Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I have a bad cold. I'm stressed about the holidays. I'm really trying for a festive mood but it's tough. Oh, and I only want to make 1 hour scarves with a "P" hook.

Bah humbug!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

So, I picked up the 'ol knitting needles again last week...I ended up completing another scarf, sort of. I was using Wool ease Thick 'n Quick and I ran out, the scarf came out too short, and rather then go to Michael's and try to find more in the same color (which i'm betting would be an unsuccessful trip)I frogged it. It wasn't heartbreaking at all, I did a bang up job, no mistakes. That stuff knits up really quickly and i'm just chalking it up to some much needed practice. The thing about knitting, for me is that I feel sort of clumsy at it, as opposed to crocheting, which is like second nature to me. For instance, i'm having alot of trouble with transitioning from a knit stitch to a purl stitch and a knit row to a purl row. When i'm switching row types the yarn seems to get really twisted up because i'm having to move the yarn to a different position. When i'm switching stitches in the middle of a row I seem to be unintentionally increasing because of having to switch yarn positions. Having said that, I really do enjoy the knitting. For me it's more the process of it, not necessarily the product. I think that the same can be said about crocheting, though my crocheting ability allows me the satisfaction of 'product', too.

Yesterday, Carlin and I set up the 'tree' and the Hanukah decor...ever since I was born we have had the tree right alongside the menorah. My family has always participated in the crass commercialism that is Christmas. We are not christian so it's not a religious holiday for us. I definitely get far more excited about Hanukah and we don't do gifts for that holiday, for me it has meaning that doesn't translate into a wrapped present.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving...and go and eat in mass quantities, I won't tell.

Carlin fractured her elbow yesterday, she can't knit or crochet for awhile and is somewhat down in the dumps about it all. She's in pain and i'm totally stressed out over it. She fell while running in P.E. , 1st period on Wednesday. So no sooner did I drop her off at school that I got a call from the nurses office telling me that I needed to come and get her.

I finished the poncho for the sis (can't post a pic yet, the computer has been stripped down to the bare bones programs for now)... i'm in project Purgatory and i'm not sure what to start next.

Raise your hand if you will be one of "those people" that'll be shopping at 6am tomorrow. Just curious, because seriously, it won't be me. Zzzzzzzz.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Does anyone have the foggiest idea of the way the political limerick goes that includes the line "i'll embrace your elephant if you kiss my ass?" I'm stymied and I can't come up with it.

Still working on the pregnant sisters mistakes have been made since I had to frog most of it, thank gawd. (I was just about to take a photo of it and discovered both sets of camera batteries are dead, it'll have to wait until they are charged.) It looks kind of like an extremely large basic granny square. Not in any obnoxious colors, a nice understated charcoal gray, done with an "H" hook, so it's fairly tight.

Missed the SnB last night due to Carlin's usual large volume of homework. Oh well, she has a nice long winter vacation coming, the end of December to early March. We have the multi-track year round school schedule to thank for that. I should be completely hairless on my head by about mid-January, because her boredom will be all my fault!

For all of you locals...we have an Atwater SnB this Sunday 2-4pm ish. Don't forget 8-)

Friday, November 12, 2004

I love the idea of a Stitch n' Bitch and I frequent them pretty regularly but I find that i'm having a hard time with the combination of the two on a technical level. I've come to find that I pretty much can't do both at the same time, stitching and bitching that is, and it's primarily because I like to look at a person when they are speaking to me. I'm making a poncho for my newly pregnant sister's birthday present and today I ended up ripping out a good 2 hours worth of it because I wasn't paying enough attention to what I was doing at the SnB last night. Whoops.

