Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shiny sink

A shiny sink means being able to block, wash a sweater, or set skeins of handspun with no prep first.

You're right, Mom.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Whose shoes?

Since I started wearing the same size shoes as Mom, the question of "whose shoes" has been an ongoing one. (So has "whose sweater", "whose socks", and "whose shirt", for the record.) This is partly due to having similar taste, and partly due to buying the same items because of that similar taste.

The conversation you will read below is a pretty typical version of "Whose shoes?", which happened a few days ago.

Me: (Sees Mom wearing a pair of my clogs.) SHOE STEALER!
Mom: (Looks down at the shoes she is wearing, sees a similar pair next to the couch.) No, those are yours.
Me: No, they're *both* mine. You're wearing the black ones; those are the brown ones.
Mom: (Stands next to the pair of brown shoes.) Huh. The color is pretty close.
Me: The color is MINE. Yours are red.
Mom: Hm. You're right.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pretty, but alas, not smart

Sometimes, I amaze myself.

A few days ago, it started to rain again, which is great! California has been murmuring about another drought and yours truly is not a fan of the three-minute showers of her childhood. Also, I *may* have just bought the world's sassiest raincoat for Maryland Sheep & Wool.

But, I digress.

Given our impending adventure, I have been on the hunt for the perfect pair of rain boots. I have a great pair that I bought before the Cruise of '08, but Mom has claimed those. So, a-huntin' I decided to go. But, since the Social Pressure Experiment of '08, I have been more circumspect in my purchasing- even when it comes to shoes. And boots.

I had found a pair of boots that I Really Liked(tm) but I wasn't sure about, so I decided to try out a pair of boots that I bought three years ago. See, these were the boots that I Really Liked(tm), but once I had ordered them, I thought that they were a bit ... stiff. New boots. They need breaking in, right?

Over the last three years, I've worn them five or six times, and they have been stiff in the top of the foot the whole time. I mean, they haven't broken in at all. The other day, I decided I was going to give them one more try, and if they didn't break in, I was going to take them in to the shoemaker to be broken in.

I sat down, laced into my first boot, and went to put on the second boot. That was when I noticed a tiny piece of plastic peeking out to the side. I pulled on it to find...

... a plastic shoe form. I laced up the boot, and thought, "This is actually SUPER COMFORTABLE."

So, I checked the other boot. Found the plastic shoe form. Pulled it out. Boot #2, immediately more comfortable.

The most offensive thing about this is that I've worn them *several* times before. I remember scooping all of the shoe guts out of them. When I've worn them before, I managed to convince myself that they just needed breaking in.

I don't think I've ever felt so dumb, ever. At least I looked good, right?

Monday, April 19, 2010

But-ton sweater, Part Deux

I've been a bit torn on how to present this post, so I figure, a little transparency never hurt anyone, did it?

So, if you listen to the podcast, you've heard the story of the But-ton Sweater for Boo. Jump to the bottom (**) for the story, if you haven't heard it.

So, I knit this sweater (which ended up being a coat, mostly because I let Boo select her own sweater), Mom seamed it up, I did an applied i-cord edging, and we did all of the Awesome Couture Finishing stuff (grosgrain ribbon behind the buttonband, backing buttons) that should be done. We *might* have finished the sweater a few minutes before I left the house for the Inlaw Easter Shindig.

We arrive at the Inlaw Easter Shindig, say our "hello"s, and I find Boo so that she can unwrap the sweater. The sweater was an unparalleled success, and she wore it the whole day. If you were four years old, wouldn't you?


She liked it so much, she wanted to help style for the photos for the brief moment that she wasn't wearing it:


I know these aren't the best pictures of the sweater, and I know a full-length photo would be awesome. I have quite a few awesome pictures of Boo in her sweater, my favorite of which captures her sparkling, charming, four-year old essence entirely. (These pictures, for the record, were not only worth a thousand words, but also a million estrogen-infused sighs.)


Boo is not my kid. Despite the fact that I got permission from her parents to post photos of her online, I'm still not 100% comfortable posting them on my blog, mostly because I am not sure I *would* post pictures up here if she were my kid. The internet is too big a place, and she is too adorable for words. I also think it's creepy to have a full-body shot of a kid and crop out their face, so there you go.

Things I have learned from this sweater:

- If you're going to knit a wool sweater for a child, make it Malabrigo. Or any other impossibly soft wool. Guess who didn't complain about the sweater being itchy?

- If you hand a four-year old a book of sweaters, she will pick the most labor-intensive sweater/coat, and also place her order for three *other* sweaters. (She asked for a "sparkly blue" sweater next, for the record. Dream in Color Starry, anyone?)

- More rhinestones on the buttons = better sweater.

- If the recipient of the sweater is cute enough, it *is* possible to knit miles and miles and miles of seed stitch.

- A squeal of delight upon sight of a sweater from an appreciative child does *actually* cause knitting amnesia, making the knitter think about the next sweater. Sparkly blue, huh?...

**If you haven't heard the story, I knit a sweater for Boo when she was a wee bairn, and it had matching rhinestone buttons. Rhinestone buttons = awesome, she loved the sweater, and was sad when she outgrew it. Since this is categorically unprecidented in the history of Knitting Sweaters for Children, I told Boo I would knit her another, and let her pick the pattern and the color of the yarn. In my great wisdom, I made sure that this sweater also had rhinestone buttons.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Project Workspace: Step 1

... or, as I like to think of it, "A garage of one's own".

(It doesn't sound as glamorous as "A Room of One's Own", but let's face it, I'm no Virginia Woolf.)

Andrew and I have been talking about some upgrades we want to do on our house, which includes the usual stuff like tearing out the ugly wallboard and painting. Talking is the easy part- it's agreeing on what needs to be done when and how that appear to be the issue. Ah, marriage...

(For the record, I hate the wallboard, I've hated it since the instant we walked through the house. Now? The wallboard mocks me with it's ugliness. Once the weather decides which direction it's going, the wallboard is coming down. Mark my words.)

However, the one thing we can agree on in the garage. It needs some love, and it's the kind of work we can do on the house ourselves- for less than a bazillion dollars. Andrew has convinced me to help with Project Workspace (which I've termed it) because I could easily set up a table for the sewing machine and the recording equipment- once it's fixed up. The man has a knack for knowing what motivates me.

Really, it's space to work. Especially when it comes to things like sewing- where you need space to cut, pin, and to leave your machine set up. I know how I am; if it's not set up, it always seems like a huge hassle to get it set up, and the machine I have right now is seriously heavy. I don't want to set it up in the kitchen, because I've already declared a jihad against the existing hot spots around the house.

Step One of Project Workspace is to get rid of the Loom of Doom- the epic floor loom I bought a couple of years ago in hopes that I would become an amazing weaver. Margit (the FiberFiend) has graciously offered to help us with Step One.

I'm going to take pictures of the whole process, but I won't post them until the whole story is done. It can be so discouraging (not to mention, super embarrassing) to post pictures of something like a garage-in-progress. I mean, the closet was bad enough, but those "after" pictures totally made it worth the time.

For now, Step One is done.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Dear Weather;

Please decide what you're going to do. If you're going to be sunny and keep me from doing a Mondo-style montage for my Seneca, please at least stay sunny long enough for my sweaters to dry. I did not appreciate that you decided to downpour as soon as my back was turned. I do appreciate the timing of the rain, since I just got a sassy new raincoat, but as for the rest, I could stand some reliability. I'm not even going to mention the California humidity.

Please, decide what you're going to be and stick with it. I'll love you either way, but seriously, you're driving me crazy.