Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Well, they did ask...

When I was working with the kitchen designer and then the man who came to measure for our counter tops, we got into little details you might not normally get into. Like the overlap of the lip of the counter. In other words how far the counter sticks out from the cabinets. The kitchen designer said one distance, the man who measures said another distance and I said yet another. Of course I won out and got the extra quarter of an inch and this is why:

The swift fits so nicely on the edge of the counter. Not exactly what I had in mind when I got so picky, but it works.

The ball winder does fit onto the edge of the kitchen table, but it shot off at one point and I had to do some quick moving to catch it and stop the swift from spinning all at the same time. Our kitchen table came from my mother's shop, and it's got some age on it. It's an English pub table from the late 1780's or 1790's. The grooves are pretty worn and the edges are pretty uneven. It's got a pegleg, which is why it never really sold. Of course that was the instant appeal when I went looking for things to replace the junk thrown into the pile on the curb.

No knitting pictures today. No knitting. I wound up some balls of sock yarn to have a portable project. We're bringing PeeWee in for some tests today. I think I am going to bring along the gorgeous blue/green yarn. Socks again. Plain old socks this time. A 2x2 rib leg, I think. Simple. The yarn is so luscious it can just speak for itself. Or maybe Big Brother's giant socks. Great big giant socks I keep sticking farther into the back of the bin I keep the needles and tools in. Ugh, I really don't want to work on them but I SO want to get them finished.

I have a playdate at the yarn store Friday. I can't wait. I need a good summer project to start. I am deciding between a skirt or a shell. I guess the yarn will speak to me. And I completely cleared out my stash, sending off all the half balls and things which have sat for entirely too long to Warm Woolies. Of course, as soon as I did that, I had so much fun making PeeWee's top I immediately wanted to make myself a similar sweater. Well, not happening, there's no yarn. It all went off to a better cause.

I'm not saying I have no stash left! There's plenty there. I just want something bought for a specific project, just for me. Something new to play with. Maybe a cotton or cotton blend. So I made a playdate at the yarn shop with a friend I haven't seen in some time. Should be fun, I haven't been to the yarn shop in quite a while, either.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wrap it up

I would never have thunk it, but this working on one project until it is done thing really works. I have to say I have been pretty darn productive around here with my knitting. I finished the little wrap Saturday night. Finished the ends and added the bottons and button loops yesterday. It should be perfect for dinner tonight.

That's not to say I won't get an incredible urge to start 6 projects this afternoon and not finish a single one. But it's been working well for me so far. I also finished the Blue Hawaii socks. They are so comfy and soft. And crazy silly. I like them. I have enough yarn left to make PeeWee a pair, too. I may wait on those, because I have one project still on the needles needing to get wrapped up. Those giant socks for Big Brother. His darn feet keep growing though. They are 14's now. He should be about seven feet tall at this rate.

There has been massive progress on the unpacking and reorganizing. Turned out almost all the stuff piled in the back room was Big Brother's. Nice to know it wasn't all my mess. He's been sorting through it, good boy that he is. All his long Mardi Gras days landed him a cold and he slept through most of his holiday. I keep running things through the dishwasher and I am down to one container and a few random boxes. It sounds like a lot left, but I am pretty close to the end. Considering it has been almost 18 months, that's not bad! Uh, yes, I know it should never take someone that long to reorganize themselves. I guess if we count from when we moved back in in June it's not quite that bad. Especially when you consider it was August before the kitchen was wrapped up. And we just got doors in December... and cabinets in the laundryroom last month. I guess it's really not so bad that I am still unpacking! I just need to get to the end of it though.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ta Da!!

Well, PeeWee's sweater turned out adorable. She wore it yesterday but I didn't get a shot of her in it. 8 million ends to weave in, they took me over an hour. My mother said on the phone I had to be exaggerating but when she saw the top she said "it only took an hour!"

She was my original inspiration for knitting a few years ago. She used to knit all the time, and makes a sweater for the grandkids every once in a while. I wore a lot of hand me downs growing up. I think I have told the story of her knitting Argyle socks for her college boyfriend, but it's worth a repeat. It's why she always tells me socks are a waste of time. She spent countless hours knitting one Argyle sock for her boyfriend, started the second sock and got caught up in exams before the semester break and didn't have enough time to finish sock two. She wrapped it up all pretty for her boyfriend and gave it to him with the idea that she would finish the other as quickly as she could. Partway down the leg of sock two, her boyfriend's brother, who was also his roommate, broke his leg. Their mother came down to nurse him as it was a bad break and she dug through the sock drawer to find a lone sock to keep his exposed toes warm. The only lone sock in the place was the one Argyle. My mother said she literally gasped when she saw it stretched all out of shape over the cast and all. She broke up with him because she said his mother didn't know the difference between a store-bought and a hand-knit sock and there was no way that could be her mother in law! Tragic as it is, that story makes me laugh. It hurts just to imagine.

