Tuesday, February 28, 2006

February socks, 5-.60

That's right, another sock finished before February blows out. I had sincerely hoped to finish the mate today but life gets in the way of art sometimes. LOL. The cuffs are 7 inches long, done in Regia and the foot is Knitpicks Essential in gray...whatever they call it. I carried the ribbing right down the heel flap for a change and used the round toe again. Round toes seem to fit and feel better than the traditional side decreases.

This was a hurry-up and get it posted before midnight post. Brought to you by the letters; I, A, M, T,I,R,E, and D. Nighty-night all!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Because Liz asked

Liz left a comment wondering how I knit a pair of socks in 2 days. Well, usually, I do not sleep much thanks to recurrent insomnia so I normally have a lot of quiet knitting time during dark hours. Once I mastered 2s2c, I found I could really fly with basic socks rather quickly. My other "secret" is that on days when I feel I must accomplish a lot, I employ an old daycare tool: the kitchen timer. Days like today, when I am the only healthy person in the house or other days when the to-do list is longer than my arm span (I'm 5'8"...long arms!), I set the timer for 15 or 20 min. and go to work on whatever the task is, then I give myself an equal amount of time to knit, sew, quilt, read, etc. I repeat this cycle throughout the day. Usually I can accomplish a lot using this method. Why? Probably because I am looking at smaller spans of time and 'trick' myself into working faster yet enjoying it more. Silly, huh?

And lest Jane feel left out, yes, my goal is to at least equal your 2005 socks knit. A quick scan of the stash revealed that I have enough for 6 pairs before the stash is gone. Well, I forgot about the Yarn Aboard box that will make it's way to me at some point. All in all, I figure I have about another month's worth of yarn IF I continue at the current pace. So, if you stumble across any really great stash reduction sales, clearanced yarns or other steals, send a shout out my way in a few weeks. (Grin)

Hubster is doing well now except for this bug bouncing around the house. We've gone from 1 to 3.5 ill since this morning. Miss E is complaining of symptoms not matching the others but I fully expect her to be as miserable as the others by tomorrow. Rockin' R is starting to keep food down now so I surmise it is a 24 hour bug. TAJ is sipping Pepsi and lounging about after a marathon cookie-tossing event. Sorry, I know...TMI. Hubster is sleeping and I will let him sleep since he was up most of last night for whatever reason.

Watch for the current WIP pics soon. And yes, Liz, it is a sock. LOL

February socks, pair 4

YES! Another finished pair of socks in the month of February. Can you believe it? I think these are my favorite socks now.
Vital stats:
Knitpicks Sock Garden in Pansy
Addi Turbos US 2
basic 56 st sock
6" of ribbing for cuff
Half hankerchief (V) heel from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks
Round toe from same source
Total time spent: 2 days
Let me tell you, if you haven't tried this yarn yet, ORDER SOME TODAY! It is the softest thing I have felt in forever, warms the feet instantly, knits like a dream (no splitting) and well, I am a Knitpicks groupie so it should be no surprise I like it. But the best reason of all to love these socks: the yarn came in my box of goodies from Jan. HUGE SMILES.

It appears we have a bug of some type going around our house. Rockin' R awoke in the middle of the night, vomiting. Poor kidlet is camping out on the La-Z-Boy couch near the bathroom. Innsie, bitty fever and a little aching. I fear I am next as my stomach is queasy and I'm tired. Oh, wait, being tired is just part of who I am, isn't it?! Duh!

Back to knitting, as soon as the Pansy socks came off the needles and onto my ice-berg feet, I cast on for another pair of basic, boring 56 st socks using some Regia I'd gotten from Emily a while ago. Can I finish them before March 1? That is the goal but it will be a tight finish since I am going this pair one at a time on my 2 circs. No ball winder or yardage meter at Chez Duck and frankly, I am not about to measure that 100gr into equal amounts then wind by hand. No siree buddy. Just. NOT.GOING.TO.DO.IT. Call me lazy. Or call me motivated to just do it. I want new socks pronto!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

At least it wasn't Miss Piggy

Stolen from Risa with the fevered prayer it not come out Miss Piggy. I've always hated that fat porker with the terrible sense of style and her karate chop thing. Thankfully, my humorous nature shone through yet again. Fozzie, you are the man bear. Go find out what Muppet you are....I promise you'll giggle. Thanks, Risa!

You Are Fozzie Bear

"Wocka! Wocka!"

You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.

If only your routine didn't always bomb!