By the way....
What's the moratorium on removing "Kerry for President" bumper stickers? Doesn't matter, i'm not taking mine off.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I have decided that after the "news" of this a.m I am going to unplug myself from anything that the right leaning media feels necessary to spew. I know that sounds like "sour grapes" but I can't help that. I must unplug so that the news does not plummet me any further into the depths of despair. I realize that as the saying goes," keep your friends close and your enemies closer" applies here, but I need to get away. For me and the people that I choose to surround myself with, the outcome of the election has been an extremely bitter pill to swallow. At this point, I'm not sure how to come to terms with the loss that at least 50 million people are having to deal with. I am overwhelmed with emotions that include but are not exclusive to: anger, hate and depression. I need time. I have at least 4 more years to figure it out. "The Truth is Out There" and some of us, after we heal, will want to focus on it again.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Carlin and I went to the Fiber Arts Market on Friday ( I asked Thomas to come along and he looked at me as if I were psychotic) there was a lot of beautiful stuff. I bought Carlin an expensive, but beautiful, hank of yarn and we bought this really great DVD called "The Art Of Knitting." We actually knew the gals at that booth via the L.A. Stitch n' Bitch yahoo group, Ellen and Marcy. The DVD has actually inspired me to put the crochet hook down and really give the knitting thing a chance. Carlin is truly proud of me for that. I think she took it personally when I didn't take to the knitting after she was the one who taught me. My 12 year old can knit and crochet and loves both, so why can't I?
Yesterday, we had our "Sunday Version" of the SnB, there were a few of us and we had interesting conversation as usual and a fun time. I ripped out a shawl I have been working on for my mother ...I plan to restart it, it wasn't my best work and I would like it to be.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Our Cat "Zoey" died this a.m. . She got sick last week and never recovered. We will miss her.
We love you Zoey.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

"Forgive me, for I have sinned. It's been 11 days since my last Blog entry." It seems like the more letters and emails that I have to write makes Blogging far less appealing. Maybe it's just the subjects that I have been consumed with as of late. The biggest thing is trying to be an advocate for my daughter and the education that she deserves to receive. I cannot, with a clear conscience, leave the total responsibility of what my daughter's education consists of to the teachers and administration of the Los Angeles Unified School District. If I did that I would never be able to live with myself and it would be doing an extreme disservice to Carlin and her abilities. Let's just say that if money were not an issue we'd be sending her to private school, no question about it. Since we aren't able to, I have to be Carlin's personal zealot.

The horror... and I KNOW why the cow is laughing...
Carlin and I were at Ralphs Supermarket about a week ago and bought a SEALED package of the Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Cheese. I stress sealed because all of it was, the packaging was not questionable. Carlin unwrapped one of the foil wedges, after she had already consumed a few and the is what was LIVING inside:

You think the company is scared? You better freaking believe they are. Comments? Opinions on what you think we should do? I would appreciate them.

Does anyone have any ideas for a more "User Friendly" Blog? Blogspot's interface is not that easy to use and my whole Blog has decided to arbitrarily shift the box that I had on the right side down to the bottom of the page and I don't for the life of me know how to fix it. It's driving me crazy!

I've done little projects here and there...more hats, a pair of bootie slippers, finished a poncho and I need to start one for my of those things to follow.....

Saturday, September 18, 2004

I finished the nephew's holiday present...Hat and Scarflet.

At this point, I think i'm way ahead of the gift giving game. The other day I took a break and whipped up a hat for myself...

I just can't stand making EVERYTHING for other people.
I started something called the "Easy Peasy Poncho"(
yesterday, so far so good...
Carlin and I missed the SnB last Thursday, it was hubby's birthday
and it actually turned out he had to work late and Carlin had less homework then she thought, so we could have gone. Bummer.

Monday, September 13, 2004

"I'm too old for this shit (ITOFTS)." I found myself muttering that today wayyy too many times. I find it interesting that no matter what age I progress to my parents are somehow still in a stage of 'arrested development' and view me as an 11 year old. I'm 35. (that is the first time since i've turned this age that i've written it outloud) My parents (who are not married to each other) are getting older and I need to have even more patience with them, sometimes I feel such an urge to go ballistic in their presence. But I don't, I bite my tongue. I move on, or at least attempt to.

We still have boy rats that need loving forever homes, i'm cleaning out too many cages, too many times a week. Carlin does not have a problem letting me do all the work and i'm tired of screaming about it. Impasse.

I wouldn't give this homeless man any money today, first of all, he came up to the open window of my car when I was at a red light and scared the crap out of me and secondly, I was tapped out. He then proceeded to profanely tell me what he thought of me (fearing for my safety, I already had the window rolled up.) ITOFTS.

I'm just going to chalk it up to a bad day.

On another note, I finished the nephew's hat and i'm moving on to his "keyhole scarflet" He's 4 and I felt unsafe about a 4 year old with a scarf. Dixie gave me the great idea for a 'keyhole scarflet.' Thanks, Dixie! I'll post pictures when i'm done with the set.

