Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Royal Update

OH HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD IT IS HOT THIS WEEK. Ok, fine. I know I complain about the heat all the time and I'm always telling you about THE HOTTEST WEEK OF THE YEAR. But this time I mean it. No, really. Seattle is in for record heat. Tomorrow it is suppose to reach 101 at SeaTac. And that always means a good 5 degrees hotter where I am.

People, we're not equipped for this here in Seattle. We have no air conditioning. We have no swimming pools. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we live by the water and can go to the beach.....THERE IS NO SHADE AT THE BEACH AND IT'S GOING TO BE 105 DEGREES. I can't cope with this weather. It makes me yell. The inside of my house reached 91 yesterday. That is with all the doors and windows open and the fan blowing. Currently it is 10:00 am and it's already 81 inside my house. Last night I actually sent my boys to bed with ziplock bags filled with ice.

I could complain about this all the live long day, but I do have other news to report. Namely, the deer seem to have disappeared. Perhaps they died of heatstroke. We can only hope. Actually, I have noticed their absence for the last few weeks, but didn't say anything in case they read my blog and were waiting for me to report that I have actual roses on my rose bushes and tomatoes on my tomato plants. Truly, now that I have shared this news with all of you, I will not be the least bit surprised if I wake up tomorrow morning to find that they all came back to the Keene breakfast buffet. I really do hate those deer with the same intensity as the hatred I have for the heat. Which proves my theory that they are creatures straight out of hell.

I'm telling you--nothing makes me crankier than a thermostat that reads anything over 72.

I do have some happy news to report: my beloved new book arrived! It came early and it came to me free of charge--how much happier could that make me, I ask you?

I just have to show you some of the projects I plan to make the next time money drops from the sky into my lap and the space/time continuum opens up and gives me 5 extra kid free hours each day.

Can you believe this Hobby Horse? Does this not have that baby, Blake, written all over it. Ok fine, you don't actually know him, but if you had a baby boy in your life, don't tell me you wouldn't be thinking of making this for him.

I know it's hard to see the texture of this scarf from your vantage point, but trust me when I say, this scarf is stunning. They knit it out of a fine gauge cashmere/silk blend. We have some Blue Sky Alpaca Silk in a sport weight at the shop that I think would be equally beautiful. I do have a couple of men in mind that I think would actually wear this.

How funny are these?

I don't see myself making these anytime soon, but I just had to show them to you to give you an idea of how beautiful this book is.

Truly, I would have taken a picture of each project in this book, but my fingers are starting to fuse to the keyboard. There is a baby blanket that is flat out beautiful. There are great socks. Even the hat and mittens on the cover--a must knit for my niece Ellie who loves light blue hats.
I mean, honestly, when will I ever knit these things? But at least validate me in that this book is a MUST HAVE. And a girl can dream, can't she?

Today I'm taking the boys to see Ice Age, purely for the 2 hours of air conditioning. It will be a nice break from listening to the bickering over the slip 'n slide and the placement of the sprinkler.
For the moment, I'm going to try to get some knitting done before the yarn self combusts in my hands.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm a liar

That baby Blake came over with his mom yesterday to spend the day. Since it was 500 degrees out (well, 95, but after a certain point, does it really matter?), the big boys played in the sprinkler while Blake played on the deck with bowls of water and ate his first popsicle. And then played with his popsicle in the bowls of water. Tiffany and I then drank diet coke all afternoon while a nearly naked Blake emptied out my tupperware cupboard. It was entirely too hot to do anything else.

I also showed Tiffany the sock yarn I had ear marked for her. Several weeks ago I had described the sock yarn from Jane and she had been pretty excited about Black Purl (which is in black and various shades of purple). Yesterday I showed her all of my sock yarn and she quickly switched from Black Purl to New Year's Lights. She was really excited about it.

And so even though I told you I was not going to cast on any more socks, I lied. I have no will power and I wanted to see how these would knit up.

I can't help it. Each skein of Lorna's Laces knits up differently. Each one is a surprise. You just don't quite know what kind of pattern you are going to get. It's too compelling to patiently finished up the 3 pairs you are working on before starting a 4th. That, and I'm a bit unstable.

And I needed some success. I'm trying to knit a pair of socks for our friend Scott. And I've learned that you truly need to cast on more stitches for men. Mens legs are, how shall I say this...not dainty. Unless you are my son Ryan, who is the width of a toothpick, most men require a little more girth around their calves. There. I've said it. Men have big calves.

