Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Got Hat Pics

Well, I just wrote a whole post with pics of the hats and little commentaries, descriptions, yarns, all the details, and it got all screwed up. In the middle of the post, it just suddenly started underlining everything in blue. After fiddling around with it for what seemed like hours, I just decided to publish, at which point it wouldn't because the html link was broken. Well, yea, I had been FIDDLING AROUND WITH IT FOR AN HOUR!!! I can't make sense of all that gobblety gook! Frustrating, I tell you.
I cut off the top of the hat. But it was such a cute picture of Emi, I had to include it.

My 2nd attempt at a visor hat. This is Lorna's Laces. I also made a beanie for a guy at work out of this.

A binary hat. It says "Kai."

Emi modeling a hat for my friend Beth. Noro Kureyon. Color 150

I love the way the hat begins and ends in this pretty shade of turquoise. Pics don't do it justice. Need. New. Camera.
Hat for co-worker. Should be finished tonight.

Then it's on to another hat in the queue. That's it from me.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hat Crazy

For some reason, I have gone hat-crazy. I'm so sorry to be photo-less. I really don't like reading blogs without pics, but there you have it. It started out I made a nice beanie for a guy at work out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in blue. He walked around showing it to everyone, then the requests started coming in. One guy wanted a beanie with a visor. Another wanted one with stripes. I have all this extra yarn laying around, so I really don't mind. They keep telling me to charge them for them, but I don't want to. I like to make them. When I'm getting paid to make them, it somehow sucks all the fun out of it and then I put it off. This way, I can make them on my own time. I really don't like to be told what to do when it comes to my knitting. Suggestions are okay. Requests, I take. Orders, no. Then I saw this. I actually saw it on this blog first and had to make one for my son. It was in black and white and spelled his name in binary code. In between, my best friend asked for a hat and took a dive into my stash and came up with what looked like just enough Noro Kureyon to squeak out a hat. Finished that last night. Somewhere in there, the wheels started turning in my mind. You see, my Pastor is preparing to go on a 40-day fast. I wanted to support him and pray for him during that time, but I started thinking: wouldn't it be cool to knit him a prayer hat? Like a prayer shawl, only a hat. I took another dive and found some Karabella Aurora 8, one skein of cream and one skein of a deep rich olive green. And I got this really exciting idea for a hat. I'm going to try it. And if it works, you'll see it here, even if it has to be a bad picture with the bad camera.

I'm trying to also solve the visor hat puzzle. How to insert the visor and make it sit perpendicular to the hat, rather than facing straight down. I'm working on it. I came up with a version, but I'm going to have to modify. Can you hear the wheels turning? I can. It's all rusty and squeaky. But do you see what I mean by hat crazy?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Boba, Anyone?

Many weeks ago I blogged about those simple little things in life that bring joy. My niece Rosie suggested bobas. Have you ever tried a boba? You really must the next time you get a chance. Often referred to as "tapioca balls" or "boba tea," it is a refreshing drink that I think originated in Taiwan. It is usually an iced sweetened tea, mixed with milk or half-and-half. In the tea are these dark brown balls, almost black, about the size of a large pea or small garbanzo bean. These balls are the "boba" or "tapioca balls", which are roughly the texture of gummy bears and sweet, but not fruit flavored like gummy bears. When you get the tea, they seal it off so it has a plastic coating on the top, kind of like the kind that comes on a yogurt or cottage cheese. They give you a straw with a large circumference, about a size 15 knitting needle. You poke the straw into the plastic and suck up the tea and bobas. It took me awhile to get used to it. Maybe about two sips. At first I thought they were creepy and clammy, like fish eyes or frog eggs. After about the third sip and chew, I started enjoying the sweet chewiness along with the icy smooth drink. By the end of the drink I was hooked. The next day, when I actually found myself craving a boba, I wondered if maybe they didn't put something in it that makes you addicted. Like the same thing they put in Starbucks coffee. How else can you explain the mass mania? I mean sure, the coffee is good, but sometimes it surprises me the lengths I will go to to procure a Starbucks coffee. Or a boba.

Boba tea houses are really interesting. They are usually very clean establishments and are like a cross between a Jamba Juice and a Starbucks. The menus are always staggering with all these different choices, most of which you don't even know what they are. But if you go, I recommend that you try a boba milk tea (basic black tea sweetened and mixed with half and half and then with the boba) or try a boba snow bubble. A snow bubble is kind of like a smoothie and come in an array of flavors, most of them fruit, but with some others like chocolate and green tea. They are very slushy and creamy like a smoothie, but there are the bobas at the bottom. I know, I know, it sounds weird. But you have to try one.

