Thursday, November 23, 2006

But the Red Lights are SOOOOO PRETTY!

Well, Happy Thanksgiving. Today I am thankful for Bill, Henry, all my loved ones, and that we didn't burn down the house last night. I'm also thankful for the local fire department who came out awfully damn fast.

However, I am not very thankful for the local plumbing and heating people who have not responded at all to our calls that our hot water heater was busted and needed to be replaced. Maybe now that it sparked into flame at 10:30 at night the eve of Thanksgiving will give us some more leverage. Sorry we're not a McMansion needing full expensive installation, but I haven't had a shower in three days and I'm getting testy.

Blessings on you all. Keep warm and clean.



Saturday, November 18, 2006

News from the Incredible Hulk

Today we have a guest blogger. I'm just taking dictation, so be warned:

"Today I have been crashing and banging. I've been crashing and banging rocks and houses cause I'm angry. I've been angry because when Bruce Banner is angry, he turns into Hulk. The gamma bomb made me angry because it makes me into Hulk. I talked to an angel, the angel said 'why do you look like the Hulk?' And I said, 'Because of the gamma bomb.'

"The angel could fly and she had a candle in her hands. Also the angel had a hundred toys. Toys like... a lot of Wonder Woman toys and Batgirl toys and superhero girl toys. That's because she's a girl. Angels like toys.

"Being the Hulk makes me feel very strong. That's all. Just very strong. And very mad. One more thing: I fighted a ghost and Dracula, and a skeleton, and I fighted Iron Man. And I fighted in a haunted house. And I fighted a humongous werewolf and humongous bugs. And a humongous, very hungry gorilla, and I beat all of those and that's the end of the story. Are you making a book of this? Actually, the Hulk fighted Sauron, and Sauron showed his butt. Can my dad make a movie of that?"

So works the mind of a five-year-old who found a package of green makeup Momma forgot she had when she was dressing as a witch for Halloween.

I'm sure there will be more from our guest speaker now that he knows that I can type as fast as he can talk.



Sunday, November 05, 2006


Costume count: Three.
Final Decision: Vampire (again)
Total Number Trick or Treaters: 120
H's current ratio of total organic internal body fluid to sugar: 20:80

Final Halloween 2006 rating: 9 out of 10 (someone gave him raisinets and that skewed it)



(He had been wearing his vampire teeth all night, and consequently drooled the chin makeup off)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Feast For The Eyes

As my Dad would have said. I remember him driving the endless trip from home to Farmington, Maine to drop off my sister in college, then to Orono with me, each Columbus Day weekend, and glorying at the foliage and saying "It's a feast for the eyes!" It drove me crazy. Now I have a deep respect for that. How can you not love the autumn? The colors, the smell in the air, the apples and pumpkin pie, the cool air and knowing it's time to knit warm things for those you love!

In H's mind, it means Halloween. He's still torn between being a skeleton, a zombie or Batman. He's Batman most of the time anyway, so that's not very exciting. A skeleton would be cool, but he's thinking if he was a ZOMBIE SKELETON he could wear the zombie robe AND the skeleton costume. But then Daddy showed him pictures of a superhero called Ghost Rider who is a skeleton in a leather jacket who rides a flaming motorcycle and, well, who knows. We'll probably end up scraping something together at 5:30 on the big day, as usual. But at least that works up my creative juices.

Right now H is "fixing" my sewing machine. Turning all the knobs, taking parts off. So he'd better not need a costume that involves sewing. I may never find all the pieces!

Things went great at the Fryeburg Fair. MJ and Annette both won blues for their crazy shrug and nipple sweater, respectively. In fact, MJ, as usual, won a pile of ribbons. At least two blues. She's amazing. And Annette, I'm so proud of her as well! Her sweater was the first thing she'd ever submitted to the fair, and she hit blue first time! My fair isle vest got a blue as well. I went through the expo hall going "ooh! That got a ribbon! Great job!" and Bill was like, "how do you know all these projects?" and I told him that many of them were worked on this summer in our back room. Haha.

Enough for now. Enjoy what's left of October. I'll try to be more vigilant about posting in future. Maybe I'll finish Bill's socks sometime before New Years!

