Friday, June 29, 2007

Back in the Saddle

I have a few character traits that sometimes undermine my creative endeavors (impatient, overzealous, perfectionist come to mind) and others that only fan the flames (stubborn, hard-working, short memory of failure). Simply put, I refused to be bullied by the ghost of failed attempts so I went to it again dying yarn after I put Emma down for her nap.

"MMmm Ma, what's for lunch?"

This time? Success for the most part. I spend about an hour and a half washing, rinsing, dying, rinsing, washing and hanging three skeins of yarn. I'm super excited about the green, thought the yellow would be brighter and I'm starting to see some lighter patches in the purple. All in all not too bad and at least I didn't felt any of them within an inch of their lives. Of course, this time I put on some relaxing music, didn't have people yammering at me and I did my best to be very patient and not play with the yarn so much. *phew*

What do y'all think?


Last night I decided to do a bit more practice dying with some lace-weight yarn in the microwave (I have done it once before and it turned out fine, thankyouverymuch) since I can't dye the sock yarn yet. As you can guess, it turned out badly. I didn't let the yarn cool enough before I started to rinse it and then I played with it too much while I handled it. Result: yucky mass of felted wool in a very pretty color that reminded me of dusty antique roses. I know, I should chalk it up to practice and do better next time and blah blah blah but it broke my little heart to see it like that. Part of me doesn't want to dye anymore of the yarn because now I'm afraid I'll ruin it. Ugh.

Rest in peace sweet yarn.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's Here!

Yay! My yarn is here and ready to dye...almost.

First I had to figure out how I want my pattern to look and how much yarn it would take for a repeat, yadda yadda yadda. Next I had to make it into really long loops so the pattern could repeat the way I want it to. And when I say really long, I do mean reaaaallly long. Seventy feet to be exact. But how in the heck do you make a 70 ft loop of yarn? By wrapping it around dowels attached to the railing of your very large deck. Or that's my method so far. The only snag (!) I've run into is that I tangled the yarn while running in circles around my deck and now I must wait for the Master Untangler himself to come home and rescue me.

It's not that I'm totally helpless, I just don't have the patience to stand in 97 degree heat and untangle wool under the beating sun. I'm sure it will be cooler tonight, I just have to finish before the moths come out!!! Yikes! I'd better stop blogging and get winding. More later....

Oh, and I finished a sock for Emma that I knit while waiting for the new yarn to come. I know you're disappointed in me, Annie.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

little sleep + bad things = drama

She doesn't sleep. Why doesn't Emma sleep well and why not last night? Who knows. In my dreams this morning (fragmented as they were by wailing toddler) I remember thinking Emma couldn't calm down and sleep because she missed her Grandpa Dave. In reality, that might be a good excuse for me but not likely for her. Anyway. Little sleep was had in our house last night. By all of us.

Enter a day of delayed napping because even though I laid her down three times she did not want to rest. Next we add some mix-ups: Emma stepped in doggie poo which makes her hysterical and the bookshelf I bought last week to match the one I already have was the wrong finish. I told them the correct finish, oak, but they brought me alder instead. I didn't notice until I was trying to assemble it and noticed, "Hey, this is a lighter color than my other one!" Not good. Add a bit of collateral damage and the day was perfect. Emma broke my sewing machine. More specifically, the part that holds the spool of thread on top of the machine. Enter the drama. I was tired and frustrated and I have to admit I almost started crying. I love this machine, as much as one should be able to love objects that cannot (and stubbornly refuses to on many occasions) love you back. The bad news: the part is discontinued since the sewing machine was made in the 1970s. The good news: I found a store in Salt Lake City that has it and it's cheap.

Thankfully I do have a few friends and today Brittany came to my rescue. She came bearing hazelnut latte and offers to get the new part for me from Salt Lake City since she was going through tonight anyway. Thank heavens for friends. Now if I can just make dinner and not set myself on fire today will not be a total mess. *deep breath* Off I go!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Morgan and I have been wiped out lately. The kind of tired where you wake up and pray that coffee could levitate to your bed so you could sip it without having to make it. The "let's-go-back-to-bed-for-another-three-hours" tired. When he complained that we don't make it to bed early enough anymore I had to ask him where his dentures and cane were. "Old man," said I. Last night we discovered the problem. It was 9:45 and looked like dusk and on the down-side the sun comes up earlier in the summer so there was less sleeping time. No wonder we'd been getting to bed so late and feeling so tired at sun-up. And yes, we do have to get up at sun-up because that is when little Miss Emma wakes up. I swear that kid is solar powered.

