Friday, December 30, 2005

Picture Free is Good! Really!

Well, Christmas has come and gone. I managed to finish, at about 1:30 in the morning on Christmas Day, the last of my stockings, and they were all hung by the chimney with care. They were, however, unusable, since I had only lined the boy's and didn't trust my slapdash "tie a knot in it if it moves" yarn end dealingwithitness. Sorry. Having a lot of trouble coming up with appropriate wordiage. You know. Like verbiage. Only wrong. Anyway, they were up for decoration, at least, and here's a pitcher fer ya.

(picture currently in picture limbo to come soon)

Aren't they stunning? I was pretty impressed with myself. Especially since I pretty much made the design concepts up as I went along. I used a couple of free charts I found on the web, as well as modifying them or making up new ones as I went. The blue ornament shapes on mine (Mama) were a scary disaster at first. I just modified the snow flake chart to make an ornament shape, and put in a bow in red to maintain the fair isley-ness. However, once knit, I realized they looked like blue pumpkins with little faces. Angry blue pumpkins with angry little faces. I had to rip back and rethink, but they worked out eventually.

The Papa stocking was my personal nemesis. It was the third one I did, the one where I thought I knew what I was doing while actually having no idea what I was doing. I kept making really stupid counting mistakes and then not catching them until I was ten rows further on, necessitating much frogging and cursing. Very much cursing. You have to remember, this was happening on December 21st, and I still had two more to knit. And a house to clean before my family got here.

But let us not dwell on the past. Let us rather focus on the future, which I hope will be filled with many more of these:

(again, picture limboity)

A Panta, pattern written out here. My new favorite headcovering. Takes about five minutes (in knitting time, which is admittedly not the same as regular clock time), looks cool, and functions as intended. The perfect handknit.

Okay, okay, the previous was written before I had finished my cabled Newsboy hat, from the wonderful Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation. IT is now by favorite headcovering. In fact, I don't even know where Panta has gotten too. Both were knit in leftover Caron Simply Soft, which I have six tons of, and which will be knitted into anything and everything, just to lighten my currently acrylic-heavy stash. But the Newsboy? Oh my gosh. Love it. I love a hat that works with my short hair to make me look like a cross between a flapper, a 1920s tennis player, and a jockey. I'm serious. Pic will come, as soon as I can figure out how to upload more photos to my currently stuffed full hard drive.

Friday, December 16, 2005


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My good friend Xan, unwrapping
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what has turned out to be
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her favorite present of all time, and, as she says (quote), "This is not faint praise, as I was once given a talking yoda."

So, one Doctor Who Scarf, completed. I really wanted to get a shot of all 10,000 feet of it as I was knitting the last couple of inches, but never did manage to. I did get it done by my deadline, by the way. In fact, I beat the deadline by two days, which must be a new record for me. All I can say is, if you are a friend or family member and you would like me to knit you a Doctor Who Scarf, you can FORGET IT. Never again. Unh-unh. No way in hell.

All right. Maybe. If you are really really nice to me. And pay for the tendonitis treatment.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Okay, so, I'm an idiot...

Hi! Long time no see! I was on a rather extended vacation to my mom's house in Ohio, and never made time to blog. And now? Now that I am home and have a million things to tell you about and a million pictures to show? I left my camera's download cable AT MY MOM'S HOUSE. Yes. Applaud my stupidity, please.

So, this shall be a picture-free entry, which would be fine, if I hadn't finished some really cute projects. For example, the Dr. Who scarf was delivered to its intended recipient. I finished the first of the Christmas stockings. I made my mom a non-knitted gift by the seat of my crafty pants. Crafty pants. I like that. I think I shall make a new blog, and it shall be titled "By the Seat of my Crafty Pants". Very nice. Probably someone else has it already. Crafty pants. Don't ask me why, but the more I repeat those two words, the funnier they get. You have to overemphasize the first syllable of "crafty" and de-emphasize "pants" (CRAFT-ypants) to get the same effect as my completely random brain. Crafty pants, crafty pants, crafty pants. Say it with me. I know you are.

I just cast on for the second of the stockings, and decided to do it in the round rather than flat as the pattern calls for. Now I am regretting it. Is it just me, or is it horribly difficult to knit on dps when you hold the yarn in your left hand, continental style? Is there some trick I'm not getting? A little explanation: I used to knit with a sort of cheater style where I gripped the yarn in my right hand with little emphasis on maintaining tension, counting on the size of the needle to do that for me, resulting in a pretty tight gauge. I decided, a few months ago, to move to a continental style, which sped up my knitting considerable (especially in ribbing, or anything involving alternating k and p). But I only ever knit on dps with the old style, and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to do it without cursing the double point gods everytime I get to the beginning or end of a needle. The yarn catches on the next needle, or wraps itself around it, or the needles do a kind of sliding shuffle and the yarn is nowhere to be seen. Very, very frustrating. Pointers, anyone? Or do I give up and go back to the ol' grip 'n flip?

