All kinds of fun
Things have been busy 'round Casa de la Cranky Teenagers. All kinds of dance tryouts for the Princess. General pissiness from the Star. Busy with work. You know, the normal chaos of my life.
As I mentioned before, I didn't get the Gold in the Knitting Olympics due to my wrists staging a protest. But, I did get the sweater finished I'm donating to the Dulaan Project
I really like how it turned out. Knit cuff-to-cuff, it is a pretty quick knit and makes a nice fabric on 10 1/2 needles. This is a size 6 I think. I'll be making a matching hat, too. 4 skeins gone from the stash, baby!
Progress on the Jaywalker Socks is finally moving along at just over a snail's pace.
The other sock (I'm still knitting 2 at once) looks the same, so I figured I'd go for detail on the pic. If you want to make these, don't be a dufus like me. Make sure you can count to 8 and can follow a simple pattern repeat. I only had to frog an inch of the pattern repeats 3 times.
Inspired by Melanie
, I started a gnome from the Simply Knitting insert. Sure looks just like a gnome, doesn't it?
The pattern is written a little odd, but I'm getting it.
I'm trying to have a few different types of knitting on my needles so that my wrists get a break from the repetitive motion.
This is all Eva
(my first Secret Pal spoilee) fault. I couldn't resist the pressure anymore. Thanks to my friend Sarah
, I have a spindle and some really pretty roving. She is so good to me. But look!! It is a wee little skein of yarn. Isn't it so cute? I'm so proud of it. And very appreciative of Eva and Nancy for their help tonight in sharing their
knowledge with me. I think I'm getting it!
I now just need more roving. Or a goat. Or sheep. Hey...what about the cats? Let's start with this one. Who apparently thinks my
collection of felted bags are her bed.
Posted by Heather at 9:43 PM
Just an observation
My darling Princess. It is still winter. You know, when it is cold outside (I know this is not cold to those of you living where it snows. Humor me. Under 60 is cold when you deal with 119 in the summer). This morning it was 37. That means we do not wear jean mini-skirts, flip-flops, a long sleeved shirt and a jacket. The jacket isn't going to help your feet and legs, kiddo. And bitching at me that it is "freezing in the house" when it is 70 isn't helping your mini-skirt wearing cause there, sister. If you are wearing sweats and freezing in a heated house, how are you not freezing while partially clothed and outside? Am I missing something? Does looking cute (Which, I'll admit, you do. Even though your toes look blue.) somehow make you warm?
Obviously I'm way out of the loop on this one. Then again, since I've become the mother of 2 teenagers I've somehow become stupid. How I manage to make it through the day, I'll never know. Thank God I have them to tell me what to do. ::insert sarcasm right about here::
Ok, now all about me. I'm still plugging away at the charity sweater. I have about 4 inches left on the final sleeve (knit cuff-to-cuff) and I'll be done. However, as I'm sure you can tell, I'll be well off my Olympic goal of making 10 items for charity. I'm like the luge chick who smacked her head around the tube when she flipped the lugie thing. I'm on the DL. My wrist just will not cooperate if I try to knit more than a couple hours. But, I gave it a valiant effort. Right? Pictures? I'll show you when I'm all done, k?
What did I do at Stitch n Bitch last night? Rip out the pattern rows on my Jaywalker Socks AGAIN. I'm noticing that I do more Rip n Bitch at our little get togethers than Stitch. Of course, Sarah is probably done both socks now. Why can't I knit as fast as she does?
Posted by Heather at 1:57 PM
Lately I've been noticing that I watch way too much tv. Granted, I knit while I watch tv, but I'm still watching way too much. Really, do I need to be watching MASH every day? Every episode of Inked and Miami Ink, even on re-run? Every new Iron Chef America (Especially since I found out that they are given a list of 4 ingredients that could be the secret one. Like I ever believed they could whip up 5 dishes off the tops of their heads and they are all good.)? Ok, I do have to watch every new episode of Lost and Survivor. Heh.
But really. I watch too much tv. I love to read and listen to books on audio. However, I'm constantly complaining that I don't have time to read. Gee, maybe if I missed an episode or 10 of some stupid show I could actually get a few chapters read.
