Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gift Knitting

My hobby is exactly that, mine. I use it to deal with a lot of stuff in my life , a lot. I think this is why it's so hard for me to make gifts for people. Now, I know there are some out there who pretty much gift their projects exclusively. I applaud you for that, I really do. But for some reason, I just can't let mine go that often. Now last year I wanted to create a scarf that I thought was beautiful, the Forbe's Forrest from Scarf Style. It contained intricate detail but was masculine at the same time. "This would like nice on my brother," I thought. And therefore, he became my muse. As soon as I was done blocking I shipped it off to him and he loved it. And then a few years back there were these chunky chenille boas that I couldn't stop crocheting. They were soooooo easy, I thought that all of the ladies that I love should have one. They loved them. My step mother even kept making requests for me to make them for her friends. This got old. My mom called me the other day and asked me if I could make a scarf for her. "What kind of scarf?", I asked. "Oh, just something basic", she said. "You could probably go right over to Target to find something pretty basic for less time and expense", I replied. There's other examples that I could share, but I'm sure with these few you get the point.

Now, when I tell someone I'm going to make them something, I keep my word. But, I do not like people taking away from my crafting time for their own selfish gain. Or, like Little Man, and I think maybe my Mom just trying to take my crafting time, period even though you don't really want or need it. Little Man is notorious for this. I'll make him something and he'll rarely wear it claiming some strange imperfection when he really wants to say that he prefers store-bought. Then why the hell did you ask me to make it for you?! Just so you know, I did offer to make my mom something more unique and less basic. Her other suggestion was a mohair sweater with a flop in the front. I think she used to own something like this back in the day. Imagine her shock when I told her one big hand full of mohair was about $9. My mom is like a size 22/24.

So, maybe all this is why when I made a genuine attempt to knit up some socks to fulfill my secret Santa obligations it all went horribly wrong. Now, these socks were supposed to be for a man who I estimate must wear about a 10 1/2 shoe. I used the Universal Toe-Up formula and determined that the socks should be worked over 64 stitches with 12 unwrapped at the toe and heel. Why, pray tell, did I then get something like the following?
Yep, they're turning out nicely, but that is my foot people, and I don't ever wear anything larger than I woman's 8 1/2. I tried to knit some socks for someone else, and ended up with some for myself. Oooops. ;-) Maybe it was that shot of Remi in my coffee.

But then, after Christmas, I started feeling guilty. Of course, the new babies are getting bigger, and after reading Shameka's gifting progress. Ughhh! I really want to finish their sweaters by New Year's day, but then my one and only gift, the one from my from my secret Santa is the Stitch N' Bitch Happy Hookers book. Oh, a wonderful publication indeed. Those bunny slippers are looking soooooo good right now. And little man would probably enjoy that Jolly Roger sweater if I could convert that skull and cross bones to an Oakland Raider. What to do, what to do.

I must decide quickly. Teddy Bear has just excused herself from the queue by objecting to these adorable ballet slippers I thought would be perfect for running around the house in. "Mommy, can you please take these off me. I don't like them." Huh, then why am I waisting my knitting energy on you then? Hmmm, I think I'll use this yarn for my Fat Bottom Bag.
Any advice?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

FO's, FO's Everywhere

Ok, just a couple of FO's. First let me start off by saying that I must cherish every moment left of blogging with images as my camera is failing fast.

This is me giving it a good talking to on the way to Teddy Bear's Christmas program.

You'd better not piss out on me now. You better not.

Second, I've been finished with the Mini Anthropologie for a while now. When I finally got in the groove it only took like a day. I'm using a studded hair pin to hold in closed. I would have preferred a brooch, but I couldn't find one proportionate to Teddy Bear's size. This worked well too because I could pin it to the dress without poking through the fabric and therefore keep everything in place.

Teddy Bear was supposed to have a semi-solo (her and two other kids) but chickened out at the last milisecond. When she got up to the mic she just turned right back around and went to her teacher. Darn. She then played this game of hear no evil, see no evil. Oh well.

Oh, and I love my up do. I am well pleased, can't you tell? I've tried to capture every angle for your viewing pleasure. I know there may be naturalists out there who'd like to criticize my meticulously groomed locks. So sorry to disappoint. You WILL be seeing more of these creative endeavors.

The gathered pullover is a wrap. When I first saw it I thought that it would be perfect for a recycling project. I was right. It looks good on, but I must say that the sleeves look a little wonky when laying flat. Imagine my anguish when realizing that the sleeves may be too small for the sleeve holes (I know there's a technical name for this but I just can't think of it right now). The designer should have put a little note saying something like "Warning, the sleeves may look too small but they are not. You will have to work carefully with them but they will fit. We recommend crocheting them in with a slip stitch." I always crochet my sleeves in, but this method was especially useful this time. By the way, Banana Republic sews all their seams with a crochet slip stitch. Just a little interesting tid bit of knowledge. I just like the rolled edge look in general and it seems like everything store bought with this feature is a little pricey. I wonder why? I also like my sleeves long, so I didn't adjust them.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Almost Done!

