Friday, September 30, 2005

how many Hail Mary's?

I'm convinced that the co-requisite to having babies is having guilt. From the moment you find out you're pregnant, you're plauged by guilt. (Mmmm, those chocolate chip cookies were sooo scrumptious! Of course, they have absolutely no nutritional value. So now I'll wind up with diabetes and so will the baby. Forgot about the caffeine in those chocolate chips, too. Great, so baby's going to be born with 3 hands and feet? Lovely.)

It only snowballs once they're born. (Should I let her cry tonight instead of getting her? Am I being selfish? But I need to sleep! It's been over 18 months since I've slept, pleeeease for the love of all that's good... oh geez, she's been crying for over half an hour, I really should get her. Right? I should, shouldn't I?) And God forbid you should spend only $2 on conventional milk instead of springing the 5 plus bucks for the non Bovine-Growth-Hormone injected organically produced stuff. Let me tell you the nightmares I have had just contemplating the idea.

But that all pales in comparison to the very real guilt of knowing you've really Screwed-Up. Case in point:Yes, that's Stinky neglected and asleep with her face in her (Annie's all-organic, of course) mac and cheese. She was eating lunch so I thought I could take a few moments to blog and comment. And was greeted by this sight once I finally emerged from cyberspace. Now you know me for the terrible, awful mother that I really am. And then I wonder why she's STINKY??! It seems mac and cheese smeared in hair and skin has a way of doing that.

And while I'm being an awful, terrible mother, I might as well take advantage of this unplanned opportunity to finish this post. (I wouldn't want to wake her up now, would I? Two wrongs don't make a right, right?) Last night, we had a Honolulu SNB get-together. Girl talk, tea, knitting and yarn. What could be better? From L-R, keohinani, Veronica, acornbud and Kim. My apologies to mizuna for lacking the foresight to take pics before her departure. And while I'm conveniently missing from this photo, lookie, lookie, there's my hoodie- making a cameo appearance in the foreground! Here she is, with her back all bound-off, anxiously awaiting the imminent arrival of her hood. I'm hoping some extreme blocking will remedy that odd stockinette curling action. I cast-on for the front early this morning, so I'm hopeful that I can make some progress on that this weekend.

After I rescue Stinky from her mac and cheese, that is.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

baby got back?

Baby got back? Why yes, I do. A more than ample share, I might add, which is a good thing when your life seems to constantly unfold like an SNL skit. Like in 11th grade, at my junior piano recital. For weeks I practiced and prepared, psyching myself up for this recital. After 8 years of blood, sweat and tears, I was finally one of the big wigs among Mrs. Miyasato's piano students. One of the ones the younger kids hoped to play like when they grew up. One of the ones the parents pointed at, admonishing their kids to practice hard so they could play like "that girl." My piece was showcased in the finale. Hands clammy, heart racing, I walked up the stairs to the stage and proceeded to take my seat at the grand piano. Deliberately inhaling and exhaling, I slowly closed my eyes and channelled Bach Invention in F Major for all I was worth. Even in practice, I had never executed it as flawlessly as I did that evening. As I lifted my hands from the keyboard after the final note, heady exhiliration left a silly grin on my face. I could hear the applause and whistles, and I willed myself to wipe the stupid smirk off my face before turning around to take my bow. Apparently, I was concentrating too hard, because I failed to remember those same stairs I'd climbed to reach the stage.

Ohhhhh yeah.

Slid like a landslide down those same 3 steps on my big fat derriere and flew right into the first row of the audience. Right into the lap of Mr. Tachibana, my world history teacher. In one fell swoop, the roaring applause had turned to deafening silence. Clearly in shock, I managed to quickly assess the situation and decided to effect damage control. I stayed down. Which was a good move, because instead of pointing and laughing, everybody became concerned that I was seriously injured. Which I assured them I wasn't, but only after a good few seconds had passed for maximum damage control. Luckily, I'm a quick thinker on my back.

But baby's got another back here, this time in reference to SNB Under the Hoodie. Well, an almost-back. I have another 3 inches to go before I bind-off for the hood. And yes, these pics are brought to you once again by the trusty 60-watter night lamp. The real color is somewhere in between these 2 pics, one taken with and the other without flash. Not that it really makes a difference, since both look pretty crappy. I promise to take better pics during the day! This hoodie is moving along surprisingly fast. I thought I'd get bored with all the stockinette, but I'm finding it really therapeutic.

So, what's the moral of the story, folks? When in doubt, stay down. It's a good save.

But not as good a save as Mr. Tachibana!

