Archive for November, 2007
Woohoo! I finished my Thujas last night! So happy. They’ll have their first outing tomorrow – I’ll be wearing them to school. And yes, I will lift up a foot every time I pass someone to say, “Look what I made.” What? I shouldn’t do that? It would seem odd? You guys are no fun.
And so . . . when one project comes to an end, another project begins. ‘Tis the great circle of life. Here’s my next Baby Cuteness Cardigan. It’s for the boy half of a set of twins due to arrive in February. I know I have plenty of time to knit this, but after seeing the twins’ mom on Wednesday night and taking note of the size of her belly – already, I thought I should get things going. It’s the same Bernat Softee Baby yarn I’ve used before, this time in Dreamy Blue. In this photo, it appears to have girlish undertones, but it really doesn’t. It received the Official Boy Stamp of Approval from my very own 14-year-old boy. We’re good.
I got a nice little surprise in my Ravelry message box yesterday. Another knitter is now knitting the Baby Cuteness Cardigan. She saw my finished project on Ravelry and found the pattern using the link I’d posted to my blog post and she’s knitting it. Here’s what she said: “My philosophy about baby knitting is that it needs to be cute as a button, able to take hard wear and machine washing, and be quick and fun to knit up. It’s such a delight, having given up my 20 year tradition of baby blanket knitting in search of sweaters, to find patterns like yours.”
Isn’t that something? I really don’t feel that this is my pattern – it’s a modified version of the Mason Dixon Knitting Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono. I NEVER could have come up with this pattern completely on my own. Never. I just think it’s wonderful that this woman is knitting it following my modifications. It makes me feel so . . . smart. Boy, do I have her fooled!
In other happy news, I am the proud owner of a new milk frother. My electric hand-blender with the frother attachment was just teasing me the other day when it gave me one final frothing. It’s dead. After searching high and low on the internet, I ordered an Aerolatte from Amazon.com. I threw a couple of knitting books onto my order to reach the free shipping minimum and sat back to wait for it to arrive. No dice. Although everything was “in stock,” the order is due to ship on December 17th. Couldn’t wait. Back to the web, checking the sites of several stores in my area. I finally just had to get in the car and go look. I found a Hot Chocolate set (!) that had a frother in it. $20. Done. Mine.
This frothy goodness was made from 1/3 cup of skim milk with a little squirt of chocolate syrup. Amazing. You might be blinded by this next photo, but it shows the amazingly thick froth made whipping a ton of air into skim milk.
Emmie is happy, too. She’s a fellow frothy milk lover and she always gets a blob of it before I add the chocolate syrup. She knows good stuff.
I’ve been doing a whole lot of knitting and frothing this weekend. Knitting. Frothing. Frothing. Knitting. Knrothing. Fritting.
Oh! And my boy cleaned his room! Shhhh. Wait. Did you hear that? It was the angels singing.
For me, this was a very special Thanksgiving. This holiday is a favorite for me – and not just because of pumpkin pie. I have so many things for which to be thankful – three of which are my wonderful family, a job that I love, and my health. These three things came together yesterday in an unexpected gift bag filled with tissue paper. After arriving at my sister’s house, my mom presented me with this:
She did the beautiful cross-stitch and she and my dad picked out the matting and framing. I love it. I love that it comes from my parent’s hands and it celebrates the career I love, but I love even more that it comes from my family’s hearts. Take a look at the label on the back:
My family members all seem to think I handled the whole thing really well. I guess I did okay. Believe me – I had many moments when I felt sorry for myself and had the poor-me attitude, but I guess that overall I was a pretty tough cookie. I did everything the doctors told me to do (mainly because I thought I’d get in trouble if I didn’t) and dealt with every single appointment for surgeries, tests, treatments, and check-ins for 18 months. I had to put myself on auto-pilot once in a while, but I did it. I did it because of AND with the help of my family: My son, my parents, my sisters, my brother-in-law, and my nieces. They are my people. I love my people. Thank you, my people!
