on their cards and photos and voila, he became a card. It is enough to keep the grandparents happy! If MIL mentions one more time that her photos are getting worn out I might have to strangle her – it’s called a photo album!

Next, ya'll should take a moment to check out the Scottish Lamb's blog and watch the video. But, get the box of tissues out first 'cause you won't have a dry eye.

So, onto the post that matches the title. Last night I sat down to start the Stocking in Vogue Knitting Holiday 2006. This is not an easy pattern. I started on DPN’s but somehow screwed up and had to start over – this time on a circular. I will move this mess to DPN’s when I absolutely have to. Anyway, I know that magazines only have so much space and have to cram the directions into the two pages left in the back (heaven forbid they cut out a couple of the hideous patterns). I HATE, DESPISE, and DREAD patterns done in paragraph form. My brain just doesn’t work that way. To make matters worse, the lack of clear direction complicates the situation. So, this is where I got lost at 10:30 last night.

Round 1: *[p2, k2] 4x, p2, pm, k4, pm, [p1, k1] 2x, p1, pm, k4, pm, p6, k6, p6, pm, k4, pm, [p1, k1] 2x, p1, pm, k4, pm; repeat from *

Round 2:*[p2, k2] 4x, p2, sm, k4, sm, p2, k1, p2, sm, k4, sm, p6, k6, p6, sm, k4, sm, p2, k1, p2, sm, k4, sm; repeat from *

Rounds 3 & 4: Work rounds 1 & 2 one more time.

Round 5: *work row 1 of chart 1, sm, work round 1 of Left Twist Cable, sm, work 5 stitches in seed stitch, sm, work round 1 of Right Twist Cable, sm, work row 1 of chart 2, sm, work round 1 of Left Twist Cable, sm, work 5 stitches in seed stitch, sm, work round 1 of right twist cable, sm; repeat from *.

Rounds 6-78: Work in pattern established for a total of 78 rounds..

Here is the question… is the “pattern established” rounds 1-5 or repeating round 5 and substitute the next row of the charts for “row 1” of each of the charts? I tried to post the jpeg file of the instructions and charts but Blogger didn’t like my file.

In every other pattern I have made, “pattern established” means to repeat the prior rows as they are the “pattern”. Somehow I don’t think that is the case here since there is this lovely 48-row chart that would not be used.

Finally, the chart... there is a "-" in the box and the corresponding legend says "p on right side, k on wrong side". Um, it is knit in the round so wouldn't it always be the right side? Why can't they take a minute to make the chart/legend match the pattern instead of using a generic description that is just more confusing?

I have tried a google search of this pattern but since it is just called “stocking” I get thousands of hits, none of them by someone who has struggled through this piece of shit pattern wonderful piece of artistry. Any thoughts?

So, what does all this mean? I have to rewrite this pattern so that it flows for me. Call me stupid but I need step-by-step instructions.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Project Spectrum Wednesday

Blue is for the color of the ocean and my Big Boy's lips when he came out of the water. White is for the color of the caps on the ocean waves. Gray - well there was none this day. Big Boy and two friends participated in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics this past Saturday. What started out as Big Boy's community service for his Officer of the Quarter resume turned into a full day of fun with friends. We had lunch with friends before heading to the beach. Then, after fighting the thousands who had turned out to plunge and cheer, we stood bundled, in the sand, watching normally sane people do the craziest thing - go into water that averages 40 degrees. This year the water was warmer than the temperature outside. Here is the best part - they went in twice. Our friend Matteo didn't get a picture the first time so they all went back in for the photographic proof that they actually did this. In case anyone needs more proof I can send over some smelly, wet, sandy shoes! The Piglet was the warmest of us all. He was snuggled in his car seat with his Bundle Me and handknit hat. He slept through lunch, the walk in the cold, the trudge down the beach, the plunge, the screaming, the trudge up the beach and the final walk to the car! He too needed proof that he was there.
And just in case you haven't had enough Piglet lately, here are his Valentine's Day photos.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Colors and Cats

This evening I decided to join Project Spectrum. The colors for February and March are Blue, White and Gray. These should be pretty easy colors to find in my daily life. I think the easiest thing would be for me to pick a day of the week as my Project Spectrum day and blog about it. I forget lots of stuff these days so if I pick a day I can put it in my PDA and get a reminder!

And for something kind of fun... What Famous Feline Are You?

Which famous feline are you?

You're Hobbes. First of all, the makers of this quiz would like to congratulate you. You have our seal of approval. You are kind, intelligent, loving, and good-humoredly practical. You're proud of who you are. At the same time, you're tolerant of those who lack your clearsightedness. You're always playful, but never annoying. For these traits, you are well-loved, and with good cause.
Take this quiz!

P.S. To show how much I really need reminders... I posted this without a title and then realized about five minutes later!