Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lots of tidbits

I have too many things that I want to touch on to go into too much detail about any of them. So, I'll do my best.

This weekend I went to my friend Erin's baby shower at a very nice local tea house/restaurant. I had a really great time. There was tea of course, as well as some tasty and dainty dishes that were delivered in three courses.

The mom-to-be received many cute things. I gave her a 3 peice coordinated set that consisted of a bib, onesie, and footie-jammies, as well as a baby sweater that I have been working on for her ever since I found out she was pregnant.

The pattern is Presto Chango, by Valeri Wallis. I forgot to get a picture of it laid out nicely before wrapping it, but I think a pic of it just above a pregnant belly is cuter anyway.

I also went to the much anticipated wine party hosted by one of my mom friends, Jen, and her husband Shahab. It was excellent. Everyone was instructed to bring a bottle or two, and there were over 30 people there, so there was quite a variety of wine to try. There were also lots of delicious hors d'oeuvres, made by the host and hostess themselves. And yes, I wore my sweater. I tried to get a picture of it on me that evening after we got back, but even with all of the lights on, it was just too dark to get a decent one that showed any stitch definition. The flash just washed everything out, so that didn't work either. I did laundry today, so the shirt that I need to wear under it is clean, meaning that I can try and get a better picture tomorrow in the daylight.

Sunday, the same Jen that hosted the wine party, held our first book club meeting. Such a brave, brave woman to have people over again the afternoon after hosting a huge, late-night party. AND, everything was cleaned up. I must say, I was very impressed. My house is usually a disaster for days after something like that. The meeting was fun. I got to know a few new people, and I even found a fellow fan of Ghost Hunters! I love that show. I always feel a little silly admitting it, but that show is my crack. It was nice to chat excitedly with someone who feels the same way. We did talk about the book too: "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom. We all agreed it was well written, and it made you think, but it was also a bit of a downer book. For the next book we're going to try to decide on something a little more uplifting.

Other stuff:

I made banana muffins using my new silicone muffin cups:

Those things are the best. No greasing, and no muffin tin needed. You just space them out on a cookie sheet and bake away. I don't make muffins much because I always get irritated when I loose half of my muffin to the paper wrapper it was baked in. I suppose I could grease the paper wrappers, but I happen to have a prejudice against cooking spray. Don't ask me to explain. Anyway, with these, you just turn them over, give them a little shake, and the entire muffin pops right out. Next I'm going to have to do cornbread muffins. Those are some of the worst for sticking to the paper wrapper.

I must admit though, that the muffins did not turn out very tasty. The recipe, oddly, did not call for any spices, and I spaced and somehow didn't notice this. They really needed a bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Maybe a little allspice too. Owen liked them though:

Okay, that's probably good for tonight. I have more to say, but I'm expecting an early morning tomorrow because it's garbage day and the trucks come through FREAKIN' EARLY and always wake Owen up a little earlier than I would like.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

All Done!

I finally finished my sweater! Just in time to wear it to the wine party Saturday night. I don't have a picture of me wearing it yet (will probably get one on Saturday), but here it is being blocked:

(click to make larger)

Sorry for the poor quality. I took one before it with the flash, and it washed out all of the texture of the boxstitch pattern, so I took another one without the flash, which came out a little blury. Owen was in the process of waking up from his nap, so I was in too much of a hurry to do it properly with a tripod.

I sewed the buttons on today, and put it on, and there is one teensy-weensy problem. It's a little large. Just a little bit. I thought I blocked gently, but perhaps not gently enough. I was surprised to find this problem too, because it was actually a little snug before blocking. I'm going to try it on again with the shirt that I need to wear underneath (you can kind of see my bra through the large stitches otherwise) and see how it lays. If it still seems baggy, I'm just going to have to try reblocking it, maybe scrunching everything in a bit to try and make it smaller? I really have no idea what I am doing here because I have very little experience in blocking. I'm too lazy - but this sweater unfortunately required it because parts of it just weren't laying right beforehand.

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm Still Here

Yes, I know. I've been slackin' with the bloggin'. I just haven't felt much like being on the computer lately. I think my sweater should receive the highest amount of blame. If I'm blogging, I can't be knitting, you see. I want to finish that sweater in time to wear it to the Wine Party that Jon and I have been invited to on the 21st. I'm getting close. After frogging a large section in order to go back and add some decreases for waist shaping, and then ripping out another large section to go back and add some increases to add shaping for my hips and butt (it still looks a little snug, but I'm hoping a wash and block will take care of that), I am finally finished with the torso and am left with just the sleeves and buttons.

So why am I not working on it right now? Well, that would be because I worked on it too much and now my joints are sore. I'm hoping an evening off will be enough of a rest to get my back to working on it. It's a very addictive pattern. If I'm not working on it, I'm wishing that I was. Okay, so actually that's starting to wear off now and I've caught myself wistfully looking at sock yarn on the net -- and at the barely started second sock of a pair that I haven't touched much since I finished the first sock a little over a month ago. I worked on that sock a little last night, thinking that maybe working with the smaller needles would be okay since it requires much less movement. I only did 8 rows though before I called it quits.

Yes, I am obsessed. I've begun to realize that if I don't get a chance to knit, even just a little bit, during the day, I go to bed feeling slightly unfulfilled. Does this mean I need therapy?

