Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Check one off the list

No, not the skirt, although it's coming along nicely. I decided not to start socks, or rather work on socks, because all I could think with each stitch was I could be getting closer to finished with the skirt and put them down. I am at that point where you want to be finished, but every time you measure it somehow comes up the same. Or worse, smaller. But, I am more than halfway there and very pleased with it. The miles of stockinette are so mindless I am enjoying just cruising along. I can pick it up and do a few stitches or a few rounds depending on the time on hand.

Lately not much free time, fun time or knitting time. I have around 50 ladies coming by for a lunch meeting next week and quite a list to finish by then. Like maybe I ought to find the forks.

Yesterday and today, de-cluttering everything. I am a paper magnet. The mail comes and goes to the table where it sits until I sort it, then someone's coming over and I pile it up again to move it out of the way. Then I re-sort it and it sits there for entirely too long. Yesterday I went through it all, made a box for filing, threw out a bunch of junk, paid all the bills and found both a diningroom table and sideboard. Imagine that! Today I hope to find the kitchen counters- oooo!

Tomorrow is painting day. I have a few people coming by to help. Mark will drop PeeWee off for me and we'll get cracking. Almost every room in this house has touchup. Almost none of the baseboards are painted. They are all primed and some are finished, but when you're married to a handyman, you really can't hire it out so you have to wait. And wait. And the week before a huge thing you rush and get it all done yourself.

There are handy household things he does for me though, so I really can't complain too much. I ordered doors last week (that's right, last week, can you say procrastinate?) They were delivered yesterday morning and Mark had the old ones out and the new ones in before lunch. He started demo about 10:00, the doors came about 10:30, and we ate an early lunch about 11:30. Not bad for free labor!

You all know how much I love before and after shots so here they are! (Never mind the clouded up side windows, those haven't even been ordered yet. I have no idea who to order from so I am just ignoring the fogged up look.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring has Sprung!

We've had the prettiest weather this week. I have been outside as much as possible. The garden is coming along nicely. I have a few more plants to get in the ground and all I'll have to do is water. I know that before long we're going to be looking at long hot humid days so I like to take advantage of March. It'll be awful enough to have to go outside to water by the end of May.

The skirt has progressed about 6 more inches. Nothing too exciting there. The yarn shop's sock club is meeting Saturday afternoon and I am hoping to hop over there. (I don't feel like it's cheating on the skirt to start some socks.) They are having a 'bring your favorite original pattern to share' swap. Exciting! I'm going to have to write up a few patterns I have used for some of my socks! I hope there are a few I would like to try. Actually I really hope nothing comes up to keep me from getting there.

Big Brother has been crazy busy the last few weeks and I feel like Madam Chauffeur. I think that's why the skirt has grown. I grab the bag whenever I run out the door. I know from now until the end of the school year it will be just one event after another. It seems like the second half of the school year there's nothing but breaks and days off from actual school. We had last Friday off, this Friday off then we're off the 6th as well. Then Spring Break. After that it's all down hill. The kids and the teachers just don't have their minds on the classroom and before you know it it's the end of May and exams and they are off for the summer. (I'm having enough trouble wrapping my brain around the end of March already.)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Day Outside

March in New Orleans is truly one of the prettiest places to be. The weather is dry and 60's to 70's, sunny and breezy and just stunning. I spent the day outside working on the garden a bit, since I have the Garden Club coming in two weeks. I figured it would probably be worth my while to at the very least have the junk thrown out. I went to the garden center, a place kind of out of the way, next to some railroad tracks down a dirt road, right smack in the middle of the city. It was a great new find (thanks Mom!) and I came home with some treasures i hope to keep alive- at least for the next two weeks!

I cleaned out a bunch of plants I am not too crazy about having right outside my kitchen window and replaced them with some things I hope will be better at making me happy. Dont worry- the plants were all either moved or potted up for another yard. Whoa- just ignore the garbage bags- I didn't realize how lovely they look!!

Instead of some type of bedding plant I decided our bed should be filled with peppermint, alowed to just grow and spread itself out in the bed. If you have any experience with the stuff, it's pretty hard to kill- all it really needs is regualr water, and it'll spread out and thrive by early summer. We'll have peppermint for years if we do it right.

Like I said, I took out some things I really didn't want to look at all day long. Here's the artesia (sp?) I potted up. The berries ARE pretty spectacular, but the plants are long and leggy and otherwise unimoressive to me. At least close up- I like them en masse at the back of a property.

And knitting... I couldn't resist taking the skirt out into the sun and letting it lie in the grass for a few minutes. I think it likes the sun!

