Monday, June 29, 2009

We Danced On the Floor in The Round

Normally, I do not discuss famous people here. Mainly because famous people have very little effect on me, I do not hang out with them; I do not see them in my day to day life etc. However, I am going to discuss the deaths that have occurred in the last few days.
Poor Farrah, not only did she die a painful death, she had the misfortune to die on the same day as Michael Jackson and thereby was upstaged in her death. I feel very bad for her and her family.
Michael Jackson… I will say right now I was not a huge fan. I did not listen to the Jackson 5 as a child. However, I was in high school when “Thriller” came out so to say he did not have an impact would be a lie. I remember I had a friend who had a jacket like he wore in the “Beat It” video, okay, not exactly like since hers was bought at Kmart and was made of pleather, but it was as close as anyone was going to get in my tiny rural hometown. We were all very jealous. The “Billie Jean”, ‘Beat It’ and “Thriller” videos (especially the “Thriller” video) were shear genius and changed the world of music videos. This does not seem like much, but take a look at some of the other videos released around the same time; some of them were really quite dull (J. Geiles Band’s “Centerfold” is a prime example). It was exciting to watch the videos. The music was pretty good, but truthfully, the Michael Jackson song I liked best and still like to this day is “Billie Jean”. It has a great tune, it has interesting lyrics and I always like the imagery (especially the line I used for the title of this posting) which he used. To me, “Billie Jean” really represents what fame brings; the idea that you could meet someone once and suddenly, they want a piece of you.
However, I think one can not overlook the fact Michael Jackson spiraled out of control in the late 80s. I remember saying to someone that he needed someone to tell him no. I think when you have tons of money and fame, it is easy to surround yourself with people who agree with you and allow you to follow every whim. A person should not follow every whim; it leads to certain despair and doom. And I think that is what happened in Mr. Jackson’s life.
Still, it is sad that someone should die at 50.
Speaking of that, I heard this morning that Billy Mays (the guy from the Oxiclean ads) died over the weekend, he was also 50 and apparently he died of a bump on the head. This is very sad to me because, well, he was very amusing. I actually have been following his ads for a while. I remember several years ago he was in an ad for some sort of glue and he had obviously gained a little weight and I made a comment that he must be doing well since he was eating better. I think I was probably one of a few people who even noticed. I know, I know, there is something wrong with me. It is sad that he too is gone. And let’s face it, there will be not be hours and hours spent discussing his influences. This, I think is too bad.
Okay, this is a really depressing post so far.

How about a little weekend update to cheer you up?
I finally heard from my mom on Friday. She wanted to get together today (Monday), but I have to work because it is the holiday week and we have to work the normal 8 hour days. So instead, we agreed to meet on 7/13 and yesterday (which I will get to in a moment).
On Saturday, we went out and picked strawberries. Much to my surprise and delight, The Girl said she wanted to come with. She has not gone berry picking with us in years. Of course, it rained quite hard during the night and so I knew the ground would be wet. What I did not expect, was that it would start to rain when we got there and we picked berries in the rain. It was not a hard rain, but it did mess up my picking prowess. Normally, I get into a certain Zen state and I can pick quite a lot of berries. This year, I was able to pick only 9 ½ pounds. The Girl picked more than me (10 pounds). The Hub picked 9 pounds. So there was a grand total of 28 ½ pounds of strawberries. Normally, The Hub and I pick more than that alone. There have been years when I have picked over 20 pounds by myself. My knees started to hurt and my glasses were very wet (which is always a distraction), so I gave up early. The Girl mocked me and we had to crown her “the hostess with the mostest”. It was shameful. I was thinking about going back and picking more, but we have a lot of strawberries already and probably do not need any more. I just want to redeem myself.
After berry picking we went to breakfast at Perkins (The Girl love Perkins, I personally can take it or leave it) and we had a really nice talk. It was a really good day.

On Sunday we went down to my niece’s house so we could see my mom. My mom had given me the address and some vague directions. However, she had told me the wrong town (which she denied when we got there). So we were running late anyway and then we were driving around in a totally different area. It was awful. The Hub and I got into a fight and basically, I was really crabby by the time we got to where we were going. Of course, everyone acted like nothing had happened over the last 9 months. On the phone, my mom had said it was all my SILs (my crazy brother’s wife) fault and that no one else had cared. They are such liars! However, I suspect my mom talked to them about it in her confused manner and they all knew what they had done and had to cover it up stat.
Anyway, we all sat outside as my family is wont to do and I got terribly sunburned. I knew we would be sitting outside and I can not explain why I did not wear sunscreen. I have no excuse. Everyone except The Baby got sunburned to one degree or another. I have not been this badly sunburned in a long time and I am in a lot of pain today.