The SnB was totally fun yesterday, I think a Sunday afternoon has such a great vibe that's perfect for it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hmmm, I swore to myself that I would not wait this many days between posts. I was thinking last Friday morning that this past weekend would be a perfect time to get a jump on my holiday projects. Unfortunately, that turned out to be not so. I wound up picking Carlin up from school early Friday, she had a major headache. We ran to Trader Joe's and after we were finished ran to the bank where the car died as we were pulling out of the lot. Not a quick painless death, but a shimmy-ing and shaking death. We managed to make it another block and it completely died, wouldn't turn over, nothing. It still amazes me that people think you are sitting in the middle of the street because you choose to and honk at you because you actually decided to park there, on purpose. These are obviously people who have never had a car break down. Otherwise, they would know it just adds to the stress of the situation. Luckily, for us there was a mechanic just across the street (like Starbucks, there is one on every corner). Turned out to be the Alternator, which I had a feeling it would be. They were able to replace it while we waited and I didn't get scammed. So, I guess all things considered it turned into a positive experience. I was telling my friend Molly about it on Friday night and her first question to me was "Did you have some extra money?" Peculiar question, I thought. I said, "yep, thank god." She said, " cars know when you have extra money" and in her experience that's when they break down. I thought that was a very astute observation.
We don't have air conditioning and true to my friend Karen's predictions it turned into the hottest weekend of the summer, thus far.
I managed to finish the niece's poncho but it was just too freaking hot for anything else. I could hardly scrape myself up to get more ice water. We all kind of just layed around basting in our own sweat. Isn't that a pleasant vision. I'm looking forward to the Weather Service's projected cool down toward the end of the week.
Poncho picture accidently removed by Carlin (even the Blog isn't safe)
I ended up using some "fun fur" as the edging to the poncho, what 5 year old little girl wouldn't love that...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Ok, i'm willing to bet that whomever the masochist is that ordered school start for L.A. secondary schools prior to 7:30am is still in bed sleeping, the bastard. I don't have a problem waking up early in the morning, I am a self-proclaimed "morning person." However, I hate waking up at 4am in stressful anticipation of the blaring alarm that will sound at 5:30am. Why set the alarm at all if i'm already waking up that early, you ask? Well, if I knew deep down in my psyche where my Circadian Rhythm can be found, that the alarm was not going to sound, i'd sleep right on through to a VERY late 7am, maybe even *gasp* 7:30am. That is the time I usually wake up over the weekend. So, the theory itself has been proven. Carlin would sleep until 11am, not respond to any sort of an alarm and therefore, miss school every day. That is why I get to wake up so early, i'm her "Alarm." Where you ask is my DARLING husband Thomas in all of this? Sleeping, of course!
Thomas sleeping:

Men can be useful, just not in this case.

Carlin and I haven't made any really noteworthy progress so far this week on any of our projects, which stinks...we are finding that we are a little busy AND a little disorganized. Both of us are looking forward to the SnB tomorrow night (I hope she has her homework done!)

Monday, August 30, 2004

I hate, hate, hate when a pattern turns out to be incorrect and chock full of errors! The niece's poncho pattern turned out to be a doozy. I was following that thing exactly and it refused to cooperate. I ended up switching patterns over to a tried and true and now it is going swimmingly. Here is where I am with it so far:

Poncho picture accidently removed by Carlin (even the Blog isn't safe)

I hate when crochet, one of the things in life I love to do the most, turns into this stress causing thing that totally turns me off. I don't need to create more stress for myself when what stress already exists is enough (did I use the word "stress" enough in this post?)
but, I digress...
Carlin went swimming at her friends house yesterday, spent all day (several hours) in the pool, got completely sunburned (even with her already caramel complexion I always admonish her to wear sunblock) and had scratchy feeling, light sensitive, still blurry eyes when she woke up this morning and stayed home from school today.
Too much of a good thing (except yarn) is never good.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Today is the day that 2 of the rat babies are being adopted. Yay! If you don't know the story....Carlin and I "rescued" the sweetest rat from the HELL that they call Petco, when we got her we asked them if there was any possible way that she could be pregnant. They said, "No, we seperate them very early." WRONG! So, now we are left in a position to find "forever homes" for them. If we take them back they will most likely become snake food and we don't want that to happen, sorry Dixie! we know how much you would appreciate that :-)

I started a poncho for my niece for a holiday present, she's 5 and loves pink...cotton candy pink to be exact (i'll post a picture when I get a bit farther with it.) I think probably scarves and hats will be made and given to most other people (Christine, email me with your email address, I don't have it!)although, my sister has also been hinting really hard for a poncho, so I may be making a few...we'll see.

