Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Shawl Addiction


Man o man, I forgot how addicting shawls are!

LPK had Blue Sky Alpaca's Sportweight Alpaca on sale at 30% off and I had to have it for *something*. Turns out that "something" is the Kimono Shawl from Folk Shawls.

I've been working pretty much nonstop on this since I started. Shawls are just so addicting to me because I'm doing something different all the time. Not just miles and miles of stockinette stitch.

Lately I've noticed that I've been picking up lots of orange yarns. Hmmm....I never really liked orange before but I just keep seeing all these beautiful shades of mustard yellow and orange that call out to me. So my Kimono Shawl will be in a gorgeous rusty orange color- hopefully I'll be able to find something to wear with it!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Yarn P0rn ahead....

Yes, that's more yarn. I don't know what happened, but something sucked me into Elann's site the other day and next thing I know, there was yarn at my door.

This is three balls each of orange, admiral blue and saffron Highland Silk. I shot this photo with my little point and shoot so the flash washed out the colors- they are much more vibrant and silky-shiny than it shows here.

I'm planning on using this to make socks, but I might have to add more to the stash since it's seriously lovely stuff. Quite soft for Elann's house yarn with a nice silk sheen.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


-Lately Little Man has been addicted to a children's show called The Magic Schoolbus. This is suppposedly an educational animated show wherein the teacher (Ms. Frizzle, voiced by Lily Tomlin) drives a magic bus that can transform/shrink/grow into anything she wants. Ms. Frizzle is constantly taking her class on 'magic field trips' to such interesting and educational places as the digestive system, puddles of pickle juice and so on.

Umm...Yah. I can see where it's educational...but the whole digestive system show was Bad. And I meant to use that capital B. First the class boarded the Magic Bus and shrank so small that they were able to enter someone's mouth. They slid down the esophagus and ended up in the stomach, which was full of stomach acid as well as various remnants of their host's lunch. The show didn't end there, however. Let me just say that they *did* visit the large AND small intestines...and beyond. But don't worry, they didn't exit thru the poop chute- I think they managed to work their way up to the throat again and get coughed out.

Thank gawd.

And then there's the Microbe Gang episode. Which starts out with someone's prize winning cucumber ("I love my cucumber!") being replaced by a pickle. Ms. Frizzle then appears from a closet with a rather large, phallic looking object in her hand and announces that "My secret is out, I had hankering for a good pickle!".

Can you say 'double entendre'? (well, I can't, but you know what I mean!)

Anyways I spent the first 10 minutes of that particular epi with my mind in the gutter. Little Man was oblivious of course- he just loves the show!

-Our neighbors have replaced their regular shower light with a red bulb. How do I know this? Cuz the other nite I came back into our room from nursing Monkey Boy at 3 am and the light from said neighbors' bathroom window was shining rather ominously into our masterbedroom. It gave me the major creeps. Can anyone say "Redrum"? Or maybe "Amityville'?

- I started a pair of the Jaywalker socks. What a fun pattern- so easy to memorize and it's moving along quite quickly even on size 1 DPNs. I'm using some handpainted yarn from LaPetiteKnitterie's own collection; it's similar to Koigu KPPPM. Pictures tomorrow I promise...

-The Dearest has hijacked my laptop while his laptop is being worked on by the IBM gnomes. Evidently something got fried in his 'puter so he had so send it back to the factory. I forgot how difficult it is to check emails and blog when I am tied to the desktop in our office. There's no way Monkey Boy can be allowed into the office; last time he was in here, he tried to turn off the server. (As an aside, when Little Man was around 1yr, he came into the office with me and turned the server on and off SEVEN times. Needless to say, the Greatest was NOT a happy camper when he discovered what had happened. LOL)

-Big Trouble in Little China was on tonight. The letterboxed edition. Sweet.

-And a pic of Da Boyz with their new toy.....

Fun with selective coloring

Originally uploaded by shizzknits.

I'm not normally a fan of BW with selective coloring, but this image of Monkey Boy playing with the Christmas lights seemed to really call for it.

He was 'helping' the Dearest and Little Man put up the lights and was just fascinated by the bulbs.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Last year at this time....

