Freitag, Jänner 25, 2008

All in a Day's Mail

Note: today's photos are on Flickr so you can Click for Big

Mardi Gras stuff
From Toomey's

Mardi Gras--if you live in Utah, you have to do it yourself. These are called throws. The grandkids and the piano kids will just throw them at each other. No floats, no parades. Oh well.

Still coming: Zapp's Cajun Crawtators and a king cake mix from Baker's Catalog. You have to have your own babies, though.

king cake babies

Baker's Catalog doesn't include them in the mix for legal reasons. Somebody could swallow one by mistake.The baby is hidden in the cake

Have I told you about Celia and the king cake babies?

Every class at our kids' elementary school had a king cake every Friday between January 6th and Mardi Gras. Whoever got the baby had to bring the cake the next week. You had to buy a pretty big one for the whole class, and they can get expensive. Celia and Todd, in 5th and 3rd grades, respectively, had gotten the baby three times between them. As I dropped them off for school, I said, "And I don't want either of you getting the baby today!"

After school when I picked them up, Celia said, "I'm sorry, I got the baby again." I started to remonstrate, but she interrupted: "It's OK, I swallowed it."

After I had totally freaked out she admitted she was joking.

Longtime friends, relocated to Baton Rouge by Katrina, usually ship us a bakery king cake, too. Fingers crossed. Bakery ones just seem more real than home-made for some reason.

No Rockin' Sock Club package yet, but I did get yarn anyway.

BMFA Silk Thread in Corvid
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silk Thread in Corvid

Wollmeise lace in Guinea Pig #2
Wollmeise Lace-garn in Versuchskaninchen #2

The pictures don't really do them justice. There was a sharp intake of breath at this end as each package was opened.

Next on: cleaning up and putting away groceries until Paul gets home so we can go to a movie. He wants to go to Rambo. I want to go to Sweeney Todd. Paul thinks Sweeney Todd is too violent. We'll do Rambo tonight and see if there are any teensy, weensy little moments of violence in it. Ya think? That will give me the ammo I need (pun heh heh) to convince Paul to go to Sweeney Todd tomorrow.

Donnerstag, Jänner 24, 2008

Mardi Gras socks

My steroid shot has kicked in and my hand feels oodles better. Still wearing the "buddy tapes" of course. Ligament damage. Takes a long time to heal.

But I can still knit. And, since I have way too much going on already, I have decided to tackle Mardi Gras socks.

I have these two yarns in my stash:

mardi gras yarns

The one next to Che is STR Pirate's Booty, medium weight. It knits up fast (I only have until Tuesday week), but the purple isn't very purple. The second yarn is Schaefer Heather in Indira Ghandi. It wouldn't knit up quite as quickly, and although the purple is great, the green is a little dull. Plus, its inclusion of brown lacks that official Mardi Gras je ne sais quoi.

What else could I be doing? Well, Mozart's birthday is this weekend. I'm simplifying my cooking by doing things early (shopping tomorrow, cooking Saturday), partly because my hand is a little messed up. I refuse to cut up 10 lbs of onions without gloves and I sure don't want onion juice on my velcro finger friends. So I'm buying frozen. And one of our guests has been diagnosed with celiac disease, which I totally can't spell, so will be experimenting with gluten-free spaetzele.

And now you must excuse me, because I have to go stress out about the sock class I'm teaching tonight. Only because Shannon kept bugging me to do it. If this one goes as badly as the last one I will hang up my teaching needles forever.

ETA: Doing well on the stressing. Have managed to develop a killer headache. Only four hours until the first class will be over and I'll be half done . . .

Dienstag, Jänner 22, 2008

My hand hurts.

My hand hurts like the dickens.

I am typing with my left hand, aided only one finger of my right hand; well, two, since I'm getting the space bar with that hand.

This morning my hand was feeling a lot better. A couple of weeks ago it got stiff and sore and swollen after I ran the snow blower. It appeared to be a re-injury of a tendon that got jammed last summer when I, er, do I have to admit I walked into the door while reaching to open it?