Sorry, horribly technical paragraph, that.

Anyway, hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Or, at least, that you aren't sitting panting on the couch, paralyzed by fear, while the million things you have to do/buy/cook/knit dance through your brain like those damn sugarplums. Stupid, stupid sugarplums.

P. S. Just got back from dinner at a new I-talian chain restaurant where I had it confirmed, from several independent sources, that we do indeed have the cutest little boy in the entire universe. I knew it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Not Necessarily a Post....

Just some notes on the past week:
  • Took the boy to the park this weekend, and let him hold the dog's leash. What I thought would be a funny sidebar kind of moment turned into a "complete astonishment over how long he could hold onto our pulling dog" walk around the two mile pond. He held the leash for probably a third of the way, and never complained. Now I know who would beat who in a "boy vs. dog" brawl.
More baby boy funMore baby boy fun
  • I did not know what I was getting into when I started that damn Dr Who Scarf, but I am getting into the swing. It will probably shock my mom to learn that my self set deadline is Thanksgiving Day, and that I have set myself a "distance knit per day" quota that I have so far managed to meet. I think I need deadlines. The scarf is already twice as long as it was just one week ago.
  • Uhh, I think if you use bullet points, you need to use more than two, so this is the third one. Hmmmm. How about a haiku? A-heh-heh-hem, "Boy needs a kleenex/the dripping goo is running/from his little nose."
And on that disgusting note, I leave you.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N

Ah, Halloween. Here are me and the boy on our porch. No, that isn't a giant flaring torch on the wall next to me, just a porchlight covered with a sack to tone down the glare a little. Made it look appropriately spooky on our porch for the trick-or-treaters. And yes, the boy is dressed as a bumblebee. Complete with stinger on the butt. I actually wheeled him around last night and knocked on doors. I was collecting for UNICEF instead of trick-or-treating, since the boy is too young for candy, but I thought it was pretty funny how many people went right for the candy bowl. I had to repeat, as fast as possible I might add, the following speech about twenty times: "Hi Trick or treat he's actually too young for candy so we're collecting for UNICEF instead do you have any spare change?"

I rem
ember always wondering, as a child, just what kind of an idiot would ever want to collect money for UNICEF rather than get a bunch of free candy. Now I know exactly what kind of idiot. Man, it took all my courage to do this, I'll tell ya. I'm not even really sure why I did it. I mean, I could've just written a check myself and gotten it over with. But no. Had to put my adorable boy in a bee outfit and parade him at the neighbors. Ah, now I get it. And it worked, too. Everybody exclaimed over how cute he was.

Oh, and to get myself into the Halloween spirit, I made these:
They are rice krispy treats that I tinted orange, cut into pumpkin shapes and decorated with jack-o-lantern faces! How incredibly Martha Stewart! Well, actually, the faces look a little demented, since I made the icing color myself by mixing the four colors of decorating icing I had together and scraping it into a plastic bag to use as a pastry bag. It worked, but it was none too precise. And the orange was just red and yellow icing mixed in with the marshmallow. The icing was the only foodstuff I had in different colors, and it was in those little mini tubes you get for decorating, so I had to nearly spasm to squeeze enough out. That's why they aren't terribly orange. You try sqeezing those mini tubes of icing and see how much you get out before you pass out from the pain. Oh, and you wouldn't believe how much sweeter these get when you mix in maybe a tablespoon of decorating icing.

Anyway, that was our Halloween. I can't wait 'til next year. Then we can write a check to UNICEF, and go door to door for the CANDY, like any red blooded American oughtta.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Doctor Who? What Scarf?

Garter Ridges completed: 159

Garter Ridges needed in total: 520

Garter Ridges to go: 361

31 percent completed

Actual number of stitches: Multiply every ridge by 100. Yes, seriously. This scarf will have, at completion, 52000 stitches. Shoot me now.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Done, done, done

Elephant sweater
Here is the Elephant sweater, in all its glory. Details: I used the custom top down raglan outline, added in some ribbing and a henley neckline, finished off with some adorable elephant buttons, and now the boy has a pretty keen sweater which he will probably only be able to wear for two weeks out of the whole winter. I hate North Carolina.
Elephant sweater
I really enjoyed making this sweater, despite my complete newbieness about buttonholes (which led to some finishing angst, which was only relieved by some much needed reassurance from the hubby) and my complete HATRED of the double points I used for the ribbing on the sleeves. Most of the knitting of the sleeves I did with bamboo needles, but I wanted to use smaller needles for the ribbed cuffs. Unfortunately, I only had dps of the appropriate size in some kind of HEAVY METAL that clanked and clinked and almost woke up my sleeping boy. I don't have any clue what kind of needles they are, since I bought them at a garage sale. But, man, I don't plan on using them EVER AGAIN. Well, maybe if I need to sink something to the bottom of a lake. Not that I ever need to sink anything to the bottom of a lake. I'm just saying, IF I ever needed to sink something to the bottom of a lake, these needles would be the sinkers of choice. That's all.

