29 October 2007

It's a blanket baby

The log cabin baby blanket is finally finished! I seamed up the last corner of the border last Thursday evening. The yarn is part acrylic, so I couldn't do a proper blocking, but I did run it through the washer and lay it flat to dry in an attempt to even out any wonky stitches.

finished blanket 102507
uh, dear, was there no other place to put your jeans after taking them off?

finished blanket2 102507
much better

Here's the details for ya:
Pattern: Log Cabin Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting, sized smaller for a baby
Yarn: Plymouth Encore worsted in 4 different colors; 2 balls of each color, though I only used a small bit from each of the second balls
Needles: 32" US size 8 circular
Started: first week of September 2007
Finished: 10/25/07
Modifications: The biggest change I made to the basic log cabin pattern in the book is the stitch pattern. I do not like garter stitch. Not only am I not fond of the way it looks, I also don't like knitting row after row after row. I need purl rows to break up the monotony for both my mind and my hands. So, for each strip, I worked the first 10 rows in stockinette and the last 8 rows in garter. The center square is all garter. This gave the fabric a interesting texture that varies from smooth to bumpy with the change of each color.

finished blanket3 102507

The picture frame border was worked as described in the book.
Notes: I had some serious doubts about the colors the whole time I worked on this. My intention was to use purples and greens, but the day that I was at the LYS looking for yarn, they didn't have the colors I wanted in the right yarn. I had decided a while ago that I wanted to use Encore--it's soft, warm, and machine-washable. Since there weren't any purples and greens available that matched tonally, I started picking up colors that I liked and looking for matching yarns. These 4 are the ones I ended up with.

finished blanket7 102507

They aren't exactly baby colors. However, I hate pastels, and just couldn't see spending the time and effort on something in colors that I can't stand. My SIL doesn't like pastels much either, so I thought she's appreciate something a little different. Still, I was apprehensive, but kept knitting. The knitting itself was simple enough. Picking up the stitches was probably the most tedious part of the project. I also didn't like that each strip was longer than the previous one. Starting at the middle, I scooted along at a very nice pace to start. The longer I worked on it, the bigger the blanket got and the slower my progress. I'm not sure if I'd ever make another one like this, especially if I wanted a full-size afghan. I fear I would never finish.

Great thing is that Christy seemed to really like it:

finished blanket8 102707

And, as an added bonus, the colors perfectly match the crib bedding set that she picked out. When she opened my gift at the shower we had for her on Saturday, several people there said "Oh look, they're Christy colors!" So, I guess my color choices were spot on. Go figure.

28 October 2007

A Typical Friday

My alarm goes off at 6:45am. I hit the snooze until 7:45, and then don’t actually get out of bed until 8:00, sometimes a little later. From there, it’s a rush to shower and dress, pack breakfast and lunch, and get my ass to work. I’m usually in the car by 8:45, and at work a few minutes before 9:00.

First thing I do when I get to work is check email, after which I make coffee. I have a coffee pot in my office because I can never get up early enough to make coffee at home to bring with me. I seem to be the only person in my part of the building who has an addiction to coffee as extreme as mine because I’m the only one with my own pot.

On Friday, I spent most of the day reading proofs for the December issue of one of my journals. After finishing the reading and marking corrections, I made photocopies of the pages that need to be picked up from the previous issue, numbered the pages, inserted the proofs for the cover of the issue, and took it down to customer service to put into production. Sometime around noon I heated up my Lean Cuisine lunch (yawn), and ate at my desk. This is what I usually do for lunch because I can’t be bothered to go out unless the girls convince me to. Staying at my desk means going home an hour earlier than if I go out, so there’s added motivation to work through lunch.

The last couple of weeks have been really busy with getting several of my journal issues together, so on a Friday afternoon I was too tired to do much else than read blogs and catch up on the knittyboard. I even spent a while in the office of a friend on the other side of the building, chatting and catching up. I left work a little after 4:00, went home and got Pete’s birthday present ready (his b-day was Friday).

We had dinner plans with my parents, grandma, Wendy and Pete. Shane had to go and pick up BB from his grandmother’s house, so they met us at the restaurant. As usual, I was late getting to the restaurant because the drive across town during our version of “rush hour” takes FOREVER. I really need to start leaving earlier if I’m going to get anywhere on time.

After dinner, Shane and BB drove home in the truck and I drove home separately in my car. Then an evening of tv watching and knitting. I was in bed a little after 11pm.

Exciting day, huh?

24 October 2007


BB made the honor roll! This is pretty big accomplishment. This time last year, he was struggling to get by. I really started to worry that maybe he wasn't very smart (I know, that's a horrible thing to say about your stepchild).

