Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stone Cold Sober

Or shit-faced drunk.

I have always been a bit ambivalent where Paula Abdul was concerned but tonight dude - I have got to weigh in. The woman was not sober. I'm not sure what her escape of choice was, but she wasn't high on life.

'Nuff said.

Criminal Mind

I have a very healthy fear of consequences, which probably saves me from getting into a lot of trouble. I worry about what people would think if I did " ... " I come up with all sorts of scenarios that invariably end in despair and disaster if I were to get caught doing " ... ".
Mostly I try to keep these deviant & (often) criminal inclinations to myself, but this is one that I'm sure I hope that you can relate to. (And when I say "relate to" I mean "Awwwww, c'mon ... you've thought of doing it too!!!")
There is an MP who comes with his wife to watch their daughter at gymnastics. He's usually in full uniform and is a big, well-built, scary imposing authority figure. Well, last week he sat in front of me. I saw his holste
red gun and just started thinking. Okay, it's stupid, but really. I'm sure that the moms watching their kids didn't look all that threatening and that me, sitting there knitting looked especially harmless, but still waters run deep. At some point the thinking became fantasizing. I was actually visualizing how I would pop the snap on the holster, grab the gun, twirl it and hand it to him (handle first - I'm not stoopid!!!) before he could twist my arm (painfully should go without saying) behind my back put me face down (hard enough to dent the floor) knee on my neck and arrest me.
In my best fantasy, he's actually appreciative that I've brought this lapse of vigilance to his attention and that I become the poster-mom and guest speaker for security awareness.

cue the sound of a needle scratching across a record

The consequences - prison (not just jail - prison!!), humiliation (for Amanda too) and the thought that they would almost certainly not allow me to knit all day in peace & quiet kept my hands on my knitting needles. (Hey, that's not a bad idea for a vacation - they serve you your meals in your priva
te room and as long as we could arrange for satellite tv reception, a comfy chair and alcohol I think we could have a winner. Of course there'd have to be an affidavit swearing that you wouldn't use your needles as weapons & some sort of "we're not responsible for you becoming someone's bitch" waiver, but those are just technicalities.)

Woulda, coulda, shoulda; mostly glad I didn't. And Kerwyn thinks that I'm the normal one. HA!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

of Bum Wars & Silly Putty

given the current (and sick) fascination with Bum Wars, there will be some very disappointed Gogglers.

The trampoline finally came into the gymnastics r
otation & the girls loved it. Being a little human perpetual motion machine, I'm impressed with how well Amanda can stick a landing off of the beam (well, when she's not having a giggle fit anyway). When she's bouncing around on the trampoline, making a really excellent effort at the various movements, I'm sorry Coach Karen, but there is no bloody way that Amanda is going to stop cold. She just goes from jumping through her forms to bounce-walking off the tramp. Don't give up though - I mean, you never know!!

Then the girls had Bum Wars - *a bounce up, land on y
our bum, bounce up, land on of your feet* rep 'til one of the two messes up. Then the next girl takes on the winner. Natalie rocked it - she lost to Sarah, but that was after beating 3 other girls and a long set with Sarah.

Then we rushed to the library for a science thing that they were hosting. The kids got to make Silly Putty!! OMG - it's awesome.
some sodium borate solution and food colouring

some white glue

some kneading

some more kneading

Walla!! Silly Putty

Of course we had to stop and get the supplies so that she could make more at home.
I know, but you have no idea how very necessary it is to have a rainbow of Silly Putty available. If you Google "making Silly Putty" you'll find all sorts of recipes, some use liquid starch as a glue activator and others use sodium borate. Let's Talk Science sponsored this event - here's Manju & Tan with Amanda. They were very friendly and almost 30 kids in a small room at the back of the library didn't seem to phase them.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Catching up

It's been so long know that I don't feel inclined to tell a long story with details, so it's going to be a bit dot-jotish.

Mischief is mischievous and - lucky for her - cute.
Amanda giggles endlessly at her antics. She had her first visit with the vet & she was very brave!

Kerwyn came home safely & is quite the chopstick master.
He asked for chopsticks at the Mandarin and ate to his satisfaction with them. (and when I say "ate to his satisfaction" I mean he ate a lot. Kerwyn is no lightweight and he definitely gets his money's worth out of a buffet.) Poor Kerwyn has been struck down by some sort of stomach flu. He's not a very demanding sick person, and after 2 days of sleep, soup & juice he's going back to work tomorrow. I think that he should have another day of rest, but he's insisting that he is getting too far behind to possibly not go in. I hope that he comes home early at least.