So, Morgan has just left to go to work and Emma decides I've slept long enough. She wails. The time is now 6:23 am. Just shoot me. I let her out of her room and put her in bed with me. She looks at me and briefly imitates lying down and resting. Then she pops up and begins yammering nonsense and doesn't stop until 7:00 am. Why is little one still alive? Because at one point I open one eye to peer at her and she is looking straight at me with this huge "I love you more than sunshine" smile.

Now how can I be upset with that? Pass the coffee, please.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some People (rant rant)

Okay, we all love a challenge but it really irritates me when I get that "oh little girl, you don't know what you're getting into and how hard this is" attitude. I'm not sure if it's a female thing, if I go about it all wrong, if it's because I look (and am) young or what. It just burns my biscuits to be treated with that patronizing manner that belittles me, my skills and my efforts.

Like when I was in high school and a younger boy told me I shouldn't be the sports editor of our school newspaper because I'm female. Or when I wanted to take Calculus in college and the secretary of the math department told me I couldn't take the class even though I had all the prerequisites. "You're just not ready," she told me. How would she know!?!?! (P.S. I passed Calc I and II with A's) And last summer when I went into a yarn store to buy fuzzies for a new hat and the owner told me that it was just sooo hard and beginners tend to do all these things wrong and I really needed to take a class from her. Excuse me, but I taught myself to knit from books and so far I think I'm doing pretty dang well. Classes are cool, support is welcome and criticism can be building but I really don't like people treating me as if I'm stupid or I'm just not up to the challenge.

When people come to me with a new idea and they're excited I would hope my reaction would be, "Go for it!" or "Sounds like fun." Maybe, "This was a really awesome resource for me when I started" or perhaps "If you need a hand let me know and I'd be happy to see if I can help."

*sigh* Why are some people just so down?

Are you still reading this? Really? I promise to stop ranting now and we can all go on our merry little ways.

Cool Enough?

Annie raised a good point. Why would someone buy my yarn instead of buying yarn from a shop? I was up last night thinking about this (I think a lot when I'm supposed to be sleeping) and I've got some really neat ideas in the works. I won't spill the beans and spoil the fun to come so just know I have tricks up my sleeve.

The other thing is I was inspired to do this because I saw a shop on selling Harry Potter House colors sock kits. I just want one skein of Gryffindor colors to make my brother some socks for fun but she has so much demand for them she's only selling these kits. I said to myself, "Self, we could dye our own Gryffindor socks." And why can't I? I have this deeply ingrained belief that I can do anything I want to do if I apply myself and dying yarn most definitely falls into this category. I ordered yarn yesterday and I can't wait to get started. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I finished another dress but I haven't had time for a photo shoot yet so I can't properly show it off. It's coming, I promise.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I wonder...

So I have been struck with a new crafty idea. What if I hand-dyed yarn to sell? Now bear with me. I could set-up an internet shop (like on or e-bay) and sell yarn I dyed in my free time (aka nap time or evenings). I can buy undyed yarn and either do kool-aid or acid dye.

Does this sound totally crazy? Anybody? Anybody? Buller?

Family Time

Our trip to visit my side of the family was great! I'm so glad we got the chance for my husband to meet all the wonderful people that are now his family, too. In the five years we've been together he hadn't before met my extended family from Wisconsin so this really was a big deal.

First we went to my cousin Andrew's graduation picnic (Congrats Andrew! Enjoy college!) and were able to see everyone. All at once. To let you understand what that means I think you need some background here. My father was the oldest of six kids. I am one of seventeen cousins on my Dad's side. Most of them are married and have 2 or 3 kids each. Translation: In less than six hours my husband met about 45 of my relatives. When I said I had a big family I wasn't kidding but I don't think he really knew how big. And wonderful. Ah, I love them all. If I'm lucky I might even get to see one of my cousins again next week as she passes through Utah.

Below we have a group picture of the cousins who could make it (we're missing five) with our kids. Big smiles!

