Monday, October 01, 2007

Letting the blog go

It's a hard decision to let something go, particularly something that you wrapped yourself up in for so long. And met people. And shared interests. And laughed and cried and stormed and celebrated. FOs, UFOs, ripped, finished, blocked, etc.

Life has taken different turns for me, and something has to go. I'm still knitting. My stash is still here. And beware -- I still have many of your addresses. You might find some packages of goodies as I destash. ;)

Happy knitting, all! Thank you so much for your friendship along the way!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I promise

my blog is not de-volving into a blog-quiz only blog. Almost, but not 100%.

You Are a Mac

You are creative, stylish, and super trendy.

You demand the best - even if it costs an arm and a leg.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Knitters who love Apple

Knitting Mom Rocks!

Knitter's IPhone

Fucking Blogger won't let me post a title. Fuckers.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

for Amy

from the NYTimes:

So Much Paperwork, So Little Time
She left a long career as a stage manager to become a teacher and quickly discovered that paperwork can overwhelm the act of teaching.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tales of a Slacker's Life

Slacker WRT blogging, that is. I've been remiss in blogging -- my schedule and priorities have shifted, and something has to go with the precious time I have.

So here's a rundown of my recent schedule --

4:40 AM -- wake up
5:20 -- bike ride
6:30 -- shower, dress, kiss family goodbye
7:05 -- get in car
7:13 -- arrive train station, walk to station
7:18 -- get on train, knit during commute
8:20 -- arrive at desk, read email, skim blogs

9:00 -- coworkers arrive, start working on very stressful project
12:00 -- eat through lunch

4:30 -- run out the door to catch the train, knit during commute
5:35 -- arrive at station, get DD from daycare before the 6 pm aftercare fees kick in
6:15 -- arrive home, feed starving DD, play, read
7:15 -- start DD's bath, knit through her bath
8:15 -- say good night to DD, revisit her 2 times
8:30 -- eat dinner with DH
9:00 -- knit while vegging in front of the tv
9:30 -- clean up, get ready to do it all over again
10:00 -- face plant in bed

I'm a little obsessive about some of the details because the times are really tight. 35 min in the morning from the time I arrive home to the time I'm in the car -- that's roughly a 4 min shower, 6 min to dry my hair, 3 min to put on make up, 1 min to get breakfast, etc. Don't ask what my hair looks like. It's a good thing I'm already hitched, cause it wouldn't be happening now!

And that kind of rush just doesn't stop through the day

Thanks to Netter for bringing me out of the woodwork. I may not be posting, but I am reading (but sadly not commenting).

I see Amy has found the root of her abominable computer problems. Let's hope they clear up this next year. Get through those detested "units" so you can get to the thing you love -- writing!!

BTW, I'm sending more packages soon (of course, note that "soon" for me means in the next three months, so don't hold your breath).

Heather is sadly preparing for her husband's departure. As for TV, well, my 3-yo DD watches TV only on the weekend. She watches a lot (IMO), but only on the weekend. I'd say she watches between 1hr - 4hrs Sat & Sun each. All taped shows or movies; no actual TV. She pitches a fit after watching TV. Is whiney, cranky, and generally unpleasant. So, I limit her TV and follow up with some joint activity -- reading, playing in her room, or going outside together.

There are a slew of others I've read but missed in this post. But rest assured, I am reading!

In knitting news, I'm also knitting. Monkey socks are delighting a slew of knitters. Bells and Cara in particular gave me the bug to knit them. I loved both of their enthusiasm, and I stole Cara's picot edge. One Monkey is done, the second is CO, and then I CO for this month's STR pattern (the name escapes me). The yarn is UTTERLY DELIGHTFUL. Very ME colors! And I like the small cable twist in the pattern.

Monkey has become my "DD bath time" and "TV time" knitting. STR has become my train knitting. Both are progressing, albeit slowly.

I abandoned the ankle socks for my grandmother. I think I really dislike cotton yarn. I hate how flabby it is. I like how lightweight it is, but I intensely dislike how out of shape it gets and how it has NO negative ease at all. I *do* like KnitPicks (from Amy's package a month ago or so), as it has nylon in it (I think). But, I've put that project down, despite how quickly those socks knit up, because it's just too darned boring, produces a boring sock, and who has time to knit boring projects??

Netter tagged me for a recent meme, but I'm sitting on it for a bit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A shout out to Kim

Meet Kim. She's a lawyer in NYC who I met on the train, knitting the same exact sock pattern I was knitting!

Kim -- when I walked off the train yesterday, about 5 rows up was another knitter! I was rushing off the train and couldn't say hi, but that makes 3 of us in one car at the same time.

Talk about infiltration. Hehehe.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mostly working, some cycling, little but some knitting

It's all work right now. 110%. Full steam.

I'm knitting on the train. I'm on monkey socks. I met a fellow knitter tonight, on the train, also knitting...monkey socks! Hi Kim! I have a crummy cell pic of a great knitter and her work, which I'll post soon.

But it's all work right now. I'll be back soon.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I am such a big loser and a big freak

Knitting world, I give knitters a bad name.

You know the stereotype that knitters are homey people? Well, it's due to me.

It's 10:33 on Saturday night (darn, I missed "10:15 on a Saturday Night" by a mere 18 min...can anyone guess that song??). I'm sitting here blogging on my knitting blog about my activities.

What am I doing?

OK, admittedly I'm not knitting.

I am doing laundry. Laundry.

On a Saturday night. At 10:30 pm. While DH is having a Man's Night Out.

What kind of a loser freak am I, really?

Well, I'm practical. We have the great misfortune and fortune to live in an apartment complex. Which means I do my laundry in a public facility with two washers and two dryers. The practical side of me loves this -- I can get double the laundry done in half the time. Er, more technically, I can get double the laundry done in the same amount of time.

Anyway. Point is, I can do four load in the time it takes my single-family-home friends to do 2 loads. DD is down. DH is out. I'm not in the mood to watch a movie. I'm not in the mood to knit. I didn't get laundry done today. I was wide awake about 45 min ago. And here I sit waiting for the laundry to finish.

I hope it finishes soon. I'm tired.

At least tomorrow it's one chore down. At least.

And then I can get back to my knitting...if I ever find a pattern to suit me. Netter and Bells keep inspiring me, though. Keep those pics coming!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Working, biking, knitting

Those are my three activities right now.

Actually, I'm in a bit of a knitting funk. I'm not enjoying this sock pattern anymore, and I don't know what to switch to. I feel obligated to finish the pair for my dear grandmother, but I'm just not happy with the knit. Her feet are smaller than mine, so I'm guessing about the fit -- length and around. Maybe that's what I don't like so much.

Time to read ...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I broke 100 miles

on my bike. I did my second group ride with a large "pack" (all women) for a 25+ mile ride (including the 2 mi round-trip ride from my house to the starting point). It took 2 hours and I was exhausted all day as a result, but it was great while doing it. It helps riding with a group of others -- there's no way I'm walking my bike up a hill while the rest look down at me from the top, having ridden there. Even if I was in the lowest gear and going so slow my bike almost fell over, I didn't walk it up.

And so I indulged in a slightly larger dinner than normal, and I try to justify it by the ride, but really, I should eat NORMAL portions while exercising. I need to lose these saddle bags.

On the knitting front, I accidentally left my knitting at work on friday! Can you believe that! And so I've discovered yet another joy of the stash and extra needles: you can start a project anytime. ;) I CO for another pair of anklet socks using the KnitPicks yarn Amy sent awhile back. I think I like the KnitPicks better than cotton (Online, specifically, though I think it's cotton in general). It's more springy and sproingy, as Tigger would say (yes, Tigger as in Winnie the Pooh's Tigger). I don't like how cotton gets stretched out and doesn't spring back.

We're taking a family bike ride tomorrow, so I'd better get some sleep. Luckily it will be shorter than today's, but I'll be lugging an extra 27 lbs on my rear tire.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

9.5 more miles down

I got up at 4:50 AM this morning EXCITED about my bike ride. I went 9.5 miles in 45 min -- which is really SUCKY time (about 12 mph or 5 min per mile), but I'm still happy I did it. I even went to bed last night nearly giddy about the ride. It's really fun, and the morning is beautiful.

I finished a sock! Boy, anklets are easy to knit. I'm not so happy with how loose the sock is, especially the heel and ankle. I'll probably rip and reknit it a bit tighter.

Work is really really really busy, so I'm dashing.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Me! I'm a whopping 34 years old today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I did it!

Day 2 of working out at home, not just on vacation! Today I did the second half of yesterday's weight routine -- lower body. Funny thing is that at my peak fitness, I would do this particular video twice in a row. I'd add sets. I'd up the weight. Today I did the video as designed with minimal weights, and I'm about to fall over my legs are so shakey. So goes the flubbery. ;)

I will *happily* post DD's feet in her socks! Both pairs! Maybe pairs mixed: one on one foot and another on the other.

