Friday, June 30, 2006

Random updates

After Tuesday's megapost about my unfortunate encounter with blueberry toddler poop (thanks for all your great comments!), I haven't had much time or energy to post. But here's just a little update:
  • I haven't done anything more on Cozy since Tuesday night - I just haven't been able to sit and give it the attention it needs. I'm bummed about this. I must admit that part of my failure to work on it is just out of discouragement.
  • I've been doing a few rows a day on my Never-Ending Baby Blanket for Baby J. It's just a basic diagonal garter stitch blanket, done in Rowan Baby Soft. But I've never been able to maintain any momentum on it b/c it's kind of boring.
  • I frogged and restarted the Simply Lovely Lace Socks, which are looking much lovelier this time. Thanks again to Leilalu for helping me figure out what I was doing wrong with the picot edge!
  • I'm still avoiding finishing seaming on the two dinosaurs I made.
  • I finished sewing my dress! I had my last sewing class on Wednesday and I finished 18 minutes before the end. I'm so proud! I need to take it in a bit on the sides and give it a good ironing, but otherwise it looks pretty nice. I hope to post pics soon. [It's pretty amazing to be able to crank out a major FO like this in roughly 10 hours. 10 hours of knitting would produce far less. But I find knitting far more enjoyable, of course.]
  • I'm discovering that I'm likely to be the same kind of sew-er that I am knitter - one with too many WIPs to count. I anticipate that this could be more problematic with sewing, since it involves having lots of fabric and tools and patterns scattered all over the place.
  • I suddenly find myself wanting to learn to quilt. Note to self: you have too much on your plate already, let it go.
  • Towards meeting my 2nd birthday goal, I started taking Italian classes yesterday! I'm delighted to discover how similar it seems to Spanish, which I used to speak fluently (I'm a little rusty with it currently but have discovered that it's not too difficult for me to pick back up when I need to).
I don't usually take classes, let alone 2 in a row, but there's just so much I want to learn these days, and this summer I seem determined to learn them.

Okay, I'm off to do a little more on the blanket and the socks before I go to work. Ciao!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Opposite of Zen

So I frogged and started over again, feeling encouraged by your comments and good about my commitment to doing this thing right.

Just a few rows in, I found I was still having edge problems, so I frogged again and cast on again.

Which brings me to this afternoon. I am zooming along, adoring the yarn, thrilling to the rhythm of the pattern, which has a great balance of consistency and variety. I really, really love it. I am on the 7th row of the 2nd pattern repeat, which means one more row after this and I will be back to where I was before I frogged yesterday morning. And then something happens, a momentary inattention, a tiny blip, and a stitch is missing. I tinker with it and think I've fixed things, get to the end of the row - and I'm still somehow short one stitch.

And so begins the tinking. I can sort of see where the problem is, but can't figure out how to fix it. So I begin to unknit. Usually unknitting is a little bit Zen for me, a small practice of letting go, and in a nice little rhythm. Only how do you get in a rhythm when every 6th stitch to unknit is actually : sl 1, k2tog, psso? I slog through.

I tink and tink and tink. But I'm still missing a stitch. Oh wait, now I'm missing two stitches. I keep unknitting and reworking little sections, but without progress. So I go further and unknit the next row (a purl row). I think I see the problem, and I think I can fix it once I start knitting things back up. So I do the purl row. Then I do the pattern row, which has constant little problems in it now. I press on, trying to give painstaking attention to what I'm doing. With a nickname like Miss Approximate, I can assure that "painstaking" is not my forte.

I get almost to the end of the row. I have two extra stitches. I count, I tink, I rework. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It looks fixed. I get almost to the end. I have an extra stitch.

I sit there in shock, counting, looking, trying to make out where my problem is. I'm not far enough along in the shawl to be able to readily see how this row looks compared to how it's supposed to look. Where exactly is the freaking problem? And how exactly can I fix it? Things are starting to blur. Possibly because of the tears in my eyes. My Old Man asks questions that don't help, but then listens patiently as I try to explain.