I'm not sweating, officer. That's, uh, condensation. 'Cause I'm so cool. Yeah.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A little yarn miracle....

So I walked into Great Yarns in Raleigh for the first time. I pushed my boy in his stroller around the (admittedly rather cramped) store, fingering all the yarns with wistful pleasure, occasionally removing them from the boy's too quick hands. I looked, halfheartedly, for Classic Elite Beatrice in the color Bea's Blue. I made it through the store without falling in lust with any one yarn, but with about fifteen. I asked of the woman at the front, regretfully, without hope, "You don't, by any chance, have Classic Elite Beatrice?"

"In the back, near the floor. Here, let me show you."

I followed her, my heart in my throat. "If you have a ball in the color I need, I'll kiss your feet," I said.

"Oh, you don't have to kiss my feet!" she said, with a slightly alarmed chuckle.

And folks, I must be doing something right, because there it was. One lonely ball of Beatrice in Bea's Blue. I might have done a happy dance. In fact, I'm pretty sure I did a happy dance.

But there was no kissing of feet. Thankfully. For all involved.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Not a river in Africa....

Well, if you haven't weighed in on the button issue below, please do so. Of course, I have finished the sweater part of the sweater, but now I am in a bit of trouble. Last night, as I was finishing up the second sleeve, I kept holding up the ever dwindling yarn ball in horror. I made it to the end of the sleeve, but I only have a couple yards of yarn left, and haven't done the neckline. I have a different yarn with the same gauge, but it is cotton instead of wool. Can I use it? Will it make the neckline all saggy baggy? Will it look stupid? Should I just try to find an additional ball of wool yarn somewhere? Should I hop in a time machine and bonk my past self on the back of the head when I start thinking "I'm sure five is enough" at the yarn store?

I am using Classic Elite Beatrice for the sweater, in the color Bea's Blue. It's a bulky merino, really soft, knits like a dream. The other yarn I have is Classic Elite Isabella, same thing but cotton/acrylic. I knit a neckline already, but I'm not sure about it, color-wise and something-indefineable-wise. Ya know? Like, it looks okay but I'm not sure it looks okay enough to leave it.

Of course, a third option would be to unravel a little from each arm and the bottom, but I really don't want to do that, seeing as how I made it pretty large, hoping to get two seasons of wear out of it. Then again, at the rate the boy is growing, two seasons of wear is optimistic.

Option four is to toss the whole thing into a bag, shove it into the closet, and never speak of it again. Guess which option I'm leaning towards.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I'm Awake, I'm Awake.....

The boy has decided that I have had enough sleep this morning. So here I am. Just thought of something funny. Actually watched Sesame Street the other day for the first time since I was a child, and really enjoyed it. In fact, I laughed out loud at some of it. Especially Maurice, who refers to himself as "the Fourth little pig". He is, you guessed it, a pig. He is helping the candidates for the Big Bad Wolf substitute (the big bad wolf is going on vacation) get ready by running after him, and when he stops to catch his breathe, says, "Oh, I'm sweatin' like a . . . thing . . . that sweats . . . a great deal." I laughed my ass off. Not sure why. I think it was the word choice "a great deal". You just know whoever wrote this was laughing, too.

Oh, and since when did Sesame Street become the fracking Elmo show? I mean, I understand Jim Henson died, and they probably wanted a new main character, but Elmo? He refers to himself in the third person, like a pro boxer. Is this really the role model I want my child to follow? At least Bert and Ernie are still there, and Oscar the Grouch, and Big Bird, but the fixation on Elmo was making me nuts.

I vote for making Maurice the new main character.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Button, Button, Button

I've almost got the hang of updating my blog more often than once a month. The problem is, I think of something to blog, and then sit down to blog it, and the power is out. Or Blogger is on the fritz. Or the boy is screaming. Thus my carefully constructed (read: just thought of something funny) blog entry disappears from my head. Ah, such is life.