You can find them in LA and San Francisco where they are very popular. There is often a line going out the door and I notice that it is not only Asians waiting in line for their boba-fix. There is a boba place in Isla Vista, the college town near UCSB. It is an unusual place that also sells Indian food. At first I found this very strange, but the food at the Indian place is actually very tasty.

So try one next time you get the chance. Or don't. You may get hooked.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


How do you describe Ikea? I was emailing my trusty Internet Penpal, Julie the other day and trying to describe the "Ikea" experience (which around here we pronounce eye-KEY-uh. I have a friend who lived in Norway and she says ee-KAY-uh. But we all know she's wrong). The first time I went to Ikea, Kai was in kindergarten. When he went to school the next day, he got up in front of the class for show-and-tell and told a group of wide-eyed kids all about his adventures at Ikea. He brought in the cool clear blue lamp that "had a top shaped like R2-D2" that he got and shared about the "fun living rooms" they had set up around the store and how much fun he had playing in the special kids area with the ball room and games.

For those of you who have never been, Ikea makes me think that those Norwegians really must have it going on. The building is a huge multi-level. At the bottom level is the warehouse and the check-out. After you check-out, there are snack and coffee stands where you can get these amazingly yummy cinnamon rolls and other Norwegian goodies. The upper levels are a jaw-dropping array of every imaginable thing you can possibly think of to put in your house. It is a full-home furnishing experience. Granted, the style is modern, but I think there is something there for everyone. And everything is just so dang inexpensive! As you wander through the levels, some of them are even set up so that you gently spiral up or down without any discernible stairs. And they have set up little decorated rooms all around the place so you can see how their furnishings work together. It is a truly amazing place and you have to go there to really experience it. They have a childcare area where you can drop off your kids while you shop. It's got all kinds of fun kid activities. There is also a cafeteria that sells these delicious Swedish meatballs. We always try and plan the trip around lunch so we can have the meatballs.

A couple of years ago, it had been some time since we had taken a trip to Ikea. Kai had told Emi all about Ikea and she had hung on his every word. She became so excited at the prospect of going, you would have thought we were taking a trip to Disneyland, not a furniture store! On the way, we stopped by my aunt's house for a visit. At one point, I walked into the room just as Emi was telling my aunt, "...and after we shop for awhile, we're going to have those meatballs there that are just a little bit sweet..." and she was holding up her thumb and forefinger to indicate the little "pinch" of sweetness. She was telling my aunt about the "Sweet-ish meatballs!"

So you can see, Ikea holds a special place in the heart of the Knitalife household.

On to other noteworthy news -- I won something today! A $25 gift certificate to the Palace Restaurant! The Palace Restaurant is one of my favorites. It is a Cajun restaurant and they have a great menu. I always like to start with the popcorn crawdads with sherry sauce. Then they bring you a basket of assorted muffins. Then you choose your entree, of which I love the blackened catfish or the filet mignon. And when you go there, you absolutely MUST order the bread pudding. To die for. You have to order it at the beginning of the meal so they can put it in the oven. Then, after dinner, they bring it to your table, split it open and pour this Jack Daniels sauce over it. YUM-MEE! Okay, so my favorite things there cost well over $25. So I guess it's lunch or I have to kick in $25 or so of my own.

But hey, I didn't tell you how I won the certificate. They are having this walking program at the university. So everyone who joins gets a pedometer and you keep track of how many miles you walk every week. You can get prizes and stuff and you can also enter as a team. So my boss set a walking team up for our department and had a contest for the name. And guess whose entry won?

I hear stories about people getting fired for saying too much about their work on the blog. So I guess I shouldn't say the winning team name to protect the not-so-innocent. But trust me, it was a cute one.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Finally back on line again! It has been a nightmare, let me tell you. Enough to take the wind out of anyone's blogging New Year's Resolution. But I now plan to get back on track.

And I am pleased to announce the winners of the commenting potscrubber drawing:

May I have a drumroll please?

...and the winners are:

Carrie K.


(my highschool bud!)

Now if you would please both email me your addresses (, and tell me which potscrubber you want. I will get those to you in the mail posthaste.

