Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

SnB and LakeShore Learning

Today at SnB I knit on the socks. These are special mystery socks, though the recipient knows who she is- but no more than that about the socks. I must say I was quite pleased to receive a kind comment from the designer of these socks- Shelly- when she said my sock looked really good, and that it might have been the first time she'd seen them knit by another person in real life.

On the food blog news, the blog I share with DH, I tried another Gingerbread Latte. You can read more about it here- but here's a hint- it was a real winner- in appearance and taste.

Today was also the day that I didn't feel stressed- on a workday this week. It helps that my day had plenty of space to it, and that I was to do a little shopping at LakeShore Learning. At SnB I learned where this store was- and was especially pleased to hear that they had the "multicultural crayons" there, though they call them 'People Colors" and weren't the ones from Crayola that I am used to using. Last year or so I was looking for them to complete some Bible people puppets for a Sunday School class. I couldn't find them at the time.

I also had fun buying a few other things, like a no-spill paint cup, metallic watercolors, and wipe-off crayons. MIL and FIL- those are for you- so you can label the miscellanous food containers in your fridge instead of having to open them all to find what you are looking for!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Two good things...

Thanks to Kelly for this article about inmates who are knitting for charity. What a great purpose for them. I wonder if they have to knit endless garter stitch- that would drive me crazy! Hey- DH's hat is all garter stitch too.

A Knitting Confession-
I am a knitting podcast junkie. I started with Knit Cast with Marie Irshad, then moved on to Cast-on with Brenda Dayne, and have expanded to Lime and Violet, and The Knitting Cook. I also listen to Quirky Nomads with Sage Tyrtle. I have tried some other knitting podcasts that I didn't "click" with, but out of thoughtful consideration and becasue I am such a nice person, I do not feel the need to lambast them. I applaud their efforts, all of them, whether I chose to subscribe to them through I-Tunes or not. (I think that about covers it for my podcast addiction.)

How else can you vicariously make homeade bread, or basmati rice with beans while driving around in your car? Or marvel at the word "Starbucks becoming a noun"? Or listen to 'It's Friday- and that means, Something Out of the Ordinary." Only through the magic world of podcasts.

Tomorrow- the story of when I first listened to "Lime and Violet" where I was and what was happening at that moment.

Monday, November 27, 2006

along came a little frog

So, I was working on DH's hat, on the rare few moments of freedom I had tonight, it was a LONG day, and I realized my st count was off. Dang- and I was doing so well! So, I frogged while DH and friends watched tonight's episode of Heroes, and found my way back. I couldn't find where I'd lost a st so I followed Beth's advice (this is a knitting Beth, but not Beth's Blue BLog Beth), and just picked up a st along the edge. Then I decided all was well for that hat. I am rapidly, (as rapid as garter st gets), approaching the row 32 once again, I Just need to do the same 1-32 row repeat a few more times.

This was the day that would not end. Last night after injesting some Caribou Gingerbread Latte I did some of my billing work- yet still this morning more awaited me. I got it all done just in time, just barely, and my day kept flying by. After coming home I still had a bunch more to do. Blah- too much work! And it is only Monday!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

wow it feels so late!

But it isn't. It takes me awhile to get used to this get early quick thing. Today we babysat for our friends'3 year old while they were houes hunting. It was some adjustment for me, as I spend more time with 4 years-old and older kids. DH and I were helping him with a puzzle, with 24 pieces, a Koala Buddies puzzle. Then we played some Memory, a word puzzle picture matching game, and some game he invented with racing Thomas the Tank Engine cards. I was glad I had all those games and toys for my job, otherwise I wouldn't have known what to do!

It was fun to see DH try to be Adlerian with him, like helping him have the tools to do things on his own. Rudolph Dreikurs, a premier Adlerian family counselor said, "Never do for your kids what they can do for themselves." This was said to encourage adults to permit kids to do things on their own so that the children may have a greater sense of competence, and mastery over tasks.

I had told DH that he could probably just lift him up to the sink to wash his hands, but DH was quick to provide our step stool so the boy could "do it by himself." That reminded me of when I was little, a favorite book I had at my Grandparents' house was "I Can Do It By Myself." This was one of those sturdy hardcover books, in which where several examples of things that "I could do by myself" like get dressed, tie my shoes, etc.

So far I have not knit tonight. But I have done some house cleaning, cooked Double Meatball stoup, worked on the new puzzle, walked the dogs with DH to and from Caribou Coffee at which I had their Gingerbread Latte, (and remembered that it isn't as good as the Dunn Bros. version) and worked on some case notes and billing for tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow I will feel more like knitting. I'm sure I will as soon as Monday hits, and all my work starts up again.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

too much knitting

I have had too much knitting time. Enough time to realize that DH's hat is meant to be knit at a 18 sts= 4 inches gauge, with 36 rows to 4 inches. MY row gauge is on- exactly, but my stitch gauge is 3.5 sts = 1 inch, so about 14 sts = 1 inch. I don't think it will be a problem however, as the hat is knit from top to bottom and the row gauge I think is the more important gauge for this particular hat. So it seems my st gauge being off will yield a taller/longer hat, which I figure will just require the brim to be folded up more. That is what I am hoping at least.