Well, I'm at it again. Making the boy another knitted object. You'd think I'd occasionally like to make myself something, but I guess not. I think it's 'cause stuff for babies goes so quickly. Three hours for a hat, a few days for a sweater. I am definitely not a "process" knitter. Oh, no. I don't care how wonderfully meditative knitting can be. I want stuff at the end of that process. Cute stuff. Stuff for somebody to wear. Oh, and none of that "hang it on the wall" quiltmaking mentality. If I am going to make a quilt (or anything else) it had better be useful by the end. That's why it makes me crazy knowing the absolutely awesome scarf I made for my brother a couple years ago is lying in a heap somewhere, never used, because he isn't a "scarf" kind of guy. What, he never gets cold? Oh, and now he is out working in the big hotel in Yosemite, and when winter rolls around, I'm sure (okay, not sure, but I'm hopeful) he'll be thinking to himself "Gee, wouldn't it be great if I had that scarf my sister made for me right now."

A girl can dream.

Anyway, back to the boy's sweater. It's going to have a kind of henley-style neckline with a couple of buttons, on account of his gigungous head, and I would love to get some opinions on my button options. So, should it be the
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gold bumble bee, the
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faux stone, or the
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silver elephant? Comments very much appreciated.

p.s. I am a doofus. I just remembered I made myself a scarf the other day. I guess I'm not as pathetic as I thought.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Hey folks. Boring entry, but if you attempted to subscribe with bloglines to my page before, I don't know if it worked, since I used the wrong feed. The feed is now fixed, so you can resubscribe. I think. If I understood correctly. And it is entirely possible I did not. So take this entire post with saltshaker. Comforting, no?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Whatever Happened to Baby Jayne?

In honor of the opening of Serenity, the Firefly movie, I made the boy a Jayne hat. Not that Jayne is a rolemodel I hope he emulates. But he looks durn cute in the hat.
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It took me maybe three hours. No pattern, just winging it. Very liberating. And it fits! I guess I oughtta make some matching mittens and scarf, just for coordination's sake.
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Updated: We just came back from seeing Serenity. Oh my god. If you think you might like, or even just sort of like, science fiction, go see this movie. It is truly astoundingly good. Hell, even if you don't like science fiction, you might like it. Joss is definitely boss. The dialogue is clever and funny, the pacing is tight as a drum, the story is fascinating, and the acting is superb. There was not one second I felt needed to be cut, which is a miracle in today's movies. I also think he did a great job in making a movie that will appeal to not just the fans. Of course, being a fan, I can't really say that objectively, so will someone who is not a fan but saw this movie please comment? I think what made it so great was that it seemed to be made for love, not money. No fan pandering, no shielding characters in case another movie deal comes through. All or nothing, just like the Captain.

In a word? Shiny.

And here's the blankie in all its finished glory, avec border, plus a close up of the final square.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'm baa-aaack....

...from the vacation that never ended. I need a vacation from my vacation. But I successfully managed to survive and bring along a husband and seven-to-eight month old baby through a complicated travel plan involving a car trip to Atlanta, a plane ride to Germany, another car trip to the south of France, a plane ride back from Germany to Ohio, and a final car trip from Ohio back to North Carolina. I'm exhausted just writing that down. We went to Dragoncon in Atlanta, to Oma and Opa's house, to Heidelberg, to Munich, to a visit with triplet nieces in Bad Wildungen, to a rental house in the Provence, and a final night with Granny D. And now we are home. Thank the Gods.

Did I finish the psycho baby blankie? A pictorial answer:
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Admittedly, this is sans border. A border has been added since, in white reverse stockinette. Will add picture later, when I'm not sick of dealing with all the photographic detritus of our "vacation".

And here's the shot that embarrassed my hubbo. That's the bridge in Avignon, baby! (France, if you didn't know.)
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And one final one for the blankie lovers:
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Monday, August 29, 2005

Almost there....*

Well, here's the penultimate square. The colors aren't quite right, and I flipped the two left squares wrong way round, but I refuse to take a fifth picture of this stupid thing.
The final square is currently being sewn together, and though it doesn't look entirely the way I would like it too, it is still pretty cool. I am going to try and bust my ass to get the thing finished before we leave for Germany next Monday, but I think that may be pushing it. I would love to take it with us as the "play time" blankie, although with the boy mobile now, it may be futile. He's everywhere!

Other than that, nothing to report, although I have been glued to the Weather Channel. North Carolina isn't even expected to get much rain from good ol' Katrina, but I am a fabulous weather hypochondriac. Sample freak out: "Are you sure this isn't tornado weather? 'Cause that looks like a funnel cloud to me. Just rain? Are you sure? Was that lightning hitting our house? It wasn't? Then what was it? Somebody closing their car door next door? I see. Maybe they're leaving town because there's been an evacuation order and we didn't hear because we were watching the weather channel and it isn't local! They would broadcast it on all stations? Oh, okay. Are you sure?"

* whenever I read these two words, they always sound like a quote from what movie? twenty points for a correct answer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Hey there, One Blue Tree fans! I'm back! Sorry about the long absence. Went on an extended vacation to my ma's house, and didn't get a chance to blog. That doesn't mean I don't love you. All one of you. Seriously, does anyone read this but my husband? And my mother?