You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Genius, baby, pure genius

It appears my youngest kidlet learns purely by osmosis. That or she is channeling some outside lifeforce by her mystical powers. This morning, she came into the dining room and announced that the Statue of Liberty was a gift to the USA from France way back when. Mind you, the kidlet is only 6 and I can assure you that gifts from France was not part of this year's curriculum. This is not the first time she has popped out with some fact which leaves me stunned for hours if not days. Yesterday, she spent the entire morning writing a book for her grandma. No big deal you say? I beg to differ. We "unschool" for the most part, meaning our girls learn by doing and pursuing what interests them. Writing words much less sentences hasn't been on Miss E's personal list of what she wants to do. That is until this week. This week, she has written two books complete with pictures, title and "byline". Sentences have been written correctly from left to right and include periods. Handwriting is a little rough but what little kid's isn't? Spelling is quickly becoming her forte it appears. Genius, I tell you, pure genius.
(And this picture is just awful but I do love how her hair is in it and how her sillier side shows through. Notice the missing tooth hole? Another one bites the dust)
Stop laughing, Jan. I can hear you. Just more proof we are related, right? ROFLMAO. (wink)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Calling all sock knitters

For the first time in a very long time, there are no socks languishing on my needles. In fact, there are a mere two projects actually hanging from some needles and neither is particularly captivating. Heck, one of them is on the verge of being pitched because it's ugly, acrylic (Yes, I am a yarn snob now!) and I hate it. The only thing preventing the pitchage is the fact that someone, somewhere could use a scarf no matter how ugly or unliked the yarn. What does any of this have to do with socks, you ask. Well, I have all this lovely, beautiful sock yarn in the cedar chest crying out to be given form. Last week, when all my handknit socks were in the dirty clothes and I was forced to wear some store-bought, white socks, I remembered why I hate those and love,love, love my own creations. My feet stay warmer. Plus it was a wake-up call to get laundry done and decide on a new sock. My question to all you sock-knitting friends is: How many pairs do you personally wear that are knit from the same pattern? I have a lot of self-striping yarns (which I love)...I really like the challenges of stitch patterns but often find myself wondering if maybe, just maybe I shouldn't have stuck with the basic 56 st sock.

So, what is your favorite pattern and why?

Speaking of socks, I rounded up the various knitting things over the weekend in a pathetic attempt to become organized. Guess what I found! The Susan Bates Sock DPN I bought at some point. The depressing part is that while I now know I have smaller needles, I am not inclined to use them. I hate metal dpns, especially for socks. In the stash of stuff, I found my grandmother's collection of oddball knitting needles. My NON-knitting grandmother. One gma knit, the other crocheted. Why the crochet gma had these is anyone's guess. She could knit but I never, ever remember seeing her without her crochet hook. And why I haven't sent these needles away is a mystery. That ancient, sort-of plastic stuff...balene maybe? Whatever they are made from, I wouldn't knit with them. Mabye someday I'll find someone who'd like them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I found this Johari window over at The Knitlette blog. Kind of different and fills some blog space, right? Leave me a comment if you add to my window. ;o)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Why we never loan patterns out

Or, why I am hunting for something I barely remember. About 12.5 years ago, Hubster's youngest son and his wife were expecting their first child. Being the crafty type that I am, I set out to make the shower gift because I knew no one else would be giving a handcrafted gift. The now Ex-DIL loved the afghan I crocheted for the boy. In fact, all the boys used it and it was one of the few keepsake things they managed to save during a house fire several years ago. She loved it so much that she asked me to teach her to crochet. I got her started and LOANED the booklet to her so she could make whatever. Well, the booklet went MIA and I've wanted to use it several times. Crochet is not my forte but that afghan was fun, easy and oh so neat! Granny squares done up in pastels, joined as you went along. The one I made was similar to a Trip Around the World Quilt. I've searched high and low for another copy of it but since I cannot remember the name or publisher of the book, I am up the shit creek without a paddle. I am hoping maybe some wonderful reader will remember this or perhaps have it in their library and can help me out. I think it was put out by Leisure Arts and it would have been about 1993/93. It was all crochet, all baby afghans, nothing else. I am fairly certain that all the afghans were join as you go.

On the knitting front: Absorbine Jr is my new best friend. The left elbow held up remarkably well today after being liberally bathed in AJ last night. I finished the adorable beret from the Knit Baby Head and Toes book and cast on with more old stash acrylic for a make-it-up-as-I-go scarf. I had hoped to finish the scarf tonight while watching the Olympics with Hubster but somehow, I ended up missing half the broadcast. He is settling in for the night (WE HOPE) and so maybe I can accomplish a bit more before I pass out fall asleep.

Tomorrow's weather forecast is chilling. Suck your breath away cold. Artic chills. Even without the weatherman I would have known it was coming. The birds have been gorging themselves non-stop all day long. A flock of various birds that now includes ROBINS. And a giant woodpecker who is larger than my suet cage. Huge dude. Fat cardinals, chickadees, snow buntings, tufted titmouses (or is it mice?)...a science lesson outside the window every single day. E can identify most species that visit and can even pick out particular ones among the crowd. One sparrow especially who is "pushy". She can kill hours just standing there watching them, counting, absorbing everything birdy.

