Monday, March 31, 2008

I Should Have Worn Boots Today

Good thing we don't have that outdoor baseball stadium yet.

Sports Updates

It's the night we've been waiting for. The Twins Homeopener is tonight and we'll be playing the Angels. This morning I took the train to work so I could stop off at the Metrodome for Breakfast on the Plaza. A hotdog and coffee for breakfast - what could be better?

And, as is appropriate to welcome baseball season, it is snowing! We are supposed to get 6 inches of snow today.

In other sports news, for the first time ever, the 4 teams that made it to the Men's NCAA Final Four are also the #1 seeds from each region.

I worked on the Kid Slique Scarf over the weekend. Here's my "artsy" photo of it so far.


I've almost through one skein of the yarn. It is very pretty yarn, but the mohair is a pain to work with. The mohair strand is actually longer than the other strand, which is a very annoying. I'll be happy when this is done and think twice before I buy "luxury" yarn again.

I spent a lot of time with Gretchen and Nathan this weekend. Gretchen and Matt closed on their new house Thursday, so I went over to help Gretchen clean. I did this in exchange for a less-than-yummy meal from Noodle's and some cleaning supplies for my place. I also got to hang out with Nathan at the park. That was better than any payment!

And of course we went for a nice little walk since the weather was so nice.

Over the weekend, I commented to someone that I was feeling rather peckish. When asked to define peckish, all I could come up with was "Well, hungry" to which my friend replied, "Well, then why don't you just say you are hungry?"

So, I looked it up. And not only does it mean "somewhat hungry", but it can also mean "rather irritable" or "ill-tempered". This is perfect, because sometimes when I get hungry, I get rather irritable. I now can use just one word to warn those around me that if I don't eat soon, life will get ugly.

And it sounds so pleasant. "Dear, I'm feeling a bit peckish. Could we stop at that McDonald's there?" And he'll think, "Hmmm...she said 'peckish'. Better pull over."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Knitting Mojo...It is Not Coming Back

This is all that is left of the Synesthesia socks. (It's a bad picture, I know)

I'm going to order some Harmony Wood circs in size zero from Knitpicks and start over when those arrive. Unless my mom has two size zero circs...Mom?

I also started several times to make a scarf with that lovely Prism Kid Slique. Argh. I started over Knitter's Lunch yesterday, and it did not go well. I was using some older aluminum needles that had been my grandmother's, and I LOATHED them. They were horrible. I've never liked aluminum needles. I don't like the noise they make or the "feeling" when they touch one another. It was all I could do not to throw them across the room yesterday.

Then I came home and tried on some other needles, some acrylic 10.5s I have. I didn't have much luck. Ya know...I just don't like working with this yarn. It has a strand of mohair in it, which I find difficult to work with. It's beautiful yarn, but...that mohair makes me crazy. This may be a problem because I have 10...yes TEN balls of GGH Kid Mohair in my stash.

Anyhoo...I finally gave up on the pattern I was trying and went for the plain garter stitch.


That seemed to be going fine, but it's such beautiful yarn, I felt I should do something special. I took it out on the bus this morning and did a few rows of the K1, (K2tog, Yo)repeat, K1 pattern I had. It seemed to go pretty well, so now I have this monstrosity.


He he he...I've also rescued my size 11 bamboo needles from a file cabinet in my office, so I may try using those. I like the pattern...but I think I want something a little wider.

