Sunday, April 30, 2006

FOs coming out of my ears!

Wow - I am getting an unbelievable amount of knitting done here. I wish I had my digital camera to get some pics, but that will have to wait till I get home.

On Wednesday, I finished the anthropologie-inspired capelet/shrug, and then I wore it on Thursday. It needs to be blocked but I think I'm pleased with how it turned out. Though it turns out that maybe shrugs/capelets aren't really my style.

And then today I actually completed three projects in a row:
1 - Little Buddha's longies - LTK pattern, size large, Manos del Uruguay, flame - I'm really happy with them
2 - Tiny Dancer's (non) stripey slippers - LTK pattern, Manos del Uruguay, caribe - I did the first slipper yesterday and then whipped the second one out at a lecture this afternoon. They are really cute, but I keep getting confused at one particular point in the pattern. Also, the slippers ended up being not exactly the same size. Am hoping blocking will help.
3 - To Dye For sweater!!! I just finished the seaming. Wheeee! I can't believe I'm finally done knitting this thing. I do still have to a crochet border around the neck, so I guess I'm not technically done, but it sure feels like it. The seaming was a bear.

I hope to do one more pair of slippers (for Little Buddha) while I'm here. It's so exciting to be getting all these things done all of a sudden. It kind of clears the deck for me to start on a layette for My Old Man's first grandbaby, due in July.

I can't wait to give the boys their slippers when I get home on Wednesday. More than that, I can't wait to see all three of my guys - I really miss them.

Monday, April 24, 2006

a brief update

I'm here in Beech Grove, and it is lovely. Gorgeous weather and great women (many of whom are also knitters). As people shared updates of their lives this morning, I made good progress on Little Buddha's longies. I have several knitting goals while here, and as usual I'm sure they are too ambitious:
  • finish the longies
  • make a pair of slippers for both my sons
  • seam To Dye For together - I have finally finished knitting the whole thing! But there aren't words for how much I'm dreading the seaming....
  • finish the anthropologie-inspired capelet

I brought yarn for other projects as well - a whole little suitcase full - so if I finish all of the above (ha ha ha) I have enough yarn to do several soakers and some socks. While I was packing my yarn and patterns and notions, I discovered the Addi Turbos size 7 that I couldn't find when I was packing for my trip to Georgia. I ended up buying more Turbos in Atlanta b/c I thought I must've been mistaken about owning that size. Now I own two sets of 7s - and both in 16 inches. The cost of disorganization. (Don't you think this would make a lovely Mother's Day gift?)

Am missing the boys terribly. But I must admit it is nice not to be perpetually preparing meals/snacks and cleaning up the kitchen. I swear it seems I spend half my life doing one of those two things. For 10 days I don't have to do one single bit of meal-planning, grocery shopping, cooking, or clean-up for myself or anyone else. What a treat to get to be taken care of.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

leaving again

I'm bummed that I haven't blogged more this week. There have been some pics I wanted to take and post (of current WIPs, of the yarn I bought in Atlanta [Malabrigo and Rio de la Plata]) but there just hasn't been time. There's just been so much going on. And now I'm leaving again.

This afternoon, after church, I'll be loading the car and heading to Indianapolis for 10 days at a monastery with 29 other clergywomen for a conference/retreat. This happens twice a year and it was lots easier to go before I was leaving my heart behind. But once I get there, I'll be mostly fine. And I'll get to knit a lot. [I hope to blog a bit there too, but I don't think I'll be able to post pics.]

Last night, My Old Man and I were talking about what to do for dinner because there was nothing in the house. I laid out three options, the third of which was ordering pizza. Suddenly, Little Buddha looked up and said, "Peepa! Peepa!" and clapped his hands. So we ordered the pizza. He said the word the rest of the night (and Tiny Dancer did a few times as well, though he put the "z" in it). The funny thing is that neither of them ate one bite of it.