Last night I started a wrap, with stash yarn. No idea the size it will turn out to be, I am working it as I go. I simple little lace pattern which is going along at a nice pace. I started it with 402 stitches which I decreased to 202 right away. I'll keep it this width for two balls of yarn then work shoulder decreases with the third ball I have. It is light enough it should get some actual wear, too. I can't wait to go button shopping for the closure! We have a double date Monday night and I am keeping my fingers crossed I'll get it done to wear out then.

Mardi Gras around here was very busy. For the ball Saturday night I ended up finding the perfect black skirt, and wore it with the lace top from the stained skirt set that may be retired for good. I'll give the cleaners a shot at getting the stain out, but it doesn't look too hopeful.

Mardi Gras day was Tuesday, and I am glad it's over. PeeWee and I stayed home, it looked like rain but never did, then Mark took her in the afternoon to visit his parents and I busied myself trying to get the spare room in order. It finally feels together. One more room and we're all done. If someone had told me my future a few years ago I would never have believed them. Feels like we're getting to the end of the tunnel though. We've certainly waded through our share of muck though. I think we've earned ourselves some easy sailing now.

Big brother has been off from school since Friday. A nice long lazy break for him. Today is his work day though. He's organizing his room today. Tomorrow he's my helper in the garden. We need to weed and plant nasturtium seeds before it gets too late. he is such a character, he wore a basket of fruit on his head for Mardi Gras. (That's him in the first picture) He went with my brother and his cousins. He came home with the hat, but most of the fruit had come off. Surprizingly he had most of it. A good addition to PeeWee's kitchen.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


That's what I'm going to have to do.

My favorite socks and a great big hole. Probably because I wear them at least once a week. Went to put them on and sure enough, the floor felt awfully cold on the bottom of my foot. Darn.

These are PeeWee's newest favorite socks. She loves to pull them up as high as they will go and marvel at her pink socks.

My little runway star tried on the sweater. You might notice it has short sleeves.

Yes... it was pointed out to me by a very intelligent Big Brother that it's only going to be cold a few more weeks at most, why was I making her a sweater. Well, advice taken, I turned it into a short sleeved top! It's coming along nicely. I have about 20 stitches to pick back up before I get back to it. She wiggled quite a bit trying it on and got ahold of the needles as I was pulling it off of her.

I have too much Mardi Gras going on this weekend to worry about it too much. I found a long black skirt to fix my small problem of nothing to wear to the ball. Just call me Cinderella. I found several things in fact and will be returning which ever I don't wear tomorrow. I won't know until I am getting dressed how the outfit will come together.

I also took the kids to Michael's to get costumes together. We're going to wear butterfly wings. A little foam core, a little tissue paper, a little paint... no big deal... Big Brother said no way to that so we got him the makings for a basket of fruit to go on top of his head. He can throw on Mark's overalls from last year and we'll be good to go. It should all be picture worthy. I hope the weather is nice for Tuesday!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Knitting in Action

Some days a quick walk around the block is enough to shake off a funk. Lately it's been difficult for me to stay organized around here and it had been getting to me. Yesterday I wrapped up in my scarf and took a quick walk to the coffee shop for a treat to start the morning.

It was just what I needed to get me started on a day of total organization. It was great. Not only did I do a lot of organizing, I worked on a few things that had been neglected. Mark hung some hooks for me, rehung the cabinet doors (did I mention the cabinets were installed with the doors opening the wrong way? oops) and was generally helpful but out of the way. A good combination for someone who was cranky and wanting to get things DONE.

I worked on PeeWee's sweater. I have a serious problem with sleeves. For whatever reason, there's always an issue. I admit, if I used patterns, I would most likely not keep running into the same problems over and over. This time they are tight. Too tight. I know I will have to rip them out. I hate the idea of doing that. They are just the right size for her doll though so maybe I will put them aside on stitch holders for a sweater for Teetsie. Imagine making sleeves so small they fit her doll instead of PeeWee. Like I said, I have been a little off lately.