I didn't get to watch Grey's on Thursday night, so I am just about to watch it tonight. I listened to the Grey's podcast on which they referenced that episode as the one where everything falls apart.

Oh, we have a pop-up Genevieve jumping up alongside me as I blog.

That reminds me of the impulse item we just bought at Super Target. DH noticed a box of Reese's Puffs cereal with a "Happy Feet" figurine in the box. I really wanted it because that was a cute movie and I love animals, including penguins. He noticed that the toys are supposed to be in boxes of Lucky Charms too, but we couldn't find Lucky Charms with the penguins inside. So we bought the Puffs. I really don't like them, and DH isn't a huge fan of them. Oh well, we'll find a home for them.

So, to take a break from knitting DH and I bought at new puzzle at Super T. It is one of those new kind that glows different colors in the the dark. After Grey's we will give it a go.

Friday, November 24, 2006

knitting on the road

This early morning we drove to the nearest big city/town in WI, and I knit cozied up in the back seat, working on DH's hat. I am now on row 13 of the 32 row pattern. This pattern calls for the 32 row repeat being knit nearly six times. I am on the second of the 5 repeats.

Today my MIL gave me some gift certificates she had for Northwinds Book and Fiber. This is a bookstore and yarn store in one. They also carry weaving supplies, and have a loom or two on site. It took me awhile to select a knitting book. There were two of Barbara Walker's treasuries, the new Knit Fix book, Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmerman, Maggie Righetti's two books, and Knitting on the Road. Those were just the titles I was trying to decide between- there were many more good knitting books there. I also almost bought a skein of the new Austermann sock yarn with aloe. That sounds like such a graet idea- keep the feet warm and moisturized at the same time. Has anyone tried that sock yarn out yet to see if it is worth it?

Well, I decided on the "Knitting on the Road: Sock Patterns for the Traveling Knitter." I really like the Conwy, Dalarna, Canal du Midi, Denmark, New England, Inst and Whitby. I really liked how some of those patterns like New England has straight stockinette up the back to a point, then the knitted pattern continues further up the leg.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

It is time to thank God for abundant stashes, and full bellies. May you eat enough turkey to satisfy- but not so much that you can't knit well! (Turkey has tryptophan, and that makes us sleepy, which would result in some unproductive knit sessions).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

DH's garter stitch hat

DH's garter stitch hat
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
I know, I know. It looks SO hat-like, right? I thought the same thing.
I am really enjoying knitting this now that I have it figured out. I
knit 5 rows on it at SnB, and knit about 10 rows on it last night. It
is using 98 sts on a size 7 needle. The construction of this garter
stitch item is phenomenal in my opinion. I would have never thought of
it. Thanks again Kelle for the use of the pattern.

my first hand-spinning without a spindle

was using the "Spin It" book and it instructs how to spin wool
without a spindle or a hook. It is done by rubbing the loose wool fiber
against your leg to create friction and felt the fibers together. This
is what it looked like when I tried it out.

Drop Spindle- before I kept dropping the wool

Last year I selected this drop spindle at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence,
KS. I picked it because it had cute sheep on it, and I wanted to have a
drop spindle. According to my spinning book this is one is a slow
spinner because the hook is not by the whorl. I guess this would be a
bottom whorl drop spindle. My singles (is that even right?) are of blue
and purple superwash wool. I wasn't sure how it would spin because it
was superwash, which does not felt, so I was concerned I wouldn't be
able to spin it well, but I think it worked well enough for my little
diy drop-spindle session. I am content with this early product, and am
also content to stop trying for the night when I feel like I am ahead.
Perhaps I will be able to visit the WI sheep person while I am out
there and buy some more wool for spinning, now that I sort of
understand the process. Rox, I am taunting you! I know it.

This was the second time I tried to drop spindle. And yes, I did drop
it a few times. The first time I tried was last spring sometime after
the Sheep and Wool fest.

DH's hat

I have been knitting tonight, after eating Culver's food post- workout. I am working on DH's hat, and was on row 9 today when I started up again, and am now on row 28. Yay- progress!

Maybe it'll get done before the snow flies. Good thing he bought a Walgreen's fleece hat last night for in the meantime.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Naughty dogs

Naughty dogs
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
Thought they would try their hand, I mean paw, at Sudoku. Looks like

they got frustrated at the puzzles too, and decided to try it as a

snack instead.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My first eye of partridge heel

I have never done one of these before. I am wondering how the slipping of the stitches goes, knit wise or purlwise?

