Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Birthday To You....

(key the off-note singing)

Happy Birthday to you! (How do you put in music signs???)

Happy Birthday, Arleta.

Happy Birthday to you!

Arleta shares a birthday with some notables, not the least of which is Moon Unit Zappa, Brigitte Bardot and Al Capp, who wrote the Lil' Abner cartoons.

Some pretty great events in history happened on the 28th of September, also. Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landed his ship at what we now call San Diego Bay. The World Series was seen in all its colorful glory for the first time this day in 1955. In 1968 (getting closer), the Beatles rode the nearly seven-minute-long "Hey Jude" to the top of the charts for a nine week-run starting this day.

And at some sooner, but unnamed year (you're welcome, AR), our friend and friendly blogger came into the world, causing much mischief and entertainment. Have a great day!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sewing isn't knitting, but...

Believe it or not, at the Cobbler house, Halloween is just around the corner. Therefore, even though my sewing machine rarely sees the light of day, you will begin seeing tantalizing posts of ruffles and felt circles. My costumes take a fair amount of time to make, but they are good, baby. They're also a lot of fun to make, I can make sure the kids are warm enough for the weather, and they last longer than three wearings of dress-up afterward. I made my daughter a Snow White dress for her fourth birthday, and she wore it until she was seven, when I couldn't repair it any more. Literally, whenever it came out of the dryer, she put it back on her body. Luckily, she grew taller but not wider, so the dress just kept fitting. I'd post the picture of it, but all our photos are on my other computer, which has had a very inconvenient demise. I didn't do anything this time, but the electrical went out on our house that day, and we're theorizing that had something to do with it. If anyone else sews and wants to talk about costumes and making them, drop me a comment, ay? We could do some fun photo sharing.

The biggest loss of the computer is all of my addresses. Now I have to wait for people to email me, so I can send them messages, too. I'm not ignoring you all, but possibly you are ignoring me? Heehee. Anyway, that's why y'all aren't getting chatty notes from me.

A spinning pic! Here's my sample of the superwash wool. See how I don't have many even strands? Does that show in the picture? I don't care. I'm in love with the bright colors.

Here's a little idea I had to use up cotton dishcloth scraps. I'd use the spiral washcloth pattern and do each section in a different color. I thought it was really ugly when I was done, but it is growing on me, now that I've left it alone for a few days. But there were more ends to weave in than is reasonable for a dishcloth, so it will probably never be repeated.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Some Interesting Things!

Surely, I think to myself, SURELY there is something interesting to blog about! Interesting interesting, not just informational. Then I went out with some girlfriends last night, one of whom is now the infamous Arleta, instead of the Motley Arleta. She makes delicious yummies, while I stop and buy chips to bring along. She shows up with curled hair and makeup on, while my hair is still wet from the last minute shower (sans makeup, as well). But it's not just her cooking, fashion sense and yarn dying that I admire. It's the way she will perform impromptu lessons on a bar dance floor, on the proper way to shimmy and shake, much to the delight of the band. OH, yeah. Go, girl. It's just as well I don't have a picture, as so far this has been a pretty “G” rated site.

I've been knitting dishcloths and mittens lately, as once again pattern following has become difficult. Drama club is revving up, so there will be more attention paid to that for a bit. Oh, and I've been spinning. I took my spinning to a birthday party last week, and to a soccer game yesterday, and finally one of my friend's husbands confided to her, "Carrie will spin anywhere!" Heh. It's good to be known for something.

Here's a photo of my kid's first injury in soccer. She got the wind knocked out of her. That's a scary thing, and to cheer her up, I promised to blog her misery. She laughed, and thankfully the game went on. She's a natural athlete, and very fun to watch. Plus I learned that it's perfectly okay to scream with excitement at a soccer game, where it's not necessarily allowed at a teeball game. See? I'm never too old to learn...

