I can't take my eyes off of you

As promised, another FO.

Pattern: Entrelac Shawl from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Needles: US 3
Yarn: Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino - I made two blankets and it took 8 balls of each color, but it takes about 1 and 1/2 for the edge and about 6 for the center. I can't find the labels, so I don't know the color numbers. On my screen the next picture, a close-up, shows the colors better.
Pattern Notes: I hope you can tell from the title of this post how in love I am with this blankie. The pattern is a little complicated, but the directions are fairly clear. Have a little faith, trust in Debbie Bliss, and everything will turn out just fine. Below is a close-up of the stitch pattern, which involves an awful lot of seed stitch, with quite a few cables interspersed throughout.

This is half of a baby gift for my closest friend's twins. The other blanket has already been gifted, and is the exact opposite of this one in that the colors are reversed. One day I'll try to get a photo of the two blankets together. For now, you'll just have to imagine what a great pair they make.

Yesterday's Title: Ben Lee, "Catch My Disease (That's The Way I Like It)"


The winter is long in the city and that's the way I like it

Don't get me wrong, I love summer, not to mention spring and fall. But see the thing is, when your winter seems to last for nine months, you appreciate the sunshine just that much more. Lately, we've been appreciating it, and appreciating it, and appreciating it. Yay!

I spent a lot of time outside this past L-L-L-O-O-O-N-N-N-G-G- weekend, just soaking up the sun. I went to see the boys take on Tampa Bay. While not a terribly impressive game (Sunday), it was nice to finally get to Fenway. We had great seats near Pesky's Pole, but the only pictures I got of the game unfortunately involved Trot Nixon picking his butt. I will decline to post those. You're welcome, Trot.

Then on Monday, I spent the day cooling off at the pool - such a tough life, I know.

What about Saturday, you ask? What did I spend my time doing? Remember those FOs I was talking about? Well, I have TWO to show off! Don't mind me, I seem to be all about the capital letters today. Don't know why.

Anyways, where was I? Oh, the FOs, the FOs!

Pattern: Trellis Scarf by Evelyn A. Clark, from IK Spring 2006
Needles: US 5
Yarn: 1 skein Misti Alpaca Lace, color 3140 (also known as pink)
Pattern Notes: The pattern was fairly easy with the one exception being the crazy "knit 7 into 5" stitches. I can't even describe how hard those were. I used a size 1 dpn to help get those done. I love this scarf and I would absolutely make it again. It's a great gift, and an inexpensive knit. The only thing holding me back from starting on scarf #2 is I'm just not sure it's my style.

Here's a close-up of the stitch pattern:

I promised more than one FO, but I've decided to spread the joy. So number 2 will have to wait until my next post. I will, however, promise to post tomorrow rather than a week from now.

In final knitting news, all this finishing has left an opening for a new project. I stopped by my LYS this afternoon and got some help from the lovely Johanna. I've decided on this

made from this.

I can't wait to get started!

Previous Title: Pearl Jam, "Life Wasted" - The concert was unbelievable, by the way. They always outdo themselves.


Darkness comes in waves; tell me, why invite it to stay?

'nuff said?

Previous title: Foo Fighters, "DOA"


Oh you know I did it; it's over and I feel fine

Thanks for bearing with me yesterday! Maybe it's not the best idea to write a post after a four-day (and counting) fight with mom, half a bottle of wine, and a Nine Inch Nails indulgence, but I really needed to let all of that out. I'm feeling much better today.

I've taken up running and I'm really enjoying it. It's a great outlet for some of my frustrations after a long school day spent with 22 kids who are just counting the days until summer. Twenty-two days, if you're wondering. I even bought new sneakers at Marathon Sports, where they do a gait analysis. Turns out I need lots of support, but I think you've all figured that out all ready. The difference is that the sneaker guy was talking about arch support . . .