Then I went to the hand clinic where a resident bent the affected finger six ways for Sunday and a doctor shot it full of steroids and lidocaine and they velcroed it to its neighbor and said, "don't do anything that will make this worse. Come back in a month."

Judging by how it feels right now, whatever the resident did made it worse, and whatever the doctor did didn't help. Well, he said it would take a few days. Or did he say weeks?

The silver cloud was the appreciative chuckle I got from another patient who saw me walk in with my Count Cluckula socks on.

I should be able to knit since the velcroed fingers can stay friends while I do it, but right now I think a baggie of snow might be better therapy.

Oh wait, that didn;t sound good, did it? I mean an ice pack.

Sonntag, Jänner 20, 2008

Blogging and Frogging

  • The About Blogging Part

  • Lynn so kindly nominated me as one of her

    bloggers. The rules on this meme are to "Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

    I'm honored that Lynn includes me in her list. Backatcha, girl.

    My awardees are:

    Dances With Wool
    Supermonkey's website
    Knit and Nosh
    Laurel's website
    Knitters Anonymous
    The Tsarina Tsays . . .
    Brooklyn Tweed

    Most of these bloggers aren't there every day, but when they are they make me happy. I tried not to have anyone who was on Lynn's list, but I had to leave Dances with Wool because it was one of the first blogs I started reading regularly.

    I hate to leave Wendy and Stephanie off. If we all leave them off because we think everyone else is nominating them, what if no one nominates them?

  • The About Frogging Part

  • After two complete trips to the frog pond, I think Irtfa'a is safely under way.


    Incidentally, today's photos are off Flickr so you can click to biggify.

    My STR club socks have been at the frog pond, too. I haven't worked through Cat Bordhi's book, so had some experimentation to do with the sizing. The medium seems to work.

    Bella Coola

    I am actually knitting them two at a time, magic loop, but separated them for the short row heel.

    I love Cat's sockitechtures. I have to admit I don't think the Magic Cast-on toes are quite as comfortable as a short-row toe with provisional cast-on. I did this one as loosely as I could, but I can still feel it. Oh well, it's the Princess and the Seam all over again.

    Montag, Jänner 14, 2008

    Bearfoot in the Dark

    Do some of these Bearfoot skeins look mostly identical? Well, in person, in natural light, they're even more similar. The flash and the Ott Lite brought out some additional detail.

    From the top we have Wild Raspberry, Red Willow, Wilderness (Ok, this guy is unique), Granite Peak, and Marias Falls.

    Nope, doesn't bother me. Aren't I the person that bought almost every colorway of BMFA Ravens in one yarn or another? And they're all mostly black.

    Che and I have been busy keeping the Loopy Ewe in business.

    This is the collector's item bag with the tag that says "Socks Yarn [instead of Sock Yarn] is not Stash."

    This is just to let you know I am alive and survived my first day of piano kids. See y'all later!

    Freitag, Jänner 11, 2008

    And then a miracle happened . . .

    No, I am not quoting that Far Side cartoon. I'm sure Gary Larson said "happens," not "happened." And I am not posting the art. So, Gary Larson attorneys, go away.

    No, instead of infringing on Gary Larson's copyright, I am telling you what happened to my Paul's TiVo last night.

    It started working! It started speaking with its cable card! I have channels!

    We will see if we get any more miracles, as in my Irtfa'a coming out a normal size. I'll keep you posted.

    Donnerstag, Jänner 10, 2008

    I Still Heart Portland

    What's not to heart about Portland? OK, maybe it rains a lot there. Maybe the power goes out at the drop of a hat. And maybe this much snow

    causes school closures.

    But Portland has

    Woot! I forgot to get my Masala Burgers out of Sharman's freezer, but a few things made it home in my bag.

    And Portland has New Seasons. New Seasons has hot woks*. Hot woks are really, really good.

    And New Seasons has this:

    This is the best hot chocolate I have had in my life. It is the only hot chocolate I ever drunk that made me want to finish off the whole can. This is really good hot chocolate. Did I say I liked it?

    Sharman Has Stash!

    We went to the closest shop that was open on Monday. This was All About Yarn. Exciting thing number one about it is that it is only about five minutes from Sharman's, and right off the freeway so it's easy to get to. Exciting thing number two about it is that it is right next to Decorettes, where we bought chocolate and cutters and saw amazing books.