I don't have a lifeline.

I can't figure out where my problem is.

I don't know if I can keep tinking back, or if it would actually be more efficient to just frog all over again. Or maybe I can just unravel back to the 3-row garter border.

I put the shawl away without finishing the row (something that goes against my grain). It's time for the boys to have a bath. I'll take a break, get them to bed, revisit the shawl a little later. I had intended to bathe the boys right after dinner, but they were sitting so sweetly in their room on the floor looking at books, that I decided to let them stay that way a little longer. They had shut the door to their room, and I left it that way, happy to have some quiet moments to knit.

Let me preface what comes next by saying that if you have a weak stomach, have never had toddlers, or are offended by potty talk, you will want to skip the rest of this post.

Let me further preface what comes next by saying that the boys split a pint of blueberries yesterday.

So I open the door to find them both naked (no surprise there; they strip several times a day and I regularly clean up after them since they only use the potty every sporadically at best). Little Buddha has gone poop. To his credit, some of it is in the potty. Okay, so it's actually smeared all over the potty, in every part of the potty, including the underside of the potty. But at least the potty was involved.

It is also in or on the following places:
the shag rug
the hardwood floor
the dresser
the door
the doorframe
the wall
a few books
Little Buddha's hands, legs, and face
and - perhaps most disgustingly - Tiny Dancer's hands, legs, and face

Let me remind you that Little Buddha ate mass quantities of blueberries yesterday.

I have to say that if I had a choice between cleaning up smeared blueberry poop and tinking back a few rows of lace, it would honestly be a tough call.

My Old Man immediately bathed the boys while I went about cleaning their nasty room. After all was cleaned up, and he was diapering the boys while I was putting fresh sheets on their beds (since they had of course both stripped and gone pee in their beds at naptime - yes, these are exciting times in our household!), My Old Man turns to me and says with some surprise in his voice, "You didn't freak out."

So maybe this evening wasn't the opposite of Zen after all. Maybe I'm learning something from the slow, patient work of making stitches, unmaking them, and making them again.

I have also learned this. Diapers and lifelines have one very critical thing in common: if you don't use them, you could end up with a pretty crappy situation.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Back to square 1

I'm loving Cozy - really enjoying the yarn, the pattern, and how things are looking. But 2 repeats in I realized that my edges do not match each other. One edge is more of a chain and the other is more bumpy (like garter ridges). I was slipping the first st purlwise but not compensating at the end by knitting the last st of each row. And since every other row is a purl row, well, that accounts for the difference.

So I'm wrapping this baby back into the ball this very moment. Waah.

I'm kicking myself for this, and for forgetting that white/cream yarn doesn't felt well. I love my little purse but wish that part of it had come out better. It does look better than in the picture, though. I should've taken better shots, b/c IRL the flap is not crooked like that.

I think the most frustrating part of unraveling Cozy is that this is likely to count as my knitting time this morning. Happy Monday morning.

Friday, June 23, 2006

just a sweet little thing

I thought that after last night's post I needed to post a little light something. So here is my most recent FO (at last! actual knitting content!). It is a sweet little felt purse designed by Amber. I love it! It has been a nice diversion, and quick. I have skeins of Wool of the Andes lying around in random colors (thanks to my knitted Easter egg obsession). I only had a skein of WOTA in "hush" (lavender) so my purse isn't as long as Amber's; it's more square. And oddly, the cream colored yarn ("cloud") didn't felt as much as the lavender. (I seem now to remember reading somewhere that white/cream yarn doesn't felt well; could that be right?). But overall, I am quite pleased with it. And I found a cute little butterfly button for it.

The purse will go with the dress I'm sewing, which is linen with embroidered flowers and butterflies.

before-and-after felting pics:

You can see how much the body shrank in proportion to the flap. Other than Easter eggs and a test swatch, this is the only thing I've really felted. I can see why people are so into felting. It's fun.