Anyways, I've really been enjoying the extra time spent outdoors. I'm beginning to be able to run for longer stretches of time, and maybe in a few days I'll be able to run for the whole time. I am starting to feel a little sore though, but it's the good kind, where you know it's healthy and your muscles needed the exercise.

In knitting news, I have a few projects that are wicked close to being FOs, so look forward to that in the next few days. Meantime, I'll try not to have any more emotional outbursts for a little while, but sometimes they sneak out anyway. Madness, I tell you.

Oh, Secret Pal, please don't think that since I'm feeling better today I don't need chocolate. I always appreciate some yummy chocolatey goodness!

Yesterday's title: Nine Inch Nails, "Terrible Lie"
Mentioned in post: The All American Rejects: "Move Along"


My head is filled with disease . . . I want so much to believe

This one's a doozy, so if you're just here for the knitting, "Move along, move along." Trust me on this one. Really, it's just for me because I have to get this out, but read it if you want. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

Last chance to bail out.

I swear I'm going to lose it here.

If you're still reading you must be a glutton for punishment.

Ok, here goes, all my issues served up raw on a plate:

I want to be complete. I want to feel loved and wanted and needed and all of that mushy stuff. I keep holding on, knowing one day my prince will come, but the clock is ticking. And it's been ticking for a while now. As much as I might protest, I really want to begin a family of my own. I want the white wedding and the two kids and the great big backyard for all the neighborhood barbecues. Everyone else in my life is getting there, so what about me?

I guess I had that chance with my last real boyfriend. He would've given me all of it. But he just wasn't the one. At the time, hey, no big deal because I've got time and all. But now, five or so years have passed, and I'm not always so sure it was the right move. I probably could have put up with all of his idiosyncrasies that drove me nuts, and not in such a good way. I'd be barefoot and pregnant by now, probably a few times over. But deep down I know that isn't right either. How much does a girl need to put up with to get the things she really wants?

Truth be told, I want the reality, and not just the facade. That's what's been holding me back all of this time. It has to be just right: the timing, the guy, and everything else. Is there a point where you just give up and hold on to the one you think you can live with even if love's not there? I don't have any prospects per say on this front either, but I'm a good enough person, I could meet someone like this. Even if sparks don't fly, maybe it's time to admit defeat and accept someone that I could grow to love.

Some part of me is completely unwilling to do this, to settle. I guess I'm a true romantic at heart. But seriously, I'm reaching that point where I will soon just decide to be the scary cat lady that all the neighborhood kids are afraid of, the one in all the Stephen King movies. I think I'm afraid to share too much of myself with another person, for fear of rejection. Maybe this blog entry is just the "safe" way of telling the world how terrified I am of exposing myself. Whatever it means, I'm glad to get these feelings off my chest and I hope anyone who's reading this can forgive me for unloading this anger/pain.

I know he's out there, but if he could just hurry up already. I don't know how much longer I can hold out waiting for "the one." So if you're still reading and you know anyone who you think might be the one for me . . .

While it seems a bit anticlamactic, I still feel the need to update:
Previous Title: Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, "Teach Your Children"


Just look at them and sigh and know they love you

Today we had our Teacher Appreciation Lunch at school. Let's just say I'm feeling very appreciated:

These roses were a centerpiece. When the lunch was over, one of the parents of my students brought them up to my classroom. How thoughtful!

I promised a weekend update, so here goes: I flew to Philadelphia to visit my parents. We celebrated Mother's Day and had a bridal shower for my future sister-in-law.

I may not have mentioned it yet, but besides knitting, I like to make cards. Here are some Mother's Day cards I made:

The wedding shower pictures aren't the greatest, so I'll keep those to myself for now.

Given the weather lately, I spent quite a bit of time in the airport this weekend. That was a little disappointing, but it does make for some speedy knitting.

Speedy knitting is all about your perspective. It's a lacy scarf, so it takes some time, but I did get 4 pattern repeats done, which is something like 64 rows. I think it's pretty impressive anyway. It's apparently about 25% done, but it seems short to me. I know it will stretch, but I have a feeling I'll end up doing some extra rounds to lengthen it anway.

