Friday, January 30, 2009


After insisting I seam it up before school, and begging me to finish, he refused to let me take his picture (which is why he is slouched in a most un-natural pose) and then refused to wear it to school. Eric informed me that the sweater is for non-school days only.

His wife is going to be a lucky, lucky woman.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sock it to me!

Every Sunday at work I have two ladies who come in and knit. Jane and Sharon started to make this their Sunday routine long before I began working at the shop and, after a couple of months of breaking me in, they have now accepted me as one of their own.

They are each old enough to be my mother and in some ways it is an unconventional relationship that we have formed. But I truly look forward to them each week. They are both friendly, funny, and generous. I love to tease Jane about her fastidious and unbreakable habits (the woman irons her sheets!) and last summer Sharon presented each of us with a different heirloom tomato that she picked up at the farmer's market on her way to the shop every week. They know about my family, they ask about the kids, and Jane is very concerned that The Snuggie is going to be way to big for Eric (I have assured her that since Eric has plans to do absolutely nothing while wearing The Snuggie, size will not be an issue. She's not convinced).

For quite some time now I have been hearing about Jane's sock yarn collection. Like me, she is a sucker for sock yarn and buys a fair amount of it. Until recently I haven't seen her actually use the sock yarn, but she continues to buy it. She has told me about the vast amount of sock yarn that she has stashed away at home and I humored her, assuming she was exaggerating a bit.

Until she brought it in. She needed to choose some yarn to knit her sister-in-law a pair of socks and wanted our help. And I think she wanted to make me laugh, because she brought in a suitcase sized bag, filled to the brim with sock yarn. Jane has enough sock yarn to make 40 pairs of socks. We counted. Jane was discovering yarn that she didn't know she had. And then she started to give some to me. I protested because it was really beautiful Lorna's Laces (that I have always worshipped from afar since we don't sell it) and she spent her hard earned money on it. But she insisted and assured me that she'll never get around to knitting it all. Which was not a hard argument to make. So I am now the proud owner of four socks worth of Lorna's Laces, which I have promised Jane I will use enthusiastically.

I then added it to my own sock yarn stash. I'm up to 10 right now. I have some Pagewood Farms, Alpaca Sox, Frog Tree Alpaca, Shi Bui, Duet, Happy Feet...some of this yarn I have had for a long time. The Duet and Pagewood Farms have already become victims of failed sock patterns. The Alpaca Sox was to become my Druid Mittens, but it ended up being too soft--when my Nancy Bush Estonian Lace book comes, I may use it for a scarf. The Shi Bui was a steal from the Village Yarns New Years Day sale, and the Happy Feet was a birthday treat to myself.

I don't know how it happens, but sock yarn seems to grow. Kind of the antithesis of the socks-in-the-dryer theory. Once I started really looking at my own sock yarn stash, I started to have a little more understanding of how Jane got so carried away. But only a little--seriously, even after her gift to me, the woman has enough yarn for 36 pairs of socks. And in case you are wondering, yes, she is single.

Oh, and I forgot to add Mike's Dream In Color Smooshy socks--I guess that makes 11.

In other, less disturbing knitting news, Eric's Harry Potter sweater is being blocked. It may be ready for me to seam up today. I'm working my way through my mom's Druid Mittens, making a scarf for Tiffany (it's a long story), and I've finally allowed myself to start on Mike's sweater. You may recall that a few months ago I ripped out a hideous example of how one should not knit a sweater, washed the yarn, and rewound it. I found a gorgeous pattern in A Fine Fleece and then, because I found myself with an extra 5 minutes the other day, decided to start.

Case in point
This is Eric on a school morning

Mike is still on the prowl for a new job and we have yet to hear from that company he spoke with a couple of weeks ago. He is not worried about it, but that is because there is something wrong with him. A normal person would be a nervous wreck, like me for example.

Clearly Eric takes after his father. I give you Exhibit A.

The Little Bum
...and after convincing him to
get dressed. Despite
my constant
requests that he
find something more
creative to do, this is
what happened everytime
I turned my back.

There is no other way to say this. The kid is a sloth.

We mailed his birthday party invitations today. Do you think knitting lessons would make a fun party activity? I could put a skein of yarn into each goodie bag. Wouldn't that make me the worst mom ever? I think I'll mention it to him, just to see him squirm. It will be the only physical activity he'll have all day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snuggie Up A Little Closer

I think I've told you this before, but nearly-6-year-old-Eric is a snuggly kid. Eric would wear pajamas every day for the rest of his life if we let him. Eric is always wrapped in a blanket. Always.