Amanda & The Spelling Bee. Without bias, she was the cutest speller of the lot!
She was 45th in line out of 51 grade 4's. Knowing that prayer should not be used frivolously, I shamefully admit to making a small (though heartfelt) utterance for a word that would not trip her up in the 1st round. She practiced so hard but there were still some words from the practice list that could trip her up. I held my breath when the Spell Master said "permission". I knew that Amanda knew it, but the pressure ... not that you would know it to look at her. Cool as a cucumber. "kneepad" in the 2nd round was a cinch. The 3rd round was off list - they'd used all of the words on the practice list; the kids had to go with what they knew. I feel like I've let Amanda down somehow by not including "zoology" in her daily lexicon. But she took it like a trooper and, along with a little bee (spelling bee ... get it?) for her charm bracelet, we celebrated with dinner at the Mandarin. Chocolate makes everything better!! She wants to give it a go again next year - woo hoo!!!

I've got a lot of knitting done - I wish I could share it with you. I will when the time is right. (And when I say "the time is right" I mean when the books come out.) Hey, my hands are tied (with very nice yarn, but tied nonetheless). Of course, you could come visit me ... that'd be a totally different thing altogether.

Anyway, I'll try not to be away so long and I'll try to take some interesting, yet useless, WIP pics.

We are premepting ...

... the blog entry that Wannietta planned to post but can't because Blogger is punishing her for not posting more and won't let her put up pictures. Just letting you know that she hasn't dropped off the Web and will chat with y'all soon!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New Mischief

I know, but I've been knitting and home schooling and bus driving and shoveling all of the snow that's fallen in the last couple of days. Shoveling sucks. And when I say "sucks" I mean it's a lot of freakin' work and it hurts my back. Amanda was a willing helper and every bit helps, but there was still lots for me to do. And Kyle had assignment to complete this week so I didn't want him to use the driveway as an excuse not to do them, and I driving over the snow just makes it harder to shovel later. And I've got a paved driveway - I want to see it!!

While we were at the mall on Sunday for another spelling bee practice (the Spell Master just loved her smile) we happened into the pet store. Amanda now has a little fishy called Chucky. It's pretty low maintenance and considering how she & Kyle were eyeing up puppies I think that I got off easy.

Then yesterday on my way home I
saw a sign and I just felt like the time was right.
I asked Amanda if she would like to come with me in the morning. "Why?" "Because I'm asking you. It wouldn't be a surprise if I told you." When we pulled into the destination driveway I handed Amanda a bag and told her that she should take out what's in it - we'd need it. When she saw Cheeky Monkey's kitty bed - she was shocked speechless. (okay, it was only for about 3.46 seconds, but for Amanda that's quite speechless) "Are we really getting another kitten? Really!?!" she asked with barely controlled ecstasy. "Would I tease you about something like this?"
So now we have a whole new kind of Mischief in the house.
We call her Miss for short. Amanda has been comparing her every move with Cheeky Monkey. I keep reminding her that, just like people, every animal has their own personality and we'll have to get to know her. She's a little ball of fluff, that's for sure. Kyle was pleasantly surprised and excited in a reserved, manly kinda way.

I am on the finishing stretch of Kristi's 1st sweater and have
started on the 2nd one. It's a kids sweater out of Wigwam in the Earth colourway.

Kerwyn is coming home early!! He'll get home late Saturday night - which works out great, he can come to Amanda's Spelling Bee.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

For Daddy

I've been working hard at my school-work, doing gymnastics and practicing for the Spelling Bee.

The coach picked me to help show how to do the somersault on the beam. I just have to remember to tuck in my chin.

Guess what?! I was the only one who tried to do a cartwheel on the beam
(don't worry - it was the low one!!). Look how happy the coach is!!! I have to remember not to look for my boot-ay 'cause it makes me go crooked.

I was really scared
about spelling in front of people but I was getting much better by the end. I'm going to practice at the mall again tomorrow.