So far the online sock yarn in this bobby sock/anklet is knitting up big on my 2.5mm needles. I'll keep this pair for myself and knit my DGM (dear Grandma) a trimmer pair on 1mm (she wears a narrow sock/shoe). I've been wanting to use the 1mm needles since I bought them last year and haven't yet, so this will be good. I actually LOVE the small needles. 4mm feel like tree branches in my hands. LOL.

OK, back to work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My daughter is forever the apple of my eye

because tonight she yelled out to me at the top of her lungs that her "feet are cold and [she] needs her rainbow socks!!!!" Meaning her handknit socks in Netter's Cake yarn. The rainbow socks are dirty, so I put on her new STR that I finished yesterday. Just in the nick of time. Now I have to come up with a name for them.

Weekend high

I'm living off my weekend high. I'm at work, and I know the seconds are ticking down before I have to return to real life. But DH, DD, and I had a terrific holiday weekend, and I'm living off every second of its memory that I can. Here are some highlights:

* DH and I biked about 52 miles all weekend. I love my new bike -- it's FUN. There's nothing WORK about getting a bike workout. It really did feel like the equivalent of playing a game or having fun. I'm sad I'm not on the bike now. ;) And for a beginner rider, I can't believe I biked that many miles and didn't collapse!! Can you believe it? 52 miles!! Go me! (This picture is of DH on his bike, not of me. It's a crummy cell picture, but it conveys the spirit all the same.)

* I enjoyed getting some much-needed activity so much this weekend I actually did workout this morning. It was only 30' of upper body strength, but I did it and feel great. I plan to a modest 30' lower body strength workout tomorrow morning, and maybe a bike ride the morning after. We'll see.

* I have an FO from this weekend and another FO to report that I finished just prior to the weekend. I knit some jaywalkers for my sister, and I knit DD some toe-up socks in simple rib with the remaining yarn. I had about 12" of yarn left over after DD's socks; I'm glad I knit them toe-up. I also tried a new heel -- a traditional eye of partridge heel on a toe-up sock. It worked great and looks fabulous (I much prefer the traditional heel with a gusset over a short-row heel). The only tricky part is the math -- with a short row heel, I don't have to think at all. But with a gusset, I have to think and do the math. Luckily I found instructions that used the same exact number of stitches I used for my sock, but I won't be that lucky in the future. I need ot play around with it, but I'm not good at manipulating the numbers. I'm good at math; I just lack confidence in my ability to translate my math to knitting that actually fits. ;)

* I got some great new yarn this weekend with a gift certificate from my mom. I picked up 2 skeins of Trekking sock yarn and 2 (or 3?) skeins of Online Supersocke Beach yarn, a cotton sock yarn that I have a new love for. I CO for a pair of ankle socks for my grandmother. She has very hot feet and tends not to wear socks, but she likes little cotton socks that have the pompom on the backs. This yarn is perfect for her in so many ways: it creates a light fabric that doesn't seem hot at all; it's beach colors (she lives 3 miles from the beach); and it'll make a great addition to her regular socks.

OK, I have to get back to reality. I *do so* want to hold on to the sense of balance I have from this weekend. I know it's fleeting and allusive, but I love how I feel. Wish this feeling was the norm and not the exception. I'll see if -- just for this week -- I can make it the norm. I'll have to set some boundaries with work, which I'm not good at doing, but I *should* do it.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

For fun
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Let's hope there's at least one person in the country with my name, or else I don't exist. Now there's a concept for solving my work stress.... ~grin~
Onward with the meme. I think I'm up to number 2.

2. I love music but never buy my own music. I mooch off of others. Always have, ever since middle school when I really discovered music for the first time. It started because I was a kid and never had any money to buy music, so I'd just tape the cassettes my friends had. In college a guy I dated (for a long time, the "first" guy) accused me of dating him to get music from him. Which wasn't really true. Only partially true. I dated him because I liked him up until the point that he got annoying. Then I did date him for music (he worked at a radio station), but I dumped him quickly after that. So it doesn't really count, does it? ;)

3. It freaks me out to take pictures of DD naked. My parents have all these cute butt pictures of me when i was a baby (because my current butt pictures sure aren't cute). But maybe because of the internet or the general uptightness of our society, I feel really weird taking pictures of DD when she's naked. Tonight she got a package from my sister that had styrofoam peanuts in it. She LOVES the peanuts and will strip, climb into the box with the peanuts, and play *literally* for over an hour by herself. So she did tonight. And I took a few pics of her naked, but I felt really weird doing it. All of them were butt shots; no front shots. But still, I felt somehow bad doing it, as if I was a pervert.

Why oh why are baby butts so cute? Really now, they're just so cute. Maybe because they have no dimples. Or hair. Or warts or anything else on them. They're just cute.

OK, really, I don't have a butt fetish.

I'm on the internet; I shouldn't joke about such things. But it is all one big joke.


OK, I'm out of meme stuff. Really. I'm really boring. I swear.

Work today was so-so. Not as bad as I expected, but I am so wound up I'm about to break. I really need to rediscover exercise to slough off the day's irritations. I've been drinking a lot more (a lot more as in two beers a night, not a 6-pack in the parking lot of work at 7 AM as my ex-stepfather used to do). Anyway, it's summer. I need to get out and enjoy the pretty weather instead of simmer and suffer in my misery.

eh, maybe tomorrow.... ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I wanna play with ...

So those of you with kiddies I'm sure can relate to this post. I'm tired. I have chores to do before going to bed. I have to get up early, and I was home from work very late tonight. But I have to post this.

Last night was "my night" taking care of DD. She'll be 3 in July, so she's getting to be a big girl. After playing last night, DD asked to take a bath (a rare thing). She started it a full hour before bedtime, so she had plenty of time to play.

While in her bath, DH came home. He joined us in the bathroom for a little family bonding time. What family hasn't corralled around the toilet for a little update about the day? So it goes with our family.

Anyway, DH and I are chatting while DD takes her bath, all of us in the bathroom, mind you. When DH looks at DD and stops talking. Then I quickly look over, and she's pooping in the tub! A full out grunt. Red faced, squatting, grunting girl.

Swoop comes mom, lifts her out, but not before a little nugget falls in the water. Plop. Just as if it were toilet water.

DD did finish the job in the proper place, thankfully, but we still had the little nugget to contend with. However, DD had different plans ... off the toilet she slides and starts to climb back in the tub because

"I wanna play with the poop, Mommy!"

Loudly. I bet our neighbors heard it.

She did not play with the poop. She brushed her teeth and read stories in bed, instead. And I got to scoop the poop out with a trash bag over my hand.

Anyway, I am so stressed about my work right now that I have the awful OCD hand-to-mouth disease. I have the most delicious trail mix that is calling my name, and I'm resisting it. I had enough to day. At least it's not M&Ms or other such delights. Really, it's not about the food. It's about shoving something in my mouth to quell the awful anxiety I have about work. This is my 9th week in the job, and this morning I dreamt my boss detested me. I dreamt he viciously hated me and was out to get me at every turn. I think there's a little anxiety there.

I know the meme is going around, and Cathy pinged me for it. A few of the posts have prompted me to think about similar situations in my own life, so here goes...

  • I only failed one course in my life, and it was high school typing. Cathy made it through hers, but I decided to play chess every day of typing class instead of learning how to type. I would make a chess board on notebook paper and would make my own pieces out of little notebook paper circles. A friend and I would play. Currently I'm a pretty fast typer. I actually haven't met a person who can type faster than I can. But I certainly didn't get it from typing class.

  • I swear I have the most boring life in the world. I can't think of another thing to write, and the clock is ticking.

    Can I complete the meme over several posts??? ;)

    Back later.
  • Friday, May 18, 2007


    I couldn't come up with a better title.

    It's been a long time since I posted. Sorry to be gone so long ... I've been really wrapped up in work. I have had good knitting progress; I just haven't had much time to post or even read. This weekend should be a nice time to catch up.

    I'm a bit diverted at the moment by some ice cream that is calling my name. So, I'll post more tomorrow after I enjoy. ;)

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Dear Mrs. Henshaw

    Yesterday I had the strangest call of my entire life. I noticed around 2 or so that someone had called my cell. They didn't leave a message, and I didn't recognize the number at all. I quickly forgot about it.

    Later in the day as I was getting on the train at 5, my cell rang. It was the same number. I thought twice about answering; if I don't recognize the number, I normally just skip it. I'm even not opposed to letting the phone go to VM for numbers I do recognize -- even for family members. However, I decided to answer.

    I normally answer, "Hello, this is Rae" because I'm in work-mode, but because I didn't recognize the number, I just said, "Hello." A woman's voice came though, but she was hard to hear. Her first words also threw me -- when you say, "Hello" to someone calling you, you expect a "Hello, this is so-and-so" or something like that. But, she didn't start out that way. And, the train was loud, it was a cell connection (even the good ones suck), and her voice was thin and wiry.

    MH: Do you know Tim Her..s,e....?

    Me: What? Hello?

    MH: Do you know Heck Twimekw...?

    Me: Sorry. I think you have the wrong number.