My mother-in-law (and my father-in-law) are both voracious readers. Long ago, Arlene was a librarian. And her house is now a little library. I'm amazed at what that woman has read. Over the summer she showed me a journal she has kept. Many years ago, she found a list of the 100 books everyone should read in their lifetime. And set herself a goal to read them all. She outlined what she would read every year. And she has stuck with it, which amazes me to no end. Some she has liked, some not so much. Even when she didn't like a book, she finished it (unlike me who will just bail on a book).
So, armed with my desire to turn off the boob-tube, I looked for a similar list. I found the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels.
When the Modern Library created this list they invited readers to cast their votes in a poll for the Reader's Top 100 list. They also invited the Radcliffe Publishing Course to respond with a rival list
. I took all 3 of the lists, put them in a database to weed out the duplicates, thereby coming up with a list of 208 books. I'm rather ashamed to notice that I've only read 7 of them. I am, however, already reading a book on the list - A Prayer for Owen Meany. So many people have named this their favorite book that I wanted to try it again (I tried to read it several years ago and didn't like it.). I really hope it gets better after the second chapter.
Obviously, work is slow today. I'd post the list, but I think it would take up the entire blog page. Email me if you would like it.
Posted by Heather at 12:30 PM
All wound up
I've been good about the yarn diet, right? I've resisted the call of the yarn store since my last trip to Fiber Factory (you do know that there is a shop less than 2 miles from my office? That I have to pass every single day on my way home? Torture, I tell you.). But, my Secret Pal awoke the beast. And now, I must have more Koigu! I found out that Jessica Knits
carries Koigu and I was doomed. Jessica's is far from my house, but scary close to my boss’s house and his other office. So, when I found myself up there on Thursday, I had to stop. For more
Koigu. See what you started, SP? :)
With my recent Koigu hoarding and my last FF trip, I needed to wind up all the yarn.
I don't have a swift, yet, so my friend Sarah
lent me hers. Olympic watching + swift + too much yarn = hockey pucks of yarn.
Now, I actually have to knit it all up. That could take awhile.
This next picture just cracks me up. As you know, my cat Olive has an upper respiratory infection. Olive is truly the sweetest, most loving cat I have ever had or been around. She has never scratched anyone and the vet loves her because she is very nice to him and doesn't attack. She adores Brian and wants to be held like a baby all the time. If she is nervous or scared, like when we go to the vet, she will hide her head in your arm so that no one can see her. Apparently, Olive thinks she is an ostrich. She has to have medicine twice a day and would prefer not to.
Too funny, huh? She is still sneezing (and dear Melanie, the sneeze sound is cute. The flying kitty snot isn't.) and I'm not too sure the medicine is working.
Zoe has chosen to sleep through it all behind Luna's tank. Can I be a house cat in my next life?
Posted by Heather at 9:55 AM
I'll probably send shock waves throughout the world, but I have a confession. I could care less about Valentine's Day. Really. A friend asked if I thought Brian would have flowers sent to my office. My reply? I hope not. They are 3 times as expensive as they should be and they will die in a week. Know what I would much rather have? A gorgeous plant. Something that when I look at it, will remind me of him thinking about me and that day. We exchanged cards, some candy and had lunch together. Frankly, everyday should be about showing someone how much you love them. Not just February 14th because Hallmark said so. If Brian made next Friday extra special by taking me out, sending me a plant and a necklace from Jared (heh...our inside joke) that would mean more to me than him doing it on some pre-prescribed day.
Enough blabbering. No knitting again last night. My kitty went to the vet with an upper respiratory infection. Great, huh? The family makes it through flu season just fine. It's the cat that gets it. Let me just say, snotty cats are gross. Enough said.
Knitting should return tonight. It is much more fun to watch the Olympics when you can knit. Hopefully far less people will be crashing and falling tonight.
Posted by Heather at 9:32 AM
A beautiful day in the neighborhood
There will be no knitting content here at Casa de la Cranky Teenagers today. My wrist decided that 3 hours of crocheting was more than it could take and boycotted last nights Olympics. I'd make some crack about said wrist, but since it is currently typing, it can read what I'm saying. But let me tell you something, you ever want liven the Olympics up a bit, watch them with Brian. He had me laughing so hard I thought I'd explode. Falling skaters and flying luge people aren't immune to our commentary. That's all I'm going to say.