I have been cleaning up entirely too many bodily fluids recently. The boy has diarrhea, so every diaper is an adventure, and the dog decided to puke on the sofa today, so I am entirely fed up with the fact that our bodies have to produce liquid waste. Couldn't we just extrude hard pellets? Or maybe encapsulate our effluvia in egg-like capsules? What's with the hard to clean up semi-solid goo?

Okay, whatever readers I may have had are now entirely disgusted and leaving to find better, cleaner pastures. But wait! I have yet to update you on knitting news! Yes, there is knitting news. No, I have not finished the psycho baby blankie. But I did finish this!
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One Buttonhole Bag, pattern courtesy of Mason Dixon Knitting. Knit in Burly Spun and Lamb's Pride Bulky, felted in my front loader, and totally satisfying. I need to make about twenty more.

Oh, and I bought the yarn here...
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If you are ever within a couple hours drive (or plane ride. it's that good.) of Franklin Ohio, you have to go here. Yarn and Needle, on the river. Gorgeous inside and out. And with handy husband holding coffee shop! I wanted to live here. I live most of my knitting adventures through online purchases, so to actually be in a store with yarns I had previously seen only in dubiously colored photos on webpages was a thrill. Noro! Debbie Bliss! Berrocco! Everything Brown Sheep has to offer! I thought I'd died and gone to yarn heaven. And my hubbie had a good cup of coffee and time alone with his laptop, which is all he needs to be happy.

Oh, and that is the boy and his grandma in the photo, as well. I actually tried to teach my ma how to knit, which is an amusing exercise to say the least. This, the woman who has taken two different quilting classes and said about them, and I quote, "I might as well just throw all this fabric right in the trash." The woman who had a grubby, half-done cross stitch project, intended as part of a group effort, gently removed from her hands by concerned, well meaning friends who just wanted the damn thing done within the next decade. This woman. She asked me to teach her to knit so she could make a Buttonhole Bag, too.

And she's almost got it. Almost. She keeps taking the yarn the wrong way round the needle (blamed on her earlier crocheting, which makes sense) but other than that, no problem. I don't think she'll be knitting any sweaters any time soon, but the bag might just get finished.

Or I might be handed a grubby, gnarly, dropped stitch mess with a sigh of "I might as well have just thrown the yarn right in the trash." After which I will knit her the Buttonhole Bag myself. And she'll love it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Can't think of a title. Hey! I finished the next square for the psycho squares blankie! It is currently awaiting sashing and mini block before pictures can be taken, so don't yell at me. I started the sixth and hopefully final block, which is basically going to be me winging it as I go along, since I don't really have much of a plan for it, other than keeping it the same color "flavor" as the other two white+dark blue blocks. I'm hoping it will look as cool as it does in my head. If it doesn't, too bad you can't see inside my head, 'cause it's AWESOME. Your loss.

Advertisers have sunk to new lows. I know, you didn't think that was possible. But lookee here:
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That is a bunch of bananas. The sticker is not the Dole sticker, or Del Monte, or Chiquita. It is an ad for those ridiculous already prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with no crusts. So, now, if a kid decides to put the sticker from the bananas on his or her forehead, bam, instant billboard. Have they no shame? The advertisers, not the children. Children definitely have no shame. It's what makes them so fun. At least the stickers used to be ads for fruit companies. But already prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with no crusts? Come on. I mean, can you even say that without laughing? Try it. "Already prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with no crusts." The ultimate in lazy slacker dinners has gone even slacker-ier. Or something.

Also, I spotted no less than three very obvious product placements in the third Austin Powers movie the other day. Two in the same scene. Someone walks into a room, sets down a bag of *named fast food* and a cup of *named soda brand*. Crazy.

All right, I will quit ranting about stupid crap. Now do you see why this post has no title?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Short update....

blog stuff

Here is the newest completed square relaxing with a hot beverage and "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?" I know, I know. You'd think such a sophisticated knitted objected would have a reading ability greater than preschool level. Believe me, I've tried to get him to branch out a little. But it was this or last summer's Knitty. Don't look at me like that! He only reads it for the articles.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Wow. I mean, Wow. Seriously. Wow.

I made it to the Mason Dixon Knitting sidebar. Oh my gosh. I need to go sit down for a moment. So, if you just surfed on over from there, hello! Glad you could visit! The knitting you are looking for is in the July 21st entry. I would love to elaborate on my progress, but I'm still sewing up the next square. I've been "sewing up the next square" for several days now. I keep hoping, what with all the fiddly little seams you have to sew, that I will start to love seaming. So far? Hasn't happened. Still a pain in the ass. I do, however, love picking up and knitting on the sashing. And the little squares in the corners? Absolute heaven. So I just have to grit my teeth and get to the good stuff.