Eric has no long term goals, longs to do nothing productive with his life. Truly, Eric would morph right into retirement if that were even a remote possibility. He loves to lounge around. In short, Eric is a bum. Now, don't get me wrong--Eric's a smart kid. He is doing well in school, is starting to read, and can actually add and subtract double digit numbers in his head (honestly, I can't add and subtract double digit numbers in my head). And for all that talk about sedentary kids, Eric is far from obese. When he chooses to be, Eric can be very active. He loves to ride his bike and loves to run around the cul-de-sac with the neighbor kids playing superheros. Gym and recess are Eric's favorite parts of school. But given a choice, Eric would like nothing more than to lay all wrapped up in a blanket and watch tv or play his gameboy all the live long day.

You've seen the commercials for The Snuggie. I know you have. This thing nothing short of hideous. And Eric wants one. Eric is dying for a Snuggie. Everytime he sees the commercial he tells me he wants the red one. In his warped lazy little 5 year old mind, this is genius. There is actually someone else out there in the universe who appreciates the art of total and complete slothfulness as much as he does. He can picture himself enveloped inside The Snuggie, with both hands free to do....absolutely nothing for hours on end. Living in The Snuggie, Eric would have a perfect existence. Put a brand new birthday Nintendo DS-Eric-has-been-asking-for-one-ever-since-Ryan-got-one-last-May in his hand and he will have achieved Nirvana.

So we did it. We bought him a Snuggie for his upcoming 6th birthday on February 17th. Bad parents that we are, we actually purchased The Snuggie for our 6 year old child. Partly because he will truly honestly completely absolutely love it and use it every chance he is not at school, and partly so I can blog about it.

We really need to get out more.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I heart Jared

I have finished my Druid Mittens! I have to say, I feel quite a sense of accomplishment. 90% of this pattern requires strict attention to detail. Other than the three rows of purling and 2 rows of knitting on the cuff, there is not one stitch that cannot be knit without referring to the charts. Five different styles of cables, bobbles, stitches slipped with the yarn in back, stitches slipped with the yarn in front...this was crazy business. And I love them so much, I've dived right in to the pair I'm making for my mom, in chocolate brown New England Shetland.

And my mom, zany gal that she is, will love the fact that the yarn is called New England Shetland, even though she knows nothing about yarn. Or knitting. But the fact that it is from New England, (or even if it had been made in Peru and just called New England, which it's not, by the way) is enough to make her happy. And I already know that she will love them because when she saw mine in Knit Picks Essential Tweed, she immediately asked for a brown pair.

Yesterday at work a couple of girls came in and bought up a bunch of the New England Shetland for a Latvian mitten class they are going to take. When I professed my love for the yarn and proudly announced that I just finished my Druid Mittens, they told me that Jared Flood has a new pattern in the brand new Vogue Magazine that has not even hit the shelves yet. Cabled gloves. GET OUT!

I actually made the customer look them up on her IPhone for me. Because I'm that crazy. These gloves--you have no idea. Even the fingers are cabled! I must have that magazine. I must make those gloves. I will make those gloves. That Jared Flood will be the end of me.

And I still have a list of other mittens from the fall '08 Vogue Knitting that I am compelled to knit. Just because they are so fabulous. What I'm going to do with six pairs of mittens, I really don't know. But they must be knit.

I'm nearly done with the 2nd sleeve of Eric's heinous Harry Potter sweater. I'm finished knitting the bag and one flower for Heidi's birthday purse. I reknit the toes of my Nutkin socks and wore them to work the other day. My feet looked and felt fabulous. And I've started knitting a pair of Dream in Color Smooshy chocolate brown socks for Mike. Oh yeah, and I have those baby hats to sell.....

Speaking of the love of my life and my reason for living, Mike did have his phone interview last week and he felt it went very well. And we have heard nothing since. It took them a few weeks between interview #1 and interview #2, so I guess we shouldn't be too anxious that it's been almost a week and interview #3 has not been scheduled yet. But it sure would be nice to have that on the calendar!

In honor of MLK Jr, I have 3 little boys in my house right now. This was not in my plan, but what can you do when Connor the neighbor kid treats our home as his home and walks right in? And then my kids start jumping up and down like Conner has just returned from his trip around the world, when in reality they saw him yesterday. And the day before. I am also raising my glass to MLK by washing every article of clothing my family owns. I get no mail and I'm stuck with my kids. I'm not sure this holiday is working out the way it was originally planned...

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Hats

I don't have a lot to share today, but I just had to show you the two new hats I made for Blake. They are both made out of Cascade 220 Superwash (which I am not liking for the boys' Harry Potter sweaters on a 7, but is perfect on a 6 for these hats!). I think they are pretty darn cute!

Tiffany picked these colors out, so I had fun playing with them to make a couple of cozy and super cool hats for that little dude.
I also finished my Nutkin socks, but I am incapable of taking good pictures of socks. I need one of those fake mannequin feet, which would be weird, but I can't think of a better way to take a detailed picture of a sock without showing you my own leg. And no one wants to see that. That, and I'm frustrated with the finished socks. I hate the toes. They are very uncomfortable and I'm thinking it's because I decreased too much and did it on two circular needles. And I had to add a new ball of yarn and it ended up on the ball of the foot which is very uncomfortable. This will bug me until the end of time, because that is about how long it took me to make those socks in the first place, so I think I'm going to re-knit the toes. As soon as I am able to free up one of my two sets of size 1 double points.