I'm a little disheartened that I am having so much trouble with a simple scarf. And a little disappointed that this beautiful yarn is such a pain to work with. I'm sure there is a lesson to be learned in here somewhere. Just not sure what it is.
Zoey has been giving it a lot of thought though.
When I wasn't knitting last night, I was at Lund's for their Meat Sale. FUN! Then I cooked up a nice steak with some caramelized onions and mushrooms. This was all topped off with a trip to Dairy Queen, where my crazy ice-cream companion suggested we sit outdoors. That didn't last long.
We'll end this post with a little story about Nathan. Several times I have ridden the bus to Gretchen's place, or to Ridgedale where she and Nathan pick me up. Well, now when he sees a bus he says, "Bus! Mimi!" Isn't that cute?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Post in which Michelle Rambles on about Mary Pickford

After my Arabic dance class last night, I got to go to Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe. Mmm...sweet treat! I had the Salted Caramel with an Izzy Scoop of Cream Cheese (Izzy Scoop - it's a little tiny scoop of ice cream you get with your big scoop!). Yes, that ice cream did taste just like cream cheese. I don't think I could have a whole scoop of it, but the Izzy scoop is perfect. And the salted caramel. So good. I'll have to get that again.

Then I went home and watched American Experience on PBS. It was about Mary Pickford and it was so depressing. Well, only the last half-hour was depressing...when her family members died, she divorced Douglas Fairbanks, her career tanked, she started drinking, and then she died. Apparently, when she made an appearance at the Oscars in the late '70s people were horrified at how she looked. Well, come on people! She was in her 80s! I thought she looked lovely.

So, after hearing about how great her life was, and then how horribly awry it all went, the show ended by saying, "Mary Pickford died in 1979 at age 87". And that was it. I kept waiting for the "feel-good" coda...something like, "Her influence on American Cinema is felt to this day" or "Mary Pickford's early career proved that women could be influential in the film industry" or "Thousands of little girls named Mary still look up to Mary Pickford". But no. It just ended on that rather sad note.

I was a little horrified to find out she was playing 11 and 12 year old characters when she was in her late 20s. Strange.

Okay, enough of that rambling. I realized last night that I have to end my knitting hiatus because...I've got knitter's lunch today! Can't go to knitter's lunch and not knit, now can I?

I'm going to start making a scarf out of this:


It's Prism Kid Slique...an extravagant purchase I made about 5 years ago before "fiscal responsibility" was part of my vocabulary. I figure a scarf will be a nice quick project and may help me get my knitting mojo back.

I have also decided to frog the Synesthesia socks and start over on smaller needles. I'm also going to do them toe-up and with a short-row toe and heel...my favorite way to do socks!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

He..he...he...peanuts!

Here's a cute little story for you all to enjoy.

Yay! Zippers...Oh Wait...No Zippers

I got home last night and found a package by my door! Yay! My zippers! I had ordered several zippers for the Ribby Cardi from Zipperstop. Unfortunately, they seem to have gotten lost in the mail, so they were sent again and arrived yesterday.

Perhaps being able to complete the Ribby Cardi would assuage some of the knitting ill will that has built up inside me due to the MONSTER HEEL SOCK.

Here is Zoey posing with my zippers. Since they are cheap, I ordered several, just to see what color I liked best.


And here is a zipper with the Ribby Cardi.


What's that you notice? Yup...it's about an inch and a half short. I ordered 18" zippers. I measured the cardi again, and the zipper band is 19.5". Apparently, I was living in some alternate world when I ordered them. Who knows.

The fact is, I still do not have a zipper.

Zoey enjoyed playing with my measuring tape though.


So, I'm not really feeling knitting right now. I think I'll take a break. A little week-long hiatus, in which I plan a trip to Costa Rica. Heck....I may not even go to Costa Rica, but a girl's got to keep busy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hmmmm

Well, I'm a little worried about the Synesthesia socks. They seem a bit large and loose. I finished up the heel last night, and I just don't know. They fit, but they are loose. Very loose.

I just tried them on again and came to a sad conclusion. I think I need to start over. The heel is very, very large (not just in height, but width as well). Too big for me. In the photo above, it looks like monster-heel...taking over the sock.

I think these would be better on a size 0 needle (the pattern calls for size 2...I am using size 1). I don't have size 0. At least not two circs...I might have them in bamboo DPNs. Part of what I liked about this pattern though was it was so easy. They were a perfect bus project, and using two circs is the best way to do socks on the bus, IMHO. If I use DPNs, I worry about them falling off the needle and I can't shove them in my bag as easily.

