Friday, August 31, 2007

Last Camping Trip of the Year

Where did the summer go? I can't believe it's Labor Day weekend already! And I am no skinnier than when the summer began (not that I tried very hard to lose weight but one can always hope the hot summer sun will melt off a few pounds)

Our last camping trip of the year is upon us. We're heading up to Priest Lake's Lion Head Campground for 3 days of fun, sun, and even a thunderstorm tonight. It's a gorgeous campground, with easy access to a very nice beach and swimming area, plus lots of hiking trails. This place is so nice, there's even a store where you can buy coffee and donuts in the AM, and ice cream cones. My kind of camping! There's also a nightly family program, which is a lot

of fun. We've learned about bears, winter in the park, and lots more.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend before the start of school!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Very Slightly Knitting Related Reading

My current book is only peripherally knitting related, but it's a fun read:
"Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story" by Leonie Swan. It's about a flock of sheep investigating the murder of their shepherd. Led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glenkill and possibly the smartest sheep in the world (not that that would be difficult...), the flock sets out to discover who killed their shepherd and why.
It's quite imaginative, and fun to see the world from a sheep's perspective. We would do well to consider things from their POV.
On the knitting front, I finished the 2nd sleeve of the Kauni cardigan last night while watching the Mariners LOSE AGAIN. Boo! I just have the collar and front ribbing to do, then it is finis! Also worked a bit on the felted squirrel project. His body and face are done, plus one little arm. Just the 2nd arm, the tail, then off to be felted and stuffed.
My four hooligans are due to arrive shortly to spend the day. We have been 'typing' books: the twins dictate their thoughts to me and I type them and print the results. We've had many pages devoted to animals, not to touch them, how to stay out of danger from snakes, what they eat, where they live, etc. Maybe we can move on to human beings today!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sad Little Kitty

Meg convinced me that Kate the Cat should not become Kate the Cat with Britches...or arms or a second ear. Instead she will remain Kate the Cat who evidently was the big loser in a cat fight and now has to roll along on her torso if she wants to get to her feeding bowl or the litter box. And her sad little face kind of reinforces that. Maybe Kate will have to come stay with Hads and replace her scary lion with fangs and dreads.

You might have to change her name to Nevaless, Megs!

Another Fug Ski Mask!

the 60s must have been a time of willingness to make a total fool of oneself (actually I do remember doing just that with white lipstick, 'Twiggy' eyelashes painted on, hot pants and so much more). In our continuing series of fugly patterns, I found this ski mask for your viewing pleasure/horror.

This and the one Pam sent a picture of are both in McCall's Needlework & Crafts Fall/Winter 1965-66. I will definitely bring that magazine to our family Stitch & Bitch! B-Z is going to need these for her new cabin!

Birthday Fun!

The twins turned 7, how time flies! Seems like yesterday they were running around in diapers and now they are grown up and tearing around on their scooters. We had

a nice party in Mom's backyard, with family and friends. The boys were very gracious, even letting Mikey help open some presents. And they were very good about remembering their 'thank yous' too.

They received a very cool remote control Hummer, some new 'soft pants' and hoodies (and were excited that they were "twin" outfits), Star Wars figures and a cute sleepover set, Rescue and construction sets, plus dollar bills from Grandma Laurie (always a gift in good taste) and a certificate to redecorate their bedroom with new paint, wall decor etc.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another Scary Knitting Pattern

my niece Pam sent me this picture as part of the 'fugly knitting pattern' series. Yeah it's pretty scary, again combining the deadly duo of knitting and clown motifs. I actually have this pattern for sale on my website, it's in a McCall's Needlework & Crafts from the 60s. If you really want to scare your friends (or want the perfect bank robbery disguise) check my website for the issue.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dept. of Guilty Pleasures

I've already admitted I'm a celeb whore. So I will add to my confessional by revealing that I'm currently listening to "The Diana Chronicles" (yes, Princess Di) while knitting my Kauni cardigan. In addition to enjoying the tawdry bit of gossip about the rich and famous, I am a total Anglophile so this somewhat cheesy tell-all is dead-on perfect for my listening pleasure.