They are doing new stuff like that every day (this week they have been saying "Hold on!" and "Hang tight!" - two things I say to them a lot, I guess - as well as saying, "Please"). I can't believe I'm going to miss 10 days of watching them grow, 10 days of them saying and doing new things. 10 days of hugs and kisses. 10 days of hearing versions of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and Ee-I-ee-I-o. 10 days of watching them sleep. It is too much.

Monday, April 17, 2006

blog vs. knit

So this morning I woke up and realized I hadn't knit one bit yesterday (assuming I count yesterday from the time I got up, as opposed to those three hours past midnight I was still up the night before). I think that's the first time that has happened since September, and I didn't like it one bit. And I realized if only I had picked up my needles instead of spending all that time writing my ultra-long post, I could've gotten some done on the second sleeve of my spring sweater. Tonight, I am definitely knitting. After I clean up the kitchen, and pick up the boys toys in the living room, and put the diapers on to wash....

While I was foolishly knitting egg after egg, Amber finished her anthropolgie-inspired capelet! It took her three nights. Mine has been on the needles since, oh, mid-January. I did a few rows more a couple of weeks ago only to discover that I had started slipping the first stitch differently than I was doing in January and so the edging looks wrong. So I have to frog some before I can finish. Drat! But do check out Amber's - it is *so* adorable!

Okay, enough blah-blah-blogging from me. I'm off to knit! (I mean, clean! then knit!)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Happiest Easter

I'm so lucky to have this family.

Little Buddha in a pensive moment

Tiny Dancer zooming around the church garden

It was a happy, full, delightful day. My first real chance to do all the fun Easter things with my kids (last year they seemed too young for it all, and My Old Man was in the midst of a medical crisis that sort of put everything else on the backburner). But today seemed like a perfect day. I baked and cooked all day yesterday, including making a chocolate bunny cake like my mom always made when I was growing up. I decorated the house and put the baskets together late last night, and surprised the boys with their baskets this morning. Tiny Dancer was so excited about his that he wouldn't even stop playing to come eat breakfast. Their baskets were only a couple of pieces of candy and mostly small toys and books, which they have been absorbed with. By far their favorite has been these little puzzles I got from Target for a dollar.

They helped me dye Easter eggs yesterday (I use the term "helped" quite loosely). We did a modified egg hunt inside after brunch, since it was a bit chilly and it was naptime (so I didn't want to get them outside and all keyed up). We had a vegetarian friend over and I put together a vegetarian brunch. It was a bit heavy on the sweet side, but otherwise I was pleased with it and the boys liked it too.

Church was a blast, with lots of great music, a wonderful sermon (kudos to My Old Man), a full house, a really happy vibe from everyone, and a weeping cherry tree in full bloom (it only stays in bloom for about 3 days each season, and I've never seen it happen right at Easter). I hope the boys will grow up knowing how fortunate they are to be a part of a multigenerational community that cares so much about them.

After baskets, church, brunch, and egg hunt, I took the most deliciously long and deep nap I've had in a very long time. Then My Old Man headed out to the airport to go help his mother move. Only he left his wallet here. So our delicious Easter was capped off with me and the boys making a mad dash to the airport at what was supposed to be their dinnertime and then their bedtime. I got there 18 minutes before his flight was scheduled for takeoff - and somehow, he managed to make it.