So I've tried two different Lorna's Laces for Scott--Baltic Sea and Forest. Both very manly and both, according to the many finished products I've seen on Ravelry, designed to stripe. I am unable to make these socks stripe. I think they would stripe if I cast on my usual 64 stitches, but again, the dainty calves issue. At 70 stitches, they won't stripe. I get this weird random warping color way. And I don't like the way they look on size 2's. I'm a tried and true size 1 sock knitter.

I did find a member of Ravelry who knit Forest for a man and they striped beautifully. But of course, she didn't log in the details of how many she cast on or what size needle she used. I emailed her, asking for insight, but alas, have not heard back.

My fall back is to use some beautiful charcoal gray Alpaca Sox from my stash, as soon as I get my Knitted Gifts book in August 1st. It has a pretty great men's sock pattern that I think would be fun. In the end, Scott will end up with a fabulous pair of socks, but the fact still remains that I have Lorna's Laces in two different male-oriented colorways that will only stripe in women's sizes.

Today Ryan's best friend Zach is here and Eric has spent the better part of the playdate whining and crying that they won't include him or do anything he wants to do (such as sit with wonder and awe as he dazzles them with his Mario Kart abilities). I then have spent a lot of quality time with Eric, explaining that no one wants to play with a kid who cries and whines. Want to be treated like a big kid=acting like a big kid. Which has produced more whining and crying. It's a vicious cycle. After some valuable alone time in his room, contemplating that, just because being a little brother sucks, doesn't mean life for the rest of us has to suck, Eric has emerged with the attitude that he doesn't want to lose yet another day of the Wii and perhaps Ryan and Zach's ideas aren't so horribly offensive after all.

And he wonders why he can't have a 9:00 bedtime like his older brother....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Jane strikes again
New Year's Lights
and Forest

Wow--the last three weeks of my life have been out of control. Truly, this is the first moment I have had to sit at the computer for any length of time since the beginning of July. And today is only possible thanks to a handy playdate I arranged. I have 3 boys upstairs in Ryan's room as we speak. They are being awfully quiet, so I better make this quick....

Oh, where to begin....well, my husband got two jobs. Yep, two. One regular full time Monday through Friday job that we are very happy about. On the news the other night they announced that unemployment in the state of Washington is up to 9.3%, which is the highest it has ever been. So indeed we are feeling very very blessed with this job. And then he got another one. He is working swing shift about 4 evenings a week doing computer installs in different offices (where was this job 3 months ago?!). And so between the two, Mike is home for about two waking hours each day. Which kind of sucks in a I-don't-have-a-moment-to-myself-and-have-to-do-everything kind of way, but we're certainly not ones to turn down extra income right now. So Mike plans to keep up the 2nd job for a while so we can try and catch up.

And then, during the hottest July on record in Seattle, baby hat sales are at an all time high. Really? Knit baby hats in July? Whatever. Again, who am I to turn down income. So in between dealing with my kids all the livelong day, running 98% of the errands, and throwing my hands up in the air because I can't keep up with the house, I have been knitting like crazy.

Severe case of 1-itis
1 Sonata mitten,
1 Lilypad sock for
Leah, 1 Narragansett
sock for Kristin, and
1 Mixed Berries Monkey
sock for mom.

And this last week I worked close to 40 hours at the shop. So here we are. In a dirty house, in a city where it will hit at least 90 today, where I have traded poverty for single parenthood.

All of which accounts for very little blogging and an inability to finish a pair of socks or mittens.

Now, if we want to talk about knitting for a minute, you should know that crazy Jane has gifted me MORE sock yarn. Truly, I will never want for sock yarn again. I have some of it earmarked for people (should I ever get around to finishing my current sock projects. I'm not opposed to starting another pair--it's just that all my sock needles are in use), but I have several skeins just waiting for inspiration.

Sock knitting aside, I still have about 3/4 of Mike's Town and Country sweater to go, 100% of my Must Have Cardigan to go, projects from my Estonian Lace book, a list of mittens and gloves I absolutely must make, and then there is this book. This incredible fantastic new book.

Our shop just got the new Interweave Knitted Gifts book in. And just sold out. It is fabulous. Some of the patterns are simple indescribable. And guess who has a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card burning a hole in her pocket? Technically this book is not available until August 1st (so why we got it and were able to sell it, I don't know). Come August 1st, my list of Must Knits will have grown by leaps and bounds.

Alrighty people. Time to go accomplish something. That baby Blake is coming tomorrow, so better pick up the Legos.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Big News!

No time for a real post, but wanted to let you all know that the husband accepted a full time job yesterday. He starts on Monday. Your thoughts and well wishes along the way of this journey have been so appreciated. Maybe now I'll get back to blogging about knitting!