Listen while you read...

One more sleeve to go of the Gathered Pullover. I'm unraveling the body of the BR sweater to finish up. I thought that this piece would yield two large balls of yarn, but not so. Maybe I nicked the strands while unraveling. Darn it.
I like the way it fits so far.

And, since I'm ever so guilty of lurking on natural hair blogs but never posting about my natural hair, I thought that I should share. After realizing some time ago that the blogosphere had such a large collection of natural hair journey journals, I decided to jump right in. Because I never viewed my current hair style as a journey as much as I do a destination I think it's been hard for me to keep up with hair posts. I mean, how much can you talk about a hairstyle that rarely changes. It's probably just me. I'm posting now because on Friday I'll be getting my first professional up-do. A style that I found on Renaissance Hairtopia. I can't wait until I have enough hair for a wedding bun. Wish me luck!

Excuse my mess.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dum Heffa!

When I moved an hour and half away from my family, I knew it was the right thing to do. Having lived 10-15 minutes away from all of them for years without any visitors and the escalating housing market made it easier too. I looked for a house for 2 years without success. Finally when a seller tried to fadangle extra money out of me for a house in the hood (by hood I mean it was normal to see shrines and memorials set up on the corner honoring young individuals who'd been murdered) I gave up. I went as far away as possibly practical so that me and my son could have part of the American dream. My 3-year old son and I were living in a one bedroom apartment and paying about $1100 a month rent in San Leandro, California and my baby daddy had been married for a little over a year and was sure by now that he was going to be staying with his wife despite his periodic evening visits to us.

If I described my stay in this far away land as lonely, I wouldn't be giving you a fraction of what my experiences have been. I like to say a lot with only a few words, and that's impossible do here when discussing all that I've experienced. Needless to say, I don't get out much. That's why when I heard that Will Smith was coming out with another movie, I was determined to see it on opening night. Fully realizing that there is not a baby sitter any closer than 1.5 hours West, I mindlessly remarked to my girlfriend that "I'm going to have to scar their little minds this time with a PG-13 movie." Honestly not thinking that I'd be doing any harm.

Now, it could be just me, because I don't like horror movies AT ALL. I know that I Am Legend is probably being classified as a thriller, but damn! I myself had nightmares about living among infected individuals last night. In my dreams they had all been cured but still looked the same and expected to carry on as if there never was a problem in the first place. I didn't sleep well. For some reason Teddy Bear rarely gets affected by these images and Little Man said he only had a tiny nightmare. Nothing that was going to keep him from getting a good night's sleep.

Yes, I am that Dum Heffa in the theater who brought her kids to this un-kid-friendly movie and I'm ashamed of it. I'm normally the one who shakes my head at those mothers who don't care enough about the fragile mentality of their young ones and lets them engage in violent flicks for entertainment. My conscience told me to get up and walk out but the movie was much to enthralling to abandon. And besides, at $23 for the three of us, I knew it would be a long while before we'd be taking another movie adventure. It's just that I'm so tired of waiting the six months for the movie to come out and then another month for it to become available for me to rent on Netflix.

Case and point, I don't believe that I've turned into that Dum Heffa that I used to shake my head at. Damn!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Christian Walk Summed Up In One Doctor's Visit

Dr: "Well, since she's starting Kindergarten next year they're going to require her to have these four vaccinations. You could just do a couple now, but some schools want them ALL before enrolling a Kindergartener and you'll just have to make another appointment. He just needs a chicken pox booster"

Little Man: "Oh no, I have to get a shot. Aaaaaah. :("

Teddy Bear: "I'm not scared. Just say Hallelujah. I'm going first."

Nurse: "Let's do him first. Now count to ten. Oh, I beat you, are you done counting?"

Little Man: "That didn't even hurt that much. That's two times in a row I didn't cry for a shot now."

Teddy Bear: "Where are my shots?"

Nurse: "Just a minute honey. Nurse, B, I'm going to need your help in here...

When giving multiple injections they like to do two at a time. Teddy Bear rarely cries for shots. I remember her crying once when she was a baby. In walks Nurse B...

Teddy Bear begins to fidget uncontrollably.

Me: "Do you want her to sit in my lap?"

Nurse A: "Yes, and hold down her arms. Okay, now hold her feet between your legs." Nurse A to Nurse B, "Are you ready? 1, 2, ....