Congratulations to our lovely winners. Carrie, you said you didn't want to be in the drawing, but how could I not enter your name? And I just think it must be fate that you won! So please, pick a potscrubber.

My apologies to the Jayster, who so wanted to win. You know, here at Chez Knitalife, we have to run things strictly by the rules. No playing favorites here. We run a tight ship. These names were carefully written down on scraps of paper by the lovely Emi, then placed in a hat (handknit, natch) and picked -- once again assisted by the stunning Emi, our very own Carol Merrill. By the way, doesn't ANYONE remember Carol Merrill? C'mon, where are all you fellow oldies who were raised in the 60's and 70's by a television set? Okay, while I'm at it, the first person who can tell me who Carol Merrill is gets a potscrubber. But you have to answer before I make a run to the post office.

In other news, my living room/dining room is now a lovely shade of butter-yellow. I just love it. It is all happy and cheerful and makes me feel all warm inside. We made a trek to Ikea yesterday and bought a bookcase. It's actually more like a unit of squares and you can fit these cube-shaped baskets in the holes. We put it together last night (Kai did a very nice job of putting it together). I also picked up some sheer curtains to soften up the look of the blinds on the windows and a few other knick knacks. I am still trying to hang the rest of the curtain rods. It is a pain, but to buy curtains for four windows, with the curtain rods and hardware for hanging them for something like $30 was such a deal and they are looking so cute!

Sorry for the lack of pics. You see, we cleared out so much stuff that the camera ended up in the garage. And I just have not gotten around to unpacking. But I must. Soon. Like tomorrow.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Telegram From a Stranded Blogger

Phone lines restored stop But Internet still down stop DSL repairman coming this evening stop Hopefully service restored soon stop Why does having no Internet make you feel like you're stranded on a desert island stop A few short years ago we were blissfully ignorant stop Will announce potscrubber winner as soon as Internet restored stop Please keep commenting stop

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


(Spoken in a loud whisper) I'm writing this post from work. Normally, I wouldn't do such a thing, but because I was unable to keep to my commitment of posting every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I felt obliged to inform my loyal readers. My computer is out because I had to disconnect the phone lines temporarily over the weekend.

I spent the whole last week cleaning, clearing and then painting the living room and dining room of my house. You would think I was talking about a palace, but no, it is my cramped little bungalow. But there was years and years of neglect that had to be tended to. Now it is all fresh and clean with a nice coating of butter yellow paint on the walls and I love it. Thanks Mom and Dad! It occurs to me that I am of the age when I should be going to their house to help them with things around their house. But no, they came up and helped me muck through all the stuff in mine. My mom painted the ceiling. My dad did one hundred and one odd jobs, including painting my desk, my porch swing and my fence. That, in addition to building storage shelves in my garage. Oh yea, and mom even cleaned out my fridge! You needed a machete for that job! I am so thankful to them and also my sister, aka feng-shui-clear-the-clutter black belt. There are many things that I am capable of doing, but I am really kind of retarded when it comes to stuff-management. Like I am missing the gene or something. I can whip up a mean drawing and capture the essence of a person. But I can't seem to notice the mess piling up around me, or figure out what to do with it.

This past year has been one of the toughest ever for me. And I am so thankful to my family. They have really been there for me. Thanks Dad! Thanks Mom! Thanks Sharon!

Hopefully the home computer and phone will be back and running by tomorrow so that I can do my Thursday post as promised.

By the way, tomorrow is the day I do my drawing for the potscrubbers. Place a comment on my blog and I will enter you in my drawing. (I'm talking to you visitor(s) from Turkey! And anyone else who has stopped by and not yet commented. I know you are out there! I would love to hear from you! I really mean it. Please?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Keep Those Cards And Letters Coming!

I know, I know, they're COMMENTS, not cards and letters. But they do feel like cards and letters. Thanks to all the people who have commented. It is so nice to know you are out there. And by the way, WHAT A DIFFERENCE A CAMERA MAKES! I took these most recent pics of my scrubbie-madness with my sister's camera. She was up for the day and helped paint the trim on my house. Thanks, Sharon and Rosie! Anyway, she is looking around for a new camera and said I could have this one when she does. Look how much more cheerful and happy the scrubbies look! Who knows, maybe their bright cheerfulness will draw some of the "welcome guests" out to drop a line! The more the merrier!

Since there were SO MANY questions (OK, there were three, but that's a lot for my blog.) Let's have a little Q and A, shall we?