(There are lots of other people who did so much for me during this time – extended family and friends – and I’m so grateful for all of them. They’re my people, too. But . . . my family . . . !)
Okay, now let’s share some cuteness:
This is an apple jacket. I ordered it from JaquelineKnits on etsy.
It’s meant to protect your apple from being banged and bruised when you throw it in your bag to take to school or work. Isn’t it adorable? I would have loved to be able to knit my own, of course, but I couldn’t find a pattern anywhere. I was happy to support a fellow knitter by buying one.
Here’s more cuteness. One of my student’s moms made a turkey cookie for each of the kids as a pre-Thanksgiving treat. There was one for me, too – one of the may perks I get as a teacher. I love it!
I hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving and had a chance to think about all of the good things you have in your lives.
On this day after Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that I woke up at noon and now have the rest of the day to knit. It’s a beautiful thing.
I told her that I’m very sorry, but I can’t MARY one of my students. It’s completely and totally a violation of the rules.
I dragged myself to school this morning, forcing myself to show up for the first of 2 1/2 more days before the Thanksgiving break. (Okay, okay, you normal job people – I know your hearts just bleed for us teachers. Hey, YOU try spending 6 1/2 hours a day with 19 kids calling your name at the same time, disappearing to the lav for 20 minutes instead of doing their work, passing notes about saying “Will you be my girlfriend? Yes No (circle one)”, whining “My knee hurts from when I fell last Thursday. Can I go get an icepack?”, calling out, “I’m done! What do I do now?”, making armies of eraser people (!) on their desks, stealing each other’s skinny markers, asking “Is it lunch time yet?” and yes, even sometimes calling me Grandma. Really. Do that and then decide if I deserve my Thanksgiving break. Thank you very much.)
I feel better now.
Anyway, I was at my desk getting myself geared up for the arrival of my little Honeybees (Yes, that’s what I call them – each year my class gets a new name. I’ve had Lovebugs, Guys and Dolls, Angel Babies . . . I’m just a big mushball.) when Mr. S., one of our few male teachers, came in and asked for chalk. I pointed him in the right direction, and he took a piece and headed toward the exit door. Curious, I followed him.
“What are you doing?” I asked of the man who one year encouraged a first grade class to save ALL of their pencil sharpening shavings for months to try to fill this giant contraption he made. This is the same man who built a sailing vessel out of styrofoam lunch trays and proved it was seaworthy by launching it at Gulf Beach during a downpour.
Mr. S. answered, “Somebody did some graffiti on the outside of the building and I’m going to make it more appropriate for the season.”
On the bricks of the building right outside my classroom was a big, white 4-letter word. It’s the same word that can be used to identify a male chicken. First graders would be lining up next to that wall in less than 15 minutes.
Mr. S. used the chalk to change the letter C into an O and added the word “Turkey.” Then, he altered the graphic stick figure by adding a chef’s hat and putting a stove in front of him. Voila!
It’s amazing what one can accomplish while spending the entire day in pajamas. Today was an official Scuzzday Sunday in my house. The name comes from a friend who told me how she loves to spend a Sunday in pajamas – no shower or hair washing – and just do nothing. Scuzzy – thus Scuzzday Sunday. Since yesterday was my choice day, there were things I had to do today. I didn’t choose to do 300 pounds of laundry, but I did it. I didn’t choose to wash the kitchen floor and vacuum the whole place, but I did it. I did, however, choose to do this . . .
It was okay for me to have a Scuzzday today, because I didn’t end up staying in pajamas all day yesterday. I took a shower, got dressed, and went out to run some errands. I chose to do that. I went to the book store and to a few stores in the mall. It was SO crowded. I returned some impulse purchases that I didn’t need – nor love. (I do that once in a while. It’s not really a big problem. Really. It’s not.) Then I shopped for shoes. As I was poking around the shoe department in Macy’s, I saw a woman staring at me. I kept wandering around looking at shoes and she kept turning to watch me. I got a little nervous. I was trying to figure out if I knew her from somewhere. Teacher? Parent? Neighbor? No, no, no. Uh oh . . . did I have toilet paper trailing from my shoe? Nope. Had I tucked the bottom of my skirt into the back of my waistband? Wasn’t wearing a skirt. Then she said, “I love your bag.” I was carrying my B-4 felted bag. She asked me where I had gotten it, and when I told her I made it, she oohed and ahhed as she petted it. What a great feeling. Macy’s didn’t have any of the shoes I liked in my size, but I still left there happy.