So E will most likely spend the day by the picture window wishing she could be outside. Hubster and I will be fighting over the remote. He wants the Daytona 500 and I want anything that isn't NASCAR. It is just too darn early for that! J&R may well sleep the day away since it will be entirely too cold to do anything outside save feed the mutt. And yes, he has straw, his house does not open into the wind and he has more than enough shelter. Fresh food and water. And no, I don't believe in bringing him into the house when it is super cold. He usually ends up in the garage with a blanket, straw and endless barking because he cannot see outside. The humans will be well fed as well. Chili is thawing for lunch and steaks are thawing for supper. FREEBIE steaks at that. I love my neighbors at times. :o)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

AWOL to playwith stash goodies

See this box right here? The topless one? Know what I've been doing for the past 48 hours?Touching, sorting, reading, re-reading, planning and just generally trying to overcome my speechless-ness. See the goodies? My twin, born to other parents in another year and state sent me some of everything except dinner as part of our private stash swap. I think I got the better end of the deal for now. WOW! I cannot even begin to name everything but some of the ones popping to mind right off: enough yarn for at least 5, yes 5 pairs of socks, two books I'd picked up and put back at the store at least a dozen times, quilt fabric and patterns and enough sisterly love and laughter to carry me through the rest of the week.

Now I know some in blogland complain about bloggers using their blogs to show off stuff. Ask me if I care? Not one iota. Why? Because my blog is also my journal. Periodically I do go back and read posts from whenever. It amazes me all the things I forget, all I accomplish when I think I do nothing. We all need those reminders just as we all need to know we are loved. Jan, I thank you again, publicly from the bottom of my heart. Not only for the goodies, but for the love, laughter and friendship you give so freely.

When the goodie box arrived, I made myself promise that I would not delve into the new yarn stash until some of the old, acrylic yarn stash had said goodbye. Actually, I promised myself that when Jan and I decided to swap. This week alone, I have knit 2 scarves and a hat with another 1/3 done. Yes, in a week's time or less. Am I paying for it? Most definitely. The knitting bag/corner earned another new addition thanks to the enemy acrylic: Absorbine Jr. Not exactly my first choice for the pain in my elbow and wrists but it's one I can apply by myself without getting my hands all icky. Upside to Absorbine Jr is that my kidlets find the smell so offensive they steer clear of me for hours. Downside is nothing really helps the pain except rest which in this case means no knitting. :::::GASP:::: I do have several sewing and quilting things to accomplish, just not in the mood for that right now. The new couch (new to us that is) deserves a nice, clean, orderly living room. Cleaning. Me? Not usually. The living room could be dubbed "yarn barf central" for the time being. Needles everywhere, Altoid tins full of markers, pins, needles and scissors surface at every turn, dpns form teepees at will. Yarn also serves as an insulating draft cover at the bottom of the door. The library stack has formed its own version of Stone Henge. Normally, I would tidy it all up in the wee hours of the morning when the house is silent and asleep.

But no! Hubster has not gotten over his insomnia at all. Otherwise he is feeling great. Up and about, tinkering around, walking and trying to maintain his hold on the Olympic Gold in the sport of couch potatoing. Late night and early morning hours are my quiet time. The time I unwind, reflect and plan. Only, I cannot do those things with an audience. That's like using the bathroom with the door open. Just wrong. He tries his best to be quiet and all that but it does not work that way. I need solitude at some point. Nothing like a nice, quiet, sleeping house that will remain asleep for hours yet to help me unwind. I have tried getting up uber early for quiet time. I am NOT a morning person. If I am up early, I feel compelled to wake the kidlets, start school, and clean house, not spend time recharging my personal batteries. I hope he finds a way to sleep soon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

February socks, pair 3

I feel like such a prolific knitter right now. Half way through the month and I have knit three pairs of socks. I finished up these yesterday for Rockin'R-girl. I believe you know the stats. My only deviation from the norm was using a round toe. I kinda like it, I think. I do not mind Kitchenering at all but felt I owed it to myself to explorer other methods. Now the big question is what to cast on for next. A trip to the library last night yielded Socks,Socks,Socks by Elaine Rowley, Folk Socks by Nancy Bush and The Little Box of Scarves by Melissa Matthay. If the bills ever stop piling up, I am going to get the Nancy Bush books and the Socks, Socks, Socks book. I am tired of requesting them from the library every few months and never getting a single sock cast on from them.