Rose Red wanted to know what stat counter I am using. I posted it in my comments, but for those of you who didn't see, here is the link.

Anonymous wanted to know what materials are used for the pot scrubbers. It is regular worsted weight cotton, like Peaches 'n Creme and nylon netting, the kind that is used for little girl's tutus and wedding veils. It's not tulle, which is a finer mesh. You can get it at the fabric store in every color imaginable for about $1.50 a yard.

So what you do is buy a yard of netting. If you fold or even roll up the netting "horizontally," meaning that you'd have a yard-long roll, then you can cut the roll like sushi (sorry, I'm Japanese. And my mind just automatically gravitates to food) into strips no wider than an inch and a half. Then you unroll the strips and they will be about two yards long. You can tie them together and crochet them into pot scrubbers (see pattern link from previous post). Basically you crochet two disks -- one out of netting and one out of cotton, then crochet them together with the cotton and add a shell edging. Be sure to keep those netting ends inside as you crochet the two disks together, they make a nice little padding. I have been using an H hook to keep the size around the same as the cotton disk, but you can play around with it. Have fun! They are a blast because they are so quick to make up.

Chauntel wanted to know if she could get an entry for every comment she made. Sorry, Chaun. One entry per person. Heck, if the pool stays this small, I'll send one to each and every one of ya.

But keep those comments coming! I love 'em! And see you on your blog! I'll be commenting!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Would You Leave a Comment If I Sent You a Prize?

OK, I can see that a lot of you are visiting but not commenting. Over 50 yesterday and over 50 today. And yet I only got 4 comments. (By the way, thank you to all the brave delurkers who stepped forward). But I see visitors from Istanbul, Vienna, Paris and Croatia (I forgot the name of the city). And closer -- Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C., Iowa, Florida. So many places, so many people. Not enough comments. My astute pal Leslie basically told me you gotta give to get. If I comment on other people's blogs, they will leave comments to me. Being a incorrible lurker myself, I know it is a hard habit to break. But I am asking you. Again. This time with the lure of a prize.

If you leave a comment on my blog, I will put your name in a drawing. For every 10 comments I get, I will randomly pick a name and mail you one of my handy-dandy potscrubbers. I will list the winners a week from today. Winners can email me at the new email addy I set up just for this fun experiment: Won't it be fun? All you have to do is comment. Will this work? I'm not sure. But let's give it a try. Anyone who commented on the last two posts does not need to enter. I already entered you.

Any takers?

By the way, I am putting UFOOTD on hiatus just for the time being. My parents are in town and we are like sardines in my little bungalow. But I have been busily cranking out pot scrubbers. They are so easy. And they nicely use up my netting and cotton stash, including the leftovers. Remember that old Star Trek rerun, "The Trouble with Tribbles" where the cute little fuzzball pets were multiplying all over the place until they were filling up the holds and coming out of every crevice of the ship? Well, I was imagining a similar scenario in the dramedy of my life called "The Trouble with Scrubbies" at Chez Knitalife where potscrubbers are tumbling out of every cupboard and closet. It could happen.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Know You're Out There

Did you know that January 8 - 12 is National De-lurkers Week? Neither did I. That is why I am so late in passing this on to you.
I thought this was great.

Let me say something really quick about lurking. I am a lurker. I have been a lurker for as long as I have been reading blogs. I lurk on a number of blogs. I never feel like I have anything important to say. Plus, I am lazy and just want to read and not have to think about trying to come up with something nice/witty/coherent to say. But I would ask, nay, beg of you to reconsider if you are a lurker on my blog. First of all, let's do away with the negative labels. From here on, when you come here, you are not a lurker, you are a welcome guest.

Okay, and now I will let you in on my little secret. A few days ago I signed up for statcounter and can I tell you guys, I am FLOORED by the number of people who stop in here? Before you get all paranoid, let me just clarify that the statcounter does not tell me WHO you are, but it does tell me geographically WHERE you came in from. I thought it was just my sister, my niece and a couple of friends. Yesterday there were 66 people. 66! Okay, for all you blackbelts out there, I'm sure you are saying to yourself "66! Pshaw! I get 66 visitors in a minute! I get 66 visitors in a second!" Well, let me tell you, I had no idea. None. Zilch. Zippo. Why? Because no one said anything, that's why! Won't you please, please, please say something to me? It doesn't even have to be coherent. Or witty. Nice would be nice though.

