Monday, May 31, 2004

Need a little hand holding

[I posted this on a forum I frequent -- well, not so much lately, but my sweet beady-sisters are mostly all there -- seemed easier just to cut & paste it here and edit a bit than retype it all again.]
Those of you with whom I have been emailing lately, or who read my blog, know that my two sons are entering their junior year of college in a few months. I'm excited for them, envious even, embarking on this new part of their life, and at the same time, a little sad. I didn't think I'd have any 'empty nest' feelings, but I guess someone reading this might say that is what is going on..... Over the years I have thought often about returning to college to finish my BA. Usually I didn't give it any more than a thought: too expensive, too far away, too much to do, too much work - - I was working hard enough raising twin boys! However, in the last few years, I have considered it more seriously. Then about two weeks ago I had a dream that I did it. Since then I've been trying to find my transcripts (hoping my old GPA was higher than I suspected, LOL). Yesterday evening, frustrated that I still hadn't found my paperwork, I opened the university catalog and started looking at degree requirements. It was early this morning when I put away the pencil, paper and book. I didn't stay long in bed though. I was up unusually early for me, cleaning house and trying to decide what to do and how to go about doing it. Just now I finally found the last of the transcripts. My suspicions were right -- shouldn't have goofed off so much that last semester! I'm ready to submit my application and have the faxes ready to send for transcripts. My worry is that everything is TOO OLD. Does anyone know about things like this? Tam and I were IM'ing earlier today, and she encouraged me (of course!), saying perhaps the fact that I did already have a degree (Associate of Arts for my two years) would be to my advantage and there would not be any time limit on the value of my credit hours. So, while I fidget until the morning when I can call Admissions and get some answers, I ask that if you think of me in the morning maybe that will not only help my nerves, but be enough positive energy for everything to work out nicely. I went about 24 hours without eating overnight and today... which I shouldn't do because it plays havoc with my digestion, and anxiety has a habit of triggering other unpleasant conditions. I've been nervous about telling/asking dear husband... I hardly got the words out of my mouth, "What would you think about me going back to school," "GO FOR IT!!" he exclaimed as I finished, "if it doesn't cost too much?" "Doesn't matter," he said as flatly as I've ever heard him say anything! That was a great relief. What a sweetheart! I feel better getting it all said. If you read this far, thanks bunches and here's something just for you! I'll write about the knitting later, maybe. LC

