Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where is our 15 minutes of fame?

Snowstorm #4 here. 4th storm in 2 weeks. In Seattle. We are having Duluth, MN like weather in Seattle and are completely ignored by the media. Watching the Today Show, they are all about the snow in the midwest and the east coast. OOO--Detroit has 10 inches of snow...See, SEATTLE has a FOOT of snow. On Christmas Eve. Snow in Detroit is not news. That is called December. And really, a little snow in Seattle is not news either. We get snow. I have lived here for 40 years and I can tell you, we get snow. And since Seattle is built on 7 hills, unlike Detroit or Minneapolis, which have, um zero hills, there are reasons the city shuts down when we get snow and subfreezing temperatures.

But here's the thing. This is our 4th storm in 2 weeks. Our snow never went away. It just keeps growing. We don't get Buffalo, NY white Christmases. I'm used to a rainy Christmas. Or a couple of flakes. Or 50 degrees and overcast. A foot of snow on Christmas in Seattle? That is worth a mention on the Today Show, don't you think? Stupid east coast bias.

This is a picture out my back door. I have nearly a foot of snow on my deck and it comes right up to the back door. Those swings in the background? They are touching the snow. The ground has risen up to the level of the swings.

No idea what this means for our Christmas plans. No idea. Our Christmas Eve plans have already been cancelled, thanks to the fact that Marcus the Opera Singer threw up 5 times yesterday. NOTHING will entice me in to a house where someone has thrown up. Nothing. Not Christmas, not getting my hands on that baby, Nothing. 5 TIMES? Forget about it.

As for tomorrow...don't know. My family is to come from all ends of the city. And they have most of the food. Which means if our family Christmas is rescheduled, we'll be eating corn dogs and chardonnay for Christmas dinner.

On the furnace front, I got an early Christmas gift. The other day I noticed what I thought was a gas leak. And Mike, who thinks I overreact to everything, actually called Puget Sound Energy to come and check it out. They said there was no leak, but they did trace the issue to our furnace and explained that because it was taking our burners too long to fire up, too much gas was being expelled into the air. And that the safety mechanism on our furnace was what was keeping it from turning into a giant bomb in our laundry room.

As I was thinking about revising my will and leaving all of my yarn to science, the PSE guys called out their furnace expert, who took the whole thing apart, made some adjustments to our burners, put it all back together, and declared it fixed. And the only cost to me was having to listen to him wax eloquent to the other two PSE guys about the glories of being a furnace fixer. And football. But the furnace is fixed, the house is warm, it cost me nothing, and when this house does go up in a blaze of glory, it won't be from that particular issue.

Eric refused to be in the picture
because Ryan touched the
carrot without permission.

That's all for now from Knitting Queen central. The gifts are wrapped, the cards are finally addressed, the wine is chilling, I'm on round 2 of making little snowman ice cubes from my new snowman ice cube tray, the outside snowman is built, and I'm ready to start on Eric's Harry Potter sweater sleeves. Church was cancelled on Sunday because of Storm #3. Cancelled. We're suppose to go to church tonight, being Christmas Eve and all. Can't really see that happening at the moment since it has been snowing steadily since I got up 5 hours ago. But we're safe, warm, and happy.

Merry Christmas from The Queen, The King, and our two court jesters!

Monday, December 22, 2008

On the road to crazy town

Week 2 of Snowpocalypse '08 here in Seattle. We've had the 14 degree temperatures, we've had the near-blizzard winds, and we've got the snow. Major thoroughfares are shut down, schools are closed, hair appointments are canceled again.

I did work this weekend. Saturday, a day that was a break in the Winter Hell '08, was insane with the yarn people. It's my favorite time of year at the shop. Not only because it's so festive in The Village, but I love to see the bewildered husbands approach us with their lists. We can sell those men anything. "My wife likes you have green yarn?" DO WE HAVE GREEN YARN. How about this lovely Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk? And showing those husbands the ball winders and swifts...Look! It's mechanical and it moves really fast! SOLD!

After our Saturday night blizzard, I went to work yesterday for a bit. After Mike and I spent some quality time together putting chains on the car. In sub-freezing temperatures while kneeling in a foot of snow. Talk about a marriage builder! Nothing like the friendly exchange of obscenities to start the day. Again, those nutty knitters came out to shop. After first calling to see if we were open "Are you open today?! I've been stuck in my house and I'm out of yarn! I'll be right there!" That's a direct quote, right there.

But alas, today I am home. Buried under 10 inches of snow. And 10 inches of laundry. And unwritten Christmas card addresses. And unbaked cookies. And boys. The Queen with time on her hands is not a happy thing. I am a scheduler. I like routine. I don't do well with oodles of time on my hands. You would think this would be the perfect opportunity for me to get things done. You would think my house would be spotless, laundry done, cookies baked...I have had days and days and days at home with "nothing" to do, but that is not a motivator for me. In fact, the more empty space I have, the less organized and motivated I become. I work better under pressure. I'm much more efficient when I can look at my day in organized chunks of time. Knowing that I have unlimited time and that the possibilities are endless means I wander aimlessly and end up accomplishing nothing.

My sister Caroline is the exact opposite. She is thrilled with all of this time off. She has lists of things to do and she is ticking them off one by one. She is not bored. She is not aimless and overwhelmed by the vast amounts of time and space that 2 weeks of snow brings. Her cookies are baked, her laundry is folded...She is an efficient person and isn't going to let a few snowflakes or a house full of kids get in her way. Also, she is not hosting Christmas Day in 3 days. But guess who is....

I will say this. I have given myself permission to stop knitting baby hats for a few days. There is no way to drop them off anywhere, the shops where I sell them are probably not even open. I have instead spend some time on my fun knitting.

I'm almost done with Druid Mitten #1. I just have the thumb to do. Although I did have some issues with the decreases (mainly because he charted the decreases and I'm more comfortable reading the written directions) and I've never done a saddle closure before. But now that I'm done, I have to say it looks really good.

I've been knitting socks and have made serious headway on Eric's Harry Potter sweater. Otherwise known as the last time I will knit this sweater in a long long time because I'd sure like to knit something different in the future.

So, rather than doing something productive today like catch up on baby hats, or dust, or actually finish my Christmas cards before Christmas, you are getting the worlds longest blog post.

In the meantime, it is suppose to snow again tomorrow. And maybe Wednesday. And maybe even Thursday. And we are suppose to go to Tiffany and Marcus' house for Christmas Eve, which is about 40 minutes away. My entire family is to come to our house on Christmas Day. Currently the main road to my sister Emily's house is closed. My parents have a 2 hour drive. And Caroline lives near Tiffany. None of us know what to do because this is unprecedented in Seattle. Oh, sure we get snow occasionally, but not like this. And never on Christmas.