Here's a shout out to my knitting sista Joanna, first time commenter and long time friend.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Today I had an interesting thing happen. My Internet friend, Julie sent me a card and enclosed two of her killer pot scrubbers.

Let me digress a moment and tell you about my Internet friend from Ohio, Julie. We "met" several years ago over a knitting postboard. She had posted a question about knitting on the postboard and mentioned that she was 43, a housewife and mother and had crocheted avidly for many years and was just taking up knitting. "Hey," I thought to myself, "I'm43 (or was at the time), a housewife and mother and have been an avid crocheter almost my whole life and am now taking up knitting!" So I happily emailed her and told her and we have been writing back and forth ever since! She thought up the perfect moniker: we sign off our letters "yipp," which means, "your internet pen pal." So, she is my yipp and I have come to love her dearly. We have never met in person and have only spoken on the phone a few times. Anyway, she has a wealth of interesting recipes and patterns and is always up to something creative and fun. One of the first patterns she generously shared with me was her excellent potscrubber pattern. People clamor for them. They are positively addicting. Once you try them, you get hooked. They are the perfect combination of scratchy and soft without being harshly abrasive.

Here is a picture of what they look like. They are made out of strips of nylon netting. Aren't they cute? They fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. They get all lathery when they're wet, but really scrub the dishes nicely without scratching.

So back to my story, Julie my yipp sent me these in the mail today. (Thanks Julie! That was so thoughtful of you!)

Then, the phone rang. It was my buddy, Laura. She used to manage the yarn shop that I worked at. She told me that a friend had gifted her with a really cool pot scrubber that she just knew I'd love. Laura was one of the people I shared the pot scrubbers with after Julie shared the pattern with me and she fell in love with them. She described the pot scrubber someone gave her and I became intrigued. She said they were double crocheted flat discs, netting on one side and cotton on the other, joined with cotton. I started searching the Internet and found this pattern. Rather than join on a pre-made scouring pad, I just made one up out of netting strips and came up with this:

I thought it was pretty cute.

Anyway, isn't that a funny coincidence? If it's Tuesday, it must be potscrubber day. Now I just need to "take it out for a whirl" and see how it performs


Yikes, I just reminded myself that it is Tuesday. And I do not have a UFOOTD ready. It will have to wait until Thursday. You see, I have a sink full of dishes and a floor to scrub. And it is 11:00. Bye for now.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Elvis Would Have Been 72

Comparatively, I am a youthful 48 today. Okay, that just sounds way too old.

Yes, it's that time of year again. The Christmas rush has subsided, we have rung in the New Year. What's next, you say? Well, that means it's time for me 'n Elvis' birthday. I happen to share a birthday with the late, great Elvis.

I didn't say anything about it at work. I'm kind of new and felt it might have been sort of embarrassing to go around and TELL everyone it was my birthday. Not that it was a secret or anything.

I had a very nice day. Emi and Kai gave me a cute coffee mug, one of those commuter kinds that keeps the liquid hot. And a very cute card with kittens on it -- my daughter's influence, natch. Most of the work day was just your normal workday. I kind of didn't work as hard as I usually do. Did a little bit here and there. But took it kind of easy.

Me and the kids were invited to our friends Carol and Jan's for dinner and it was so nice. My three bestest friends, Beth, Judy and Sheila were there, with families and we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner, and a delicious homemade chocolate cake, compliments of Jan, who besides being a killer computer tech is also a whiz at making and decorating cakes. I wish I would have had the presence of mind to bring the camera along with me for pics of all these lovely people and the cool gifts they gifted me with. I was showered and loved and I feel so special and blessed.

Here is a picture of the finished hat. My son, the paparazzi dodger, wore it to school today. It came out very nice, but I'd like to snatch it off his head and adjust to to be just a wee bit "shallower." You know, pull out the decreases, remove say, 4 -6 rows then close it back up again. In this picture, it looks fine, but every time I've seen it today, the back end of it has been sort of bunched up at the base of his neck. I think I could make it fit just a bit better. He seems to like it as is. Maybe I'll have to do it while he's sleeping one night. Hee hee.