Monday, September 26, 2005

finger lickin' good

Valentine's Day, 2004. While I can no longer recall the actual pain of the contractions or delivery, I can remember every conversation and every image during those last few hours prior to Sister Stinky's arrival. And what remains most emblazoned in my memory is the loving image of my mother. Unable to attend Bossy Boots' birth, my mother was determined to witness gender-unknown-baby-#2's arrival. What more intimate experience could a mother and daughter have than to welcome a precious new life together? When contractions began on Valentine's morning, my mom dropped everything and immediately boarded a plane, hoping to arrive before Stinky. She did, and I was so grateful, knowing what comfort her presence would bring.

...You knew this couldn't be just a sappy birth story, right?

I called my midwife when contractions were 3 minutes apart, and we checked into the hospital. She told me that I was 7-8 cm dilated and that labor was progressing very well. Which translated roughly into: "What do you MEAN it's too LATE for drugs?! NO DRUGS??! Are you freaking SERIOUS?! Who wrote that crazy crap in my birth plan?! Don't you tell me to breathe- YOU breathe!" And in the midst of transition, when contractions were peaking less than a minute apart, when I thought I couldn't possibly bear it anymore, I opened my eyes to look over to my mother for support. And there I found her in the corner of the room, stuffing her face with none other than the Colonel's own extra crispy, asking my sister where the coleslaw was. Asking my sister WHERE THE COLESLAW WAS.

Coleslaw has since become a code phrase in our house, and while I never let my mom live this down, she truly deserves to be canonized. The woman raised 4 kids and managed to maintain her sanity. (This is questionable, but that is a topic for another post.) I am only too happy to be able to knit her socks and other secret Christmas items! And on that note, here is a completed Go With the Flow sock. A really quick knit that energizes you to cast on for the second sock. I admit that I temporarily wavered when I thought about the coleslaw, but nonetheless cast-on for the second. With any luck, there will be a completed pair in a few days. I also cast-on for SNB's Under the Hoodie with Elann Peruvian Highland Wool. It was actually the first project I'd planned and ordered yarn for when I learned to knit back in April. Amazing how knitting has taken on a life of its own in these past 5 months! I didn't want to put the hoodie on the wayside any longer, so I'm giving it a go.

As for KFC, well, it's never quite held the appeal that it used to. And in case you were wondering, no, I don't know where the mashed potatoes are, either.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

michael and fredo

I am beginning to feel a bit like a sad repository for abandoned socks. I currently have 3 socks missing their better halves, left eternally yearning for their completion. I am absolutely miffed by this. By nature, I would describe myself as fiercely loyal and protective. Which is a good thing, I think. Others may use different descriptive terms, mafioso among them, perhaps. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you grew up theoretically enthralled with, say, Michael Corleone, just as an example. Not necessarily a villain; more of a misguided family-oriented soul with anger management issues. It's really all about perspective.

I grew up the eldest of 4 siblings, with Godfather overtones inherent to my familial position. Protecting my sisters and brother was incumbent upon me and loyalty was paramount. Parading around the neighborhood on my banana seat floral bike, exacting punishment on those who dared to cause my siblings angst, I was the picture of vengeance. No one dared to cross me, especially not anyone in the family. Or so I thought.

It was third grade, and my mom told me that I could invite a friend over for the afternoon. Delighted, I called Marisa and dreamed of an afternoon filled with wonderfully engaging activities- all of my choosing, of course. But apparently, no one had given Marisa the script. She arrived, and to my dismay, she oohed and aahed over my sister's (henceforth, Fredo) Strawberry Shortcake collection. Unable to resist the adulation, Fredo proceeded to show-off every Strawberry Shortcake accessory known to mankind. The Berry Gazebo, the matching pets, the Strawberry Shortcake Live from New York LP. She was shameless and Marisa was enamored. I fumed, hands on my hips and nostrils flaring. They were not deterred. I threatened to permanently can Blueberry Muffin and Orange Blossom. They laughed. Left without any options, I sent them fishing on the lake. When asked later why I tackled both of them to the floor and sat on Marisa's head, I muttered something about how Fredo should have known better than to play with MY friend. You break my heart Fredo, you break my heart.

So this sock polygamy of sorts is quite foreign to me, as I am usually monogamous and loyal to any project I start. My disloyalty to Padded Footlet and Brother Bossy Boots' Gymnastics Sock unsettles me. Without casting on for their mates, I started knitting Mom's secret Christmas socks. Yes, I am hopeful that there will indeed be a second sock to warrant that plural. This is Go With the Flow from IK Summer '05, in Knit Picks Dancing. I cast-on on Thursday night, and I'm surprised at how fast this is knitting up. There's just enough instep and leg pattern to keep you interested without really requiring excessive concentration. I'm not a purple-y/pink fan myself, but I keep reminding myself that they're not for me. Here's an attempt at a close-up of the ladder and open-work pattern, illuminated by my trusty 60-watt night-stand lamp. And lest you deem me a petty thug after reading the above anecdote, I decided to include endearing kiddie shots from Moanalua Gardens this afternoon. Brother Bossy Boots and Sister Stinky enjoying a picnic, bubbles and shady reprieve from the heat. Unfortunately, however, maternal instinct is far more compelling than eldest-sibling-instinct. Cross your fingers that Fredo doesn't need to be sent on any other spur-of the-moment fishing trips.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