    MH: Chuck Henw.eere.w.e?

    Me: Tim Hecksun?


    Me: Um, Chuck. Chuck. Um, no. Don't think so. You have the wrong number.

    MH: NO, I don't think I do. Chuck Henshaw. Your number was in his cell phone. He's called you and you have called him. You must know him.

    Me: Look lady, I don't know Chuck Henshaw. I don't know what you're talking about.

    MH: I think you do know what I'm talking about. Your number is in his cell.

    Me: Are you sure you dialed the right number? I don't know this guy.

    MH: Oh, I'm sure I did. You know him. Your number is here in his phone. He lives in Virginia?

    Me: I don't live in Virginia. I don't know who you're talking about.

    MH: Well, you should know he's married. Has a wife, kids. You should stay away.

    Me: LOOK Lady! I don't know what's up, but I don't know who this guy is. I'm happily married, monogamous, have a family. I don't even live in Virginia.

    MH: Yeah, uh-huh.

    Me: I'm telling you lady, you have the wrong person. I don't know how my number got in his phone, but I've never talked to a Chuck Henshaw in my life.

    MH: Well, just stay away.

    Me: Good luck, lady. You have a lot to work out. Good luck.


    I don't know how long our exchange ... I can't call it a conversation ... went on. Not long. But long enough for 20 questions, growing defensiveness, and weirdness.

    Interesting about my own reaction to this. As I write this about 14 hours later, I'm shaking. Isn't that weird? I guess I feel somehow attacked -- and wrongly so -- so my body has some adrenaline going through it. But I'm completely innocent of her accusations, so I shouldn't be upset.

    This particular reaction aside, I had two post-call responses:

    1. Snarky
    Oh Chuck?!? How is he? Hey, did that bout of herpes clear up for him?

    Oh Chuck?!? That smarmy-ass dude? Geez lady, you should run as fast as you can.

    Chuck. Chuck. Oh yeah, I remember. He has the best dick in town.

    Chuck? Yeah! Hey, is he coming back to the Swingers Club anytime soon? Don and Mike were asking about him. They miss our foursome.

    2. Compassionate
    Wait lady, calm down a bit. Honestly, I don't know who your husband is, but I am so sorry you're going through this. This is a horrible thing to deal with, and I am so sorry -- from one human to another -- that you are wrestling with these horrible happenings.

    Listen, you really need to take this up with him. His phone might be filled with a slew of other women's numbers, and you can call each one. But what's the point of calling them? The issue is with your husband, not with them. Deal with him and with yourself and leave the others to figure it out on their own. What do you care about them? Focus on him and on working this out.

    ...And this morning I have my own thoughts.

    I think affairs spell a crisis not only in the life of a marriage but also in each individual's life. I can't think of an instance when an affair isn't about the marriage and BOTH spouses. The adulterer can say it's all about him or her, that it has nothing to do with the spouse, etc, but it undeniably has everything to do with the spouse. Maybe a person can be truly troubled, in which case an affair might not have anything to do with a spouse - the person has a real mental problem. Or they have a different definition of marriage than others. But I really think that scenario is rare.

    If a marriage is truly functioning -- if both people are fulfilled, have the individual space they need (which varies for each person), are fulfilled in the balance between work and home, have a fulfilling romantic life along with a fulfilling friendship, then why would one spouse have an affair? What need would compel them to seek the company of someone outside the marriage?

    Unless it were an agreement between the couple (in which case an affair wouldn't be a problem), I can't see how an affair is just about one person.

    And when it does happen, it marks a tremendous rift in everyone's life. A time when your guts open up and are ripped from your body by an outstretched, groping, yearning hand in search for something it doesn't have. It's a time when you must confront yourself in the mirror and find out who you are. A time when you find out what you are made of, what motivates you, what scares you, what angers you. You spend weeks, months figuring out all the things that have made you into the awful, deceitful, cunning, lying, cheating, slug that you are. You dredge the depths of your soul to surface all the rotting, evil, festering garbage that has cluttered your mind, being, life, and you lay it all out to bear.

    And then, if you are strong enough and lucky enough, you start to fix it. You let the rot decay completely. You air it. You let the sun dry it out and the wind flake it away. And you start to replace the rot with things that are good. Like a scab that starts to unpeel, you expose raw, sensitive, but new parts of you underneath. Parts of you that impact who you are at home, at work, with your kids, with your friends, with your foes. You find your compassion, humility, humanity. You find your voice has changed, your posture has changed, your chest has changed. You're not as puffed up. You're not as defensive. You don't walk around with a chip on your shoulder, with your armor up.

    Instead, you're like the fresh green shoots that rise up from the shit patties left in a barren field. Shoots that are tender and wet with dew. That can be crushed in an instance.

    And you wonder how you can operate so fresh and green and raw. How can you make it in the monster workplace where you're foes outnumber your friends and will eat you for a mid-morning snack?

    You let them eat you...for a time.

    Because you have to lose that sense of invincibility and of righteousness that affairs bring. You have to give up that anger that precedes the affair, the anger about your marriage, your spouse, your kids, your life, yourself.

    And if you're lucky ... if you are so undeservedly lucky, but lucky all the same, then your spouse is going through all of this with you. With you, against you, in opposition to you, hating you, and loving you all the same. And you both emerge scathed and scarred but stronger.

    Mrs. Henshaw, I am so sorry for the pain you're feeling. With all sincerity, good luck.

    Monday, May 07, 2007

    Calling all moms

    Do you get your toddler's hair cut at a salon or do you cut it yourself?

    When DH convinced me to cut DD's hair for the first time, I decided to do it myself.

    Clarification: I decided DH and I would do it, particularly after I noticed that my cut was WAY crooked. DH did an excellent job of evening it up. It actually looked so pretty. But then I found one little spot that I said, "Just a nip there," and 20 min later she had been butchered.

    So, this last time we decided to take her to a kids cuts place. You know, one of those places that spells the words wrong, like Kidz Kutz. Makes me think "Klutz" which was my dad's nickname for me. Anyhoo, it has seats out of kids toys (DD sat in the Barbie car). They play videos for the kids. It's completely kid-themed.

    At $20 for the cut I thought it a little expensive, but I figured all those toys had to add up, even if they did look like they were bought from a dumpster diver's yard sale. Anyway, DD got her first real haircut (and I, the slacker parent, have no pics of it to show you).

    Anyway, she got the do. We paid. And then she had ice cream.

    But I noticed her hair was crooked. Her bangs were crooked. The back was obviously crooked, as in there was a noticeable "corner" in her hair where one angle went one way only to be met by a severe alternate angle going another way.


    DH saved the day by saying, "Well, we paid $20 to learn how to cut her hair ourselves. Dora! to the rescue."

    Cursed yarn


    I swear this STR yarn is cursed. I've tried to knit it maybe 5 times and have ripped each time. Then I cast on for a toe-up jaywalker. The toe-up part is working perfectly. I made ONE mistake by not slipping the st next to the kfb, but that's forgivable.

    The problem, you ask?


    And not only that, but I'm halfway through the second sock before I realized the first was too small. I didn't try it on before CO for the second. Tonight I finished the heel and up to the ankle of the second sock. I tried it on for fit, and it seemed a bit looser than the first. So I took the first off the stitch holders onto some dormant circs and ... it was so tight it was as if I was trying to shove my fat ass into my old size 8s. It wasn't happening. At least not without some major damage to the sock or my foot.

    Poof. Phooey! All that knitting. WAAAHHHH.

    OK, whine over. Time to get back to it. Interestingly, I think it's a gauge thing. The second sock really does seem to fit fine. In fact, the foot is actually a little big around. But the first sock is tight. Tight tight tight. Maybe I'll continue on the second and rip the first when I'm done. Who doesn't like a little extra knitting practice. ;) It is, after all, train knitting.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Knitting opinions!

    Knittech asked if I could comment on translating a top-down sock into a toe-up sock. I'll happily explain my logic, but there are a lot of disclaimers!

    I've knit 6 pairs of socks in my life. 4 top-down, 2 toe-up. I'm certainly no expert! I don't know if I would try to knit a top-down sock in reverse (toe-up) if I hadn't yet knit the sock the way it was supposed to be knit. Maybe I'll try it one day, but I'm not confident enough yet to try to revise a pattern without first knitting it the way it was written.

    For some reason, I resisted learning toe-up for a very long time. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, which gets me in trouble. If I think that something is hard, or if I think I'll make mistakes, then I'm likely to skip trying all together because I hate failure. That's the down side of being a perfectionist.

    BUT, I found two great resources to help me learn toe-up:

    First, the provisional cast-on. The written instructions just didn't cut it for me. I kept trying it, only to really mess it up. Finally, I found this video ( I watched it over and over and over again. Then I grabbed my materials and worked while watching the video, pausing it, replaying it, rewinding, etc. It was magic! Now I can do a provisional CO in my sleep, and I love it. I don't need any instructions at all.

    Next I learned the toe-up knitting method using these instructions (pdf) ( These were so helpful!