Mommy is getting some knitting done. Here's kind of a picture;
she had to make it look crazy 'cause it's a secret - you can see the stuff for real when you get home. Are you still coming home early? I love you lots and miss you more!!!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

My Day Off

If I truly want a day off I have to leave home. Fortunately my friend Ada is a willing host and we always have a great time together. Sometimes we go out yarn shopping but mostly it's movies & knitting, cross stitching, beading; comparing, sharing and enabling.
Ada brought me back a scrumptious skein of baby alpaca
from her recent trip to Peru. From the way she talked about it, I was expecting a small, bitty skein - certainly not the 150g skein of laceweight that I received!! And it's a natural white so I can dye it before or after I knit it!!

I shared with her all of the work knitti
ng that I'm doing but can't show anyone (she can keep a secret like nobody's business!) and tempted her with the STR & LL that I bought down at Lettuce Knit.
I spent most of the day stitching on the Mystery X cross stitch. It is worked in hand dyed threads, metallics and a generous smattering of beads. It's so exciting seeing the design growing and watching the colours playing off of each other. I still have more to do, but January is young yet.

I came home tired but well rested & ready to be a single mom for 3 weeks. Kerwyn is off on another trip to China tomorrow. It's a long time, but I have quite enough knitting to keep me busy and Amanda has started her home schooling
so I'm sure that the time will pass quickly.

Latent Skill

I can spin!! It's in me and look out world! now it's out. It wasn't me, it was the tool; I wasn't meant for a drop spindle, that's all.
I went to see Kathy and we chit-chatted while her Ashford wheel got used to a new presence in the room. I didn't make any overt, startling moves toward it and it didn't make faces at me (yes they can!) or start spinning it's wheel menacingly. Once we had gotten used to the idea of ea
ch other, Kathy showed me how it's done. "You sort of loosen up the fleece like this." uh-huh "And just feed it in like this, holding it sort of like so." Yup. Got it.
You know how it is when someone is really good at something and they just sort of do it and tell you how easy it is? I mean, it's like riding a bike. "Hop on and just pedal." But there are like, what, eleventy-hundred and one other things to do & think about & coordinate in order to ride the bike as opposed to just not falling off of it.
It looked
very easy and there didn't seem to be any real pitfalls (or maybe Kathy just didn't want to scare me) so there was nothing else but to give it the old college try.
Amanda had to be dragged away from her good times with Elizabeth & Kathryn so her focus is a little off, but you get the idea.
I spent hours spinning and plying. I will definitely have to work on consistency & loosening up a bit. (No Kyle, this is not proof that I'm uptight.)
Then Kathy wound the yarn onto a kniddy-knoddy that her husband had made out of plastic pipe. I know, he made it for her - not just thought about it. Apparently the skein is a bit long, but he made her a kniddy-knoddy!! We steamed the skeins to "set the twist". I was totally unprepared for the magic of this - it's like high-speed blocking. When you block a sweater or shawl you see the wrinkled, uneven stitches then after considerable time & effort you have wonderfully even & smooth stitches. As the yarn was passed over the steam,
I watched it scrinch up and straighten out!! I giggled out loud - it was amazing!
I used some fleece that I had in my stash - for thrumming & for felting over soap , the coloured one was Fleece Artist.
The yarn is nice; the smaller skein feels nicer as it isn't spun or plied so tightly.
I might just have to get a wheel. Definitely maybe ...

Thursday, January 4, 2007


Okay, there are other sweaters in the book, some of which I really loved a lot, but this isn't about them. Amy asked that I keep the sweater a bit secret still - build the suspense just a bit more - so I give you Morrigan a la Photoshop and a small descriptive tease to whet your appetite.

Jenna & I proudly posed with our baby. We didn't cave to the Jen peer pressure to make out.

I did score a couple of NSfY
buttons and Amanda caught some yarn in the act of adopting me.
Hey, they're my colours so no one will doubt that they belong in my family.

And speaking of Jen, I told her that I would post a picture of a Chiquita Banana ad from an old Life magazine, so here it is.
Yeah, it's rather beat up. I had that thing folded up and carried around from when I was in high school until I had it framed a couple of years ago. I still chuckle when I read it!

Sorry for the 101 seemingly identical entries. I hate it when text goes into a picture and the preview doesn't accurately portray the final layout so I have to (yes, have to) keep editing it. 102nd time's a charm!!!