Okay, so I posted this entry, but I just had to re-edit to add this: Seeing my age written down there like that in the blog entry just totally freaked me out. If you are reading this blog and you are saying to yourself, "Dang, that lady's OLD!" Well, join the club, that is exactly what I said to myself when I saw it all posted up there on the blog! Please don't let that fool you into thinking that I am some mature, matronly, middle-aged lady. Quite possibly you'd think that even if you actually saw me. But trust me, inside I still feel like the same YOUNG person I've always been! I giggle hysterically when people fart instead of ignoring it. I get all excited when someone opens a box of candy. I still think a drink tastes better with a straw, even water. And I still try to find ways to avoid doing what I ought to be doing. Oh yea, and I still bite my nails. How can I be 48?!

Let me just say that I really DO want to grow up in some ways. And by that, I don't mean lose my sense of humor. I just mean be more responsible. It is time to not feel like a kid walking around in an old person's skin. Time to pay my bills more promptly (and systematically). Get more neat and organized. Live on a budget. Establish better routines for both myself and my children. Things like that.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

10 Minutes Before Sunday

Whew! I just made it in under the wire. You may recall I made a commitment to blog at least every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Well, today I went down to LA to visit my sister and I just got back and remembered -- I have to blog before the day is over! So here I am. I think the post will be stamped with the time I started blogging, not finished writing it. Which is a good thing in this case.

My sister. She's my big sister in age (2 1/2 years) although I have been bigger in size for almost as far back as I can remember. I was medium-to-big for my age and she was small. I was clumsy and slow. She was quick and scrappy. Everytime we go over to her house she makes a delicious meal. Tonight it was beef stew with her specialty apple pie for dessert. Yum! It's soooooo good to eat again! We took a visit to A Mano Yarns, which is right around the corner from her house. I just love that place. I just had to get some yarn to make a hat for my son. One could say that my "Knit from Your Stash 2007" went completely out the window in less than a week, but I plan to continue on. Where some people are not counting sock yarn, I plan not to count special gifts for people and hats for my son. You see, he actually wears the hats I make him. This gives me much joy. Most of the things I make do not get worn. I am not offended. Even I don't wear the things that I make for myself. So when my son wears the hats I make him to the point where even I get sick of seeing him in them, then that is a good thing.

So I saw this Lorna's Laces Swirl DK in Black Watch and cast on for a hat for him while at my sister's. Here's the start of it:I love this yarn. It would make a killer pair of socks. It is not so soft when you knit with it, but the end result is soooooo soft! I also picked up a skein of navy blue shepherd's worsted to knit a hat for this guy at work. It was a request. With the leftover there should be enough to make up one for my son as well.

On to the UFOOTD:

This is a sweater with a story. At least how I got the pattern is a story. Last summer I was vacationing at Donner Lake where we go almost every summer and winter due to the fact that my generous uncle has a cool place up there. I stopped in at Jimmy Bean's Wool. Laura, the owner, who knows me by sight because I am such a groupie there every time I am in the area, greeted
me and introduced me to "Ann Norling." (I have since found out that it is a psuedonym.) What a neat lady! Warm, friendly, down-to-earth. I liked her right away. I was all gushy and fluttery, like the time Gene Hackman came into the shoe store I worked at back 20 years ago. She was very nice and gave me her newest pattern and signed it too! Can you see it in the upper right corner of the pattern? (Click for big) So right away I bought some Rowan Summer Tweed that was on sale and cast on for it. But I lost interest quickly. I really want to finish it though. I think I would like to make the one with the ruffly bottom on the upper left corner.

I have to go to bed now. I am cross-eyed I am so tired. And I have to get up early and teach a bunch of 5th and 6th grade boys about Jesus. We are having a lesson entitled "God is Like a Chef" and we are going to make a "feast" of chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, corn bread and salad. C Ya!


Friday, January 05, 2007

I am Slowing

We are doing a really neat thing at church. We traditionally set aside the first week of the year to seek the Lord. We meet every evening and sing, worship and pray. Generally, we also fast. Every person is asked to seek the Lord in what it is they are to "fast." Why do they call it a "fast" anyway? Ever gone a long time without food? Let me tell you, things sloooooowww doooooown. Waaaaaaaay dooooowwwwn. They should call it a "slow." Minutes are hours when you are hungry. Anyway, I am "slowing" this week. Pretty much with me, everything slows down when I fast. Except my temper. That speeds up really a lot. So it is a good thing that the kids have been gone for the past few days. They are skiing with dad. It has been a gift not to have to think of things to make for them to keep them nourished while I am "slowing."