And I like the way the edge came out. Kind of sassy and silly and entirely too young for someone my age. Now just 27 inches of stockinette! Remind me I said I wanted a project that would take more than a week to work on in about 8 months when all I see is pale pink and I still have 26 inches left to go...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh Good Gracious!

I am boring. I do apologize for that.

I am working on my skirt and I must say right now it's going to be a while before it's finished. So I will try to avoid pictures of an inch of progress here and there. Not much knitting time either- all my free time is so limited right now. And I am dying of exhaustion. PeeWee has taken over my bed and it's baaad. She has the wonderful habit of tucking her feet in under you. Her favorite spot is to slip them in the back of your PJs and if you even think of moving them brace yourself for a bit of a breakdown. We've had two nights of 1-4am fits. Hopefully with Mark back it'll be a smoother ride tonight. Or at least she'll be digging her feet into his back instead of mine.

Mark's been out of town dealing with the other flooded house. He brings back reports of not too bad damage. I haven't seen the camera yet, but tomorow morning I will upload them and see what we're dealing with. I just can't believe I have to deal with another flood. It's just unreal.

I missed both the knitting guild meeting and the knit at night at the yarn shop. Kind of disappointed. I am going to stop by there and drop off my NICU guidelines, which I DID get written out. Hard to believe, but they are sitting on the counter, waiting. I was headed out the door Monday night and as I was gathering myself together PeeWee decided that an entire container of sliced mango was just too much for her simple belly. So, cleaning the rug and the blanket and PeeWee became a bit more important than dragging her out into the night to drop off sheets of paper. Oh well. I am getting used to this mothering thing. It has been 13 years. For some reason I keep thinking I'll be able to do what I want. Hahahahaha. Yes, I hear you laughing.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

One More for the List

I said this shell was a quick knit!

I think it is a great beginner's project. I may introduce my new knitting friends to it. Well, the female ones, that is. It's comfy and flattering and I just love Rowan All Seasons Cotton. It's pretty much perfect for New Orleans knitting.

I like the way this neckline works for me. I will definately refer to it down the line with other projects. Regular crew necks don't do much for my body and I am bored with the regular old V-necks I usually crank out. A wide neck is a nice change.

I am going through my stitch library for a fun stitch for a skirt. Since I would have to wear a slip under a cottton knitted skirt anyway to keep it from sticking to my rear end in the ultra humid days coming soon, I decided I may as well do something fun that will keep my interest for the bottom half of the skirt. Being girly girl these days with my clothing choices I picked up a bunch of Patons Grace cotton yarn in shades of pink. I am actually looking forward to a project that will most likely take a bit of time to complete.

Once I finish my painting for the museum (or completely back out of this crazy thing) I will be busy writing up some patterns and guidelines for knitting preemie hats for the NICU. I have a whole bunch of random acrylic and cotton yarns for the hats and I think I may figure out how much I use then ball it into little kits for the knitting guild. In all my free time. The meeting is tomorrow night. And I will have PeeWee with me. I am not exactly holding myself to this one- it may be just a dream to get anything together other than some of PeeWee's old hats and her my-sized doll. But a girl can dream.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Organizing Myself

The last few days have been fairly slow around here. All sorts of daily life has gotten in the way of much creativity. In organizing my photos on the computer, readying them for a big back up on the external hard-drive, I realized I rarely take pictures of things I have finished knitting. So that's this week's project.

I am almost finished the shell I started the other day. I was surprized at how much knitting time I was able to find. This week I spent a lot of time waiting in the car for Big Brother. It is a quick knit, too, and that helps a lot! The neckline is fabulous.

I am seriously procrastinating on the project for the Museum show. Oh yeah, am I procrastinating. I have a painting sketched out but have been avoiding the whole actual painting part. Brain block. I WILL finish it. Just need to sneak the time out of my day somehow. Actually I just need to start the darn thing!

It's been just PeeWee and me this weekend. Big Brother went to his grandparents' house for the weekend. Mark left Friday morning to head up and deal with the house. (He got a call from the handyman up there who told him to wait a few more days to let things dry out a bit more.) He said the damage is much less than we had anticipated. That this happened while the house is on the market is really rotten. We're not sure how much repair work to actually do since whoever purchses the place is likely to do some fancying up around the place. There's nothing really wrong with it, it just needs some updating and a little polish. I hope the realtor gives Mark some direction with this one so we don't over fix the place.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Fraternal twins

Okay- it was pointed out to me that I am bad about following up an earlier thought. Not a big surprize to me. Here are my socks I finished last week in action. I love them.