    I admit that I knit and ripped the toe about 5 times before actually continuing with the sock pattern. It was fun! and I really liked how easy it was. Again, I can now do it in my sleep!!

    So, armed with those basics, I knit two pairs of simple ribbed socks. As I knit, I realized that I like the how easy toe-up socks are, but I didn't want to be restricted to patterns that only provided toe-up. There were lots of top-down socks that I wanted to knit even though I wanted to use the toe-up method.

    So, I started with a top-down pattern that I knew -- Jaywalkers. The pattern is so easy. I knew that the bottom of the foot needed to be St st, and the top of the foot needed to be in pattern. I knew I could do a heel easily, and then the leg would be in pattern all the way around. I also agree with Grumperina that it's best to add a few rows to the heel so that it doesn't look stubby. (I can't find the exact post she made or else I'd link to it.)

    Anyway, I need to experiment with other patterns, ones that are more lacy. Again, I think if there's not calf shaping, it should be relatively easy to knit the pattern. My thought is to simply knit the lace pattern as written -- if there are 10 rows in the lace pattern, I would start with row 1 and work to row 10 even though I was going UP the sock instead of down the sock. Does that make sense? The lace would simply be in reverse (vertically).

    I look forward to experimenting!!

    Oh, and a couple of personal opinions about toe-up socks.

    First, even though toe-up are so easy to knit, I actually like the look of top-down heels with heel flaps. I think they're more visually appealing. Toe-up socks are straight St st and are rather boring to look at.

    Also, I like the more technical aspects of a heel flap. I like picking up stitches along the gusset. I like knitting eye of partridge heels. I like counting and short rows. However, toe-up socks (and heels) let me leave the instructions at home and carry less stuff with me on the train.

    Finally, the real cincher with toe-up socks I that I don't have to know EXACTLY how much yarn I have for the sock. I'm not very good at measuring and calculating yardage & need. I've tried, but it ends up being a guessing game for me, and I feel foolish trying to figure out how many yards I need for two socks. With toe-up, I can knit until I'm halfway through the yarn and stop. I've knit the essential part, the foot, and the leg length can be as long or short as the yarn will allow. With toe-up, I don't have the problem of top down where I realize I'm halfway through my yarn but still have 2 more inches to knit for the toes.

    Sunday, April 29, 2007

    I'm scared, or this is why I don't have in-person friends...

    I added Bells to my blog list. We have nice little community going: Julie, Amy, Bells, Netter, Needletart (what's her real name? someone must know). And others (I'm not meaning to exclude anyone).

    the list is growing into a nice little bundle. Part of me wishes we could get together in person. What a nice S&B we'd have, what with Amy's colorful stories and my dead-pan humor (few people ever recognize when I'm actually joking; I'm queen of deadpan).

    Anyway, the problem is that my list is growing (yes, this is a problem). I have X hours of the day to read blogs (rather, read "minutes," not hours). It's hard maintaining a relationship. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes devotion and love and fuel and adoration. My college advisor (who would be fired if the university knew the kinds of things I learned from, no, not sexual but definitely illicit) would wax forever about how difficult it was to maintain friendships. He equated friendships to love relationships (he was monogamous as far as I know; I love and adore his wife). But his point was that friends take energy just as your mate takes energy. It takes time and attention and focus to maintain friendships. Which is why I have so few.

    I have that for each of the bloggers in my sidebar. But oh my oh my oh my, I don't have that much time to grow the list, even if I'd like to!

    This post has no real point except to say I like the little community I share with all of you. If I don't comment or post or reach out as much as I should, it's not because I don't think about you. It's just too darned hard to maintain that relationship.

    Thank goodness for marital monogamy. Blog monogamy is an oxymoron, but really, I have to cap it. ;)


    Saturday, April 28, 2007

    Eye Candy

    I finally have some eye candy, captured before the camera battery died (and now I need to plug in the laptop before the laptop moment, please)...

    OK, back in business.

    So eye candy. Long, overdue eye candy. If this were real candy, it'd be moldy and rancid, but luckily it's just eye candy...or cake.

    Here, in luscious yarn and sweet colors are Cake Walk Socks and Cake Walk Jr Socks. Netter, I have to say that I thought this yarn was the softest yarn I had ever knit with, but then I washed the socks. The result was yarn so soft it made my mouth drop. Along with the colors making me drool, that's not such a great combination (I had to sop up the spittle from the floor, but luckily we have hardwood floors).

    Anyway, DD won't take these off her feet. In fact, I haven't washed them yet because she won't take them off. I ended up having enough yarn for all pairs, but I topped Cake Walk Jr with a perfect purple from Amy 1) because I wasn't sure I'd have enough yarn, and 2) DD loves purple. The purple yarn matches almost perfectly; it's dark in just a few places, but otherwise it's a perfect match.

    These are also my first toe-up socks, and I have fallen in love with toe-up socks. I don't know why, but I have. In fact, I love toe-up so much that I'm playing with taking leg-down socks and knitting them in reverse. I'm trying it with jaywalkers first, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work with other socks also. You just have to play around with the heel and toe, but otherwise, it's pretty straightforward. The only time I think it would be problematic is if you knit knee socks with decreases and increases along the calf. But it could be figured out, I'm sure.

    I also owe tribute to Amy for her happy package that came when I was sick and brought a little sunshine into my day. Here is the full stash (sorry for the dark picture) -- more than I ever expected. There's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Trip yarn (or tie dye) along with bits and pieces of solids. There are two full skeins, "unopened" of Lorna's Laces, and the purple is also Lorna's. And the crowning jewel is the Sock book! I can't wait to dive in and get my hands on some of these patterns. Pure delight.

    And, because I'm behind in my posts and pictures, and because it's my blog, a little out-dated DD and DH eye candy. Happy day.

    Thursday, April 26, 2007


    Thanks for all your suggestions. I decided to rip and try the jaywalkers. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Heidi, STR is Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fibers. It's one of my favorite yarns, though it's thicker than others (like Lorna Laces), so you have to pick carefully.

    I actually cast on for the smallest JayWalker size on size 2.0 mm needles (smaller needles than the pattern calls for). The cuff seems big, but then again I know that the cuff shrinks as you knit further down the sock. So, I'm going to continue and see how they turn out. I knit a pair of jaywalkers for my mom using Schaeffer (sp?) yarn, and they were slightly too small for me. So, maybe the thicker STR yarn and resulting slightly larger sock will work.

    I'm actually posting from work! I think I'm easing into the job and feeling more comfortable taking a minute or two to do some personal things.

    As an aside, we're on a really tight project and had the vendor in town for 3 days. So, I had a series of really long days and no personal time. Now that they're gone, I'm feeling more relaxed (and now have spring fever in the worst way, which is really bad when you're on a behind-schedule project).

    Glad to be (somewhat) back!!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007



    I picked up the needles yesterday on the train after a long time of not knitting (I finished DD's socks, which she wears DAILY!, but I haven't picked up the needles since). I cast on to make Nancy Bush's Child's Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks (love the book) using a STR yarn I've had for almost a year and that I absolutely LOVE.

    I'm about 3" into the sock, and the yarn is pooling BADLY! As in, there's NO striping whatsoever. It's big oil spill pools of color that are pooling through the fabric.

    I HATE pooling!

    The question I have is ...

    * if I switch to smaller needles, would that really impact the pooling? It's seriously so bad, that I think knitting this pattern even on smaller (or larger) needles won't fix it.

    * do I have to make a smaller sock? Really, a larger sock would work for a man. I'm not even sure this sock will fit me right. But a smaller sock might make the striping work. Thing is, I LOVE this yarn. A smaller sock would be for DD, and while I love her and will go to the ends of the earth for her, I'm a selfish, hoarding person. ;) Seriously, I have wanted this yarn for myself for the past year, have knit it several times, only to rip and wait for the right pattern. I'm a bit frustrated with it. Maybe it's the yarn -- maybe it just won't work for my sized socks.

    Any thoughts??

    PS - HOW DOES YH get such pretty stripes!!!! ARGH!!!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Woefully behind

    on all my blogging, reading, knitting, etc.

    12 hour days.

    Should come to an end soon.

    Missing my knitting friends. I'll be back soon!!

    Saturday, April 14, 2007

    OK, OK, UNCLE!

    as in "Amy! Call off the Goddess. Please, Call. Off. THE. GODDESS!!!!"

    Amy's Goddess let me recover enough from food poisoning last Sunday to then enjoy a new illness starting Tuesday afternoon -- a pretty dreadful upper respiratory infection that at the moment doesn't seem to be responding to antibiotics. Luckily my three-day 102F fever is gone, but I'm feeling dreadful.

    Here are a few of ironies with these illnesses --

    1. Appetite and hunger.
    I've lost both my appetite and my sense of hunger. I actually can't really feel any hunger pains at all. I thought it was just the food poisoning, but now I don't know. Maybe it's the meds for this infection.

    Why ironic?