Anyone reading this have big feet, or know someone with big feet that might enjoy some lovely, handknit socks? Or maybe a pregnant woman with swollen ankles?

I had a long weekend, and it was nice to have a little break. What did I do with all my time? Well, other than knitting the monster-heel socks, I spent some quality time organizing my kitchen. Zoey checks things out before I get started.

I also spent some time with family. Gretchen, Nathan, and I all played in the snow.

Don't you love toddlers in snow suits?

Then Nathan took off and flew away.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You Smell Good

I've been spending a lot of time lately checking out the discussion forums on Ravelry. That's how I found the pattern for the Synesthesia socks (which are coming along very nicely by the way!).

One of the threads I've been reading started out talking about the smell of yarn and has become sort of a scents in general type of discussion. Of course, I had to add my two-cents worth about Scotch Tape and how that to me is the true smell of Christmas.

Speaking of scents, I'm planning to do some Kool-Aid dying this weekend, so my apartment should smell nice and fruity!

What are some scents you like?

Flowers? Well....I've got some more flowers for you.

Okay, well...it's a pineapple.

These pitcher plants were cool!


Last but not least, this heart shaped plant.

Tomorrow is a University of Minnesota floating holiday, so I get a three day weekend! Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

6 Months and Counting

I received word from my mom today that the Three River's Park District Knitting Retreat has been scheduled for the last weekend in September...perfectly coinciding with me and G's birthday! There is a little more information here:

http://www.threeriversparkdistrict.org/recreation/JustforWomen_calendar.pdf

They usually send out the list of classes that will be held in July or August. I can't wait!

If any of you reading this are from Minnesota and want to know more about it, let me know. You should think about going. This will be the 4th year my mom and I have gone. Hopefully Gretchen will be able to come with us this year!

Time for some pictures from the flower show.

I think my favorite flowers were these:

If you look closely, you can see they are striped. Self-striping flowers!

I've got an idea in my head now! I could make my own self-striping yarn with Kool-Aid. And use the colors in this flower! I'm actually pretty excited about this. I've got some vacation time coming up in May, and that may be the perfect time to stretch my creativity!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Finally...Something For Me!

Last night while I listened to the Timberwolves game, I started my new sock project. Socks for me! Yay!

I found this pattern for the Synesthesia Socks by Sarah Fama on Ravelry. So far, I love the pattern. I'm sure I'll be able to finish these up in no time. When I find a pattern I love to work on, it goes so quickly! There isn't much to see so far....


I am doing these on two circular needles, my trusty Size 1 Addi Turbos. The yarn is the Aisha Celia yarn I bought at the No-Coast Craft-o-Rama in December.

If you click on the link above, Sarah explains a little bit about Synesthesia. I read about this in the paper a few years ago and found it fascinating. Here's a nice little website that explains it as well. It's from a neuroscience for kids website. In a nutshell, synesthetes translate one sense into another...the example Sarah uses is that a person might "taste" strawberries while listening to the trumpet. It just sounds like a very unique way to experience the world.
Like I said yesterday, I went to the flower show this weekend. Here are some lovely Gerbera Daisies (my favorite flower), with some of the same colors as my soon-to-be socks...yellow, pinks, and oranges.

Winter Wonderland

Wow! I woke up this morning, looked outside, and saw this:


Isn't Spring supposed to begin on Thursday? I refuse to accept the presence of snow after March 20th.

Oh, yeah. I live in Minnesota. I don't really have a choice.

Unfortunately, I also had to deal with Mr. CrankyPants shoveling snow at the busstop this morning. Apparently, saying "Excuse me" is not in his vocabulary. He preferred to just throw snow on me. Argh.


My bad mood dissipated though when I encountered this little guy at my transfer spot. Awwww.....

Zoey Plots Her Escape

Zoey ponders how to get away...She also wonders why this person needs so many shoes.