Our friend Karen from the SnB has a birthday coming up...When you ask? I don't know! Must find out! Karen....

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Today is Carlin's first day of the 7th grade...and here she is leaving the house at 6:30am!

Another one of the school districts great ideas in allieviating overcrowding. Early in, late out and really long vacations...In my opinion, the early/late days are not great for the kids...extracurricular activities are pretty much out of the question during the week, especially for Carlin and the kid's in her program...they have around 3 hours of homework, most days. Weekends are usually spent really tired and trying to catch up on sleep and more homework.

I've tabled the "Popcorn Stitch" scarf for now, I wasn't having fun with it. Now i'm sort of in a project limbo, though I could work on my "Ripple" but I think I need to start on some holiday gifts...

Monday, August 23, 2004

I had an opportunity to work on my 'popcorn cluster neck warmer' at the Sunday SnB yesterday...I'm going to do my best not to frog it again, it's not been my favorite project to do so far. I managed this time to get at least about 20 rows in. I think that might mean I'm officially committed to it's completion.

The Sunday SnB was a fun time yesterday...I think Carlin managed to work on my scarf for a sum total of like 10 minutes and then she was off to something a little more interesting...I can tell that she is truly bored with making it. She taught herself to knit a couple of months ago (is that all?) Seems like it's been a lot longer, she has a lot of projects started...Plus, things she is crocheting. Which means that my scarf, which was the 2nd thing she ever knitted, will get done when it get's done, and that is ok. I also had to promise her that if she actially knit a scarf for me I HAD to wear it the day it was finished no matter what the weather was...i'm thinking November might be better then say August! Although, now she's having visions of me wearing it to a Labor Day B'bq. Evil child.

Karen surprised me at the SnB yesterday by giving me a BUNCH of Cro-knit hooks, I have to say that I was truly touched and rendered speechless by her generosity. She and her daughter Cara are two truly wonderful people and I am glad to know them.

Before we actually even left Kaldi's, Carlin was already trying to teach herself to Cro-Knit, by the time we had actually gotten home and looked at she had figured it out within minutes and then showed me. It is super fun and creates some beautiful stitches. I can't wait to do a project.

Karen also reminded me that the holidays are just around the corner, which was prefaced with the question, "what are we giving people."
now i'm n-e-r-v-o-u-s. I have to start planning that stuff all out! I had a panic attack last night, i'm not saying that was the reason, i'm actually not even sure why, but... 8-)

Saturday, August 21, 2004

I started the 'cluster stitch' scarf today, it's a pattern from the Vogue: Crocheted Scarves book, easy straightforward pattern but I don't think today was a good day to start it. I'm "PMS"ing and when that happens I don't have the patience or coordination for small cluster stitches (not to mention, I feel REALLY sorry for Thomas and Carlin!)
I ended up 'frogging' it about 3 times, so tomorrow I may have to officially start over. I'll post a picture of it if I make any progress.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Went to the SnB last night and had a great time. Really nice bunch of people that attend and the conversations are always interesting. It's really become a sort of "right of passage" for Carlin and I. We love it, gets us out of the house and gives us perspective and inspiration when we see what others are working on.
I started a "ripple" afghan, this very opinionated women who teaches crochet and knitting once told me I should NEVER do a ripple afghan because SHE was personally sick of seeing people do them, well you know what? I'm making one by golly! My motivations behind it are that I like them and we actually have a need for some blankets for the cooler weather. Here's where I am with it, so far...

We are still trying desperately to find homes for the rat babies, who incidentally, are so cute and rambunctious... a friend of mine told her summer intern about the babies and she is adopting two. Yay!
The babies get to go and live in San Francisco, lucky babies!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

So, I just whipped up a scarf for my mother's birthday. Easy, just single and double crochet, the yarn is really soft, and does not come from an animal, she's allergic...I hope she likes it. There is always a certain amount of anxiety for me when i've given something that I have made to someone, I think it's because subjectively, I am a "selective perfectionist." Which may be why I don't usually gift my things that i've made (i've been crocheting since the late 80's) I need to get over that.

Mom's Scarf