Thursday, February 23, 2006

whose bright idea was this anyway?

There are some ideas that sound really good in theory, but in reality, really, really aren't.

Like deciding to take the kids out to eat a "nice dinner." This is an oxymoron in and of itself. Having had to make a beeline exit out of a restaurant recently with a screaming Stinky in tow (restrained via football hold, pining for the butter knives I cruelly refused to let her shove down her throat), I know that "a nice dinner" is as elusive a species as jumbo shrimp.

Then there are those ideas that fill you with dread, but are probably in your best interest.

Like pap smears. I start dreading my annual appointment a full 6 months ahead of the fact. Between that medieval speculum cranking device and the awkard conversation, it's hard to keep "early cancer diagnosis" in perspective. Seriously. Seriously. Why does the midwife insist on being chirpy as she's scraping your cervix? Are you supposed to act all normal and maintain your end of the conversation as she does a bimanual exam? Because I have a hard time discussing the pros and cons of my cell phone plan as she simultaneously proclaims my cervix to be in "magnificent shape!"

Like being convinced to join a KAL that is so out of your league that you can't even see the playing field, much less who's on first! I know this lace stole is going to open a major can of whoop-a$# on me, but I'm convinced that I'll definitely learn an invaluable thing or two in the process. Which will almost make up for having all the other KAL'ers pointing and laughing at my comic attempts to knit this stole!

Like deciding to knit an entire cardigan in 2X3X1 rib. And while I absolutely love this cardigan, I detest ribbing, ironically enough. However, the final product is something I'll make a lot of use of, so I'm plugging along and have made pretty decent progress for 2 nights' work. I know that knitting a cardigan in plain rib in a plain cream color is pretty much akin to blog harakiri, but the mama in me needed a pragmatic and practical cardi. Then again, going AWOL on your site for a week and a half can pretty much seal the blog harakiri deal, too. I'm really, really going to make an effort to blog with a little more regularity. I know I post with the frequency of a blogger in need of blog laxatives, but I'm going to try to up the fiber (wool, that is!) to get back on track.

Thank you so much for all of your sweet and encouraging comments about Ella, Kiri and the sample sock knitting I did for my talented designing blog buddy, Chrissy. Although the socks are finally done (as of Tuesday, yay!) and enroute to Chrissy, the whole horse's head in my bed dilemma precludes my being able to post pics of them. All I can say is that I really enjoyed knitting these socks and that I hope Chrissy is still my friend after she sees them! The thought of a TKGA master knitter examining socks which she designed fills me with trepidation beyond compare!

Last, but certainly not least, a huuuuuuuge thank you and hugs to Laura and Karen, who sent some serious mail love to the Aloha State yesterday. Laura RAK-ed me with this absolutely breathtaking and perfect Koigu KPPPM. Laura, I am so blown away by your generosity and kindness- thank you soo much!! I haven't been able to stop fondling this Koigu and the beautiful green colorway... oh, how it sings to me!! These are destined to become Elfines... someday, when I stop molesting the skeins, that is. And while I was lucky enough to be one of the winners in Karen's Show Your FO! KAL contest, what she sent was above and beyond anything I could have ever expected. Karen, thank you soo much for the gorgeous Trekking, Lush, Sock Landscape and the adorable tin of mints!! (There was also some yummy chocolate which never stood a chance against the 4:30 PMS craving.) Your generosity simply blows me away and I can't tell you how grateful I am for your kindness and thoughtfulness. Laura and Karen are among the sweetest people I know, so please be sure to hop on over and say hello!

Monday, February 13, 2006

my funny valentine

Observe my sleight of hand as I do my Sesame Street Mumford Ala-Peanut-Butter-Sandwiches routine to distract you from the fact that there is no knitting to be found here today. That's not to say that there isn't any knitting to be had. On the contrary, I've been knitting frantically to complete the sample project I'm doing for designer extraordinaire, Chrissy. Since the knitting is for one of her recently accepted designs (Yay!), all I'm allowed to tell you is that the project is a pair of socks. And that the pattern is very nice. Aah! Already, I feel that I've revealed too much. Any more and I fear that I may wake to find a severed horse's head in my bed tomorrow morning! Mum's definitely the word on this one, but I'm halfway through sock #2, so it shouldn't be too long before I can return to other projects on the needles. What other projects, you ask? Hmm... there may be a Ribby Cardi, Vittadini Lace/Ruffle Cardi or Twist Front Top in the works... stay tuned!