It is for a "secret" project/gift. Perhaps I will go Google now.

great haircuts

I was on Black Sheep's blog, and if I read correctly, she is joining the this- a challenge where bloggers are to blog *every* day. Since I hadn't been up to date on my blog readings, I just now discovered this, in mid/late november. The deal is to blog every day for the month of November. Seeing as it is already Nov. 19th, I missed the chance to fully participate. But I think I will create my own, spin-off challenge and blog every day till December 19th- or longer.

Yesterday, I visited a new salon, Accolades Salon Spa in St. Paul. Nicole cut my hair, and she did an awesome job. Yes, Snb'ers, I know it seems like I always am getting my hair cut, and this time I did. I think I lost about 2 inches, and got some funky layering things going on. I love it, she did an awesome job. The way I found my way there deserves a story, so here it goes (oh, did I mention I am supposed to be doing my billing for work right now?).

Way back in the summer/spring, I won tickets to Sip, Slip and Pitch knitting night at the St. Paul Saints game. There was a drawing for seats at the game, and I must admit I am not a big sports fan. I thought, oooh- free date night with DH + knitting! Sounds good. I was the first of the batch of winners, and anxiously awaited game day. It came, it was fun to knit in a big section of people, and I won the Freakiest Fan award too for my double-jointed shoulders trick.

While we were leaving the game (early, as we had to drive to Kansas that night for my brother's college graduation at 8am the next day) a girl handed out two cards to me. I took them, instinctively. I read them and they were awesome- 3 free trips to Accolades an Aveda Salon. Wow! That will be fun I thought.

Fast forward, we drove to Kansas, and while I was driving some nearly prehistoric short squat animal crossed the road. I wished I would have gotten a second glance of it, but I didn't. I also didn't hit it, otherwise I might have known what it was (but that would have been awful).

Fast forward again, to Yesterday. DH and went to Accolades and got haircuts simultaneously. And we both looked hot, or good or something like that. It is always fun to have a good salon experience.

Just the week before I was at Litespa in Mpls. using my Christmas gift from DH, a manicure, pedicure and a massage.

I had climbed on the massage table, and was trying to relax but I smelled something stinky over the smell of the rosemary mint lotion. I was closing my eyes trying to not think about it and wondered if it was my own body giving off cigarette smells. (I do not and will never smoke, but sometimes my job takes me to smelly places, so that option was possible. ) Then I realized, that with every nose exhale of the massage therapist the smell intensified. Still lying there, trying to relax my mind began to race. How do I confront this problem in a spa? What should I say? Should I start off and say, "Can I ask you a question?" That would be relatively non-threatening, I thought. The more I smelled the faster I thought, till I acted on it and asked, "do you smoke?" LONG pause from the masseuse. The kind of pause that means, "yes, why did you ask? more than a straightforward 'no'. "A little" he answered. "Did you smoke today?" I inquired. Again, a pause, and a question, "can you smell it?" To which I answered, "yes, and I can't relax when all I can smell is cigarettes." Then, "ok, you can get dressed then."

So I awkwardly donned my robe after he'd left the room, and stood there, wondering in the doorway. I was ushered back to the relaxation area, my body more tense than it was when I had entered the spa earlier.

From there I waited, and drank what was to be my second cup of tea of four or five that day. Eventually the manicure girl came for my manicure and pedicure. It took me a few minutes to vent the story to this perfect stranger, the stranger who had rescued me from smoking man, but when I finished I did feel a bit better.

Fast forward to the end, the salon manager wrote me a letter of apology, on natural colored paper with a vellum envelope, and enclosed a gift card for the cost of the massage. Now I have enough gift card money for more services there, but it was quite awkward and unprofessional to have a stinky massage therapist. I don't entirely feel like going back there, as it wasn't the best experience.

So, would you go back if you were me? Or how would you have handled the situation?

Friday, November 17, 2006

scary post- the knitter's nightmare

I know it is after halloween and all, but the post after this deserves too disclaimers.

Now, you've been warned.

Last night was a SnB knit night at Beth's Blue Blog's house. I'm short on time otherwise I'd link to it here. Check the sidebar for further info.

As always we had a great time, though not without some yarn related problems. Shelly, or her blog, (check the sidebar) was kind enough to bring her ball winder and swift, so I responded by raiding my yarn stash for hanks of yarn to wind. I found several. I took a pic of them all wound tidily, and most of them wound, then re-wound so as to prevent the yarn from unnatural stretching. Who of you out there would be willing to confess to pulling on sheep's wool- while still on the animal. Now that would be mean- kind of like Cow tipping I would think.