However, I did cast on for the Farrow Rib scarf from the box set. Whipped out 11" on it last night. Yeah buddy! I have a small stash of arcylic that is bothering me so I grabbed the white Simply Soft by Caron, size 8 needles and forged ahead. Nope, no swatching and I am not getting gauge but I do not care. Someone, somewhere will appreciate a handknit scarf. The current plan is to knit until I have just enough left to bind off. I wonder how many inches I can accomplish in the 3 hours before the mailman is due? I am sure that a certain person's box will arrive today. And I am certain that not only will it be stuffed to the flaps with goodies, but also I will need time to recover from the laughter I have been warned about. I am worse than a kid at Christmas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kids say the darnest things

Just now, E came to me with her very own "recipe" for cookies. In her 6 year old wisdom, baking cookies for 4 hours sounds like a reasonable thing to do. Batch size should equal 13 cookies per tray. Yeah, I'm like "HUH?" But seriously, the one thing I missed this year about public schooling was the annual Kindergarten/First Grade assignment: "How to fix a Thanksgiving Dinner". That has to be the funniest thing I have ever gone through. I remember when TAJ was in 1st grade and I volunteered in her classroom a zillion hours a week, one little boy wrote "I do not know how to fix a turkey dinner. That is my grandma's job". Another said to put the bird in the oven for 5 days at 1500 degrees or until Mom yelled "It's done". So all things considered, I guess baking cookies for 4 hours isn't so bad. I just would not want to eat them. The birds wouldn't even want to eat them. It's the thought that counts, right?

Monday, February 13, 2006

February Socks, pair 2

Yup, pair two came out for a photo shoot. Notice the mismatched stripes? Miss E hasn't said a thing about them yet. Notice the weirdness going on at the heel? The bagginess above the ankles that seems to only be in the front? She does not notice the problems with them. In fact, she is prodding me to hurry up and finish Rockin' R-girl's socks so she may have another pair.

I think I posted the usual stats earlier for these but here's the recap: Addi Turbo, US 2, about 7 spi, Regia yarn, toe-up with afterthought heels. She has taken them off once since they came off the needles. And only then because her feet were "too hot".

Hubster continues to heal nicely. He's out and about, making the rounds about the neighborhood on his daily walks. He is still not sleeping much be has finally gotten the message that after 10pm is quiet hours. Now he sits in the living room, alternating watching the brain-drain box and my needles. He is anxiously awaiting his turn for new socks too. Yes, he claimed my unloved sock yarn from Liz as his own.Why am I not surprised? LOL.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Yesterday, I hated the mailman

The medical bills are beginning to pile up rapidly. Yesterday, Brent, the most hated mailman in the world beloved deliverer of yarn and fun stuff, brought us a stack of bills totally over $500 and a jury duty notice for the Hubster. Jury duty isn't a problem, just really shouldn't have come in with the bills because that casts a pallor over the duty. I have no idea how we will come up with enough to cover these bills, let alone the following ones. We will muddle through, I am sure but it just adds to my stress level. Not enough knitting in the world to take it all away. Seriously.

Hubster is home and trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in. We've shut the ringers off on the phone and are discouraging visitors because they always seem to show up just about the time he has gotten to sleep. Some people do not take hints well and are still bothering us. Big hint to everyone: if we do not answer the phone, there is probably a very good reason. Like we are not at home, we are up to our eyeballs in dishwater, oil or vomit OR we just do not want to talk on the phone. No answer is not an invite to call every 15 mintues or just show up. PERIOD.

There, got that off my chest. I did manage to finish E's toe-up pair of shit socks yesterday morning. She claims they are alright but honestly, they do not fit as I thought they would. They are tight to get on, the heels have these wonky nipple lookingears and I hate how the bind-off turned out. Despite all those flaws, she has worn then since they jumped off the needles. In fact, her first words to me this morning were, "Mama, my hands, face and body are cold but my feet are TOASTY WARM cuz I wore my new socks all night long!" (Probably because she could not, no matter what, kick them off.) I wanted to snap a picture of them but she is too busy to be bothered today just yet. I believe it brings my 2006 finished socks total up to 3 so far, not counting the baby socks. Can I keep up with Jane this year? I know there is enough yarn in the stash for at least 4 more pairs plus enough leftovers for E a pair or two AND the Yarn Aboard box will make it's way to me at some point. (Later than sooner, I hope. wink)

On the circs now are a pair of socks based loosely on the 56 Stitch Sock for the Rockin' R-girl. Usual Addi US2 Tubros, a Knitpicks Simple Striples yarn from the sampler I got before Christmas. I will hit the heel this afternoon and hope to finish them up tomorrow if Hubster is not pestering me too much and IF this migraine disappears without the help of my dear friend, the prescription drug.

Well, I must get the roaster oven pan soaking. 8 quarts of chili yesterday left that hard to clean ring around it. Yes, I said 8 quarts. About 6 quarts are in the freezer now to serve as microwave meals. Tomorrow, I will be fixing 15 pounds of chicken breasts with veggies in the roaster oven and freezing most of it for the same reason. Later in the week, the girls and I will do a mega baking party to fill part of the freezer with cookies, muffins and maybe cake to be used during the hotter months. Yeah, like I am really that organized. I try. I am making progress.

Pictures to follow at some point.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Stalking the mailman is such a GOOD thing at times! Our regular man, Brent, is so punctual and has been for years. No later than 1:15PM except for the 3rd of the month. He has been our mailman for over a decade now, used to date one of my friends,blah,blah,blah. Today, he even knocked on the door which is rather unusual for him. I think he saw Liz's notation on the package "home of unloved yarn". While I have thanked Liz via email, I forgot to let her know that this yarn is probably going to be claimed by Hubster for another pair of socks. I'd love to use it for myself (something cable-ly and detailed) but I know he likes "manly" colors so I will be nice to him. But just this weekend.