In happy news, our furnace is working again. Not that we know why--it has been randomly not working, and now it is working fabulously. My life would be so much less stressful if I stopped trying to figure it out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weekend Update

First of all, I just have to say, IT IS FRIGGIN COLD IN MY HOUSE. It is a balmy 15 degrees outside right now. And about 16 inside. Because my furnace has taken the day off. Again. We have a fairly new furnace. It's only about 4 years old. And for the first 3 1/2 years, it worked fine. But these last few month it has decided to take a vacation. It just flat out decides to put itself into safety mode and go to sleep. For no reason. We have had Ryan's-best-friend-Zach's-dad-Tommy, who is a furnace guy, look at it twice. He has taken it apart, cleaned it, inspected it, and CANNOT FIGURE OUT WHY IT RANDOMLY GOES INTO SAFETY MODE IN THE DEAD OF WINTER. The motor works fine, it produces heat, the gas readout is normal....we thought we had it fixed and then after about 2 weeks of blissful warmth, it is shutting itself down again. And so what I have to do, at 6:30 in the morning when I check the thermostat and discover that it reads 57, is go into the laundry room and flip the little switch to restart the furnace. And then it fires up, brings the house to a livable 69, and then goes back to sleep. And when I can't feel my fingers any more I check the thermostat again, discover it says 62, flip the switch again, and continue to go about my day. That is how I spent yesterday. My entire day. And then around 2:00 the furnace got off it's lazy ass and decided to actually start itself up and heated the house all on its own for a few hours. Until it got lazy and didn't do it any more. I think Tommy and I need to have a little talk at basketball practice tonight.

When I'm not busy dying a slow death from hypothermia, and lugging piles of laundry from one end of the earth to the other, and sweeping up sand from the laundry room floor that we sprinkled on the outside steps so we wouldn't fall and break our necks just getting to the car, I'm knitting. I'm knitting cupcake hats , I'm knitting socks, and, when I've been especially good and deserve a treat, I'm knitting my Druid Mittens.

How adorable are these mittens?! I'm using Knit Picks Essential Tweed sock yarn and size 1 needles, and each and every row of the pattern requires strict attention to detail which means that if I don't go blind they should be finished by next winter. But I love them. I love the little slip stitch pattern on the palm and I love the intricate braids up the sides and I love the fact that there is not one single solitary patch of straight boring old stockinette stitch anywhere on this mitten.

I've also finished one Happy Feet Nutkin sock. Which I would love to wear right now to keep my toes from falling off, but I only have one. So I'll stick to the double layer of socks that I'm wearing right now and hope I can keep the dexterity in my frozen fingers long enough to finish the other one.

We did actually venture out and do some fun things this weekend. After our Dinner Group family Christmas party, Mike and I unloaded the boys on our sitter and punished ourselves by going to Target. On a Saturday. Before Christmas. After surviving the nightmare that is the Target toy department, we rewarded ourselves by seeing Quantam of Solice. And I have to say, I felt nicely rewarded. Two hours of Daniel Craig is a Merry Christmas to me.
The next day, while I was selling yarn to the masses, Mike took the boys to see Santa. While at the mall, they noticed a portrait artist had set up shop. Ryan was thoroughly fascinated by this and now we have a dual art studio set up in our playroom.

Today I have to deliver some hats and then do some Christmas shopping before the next round of snow hits tomorrow. Most of my shopping is done. Cards, finally ordered this morning. Decorations. Pretty much done. Outside lights, next year. Number of gifts actually wrapped? That would be zero. Baby steps, baby steps.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Oh, where to begin. Every day I wake up thinking about everything that needs to be done, and then I make a mental list of what absolutely positively must get done, and let it trickle down from there. All the while aware that each time one task gets attention, another one falls by the wayside. Like, for instance, my blog. And the actual folding of the laundry. There is plenty of clean laundry in my house--I wash it all the time. But sorting, folding, and putting it away, well, that's not happening. And I think my family is still under the delusion that a gnome shows up every so often to do this chore, because the fact that they have to navigate around these heaps and dig to the bottom for matching socks on a regular basis is a fact they seem all too ready to accept. It's as if they think the gnome is buried under the mountainous piles of clean laundry and they assume he will eventually find his way out again...

But I digress. I've made blogging my priority this morning, so let's get to it, shall we?

Christmas 2008: Ever spent the holiday season with an 8 year old and an almost 6 year old? Every single solitary thing that comes out of their mouths has something to do with Christmas. Eric has been walking around the house for weeks with a little notebook, constantly updating his list. And he reminds me frequently that he needs to bring this notebook to the mall when we visit Santa. Which we haven't done yet. Which Eric reminds me of regularly.

Cards, not ordered. Gifts, half purchased. Tree, picked out by husband while The Queen was at work. Decorations, done in stages. At the rate I'm going I should be putting the finishing touches on right around the time my family shows up on Christmas morning. Baking, ha ha ha hee hee HA HA WHOOOO WHOOO WHOOO HEE HEE HEE Oh, excuse me while I wipe the tears from my eyes. Ok, where was I? Oh yes. I'm not ready for Christmas. Unlike say, Todd and Margo...

The second it gets dark, their Christmas Bizarro Land springs to life. They have 5 blow up monstrosities this year, and, as usual, everything--the fence, the shed, the deck, the house, the weird island of plants they have in the middle of their yard--it's all covered in lights, each coming from a completely unrelated set and each one blinking to its own beat. Rapidly. And the trees play Christmas carols while spinning and blinking so fast it looks like they're about to shoot straight up in the air like rocket ships. Nothing celebrates the birth of Christ like Santa on a musical teeter-totter.

The Knitting: Harry Potter sweater #1 is finished. Ryan loves it and is actually wearing it to school today. Which makes me feel good basically because the child removes his coat once he gets to school and doesn't put it on until he goes to school the next day. No coat at recess and no coat on the bus. And since they are actually truly talking about snow later on this week, I like the fact that the kid is wearing something that may keep him alive. Since he has no body fat to speak of.

Eric's sweater is in a heap in some bag somewhere. Because the last thing I want to do is knit the exact same sweater twice. I'm not fooled by the fact that it's in a different color. It's the same sweater and I don't want to knit it. That and the fact that I have been knitting 38908093402984 baby hats. That is all I do these days. Knit baby cupcake hats. I just gave Willow & Bloom the last of an order for a big show she is doing today, which is the only reason I have time to do anything else. I have half of Heidi's sock, half a Nutkin sock, 1/4 of a Druid mitten, and no time to finish any of them up. Now mind you, I'm not complaining. Business is booming and it's great. But I would really like to knit something fun right now. Something different. Something new. Something that reminds me why I love knitting.

