Sunday, April 30, 2006

Crack epidemic

I'm sure I am not the first one to write about this. Hell, it's something I know we are all seeing and trying to turn a blind eye to, but I have just had enough. I write this today as a good Samaritan in the hope that we can all come to terms with the problem and change the world.

Pull up your pants people!

I am just done when it comes to seeing total strangers butt cracks. You're sitting having a perfectly lovely dinner and you look over and the woman at the next table has 2 plus inches of ass hanging out of her pants. I'm driving down the street and there is a guy on a bike, pedaling for all he's worth, crack hanging out. You're at a playground with your kids, and even one of the caregivers has a good inch or two in full view.

But, perhaps the worst and most recent offender was the landscaping man at my local shopping center. It wasn't a particularly warm day and he was working with another person. The second I made a right turn I was confronted by his ass hanging out of his pants. And I say ass because this wasn't just a crack, not a little plumbers leak so to speak. This was a full-on hang-the-moon shot off his posterior. I mention that it was cold because there is no way he could not feel the breeze back there. The person he was working with must have gotten the shot practically in his face at least once. And he was wearing a belt! If you haven't figured out how to use a belt to keep your pants up and your crack invisible, I'm thinking that leaving the house in the morning might not be such a good idea.

I know it used to be that everyone had the baggy pants look. You'd see boxers hanging out of young men's pants much to the chagrin of mothers everywhere. But, I would take seeing anyone's boxers, even a thong, rather than a crack. I know, part of the problem are these low-riders made popular by the rich and famous and typically small-hineyed women. There are underwear available to you should you choose to wear them. But, if you aren't Kate moss, and you plan on wearing them, at least have the decency to hike them up.

People flipped out about Janet Jackson's nipple being visible on television. How can that even be objectionable compared to the wanton ass-crack/cellulite combo? Even Survivor has the sense to blur-over the contestants bare butts. Remember when Jimmy Smits had a full-on butt shot on NYPD Blue? People, hardly any of us have butts that look like that, put the cheeks away!

So, I ask you, please, pull-up your pants and if someone you know is hanging the moon, please ask them to pull up their pants. Together we can nip this crack in the bud.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Three more FO's

I figured since I didn't have that many photos this week, you might want to see some of the items I've recently finished. The first was actually a Christmas present for Callista, the mistake rib scarf with two alternating skeins of Noro Kureyon. Very cool, and the response from her was the best part.

Our second finished object I actually completed a while ago also, but forgot to take a picture of them. The ghetto fab knitted flip-flops. These are on my best friend, Erika's feet. Callista has a matching pair which is fairly amusing. I knit tons of these flip-flops last summer, but I must say, I think this pair came out the best.I think it was fun fur of some sort, but I know I mixed something else in there and can't remember now what it was.

And the third, I actually took off of the needles today. It is a dupe of one that I made for my mom to go with her socks. Perfect color for Erika. So, I finished it up (my distraction project) and gave it to her today. This was fun to knit because it wasn't your typical novelty scarf. It's actually Cotton Classic (love that it's made in Greece) and the other is Crystal Palace (whose name is escaping me, more later).

I've finished about 13 inches on the front of Allen's sweater. It's slow progress, but it's going okay, and I am almost halfway through the Chevron scarf. I hope to have a decent photo of that to post this week. I'm thinking maybe I need to post a progress bar for all the projects that are on my needles.

And fyi folks, Kaleidoscope Yarns has a 30% discount on Berroco chinchilla this week (code chin30). It's kind of in the fug category, but we all need a little fug in our life once in a while. In case, it's what you need, hope you save a bit to spend somewhere else!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Ah, Berroco

You know, I often look at the Berroco site and think, "what the hell were they thinking?" I'm still on their email list though, and occasionally there is something in there of value. As it was today, there is an adorable dress in there called, Victoria, that would look great on either Callista or Sabrina, so I think that will be my next summer project.

Though I am salivating at the prospect of starting my Hanne, I know me, and I know I will have a hard time keeping at it when it gets hot because of the wool factor. So, this little dress in Cotton Twist will be the perfect quickie distraction.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Quote of the Day

"The administration's central problem is its policies, not its staff. If you're driving in the wrong direction, changing chauffeurs doesn't help." by Robert J. Samuelson, The Washington Post

The first genocide of the 21st Century

It's going on right now. Words have always been my friends, and right now, they are deserting me in the face of seeing the horrors of Darfur on the news.

The estimate of deaths since 2003 (when open warfare erupted between two loosely-allied rebel groups) is 400,000. 3.5 million people are hungry. 2.5 million have been displaced due to violence. But, the rape of the women is easily the most disturbing thought of all, "Rape has become a hallmark of the crimes against humanity in Darfur. It has proven one way for the Janjaweed militias to continue attacking Darfurians after driving them from their homes. Families must continue collecting wood, fetching water or working their fields, and in doing so, women daily put themselves or their children at the risk of rape, beatings or death as soon as they are outside the camps, towns or villages. It is assumed that the hundreds of rapes reported and treated grossly underestimate the actual number committed, as victims of rape in Darfur are often too scared or too ashamed to seek help. In a culture where rape draws heavy social disgrace, victims are often ostracised by their own families and communities. These women and children have been forced from their communities and even punished for illegal pregnancy as a result of being raped." (Source: The situation is nauseating.