Saturday, May 29, 2004

5HBS FO - almost

What a nice day I have had, even though it did begin at 5:50am! Nothing like an FO to improve the spirits. Our Brent family reunion was today. I only found out about it a week ago, so for us it was quite last minute. DH and I discussed it; he didn't really want to go. It was a 4-hour drive and gas is so high. He also strained his back working this week, so I had resigned myself to not going. However, my father called me early this morning to say his wife wasn't feeling up to going, and ask did I want to ride along with him. I don't get to spend a lot of time with Dad, so I jumped right up and showered. Remember I said I didn't have any riding knitting? I thought about this as I was showering and knew just what to do. I quickly printed out the 5-Hour Baby Sweater and also the Hot Damn Afghan and a message from Laura Lake on Knitlist (05/02/04) for what she called Hot Diggity Baby Afghan -- nothing like being a month behind on the digests. Then I grabbed two balls of pink/white Paton's Carolina (cotton-acrylic blend), two balls of Cottontrica (also cotton-acrylic) in "Silver Plum," pale lavendar with a white twist, and four balls of the Debbie Bliss Merino Aran I bought in San Antonio last February: two in a darker blue, one in a pale one. Dropped it all in a tote with two pair of circulars and a set of DPs, along with a couple of magazines. Dried my hair, threw on something cool, got extra clothes in case of whatever, took my pills and was at the door when Dad arrived -- 15 minutes early. LOL! I rode for a while, chatting with Daddy, before I pulled out my needles, the dark blue wool and the 5HBS pattern. Some how I kept making simple counting errors and wasn't making too much progress, but I plodded along. First big mistake was trying M1 instead of increase in the knit stitch. Finally noticed the plainly stated instructions above the 'cast on 34 stitches' which specifically said to knit in the front and back of the stitch! Then next problem was "insert needle under the next horizontal loop of row below (between sts) and knit this st." It too me FOREVER to realize this was a M1!! I thought it was quite ironic, giving my trying to use the M1 before! Once I got beyond that, all was well, except for my miscounting. I had finished down through the yoke and one sleeve, and had begun the second sleeve when we arrived at the reunion. It was outside at a lovely park alongside the Mississippi River, so I left the wool knitting in the car! Later, we moved from the park to a home, and there I took in my knitting. I had thrown in the acrylic and the extra needles so I would be prepared to if anyone remarked about wanting to learn to knit. No one did. Someone did say, "there's a woman who knows how to make use of her time." Two women mentioned they used to knit, and one more said she only knitted in the winter. My dad bragged that I had just begun the sweater on the trip; I told them it was supposedly a 5-hour sweater, but it had been a 4-hour drive and I was wasn't half finished. One woman asked if it was the first time I had made it, to which I replied, "Yes." "Well," she said, "it doesn't count, then." I thought that was a sweet thing to say. I just hope no one though I was being rude -- especially my dad. OH! You may wonder why the 5HBS. Well, seems my first cousin and his wife are expecting twins boys in July. I thought I would make sweaters and small afghans for them. I wouldn't normally make wool sweaters for babies, just for the care factor, but it will be good, I think, to use wool for these. Just seems right. Makes them a bit more special, perhaps? Dad seemed to think my cousin would appreciate the hand-knit sweaters. I hope so. Not everyone does. He is a neurologist -- what can *I* buy him! Well, by the time we were almost home, I had run out of the 100g of darker blue wool and I still had a couple more rows of garter stitch, along with the cast off row to do. I really don't want to start another ball of yarn, so I will take back to the stockinette and remove a couple rows then finish it IAW the directions. I did enjoy the FO factor of this pattern. I think that on the next one I will work the body, then come back and work the sleeves (perhaps in the round). I also want to try some colorwork. That same message from Laura Lake pointed me to this video-clip of Two-Handed Fair Isle. I want to try this method and make the ones for my cousin's babies a little more special. We aren't close, but the twin thing is rather an intersting happenstance. LC

Friday, May 28, 2004

Have I a disease?

Surely I must. Did I spend today knitting? Of course not. I spent the day searching online for two different yarns. One was Trendsetter's Blossom. I would need 4 (or maybe 6 if I got two colors so I could play) balls, for a child's hooded poncho. The yarn is $11 to $13 per ball, when you can find it, as it seems to be an older yarn. Now if only I could find it on clearance somewhere, I just might consider it. Guess the kids will just get some 'nice' acrylic from Hobby Lobby or Michael's. Hey, are ponchos okay for little boys?? The other is Schachenmayr Nomotta's Catania for the shadow-knitted top in the June Knit 'n Style. I went to Royal Yarns' website, looked through the colors, and picked four to substitute for the blue, aqua and orang-y ones in the model -- I chose violet, fushia, khaki (which is more green than brown), & apple. It's only $3.99/137yd ball from Royal, they also have the size3 bamboo circular needle I need, and a $5.00 off coupon from joining their email list -- but, do I really want to invest $32.00 in a top? Can you tell I'm cheap?? It's not really that I'm cheap. I can spend with the best of them. I worry that, (1) I won't finish the top, (2) it won't fit me, (3) I won't like wearing it. I'm more likely to buy the cotton than the poly -- I have a real problem paying so much for synthetic yarns. Anyone else feel that way? Hubby and son#2 are watching Kill Bill (1). I'm trying not to watch; even the sound effects are disgusting. Story seems good, but way too much gore for this squeamish lady. If I hadn't already had some wonderful flan from our local Mexican restaurant for dessert, I'd go get some ice cream. LC

