Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just In Time...

For my sister and her family's visit up here for Halloween and the baby's baptism, I knit up not only the little sweater and bootie combo (see previous post), but also a jack-o-lantern hat for my niece, Aubrey and a cool, beanie hat for my nephew, Ethan. Here they are!

I am really happy with how this turned out! I used TLC Cotton Plus yarn, which is a 51% cotton/49% acrylic blend. It's a dream to work with and it's inexpensive and machine washable, which is really a nice feature. The face features were double-knit on after I completely finished the hat. I see more fruit-themed hats in the future!

And here's Ethan's hat:

So, apparently, it's all the rage in London for teens (especially guys) to wear these close-fitting, beanie-type, wool hats. Ethan is just recently in his teens, having turned 13 this past August. However, he's quite tall and broad for a 13-year old. He could pass for 16, if his voice changing wasn't obvious ;-). Anyway, I think this hat is suitable to meet that cool, non-dorky, urban, somewhat-trendy Londoner look, without looking either metrosexual or, as Marsha said, "like a thug." So I knit this in a chocolate brown washable merino wool that Marsha bought for me from the Netherlands when she went to visit her in-laws. Fancy! The green and gray stripe area is wool and alpaca yarn, respectively, which I had here in my stash. I think the stripe looks good too. Not overwhelming in color, but yet not a plain brown hat.

So that's what knitting I've been feverishly working on over the last week or two.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Baby Knitting

So my sister and her family are coming up here next week. They are spending Halloween here and then having the baby's baptism up here (on November 4) as well, due to a major complication at their parish in Wake Forest: the Pastor died! As a result, baptisms are backlogged until March 2008! ACK! My family is crazy-superstitious about that sort of thing. Not having Aubrey baptized until March 2008 would cause widespread panic through my family. Although, didn't the current pope basically abolish the concept of Limbo recently...sort of? Well anyway...

Todd and I are not the godparents. My brother-in-law's sister and her husband are. So it's their responsibility to purchase the baptismal gown. Having done this for my nephew 13 years ago (I am his godmother), I remember how costly these things are. And in South Philly, holy shit. There are stores that SOLELY sell baby Christening/baptism items. Yeah, it's a big deal over here. I don't get it, really.

So since the baptism is up here, and the weather here has been absolutely insane, I decided to make a baby sweater and booties for Aubrey to wear the day of the baptism. You know, just in case it's suddenly like 40 degrees here. The weather has been crazy here. Cool and autumnal one week, hot and raining the next. Insane.

Anyway, I absolutely LURVE the way the sweater and booties turned out. Here's just the sweater:

This was a free pattern that I got from the Internet somewhere. It's knit from the neck down. And it was so fast and easy. A lovely pattern to knit. I used a worsted-weight yarn called Filatura Lanarota Summer Soft on size 8 needles. I got the yarn from Smiley's. It was CHEAP. I think it was $1.50 or $1.99 a ball. This sweater was made using just about 2 balls. It's a rayon and acrylic blend and, oh my, it IS soft. Perfect for a baby sweater! Machine washable too, a plus.

As for the booties, well, I died in a fire when I saw this pattern. Baby, knit Mary Janes? FLAILING FROM THE CUTE. The pattern for these is in a little pamphlet-type booklet that I found on clearance at the check-out in the supermarket. You know where the TV Guides and such are? Yeah, there. It's strictly patterns for babies and toddlers. I bought it like December or January. These were surprisingly easy to knit. I used about 1/2 a ball of the Filatura Lanarota Summer Soft to make these. And I used size 4 needles. Now I am trying to figure out a way to adapt this pattern into adult-sized Mary Janes. Hmm....

I can't believe October is almost over. Where is the time going? So much to knit, so little time! :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Topic Of The Week #6


How was your experience in the exchange? Did you enjoy the folks you met? Did you just love the cloth and goodies you received? Please share any thoughts, criticism, and things you loved!