    Well what woman wouldn't want to lose her appetite?? Me, who has a secret "binge monster" who has to be kept at bay. Me, who has battled a voluptuous hind-end all my life. Me, who can eat at the drop of a hat even if I've just ate.

    But you know, it has some awful side-effects. Chronic low blood sugar is painful. It gives me the shakes. It makes my eyeballs hurt with an intense eye strain feeling (yup, I've traced it down to food). I get dizzy! Dizzy!! It's not fun.

    2. Sleep.
    I want to do nothing but sleep. I've probably slept more in the last few days than I have in the last two months combined. (OK, I haven't lost my sense of hyperbole.) I sleep for hours on end and wake up exhausted. Maybe I'm sleeping too much, and I probably do need to get some exercise (as in walking outside the house, not as in whipping out my dusty Jane Fonda rip-off vids). But I can barely walk from my bedroom to the kitchen much less do anything else, so I'm at a bit of a loss about how to get it back to normal.

    Ironic? Yup. Remember, I'm the sleep queen. I love to sleep. Love it, love it, love it. But right now I hate it. I can't seem to do anything but sleep yet I can't get enough.

    3. Spare time.
    I have a lot of spare time. DH is caring for DD pretty constantly. I suspect this will result in a few months of marriage counseling because DH has had to take on the full burden of child rearing (joke). I canceled my trip to my sister's this weekend (a 4-day trip) and had all day Friday off. I have tons of free time, but I'm too sick to do anything. Even knit. Even read. Even watch tv. Yup, I haven't watched any tv through this. I've just been in bed.

    Irony? Well who doesn't want free time? Who doesn't want some time away from the kiddies? Time free from others to just do what you want? But it's really only enjoyable when you can do what you want. Lying in bed in pain is not something I want to do with my free time.

    And not only that, it's only fun when others aren't having MORE fun than you. DH took DD to the circus today, and I couldn't possibly go. I've been horizontal since they left, and I'm only now vertical (3 hours later). This is DD's first trip to the circus, and it's killing me I can't be there with her and DH.

    Now I'm pouting. ;(

    I could probably come up with some more, but I'm doing pretty good getting this much out. I'm way behind on knitting news and thanks to the wonderful, colorful, generous community around me. I'm behind on pics. My blog has become a space for whining and moaning, not knitting. And yet it's ONLY supposed to be about things purled, knitted, etc etc.

    So, here's some belated knitty news --

    * I am *so remiss* in posting pics of Cake Walk, but I had enough left over to make a matching pair for DD. So mom and daughter will actually have something that matches. Well, almost. I wasn't sure I'd have exactly enough for two socks for DD, so I topped the socks with purple. Most of the variagated purple yarn matches *perfectly* and it's only too dark in a couple of places.

    So, I owe Netter pics of two pairs of socks and WAY LONG OVERDUE package of thanks. I may be late, but I won't miss sending it all together. So sorry, Netter!

    * I am also *so remiss* in thanking Amy for her luscious package! In fact, I have an horrible admission -- the package arrived when I was getting sick. I wrote Amy to thank her for the package but I hadn't actually opened the package when I wrote her. Shame on me. My thanks *was* heartfelt, but I didn't know just how generous she had been. I owe her and the blog pics of the spoils. I was planning to take all pics today, but today is worse than yesterday, so I'm happy just posting.

    In any case, Amy deserves a huge thank you for delicious sock yarn, enough to go in a blanket or to make cute socks for DD and baby friends. In fact, the purple yarn I used in DD's Cake Walk socks came from Amy. Yup, I cast on before I could grab a pic of the stash, so I will include the socks with the pics.

    But it doesn't stop there. Amy also sent a copy of More Sensational Knitted Socks! I have been craving new sock books for months, and Amy was kind enough to indulge. I can't wait to try the patterns, and I can't wait to learn how to make alterations to the socks. I've fallen in love with toe-up socks and can now knit simple ribbed socks without a pattern. But this will really help me learn how to make some neat socks. Thank you, Amy! I am so sorry for taking so long to thank you.

    OK, I'm off to go rest. I'm actually drinking a diet coke. Hopefully the fizz will help my stomach, and the caffeine will help my head. We'll see.

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    You Are 76% Abnormal

    You are at medium risk for being a psychopath. It is somewhat likely that you have no soul.

    You are at high risk for having a borderline personality. It is very likely that you are a chaotic mess.

    You are at high risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is very likely that you are in love with your own reflection.

    You are at high risk for having a social phobia. It is very likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

    You are at medium risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is somewhat likely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    Thanks Knittech

    Your Deadly Sins

    Lust: 80%

    Gluttony: 60%

    Greed: 60%

    Pride: 60%

    Wrath: 60%

    Envy: 40%

    Sloth: 40%

    Chance You'll Go to Hell: 57%

    You'll die from overexertion. *wink*

    Things your child should never say to you

    "Mommy, big girls poop on the trash can?"

    "No, sweetheart. Sick girls poop on the trash can when Daddy is sick in our only bathroom."

    It was not a fun weekend. Of course, we're recovering now that it's time to go back to work. Waaaaaaaa ;(

    Luckily DD didn't get the food poisoning that DH and I did. We think it came from some uncooked green onions. We're eating a lot of processed foods now and avoiding fresh veggies for awhile. Those slimy bacteria are better outside of my body, not in it. I don't recommend having Gatorade as your day's only meal. It's not a meal replacement.

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    I love my bed

    When DH and I were first together and just SOs (significant others), we joked that the only reason I was with him was for the queen sized bed. I earned the nickname "Sleep Queen" because I LOVE the bed. Love it, love it, love it. And with our brand new mattress, going to bed feels like falling in a creamy pool of chocolate mousse. It's glorious, delicious, dreamy, and just utterly engulfing.

    A good night's sleep will do wonders. That along with a lot of hard thinking and self-coaching. I went to bed last night and woke up this morning thinking that the angst and self doubt I felt at 5 pm yesterday needs to be replaced with a skin of steel and the power of an army tank.

    I've also come to realize that any new job is hard because I have no context. Particularly, I have no notion of the history of the projects, the work, the people, the issues, the struggles, etc. In my current job, I have no idea of the history of this project I'm on. I don't know what came before or what is coming after. On top of that, I have NO FRIGGIN IDEA of the domain to begin with.

    So, I am forgiving myself of any errors or slowness or density I seem to have at work. I hope my boss and coworkers will forgive me, too, but that's their problem, not mine (at least at the moment).

    What I really need to focus on right now is coaching myself into not taking barbs personally, even if they're meant that way. I need to be a man: turn the tables and point out how the asshats contributed to the current situation. I will accept blame when it's deserved, but rarely are errors ONE person's fault. It's a collective development.

    Thanks everyone for your encouragement! It's so interesting to me how virtual support can go a long way. Thanks Amy for the appropriate label (asshats -- ROTFL), and thanks everyone for the perspective.

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Not into knitting

    Uh oh. I knew it would happen -- I'm out of knitting right now.

    "Out of knitting" means two days. For the past two days I've worked on the train and at night; I've not knit. Work is heating up, and I'm feeling lost. It feels like my boss and coworkers are looking at me like, "Produce or get out. We hired you in at a senior level. Don't you know what you're doing? Do it. As Nike says, 'Just do it.' But do it NOW."

    And me? Well, I *do* know what I'm doing. I *am not* entry level. I don't know if I'm old enough to be senior, but it is in my title, after all. And I earned that senior title, not just because of years but because of experience.

    I feel defensive. I have excuses. But not just excuses...I have responses.

    - I don't know this domain.
    - The previous work is really fragmented. The entire structure is fragmented. I can work with that, but I need to know the parameters.
    - I came in and my boss "oriented me" to X. Come to find out, I'm producing Y! I didn't discover that until LAST FRIDAY! My final work is due NEXT FRIDAY! No one told me that until TODAY! And I asked that question my first week!

    I'm NOT a finger-pointer! I don't look for scape goats. When it comes to my mistakes, I call a spade a spade. Think of all the similar cliches, and I use them, especially when it comes to blaming myself. But, I don't accept blame where blame isn't due.

    It's hard to determine that sometimes, and even hard to get others (particularly those in the seat opposite you) to accept it.

    Anyway, work is my focus. I knew it would happen. I've blogged about it before. How do you have a full-time, engaging, demanding career, kids, a household, pets, a life AND blog AND knit all at the same time? I dunno. I haven't figured it out.

    But right now, wireframes are my knitting. Sorry guys. I'll be back...probably in a day or so.

    As for knitty news, I finished Cake Walk and am waiting for some sun (and free time) to take pics. BTW, Amy and all you Southerners and West Coasters, we have fucking snow today. Fucking SNOW! Anyway, that's not knitty. I finished Cake Walk Socks and wore them. I started a matching companion pair for DD.

    Lost reruns are on, and I'm drinking beer instead of knitting. Decompression.

    Saturday, March 31, 2007

    Hm, what if!!

    So the sock blanket *is* a mitred square blanket, just like the one in M-D knitting I admired and seriously considered last night, and just like the one Cara's (January One) kicking ass on.