Daughter #1 Pia is finally stateside, if not quite back in Spokane (she's in DC visiting). Here's a picture of her doing something absolutely insane while she was in Africa. What were you thinking, Rotch!!!!

I had all 4 boys over yesterday (2 year old Michael, 6 yo twins Alex & Liam, and 8 yo big bro RJ), we had many outdoors adventures in the yard. The boys decided they wanted to help the neighbors, so they filled my garden cart with tools, and had me make a sign says "We will help you. We have 2 shovels and rakes". Unfortch, they had no takers. I offered them a buck each to rake my yard, but I guess it's more fun working at a stranger's house. Mikey was content to lay in the cart with a blankie and pillow and get pulled around, he was having nothing to do with any work detail.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Wish...

Another little slice of life...My friends Alex and Liam (going to be 7 on Saturday!) are two very active little boys, who burn calories at an amazing rate. Their very favorite meal, which they will eat 3x daily if allowed, is a big bowl of oatmeal topped by a giant mound of (full fat) whipped cream. This is pretty much what their bowls look like when they are allowed to squirt their own WC from the can.

Wouldn't it be great to HAVE to eat like this just to maintain your weight?! Those days are long past for me (if I ever had a day like this, I don't remember).

Monday, August 20, 2007


Katie says I'm not allowed to post if I don't have anything interesting to say, but she's not here so I'm doing it.

I am making progress on a couple of projects: Kate the Cat With Britches missed her deadline to be submitted to the 2008 Knitty calendar, rats. She's still in need of an ear, plus arms and legs, but she's kind of cute and cuddly anyway.

Here's the finished sleeve #1 of my Kauni Cardigan. I like the color variations on this sleeve, though it did get kind of stalled in the blue/purple range on the lower sleeve. The second sleeve has been started, and it's going to look completely different as far as the colors go. But I think that's part of the charm of this sweater, it's unique.

I wanted to give a 2 thumbs up for a book I just finished: "Havana Heat" by Darryl Brock. He is the author of my all time favorite baseball/time travel book "If I Never Get Back" and this one is also about baseball, based on Luther "Dummy" Taylor, a real player for the 1900s New York Giants. He was a deaf pitcher, and the story is wonderfully written. Here's a 1908 "American Caramel" baseball card with Dummy Taylor.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

All Quiet on the Western Front...

we took the twins home this morning, and they were happy to see their Mama and brothers after 5 days with Grandma Laurie and Grandpa Steve. We had a great time, but man, you really need to be young and strong to keep up with 6 year old twin boys! We def. will be logging some nap time as we recover from the hooligans.

On the knitting front, I am nearly finished with the first sleeve on my Kauni cardigan. I managed to find a #5 11" circular needle, which I was able to use on the sleeve until I had to switch to #3 needles to work the ribbing. I love the tiny circ. needles, they make doing sleeves, socks etc. so easy. Of course, they aren't everyone's cuppa tea; the very short length of the cord between the needles can be hard to get used to, and your hands can cramp using these shorties. I find that keeping the work right at the tips of the needles, and making a real effort to keep my hands from gripping the needles tightly helps the knitting to proceed smoothly.
I'm listening to the Mariners v. White Sox game on the radio (why isn't it on tv? poop sandwich on that!) and working on my Kauni cardi. Or napping, depending on whether Steve will give up the couch...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Good Dinette Set Comic!