a query

For lack of actual knitting content today (well, I finished one of Bossy Boots' socks and cast on for my mom's secret Christmas socks, YAWN, I know! I know! That's why I'm not going to talk about that, hello!) I thought I'd conduct a survey instead. My friends gifted me with a $100 gift certificate (!!!) to Isle Knit, a LYS, for my birthday. Now, I know there are those who think nothing of plunking down hundreds of dollars at their LYS, but this is huge for me, at least. It's no secret that being SIW2K (single income with 2 kids...thanks, Karen for inspiring the acronym) puts a damper on SEX. Though in this case, I am referring to Stash Enhancement Expeditions, thank you very much. Living SIW2K, you learn to select yarn judiciously (i.e. TGKP- Thank goodness for Knit Picks!), getting the most you can for the least you can. It's easy to get used to not wanting what you can't get (Though I still covet. God, I covet. I'm a sinner, what can I say?). So I am left utterly paralyzed by the prospect of being able to afford A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G I want from Isle Knit. The POSSIBILITIES. Oh, the delectable possibilities! I actually lost sleep over this last night.

For the proper effect, please read the following paragraph with increasing speed for each subsequent sentence:

Do I buy yarn with a specific project in mind? Should those projects be for me or can they be for other people? Wouldn't it be okay if they were for other people since what I really enjoy is the process of knitting? Then wouldn't I have received a gift of sorts, anyway? Do I sample luxury yarn I could never otherwise afford with no specific project in mind? (tangential "oooh... can you say Noro, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino...?") Will I then be forever ruined, unable to afford those yarns again and disgruntled with cheaper substitutes? Can you go back to Baskin-Robbins once you've tasted Ben & Jerry's? Can you ever go home?! Do I invest in more needles? Circs? DPNs? Bamboos? Addis? Do I invest in books that I could probably get cheaper online but which wouldn't be "free" like they would be at the LYS? Worsted? DK? Fingering? Do I ......

You get the picture. Total head case. Which is nothing new, I assure you, but in my (albeit, twisted) mind, justifiable neurosis. Which brings me to my query: What would YOU do??? And for the sake of future reference, please note that returning the certificate to put me out of my misery is, in fact, not a polite response.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

this little piggy

Today's story is The Three Little Pigs. I realize that this in fact does not jive with the title of this post, but I couldn't come up with enough piggy tales to use the This Little Piggy nursery rhyme, so let's just go with The Three Little Pigs metaphor, okay? Okay, so back to the little pigs. Oh, and just another side note: there will be no Big Bad Wolf in this rendition, not even a cameo appearance. Unless the Big Bad Wolf is blogger, which forbade me to access my own freaking blog all day yesterday. Which is another story entirely, so back to the little pigs we go. Ah look, forget it. The whole "Three Little Pigs" thing was just a feeble attempt to tie 3 totally unrelated items together in some type of allegorical context, but I'm brain-farting and sleep-deprived, so let's just pretend I managed to do the aforementioned with some amount of wit and finesse.

So, on to the first pig of the day! Since I wasn't able to blog yesterday, I was actually able to get a good amount of knitting done yesterday. (Note to self) This is a cell phone cozy from SNBN. Such a cute and fun pattern by the very talented mizuna. And YES, it's supposed to be a pig. I was all proud thinking it was a really cute pig, till the DH (thank you, Miss Spazzitron for inciting further insight into the versatility of this acronymn :-)) said that he thought it was an owl. And Bossy Boots piped in, saying he thought it was a cat. I know I picked up the ear stitches in the wrong spot, but who woulda thunk such a minor anatomical misplacement would make such a big deal? Apparently, animals can jump whole phyla with one minor rearrangement! Good to know.

On to the second pig of the day! Or piggies in plural, rather. Specifically, Bossy Boots' little piggies. Here is the majority of the first sock, modeled by Bossy Boots himself. Which was no small feat for a 3 year old in light of the still-connected-to-the -dpns-status. This was done in Brown Sheep Wildfoote in the Tom Cat colorway. (Yep, Keohinani, from the awesome Big Island Bernina!) Call me antiquated, call me a dinosaur, but I'm really, really not too fond of the whole toe-up sock thing. Maybe it's the pattern, I'm really not sure. This pattern is one I found on Elann's site...someone suggested trying Wendy's toe-up sock pattern before going back to my old ways. Then again, I've also read that 2 circs or Magic Loop is the way to go, but here I am, still using the obsolete dpns. Got to come into the millenium, I know.

