Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Something about me being a horse's ass

You Are a Centaur

In general, you are a very cautious and reserved person.
However, you are also warm hearted, and you enjoy helping others in practical ways.
You are a great teacher, and you are really good at helping people get their lives in order.
You are very intuitive, and you go with your gut. You make good decisions easily.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pre-Superbowl Purchases and Pissy Things

I don't watch football. And frankly, after getting disgusting things thrown at me from cars when we lived in Boulder because I was inadverantly and unknowingly wearing Nebraska's colours during game weekend, I don't *care* about football. However, I am willing to make allowances. I went up to my LYS this afternoon to get a 16 inch size 7 circular, and apparently they were having a Pre-Superbowl Sale... and I came home with these two bundles.

8 Skeins Plymouth Oh My - a very soft bouclé in a forest/army green colour:

7 Skeins NY Yarns Gypsy - I did make sure that all of these had the same dye lot number, but there seems to be a lot of variation in the colours - mostly red with a little pink, a little mauve, and a little orange:

I have about 650 yards of each yarn, and right now I am planning sleeveless hoodies out of both for Willow. As for prices, let's just say that both were about 60% off their regular prices :)

Bezzie had a meme with a twist on her blog today and I really think I can sink my teeth into this one~

Sixth Things That Piss Me Off

1) School Offices that won't let me enroll my daughter in full-day kindergarten because our settlement day for our new house is the same day as the kindergarten lottery.

Piggy-backed onto that...

2) The fact that most of the schools in our area have only one full-day kindergarten classroom and that parents have to jockey into position to get their child into it!

3) This disgusting salt that is all over the roads and cars here. We've had a scant one inch of snow in the last 4 weeks and there is so much salt on the ground that you would have thought we were coming out of the grips of a blizzard.

4) That I don't have enough hours in the day to read all the books I want, knit all the patterns I want, play with Willow, keep a clean house, cook nutritious meals, exercise, be a good wife (and trust me, that is the role that suffers), and be a breadwinner... and get maybe 6 hours of sleep in a night. I am always tired.

5) That the older I get the bushier my hair seems to be. Styling products be damned, it seems I always have frizzy hair now.

6) Finding a really cool book in a bookstore, only to discover that the book is the second in a series and the first book is out-of-print.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Project Spectrum Jumpstart!

Okay, I know Project Spectrum technically doesn't start until later this week, but I couldn't help myself - I went ahead and finished my blue ankle socks:

* 2 skeins Juvel Superwash in the Blues colourway (DK weight)
* Size 3 dpns
* Women's size medium
* Pattern from Ann Budd's multiguage pattern book. To make the ankle socks I just did 10 rows of 1X1 ribbing and then 12 of stockinette before starting the heel flap

I've decided I need to purchase one of those socks forms... I looked in my LYS yesterday and they didn't have one. The trip wasn't a loss - I did make some purchases for my downstream SP; however, I can't post the pics because she has been known to read my blog occasionally... One thing I did buy for myself is two skeins of the new Plymouth Encore fairisle-like yarn in a red/pink/yellow mix to make a baby sweater for my friend Teri, who will be having a little girl in June. The effect is pretty nice so far - I'm knitting Daisy from Knitty but I think I am going to alter the pattern a bit so the raglan is knit together rather than sewn together at the end.

Oh - and I've managed to keep one New Year's resolution - a significant project finished each month!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Night Pizza

When I was in high school I had a couple of the seemingly requisite fast food jobs most kids have - Dairy Queen first (which turned me off soft serve for the longest time!), and then Panagopolous Pizza. This pizza chain has now shortened its name to Panago, I believe, and it only exists in British Columbia. My secret joy? Telling people they couldn't have half toppings of this and half toppings of that. Yes, sometimes I truly do deserve the evil rating from a couple weeks back... It wasn't as if this was my rule - it was a rule of the pizza place - I just took a special joy in *enforcing* it.

So, karma has come back to bite me - I guess I deserve this:

Yes, green peppers on only three-quarters of the pizza. I took a sick day yesterday as I was simply exhausted from me and everyone else in the apartment coughing all night. Willow is the worst - that Mom gene kicks in and I simply cannot sleep because she is sick. So what did I do during my sick day? Set up the bread machine to make a batch of pizza dough. I really love making pizza - this one has chopped up ham, mushrooms, green peppers (on three-quarters of it, anyway), lots of my Dad's garlic, and don't tell Andrew- very finely chopped up pineapple through out. If I'm going to make concessions, it is only going to be to one person at a time!