Seems as though our VP's little brush with shooting his friend
has the comics of late night dancing on stage.
"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," NBC
"Although it is beautiful here in California, the weather back East has been atrocious. There was so much snow in Washington, D.C., Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fat guy thinking it was a polar bear."
"That's the big story over the weekend. ... Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, a 78-year-old lawyer. In fact, when people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity is now at 92 percent."
"I think Cheney is starting to lose it. After he shot the guy he screamed, 'Anyone else want to call domestic wire tapping illegal?' "
"Late Show with David Letterman," CBS
"Good news, ladies and gentlemen, we have finally located weapons of mass destruction: It's Dick Cheney."
"But here is the sad part -- before the trip Donald Rumsfeld had denied the guy's request for body armor."
Too funny, I tell you.
Posted by Heather at 7:47 AM
I am so sucked into the Olympics, it is crazy. Snowboarding, speed skating, downhill. You name it, I've watched it. I'm pissed they are on during the day today, too. I'm going to miss something! I cried when Shawn White won gold for the half pipe. What is wrong with me? I cried when Michelle Kwan pulled out. I love the Olympics.
I've made lots of progress on my Olympic knitting, too. Ok, Friday knit it was Olympic Crocheting, but I did great!
2 squares for The Crochet Dude's
Heartmade Blessings project. What isn't shown is the hat I tried to cast on for. Wasn't working. I need 16" circulars. Bah!
Ok, was it only me who thought that the opening ceremonies seemed a little...out there? I did like the people in colored costumes who made up the skier. That was cool. And who picked the music that the athletes walked into the stadium to? American 80's disco/rock? Very, very strange. I was cracking up watching some country I never heard of walking to the YMCA. Too funny.
I also worked on a size 6 sweater for the Dulaan Project
It is a cuff-to-cuff sweater from Margaret Hubert
. I've made a few of these and I really like the pattern. This is her second version and I like it even better. Very mindless knitting. I'm about halfway done.
And since everyone in the northeast is sharing snowy pictures of their yards, I thought it was only fair that I take pictures of my backyard this morning.
Overgrown bush (that I won't let anyone trim because I like the flowers) and a view of my neighbors citrus trees>
Flowers blooming on my trellis.
Don't hate me. You can all make fun of me when I'm bitching about it being 119 here in July
Sadie was exhausted from all the Olympic watching. Or he doesn't want to think about it being 119.
Posted by Heather at 9:17 AM
Today was turning out to be one of those days. You know how it goes. Little, stupid things going wrong at the office. Long line at the post office followed by an even longer one at the bank. Horrible traffic on the way home. Just one of those days. But then, I came home to this.
Isn't that fun? There is lots of candy, soap, cinnamon candle, picture frames, lots more candy, a bear and a journal. In the little pouch are gorgeous stitch markers made with beautiful garnet colored beads. Oh, the skein of
yarn in the middle? Koigu!! More koigu!! It all came in the photo box in the back. The little box of chocolate on the side is from my SPs roomie. Isn't that so nice?
Secret Pal, you really outdid yourself. Thank you so much for making my day!
My SP also asked what I'll be making with my Koigu. Both are destined to be ankle socks. I tried to start them on dpns, but didn't have much luck. Circulars in the right size are on their way, so hopefully I can start them soon!
Thank you again!!
Good luck everyone on the Olympics tonight. I'll be casting on for a baby hat.
Posted by Heather at 6:04 PM
The best laid plans
Is that what chickens and hookers do? ha ha ha!! Get it? Oh hush, Brian, it's funny and you know it.
Anyway. I'm already an Olympic failure. Even before the games began. I'm the dork that fell BEFORE the starting gate (and that would be just like me, too). My needles will not be arriving today. Or tomorrow. I know this because I'm psychic. Or because I just got an email stating they were mailed today.
In the words of Homer Simpson...Doh!!