And the third and last little pig is an imaginary piggy. I was watching an obscenely strange cartoon on PBS this morning called, "Jakes! the Adventures of Piggly Winks." And the whole time, all I could think (besides good God, what the hell were those people smoking when they created those demonic animated pigs??!) about was the awesome aran sweater Piggly Winks was wearing. Demented, yes? You know you would've been thinking the same thing.

And that, my friends, is the end of my tale. Except for the epilogue, in which the demented author writes that she is currently fielding suggestions for the Shimmer lace-weight yarn formerly known as Kiri. Ideas, anyone?

Monday, September 19, 2005

such sweet sorrow

Kiri said that we needed to talk last night. Not a good thing. Because when your knitting needs to talk to you, you're either: a) delusional, b) getting dumped or c) all of the above. None of the prospects were looking too good as we sat down for our heart-to-heart. Now, it's not like I haven't been dumped before by the usual suspects- exes (good riddance!), supposed friends (ouch!), credit cards ("...we regret to inform you...") But I wasn't prepared to be dumped by my knitting. On the contrary, I've always been the dump-er. I've spewed out my share of hurtful one-liners. "You're nasty acrylic and we'll never see eye to eye," (Said after my one-night fling with said acrylic) never thinking that it would come back full circle.

But Kiri was different. We hadn't been together for long, but I knew she was "the real deal." Getting dumped was definitely not on my agenda, but I suppose I should have seen it coming. She was too cool, too sophisticated and way out of my league. Like those girls in high school who wore the fitted Chic Jeans, Guess? shirts and had the perfectly permed hair. I hated them. But I would've died with a star-struck grin if one of them had ever bothered to give super-dweeb-me the time of day from their Gucci-interchangeable- watch band -watches. Anyway, being the starry-eyed fool that I am, I pursued Kiri anyway. I suppose she was wooed by the alpaca/silk and the Addi Turbos. Maybe she convinced herself that they would make up for my ineptitude and somehow make her time worthwhile. So not. To her credit, she was incredibly gracious, as one would expect no less from Ms. Te Kanawa. "It's not the right time for us now.... we could try again next time....Maybe somewhere down the road..." I could almost hear the Barry Manilow orchestra tuning up in the background. (Don't even get me started on Barry Manilow. He made me the biggest dork in kindergarten. How was I supposed to know that other five-year olds didn't know all the words to Copacabana? Thanks a lot, mom!)

And so, I watched her leave with bittersweet sorrow. (ribbit, ribbit, ribbit) But being the knit slut that I am, my wandering eyes were quickly enticed by some Brown Sheep Wildfoote I had in my stash. I couldn't cast-on quickly enough for Brother Bossy Boots' toe-up gymnastics socks. I've never done toe-up before, and so far it's going well. I love how quickly socks for 3 -year olds knit up! (I'm not sure I'm too thrilled by the wonky ridge in the middle, but that's what you get when you're on the rebound. )I barely did an inch of the foot after the increase section, and look, it's already time to turn the heel! Doncha just love rebound knits??!

So (*sticks tongue out*) there you go, Kiri! Just goes to show: there are always other fish in the sea.

Friday, September 16, 2005

lace & cilantro

I'm wondering if lace is like cilantro.

I love cilantro. Adore it. Especially in salsa, enchiladas, burritos and tacos. Yes, I do love Mexican food. And Vietnamese food....oh man, can you say pho?! And I'd giddily barrel little old ladies out of the way for good Chinese food. Come to think of it, I pretty much love food in general, actually. But I digress. Now where were we?

Oh yes, back to cilantro.

So I love cilantro, but it was definitely an acquired taste, for as much as I ardently love cilantro now, I can remember abhorring the mere sight of those putrid-smelling leaves. (It feels blasphemous to say that, but I think that appropriately captures my former revulsion of the herb.) As a kid, I'd painstakingly pick out every last speck of green nastiness that remained in the dishes my mom made and laid them out to wither beside my napkin like doomed lab specimens. To add insult to injury, I'd make sure to audibly gag as loudly and offensively as possible, hoping to freak the folks out into thinking I might surely upchuck at any moment. (This, however, in true karmic form, has recently come back to bite me in the &*@, as Brother Bossy Boots has apparently acquired my ability to gag at a moment's notice when required to finish his broccoli before dessert.) Cilantro and I did not agree.