Speaking of Hubster, he's doing well now that he is sans gallbladder. Up and about, chasing nurses and the food cart. He should come home tomorrow. His coming-home dinner order has been placed: chili and cornbread. Ok, can definitely do that as long as he lets me fix chicken, mashed potatoes, noodles and biscuits on Sunday.

KIPing is such a very cool thing. I have said that many times. I keep a bag packed for the waiting game as I call it. Paper, pens, pencils, needles, calculator, yarn, etc. so I am ready to go. This morning, while I worked on Miss E's socks (have I said how much I hate toe-up? But how mindless they are to a point?) in the waiting room, an older lady came and sat next to me to chat. Very nice lady and the conversation was nothing short of amazing. The topics ranged from crafting, sewing machines and knitting to kids, grandkids and grandparents. The knitting portion is what really stands out to me. There I sat, watching the local AM news while working some 2s2c magic, feeling very calm and centered. This stranger who was really very nice told me that she could never KIP because it is something that requires much concentration for her. A Q&A session followed. How long have I been knitting? 30 yrs. She remarked that she knew I was a "pro" because the work was exquisite. Well, I dunno about exquisite but I thanked her for the compliment and the conversation turned to learning how to master new knitting techniques, teachers, etc. I found it amazing that this woman was shocked to find out I have only had one "teacher" in my entire knitting life: my late Gram. I guess it goes to show that being taught anything by someone truly passionate about something helps to instill confidence and creativity. My gram was the consummate knitter, meticulous about her work, giving of her talents and willing to share her knowledge with those truly interested. How she knew my 5 yo brain was truly interested, I will never understand but she did. I realized again today was a wonderful gift she gave me all those years ago and that by continuing to ply my craft, just how much I honor her memory. I know she is smiling on all I have accomplished and managed to teach myself.

Whoa, sort of jumped the track there. Back to KIP. Never let anything stop you from doing what you love. KIP helps keep me sane because I am one who cannot just sit. It also gives me the amazing opportunity to speak to people of all ages. This morning, I spoke to several other older women about knitting and found it alarming that they no longer knit because they lack the courage to frog it and start again or to jump off into unknown parts alone and forge ahead blindly. Made me feel smug and oddly somewhat superior which I did not like at all. Maybe one of them went home and dug out the needles again tonight...at least I hope so.

Liz pointed out we share a thing about ducks. She keeps a flock and I keep mentioning them. Maybe I ought to explain since some blog names always puzzle me until I know the story behind the name. When J&R were small, having 4 grandmothers and keeping them straight was rather tough. My remaining grandmother is Nana thanks to the triple GR beginning (Great-Grandma Gr--- is a bit much for a toddler). Hubster's mom has always been "Florida Ice Cream Grandma" because she winters in FL and always has ice cream money for the girls. Egg Donor (my bio-mom) is Meme and the remaining Gram is Grandma Duck because she is the gram who takes them to feed the ducks at the pond. For some reason, we adopted the DUCK as our pseudo-family name.(Gram Duck is an adopted member of our family who is more family than the bio ones!) Little rubber ducks are our mascot because they are sometimes easier to find than other types in the store. Every single gift box for the past 10 years, at least, has had a rubber duck of some type in it. It is a full-blown obession for us. In fact, I have 2 different duck things picked up on clearance sitting on my desk right now waiting for their trips to Michigan and Gram's house. As for my true blog title "Just Another Creative Thing To Do", that comes a bit from Egg Donor's constant comments about my quest for knowledge about knitting, quilting, fabrics, cooking and writing. I've always been the creative one and she was often overheard telling people I was doing another creative thing. Blogging is nothing if not a creative endeavor for me. Yes, it is truthfully and journalling but I strive for humor and creativity in all I do. So there!

Ok, I am going to enjoy my QUIET evening alone! I'm putting my favorite high-thread count sheets on the bed, cleaning the tub so I can soak in perfect surroundings. Then I will tidy up the kitchen, fold the remaining laundry and get things ready for tomorrow. Oh, and I have to finish packing Jan's box so it can go out tomorrow before the big snow storm hits us. I did not forget, I just got delayed a day longer than I thought!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Makes me wanna yell "MAIL TIME"....
That blasted Blues Clues song has been running through my mind all afternoon. Mail call today was good. My order from abebooks.com, a bill, and a survey check all came today. The check is going to the yarn budget since it is not part of the official budget and therefore "fun money". The older kidlets were treated to BK and a movie last night so I should feel no guilt about spending a little on yarn, right? WRONG! I am such a penny pincher as I age, I refuse to buy things unless I feel they are a great deal. I refuse to pay shipping costs which seem extreme. Yes, I even sit down and figure out how much it would cost me in gas to drive to xxx-city to browse and buy for myself See, I have a thing about being able to touch yarns and fabrics before I buy them. Maybe that is where the true problem lies?