So, we move to Plan B (please be impressed that I actually HAVE a Plan B) which is that I am going to knit or crochet 10 items (or more if the wrist co-operates) for charity. I already have a sleeve done for one sweater, can I still work on that and count it? A few of the 10 items will be for the Heartmade Blessings
project that Drew needs squares for. I can whip those out pretty quick. Of course, I'll be sleeping in a wrist brace for awhile (Brian just loooveees that), but it is all for the team. Right?
This should be really interesting. Stay tuned. Hopefully we won't have to witness the "agony of defeat" (remember ABC sports and that guy crashing down the mountain every Saturday? I really don't want that to happen to me.).
Knit (or crochet) on!!
Posted by Heather at 9:58 AM
I been wanting to knit the Jaywalker
socks since I started seeing them in so many blogs. At knitting the other night, I tried to cast on for the pair, but failed miserably. I prided myself in not flinging my needles across the wine bar (see, I can show restraint at times) when I had to rip it all out. Last night, I patiently pulled out my 2 socks on 2 circulars tutorial
and tried again. Second time was a charm!
Photo credit to my wonderful husband who probably thinks that I think he has nothing better to do all day than take pictures for me so I can blog at lunchtime. Of course this isn't true, he is far to busy preparing my meals, washing my clothes and waiting in joyful anticipation for my homecoming. Good thing he likes me, huh?
Like the others, the first inch is tough going. The tail gets in the way, there is no bit of sock to grab onto and it is just all fiddly. But now I'm a few rows into the zig-zag pattern and it is smooth sailing! I'm telling you, 2 socks at a time is just brilliant. I've received so many emails and comments telling me it that people have either tried and gave up or that it just seemed to complicated. Really, it isn't at all. I'm going to be honest, I have a very short attention span (I probably still have ADHD, when I was a kid it was just called hyperactivity). I have a very difficult time following directions and keeping track of what the heck I'm doing (you can thank the teenagers for that) and given a little quiet and a lot of patience on my part, I got it. And once I did, it all clicked. I'm really determined to never knit one sock at a time again. I started not liking knitting socks because I would just dread the second one. Sure, knitting 2 at a time takes a little longer because you are moving things around a bit more. But when I consider that there were times that months would go by before I forced myself to knit that second sock, it is worth it.
Should the needles come in time for my Olympic knitting project, I'll be knitting the Aran Sandal (I'll be wearing them with clogs, thank you.) Socks 2 at a time as well. That should be interesting. If they don't come in time, I think I'll change my project to a certain number of charity knits. I'll know by Friday!
Posted by Heather at 11:35 AM
A new home
No, not for me, for my blog! Isn't it so pretty? I found it at Beccary
from a link on Melanie's
blog. I've been wanting a new template for awhile but never found one I really loved. Until today. Let me know if you think the print is too small. I have a huge monitor, so I never know.
Apparently, my kitty Zoe has found a new home as well.
Looks like she is in the tank with Luna, doesn't it? Well, there is a narrow little space between Luna's tank and the wall. It is very warm there due to the special light we have for Luna. Zoe loves to sleep right there and Luna doesn't seem to mind at all. The life of my pets, I tell ya.
Size 3 Addi's are on their way and I could possibly have them by Friday. I did a swatch on the 1's I already had, but got 8 stitches to the inch and the gauge was 6 1/2 to the inch. Please let them work!
If you could, please keep the Baseball Star in your prayers. He is trying out for his high school baseball team this week and could use all the help he can get. There are so many kids trying out for so few spots. Last year he didn't make it and he was devastated. It was between him and another kid and they chose the other kid. Who went on to have a horrible season and attitude and was benched. Go figure.
Posted by Heather at 3:29 PM
I did it. I caved. Even though I said I wasn't going to, I did. There was too much pressure. Too many bloggers heading toward the light, err flame. So, I caved.
I joined the Knitting Olympics
I know, I know. But it looks like so much fun! Forget the fact that I'll be knitting my little fingers to the bone! Forget that I signed up on the very last day possible
and haven't as much made a gauge swatch. Or that I might not have the needles I need. I have yarn (we all know how much of that I have), I have the pattern and I have insanity on my side. How could I resist?