    One big topic is weaving in all those ends.

    And I admit that's one of my big issues. And also joining together all those drasted squares. On the one hand I like the portability of little squares. On the other, they're a pain.

    Which led me to think about log cabin blankets. Quick little squares (so you feel like you're making progress), but they're joined together by picking up the stitches along the edges, which makes for fewer ends and far less seaming. BUT, you get a big bulky blanket at some point which is crap to lug around on the packed train.

    Which is leading me to think about a middle ground between the two -- what if, using sock yarn, I made mitred square strips using a pick-up stitch method along the end of one. I really don't know if it will work -- I've never knit a mitred square, but I feel a project coming on tonight. I'll let you know. I'm thinking it will bomb because I *think* you CO x stitches for the mitred square and each side of the square ends up being exactly half of those stitches (because of the decreases). I don't know. Again, I'll have to see. I'll report back later.

    Stream of consciousness

    I originally titled this post "Restless." But then, after my rambling, I retitled it to something more appropriate. This is a meandering post, so don't feel guilty if you bail before the end. I'm just bored and restless.

    I'm restless as I near the completion of the Cake Walk socks. I've enjoyed these socks a lot, even with the ribbing. I can't wait to post a pic (soon, when they're finished). I promise to take the pic in natural light, too, so you can see the pretty colors and details without the glare of the flash.

    But I'm restless, in search of a new project. I mentioned before that I want something other than socks. BUT, I like the portability and speed of socks. I want a sock project that's not socks, if that makes sense. I love the mitred square project, but I can't imagine knitting a huge blanket or bedspread. On the other hand, I could knit a smaller blanket.

    Hm...makes me think of a baby blanket. I could knit a blanket for DD, but I'm hemming and hawing because of her reaction. She hardly notices the baby blanket I knit for her. In fact, I have to half force it on her in the winter, sneaking it over her while she sleeps. Having her use it two or three times a year makes me feel better about having knit it. It took me multiple years to finish that blanket, and it was my first ever FO besides dishcloths. So, with that much effort (and gawd-awful money at the time, using yarn from my LYS), it pains me to think of yet another discarded blanket laying around.

    However, I could use more "adult" colors and make it a lap blanket. DH and I would use it. That sounds like an interesting project, and one that would both sustain me for awhile and be portable (knitting the mitres sounds light). But then I don't have the yarn. And I'm bored and restless and want to knit something different NOW!

    So, I need to find a project that interests me now and meets my criteria AND that I have the yarn for. Brings me to the sock yarn blanket. I have plenty of left over sock yarn to start with a promise for more coming. I got a secret message from a secret pal, Plotzing Odd (yup, that's the name ... giggle to you who knows who you are!) who says she has leftovers she can send. I see a swap in the future, with possibly some treats for the midgets.

    In any case, this is a project that is ringing a bell. Strange how in the span of a single post I went from restless and bored and searching to "Eureka! I'm found!" It's true -- I didn't start out the post with a solution in mind.

    I'm going to check out the sock yarn blanket, but I may consider the mitre square project with the sock yarn. I'm miserably bad when it comes to the science of knitting, so I don't know if it will work. But my trial-by-fire methods will tell me eventually.

    Friday, March 30, 2007

    Can you just keep your big fucking mouth shut for once?

    Cripes. What the fuck is wrong with me? Two weeks into the job and I'm making waves already.

    I've always been pretty good at making waves. Not intentionally, mind you. But make them I do. If I see something wrong, I tend to bring it up. And I bring it up again. And again. And again until usually something is done about it (and I piss off the entire universe in the process).

    Two weeks. Two weeks and I'm INADVERTENTLY bringing up problems.

    But I see deficits! I see problems! I'm having a hard time getting my work done because of these gaps!! So, I ask questions to fill the gaps. And I get answers that I'm just not so thrilled with, or satisfied, or, most importantly, able to use to get my work done. So I continue to ask, probe, prod, and instigate.

    Flashback: one of my worst experiences was with my first job out of UG. I worked in a dean's office for a demoted dean (OK, he had issues to start with) doing analysis. I was 23, fresh of out college, and working a secretarial job with increasing responsibilities (yay). However, this dean kept driving me crazy with his freaking nit-picky insanity. And overall he was just an academic crumudgeon.

    Well, I got fed up with it and started to make notice of the things he was doing wrong: unwarranted poor performance reviews, snarky comments, and general peskiness (which I could document). Luckily other deans were behind me in this to validate my points, but I ended up quitting because of the jerk anyway.

    Well, a week after I quit I learned that they had completely moved this pesky person OFF OF THE FLOOR and put him in some rather menial position. I guess I was the bottleneck in the way, and once I quit because of his sour disposition, they were able to make a move. But, of course, as far as he was concerned, I was the culprit (they targeted my complaints as the reason they finally got fed up, which is probably true, but mine was only a drip in the total bucket of complaint water).

    Anyway, speed up to this week -- our team has doubled in one month, going from a 4-5 person team to a large team with half of the people completely new to the company. We're all senior level, so we know our functional skills. But still, each workplace needs a workflow and method.

    Well, it's a little lacking in the current job. What I do is both art and science. The team was previously artists, and now half the folks are more scientific in their approaches. So we're screaming for some order, some methodology, some processes.

    But the boss, in today's meeting, seemed a little aggravated. I'm super sensitive about these things, so I may be making more of it than necessary. I just feel bad for calling a meeting to discuss (and resolve) the deficits I see, and instead I heard some defensive push-back and a very faint message to toe-the-line. Maybe the toe-the-line message wasn't really there, but I *FELT* it based on some of the boss's comments.

    And I feel bad for making waves.

    So, Monday I'm going to go in and produce. OK, no real processes (at least that I'm used to). It's more an "every woman for herself" mentality. I can do that. It's OK. It's just a pain to recreate the wheel (but I've done it enough taht I can do it now).

    Still, I'm feeling weird and uncomfortable about it. Not angry at the boss; more just feeling bad for making him angry (or stressed or whatever).


    As for knitty news, I'm halfway done with sock #2 of Cake Walk. It's a simple ribbed, toe-up sock, and I'm loving it. I'm starting to think about next projects. I'm loving the socks, but I'm itching to knit something else. Maybe the mitred square blanket, maybe a garment. Not sure. Gotta think on that one.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Dear Mr. Boss Man

    Dear Beloved Mr. Boss Man,

    I am writing to let you know that I have a blog. As such, I need at least 1 hour per day to read my fellow bloggers' blogs. In addition, at least twice a week, if not 3-4 times a week, I need an extra hour to post on my own blog. I may not have much progress to report, but I need to connect with my blogging pals. Using the company camera to document my progress would also be quite a boon to my blog appeal.

    The repercussions of not connecting with my blog pals is that I spend valuable meeting time mentally composing my blog posts and "talking" with my blog pals. This is time that the firm should value, time that I should be focusing on the issue at hand -- new hire training, important Q1 reports, NASDAQ performance, investment principles. But instead of absorbing, embodying, and owning the information, I'm blissfully daydreaming (and half snoozing) about my sock progress. I'm also obsessing about my guilt at not connecting. And even more important, I'm obsessing about my feeling of disconnect from my community who are so important to me.

    And while we're on the topic, let me report on today's new hire training. The trainer had the enthusiasm of a Comedy Central host. She was pretty amazing, demonstrating an energy rivaled only by my 2-year-old on a sugar high. She helped keep me awake, particularly important given how deadly the content was. But, believe it or not, I am so appreciative of the content, which was so shallow, so boring, and so cursory that I was able to completely focus on a new task: knitting my second toe-up sock. Not only was I able to complete the provisional cast on, but I was able to completely finish the shaping. When I reached the train today and whipped out my knitting, I was able to join the two sides in the round and begin the sock patterning. So, Beloved Mr. Boss Man, thank you for providing training so innocuous and meaningless I could count stitches. I even didn't care about how silly and unprofessional I felt sitting there knitting through my new-hire corporate training. The content just couldn't match the interest of my sock.

    So, tomorrow I would like to spend at least the first hour drinking coffee, reading my favorite blogs, and posting comments. Please don't schedule any work meetings before 10:30. This will greatly enhance my focus on work tasks, which will increase my productivity, and will free me from daydreaming incessantly during meeting.

    With Much Love,
    Your ever-devoted employee

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Thursday night

    Yup, I ripped the first sock. Well, not exactly. I still have it. It's just that the second sock I started to knit ISN'T the rainy day pattern. It's a rib pattern, toe-up. Not only that, but today I ripped the heel of the new sock because I wanted the foot to be a little longer. I knitted several more rounds on the train, reknit the heel on the train, and am back in business working on the leg. Pics of it soon.

    As for other news, here are some cell phone pics of DD. I admit the first one isn't so pretty -- it's intended as a joke for DH. DD was beside herself eating her chocolate cupcake and is smiling a grin from ear to ear (even though you can't really tell). She just looks like her teeth rotted out, which they'll probably do with all that sugar.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    From the NYTimes:
    BAGHDAD, March 20 — Insurgents detonated a bomb in a car with two children in it after using the children as decoys to get through a military checkpoint in Baghdad, an American general said Tuesday....

