Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Mimi and Sugar Bear with Santa.

So, the sweater. Well, good news and bad news. Really good news was that I finished all of the knitting on Christmas Eve Day. Thanks to my family for doing their own dishes after I made lunch, I began sewing on the first sleeve. Bad news is, I was unable to complete the entire piecing together of the sweater. Good news, however, is, I did put it over his head and low and behold the damn thing fits! Not sure why I consider this to be so remarkable, but for a first sweater, I think it must be. And it's really quite lovely. Me promises a picture just as soon as the sucker is sewn together completely AND the DH is in it.

Hope that whatever holiday you celebrated over the last few weeks and the next couple is/was fabulous! We had 11 here over the weekend (total of about 20 Christmas Eve) and it was a wonderful time. If I can keep my eyes open later tonight, I'll be sewing away.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Thank You's

I owe Linda an enormous debt of gratitude. And so here it is, THANK YOU LINDA! Yesterday, she came over with the kids so our kids could have a playdate and she picked up over 100 stitches for me on DH's sweater. We all know how much I love to pick up stitches. And she showed me how much easier it is to do this with a crochet hook. In addition, when I completely screwed up on the collar she was kind enough to then TINK (for those of you who do not know, it's knit spelled backwards, which means to un-knit what you just screwed up), probably around 400 stitches for me. All while I was working on the sleeve. Regarding the sleeve, I've done all of the increases and just have to finish in the 3 x 1 rib for the rest of it. I hope you will go look at her website as she knitted a Christmas stocking that is to die for. And all for someone she kind of knows. Linda is a gem.

Now, as much as I would like to stay and chat, I have a sweater to finish. Oh, and ignore any typos, blogger's spellcheck has been screwy for days.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

For the Love of Christmas

It happens to me every year. I think we've already established that I am crazy for Christmas. I love it. I decorate like a crazy person inside and out. I shop like a crazy person because I love to give gifts. I bake like a crazy person because, well, I love to bake. I think these are all fairly normal behaviors.

But, could someone please tell me what posesses people to go off the deep end with the Christmas attire?

I only wish I had my camera on me so I could take a picture of the woman sitting across from us at the restaurant tonight.

I was already in pre-barf mode when I saw that she had the goofy button-down snowflake and snowman vest. And then I saw the earrings that were Christmas lights. Gee, you'd think that would have been enough for her.

But, on the way out, low and behold, she had the Christmas socks on. Oh, and the Christmas charm bracelet. And yes, the sickeningly sweet penguin turtle neck. Are you getting the visual here? If I was Jewish, I think I would have run from her screaming, ahhhhhhh the Christmas people are coming to get me!

If this is your grandmother or your mother, it's time for an intervention. Get in their closets and get rid of this kitschy sh$$. No one wants to see it, it's frightening. If they must, let them wear their little earrings. Let them wear their socks. But the head to toe, schlock of crap is a nightmare. Help us one and all.

And while we're at it, let me share with you a little list my friend Lynn sent me today (I'm hoping to have all of them by the end of the season):

Top 10 Holiday Psych Disorders

1. Schizophrenia -- Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic -- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and
Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees

6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

8. Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna
Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy
- can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells Jingle Bells,
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

PS. And yes, I am still knitting the second sleeve

Shoulders above the rest

The shoulders are seamed! I matched up the ribbing and everything front to back. Though, now I am looking at the instructions for the sleeves and (gasp!) there's math involved. Someone definitely should have warned me about the math. I would have been happy to knit him a vest.

I've got the second sleeve on the needles with a lot to go, but the girls have a playdate in the morning and I plan on taking advantage of the time to knit while I chat. Must finish sweater before company begins to arrive!

Any hints on sewing the sleeves would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Almost there!

Okay, well, sleeve number one on DH's sweater is finished. I have sleeve two, the collar and then the finishing to get done by Monday. I am starting to believe this might happen. The only concern I have, well, two concerns: I'm a little nervous about the crossover collar because a) I've never even done a sweater before, let alone a collar like this, and b) my favorite: I have to pick up a bunch of stitches to do it. My second concern is the actual finishing because I haven't done that before either and I am too late to get it to someone who really knows what the hell they are doing on this front. I have a feeling this is going to be a week full of prayer.

Especially when you consider that I am having almost a dozen of us for Christmas. So, I'm a little crazy. It's amazing how much I am actually accomplishing. I'm going to sleep for a week when Christmas is over. Sorry kids, mommy is having a nervous breakdown, you'll just have to play Ants in Your Pants by yourself for a little while.

Off to start sleeve number two!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Teacher Gifts

As promised, a quick shot of the teacher gifts. Hope they like them! I figure it's a nice little addition to the gift cards!