Meanwhile, I'm nursing a burgeoning sewing obsession. Pics soon.

And I've made a start on Cozy! I've got maybe a little more than an inch done (basically the 3 garter rows and then the first 8-row pattern repeat). It's definitely going to take a little more concentration and perfectionism than I usually give to my projects, but I think it will be worth it.

By the wayside:
Simply Lovely Lace Socks - soon to be frogged and restarted, since I now realize I did the picot edge cuff all wrong (which is what I get for thinking I was repeatedly misreading the pattern and ignoring one very obvious instruction because of it). Thank you to Leilalu for setting me straight.
Dinosaurs - Bronty has been stuffed and mostly seamed. He has one leg right now and a seam that should've been his belly is on his side. He is put away for now till I decide whether to take off the head and leg to make the seam be on his belly, or to forget it and just add the other three legs. Trice still needs to be stuffed and seamed.
Layette - just need to add the buttons for the placket-neck sweater. And finish the other half of the diagonal garter stitch blanket.

Must finish up the dinosaurs and the layette, as I have declared this to be the Summer of Selfish Knitting! And I'm ready to get to it!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Women's Work

I am so tired. So much, including thoughts about gender and my "place," weighs on me these days. And then I sit down with my little piece of the earth - yarn. With my women's tools - needles. (Or tonight with sewing machine and fabric.) And suddenly I vault away from the male world I live in. I am doing "women's work" and I revel in it. I hold my yarn and needles and suddenly I am sitting with my grandmother Thelma, and with so many great-grandmothers, and with women everywhere who have created things slowly, quietly, without recognition, and without being questioned. I sit at my machine and suddenly I am sitting with my grandmother Edith, and with so many great-grandmothers, and with women everywhere who have sat in front of cold, mechanical machines, with furrowed brows and hunched shoulders, pushing shimmering fabric through to create warm, lively garments. The world has not always valued such work as this, but it has always been valuable. And when I do this work, I know its value in my very bones.

Tonight more than usual I am grateful, especially after such a hard week, to just sit and make my little things. To be left alone. To think only of sensual matters - the feel of the yarn, the smell of the silk, the click of the needles, the sight of the colors, my bare feet on the wood floor with toes on a whirring pedal. It is not that I think one world is better than another. It is not that I think "men's work" and "women's work" are categories that should really even exist. It is just that when I sit down and take up this kind of work, it is like walking through a door where I am only myself, without all the other projections and constructions. And I am free.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


So, here it is, in all its silky, tweedy, toasty, earthy goodness. Mmmmmmm.

Here I am, right after I made the score. The woman at the LYS was so funny. She said she called me as soon as UPS came with it, because she knew how anxious I was to have it. She raved about the yarn as I was making the purchase, and throughly stoked my enthusiasm. As I left the store, she called out after me, "Don't stay up all night knitting!"

The yarn is 100% silk. I love the smell of silk. I mean, really, really love it. I think I will be smelling this yarn a lot.

I like for other people to smell the silk, too. CJ, smell the silk! Smell the silk! Smell the silk! Smell the silk, CJ!

She liked it, too.


Just picked up a message from my LYS.
My yarn is in! My yarn is in! My yarn is in! My yarn is in!
With any luck, I'll be picking it up before they close at 6, and casting on for Cozy before bedtime.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

X-treme Lace Knitting

for the Amazing Lace Challenge #2

earthchick is finding that raising toddlers is cutting into serious knitting time. In her efforts to complete the Amazing Lace, she has decided to engage in X-treme Multitasking: 2 toddlers, 2 potties, 5 size 0 needles, and some Pearl sock yarn. Recipe for disaster? Or brilliant time management? Stay tuned to find out.

standing in for Cozy is a Simply Lovely Lace Sock from IK Spring 2006. Yarn for Cozy is still on backorder. Rumor has it that the LYS has put out a restraining order on earthchick, who insists on stopping by to check on her order, though she has been told repeatedly that they will call when it arrives. earthchick: taking things to the X-treme, in whatever obsessive way she can.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

My Fellas

Tomorrow's celebration plans are messed up with an after-church meeting, which must be followed by a nap for the boys, so it will be late in the day before My Old Man is properly feted. I'm getting the jump on things by wishing him a Happy Father's Day right here and now.

not that he ever reads this blog

I love this man.