Anyhow, arrived today and it appears I have a slight problem finding the courage to order yarn. Even the yarn to finish Hubster's Watch Hill Buttondown. I also have a problem feeling confident I will pick the correct subsitution for any project in this book. I love, love, love something like 90% of the designs in here. E has choosen a summery cardi for herself. Problem? The pattern calls for worsted-weight cotton and I am clueless. Can I use Lily's Sugar and Cream or should I find something else? And does anyone else's kidlet have an aversion to buttons? E refuses to wear anything with buttons and requests I leave the buttons off this cardi. Which I will, if I ever find the perfect yarn.

I fell asleep this afternoon rather late, so dinner is now late. Maybe I should finish cooking dinner before part of it burns???

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Do we really need a title?

I am dog-tired today. Draggin' butt pooped out. (There go some hits via google, right?) Hubster, as I may have mentioned before, is not an insomiac like what he refers to as the "Fiber Galpals". (If anyone can correctly guess who Hubster includes in that grouping, I will send you a small prize. HINT: there are three of us) So he lacks practice in being a true night owl--a quiet night owl at that. As his agony with the gallbladder increases, so does my need for "ME TIME". ME TIME has always, always been late at night while the house sleeps. I can move about steathily, sort laundry, fold clothes, do dishes, pay bills...whatever without disturbing the household. Not the Hubster. No siree, Bob. Ain't. Gonna. Happen. He's up, he's down, he's in the fridge, running water for a drink, in the bathroom, in the recliner, no now it's the rocking chair. Antique rocking chair that creaks and groans when anyone over the age of 7 plops into it. Then he's over to the on-its-last-legs sofa which groans and strains some more. Did I mention he talks the entire time? Late night is often when I get to have my fill of educational tv time. The History Channel, A&E, RFD TV...not CNN, Headline News, Cops or any other testostrone tv. Chatter, chatter, chatter is what I get. Silence for the entire day until it's 'quiet time' then BAM! He's off like the Beatles on their first US tour. I have threatened to sleep in the van, put him out with the dog...no lights come on to register he's heard a word. I suspect tonight will be no different. He's already laid claim to MY recliner. Mere inches left to go on the front of R's Guernsey and he's in my chair.

I'm a bit testy today. Stalking the mailman is never good. I am expecting several packages (one, the book I ordered from abebooks.com, the other my "surprise" from the Great Unloved Sock Yarn Swap). Did the mailman darken my porch today with even a piece of toliet paper junk mail today? No. Am I bummed? Yes. Factor in I am a bit stumped as to what I should send to my Yarn Aboard pal when the box makes it's way here. She blogs but I'm not finding any ideas that jump out and say "pick me, pick me!" Being this is only the second swap I've done, I want to do right by my pal...I do NOT want to be the awful swapper outted in blogland.

Hubster goes in Friday morning at 6:30AM, EST. Surgery is scheduled to start at 8AM. If you are up and your hands are free at that time, please join me in knitting a few rows for sanity. Thoughts, prayers and well-wishes will be accepted with glee and thankfulness. Curses, chants to the dark underlord and flaming bags of dog poop may also be welcomed by the time things get going, who knows?

Maybe some knitting content tomorrow...if I haven't wrapped myself in the stash and begun meltdown mode.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hey, Jan...you gotta do this!

I'm not so sure this is dead-on the money but it does have a wee inkling of truth to it. I wonder if Jan will end up with matching results??

You Have A Type A- Personality


You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds

Sunday, February 05, 2006

How many knitters are married to armchair coaches? Knitters who like football and wanted to watch the SuperBowl while knitting? :::Jill, waving her arm wildly::: Guess which knitter had to leave the viewing area minutes into the third quarter due to Mr Armchair-I-Could-Do-SOOOO-Much-Better Coach. I just could not take another nanosecond of "what the hell are they doing? I wouldn't have called for that play". It was either leave the room or try to adjust to life in prison without needles. The part that still has me steamed is THE STEELERS WON AND I HAD TO MISS IT!!! Thanks a lot,honey. If this surgery does not cure what ails you, someone had better come and hubby-knap you for your own safety.

File Under "Someone had too much time on their hands" OR WTF?!