I didn't have time to go and buy pineapple after work today, so I picked some up in our work cafeteria salad bar. I mentioned to one of my co-workers that I had bought it to put on my pizza, and a bunch of people started saying, "Ugh - pineapple on pizza? Only a Canadian would think of that!" I was not in a good mood to begin with so I snapped back, "It's called a Hawaiian pizza - and the last time I checked, Hawaii was part of the States and therefore American!" I didn't realize my boss was on the other side of the cubicle wall: "Um, Jo - is everything okay?" Grr. Fine.

The pizza was very yummy :) I increase the recipe by 50% because I like having lots of dough for my pizza (don't understand thin crust pizza at all!) I would also normally slice up onions on my mandolin and put those on as well but I was feeling kind of lazy with the chopping and all. And if people want to know about interesting things on pizza when we lived in Japan it was quite popular for people to put asparagus, mayonnaise, and corn on their pizzas (notice I did not say strange or odd because I think there a wonderful variety of pizza around the world).

So, what do you like on your pizza?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Belated Christmas Finished Objects

But not belated on my end! These are Christmas presents I knit for my Mom and Dad and had finished before I went up to see them - but since my parents read my blog nearly every day I wasn't able to post pictures of the presents in progress.

First, a hat for my Mom:

Mom loved purple and hates wool (sacrilege!), so this hat is knit out of a acrylic/polymide boucle blend - it is really soft and scrunchy. Mom, however, is supposed to pull the cap down a bit further :)

And the big present... that I slaved over... that Daddy better appreciate...

Daddy's Hemp-Wool socks knit from stuff I bought from Dzined at the TKCA conference at King of Prussia last July:

The pattern is from the Ann Budd multiple gauge pattern book and was very easy - and one skein gave me enough for a pair of socks with a 2" ball left over in the end (yes, I was getting worried toward the end!) One toe is slightly pointier than the other:

I'm not sure what happened there because I am fairly certain I followed each sock exactly as called for in the pattern - I'm sure the point will mellow out over time.

Now... if only my sister Jaime would send me her pictures so I could show you the rest of the presents I knit for Christmas...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blogstalking: Current Works in Progress

I apologize in advance for the uninspired picture - I couldn't think of an interesting way to line all of these up... and Willow wanted to help, which caused all sorts of anxiety on my part. So, without further ado - my works in progress:

On the back (L - R):

1. Baby Blanket (crocheted from Bernat Breeze)
2. Man's cabled & ribbed sweater for Andrew (knit from Plymouth Encore)

In the middle (L - R):

3. Ladies helmet hat (similar to the blue one Willow modeled here ) for my mother-in-law. Knit out of TLC something boucle-y.
4. Ankle socks for me (one finished!) knit from Juvel superwash
5. New hat for my Dad (his third) knit from Malabrigo in "Rojo Vivo"
6. Cabled hat knit from Cashmerino

And lastly, in the front:

7. Baby blanket crocheted from Plymouth Encore.

To be absolutely honest, I'm rather surprised there are only 7 projects in my basket... In any case, here are some close-ups of some of the above:

My blue sock! These will be nice and warm - and I love the colour. It's hard to tell from the side, but there is a subtle dark blue swirl that goes around the foot a couple of times.

This one is a little hard to make out, but these are the cables on Andrew's sweater. I've stalled on this one because as I have mentioned before, I'm pretty sure I don't have enough of this dye lot to do the whole sweater... so most likely I will have to get a few balls in the same colour in a different dye lot for the sleeves. I did check the place where I bought the yarn... but seeing as that was 18 months ago, I didn't have high hopes and justifiably so.

And just because it looks so pretty... and only stayed this way for about 10 minutes before she messed it up by doing a headstand on the sofa... Willow's french-braided hair:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Finished Object Update

Remember this sweater?

I knit it last summer for my friend Satomi's baby-to-be. The pattern is Daisy from Knitty and I knit it out of Plymouth Oh My (which is very lovely soft!). Before Christmas Satomi sent me a picture of her daughter Emi wearing this sweater... and I am just sorry it has taken me this long to post the picture! Emi is the cutest little girl!