Please consider taking action today. And it doesn't have to be financial. First, go to Save Darfur and send President Bush an electronic postcard, tell him you can't stand it any more, and that's it is time for him to fulfill the promise he made, "Not on my watch." Better yet, call the White House and tell him to get off of his ass--800-224-2084.

And to anyone who says, why do we always have to be the world's policeman? Who else is going to care about children getting raped if we don't?

And if you will be in DC this weekend, there is a March on April 30th. Stand and be counted.

WIP and Hanne colors

Wanted to show you a WIP today, Aden's blanket. This one is slightly slow-going. I'm working on the third of seven strips of garter. The never-ending garter is definitely what is making it slow. I need to set an end-date for this project so that I can finish it before the boy it is intended for ends up going to college (he's only two now). As always, if I would just knit one thing at a time, I would be good to go and finish things faster.

Also wanted to show you some of the yarn from the Hanne kit. If there were more of it, I'd get naked and roll around in it. Now, there would be a real picture of interest (ah, the odor of fresh sarcasm in the morning).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Late to the party

I'm sure I'm probably the last one to know about this, but I was having a rather weak retail moment and I was on Amazon about to purchase some books. And for some reason, I thought, what the hell, go check and see if they have any books on knitting. Well, folks, they have a lot of books on knitting. And they are mostly cheaper than Amazon. This is going to be dangerous. And in direct opposition to the associates program at Amazon.....perhaps Overstock has one?

Ah, the Decision Makers

As if taking away our right to choose, getting us involved in wars no one wants and not doing a damn thing to help control the oil prices weren't enough.....

I'm sure most of us didn't see this, and I'm glad it was brought to our attention by a fellow knitter on the KRF. February first was "Screw the college students and their parents day" in Congress. That was the day that the GOP cut $12 billion in federal student aid programs.

But, no, that's not enough! Let's remember, they also voted against a Democratic measure that would have helped cut interest rates on student loans in half.

If you're appalled and especially if you have a story to tell about paying for college or not being able to pay for college, you can take action by emailing your story to the democrats in Congress.

Right now, Reps. George Miller and Dick Durbin to propose another bill to cut the rates in half.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Momma Socks

Wanted to post a pic of the socks I made my mama for Christmas. There is a matching scarf too, but for now, just thought I would put out the sock pic.

The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill. Love it. Got it on eBay a while back but can't remember from whom. You can get Cherry Tree Hill lots of places, though.

The Diva is here!

My Diva sweater kit arrived today! Woo-hoo. It’s that fabulous Hanne Falkenberg that was on my list and my dream came true. The colorway is awesome.

I cannot get over how fast the shipping was, especially since I purchased on 4/16 and they sent it over from England. I used their eBay site, but their actual site is Cucumber Patch. Will definitely be ordering from them again. I’ll put a permanent link in the sidebar, but go there NOW!

I’m stalking a skein of Opal yarn on eBay right now from another UK seller. I already bought the Regia cotton surf sock yarn from the same person, but I’m trying to get a two-fer on the shipping. Someone outbid me a little while ago, but I am hoping to win it back!

I’m about 3 inches in on the front of Allen’s sweater. He told me we could pretend the back was the front and then just give him something to attach it to, he’ll wear it under a jacket and everyone will think it’s a whole sweater. I knew there was a reason I married him.

And here’s a great FYI. I was on the KRF and saw that there was a link to the Summer issue of Interweave Knits. Nice looking stuff. I especially like the knitted crowns! Might have to make those for my girls.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Blue Sky Cotton

In case any of you are in the market, Kaleidoscope Yarns is selling Blue Sky Cotton at 20% off this week. The code for the sale is BSC20. Happy Shopping!


How I wish I was the genius who came up with this term. But you'll just have to visit M. Kane Jeeves to enjoy the genius for yourself. Rock on Arepublicans! Can we form a real party? Seriously people.....

Shameless Mom Post of the Week

Callista was in her first Opera Friday night, "The Mermaid and the Prince." They call it an opera at her school which is a nice way of saying "glorified musical." Was very cute (especially the penguins and churchbells, those of you in attendance know what I mean!). But, really I only mention it so I can include the following photo of said beautiful daughter: :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

DH's sweater update

Le dos, c'est fini, mes amis! Or, the back is finished my friends. And hajelluah that it is. I managed to shape the shoulders tonight while I waited for a very fussy Sabrina to fall asleep. But, this bodes well because now, I can a) start the front of the sweater (I know I said I was going to do the sleeves first, but I'm waffling on that idea) and b) that means I can do more work on my Chevron scarf without guilt (it's only about 2x as long as it was the last time I posted a picture). I've already decided in my head that Cindy is going to finish this one for me. That way I know it will get done! Hopefully, she will allow me to have her finish it. I know I could do it, but after all this hard work, I want it to look perfect, and that means her work! And FYI, if I ever turn up missing, check this sweater first for a DNA match because I've sewn a wig's-worth of hair into this baby.

Also, wanted to post another FO pic, this one of the cashmere scarf that I made him for Christmas. Once sweater weather appears again, this will look lovely with his sweater. I'm also planning socks in the same navy Cashsoft. He says he will be "too hard" on them, but he doesn't know the resiliency of the hand-knit sock! I love the detail on this mistake rib scarf (pattern logically from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, who else) on the back especially. Unfortunately, this picture doesn't quite do the colors justice, and I probably should have re-blocked as he wore it a lot!

Now, much as I love you all, I must go because someone has to make sure the Easter baskets are filled for Anastasi tomorrow!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What a week!

