Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Knitter Was Born Today

The telephone rings. It's my son's friend's mother.
"Can I ask you a favor?" she asked.
"Sure!" I said. I figured it was about my son taking care of her son's pets because they're going away or a school-related question because they're on the same team at school.
"Cathy is trying to teach herself to knit and is having a problem. Can she see you?"
"Of course! Tell her to come on down!" (We live down the hill from them. Cathy is the older sister)

Cathy walks in. She found a book of dog patterns and had these knitting needles with little dogs at the ends of them. It was a set.

She showed me how she cast on a lot of stitches using a method she found on the internet. Kudos to her for doing that but they were so bunched up. She thought that the knitting would only be as long as the needles. I ripped out those stitches and showed her the long tail cast on. I made her cast on 20 stitches just to practice and she got it right away. She then proceeded to knit and like a beginner she was a bit tight but she got it! She was so proud of herself! A new knitter was born in my kitchen!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Dog Pooped Out On Me!

In my effort to move more, I've been trying to walk 30 minutes a day and what better way to do it then with my sweet dog Shadow P. Freiman! (The P is for Poodle!) I missed Thursday but jumped at the chance to walk again on Friday. I take the pups out so he can do his business and then grabbed the leash in such a way that he would know it's time for my business. As we walked passed our house, Shadow sat down in the road and looked toward the door. He wanted to go home. I took him in the house and told my family, "See you later!" I did the walk by myself and talked on the phone. It was great! I am very proud of myself.

Now back to our regularly scheduled show!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Day Was Going Well Until...

I had a nice day. The evening didn't go as well. Both of my boys are now home. Okay, I don't mind doing the laundry. It's one of those things that has a beginning and an end. It gets done. I visited one of my mother's friends to get some boxes from her that my mother sent in her car. They had her old china which goes well with my china, baseball cards and figurines for my younger son and some great t-shirts she bought for me. That's a good thing, right? Then Elijah and I donated the games that made up the centerpieces from his bar mitzvah. That's a good thing. Then I donated the boys' old soccer jerseys to a organization that helps girls in Cameroon get involved in soccer to help prevent the spread of AIDS. Good, right? Right!

Our knit-out was wonderful! Lots of women, good food and drink (free coffee!). Beautiful fiber flying off the needles. Some bad news. One of our ladies has a suspicious spot on her lung. We're sending good thoughts and prayers her way. That wasn't good. It was a bit upsetting because she is such a sweet lady. Then yesterday I heard rumors that my principal was retiring. No way! I really like this person! My spies told me it wouldn't be until January. Okay. I can deal with that. Tonight I got the letter from her that she will be retiring in September. No! She's a major knitter! I really like this person! How often can one say that about their boss? I'm really bummed.

I'm off to knit my blues away.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just For the Record...

Today I did another 30 minute walk with Shadow. It was great. It was effortless. I don't know why I waited this long to do it. Hopefully, my heart will thank me for it by not beating so fast when I exert myself. (The doctor told me that it does) Hopefully, this exercise will help me make more healthy choices during the rest of the day. Hopefully, I will do this for 21 days straight to make it into a habit.

Just for the is recorded. I am becoming accountable for my actions.

P.S. I'm not in Paris right now; just in case you were wondering!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Do You Mean Knitting Is Not A Cardiovascular Exercise?

Am I the only one who goes for an annual physical and gets anxious because I didn't do what I was suppose to do the previous year to stay healthy? When I walk out of the doctor's office, it's like New Year's Day for me. I walk out making resolutions or promises to exercise more, maintain a healthy weight, sleep more than 5 hours, and so on. You all know what I mean.

This year was no different. I was hoping that I would have to sit and wait for a while so I could knit but this office is so efficient that they called my name the minute my butt hit the chair. I didn't even have a moment to take my knitting out. Since the weigh-in was first, I just closed my eyes while she moved those weights on the balance. I think that's the worse part. I would rather have them give me shots in lieu of that weigh in. (I guess when one is at one's perfect weight, one doesn't stress like this, does one?) Blood pressure was great! My overall health, EKG: great. My sweet doctor, who is buff, asks me about exercise. My eyes glazed over. I hung my head down and decided to blame it on the dog. "I can't walk with him. He stops and sniffs a thousand times! I had no time. I started a new job that took up all of my time. I was sleep deprived! Yada, yada, yada." I felt like a teenager who doesn't accept responsibility for their own actions. I sucked in my breath and said, "You're right! I just didn't make time for me." We went over last year's blood work and he told me it really wasn't bad. The cholesterol was slightly high.

We had a very pleasant dog conversation. He has a Boerboel. I was sent down to the lab to give blood and urine. I was able to knit and think there. The big question was how does it feel to go to the doctor's and not make excuses and to be at my correct weight? It's New Year's Day all over again.

That was last week. Today, I put on my walking outfit, tied my sneakers on and grabbed the dog. He could tell by my walking pace that I meant business. He did his business and then we walked for 30 minutes. It felt great. I thought if I wrote it down, then I would be accountable to myself. I would write it down everytime I walk. Who knows? Maybe next year I'll jump on that old scale and say, "Move those weights to the left, please!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Never Knit Late at Night Unless You're a Night Owl

I have said it once and I have said it again: Never knit late at night. Did I listen to my own advice? Nope! Am I paying the price? Yep! I started to stay up later and later. I don't know why. It's not as if there's amazing stuff on TV but there's a piece of me that feels like a little kid when I stay up late. I'm talking staying up past 2 AM! I'm also knitting when I do this. I have woken up from a little snooze with the needles in my hands midstitch! Instead of going to bed, I would keep on knitting. There was that nagging thought in my brain telling me that I should go to bed and stop knitting. Eventually, I would.