Teddy Bear: "NOOOOOOOOOO!"

Nurse A: "3!

Poke, Poke, Stick, Stick.

Teddy Bear: "Oh my God! Ahhhhhhhw. AhhhhhhhWWWW. Ohhhhhh, noooooooo!.

Me:"I'm soooo sorrry. It's ok, it's ok.

Se went on to scream like this for about 10 minutes.

Me: "Do you want to go to Chipotle?"

Teddy Bear: "Yes."

Me: "Well then you have to calm down because they don't want all that screaming in there."

Teddy Bear: "Ohhhh, my shooooots. Owwwwwww! Hallelujah, Hallelujah."

I was reminded that pain is pain. It's alright to enter the fire afraid. Go in there scared, knowing that God is with you. Keep your eyes on him and not the experiences of others. You may have to call out in agony sometimes, but after you go through it all, you will still come out with the victory. You can't avoid pain entirely. It's coming, but God is still with you you. Hallelujah.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Knitting A.D.D.

It's because of the stress. I've still been working on the gathered pullover. If anyone has ever wondered why Banana Republic's clothes cost so much....
Well, let's just say this is a lot of yarn from one sweater. The yarn is DK weight and so I'm using size 4 needles in order to get my gathered pullover's gather to closely resemble that of the original's. I'm pleased so far and it's fitting quite well.

I can't stop running my fingers across that bumpy thing.

I think I have about six projects on needles right now and this is so unlike me. I knited all day on Saturday and didn't make any progress. I must have tried to start the sleeves for the pullover about 4 times. All without success because I kept twisting the stitches when joining in the round. Sooooo, frustrating! My troubles wouldn't let me focus. I switched back and forth from that sleeve to starting a mini Anthropologie all day long. At the end of the day I had nothing. All this, while watching the whole third season of Heroes on Netflix (What do you want your special ability to be? I like the copy cat girl.). Today, all I have left of the Anthropologie is one cuff. Very much a quickie. It wasn't until I was done that I realized the reason that the "designer" worked the yarn-over increases on the purl side. I was certain she was just playing a sadistic little trick on us. This is what slowed me down. After I started increasing on the knit side, it just flew by.

I need this little shrug to go with Teddybear's xmas dress. I don't like my boo-boo to have bare arms. I know this dress doesn't look like all that in the picture, but it was really cute on her and works well with her chocolate skin. She really likes it too, and it's a decent price. There's a tiny bit of gold spark-ly striping, but you can barely see it in real life either. Now it's time to accesorize with some bling. She's going to need a butterfly broach for her shrug, maybe some rhinestone hair accessories. Would a necklace be too much? She wanted that little purse, but I don't like it. There were little glitter shoes too, but those were just as much as the dress. We're doing it big since she's going on stage for her first Christmas program.

Yes, this week has been so @#$%ed up that of course I resorted to dressing up my mini me. Didn't you know she's part of the hobby? She never minds, thank God. But, I hope I'm not creating some sort of twisted co-dependency. I can see her 12 years from now, "Oh, mommy's depressed and stressed. Let me go comfort her. I might get some boots out of it." I thought about just vegging out on Cinnabon and champagne, but for some reason I didn't think that was the right way to go. I was right, I conquered this week and claimed the victory, but there's still a lot of work ahead. This start-itis is over. Within the next two weeks or less, I promise one of these projects is leaving my needles.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Juliets Finished!

Let me not beat around the bush and state that I think the Juliet would have looked better on a thinner person. Another remedy may have been to go down a couple sizes when working the lace repeats. I made the size medium and no matter how many times I snapped the picture, I didn't look any thinner. You might say, "awww, she's having a low self esteem day." That could be it, but no matter what my size, I like to wear flattering clothing, and not just trendy clothing. Maybe I need a new bra. For mine I should have sewn on ribbon for the button loops, there's a lot to hold in! This is still a cute top.

Purely coincidence, I made the size medium for my daughter's with one strand on size 3 needles. Uber cute. I don't know if I've captured it well here, but when she walked around the back of it kept poofing up. So toddler. I started her lace repeats at the breast and I worked a longer garter stitch body for mine. I kept wanting to pick her up and kiss her. The butterflies are trying to get away but they just keep going in circles.

When joining the sleeves, an unsightly gap formed at the arm pit. I couldn't figure out how to remedy it and didn't spend much time since it was after all under the arm. I don't think the designers spent much time on it either since the same thing happed for the adult one.

I used Cascade 220. This yarn is great for the toddler size, but I think a more drapey cotton for the adult version would have solved my issues. For mine I used size 10.5 needles and got a perfect gauge. So, I wonder why I ran out of yarn when the pattern only called for 500 yards. I used what equated to about 660 yards.