What am I knitting, you ask? The Aran Sandal Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks. I've wanted to knit them since I first bought the book, but thought they would be too difficult for me.
What better time to challenge myself than when the teenagers are conspiring to send me to a mental home? Wait, don't they cook for you, clean for you and you don't have to work? Hey, would they let me knit there? Hmmm....
Posted by Heather at 11:47 AM
These socks rock!
Today, I'm sporting my newest socks!
And of course, we must have the blurry crocs shot.
As you may be able to tell, these are fraternal socks. However, they started out as identical twins. My friend Pam
knows all about genetics and I'm sure will tell us all that I've created quite the anomaly. Honestly, I don't know what happened. I'm sure I can't re-create this effect in my
living room again. Everything was all fine and dandy until I found a knot. I clipped it out and matched up the striping in the sock. And that's where things went wonky (don't you love that word?). I tried to fix it by clipping again, to no avail. So, the socks are identical up until halfway down my foot. Whatever.
I used Sockotta yarn that I also used for a little iPod cover. I had just enough to make the socks with a shortened leg. They are very comfy and don't itch at all, thanks to the majority content of cotton. Love the patterning, love the feel...just lovin' my new socks.
And I'm going to take this moment to officially out Pam
as my test crochet blanket from hell savior. She claims that my erratic Super Bowl behavior (ha! I toned it down for my friends, you should see me when I think there are no witnesses to my behavior during the games. A clue? Brian clears the living room of any breakable/throwable objects. Heh.) was what led her to save me from the hell known as the SWTC blanket, but I think it is because she loves me and feels sorry for me. Crocheting has really been bothering my left wrist (why knitting doesn't, I couldn't tell you) and it is so boring that I want to scream every time I look at it. Plus, the yarn twists back on itself and adds to my already unstable brain situation. Pam is my hero. She has saved me.
Tonight our Stitch 'n Bitch (take that Sew Fast So Sleazy) is at a wine bar. Sarah
set it up so that we go there once a month. Isn't she wonderful?
Posted by Heather at 10:42 AM
Good God. Again, someone please tell me why I didn't take today off. I'm a zombie. I was so excited about the game that I hardly slept on Saturday night (yes, I am a loser) and got up early on Sunday for the pre-game ritual. A little about the ritual. When the butcher at the grocery store recognizes you and your husband and outs your little superstitious run to the store EVERY Sunday morning before the game is on tv, you are a freak. Good thing he doesn't know about having the same breakfast, game food and candle burning, huh?
So yea, I am tired. However, during my sleepless night on Saturday, I stayed up pretty late watching ESPN and knitting socks. I'm like 5 rows and a kitchner stitch away from having a finished pair of socks. How cool is that?
And in more wonderful news, a dear friend (who I'm not so sure wants to be identified, I'll have to check) has taken the SWTC blanket away from me and is working on it. She must love me. Or think I'm totally wacked after watching me during yesterday's game and therefore feels sorry for me. Either way, she is the best :) Does that mean I can take it off the sidebar?!?
I guess I better go back to
sleeping at my desk
Posted by Heather at 1:25 PM
And the Steelers win the Super Bowl!!!
What more is there to say?
I am so happy today, there are no words. It's been a bumpy road, but we did it! There was an awesome party at my house last night. As my friends can tell you, I was a tad emotional about the game. I tried not to cry, but watching Cowher and Ben cry did me in. Then, after everyone left, I watched Sports Center for 2 hours and just cried at every interview. What can I say? I've loved my Steelers for most of my life. Way to go, guys.
Someone explain to me why I didn't take today off. LOL
Posted by Heather at 9:23 AM
Here we go!!
(try to picture me singing here) Here we go, Steelers, here we go!! Pittsburgh's playin' in the Super Bowl!!You can hear the real version and see the video here.
Needless to say, I've been singing it non-stop since I heard it on Friday. I'm so excited about the game that I couldn't sleep last night!!