Um. Hi! Still kind of feeling like a deer in the headlights from the sidebar mention. I keep hearing "We're in the Money" sung by Daffy Duck replaying over and over in my head. Oh, and "Hollywood!" Okay, yes, there may have been too many Looney Tunes in my past. Whatever gets you through, right?

On to other news. The boy has successfully been moved into his own room! Yes, the little man slept in his nursery two nights in a row. Finally! I am very glad to have my room back after six months. I am already deep in the planning stages of a redecoration project. Not that we need it. I mean, come on, everybody keeps their clothes in and on a dresser where most of the clean laundry ends up sitting in clothes baskets in front because the drawers are too difficult to open and shut. Right? Right?

Of course, due to my complete inability to pick a design aesthetic and/or color palette, the redecoration has stalled momentarily. It's not that I don't know what I like. It's that I can't find what I like in any store. Am I the only person who finds this recent trend to a kind of Neo-Baroque style incredibly ugly? What's with the brocade draperies? And the tassels? And the ball fringe? Although, I admit it, I went to B, B, and B yesterday and found a number of things I almost liked well enough to buy. Which is a first for me. So maybe the tide is turning.

God, I hope so.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Okay, so, I lied....

I keep meaning to blog. Really! And then life intrudes, and I have to, uh, do laundry. Or play with the boy. Or watch every episode of Making Fiends.

But I'm here now. Doesn't that count?!

Anyway. I still hate the North Carolina weather. Why do I live here? I would much rather have it be cold than hot, and yet here I am. Sweltering. I don't even go outside if I can help it. And bugs, could you possibly not attack me every time I leave the house? What is with you? Do I go buzzing in your face every time you want to check the mail? Do I attack your ankles as though I am starved for fresh blood? Do I? DO I?

Ya know, the phrase "Do I" looks really weird now that I've typed it twice. What kind of weird ass word is "I" anyway. It isn't a word, it's a letter. It should at least be "Aye", or "Ai".

Maybe I will just get back to the blog. Digression. You gotta love it.

I am forging, slowly, ahead on the psycho baby blankie. Three squares done, three more to go, unless I decide to make it bigger, in which case I will have to make an additional three. Or perhaps an additional six. AAAGH. Can you tell I am winging this as I go along? The knit blogger I am lovingly copying (read: swiping) this design from is done with hers, and it looks great. Hope mine looks as good. (Who am I kidding. I want mine to be a bazillion times better than hers. Not that it will be.) Here's a progress pic:
psycho blankie progress

Anyway, gots to go. Check out the kid's blog for new stuff soon! (Just turned six months, so baby stats are new!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

More frogs, more giant insects....

Imagine, if you will, a lady. She is sitting on the sofa in her living room. Perhaps she is knitting. Perhaps she is feeding a child. Perhaps she is watching television. Now, follow her gaze to the window. There! Do you see it?

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Yes. That is a frog. Suction-cupped to the outside of my living room window. I guess that's no weirder than having them fall through the chimney and hop all over the living room leaving little soot tracks.

Oh, and here's one of the beauties that loves to buzz around our cars on sunny days, perching on the plant bracket holder thingy as though poised for take off.

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And yes, "Plant bracket holder thingy" is a technical term. Shut up.

Monday, July 11, 2005

'Twas the book made me do it....

Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. It has been two weeks since my last blog. I do not take responsibility for this, however. I blame my birthday.

You see, the people I love best gave me books for my birthday. Which I have been reading every spare moment when I haven't been taking care of the baby. They are now all finished, and aside from the requisite "end of book depression" I am okay now.

What did I read, I hear you asking. Reviews as follows:

The Hallowed Hunt, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Although not as good as her previous books set in this universe, still a fast and enjoyable read. I thought it took too long to get to the meat of the actual plot, which wasn't really clear until halfway through the book. Before that, it was mainly character positioning. That said, the characters were as wonderfully fleshed out as usual. If you've never ready anything my LMB, don't start here. But if you enjoy anything she does, you'll enjoy this one.

Finding Serenity, by Various. For fans of the sadly defunct tv series "Firefly". This is a collection of essays about various aspects of the show, including feminism, existentialism, the mental vacuity of Fox network executives, and the cogent-or-not use of Chinese. Really fascinating. If you are a fan, read this book. If you aren't a fan, or have never heard of this show, go immediately to your library or video store and watch it. You won't regret it. (Warning: science fiction/western content. if you have a knee-jerk negative reaction to either one of these, don't bother. if you are an open minded individual who enjoys good writing, have a great ride.)