But what about knitting? you ask. Well, gentle reader, that's where my Easter plans were something of a bust. It went like this:
  • Easter bunnies - not one stitch done. Long story that involves a failed provisional cast-on, a failed motivation, and a skein of yarn that keeps ending up in odd places thanks to a huntress cat. Instead, I found them each a stuffed bunny on sale for $6 at Kohl's - and the bunnies were wearing knit roll-neck raglan sweaters, so at least something in their basket was knit. Turns out, though, they had not one bit of interest in those bunnies. So I'm really, really glad I hadn't knit them!
  • stripey slippers - I knit the first one for Tiny Dancer while I was away on my trip. I messed up here and there, plus it looked way too big. I unraveled the night before I flew back. At the airport at 6:00 the next morning, I cast on again, and went with the next smaller size. By the time the plane was landing, I was ready to cast off, but didn't have time to figure out the three-needle bind-off while we were taxiing to the gate. When I got home and tried the thing on Tiny Dancer's foot, I discovered it was too small! He and Little Buddha fought over the cute little slipper, which made me really want to get them both a pair knit in time to go in their Easter baskets. But I wanted to get more eggs done first, and the next thing I knew, it was 3:00 this morning and I was still up and I hadn't cast on a single stitch of a new pair of slippers. Soon. Soon!
  • eggs - They each got one. I knit 14 total, but they each got only one in their basket. I gave two away, I made one a cat toy, I put two aside, I lost one, and the other six were the cause of my late night last night. I had finished four in different colors but had not yet stuffed or felted them. And I wanted to do some in a natural color that I could then dye with Easter egg dye. So I stayed up watching a DVD and making two more eggs. Then I started stuffing. Which took FOREVER. I *hate* stuffing. Especially with yarn scraps. Especially through a tiny hole. Consequently, they all ended up understuffed. Then it was time to felt. I put them in the washer and went to bed. This morning, they weren't all that felted. I put them in the dryer. They were so-so felted and I called them done but it was after the boys had already gotten their baskets. I left the two natural eggs in Easter egg dye while we went to church. They turned out kind of cute. But what the heck am I gonna do with all these knitted understuffed underfelted eggs now?! I'm such a freak. Such a time-challenged, misguided, egg-obsessed freak. If I had known in advance that only two eggs would go in their baskets, I could've skipped all the others (except the two I gave away) and actually knitted the slippers.
Oh well. Surely now that Easter is over, I can let the egg thing go. I have got to finish my spring sweater this week, before I leave town on Sunday. And I really want to finish my capelet, too, but that's probably a tad ambitious. I am almost to the leg portion of Little Buddha's longies. And some day, I'm actually going to knit those slippers.

In the meantime, Happy Easter to all. And, if you read this whole thing, blessings on you!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


O happy reunion!

I took way too much yarn for such a short trip, and then came home with more than I had taken. Easter knitting plans are unraveling before my eyes. More tomorrow. For tonight, I'm just happy to be home with my three fellas.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

a real Saturday

How can I leave these two little guys for three days?!?

So today was a good day. We had a real Saturday like regular, non-preacher folks. In tomorrow's service, I'm only offering a small meditation (we are having a service of lessons and hymns) instead of my usual full sermon, so today was less intense in terms of preparation. What's more, I woke up at 5:00 from a truly awful and violent nightmare and couldn't go back to sleep. Finally, I just got on up and started the day. So by mid-morning, I was done with my prep for tomorrow, and we got to do Saturday like normal people. Running errands, crossing things off the to-do list, relaxing, and lots of time with the boys. It was great fun. And productive.

I'm slipping down to Georgia tomorrow evening and will return first thing Wednesday morning. I don't know how much blogging I'll be able to do while gone, but I do hope to get lots o' stitches knit. [note to self: figure out provisional cast-on before leaving town, so I can start the darn bunnies!]

With everything else on my plate today, I only got four rows knit and then the bind-off on the sleeve. Am still hoping for some more knitting time tonight, but it will probably be minimal. But I'll have two solid hours on the plane tomorrow, with nothing to do but knit. Yeah!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Plugging along....

To Dye For, in Knit Picks Suri Dream, ocean.

