Things that Go BUMP in my Mind

Knitting, stitching, reading, gardening, cooking--I have no time for any of it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Whole lotta nothin' goin' on...

Seriously, the lack of recent blog entries is not to be taken as evidence of a crisis, work-related or otherwise, in my life. I've just been cruising along since the Great Trip North--running, working, playing, stitching, knitting.

Oh. Yeah, that. It occurred to me the other night that there is not *nearly* enough stitching or knitting going on. Christmas is less than three months away. Three months, people. That's DefCon 3 in terms of gift-preparedness. No need to panic just yet, but I'm starting to feel the prickings of concern at the back of my consciousness. Here's why:

Exhibit One

I swore to myself that this sampler would be finished by 9/30, so that I would have ample time to get it framed before the wedding on Oct. 23. What you see here is my progress as of 9:00 pm Sunday evening. It is not Thursday morning. As of Tuesday morning, when I started this blog entry, I was in a bit of despair. I didn't have a verse for the darned thing, and I hated the way the cross-hatch section looked and thought I was going to have to frog an entire evening's worth of work.

Things are better now. I've concocted myself a verse (which is so incredibly cheesy that I'm not going to tell you what it is, because I'm convinced that it will miraculously become less cheesy when stitched. I am a woman of faith, I tell you.), and I have started stitching said verse. My new finishing goal is the end of next week (Friday October 9). This may involve a few late nights and a few glasses of
Two Buck Chuck, but I will persevere.

Exhibit Two:

What you see here (you may need to use your imagination, but work with me, please) are (1) a chemo cap for my mom (Bernat CottonTots, Ivory), (2) a scarf for my sister-in-law (Knitpicks Elegance, blue); (3) a scarf (with cables!) for my Dad (in some kind of Alpaca so soft that I just know that knitting is going to be delayed by numerous breaks to just pet the stuff); and (4) a wrap for my mom (in Schaeffer Yarns "Laurel", "Frieda Kahlo" colorway).

The chemo cap will probably not get done, as it turns out that Mom is nearly done with chemo and is heading toward surgery (more about that in a subsequent post). The rest of it would be manageable, were it not for ...

Exhibit 3

While we were visiting this summer, I asked my Mother-in-Law what her favorite color was, thinking I would knit her a pretty shawl or something. She immediately asked for a white afghan for Christmas.

Now, you need to understand that Mom Small has never asked me for *anything*. And the woman has been through hell and high water in her 70+ years of life. And she has this very endearing tendency to give us extravagant gifts (the latest of which was a cashmere twinset for me, God bless her). So if she wants a white afghan for Christmas, by golly she's going to have it. And I'm not making it in the stinky cheapo acrylic she recommended. No sirree, she's getting pure, winter-white merino wool.

And let's not mention the fact that I think my beautiful nieces really must have one-skein wonders because they look absolutely so cute on little girls (check the sidebar).

So you'll understand if I need to sign off now. I have a little bit of knitting to do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rather than actually be creative,

I'm going to do a meme today. I thought this one was rather interesting. The idea is to copy the list and bold the things you've done. Then add three and pass it on. I'm not going to pass it on, but I will add three.