The Language Instinct, by Steven Pinker. Amazing book. Forget everything you ever thought you knew about language. Oh, and forget all of those little "facts" you've been told. (Eskimos having 200 words for snow? Complete bunk.) Some of the things you will learn:

American English is more similar to British English from around the time of the Revolutionary War, despite the Brits complaining about our "bad english". Makes sense, doesn't it?

There is very good evidence to support a "Universal Grammar", a genetic "rulebook" on how to construct sentences. That is why it is so easy for small children to learn however many languages. It isn't just rote memorization. But the book slams shut after childhood, so if you haven't learned it by then, it will be a long hard slog.

The average high school graduate knows 45,000 words. And that's a low estimate. It's probably more like 60,000. And for people who read more, 90,000. Therefore, high school graduates must have been learning an average of ten words a day since their first birthday, or a new word every 90 waking minutes.

I have completely oversimplified all of these facts, but believe me, he doesn't. The writing is clear and concise, and entertaining as well, with tons of examples from everything from scientific studies to internet funnies.

So go read a book! And I promise to keep up with the blog from now on....

Monday, June 27, 2005

Birthdays, Bees, and other B words....

Well, I survived my 29th birthday. Just barely. The day before, Saturday, the hubby, baby, dog and I found ourselves beset by bees. Okay, not bees, yellow jackets. Horrible, mean, and ugly yellow jackets. How can something that small be so relentlessly evil? I mean, come on, what's their beef? We were on a walk at the SAS campus, which is lovely and wooded, with paved trails. We are ambling along, enjoying the day, when I see the dog go down, attacking her own butt. "Something's wrong," says I, "Something's got the dog."

"Something's got me!" says the hubby.

That was all I needed to hear. I grabbed the stroller and tore ass up the path. I stopped a few hundred feet away, but it wasn't far enough. One had attached itself to my leg, and as I panicked and dithered, Hubby came zooming towards me.

"I need some help, here!" I yelled. But I yelled at his disappearing back. He had on one shoe, and was tearing his shirt off over his head. I managed to kill the one on my leg, and took off again, hoping against hope that the baby would be spared.

We all wind up in an eerily empty parking lot, trying to shoe off the remaining bees without increasing the casualty total, and feeling like we are in a horror movie. Long story, well, shorter, Hubby stung three times, dog stung once, baby and I remarkably unscathed. In fact, baby thought it quite funny and entertaining, what with all the screaming, batting, and running. Little monster.

So, that covers the bees. On to scarier things. I turned 29 yesterday. 29. As in, one year shorter than three decades. Decades, people. Yikes. I celebrated by going to the Cheesecake Factory and stuffing myself. Crabcakes, artichokes, peanut butter cheesecake, and wine. It didn't help. I am still 29. Even bought an entirely too expensive dress. Well, okay, the dress helped a little. It's nice to know I can still make the hubby buy me expensive dresses by modeling them for him and making his eyes bug out. Ha.

Now, I can hear you. You are saying, "But Sara, what about the other B words?"

All right, you caught me. There aren't any. Bye!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Spam, smap, samp, amps, maps....

Ah, the wonders of that magical faux meat. Or rather, the junk in my now almost entirely unusable old email address. I kind of enjoy reading the subject lines, though. They make me laugh. Like, "Happy Father's Day, Sara" or "Have you been ignoring me?".

I had a progressively bitter woman named Linda Strickland spamming me for a while. She began like an old Tracy-Hepburn movie, with "Sara, Linda Strickland here..." She realized her mistake from my radio silence, and continued in High School essay form with, "Why should I do this? from Linda Strickland." At my lack of response she continued with "Sara, Here is the information you requested." Linda, I did no such thing. Finally, she got a little too personal, writing, "Are you internet challenged?" Actually, no, bitch.

But my all time favorite has got to be the following offer I found this morning (please imagine the word sic covering this entire letter):

"Our bank in Cary reviewefd your data and we are acceptineg your motrgage applicatvion. You have bad credibt? No problem at all!
You can get $300,000 with 3.6 %. Please activxate your approvral here
(website deleted)

Thank you.

Best Regards,
Gregorio Pittman
General Manager"

Wow. That really inspires trust, don't you think?

p.s. I kind of like "smap." I think I will refer to it as smap from now on.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Just a few random observations, since I am not feeling very inspired today:

....Saw the AFI tribute to George Lucas on Monday. Entertaining, but what struck me most was the brief glimpse I had of Peter Jackson. Whoa! Who was that handsome, slender man? He looked ten years younger, and about half his former weight.

....Finished the second psycho square for my psycho square blankie. Will post a photo when the sashing is finished. It's moving along relatively rapidly. For me. I always get really enthused about a project and knit like crazy for three days, then fall out of favor with it. However, this project is so interesting, I'm hoping I will manage to finish it by fall. Don't know how the Dr. Who scarf is going to compete, though.