So does Little Buddha.

And Tiny Dancer.

And a big Happy Father's Day to my Dad, too!
not that he ever reads my blog either

Friday, June 16, 2006

I knit! I sew! I potty train!

Feeling a tad victorious today.

Though I really shouldn't be, as far as knitting goes. Zero news to report. No knitting done yet today (the boys got up extra early). And yesterday was a near-bust too. I did the tiniest bit of seaming on Bronty before I had to go to work. Last night, with the boys in bed and My Old Man out for the evening, would've been prime knitting time, but I made myself do all those dreadful "adult" things - clean the kitchen, put up toys, bring our checkbook up-to-date (a tall order given how long it has been since I recorded anything - oof!).

My first sewing class was great. I've got my pattern about halfway cut out and am supposed to finish cutting it before next Wednesday's class. I'm making a simple dress out of a flax-colored linen embroidered with butterflies and flowers. I picked the fabric to match my Anthropologie-Inspired Disaster (one of these days I'll post a picture of the monstrosity and ask for suggestions for how to rectify what I don't like about it). I've got all kinds of ideas for other stuff I want to make soon. It's amazing how much more quickly a sewing FO is than a knitted FO!

The big news, though, is the potty training. Actually, I prefer the term "potty learning" because I don't feel like I am training so much as trying to follow their cues and keep up with what they are already doing. I guess to some people these days, 2 seems early to be working on potty stuff, esp. with boys, but I swear they have led the way. [Warning: the following contains graphic words like "pee-pee" and "poo-poo." If you cannot stomach such images, head straight for Friday's Feast, below.] Little Buddha has used the potty (both pee-pee and poo-poo) at least once a day 6 out of the last 7 days. Yesterday, he used it twice, including standing up to pee-pee one of those times (not anything we have pushed or encouraged, just what he wanted to do). Once Tiny Dancer saw that standing was a potty option (every other time he has just stood and peed on the floor), he chose to pee in the potty - three times in a row! (with stunning aim) He was so proud he did a little dance afterwards (yes, Tiny Dancer is a very apt name for him). Am hoping the days of them stripping down and peeing/pooping wherever they want (hardwood floor, cribs, mommy's shoes) are over. There have been some nasty, nasty incidents here at our house. Let's just say that I never realized motherhood would involve scrubbing excrement off the walls.

On that appetizing note, it's Friday's Feast time.

Friday's Feast #98


What is a word that you use that would not be considered common?
"Lectionary." This is the collection of Scriptures that preachers in the mainline traditions choose from in determining what passage to preach from each Sunday. Baptists haven't traditionally drawn from these, but we do (and more and more Baptists do).

What theme of calendar do you have on your wall this year?
I have four calendars. The one in my study at home and my office at work are the same - a great illustrated Biblical calendar from The Printery House (part of a monastery in Missouri) that I've been getting for years. In my bedroom is a nature-themed one with Scripture verses that our youth group sells every year to raises money for our sister church in Nicaragua. And in my kitchen is the awesome More Time Moms calendar.

Name 3 people you speak with by telephone a regular basis.
My parents, pretty much every day.
My Old Man, when one of us is at the office and the other at home.
Our awesome Administrative Assistant, when I'm working from home.
And that's pretty much it. I'm not really a big phone person. I talk to people on the phone for work and if I need to set up social plans but otherwise it is my least-preferred mode of communication.

Main Course
If you could buy a new outfit for someone you know - who would it be and what would you purchase for them?
I guess I'd get something for My Old Man, though I don't know what. Just something cool and fun for summer, with some really sharp new shoes.