Which brings me to Kiri. Ms. Te Kanawa and I are having issues. Don't get me wrong, I love this pattern! I think it's a beautiful pattern, which, in theory, should produce a beautiful shawl. That's assuming (theoretically, of course) that you are not a lace IDIOT!!! It all looks so simple on the chart. The cute little chart is barely an inch high! How hard can that be, right?! One inch of chart, repeated over and over and over, right?! Only an idiot could screw that up, right?! (See aforementioned bold) Somehow said idiot keeps managing to lose or magically create stitches where none existed before. Ladies, I actually stopped blog-surfing last night because I was so determined to have something significant knitted up to post today.

You read right, I actually GOT OFF THE COMPUTER to knit. :-) And let me show you what I have to show for the 3 hours I spent *ahem* "knitting." (And really, I use that term in the loosest way possible.) My failed attempt at stretching the lace to make it appear like something better than crap. Gratuitous shot of purdy yarn still in hank. I had to compensate for the shawl pics somehow, so I thought I'd throw in a little PG-13 action.

Though a little frustrated, I'm actually not daunted to keep plugging away at Kiri. Mostly because lace idiocy equals bliss. And because I'm enjoying playing with my new Addi Turbo Size 7's way too much! And loving this Knit Picks Shimmer alpaca/silk that is soooo wonderfully cuddly and soft to hold!

So I'm hopeful that lace is just my knitting counterpart to cilantro. Because really, I'm not so good at that whole gagging-without-puking routine anymore, and I wouldn't want Brother Bossy Boots to one-up me on that one. He's already dangerously close.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

another year wiser

I must apologize for the whining and ranting nature of yesterday's post. I blame it all on PBS. No, not PBS - as -in- the-only-kind -of-television- my- deprived-kids -get-to-watch- PBS, no, I'm talking about Pre-Birthday Syndrome. For those unfamiliar with PBS, it's an affliction that strikes people (mainly females) after their 29th year, oftentimes days, and sometimes, weeks, prior to the onset of their birthdays. Often accompanied by panicked vanity sessions in front of a mirror to assess noticeable signs of aging, and always coupled with a mental checklist of things that should have been accomplished by this age in life, but haven't been. So you see, I was feeling a little out-of-sorts.

But you know what? I've decided that I'm happy to be 33!

On an Oprah-esque limb, I've decided that I OWN my age. Would I trade in the youth of my 20's for the wisdom of my 30's? Not even for a second. Sure, I could do without the premature (or maybe, rightful?) gray and the crow's feet by my eyes, but they're a small price to pay for the confidence I feel in my own skin today. 10 years ago, I was slim and trim and black-haired, but I always felt awkward and unsure; always seeking to please for approval. Today, I'm a little flabbier- post-two babies, and the boobs don't sit where they used to post-nursing, but I've come into being me and trusting myself in a way that only time could bring. So bring on the celebration, I say! Turning 33 is more than ample reason!

And besides, who can resist a party when The Husband went and BAKED a cake for tonight??! (For those of you with DHs who cook on a regular basis, just know that this is HUGE for me. :)) And look at the card my 3 year old son, Brother Bossy Boots, made for me... (that's supposed to be an envelope with a stamp in the middle) His card made me tear up! I feel so blessed to have a loving husband and two incredible kids (who, by the way, usually do wear clothes :-)).

So hurray for my birthday! I am a lucky, lucky girl indeed!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Strangely, finishing the Footlet was disappointingly ... anticlimactic. There was no pomp and circumstance, no angels singing the Hallelujah chorus, hell, not even an Eye of the Tiger refrain.

I felt cheated.

Like after the last episode of Seinfeld.

Like that feeling after you've ripped through all your Christmas gifts and you happen to look at the tree looking so bare and forlorn. And you realize that it was the anticipation of Christmas that held ever so much more excitement than Christmas Day itself.

And so it was with the Footlet. After two weeks of monogamous knitting, I guess I expected, I dunno, something more substantial. Here she is, all gussied up with ends woven in and top kitchener stitched. But you know, you rinse off all that make-up with some cold cream, and she bears an eerie resemblance to those God-awful peds that my mom forced me to wear as a child, saying she was sure they were "cool." There were so not. But childhood faux pas aside, I have to say that I like the instep and heel lace patterns. The padded sole, on the other hand, was a female dog. A HUGE female dog, mind you, maybe of Saint Bernard proportions. And you know what? It ain't even all that padded!!! They don't feel that different to me than any other knit pair of socks. I expected cush-y, Nike Air-esque goodness. But no, nothing of the sort here. It's probably my fault, too. I'm sure my yarn choice had everything to do with that. Hell, it probably explicity stated at the end of the pattern directions not to use Knit Picks Dancing, but maybe I couldn't see it because my eyes were permanently crossed after reading and re-reading that tedious sole pattern at ungodly hours of the night.