Here's a tip: If you are ever fasting food and your kids aren't and you have to make them something, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make them pot pies. Even if you hate pot pies, the fact that you are fasting will make those pot pies smell like the most delicious, tantalizing food ever imaginable. Here is what you make them: Egg salad sandwiches. The smell of them will not make you salivate. Even if you are starving. My kids were probably glad to leave. They were just starting with the plaintive "egg salad sandwiches? Again?" Yea, it's that or a bowl of rice with seasoned seaweed (OK, to you that sounds like cruelty, but they love it.)

So I am now on my fifth day of only liquids. I have been subsisting on soy milk, various juices, broth and coffee. Not together. Oh yea, and the "bread of life" aka The Lord. Let me tell you, by day three I was sailing. The whole point of it is to remind us that we are relying on God, not on "things of the flesh" (e.g., food) to nourish us. Everytime you feel empty, it is a good reminder to pray. Of course, usually I forget and blow up and yell at someone first. Then I have to apologize, then pray.

But there is something so special about prayer time when I am "slowing." It's like that red phone on the old Batman series. It's a Bat Phone to God. Or could it be that I am hearing better? Maybe it's like a spiritual earwax removal. Where it's like, wow, I can hear things so much better now! Yea, that's it.

So the big excitement is that we will be ending the fast with celebration, singing, prayer AND soup and bread! I am so excited about this! You see, you can't go off a five day fast with, say, an In 'n Out Double Double. You would get very sick. And since some of the black belts out there are doing water only, they really have to take it easy. Soup sounds heavenly about now. See ya after soup.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Anyone Remember Certs?

Well, do you? Those mints? You know, the ones with "Retsin"? It's TWO! (smack) TWO! (smack) Two mints in one! Well, that's what you're getting today. It's TWO! TWO! Two blog entries in one day! Whatever happened to Certs anyway?

Anyway, let's move on, shall we? Here we see the beautiful Carol Merrill, er, I mean, Figgy, posing with my latest completed scarf. (OK, and you get a high five next time I see you if you can remember where we know Carol Merrill from.) The yarn is Karabella and it's a very fine mohair. Because it is sans the silk in Kidsilk Haze and Douceur et Soie, it is not as soft nor is it as expensive. The pattern is from this book, and is a quick and simple knit. I added one or two repeats because it seemed too small and still did not use a whole ball.

And in a very un-Carol Merrill-like maneuver, The Figster became entranced with the swinging cord on the camera, made a play for it, then got her claws stuck on it and in my brand new sweater. Here she is just before she disentangled herself and scampered out of the room in fear and utter humiliation.

And here we have my UFOOTD* (pronounced YEW-fooht, in case you were wondering). It is the back and one arm of a cardigan that I started oooooh about a year and a half ago. The yarn is Encore worsted. The pattern is a really cool pattern that someone gave my sister from Classic Elite. It's Pattern #866 "Unlimited Possibilities in Four Gauges" It has all different weights of yarn and a lot of different ways of making it up (i.e., cardigan, v-neck, short sleeve, shell). It is printed up on this really garish early-90s magenta and yellow cardstock and the models of the sweaters match the era. You would never look at it twice. But when you take a closer look, not at the photos of the sweaters, but at the schematics, you can see that it is actually a very flattering sweater design. I wouldn't have believe it if I hadn't seen the one my sis made up. Of course, she is tiny and could put on a burlap sack and it would look cute on her. But hey, ya gotta be optimistic, right?

*Unfinished Object Of The Day


I Promised I'd Be Back By Thursday, Didn't I?

OK, so here I am! It's Thursday Blogday and I'm raring and ready to go! I got some time today because I had to take my car in to the shop. Trying to be all "self-sufficient," I caught a bus to work. The mechanic called a couple hours later and said it would be done by the afternoon. So this afternoon, my co-worker said he was leaving early and would I like a ride downtown to pick up my car. I tried to call the shop but it was busy, busy, busy. So I just decided to cut out early since 1) it was starting to rain and 2) you gotta grab a ride when you can get one. So I get there and what do you know? My car is still sitting in the exact same place as where I left it at 8:00 this morning. Am I surprised? Are you? Why did I think mechanics were any different than moi? Of course, they WAIT UNTIL THE VERY LAST SECOND TO GET ANYTHING DONE!!! So I hopped on a bus home and here I am, waiting until my car is done.