Sorry if this post is a little disjointed. I feel like I have a million things going on right now, but I wanted to share the weekend pictures. Not to mention the pretty flowers!

Yesterday's Title: Jane Siberry, "It Can't Rain All the TIme" - great lyrics in that song - You might notice I went back and tweaked the title to yesterday's post. It needed fixing - oops!


It won't rain all the time; the sky won't fall forever

I was feeling pretty bummed today when I saw yet another day of rain. That makes something like eight days straight. I'm getting really tired of the frizzy hair and the raincoat, not to mention dealing with 22 kids who haven't been outside in forever. On the way home from school, I decided I needed a little pick-me-up. Where better to go than the local Starbucks? A few minutes later, and I'm feeling much better.

Starbucks is always better with a little extra umpff.

So I was feeling a little happier, but still dismayed about another day of rain, given tomorrow's forecast. Then I checked the mail and now I am completely over my rainy day funk. I have the coolest secret pal ever!

Up close, that's:

A signed copy of "Knitting Rules" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and two skeins of yummy alpaca in a color called Blackberry Rose. Doesn't it just sound delicious? I can't wait to decide what these will become!

There's also this wicked cool lantern from Pier 1, along with extra tea lights for it. It looks great on my side table.

Finally, there was a really sweet note. She also sent me an e-card. I can't believe she's so together that she's already sent out the first package, and managed to time it to arrive exactly on the first day of the swap! Impressive! Random Knitter, you rock!

I wanted to tell you about the weekend wedding shower, mother's day, and airport delays, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow. I think I've held you hostage long enough with all my exciting SP8 news!

Previous title: Fall Out Boy, "Sugar, We're Going Down"


Sugar, we're going down swinging

Remember this?

Yeah, it grew a few repeats, but then on Tuesday night we had a terrible fight. In my rage, I ripped back the whole thing. Well, I tried to just pull a few rounds and reknit them, but I still wasn't happy with it. Then I tried a second time. On the third try, I just gave up. I have since started over and am much happier with it. It pretty much looks the same as in the picture above, but a little longer. It seems that the "bane of my existence" stitch isn't really a k7tog, but a k7 into 5 stitch. It's really quite horrifying, but knit loosely enough on the row before, and it's not quite as painful. I'm much happier with the scarf now and hope to make some quick progress. Or at least as quick as lace knitting can be.

I'm heading out of town for mother's day, but when I come back I'll try to keep up on the regular posting. It's conference time, then report card time, then crunch to the end of the year time. It's always something, I know. Happy thought - 29 days of school left until summer vacation!

Previous title: Rocky Horror Picture Show, "Sweet Transvestite"


I see you shiver with antici . . . pation

My socks have arrived! I absolutely love them and they fit beautifully. I guess I forgot to tell my sock pal what colors I like, but I'm glad because these are gorgeous. They are a color I would never have picked myself but it just might become a new favorite. Amy really outdid herself.

Here's what came in the mail yesterday:

And here are the socks on my feet:

They even came with a fun notepad and paperweight. Amy included the extra yarn from the project and I've already got some idea of what I might do with it. I have this yarn I bought at the Bazaar Bazaar from Woolarina. I've been trying to figure out what kind of socks it wants to be and we may have a winner! I'm thinking I'll try another pair of plain stockinette, but with the fun coral-y color as the trim. I hope there's enough of the coral, but I'm thinking I'm going to try my hand at Kool-Aid dying anyway, so maybe I'll make some of my own if there's not enough.

The Woolarina yarn didn't photograph so well, but there is a little bit of the coral in it, so I think it'll be really nice together.

In other news . . . I went to Starbucks today for my morning coffee. Turns out they were out of coffee. Seriously? STARBUCKS? OUT OF COFFEE? I sh** you not. OK, so it only took about 5 minutes for them to finish brewing the new pot, but c'mon, your biggest product is coffee and you're going to let it run out? Something's just not right here. They are temporarily forgiven, but I'm keeping my on them.

