Thursday, May 31, 2007

Did You See?

Jared is embarking on the adult Tomten cruise! He's such a good knitter, so I'm really interested to see what modifications he makes and how it turns out. Maybe I'll be able to salvage my big, gartery thing based on his experience.

For now I'm plugging away on socks and really enjoying it. Pictures, hopefully, tomorrow. I made a mistake in the pattern so I need to rip back. Thank god I put in a lifeline.

Today we spent an ungodly amount of time at the health clinic for our daughter's first visit with the ENT doctor. He recommended surgery to insert tiny tubes in her ear drums to help fluid drain. Then they were able to fit us in to see everyone else we needed to see before scheduling the surgery for Tuesday! Although I know it will be traumatic to see her under anesthesia, and no surgery is without risk, we are very happy about the prospect of getting her off the seemingly constant cycle of antibiotics.

Friday, May 25, 2007

R.I.P. Egg Jacket (or How To Waste A Month)

Well, what can I say. I had such high hopes. Until I put it on last night. I do think this pattern really is best for children.

That's because the hood on the adult version (or, at least on mine), as happens when you size up, becomes extra huge and deep and not really useful. A big waste of beautiful yarn. It hangs halfway down my back. (and it was difficult to get a photo of my back!)

Then when I put the hood over my head. Laughter. Piercing, shrill laughter, followed by a lot of groaning. I look like the grim reaper in pink. I should have realized this when I saw the photo of the adult tomten in Opinionated Knitter. See how it's folded back? On me, not so cute.

Also, for some reason, whether it's my knitting or just the style or the stitch, it's looking more homemade than handmade to me. I feel like it's sloppy and that I wouldn't wear it. And to me, those are all signs I should call it quits.

I can't, in good conscience, keep knitting something I don't think I will wear. I'm a little depressed. But maybe this is the Sockapalooza voice yelling at me. Yeah, that's probably it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

100 Things

OK, doing the Seven Things prompted me to do the ever-popular 100 Things. Hey, don't laugh. It was either this or more photos of the Egg Jacket on Sleeve Island. Why on earth do we have arms? I digress. Here's more about me than anyone would ever like to know.