Till next time,


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September Awareness

I've just got to add something here. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Men don't talk about these things like women do, so everyone on earth knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but not many people out there know that 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer in some form during their lifetime.

This, like breast cancer, is an increasingly treatable, easily detectable cancer. In fact, early detection is key. Most men over the ages or 45 to 50 ought to be tested as part of a yearly checkup--if we can get them to have a yearly checkup. Women don't like mammograms, or especially pap tests (you know what I'm talking about) but we do them nonetheless because we know how important it is. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the time to encourage the men in your life to get themselves screened.

My Dad, pictured above at Christmas, 2005, passed away in June. We got five more wonderful years with him because he was sensible enough to have himself screened, and was courageous in getting treatment. So, do, talk to your menfolk. See if you can get him to do it for you, for your kids, for your grandkids, siblings, his mom, and also for my kind, brave, much-missed Dad. It's really important.



Friday, September 08, 2006

Long time, no write...

Man, am I ever falling behind! Plus I have a pile of pictures to post as well. So, here they are in order:

Jenn finished her first sweater! Isn't it gorgeous? She did all kinds of short-row shaping along the back neck, and had to pick up 200 million stitches for the band, and then stitch all those pieces together, and she's now officially no longer a beginner. My dear, you have been promoted to ADVANCED beginner. Good work, I'm so proud of you!! Here's hoping it fits the little guy.

MJ finished the Vogue cover cardigan/shrug knit in the round from the center out with some sort of insane twisted stitch. Here's a picture of the front and a picture of the back. It's stunning. Mindblowing. Also, she dyed the wool herself. I really need to come up with some sort of medal or something for these ladies. They impress me every time we get together!

We did a dying session at MJ's camp. Didn't make too much of a mess, thankfully, had a blast. This next picture is the spoils of the day. All dyed with Kool-Aid. Pretty awesome, huh?

That's pretty much it for now. I promise to be more on top of things in coming days. We're all gearing up to Fryeburg Fair and I know I'm trying to pull some projects of of...ehem... thin air (?) before the deadline the end of the month.

Ta for now.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Wildman, Nipples and My Friend Dorian Gray

I've been a little remiss in my entries lately. The hot weather (which for a dyed-in-the-wool New Englander like me is crippling) combined with employment and the exhaustion of life in general have left me a little, em, neglectful.

Anyway, We took H to The Basin today, it's a gorgeous glacial pond up in the Chatham area, and today was an especially nice day to go... bright, sunny, not too muggy, not too hot, lower humidity... clear visibility. Stunning. H had a great time. He was at his happiest. He spent most of the time in the water, or "having adventures" of one sort of another. I really think we're raising an all natural Wildboy. He'd be naked in nothing but a loincloth running through the woods if we didn't keep demanding he do silly things like wear socks.

However, on the ride home we discovered one thing about Wildboy: he's still a four year old kid, and there's no Freak-Out in the world than a four-year-old's Freak-Out when he discovers bloodsuckers attached to his person while he's strapped into a booster seat in a moving vehicle. Our perfect afternoon was officially ruined. He says he's never ever going back to The Basin.

So much for Superhero levels of bravery.

In other news, Annette has finally finished the Vogue Knitting "Nipple Sweater" and it turned out amazing. Well, it only took her what, three months? But it's in a beautiful fingering weight yarn and knit up on mainly size two needles. I think she thought she'd never finish it, but as you can see, Success Is A Beautiful Thing! Bright smile, Annette! Wear it proudly, and I sure hope it wins first at the fair!

Also this week, I met up with my old friend Shanti in Portland. She lives in Jersey, and I hadn't actually SEEN her in eight years. We first met when we were 14 and have been fast friends since. One of those people that even if you haven't seen them in, say, eight years, it seems like you were never apart? We all have friends like that. It was great to see her. I didn't take a picture of her, because it wasn't necessary. Much to my disappointment, she looks EXACTLY the same as she did when I met her, oh, over 20 years ago. She hasn't even got any gray hair (I do) which is very unfair because her hair is every bit as long and lush and BLACK as it was at 14. She sucks. But I love her. H was very taken with her as well... they became instantaneous buddies, and on the way home he told me he liked her because she's "cute." "Really? What was it about her that was so cute?" "Her face." He's always liked older women, but he has, until now, shown a preference for blondes. I could probably just post her high school graduation picture, but I won't, because she may not appreciate that!