Overall, I had a good time! And I will participate in the next one. My downstream spoilee was Cynthia W., in Tennessee. What a sweet lady and a fantastic sock knitter! I mean, seriously! I'm still waiting for my package from my upstream spoiler. It should be coming soon. I enjoy this swap a lot because it is a one-time package. I think that's a super way to get to know more knitters/crocheters, without having to make a huge time and/or financial investment. My only criticism is that I think there needs to be better enforcement of the "rules." Nobody likes a swap with a lot of regulations, rules, and restrictions. I realize that. However, there are some very basic foundations (what I consider to be no-brainers) of swaps that I have seen completely disregarded in this swap and in the one prior to this one.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Titus Every Morning

Notice how much the bed is all scratched up. Yup. Ours too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


YAY! I got my Ravelry invite last night! So i signed up and began poking around there. OH. MY. DOG. There is a bajillion things to do there. It's the perfect site for someone like me: anal and a knitter. I can actually catalog every item in my stash! Oh why are the days only 24-hours long?

Speaking of stash management, I signed up for DeStash, too. I just have to get around to taking pictures of some stuff that I want to get rid of. And, holy cow, let me tell you, I need to do some serious de-stashing! I re-organized my knitting room last night, to the best of my ability. And you know, my yarn hording has gotten to the point where I can't even fit all the yarn I have into that IKEA cubby-hole shelving unit. I had to leave some of it in one of my rolling storage bags (yes, I actually have 2. Oy vey.) That's un-good.

Anyway, if you want to look me up on Ravelry, my name there is "mirthful."


Monday, October 15, 2007

Topic Of The Week #5


Now that it is getting cooler here, it makes me think of apple picking and hay rides. Are you the type that likes to go to participate in all the fall festivities like apple picking, pumpkins, decorating for the fall, hay rides, baking fall goodies, etc. or do you just sit and count the days till Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah?

Well, I really enjoy apple/pumpkin/fruit picking, in general. But I never seem to have the opportunity to do it. And I am almost positive that Todd would not enjoy that activity. He's more like the "Can't we just 'pick' these at the supermarket?" kind of guy. In fact, I know there are a few orchards near his family's house in Virginia (the place we call "The River" because it's situated right on the Potomac River). And nearly every time we are down there I say, "Hey! Let's go to that pear orchard!" And he's like "Uh...what pear orchard?" Yeah.

I like decorating, for the most part. I'm not a great pumpkin carver. But I can draw or paint on them pretty well. Although, I don't really decorate any more for any holiday other than Christmas. I just do not have the time to do it. And, well, I get no help, if you know what I mean....

I'll PASS on the hayride, thanks!

I love to bake. But I don't do it very often. I try not to have too many temptations in the house! But I think a nice pumpkin or zucchini bread is in order very soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Beautiful Patterns

Hey everybody!

So my friend Marsha's latest post on her blog is about knitted pumpkin hats and items for the autumn season. One such item is a skull illusion scarf. It's a free pattern at this blog.

So I went to the blog. It's a SUPER pattern. But also, I just have to say that ALL the patterns on this blog are just magnificent. I love them. I think I might purchase a few of the sweater patterns, especially this and if you scroll down, you'll see (on the right) a wrap sweater called Erica, which has a pattern coming soon. I want that too. Beautiful stuff. And the free patterns are really nice as well.

Just thought I'd share.

Friday, October 05, 2007

My Two Favorites

Maybe it's because this pretty much sums up my existence every day of my life because I have 6 beasts in my house:

Married To The Sea

and the sequel:

Married To The Sea

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Least of All Evils

Ok. Well, I decided to change the layout/skin/template/whatever-you-call-it on the blog, as you can see. I will re-iterate: BLOGGER, GET NEW TEMPLATES. This one was about the least offensive of the others, unless I wanted it basically to look like a Word document with a box around the header. No thanks.