Tomorrow I am going to a Mardi Gras ball and am in serious denial. I pulled the dress I was planning on wearing out of the closet and it was covered with MOLD. Argh. I was stunned! I took the skirt and (gasp!) threw it in the washing machine. Yes, the washing machine. I figured it was a lost cause anyway, it's gotten plenty of wear and the mold had left a big yucky stain on the front. I ran it through, figuring it would either be ruined or not (again, the mood) and I was surprized to find it was lovely when it came out. Lovely and stained. I ran it through a second time with the same result. One more try this morning then I am off to the fabric store to get some fabric for a basic black skirt. I haven't sewed anything in a long time. I am a little anxious about trying with PeeWee around. Big Brother is off from school today so maybe he can earn some babysitting money and keep her busy for me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hearts Everywhere

It's been a week of hearts here. Mainly PeeWee's heart. We have been seeing some strange behaviour from her circulation the last few weeks and so we brought her in for some pictures of her little heart. We got a good checkup again, with a further in depth scan being done at the end of the month to give her cardiologists some more information. This is good news. I am always an anxious mess when it comes to her, but she is tough as nails.

And she has grown! Wow, Teetsie, her doll, is wearing one of her shirts. And it was BIG on her!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! We went to dinner Monday night and celebrated early at one of our favorite spots, Muriel's. It is in the French Quarter and it was sadly eerily quiet. Businesses are really struggling down there. Makes me so much more aware of the need to shop local here. The horrible press we get is not helping. The French Quarter is as lovely as it ever was, in fact we have a great new clean up contract with the city and it's cleaner than ever.

It is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day today. Check it out if you have a minute. So much more common than people realize. When I was pregnant and I found out about PeeWee's not normal heart, I had no idea of any of it. I thought that kids were born with oles in their hearts, and I knew some had to have open heart surgery, but the extent of it? I had no concept. Because I had no reason to.

What happens when you haven't got a knitting plan but you find yourself with time to knit? Insanity.

I am lucky PeeWee is such a little thing because I am not sure how long my momentum might have lasted with this one otherwise. Mark's head is kind of big, huh? He's been such a willing model lately. I am loving this sweater, but I will admit it is a bit rediculous. PeeWee will love it though, so all is good. And just imagine the look on her face when down the line she pulls it out of storage to put on her own kids one day. Oh yeah. Makes me smile just to think of it.

The socks from the stash are almost finished. I like 'em. I took Big Brother to his math tutor last night and sat in the car by the park and knitted away until the sun went down and I couldn't see to knit any more.

Tornadoes blew through town night before last and there was a lack of street lights because the power was not fully restored just yet. Yes, another natural disaster for us to deal with.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Knitting in Action

Well, it's been warm the last few days, so trying to get a good "knitting in action" shot for this week was a bit challenging. It's easy to knit socks for Mark because he loves these little shorty-style socks. These are his Christmas socks in action. Yeah, he's got shorts on. It was almost 75 degrees yesterday afternoon.

The scarf I have been working on is drying right now. It's almost dry so if PeeWee gets up and gets ahold of it things will not be ruined. She was awake most of the night so if I am lucky she'll sleep in this morning. Picture of the scarf tomorrow. I like the way it turned out. The grey color is soft, with an almost blue tone. It is supposed to be cold again tomorrow so I get to wear it this weekend!

Princess Polkadot was out in full force yesterday. She wore her tiara (thanks David!) most of the morning before we got to school. She would have worn it to school but I made her leave it at home. She kept walking around saying she was pretty.

She's a character. She's been a menace lately though. Whew! She's aging me rapidly... She has decided to boycott sleep. All night long she's kicking me in the head. Put her in her bed and she yells for hours. This morning I came down to the couch at 4:30, hoping for a bit of sleep. Big Brother had to be at school early for a field trip- 6:15 early! So I got in an hour before I had to get us all up and moving. Thank goodness Mark was able to sleep in with PeeWee so I didn't have to bring her along so early.

The laundry room studio combo is coming along nicely. Mark needs to do a bit of trim work to pretty it up, install a few shelves above, below and in between the cabinets to make it complete, but I have cabinets! Yay! I hope he'll take pity on me today and go off on an adventure with PeeWee so I can get things better situated in there.

I am really excited. With the cabinets in over the washer and dryer, I have been able to unload many boxes of dishes and doo-dads. Making progress with the little things here at this house is making me feel so much better. It's been a year and a half of rebuilding post-Katrina. I am seriously sick of it. My personal deadline is the end of March to be completely settled. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I went to a flower arranging class Tuesday and came home with these. I did the wrong thing and just plopped them into a vase instead of arranging them, adding other plant material and all that good stuff, but they are pretty and they make me happy, so I am good with them. Tulips are one of my favorites flowers. They change almost hourly as they open. The colors in these are just unusual enough to keep me looking. Sitting in the window, they are bringing in a bit of spring.