But that gives me some time to blog. Yay! I had an idea while riding home on the very crowded bus. I was thinking about this "Knit from your stash 2007" thing. And I was over at Tracy's blog where she is inventorying all her UFOs. And I got my own little copy-cat idea: Every time I blog (on my promised Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and maybe some extra bonus days in between), for as long as I can keep batteries in my son's digital camera, I will take a picture of a UFO (unfinished object) from my stash and give as many stats as I can about it. My goal for the year will be to complete as many of these UFOs as I possibly can. I tell ya, I got a million of 'em. Here's the official button I chose to commemorate my bold and brave attempt.
Just try not to snore too loudly if you get bored by all my semi-finished objects. I really do finish some things. Some of them.

Well, the car guy just called. I'll be back later with some pics. I forgot I had made a scarf-y type thing from Weekend Knits and, of course, my UFO of the day. UFOOTD. Kinda got a ring to it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

Greetings! I'm hoping you have not given up on me. I am back, my computer's back and I have a Blogging New Year's Resolution: to blog at least every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. At this point, without the promise of pictures. So, blogging three days a week, pictures whenever possible.

So. How have you been? I've been fine. The wonderful, marvelous Jan "fixed" my computer a couple days before Christmas. But everything was lost. Did I have a backup? Of course not! I am way too much of a procrastinator to have anything like that! I really don't use the computer for much, didn't have a lot of "important documents" stored on it. But I did lose some pictures. (All the best ones are on the blog, anyway). And darned if I didn't lose all my "favorite places" bookmarks. And people, let me tell you, that thing was extensive! I had it all organized and broken down into categories. "Favorite Places", I will miss you! My dad had the excellent suggestion of me getting a hard disk to back everything up on. They really aren't that expensive. And then I could have everything important backed up on it. Maybe I'll get around to doing that. After I get the earthquake survival kit all set up in the house. Definitely before the 2 boxes of pictures of the kids get arranged into cutesy photo albums. OK, you think I'm being sarcastic, but I'm really not! ...or am I?

Right after we got the computer up, me and the kids took off for Mill Valley to have Christmas with my family. There is a big Christmas Eve gala at my parent's house that is not to be missed. Then, there is a quieter, more staid Christmas Day with "the other side" of the family. On both days, there are copious amounts of food, all of it delicious and there is also the "gift exchange." Somewhere along the years, we started having this "gift exchange" thing where everyone brings a $20 (read $40) gift and puts it in the pile. Then numbers get randomly passed out equaling the number of gifts. The rules vary from year to year and from Xmas Eve and Xmas Day, but basically, number 1 opens a gift and number 2 can either pick from the gifts or steal number 1's. And so on. It gets pretty raucous at times. Over the years there have been some classic moments. Like the time my one uncle enclosed a $20 bill and a framed photo of himself smirking at the camera and "flipping the bird." We still reminisce about that one! In all it's pretty fun, but every so often, the "competitive" aspect of the fun gets pretty cutthroat. Family members will begin to faction off and "manipulate" the swapping of gifts to set it up for their kin to swoop in and take the coveted prize. I've seen it before and it happened this year. (Thankfully, not to me...this time.) Makes you think that maybe the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys started with a Christmas gift exchange. I'm telling you, it coulda been.

Now on to knitting content: Here are a few more of those pot holders I made for Christmas gifts. I got to running around so much the last days before Christmas, I didn't have a chance to deliver the goods! Well, I hope late is better than never! I really like how they turned out and hope to make more of them. It's just that they take longer than it seems like they should. At least when I make them.
Next up is a shawl that I started in Plymouth Outback Wool and Mohair. It is a feather and fan triangular shawl pattern I found here. Since the wool skein is bigger than the mohair, I am interspersing random (or semi-random)rows of mohair, then have the bottom couple of inches be all mohair. I love these yarns. You cannot see the pattern very well in the picture, but my hope was to end up with a warm, casual shawl (denim-y) that I can wrap up in at home or in the office when it gets chilly!

Lastly, you see the beginnings of my Log Cabin bath rug, pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting. I am using four strands of Peaches 'N Creme worsted weight cones, colorway "Peppercorn Ombre." It was all they had at Walmart. I got two cones of that and one in natural. But I think I like it with four strands of the ombre, so the natural will be put aside for something else. One can always think of a good use for 100% cotton in natural.

Besides the 50 gazillion other projects I have going simultaneously, that's about all I have going on around here! That's all for now. Back by Thursday. Y'all come back now, hear?