Yesterday's title: J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - I had to check wikipedia for the artist on that one.

Edited to add: If you are Amy and you are reading this, thanks for the socks! I tried to leave you a comment to let you know I get them, but I had a really hard time trying to get an MSN passport account. I will try again later.


You better not cry

Guess who came to town today . . . and it's not Santa Claus. Here's a mighty big hint:

That's right, Augusten Burroughs! He's only my very favorite author on the planet. If you haven't read him before, be sure to check him out. His books are somewhat disturbing in that most of his writings are memoirs, and he's had a _______ life. I can't decide how to fill in that blank - astounding? remarkable? upsetting? interesting? fascinating? No adjective that I can think of really fits the bill.

At any rate, his books always remind me that laughter is the best medicine and that sometimes you need to laugh to keep from crying. He signed two books for me because I couldn't decide which one to give him, Running with Scissors or the new one, Possible Side Effects. We made some small talk, but I will admit I was a bit star-struck and couldn't quite get the words out. He was very personable though, and when I left he called out, "Keep on teaching!" It kinda made me smile and giggle a little. Heehee.

Sorry for the bad picture. I took three and, believe it or not, this is the best one. He wasn't constipated as far as I know, it's just the picture. The other two came out blurry. BTW, check out the wicked cool fringe on that suede jacket. I am so jealous and I have to have one just like it. The search begins!

To explain the title of this post, he's working on a new book called You Better Not Cry. It's a collection of short stories about his Christmas experiences.

In other news, I've started some new socks. I've been trying to decide what to do with all this purple Koigu for some time.

I started a few socks and pulled them out. I think this pair will stick. Just some plain old stockinette with a fun pale purple trim. I think because I like the variegation in the yarn so much, I was really feeling uncomfortable with a pattern stitch. This shows it off much better.

My pomatomus socks arrived at Jessimuhka's and not only does she love them, but they also fit her perfectly! I'm so glad. I can't wait to get my socks and see what my secret sock buddy has been working on.

Lastly, last night was quite a celebration! I had one to many margaritas to share this one with you then, so instead I'm going to wish you a happy Seis de Mayo. Enjoy!

Previous Title: Maroon 5, "Secret"


Everyone has a secret, but can they keep it (for my secret pal)

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love Lorna's Laces, Koigu, Debbie Bliss. Anything that's soft, basically. I really dislike novelty yarn and acrylic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I store my needles in plastic bags. I've started to make two different needle cases, but never finished them. Maybe one day . . .

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for around four years now, completely self-taught from a book I bought at AC Moore. I'm thinking I'm intermediate/advanced since I do a lot of cables and funky stitches and I rarely have a problem following a pattern. I don't do much improvising though, so that's why maybe I'm intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, but keep checking back because maybe I'll create one soon. If I do, I'll be sure to put a link on the sidebar.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I don't have a very strong sense of smell, so I'm not really into candles and bath products. I guess if I had to pick a favorite, I'd say vanilla, but nothing too heavy either.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Do I have a sweet tooth? Is that a joke? Candy is among the world's greatest treasures. I'm a big fan of chocolate, more milk chocolate than dark chocolate. I also like some random candy like Atomic Fireballs and Sprees. Oh, and Skittles . . . pretty much anything sweet.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don't spin, but maybe I'll try one day. Card-making is fun. I crochet, but I can never find patterns I like so I don't do it often. Embroidery sounds interesting but I haven't tried it yet.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Pretty much you can look at my post titles to get a sense of music I like. Generally alternative and top 40s. Lately my favorites are The Killers, Pearl Jam, the Gray's Anatomy soundtrack, music from the OC. I can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
My favorite color is green, any shade. I like jewel tones best. I don't usually choose pastels or bright colors, but every so often it's fun to try something different.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live by myself - single, no kids. I have no pets. Just me and the yarn.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear scarves and I'm on a quest to find the perfect hat and the perfect mittens, but I haven't quite settled on anything yet. I'm thinking the perfect hat is a solid color but the perfect mittens I don't really know. Fair isle?