100 things

1.I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I read “Harriet The Spy”. Harriet records all sorts of goings-on in her notebook.
2.I’ve tried to keep a diary, but I can’t stick with it.
3.I do have bachelor’s degree in journalism.
4.When I was in college, my parents were embarrassed of my aspirations to be a journalist.
5.Until I faked being embarrassed that my mom was into gardening; then they shut up about it.
6.My parents are generally very supportive.
7.There was only one other time when they weren’t, and it was when I was moving in with my boyfriend.
8.That was 12 years ago. We’ve been married for 10 years now.
9.I’ve lived in four states, one district and two countries: Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Washington, DC, North Carolina & France.
10.I did not own a car until I was 24 years old.
11.My husband still drives that car every day to work. It has 108K miles on it.
12.Washington, DC, was an interesting place in which to live. I always say about DC: “Great place to visit, wouldn’t want to live there.” And about Raleigh, NC “Great place to live, wouldn’t want to visit.”
13.I moved to DC about eight months after graduating from college. I didn’t have a job. So in between job interviews, I toured every single free museum.
14.After that, I never visited another one.
15.I lived in Ithaca, NY, right after college, working as an intern for American Demographics magazine.
16.I met my husband in a meat-market bar in Alexandria, VA.
17.He picked me up.
18.I almost didn’t give him my phone number; I was afraid my roommate would make fun of me.
19.She did. But I got the last laugh.
20.I was born on 3/3. My mom was born on 6/6 and my paternal grandmother was born on 9/9.
21.My son was due 8/9, so I was gunning for 8/8. He was three days “late.”
22.My daughter was due 3/28. I did not even think about the possibility of her being born on 4/4 until I went into labor the evening of 4/3. Seriously, who wants to think their baby will be five days late? She was born on 4/4 at 1:04 am.
23.I am not superstitious.
24.I grew up on five acres of woods in Ohio, in a place that was completely rural, but it’s now posh to live there.
25.Our school was one building that housed Kindergarteners through high school seniors. Now there are 13 elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools.
26.It was one of two in our athletic conference that had a cinder track.
27.I threw discus and shotput.
28.We moved to Wisconsin three days before my junior year in high school.
29.I wouldn’t recommend doing that to a 16-year-old girl.
30.I do think I am a stronger person for having moved then. It took me quite awhile to believe that, however.
31.I was not popular at either high school, but I had a few good friends.
32.All of my friends played sports.
33.I went to the state track meet for shotput in Wisconsin in 1989 and I placed last.
34.The next year I went for discus and I placed 12th.
35.I was embarrassed about those accomplishments.
36.I went on to make the volleyball team freshman year in college.
37.My first college semester GPA was a 2.2.
38.My parents asked: “Are you going to be a professional volleyball player or a writer?” I did not try out for the team the next year.
39.I graduated with a 3.3 GPA
40.In 1994 I studied for one semester in France. I was at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Toulon.
41.The campus was called the “la Grande Tourrache” and we called it “Grand Trash”.
42.I dated a French guy I met there for more than a year.
43.It is time to call it quits when you get along better with someone while they are in another country.
44.I learned to knit in 2000.
45.I took a beginners knitting class at a local technical college. It was 12 classes for $50. I think it was a bargain.
46.The first project I made was a roll-brim hat with Lite Lopi I had bought from the craft store.
47.I was knitting in the round with circular needles and had no idea what to do when the decreases made it too tight to continue. I was stymied.
48.So I learned to knit with dpns soon afterward.
49.But I knit most everything I can on circular needles, even straight pieces.
50.I listen to public radio any chance I get.
51.I think it makes me a better person.
52.My favorite shows are “This American Life” and “What Do You Know?” (not much, you?)
53.My husband got me an iPod for Mothers’ Day and the first thing I downloaded was the latest podcast of “This American Life.”
54.While I was growing up, my mom would make dinner while listening to Paul Harvey. You know, the “Now you know the rest of the story…” guy.
55.She would get really angry if we talked during the show.
56.They haven’t listened to NPR for years, claiming it’s too liberal.
57.I am pro-choice and generally liberal. They are decidedly not.
58.I am the middle of three sisters. My husband is the middle of three brothers. We are like the Brady Bunch, but not really, since we’re not siblings. Ew.
59.Being the middle meant that I grew up wanting either two or four children.
60.Neither of my sisters knit.
61.When I was a kid, it was so cold in our house in the winter that we got dressed downstairs by the woodburning stove.
62.We lived on five acres of woods. It was a lovely place to grow up.
63.One of the most startling images in my mind from childhood was watching the Challenger blow up on TV. I was home from school watching it because we had a snow day.
64.I had two rabbits: Cinnamon and Snickers.
65.I had two hamsters: Marshmallow and Cinnamon.
66.I did not have Cinnamon the hamster and Cinnamon the rabbit at the same time.
67.I did not name everything after food. I had a plant named Emmett.
68.I did not name everything.
69.My first name is Jennifer, along with about 100 million other people in their 30s.
70.My parents said they didn’t know a single person or child named Jennifer when they had me.
71.I guess they thought they were original.
72.I was the ear infection kid growing up.
73.Now my daughter is.
74.I like to volunteer. I am on the Board of Directors at my children’s preschool.
75.I love singing to music while I’m driving. I generally like 90s progressive music.
76.Right now there’s a CD in my player tuned to “Loser” by Beck. I love that song.
77.I like to think of “Loser” as the anthem of Gen-X. It’s funny to think of all these successful Gen-Xers singing “Loser” 15 years ago.
78.Here’s what Wikipedia says about Gen-X (in case you are too young to remember): “During the early 1990s, the media portrayed Generation X as a group of flannel-wearing, alienated, overeducated, underachieving slackers with body piercings, who drank franchise-store coffee and had to work at McJobs, concepts that had some truth to them but were in many cases stereotypes.”
79.When that song was popular, I was in college, working as a server at a restaurant during the summer, and the dishwashers used to yell the lyrics as loud as they could.
80.Frickin’ hilarious.
81.I know nothing about bar drinks. Once when a man asked for an onion in his drink, I went to the salad bar and put a piece of raw onion in his drink. He thought it was a funny joke, but I was not kidding.
82.I’m a pretty good waitress, although I hope to never do it again. It’s hard work.
83.I’m fairly good at multi-tasking.
84.One semester in college, I was sports editor for our college newspaper.
85.I made about 50 cents an hour at this job.
86.That semester I made coaches particularly angry because I refused to put “Woman in Sports” day on the front page and then I wrote a column about how they should put more effort into it so it would actually be news.
87.My final semester I was editorial editor. Then I made a sandwich shop chain particularly angry because I ran an editorial cartoon depicting its recent ecoli outbreak and likening it to ‘trick or treat’ because it was Halloween.
88.The newspaper lost that advertising account. I’ve heard that sub shop still doesn’t run ads, and they had been running them weekly for years.
89.I would have liked to work for a newspaper, but I couldn’t take the hours as a newbie.
90.So I sold out. My last full-time job before I had children was as a marketing copywriter. It was a cushy 8-5 job.
91.My first job was at a nonprofit association magazine. My starting salary was $21,000/year. In Washington, DC.
92.I took the metro. I mourn the fact I didn’t know how to knit, because no doubt I could have completed unknown numbers of socks, ala Wendy.
93.I was sure I would have two boys. My husband is one of three sons; his father is one of five sons.
94.When I was pregnant with our son, we only had one name picked out. We didn’t even have a girl name.
95.At the 20-week ultrasound the second time around, I was flabbergasted to find out she was a girl. I know, the odds are 50/50, but I was really shocked.
96.Soon after that, I got really happy about it. Very soon after.
97.This is getting boring.
98.Good thing there’s only two left.
99.I once met Jane Pauley in person when I received a national award for a magazine I wrote and managed.
100.I can never pick a favorite color or a favorite food. I have too many.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Dumb Luck

Progress on the adult Tomten continues, despite the tiny, little voice that says I should be knitting Sockapalooza socks. When the voice decides to get louder, or it becomes June, that's when I will officially listen. I have momentum on this thing and I'm sticking with it.