Isn't this week over yet? I've gotten so little knitting done, I just need the week to end so I can get back on track.

I'm Greek Orthodox, so as I mentioned before, my Easter isn't until this Sunday. Which means this is my Holy Week. So between being in church, relatives coming into town and all the activities. . . it's nuts!

Not to mention the weather was absolutely SPECTACULAR today and so I was out in the garden tending my other children.

Listen, my Walk Against Hunger is two weeks from this Sunday. If any of you out there are interested in joining the team and walking with us, please do so by visiting our Team's Site, Compassionate Soles. And if anyone wants to make a donation, that would be awesome and you can do so by visiting my 2006 Walk Against Hunger site. A $1 donation equals $10 in food, so there really is no donation too small!

Thanks for your support!

And more knitting project photos are on their way!

Some baby knitting

When I first started the blog I mentioned how I was up to my eyeballs in babykknitting. Well, just wanted to show off some of the adorable babies I had the chance to knit for (oh, and the knits too). This cutey pie is Athena, and the hat was a Berrocco pattern knit in Hush and Lullaby.

Hats like this are great for babies who are born with not so much on the hair front (though Athena has a full head of it under hers! Love those Greek babies!) And the Hush is supersoft, so it feels great on their little heads.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sock yarn FYI

Just so those of you wanting and waiting on either Sweet Georgia Yarns or Brooklyn Handspun. . . Sweet Georgia should be ready on the 4th, including some laceweight mohair. And Brooklyn thinks maybe the end of this week. Links in the side.

Previous knitting

Over the next few days, I thought I would put up a few posts of some of the knitting I've done over the pat couple of years (okay, okay, it's a little showing off, but it's better than all text). The scarf in this pic is one I am especially proud of this one, because I had to rip it out at least three times before I got it just how I wanted it. This pattern for those of you interested is available on Knitty and it's called Loopy and Luscious. I did it in different colors obviously, but I am working on a second one in the colors pictured at Knitty.

Interestingly enough there are a bunch of similar patterns in the Mason-Dixonbook. So, if you are interested, there are a ton of variations to try.

I call it lazy girl's lace, cause you get the idea of lace without doing lace. It's all knit and purl on really big needles with two vastly different yarns. Pretty cool and fun.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

DH's sweater

I finally picked up Allen's sweater tonight. I thought that I was already at the shaping portion of the back, but no. So, on I knit. It's a simple rib pattern and so it goes along pretty fast. I am not going to work on the socks now because I am hell-bent on just finishing the back of this project. I'm using my Denise needles at least it's faster than some of the other circulars I have (I wish that I had started the Chevron on a pair of Addi's, I'd be going along a lot quicker). I used to think it was crap about the needles making you knit faster. I was so young. Such an amateur :0

So, I have about half an inch to an inch left before I start shaping. Which means, my butt needs to go back upstairs and get to it! I'll try to post a pic tomorrow and give you the name of the yarn because my brain has a horrible case of flatulence right now.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I'll just have the water, thanks

I'm reading this week's issue of US News & World Report and there's a Democratic Opinion analyst quoted as saying, "People used to see him as the kids of guy they'd like to have a beer with. They don't see him that way anymore. It used to be that while they didn't necessarily agree with his policies, they felt he talked straight and they could trust him."

Apparently, in the middle of all the scandal surrounding the Bush administration (the him the analyst spoke of), someone forgot to make the Kool-Aid these people have been drinking since just before he got elected.

Have a beer with him? That would mean hanging out with him. Spending time with him. This guy is the freaking President of the United States. The last guy I want to get the "have a beer with him" impression about is the leader of the free world.

I admit, I spent a lot of time at various fraternities while I was in college. And I can't think of a single guy I would want from one of them to run this country. And, personally, frat guy has always been the impression this smug, village idiot has always given off.

I can't seem to figure out why now people are finally getting the idea, that gee, this ignoramus, the man who can only think of one adjective at a time to use per speech that's off the cuff, might not be the best man for the job. What could it be? Hmmm....the intelligence leak? Nah, that's probably just Dick Cheney's fault, right? Cause we all know, he's the one really running the country anyway.

Could it be all of our boys and girls (check the average ages people) dying and getting injured over in Iraq? Nah, cause no one gets to see or hear about those poor folks unless you actively seek out the information and most Americans are just too lazy (busy) for that.

maybe it's the concern over the fact that if his lips are moving, he's not telling the truth. As in, "No, we're not planning an airstrike on Iran." If I was Iranian, I'd start planning a duck and CYA right now.

For those of you just arriving at the party, Bush is lying, has been lying and will continue to lie. How about a glass of water?

Lily Chin and Stitchcraft

Thanks to Holly in CT for keeping me in the loop on this: Lily Chin has a pilot show on Oxygen that is re-airing.

The dates are as follows: Friday, May 19th at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 20th at 4:00 p.m.; Sunday, May 21st at 2:30 p.m.

The more people watch, the more likely they will keep the show, and we all want that!

She's also going to be on Knitty Gritty at some point in the future. You can check the DIY site for more information.

The Chevron scarf

I am loving this scarf. First of all, the Koigu rocks. And this pattern is just great. I think I mentioned before I got it out of my bible, Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. And I had bought the yarn last summer I think from someone who was de-stashing. And, finally I am working on it, and it's perfect timing because it is all the spring colors you could just die for. It's still on the needles, but I finally blocked it a little and here it is:

Allen is out tonight so that means extra knitting for me. I'm thinking of whipping out his sweater so I can at least get re-motivated. And I can work on the scarf when I get bored with the sweater. It's sort of a scarf-headband kind of thing if you saw the picture in the book. Very cool for summer, and just the right weight.