For some reason I didn't feel like posting, so I'm going to talk about these other projects so whomever cares will know what I'm up to for the next couple of weeks.

I think I can get addicted to this unraveling. I know this looks like what was a perfectly good sweater. It was a great sweater, but after 10 years, it became boring and unflattering. After looking at this picture, I promised myself that I would never wear it again. Now if only I could make something new out of those darn too comfy drawstring pants. After 10 years of course I've lost count of how many times I've washed it. All I know is that as a general rule of thumb I use cold water to wash non-whites. This sweater is still color rich and the yarn shows NO signs of weakness. On top of that, each side of the sweater (the inside and out) was worked with two different strands of yarn. I got three good sized balls (if you blend the two little ones together) from just one sleeve!
After my gathered pullover I think I'm going to have some left over. The yarn is not as soft as if you were purchasing cotton yarn, but it has some characteristic I can't quite explain that yields its own desirable qualities. Once again, this is a Banana Republic sweater.

I didn't finish the baby sweaters. But, only because my piece of junk Plymouth needles broke. Ugh! Since working my second project on these needles I've had problems. At times they've made me so angry that I've fantasized about taking each point and stabbing the person who made them in the eyeballs. Unfortunately what I've done of the baby cardigan so far shows signs of the snagging caused by these defective needles. Maybe they'll disappear with blocking. Without thinking, I started the gathered pullover with my good pair of size 4's. Ahhhh, Addi Turbos.
I'm also having problems with these Clessidra knee hi socks. I've messed up on the cable chart and broken another needle. I still haven't gotten a replacement yet (maybe because this is my second request). Hopefully I'll get these done before the winter's over.
Following are cute pictures of my kids decorating the Christmas tree while I was cooking second Thanksgiving. The little one is on the big one's shoulders trying to put the star on. The finished product looks funny but I'm leaving it that way.Chiao!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I wanted to give you all an update before taking off for Thanksgiving. The Juliets are done and we will be wearing them tomorrow. Mine is blocking and I still have to sew on the buttons. I must say that had I not done the tiny one first, this project would have ended prematurely. I don't like knitting on fat needles. My hands got tired so quickly and holding the yarn double was sometimes kind of awkward, sometimes. This technique of course called for twice as much yardage and therefore the garment is quite heavy for a little cap sleeved thing.

Now, the Cascade 220 skein has about 220 yards to it (hence the name). My gauge was right on and I knit the size Medium which called for about 600 yards. I don't know where my extra 60 yards went, but when it was all said and done, all I had left was a little hand full of scrap pieces. I had to piece a couple of those together to form the last button loop. Whew, cutting it real close! I mean, I heard the tires streaking and smelled burning rubber on this one.

All I have to do now is sew on the buttons. I couldn't find 3 "large, pretty buttons." And can I say, this is one of my most difficult challenges with all my knit wear crafting, finding buttons. What a pain! For tiny Juliet I found these butterfly tortoise shell ones. They have this weird butterfly detail on the other side. How delighted I was to discover that the back side was blank. These kind of bland opally, pearlesque like buttons were the only ones I could settle on. If I like wearing the garment, I'll shop for something different. I would have preferred tortoise shell, but I couldn't find any bigger ones. These white ones are only 1 3/8".

So, since I finally finished last night, I decided to cast on a baby sweater. I need to make two of these by tomorrow for the new little mens in our lives. The last baby batch was a bunch of girls (which included Teddy Bear). So, having two new boys is kinda cool. You know, I think I can do it. This is my second try and I'm working on the body now. I'll be hitting the road at about 7 am tomorrow. I don't think these will need blocking, so I can hand them right over as soon as I'm done. I can probably bind off the second one by noon tomorrow. Unfortunately I don't have any tiny masculine buttons (just hearts). I considered tearing some off of old uniform shirts, but they all say Gap on them. We wouldn't want the recipients to get the wrong idea now would we?

And oh, a little treat I've been working on for myself. I do keep making mistakes with the spiderweb lace pattern, but I'm good enough now so that I can make a dam good fix that doesn't involve ripping back all the time. Isn't the color just splendid? I'm thinking about getting me one of those little swing coats to go with it. This project has no deadline and keeps getting set aside for other things. Hey, it's not even technically Winter yet anyway.
Well, this year I didn't get away with just bringing brown and serve rolls. The roast I'm responsible for will be done in about 30 minutes. I hate cooking this far ahead of time, but I won't be allowed to take up oven space at the host house. We've been instructed to bring everything sliced and ready to be served. This is not going to be possible, my drive is 1.5 hours and I'm leaving tomorrow at 7:00 am. I started cooking it partially frozen so that it will still be pink in the middle. My hopes are that by the time I reheat it tomorrow, for about 30-45 minutes that the meat will still be tender. Darn, I like pink beef. I also have to get busy with a banana pudding. Things that need to stay on ice are no problem. We'll be modeling the Juliets and the food for you tomorrow. I hope to post by Sunday.