I admit to being a total celebrity whore. Humiliating but true. I worship Star magazine (since it has gone to the glossy format, it is not so embarassing to purchase it at the grocery store, it doesn't really SEEM like you're buying the Enquirer lol)

So once again, The Dinette Set has managed to peek into my home and reveal a little bit of my life.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Some Things Never Change

My sister B-Z still delights in remembering what a completely inept bike rider I was as a child (you can get her hysterical just by mentioning the time I careened down Madrona Street with my feet flying off the pedals, through the Evans' rockery, over the Peterson's lawn, past our house, across the street, and smack into the side of a moving van parked in the Allen's driveway) Well, 40+ years have passed and I'm not actually a whole lot better at riding a bike.

The twins and I went out for a leisurely bike & scooter ride through the 'hood after dinner tonight. As leisurely as you can be with two little scooter bugs who fly down the road, with me constantly screaming "Stop at the corner!" "Watch for Cars!" "WAIT FOR ME!!!!") Anyway, all was going fine until one of them cut in front of me. Now you'd think the natural response would be to hit the brakes, but evidently I haven't learned much since the above mentioned incredibly humiliating incident from my childhood. While my mind was screaming "BRAKE! BRAKE! BRAKE YOU IDIOT!", my body was trying to maneuver out of the way and avoid creaming the child, an act of which I am completely incapable of successfully executing. Result: I ended up kind of trying to leap off my bike (I'm sure the kids up the street were absolutely rolling while watching Grandma Laurie try to do this), and chewing off a pretty considerable chunk of my leg on the chain. Limped home with a shoe full of blood and I should have several interesting scars.

After that, we decided to try something a little more non-mobile, and the twins made some cute crafts. These little guys worship the crafts activity, and we took a trip over to Joann's for something fun to make. They chose these beads that you put on a form, then melt with an iron. It kept them still and not fighting for an hour! I recommend it highly.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Never Turn Your Back on a 6 Year Old

I should have known things were a little TOO quiet...Alex decided to decorate himself with an ink pen. Thank god it wasn't a Sharpie! He's washed off but still looking a little purple. 'Good Twin' of the moment Liam is sitting nicely playing with Lincoln Logs. No telling what will happen next!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Storytellers

The twins are spending a few days with Steve and me while their Mom is on a business trip. We are having a busy day! Starting with giant pancakes for breakfast this morning, through creating craft projects involving a ton of tape, crepe paper, a cardboard box and trash bags, a trip on our scooters & bikes to the library and the park, we have now finished writing books to show to Mama when she gets home.

After the traumatic snake encounter, there have been many conversations about snakes, reptiles, and other scary things one might encounter in the woods. So we checked out some library books on various animals and we are studying about them. Our books are about dolphins, snakes, reptiles and rainbows. With much repetition of "don't pick up snakes or you might get poisoned" and lots of discussion about how to care for animals, it's hoped that some of the scariness about getting separated from their mom with a big snake in between might be alleviated.

We also have plans to go to the Dollar Store (the boys' favorite place to shop), swimming, and maybe a little Power Ranger watching tonight. I'm pretty sure I won't get much knitting done, because everytime I sit down, I get two little boys snuggled up on my lap. A fair trade-off.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Everett Bound!

Daughter #3 Katie is visiting for a couple of days, and she says she has an assignment at Providence Hospital in Everett. Woot woot! That means she will not be far away from us during her next traveling nurse assignment. So if any fam want to offer her a place to shack up while she's in Everett, let her know.

I have some clear memories of Providence Hospital, that's where we took DD #1 Pia when she fell off her bike at age 7 or so, and got a concussion. A neighbor found her laying in the street thank god and brought her home, cuz she didn't know who she was or where she lived. Luckily, she had no 'permanent' damage (altho her post from Africa today saying she allowed a large snake to be draped around her neck is making me wonder...)
BTW this picture of Katie is from a few years ago, she is SO tan and SO skinny now I cannot believe it! Still the cute Katie Cat!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another Lazy Sunday

Yeah, it's another lazy day here, lovely weather and kind of quiet. I worked on my Kauni cardigan this morning while I watched "Shut Up and Sing" (the Dixie Chicks movie). Excellent film, and my sleeve is getting just about to the point where I'll have to switch to dp needles (or my tiny 11" circulars if I can find them in the mess that is my knitting needles storage area)

We also met our friend Lorraine and her 4 boys at Manito Park this morning for coffee and cruising around the duck pond (via scooter, bike, 'Skuttle Bug' and foot). Lots of Canadian Geese, mallards, and a few weird colored ducks hanging around for handouts. We spent a lot of time watching the turtles who also live in the pond. The boys love animals of all kinds, and we observed the wildlife with a minimum of chasing or throwing rocks.