Now, I'm off to do my chores so I don't have to waste valuable kids-asleep time tonight!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Holidays/Exciting News

Well, first, a big Happy Holidays to everyone whatever you might be celebrating over the next week or so. Easter today, Passover the past few days, and for those of us who are Orthodox Christians, Easter next week. This photo pretty much sums up my whole day:

And as for the exciting news: A few weeks ago, I officially purchased the domain, Holy Knit Batman!. Now wait! Don't got there yet. I'm not entirely ready over there. Still working on links and such so don't go getting all excited and running over there with some idea of a quckie with good blog.

I promise to let you know just as soon as we look and feel better! I'm just finding my way along. It's not quite as easy over there as it is here at Blogspot, but once I get my geek on, I should be good to go.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Customer Service Appreciation

I was having an off and online conversation with Donna about our sometime frustration with customer service at knitting establishments (both LYS and online stores). I suppose I do suffer from "customer entitlement," but that's because I was raised by a flight attendant who has had to swallow a lot of sh$$ in the name of "customer service." That and working in the restaurant industry for 6 + years. Everyone should have to work in the restaurant industry at least once because it makes you that much more appreciative of good customer service.

So, Donna recommended to me a wonderful online store that has been extraordinarily helpful and I did add them to the links, but wanted to mention them here as well. They are Knitty-Noddy and if Donna gives them kudos, I'm sure we can all have a great experience there.

See, when you do something good for a knitter, they want to tell EVERYONE about it.......

and it works when you do something bad, too :)-

In other news, I am going to be knitting a corset for myself that is just too delicious to even talk about! But, of course, I will. You can see it at Annie Modesitt's Site and I plan on doing it in an amazingly bright and beautiful yarn of orange and reds. Thanks to Dale for the idea! If I hadn't seen her knitting it, I probably would not have thought of it!!!! And thanks to Jodi for winding and helping me pick out the colors.....I know, I know, enough with the pink.

Now, when will I be getting to this. Well, I'm in the middle of the scarf I keep promising to photograph. I'm actually going to have to slightly block it on the needles so you can see the chevron pattern. But, it's going really fast so....

After I finish one more strip of Aden's blanket (I have 5 squares left in this strip), then I can start the corset.

The top secret project was going along swimmingly until I had to pick up and knit together across 60 stitches, but that's what I have Cindy for.

And, after talking to Jodi today DH Allen will be getting his sweater by his birthday, September 12th (OF THIS YEAR!). I'm going to check out what's left on the back and finish it. And then set some timelines for the other three pieces. And hopefully, you guys will help keep me honest!

One skein Secret Pal exchange

On to a much lighter topic today.....Interweave Press that published the One-Skein book, is hosting a One-Skein secret pal exchange. Sounds like fun, probably because I haven't done it before (ha ha ha) so I am signing up and encouraging you guys to join me in the fun. If you are interested you can visit One Skein Secret Pal to sign-up. Hopefully, we'll all get some really interesting skeins out of it, and maybe a new friend or two!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Just a moment

My apologies in advance that this isn't a knitting post and it isn't light-hearted.

Since the television media no longer seems to give a damn (did they ever) about the men and women dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, I just wanted to point out some statistics of today:

2300 fatalities in Iraq, 274 in Afghanistan.

Not to mention 16,000 (yes that's thousand) + who are injured.

I'm not sure how many of you know this so I'm going to tell you. Casualty care has come a long way since Korea and Nam. Used to be that when you were a medic doing triage in the field, you just checked to see who was going to make it back to a MASH unit. Most of the guys with head injuries were considered already dead whether they were or not. And sometimes, amputations weren't really an option either, so those guys bled out.

But, now, they are able to do so many things in the field and near the field that our vet hospitals are going to be full of what Senator Inouye of Hawaii once called, "vegetables." And A WHOLE LOT of amputees. And he would know, he lost his arm in war. And he spends time at these hospitals. A place where cameras aren't going.

I guess it's too much for them to show us the guys and gals in the hospitals who have come back broken. I mean, they won't even show us the caskets with flags draped on them. Can't actually remind the public that our people are dying (don't get me started on the number of Iraqi civilians).

I mean really, didn't Barbara Bush say it best on GMA, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? Oh, I mean, it'’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"” Uh, yeah. I'm so much clearer on Jr. now.

So, I invite you to learn more. The Washington Post has done a project called Faces of the Fallen.

Just so you know, regarding my comments above about previous wars vs. now, I used to write for a Military Medical publication. So, I do know from what I speak. And Mr. Inouye made that comment to me.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blah blah blah

Don't have a lot to say today. Kids have drained me of brainpower! Wanted to point out though that when I posted the Pink lyrics yesterday, I didn't have a link to hear the song. So, I went out and found one and put it in yesterday's post. So, if you are interested, you can go have a listen.

Clarifying my post of yesterday regarding my sweater-finishing issues. Sweater #1: I completed all of the pieces. I even sewed together (with Cindy's help), the front and back. The problem with that one is I have to pick up over 100 stitches along the front to do some edge, so maybe my real issue is that I don't love picking up. But, I think that can eventually be overcome, I mean, hey I use DPNs all the time (well, when I have to otherwise I use 2 circs, let's be honest, now).