All for now,



Saturday, July 15, 2006

Living With SuperGuys

This is Underwater Explorer. He didn't stick around very long, I think because his clothes were too cumbersome. But he was cool for an afternoon or so.

The things you learn when you live with a super hero... first is that there is a super hero in each of us. H has the super strength of his pure will. There is no bending it. Bill has the super power of determination. He cleaned out our hideous garage this weekend, in 90+degree heat, and actually finished the job, rather than doing what I'd do, namely say to hell with it after half an hour, and go inside into the air conditioning to watch Dr. Phil with a large bowl of ice cream.

According to H, I have super snuggly powers. I could have guessed this one, because there always seems to be someone in this house who wants to snuggle me. In the mornings it can get pretty frustrating (especially in this heat) because when H comes into our room and climbs (read "jumps") into bed with us, I end up with him, Bill and the cat all wanting to snuggle at the same time. Thank God we don't have a dog.

So, the other day, I dropped the Dark Avenger off at school, hot day, shorts, sandals, lots of exposed limbs on him, and realized that there was still a lot of duct tape adhesive on his ankles and wrists.

As I often have to do as a preemptive measure, I said to his teachers... "oh, um, let me explain the duct tape...before you call DCYS..."

His teachers, knowing H as they do, said "super hero thing?"

"Yeah. He was a Cyberman."

"So you weren't duct taping him to the wall?"

"Not this week. We discovered not long after that aluminum foil works much better if you want cybernetic parts."

According to H, removing duct tape from your extremities hurts "much much more" than removing the Power Rangers bandaid you put over the picked mosquito bite scab.

Sometimes I really wonder how Clark Kent's mom did it. I would have been worried sick every time he took off to fly to Metropolis.



Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Dad passed away in the early hours of June 29. He went as he lived, peacefully, with great dignity. The past week has been consumed by details, planning, and tears. But we're all hanging in there, and thankfully, my father is now out of pain. Still can't talk about it, I'm going to miss him so much...

I've torn back the steeked vest three times. I think it's on the right track now. Good old vest. It's done it's job, and kept me preoccupied. I'll probably have a mental breakdown the minute I finish it--I'm beginning to believe it's all that's holding me together right now. But... if I keep tearing it back, I could theoretically hold back the flood of tears and anguish it's keeping, so maybe it's just going to be one of those been-knitting-it-20-years type projects. It's awfully nice, though, we'll see.

I might be fine.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Heavy-Hearted Hands

My much-beloved father is gravely ill. Bill and I were over to visit yesterday, arriving not long after the hospice people left. I guess that says all there is to say at this point. Dad's been struggling with prostate cancer for almost 5 years. And the past few months have been hard--for everyone.

I guess everyone has their coping techniques... some people like long walks. Some meditate. Some shop. Some drink. I knit. Some people want not to think... but I need to channel that nervous energy, distract myself... fingering weight fair isle vest with steeks... in shades of blue and gray like a November sky, adorned with snowflakes. When I realized I was up at 5 a.m. and there was no way I was going to get back to sleep, it seemed like a good idea to really get down to it.

Wish us all well. Grant us peace and patience.



Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Knit Night

Last night (Wednesday) was Knit Night, and the ladies and I had a fine time. Here's a pic, with apologies to MJ of whom this is a rather unflattering shot...

We had a very productive night. Jennifer (first on left) is a relatively new knitter who is working on her first sweater--a cardigan for her young son. She's doing so well!! She came in last night with all the pieces done, bless her, and is now in the "sewing up and picking up buttonband stitches" version of Hades. I'm very proud of her. MJ is currently working on an adorable Mary Maxim kid's sweater with an intarsia teddy bear/pocket on the front. Very cute. She's kind of a fearless/crazy knitter who generally works on things so complicated even I just sit back and let her go. She's almost done with that irresistable/terrifying sweater/shrug from Vogue Knitting's Fall issue (cover project) Incredible. And Wendy (the red fluff in the corner) has been knitting a gorgeous wool/mohair jacket thing, but seemed very content to give that a break during the hot weather to work on our Lion Club charity baby sweater project. She seemed very relieved.