Sales Galore

Before I get going, let me just say, you may need to check back on this post because I will update it as I get notification of sales. If you have any you want me to post, just let me know.

First, for you Connecticut/Massachusetts locals, we have Marji's yarncrafts in Granby, CT. She's having her annual after-Christmas yarn sale for three days, December 26, 27, and 28. All yarn is on sale. Re-read it if you need to.

Webs in Northampton, MA is also having their year-end blowout sale. Bags and cones starting at $5.00. Plus a bunch of stuff at 50-60% off. The Sale runs from December 26th through January 2nd.

Simply Sock Yarn is having a 20% off sale on Interlacements Tiny toes and Toasty toes from now until the end of the year. And a pattern comes with each purchase.

Kaleidoscope Yarns is also having a sale, this time 15% off on Farmhouse Yarns Lumpy Bumpy. While supplies last.

And as always, Astrid is offering good deals. Right now, 10% off on all items. Just use Christmas as your code in the discount box. It's even valid on gift certificates! Way to go Astrid!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday knitting

Due to the fact that I am a fool sometimes, I forgot to take a picture of Sugar Bear's teacher gifts before I gave them. I basically knit up a washcloth each, with the homemade soap that I made with Linda and then added a little gift card. Mimi's teacher's are getting the soap and the washcloths, so at least I can show you those because I haven't given them yet. They are getting awesome gift cards that were a result of the entire class donating money towards one giant gift card. Hope they like it!

I have finished the front of Allen's sweater. (Eleni, do you know that Christmas is barely over a week away? Yes, I am aware of that. And you know that you are having 11 people at your house for Christmas so you are going to be pretty busy doing other stuff this week? Yes, I am clear on that also. So, you still think you might have a shot at finishing it in time for Christmas? Of course, I am going to finish it. Riiiiiiight). I'm doing the sleeves now and hoping for the best, I think that my balls are just big enough to wrap it almost finished. I've never had to do that before, but now seems like an appropriate time to start.

BTW Hope you enjoy Mr. Nipples, finally!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Come on, you know they want us to think it's nipples

I'm sorry, but I just can't get off this subject yet. At least now that two of you have posted, I can reasonably say, on this commercial, I have not lost my mind. I'm bummed, because I haven't seen the commercial since my initial post. And it's not yet made its way to You Tube, so I can't post the video. They do however have a whole bunch of crazy Mr. Nibbles comments on the Staples website. I just keep wondering how this made it past the censors? Cause there is NO WAY it sounds like nibbles. I only came to the conclusion it had to be nibbles because as funny as it is to hear nipples, those damn censors just don't think nipples and Christmas should be in the same commercial. I'm sure Jesus had nipples, but again, you can't say that publicly.

Can you tell I'm having just a little too much Christmas? Here's the thing . . .I've already been at this since the week before Thanksgiving. This is completely abnormal for me because I am the queen of the last minute when it comes to Christmas. However, this year, with Mimi in school, I have just a smidgen more time. Not a ton, but a smidgen that has enabled me to turn into my hidden desire . . . Betty Lou Who.

I wrapped a ton of presents the week before thanksgiving so I could give them to the people I was going to see at Thanksgiving. And I also did a bunch of those gift jars where you put the ingredients in the jars for some fabulous dessert and they just add the trans fat and have a holly jolly Christmas. Not to mention the Christmas crafting. I think my husband must be slipping me eggnog and I am just not aware of it. Because, seriously, I made popcorn garland for the tree. Maybe it's crack he's passing me.

We got the biggest Christmas tree we have ever had. I know this because I typically have more ornaments than I need and it's not so this year. I managed to get almost every single ever-lovin ornament on that thing. I ran out of lights at the bottom, and the popcorn garland, while not originally a necessity, became one, because I ran out of red beaded garland.

And the wrapping, my God, the wrapping. The wrapping could conceivably turn me into the grinch once and for all. I'm wrapping presents for my kids not just from us, but from my grandparents, my parents (my mom did a couple), and my aunt and uncle (who did volunteer to wrap, but they are coming up on Christmas eve and I just don't think it's a nice treat to make them wrap for my kids on top of a five to six hour drive from Virginia, call me crazy, but it's just not nice). The wrapping is endless. I have hope that I will finally get rid of all the wrapping paper I bought on the cheap that totally sucks. Because if there is an insult to injury on the wrapping front, it's having to wrap with cheap paper that rips as you cut it.

This past week alone, I baked approximately 15 dozen cookies. Plus another 4 dozen-ish tiropites (think spanikopita without the spinach).