And I want to thank everyone for their support. Friday was so hard for me. One of the things that really helped keep me going was the comments. Then I started getting excited for the game and I'm feeling much better. Thanks again :)
Go Steelers!! I've loved you guys since I was 8 years old (wait 'til I find a way to scan a picture of me at 12 getting my first jersey at Christmas). I'm proud of ya'll no matter what the outcome.
Posted by Heather at 11:14 AM
You know, I have a good life. I have wonderful friends, great (most of the time) kids, a fabulous husband, a nice house, a new car and a job I love 95% of the time. Lately though, I'm just...done. I'm unmotivated at work, with my knitting, with house stuff...hell, I can't even finish a book I've been trying to read for 3 weeks. I'm so excited about the game this weekend, but in order to be ready for the party I need to shop and clean my house. Which will cause yet another fight with the kids because they have to actually help. And I just don't want to deal with it.
The Princess is currently furious with me over something I have no control over. She said things last night that hurt...and hurt deeply. I know teenagers (and all kids) say things they don't mean. And she is still just a kid. But at what point does that stop being an excuse? At what point can I just sit on my patio and cry and be mad? Last night was that point. To have sacrificed everything, to have worked so hard (sometimes working 2 jobs), being a single mom and skipping meals because child support wasn't paid AGAIN and you don't get paid for 3 more days but telling the kids you ate a big lunch. Even though they don't know any of that. For it all to have meant nothing. It is truly more than I can bear.
Posted by Heather at 10:37 AM
A letter to my children
My darling children,
I write this to both of you knowing you will never read it. Why? Because God forbid we actually read anything that isn't
1 - homework, of which you will complain incessantly and wait until the last minute to read 20 chapters
2 - your friend's My Space
3 - the life story of whatever celebrity/sports figure you love this week
4 - the Victoria's Secret catalog (yes, both of you).
And what better way to do it, than on my blog where
a couple of people can read it and share my misery and make fun of you?
First - Your grandparents (God love them, they must have felt sorry for me that Christmas) bought you both boom boxes capable of reaching ear-shattering volumes. That are in your rooms. Therefore, it is not necessary for you to blast the latest Daddy Yankee (why is he called that, anyway? He is from Puerto Rico and didn't speach English until recently. But I digress.) song, complete with video, from the computer in the great room so I can't hear the voices in my head telling me to run away from home.
And while we are on that subject...I don't want to see the video. I didn't want to see it on tv, I don't want to see it on the computer and I sure don't want to see the "Mom, you gotta see this hot guy" video the 10th time you ask. It sucks just as bad the first time you asked.
Second - My darling Princess. It is not necessary for you to scream at the top of your
lungs at your brother for all the injustices he has placed upon your
pampered and spoiled
life. When I hear your brother's name in elongated (that means, dear, that you make his name in 14 syllables instead of the 2 it actually is) screeches it makes me want to run from the house screaming myself. While I know it is worthy of World War 5, your brother taking 2 extra minutes to get off the computer/get off the phone/finish with the milk is not worthy of the volumes you can raise your voice to. The neighbors are complaining. And your mother is praying she becomes deaf.
Third - Dearest Baseball Star. Plain and simple, stop annoying your sister. Don't throw candy wrappers at her, try to trip her, knock on her door and run or do any of the 5 million other things you do that cause her to make The Noise (see second point). We all know you are home, you don't need to do
stupid and attention grabbing
things to remind us. And while I'm talking to you, I should let you know something else. I love you. However, I do not want to see you act out your Xbox game for the 1,000th time in the middle of the living room while I'm watching a movie. Yes, it is highly interesting how you scored that touchdown. The first time.
And finally. Yes, you both have to do chores and yes you both have a bedtime. I'm sure that it totally sucks Cheerio holes that you have to actually do something around the house ::cough:: Baseball Star ::cough::, but I'm not a maid/laundress/chef. And, while all your friends might not have a bed time, you do. Get over it. When you graduate high school you can go to bed whatever time you want. You aren't missing much by "staying up a half hour, Mom".
In closing, remember that I love you with all my heart. However, you are both driving me freaking insane. Also remember that should I go completely insane, you will have to be the ones to take care of me when I'm a dribbling idiot who needs to be fed all her meals.
Posted by Heather at 12:46 PM