Saturday, March 29, 2008

For Andrew

I'm trying not to limit my posting about knitting progress to ravelry, since I know not all of my readers are members. So I will at least post a few photos of my latest finished object.

This is my first baby surprise jacket (designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman). For those unfamiliar, it is worked entirely in one a way that you don't really know where you are in the sweater as you knit it. Now that I have done it, I have a little better idea of how it works, but I still don't know if I understand it well enough to make any modifications.

Honestly, as it is all garter stitch and doesn't have a lot of shaping, just some pairs of increases and decreases, I don't find myself anxious to make another one. It is fine get together knitting, but too boring for the bus and I don't like that you can't "see" what you're doing as you go. Most people I know find the pattern to be clever and intriguing, so don't avoid it just because I'm not fond of it. :-)

I will also add that I LOVED working with this yarn. It was purchased at the Pittbsburgh Knitting and Crochet Festival from the Brooks Farm Yarn booth. This is their superwash wool. The color is spectacular and it was lovely to knit with.

I find myself interested in both starting and finishing more knitting projects. (I think this is partially influenced by listening to Stash and Burn.) So I've been making a little more time to knit in the evenings and trying to split my time between casting on and working toward the cast-offs of existing projects. The last two nights I started a pair of fingerless gloves and a toddler sweater. Both will be gifts.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Multimedia message

I seem to be all about the cell phone post lately. Time is tight. Here is a photo of Heather's turtle in the Easter sun. :-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Multimedia message

For those who were curious, it took about three and a half hours to seam the patches together. I was so close that I couldn't stop. :-) Good night.

ETA - The color rendition of this camera phone photo is way off. Better color photos when it is done.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tortoise Pieces


I finally forced myself to return to the Patchwork Tortoise this week when I realized that it would be really fun to put the finished product in Heather's Easter basket instead of just giving it to her "whenever" I got around to finishing it.

I finished the patches last night and they are currently blocking (second photo). If it isn't too painful to sew this thing together I could see myself getting it done for Sunday. :-)

I still really like the look of the Hempathy yarn and it seemed to bend to my will pretty well when I was blocking it. And I made it on size 1 needles, so it is hard to image that the fabric could be any I'm not worried about the stuffing coming through.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Multimedia message

Good morning! I'm just entertaining myself with my phone at my bus stop. I dressed more for this afternoon's weather than this morning's and texting keeps my fingers warm. :-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stash and Burn

I'm way behind the times here, but I am finally getting back into the world of knitting podcasts. I found Cast On with Brenda Dayne in 2006 thanks to a blog post from Amy Singer at I spent worktime, bus rides and nights at the theater catching up on old episodes. I got caught up a month or two before Heather was born and I think I managed to stay current while I was on maternity leave. But I got behind again, partially because the podcasts weren't posted as regularly but mostly because I just wasn't able to multi-task as well with an infant and a full time job.

Even though I am still not caught up in all aspects of my life (ha), the fact that Heather has a regular 8pm bedtime and a more predictable schedule makes it easier for me to carve out time for myself and get back into some of my old routines. I don't know that things have really changed that much, but they have changed enough.

So I got caught up with Cast On again, just in time for Brenda to decide that she would only be posting episodes once a month. So I went searching for new knitting podcasts to listen to. The first few I tried didn't really click with me, so I posted on the Brenda Dayne fan forum on ravelry looking for suggestions. I found quite a few good ones and also discovered some podcasts put out by the American Theater Wing.

Now there are close to 200 podcasts on my iPod waiting for their turn to be heard. :-)

I'm currently about halfway through the "Stash and Burn" podcasts with Nicole and Jenny. I find them to be very fun to listen to and an interesting perspective on stash. I understand where they are coming from and their feelings of being overwhelmed by their stash, but I don't find that I feel the same way. I don't want to choose projects because they'll use up more stash...or put fringe on a project to use more yarn...or make hats to use up oddballs. I want all of the yarn in my stash to become the best projects that I can make at the time and to be something that I really want to have or to make or to give to someone. Sure, I could spend lots of time making washrags with my cotton...but I don't really need any of those right now and personally they aren't a present I like giving (unless we're talking about a cute baby washcloth).

So I wondered if my state of mind was different because of how I view my stash or if I just had less yarn than Nicole and Jenny. I'm not sure where they are now, but when they started, Jenny had more than 60,000 yards and Nicole had about 38,000 yards. I couldn't resist on Monday night and I did a quick count, too. I only counted full skeins and this doesn't include the couple of cones I have since I don't know exactly how much is on them (although it is probably 1,000-2,000 yards on each of the 4 cones). My quick and dirty total was 42,150 yards.

I don't feel the need to say anything drastic, like I can't buy any more yarn, or make rules about what I can or can't buy. I will say that the next time I want to make something for me or for Heather (when Ivy and the patchwork tortoise are done, at least in theory), I will go into the stash. Same for gift bibs, burp cloths and baby wash cloths. But for baby sweaters and other gifts, I generally know what I want and it usually isn't in the stash already.