Brady honor roll 101707

This is an awful picture of Shane and BB, but this is what happens any time Shane is responsible for picture taking. The ceremony where BB got his honor roll certificate was at 9am last Thursday, and I couldn't leave work to go. This is the only picture he got. Anyway, we're quite proud of the squirt.


Bina had an interesting little meme that I thought I would steal: Copy the fifth sentence of page 161 in whatever book you're reading.

"Indeed, one or both parents (usually wearing bathing suits) will take the child into the water." --Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Families by Anita Diamant. It refers to part of the conversion ceremony for a child converting to Judaism.


And, knitting. I am 8 rows away from being finished with the baby blanket. I will post pics and details after it is washed and ready to give.

Still no progress on the Secret of the Stole or the Jaywalkers.

I did start a new project though. The woven trellis scarf from the Holiday '06 issue of Vogue Knitting.


I'm using black Andean Silk. I love this yarn. But I HATE double-pointed needles. Now I know why I didn't get into sock knitting until learning magic loop. DPNs are so awkward for me. The scarf consists of 6 knitted tubes that are woven to create the pattern. After doing the base garter rounds, I will be magic-looping the tubes.

23 October 2007

Queen of Slack

I am Bad Blogger, hear me roar. Not only am I late with last week’s blogstalker assignment, I realized today that I haven’t posted a thing since last Wednesday. Quite a dull life I have and I guess I didn’t want to lull you all to sleep with the details (although if you have a touch of the insomnia, I’d be glad to oblige you with talk of vacuuming, laundry, and proof editing).

Blogstalker week 5 assignment: Interesting statue.

I had to think on this one. The only thing that came to my mind immediately are the Jayhawks on Parade (a la Cows on Parade) statues that are around town. None of those is very interesting though. They provide something interesting to look at, but really, who cares about a Jayhawk dressed up like a Wizard of Oz nightmare (oooo, how original: Kansas—Wizard of Oz).

Then I remembered this beauty.


My mother would be a hundred shades of horrified if she knew I posted a picture of this thing on my blog, so I had to sneak into her house this weekend while she and dad were away to take a picture.

statue front

For most of my childhood, this lovely had a place on my parents’ dresser, next to my mom’s jewelry box. I loved looking at it because there was something so taboo about a nude woman just sitting there. Especially in the conservative Christian household in which I was raised. Apparently, others liked to look at her too, and touch. Notice where the statue is worn—nose, chin, and nips. Hm. Maybe someone thought that rubbing the nips would be like rubbing Budda’s belly—lot’s of good luck and all. Or maybe they were copping a feel off a statue. Who knows.

statue back

Anyway, I have no idea what the story is behind this piece of “art.” I’m sure that my mother told me once upon a time, but I can’t remember. Sad thing is that she (the statue, not mom) has lost her place of honor on the dresser. Now she is a door stop in my parents’ bathroom, which would explain the layer of dust in the poor thing’s naughty bits.

I got to visit the kitties while I was stealthily snapping nude statue pics. They’re so soft and squishy, and impossible to get pictures of (hence the rabid cat look on Sophie’s face).

Gracie 102007

Sophie2 102007

17 October 2007

I really have made progress

Still only three projects on the needles this week. The two that I have pictures of don't look much different than they did last week, though I have made some progress.

First is the log cabin baby blanket.

baby blanket 101607

This has been an easy knit, but I'm really getting tired of it. I'm trying to decide how big I should make it. I have no idea how large a baby blanket should be. I'll do some digging online and hope that I'm close to the end.

The other thing I've worked on this past week is the Secret of the Stole, clue 2.

SotS 101607

I finished clue 1 last Thursday night. I have only managed to finish a few rows of clue 2 this week. I just have to finish the baby blanket before I concentrate on anything else. As of tomorrow, I have only 9 days to finish it, so all other projects will have to wait.

Jaywalkers have not been touched in weeks.

Sorry for the stunted post. I have been so swamped at work my brain is pretty well fried by the time I get home at the end of the day. It's amazing how tired reading proofs for 8 hours can make you.

11 October 2007

I love you, but I hate YOU

Assignment #4 for Blogstalking is “Three things you love, and three things you hate.” This was a hard one to narrow down, as there are so many things that I really love, and probably more things that I absolutely hate (and the drama queen in me doesn’t think it’s too strong a word—it’s all about context). So, I decided to just pick some things at random.

First, The Hates.