    So that was the exciting part. The yarn store itself was pretty ho-hum, with the standard baby and afghan yarns and the usual patterns. However, the shop worker was quite helpful and reasonably friendly, especially considering we had two preschoolers in tow, and we saw some nice yarns, such as Noro and Frog Tree. Some Silk Garden followed me home, along with a Euroacrylic/mohair blend that seemed soft enough to replace E's now outgrown Arwen cardi.

    I was surprised that Baby Arwen had actually become a favorite. E cried when she put it on and it was too short. I am not going to do all the cabling this time. E just cares about the color and the hood. I will do the cabling on mine. Eventually.

    Now that I am home, all is not sweetness and light. Irtfa'a has been frogged again. I am starting over two needle sizes up from what's calledfor. I went to Weight Watchers today and it was bad enough that I threw away the kisses that came from The Loopy Ewe. The new TiVo and cable card still don't work, so I am out money on the TiVo return for nothing. Worse, Paul is calling it my TiVo, so now I didn't even get him anything nice for Christmas. But oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

    * "A unique offering at New Seasons is their signature hot wok where customers choose fresh ingredients from a "wok bar", then give them to the New Seasons deli to stir-fry with their choice of vegetables, meats and sauces." Press Release 9/10/2001

    Sonntag, Jänner 06, 2008

    Disasters of Christmas Past, Yarn Crawls, and More

  • Disasters of Christmas Past Section

  • We just finished undecorating Sharman's tree. She helped me do mine on Friday. It reminded me of our worst holiday decorating disaster.

    When we lived in New Orleans I was determined to have a fake tree because I was terrified a real one might have cockroaches in it. I thought it would be cute to put mini-candy canes on it, and so laboriously unwrapped a honkload of them and had them on every branch.

    Now, as you may know, New Orleans is a pretty humid city. Winter there is more of a rainy season than anything else. The humidity can be (and often is) 100% even when it isn't raining.

    Naked candy canes. 100% humidity. Can you tell where this is going?

    When we took the decorations off the tree, I was surprised to find that the candy canes were all pointed on the bottom. I was puzzled at first. What would make candy canes get pointed on the ends? Then I started noticing that the plastic tree needles were sticky and covered in gunk. The tree was so bad it had to be thrown away. But that was nothing to the rug under the tree! If you think a tree is a cockroach attractant, just try leaving something sticky out overnight. Goodbye, tree. Goodbye rug. After that we drove across the lake and picked out a fresh tree every year.Note: Luckily we never had trouble with cockroaches at that house, despite the melted candy and the fresh Christmas trees

  • Yarn Crawl Section

  • Sharman is ready for a new knitting project. She has knitted two hats, one in super bulky Rowan, and one in black worsted weight (Dream in Color Classy). Now she wants to knit a baby sweater for a friend. So tomorrow we want to visit a yarn store where she can pick out a project and start to form a relationship with the shop folks in hopes that they will help her if she gets stuck.

    One of my favorite yarn shops in the world is downtown Portland's Knit Purl, and we would go there in a heartbeat, but it's not easy for Sharman to get to on a regular basis. So we checked out Persistant Illusion, home of Judy's Magic Cast-on and the Portland Yarn Shops page. Some time when I'm going to be here for more than two days I'm going to take this lady to lunch.

    I really want to go to Farmhouse Knit Shop, because they are supposed to have the biggest selection of Blue Moon Fiber Arts outside of Scappoose. No, I am not sick of it yet. Sadly, they are closed on Mondays.

    We have honed in on two others that are nearby and should be open tomorrow. These are All About Yarn and Northwest Wools. I think we'll only have time for serious shopping at one of them, but if whichever we go to first doesn't work for us immediately, we'll zoom over to the other one.

    Will keep you posted.

  • Free Extra Section: Near Shopping Disaster!

  • My flight yesterday was too bumpy for knitting, and I forgot my fancypants headphones, so I read a magazine. It was Gramophone, which is almost as dangerous as a knitting magazine. The minute we got the kids to bed last night I went online and found a DVD of Herbert von Karajan in rehearsal that was mentioned in the mag. We have a conductor in the family, and his birthday is next month so . . .

