Archive | September, 2010

10 on Tuesday and a WiP!

21 Sep

Hey there, gang! Today is Tuesday, which means it’s time for a 10 on Tuesday, lead by the wonderful Carole of caroleknits. The topic is 10 Ways to have a Happy Birthday.

1) I didn’t know this before my husband did it for me this year, but one great way is to get dressed up and go get a makeover. And make sure you get someone to get you a gift certificate so you buy some great stuff after you get it. Ha! So selfish and all-about-you, and yeah, you could feel guilty about it if you met the Dalai Lama on the street and you’re all like, “I hate that I look this good right now. How embarrassing!” but whatev… His Gracefulness will totally understand. I bet he gives himself a mask every now and then too. 🙂

2) Indulge! Eat cake, have soda, gorge yourself on beer and pasta salad! This is a day that reminds us we’re alive! So live it up!

3) Take a bath or a long shower. You were born naked. Reconnect.

4) Rejoice! Remember all the great things you’ve done, the people you’ve seen, the loves you’ve had. If you answer any of these orders with “I’ve done so little,” you’re so full of crap. Nobody sits in a room doing nothing. Even monks meditate. You might not remember every moment, but the next time you smell something and you recognize – realize you’ve smelled it before. And THAT is something. Cherish it.

5) Hug people. In this day and age, we’re all about small smiles and calling before we come over. But today is about you, and you’re allowed to break the barriers. Hug people. When you see them and they say, “Happy birthday!” Say, aww, thank you, and go for it. Be THAT GIRL or THAT GUY and invade their personal space! Hugs feel good. Nobody doesn’t like a hug (even Temple Grandin, a famous autistic who developed humane kill zones for slaughterhouse animals, admits she doesn’t like being hugged by people – but she does like being hugged. So she invented for herself  the same machine used to comfort animals. A hugging machine. She controls the closeness, and she uses it to refocus and get calm).

6) Watch a movie that reminds you of growing up – something you watched then that you haven’t seen for a while. For me, it might be something like Dirty Dancing or The Gummi Bears or maybe Little Monsters with Fred Savage.

7) Write yourself a letter. Say “Hi! How are you? I’m doing pretty good. Today is my birthday! And if you don’t mind my saying, since we’re so close and all… I am lookin’ GOOD!”

8) Fantasize about the upcoming year. Put yourself in new clothes, different nail polish and hey – imagine you’re a millionaire.

9) Listen to music with friends and see if you can get them to dance a little

10) Be proud of yourself. Be proud of your life. Be happy. You’re here!

My husband threw me a surprise birthday party this summer, shipping me off to Ulta in a dress for a makeover and a $100 gift certificate. I came home to a yard full of friends and good times! My friend Sara made me this great knit-inspired birthday cake. It was great! I turned 33. In the previous two years, I had become a mom, a wife, and a new resident of PA. Lots of changes!

Happy birthday, to all you!

As for the WiP – I am making “Karma” from Wendy Bernard’s Custom Knits. It’s going well! So far, I am using a different weight yarn, different size needles, and added two more repeats to the bottom before starting waist shaping.

That’s all folks! (Sorry for the crap picture; it’s with my phone camera in a yellow-lit room at night… )


Yarn & Writing (to bloggers and more)

20 Sep

I’m trucking along on the emma peel for my niece. I’m halfway up the upper body of the front piece. Part of me wanted to knit this in the round, but the other part of me knows that seams will hold the cotton drape a little better since it does tend to sag. In my last post, I said I was using a size 4 needle but that was a mistake; I’m using a 3. I think this is actually a better needle for it, but again, as always, I’m nervous about the size and if it will fit her. Pattern says to knit the size 6 to a 17″ length before starting the armholes, but I think I’m going to do 18″ as my niece is a tall girl. I’m okay with this. For those who want to see what emma peel is, here’s a link to the book on KnitPicks (all books are 40% off right now!), and the patterns link has a photo of a purple emma peel. Cute, non?