And next we have a picture of my grandparents with half of their great-grandkids. There are fifteen total. Think about that for a second. To live to enjoy your family and fifteen great-grandchildren. The very meaning of blessings.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

the aftermath

I'm two weeks into knitting the Central Park Hoodie. Things are moving along well and I'm impressed with how quickly it's going. I'm still tempted to work on other projects but for now I've been faithful. :)

How was the party? Great and terrible. The first half was awesome and the second half was from hell. The food was excellent, Sam outdid himself with the ribs, shishkabobs and steaks on the grill and I adore ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. From there we enjoyed adult beverages, cigars and lots of laughs. I wish the night had ended there but a couple ended up in the middle of a huge fight at the party and I don't even want to rehash how terrible it became. I finally went to bed at 1:00 am and Morgan came to bed at 3:00 am. We're both a bit shook up at what all happened and safe to say no one was too badly hurt or arrested. Lucky there.

Ugh, I'm going to try to have a much better and quieter day today. Morgan wants to go to a junkyard in Salt Lake City to look for some auto parts and there's a quilt and yarn store not too far away that I'd like to visit. After Emma wakes up from her nap we're heading up there for a bit of quiet fun and time together.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Super Secret Squirrel

So this isn't necessarily a post about my life, but in an indirect way my husband's co-worker's early surprise birthday party is driving me crazy.

Come again? Yes, we have poker night friends that my husband works with and we've become friends with one couple in particular. He, Phil, works with Morgan and Phil's fiance, Brittany, is a doll. They just got engaged and she wants to throw him a surprise birthday party (about a week early since we'll be out of town) tonight. The only problem is they have a little apartment and the weather's been iffy this week so outdoors is not a good idea. She asked if we could have the party at our house pretending it's a usual poker night thing and I agreed. We've been doing super-secret squirrel work all week to get the meat for the BBQ, figure out who is making what, when and where. *phew* We've been working our secret squirrel rumps trying to make this work and still keep in on the hush-hush. Basically, everyone Phil works with knows this is a surprise birthday party and he still has no idea. hehehehehhe

From here it gets more complicated. Phil has figured out with his spidey sense that Brittany is up to something, he just has no idea what so he's being a bit skittish. She is also supposedly going out of town this weekend and he doesn't know she'll be hiding here to surprise him when he shows up thinking it's a usual Friday night poker thing. Well, since he has no idea we have big plans for him tonight he thinks he should be late tonight because donating blood on a Friday evening sounds like a good idea to him. Bless his bleeding heart, but I'm about to go over there and kick his little hiney for making my life more interesting with espionage-like secret conversations than it really needs to be. I mean come on, it's FRIDAY!?!

Right now we are doing secret calls and text messages trying to figure out how to get the birthday boy here on time with all of his blood in his body. Me? I vote for throwing him in the trunk.

Happy (Early) Birthday, Phil!

Monday, June 04, 2007


I think I'm about to be sick. I just put in an application for a job.

And don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't want to work but I'm so nervous I think I could rauf. Utah Valley State College has an open recruitment for a part-time faculty in Economics and it's pretty much my dream job for this stage of my life. I've been putting off applying for it because I hate the idea of leaving Emma in someone else's care for so long (or at all!) but she's getting bigger and really seems to love playing or at least seeing other kids her age. That and if I work at all I think part-time is about all I can take being away from her. So I'm feeling pretty conflicted (not wanting to let her be in daycare) and still wanting to use the degree I worked so hard to obtain. I always said I'd look for a job when it felt right but I could find reasons to never apply so here goes. I'm only minimally qualified but let's hope they're desperate or I'm lucky or whatnot. I don't even know why I'm so freaked out, either way will not be earth shattering. *gulp*

I need to go for a walk.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A week and a day

In the last week I've made a lot of progress on my Central Park Hoodie and I'm still going strong. The only question is do I take a quick detour to make a little knitted duck for Emma for her half birthday and maybe whip up a knitting bag to take my stuff with me to Wisconsin in a few weeks or stay with the current project? I'm afraid that if I put it down I might break the spell and never get going on the hoodie again. Choices choices.

Today Morgan and I worked on our (read: my projects I sucked him into for heavy labor) various gardening endeavors and made so much progress. What you see is one of six flower boxes now filled with perennial ground cover and my garden plot that already has one row of rhubarb and one row of beans planted. All that's left to do is put the rest of the seeds into my garden. I know I'm making a late start of it this year but something tells me we're going to be having a long, hot summer. Today it's 89 degrees in the shade and I felt like I was about to have a stroke pulling all the weeds out of those flower beds. *phew*

Also, for your viewing pleasure, a pretty little green cricket decided to hang out in one of my roses out front. Lovely. :) We're having friends over for dinner and I have this new (from a garage sale) castle-like cake pan I want to try out so it's off to the kitchen. If it works out I'll post some pictures. Ta-ta!