    They also mentioned a couple of recently-released DVDs of amazing performances conducted by von Karajan. These were not quite as easy to locate. I finally tracked them down at I was so excited I put them right in my cart and went to check out. At the last minute I thought I might want to find out how much 11,700 yen is in American dollars.

    Er, did you say $104 of them?

    OK, maybe I will save my yen for yarn or something.

  • The "This is Not a Coincidence Any More" Section

  • Today I was standing around outside church in Portland when who should come out of the building but my organ teacher. Now, this nice lady is one of the organists at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, so she is not someone I would expect to see in Portland. Turns out she is visiting her daughter, which daughter is a friend of Sharman's and the person I picked up a baby present for last week while I was out and about.

    We all got a pep talk from our bishop last week about doing a better job at our church callings. I thought maybe that meant I should get back into organ lessons. But walking into my organ teacher 700 miles away from home the very next Sunday? Let's scratch the "maybe."

    And the other one: I decided to attend Salt Lake Recorder Society rather than be in Early Music Ensemble this semester to reduce my stress level. So yesterday I got an email detailing the first meeting of the new year. The topic is "New Music," and the assignment to bring either something recently composed or recently discovered.

    OK, I just happen to have a very new and very controversial piece for recorders and krummhorns. I think I'll spruce it up and take it along. What the heck.

    Mittwoch, Jänner 02, 2008

    Bah, Humbug

    It's a little late for that, you say?

    Irtfa'a is in the frog pond. It looked a little dense. I did the gauge swatch this morning.


    Some people say to do gauge swatches first. I say Bah, Humbug to that. I had a lot more fun knitting lace on the wrong size needles and watching Rise of the Silver Surfer than I would have had knitting a gauge swatch.

    Today I felt righteous sitting around knitting a gauge swatch when I should have been doing housework.

    I don't have to do dishes. My dishwasher is dead. Paul is getting me a new one. We have to have something to put in it so we can try it out, right? I say Bah, Humbug to dishes, too.

    Actually, I say Bah to Trusty, too. It's a Barkbusters thing. But I do not say Humbug to him. That would be too rude.

    Dienstag, Jänner 01, 2008

    Being Big

    Today M1 had to go to the doctor and pee in a cup. Howard and Amber had to divide up, and since Amber's parents were here with their trailer and a load of furniture, Amber went with them to the new house. Howard took M to Instacare. I went along because--well, it seemed like a good idea to have another girl along when peeing in a cup was on the agenda.

    M was frightened and didn't feel well, and cried a little at the indignity of it, but she managed the cup thing like a trooper. Later she answered all the doctor's questions and behaved much more like a grownup than a 3-year-old.

    Afterward Howard and I told her what a big girl she was. She said,

    "I wasn't big. I was little. I cried."

    So then I knew why I had gone along. It was Gramma's job to tell her that being big doesn't mean that you aren't scared and don't cry, but that being big means that you act big even when you feel little inside.

    When Howard was M1's age, he had a horrid temper. When he managed his temper, Paul would let him hook up the battery to our boat's diesel engine. When Howard lost it, Paul would tell him that Boat Boys didn't act like that. One day Howard solemnly told me, "Milk and boats make me big."

    Anyway, I want to tell you that I decided blogging every day in December was an interesting thing to try, but I don't think it made me big. It made my month more interesting because some days I only did some things so I would have something to blog about. But it also meant that you got some posts that were totally pointless because I didn't have anything to say.

    The silly thing is that I didn't set out to blog daily as Lene and others did. I just looked at the title I had typed on the 1st and thought that if I said, "On the First Day of December" in one heading, I had better go on and do the other Thirty of them.

    Sharman is on her second hat. This time she is doing 2x2 rib so she has had to learn to purl. I did the ribbing for her on the first hat. She has made it through 2" in a day. She has the Black Parade Classy, so I will use the Cocoa Kiss for Paul's scarf. Only not today. I am knitting Irtfa'a.

    No tickers