What is the last beverage you drank?
Coffee. And before that - coffee.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Things I suck at:

  1. seaming
  2. stuffing
  3. seaming
  4. making a pair of things where both items are the same size
  5. seaming
  6. making an i(diot)-cord that doesn't look idiotic
  7. seaming

Notes to self:
  1. next time just buy the boys stuffed dinosaurs
  2. if you insist on ever knitting dinosaurs or other stuffed animals again, go down at least one needle size smaller than you think you need to, unless you really want the stuffing to show through
  3. if you're going to make booties or socks, you might want to keep the first one made on-hand to compare to the second one you're making so you don't, say, make the top of one bootie shorter by 2 rows (hypothetically speaking, of course)
  4. if you're not going to keep the 1st bootie or sock in front of you as you make the second, then at least follow the directions a little more closely
  5. given that the newborn will not be walking, people will actually see the bottoms of your handiwork; you might want to keep that in mind the next time you try seaming bootie bottoms
  6. "craptastic" is a very useful word

On a happier note, I have my very first sewing lesson in an hour! Oh, wait a minute, is this craft going to involve seaming too? Oy!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Putting the "earth" back in "earthchick" one step at a time

So a long time ago a friend dubbed me "earthchick" (a previous friend had dubbed me "Granola Gal" but that didn't seem to stick). I guess I was your basic earth-loving tree-hugging Birk-wearing crunchy grad student. (My boyfriend's nickname was "Eco-Boy." He's an organic farmer now, so I think he's living the dream a little more than I am. He also, interestingly, has twin toddlers [as I do], as does a previous ex-boyfriend.)

For 13 years I've used "earthchick" as my handle pretty much everywhere online. Well, there was that one bizarre and brief exception where I went by "Charlie B," but I digress. Despite the fact that I've kept the moniker, I haven't kept the spirit of the name as much as I would've liked.

But now I'm trying to turn things around. #4 in the list of my goal for my 36th year was to live my values a little more concretely in my daily life. In particular, I'm trying to be more mindful about the toll my lifestyle takes on our planet, and I'm trying to get more conscious about what it means to live a sustainable life. It's a little overwhelming, and very difficult to live gently on the earth in our modern, industrialized nation. For now the best I think I can muster is baby steps.

Today, my baby steps took me all the way to work and back. I've decided to try to get to work by alternative means once a week. For me, this means by foot or by bus for now, because my bike is not fit for riding. The church is a little less than 2 miles away, so it was a pleasant 30 minute walk. (The walk takes me right by an LYS downtown but given that I added 48 minutes to my daily commute today I couldn't really afford the time to stop!).

I didn't get to knit this morning because of leaving for work early, but I did think about knitting a lot while I was walking. Not that that counts towards any FOs. I'm hoping that tonight can be all about finishing up some FOs (dinosaurs and Baby J's baby booties). Basically this means a lot of seaming, stuffing, and a couple of i-cords. So not really knitting.

One of these days I will post actual knitting content, with pictures and everything.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Organized Knitter?

My constant struggle is between expectation and reality. I have to-do lists, to-read lists, and (of course) to-knit lists that are far too long for me to accomplish in the time I actually have. I also don't necessarily use the time I do have particularly efficiently. For instance, the boys are napping now and I told myself I ought to take 15 minutes to try to straighten up the clutter in my study. You see what I am doing instead. At any rate, though I am an eternal optimist (hence the fact that I never shorten any of my to-do lists), I also live in a constant state of disappointment about all that I am failing to get done.

In addition to my unrealistic expectations of time, energy, and other resources, I also am a fairly disorganized (and, perhaps, undisciplined) person. I have tried to reform countless times. One small evidence of these efforts is the number of books I have on "getting organized." My Old Man would hasten to point out that these books are on my shelves in no particular order, simply randomly stuck here and there next to books that have nothing to do with organization. It's ridiculous, really.