Oh yes, I'm very thankful for all of you. I don't have any friends or relatives who crochet or knit as much as I, so I'm kind of the weird one in this area. You all keep me pumping. In my early 20s I used to hide my craft, but because of you I don't feel nerdy, or old, or whatever other mean name comes with my love for this thing. Thank you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Had to Change Colors, and Yarn :(

Well, I finally made it to my new favorite yarn store, Knitique. It's good to know I have folks out there in my world who understood my despair (I'm talking about you). Cher, you were totally right about the staff there. Me and an associate tried to find something similar to the Victorian Pink that I've grown so fond of. No luck unfortunately, and the cotton/wool blend they had in the exact same texture, they still had in lots of bright summery colors. I finally settled on this Antique Lavender colored Peruvian Highland Wool. I named the color since Cascade only gave it the number 4148C. I tried to avoid choosing the same color as our last Mommy and Me project, but it drew me in for some reason. That, along with the price of $6.85 for 100g, and the fact that they had enough for hers and mine. I so wish that they had the cotton/wool in an acceptable color and quantity. The squishyness of it in garter stitch is sooooo soothing. The drape perfection. I hope that blocking loosens this Peruvian wool up significantly. And this has now been classified as a chilly day only garment since you can't really wear it directly against your skin without some discomfort and it being wool and all. Well, at least she'll be able to wear the cropped version next year and maybe the year after.

I know that I'm really excited about this set, but this is still genuinely a quick knit. This long weekend didn't hurt either. I don't like how the sleeves meet under the arm. I'll show you what it looks like later. We're blocking now. And oh, Teddy Bear really likes this one. "I liiike this." is what she kept saying when we tried on. I would have made it a little longer, in order to capture that fantasy or Julietisque look, but I think this length will do. This tiny version captured a whopping twelve lace repeats. I think mine is only going to need eight.

Hopefully I can succeed in making mine look age appropriate. The fact that I thought this top looked kind of juvenille is what inspired me to make two.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Oh, Saturday, You Torment Me

This was the plan...

Wake up before the kids and knit in peace. This never works. Even though they act like they can't get enough sleep on the weekdays, the little one can still wake before the sun on Saturday. I snuck into the living room and before I could finish one row I had a company. It seems the cat couldn't understand why I was the only one awake and proceeded to meow continuously up and down the hall until her favorite kid emerged. Ugggghhhh. At least she was quiet for about an hour because she really was still sleepy.

Then we would go to the farmer's market. That went well...

A lovely place, isn't it? I called myself one Saturday messing with the kids by waking them at the crack of dawn talking about "Put on your clothes and lets go!" That was our first time to this farmer's market. They liked it then and they like it now. Yesterday they begged me to take them. They love the kettle corn and just looking at all the stuff. The fiber content is a little treat for me this time since those two spinners weren't there on previous visits. I should have taken a shot of the decadent desserts several bakers presented to us. It's even a date spot. Several times I've seen new couples (you know the lovey dovey ones who neck and hold hands) just strolling through and not buying anything. This irritates me because it's already so crowded it doesn't need lookey loos (and oh yeah, I'm jealous). But this is just how nice the place is. Some weekends it's complete with horse carriage rides.

Then, we'd come back home to do the front yard. No problem there. I think this is the fastest we've gotten it done in months. I later learned this was because the boy wanted something, but that's another story. And on a side note about home maintenance. Didn't nobody (ok one person in the WHOLE subdivision) think about painting their front door. It took me years to repair a botched job just cause I was always broke. And NOW that I finally have, everyone wants to paint their door the SAME color. Last season two close (in distance) neighbors have copied me. How tacky! I can't say the words that I've been yelling as I pass their houses here. Kick plates and everything.

But here's the sad part. My favorite LYS has closed. I was informed by the lady spinning. damn, Damn, DAMN! She explained that the owner was keeping a part time job just to hold the store up, has recently discovered that she's pregnant with her third child (her other two are still babies), and she just couldn't recover from a store down the street from her closing its doors and giving all it's contents close-out prices(I never liked that other store). Oh I wish I'd had more money to give her. I loved it and my kids loved it. I'd take them there to shop and knit and they never bothered me or her yarn. She just carved out a corner of the store and threw some toys back there.