Alex and Liam (the 6 year old twins) had a real life wildlife encounter yesterday! They were on a hike at the Indian Painted Rocks Trail (petroglyphs shown left) and got separated from the group. When they heard their mom calling, they turned around to come back to the trail, and right in front of them was a rattlesnake! Liam the Jungle Boy knew to stop and stand still, so no harm done. But it was a little closer to actual nature than Mom would have liked, I'm sure.
Not much else going on today, maybe some housecleaning if I can get any enthusiasm/energy going for it. And a very short bike ride over to the library to take back some books. Which is about all I'm good for bike-wise. I'm pretty sure I'm the world's worst bicyclist, and I hate to ride on the street, so 6 blocks the library is my big adventure!

Grrl Power

6:00 am on Sunday, nice and cool and quiet here. I'm drinking my coffee and thinking about my daughters and my nieces and my sisters and my mom. Such a fabulous lot of women in my life! I'm blessed with the most loving, funny, caring and smart gals I could possibly imagine, and they have gotten me through some truly rotten times in my life with love and humor.

Thanks, girls! I love you all, even if you have crazy long toes, send me those annoying e-mail forwards, and live too far away. You gracefully accept my knitted offerings, share your adorable 3rd generation of girls with Auntie Lowdie, make sure there is good coffee in the house when I visit (or point the way to the nearest 'Bucks), and just generally brighten up my life!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Harry Potter Fan Club Will Now Come to Order...

Good sports Ryan and Hads model the Harry Potter hats I knit for them. Hadley makes for a very cute Gryffindor house elf! And Ryan is looking very handsome in his cap. Two cute Pot-Heads!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Another Finished Project!

Found another mostly finished project while I was digging through the stash bins. I had knit all of the pieces for a zip front jacket in Rowan Denim, from the book "Miss Bea's Seashore". Unfortch, I had neglected to do the bind-off for one armhole and didn't notice till I had sewn the shoulders and knit the collar. So it got thrown in a bag while I decided whether I wanted to rip back to the armholes, which I didn't...

Enter the sewing machine, which I've had set up in my office for a few weeks. I simply sewed a couple of lines of straight stitching where the armhole shaping was supposed to be and cut off the extra fabric. A done deal! I actually still had the sleeves, the zipper, the thread, the needle and the straight pins in the bag, so I was able to sew the whole thing together today. I'm pretty pleased with my zipper installation, it looks decent. I have always tried to machine stitch in zippers, which always ends up looking like crap, so I guess hand sewing is the way to go.

Hmmm, just noticed the stripes aren't lined up quite perfectly across the front. But they are going to stay slightly bockety b/c I don't want to have to take this all apart.

I had intended this little jacket for my buddy Alex, but it's been so long since I started it, I'm not sure it will still fit him. If not, maybe my great niece Tatum will get it, though I KNOW she generally does not wear anything that's not pink or purple. Maybe if I BeDazzle it??
Rowan's Denim yarn is the stuff that shrinks in length when it's washed and is supposed to fade and soften like an old pair of jeans. I sure hope so, cuz it feels a little stiff right now. The ends are terrible to try to weave in, little bits keep poking out, but maybe that is part of the 'worn denim' look?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Happy Day!

30 years ago, our little Cara Lee came into the world, with a head full of hair, 9 lbs. 11 oz, and one extra finger! Also with big dimples and sucking her thumb. She's all grown up now, but will always be my Car-Car...Happy Birthday, Butchie!