For those of you wondered (out loud even), PeeWee's VQ scan went well. We are not on any calendar for surgery any time soon. We go back to the cardiologist in June, do another total work-up, including a cardiac catheter, and go from there. Sorry I was so slow updating the good news when we heard it. Seems she's plowing ahead on her own schedule with this one. I don't think there is very much information available about the length of time between repeat surgeries with truncus arteriosus. The type of repair she had has only been happening a relatively short time frame, and not too many of the repairs have been on such tiny hearts as hers. We're in uncharted waters with this one. It looks like if things progress like they have been and she keeps doing as well as she is we're in the clear until at least this summer.

I made some progress on the shell I started Friday. It's going along nicely so far. I love the periwinkle blue color. It's very summery to me. I have white yarn for finishing the neck and arm holes to give it a little something sassy. We got another blast of cold air this morning so it feels like I may never get to wear it. Remind me of that when it's August and I sweat just thinking about going out into the un-air-conditioned 15 feet between my front door and my air-conditioned car.

I have no idea how much knitting time I will have this week. Mark's going off to deal with the house and I have to finish a piece for the New Orleans Museum of Art. More precisely I have to start the piece, which isn't really even an idea in my head yet. A few vague thoughts but nothing set in stone. I double checked the requirements of the show and it's supposed to be preferably either a painting or metal or clay. The one thing I know is it'll be a collage. I hope that somehow falls into the painted catagory. I got the shadow box to put it in to finish it and that's as far as I have gotten. Nothing like the last minute!

In case you just want something luscious to check out here is some yarn I am going to make myself some yummy thick house socks out of. It was part of my giant splurge on Friday. Imagine if I had gotten the flooded house news while still in the yarn shop! I may have broken the bank comforting myself. As it is, I did massive damage- but all luxurious goodies that are in line to become well worn knitting. In keeping with my resolutions to plan things better, I bought things with a project in mind. In fact, projects that can actually be completed so I can then return to replenish the stash.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I am an Aquarius...

I had my yarn shop play-date yesterday. I did some great big damage. Lots of goodies. The owners of the yarn shop are really fun ladies, they are chatty and helpful and I enjoy their company. They know PeeWee's whole up and down story, early start and rough beginning. I get my cotton yarn for the hats I bring in to the NICU from them and they always ask if that's what the bright cheery yarns are for. Yep. I got a ball of bright varigated yarn for them yesterday.

Our knitting guild is looking for a charity project and they have decided they are going to make preemie hats. I am excited about it and they asked me to write up a few patterns and give them the yarn guidelines- cotton or acrylic, soft, washable, all that. They also asked me if I would be the 'wash them and drop them off' liason. Coincidentally my schedule rearranged itself so I can now make the meetings. I have never been able to go before! I've been talking about going for 18 months now.

The yarn shop is starting a Knit at Night. Looking forward to that one too. I hope I can do all these things this month though. We got a call from our realtor in North Carolina with disturbing news. My brother in law misunderstood Mark's instructions and did not shut the water off at the main back in November. The house is fairly well insulated but with weather in the teens for several days in a row and a power outage... well... bad combination. We had a burst pipe and since the water was left on, we had four feet of it in the basement. It had been running over a week. There was an inch all over the house, the floorboards buckled up and finally allowed the water to drain out into the basement. Why did it have to be water!!!! What IS it with me and all this water? Anyway, the realtor arranged for someone to come wet-vac it all up and put an industrial dehumidifier in the house. So, Mark's going to go up there in the next few days to deal with it. And I got all excited when I saw it was the realtor calling. I thought we finally had an offer. Boy was I wrong.

Since it is all 600 miles away, I am living in denial. I can just ignore it since the water is now off and the house has been somewhat taken care of, at least as much as we can do until it's dried out and we can really see the extent of the damage. Like I said, Mark is dealing with this one, not me, so I am ignoring it. Now that I have new yarn I started a summer shell out of Rowan all seasons cotton. I chose a pattern this time too! I'm being so practical. Of course I had a tough time getting gauge since I was using a different yarn than the Berroco pattern Marijke calls for... only small adjustments had to be made. I am knitting it in XS to have it turn out my sized.

The yarn shop has a little room off to the side where they have their sale stuff. It is usually a few random things, some discontinued goodies and a lot of fluffy novelty yarns. Well, they just went to market so all the yarns that have been discontinued by the manufacturers are now in there, 50% off. Dangerous stuff.

Oh and just for Rhonda ... here's the stove and fridge .