I am bisexual.
I am homosexual.
I've run away from home.
I listen to political music. I have in the past, but in all honesty, I think it must be tiring to be that earnest all the time. I know I got tired of listening to it.
I collect comic books.
I shut others out when I'm sad.
I open up to others easily.
I am keeping a secret from the world.
I watch the news. - at least once a week.
I own over 5 rap CDs.
I own an ipod.
I own something from Hot Topic.
I love Disney movies.
I am a sucker for hair/eyes.
I don't kill bugs.
I curse regularly.
I have "x"s in my screen name.
I've slipped out a "lol" in a real conversation.
I love Spam.
I bake well. Just ask my coworkers, who totally devoured the pumpkin cookies I brought yesterday.
I would wear pajamas to school.
I own something from Abercrombie.
I have a job
I love Martha Stewart. Well, “love” is too strong a word, but I do think the amount of crap she gets is undeserved. Except for the criminal conviction thing. She totally deserved to get crap about that.
I am in love with someone.
I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS. Nope, not me. I am totally obsessive about clarity of my typing.
I am self conscious. stop looking at me.
I like to laugh.
I smoke a pack a day.
I loved Go Ask Alice
I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
I can't swallow pills.
I have many scars.
I've been out of this country.
I believe in ghosts.
I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room.
I am really ticklish.
I love chocolate. Lately, I have been thinking more and more about opening a gourmet chocolate store.
I bite my nails.
I am comfortable with being me. I’m still learning. I think I’ve made some progress, though. This week, when shopping for work clothes, I blamed the fact that I couldn’t find a pair of pants that fit me right on the design of the pants, not the design of my body. Yay, me.
I play computer games/video games when I'm bored. I would if I had time. I loooove “The Sims”.
Gotten lost in a city.
Saw a shooting star.
I have had two serious surgical procedures. Two c-sections
Gone out in public in my pajamas.
I have kissed a stranger.
Hugged a stranger.
Been in a fist fight with the same sex.
Been arrested.
Laughed and had milk/soda come out of your nose.
Pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
Made out in an elevator.
Sworn at my parents.
Kicked a guy where it hurts.
Been skydiving.
Been bungee jumping.
Broken a bone. My pinkie toe. While constructing a closet system. Yes, I am just that talented.
Played spin the bottle.
Gotten stitches.
Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
Bitten someone.
Been to Niagara Falls.
Gotten the chicken pox.
Crashed into a car. One month to the day after getting my license. Truly, there is no end to my talents!
Been to Asia. Malaysia, when I was in college.
Ridden in a taxi.
Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.
Stole something from my job.
Gone on a blind date.
Had a crush on a teacher/coach.
Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Been to Europe.
Slept with a co-worker.
Gotten married.
Gotten divorced.
Saw someone dying.
Driven over 400 miles in one day.
Been to Canada.
Been on a plane.
Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Get this--with my mom. When I was maybe 12. What was she thinking?
Thrown up in a bar.
Eaten Sushi.
Been snowboarding.
Been Skiing
Been ice skating.
Met someone in person from the internet.
Been to a car show.
Going to or have gone to college.
Done hard drugs.
Taken painkillers.
Met a celebrity.
I like playing practical jokes
I love rainy days
I have rushed the stage at a concert Duran Duran, circa 1987.
I love to take naps

Monday, September 19, 2005


No blog entry today. Andy has got something weird going on with his hip, and he's in extreme pain. We'll see the orthopedist this afternoon. The current best guess is an inflammation thingy that kids sometimes get or possibly it's dislocated.

Update, 6:22 pm. The doc says it's toxic synovitis and has prescribed ibuprofen, a couple of days on the couch, and a re-check on Friday.

Friday, September 16, 2005

A grand unveiling...

I got bored with my old blog template, so here's a new one! I'm still tweaking it a bit. Will regular readers let me know if they hate the blue? If you love it, you can let me know that too, of course! :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I was going to blog today,

but instead, I think you should go read this.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Dulaan hat

Here it is, the picture you've all been waiting for ... the Dulaan hat.

First, the specs. The yarn is a space-dyed version of Harrisville Designs' New England Highland, which is a two-ply, heavy worsted weight. I made a pilgrimage to the weaving center when we were in New Hampshire and found it in their sale bin, at $10.50 for a 200 yard skein. It's not on the website--call the weaving center to see if they have more. When I saw those bright colors, I immediately thought Dulaan, dude!

The design is was started out as, but now bears no resemblance to, Norma's Double-thick, super warm Dulaan hat.

Norma's pattern calls for one strand of worsted and one strand of DK, knit together on a size 13 circular. She says you can do it with two strands of worsted, but you might want to go up to a size 15 needle. Pshaw! said I. That would mean going out to get new needles instead of starting right then and there. I'm an instant gratification kind of girl (stop snickering), so I went with what I had. Which, incidentally, was a pair of size 13 straight needles. Who needs circulars? thought I. I'll just knit it flat and then seam it. Patting myself on the back for my frugality, I cast on the requisite 40 stitches.

I soon discovered two things. (1) Size 13 bamboo needles are not really big enough for 80 strands of heavy worsted wool. Those stitches at the front of the needle will persist in attempting to fling themselves off the end when you are captivated by Steve's attempts to figure out Blue's clues distracted. (2) I was not going to have enough yarn to knit the 17-18 inch tube Norma wanted me to knit, i.e., this was not going to be a double-thick hat.

So, plan alteration time. I got hold of a pair of size 13 circulars and knit onto those. I originally figured I would continue to knit straight, but then I figured I might as well join where I was, knit the rest of the had in the round, and only have a couple inches of seaming left when I got done. I couldn't think of a single reason not to do this at the time, but now I know that doing this will give you a totally wonky seam and a spot where the brim of the hat will not curl up as it should. Hindsight is 20/20.

Now, Norma's pattern doesn't call for any decreases, because you're going to gather each end of the tube and then tack them together. Since I knew I didn't have enough yarn to do this, I figured I would go ahead and do a few decreases, to make the hat a bit more shaped. So, about the time I figured the hat was getting almost long enough (I tested it on Andy a couple of times), I worked a round of decreases (K4, K2tog, I think), knit a few more rounds, and then another round of decreases (K3, K2tog). That was all the decreasing I did, because I had no intention of going out to buy size 13 dpns.