no knit, cats, beads, or kids

Just a 'quickie' before I head off to bed... this is the third night up late, um, early, whatever. Between Benedryl making me sleepy during the day and drinking tea at night, I'm really out of sorts and way off schedule, even for me! No knitting. I have no 'riding' knitting at the moment, and today was errand day. Well, morning. The Benedryl put me to sleep on the way home, and once here, the sofa grabbed me for the afternoon. BUT, I didn't drink any tea since noon, so maybe I can get to sleep tonight easily. I tweaked around with the blog tonight, redoing a lot of what I did last night that I thought I had saved and hadn't when I clicked on "Clear Edits." What a dopey gal I am sometimes. I still can't get the title and the main column to line up -- I know it is in the padding and margin entries of the template, but I can't seem to find the proper settings. Nor can I get the sidebar to be even with the right edge of the main column. Only little things, I know, but they bother me. Still trying to decide whether to make do with my aluminium needles or splurge on the bamboos for the Striped Go Round top. Oh! And if anyone sees Blue Sky's Alpaca & Silk balls on sale (or wants to de-stash), I would love to have a few more. The color would be Ice, and I don't care about the dye lot. now to sleep and perchance to dream... but not of those knitted boobies, I hope! LC

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


My goodness, I wish I could knit as fast as others seem to; like Rachael! I barely managed to get a 5"x6" swatch of the hemp yarn done last night -- and part of that I did the night before!! I did put a few more inches on the Rose Petal Vest that night, too, though. Tomorrow I will do as Lana suggests: block my swatch before I decide which needle size I prefer. Guess it's a good thing I don't have (and couldn't find today) the circular needles for the Stripes Go Round top. If I did, I know I would put the vest aside for who knows how long! It's not a project I can tote around because it uses four yarns and I like them spread out beside me on the sofa, so I can keep them untangled. The hemp top will be the same; it also uses four colors. I did find the size 2 Boye tips that I can connect to a cable I already have, but I'd really like to use bamboo circulars. I did wind another hank of the hemp last night and it was easy-peasy. Amazing how well things work when you do them right and pay attention. And the best news of the day is that Son#2 finally made a decision about university. I felt like a heavy weight had been lifted. I didn't realize I was stressing so about it. Both sons will be attending USM. Their first assignment is to get me a "USM Mom" window decal for my truck! USM has a lot more 'extras' and if he -- well, both -- make use of them, it will be a great two years. I would love to see Son#2 come out of his shell a bit. He used to be a very outgoing young fellow; somewhere along the time he went to public school (after 8 years of homeschooling), he became quite introverted... ah, well, that's enough of mother-musing... Did I mention I envy them? I've been listing a few books at, so pop in and take a look, if you like. There will be more and more; I have hundreds of my mother's paperbacks, hard-to-find oldies and never-read new ones -- well, as of 1999, when she passed. Historical romance was her preference. Mine is fantasy/science fiction and I'll be adding my duplicates and won't-read-again copies, too. I'll add a link on my sidebar for future reference. nities, LC

Monday, May 24, 2004

Poor Planning

My hemp yarn arrived today from Lanaknits in Canada. It was mailed just last Wednesday, and I must say I am surprised it arrived so quickly. I don't quite know what I expected from the yarn. Just to look at it, I can't imagine being able to knit an entire top from the amount I purchased. Still it is very fine in diameter. Took me a while to get one skein balled, but that was my fault. I let it get mussed when I began. It does seem more difficult to ball than other yarns; might be worth the extra cost to buy the balls next time. After supper, I pulled out the size 3US needles and started to swatch. I was using Susan Bates Quicksilver and felt like it was all slipping away from me. Then I tried some size 2s; they were plastic, but a little sticky feeling. Sort of gripped the yarn better; but then I had to push it along more. I liked the feel of the 'fabric' with the size 2s, but get gauge with the 3s. Wish there was a size 2.5US/3mm! If it wasn't for the Stripes Go Round pattern being worked circularly, I'd try using one of each. What I may do is go up a pattern size and try the 2s. Will need to do a little math first I think -- my worry would be running out of yarn. Of course, silly me didn't think to check if I HAD any 3s (or 2s) in circular while I was waiting for the yarn to arrive. Guess it is just as well; I should work more on the vest. Yes, the vest is going better. It's not much like the pattern in the magazine, as I am knitting the "A" thread (Paton's Divine) *with* the "B" thread (Bernat's Boa) and then knitting the "C" thread (a rayon boucle) *with* the "D" thread (LB's Fun Fur) -- obviously making use of things in my stash instead of buying the called for yarns -- so the vest is a lot more dense than I think the model in the magazine. For the Divine, I went down to size 6 needles to get gauge. I finally got about seven inches of the back finished before I went to bed this morning. Only have to go to nine to start the armhole shaping, so that's not too bad. It will most likely be too big for my stepdaughter though and that really bothers me. I knew I should have made it just a little bit smaller!! Well, back to it... LC