"Perhaps if I push hard enough, I can get through the door".
At one point, she had her little nose down at the bottom of the door, trying to smell the freedom.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bawk, Bawk, Bawk!

I went to the flower show at Dayton's...no...Marshall Field's...no...Macy's on Saturday. Interestingly, there was a large chicken there.

I'll post more pictures from the flower show throughout the week. I don't want to inundate my blog with flower photos.

Usually, when I go to Macy's, I am ignored. However, one saleswoman there paid particular attention to me, especially when I picked up this lovely Kate Spade bag. Hey, it's going to be 20% of this week...so it will only be $300! I do not look anything like a person who would spend $300 on a bag (maybe on yarn, but not a bag). It was nice of her though to pretend that I looked like someone who would spend $300 on a bag.

I did not do much (okay, I didn't do any) knitting this weekend, but my latest knitting student did complete this.

Pretty good for someone's first project, eh? I'll admit, I did the squiggles and the cast on, but that was it.

Last night I did about five loads of laundry, and Zoey the Cat kept trying to escape from my apartment. At one point, she was sitting so close to the door when I came back she got whacked when I came in. She doesn't appear any worse for the wear.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Well, That's A Little Dissapointing...

Look what happened.


Yes, those are my lovely, beautiful rosewood Sox Stix (and my fun little pig bag). That little one there just snapped in half in my hand this past weekend. I wanted to cry. I was knitting in to the front and back of a stitch at the time, so perhaps was using a little more pressure than usual. But it shouldn't have broke!

Not much knitting has been getting done lately. I had a little flurry of activity there with the baby gift and as usually happens I will now go in to "knitting quiet time" and regroup. Maybe I'll actually get some reading done. Frog that yellow sweater. Update information on Ravelry. Practice my Arabic dance. Play Ratchet and Clank after months away (I've missed those little guys!). Who knows? But, it may be kind of quiet here for a bit.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Completed Baby Gift

Well, I did it. Over the weekend I finished up the Elephant pacifier clip, and made an adjustment to the Frog pacifier clip.

Here is Elephant:


Isn't he cute? I found some nice tutorials on crocheting a circle on Youtube, and once I had the hang of it, I understood the instructions in the book just fine. The instructions also call for embroidering a mouth on the elephant, but I left that off.

Here is the clip and hat together. How cute is this?! I love it!


And here is the Frog clip and hat together. I took off the butterfly and added a leaf instead, which I really like. I'm very excited to deliver these to the intended recipient.

Here is the whole package!

I also did some work on the Petroleum Blanket. In case someone doesn't remember, I call it that since it is made of acrylic, which is made of petroleum. That's my dorky sense of humor, I guess. It really feels like the never ending blanket to me at this point.

The rest of my weekend was just lovely. Gretchen and Nathan came over on Sunday to play. I helped a friend get started on a little knitted hat. Oh, and somewhere on Sunday I lost an hour. Sigh.

Zoey was all over me this morning. She kept reaching up her paws on my legs. Finally I squatted down to pet her and she jumped right on to my lap. I felt terrible leaving her this morning.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Another Itty Bitty Hat

Wednesday night I cast on for the hat to go with the elephant pacifier clip. I worked on it on the bus on the way to work Thursday, during my lunch, and while watching "Celebrity Apprentice" and "Lipstick Jungle". I finished it about 10 p.m. last night and weaved in the few ends on the bus this morning! Quick project!


My ability to finish this so quickly was significantly helped by the fact that D gave me a ride home from class last night, so I was home about an hour earlier than usual. Even better, he brought me a SHAMROCK SHAKE! Yum!

Here is a closeup of the little top.


This was just the simple baby cap from Itty bitty Hats with the top of the Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch-n-Bitch. I'll post more details later.