Anyway, so last night I decided I had knit enough hood and went to Elizabeth's directions for the tomten. They say to graft the top of the hood, and refer you to another page for instructions for grafting garter stitch.

Nah, I say, I don't care if there's a seam. I'll just try three-needle bind-off with the right sides together and see what happens.

Lo and behold. I flipped the bugger inside out you see a seam? I don't see a seam! There's a seam on the inside, of course, and I guess I've always done three-needle bind-off on stockinette hoods (wallabies, mostly) because usually there's a noticeable indentation. It was 9:30 pm so I wasn't thinking it would work out so well this time. Not that I mind a seam--really I don't. But it's fun when it works out, isn't it?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tagged, a First!

I was tagged by Jessica. Here is how it works: Each player starts with seven random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog with their seven things as well as these rules. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. Remember to leave a comment for them letting them know they have been tagged and to read your blog.

1. In high school I threw discus and shotput and I qualified for the state track meet for shotput in 1989. I placed last. The next year I went to state for discus and I placed 12th. I really never tell anyone this because it's embarrassing for me.

2. I was born on 3/3. My mother was born on 6/6 and my grandmother was born on 9/9. When I was pregnant with my first child, he was due on 8/9. Naturally, I was hoping he would be born on 8/8. No such luck; he was four days "late." When I was due on 3/28 with my second child, it didn't even enter my mind that she might be born on 4/4. That is, until I went into labor on the evening of 4/3. She was born 4/4 at 1:04 am.

3. I am the tallest woman I know in real life. I am 5' 11".

4. I’ve lived in four states, one district and two countries: Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Washington, DC, North Carolina & France.

5. I learned to knit in 2000 through a course at our local community college. It was 12 weeks long and cost $50. I think I got a bargain. My grandmother crocheted so my mother dislikes fiber arts. She sews and quilts.

6. I got my first car at age 24.

7. When I try to come up with random facts about myself, I think I'm pretty boring, but really I'm very happy with my life. I guess that's not so boring.

I'm tagging:


Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Won't you honor one or two who are close to you? They do so much for so many.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pastel or Purple?

I joined Sockapalooza for the first time for several reasons. Not the least of which was a push to finish these. I decided awhile ago I wanted to learn how to knit two at at the same time, toe-up on circulars. I bought "Queen Kahuna's" book. I think she's inventive, but to tell the truth, it's hard to get through a book where red is used very liberally and italics are apparently a designer's best friend. I haven't worked on these in six months. But I love the yarn (Koigu) and would love to finish them. I have the distinct feeling that if I could just get this technique down, I wouldn't have to look at the book ever again. Hah.
Some examination happens when you look through your stash, searching for the exactly right sock yarn to knit your pal's socks with. It turns out I have a lot of purple. And a lot of pastel. And you know where this is going. Pal is fine with just about anything, really, except for purples and pastels. How hilarious is that? Really, I think it's funny! Like any fiber freak, I love buying yarn so I had no trouble plunking down the Paypal to order up something more to her liking. But I still thought it was really funny. I leave you with...a parting shot of some of the purple sock stash (Interlacements Toasty Toes).

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Big Ball of Hyper

This has me laughing uproariously. "A big ball of hyper"? Who writes this stuff? This is pretty funny, you have to admit, after my last post moaning about how tired I am. I am pretty scattered, though. I do like the color lime a lot, but unfortunately cannot wear it.

Your Birthdate: March 3

You are more than a big ball of energy - you are a big ball of hyper.
You are always on the go, but you don't have a type a personality.
Instead of channeling your energy into work, you instead go for fun and adventure.
Witty and verbal, you can have an interesting conversation with anyone.

Your strength: Your larger than life imagination

Your weakness: You tend to be pretty scattered

Your power color: Lime

Your power symbol: Lightening bolt

Your power month: March

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Egg Jacket Procedeth

Although it may look like boring knitting, this is truly right up my alley, as they say. I stay at home with my two kids, that is to say that I am their full-time caregiver. We don't always stay home--that would be suicide.

Anyway, lately there is no time to knit during the day. I don't think of this as anyone's "fault" but rather just that right now life is busy with two little beings. I have always been sure I will miss the hell out of their little selves when they are even 6 and 8 years old, so I am trying to enjoy them as much as possible. As possible as they make it, that is.

So a 7:30 p.m. bedtime for them leaves me with 1.5 or maybe 2 hours of knitting time at night. And usually I am truly beat. Very spent and don't really feel like spending it doing math or backward flips to figure out something new.

I have to keep telling myself this, unfortunately, because I'm so inspired by so many blogs and projects out there and sometimes it gets to the point where I feel guilty for not pushing my skills more.

The truth is that right now, knitting for me is about getting to my center, doing something I really enjoy and making something that looks nice. Maybe when they are 6 and 8 and I will have the energy to do backflips.