There's been a lot of controversy as of late about the posting of gifts on knit blogs. Having thought about the issue long and hard, I agree that gifts are best acknowledged with a heartfelt and private message of gratitude, but I also believe that it's okay... and desireable, even... to publicly post those gifts as an added gesture of thanks and gratitude. I would never post gifts to be exclusionary and say, "Hey! It's all about me! Mememe! Come check out my loot and be jealous that you didn't receive any because you're not part of my circle!" Rather, by sharing the gratitude I feel for someone's unexpected act of kindness, I hope that other bloggers will feel more inclined to reach out and meet people they may not have otherwise, thus always expanding the circle ever outward. I especially hold this sentiment in the case of RAK's, where the giver gifts without reason or expectation, which is such a pure and beautiful gesture. In the world we live in today, there can be no such thing as excessive gratitude, purity or beauty of spirit! In that spirit, I was so fortunate to receive two RAK's this past week- one from Jessica of NaturallyKnitty and the other from Danielle at Aswim In Knits. Jessica was so generous to send a set of handbeaded stitch markers and 2 sets of knitting note cards- so adorable! Jessica, your sweet note and gift made my day- thank you so much! Danielle compiled an incredible dye-your-own theme package with 3 skeins of gorgeous Colorado merino from WEBS, a set of instructions and enough kool-aid to dye the whole batch. She even enclosed dyeing gloves, a postcard and stickers for Bossy and Stinky! Thank you so much for your sweet handmade card and generous and wonderful pacakge, Danielle- I couldn't be more thrilled! Now, hop on over to Danielle and Jessica's blogs, tell them that Chris sent you and make a new friend! :-)

I leave you now with some Valentine's Day images from the Bits of Knits household. Note the cute little sprinkle faces that Bossy made! Yes, love is in the air, and it even flourishes occasionally between Bossy and Stinky!

Finally, do you remember what you received two years ago on Valentine's Day? Chocolate? Jewelry, perhaps? Two years ago, we received the most precious and memorable gift of all.... Yes, little Stinky turns "No!" today!! Here she is, hamming it up on her last day of being one. Happy Birthday, Stinky! And Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

ella, by any other name

Remember that pretty little laceweight Gossamer I mentioned in the last post? (Thank you, Allison!) Well, it gave birth to this pretty little number:
Ella Shawl
Knit Picks Gossamer, Caribbean Colorway
Size 7 Addi Turbo 24" circ
Started: 1/31/06; Completed 2/06/06
Modifications: 3 repeats of Chart 1, modified into triangle shaped shawl

Blocked Dimensions: 54" X 23"

Ella was a satisfying and painless knit. I wasn't sure how this shawl would knit up in a laceweight yarn, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with the result. Since the pattern is mostly stockinette, I thought it might work well with the variegation. I adore this colorway! It reminds me of the beautiful Lanikai Bay in Kailua at sunrise. Which, to me, might have been a more apt moniker, but I suppose that may have cost a wee bit more to print on the yarn ball band. When I first read this pattern, I had my doubts about the designer's claim of how speedy a knit Ella was- especially since the pattern was over 9 pages long! However, with two sick kids and still a completed Ella in a week's time, I can now attest to its speedy claim to fame. (BTW, for those misguided souls who have images of Hell as fire and brimstone, I'm fairly certain that a scenario with kids who aren't sick enough to be in any imminent danger, but sick enough to whine and whimper incessantly for 3 days straight is probably more accurate.) Although her blocked dimensions are just a tad smaller than Kiri's, Ella somehow seems a little more "sparse" as a shawl, though I'm not really sure why. In any case, Bossy enjoyed converting her into a poncho, and I'm kind of partial to the scarf look myself. Stinky wanted to make a cameo appearance, too, but the remnant cold boogers stuck to her face precluded her inclusion this time around.

The name "Ella" takes me back to my pregnancy with Stinky, when Mr. W and I were contemplating names for baby. Deciding on a name for your progeny is one of the more pleasant aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, as opposed to oh, episiotomy, for example. As with Bossy, we opted not to find out the sex of the baby, so we had to come up with possibilities for both genders. Ella was one of my preferred names for a girl, but that got shot down before Trimester One was even over. Mr. W said it sounded like a farm animal's name. Of course, farm animals are just what you want to be thinking about when the mere thought of drinking water makes you want to upchuck your cookies all over the sidewalk. Who the hell names their cow, "Ella" anyway? Then there was Emily... inspired by Ms. Bronte and Ms. Dickinson, I pictured a demure and gentle girl with a passionate and expressive soul. To Mr. W? A meek, mute pushover who gets her lunch stolen everyday in kindergarten. (Uhm, no, that would be me. Couldn't blame Ruben; my mom made some kick-butt bologna and cheese!) Then there was Analise, to which Mr. W countered, "What the hell kind of Japanese is named Analise?" Okay... I concede, he might've had a valid point there. Zoe got shot down for conjuring up images of a roller-skating ballerina monster with a pet rock as her best friend. Next in line was Aubrey, inspired by one of my favorite songs by Bread... "Aubrey?! What is that? The dyslexic version of Audrey?!" But my favorite, by far, was Laurel, symbol of virtue, sagacity and victory. What more could you hope for in a child? It was the perfect name, but count on Mr. W to find the loophole..."Laurel?!! Hello! Laurel and Hardy?!" *Sigh* I'm hoping that Bossy inherited his mama's sense of culture with that one functional X chromosome of his. Damn that useless Y!!