The vacuum. No, that’s not true. It’s not really the vacuum that I hate, but the task that it performs. I hate vacuuming with a white-hot passion. It hurts my lower back, it makes me sweat, and it never cleans as thoroughly as I wish. Bad thing is that The Evil One sheds like there’s no tomorrow. Her shedding is so bad that we call the clumps that fall of her “gremlins” because they are large enough to mutate into completely new kitties. Thankfully, Shane doesn’t mind vacuuming. Not long after we moved in together, I declared that I was not vacuuming anymore, and that I expected him to do it on a regular basis. Hey, I do all the other housecleaning; he can handle this one thing.

my house

My house. I say “my” house instead of “our” house because I bought this beauty when I was still single. At the time, it was a smart investment, and I was quite proud of myself for being able to buy a house all by myself. Two years later the 6’4” wonder moved in and brought his child with him. My cute little house suddenly because WAY too small for my new family. I want to get rid of it so badly I can taste it. Unfortunately, the thing that was such a good investment has been neglected the whole time I’ve owned it and now needs quite a few repairs before we can think about putting it on the market. I’ve told Shane that we are not having kids until the house is gone. He’s so baby crazy that I think this may actually motivate him to get it ready by next spring. We’ll see.

my bra

Yes, this is a picture of my bra (stylized so as not to creep y’all out too much). You see, I hate my bazooms. And here’s why: I spent most of my life very thin. And I had a perfectly sized rack to go with my perfectly sized body. Actually, I never thought my body was perfect (bad self-image, low self-esteem, blah, blah, blah) but I always liked the girls. They were the part of my anatomy that I was actually proud of. Then, 4 years ago, I experienced a life change that resulted in me gaining weight. About 50 lbs. Of course, as anyone who has gained weight can tell you, the breasties are one of the first things to get bigger, and bigger they got. And unruly. They don’t really feel like they’re a part of me—they’re just some baggage that happens to be attached to the upper portion of my torso. I have never been able to find a bra that fits right. They are either too large or too small, and are never comfortable. Such was never the case with my tinier self. So everyday when I get dressed, I curse the bazooms. Someday I’ll lose a shitload of weight and maybe they’ll go too.

Now that I’ve rambled on about the hates, let’s look at the loves, shall we?

beer glass

This is my favorite beer glass. Pete “nicked” it for me from a pub in London when we went there for vacation 2 years ago. He nicked a few other ones while we were there (it became a challenge at some point and kept him amused), but this one is my favorite. Something I noticed in the multitude of pubs that we patronized while in London is that many of them will serve your beer in a glass that reflects the name of the brew you’re drinking. I love that! And I love Stella Atrois, so I love my glass.

I don’t have pictures of my other two loves. The first is french fries. I love all french fries. Doesn’t matter if they are too crisp or too mushy, or cold. I am not discriminating. I love them all. They are the perfect accompaniment to every meal (not that I really eat them at every meal, but I would!). And I don’t like stuff on them. Just plain. Salt or no salt, I don’t care. Give me a plate of fries and I’m a happy camper.

The last of my loves is one of my simple pleasures. I love to sit in my recliner on Sunday mornings, drinking coffee and poring over the retail fliers in the Sunday paper. If I’m up early enough, you can add watching CBS’s “Sunday Morning” to that list. It’s the perfect beginning to the last day of the week.

10 October 2007

Messy lace 'n stuff

Abbey wanted to help me take a picture of this week's WiP.

clue 1 Abbey

I was just relieved that she didn't step on it.

So, what is that uneven and horribly displayed bit of lace knitting? I joined the Secret of the Stole knitalong back in August, and the first clue was posted last Friday. I have about 20 more rows to finish clue 1.

clue 1 101007

This is my first real lace project. I thought this would be a good introduction to lace. Clues doled out in small pieces once a week is a little less daunting than looking at the expanse of a large and complicated lace chart. So far, so good.

The Log Cabin baby blanket is also coming along. It doesn't look a lot different from last week's picture, so I didn't bother to snap one this time.

The only other project I have going right now is the Jaywalker socks. They're on hold for now while I concentrate on the blanket and the lace.

P.S. Anyone watching "Pushing Daisies"? It's one of the new shows this season. It's amusing. Anyway, on this week's show, the character played by Chi McBride is a knitter. He knits on camera, "stocking stitch" as described by the narrator. It doesn't look like he's actually knitting, but at least his hand movements were a little more believable than what I've seen on tv before. He made gun cosies for his hand guns. How cool, and oddly disturbing, is that?

P.P.S. I got my Ravelry invite today! I'm a bit overwhelmed at the whole thing, so I haven't done much in there yet. My name there is Beverly (oooo, how imaginative).