We had a good time and discussed all sorts of interesting topics, as usual... thanks, Ladies, I needed that!

I've been a little remiss on the blog lately, as I GOT A JOB!! Whoo-hoo! Part time admin in a local orthodontist's office. So far, very enjoyable. Today's a patient/clinical day, so that could change my mind! But I'm liking it very much so far.

In fact... gotta brush my teeth (mandatory now!) and get going.

Have a good day,



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there. I've had two of the greatest examples ever... my own Dad and my husband, Bill. Both are exceptional parents, and I thank them warmly, and genuinely for the wonderful men that they are.

I asked H what I should do for Bill for Father's Day, something that would show him how much I really love and appreciate him, and H said "knit him some socks." I said I was already doing that, but was nonetheless proud that my boy immediately thought of this! I've trained him well!

Anyway, I was thinking of my own Dad a lot today, we went for a walk over to the library on the spur of the moment, and the local Ham Radio group was holding a Kid's Day, and H was very interested and ended up on the radio happily chatting away with some guy on Mount Washington. They discussed movies, and their favorite colors... strangely, I had always thought Hams talked almost exclusively about the weather, but maybe that's just because I grew up in a house with an Amateur Radio guy who was also a meteorologist by profession. Apparently they also sometimes talk about road conditions, but that didn't come up in today's conversation.

Nonetheless, thanks, guys, for being such good people as well as good examples. Here are two pictures of the men I love best, the first is me with my folks (back in November--didn't we all look good??!! Although I am appalled by the condition of that sweater I'm wearing... why didn't I wear something light colored under it if I wasn't going to repair those holes?) And the other is of my boys in practice fencing gear, horsing around in what was my yarn shop at the time. No adults or children were injured in the taking of the photo, but yarn might be another story.

Again, Happy Father's Day, we love you guys bunches.



One Down...

One to go!

Got a lot done last night during Sci-Fi's Doctor Who marathon. Fortunately Bill and I had seen all the episodes a number of times already, so I was able to work on THE SOCK without worrying I'd miss something.

I knit around and around on the foot until it was 1.5" shorter than needed (luckily it was a hot night and Bill's bare lil' feet were readily available), then changed back to the Navy and stockinette and worked the toe thusly:

Decrease row: Needle 1, k to within 3 stitches of the end, k2 tog through back loop, knit one. Needle 2: Knit 1, k2 tog, knit to within 3 stitches of the end, k2 tog through the back loop, knit 1. Needle 3: Knit 1, k2tog, knit to end.
Next Row: Knit around.

Repeat these two rows until you're down to 8-16-8 on the needles, then skip the plain knit row, working just the decrease row twice, until you have 6-12-6. Then graft the toe via Kitchener-ing.


Bill was very pleased. "Perfect. Fits perfect!" So now I just have to make another one.

Then I think I'll make a pair for myself. I have some lovely Opal sock yarn kicking around.



Friday, June 16, 2006

Excuses, Excuses

I didn't make much progress with Bill's Sock no. 1 yesterday. But that's okay. H and I went to visit my parents, and we had a very nice time. It was a lovely day so Mom, H and I took a walk while Dad took a rest. H explored every ravine, drainage ditch, retaining wall, boulder and park bench. And what he was able to jump off of, he jumped off of. He also picked up a very beautiful... rock... from one of the drainage ditches. He very sweetly gave it to me and I had to carry it the rest of the day. And it wasn't exactly a pebble. But it does have some lovely mica formations in it.

By the time we got home, I was pretty pooped from the driving, the kid-wrangling and lugging the rock. I managed a few rounds on the sock, but I don't recall Bill's feet being this big... it's taking forever! However the home stretch is ahead, and I'm trying very hard not be be distracted. He deems them "very good" and "I'll wear them" which is the best any knitter can ask for.

Although, I found a big boo-boo last night, a yarn over hole... I stared at it and fiddled with it and poked at it for about half an hour last night (it's in the leg portion, even before the heel turn) then decided I could live with it and Bill would probably not notice it (like he always notices "dropouts" and other weird video jitters on the TV I never see) and why am I even being a perfectionist about this?? Why does this bother me when little boo-boos never bother me?? Then I realized it's because I feel guilty that I never knit anything for Bill... he's been waiting for a sweater for about 12 years, and I want the socks to be PERFECT. But I'm human, incapable of perfection, and Bill knows me too well to see perfection. So there.



Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Empire Socks Back (Pt. 2 of sock trilogy)

Well, Bill had a meeting to video tape last night, so I made a lot of progress on sock no. 1. After knitting to the desired length (one of my hand-spans, in this case) I worked the heel flap in Navy over 30 stitches for 30 rows. I turned the heel thusly:
Row 1: Knit 15, (halfway point) knit 2, slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, knit 1 turn.
Row 2: Slip 1, purl 5, purl 2 together, purl one, turn.
Row 3: Slip one, knit to within one stitch of THE GAP, slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, knit one, ,turn.
Row 4: Slip one, purl to within one stitch of THE GAP, purl 2 together (across the gap) purl one, turn. I ended up with 18 stitches.

Repeat rows 3&4 until all the stitches on either side of THE GAP are eaten up.
Returning to the Main Color (tan/camel) pick up 16 stitches on either side of the heel flap. Divide 9 stitches from either end of the heel needle amongst the picked up stitches (25 stitches on 2 needles, instep still holding 30) and work one row around (keep instep stitches in the rib pattern )

Gusset: Knit across the first needle to within 3 stitches of the end, k2tog through the back loop, knit one. Rib across the instep stitches. On third needle, knit 1, knit two together (just regular) and knit to end.

Next Row: Knit one row with no decreases.
Next Row: Repeat the gusset decrease row again.

Repeat these last two rounds until you have 30 instep stitches and 15 on the other two. Now you're back to the original numeric configuration of 60 stitches. I'm now going on until this baby's 1 1/2 to 2 inches shorter than Bill's foot. The boring part. This is usually where I end up getting distracted by some other project, like anything else. Then you have to cough up another sock to match the first one.

With any luck I'll have the thrilling conclusion tomorrow. Or Saturday. Who knows.



Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bill's Socks

Well, Bill's socks are progressing nicely. I'm doing them in a two-tone... Navy blue trim (Silja sock yarn) with a sort of tan/camel main color (Wildefoote). I'm knitting them in a three/one rib, because I think it stays up better without being bulky.

I started by casting on 60 stitches on size 2s in the navy, worked about a half inch in the three/one rib; then switched to the Wildefoote. They're looking very nice, don't you think? This is my favorite sock pattern, and one I've used so many times I can't even remember how I came up with it. It's a little tedious remembering the rib, but the nice thing is there's no cuff changeover. I just do the whole thing in the k3, p1 rib right down the instep to the toe shaping (which is just stockinette) and the bottom of the foot (heel and sole, etc) are just done in stockinette as well. It also reduces bulk and also avoids the annoying corrigated tickly foot problem which annoys me so much.

I'll post the rest of the pattern as I progress. Right now the cuff needs to be one hand-span (mine) to be the length Bill wanted... of course I'm now at the point where that's only about another inch, but I keep knitting and knitting and knitting and after an hour it's STILL an inch. Hopefully I'll be able to work on the heel by this evening.

All for now. Ta.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

This is me. And my kid's teddy.

Watch out. According to H, the bear can shoot lazer beams out of his eyes. So be nice.



First Post

Okay, well, here I am now with a blog all my own. Aren't you all excited? I know I am. Something about myself, I'm a currently unemployed former yarn shop owner with too much time on my hands and no money. I'm broke. Yep, not a dime to my name. Thankfully my husband is gainfully self-employed and able to keep the internet connected.

So, obviously, I'm a knitter. I also crochet, spin, do some beadworking... lately I've been making little plaster gnomes for the garden (and annoying my husband, who really is a treasure, even if he doesn't like gnomes). Yeah, if I don't find a job soon, we're all going to go bonkers.

So, what else am I working on? Two pairs of socks. A purple Bartlettyarn/Peace Fleece cardigan (for work, should I ever find a job), a lace shrug, although I don't know why as I'll never wear it. And about a million other unfinished things that are cluttering up my already cluttered home.

I'll let you know if I ever finish any of them.

Ta for now,