And I asked a little girl to take a picture of me spinning, as I'd like to just catalogue all the different places where I show off a spindle. Unfortunately, this is what I got. Lol! That's what I get for trying to show a pic of myself. Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Knitting with Pain?

I've been fighting an elbow pain for a couple of weeks now. And though I'm careful, and get repeatedly reminded by stabs of pain, I keep using the arm. I'm right-handed, and of course you reach for the coffee, pick up your kid, remove something from the oven, automatically with the dominant hand. The same hand your kid decided to suddenly hang her 35 pounds from, while you weren't looking. Ouch.

So I've been ignoring it for a long time, but yesterday, as I was knitting a dishcloth, I got a shooting pain up my right arm. It made me drop my needle, and I believe my mouth dropped open in astonishment, though it's hard to remember, what with the sparklies in front of my eyes. Dangit. Let's blame it on the cotton, shall we? Let's see... I'm 38 years old, been around the doctors offices a bit, and I'm thinking he'll tell me to stop using the arm and take anti-inflammatories. Do you think that that includes spinning? Could I learn to do that left-handed?

On a positive note, I actually read a magazine last night. Did you know there's some very good parental advice in these things? And an “Ask about Etiquette”section. Quite illuminating. And, yes, I do believe I could write children's books, but I don't think I want to be added to that company's mailing list...

I'm going to read blogs for a bit and live vicariously through you all. Has anyone noticed that I do that fairly often? Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pictures, and a winner!

Huzzah! The missing camera has been found, which is a boon for you all, because I can share pictures of some neat stuff! But first and foremost, let me post a couple of pictures from the shawl knitalong, these from the very lovely, though bashful, Laurie of Issues with Knitting. She made a gorgeous red shawl, and had to wait a lonnng time for extra yarn to come in. It's an amazing shawl, isn't it? And the knitalong still lives!

I had 17 unique comments about decluttering, but I only had to draw from 16 names, because Marji said she didn't want anything added to her house. She doesn't know what she's missing, because first prize is....

These three skeins of Classic Elite Yarn, in the Desert colorway, go to Marlene of Wovenflame. Marlene decluttered medicine for her dog, who had died nine years after he last took the medicine. Whew. That sort of hanging on happens to me all the time. Second prize was a set of Arleta's wonderful stitch markers, and they go to Del of Cozy's Place, and may she have much fun using them! She's quite a fast knitter, so I know these will get put on a project pretty quickly. Her decluttering was at least three bags of trash from her kids' rooms, and she's not done. Go, Del, Go!

Aren't contests fun? The best part about this one for me was how many comments I got from people I hadn't ever received a comment from before. *Waves* I really appreciated everyone entering - Thanks!

Since I've found my camera, I also took a picture of my spinning. I've got lots of little samples going on. The blue was a two-ply of Corriedale with a little sparkly stuff mixed in. It's from Black Cat Handspun, and she has great customer service, plus she's on Etsy, which is a fun site. The pink is a bamboo laceweight I'm working on. I picked it up at the fiber festival, and that's all I can tell you. I should keep better notes. I can't believe how thin it is. Bamboo strands must be pretty long, cuz I can draft a seriously skinny line with this stuff. The pretty orange/yellow and white roving is on my new birthday spindle, and it's a superwash wool. I wanted to try a superwash, just to see how it handled. It came from Spunky Eclectic (thanks, Amy!), and it was so soft. I loved working with it, and will now order more... The red roving is from Knitterly Things, and I bought 12 ounces, just to see if I could get enough to knit a scarf, gloves and hat. One of my experiments is to get a general idea of how much yardage I'll get from different ounces, so I'll know what to order in the future. (There's probably lots of information about this on the Internet. I'm that lazy, that I am not looking it up, but figuring it out for myself... help.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Monday, Monday....