So Scuzzday Sunday it has been. After my big conference week, I think I just needed a weekend with minimal human interaction. The mall visit must have pushed me to take the day off from the world today. My son was in the same kind of mood, so it worked for both of us. My blood pressure did go up a little bit when the doorbell rang at about 6:00. There was no way I could have answered the door. No way. I was scary. M. looked out of my bedroom window and didn’t see a car, so it had to be a neighbor. If it was important, they can catch me when Scuzzday is over. It will be better for them that way. I’m scuzzy.
I can do this:
It’s my Teacher’s Pet. It was made for my by a little dollface girl as my report card gift. I didn’t know that teachers get report card gifts! So cool. She made it completely on her own – her own idea. No directions or model – nothing but a 3rd grader’s creativity. At the end of the day, she wanted me to eat some of it. Um. Hmmm. “Oh, I can’t wait to eat some,” I told her as I looked at the fingerprints in the caramels and the scotch tape that was holding the craft sticks together. “Yum! But I want to show it off to the other teachers first. Then I need to take pictures, but I don’t have my camera with me.” She bought it. After I took pictures, I pulled off a few caramels and one of the lollipops and hid them in the trash. Yum!
I’m now choosing to have more coffee. Then I’m going to knit my sock. No, wait. I’m going to knit my shawl. No, wait. I’m going to seam up my baby cardigan. My, oh my, it’s so hard to choose.
A is for AVOIDANCE. I am playing a game of hide’n seek from my parent/teacher conference preparation by knitting, shopping, watching lots of TV shows I DVR’d, and knitting some more. Look at the progress on the Candle Flame Shawl:
A is for AMAZING. I’m amazed at the beauty of this shawl and I’m amazed that I haven’t messed it up again. I love the way it’s growing quickly and I might just have to keep it on my lap during conferences. If I get tongue-tied, I’ll just hold it up and say, “Look what I can do.”
A is for ADDICTIVE. I put my knitting A.D.H.D. to good use by trying out the magic loop method of knitting a sock. Yowza. I love it. Look!
I’m using Moda Dea Washable Wool in Coffee and I’m knitting a version of Knitty’s Thuja pattern. It’s easy, but has a little oomph. Here’s another look:
A is for AWFUL. That’s the way the black jeans I bought last week at Macy’s smelled. I had picked out a nice-looking pair of simple black jeans. They fit me well and I was happy. I brought them home and tried them on again. Hmmm . . . what’s that smell? I wondered. It was my pants. They smelled like sulfur. No, really. Sulfur. I threw them in the wash with my new fruity-scented laundry detergent that makes all of my laundry smell edible. Still, they smelled. I had taken the tags off, so I was a little nervous about the attitude I might get when I tried to return them. Yesterday, during my avoidance game, I went back to Macy’s. Before I went to the counter, I grabbed a new pair off the rack and brought them with me to the cash register as proof of the smelliness they had before I washed them. Much to my delight, I watched two of the sales people smell both pairs of jeans and pronounce them, “Eew.” I was refunded, found a new odor-free pair of black jeans, and bought them. So if you ever have smelly pants, you can return them. You should never have to keep a pair of smelly pants.
A is for AW, CRAP. I just realized that I won’t be able to make it to SnB on Thursday night. It’s a conference night. Crappity crap crap. Thanks, friends, for missing me last Thursday. I missed you back. Please miss me even more this Thursday and have a Portabello and Mozzarella Panini for me. Hold Katie in your lap and work hard to make her smile. Pet other people’s yarn and make a few inappropriate wisecracks. It might be a while until I see you again, so please hold a seat for me! Miss you!
A is for ADIOS.