Wednesday, September 20, 2006

End of Suffering??

Yesterday morning at 9:00, a rather forlorn looking man rang my doorbell and, seeing that I was not it any condition (directly out of the shower) to hear his "pitch", he simply handed me his tiny pamphlet which proclaimed that all suffering would soon end. Well, thank goodness. Apparently, the producers of these pamphlets have never been sinus infection / migraine sufferers or they would realize that yesterday was not the day that suffering was to end. Ouch.

Further, they have never knit socks. These socks in particular. Because while in the throes of this massive headache, I spent the day copying and shrinking, cutting and pasting, coloring and drawing to create this:

So that in the end, after the charts were combined and colored, the symbol key shrunk and co-located with the charts, there was just a tiny bit of time left in the day to create this:

And so I ask you - is this the end of suffering - or is it just the beginning?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Three Harloteers

We came, we saw, we held the sock.

This is apparently why I am not the family's chief photographer.

However, if you've read any of the many Twin Cities area bloggers' updates you already know that this is the Yarn Harlot and that I traveled to Eau Claire with Chris and Jeanne for her fabulously funny talk and book signing at Yellow Dog Knitting. Really, I haven't had that much fun in such a long time. I gave up 8 hours at the Mall of America to take this road trip. That's how Jon and Kate spent the day - 8 hours!! It was such a sacrifice. I'm feeling mildly guilty because I'm still telling my parents that I went there to hear Tom Clancy. I just don't think they'd get this whole thing.

And while Stephanie was wonderfully funny and every bit as charming as you'd think she would be, the true highlight of my day was this:

Meeting Vicki Knitorious. Do you ever just meet someone and take an instant shine to them? You just know that you really like them? You just connect? You feel like you've know them forever? That's how I felt about Vicki when I first met her in February 2006 - as the "first person I didn't already know who commented on my new blog". I started reading her blog and I just knew that she was someone I really wanted to meet-meet - like, in person. And then the planets all lined up and Dixie and Stephanie brought us together. I knew her the moment I saw her in the store and Vicki was EXACTLY as I thought she would be - only live and in person. The really cool thing about meeting a blogger in person is you don't have to waste a whole lot of time asking them background questions about who they are and their what they do. You can get right to the good stuff like "Did you bring Fib?". She did, it was fab!

What can you say about a girl who made reservations at the Acoustic Cafe for 12 out-of-town knitters, which came in handy as we got closer to the event time, then sets up the chairs and saves you front row seats for the event!

Thanks Vicki - Love ya!! There are at least 20 yarn stores here in the Twin Cities and plenty of willing and able tour guides to haul you around. Please come visit us soon.

P.S. The Hedgehog has a face!!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy New Year

It's New Year's Eve for me - despite what the calendar says. The beginning of the school year always seem like that. It starts a new budget cycle; there are new schedules and logistics, new activities, new classmates. There are new clothes (unbelievably uncomfortable uniform skort and pants), backpacks and school supplies. For Kate, this is such an exciting time.

This is also a period of significantly longer commute times. Not only will Jon be providing the morning car service to school, (no more bus for us) but with the additional traffic on the roads, this time of year has always added to his stress level. It takes a few weeks for all the UofM students to drop the early morning classes and then it levels back out!

For me, this time of year is always a trigger for very high anxiety and stress levels. It always has been, I suspect it always will be. The whole house knows this too. The animals think it's weird that I start getting up earlier the two weeks before Labor Day ("Hmmmm, can we get an extra meal out of this?"). Jon knows it and he backs off and leaves me alone. Kate knows it and isn't really sure what to do. I've gotten better at managing it - just knowing that it is situational helps. I don't take on big things this time of year. Managing day-to-day is enough. I sort of just plod through and take care of what's in front of me...

Preparations for this year are pretty much nailed down.

The family calendar is updated and posted for us all to see.

The built-in-desk and fresh pink and green paint suitable for a fourth-graders room should be finished by tonight. Too much for me to handle - Jon did this!!

The grab-and-go snack cabinet has been stocked with "healthy" snacks.

Pretty good, huh!!

Because I do think of it as New Year's, I do try to make one resolution. Last year I resolved to keep the calendar updated both on my Palm and to then synchronize it with Outlook so that I could easily keep Jon up to date on what all was happening (yeah - I know there are just three of us but sometimes there are quite a few things going on over here!!). It was amazing how well it worked and how once I stared doing it, maintaining it just became a habit.

This year's resolution is to keep track of my knitting projects. I searched all around for a really great knitting journal - to the point where searching for the ultimate journal was becoming the reason why documenting was never going to happen.

Behold, the Knitting Journal:

And it's first two entries:

FiberTrends Huggable Hedgehog. Technically, he's not done. He needs a face. I'm thinking of needle felting a face on him instead of sewing eyes and a mouth on. What do you think?

I think I'm going to teach him as a class because he's so flipping cute!

Mini-sock on mini-sock blocker. Which would you rather your key chain say about you? "Hey, I drive a Lexus!" or "Hey, I knit socks!"

So, Happy New Year. Wish a Fourth Grader luck this year - you know how girls can be at this age.