The next day: I pick up my project and start knitting where I left off. Wait. Something doesn't look right. It's an easy lace pattern for a baby blanket in worsted weight. The yarn overs aren't where their suppose to be. I have two stitches at the end of the row instead of three. Damn! I have to rip out row by row. That's where I am now-in the middle of ripping out the rows. I learned my lesson. That's why I'm writing this. Learn from my mistakes, people. It will save you a lot of time. And go to bed earlier. I'm starting to.

Peace out!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Me? A Designer? Not Yet...

I got it into my head that I could design a simple baby sweater. I had this amazing yarn and the shape of the sweater materialized in front of my eyes. I used a familiar pattern as a template and was constantly recalculating the gauge since the yarn I was using was 2 stitches/inch and my template was 5 stitches/inch. I decided to make this sweater in one piece and then pick up the stitches for the sleeves from the shoulders. I completed the second sleeve, held up the sweater and then it hit me. I didn't make a big enough neck and babies have the cutest and chubbiest necks.

I just finished frogging the second sleeve and am in the process of frogging the two front panels. Back to the drawing board.

Me? A Designer? So not yet...

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Random Thoughts and Musings About Cleaning My Son's Room

It's an annual event. My children go away to sleep away camp and I get to clean their rooms. They looked forward to their event. I dread it. If my children learned to put things away when they are done with them, it wouldn't be a dreaded chore. I did my 13 year old's room first. It was pretty easy. He's neater than his 17 year old brother. Today I started that room. I'm not giving myself a lot of time to complete it because he'll be home in about 13 days. He even told me not to clean it up but how could I let my son come home to a condemned area?

I started by picking up the garbage. This kid, who's a pretty decent shooter in basketball, missed his garbage can. His floor was littered with wrappers, tags from clothing, pieces of paper and money! I found $2.56 so far! I found water bottles, seltzer bottles, clothes all over the place. I also found things that cracked me up and I will not list them so I don't embarrass my son.

Shadow, the wonder poodle, had the best time in that room. I watched him come in, worried that he would pick something up, eat it and then die in front of me. He ran over to the bed and started to go under it. He was definitely after something. He slid back out with his red rubber bone! Oh the joy on my pup's face. But wait! There's more! I went under the bed and found his squeaky dumbbell. Some canine was having a great day! He grabbed that toy and squeaked his way to our bedroom. He was so happy. So was I.

After spending another 30 minutes in the room, I decided I had enough. I made a small dent. I could see carpeting where there once was garbage and clothes. The clothes were thrown on the bed. There were broken headphones and plastic hangars. Garbage! I've got a ways to go but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, was it?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

What Happened to July?

I ignored my blog. I pushed it to the far recesses of my mind. I didn't want to sit down and write when I could have been knitting instead. My new job sucked the knitting out of me and I had to replenish myself. Replenish! Now that's a word from my past. I'm thinking 1976, Ferry Point Park, Whitestone Bridge and Son of Sam!

I've been knitting like my life depended upon it. Socks for Neal. Poor man. His gout is killing him but my socks keep his feet warm and from cramping up, even in the summer! Then my knit-out group decided to do our first knit-a-long. We decided in May to do Jared Flood's Juneberry scarf. Since we were in the middle of various projects, we made the first Thursday in June to start the Juneberry. Get it? June? Juneberry? We called ourselves the Juneberry Sisters. I was Sister Robin Juneberry. I was the first one done which was unusual. I loved knitting this pattern! In fact I want to make another one. Here's a picture of it:

Sister Carol, Sister Edie and Sister Toni all finished theirs. We're just waiting for Sister Ilene to finish hers.

Then visiting day for the boys' camp arrived. That meant making a pilgrimage to WEBS. I didn't buy as much because I didn't go in with a shopping list of what I needed. I let Neal pick out sock yarn. He told me that I didn't have to make them so long in the ankle so he picked out a lot of On Your Toes which are about 375 yds. I also bought some yarn to make a pair for a friend of mine. She once asked if I would knit her a pair. She just happens to live 3 minutes away from WEBS and I told her to get in there and buy any sock yarn she liked and I would knit it for her. Well, I beat her to the punch. Hopefully, they will be ready for her birthday this month.

Finally, I started Victoria's Lace Shawl for my mother made from ArtYarns Cashmere 1. I was having a little problem with the pattern but as of today, I am off and knitting. My mother said, "Don't cock (mess) it up!" Whoa! Demanding, aren't we? Did I mention that my mother taught me how to knit?

On a nonknitting note, Shadow and I are enrolled in school. We have a great instructor who is so good. She said Shadow picks things up quickly because he is a poodle. I'm the one who messes up. I'm not a poodle! But we are having fun and he is doing really, really well. Who knows? Maybe we'll make it to agility training? If so, this hipknitta is going to have to get a sports bra!

Peace out!