So, while trying to cop me an extra skein of Cotton Fleece in Victorian Pink, I went to this store in Midtown that's been hanging tough since I've been in Sacto (6.5 yrs). I don't know how long they've been in business. So now, that's the LYS down the street from me that failed, and now this one in Davis (15 min away) that failed. The Midtown store, Rumplestilskin, shows no signs of closing shop but I hate them.

Now, I know my little girl can get bad as hell sometimes, but that old bitty of an associate must have said, "beeeee careful with that" about seven times. I didn't know who's ass to beat, hers or the toddlers. Shouldn't she know that my offspring may have the same affection for fiber as I do? After a while it started to become an entertaining game for Teddy Bear. "Hmmm, let's see if she'll say something if I touch this." I couldn't wait to get out of there, but I did get some yarn for these knee-highs I want to try out and some lace yarn. I'm never going back there. There's a store about 30 min to the south that I haven't tried yet. If they don't work out I'll just be bound to the Internet until I can coordinate family visits to Oakland with positive cash flow. Then I'll hit Artical Pract.

I've cast on for my next Mommy and Me set. It's going to be Juliet and Tiny Juliet. I started on the tiny one first. Here's what I have so far...

I'll have to rip back because around here I can't count up to 60 without some kind of interruption, and so therefore when binding off stitches for the sleeves my numbers were off and therefore so was everything else. But I'm in love with the vision. We're going to be sooooo cute. I think this color, Victorian Pink, says fall all over. I'm working single strand for the tiny one with size 3 needles. Of course at first I was dead set against splurging in order to work double for the big one, but I'm so in love with it that now, I'm going for it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hot Messes!

I wanted to knit these pair of cute Mary Jane slippers. Gelsticker from Ralvery had some in her projects list. "Alright, heyyyyy!" I said, "I'm making me some of these. And they only take 20 minutes?!" After the success of my stash basket(thanks for the complements), I decided that I was going to make it a point to gather myself a collection of quickies just so that I could impress myself and a few other folks . Wrong!!!!

These slippers aren't cute at all. :(

I tried to photograph them at the same angel as Gelsticker's to capture their cuteness, but it didn't work. When looking straight down, just imagine the feeling one would get when receiving some quickly thrown together homemade slippers from your Great Aunt Cootie with the harry mole, when what you really wanted were those squishy bunny slippers you saw in the Tiffany's window. Astronomical disappointment. And what's up with my ankles?

So, that got me to thinking. How many people never post about their own "hot messes?" I think that after we all post about a few of our hot messes it will make us feel better because we get to talk about what we did wrong so that the same mistakes won't be made in our next projects. Well, the truth is I'm just nosy. I know I ain't the only one jackin' stuff up from time to time.

Also, let me take the opportunity to let you know that if you think my stuff looks crazy, feel free to tell me. Just know that I already know that I have some sort of strange affection toward brightly colored variegated yarns. I love them so. He he he. :D

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh, God! I've been tagged.

I've always liked reading random things about people, but was also very glad no one had ever tagged me. I promise to try to get as random as possible, but honestly, I don't know if I can think of someone who has not been tagged.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I have been tagged by Urban Knitrix with Flava.

1. I have two baby-daddys, affectionately referred to as BD1 and BD2. They don't like this too much, but hey, what can one say. With this fact I think I should add that I am the child support poster child. I want it, need it, and gotta have it. One pays and one is a deadbeat. If there's anyone out there who needs the courage and information about opening a case up for you and your household, I will tell you all I know. It's the right thing to do and DISOMASTER is your friend most of the time.

2. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness. I haven't been to the Kingdom hall regularly for about 20 years now. If you want more info about this just email me at nicole5249 AT sbcglobal DOT net and we can chat. But why I will never go back can not be summed up here. Several close family members are still in this organization, so this makes my life interesting at times. I love Jehovah and he is real and active in my life. Our relationship is genuine and I know I gotta lot of work to do. None of that work includes meeting your standards, Hater.

3. I want bunnies. Angora bunnies to be exact. Why? For their fur of course. I want to learn to spin, but this doesn't seem to be something that I can pick up on my own. As soon as I'm able to take a class I will. I've even asked my Dad to start building a wheel for me. He said no, but I'm working on him.

4. I only use plastic zip-lock type baggies once. On occasion, visitors to my home have remarked how, "Hey that still looks clean, you know you can use it again." Now, don't get me wrong, I advocate being Green, but I will not use a baggie more than once. You see, my mother's house husband (whom she had no kids with thank God) , used to come up with all these ways to save money ( I guess since he wasn't bringing none in). These damn bags would never dry after washing, so I would have to prop them up in strange ways over a period of days to finally get a baggie that you could fold and store for future use. If anyone has ever seen me transform into a fit of rage it was probably because they suggested I re-use a baggie. It really is an ugly thing to see.