I know you don't want to hear about the laundry, or the vacuuming, or my clean playroom, or the fact that I had a hotdog for dinner, but I will tell you that my husband has a job interview tomorrow morning that I am very nervous about because it could be so perfect for him. So say a little prayer for Mike at 10:30 if you're thinking about it.

And, to take my mind off of the impending interview, Mike and I will watch all 4 hours of the new 24 while I drink a second glass of wine and knit some mittens. I bet Jack Bauer would be a great knitter.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So, what do you want to know?

I'm back. It's been two weeks, in which I've accomplished virtually nothing, but now I'm back. The snow has come and gone, come and gone, come and gone. And now we have torrential rains, wind, and flooding. In Seattle, that is called JANUARY.

I did almost no baby hat knitting, no lever shocks, and clearly no blogging. Know what happens when you take two weeks off? You find yourself two weeks behind. And what did I do with myself during that time?

Well, we had Christmas.

What a great idea
See that ball on the left?
That would be the one that bounced
down the stairs and broke my front window.
The boys made out just fine. They got new basketballs, Nerf guns, a build-your-own-Clone-Wars-lightsaber, books books books, DS paraphernalia, Hot know, a bunch of boy stuff.

Santa brought Eric a copy of Kung Fu Panda, which has greatly increased the amount of times Eric has talked about his tenders. And Ryan is so excited to have a stack of new chapter books--he now sleeps with a pile of books in his bed each night. Which I suppose is more comfortable than the basketball Eric had been sleeping with until we made its permanent home the garage after the window incident.

Santa also brought our family Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, which is just about the funniest thing we have ever seen. Between watching my mom try to pick up the dance moves to "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" and realizing that, yes indeed, there is a game in which you pee in the garden...well, it just doesn't get better than that, now does it?

Grandma Keene bought the
boys and Blake matching
Christmas pjs.

We had our traditional Christmas Eve celebration with Tiffany and Marcus on New Years Day, due to the vast amounts the vomiting and snow. It took us awhile to make our way up from Renton to Edmonds that day, since we had to do some New Years shopping. First, Daddy had to get a much needed and long overdue free haircut from my sister. Another casualty of the snow. After the boys were able to recognize their father again, they begged him for their allowance and then immediately went next door to Barnes and Noble to spend it. Which is why Ryan and I are now reading Inkheart.

I then ordered them to take me to the New Years Sale at Village Yarns, where I purchased some ShiBui sock yarn (I'm a ShiBui virgin, but I hear it's worth the wait) and some chocolate brown Shetland wool to make my mom a pair of Druid mittens which she requested after seeing mine. And I stood in line for over half an hour to make my purchase. Half an hour! I'm sorry, but I they really should have been offering a lot more than 20% off for that kind of a wait. I love that shop and the ladies that work there are very sweet. But sllllllooooooowwwwwww.........

But we finally made it to see that baby (oh yeah, and his parents). Now tell me--is that not the most adorable creature you have ever seen?

And look what I am making for that baby. A little stripey earflap hat. Tiffany says he needs hats and well, if she's buying, I'll knit anything for that kid. He's also getting a cabled hat, which I think will be in the blue with a blue, green, and brown pompom on top.

And let's see...what else have I done with my time? I'm back to working on Eric's Harry Potter sweater, I've learned how to play Boom Blox, I read Bunnicula, and I am actually caught up on my laundry.
Mike won a $100 Amazon gift card, which he lovingly split with me, and I bought for myself the Interweave 25 Favorite Socks book, which I have been coveting for quite some time now. I also bought the new Nancy Bush Estonian Lace book. Now I am not a lace knitter and, mark my words, I WILL NEVER KNIT A LACE SHAWL. EVER. That being said, this is an exquisite book and it has stunning scarves in it. Stunning. Again, I need to point out that I am not a scarf knitter. NOT A SCARF KNITTER. Beyond Knitting 101, I have never understood the habitual scarf knitters. Branch out, people! However, and this is a rather big HOWEVER, the scarves in this book are not merely scarves. They are works of art. They are challenging and gorgeous. So I treated myself to the book. And since I had a couple of dollars left over, I added a little bonus of the Casino Royale DVD. Merry Chrismas to me.
Eric has asked me about 45 times to come play Boom Blox with him, so I guess I should go pay attention to that person I am legally responsible for. Although since he recently requested that I no longer walk him to class and would prefer that I remain hidden in the car where no one can see me, I'm taking my own sweet time wrapping this up.
More from the palace soon...