The Lever Shocks: Suddenly I've never been so popular. I've received enough good feedback from the evil-spawn-of-Satan Ebay that people are now taking me seriously. Let's just say this--I've completely funded our Christmas with last week's take. And I have another round of auctions ending later on today. Organizing all of these car parts, posting them, and looking up strange numbers in my dad's big binder full of random car things is actually very time consuming. But it's paying off, so who am I to complain?!

Life with Eric: living with a kindergartner is never dull. I remember this from Ryan's kindergarten year as well--the amount of learning and growing they do is amazing. Eric has become amazingly independent these last couple of months and we can see the gears of his complex little mind working all the time.

Eric has asked me to start reading Charlotte's Web to him. Partly because he loves animals, and partly because this book has a shiny sparkly "reward" on the cover. And then we had to go through the house and find all of our books that have received rewards. And because that wasn't enough, Eric taped a quarter to his new journal, to give it a reward as well. This is Eric's secret journal that he purchased with his allowance. And I'm not allowed to look inside of it. But because I'm nosy, I did it anyway. It contains about 45 drawings of Spiderman and he has written several words that he recently learned to spell.

There. That's my life these days. I'm going to wrap this up now because it's a lot longer than I intended and I'm sure you stopped reading about 3 paragraphs ago. I need to spend this morning cleaning up the rest of the Christmas boxes. And then, because it's evil-1/2 day-Wednesday, I'm taking the boys to get haircuts. And then I have to bathe them. It's been awhile. And then Ryan has to do his homework. And then I have to feed them a dinner they won't eat. And then I have to take them to Ryan's dress rehearsal for his Christmas play. And then I have to bring them home and explain that they can't have anything to eat because it's 8:30 and past their bedtime and they wouldn't be so hungry if they had eaten the dinner I placed before them at dinner time.

Ah, the magic never ends.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Update

I finished my Monkey Socks, using my luscious Pagewood Farms merino/bamboo sock yarn. I don't understand how people can take pictures of their work and show off the intricate detail. These socks are actually very cool. The pattern is a series of lacy interlocking V's and it really shows off the variegation of the dye pattern. But in my picture, they just look like dark blue blobs. Trust me on this--I did a fabulous job on these socks and I love them.

I also tried the short row heel on my Nutkin socks 3 times. 3 TIMES. And now I know that there is no need to do short row heels. No need. Heel flaps work nicely, thank you very much. I actually did complete the short row heel and it actually did look pretty good. But then you are suppose to start knitting around again and there was going to be this big hole on the gusset. And since there were no stitches to pick up, there was no way to close it up. And I probably could have researched it and tried it 500 more times and eventually figured it out. But I just didn't care that much. Look, I'm doing the socks-on-2-circular-needles thing and pretty much enjoying it (and Mara, if you are reading this--zip it), so I think I've branched out enough.

Several months ago my bookgroup read the book The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I enjoyed the book, but I take issue with part of it. A character in the book was a knitter and each time she accidentally turned 2 heels on a sock, someone died. Here's the thing: a knitter would NEVER accidentally turn a second heel. Never. After wrestling with the same short row heel 3 times and then changing back to my familiar comfortable old heel flap, let me assure you that the creating of that sock heel wouldn't just slip my mind. Diane clearly is not a knitter.

On the Todd and Margo front, Todd was busy this weekend. And it appears that he and Margo did some shopping. That Santa teeter-totter thing? New. Tacky and new. I know he's not even close to being finished with this monstrosity yet, but we were treated to a little preview last night. Late into the evening. Around the lattice and teeter-totter, flashing multi colored lights. Around the house and shed, flashing white lights, that are in no way in sync with the flashing multi colored lights. Those snowflakes along the side were doing something crazy last night, too. And the psycho singing trees were at it again, with a rhythm all their own. He has been testing the blow up things, but hasn't formally introduced them to the neighborhood yet. Clearly it's only a matter of time.

But I spent my weekend in a yarn store. So life can't be all bad.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Todd and Margo Report

News Flash: A larger than life blow-up chimney has just arrived on Todd and Margo's front lawn, accompanied by Charlie Brown and Snoopy. There was no giant red blow-up Snoopy chimney last year. I would have remember that, just as I remember the other blow-up chimney they used to decorate last year, with the Santa that bobs up and down, and the blow-up Harley with Santa straddling it. The one that fell off their roof more times that I can count last year. Oh yes, I would have remembered.

I knew they had something up their Griswoldian sleeves.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sometimes material presents itself...

I've been thinking about what to they want to hear more about the lever shocks? My escapades with the laundry? My lack of progress on the boys' Harry Potter sweaters? And then, sometimes material presents itself:

Last night, November 17th, 10 days BEFORE THANKSGIVING, "Todd" and "Margo" began decorating their yard for Christmas. Last year, as you may recall, they created their garish winter nightmareland on Thanksgiving Day. This year the psychotic singing blinking trees have already been assembled. My question is this: what have they done? What cockamamie plan is in the works that involves an extra 10 days to complete? Clearly they are planning to take it up a notch, if that is even possible. I am so incredulous at what they did last year--is it possible that they could actually make it worse? Stay tuned, I guess...

Back in the land of the sane, my KnitPicks green tweedy sock yarn arrived! And I have to say, I love it! It's soft and pretty and only $3.50 a skein. So of course I abandoned everything else I've been working on and started the mittens. And now I think I have to rip it out and try some size 2 needles because I think the 1's are a bit too small. And I also tried my very first short row heel on my Happy Feet Nutkin socks, which was actually working out but I chose to ignore the strong suggestion that I use markers, because I hate using markers, and then of course I lost count about 3/4 of the way through. Which would not have happened if I had used markers. So, between those two projects last night, I wasted about two hours that I can't get back

But look at what I've accomplished! Leah's felted bag is finished! Poor Leah, I told her she was responsible for attaching the flowers and handle because, well, that involves sewing. But look at how precious it is! I think I may have to make one for Heidi for her birthday in blues and browns....she was practically teary eyed when she saw it, because it is so darn cute.

On the subject of Keeping My Family Alive, rumor has it that my sister has a carpet cleaner that she's sending my way. I am very excited about this. My carpets need cleaning so badly and hiring the pros has not been in the budget. I used to have Chem Dry come twice a year because we have fairly new carpets. But in trying to be both hygienic and frugal I've decided that it makes a lot more sense to have my own cleaner. So I've been saving my pennies. I mentioned this to my sister last night and apparently she has one she is not using. Who knew? How old and matronly do I feel that a Bissell Steam Cleaner can make my day?