Still, I am trying. It is hard for a person who really only wants to knit, read, eat, play, and relax, to do all the things that are necessay to support those habits. But I am trying.

So here is one small step. I am organizing my knitting (not for the first time, but so far this time seems more effective than last). I have put together a little organizer thing in my study closet to hold my yarn, my WIPs, my patterns, and my knitting books. AND on Tuesday I got this:

Ain't she gorgeous? I am in love! This is the combination case for straight and circular needles. It was a late Mother's Day gift from My Old Man, purchased from the very talented Megan Reardon at Organized Knitter. Didn't she do a beautiful job? I am just so thrilled. Maybe now this little investment will keep from purchasing duplicate Addis (yes, I've done it twice so far; only once was I able to make an exchange). Wheeee!

In other knitting news:
  • Reynolds Mandalay is still in absentia. I am stalking the LYS and did get to feel actual skeins of actual Mandalay (I swooned only a bit, and it was small enough that I don't think the owner was alarmed - in fact, she brought out a toddler sweater she was knitting in it, for me to feel). My color should be in soon. She says she'll call. I may stop by again anyway....
  • Bronty and Trice are all knitted. Now to the stuffing and seaming, which I dread.
  • The Simply Lovely Lacy Socks, which are neither simple nor lovely on my needles, have been languishing while I work on the dinos.
  • I've been blog-stalking in search of pictures of shawls people have knitted in Helen's Lace. I hope to do a shawl after Cozy but am trying to determine which color. I have spent ungodly amounts of time on this decision.
  • I did precisely one row on my old Diagonal Garter Stitch Baby Blanket (started last fall for a baby who is now several months old, now intended as part of Baby J's layette). I hope to work on it a little each day....
Well, Tiny Dancer is awake from his nap, and what that means is no study-cleaning for me. Oh well!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday's Feast #97

Friday's Feast


About how much money did you spend on gas this week?
I filled up last Friday, and it was about $40 for the tank. I still have more than 1/4 tank left.

What is your favortite brand of toilet paper?
Charmin Ultra.

When was the last time you discovered something that you thought was pure genius?
Wednesday night. Though it was more of a rediscovery, or ongoing discovery, than a new discovery. On Wednesday, My Old Man and I went to a piano concert performed by our friend and colleague Joel Hastings. Joel's playing is brilliant, soulful, and mesmerizing; he is the very embodiment of genius. (I know this question was really meant to be about some thing or gadget, but I'd rather listen to Joel play the piano than me amazed by some new "thing.")

Main Course
What is the least amount of sleep you can get by on per night?
I can make it on about 4 if I have to, but I prefer to get at least 7, preferably 8, and ideally 9. Last night I went to bed at 9:30, got up at 6:45 and feel extraordinarily refreshed.

June is a popular month for weddings. Do you know anyone who is getting married this month?
Yes - I am performing her wedding tomorrow. But she's the only one I know this year with a June wedding. Last month, though, My Old Man and I performed four weddings between the two of us.

Contemplative Knitcast!

In February and May I led a "Contemplative Knitting" group at my church, with the idea of it becoming a semi-regular event. I have a lot of interest in how knitting can be a form of prayer, meditation, or contemplation. So I wanted to explore that with other knitters who had the same interest, or at least a curiosity about it. Our first session we had 10 knitters, ages 20-something to 80-something. Our second session, which we didn't advertise adequately, we have four knitters - but still a great time.

At the May session, my friend yakmidi recorded it for a podcast. We cut out the parts where there was group discussion, so now it's about 15 minutes long (from a 2-hr session!), with places where the listener can pause to do his/her own meditating/praying/journaling. It is a modest effort, and it is led from a Christian perspective but with some Buddhist influences (specifically informed by a great book written by a former seminary classmate of mine, Kim Boykin, Zen for Christians, and also by a book by Tara Jon Manning, Meditative Knitting). I know this kind of thing is not for everyone, so don't feel obligated to give it a listen. I just thought it would be fun to make it available for anyone who was interested. (Special thanks to my friend, colleague, and fellow knitting-addict, Rev. Beth for giving me the idea to record it as a podcast!