This morning, while doing my daily blog stalking, I stumbled across this at Mimi Smartypants' blog: 2. It is possible to cook an egg with two cell phones. Of course, being the curious creature that I am, I dashed off to see what the fuss was about. Please, go and see it for yourself. Consider the laughter my gift to you. That is, if you laugh about it. I found it hysterically funny that someone would be so inspired to try this at all. I've seen a lot of odd-ball cooking in my time (iron to make grilled cheese, open soup can on the manfold while driving, propane torch to make whatever, etc) but this takes the cake. Who knows, maybe that will be their next published "tip". (Note: Mimi Smartypants is not the person referred to in the title. She merely found it and put it in her blog. I enjoy her stuff a lot)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

February Socks, pair one

Fini! R's one skein sockettes jumped off the needles this morning at 12:14AM. Pretty good, eh? I have to admit I HATE these colors. Working with them was sheer torture, although it would appear not torture enough since these were finished in what, 3 days? Stats: Knitpicks simple stripes (I think it's call crayon?),star toe, 7spi, Addi Turbos US 2, 2s2c. Pattern link is given in post below somewhere. Will I make these again? Probably. Will I use the star toe again? Not until I can figure out why they seem so short. We'll see.

After the sockettes were finished, I fished around in the caddy for the smallest dpn I could find: US1, and cast on for a trial Jaywalker. Seems I am having a terrible time attaining gauge for anything. I have always done socks on US2s either bamboo dpns or the turbos and cannot get anything other than 7spi or 7.5 if I'm really lucky. Does not seem to matter how many needle sizes I try, I always end up with whatever the first swatch/attempt yielded. It is frustrating and discouraging to me right now, especially the thought of using dpns to knit socks again. I hate waiting for orders to come and I have not found any retailer nearby that sells Addis. :::boo hoo:::

Hubster is out of the house today! Which means I control the remote, recliner, lights...everything! I am letting the kidlets sleep as long as they want so I have some much needed quiet time. E is up but she is playing Barbies in her room and won't surface until she is ready to pass out from hunger. So TTFN!!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Wonders from the homefront...and why does Blogger hate me?

It has been an eventful week at Chez Duck. Rockin' R(the one in the blue shirt with her tongue hanging out of her mouth) has been hitting the math book HARD. The Amazing J, in the BRUTUS BUCKEYE (GO BUCKS!) shirt, has been on a baking kick. And lil' Miss E, the princess in pink, lost another tooth. You can almost make out the new hole in her smile in this pic. Of course, this was the biggest news. The kind of news shared excitedly with the Northern-most Grandma (AKA DUCK) via phone the following night. Thank heavens phone calls are fairly reasonable! This picture is one of my new favorites because it really seems to capture their personalities rather well. R is always outspoken, quick to cut up and get folks to laugh. J has her mama's twisted sense of humor and is often seen smirking at odd things in that way which means it amuses her. She is also the oldest and therefore the third in command. E is always bubbly, smiling and having fun. What more could a mama want? I admit to being relucant to post pics of my kidlets on the web. I will even admit to being paranoid about protecting the family. Too much crime tv. Yeah, let's blame the tube and all it's sinster ways.

Today brought Old Man Winter's return to Ohio. We live just on the fringe of where the worst is expected to hit but that did not mean we were warmer than the rest of the state. Cold weather always makes me crave two meals: potato soup and chili. Which both mean bread, crackers and cheese for me. I am a carb-addict. I love good bread and especially ones that incorporate my favorite favors. Vermont Cheddar Cheese Batter Bread is a new favorite in the house. Everyone loves it, although I am the only "dunker" in the clan. This is today's loaf, which is now reduced to a mere sliver, fresh from the oven. Nothing like fresh-baked bread to get the appetite going and the kids to the table, eh?

Blogger seems to hate me today. I cannot access my blog other than to post. If you've left me a comment, I probably haven't gotten it because well, Blogger hates me. Why? I do not know but it is really starting to pull my chain. Either I am too dumb to figure out how to do what I want or it can't be done with blogger. I'd love to move to typepad or some other blog-hosting with a fee but just cannot justify the cost right now. Hubster got a hospital bill today for $125...just for a test. Granted, the majority was paid by Medicare but still. I'm frustrated by the bills pouring in and the income staying the same. Mutter a word or two for me, please?

Tomorrow should bring a picture of finished sockettes. The toe decreases were started before I decided to play on the computer and will, all things willing, be finished before I head to bed. I'm using a star toe for the second time....we'll see how she likes them.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

All Jacked Up

I do love me some country music. None more at the very moment that Gretchen Wilson's "All Jacked Up". No, I'm not all likker'd up but I am Jacked up just the same. VERIZON DSL CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS. This afternoon, our online protection package sprung some kind of a problem and after a fucking hour with online support, I am no further along than I was an hour ago. Took "Cherie" over 20 minutes just to get around asking my name. Nothing pisses me off more than crappy make that truly shitty customer service. Regardless if I am right or wrong, the PROMISED PACKAGE IS NOT WORKING. Therefore the second sentence off her fingers should be "I am authorized to give you $5 off next month's dsl fee". Right after she profusely apologized for the problem. BUT NO. The almighty buck means more than happy customers. I can rip folks a new one with the best of them but this ditz was not getting the picture. Hell, I think I could have tattooed it on her hand and she'd have missed it. I am entitled to rant about customer service. I have worked with the public over the years and was always taught the first step after apologizing was to offer something to smooth things out, no matter what. Other reasons I am entitled to complain? Well, I paid for a service that did not work. Penny pinching old skinflints like me are silly that way. We actually expect things to perform as promised. We squeeze every last penny until old Abe is begging for mercy. (For the record, I wasn't ripping her a new one until she told me twice there is nothing verizon can do about the problem. That fired me up.)