And want to hear something else that made my day? Get this--in the 2nd grade I had a pen pal named Angela. I use to watch this tv show called The Big Blue Marble (don't even ask me why or how I remember this) and you could contact them to get set up with a pen pal. So I did that and corresponded with Angela until about the time we went to college. We lost touch for a variety of reasons--college, marriage, life--but I have thought of her throughout the years. A couple of weeks ago, she contacted me! We haven't been in touch for 25 years and the other day I received an email from her. That's pretty amazing if you ask me.

So, that is the news from this dusty, unvacuumed lair. When I'm not watching The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D with these 2 little maniacs, I'm knitting baby hats like a madwoman, trying to sell more lever shocks, and spending weekends working at the shop. And writing to my pen pal.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Talk to you later

Hello fellow readers. All 4 of you.

I will not be blogging today because I have to celebrate Veteren's Day by not sending my kids to school and staying inside with them all day during a rain storm. This celebration will include refereeing the Wii, cleaning up the cat vomit on my living room carpet, folding laundry, wrestling with my furnace that has decided, after Tommy worked on it twice, that it still does not want to work today (and my furnace is a big liar. After Tommy's last visit, it worked great until today. Liar.) and in general, NOT GETTING ONE SPARE SECOND TO MYSELF. And I ran out of half and half.

And tomorrow Shirley and I will play Hot Potato with the kids while we take turns attending school conferences. It's really nice that Ryan and Eric's conferences are 3 hours apart. That is so convenient for both Shirley and for me. So, I will not be blogging today. Since these 2 measly little paragraphs have been interrupted by my two pajama-clad Veteran's Day party-heartiers about 4 times.

I will say this. Classic Elite Alpaca Sox--not great for Jared Flood's Druid Mittens. I was so excited about using the Alpaca Sox! I splurged and spent birthday money on it and have tried the mittens twice. There is no substance to that yarn. It is soft and fuzzy and beautiful and luxurious, and I think I may strangle myself with it if I try those mittens a 3rd time. I ALMOST ordered the prescribed Jamieson's 2-ply spindrift. I was this close. And then, flipping through Ravelry, I saw someone make the mittens out of Knit Picks tweed sock yarn. I've never ordered from Knit Picks before but people seem to love their stuff. And the tweed sock yarn was only $3.50 a skein. $3.50!! So, I'll get back to you on this topic in about a week and tell you how my tweed mittens are working out.

I believe it's my turn for Super Mario Galaxy. Sigh....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mommy said a bad word

3rd grader Ryan has been really interested in the election. The only president he has ever known is George W and this is new territory for him. He has asked several times why "the girl" wasn't going to be president and it's opened up dialogue about the election process on numerous occasions.

The boys both knew that yesterday was a big day, but the "firsts" involved in this election have been lost on them. In a good way. We live in a blue collar neighborhood. My boys attend a very racially integrated public school in a run down building. One of Ryan's closest friends is Latino. Eric's is Asian. And neither of them has ever mentioned this. Yesterday afternoon when I turned the coverage on, Tavis Smiley was speaking. Ryan looked at the tv and asked "is he African American too?". My first thought was can't you SEE him? And then I realized that, in the right way, he just doesn't get it. He doesn't see it. The labels that generations upon generations have been using are not making a lot of sense to my kids who are growing up in the midst of inclusion and integration.

But with history about to be made, I thought it was important for Ryan to understand a bit more about these issues. We drove home from our Love and Logic class listening to McCain's gracious concession speech on the radio. And even though it was past his bedtime, I told Ryan he could stay up to see Obama's speech. I wanted him to always remember this moment and to appreciate the rare event he was witness to. And after the speech was over (and after I complained that, with Brad Pitt reportedly in the crowd, why do they keep showing Oprah?!) Mike and I explained part of Obama's speech to Ryan.

Obama referenced slavery. And civil rights. And the causes for which Martin Luther King Jr. died. And although Ryan has learned about Martin Luther King Jr., he really didn't get it. He has known that Abraham Lincoln was a great president, but never really understood why. So we told him. We told him what slavery was and that, even when Black people were technically free, they still couldn't eat at McDonalds. Can you imagine not being able to eat at McDonalds just because of the color of your skin?!? And Mommy used a bad word. The word STUPID is a bad word in our house and that is the word I used to describe our country and the choices that we made in treating African Americans. Ryan did a double take as I said this to him. But what other word can you use to describe the actions of our country in the treatment of anyone NOT WHITE? To an 8 year old, is it not STUPID to tell someone they can't use a drinking fountain? Or ride a bus? Or have an important job?

I hope both boys continue to grow up blissfully ignorant of racial issues. I hope that seeing different races and genders in the White House becomes normal. And expected. I hope we can stop being STUPID.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Weekend Update

Typically busy weekend at the royal residence. I'll just say this now and get it out of the way: I have no Halloween pictures. None. I can hear your collective audible gasp. What kind of mother forgets her camera and takes ZERO pictures on Halloween? One that works and has to meet her family at church for the carnival, that's who. One that is married to a man who NEVER takes pictures.

This won't be hard for you to imagine, though. Eric was Spiderman for the 3rd year in a row. And Ryan was Obi Wan Kenobi and wore a costume so similar to last year's Anakin costume that I called him Anakin for most of the evening. So just look at last year's pictures and you can consider yourself caught up.

On Saturday Tiffany and Blake came for the day. Marcus is in Greece doing some opera-y thing for the month, so we thought it would be fun give Tiffany a break. The boys were in heaven. They adore Blake. Ryan begged to hold Blake every chance he got and they loved to make faces at him and try to make him smile.

And when I haven't been working at the shop, I have been knitting. You would not believe the orders that are coming in. Who are these rich people buying cupcake baby hats by the dozens?!? Certainly no one I know. I'm finished with Ryan's Harry Potter sweater and just need to seam it up, but when I will make the time to do that is anyone's guess. I keep it in the living room, in a heap that is always in my way, hoping that I'll get annoyed enough to just finish it and put it away in his drawer. But sadly, I haven't reached that point yet. Which gives you an inkling of the state of my house these days. Did I mention I'm hosting a dinner party on Saturday? Pulling this off should be good. I already warned my guests that I may be greeting them at the door with a basket of laundry for each of them to fold. We'll see if they ever come back to my house!

I'm finished with Caroline's socks, which are pretty darn cute if I do say so myself (like I can take any credit for this self striping yarn). In fact, they are so cute, that Heidi took one look at them and immediate bought the same yarn for me to make a pair for her.

And look--I'm actually knitting something for me. A few weeks ago the shop got in a shipment of Plymouth Happy Feet sock yarn and I fell in love. I knew I would not be leaving that day without some Happy Feet. And as it happened to be my birthday, my boss gave me a gift card, which made my decision even easier--since I couldn't choose between two colorways, I bought them both! I'm making the Nutkin pattern, found on Ravelry, which I'm enjoying very much. And I'm forcing myself to use 2 circular needles, which, I hate to admit, is not completely objectionable.