Then I knit a while longer, and then I gathered up those last 20 stitches or so, and voila! The hat was done. As you can see from the picture, it's probably still a little small for a kid Andy's size, but it would probably work on Owen. If I could get him to hold still long enough, I would try it on him.

Have a lovely weekend, dear readers. We'll be busy--Second Saturday at the science center (insect-mania, oh joy), date night, etc., etc. I hope to get some work done on the wedding sampler, because I'm kind of starting to panic about that.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Note to readers: Thanks for the well-wishes. I'm feeling much better today. Still no pics of the Dulaan item, though. My model and I spent too much time playing outside after dinner last night. Maybe tomorrow.

The other day, Andy and I went to the fabric store to pick out a halloween costume and the accompanying pattern. (Yep, I'm going to sew Andy's halloween costume, and I ... stop laughing. Seriously, I mean it. I can do this. Yes, I do too have the time. No, I don't have to prove it.)

We sat down at the pattern table and opened "SewKwik Halloween costumes." Andy had been alternating between being a pirate or a knight, so you can imagine how this went.

Me: Okay, honey, let's look for a pirate or a knight costume.
Andy: I like that one!
Me: That's a bear.
Andy: Yeah! A bear!
Me: A bear costume would be awfully warm. Why don't we keep looking?
flipping of pages proceeds
Me: Hey, there's a nice knight costume. How about that?
Andy: No, I want to be a pirate.
Me: Oh, okay, here's a pirate costume.
Andy: no, not that kind of pirate. But I like that part. pointing to the bandana under the pirate hat
Me: Well, okay....

We repeated a roughly similar procedure for several more books, until we got to the McCall's book. Then this happened:

Me: Hey, Andy, here's a really cool [read: really easy] pirate costume. points to pirate costume on left-hand page
Andy: Wow, that's cool! I want to be that! points to dinosaur costume on right hand side of page
Me: You want to be a dinosaur?
Andy: Yeah, a T-Rex! A purple one!
Me: Everyone will think you are Barney.
Andy: No, I'll be a T-Rex!

After multiple assurances that it was his steadfast, if newly formed, wish to be a dinosaur for halloween, we got the pattern out and started looking for fabric. Andy immediately flung himself onto the first bolt of faux fur we passed, proclaiming that he wanted to be a "soft" dinosaur. Soft, indeed. Also "expensive" and "possible victim of heat stroke on a warm October afternoon." After being dissuaded from his first choice, Andy proceeded to fling himself (sometimes metaphorically, sometimes not) onto various bolts of fabric, all of which shared the property of being totally inappropriate, due to fabric content or price, for the project at hand.

When he found the tiger fabric and declared a steadfast wish to be a tiger, I knew we had to go back to the drawing board. So back to the pattern table we went, much to the amusement of the women who had been there on our first foray into the books. We ultimately settled on a Robin Hood costume (Andy's been into the Disney animated version lately). Andy likes it because the kid in the picture has a bow and arrow--never mind that they are not part of the pattern. I was fine with his choice, though, because the pattern proclaims that it can be done in "ONE HOUR!" This means that instead of a day off, large quantities of caffeine, and my entire vocabulary of epithets, making the costume will require only a late evening (or two), a few mild oaths, and a beer (or two. per evening, of course).

Further updates as events warrant.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Blah, blah, blog.

Yes, I'm still here--thanks for asking. (Oh, you didn't? My mistake.) I haven't been feeling terribly bloggish lately. I've been knitting, but not on anything exciting--just a couple of fun-fur scarves for my secretary's nieces. Those are done now, and I'm returning to the much more interesting scarf I am making for my brother for Christmas. I've also made my first Dulaan item, a nice warm hat knit in a space-dyed worsted wool I picked up on vacation. Pics tomorrow.

I need to be working on the wedding sampler I'm making for my friend for October, but Owen has been difficult at bedtime lately, so it's been hard to find the time to pick it up and get something done. Nevertheless, the wedding is fast approaching, so I need to get cracking. I'm missing cross-stitch a bit. It's just easier to knit in the evenings, when I'm tired and don't have much time, because it's so easy to just pick up and get started (obviously, I am not doing lace at this point). Hopefully now that Owen is back in his half-day program, I'll have more time in the evenings to cross-stitch.

Sniffle, sniffle, cough, cough. I have an end-of-summer cold, so I'm feeling a bit grumpy and pitiful. I was scheduled to donate blood today, but I guess that's out, since the first question they ask is, "Are you feeling well and healthy today?" Um, that would be a big "no."

So, there you have it--the world's lamest blog entry. My apologies, dear readers. I'll try to be wittier and more interesting next time.