Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mission accomplished*

Might not look very exciting to everyone.
Nor this:

But considering that for the past 4 months we've been walking to the basement toilet and seeking creative solutions for showering, this is possibly the most exciting innovation since push-up bras. Particularly when you look like this:

And you've spent months looking at this:

Actually, the photos are two weeks old. Though it's true I looked like that when I was on my hands and knees grouting the entire room in 95 degree weather.

I'm a happy, happy girl. A little paint, a shower curtain, and I will have the home with the most beloved bathroom on the planet. And none too soon...

*If GWB can say it at the beginning of a war, surely I can say it when we're within weeks or months of finishing a project, right?

Friday, August 17, 2007

almost worth it

What's the best thing to come home to, after spending 2.5 hrs in the car (to drive 12 miles) with an increasingly full bladder and a foot firmly planted in your diaphragm, after learning that your dear husband is equally stuck in traffic despite lights and sirens and will probably be home very, very late, after realizing that though you're hungry it's suicide by heartburn to try to eat dinner this late?

Oh yes, my friends. Heading with it out to the front porch to watch the rain, keep my puppy company, and wait for my dear husband to come home. To hell with knitting and soakers, dirty dishes, laundry, and and all that responsible stuff. For tonight, anyway.

Thanks, Mom!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


OK. I caved. I'm not much of a joiner, so though I've seen raves about ravelry.com I never gave it much thought. Then I gave it a little thought, but the wait list was so long it seemed silly to even bother. Then I went to a knit night (lots of new people!) and people raved in person - which is much different from raving in blog. And it dawned on me...if I sign up now, maybe I'll actually be able to get into ravelry by the time I come out of the new-baby-induced coma. Here are the stats:

You signed up Today
You are #25974 on the list.
16715 people are ahead of you in line.
0 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far

Like I said, I have plenty of time to go into baby coma before I get swept up in the wonder that is ravelry. SIXTEEN THOUSAND PEOPLE are ahead of me in line. They're taking new members slowly as they have bandwidth while they work out the kinks - wouldn't it have been nice if Myspace had thought to proceed as judiciously?
(If you don't know what ravelry is, go check it out. Basically an enormous community for knitters/crocheters/spinners. A place to post all of your projects - which will be a leap forward from the jumbled pile of patterns I keep meaning to put into a binder. A place to find other people working on the same projects. A place to spend waaaay too much time.)

Monday, August 13, 2007

This is what happens

When you stray from the universe-ordained plans for baby knitting.
green sock
I started this a bit ago. It was supposed to be a pair of socks for Socken it to the Family. I searched for appropriate yarn to meet the recipients request. I swatched. I read the pattern twice. But as I was knitting, a nagging doubt started to tickle the back of my brain. The yarn wasn't very forgiving in the pattern stitches; I flat-out had to fight it for every knit-two-together. Yet I persevered, telling myself that I'd try it on to be sure...when there was just a bit more to try on.

When the leg was done, I slipped it over the arch of my foot. So far, so good. Snug, but surely it would stretch. Yarn stretches, right? Then I finally finished the heel.
green sock on
It looks like a sock, yes; it's on my foot, yes. But what you can't see is the struggle I had to get it over my heel. And when I slipped forced it back off, the yarn didn't recoil. It retained the super-stretched shape my manipulations had created. And the worst part? The recipient's ankles are bigger than mine. {insert doomed music}

I'd originally planned to rip it right out - make a pretty little kinky pile of yarn. But now I'm not so sure. It isn't like I have other plans for the yarn right this minute (besides making up new curse words each time my eye catches the flirty green peeking out of my bag)...so into the bottom of the knitting basket it goes. I don't know how these people survive, knitting socks only with non-wool. This was my second attempt at cotton socks (and this time only 50% cotton!) and I'll be damned if I try again soon.

Speaking of the bottom, it appears I've finally struck the bottom of my wool stash for diaper covers. This next one is going to be very interesting if the swatch has anything to say:

Friday, August 10, 2007

The death of networking

Over the past several years I've watched the infiltration of technology into my hallowed, sacred home-away-from home: the local coffee shop. At first it was just computers, and just a few. Most folks were reading their books, sketching or writing in their journals, or talking quietly with other coffee drinkers.

But then the computers started to become more widespread. Now it's rare to see anyone in the cafe without one; books might be nearby, but they certainly aren't the focus of activity. Pens and pencils have gone the way of the dodo. Eye contact, once frequent and pleasant as a person looked up in thought or to rest their eyes from reading, has similarly disappeared.

Within the past couple of years, little white cords started to appear in everyone's ears, connecting them even more intimately with their computer. What little eye contact remained with the influx of computers (when the door opened, when someone walked past) has been eliminated by each individual's sound-proof booth of technology.

It makes me sad; for myself and for my community. I met a number of good friends through regular run-ins at the coffee shop, I even dated several men I met there. Even the relationships that didn't turn into "hanging out outside the coffee shop" friendships were pleasant interactions that I looked forward to. Perhaps everyone already has enough friends - that's what is implied by the constant connection, IMing, and emailing made available by wireless internet. But like watching a couple sit together at dinner while they have cell phone conversations with people who are somewhere else...I wonder if we have lost the art of face-to-face conversation, the skill of meeting strangers, and the ability to focus on the person we're with at the expense of the multitudes who might want to talk to us.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Am I going to be a bad mother?

I'm really not excited about knitting baby things. Diaper covers, yes, I'm knitting away on those. But other baby knitting patterns leave me cold. Cold like there isn't a drop of estrogen in my body. I even have some nice yarn I'd bought to make a little bitty sweater, but I haven't even balled the skeins. Everything looks too fiddly, or too garish. The few items I've seen that are meant to "grow with your baby" seem utterly pointless as clothing. (note: I'm purposefully avoiding including links here. Don't need to hurt anyone's feelings if they designed or knit one of the patterns I'm dissing) Maybe I'm just in a knitting slump. Maybe it's the mind-numbing stockinette of diaper cover after diaper cover. Maybe it's the sugar crash after finishing the Mystery Shawl (which I haven't even blocked yet for fear of being unable to control myself and posting photos before their time).

Exciting updates on the home improvement front...now if I could only find the cord for my camera...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Crochet? What crochet?

When you come upon your dog looking like this in the morning,

How can you help but turn her into your model? She's always posing. In my logic center I realize that she is a simple dog, no different from any other, but in my heart of hearts she is the sweetest, sleekest, prettiest little mutt around. I'm fully aware of what this forebodes with my kid. Cutest, smartest, etc., etc. With lots of photos to prove it, I'm sure.

Half of the edging for the baby blanket is finished. Crochet? What crochet? I wasn't planning to do any crochet...

yes, I'm sorry to say I had to abandon the crochet idea. I tried and tried, following the instructions for the scalloped pattern as closely as I could (without ever really learning the difference between a single chain and a double chain), but you know what? It just didn't look right. So I ripped and repeated, ripped and repeated, ripped and got out the damn knitting needles.

Happy with the result (and thinking some scalloped scarves are in my future).

Sorry about the picture quality - new camera and still working out the bugs. Though to my credit I keep seeing others complain that red is hard to photograph, and I have here a red dog on a red blanket with a pink pillow and reddish yarn above a red carpet. So.