So that's life here. Early in the morning I try to clean something and then I spend some time working on the computer while Eric becomes Wii Fit-ter and fitter. And then after I take him to school I look around my scary cluttered hovel, sigh, and knit some baby hats in peace and quiet before collecting Spidey and his grumpy pre-pubescent older brother from the bus. After dinner I knit on the hats a bit longer. Around 9:00 I allow myself to knit for me. And while this is going on the King is doing whatever it is he does on his laptop on the couch next to me and every so often I sigh and tell him that I could really use some help cleaning up around this place, now that I'm working so much. And as he looks around I can read on his face that he is thinking What? This place looks fine to me. If it's smaller than a basketball it is invisible to me so I don't know what that crazy lady is complaining about. But he knows that his very life depends on not actually saying those words out loud, so instead he tells me what I want to hear, and then we continue to live in squalor.

Ryan has his first sleep-over birthday party this weekend. I don't think that will make him cranky at all, do you?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

To Do

1. Write blog post.

2. Put away King and Queen's clean laundry. There are currently 3 baskets of laundry cluttering up the royal boudoir and we can barely walk through the room. I noticed this morning that some of the King's laundry magically landed in his side of the closet. Some. And none of the Queen's. And all 3 baskets are still there. That was helpful. Thanks.

3. Sanitize our biohazard-like bathrooms.

4. Stare longingly at my unattended-to overgrown garden and cry.

5. Knit 4989 baby hats.

6. Take Eric to Target to pick out a birthday gift for his friend, Tyler, while trying to escape with only a gift for Tyler. Eric is strong, but I'm stronger. The King is no longer allowed to take the children to Target. Or Bartells. Or Safeway. Or past the popcorn stand at Pumpkin Carving Night at the kid's school last night after I specifically said NO because I bought them popcorn at the book fair earlier that day.

7. Invent a microscopic sized bazooka to eradicate the fruit flies that continue to plague my house despite the fact that we have been so vigilant about keeping no fruit around at all. All fresh fruit is in the fridge and the King has banned bananas from the house. Yet the fruit flies continue to grow in number. I actually have to keep a coaster over my glass of wine at night. That's how bad it is.

8. Post more lever shocks on Ebay. Evil Ebay. I hate you.

9. Vacuum. It's been a while.

10. Try to finish reading my overdue copy of World Without End before the library fines start to overtake the actual cost of the book.

11. Try to convince Daniel-the-silent-neighbor-boy to talk to me, or acknowledge my existance, while he spends the afternoon here.

12. In keeping with today's theme, bathe my kids. It's been a while.

13. Knit 890984 hats.

14. Fix Caroline's socks so that they fit her. Because apparently I forgot how to knit socks. Or her feet grew and she forgot to tell me.

15. Drink. After this list, I deserve it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Queen was at Balmoral!

I wish. Actually The Queen was stuck right here in Renton, unable to manage her life. And suddenly it has been 2 weeks (2 weeks!) since blogging.

First of all, I turned 40. After developing a sudden and severe case of osteoporosis, followed by high cholesterol, I allowed my family to shower me with gifts (Mike gave me this AWESOME Jordana Paige knitting bag. And the latest Sharon Kay Penman book. My favoritist) and then I worked all week. I don't normally work during the week, but someone was on vacation and it was a chance for me to pick up some extra hours. And a great way to GET NOTHING ELSE DONE.

Holy smokes. How do working moms do this? Seriously. There was no dinner. There was no clean laundry. We had dishes piled to the ceiling. Every room in my house was a complete disaster. Complete. Disaster. And I was too tired to care enough to actually clean something. And since the male species seems to be genetically deficient in this area, we've been living in squalor.

Second, it's hat season. It's Hat Season, People! Everybody wants a baby hat. So I'm doubling up on the Glucosamine and knitting like a mad woman. Personal knitting is on temporary hold until I can get a handle on these hats. Seriously. Dozens of hats.

Third, I'm still trying to figure out this Lever Shocks business. I really hate Ebay. Ebay benefits no one but Ebay. They get you with the fees coming and going. It's a great way to show the entire world what you have to sell, but I really hate the whole Ebay culture. So now I'm learning all about Hemmings Motor News. I'll stop boring you any further details on that subject.

Fourth, Mike turned 40. That was much more fun for me! The boys and I bought him a Wii Fit, which is the most fun we have all had in a long long time. Now, when I will settle into a fitness routine is anyone's guess. Apparently I'll be waking up at 4:00 am in order to have that fit into my day. I'm not really there yet. But watching the boys Wii Fit is the most hilarious thing I have ever seen. Think I'm joking? Eric is all about the virtual hula hoop. And Ryan is aces at step aerobics. Eric is ski jumping at this very moment, making this blog post possible.

And then our friends threw us a combined birthday party this weekend. It was really really fun. Our dinner group transformed Andy and Michelle's house into a casino and about 30 of us played Bunco while we ate and drank the night away. And our favorite gift was this beautiful maple tree the dinner group gave us. We're so excited about it! We found the perfect spot for it and I'm going to buy stakes today so we can get it into the ground before the next wind storm. I know I should have taken a picture of it, and I will, but if you want to read anything new on this site this month, you will just have to use your imagination.

Fifth, we all got colds. I'm saying this so you will feel sorry for me. Because mine is worse than everyone elses. I just know it is. And my husband's laptop keeps going into cardiac arrest so he keeps using my computer. And I have to bring my children to and from school. Because the imaginary nanny I dreamed up can't actually do that for me. She sucks at putting the laundry away, too.

Hmmm....Eric is starting the yoga portion of the Wii Fit. I think I need to check this out...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Alone at last....

Finally. I am alone. Free from these little maniacs who expect me to feed them and find their Pokemon cards and teach them to read. And all that. Mike has taken the boys to Kids Choir at church and I stayed home under the guise of getting something done. Unfortunately they will all be returning in about 2 1/2 hours. So I'll get right to the point.

So much to report and so little time in which I can complete a coherent thought and record it here for you. My life seems to be going at a mile a minute right now. Let me take a drink of my beer and give you the low down.

The knitting: It's baby hat season. As in, each of my 4 stores contacted me at the same time asking for a big ol' pile of baby hats. That is what I am suppose to be doing right now. That is what I do when I attend my Parenting With Love And Logic class with Mike on Tuesdays (it doesn't seem to be working. The love and logic part, that is. I think it would be better to send my kids to the class). That is what I do when Eric is in school. That is what I do when I should be cleaning something (at this point, pick a room. Any room. It all needs to be cleaned).