Sweater #2: This would be the husband sweater. I don't know why it's so daunting. But, it's one of those projects, I just have no desire to pick back up. Love him to death, just not dying to pick it back up. I'm thinking if I switch to working on a sleeve it might get me motivated to get back on the sweater roll.

I have no problem blocking, that's no biggie. But, yeah, I don't love the putting together. And Cindy won't let me give stuff to her for finishing!!!! She wants me to learn it and I know she's right, but come on mom!!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mission Accomplished (Pink and the Indigo GIrls)

***To hear the song, you can see it at Rosie's Pink Movie***

Ironic that I was just talking about my girls the Indigo Girls the other day....because they have quite an amazing duet out with Pink right now (thanks, Linda for bringing this to my attention). The song can be found on Pink's new album, I'm Not Dead. The words are self-explanatory and cover every base I've mentioned the past few weeks:

Dear Mr President

Dear Mr. President, come take a walk with me
Let's pretend, we're just two people and
You're not better than me
I'd like to ask you some questions, if we can speak honestly

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do ou dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye and tell me why?

Dear Mr. President, were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say, "no child is left behind"?
We're not dumb and we're not blind
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell

What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she was gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Minimum wage and a baby on the way
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box

You don't know nothing about hard work

The first step . . .

of any problem is to acknowledge the problem. For the first time ever, I admitted it out loud, to someone who occasionally knits (now there's something I don't understand):


The lie has gone on long enough. I am coming out. I do not like to finish sweaters. I haven't completed one yet in two years. I have a sweater for Callista that has minimal finishing left on it and yet, I have not finished it, and if I don't finish it soon, it won't fit Sabrina either.

Then there is the aforementioned Allen (husband) sweater. The back is almost done . . .

This has nothing to do with completion. I complete projects all the time. I mean, I pushed my way through that damn yoga bag didn't I? Scarves, flip-flops, ponchos, socks, booties, blankets. I've finished all of them, gifted many of them. But sweaters, ah, there's the rub.

What's the big deal? It's just a sweater. But, clearly, if I can't finish a kid's sweater, it's not looking good for the husband.

So, I turn to you, the knitting public for help. What's a girl to do?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Spring Knitty is Up

For any of you who aren't on the email list, the Spring Knitty is up. Some interesting patterns. Some that I wonder how much time I would have to have on my hands before I thought about knitting them (nautilus shells? Seriously?). I'm sure those things are going to end up on the You Knit What site. Cause for real people. No slight to the designer. Someday when I am designing patterns for Mastiff dog socks, you can remind me of the shells. Go see the Knitty site, there's a neat beaded shawl on there. I've got to go knit something before you knitters take my membership card away.

KnittingHelp site

I can't believe I forgot to mention this site before, but as I was checking something out myself today, I thought I would pass it along, especially for beginning knitters or anyone who needs a little refresher Knitting is a great site to visit for clear, concise video on how to knit. From really basic techniques to slightly harder stuff, this is a great site for ya! It's also over in the links column if you ever need it.

Immigration, the Indigo Girls, and yes, knitting

Was listening to the Indigo Girls, "Shame on You," and it made me think about the demonstrations today by illegal immigrants.
For those of you not familiar with the song, there's a line that says "We're looking for illegal immigrants/Can we check you car?/I said "It's funny I think we were on the same boat/Back in 1694" (or there approximately)" I say, you want to work, you want a better life for your kids, this is the place. (Can't believe I'm sort of on Bush's side on this one, but that's only because he's leaning left in an attempt to appease the Latino vote that the other Republicans are alienating).

And I'm rocking out to this song with Callista who LOVES the Indigo Girls. And as I am singing, there's a line with the F-word and it's almost out of my mouth when I realize my audience. Crap. These are the times when I forget the mothering part of the introducing your children to cool music motto. I was so gratified the other day when Callista identified Elton John on the radio ("Benny and the Jets"), but I won't be playing "The Bitch is Back" for her anytime soon.

Beautiful day here today! Got the lettuces AND the broccoli planted. Can't imagine why I haven't gotten any knitting done yet.

But, thanks to my knitting guru, Linda, I get what they mean by kf&B. I've had to knit in the front. I've had to knit in the back. I just never had to knit both ways. I'm making a scarf from (shock!) Last Minute Knitted Gifts for me in Koigu purple and variations thereof. Great for Spring. Will post a pic when I have a little more on the needles.

And I think I have figured out my stopping point issue on TSP (Top Secret Project. More on that later.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Spring is everywhere!

After my snowy post of earlier in the week, I thought I would share some final signs of spring. First, crocuses in the garden:

And, SPRING YARN from Brooklyn Hand Dyed!:

Now, really, I need to go knit something!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Secret Agent Knitting

I started my top secret knitting project on Thursday night. Only the women at my LYS knows what it is and we can't talk about it specifically on here because the recipient reads the blog. Let's just say that it's complicated, time-consuming and I only have a few months to complete it. I know, that sounds like a lot of time, but for those of us who can't just knit one project at a time....this is not a lot of time.

That and it's a project that my children are dying to help with. I think by the time I am finished, they won't have any nerve-endings left in their hands from getting bopped. Let's just say there are beads, and beads are very temtping to the small. Sabrina keeps saying, Mommy I like your beads in this really creepy way.