The weather here has been crazy, cold one day, warm one day, lots of dreary rainy days. Typical January in New Orleans. I can't wait until march, when we have the most beautiful weather around. Until then, I'll snuggle up with my almost finished scarf.

Very happy with the way it's turning out. I have another ball of this yarn left which will make it the perfect length. I have a feeling this one will get lots of out and about time. I thought it would be finished by now. Life got in the way.

This week has been booked and over booked, with appointments being rescheduled because they were booked on top of each other. Back to back rushing from one place to another. And I have been the one in the driver's seat so there hasn't been a lot of knitting in the car time either. This afternoon Big Brother has a bass lesson and I plan on bringing my knitting and sitting in the car the whole time he learns to play. He's doing really well with it so far. I am happy with that. He's got a band getting together. I wish he'd get back to the trumpet, but hey! anything musical makes me happy. PeeWee claps when he plays. It's a pretty cute thing to watch. Last night while he was practicing, she went and got a drum to play along with him.

Remember these? From last year? I should be embarrassed to bring them out into the open and fess up to them still not being finished. I love the color swirl. It's really fun. They'll be good summer socks. Lorna's Laces Blue Hawaii (I think that's the color name, no ball band, of course...)

I brought them to work on while I was getting my hair cut Monday. The scarf is kind of fuzzy and I didn't want to risk bringing something so large to a place where there's a lot of dye in close proximity. I wanted something a little more portable. I remembered these up in the bedroom, snatched them up and got quite a bit done. Boy are they taking forever. For me, socks that are straight stockinette move so slowly. I need a pattern to jazz them up, keep me interested, make them fly along on the needles. So these are moving slower than I like.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

I love my birthday. I make sure everyone knows it's my birthday. If people forget, I call them up and remind them. I like to get the word out.

It is also Groundhog Day. And I did not see my shadow, so we can expect spring. There are no groundhog's around here, so I take the responsibility for the forcast. I can't even say how many times I have been asked if I saw my shadow! Too bad no one pays for that answer.

Mark went to the coffee shop this morning and brought me a mocha and a cinnamon roll for my breakfast before he ran off to work. Today he's working for himself, he went to pick up my cabinets for my studio and the laundry room. I am very excited. I hope there is time to get them installed before the weekend is out so I can get myself a little more organized. It seems as is they might be, I hear the drill working as I type. And the hallway is filled with some things that usually sit on top of my work surface. All good signs.

I usually throw myself some sort of birthday bash, but even though this year it falls on a Friday, I just couldn't muster up the courage to do it. To be honest, the clutter bug has moved in to my house and things are a bit disorganized around here. I retrieved all my loot from my parents' house last weekend and now I am just looking at the containers with my hands on my hips, saying "huh" and ignoring it. That kind of clutter isn't what I want to share with even my closest friends. No company until those cabinets are good and installed and filled with the goodies currently in my dining room. (Damn that Katrina. It is taking me years to get myself back to normal)

I decided that I am going to indulge myself and knit up something quick and easy for my birthday. I restarted this scarf about 50 times yesterday. Seriously. I ripped it back over and over. Now I am satisfied with this zig-zag lace. I like the contrase of the bulky yarn and the holes. This yarn has been in my stash for a long time. it was one of the first yarns I ever bought. I have no ball band but I do remember it is sile, angora and wool. Soft as can be. Wish I had a ball band though.

So, for New Year's I make no resolutions. Instead, I make ready for my birthday resolutions.

First off, I am organizing myself. This might take all year. I am okay with that. organizing myself breaks down into several catagories, mainly keeping on top of the incoming mail, the laundry and my work space. The kitchen needs to be all put away, when that is done, it will fall into place. A year and a half of workers filing through the house makes it hard to stay on top of the mess. I am always moving something out of the way to get the space for what's being worked on.

Second, I am getting back to being in shape. I already started that by joining and going to the gym. It means more cooking at home, which means both eating healthier and saving a bit of money. Added bonuses! I am signed up for a six week class the gym offers for eating and health tips. That starts the end of the month.

Third, I am making more time for myself. Always at the bottom of my list, I hope to actually lose the guilt by indulging in things I want to do.

Which brings me to number four, making time to work in my studio and actually doing it. Having on hand the supplies I need for projects is tops for that. Know what that means? Buying enough yarn for a sweater... hee hee hee... needles and all that stuff too. Kind of goes back to number three doesn't it?