I'm finished with Ryan's Harry Potter sweater and just need to block it and sew it up, and then cry when it doesn't fit him. I've begun Eric's sweater and have completed a whole half an inch. I have one Monkey sock done, one Caroline sock done, and one Leah sock done. And I have an inch of Jack's W hat done (4 year old Jack saw my UW hats on my blog when mommy Meghan was reading one day. He HAD to have one. Apparently, for Jack, the W stands for Webkinz. Or as Jack would say, Webkinth!).

The Shop: I do love my job. We're having a sale this weekend and I love a good sale. I love helping people fill up their bags with piles of yarn.

Lever Shocks: Still working out the details, but we're getting pretty close to going public. I'm sure people will be knocking down my door, looking for shock absorbers for their '36 Buick.

My birthday: 2 days away. 2 days until the end. 2 days until I have to start wearing elastic waist pants, sensible shoes, and join the PTA. 2 days until I start subscribing to Reader's Digest. 2 days until I have to let my hair go gray and start wearing big floral prints. 2 days until I start listening to Celine Dion and learn to crochet. 2 days until I turn 40.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Shocking Experience

My dad is a handy guy. Not in a change-a-lightbulb-quick-as-a-wink kind of handy. But handy as in, he can rebuild a barn, and restore an antique bathtub, and install antique flooring, and rig up the wiring so all the lights and tvs turn on at the same time, and learn how to keep bees, and make his own mulch, and rebuild vintage lever action shock absorbers. Kind of a renaissance man in Carhartts.

And what are lever action shock absorbers, you ask? Why, I'd love to tell you. As soon as I figure them out. Which I'll need to do soon since it's my new job to sell them.

My parents moved to Whidbey Island about 8 years ago and bought this 100 year old farm house on 6 acres. My dad is in the middle of remodeling the house, and is always and forever remodeling the barn.
The barn is his shop. But I'm thinking it may be a little different than the kind of your dad had. While your dad has one shiny radial arm saw in the corner, my dad has 4. My dad's shop has a scrap metal WING. He has several lathes, of both the wood and metal variety. He has his own sandblaster. I mean, you never know when you come across something that needs sand blasting, right? He gave my husband a table saw because he had so many of them. See that doorway below all the extention cords in the picture? That doorway leads into ROOMS.
There are no peg boards with outlines of hammers and screwdrivers in this shop. And this shop does not have one of everything. This shop has 14 of everything.

This shop is bigger than my house and I have gotten lost in it before.

About 10 years ago my dad bought this lever shocks business from this guy. I don't even know how he knew about this. I quit asking a long time ago. His favorite thing to do is find these crazy things and get the deal of the century. But anyhoo, he bought this business, selling vintage shock absorbers for vintage cars and trucks. Which apparently some people need. Whatever. In the first year the business paid for itself. He did it 3 more years and then "retired" from it. Sold the business to my cousin and bought it back. Sold the business to my brother-in-law, then bought it back.

And then stored it here. In the back of the Garage Mahal. See each of those boxes--they each contain either a single or a pair of shock absorbers for a particular vintage car. This is actually only a partial picture since I would need a wide angled lens to capture the entire inventory.
And why am I wasting your valuable time with this random bit of trivia about my dad? Because this is my new job. Selling lever shocks. Remember when I told you how supportive and helpful my family has been with our journey into financial oblivion? This is one of the ways they have been helping. There's gold on them thar shelves. As soon as I can figure out which part goes with which American car from 1915 to 1955.

Yesterday I spend the day with my dad, in the unheated barn, inventorying shocks. Which I think could be the reason I can't move my right shoulder today. Either that, or the fact that I'm turning 40 in 9 days. Or perhaps both.

Doesn't this new business just scream Knitting Queen?

And yet, I'm fine with this! I'll make money for me, money for my folks, and it's one small step toward cleaning out the world's largest shop while the owner and creator is still alive.

So now I work in a yarn shop, make baby hats, and sell vintage lever action shock absorbers. I can sell you yarn AND the correct shocks for a '38 Studabaker. Anything to pay the mortgage and keep me away from Murder She Wrote.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Time to take the casserole out of the freezer

Can someone please call my mom and talk to her about Paul Newman? I really don't think I can have another conversation with her about this.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mrs. Job

Mortifying event of the day: listening to the car radio too long while waiting to pick Ryan up at the front of the line in the school parking lot drop off/pick up area and having my battery die. Right there in front of all the students, all the parents screeching their cars around me, and Ryan's music teacher. And then calling my neighbor Shirley to come bail me out and the two of us trying to read my owner's manual and place the jumper cables in the right places so we didn't blow up both of our cars. All in the pouring down rain with 4 kids.

I did get some knitting done during my wait. Always looking for that silver lining. That's me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm back

Hello friends, I'm back. Actually I've been here all along, but due to lack of internet connection this week, I have appeared invisible. With Walter's permission we are "borrowing" his wi-fi until we get things figured out.

Believe it or not, we've had a good week. A tremendous week. In fact, we might say it's the best week we've ever had. Which is pretty remarkable for a couple of destitute deadbeats. All that praying I've been doing? It works. Don't believe me? I'm living proof that it works. Really and truly works. People have been caring for us in remarkable ways. Some anonymously and some directly to our faces. Cash, gift cards, paying our bills, offering us ways to make money that we never thought of before to hold us over until these corporate jobs that Mike is applying for finally weave him through their 6 month long system....Mike and I feel like we're on this big adventure and we're actually starting to have a little fun with it.

Except for our dealings with Dish Network. Not so much feeling the love from Dish. With the generosity from some dear friends and family we have been actually paying some horrifyingly late bills. The other night I called Dish to pay our bill and see about changing our tv package to something more affordable. Something we have a snowball's chance in hell of paying, if you will.

After getting the lecture on my deadbeatness, I paid the bill and then asked to switch packages.

"But why? The package you have is so reasonable".

"Yeah, but I can't pay it. As you may remember from the lecture you just gave me"

"I just don't think we can go much cheaper than the $59.99 a month you're currently paying".

"you must have SOMETHING cheaper".

"Well, we have one for $42, but it's not as good".

"What is the cheapest package you have?"

"oh, you don't want that one. We have a nice one for $35".


"But you'll lose half your channels..."

"Yep, and pay half the price. I just want channel 5 so I can watch The Office. What is the CHEAPEST package you have?"

"Well, we have one for $29..."


"We do have one for $19.99. It's our family package. You'll lose most of your channels so I'm sure you don't want it".

"Does it have my local channels?"

"well, yes.... but....."