Ahem, ahem. *cough* Okay, okay, get it together, I promise to stop whining now. (Wine? Now there's a solution for this mess that I hadn't thought of) The recipient of these Christmas Footlets is a totally generous, deserving, wonderful person who also doesn't knit. Who will never appreciate 2 weeks of monogamous knitting for practically non-existent padding, but I'm not whining. I know I also said no SSS, but I think casting on for Footlet 2 would be like making another sequel to Rocky. You gotta know when to let it go. ("....know when to fold up, know when to walk away, know when to run....") I need to attend some serious Attitude Boot Camp first.

And besides, Brother Bossy Boots has been pestering and nagging me for socks (read: simple! child-sized! ribbing-only!) for his gymnastics class He is aptly named, after all.

Monday, September 12, 2005

get into the groove

So I realize that I just dated myself by using the above song reference. But since I'll be turning another year older this week (like a whole year happened in the period of one week, but humor me and let me hold on to the last vestiges of 32 for just a few days more), I figured I'd better start practicing some old fart antics. Besides that, I really need to start boning up on ways to embarass my kids. It's in the job description, and I'd hate to disappoint. And what better way to embarass your kids than to spontaneously burst into '80's Madonna tunes. Preferably while lip-synching, sporting a lace glove, permed hair and gyrating wantonly with your nursing bra over your Old Navy end-of- the-season-bargain outfit. Really, it doesn't get much better than that.

And on the knitting front, ever-so-slowly, grasshopper has been mastering the zen of patiently untangling two skeins of yarn while progressing at a tortoise's pace on the padded footlet. Sadly, not enough progress to say footlets. Ideally, that will change tonight, when I hold a private SNB with myself. Likely there will be more B'ing than S'ing, but such has been the nature of this footlet. Besides, I've always preferred tortoises to frogs. And there have already been too many of those on this one diminutive footlet. Here's a close-up of the instep lace pattern. Very pretty, very innocent, unlike it's evil twin gone bad, the padded sole. But no more! This bad boy has finally been tamed. I finally memorized the sole pattern and got a slooooow and funky groove going on. 8 heel repeats down, 3 more to go! No SSS (second sock syndrome) here (which bears no resemblance to TSS. Except for the "syndrome" part. Man, stream of consciousness reveals some very bizarre stuff.). Absolutely no SSS allowed on this bad boy; elapsed time coupled with senior memory is a baaaad combination. Hopefully, if I'm a good girl, tomorrow will bring me a toe, a little kitchener stitch and the beginning of footlets, in plural.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Keohinani told me that I'm *IT* (which brings up scary post-traumatic nightmares about the book and movie; see, I told you stream-of-consciousness is really scary with me. Literally, even!)

ten years ago: I hope I don't have any senior moments while trying to recall my youth here. :-P Let's see...I was 22 and teaching adults with developmental disabilities at Easter Seals. Was considering a second degree (first one was in speech pathology). Just finished my first (and only) half-marathon.

five years ago: I was 27 and just got engaged (to my husband...sorry, no juicy story here!). Busy planning (and saving) for our wedding; folding gold origami cranes like crazy! Working as a speech therapist for special ed kids in Department of Education. Just finished a second (useless) degree, this time in microbiology.

one year ago: Just had our second child, Sister Stinky (and yes, I know that the kind of really cruel nickname that sticks with a child for life, but unfortunately, she answers when you call her, "Stinky," so what you can do, really?) Wondering if I would ever have more than 2 hours of sleep at a time (fast forward to the present: still wondering!) Decided to work on another (and dammit, this one better not be useless!) degree, this time in education. (Do you see the perpetual student theme here? This time around, my parents simply asked me in a very monotone way, "What's it going to be this time." [No question mark because it was that monotone])

five snacks: Just five?! If there were a 12-step program, I'd be the first to deny that I had a problem!
-butter popcorn with arare (mochi crunch)
-Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch
-tortilla strips with salsa (and lots of cilantro!)
-shortbread cookies
-chocolate chip cookies

five songs I know all the words to: Now everyone will know me for the old-fart dork I really am, so I might have to kill everyone after this, bwahaha!
-Time and Tide, Basia
-Simple Pleasures, Basia
-The Reason, Celine Dion
-Anything Can Happen, Linda Eder
-Every %^*&@* song on PBS Kids!! (I told you I'm a tortured SAHM- try falling asleep at night when you have the theme song from Barney running through your head, again and again and....Oh wait? Is that the baby crying....AGAIN?!)

five things I would do with $100 million:
-pay off student loans, car loan, my parents' mortgage
-Set aside money for the kids' education (but the plan is not to tell them so that hopefully, they'll be industrious and earn lots of scholarships) and for retirement
-Buy homes for all my siblings and for ourselves
-Give ridiculous amounts of money to Red Cross, Salvation Army, St. Jude Childrens Hospital, MDA, Shriners and all the other organizations we never give enough to
-Buy a second home for all the YARN I intend to order!!