I was sitting on the couch with my midwife and my mother in law, watching Collateral Damage while we waited for my contractions to pick up. I'd had four sleepless nights of contractions 10 minutes apart, and finally called my midwife on December 28th around 6ish because my contractions actually got close to 5 minutes apart.

Of course the moment she showed up with all her gear, those darned contractions spread out again. It was pouring rain and storming pretty darned hard so we decided that she would stay the night and 'see what happens'. We put in a movie and Sue (the midwife) and my MIL watched it while I knitted and jumped off the couch every 10 minutes to squat thru contractions.....

My first birth had gone really fast, so this prolonged pre-labor was quite frustrating and foreign to me. Luckily Sue was there to make me chill out! We had popcorn and sandwiches around 10pm because I was getting hungry. By then it didn't look like I was going to have a baby any time soon, so Sue sent me off to take a bath and maybe get some sleep.

Well the bath did the trick, because that finally got my labor going really well and I started getting contractions really close together. That's when the Dearest came upstairs, took one look at my face and called Sue. She didn't even bother to check me- she immediately called for the assistant midwife and the Dearest started filling up the birthing tub.

The only time I ever really felt like I couldn't do a homebirth was while I was waiting for that damned tub to fill. LOL I was so pissed off that I was laboring on the bed! Everyone was running around, getting stuff ready but I was more focused on making it thru transition. Luckily Wendy (the apprentice midwife/doula) arrived and was able to talk me into a calmer state of mind. I swear she should make hypnosis tapes- she has such a soothing voice.

Once I was in the tub, things moved fast and Monkey Boy made his entrance into the world at 3.27am on Dec. 29th. He was born underwater in the tub and Sue never even touched him- she told me to sit back right after he came out and my hands lifted him out of the water and onto my chest. It was a awesome experience: giving birth in the water and in the familiarity of our own home. From this: (about 5 seconds old!)
To this:
(12 hours short of being 1 yr old).

At 1yr old Monkey Boy does the following:
Walks all over the place
Has eight teeth
Tries to eat everything big brother eats
Has an unhealthy fascination with water bottles (empty or full)
Says "dadada" when he sees the Dearest
Gets so excited he trips on his own feet when he hears the garage door opening (cuz he knows the Dearest is home)
Throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way
Drinks out of a straw pretty successfully
Laughs and laughs when you tickle his back
Likes to give his big brother hugs
Uses sign language for "more", "nurse", "eat", and "bathtime"
Still nurses 4-5x a day
Lights up every single one of my days with his smiles and crazy pre-speech chatter.

Happy Birthday Little One!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My New Crumpler!!

Originally uploaded by shizzknits.

I had told the Dearest that I wanted a new camera bag for Christmas. I had a realllly old beat up camera bag that was actually too small for all my gear. Plus when I went on shoots I had to carry my laptop in a separate bag.

I showed him Crumpler's cool website and we talked about all the really fun and functional bags they had there. But I kept telling him to just get me something smaller and less expensive. Plus Crumpler didn't have any local distributors and I wanted to see the bags in person before I bought one.

Well the Dearest was at the local big camera store and the salesman told him that they *just* started carrying Crumplers! AND they had two of the backpack styles I was lusting over.

So Christmas morning I ran into the our home office to grab my camera off the desk where it usually is. Couldn't find the darned camera and yelled for the Dearest, "Honey, where's my camera???"

Then I looked down and saw the new bag, which the Dearest had switched out for my old one. Woohoo!!! I was excited!!!
Can I just say that I love this bag??? It has plenty of useful pockets and can hold ALL my gear + a laptop with no problems.

The inside of the bag...

Originally uploaded by shizzknits.

The cool thing is that Crumpler bags open up 'backwards'. In other words when you open the bag up, the front of the backpack lays down so you don't get the straps and the part that touches you dirty. Look how empty my bag is!!! I need to fill it up!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Where's the cookie?

Where's the cookie?
Originally uploaded by shizzknits.

Little Man helps make Xmas cookies

Little Man helps make Xmas cookies
Originally uploaded by shizzknits.

Are we having fun yet?

Are we having fun yet?
Originally uploaded by shizzknits.