It probably also helps that the stash is located in our dressing room right now instead of my office. So I see it multiple times a day. It doesn't make me feel guilty or overwhelmed. Mostly it makes me delighted about my future knitting options and excited to try the new yarns that have been waiting patiently for me.

Sorry for the long, rambling post that is more like a diary entry than an interesting blog post. It's just something that Nicole and Jenny have me thinking about and I wanted to state where I stand. :-)

Monday, March 10, 2008


This is not really a food blog, but I like to write down meals that work so that I can look them up someday. And since I've gotten a few nice tips from my friends, it would be nice to share the wealth. :-)

Tonight I made a frittata.

I sauteed garlic in EVOO and then added cubed potatoes. Once they were browning I added broccoli florets and some more EVOO, salt, pepper and basil. A few minutes later I added some cooked pasta (spinach linguini) and then 8 beaten eggs. I stirred it a little to make sure the egg was well distributed to hold it together. Then I sprinkled the top with shredded cheddar, reduced the heat to medium-low and covered the dish. After 10-15 minutes the cheese was melted and the egg was cooked.

You can try a variety of vegetables, mushrooms, pastas and spices or just use up leftovers in the refrigerator. :-)

Yum! (and Heather agreed)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I remember...

...what I've been trying to remember to post about Heather.

She knows how to operate the Glow-worm. She has known for a long time what we do to make it play music, but she could never quite press the right point with enough pressure.

Now she's got it. And the reason I know she has woken up from her nap is because I can hear the Glow-worm playing over and over. ;-)

One more thing please

Two families we know and a member of my family are in need of any spare prayers you've got to give.

My aunt is having surgery next Saturday. A friend's daughter is having medical tests on Tuesday that will confirm or deny a chronic condition. Our friends have encountered another significant obstacle in their quest to adopt their daughter from Guatemala.

Any good thoughts and vibes you can send for all of them would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday update

I did stay a little late at work last night, but thankfully I am not working this weekend. In my pre-Heather days I probably would have gone in this weekend to deal with the overabundance of work on my plate. But it will have to wait until Monday. I'm hopeful for a focused and productive week. My fingers are crossed that no one gives me any more work. :-)

My trip to Bradford this past week was good. The public forum went well and the rest of our meetings were generally positive. It's sad that I'm now even further behind with meeting minutes. So I might "try" to work on them in the evenings after Heather goes to bed to get caught up. I might.

Heather and I were going to attend a playdate today, but it was only going to work if it was a one-nap day since it started at 11am. At 10am she started to get tired and trying to keep her awake caused a meltdown at 10:30. So no playdate for us. Considering that there was freezing rain followed by snow falling 90 minutes later I'm not totally upset to stay inside. Although we still need a first birthday present to give at brunch tomorrow, so i might need to brave the weather for a few minutes.

I've done a little straightening up, but I'm actually using Heather's napping time today to start to work on our taxes. I at least want to get to the point that I can figure out what information I'm missing and maybe come up with a rough estimate of how our federal taxes look. And after that, I'll hit the thank you notes that I'm determined to finish this weekend. Most of the things from last week's to do list are still outstanding...but I don't want to wait to do our taxes until the last minute again this year. Plus, my parents are coming in two weeks and I would love to have my dad review them since I've never used the childcare tax credit before. There is still the chance that I could do some cleaning during tomorrow's naps. ;-)

On the knitting front there is a little sad news. I realized yesterday that I made a mistake on the right front while working on the left front. I repeated the cable pattern two times too many. I didn't have any option but to rip back to my mistake. So now I have a completed back and about 5 inches of both the left and right fronts. Oh well. It was better than having to rip out the back which has many more stitches per row!

Hmmm. The snow is blowing harder now. I might be going out for that birthday present tomorrow morning...

Monday, March 03, 2008


Ummm...let me see if I can be coherent on 4 1/2 hours of sleep. I'm pretty sure there is something about Heather that I have been meaning to post and keep forgetting.
Oh well. I'll remember someday.
I do want to tell you that Heather LOVES pasta. Spaghetti sauce, pesto sauce and mac'n cheese will be eaten enthusiastically. If anyone out there has any great sauce recipes with healthy ingredients (especially with interesting vegetables) I'm all ears.

This weekend I thought it would be nice to let her try out the toddler crayons she got for her birthday. After spending some time banging the little plastic animals together that act as the crayon "grips", she set them aside and focused her attention on the paper. :-)

So industrious and serious!

Since a few people have asked me, here is a little update on my progress and it isn't great. I ended up working rather late on Friday night and spending much of Heather's nap time doing work, too.

So, I dealt with the items in the upstairs hallway. I dealt with half the clutter in the foyer and made a minor dent in the dining room. I did a couple of loads of Heather's laundry and made a quick pass through her clothes to pull out what's too small.

I didn't go to bed as early as I would have liked and was up too late last night working.

I travel for work this week and have other deadlines, so the insanity will continue through most of this week.

And with that, I have to get back to work...