I've also got a baby blanket going and I want to start this other really awesome lace scarf. Very exciting.

And my sock yarn came today from Brooklyn Hand-Dyed. Will have to post the picture tomorrow when there is some natural light about. The colors are awesome and it's mighty soft. I know one colorway is Orchid, and I'm blanking on the other one, but will post with correct color tomorrow.

Plus there are the socks I started on the plane a couple of weeks ago....

And Allen's sweater that he's begging for.....

And the sweater my grandmother picked out....

This is going to be a long summer :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

I'm not making this up

Sabrina: "I pooped."

Mommy: "In your pants?"

Sabrina: "Yes."

Mommy: "Go tell Daddy."

Callista: "Wait. Say cheese."

Sabrina: As she cheeses for the camera, "Cheese."

Callista loves her Polaroid camera more than I can articulate.

And, certainly more than her sister getting her butt cleaned first.

Good news in the Choice wars!

I received and email from NARAL today that a bill will be introduced in Congress called the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). Please, please, please visit NARAL online and tell your congressperson today that you want to keep choice available to women forever. The bill was introduced by Sen Barbara Boxer and Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

As you know, the stats are staggering:

87 percent of counties in the U.S. have no abortion provider.
South Dakota has passed an abortion ban - and 12 other states have considered passing bans of their own this legislative session.

The Supreme Court will soon decide on the Bush administration's Federal Abortion Ban, which could ban abortion as early as 12 weeks and has no exception to protect women's health.

Millions of women could be denied access to abortion care altogether if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade.

WE have to act now because this is no longer a theoretical possibility that we will lose our right to choose. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

"Kata" Felicity Scarf

This is the famous 6.5 month late birthday scarf. I LOVE how it came out. This was my first lace, so naturally I am very proud. I love the way it drapes in the frenchy knot. The pattern is from the book "Mindful Knitting," which does not have a ton of patterns. But, if you are interested in the idea of using knitting as a meditative activity, it's really interesting.

Funny enough that the scarf was so late. Funnier still that the recipient, Robin, got it at all. Why you ask? Well, Tuesday I was so proud of myself that I had the right address (on the second attempt), had it in a priority mail envelope, and took it to the actual post office instead of mailing it from my mailbox that I couldn't even fathom until TWO DAYS LATER that I placed no postage on the envelope. How did I know that? Easy. Sabrina was pulling apart my wallet yesterday and there were four priority mail envelope stamps instead of three.

The irony is that it arrived in Virginia yesterday, without any postage, and without any postage due. Her Christmas card was one digit off on the zip code and it didn't arrive until the week of St. Patrick's Day. I'm not kidding. I'm apparently incapable of mailing anything to her without some sort of drama. Go figure.

And one last aside, you know you want to knit way too much when you are in the eye doctor's office, eyes FULLY DILATED and you are still knitting away on the blanket you so desperately need to finish. So bear with me on my typing and spelling today because four-and-a-half hours later, I still look high as a kite.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Bush Tour Stopped Here

Lucky us, yesterday was Junior's day to bring his "Healthcare Agenda" to Connecticut. Of course, there were protesters, kept at least a block away, but thankfully they haven't taken away that right yet. I digress.

I flipped on the television yesterday somewhere in the middle of his spiel about healthcare savings accounts and the cost of healthcare. He made some rather vague analogy to when lasik surgery was new how it wasn't covered and now it is (would love to know what the actual statistics on that are....a friend had it done in the late 90's and it was totally covered). But the INTERESTING part of the approximately three minutes I made it through was how many times he used the word INTERESTING. I counted 5 times in about a minute and a half.

But, wait, it gets more INTERESTING. You could see him struggling with his words, trying to come up with something other than INTERESTING, but no, the hamster in the brain can only turn that wheel so fast, and so he stuck with INTERESTING.

At this point, I was so frightened I turned the television off. Couldn't even switch channels. The one thought that wouldn't leave my brain was "This man is representing Americans all over the world. And we wonder why they think we are stupid??!!" It would have been easier to listen to him uh, oh, or ah. Or even watch some of those famous facial ticks of his.

(Come on, Eleni, he's our President, cut him some slack.) Yeah, no.

I'm so over him. And I cannot believe we're going to have to listen to this drivel for another two and a half freaking years. Really closer to three, but I'm trying to not depress myself.

But, there are positives. DeLay is out. Add misogynist to my list of complaints about him. There's a great piece of audio at The Huffington Post where he actually says, "There's nothing worse than a know it all woman."

And then today, the link between the President and the CIA operative name leaking scandal.

Remind me again.....because it came up tonight at the knitting group....they voted to impeach Clinton over a blowjob?

But, out and out crimes, these are non-impeachable offenses?

Wake me in three long as some wack-job right winger isn't living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Ta da! Just can't wait any longer

To show you guys the finished product. This is, by far, the largest item I have ever made. Not necessarily the most time consuming, but size-wise, it takes the cake. It isn't 100% dry (forgive me in advance when I show up at knitting tonight, it doesn't smell quite as bad as it did when it was SOAKING wet), but it was dry enough to re-jam in the mat and hang it on the chair for viewing. The Manos really did felt beautifully.

Sweet Georgia Yarns

Not sure if I mentioned these guys before or not, but in my ever-expanding quest for great yarn, they were recommended to me by I think Donna. Anywho, they are Sweet Georgia Yarns and they are literally just about to update their site with new yarn Superwash Sock, Speed Demon (who wouldn't want to knit with THAT?) and Handpainted Sock. The update was supposed to be noon PST, but I think they are a little behind due to the new website. Hit it girls!