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks socks socks!

13. What are you knitting right now?
Do you want a list? I'm finishing a baby blanket for a friend, a few socks that are missing mates, a lacy scarf, a sweater that needs sewing together, and a needle case that will one day be done. There are usually socks on the needles, but I just finished a pair.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Who doesn't?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I like both straight and circular needles depending on the project. Maybe I slightly prefer circulars. I like bamboo needles, but aluminum is ok too. Those gray rubbery ones are good, but I can't stand plastic.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but I would love to have both one day!

17. How did you learn to knit?
I taught myself from one of those "I Taught Myself Knitting!" books that I bought at AC Moore.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
Mabe a year?

19. What is your favorite holiday?
I like Thanksgiving because it's all about family. Also I like St. Patty's Day because, well, I live in Boston and it's kind of a drinking thing . . .

20. Is there anything that you collect?
You mean besides sock yarn? Not really.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I have "Creative Knitting" that was a gift. I really want a subscription to "Interweave." I've been eyeing "One Skein," "Knitting on the Road," "Mason-Dixon Knitting." Also any of the Yarn Harlot books, especially the latest one, "Knitting Rules." Maybe a stitch guide?

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to learn to knit socks using the magic loop technique. I haven't done much entrelac or fair isle, but I'd like to learn more.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I love knitting socks. My foot is 9 and 3/4 inches from heel to toe. Around the ball of my foot is 8 inches, but I don't usually have a problem fitting into the average size from a pattern width-wise.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
My birthday's March 31.

I can't wait to start SP8!

Yesterday's Title: Pearl Jam, "Ocean"


Hold on to the thread, the currents will shift

As I keep up my positive post-vacation attitude on just about everything, it occurs to me that life is what you make it. Okay, we all knew that already. But really, it's a rainy gray day and I've been so cheerful - it's eerie and weird and I like it.

Here's what's keeping the smile on my face today:

- The new Pearl Jam album just came out - How can anyone not love Eddie? Can you say sexy?

- I mailed my socks today - I had so much fun making them and I'm so excited for my pal to get them. I think I could be satisfied making socks for others and getting none in return . . . but that doesn't mean I won't accept my socks when they come. Hands off people!

- I'm knitting with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - It's soooooo soft and scrumptious! Remember that baby blanket I showed off almost a month ago? It's finally time to work on the border. I'll post it again when the border's done. No sense showing an old picture.

- I got a comment on my blog - My very first one! Yay! Emma is the best!

- SP8 is getting ready start! - Tomorrow I'll post my questionnaire for my secret pal. But I'll have to think long and hard for some song lyrics that go with a questionnaire . . .

With all that excitement in life, who can help smiling?

Yesterday's title: Queen, "We Are the Champions"


I've had my share of sand kicked in my face, but I've come through

It was getting down to the wire, but the socks are done and ready to be sent out tomorrow. Two little pomatomi, all ready for their trip to a very special someone.

Here they are in all their glory! BTW, I totally love them and will likely make a pair for myself some day soon.

Pattern: Pomatomus from Knitty
Needles: US 2, but my sock pal has wider feet than I do, and I'll probably use US 1 for my pair
Yarn: 2 skeins Koigu KPM 185
Pattern Notes: The pattern wasn't too hard to follow once I got the hang of it, but it does require a decent amount of concentration. Given the fact that I tried to watch a few episodes of 24 while working on this pattern, today's title is very appropriate for these socks. I only did 2 pattern repeats on the leg. If I had done three, there is no way I would have had enough yarn. It's possible going down a needle size will help with the yarn shortage.

Ready to be shipped:

I dig the label. Thanks Alison!

Saturday's title: Liz Phair, "Rock Me"