Some pictures. Knitting pictures at that! Rockin' R's Guernsey. The back. Isn't it lovely?

More pretties for Rockin' R. Pattern found here: One Skein Sockettes
I'm sure you all recognize the Knitpicks Simple Stripes. US Size 2 Addi Turbos. Cast on for last night, heels turned this afternoon. I think they should be done by morning given the current sleep pattern. ugh.

The left front of Hubster's Watch Hill Buttondown. Paton's Classic Merino Wool in "New Denim". I love the feel of this yarn. I love the color of it, the way the stitches are coming out. Must admit to not properly swatching, washing or blocking before I jumped in with both feet so I have no idea if this yarn blooms a lot or not. Not that I happen to think it matters much for Hubster.
Some may think this is just awful but one of the reasons I wanted to knit this for Hubster goes back some 30 years. My grandfather also had emphysema and Gma knit him a cardigan (why do we tend to only call them cardis for women?). When he passed away, she kept the sweater and wore it with the sleeves rolled up despite having many in her size. When she passed away and we were cleaning out the farm house, it was cold. Grams sweater was on the back of a chair, right where she'd left it. I put it on and still have it today. I want to have that same sort of thing to pass along to the girls when Hubster (or I) pass away. That feeling of being back beside our loved ones, being wrapped in not only the love someone had for knitting but also the love they had for another person. Some of you know exactly what I am talking about. I know the girls already know what it is like thanks to the quilts Duck made them last summer. They talk often about being wrapped in her love, protected by her prayers, etc. I just want them to have that from US too.

I am a joiner again. Amanda put together the Yarn Aboard! swap and I was lucky enough to get in on the fun. My mailman, Brent, will surely end up hating me before the year ends, between the GUSYS, YA and a private stash swap I have going with my twin-sister-born-to-different-parents-in-another-state-and-year. She and I really should just swap houses, hubbies and kids for a while then return to our homes to marvel at the wonders brought about by the other. Only problem? The fear that we might actually like our new homes and stashes better than the one we left behind!

I am off to reclaim my recliner, crank up the heating pad for the back and knit. Oh, btw: Hubster's stress test came back ok so we hope to have a new surgery date either tomorrow or next week.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bargain shopping ;o)

Hubster is worrying about his sweater being done before the book is returned to the library. He does not remember that a)I can renew the book IF no one else has a hold on it, b)I can knit faster if he mans the house for a few days and 131)books are sold on the internet all the time. Back in the fall, TAJ needed some new books for schooling so we started scouring the web for affordable math texts. Amazon and the usual homeschooling sites were simply too expensive in our opinion but we stumbled across Abebooks. Talk about a book lover's dream! TAJ has ordered from them several times (she takes Barnes and Nobles' online courses at times and needs books for them) but I haven't had the pleasure of ordering for myself until today. Yes, I borrowed the picture from Amazon.com...it was in my picture folder so Hubster could remember what the book looked like should he and TAJ decide to order it for me one day while I was gone. yeah, like there is a snowman's chance in hell of that happening Back to my shopping for the day. I had a semi-good week on ebay: earned enough to ship a mountain of boxes (some ebay auctions, some not) and still have JUST enough left to order my book from abebooks! I mean, just enough...change to spare.

So now all that I need is the yarn. I will order it bright and early Friday morning from Discount Yarn Sale and wait. I doubt the yarn will make it here before I need waiting room knitting. The Guernsey for Rockin' R should be cruising towards done about this weekend sometime....the front has now reached the patterning stage, I hope to finish it today. The sleeves will cast on immediately after the front is BO. What will I do? I have two hanks of Knitpicks dye-it-yourself sock yarn and have been toying with either using it for Clapotis (yes, I am the ONLY knitter left in cyberspace who hasn't done it) or diving into the acrylic stash for a charity sweater. Any suggestions out there for a stunningly beautiful yet semi-mindless portable knit I plan to do while waiting for Hubster to come out of surgery?

Yes, his stress test is scheduled for tomorrow morning! We have been told to hope for a surgery date in the following 15 days. Personally, I suspect it will be more like the next 7 days given Hubster's pain level, status among the local doctors and the surgeon's promise of a quick date once the stress test was done. No matter when it happens, I must have some KIP stuff since there will be no one keeping me company in the waiting room. And no, that does not bother me in the least. I have done this so many times alone, company would probably make me either nervous or pass out from the feeling that I must entertain them. You all know what I mean.

Mount 'o' Dishes awaits, as does the layer of flith on the floor, the stinking pile of laundry and school. Anyone want to guess how much of those things I will do before I pick up the needles?