Knitting News
I finished one arm of my Daily Sweater. I decided I wanted it to be a ¾ length sleeve since I wear that length a lot. However, I do not like how the cuff part looks. It was supposed to be 2 ½ inches, which is just too long for a cuff for me on a good day, but it would have looked bizarre on a ¾ length, so I only did 1”. I like the length, but it looks weird because of the increases, it sort of flares out at the end of the sleeve. I am thinking of ripping it back and doing it with fewer stitches per round.
I will let you know what I do. I do understand what they are trying to do with the increases, it is not supposed to be a tight cuff, but it is just really floppy. It is probably worse since I did not decrease all the way recommended in the pattern.

I figured out I need to do almost 400 yards a week in order to complete the 5K by the 1st day of fall. Maybe, I will have the deadline be the end of September. I will have to think about it.

I am thinking I will start my mom’s rug tonight and hopefully I could have it done by the time she is ready to leave. I will be seeing her the day before she goes. We will see.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hot Stuff

It has been hot. Excessively hot. This has been made worse by the fact that it is about 50° in my cubicle. They “fixed” the air in our area and now the vent blows directly on my head. I HATE air conditioning. I really do. This of course leads to fighting at home because The Girl thinks it should be running non-stop. The air causes my joints to ache and then I can not knit.
Speaking of knitting… (nice segway huh?) I have finished the Baby Legwarmers.

Aren’t they just the cutest thing?
They used about 1 ball of sock yarn. So that is 230 more yards towards my 5K.

I am have way done with the 1st arm of my daily sweater. I am confident I will finish the sweater by the end of summer. The problem I have with the sleeves is that I have to increase every 8th row. This is not hard, just tedious.

I am trying to decide if I should start another project or finish something I have started. I would like to finish my opera stole since I have been working on it forever. However, I would also like to make something using big needles and yarn so I could use up some yarn fast. I could work on the rug my mom requested since it uses 4 strands of yarn at a time and could get rid of some yarn quickly.

But I am sort of mad at my mom right now. She has been in the state for over two weeks and she has not contact with me at all. I do not think she is even going to bother to see us. This bothers me a lot because, well I am her daughter too. And who would not come to see her own great granddaughter? I suppose she has other great grandchildren so I guess The Baby I not as special to her as she is to me. Still, it bothers me. I know I should just let it go, but it makes me very sad.

Oh well.

Monday, June 15, 2009

One Small Step

I have completed my first item on my 5K knitting goal.
I present to you – Yellow Pig Potholder!

It is for one of The Hub’s swaps. It only used 70 yards of yarn, but it is a completed project never the less and counts towards my goal. Only 5398.07 yards to go!

I am also half way through some rainbow leg warmers for The Baby. So that will be another step.

I am going to go out and buy yet another size 7 – 16” circular needle in order to continue on my Daily Sweater. I actually already own 2 of this size, but they are both in a box which is MIA. This box actually contains 95% of my stand alone circular needles and most of my dpns. I am very concerned where it might be since I have looked everywhere I could think of. However, I can not wait any longer to continue on my sweater. I wove in the ends on the body and just need to put on the sleeves and I will be done! It is so close…

On Saturday, The Hub and I went to see “Drag Me To Hell”. It is a good horror movie. It is directed by Sam Rami and very much in the vein of “Evil Dead II”, only there is a gypsy instead of the Necronomicon. The basic plot is that a gal angers an old gypsy woman and the gypsy curses her. The plot is not terrible surprising and you will see the end coming a mile away (I know I did), but it is an entertaining ride. There are several really gross scenes and it has really tense music so I was very jumpy. I personally found it pretty scary, but The Girl did not (they went later that night and we babysat). However, I believe that horror is a very personal thing. What I am scared of is not necessarily what you will be scared of. I find dead things not staying dead very upsetting, where others may find demons upsetting and still others find blood upsetting and so on.
There were not and hand knits per se, because it takes place in sunny CA, but the gal does wear some nice lightweight sweaters that I could image being translated into hand knits.
Overall, I am going to give it 3 knitting needles out of 4. If you like horror movies, I say go see it. It is very much an over the top horror film.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hello It’s Me

Greeting and salutations! I am sorry it has been so long since I last blogged. I started summer hours this past week and it really has taken it out of me. The best part of summer hours is that this year I am taking Mondays off and it gives me extra knitting time. I can knit in larger chunks of time.

I have quite a bit of knitting news!
I finished a hat I have been working on since, well winter. It is the maple seed hat pattern and I used Mountain Colors Mountain Goat. I think that is the yarn, I can not find the tag for it, it might be a different Mountain Colors yarn. I had not been working on it because I could not find my size 8 Dpns. I still have not found them, I just went out and bought some over Memorial Day weekend so I could finish this hat.
Here it is:

Pretty snazzy, huh?
I am glad to have it done.