I had knit the 6 months size and I amglad I did... because Emi was only about 3 months old in this pic! It was a very quick knit and easy to put together.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

24 Hours and Three Fights Later

Oh my. Who knew we could have such vociferous fights about paint colour! Andrew apparently hates one of my favourite colours - aqua. He wants our bedroom to be blue - and dark blue at that. I have a problem with this because to me a blue bedroom is so one-dimensional... it's a boy's room. So, I tried to pick some colours that were more on the blue end of aqua rather than on the green end. Somehow I see some more knock-down drag-outs about this before it is all done.

Andrew's Dad told me to avoid the darkest colours on the strip because it will always be darker on your wall than it is on the strip. We have a chair rail in the kitchen (basically the wall has a railing about hip-high all the way around) and I would like to leave the upper part cream as it is now and paint the lower part a dark teal. Or maybe paint the top a pale aqua and have the bottom dark teal. I informed Andrew (much to his pissed-off-ness) that he has less choice in the kitchen because I will be spending the most time in there... (and I may have muttered something about that if he kept on arguing with me the whole house may end up aqua...)

But really - these colours aren't all that far away from each other on the colour spectrum - it is really silly that we are getting so worked up about it all. I tried compromising last night - I think cobalt blue or royal blue and aqua work really nicely together. We wouldn't stripe the walls - but what if we painted the room the lighter colour and use the darker colour for room accents?

The pink in this last one? Ideas for Willow's room. The floors in this house are a gorgeous dark honey oak so I would like to stay in the warmer end of pink so better flow with the warmth of the floor.

And no, we haven't even started talking about the living room yet... I'm thinking lettuce green and aqua.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

They Accepted Our Offer!

Keep your fingers crossed, everyone... It's going to be a very busy next few weeks!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wish Us Luck!

I struggled to find a picture to put in here today, and I ended up choosing one that always makes me smile. This is Willow at two at my parents' house. Kaycha, the cat, won't get anywhere near Willow when Willow is awake, but would snuggle up to her almost every night. I needed a calm picture that makes me happy... Why?

We are putting an offer on a house tomorrow. Our first house. I am so nervous and jumpy and my stomach is tying itself up in knots. I don't see a whole lot of sleep for me tonight. I'm worrying like I do with taxes and government paperwork - that I don't have all my ducks in a row.

Wish us luck - it's a beautiful house - 3 bedroom brick colonial with a large yard less than a half mile from my office and it puts Willow in the feeder pattern for the school we want her to attend in September.

Oh lordy - who said my baby could start kindergarten?

Friday, January 05, 2007

First Finished Objects of the Year

Dear Mom,

These are yours. On one condition...

You throw away two of the threadbare dishcloths in your drawer! The dishcloth on the left was inspired by seeing washcloths on Elizabeth's blog, and it has a great nubby texture on one side. The one on the right I don't have a link to because it was just a two line repeat pattern I found in my Reader's Digest stitch dictionary book (six plain then six moss stitch).

Your dutiful daughter,

Andrew, pancake chef extraordinaire that he is, received this maple leaf mold for Christmas and he wanted to show off to my family that he did figure out how to use it. This pancake was mine - and you know what was great about it? All the points of the leaf make crisp bits on the pancake and they were so yummy!

Don't you wish you were having pancakes right now?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Oh, I'm at it again

Okay, who has been paying attention? Look at the bar on the right... what's new?

It's Image and video hosting by TinyPic time again!

Okay, not quite yet - but soon :) You can find out more details on Lolly's blog. I had so much fun with this last year, even if I didn't manage to come up with one project per month in the allotted colour scheme. Just being involved in the project made me more aware of these colours around me. It was a little thing, really - but it made me happy. The colours for February/March are blue/white/grey... hmmm... I have blue sock yarn, silver-grey yarn for a kid's hat... not much in the way of white, however. I do have a 4 year old, you know!

Have you made any New Year's resolutions? I have tried coming up with some constructive ones - I mean, we all would like to lose weight and be healthier, but I prefer not to sabotage myself by putting those ones into concrete demands. So, here are my three New Year's resolutions:

1. Knit one significant project each month. And no, hats don't count.

2. Keep a more even temper where Willow is concerned. This will be the toughest of the lot. Who knew that at four she would already be arguing with everything I say?

3. Keep my kitchen table clean. I am the worst person for this - I come home, and everything comes out of my hands an onto the kitchen table. I come by this naturally. Ironically, now that I am keeping the kitchen table clean, Willow's play table is all cluttered...

Maybe I need to re-think this...