Wednesday night I had dinner with my friend Jenn, and then we headed to PetCo to get some stuff for Zoey. She loves her new brush and this little crinkly ball. She's kind of like a 19 month old though. She'd play with it on the couch, but when it fell on the floor she'd just look at me like, "Well, pick it up and give it back to me". That didn't last too long.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pop Pop

I just got this e-mail from my sister:

When nathan sees the toaster now he says..."pop pop" and yesterday he grabbed the bread and said "pop pop" so we knew that he wanted toast. Thanks Mimi for teaching how to say toast!

Now, isn't that cute?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Let It Snow!

I was waiting for the light rail train last night after class by the Metrodome. For a time, I was the only one waiting, so I didn't feel too silly taking advantage of this.

It says, "Go ahead and let is snow. Small kindnesses, weather permitting".

Most of the light rail stations have these boxes. Some of them have a little t.v. screen, some just a speaker. I believe this one used to have a snowglobe inside. Not sure what happened to it. When you turn the crank, the snowglobe would spin over and then a recorded message would play. I listened to a poem and a commentary on ice fishing ("What does one do with the ice once they have caught it? Seems to me pan frying wouldn't be an option").

I've never tried the box at the 46th Street Station which I use, but at the Nicollet Mall station I watched a video of someone playing the piano.

I don't see people using these too often. I was curious about them, so I did some searching and found this article about the boxes. It's pretty interesting. All the boxes have commentary on either the weather or "Minnesota Nice". There is another article here.

I think one of these days, when the weather is nice, I may ride the light rail and check out more of the boxes. Anyone want to join me?

Well, no snowglobe anymore in the box, but I woke up within a snowglobe today. Works for me.




Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ribbit...Ribbit...

I finished up Frog last night! Here's one view of him.


Above his head is the clip that attaches to Baby's shirt, and the pacifier goes in the clip below the butterfly. This will only work with a button pacifier. If you have the book, you get a better sense of how it clips on so that the frog is not upside down.

He's supposed to be sitting on some leaves, but they didn't look very leaf-like to me so I left them out. I did like the little stem, so I kept that. You can see it a little better below.

I wasn't going to make the butterfly because I thought it was too girly, and this is for a boy baby. Now that I see it finished, I do think it is a little more girly than I would like. I'm planning to remove the butterfly and make some leaves for the end of the stem instead. Maybe something that will look sort of lilypad-ish. I may also make the strap just a wee-bit longer.

Overall, I think this seems a bit bulky for a pacifier clip, but it is cute. I think I'll like the elephand even better. He's a little more stream-lined.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Weekend Progress

Before I go any further, I forgot to show you all the top of the hat on Friday. Here is the finished squiggliness!


The other thing I made* this weekend was a little wagon for Nathan's babies.

He was very excited about the wagon when he returned from the Montessori School open house. He carted his babies all over the house in it.

Then he wanted to ride in it. Being the doting Aunt, I was more than happy to oblige. He actually could sit in it, kind of, and hold his feet up and go for a ride. Gretchen came downstairs at one point and she said Nathan looked so proud of his little wagon. Yay!

He's about 19 months now, and he's making animal noises that are hilarious, and Gretchen says he runs around the house asking for "Nana! Papa! Mimi!". Awww....he loves me!

Sunday I decided I needed to get some work done on Frog. I decided to ditch the legs, arms, hands, and feet I had made for him. The pattern calls for making separate hands and feet that then need to be sewn to the arms and legs, which then need to be sewn to the frog. Well, you know how I feel about sewing. Instead, I made arms and legs the same way I made the squiggles for the hat. I think they turned out pretty good, and were a heck of a lot easier! Tonight I hope to finish up the strap and other little pieces.

What has become of the Ribby Cardi and Petroleum Blanket? Well, the petroleum blanket is sitting in a plastic bag (how appropriate), very neglected. I finally ordered a zipper for the Ribby Cardi, so I should be able to show off that FO very soon!

__________________________________________________
* Okay, I assembled it.

I Am Watching You!

Now, get back to ironing your clothes....


And I'll get back to sleeping.