That's the day the contest ends. Have you entered yet? Look around and see what you haven't thrown away for years, or let me know what you have thrown away that was kept an insanely long time. If you do that on this blog entry, you'll both make me feel better about my own packrat tendencies, and you'll be entered for my contest! I'm going to let it run for a week, which should be ended on Monday then, and then I'll do the drawing for loot! I've enjoyed the entries so far a great deal, even though my plan of no crafting/just cleaning hasn't happened. Hehheh. I was doubtful of that plan before it even got underway...

I am exactly six things behind on my list of things that should have been done by now, and I haven't even added the knitting items! Those are more fun to talk about, though. I'm remaking the Hermione mittens, actually going down two needle sizes, so they'll fit my daughter. They should be warm, warm, warm... Last year she doubled up on her hats and mittens, wearing two at a time, poor little muffin. Her hands shall be warm this year, if I have to felt mittens myself! (No. I'm lying. If it comes to that, I'm taking them to mom...)

I never finished my Interweave Bonsai tunic, since I haven't lost the seven pounds that might give me a chance of looking good in it. I carry weight, well, all over, but right in the belly is what would be the problem with this tunic. It's so pretty! But it is not fun imagining it finished, if I can't wear it...

The husband's sweater from last year needs to be washed and blocked! But I'm scared... I have blocking issues. What if it blows up to be huge?? I didn't understand about washing your gauge then, your Honor... How do I get out of this problem?

So, in a head nod to procrastinators everywhere, in carrying on the grand and noble tradition of denial, I'll be taking my spinning to soccer practice. It just looks so cool.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Murphy's Law (Carrie's?) #2

All the good stuff happens when you've misplaced your camera. I had a birthday party yesterday (38 yrs old now, thank you very much), and got so many nice gifties. My mom made me gloves out of sock yarn, self-striping, and they look so cool. Pictures as soon as the clapper on my camera starts working. The gloves came with a matching hat, also very smart looking. She also bought me a gift certificate (for yarn) and a spindle! (Thanks, Mom!) My brother gave me a coupon for baby sitting time from him - yay! Then later in the evening, my husband and I smashed up grapes for wine, which would have made such a good picture. No, we didn't use our feet, but just the smell of the fresh grapes took me back to my childhood. Mmmm, smashed grapes....

Oh, and the kids gave me a pet rock, and The Sims 2 computer game, and a can of beets. The beets were taped to the video game, and I thought it was to disguise the gift so I wouldn't guess it. Apparently, though, at some point in the past I'd complained that no one else in the family liked beets, so I never got any. My daughter remembered that and made sure I got my own can of beets for my birthday =) Funny, no? I have a great family. Even better, the three-year-old kept saying, "We got you beets" before I opened my gifts, but I just didn't understand what she was saying, or why my husband kept laughing. Hee, hee. Now I get it.

I also knitted bookmarks, one for a friend's birthday later this week, and I have to get it in the mail (along with her book). So there shall be no pictures of that one =(, and it's cute, too. I got the bookmark idea from Criminy Jickets, where a lot of my inspiration seems to come from. He's got a great blog, with lots of good gift ideas, so check him out, if you haven't already.

As to the contest of what's the oddest/oldest/silliest thing you've kept and need to throw out, please leave those comments on the actual blog entry, to be entered in the drawing. That will make it much easier for me to keep track of and draw names, so thanks! We're getting some great responses, very funny, and I don't feel so badly about some of the stuff I've failed to throw out.

Now I'm off to recover from too much cake, and deal with the umpteen birthdays that are coming up this month. You may gather from the sheer number of births around here that November and December are very chilly months. Have a great day!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Murphy's Law, and a contest

Well, there you have it. The kids are off to school, doing well, and you're looking forward to a bit of time around the house that's, well, quiet. And then - blam! You're descended upon by some new flu germ that you've never fallen prey to before. I spent yesterday on the couch, alternately throwing up or leaking tears from the effort of trying not to. At 1:00 o'clock, I realized I had a problem. I couldn't go get the kids, and everyone else related to them was working. So I had to call my husband home, which he arranged with complete grace, even though he had to conduct a meeting from his cell phone as he went to get them. And then I crawled back to the couch and went to sleep. All during this incredible day, when I was wearing a path from the couch to the bathroom, my three-year-old raised herself. Seriously, she pottied herself (who knew she could?), and brought me granola bars to open for her. I did manage to get up once and get her a jelly sandwich and some water, but that's as much as I could manage.