Without further ado, my little contemplative knitcast.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

no longer in the most coveted demographic

Yep, on Sunday I took a leap into the next age bracket, as defined by marketers. No longer in that sought-after 18-34 group, I am now a full-fledged 35 year-old. Wow. This birthday has felt big, like I'm really an official adult now (somehow leaving home, getting my degrees, starting my career, getting married, buying a house, and having kids didn't quite do the trick!).

Every year on my birthday My Old Man asks me about my goals for the year. This year they are:
  1. learn to sew
  2. learn Italian
  3. keep knitting, and getting better at it
  4. do better about embodying in my daily life the values I say I hold, especially when it comes to simplicity and living gently on the earth
(uh yeah, one of these is not like the other one)

Did I really need to make a "goal" for knitting? Not really. It's not like I'm going to quit knitting if it's not a goal. But it somehow didn't seem right not to say something about knitting, since it is so central to who I am. (perhaps I should've made one of my goals be to get my hands on some Reynolds Mandalay yarn, since so far that has eluded me)

Better time management ought to somehow be a goal, too. But I've been trying for that for half my life now and I don't seem to be getting much better.

Also off my list for the first time in 6 years: writing a novel. I'm tired of telling myself that's a goal and then never doing it. I did come up with my plot and characters last summer, along with writing down some preliminary notes and sketching out a schedule for myself. But then I got obsessed with knitting and the novel fell off my radar. I did write part of a children's book late last summer, and maybe I'll try to finish it at some point this year. But I'm tired of feeling bad about unmet goals and unrealized ideals, so I'm not setting any writing goals.

For my birthday, My Old Man got me a new camera! This was mainly for my trip to Italy in the fall, but of course it will be getting lots of use taking pictures of my boys and my knitting.

In knitting news, there are the following developments:
  1. I have mostly finished Baby J's layette (pictures forthcoming, once I fix the seams of the sweater and find the right buttons; I also need to do some booties)
  2. I am working on a couple of dinosaurs for my boys, from Xtreme Knitting I have finished knitting Bronty but still have to do the stuffing and seaming, and I've started knitting Trice. They are so cute! (and fast)
  3. I found an LYS that carries Reynolds Mandalay - my yarn should be in on Friday!!!!
  4. I am obsessed with The Amazing Lace and with reading other participants' blogs.
  5. I finally used my two LYS gift cards, along with my 20% coupon I had been hanging on to for months. It was quite the coup.
  6. My Simply Lovely Lace Socks are neither simple nor lovely.
  7. I got a really happy delivery yesterday, details and pictures coming soon.
Okay, my alarm went off 10 minutes ago. It was supposed to tell me to get off the computer and start cleaning up the house while the boys nap. (the whole time management thing, you know) I did not do it then. I must make myself do it now. See, I am an adult now, and really must begin to do adult things, like making myself do things I'd just rather not do.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Amazing Lace - Meet the Team

Challenge #1*

Internet Dating Relationship
earthchick: 34 (for one more day!)
Cozy: 21 months
earthchick: wife, mom, minister, knitter
Cozy: lace shawl
earthchick: Ann Arbor, MI
Cozy: Herrschners, Inc, Stevens Pt., WI

earthchick and Cozy met online in the fall of 2005, when earthchick's obsession with knitting came into full bloom; they have continued to meet online regularly, always at earthchick's initiative. In May of this year, earthchick finally decided to arrange for a meeting, through Internet matchmaker Herrschners, Inc. Unfortunately, Herrschners was unable to arrange the meeting in time for the beginning of the Amazing Lace, so earthchick will continue to see other projects until June 29.**

earthchick taught herself to knit from a book in May 2002 but didn't really "get it" until she discovered the videos at Knitting Help last September. Before that point, she had only ever finished four objects, all scarves, none very good. She is a continental knitter with a love for natural fibers and Addi Turbos. She is a process knitter who is frequently dissatisfied with her finished objects.