Little Man and I made Christmas cookies for the neighbors. What that really means is that Little Man put about 15 cups of flour on the counter, covered himself in said flour, tracked flour all over the kitchen and living room, put flour on his brother's head...Oh, and he did roll out one or two cookies! LOL

An actual knitted item

What's this???
That's right, actual knitted gifts!!! My mom likes to wear socks to bed and complains about how they always leave marks around her ankles. So I decided to knit her a pair of socks with non-binding cuffs- and I actually got them done in time for Christmas! These are made out of Wildefoot sock yarn. I cast on 2x the number of required stitches, knit a couple of rows and then did a row of k1, k2tog till I was down to 1/2 the sts. After that it was just a regular ol' sock pattern. I think she was pleased!

We celebrate Christmas with my mom on Christmas Eve (my parents have been long divorced) and this year we wanted to have something besides the typical ham for dinner. The Dearest suggested lobster tails, so that's what we had! Steamed lobster tails, balsamic roasted asparagus and pesto pasta. YUM

The funny thing is, right after Christmas Eve dinner I got busy making our Christmas Day turkey. I learned turkey cooking from my Dad, who is one of the original Kentucky hillbillies. Remember the Beverly Hillbillies?
That could've been my dad's side of the family. They live in Appalachia, which is practically a third world country. Most of the males in Dad's generation were killed in real-life feuds with other hillbillies. Really. Some of his relatives still live on farms with no 'city water' (aka running water- they have wells) and have outhouses.

Anyhew, Dad's recipe for well-cooked turkey:
1- 12-15lb turkey (don't forget to take the buckshot out when gutting)
1- jar of mayo
1- paper grocery sack
stuffing (if so inclined)

Wash and dry turkey. Place in roasting pan. Open jar of mayo and proceed to slather the entire jar over the outside of the turkey. Stuff with whatever rocks your boat.

Place turkey inside the paper sack and put the whole pan into a 350 degree oven. Cook till finished.

Remove paper sack before carving!

One perfectly cooked, moist turkey. No basting required! I love this recipe and everyone I talk to thinks it's the weirdest thing ever. "Doesn't the bag burn?" "Mayo????" Yup, mayo! And no, the bag doesn't burn because the turkey kinda steams inside the bag. Plus 325degrees isn't quite hot enough to catch the bag on fire.

Next year the Dearest wants to try a deep fried turkey. I told him it would be a go only if we increased our homeowners' insurance first.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!!!

Our Christmas card...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Well, that's ONE way to handle an argument

But I doubt it's the 'recommended' method....

Friday, December 23, 2005

Little Man's New Sweater

I have been knitting here and there; recently I finished the Shawl Collared Sweater from Debbie Bliss' Baby Knits for Beginners book. I started this sweater LAST Christmas, using some Malabrigo worsted from my stash. This was back when handpaintedyarn actually sold their worsted weight merino on the website.
Here's the sweater in action....We took Little Man to the Spectrum to check out their outdoor ice rink. LM and the Dearest went ice skating while Monkey Boy and I did some last minute Christmas shopping.
A couple more in B&W....
(And No, I didn't knit the mittens! LOL Those are straight from the shelf at The Children's Place)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Wow, a real live POST

Can you believe it?

I know I've been a very bad blogger (smack me with a wet noodle)...but here I am and I promise to post more faithfully now that the holiday rush is over!

I've to sooo much to talk about, but let's just start with this:
.This is my final SP6 package! My SP is absolutely wonderful- look at all the fun stuff she sent. PLUS she thoughtfully sent Da Boyz a couple of coloring books. Little Man was super excited to have a 'secret present' in the mail.
In case you can't tell, here's what all was in the box....2 coloring books for the munchkins, a package of Yankee Candle Fresh Roses candles/lotion (yum), a mernio lace kit with needles, some bath bubbly powder, a Chibi with the bent needles (needed that!), cute stitch markers, note cards & two cute monkeys! Little Man already stole the dark brown monkey!

OMG I have to go....Monkey Boy is getting into trouble....I'll be back to post again later tonight!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Picture of the Day

Just a quick snapshot of Monkey Boy enjoying his first BBQd rib.

Friday, November 18, 2005

So true!

Check this pic out...

Ain't it the TRUTH!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Recent work...

So, this is what I've been doing instead of knitting and spinning....
A newborn (about 2 weeks old) little girl. Very sweet.

And her really adorable nearly 2yr old sissy...