Sunday, May 23, 2004


Damn! I know... anyone with any true 'knitting' sense would have KNOWN the pattern was wrong. Unfortunately, I'm just not that good at it. The pattern instructions for the back chevron section were backwards... not k2tog, k to center, increase in next two stitches, k to last two stitches and k2tog... increase, k2tog, increase!!! At least the correction is on the website already, but damn! I had three inches done!! There's a curse on this yarn. I swear there is. Of course, I'm not going to bed until I at least get it started the RIGHT way...... LC

Saturday, May 22, 2004

If Wishes were Horses

Beggars would ride. Early this morning, I got to the end of the skein of light pink yarn in the baby's blanket, so I put it away until I can get to the Hobby Lobby in Slidell to check for the same lot number. With gas as high as it is, I'm limiting my driving. So on Monday, I'll call for my annual mammogram, then do that and a couple other things all at once. If I can't find the same dye lot, I'll just make do with the skein I found in Hattiesburg's HL which was ONE digit off! The baby isn't due until mid-July, so I think I still have time to finish it. My hemp yarn isn't here yet. I was getting anxious until I remembered it is coming from Canada. So, boo-hoo, I couldn't start on that today. Anyone else doing Lana Hames' Stripes Go Round? I have Deep Sea Blue, Cinnamon, Aubergine and Traditional Hemp ordered for it. I still hadn't looked at the INKnitter's or the Knit 'n Style magazines I bought earlier in the week, so I did that this afternoon. Oh, if I could only knit faster. I bet there are a dozen things I'd like to try in them: From INKnitters: The weaving in 'ladders' looks like an interesting way to embellish knitting; I like the 'surprise pocket' idea, too. Want to make the "Shadow Lace Vest," try sock like in the Dawn Brocco article, and maybe play with ruffles a bit. Then Knit 'n Style: Rachael's great looking tank makes me think about trying the Ribbed Tank or the Batz Sleeveless Top. [That Levant Top makes me wish I was about 18 again! LOL] There's two more pretty lacey things, one a cardigan; one a pullover. And I'd like to swatch the pattern stitches in the sampler top. I was intrigued by the article on 'Illusion' or 'Shadow' knitting in INKnitters, but not enough to try the pattern (or even swatch). I'm a word pattern person, never done charts. But the one in Knit 'n Style, the goldfish one... THAT I want to make!! Will have to look up the yarns and find a suitable substitute. Knowing that I really shouldn't start anything new, I went to find a WIP. Came across the bag with the capelet I made after taking apart the shawl that I was suppose to make for stepdaughter#2 for Christmas. I was never happy with it in either incarnation. I remembered the Rose Petal Vest in K'nS. I went down to size US6 to get gauge (knowing I tend to knit loose) and am rolling right along. I'm not sure whether I'll add other yarns as in the pattern -- -- what do I do with the garter stitch yarn (A) through the center section when using the B,C,D yarns??? Just carry it a long?? Hm... guess I will have to look that up. Haven't done *that* either -- -- but I really like the styling of the pattern and hope it will work well with the Paton's Divine yarn. It is the Richest Rose color. Okay. Back to the knitting. Ciao! LC