I read a lot of blogs out there (and should make sure my blogroll is updated). I always want to leave comments and say hello, and I often do – except my phone or iPod loses the damn things and I get so frustrated futzing with a small browser screen that I just forget the whole thing. I wish I could read blogs on the laptop at my leisure. You all would be hearing a lot more from me, I swear! I might try bookmarking, or sending myself the links for blogs I want to comment on, and then when I get to something more reliable, leave them then. But it seems like such an overworked process. WordPress blogs can be easy. I can’t be as wordy, as trying to fix all my typos on the small screens, etc., is also frustrating. But I do my best. Anywho, one blog I read is Caffeine Girl. She’s fun. I like her down to earth-ness about knitting and the trips and trials of getting something beautiful off a needle. And she just seems like someone you’d want to chat with next door, standing in the shade on your street or something. She’s currently working on the Shalom Cardigan. I was looking through In Style magazine, and came across this photo of Sienna Miller:

Doesn’t it look similar, except with a collar and bell sleeves? I really love it! It looks like it may be a swing-Shalom. What I love most about this whole thing is that I saw that photo, sitting on my couch, minding my own business, and suddenly thought of a woman whose blog I read (don’t think I’ve ever left a comment, but I’m not sure), hundreds of miles away… me and Caffeine Girl, brought together by Sienna Miller and In Style magazine. We are two very fashion forward ladies. Ha!

Another blog I love to read is Turtle Girl’s Bloggy Thing. I think she’s beautiful and I really do love everything she knits. I also like her shoe choices. *smile* She has made four sockhead hats from bohoknits, and I wanted one as soon as I saw them. So I finally chose the yarn to use: last year at Knitter’s Day Out here in my neck of the woods in Central PA, I bought a skein of Altobish (last time I checked, there weren’t many projects on Ravelry with this yarn. In fact, I think there was maybe one? It’s 60% superwash wool, 30% bamboo, and 10% nylon. I wanted to make a shawl with it but don’t think there’s enough – 400 yards). It’s beautiful. The dyer was inspired by various passages in Jane Austen novels. This one spoke to me especially:

I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun. I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation.  –Pride and Prejudice

Awesome, right? For two reasons: most notably for me, I feel the exact same way about writing. Start in the middle. That’s where the story is. The rest will follow. (NaNoWriMo is almost here!) and two, which honestly only just occurred to me, it’s how I feel (and I’m sure other knitters) when I first lay eyes on a yarn that I just want. Already, before you even realize you want it, you see a sweater, a sock, a hat, a tea cozy, a freakin’ tea cozy! You just want it. And you know it’s already something. Just like that.

I decided this sockhead hat will be my writing hat. This NaNoWriMo hat is going to be the best one yet. I’m putting all my heart into this one. It will be above and beyond. I might even cry. I was so proud when I finished last year, staying up until my eyes were closing as I typed, nursing my little guy when he woke up and I was midsentence, so exhausted during the day taking care of my baby that I had no idea what I was going to do next when I opened the laptop after he was tucked into bed. But it happened. It worked. The book was written. Well… 50,000 words of it. The story is still unfinished, but I’m proud as dickens of what I was doing. …Should ‘dickens’ be capitalized there?

And did you see this?

A proof copy of my NaNoWriMo accomplishment. LOVE.

So… a writing hat. I think it’s a good idea. In fact, I love the idea. Some writers toke on cigarettes and cigars. Some sip from cognac glasses and clink ice cubes. Some tap pencils and bite their nails. I’ll wear a hat. And know I have my thinking cap on. Hehehehe…

That really does tickle me.

Sign from the Knitting Gods: IGNORED!

18 Sep

I started knitting emma peel from Mason-Dixon Knitting: Outside the Lines, for my niece Anastasia. She’s six and she’s feisty! This dress is perfect for her. I chose to use leftovers of the Double V Cardigan (FO post soon), CotLin from KnitPicks in Island Coral, as well as a tangerine shine sport from KnitPicks (super soft!).

Well, I started knitting. I knit about 9 inches of the bottom piece until I reread the decreases directions and saw that I was supposed to be decreasing every 24th row, not 24th repeat. Whoops! I frogged 7 inches. Then I reknit to the waistband. And I looked at it. It was enormous. So frogged the entire then.