five places to run away to:
-greece(I have a very active imagination. Probably because I'm perpetually sleep-deprived)
-italy (see note above)
-hiking atop Wa'ahila Ridge on O'ahu
-city of Bath in England, one of the most beautiful places I've been
-Bird Park in Volcanoes National Park

five things I would never wear:
-shoulder pads. I already lived through the '80's once, and it ain't good if you're broad to begin with
-Neon green. Neon anything. I already lived through the '80's once!
-Animal prints. They're cute on others; I look like I body-swapped with a savannah creature.
-Stirrup pants. (Say it with me now, I already lived through the '80's once!!)
-Jelly shoes. You know the mantra by now. In total hypocrisy, however, I would dress my daughter in said shoes.

five favorite tv shows:
-closet American Idol fan (whoops, I guess I'm outted now)
-NHK Taiga dramas
-Knitty Gritty
-Barefoot Contessa (Food Network. That lady can cook!)

five biggest joys:
-Mr. Ace and Sister Stinky (the dynamic duo) and my husband
-being with my whole family in Hilo
-the holiday season
-girls night out, an all too uncommon occurrence, unfortunately.

favorite toys:
-Chutes and Ladders, Candyland....oh wait, do you mean adult toys?! (don't own any of those either. ;-)
- french-press coffee maker (sad, isn't it, the kind of life I lead?)
-Williams-Sonoma cookie cutters (refer to above)
-Crabtree and Evelyn pumice brush. Which broke when it fell into the tub. Which really depresses me, so let's stop talking about it, shall we?
-YARN, bamboo needles, birch needles, stitch markers...

five people to pass this on to: ummm, I really don't know anyone other than Aloha & Oreos and Acornbud. I usually just make it a practice to lurk around and stalk other bloggers' blogs, rather than scaring them off by introducing myself.
acornbud can I double tag?? Making up the rules as I go along...
starvingprintmaker because she's my younger sister and younger sisters always do what you tell them to. (Can you feel my Jedi mind trick going?)
moahawaii because he's my DH and DH's always do what you tell them to. (See above) Even though I know he won't because his blog is work-related
akamai knitter because she's the first friend I made at Honolulu SNB
the filthy martini because she's a sweetie from Honolulu SNB

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


As promised, here are the pics of the mini-sweater. Taking a self-portrait proved more difficult than I'd anticipated, not for the obvious reasons, but because the kids kept trying to figure out ways to include themselves in the picture. I finally gave up and told them they could each take a picture by themselves, much to their delight. So here are some gratuitous shots of the kids and the knitting. For some odd reason, they really enjoy parading around in things I've knit. Which makes me secretly happy, I must admit. (Except for the time when they marched around with a handbag around their heads. That was a little strange, even for me.) I deviated from the pattern a bit more and placed the button further in on the right side (it's supposed to be at the edge), but given the length of this mini-sweater, it just seemed to match better. And yes, I'm well aware that the stitches look uneven and gnarly, but that's what you get for using really low-end acrylic. On top of that, the suffering is eternal since I can't block it and make it all better. Ah well, all the better for serving as a reminder of my slum-lord experience. I'm going to make it out of this ghetto, I swear!

It might be said that I am a frugal (but not cheap!) shopper. (I prefer "discerning," but whatever.) I feel a very visceral thrill in getting things for the absolute best deal that nobody thought was possible. (This might be why Christmas shopping is a 5 month ordeal for me.) So imagine the tingle that ran through my veins when I found this treasure at the Friends of the Public Library book sale last month! I spied it in a box on the craft book table and swooped down like a bird of prey. Time to drool ladies, because this, too, could have been yours for the unbelievable price of a buck seventy-five. Yes, $1.75!! I'd been coveting this book for quite some time, and it was well worth digging through the decades of dust in the box to find. I love Elizabeth Zimmermann's wit and confidence in every person's ability to master knitting. Which is just the pick-me-up I needed to re-start the Padded Footlets. Again. Had to frog. Again! But thanks to EZ, no tears here...just a lot of choice expletives.

Monday, September 05, 2005

and on a serious note

As my family enjoys the last of the 3 day weekend soaking up the sun and surf, I can't help but reflect on how much we are blessed with and how much I take for granted. As a mother, (heck, just as a human being) the images and stories of the hundreds of thousands suffering in the aftermath of Katrina is almost unbearable. I think about the most helpless victims- the children, the elderly- and my heart is filled with such profound sorrow for all the horror they've endured and will continue to endure for years to come. It has certainly put all my trivial "problems" in perspective. I cannot comprehend the magnitude of beginning the process of recovery when you've lost everything, but I do believe in the inherent resilience, tenacity and goodness of the human spirit, and I know that somewhere there's light at the end of the tunnel. As I hold my family that much closer, I feel compelled to do more than donate money and offer my prayers. But if that is all I am able to do, then please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you daily.