Last weekend I participated in a shop hop. Every year there are 7 shops which host a shop hop and you go from one to the next and sign up for prizes (which I never win) and get a free goodies. This year it was charms and patterns. I was not able to go to all 7 shops, but I did go to 5. However, the last shop was out of charms and I got an IOU I was supposed to turn in at the last shop I went to, which of course I did not make to any more so I only receive 4 charms. It is okay and I think I will make them into stitch markers since I really have no other use for them. There were a couple of notable things that happened while I was in the stores. First, when I was in one of the stores, I looked at The Expectant Knitter and I fell in love with a couple of patterns in it. Okay I should back up, I had heard about the book at Knitpicks because they were featuring Her First Party Dress and I thought it was too cute so I was actually looking for the book. Anyway, I thought about buying it, but it was $28 and just could not bring myself to do it. So on Sunday I went to the library and checked it out.
Second, I bought more yarn including yarn for my mom’s Christmas present. I will get to buying yarn issue in a moment.

Here is the result of getting my hands on The Expectant Knitter: it is the Girl’s Summer Suit.

Here is my granddaughter in her new outfit. She just tried it on since we are in a cold snap and it was way to chilly for her to wear.
It is really easy to knit. The hardest part is sewing it together. I made it in cotton (the red part is cotton blend) and cotton is not the easiest thing to sew together.
I think I will make another one only I am going to knit the top in one piece. I am going to make the skirt longer (even though I made this one longer than the pattern, it is still really short on her) and do it in a feather and fan lace pattern to girly it up even more. And I am going to use a thinner yarn for the skirt. This one was a bulky even though the pattern calls out for worsted. But I really liked the color.
I am also going to make Her First Party Dress and the leg warmers out of the book. I actually think I will end up buying the book, but I will have to see. There are just so many cute things.

On to the issue of buying more yarn. I have been buying a lot of yarn lately. And I need to stop. I have way more than I am going to be able to knit up in a timely fashion. So I am going to take a moratorium from buying yarn. Yesterday I bought a little bit, mainly, I bought some Rowan 4 ply cotton from the NU Outlet in order to make previously mentioned party dress for The Baby. So I am going to try to avoid buying yarn from stores or Ravelry or the internet etc. until October. Why October you ask? Well, we are planning a trip to New Mexico to see the In-Laws and to go to the Taos Wool Festival. So I can buy yarn then.
I also need to try to get through some of the yarn I have. At last count, I had over 78 miles or 125 kilometers of yarn. This is a LOT of yarn. One day my DH made a comment about knitting a marathon. And this has got me thinking… perhaps I should try to knit 26 miles worth of yarn. But I think I need to work my way up to it, so this summer, I am going to knit at least a 5K, which works out to about 5,468 yds. Since the yarn in my sweater is still considered “stash” by Ravelry and that is where the number is coming from, it is going to count against the running total. Get it… running total… 5 K! Ha I crack myself up!
So starting today, 6/7/09 and going through the end of September I will attempt to knit a 5K. Wish me luck.

Family – Bah
So last Sunday my nephew (The Girl’s brother) got confirmed. We went down to the church to witness the confirmation, we were late, because The Girl can not get anywhere on time, but we only missed about 10 minutes and since the service ended up being like 90 minutes long, I think that is pretty good. However, overall the whole thing was a disaster. Not one of my family members came over to see The Baby after the service, well, my nephew who was getting confirmed came over. I was forced to talk to people I have not seen in 20 plus years and try to remember who they all were. It was a miserable experience and it really upset The Girl. She really thought that actually seeing The Baby would make them change their minds. In fact, when her brother and her went outside to visit their mom’s grave, everyone was standing outside and they all stopped talking when they came through the doors. When we left the church they were are still standing there and only my oldest nephew said anything to us. Oh and we saw my crazy brother on the sidewalk on the way to the car and he felt obliged to say hi and look at The Baby although you would think we were pulling out his fingernails as he did it.
Over all, it was a very unpleasant experience. Plus, my mom arrives in the state on Tuesday and she had already said that she would not be spending any time with us since we do not have room. She said that she would stay with my oldest sister’s girl and we could come down there and visit. Given the icy reception my niece gave us on Sunday, this seems unlikely that this visit will occur. So I suppose I will have to call my mom and tell her what happened, but in reality, I do not want to look like I am complaining so I have been putting it off. I hate family. It is more political than work, which is saying a lot!

Well, I have a lot of knitting to do. Talk at you later.