    “Children in the back seat lower suspicion,” he said, according to a transcript. “We let it move through. They parked the vehicle. The adults run out and detonate it with the children in back.”

    Who blows up their children? Who the fuck blows up their children? What kind of sick, desperate people do that? What has happened to these people to make them think that blowing up their children is a viable, effective, and sound solution?

    My parents tend to fly off the handle. I'm ashamed to admit that certain people in my family have made the following statements to me:

    After 9-11, "Nuke 'em till they glow." (verbatim; this was while I was living in the heart of DC when the attacks happened and I watched the pentagon burn from the top of my work building)

    After a rental car "encounter," "Well, the fucking 'spics are after our jobs anyway. And you know you can't trust an indian person at all. They're all out to get you." (not quite verbatim, but I can't remember the EXACT words. They were something that absurd.)

    I don't want to be like my family. I don't want to be so callous, so white trash, so stupid. I know there is a complex history with the middle east that I will never understand precisely because I have grown up in the west. I know that each group has their concerns, their pains, there travesties, their anger, and their heart felt sense of injustice. I know that people around the world are desperate.

    But really, World, what's going on when we sacrifice our children so heartlessly? Why didn't the adults stay in the car and sacrifice themselves? Either with the children or without the children? Did the children choose this? And if they did, did they do so consciously?

    I'm just at such a loss for what could drive people to such drastic measures. Is there anything in this world that would make me blow up my children? You know, I have never had to face such difficulties, so I can't say, "Unequivocably, no." I'm sure that the mother who gave birth to those children never thought her children would die like that. Would be used. But I can't imagine the events that would lead me to agree to blowing up my child. I simply can't even fathom it.

    Will this work?

    So I've not had many complaints with Blogger, despite the experiences some have had with it. Even the upgrade to Beta didn't go badly at all.

    Last night, however, I was playing around with the site in the customization and setting section. There's one part that says (quote)
    Show transliteration button for your posts?
    Adds a button to the Post Editor toolbar for converting words from English to Hindi script.
    Your changes will be saved to help Google improve this tool. See Privacy Policy for details.

    I turned this setting to On. What was the hook that got me? It was "to help Google improve this tool."

    As an educational technologist and interaction designer (now in the private world; last week in the nonprofit world), I'm all for helping my fellow techies. So, I checked the box. That's when all hell broke loose and I got nothing but ??? for words.

    My exact words to the second post were for Julie: Blogger, you Fucker! ;)

    On the knitty front, I am THRILLED to say that I completely scrapped the rainy day socks (even though I completely finished one of them) and did my first-ever toe-up sock in a simple rib of my own making. I just turned the heel today and am starting on the leg. With Cake, this is the best pattern. There's nothing to obscure the prettiness of the yarn. With the Rainy Day pattern, I felt like the yarn and the pattern were competing, and my eye just didn't know where to look. With the simple rib, the colors really shine beautifully. I love it.

    Pics to come.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    My Rainy aren't so Rainy

    My rainy socks look pretty different from the pattern. I wonder if I should go up a needle size, even though the socks are loose on me. Mine stretch out and skew the pattern, even though it helps them stay up. The ones in the pattern look very pretty and lush, and they look like they stay up.

    I'm just starting on the second sock now, so I'll try the larger needles again. Oh, and this morning I discovered I did NOT do a provisional cast on for the first pair. Come to find out I actually simply knitted on a scrap of waste yarn and then knitted the Cake yarn to it. No wonder i had such a hard time removing that darned yarn. Hopefully this time will be much better. Thanks to the online video tutorial (added in my side bar). It really helped clear things up.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Socks, socks, and more socks

    Now that our beloved camera is back and safely at home, I can finally populate this boring blog with some pictures.

    DH left for Las Vegas tonight. He was snowed out yesterday morning, and poor guy missed seeing his brother for a man's weekend before DH's conference. I'm sure the pity I have is palpable through the blogosphere. If it's not, let me tell you I'm just torn apart for DH missing a bachelor weekend in LV. Complete with a brother with an Am Ex card who knows how to use it.

    DH steals a few minutes before leaving tonight to read to DD in the fort that she and I built. BTW, we're not witches; DD is wearing the "base" to her bumblebee Halloween costume.

    Anyway, with DH gone (actually, he's still local, as his plane is delayed by 3 hours) and DD asleep, I have some valuable bonding time with the camera and my socks. These are in reverse chronological order, starting with DD, of course.

    (Sorry for the sideways pic.) First up in the sock category is the first of the pair of CAKE socks. This yarn was kindly wound and mailed to me by an NJ knitting neighbor, Netter. It is squishy like cotton candy (I literally stop knitting sometimes to squeeze the ball of yarn just to feel its softness and yumminess). It also has the color of sprinkles, ice cream, or cake (take your pick). In all honesty, when I first started knitting with this yarn, all I could think of was sweets. I kid you not. Really. It's dangerous stuff (but knitting does keep my hands busy and away from hand-to-mouth disease).

    I digress.

    This pattern is my first try at a provisional cast on. It only took about 7 tries, but I finally got it right. I first decided to skip it and do a simply picot cast on, but it rolled and looked awful. Since I'm now committed to knitting the right way and not allowing mistakes (the ones I catch, at least), I ripped and learned how to do the CO. The results make it worth the pain of learning. I'm sure you'll say something like, "It's not that bad of a CO method," but I didn't like it. Hopefully the second time around will be better.

    Another gratuitous picture of DD from last weekend on our walk.

    Second up are the socks I knit for MYSELF. My FIRST pair for myself; my third pair ever. I used Lorna's Laces after the rave review by Grumperina and the yarn didn't disappoint...well, ultimately it didn't disappoint. This is the pair of socks that I had to reknit -- after finishing the second sock (after re-knitting it because I knit it too loosely the first time), I tried them on to admire. Instead, I finally learned first-hand what "pooling" is. The second sock was lovely -- the striping was terrific. But the first sock pooled horribly. I tried to live with it, but I couldn't. I couldn't do it. I started knitting another project and thought nothing except of the ugly ink-stain sock. Luckily, the pooling started after the heel, so I ripped back to the heel, used the second skein of yarn (that I used for the second sock), and reknit in about 2 days. These aren't the greatest pics, but hopefully you can see that the striping is good on both socks. The color is a little off (it's actually more muted and brown-ish than in the pic), but the striping is great. Ultimately, I can't say I am as in love with the yarn as Grumperina, but the yarn does look pretty amazing in this pattern. I also like that the yarn has a vintage feel to me (colors, feel, etc) and the pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks. I love this pattern and didn't tire of it even after the second sock. I didn't modify much except the toes (I like flatter toes) and followed my favorite heel (sl1, k1*). I wish they were a little more sturdy (more on that in another post), but I love these socks. They even wash (and dry) really well in a garment bag.

    Finally are the socks I knit for DH. These were the second pair I knit, and I grumbled along the way. I liked the pattern but it got boring after awhile. The yarn also wasn't that soft. It was more scratchy (I can't remember what I used).

    HOWEVER, I now absolutely love these socks, and I am wearing them now since DH is gone. They are sturdy -- they hold up well (is it the yarn? is it the pattern? is it both?), meaning they don't get loose and flaccid after a few minutes of wear. At the same time, they're not too tight -- they stretch nicely (evident by the fact that DH and I both can wear them, even though his feet are much larger than mine).

    This is a long post. Can you tell I'm alone tonight??

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    A DDism

    This is a DD (Dear Daughter, for new readers)-ism for Amy.

    Last night DD said, Mommy, my ear hurts.

    Me: It does, sweetheart. That's too bad. Did it just start hurting now?

    DD: No, it hurt at school. It has poop in it.

    All I can think is that she somehow picked that up from school. Maybe the caretakers. Maybe the kids. Heck, maybe she came up with it. But I about died on the floor laughing at that one.

    Sure enough, Doc confirmed she has another full-blown ear infection. A mere 3 weeks since the last one. Let's call Ripley's -- we made it a full three weeks without some illness! Whoo Hoo.


    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    A Shout-Out Hello

    Today, while redoing my blogger site and generally killing time while my replacement does work for me to check, I decided to try out the "Next Blog" button at the top of my blogger window. I came across some really interesting sites and actually added a couple of links in my list even though they aren't knitty blogs. Of course I came across some that just didn't interest me, like one devoted to cars, one devoted to gaming secrets, and several written in other languages.

    But then I hit a KNITTING BLOG! It was about the 10th click, and up pops this blog: Wishing I Was Knitting. I don't know this person at all, but she's a fellow knitter (and has pics on her site, unlike mine). Lovely pics of a very pretty border on a scarf (I'll have to try that). So I said a "howdy and hello" to her and added her to my list of knitting blogs to read. I simply couldn't resist adding it -- I'm just so amazed that of all the thousands of blogs out there, the 10th or so random blog that came up was a knitting one.