Making friends and influencing people, Dish and I. I'd like to have that conversation with our electric and gas company, but I don't think I'm willing to see what a cheaper package in that department looks like.

So I continue to knit, work, do laundry, and pray. Want to know the sad truth? I'm still recording Little House.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The times, they are a changin'

Interesting times here at Knitting Queen headquarters. Yes indeed. Not a dull moment these days, unless you want to watch some tv. More on that in a sec.

My dear husband Mike lost his job. And not in the traditional sense that one loses a job. Mike was a financial planner. Has been for the last 7 years. And the last 7 years have been crazy. Lots of ups. And even more downs. Commission based jobs are like that. But it was a job he loved. He worked hard to build his business and really truly believed in what he was doing.

Anyone want to buy a mutual fund these days? How about a variable annuity? Anyone have a bunch of extra money you want to sock away for a rainy day? I didn't think so. And neither did any of Mike's clients. Unless you are living under a rock, you must know that anything to do with the economy, stock market and all that jazz is NOT DOING WELL. Know what happens when that is YOUR WHOLE LIVELIHOOD? It dries up. Goes kaput.

And so we've been praying a bit. Actually, a lot. A whole lot. I could be a Benedictine Monk for all the praying I've been doing. Because we're broke. I mean broke. I mean, as broke as you think you are, we're broker. Broke, as in, we don't have satellite service right now because we can't pay our bill and when faced with the choice between groceries and tv, we chose the groceries.

Our dvr still works and apparently Dish gives you two free channels each month. So we have been watching the Hallmark channel. Which is killing Mike. Kill-ing him. Walker, Texas Ranger. Murder She Wrote. Little House on the Prairie. And a myriad of made-for-tv movies, all starring Melissa Gilbert. And I've actually been taping episodes of Little House on the Prairie. Yes, this is what my life has been reduced to. We told the boys the satellite is broken, which they seem to accept, and Ryan has been watching Little House with me. I told him that when I was his age it was my FAVORITE show. Every Monday night at 8:00 my sister and I had to have our pajamas on and then we were allowed to sit on the yellow shag carpet in my parents' bedroom and watch Little House. Ryan then turned to me and said "hmmm...and now it's on every day!". Yep, at Knitting Queen headquarters, it's all Little House all the time. I think it's the Shannon Doherty episodes that may do Mike in. And we never know what that zany Jessica Fletcher is going to do next!

So I spend my evenings knitting baby hats while completely amazed that there are as many episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger as there are. I mean, this show was on for a few years. And if you stop to watch it, you'll be as amazed as I am. Hallmark channel. 10:00 pm. Check it out.

Mike does have something lined up with my brother-in-law. Not a lot of money, but something steady for a bit. So we're really thankful for that. And he's looking looking looking for anything and everything. Our families have been helpful. Amazingly helpful.

So, in case you're wondering why I'm not knitting more for myself these days, well, that would be why. That and the fact that I'm too caught up in why everyone around Jessica Fletcher seems to drop dead. Has no one thought to blame her for any of this? I mean seriously--why is anyone chosing to live in that little town of hers? Everyone around her kicks the bucket within 5 minutes of meeting her. Am I the only one to see that there is something really disturbing going on in Cabot Cove?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting ready for winter

I'm a winter knitter. I've never really enjoyed the spring and summer patterns. I mean, I didn't get into knitting in order to make a tank top. I've always been drawn to the sweaters, socks, and mittens. Oh, the mittens! Have you seen the Fall 2008 edition of Vogue Knitting?!? I'm not always a big Vogue Knitting fan, but holy smokes people! It's the mitten edition!

How adorable are these?

Or these?

And great mother of all knitting, who could not fall in love with these?!

Not that I have time to knit any of these mittens, or even have the yarn for any of them. But a girl can dream, can't she?

I did finish Mike's Aunt Rose's hat. Uncle Jim is superintendent of Pendleton schools in Pendleton, Oregon. She wanted a hat to wear to all the games they attend. Give me a P!

I've also started on Caroline's socks because this yarn is too precious to not knit. How much fun are these?! Apparently this yarn has now been discontinued, which stuns me. People LOVE these socks! We can't keep this yarn in stock at the shop. Why would you discontinue something so completely fun and adorable?
I've also done a bit on my Monkey sock. You can't see the pattern in this picture very well, but trust me--it's cool.

And I took my first Socks on 2 Circs class on Tuesday. Piece of cake. However, I understand the turning the heel can be a little tricky.

Yep, you counted correctly. I'm knitting 3 pairs of socks right now. I'd do 4, but I'm out of needles.

That's the update from around here. Leah's bag has been felted 3 times and now it and the flowers are drying, ready to be delivered. While Eric is at school today I think I may pick up Ryan's Harry Potter sweater and begin the next step. Yep, things are moving right along here at Knitting Queen headquarters.

And you will be happy to know that Eric made it to the next level of Super Mario Galaxy. As well he should, having played it most of yesterday. Hate those Wednesday half days.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weekend Update

I'm not sure I have much of an update. I worked all weekend, and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of money people have to spend on yarn. We had several students from the Nihon Vogue class (being taught somewhere in Issaquah) come and visit us for supplies. Over the course of that class, the students learn to design their own sweaters 8 or 9 different ways. Which means they need to knit 8 or 9 different sweaters. Which means they are purchasing yarn and needles for each of these sweaters. So one customer dropped over $200 for materials for her current sweater. A sweater she's not even excited to knit. These students of the Nihon Vogue class are going to spend $1200 or more on materials before this class is done. Which is great for our shop, but it just floors me. I can't afford to buy yarn for sweaters I am dying to knit, even with my discount.

I'm beginning my new adventure of working during the school day this Friday. I will drop Eric off at school, zip over to work, and pray that my husband, who is perpetually 10 minutes late for everything, will meet the bus on time to get the boys.

In knitting news, I've finished the front and back of Ryan's sweater, I'm nearly done with Aunt Rose's hat, I've completed another of Leah's flowers (just 2 more to go!), and I'm trying to see how many hats I can make for Willow and Bloom by Wednesday. I'm inching along on my Monkey socks, I've begun Caroline's socks (because they are just too fabulous not to knit. I'll have pictures next time. I promise!) and my Socks on 2 Circs class starts tomorrow night. So, that's enough to keep me out of trouble for awhile, don't you think?