On a lighter knitting note, the mini-sweater/boobholder is done! It definitely morphed into more of a mini-cardigan than a boobholder, but it's meant to be more function than form. Pictures to follow next time, when I remember to snap a shot in daylight, rather than by my 60 watt nightstand lamp. I'm not too thrilled with the whole itchy, crawly, nasty acrylic feel thing, but hey, this was a consolation knit. I needed a pick-me-up from the Padded Footlets because they were making me feel like a loser knitter and totally deflated my whole delusion of knitting grandeur. I couldn't get the hang of following two separate charts for the padding and instep...well, that's not completely accurate. I got the hang of it, but it was taking too darned long! I mean, c'mon, they're SOCKS! You do them because they're supposed to give you semi-instant gratification! So I put them aside and started slumming around with the aforementioned acrylic. I know, that was a low for me, but acrylic aside, it was a great pattern and baby, it felt so GOOD to have something flying off the needles again. Worsted weight...what a revelation! But who am I kidding? I needed a hit of that worsted, but deep down, I know I'm an incorrigibly uptight, Type A Virgo (Is there any other kind??) who needs the constant madness of fingering weight yarn. Well, that and the fact that during my weekend blog reading, I found out that other knitting goddesses also found the Padded Footlets tedious. (Okay, aside from my returned delusion of grandeur, the previous statement really is true, I swear!) So I felt rejuvenated and a little (Okay, a LOT) relieved that I could take that hand-on-the-forehead "L" (LOSER!!) off said head. (Is that like Right Said Fred?! Yeah, I know, stream-of-consciousness is really scary with me.) Now I'm determined to finish those Padded Footlets, no matter how long they take. And no more slum acrylic detours, I swear. Help me stay clean, people!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

nasty acrylic

So I started knitting Glampyre's Boobholder, with a few modifications. No, my boobs are not THAT droopy, thank you, I just wanted a little more of the REST of my front (and back) to have some coverage. So I added a couple more rows to the body to make it a little more mini-sweater-y and a little less boobholder-y. I just need to do the sleeves and then I can bask in its warmth with Tattoo. (Please kindly refrain from saying, "What the hell are you talking about?" if you're too young to appreciate the reference. Have some respect for your elders, dammit.) Notice that I didn't say what I knit it out of? I'm ashamed, very ashamed. But I really liked the color and was trying to use stuff from my stash, and.... (yeah, keep blubbering you sorry-ass-excuse-for a-knitter). Yes, it's acrylic, and it's made my carpal tunnel flare up, so I've already reaped what I've sown. 'Nuff said about that.

In happier news, (though I must confess this again involves some acrylic, but it's for a good cause, I swear) after much strife and tribulation, my friend, Ali, is finally expecting a second child! Her son and my son were born 4 days apart (they're 3 years old now), and we frequently get sappy about our serendipitous meeting in Bradley birth class. Through the years, we've been through sleepless nights, nursing horror stories, terrible twos and terrible threes (there'd better not be a terrible fours. There can't be, right? 'Cause there's no alliteration there. It would be so wrong!) together, and she's become one of my very best friends. I am ecstatic that she's expecting, and though she's only 14 weeks along, this baby already has two knitted items, with a ton more in the queue! ( 7 months is a looong time to knit!) On my recent trip, I finished this baby kimono from IK Summer '05. (Man, I am getting some seriously good mileage out of that issue, huh?) Okay, it's acrylic, but it's acrylic with a purpose. Second baby, can you say machine washable and dryable all the way? It's no masterpiece, but hopefully it'll look better once I take care of the loose ends. Oh, and seam up the sides and add the cute ribbon embellishment. Okay, so it's not really done at all, so just humor me. The only thing about this kimono is that I cast on for the newborn size, but I swear, this thing is gi-normous! It's too big for my daughter, and she's 18 months old! Ah well, that gives her baby that many more months' worth of opportunities to spit up all over it.

While on my trip, my baby sis, the BFA major, made me some beautiful stitch markers. Well, she made me buy the beads, but she supplied all the talent. She can be kind of a mercenary that way, but hey, that's how sisters are. Yes, I'm subjecting you again to my classic one over exposed and one under exposed shot, asking you to extrapolate and arrive at some construct of actual color. I think my fave is the crystal with the helical twist... it must be all those semesters of micro and Watson and Crick creeping into my subconscious. Now if I could only get her to make me many, many more... Hint! Hint! Hmm, looks like I'll have to do some work on my Jedi mind trick. Then again, there's always cinnabons and chai.