Little Man

Originally uploaded by shizzknits.

I took LM to the town center the other day to try out my new lense. I just got the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 and am really trying to get used to it. I've been using my 50mm 1.8 prime for so long that having a zoom lense again was weird!
This was shot at 400iso on a very cloudy day, so it's a bit noisy. I had the lense wide open at 2.8 and let the shutters fall where they may....
A 100% zoom (showing the noise)....pretty sharp for a zoom. I'll have to try some shots wide open at 100iso and see if they're better.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Ancient "Yarn Curse"

I have a feeling that I'm under some kind of Yarn Curse. Every project that I've worked on lately has given me problems. Here's the latest fiasco:
It's kinda hard to tell from the photo, but take my word for it that the front and back of this sweater vest for Little Man are two entirely different colors. This happened even after I alternated between two different balls of yarn every two rows. The back is leafy green and the front is a more hay-ey green. I am SO aggravated that this happened.

When I bought this Patagonia hand dyed cotton, I made sure all 5 balls were from the same dye lot. I guess that doesn't mean much because look at how different the colors are. *sigh* And it's not like I'm not used to working with handpainted/handdyed yarns either....

Oh well, I decided I'm going to rip all the pieces tonight and re-knit everything, but switching one of the balls from the back to the front so the color should blend better.

On another note, look what The Dearest got for me...
Now I can listen to my audiobooks just about anywhere!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Picture of the Day

Guess where we went yesterday?

Little Man had a *blast*. And Monkey Boy was content to hang out....

More pics.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Punkin Patch

Little Man at the 'patch
And Monkey Boy

They had so much fun; Little Man went crazy for all the rides. He especially liked the miniature train that went around and around on a short track. It made me dizzy to watch him, but he enjoyed it. More Punkin pickin' pics here.

And what would Halloween be without the obligatory pics of the kiddos in their costumes?
Here is Monkey Boy, wondering "What the HELL is this about?"

Can I get out of this costume now?
Wait, this whole trick or treating thing isn't that bad afterall.

And here's Little Man in his cool DaddyMade costume. LM wanted to be "A Wobot"
And yes, this costume was as unwieldy as it appears. Poor LM was having a hard time keeping up with the other kids, cuz he couldn't run at all. But he didn't complain. He just kept saying "I am a Wobot and I walk a wobot walk". Bless him!

Well, at least 1 pair of Socktoberfest socks got done..

These are for Monkey Boy. I used Knitpicks' "Dancing" sock yarn. Less than 1 skein with plenty left over. I'm not sure that I like yarn with elastic in it; kinda hard to work with IMO. But the socks are CUTE and they fit well.

I used size 2 DPNs and just winged the pattern. I think I cast on about 30ish sts and did a 1x1 ribbing for the first 8 rows.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Do not open till Halloween

Mist or ghost?

(Don't say I didn't warn you)

My son, the photographer

See, it's true: you lose all your dignity when you have children. Especially a 3.5 yr old that knows how to press the shutter button. Ask The Dearest how he knows.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


I joined Lolly's Socktoberfest a couple of weeks ago and totally forgot to blog about it. After some ruminating on which sock pattern to use, I decided to just wing it and make a pair of short anklets. I cast on 140 sts, knit six or seven rows and then did a row of K1, Ktog so I was down to 68ish sts. That gave me a little curly edge at the cuff. Then I just knit straight on for a regular ol' cuff down sock. I finished sock #1 yesterday...(ignore the shakey camera- Little Man was jumping on the couch while I was trying to take the pic). Now on to Sock #2 before I get hit with SSS (Second Sock Syndrome).

Now onto some randomness....
I've had a scratchy throat/runny nose for the past week and couldn't decide whether I was coming down with a cold or dealing with allergies. Turned out to be a cold; I now sound like a 50yr old smoker between all the coughing and hoarseness. I actually don't feel all that bad, but I sound *awful*.

Yesterday, Blythe and I went to a local craft fair called Artistic License. They had lots of different artists selling everything from handmade ceramics to dreamcatchers and handwovens. There were a couple of fiber artists too. I ended up buying a lovely little faerie for a Christmas present but no fiber *gasp*. There's another, more fibery festival in Torrance in early November that I want try to make...but that depends on how much work gets thrown my way over the next couple of weeks.