***FYI--they do take special orders for previous colorways and specific yarn. You can find out about it on their site. And they don't even charge some exorbitant price for it. Go to their site and check out their blog. Really awesome projects in process.

The bag is finished!

I'm not ready to post the pic yet as the yoga bag is still drying, but it is felted and fabulous! Love it! My hubby arrived home to the smell of wet wool and after first accusing the dog, followed his nose to the laundry room where low and behold, the long-discussed bag lay flat to dry!

A note on the felting: I am so glad the fabulous lady who put together Last Minute Knitted Gifts (she's the one who owns Purl) mentioned how fast the Manos yarn felts. Because in 10 minutes of agitation, the bag was completely felted. I've felted other items that were obviously 100% wool and yet, they took a while to felt. This was definitely a "set the timer on your microwave or else" project. ****If I hadn't been an ass, and first checked the purl site for book corrections the following would not have been a big deal, silly me.******

Also a note on the pattern, unless I've smoked too much crack recently, the amounts for the colors you need are slightly off. So, if you plan on knitting this, you should definitely take a look at that. I ended up changing the stripes on the pattern to accommodate.

This book is great. I've knitted a BUNCH of gifts from it including the baby booties, several scarves, and now I am at work on the baby blanket (one of the more time consuming products). The book is great because it is divided up (very accurately, I think) into the length of time it would take an average knitter (such as myself) to complete the project. Very cool. I've got a link in the sidebar if you are interested in purchasing.

I'll have the finished product pic up soon, promise. And I am definitely taking it to knitting nite!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

To give you an idea

My daughter Callista is around 43 or 44 inches tall. This picture is her lying in the yoga bag. She wouldn't let me pull it up any further, but my guess is, it would have come up to her forehead at least. I've got an inch left on the strap and then I am sewing together!

Book Review

Mason-Dixon Knitting is a sweet little book (visit these girls at Mason-Dixon Knitting. Sweet because it evolved out of the friendship of two knitters living on oppostie ends of the planet, I mean, opposite ends of the Mason-Dixon line. Same difference.

I really like this book. Mostly because it has knitted stuff in it. By stuff, I mean things other than scarves, socks, hats, and shawls. Things like lacy curtains, seat covers, clever little bowls. I like the idea of knitting this stuff, even if I don't ever get around to it. And it has some really interesting blanket patterns that as an amateur knitter I wasn't really aware of. Plus, they tell their cute little story in and around the book and introduce us to some other cool knitters. Very satisfying.

This may be one of those books that I don't use a ton, but I enjoy bringing out to look at all the pretty pictures, read a few of the anecdotes and just enjoy.

And I really like the fact it all evolved out of a blog......

Are you kidding me?

I'm not a morning person. Never have been, never will be. Which is why when I woke up this morning, stumbled out of bed and saw snow, I had to rub my eyes, rub them again, and check myself for signs of full-blown dementia. Because when you see this:

and it's April, you think you've lost your mind. Now, I've been in Connecticut for almost 7 years. Seven rather long years of
sh$$ like this. I've told you all before, that first year, when it snowed on May 3rd, I thought, "Where the hell did he bring me?" (The he, of course, being Allen). But, it NEVER fails to surprise and irritate me when I wake up in April and see snow falling. Especially when they call it a "wintry mix," when clearly it is not mixed with anything, unless it's mixed with my absolute irritation. I was gardening Saturday! And tomorrow it's going to be 50 degrees.

This is why nature is superior to me. Because though my plants will be slightly confused, they will rebound much faster than my attitude will. And they ask me why I knit . . .

And bear with me because the spell checker is apparently frozen.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Silent Vigil for Rape Victims

This post is along the same lines of my conscientious objector post of a few days ago, but just wanted to pass this information along as I will be unable to attend, but some of you may want to.

Emergency Contraception
Rape Victims Can't Wait!

Last month lawmakers let the clock run out on rape victims.

With the defeat of a bill that would have required that all publicly funded hospitals offer emergency contraception (EC or the "morning-after" pill) to rape victims, dozens of women will not get the standard care they need to prevent an unintended pregnancy from rape.

Let elected officials know that rape victims can't wait!

We must work to make sure our elected officials understand the devastating realities that rape victims face in crisis, and why they need EC without delay and without judgment.

Join us for: Silent Vigil
Dates: April 11 & April 18
Time: 9:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: State Capitol

Help keep our message alive through our silent vigils. We'll stand in solidarity for Connecticut's women and pass out information at the State Capitol.

Contact us now! Please email or call 860-524-1086 to sign up and find out where to meet.

Let's Raise that Minimum Wage

Just a little FYI, friend to friend, sent to me by one of my fave dem's Robin:

So far, almost 90,000 people across the country have signed on as citizen co-sponsors to increase the minimum wage. Your name can put the number of Americans demanding a better minimum wage over 100,000 -- and 100,000 Americans demanding specific legislation is something that even the most out of touch Republican leaders cannot ignore.

If you sign on, we're that much closer to making it a full one hundred thousand:

Support the Fair Minimum Wage Act

Here are some facts:

* Someone on minimum wage earns just $10,700 a year. A single mom with two kids who works full-time for the minimum wage is about $6,000 below the poverty line.