And if I get bored, I can always wash every single article of clothing in my house, because it appears it's all dirty. And if I REALLY run out of things to do, I can pick up the markers that are strewn all over my house. There are felt tipped markers everywhere. On the floor in the office, under the coffee table, on top of the coffee table, under the couch, on the kitchen counter, in Eric's room, in Ryan's room--you name it. There are markers in every single room in our house. Yes, even in the bathrooms. Everywhere except for the big box clearly labeled MARKERS. And my favorite part of this Marker Situation is the fact that when I say "it's time to clean up all of the markers" my family looks around and says "what markers?" like I'm crazy. Like they were following the memo that said let's decorate the house with markers and then crazy mom up and changed the rules on them. And then the shrieking has to start--the shrieking that sounds something like "that red one on the piano and the green one next to the tv and the 4 black ones that you just stepped on and the purple one on the stove" and again they all look at me like, if I would just get a grip and EMBRACE THE MARKERS my life would be so much easier....

Oh dear. Did I go off on another tangent again? That's bound to happen when the only other female in the house is a 15 year old vomiting cat.

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten!

Yesterday was Eric's first day of Kindergarten. As apprehensive as he had been about preschool, getting dressed on a daily basis, joining society....Eric was really excited about Kindergarten. And very excited about riding the bus. Ryan had refused to ride the bus in Kindergarten, so I wasn't quite sure how serious Eric was until we changed things on him at the last second.

On Tuesday we had the Meet the Teacher bar-b-que at school. Just before leaving for the bar-b-que I had a talk with my boss about her desire for me to work on Friday afternoons. Which was not going to be possible with Eric getting out of school at 11:00 each day. I suddenly had a brainstorm and during the Meet the Teacher event asked for Eric to be switched to the afternoon session. Which they actually did for me. Our principal has a reputation for NOT switching classes and the fact that he was so willing to do this for us was a true blessing. For everyone but Eric. In switching sessions, I had to agree to drive Eric to school each day since there would be no transportation for him. He was welcome to take the bus home, just not on the way to school. I heartily agreed to this arrangement, much to Eric's chagrin. He was furious with me, to say the least. The fact that he was still able to ride the bus once a day was little consolation.

All of that melted away when I actually took Eric to school. This kid was ready. He wore his brand new fall school outfit, that was much too warm for the weather, and was ready to begin his career at Briarwood Elementary.

Eric's table
Eric immediately found
his nametag and got down
to work.

He walked into the room, found his table, and began his very first school project--coloring a teddy bead picture. No tears. No clinging. None of the whining I get each Sunday when I drop him off at Sunday School in a room full of his good friends.

I milled around for a couple of minutes and then asked him if he wanted me to stay or if he was ready for me to go. "You can go". And I was one of the first moms to leave.

And when I picked him up at the bus stop later that afternoon, you have never seen such a wide beaming smile. Apparently Eric had the most euphoric bus ride ever. He made two friends, but he doesn't know their names, and Mrs. Martinell read stories. This morning Eric was up and dressed by 7:15, for his 11:42 start time. Eric has never been dressed this early for anything in his life. And what did I do during Eric's first day of school? Went next door to Shirley's and had a Mike's Hard Lemonade while we toasted the first day of school.

Ryan's lunch gang
Scott, Pedro, Zach, Dylan,
and Ryan in the orange shirt.

The funny part of bringing Eric to school in the middle of the day is running into Ryan. We discovered that we're showing up during his lunchtime. He was sitting at the table with his best buddies, who all started to make faces at me when they saw me with the camera. As only 3rd grade boys can do.

This morning when I was making Ryan's lunch I noticed that he failed to eat his sandwich yesterday. Didn't even try to hide the evidence. When I asked him about it he told me he couldn't find his sandwich. ??? Ever the hapless victim, Ryan certainly cannot be held responsible for unreasonable tasks, such as keep track of and eating his lunch.

I did enjoy the look of horror on his face when I reminded him that I'm now at school each day at lunchtime and I can always check up on him to make sure he is eating his healthy food. And that I'll have to stop giving him dessert if he can't remember to eat that healthy food first. He didn't like that one bit. No sir. This is really going to suck having mom around each day. Didn't count on that one at all.

I'm now trying to think of how to organize my day. If I clean in the morning, the time between 12 and 3 can be mine. All mine. I can run errands. Alone. By myself. Browse. Linger. Go to that one extra store. Or I can knit. Uninterrupted knitting. Guilt free knitting. I could even read. And concentrate on my book. The possibilities are endless, really.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Raise the flag, the Queen has returned!

Yes indeed, The Knitting Queen has struck again. I have been knitting like crazy, finishing up (yes, I said finishing) projects. In fact, I am so proud of myself that I began a new project that I have absolutely no time for at all. But my luscious Pagewood Farms Dark Denim merino/bamboo sock yarn, that I purchased months ago, has been practically hopping out of the basket, just itching to be knit.

So last night I began the Monkey socks that are featured on Ravelry and Knitty. I've done two whole inches and I'm in love. I'm in love with the pattern (I guess there is a reason it is THE most popular pattern in all of Ravelry) and I'm in love with the yarn. I've begun a torrid affair with this yarn and there is no turning back.

And now it is time for show and tell. A few months ago I made Leah some convertible mittens out of Regia 6 ply sock yarn. She loved the mittens so much that I did a hat. In fact, the Emma Hat from Knitting Little Luxuries. Next come matching socks.

I'm a double points sock knitter. That is how I learned 10 years ago and it suits me just fine. However, the shop teaches socks on two circular needles. I have no need for this. No Need. People have been knitting socks on dps for hundreds of years. I have knit many a fine sock on dpns. However, that wacky Cat Borhdi introduced the two circular needle thing and there are a lot of people hitching themselves to that wagon. So I'm sucking it up and taking our sock class, if for no other reason, than to be able to answer customer questions. And so I will be using Leah's sock yarn to learn this technique, since I already have two sets of size 3 needles. I just can't bring myself to purchase two sets of size 1 circular needles. Can't do it.

I also finished Leah's yoga socks...

...and I have two of the flowers made up for her felted bag. I seem to do a lot of knitting for Leah. Perhaps my business cards should list my title as "Personal Knitter to Leah Smith". And then when she becomes rich and famous some day she can carry me along with her and I can start to knit her cashmere sweaters... Ok, that was really random.

I have the back of Ryan's Harry Potter sweater finished and I've just started on the big R on the front...

...and I'm just about finished with my niece's socks. She chose Cascade Fixation, which I had been wanting to try. And now I can say I have. The socks are actually quite comfortable, but I'm not loving the yarn. It's too stretchy for me and it's really obvious where I switch needles. But she's 10. What does she know.
Yep, feeling good about the knitting. Almost as good as I feel about the fact that school starts in 2 days. 2 DAYS PEOPLE! I honestly don't know what I'm so excited about--Eric's day ends at 11:00. 11:00! What am I going to do with this kid after 11:00? I can't even make him go play with his brother. Maybe he'll get so tired he'll go back to napping. Maybe I'll follow that pipe dream for a while.