So True!

I saw this comic today and thought it was funny, and so true. Life revolves around the blog lol.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My Contest Entry and some camping fun

I have once again allowed myself to get distracted from my projects at hand. Down goes the Kauni cardigan (it's pretty hot to hold in my lap right now anyways), thrown aside is the Touring Wrap, discarded is the felted Squirrel I haven't even told y'all about yet.

I'm going to knit "Kate" from Knitty for their calendar contest, and because it reminds me of my own little Katie-Cat. And because I just happen to have enough Lamb's Pride Worsted yarn in the stash to make her. And because I think she is very very cute.

The idea is to photograph your project in an interesting setting, so once she's done, I'll be scouting locations. I'm thinking the Rose Garden at Manito Park or maybe I'll go for something a bit funkier. Suggestions welcome!

We had some fun camping last weekend on beautiful Priest Lake. The boys got as grubby as little boys can possibly get, and we did a lot of swimming in the nice warm lake. Here are some pix of the campers:

Monday, August 6, 2007

Another cool contest!

Have you knit a project from Knitty? They are looking for good photos for their 2008 calendar, and offering nice prizes! So if you've knit a "Desparate Hausfrau" wig or a womb or even something less whimsical from a Knitty pattern, take a picture and enter it here

I'm off to check out their patterns and see if I can whip something up!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is birthday #53, and trust me, I look nothing like the picture here. But I liked it, so I'm going to pretend it's me.

My buddy Lorraine and my little buddies RJ, Alex, Liam and Mikey have invited me over for a birthday dinner, and I hope to go use the A Grand Yarn gift certificate I got from DD Katie (thanks Kate!!)

Other than that, perhaps a little nap this afternoon while I contemplate the joys of being ever closer to that senior discount...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I Just Realized I'm FAT!

good lord, why didn't someone tell me!!!???

I worked on my Kauni cardigan yesterday, got the body done, and cut the steeks (these are the selvages where one cuts the sweater body up the center front for a cardigan, and at the armholes and neckline for the sleeve and collar openings. A little scary for novice steekers, but it doesn't bother me any more, I cut like I'm Sweeney Todd) Here's a picture of the sweater after cutting.

(The greens look a lot more neon than they really are)

So I cut the sweater open, and now I can try it on. I'm sort of in 'reverse anorexic' mode, where instead of looking at my ulta-thin body and thinking I am fat, evidently I don't really look at my fat self AT ALL, and think I am thinner than I really am. The sweater is too small. Ack.

I will go ahead and finish it, maybe this will give me the kick in the (large) a** I need to get back on Weight Watchers.

And just because, here is a picture of my buddy Liam (Toast Boy), eating his toastie and being a goon, as only a 6 year old can be.

Why Unfinished Projects are a Good Thing

Got a visit today from the hooligans. The twins are absolutely sure that I can knit ANYTHING they need/want, and they've been bugging me to knit 'a leaf' and 'a tree' for the dinosaurs I knit for them a while ago ("Laurie, Dino is getting HUNGRY"). Well, they asked again today and of course I hadn't knit any such thing.

Unfinished Project Bin to the rescue! I had knit and felted a Tiger Lily a few months ago (well more like a year ago), but never finished assembling it, and of course had lost the little finishing pieces along the way. What I had were two pieces: the stem with 3 orange petals, and 3 more orange petals that were supposed to be sewn onto the flower/stem. I found a stick out in the yard, poked it up through the stem, and voila! A rather prehistoric looking tree! The other piece became Dino Chow, and the boys were once again convinced I can indeed knit anything!

We also made blankets for the dinos (and tubes which we will call shirts because these are boy dinosaurs) using scraps of the silk I had left from lining the purse yesterday. The boys pressed the pedal on the sewing machine and I hemmed the blankies. Fancy schmancy blankies of silk!
There's nothing nicer than having two 6 year olds think you are amazing!