* The minimum wage has been the same since 1997. Since then, Republican leaders have raised the salaries of Senators seven times. Salaries of lawmakers have gone up by $31,600 -- almost three times the entire yearly income of someone on minimum wage.

* The real value of the minimum wage is more than $3.00 below than it was a generation ago. To have the same purchasing power the minimum wage had 40 years ago, it would have to be $8.50 per hour.

* The minimum wage is the lowest it has been in over 50 years relative to the average wage.

* Raising the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour would mean an additional $4,370 for a minimum-wage worker. That adds up to more than one year of groceries, over 9 months of rent, a year and a half of heat and electricity, or full tuition for a community college degree.

Support the Fair Minimum Wage Act

Monday, April 03, 2006

The beginning of the end of the yoga mat bag

I can't believe I've actually made it this far. This thing is a behemoth. I think it would fit an elephant trunk at least. But I am so pleased with how the bottom turned out (pre-felting) that I just had to share. Boy were they right about alternating the k2tog in the front and back of the stitches to make it look more even. It's almost too pretty to felt. And now I have already started to work on the strap. My color issues of this bag (Because the pattern had listed incorrectly the number of skeins I needed for each color) has gone from me and now I can just enjoy the near-finished project. The colors are not as accurately represented as I would like, but I had to take the picture with a flash due to lighting conditions.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spring Cleaning

I spent most of yesterday morning in the garden. I love my garden. I love the feeling of being out where it's warm, clearing away the winter debris, encouraging the tiny shoots of the perennials to come up and play. I love working out the plans of what I am going to add to the garden this year to make it better than the previous year. I love getting a little bit sunburned and sore from the work. I love showing my children the beginning of Spring, the crocus blooms, the tulip and daffodil greenery just peeking out to say hello.

But there are three things I DO NOT love (in no particular order): weeds, chipmunks/skunks/any garden rodentia, and deer. Now on the animal front, I know they were here first. I know that I am the intruder in their word. I also know, that I am still a novice in my gardening life, and especially in this growing Zone. The outdoor life here is definitely different than in VA. HOWEVER, is it too much to ask for them to just stay the hell away from certain plants?

The first year I lived here, my mother brought me bulbs from Amsterdam, literally picked them out over there on one of her trips and brought them back to me. I planted them in the fall and couldn't wait to see them in the spring. And then Spring arrived. Spring with a capital 'S'. And so did the FLB's. For those of you who aren't aware, an FLB is a Furry Little Bastard, my children call them Chip and Dale, but they are and always will be, FLB's. This is why I got a cat: because that first spring, having never cohabitated with chipmunks, I could not figure out where my beautiful crocus blooms were disappearing to. And then I came out of my front door one morning to find that FLB sitting on my stop peeling a crocus bulb like an onion. And now, I have solved for you what the sound was that you heard 5 years ago on a spring morning. Me screaming at the top of my lungs, you little SOB, my mother brought those back from Amsterdam!

And then, there are the deer. I am more sympathetic to them. They don't have their own nickname. And usually I blame myself when I fail to protect a plant from them. As in yesterday. When I was clearing leaves and such from my azaelas, I realized that yes, I should have covered them for the winter because 6 out of 6 azaleas, have NO LEAVES ON THEM, which means no blooms for this year either. Why I am I growing azaleas this far north? Because my Pappou has azaleas, that I used to help him take care of, that still bloom the first week of every May and occasionally in October. And I am not giving up on this bush because I am living in zone 6.

As for the weeds, I know most people think that after a nuclear holocaust the only thing left will be cockroaches, but people, get real, it's going to be the DANDELIONS. Granted, we didn't have the nastiest winter on record, but for the love of God and my own sanity, what is with these things? They will not die and neither will this other weed that I still cannot identify but which shows up everywhere and has roots like a snaggle-toothed tigers teeth. Enough already with the weeds! Don't tell me about black paper you put down or newspaper or whatever. These things are malicious and when they hear me open my back door, they stand a little straighter, a little taller, just to goad me.

And they ask me why I knit......

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Connecticut wants you Yarn Harlot!

As I write this, I'm thinking of how many times I giggled out loud reading, At Knit's End (if you haven't bought it or read it, please click on the link to the right as fast as you can!).

And now, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) is back with her Knitting Rules!:The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks.
It's winging it's way to my house as we speak. (also see button to right)

Here's where you come in. We need people to email kind and courteous request letters to said Harlot's "people" so that we can get her to come here (preferably to Sit N Knit). The contact information is as follows: Kelli Kozak, She is supposed to be in Massachusetss somewhere, but people, we have more money in Connecticut than they do and therefore more buying power. Forget MA, we want her here!

And thanks to Holly for bringing this to all of our attention. Get on those emails girls!

Girls craft night (part two)

Here are the ladies enjoying the evening. I ate like a pig, so I'll be paying for that this week during work-outs! I did find time to knit between bites and I actually worked on THE yoga bag. The picture is not great (I cannot take pictures of ultra long items very well when they are laying down. And this sucker is long because it is a felted project.

Per Jackie's request, the photo of her not knitting has been removed :)-

Here's the pic of said bag. "Do you do yoga?" (Michelle, my favorite quote of the night)

And with 5 photos today I must run! I do have a life outside of this computer you know.......

One of those mothers

This is just shameless bragging on my part as a mother, but aren't they cute? For those of you who don't know them by sight, the little one to the left is Sabrina 2.75). And the bigger one to the right is Callista (5)

No, really this is a knitting blog