Now, off to enjoy a MNO (mom's night out) with my crafty friends....

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thank you SP!

Score! Look what I got from my sweet Secret Pal!

Two Fiddlesticks shawl patterns - ones that I have been dying to get.
A cute sticky SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectency) sticky pad.
Pure Lanolin for my very rough hands (yum)
and some little flower shaped soaps.

Thank you Secret Pal, I love everything!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What I've been doing....

I've been in a knitting slump lately. I have a ton of projects laying around the house, waiting to be worked on, and all I can do is knit baby socks. For me, socks are comfort knitting- like mashed potatoes and gravy. They are easy to make and easy to finish. Socks are my choice whenever I feel like knitting something mindless but satisfying.

Why do I feel I need mindless knitting? Probably because I've ripped out no less than three projects in the last week. (Let's not mention the projects I ripped previously). My Diamond Fantasy Shawl is once again in the trash. I actually got up to the 3rd set of repeats when I realized that I'd made *another* mistake in the body of the shawl. The whole pattern was shifted very obviously sideways by at least two stitches. So I'm putting the DFS to rest for now; I have some Zephyr yarn (isn't it pretty?) on its way to me and maybe that'll get me going on it again on the shawl.

I won't mention the other projects I've scrapped lately; it's too depressing.

Part of my knitting ennui probably has to do with the fact that I have been working quite a bit lately. Lots of clients calling for Christmas card sessions means I have very little knitting time at night. The only time I can actually do my post processing is after the boys are in bed so that means time spent knitting is pretty slim. At least I managed to send some of Monkey Boy's photos to the printer (after 10 mos!). Here's a collage I put together for our hallway:

I also spent a little time spinning this week. Wanna see the finished product?

It's Blue Face Liecester- very soft and springy. I think I undertwisted the singles tho- they kept breaking when I was trying to ply them. There's about 320yds here.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Lookie what I got!

My Secret Pal sent me really cute, handmade card, check it out!

So I gleaned from the note inside that she's a mommy (like me) and will be attending the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. How fun!

BTW, this just made me realize that I *MUST* send my own SP6 her package this weekend. I have been so busy that it just keeps slipping to my "will do tomorrow" list. Sorry SP! I promise to get your package out to you ASAP, please be patient!

Kill me now

(Or "How I Spent My Thursday")

I came home from Knit Nite on Wednesday feeling kinda "ick". Well by 2am I was camped out on the bathroom floor because it was easier than getting out of bed every time I felt like I might barf. By the time Thursday morning rolled around I was pretty useless.

Luckily The Dearest was able to stay at home and watch the boys for me, because I was so sick all I did was lay on the bed or sofa all day. He ended up taking them out to the park and having a picnic. I'm sure that was more fun than watching me lay around, pale and wan and trying not to puke more. In fact I was so ill that I couldn't even knit! Just sitting up made me nauseous- ugh. By Thursday night I was feeling a lot better, tho I still hadn't eaten anything more substantial than a piece of buttered toast in more then 24 hours. Thank gawd for Otter Pops cuz those are what kept me hydrated.

I had a photo shoot scheduled for this morning with a one year old and his mom, so it's a good thing that I was feeling better. I guess that's the only advantage to the 24hr stomach flu- you generally feel pretty decent once it passes.

Before my run-in (no pun intended) with my flu bug, I managed to finish some fun socks for my lovely MIL:

I used some Henry's Attic Kona Superwash that I dyed ages ago. When I first dyed the yarn I wasn't very happy with the finished product so I added more color. After a while I realized that I probably added too much color. The finished yarn is pretty bright (as you can see!), but MIL likes bright colors and I think she'll enjoy these as house socks.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Better than an inkblot test...

Check it out-

Do you see what I see?

Ok, if you don't see it, turn it upside down.

NOW do you see it?

(BTW this is an actual stamp for sale. Maybe I should purchase one and make Christmas cards, whatcha think?)

Friday, September 30, 2005


I was at Meg's blog and followed a survey link to find out that I'm


Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

"Putting your appointed path ahead of any inner conflicts, you make your own rules for the benefit of all.

If my life or death I can protect you, I will.

Aragorn is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. There is a description of him at"

Hmmm....could be!