    Knitters rock!

    How do you leave a job?

    Let's do I leave my job?

    Well, in pretty good darn shape, if you ask me. So good, in fact, that I'm sort-of twiddling my thumbs. There are plenty of things to be done, but those are "moving forward" kinds of things that my replacement will do. Working on new content, setting up new structures, learning the job and customizing it to fit his style. Those things that he should do.

    We're wrapping up the few remaining tasks that *I* have to do (and teach him), but we're in great shape.

    So, I redid Blogger! No, it's not for St. Patty's Day. I just happen to like green. I'd knit instead of redoing blogger, but working on your computer, even if blogging, looks far more legitimate than knitting at your desk. (Except if you're Amy.)

    BTW, if you HATE the new look, TELL ME! This blog shouldn't be visually gross or ugly or whatever. Sure, it's my blog, but I also want you to read it, right. Just don't ask me to do pink.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Let me count the ways

    ... that this day has SUCKED!

    1. DH and I celebrated our anniversary last night. We're lushes, even on a week night. I had two cocktails, two glasses of wine, and then we split an entire bottle of wine at dinner. All of this in the span of, oh, about 4 hours. Today is miserable.

    2. DD woke up last night at 2:30 AM and STAYED AWAKE ALL NIGHT LONG. (Monday night she woke up from 3:30-5 AM.) She didn't drift off at all. I had involuntary alcohol-induced body shudders at every move, but I signed up for this parent thing and so responded to DD. Finally DH took his turn with her around 4 while I fell into a dizzying quasi-sleep.

    3. I've spent the whole day so far doing our taxes. We owe. We owe big time. Thanks, NY state, for taxing our joint income even though 1) we don't live in NY and 2) DH doesn't even work in NY. But, NY bases its taxes on our joint federal return, which includes DH's salary (and mine, which is derived from NYC). Thanks. Love you, too.

    4. Because we owed so much this year in state taxes, we're required to pay estimated taxes for 2007. Our first payment is due in June and is a double payment. This, of course, coming close on the heels of the multi-thousands of dollars paid to the states in April.

    It's 2:30 and I'm still in my PJs, haven't showered, and haven't even brushed my teeth. My headache is mostly gone, and I'll feel a lot better after cleaning myself up. Tomorrow the housecleaner comes, so I have to clean for her to clean. I'll feel better after that.

    Netter - have you tried Amy's lunches? I love that brand of food, though it's not cheap for frozen meals.

    Amy - your books will NOT disappoint. ;) I just ordered Vulnerable and Wounded from Powell's. They're not amazon, but I like them so much better.

    Julie - I have fond memories of camping out at the Daytona 500 with my dad when I was a kid. Those were really crazy parties. I think my dad still goes to bike week (he lives in Fl).

    KnitTech - I LOVE that blanket! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for posting.

    Coach Susan - apologies for being so snarky in your blog comments (actually, I meant it very playfully, but it probably came off as snarky). Taxes are done. I just have to write the darn check now. ;( But you're right -- it is inevitable.

    OK. Off to shower.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Spring Cleaning

    I'm a posting hog today. It's kind of fun.

    It's starting to feel like spring. I have the windows open; it's nice!

    I pulled out my knitting basket (it was a mess) and actually took pictures*. (Long overdue pictures for Julie of where I sit and knit, and what my knitting mess stash is like.)

    My stash was everywhere, including both of the drawers and the oversized bin I have under the side table.

    I realize that I have bits and pieces of old yarn (including a bunch of yarn that I have skeins and skeins of but haven't knit yet). The bits of yarn are especially true of sock yarn, and I don't know what to do with it. I don't know if I have enough to make short socks, or if there's something else I can make. It's driving me crazy because I can't bring myself to throw away half a skein of beautiful, delicate, luscious sock yarn.

    I also have one skein here of this yarn and that yarn (such as Zara merino; Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which I love; and several yarns I can't remember -- one that's a mohair-like yarn). I can't throw these yarns away, but I don't know what to do with them. I have One Skein Wonders, but it's not really much help. You have to find 1. the right yarn, 2. the right pattern for the yarn, 3. enough yarn for the pattern, and 4. an interest in knitting the pattern.

    What do you do with your leftover yarn?

    I also found two UFOs and decided to finish them. One is the skirt for DD I mentioned. All I have to do is seam it, put some elastic in, and voila, it's done. Another I decided to finish then abandoned. It's a baby sweater from One Skein (took 3+ skeins), and the yarn is too scratchy. It's not a pretty, delicate sweater, it's really ugly. So, I have 3 skeins of superwash wool to do something with.

    Anyway, all of the yarn (pieces, full skeins, and multiple skeins) are all bagged and organized. It's nice to feel organized, and now I am mentally scanning for a new project. I think I want something non-sock to knit. I've done a lot of socks lately, and I still think sock yarn is my favorite yarn. But, I want a project using bigger needles and different yarn. Just for some variety.

    OK, I'm done posting now. I really need to find an anniversary present for DH (for tonight's anniversary date).

    *I took pictures but DH uninstalled iPhoto when he "fixed" our machines at home. So, I'll have to wait until we load iPhoto on before downloading the photos from the camera. Two steps forward, one step back....

    **PPS -- two steps forward, one step back, one step forward again.... So, a picture of me and DD for toddler-eye-candy. We were sitting on a stump thinking and resting (like in the book "The Giving Tree"). You can also see my new butch cut. You'll just have to deal with it being sideways.

    Your Knitting Library

    This isn't meant to ask for an exhaustive list, but here's a meme for the knitters out there. Tag, you're it.

    1. What is your favorite pattern book?

    2. What is your favorite technique book?

    3. What classic technique book should every knitter own?

    4. How many knitting books do you typically buy in a year?

    I have to admit I have a limited library, mostly of popular "not your grandmother's knitting" books, which I have come to hate. I'm collecting this list to build my library, so, if you want to post on your blog OR leave in the comments, I'm going to copy down the books and buy (or check out from the library).

    One track gal

    I've been a one-track gal for quite awhile now. "One track" meaning I love black suits and little else. Meaning I follow the same routine every day. Meaning I eat the same breakfast every day. Meaning I've had one project on the needles and that's it. I have a couple of UFOs that in all likelihood won't be finished at this point (a knit skirt for DD that I'm sure will be too small next winter, for example).

    This is pretty typical of my life: I have a hard time with chaos. I like order. I short-circuit when I have too many options and end up making no progress because I can't decide what to tackle. I can't see beyond clutter; my house is pretty tidy (read: not clean per se, but picked up. Don't try to eat off my floors, or even the table sometimes, as it tends to gather dust, dirt, and other various unsavory items like cat paw prints).

    This has manifest in other areas, too. I limit my free-time activities because I have so little free time and if I have too many options I won't accomplish anything. For example, I haven't read in god knows how long. In fact, I joke that I don't even know how to read anymore because I just don't read anything (except blogs). It's also the case that I don't garden or workout or really do much of the things that I used to do and love so much.

    What happens to our free time as we get older? I work, sure, that takes up time. I commute ... more time. And I guess it's family. DD -- a living, breathing, growing, demanding, thinking, creative, and blossoming person who I chose to bring into this world -- deserves all of the things in life that contribute to her development. And I'm responsible for providing that (within reason). So, she takes up a lot of time.

    And I have to come clean on that note -- I don't spend my time providing DD with enrichment activities. It's more like,

    "Sweetheart, pick up the toys before going to bed."

    "C'mon lovely girl. Let's take a bath."

    "No, no, cutie. Let's not pull out all of our books right now. You can pick out one for mommy to read while you sit on the potty."

    "Abs [her nickname], don't pull out all the containers from th.... OK. I see. Well, let's pick them up now. Can you put... WAIT ABBY. Stop! Turn around. Come back. Bend down and pick up that lid. NO, THAT ONE RIGHT *THERE*. Yes. Ok. Good. Now put it back in the cabinet. Good. And now that one..."

    In other words, chores. Preparation. Dinner. Cleaning hands. Brushing teeth. Bathing. Eating. Drinking. Playing, sure, but ... Life.

    So I spend my time doing this (like so many others of us). And there's precious little for much else.

    And because of my one-track nature, I knit. And I don't do much else. And now I'm feeling kind of empty. But torn at the same time because I LOVE TO KNIT!

    The other day DH got really angry at me for signing up for the STR club without telling him. He said, "I'm so happy for you that you have a hobby, but really, that's a lot of money at one time."

    A hobby.

    A hobby??

    Um, somehow I just never thought of this as a hobby. It's not a religion, but it is what I spend my free time doing. But I'm thinking I need to branch out and do other things. Like reading. Maybe even for my new job (hm, you think?).

    Today I'm going to peruse new projects to add to Cake. Cake is going really well on the needles -- I'm almost completely done with sock #1 and can't wait to post a pic. But I think I want to start something new.

    Oh, and I'm going to buy some books: a knitting book, Vulnerable, and some work books.