Thursday, May 20, 2004


Took #2Son on a campus visit today. Small college - 1800 students; beautiful campus - 120 acres; great scholarship offer - up to $5300/yr; large dorm rooms - NON-coed. I was surprised when he said he wants to check the larger university too. Their non-scholarship cost is a bit more than the one we visited today (less scholarships), and the course requirements differ just a bit. It's up to him. But I know which one I'd choose! Yup. I envy my sons. Here they are, 19 years old, headed off to their last two years of college, away from home... a brand new phase of their lives just beginning. Shoot, yeah, I envy them. And for all the headaches and heartaches to come for them, I wish it was me. Problem is, of course, I'd want to know what I know now! I was thinking today about how I seem to feel sad a lot more in the recent years. Is it part of getting older? Think about how many times older folks look so sad. I wonder how often it is wishing to be young again. To have it all ahead instead of behind. We humans do seem to get more out of anticipation, than achievement sometimes. As for that, it is even true with knitting and such. The planning and accumulating yarn, pattern -- and time! And then the UFOs begin to pile up. Unfortunately, I had to drive today -- what a lot of wasted knitting time. I've gotten really spoiled having hubby drive everywhere. Am trying to keep working on the blanket while I read KnitList, and anxiously awaiting my hemp yarn. The bad news is that I think I left the cable for my digital camera in Maryland, so I can't get pictures from it to my hard drive! Guess I'll have to see if a replacement costs more than it will to mail the forgotten one to me. LC

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Half an Empty Nest

One down; one to go! She says trying to act happy With #1Son away from home working and living his own life, his moving out is not much of a change. He just doesn't come home at night, or call to tell me he's on his way. Guess I expected some big good-bye scene or something, but there was none. Real life is so much different than we expect it will be, huh? So. He's on his own. Sort of. And, he seems to have turned out all right, in spite of me. As to knitting, I was able to deliver the finished poncho for my step-granddaughter when we got to Maryland in early April. Here it is: I didn't get a picture of her in it yet, but her mother says she looks adorable in it and loves to play with the pom-poms. Such a sweeties, both of them: I got to spend a good many mornings with her while Mommy went to work. I also finished the cropped top (based on the Shapely Tank Top from WhiteLies) -- AND my taxes!! -- before I left on vacation, too: On the needles, the Elegantly Simple Baby Blanket by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer. I'm almost half finished now, but here is a shot of the first two strips: It's just Red Heart's TLC Baby in Light Rose Sparkle (discontinued color) and Pale Pink Sparkle. I could only get a hold of one skein of the Light Rose, so I worked up half the skein, broke the thread and continued with just the Pale Pink. Will pick it up again and repeat the stripes on the other end. Baby is due in July, so I'm in good shape. While I was gone, I worked on a sweater in Lion Brand's Lilac Microspun: Coral Shells from Knitters Spring 2004. I like the 'Lacy Seashell' pattern of the knitting and the way it draped, but wanted a totally different style! Figures. It's a pull-over; I want a cardigan. It's got long sleeves; I want them three-quarter. It's drop-shoulder; I want fitted sleeves, or a circular/raglan yoke. So, I have the sleeves and the body done up to the underarms and now everything is on hold until I figure the next step. Coming up? Well, I just ordered (and it's already on its way) 12 skeins of hemp from Lana Hames of Lanaknits I saw her "Stripes Go Round" in the new (Summer 04) Interweave Knits and went straight to the website to get some. Am very anxious to try this yarn, so am working hard to finish the baby blanket before it gets here. Still have the new INKnitters and Knit 'n Style mags to look through, and over a month of digests from KnitList to read... gotta get some kind of voice recognition set up on my 'puter so I can read email without putting down the needles. LC

Monday, May 03, 2004

Time Flies

Forty-six days! Wow. I can't believe it's been that long since I posted something here. The last thirty-five of those days we were away from home, visiting family in WV/MD/PA. It was a good trip, but we are quite happy to be home. The house was a bit of a wreck -- Sons tried, but there was still lots to aggravate a mom. Having spent lots of time in both my stepdaughters' homes, all I can see tonight is how dirty my house is and how much 'deep' cleaning needs to be done. I'm a horrible housekeeper. There are always so many more interesting things to be doing besides cleaning. But at least for now I have some incentive: stepdaughter and family are visiting in late June. We are hoping to get all those things done we have been procrastinating over. Fingers crossed, LC