08 October 2007

My favorite FO this year

I talked Shane into taking a couple of pictures for me of the completed Lady Eleanor.

finished Lady E1 100507

There she is in all her glory. I am really pleased with how this came out. It’s taking a lot of restraint on my part not to cast-on one for myself; especially since I have already purchased the yarn for it.

finished Lady E2 100507

I have no idea why I look so blasé in this picture. I think I was just tired from a long day at work. My hair has seen better days. Summer humidity in October, anyone?

finished Lady E3 100507
finished Lady E4 100507

The fringe was a big fat bitch to do. I managed to limp my way through the crocheted edge, which I completely suck at. Then it took me 2 HOURS to attach and knot the fringe on one end of the shawl. I watched an entire movie in the time that it took (The Holiday – great chick flick and Jude Law is now at the top of my list of men I’d leave my husband for). I thought I had the spacing of each strand figured out perfectly, but I had attached nearly 75% of it before realizing that they weren’t going to come out evenly-spaced. Then all of the knotting took forever. I sat on the floor to do this, which turned out to be a mistake. My lower back did not like me at all when I was finished. I did the fringe for the other side the next morning and it went much faster.

finished Lady E5 100507

Here’s an overexposed shot of the backside of the shawl. I just love how this looks. I’m still amazed at the outcome of entrelac. It’s such a simple technique, but has such a complicated appearance. And, can I just say that blocking is an amazing thing, even for a piece like this? All of the stitches evened out nicely, and the fabric flattened just enough to make it really look like the shawl is made up of woven strips.

The details:
Pattern: Lady Eleanor Stole from Scarf Style
Yarn: ~10 skeins of Patons SWS in Natural Plum; fringe was worked in Patons Classic Merino in Royal Purple
Needles: 32” Addis in size US 10.5; I can’t remember the size crochet hook I used but it was a big one
Started: mid-July
Finished: 9/29/07
Modifications: The only thing I did differently was to knot the fringe into 5 tiers instead of 7. Being the most boring and most frustrating part of the pattern, I just couldn’t see doing 2 more tiers.
New techniques learned: Aside from learning entrelac, I also learned how to knit backwards so that I wouldn't have to turn my work every row.
Notes: Love, love, love this pattern. And I am thoroughly smitten with this yarn. I love the colors, and I love that I can get it at Michael’s. There were a few knots in a couple of the skeins, but nothing earth-shattering. This stuff is so soft. I really hope it doesn’t pill much, but I suspect that it will. The recipient of this one is going to love it, I’m sure. Sadly, I cannot give it to her until December, so I will have to wait for the gratification of her reaction.

04 October 2007

Baby you can drive my car

Behold The Blueberry!

my car

She goes everywhere with me.

Shane occasionally mistakes her for a trash can.

side pocket
i know it's blurry, but that is the driver's side door pocket, full of straw wrappers and fast food receipts

For me, she is more like a large set of headphones. Most of my music listening is done in the car, on this...

satellite radio

...or the iPod. I love the satellite radio. LOVE. IT. Unfortunately, the sticky stuff that stuck it to the dash became unsticky and now the radio lives in the cup holder.

And, you know, I know that the makers of said radio included this...


...so that one could channel surf more easily from a safe-driving position. But I nearly hit a pedestrian once when I was fooling with the remote. Seriously. I try not to play with it much anymore when I'm driving.

This is my favorite part of the car.

sun roof

There are days when I just want to look out the sunroof instead of driving. Having a convertible in Kansas is just not practical because of the weather, so a sunroof is the next best thing.

The Blueberry even has jewelry.


It's a komboloi, Greek worry beads. I got it in Greece when I went there with the X 5 years ago. Here's the funny thing. When I bought them, I wanted a nice set, so I searched and searched for nice ones. These are silver-plated, I think. Anyway, the X (a Greek) made some comment about how most Americans buy these things and just end up putting them on their rear view mirrors, which he considered insulting (he's a big fat snob, by the way). I promised him that I wouldn't do that with mine. HA! That's exactly what I did with them once he and I broke up. Just to spite him.

So, that's my ride. Fascinating, huh?

03 October 2007

Blanket progress

This week's WiP is brought to you by The Blanket Whore.

Abbey baby blanket2 100207
oh, did you put this here just for me?

Abbey baby blanket1 100207
mmmmmmmm blankets. we loves the blankets mom.

Abbey baby blanket3 100207
okay, fine. i'm gettin' up.

baby blanket1 100207

That's better. Here we are this week. I have finished a few more stripes. I figure I have 6 more of each color to go before I can do the edging. It's coming along nicely. I'm confident I'll have it finished by the end of the month.

01 October 2007

Dunked and dried

I blocked Lady Eleanor last Wednesday. I did the crochet edge and knotted the fringe on Friday night and Saturday morning. I had intended to post some pictures before now of it completely finished, but I want Shane to take some pictures of me modeling it in the backyard, and I just haven't had the energy to deal with it.

Instead, you get the blocking pictures for now.

Lady E 092607
Lady E2 092607

I almost want to cast on for one for myself right away. But, I have some other things in the queue. I'll try to wait until after the holidays to start mine.

FO pictures to come in the next couple of days.