Well, I plan to post the pic within a day or so, and you'll be able to see it all. There was one Horrid SKEIN of yarn though, one I had gotten on clearance at the Yarnery, an Aruacania Nature Wool skein, in a nice hand-dyed medium blue, that was hopelessly convoluted and tangled from the point that I untied the hank. I owe a lot of thanks to Shelly and Lisad for helping me on that beastly one. Unfortunately, it is still not untangled. But it will be. Even though Shelly offered me 6 dollars (.60 less than I paid for it, $6.60 was the marked price) if I would just throw it away. But tangled skeins are still yarn, and the challenge continues to untangle it, and not let it win, until it can be a tidy little wound "ball" just like its cousins.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Homecoming Presents

Hello, CorgiDad here. I don't usually post, and unfortunately what I have to share has nothing to do with knitting - except for the fact that my DW is currently at a knitting party, and this is the easiest way I have to show her what I came home to tonight, and what I have to look forward to in the next half-hour or so.

That being said, these photos are not for the faint of heart.

If you'd rather not be exposed to this sort of unpleasantness, please do not scroll down.

Seriously, just wait until she posts some more knitting stuff.

I'm sure it will be much nicer.

But if you do choose to go on...

At least be grateful that technology has not sufficiently advanced so as to let you smell what would come through your monitor.

So, how 'bout them people freezing out there waiting in line for PS3s? Crazy, huh?

That was your last chance.

Ok, so I got home to some hyper dogs. They greeted me, and ran around as I unloaded the car. Then I went to feed them, since it was already 8pm and they were probably getting hungry.

As I went to dish them some food, I saw this:

Oh, great. Somebody just couldn't wait! Well, I guess I'd better clean
that up before I get them their food. All right, everybody outside
while I clean up!

Wait, what is this by the door?

Apparently this was more than just an "I have to go" - somebody must
have had an upset stomach or something. Oh well, up the stairs to get the cleaning stuff.

But watch your step!

At this point, I'm beginning to get a little suspicious. Sure enough, at the top of the stairs:

And the study?

And the study?
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.

And to round things out, the living room...

...and the entryway.

...and the entryway.
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
Guess I'd better get started!

- CorgiDad

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Unconventional uses for Knitting

My DW told me I should post my little trinket of a story. This afternoon, I had grabbed my wife's PDA off the table to quickly check how much battery it had left. Being the efficient person that I am, rather than reach all the way under the PDA and pull out the stylus, I noted that there was a plethera of knitting paraphernalia scattered about on the table, and simply picked up a knitting needle (I believe it was of the circular variety) to use as my stylus.

Apparently, this is amusing.

- DH

Announcing, another blog

Dh and I decided we needed to document our own Tasty Travels, ala Rachel Ray. We love to try out new restaurants and taste new things from all ethnicities. Though, for myself, I wouldn't be caught dead eating a cheeseburger, or a hamburger ever. When I was little I loved going to BBQ's where the families owned pets. In particular I remember going to a BBQ at our friends' house who lived in an adjoining townhouse. They had recently adopted two pets from the animal shelter. An orange kitten they named, "Molly" and a samoyed dog they called, "Teachie." When the adults weren't looking I fed my burger to Teachie. And he loved it, much more than me. I can't recall ever liking burgers, and can remember eating them only on a few occasions.

One time was on a school service trip where McDonald's provided us all with lunch, cheeseburgers. We were sandbagging near the river to prevent flooding, and it was all that was available. It really wasn't that bad after all those hours of manual labor, but give me ethnic food anyday, and I will be much happier.

So all that to say, our new blog is called Two Twin Cities Foodies. And you can visit it by clicking on the link.

It will probably feature some retrospective dining experiences, as well as more current dining adventures.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Blonde moments

Very few would consider me "blonde" but I do have my blonde moments. The other day DH was trying to explain something to me and I had no clue what he was trying to say. Even people who have studied communication (myself) run into problems communicating. Do you have that happen too, where you are searching for the words- and instead of the word you are looking for you find every word but that one particular word?

Like the other day I said a child was observational, or observative, when I was looking for the word observant. And today I did the same thing again with some other words. There is actually a social psychology phrase that was coined for this conundrum- and accurately named too-
"tip of the tongue syndrome." Who'd of guessed?

But besides the learning lesson, I have a new phrase for those moments where my neural pathways aren't clicking along as fast as I'd like, and it is simply,

"I'm wearing a lot of wool." Now who could argue with that? This is the perfect thing to say when you have your next "blonde moment" and when you are indeed wearing a lot of wool.

At the time I was wearing a wool/acrylic Lion brand Woolease scarf 2x2 rib, and a "Live Dangerously Don't Swatch" hat done up in Bartlett Yarn in a basketweave stitch pattern, and of course, grape colored mittens, of Knitpicks Sierra with a cable. Give it a try, and let me know if it works for you.

And if you ask me a question that I'm just not following, or try to explain some knitting technique that just won't click, don't be suprised if I utter, "I'm wearing a lot of wool." You'll know what I mean.