Cozy is a 100% silk rectangular shawl designed by Danielle Schoonover. She will be knitted with eight skeins of Reynolds Mandalay in oatfield. Clearly, earthchick is easily suggestable, as this is the same yarn and same color as the designer used.

Prelace interview
When and where did you meet?
I first met Cozy online in the fall of 2005, when I first discovered the online knitting world. In her profile, she was pictured with another redhead, and I was instantly and insanely jealous. But I was certain that with time, patience, and the persistent honing of my knitting skills, I could make her mine.
Cozy: Well, I haven't actually met earthchick in person yet, due to an unfortunate set of circumstances involving the word "backorder." If earthchick's compulsive checking of tracking information is any indication of her knitterly impulses, I expect I will be getting unremitting and obsessive attention from her for the duration of The Amazing Lace.

If you could describe your relationship in one phrase or sentence, what would it be?
Cozy: Um, stalker-esque?

Why did you decide to team up together for The Amazing Lace?
I have been obsessed with Cozy for some time now. Competing in this challenge with her seemed to be the only way to make her mine.
Cozy: I did not really have a choice. Apparently, what earthchick wants, earthchick gets.

As you begin the Lace, how do you think this experience will affect your relationship?
Oh, I definitely think we will come out of this stronger. Right now, Cozy is a bit distant from me. But soon, I feel certain I will have her wrapped around my little finger. And by the time the Lace is over, I think she will be all over me.
Cozy: Our "relationship"? Well, given the fact that right now we don't really have one, I guess The Amazing Lace will change it pretty dramatically.

What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to the team?
My strengths include persistence, stamina, and attention to detail that border on the edge of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. In terms of weaknesses, I have a tendency to eat chocolate and not wash my hands again before taking up my yarn. Things could get messy.
Cozy: I suppose I have everything you would expect from 100% silk: beauty, attitude, and a delicate strength. My only weakness is that I am not machine washable.

What strengths and weaknesses does your teammate bring to the team?
Cozy is everything I would look for in a teammate for The Amazing Lace. The consistency and reliability of her pattern is reassuring. At the same time, working with her will be a challenge, especially since I've not done much real lacework. To me, she seems to be a perfect combination of familiarity and intrigue. The only weakness I see in her right now is her utter inaccessibility.
Cozy: I think earthchick's obsessive qualities will be either her downfall or her saving grace.

*this entry is based on the Amazing Race bios of actual Amazing Race teams, found on earthchick has never actually watched The Amazing Race, as she does not watch TV. She feels certain, however, that this will not be an obstacle to her participation in The Amazing Lace.

**In the meantime, earthchick has a temporary teammate - Lovely Lace Socks from Interweave's Spring 2006 issue. This project involves two firsts for earthchick - her first project on tiny needles (size 0) and her first chart-reading. Already she has screwed up the pattern and broken a needle.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday's Feast #96

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how funny do you think you are?
A seven?

Name a local restaurant would you recommend to a visitor to your town or city.
Gratzi. The Chop House. The Gandy Dancer. Zingerman's Roadhouse. Real Seafood Company.
I can't help it - I have expensive tastes....

What's a lesson you were lucky enough to learn the easy way?
Life's too short to drink bad coffee.

Main Course
Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
Pretty much where I am right now - same job, same town, same husband, and still enjoying my growing boys. A little more in shape, a little less in debt, and a lot more things knitted.

If you could see the front page of a newspaper from June 2, 2106, what would you imagine the headline might be?
U.S. Invades [insert country here]

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Let them eat cake

My boys turned two yesterday.

Not much knitting news to report. Except one of my least favorite words: backorder. The yarn for Cozy apparently won't be here for awhile. Alas. And alack.