Still battling an over-long to-do list but managing to get some knitting in here and there. I really wanted to get my sweater finished before I leave for my quick trip so I could wear it while there, but I don't think that's likely at this point. I am pleased with my progress, though. As you can see, the back is done, the front is done, and one sleeve is almost done (maybe another half inch to go, then 4 rows of garter stitch and the bind off). Then one more sleeve and a heckuva lot of seaming. I think I'm really going to like it once it's done, but man am I tired of knitting with this yarn. It's not awful, it just doesn't glide the way Manos and Malabrigo do. I do think it will make a really nice spring sweater - it has a sort of tunic shape (the bottom five inches on the sides will not be seamed) and bell sleeves (which I adore).

I made a list today of all the knitting I want to get done in the next 8 days and I'm trying to prioritize because I'm fairly certain that a large lot of it is not going to get finished in time. I guess I'm not very good at prioritizing, and not just with knitting.

In non-knitting news, I got to do on a date with My Old Man tonight. Earlier this week, I found a stack of Christmas cards that we never opened (!!!) and in one of them was a gift certificate for a nice restaurant (!!!). So tonight, we got a babysitter and went. And then we went to the mall by ourselves, without the boys, for the first time in about two years. And then we went to Barnes and Noble by ourselves, too. (I must say the knitting section at this particular B&N is a real mess.) And in case you're wondering, I did explain to the couple who gave us the gift certificate why they hadn't heard anything from us about it in four months! (how embarrassing)

steps so far today: 10588 (best all week!)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Things Done, Things Left Undone

Life is a bit overwhelming right now, very full and sometimes too much. Mostly good, but not enough knitting and not enough resting.

Things I have not been doing:
  • knitting Easter eggs (the WOTA arrived days ago and I have yet to knit a single stitch of it)
  • knitting Easter bunnies - I did one leg on Friday and was aghast at how enormous it was. Smaller needles wouldn't help enough to make the pattern work, and I would lose money (and time) if I shipped the yarn back (for worsted instead of bulky). So I decided to do a hybrid of two different patterns to get the size bunnies I want. I knitted a gauge swatch but have done no more.
  • knitting Little Buddha's longies
  • knitting slippers for the boys' Easter baskets
  • blogging
  • taking pictures for my blog
  • reading all the good books on my to-read list
  • writing thank you notes that really need to be written
  • getting the boys' Easter pics taken
  • working out
  • going to bed at a reasonable hour
  • getting up at the ungodly hour I need to in order to get everything done
  • ugh, and I just realized I had some paperwork that was due today that I did not get done....

Things I have been doing instead:
  • enjoying my boys
  • decluttering the basement for at least an hour a day
  • helping out with my Moms of Multiples Clothing Sale (and scoring a slide and a playhouse for the backyard for only $10)
  • getting the locks fixed (all three locks on our house were broken at once)
  • nailing down travel plans for a short trip to Georgia next week
  • planning my Easter menu (including my first attempt at the chocolate Easter bunny cake my mom made every Easter when I was growing up)
  • knitting To Dye For, which has been the opposite of my usual knitting experiences - I'm enjoying the product much more than the process (the fact that I do not just love working with this yarn is slowing me down considerably; I really should be done with this by now. Instead, I've got the front and the back done, but not seamed, and one arm started)
  • knitting a row here and there on my Anthropologie-inspired capelet/shrug (which I also really should be done with by now)
  • planning the layette I'm going to knit for My Old Man's first grandchild, due in July
  • cooking and baking
  • planning a prayer service focused on the crisis in Darfur
  • other Holy Week planning
  • trying to get in 10,000 steps a day (so far today = 9400)
  • attending a most excellent choral concert conducted by my extraordinary friend and colleague (*hi Carole!*) and featuring a masterful performance by genius pianist Joel Hastings, also a friend and colleague
I guess I've been doing some pretty good, pretty fun stuff. But I stay bummed out about all the stuff I'm not getting done. There is always so much I want to do, so much I want to have done, and so little time (and energy) to get it all in.

It's 11:35 now, and I need to turn the diaper laundry onto the next cycle, perhaps knit a row or two, check on the boys, put the house to bed, read a few paragraphs of something, and then go to sleep. And I will let go of all the things left undone....