I started again using size 4 needles, and making the size 6 instead of size 8. It looks better. Will still be a little big on her, but better than before.

Then I spilled coffee on it. Then my son pulled the needles out.

I shall forge on.

Oh, knitting one. It is for the joy of the knit, not the coveting of the finished object. Right?


16 Sep

Oh. I just don’t know. … I have decided to grow up in internet land. Every place I go “out there,” I leave a bit of myself behind in the form of a username and password. The username is usually always crobinator. When a friend offered to host a website for me, I used cmr, and have thought, for years, that I should take charge and own up to my name – be tough, bite the bullet, and buy a domain. Live out there! Take a stand! Owning your own domain is, in my mind, like buying a billboard and staking it on your front lawn. It says you have stuff to say, to do, that you want others in on the action. I’ve been blogging/online journaling for over ten years, but there is no one home. Here and there for a year, two years, three years, then I pick up and move again – so strange how like real life my nomadic internet moves are. So I’ll take root. Right here. At

You are my first house guests.

I know. Looks a lot like my last place, doesn’t it?

Now I think I need to hire a decorator. I have always done my own design – using old school HTML, with a spattering of CSS thrown in. But I had no choice. There were themes out there. Diaryland and Blogger were the most fun because you were given the codes specific to each necessary part of a page, but the space outside those codes was all yours to color in. It seems WordPress, at least thus far, does not offer the same ease of coloring as I had hoped. And all the fees and charges! Buy more to do more! Can’t it all be in one nice package?

So WordPress bloggers… what do you do? What is your system? I like using themes, sure, but I want my touch there. I want a big interface. I want a home page, a glimpse into the other rooms of my house from the central hallway or parlor. I don’t want you to be surprised about what room you’re entering next… I want you to crane your neck and see a part of it! At my old home, hosted by the beautiful webdiosa (see cmr.webdiosa), it was close. I wanted a running blog beside it and never got to it. Or three windows showing excerpts from the latest posts in my reading blog, knitting blog, and “check this out!” blog. Now I mainly want knitting and reading and my pseudo-political I-need-to-look-this-up blog, though the knitting portion will most likely, as most knitting blogs I read tend to do, include life. Because really, who are we all kidding?, knitting is so woven into our lives, we can’t separate them. At least, in my observation and experience, the ones who really feel that knitting has embraced them somehow, through all sorts of trials, tribulations and tour-de-forces, include life! What were we knitting during “that time of my life”?

I have lots to say. Many ways to say it (should I tell you my son is nursing while I type this with one hand?) And I need a solid, rooted place in which to do it. Should I move, irl, you can now do it with me — without all the stress.

Tell me how you live your blogging life, after you’ve purchased your domain. And where do you hang your crown?

A risky phone post – ten on tuesday

14 Sep


I am going to attempt an entire post using my new phone, a Motorola i1, which has a swype keyboard, much faster and more fun than a regular typepad, but prone to placing the wrong word. Expect typos.

Today’s ten on tuesday is term reasons to watch football.

1. You can knit something complicated under the guise of social gathering and react acceptably using cues from the cheering and booing in the room. Sure it’s dirty, but so is football. Stand strong.

2. Experimenting with food. I used a Ravens game to make popcorn buffalo chicken using pancake batter and cayenne pepper sauce. It was awesome. And messy.

3. Drink beer. Good beer. This is a no brainer.

4. Drink wine. Duh.

5. See friends and have something in common, be it football, knitting, food, beer or wine.

6. Sometimes I can really get into a game. It’s exciting. It’s also interesting to feel that rush of passion so prevalent in men when it comes to sports. It’s science!

7. Understanding what people are talking about on facebook.

8. Something took forward to if your plans are “i have no plans and that sucks!”

9. If you root for an out of town team, and have friends who live in that town, invite them over for a game weekend! Yay, friends!

10. Cheering. It’s good mojo.

Quick picture of a new project, the emma peel dress from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines.

See you soon!