Also---just because I have to write it down somewhere---I am drinking the WORST cup of coffee of my life, such as it is, today. It tastes like volcanic dirt. I only wish I were actually IN Hawaii, somewhere near a volcano, which might lessen the pain of drinking this crap. Some random person (who is new and from another department is using our office space until their office is finished being renovated---how nice) used our coffee maker and "surprised" us by brewing up a pot of this delightful, high-octane sludge this morning before anyone else got in. Super! Thanks! Why don't I just walk my fat, lazy ass down to the little coffee shop on the ground floor of the building attached to my building? Well, I'll tell you:

a) Their coffee sucks ass. It's new name will be "ass-coffee."

b) I went in there last week to get a quick, healthy food item to eat for breakfast (yeah, good luck finding this within 24 miles of a college campus, but anyway) because I re-joined Weight Watchers last Monday. I will post more about this later. Suffice it to say, for now, that it's going well. Anyhoo. So the only thing I could find in there remotely healthy was yogurt. Fine. Whatever. Good ol' Dannon light 6 oz. cup of blueberry yogurt.

So I get over to the counter and order a medium ass-coffee, as is my custom nearly every morning, and I put the yogurt on the counter too. She rings me up. The total is $5.07. Now, I know a medium coffee is $1.75. And I also know that they charge tax if you pay cash (crazy, I know). So, math GENIUS that I am, I figure it out and and say, incredulous, "Wait. Was that yogurt like $3.00?" She goes, somewhat sympathetically and sheepishly, "Yeah, it's $2.99." I was struck into complete idiot mode at that point and could only utter, "Wow...o...k." Then there is the little matter of the sales tax. So, after all was said and done, that yogurt cost me $3.20. Yeah. I remained. The guy behind me in line says, "Holy shit! Did you just pay $3.00 for that yogurt?!? You can get like 8 of them for that at Acme (which is a local chain supermarket)." Again, still stunned into utter stupidity, I could only nod in agreement. I picked up my yogurt and my coffee cup and filled up and left.

Hind-sight is always 20/20, as my dad says---I'd like to interrupt at this point to mention that I just spilled some of the volcanic dirt coffee down my chin and on my jacket. I think it is my subconscious brain trying to get rid of the stuff before I can commit all of it to my innards.

Thank you. To continue: I looked at my receipt later that day and it said:

medium coffee 1.75
Dannon parfait 2.99

Parfait? What parfait? Who had a parfait? Not I! I had a cup of freakin' yogurt, not a yogurt, whipped cream, granola, and fruit concoction. Then, it dawned on me. The cashier saw the word "Dannon" on the product I bought and spied the word "Dannon" on her register's keypad and thought, "DING! DANNON! This is it!" But really, there probably is a another button on the keypad that has "yogurt" written on it and she just didn't realize it.

My suspicions were confirmed earlier this week when I went in there and saw that they had actually placed labels with prices for the shelved refrigerator items. "Dannon yogurt: $1.69." Which is also criminally overpriced for a cup of yogurt, but still, it 'aint $3.00.

So that is why I am steering clear of the coffee shop if I can. And why I just choked down 12 oz. of volcanic dirt. Oy.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Topic Of The Week #4

Topic of the Week #4

How about you? Are there any recipes you especially enjoy having in the Fall? Any foods that are seasonal that you especially enjoy?
Feel free to share recipes with us too!

Well let's see.... There are SO many food items that I associate with Fall. I guess one in particular is yams. Oh Lawd, I love me some yams. I think I particularly associate yams with the Fall, especially Thanksgiving. For me, they DEFINE the holiday. I don't even entertain eating yams any other time of the year.

Also asparagus. I don't know why. Maybe because my grandmom would make her frittatas more often in the fall. She'd make them with peppers or asparagus or potatoes (OMG, my favorite), or with mozzarella. But the asparagus one particularly reminds me of fall. She'd call them "pies." I remember coming home for lunch when I was in grade school. Side note: Yeah, us kids that went to Catholic school usually lived within a walkable distance in the parish where the school was situated. So we got sent home for lunch, but it was only like 1/2 an hour or something. And my grandmother was technically closer than my own house, by, like half a block. And who WOULDN'T want to go to their grandmom's instead anyway?? Anyway, so she'd say, "So do you want a potato pie? Or an asparagus and egg pie?" As a kid, aged 9, I went for the potato. LOL But later I grew to appreciate the asparagus one!

Pies in general remind me of the fall. Especially the obvious ones, like pumpkin or pecan. But also pretty much ALL fruit pies seem autumnal to me.

Yams, pies---gee, fall 'aint good for my waistline, now is it?