Here is a bit of what has been going on around here since my last post. There have been a few more birthdays. First, another nephew of mine (Zachary) turned 4. A couple of days later my husband turned The Big Three-Oh. Another couple of days later a good friend (Katie) turned, um, 27? (If you happen to see this Katie, correct me if I'm wrong). Then, a few more days after that, another good friend (Emily) turned 29. Happy birthday everybody! I hope I didn't miss anybody.

The weekend after Jon's birthday, the two of us got to go on a rare dinner out alone to celebrate. We got a private, curtained-off booth at McCormick & Schmick's, and ooooooooh, the food was so good! I had the Sea Scallops, and Jon had the Seared Ahi. Then we really pigged out and ordered 2 desserts to share because we couldn't decide. One was called (I think) a chocolate truffle cake with rasberry sauce. It was quite good, but the other one, the Upside-down Apple Pie, was amazing - it was the one that we finished. And you'd better believe that, because it's highly unusual for me to rate anything higher than chocolate.

Let's see, what else has been going on. Jon and I have had yucky colds (and possibly Owen, though it's hard to tell because teething produces similar results). And, oh yeah. Sidewalk repairs. For some reason that is beyone me, the city of Duvall is making our neighborhood developer tear up perfectly good sidewalks in our neighborhood and "repair" them. Some sections of curb are being subjected to the jackhammer, while others are not, and to my untrained eye, the sections being left alone look exactly like the sections that are being torn up. Half of the side-walk part of our driveway is marked to be replaced. I went out there and examined both halves, and can't see any difference between them. The city doesn't like something about it though, and so our developer is being forced to spend a ton of money fixing it.

Of course, with all of the jackhammering comes interupted nap times and thus a very cranky toddler. I endured it all last week because I had been warned ahead of time that it would be happening, and I knew it would only be for a week. I was thrilled when Friday was over. I could see that they hadn't really finished because none of the concrete had been filled in yet. We still had pink lines on our driveway too, but I managed to convince myself that was probably just marking utilities, because, if it was meant to be torn up, wouldn't they have done it at the same time that they tore up the rest of the stuff on my street?

Then, at about 10:30 this morning, an hour and a half before nap time, the jackhammers started up again. I flipped. No! Not another who-knows-how-many-days of cranky, overtired toddler! And I have a ton of stuff to do that I can only get done without a toddler following me around trying to "help!" So I called our developer to find out what was going on and how many more days I could expect of this. I was half hoping I could request a no-jackhammer-period between noon and 2pm everyday, but I nixed that idea fearing that I'd be regarded as a crazy lady who expects the world to revolve around her personal schedule. Besides, it's not like our developer wanted to have to be doing any of this anyway.

I spoke to the nice lady who answers the phones, and she got my name and number and told me that the guy in charge of the sidewalk repairs would call me back. In the meantime, remembering that the workers often seemed to take a lunch break around 11:30 until about 1:00 everyday last week, I resolved to give Owen an early lunch and try to get him to go down for a nap early as well. Thank goodness, he was actually tired (he was up early this morning) and was willing to work with me on this plan. Alas, as I finished reading him his story and was tucking him in, the jackhammers started up again. You could hear them loud and clear, despite the white noise machine in Owen's room being turned on high. Owen was so sleepy though, he actually put his little bippy (small square blanket) over his head, I guess to block out the noise, and went right to sleep. Soon afterwards, the noise stopped and the workers drove off, presumably for lunch.

Later, the wonderful man that I was told would call me back, called me back. I asked him how much longer I could expect the work to be going on, and if the pink lines in my driveway meant that part of my driveway would soon be gone. I said that I was just wondering because I have a toddler who naps in the afternoon, and I understand the city is making them do this, but it is kind of disruptive, and so, well, I was just kind of wanting to know what I was going to be in for this week. He told me he hoped to be all done by the end of the week. He said, unfortunately, the pink lines on my driveway did mean that it would be torn up. And THEN (and this is why I now love this man) he asked me (without me mentioning it) if I had a time preference for the jackhammers. I certainly wasn't expecting that. I stammered out that, well, Owen usually naps between 12 and 3, but I'd be happy with quiet between 12 and 2 because 2 hours is usually good enough. Now get this...he said I was talking to the right person, because he is in charge of the whole thing and he can make that happen for me. He said that he would just tell his guys to do their jackhammering in the morning and be done by noon. If I hear any jackhammers after 12:00pm, I am to call him and let him know! Can you believe that? And I wasn't scary b*%^$ lady or anything. I was meekly polite little me, just opening myself up to being walked all over, and this guy bent over backwards to make life easier for me! So Mom, you were right. It never hurts to ask. In fact, sometimes, you don't even have to ask the main question, just all the questions that encircle the main question, and the person you are talking to might just get what you are driving at and get you what you need. Just remember to be really nice.

Wow, this post has traveled the map, hasn't it? I'm not even going to go back and check it for errors or to see if what I typed makes sense. It's after 9, and I have to get a toddler dressed, fed, and out the door by 9 tomorrow to go get his hair cut. I must be in top form, because he does not enjoy haircuts. This means, I need to start thinking about going to bed.