5. Transformers!!! More than meets the eye. Transformers!!! Robots in disguise. My children can discuss freely with me their ideas and thoughts about action figures, super heroes and anything sci-fi cause they know I got the knowledge, baby. Love of cartoons and the marketing strategies employed to draw youth more in has never left my brother and I. He still spends like $50 on comic books. I had to go and have kids and use the money on groceries and stuff.

Hmmmm, this is getting hard. What else?

6. I can sing. This is no special skill in a family full of people who also got skills. I even almost got discovered when I was 20. I declined the offer because I thought that my skills should only be used to glorify the Lord. I should have at least seen what the producer dude was offering. My brother has even made 2 or 3 demos but has never gotten picked up by a record label. My cousin sang a track for one of the star wars movies (but they converted her voice into an alien tone, I think in Jaba the Hut's club), and my aunt sang back up for a reggae dude who's name I can't remember. I guess stardom is just not meant for us. Hey, the Lord might even use me if I would commit to joining and attending a church. I just HATE dealing with the kids in church. Even fetching them from children's church is more than I care to deal with. That's my excuse. I need two days off from having to get folks fed and out the door by some random time before 10 am, not just one.

7. I love burgundy hair. Ghetto I know. I would have had highlights, but you can't really highlight dreds. I mean, a lock is this color or that. You might can try some shading on the tips, put that's not what I want. As soon as I find that burgundy that can only be seen in the bright sun light and a colorist who can pull it off, I'm going for it.

Ok, I'd like you to meet some new people. This game of tag is going International. Ya'll consider yourselves tagged! I'm sorry if ya'll aren't into this type of thing.

Knitvicious, Hobbyzu, Navi, Pyogazel, StrawberryC, Superbonbon (my friend from Ravelry, apparently with no blog, ughhh!), Moniknits (Happy B-day).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A True Quickie

I'm sure I could have finished this Stash Basket in half a day if I didn't need to bathe myself and at least one kid, mow the lawn, feed the family throughout the day, comb real African hair, grocery shop, and do the laundry.

Even with all of that on my plate I started this on Friday night and I was still able to finish it and start my Green Gable by Sunday. This colorway is from Knit Picks Merino Style and is called dusk.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Baby Ain't Yo Nigga

I got this email response from my son's teacher when requesting that he give him some tutoring for Algebra (he's in the 5th grade).

Hello Ms. Johnson,

Thank you for the e-mail. First I would like to say what a joy D**** is to have as a student. He is very articulate, enthusiastic, and a class leader. He is constantly challenging me to challenge him. It makes my job exciting and fun!

I want to explain about the tutoring. I will be happy to help him out with his algebra, when I am not helping other students. We are currently learning how to multiply by 2 and 3 digit numbers. This is very challenging to many students. Currently I am working with 7 students who are having a difficult time picking up the concepts as well as learning their time tables. I promised D***** I would help him once I am through working with these very needy students. I am hoping to make some time for him on Friday. D***** has currently earned an A+ with 106% in math.

Lastly I need to tell you of an incident which happened today. From what I am able to understand. Today at lunch recess D***** had a basketball and another student came to take it away. There was a struggle and D***** got mad and hit the other student. At this time the student called D***** the n word. D***** told me what had happened when I picked them up from lunch. I took both boys aside and lectured the student about the ugliness and horrible meaning associated to that word. I also let D***** know that it is not OK to use violence when he is angry. I asked the boys what they wanted to happen, and told them I recommended that they both loose recess for the next day, and write papers about what they had done and why it is wrong. D***** let me know about what your feelings are when this kind of stupidity surfaces, and as I thought about it I decided to let our assistant principal, Ms. J***** know about the incident, and get her opinion (she's African American). She decided to talk to both boys, which will happen tomorrow. D***** did come to me and said he forgave the student, and they seemed to be on friendly terms. Please let me know your opinion and any thoughts or suggestions on how you would like me to handle this if it ever happens again.

Thank you,

Mr. P

My Response

Mr. P:

I'm satisfied with what you're doing so far. What concerns me most is that every year D***** has to deal head on with a race related issue. Nay sayers try to disqualify these such events , I'm sure because they're in denial. But Mr. P, it's still very real and relevant, even in liberal California. Racial slurs are not only ugly, they're dangerous because they chip away at our children's self esteem. Based on our direct, recent, personal experiences I think that discussions need to be held with students to inform them that this type of ugliness will not be tolerated. Let them know BEFORE it occurs.