My kids are in the Nutcracker this week. And God Bless their dance teacher, it's only an hour long because, well, I have to finish wrapping.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Staples commercial

Okay, I have to try to find a video clip, but have you seen the commercial with the reindeer? I believe that his name is Mr. Nibbles, but seriously, it sounds like Nipples which is just a funny word, I don't care who you are, it's funny. It's something about a guy looking for a present for his wife and Mr. Nipples recommends a laptop. Hysterical. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What fresh hell is this?

Here I am, minding my own business, at almost thirteen years old when they do this to me.

I was suspicious Wednesday evening when my food bowl and water were gone. Then, the family gave me extra love and attention as I went out the door with my dad to work. Except, we didn't go to work. He took me to that place I dread . . . the vet.

I had hoped it was one of those routine deals where they just check me out, but no. Not only did they remove some giant tumor on my butt, but I am now short my manhood. And to add insult to injury they shaved part of my ear to remove a cyst.

My dad has been promising me a Cal Gal, but no, instead he found himself a wife. Then, I thought I had a shot, and those small animals showed up, you know the one's that come out of the human's bellies?

And on top of it all, the one pleasure I have left, my ability to lick myself has now been taken away by this hellish collar.

I say again, I'm almost thirteen years old, can't they just leave me alone?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Reach out and touch someone

The following is a re-post of a reminder for you all! Yesterday was the first of the month, did you check your boobs?

One year ago this month, my friend Loretta passed away from breast cancer. She was 34-years old and she left behind a wonderful husband, a giving, loving family, and a handsome, bright one and a half year old son.

When I attended her funeral, I believe it was her husband who said that Loretta was one to always send cards to remember birthdays and anniversaries, or to cheer up a friend . In honor of Loretta, and the impact she has had on my life, I've decided to post this reminder.

Do you do your self breast exams every month? I didn't used to. Loretta changed that for me. I turned 31 this month, which, if I am not wrong, is the age Loretta was when she found the lump. In our thirties, we aren't recommended to have mammograms yet. So, the only way you are going to find a potentially harmful lump is if YOU are checking. Because once a year at the GYN is not enough. You have to check. You need to get to know your breasts so that you know what is normal and what isn't.

My suggestion is this. We all have palm pilots or computers with one kind of calendar program or another. Our lives are busy and we keep our most important appointments in these calendars. So, it's time to start reminding yourself to do you breast exam because this is one of your most importatn appointments. Most important to your families, and most important to me, your friend.

Please, after finishing this post, go to your calendar, and make a recurring appointment for the first of every month to "CHECK YOUR BOOBIES." I've always thought the word boobies is funny, so for me, I'll see the reminder AND get a chuckle. And here's my promise to you. For the next three months, I am going to post a little reminder email on the first day of the month to CHECK YOUR BOOBIES.

If you want to, copy thid post and send this to your friends, and make the commitment to them that you will remind them for three months. I'd love for this post to reach as many people as possible. If each one reaches one, there will be a lot more of us checking our boobies and potentially saving our lives.

Lastly, if you do not know how to do a self breast exam, please visit this website (love that google) and follow the directions or get your GYN to show you on your next visit.

I love you girls! Love yourselves enough to do this!

Friday, December 01, 2006

What ever happened to . . .?

I'm starting to feel like one of those episodes of "Where are they now?"

But, I am planning on getting back into my blog, mostly to stop all of you from emailing me with "are you dead?"

What a crazy month (yikes!) it has been. I think that once the Democrats took back the Senate and the House, I just shut down from shock. Joy, mind you, but shock none-the-less.

I think the best place to start for this "back to school" post is with the Holiday sales and knitting news. There are some great deals and info out there, so let me run them down as I have gotten them via email:

The new episode of MagKnits is up and running, you can find it here. I can't comment on whether or not it's great because I haven't yet had a chance to look at it (Linda and I made soap all day today, and I can't wait to take pictures to show you the results, but that's why I haven't had time!)

From the What the Fug file, I just want to share this unusual Berroco gem:
I'm not sure exactly how this warms your feet, other than once you put them on your feet are stuck in the same position for so long, they begin to develop their own brain to regulate their temperature.

As usual, Webs is having some closeout deals, this time on Tahki and Filatura di Crosa.

And, of course, Astrid has some deals going. All yarn kits have a 10% discount included in the price until December 5th. She has some other deals too, but basically, same great prices and service as always.

I have much more on all fronts, but I am running out of steam. I'm planning on knitting washcloths to go with the soap for the teachers of the kids and I am only on number one. Uh, yeah, 19 days until they get out of school....

EDIT: Kaleidoscope yarns is offering two Cherry Tree Hill Yarns at 15% off and they have the new Pink Denise needles that are a little pricier, but the extra dough goes to Breast Cancer Research.