....Oh yeah, am making Dr. Who scarf for the Anti-Xan. Have about a foot and a half finished. That just leaves another 10,000,000,000 feet to go.

....The Boy loves C-3PO. I bought a giant Pez that talks and plays the Star Wars theme, and the Boy is fascinated by his shiny golden head and glowing eyes. I'm so glad that Star Wars is genetic....

....Why is the organic milk at Kroger $5.69 a gallon, and only $3.49 at Whole Foods? WTF? I could %$#&@ walk to Kroger! ARRGH.

All right, enough. Enjoy your weekend, folkies.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The plagues continue....

Now, for those of you who don't know, our house is constantly being beset by plagues of insects. In the last year, we have had cockroaches, woodroaches, camel crickets, giant ants, fleas, and frogs. Okay, I admit that frogs are not insects, but bear with me. Last night the latest in a long line of home invaders began its slow, slimy charge in the kitchen. Yes, slime. Slugs have been oozing their way between the door and the jam to enter my kitchen and gorge on dog food. Yes, dog food. I had no idea that slugs eat dog food. Three different times I had to evict slugs from my kitchen. One had almost made it to the dog's bed.

Hmm. Do you think maybe I have slugs that think they are dogs? Maybe the first one to taste of the glorious dogfood caused a strange mutation that has affected the entire community of slugs living by my kitchen door. Maybe soon I will hear faint barking and whining in the night, and then they will start to leave little slug-dog turds all over my front step. Maybe I could attach tiny threadlike leashes and lead them, slowly, around the block. Maybe they will be so happy when I return from an errand that they will jump, slowly, up on my legs and bark, demanding to be patted on their shiny slug heads.

Ewwwww. Please feel free to join me in a shudder of disgust.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

AFI's hundred movie quotes....

...was on last night. Good, but damn, do they have to stretch it to three hours? I swear I felt like I was watching more commercials than anything. I probably was. Of course, during the commercials I played with the kid, so all was not lost. Also, I suspect that the hundred quotes were voted on by mostly men, because, me? Not so much with the Godfather. Two of the top three quotes were Marlon Brando, one from Godfather, one from On the Waterfront. I thought that at least one of the six bajillion Casablanca quotes should have been in the top three. And why is Casablanca not AFI's top movie of the century? I mean, I liked Citizen Kane and all, but if I had the option of rewatching Citizen Kane or Casablanca, Casablanca would win hands down. But I am definitely a slut for dialogue.

In other news, finished the first square of my "going to rip off the baby blanket on Mason Dixon Knitting" baby blankie. If you don't know it, she made this really cool blankie out of mitered squares that kind of slowly devolve. Doesn't make sense, does it. I will try to include a link, but it might be a touch outside of my current blogging knowhow. I also will somehow include a picture of psycho square number one. At least I hope so.

Newsflash! I was emailed by a knitting blog celeb! I don't comment much on the blogs I read (even though I read them every day and love them more than words can say) since I just don't see how my agreeing with the other six bajillion people that commented before me will actually be interesting. But I did leave a comment with the Harlot the other day, just a little short one about how I wished I could go to the Alexandria book signing but couldn't because of motherly duties, and she wrote me back! I can't believe it! How cool is that! Okay, she would probably laugh at me for being so durn excited, but I can't help it! The Yarn Harlot! Wrote me back! An email! From the Yarn Harlot!

Stop me before I blog again....

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The first photo blog....

Originally uploaded by scifimama.
Well, I am still working out the kinks of this blogging thing. Meanwhile, here is a photo of a Luna moth I found next to my back door. Probably six inches across, this guy. Beautiful, no?

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Second Post....

Why is this so hard to manage? Why, oh why? I can't see the appropriate buttons when I go to Blogger in Explorer, and Camino doesn't let me add any text. Why? Why does this happen to me?

In bigger and better news, I finished the first square of my psycho squares blankie. Well, almost. I finished the psycho part, just haven't finished the sashing. And now it is wet and blocking, so I guess I won't finish it until much later.

In other news, the little one decided to be wide awake this morning after his feeding, so I haven't had enough sleep. And he was wet through. Why are paper diapers so leaky? Why, oh why? Why does my boy have the worst diaper rash ever when I put him in the cloth diapers I would really rather use? Why, tell me, why? Why, why, why?

Enough. To breakfast.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

So, this is a blog....

Well, this is my very first blog entry. Not sure if I am going to actually do this or not, but hey, it is nice to dream. I left the title purposefully vague as to subject matter, since I can't decide on what kind of blog to have. Knitting? Science Fiction? Motherhood? All possiblities. But since I can't decide, I guess I will just have to wing it for now.