Much of racism starts in the home and much of it can be ended there. Even D***** on occasion may try to make a joke about a particular race. At these times, I consistently remind him that he does not have the right to past judgment on any race. However, if a kid's parents don't feel that way what once was a little joke, turns into a hurtful habit. And this is just the mild side of racism. I'm sure I didn't need to explain this to you, but it's a struggle keeping D***** from being converted into a bully. He feels frustrated when he has to pay consequences for what he thinks is verifiable self defense. He's learning quite early that this is being Black in America. Succeeding greatly through the injustices. I thought he would be in college or something when he first picked that up. But hey, one of the reasons I moved from the Bay Area is so that he could get a better education. I guess this meant in all things.

This is the first time anyone has EVER asked me if I think the issue has been handled properly. Thank you. I know you didn't have to.

What I Really Wanted to Say:

Every year my child has to deal with this bull@#$%! Let somebody call my baby a nigga one mo gin and I'm comin' up there to act ka-razy! I'm finna show ya'll what a nigga is.

I know we can't be the only ones in northern CA dealing with this. I haven't knit any this week.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shetland Triangle

Finally finished. Whew. It's cute, I like it. But it's not as big as I thought it would be. See the patten used 548 yards of Jaeger Cashmina, which comes 137 yds per 25 g. Is this right? Cause you were supposed to do only 8 repeats of the center panel. With my mere 370 yards (185 yards per 50g ball), I got through 11 repeats plus the edging with some left over. Oh well, yardage is yardage I guess, no matter what the weight is of the yarn.

Yarn Used: Louet Gems 100% mernio in colorway Caribou
Needles: Size 6 circular, 32 inches (this is my favorite length)

If I'm going to keep knitting lace, I've got to get me some blocking wires. :(

Princess Attire

Well, I finally found buttons for the mini Feminine Puff Sleeve Cardi. They're just little purple hearts that I forgot to get a closeup of (all pics enlarge). I wanted to post sooner but it's been rainy and overcast here and the light's not good on those days in my neutral colored home (I did that on purpose, I had no idea I'd try being an amateur photographer one day).

I like it a lot. We got this tu-tu at Walmart. It's by Danskin. I was all set to make one, I had even gotten the tulle cut. Thank God I only got 1/2 yard of each (a total of about $1.40). When going to get tights, I ran into this tu-tu in their dance wear section. Hmmm, the other Walmart nor Target had this much dance attire.

I finally finished the Shetland Triangle. It's blocking now and I'll try to get some good pictures of it. It had me angry for a minute, so I had to step away. That's when I started this....

It's going to be a little t-shirt made from the Knit-Picks merino that I tried to die with the strawberry kool-aid. Not at all the color I was going for, but it won't go to waste. I was thinking about calling it Melting Hearts or Cupid. At first the lace looked like hearts, but now I just see arrows. It's working up pretty quickly, but I had to put it down to finish those other two projects.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Getting Flowers

Today, my office mate (the two of us share one office) got flowers. She wasn't here when they arrived and I nearly burst at the seams waiting for her to return. The anticipation was fun and I suggested she guess who they were from before opening the card. "I think I may know. Oh I haven't gotten flowers in a very long time." She recently returned to her hometown in New Mexico and got acquainted with a cowboy while there. I've been teasing her ever since. Needless to say, the flowers were from that same cowboy. "Ooooooo!", I said. "He's trying to stake his claim. Everyone knows flowers attract attention." Teasing her was fun.
Now, as the day progresses, I keep looking at these f@#$%%@ flowers and realize that the last time I got flowers was from my brother on Mother's Day 3 years ago. I'm not jealous. God knows my office mate needs flowers just about as bad as I do. But damn, when are mine coming? To add insult to injury, I started thinking back to the last time a man wooed me with flowers. Turned out he wasn't worth the dirt they were grown in.

I remember clearly walking around the financial district of San Francisco. He bought me huge exotic bouquets that I would have a hard time placing somewhere safe while we ate lunch. Strangers would say stuff like, "You gotta a good one, girl." and "I'd keep him." They needed flowers too. Who knew that about 7 months later I would drop him instantly because upon discovering that he had fathered a third child, he decided that he didn't want anything to do with him but would pay child support. It was the attitude not the third child that sent me running.

It's not just flowers. My last love brought me watermelons grown carefully in the rich California soil by a Baptist preacher. Upon cracking one of these bad boys open during a family gathering at my home, that fragrant sweet smell was so overwhelming that several relatives demanded that I stop everything and summon this man so that he could bring them to the Baptist preacher so that they could get their own watermelons. He came then, but I don't get watermelons anymore.

My current life is so overwhelming that I barely have time to think about dating. If I were in a relationship he'd undoubtedly feel neglected. And these days I choose to focus more on living an abundant life that doesn't focus on wanting a man. I think I do a pretty good job. With that said. WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FLOWERS?!?!