The point to this entry, other than garnering sympathy, is I had some serious time to lay there and look around me. (I couldn't manage any knitting, and reading was sporadic.) As I'm looking around, I realize my house is a flat out mess. It gets like this whenever I don't work on it constantly, picking up and decluttering. Every day it's the same thing, put things back in their niche and in the hamper, drawers, fridge, cupboards, wherever it belongs. It occurred to me that my house was FULL! Too much stuff. And so I'm considering (it hasn't been fully decided yet) taking a week off from crafting, and using that time to move things out of my house that we don't use. Seriously, I opened a drawer for a girlfriend the other day to give her baby bibs. I had a baby bib drawer, and the littlest one is three. I have been avoiding this for too long. But I'm just considering it, because it sounds like no fun whatsoever. But I think that I'd be happier if my house was less messy, and more peaceful, as I knit. I'd probably lose many guilty feelings of the things there are to do, while I sit and craft.

But this sounds like no fun, you know? So - hey, I had some time - I thought I'd try to make it a bit more exciting. Why don't all of you look around your house and find something you should have thrown out long ago? Then leave me a comment about what it was. I'm entering my baby bib drawer, two years overdue. I'll be very interested in reading what everyone else has collected but should have gotten rid of, and I'll do a drawing and send the winner a prize. Don't worry. It won't be stuff I need to get rid of, but some verrah nice yarn, I'm sure. And a second runner up will receive some of those awesome stitch markers from Arleta. She does a really nice job. So leave me your comments! And don't worry. I'm not delirious. I'm really feeling much better today.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Remind me next year...

The kids love school. They loved it, can't wait to go back, didn't want to come home. Please remind me of this next year, in whatever way seems suitable, when I once again over-worry about the little darlins. Thank you in advance.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Monday! Now take a deep breath...

That's for me, anyway. The kids go to school tomorrow, and I woke up with total anxiety on Saturday. I shook my husband awake and explained we didn't have lunch boxes yet. After a bit of discussion, he asked if there was any reason he couldn't go back to sleep now? Well, I was up, anyway. A trip to Meijers was made on Sunday, and lunch boxes were bought. Good prices, too, I might add, which is not what you'd expect two days before school starts. They could have charged me an arm, leg or pile of roving, and I'd have had to hand it over. (Well, my roving collection is getting pretty sweet. They could brown bag it...)

After much arguing with the girls about whether or not their clothes were comfortable, or if the tag placement made them absolutely unwearable, I told them a little story. It's a true story about a woman who bought her children two outfits each, and she washed whatever they weren't wearing. There was no arguing in the morning over what to wear. This began a whole new discussion with my husband about why our kids need so many clothes. Do we really need to impress? Will they be shunned if their clothes are just clean, but worn overmuch? Probably/maybe/it could happen - or maybe not, even. School can be a harsh place, as I remember it. Kids judge each other and compare themselves to a standard that is amorphous and constantly changing. The only way to really win is to not care about "stuff," and that's so hard to teach, what with t.v. and peer pressure, from family as well as friends. But kids who don't care so much about how they look - as far as keeping up with fashion, I mean - were the kids who always impressed me in school. I wish my little beans well in that environment, and hope we can just keep them grounded in what's important. In the meantime, though, all clothing manufacturers should print the information on the shirts, as some do already. It takes away one more thing to argue about in the morning.

Wish me luck! I'm sure they'll do fine. I'm considering moving into a cave, just to avoid all societal pressure. Too extreme, do you think?