Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

Tonight I watched Dirty Dancing with my sister and my niece. It was on the WE network. There were commercials. They edited the dirty words. It was still a great movie. Yes, I know. Shmaltzy. Still, I have always loved this movie and I could watch it again and again.

Work is going circumstantially well. The news is starting to filter through that I am leaving. It is a little sad. Like I said, bittersweet. Today, one of the agents told me that me and Boss are like Batman and Robin, always together and a force to be reckoned with. Someone else pointed out that there are only 3 people in our office (out of 21) that had been there longer than me. That doesn't seem possible to me. I guess I didn't realize how people see me. It is kind of nice to hear people say they will miss me and what will they do without me. I know that a certain amount of this is lipservice but I know, too, that there is some sincerity tossed it. I have so many loose ends to tie up.

Moving on.....

Perhaps I should have mentioned before now but I would really love to receive this:

and this:
for Christmas. I don't think I will because I have been so swamped that I didn't take the time to request them. Umm. The good news on the Christmas front: all of my wrapping is done except for my mother's clock and it is a beast so I am going to have to figure out a nice way to wrap it. My niece came over tonight and helped me wrap and we talked and sang sappy country songs. It was fun. I love my nieces and nephews. Such good kids. Whatever issues my sisters may have (or not have...hi sister!) they have wonderful, sweet, kind, loving, happy children. (and the youngest one even calls me his "wave-wit aunt" sometimes. I can't imagine who taught him to say that!!)

Back to the wishes....any variety of Addis. I only have a pair of 3s (16") and 7s (12"). But I love them. I am in search of projects that require these sizes because I want to use these needles.

Perhaps a skein or two of fancy yarn that I can't convince myself to buy...(Yes, I know, the Clip isn't all that expensive, comparatively, but I haven't brought myself to make a great big online yarn purchase. I am a real sucker for, you know, paying the bills.)

My birthday is the first of February. Maybe I will ask for an Elann gift certificate.

As a sidenote, if anyone knows a spinner in Northern California (let's say, within two hours of Modesto) or if such a spinner happens to stumble through here, please let me know. I am very interested in learning to spin but I have no idea what I am getting myself into. It is just that age-old knitterly longing.

On the very real chance that I don't get around to posting again before Christmas, I wish you all a very, very Merry Christmas. I am so happy to have "met" you all this year and hope you have a wonderful holiday, spend lots of time with loved ones and take a little time to relax and be joyful.

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Scoop

It is official.

I gave my two weeks notice this morning. Which is actually two weeks plus I will work half days at my current job and half days at my new job for a week after that. I have been a nervous wreck about it. It is a bittersweet situation. I have been at my current job for more than 7 years. I've cut my professional teeth in this job. Yes, I had jobs before this one but this is where I have been since I was 21. It was my first "real" job. This is kind of where I've learned to be a grown up. It is a wonderful job and I love what I do about 38 of the 45 hours I work in an average week. I love my boss and his family. I really enjoy working with our clients and for the most part, I like the real estate business.

Why, you ask, am I leaving this job? Money. Stress. Family (wanting to having one, that is).

I have been offered a position working for my father (who owns a manufacturing company) as his executive secretary. It will be more money from the get go with worlds more potential for growth (read: more money) in the long term. There will be more flexibility, more opportunities and less stress. After the miscarriage a few weeks ago, my doctor told me that the stress in my life was most likely a factor. I guess that was sort of the last strike. When my father called last week and offered me this position, I was torn at first but really, I knew in my heart immediately what my decision would be.

So this morning I gave my notice. We have a miniature planning meeting every Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. to talk about where we are on projects and what we have going on for the week. I gave him my notice first thing this morning. I was able to recommend someone to him who can potentially take my place and I wanted to give him all day to mull it over and maybe talk to her. He is interviewing her now. I am hopeful that they will hit it off because I would feel a lot better about the transition if I had an opportunity to train someone. I like my boss and I don't want to leave him in the lurch. Did I mention he is going on vacation for two weeks starting Wednesday? Yeah, not the best timing.

No knitting news. Well, not really. I finished the fun fur scarf over the weekend and cast on for a project that has been rattling around in my brain for a while. Yes, I cast on in utter disregard for the fact that I still have Christmas knitting to finish. I did a little shopping at lunch today. I finally found something for my HP and I also bought a couple of things for his stocking.

Thanks for your good thoughts. It actually went more smoothly than I expected, and I didn't even cry. Which is practically a miracle because I am kind of a crier.

Bad news: The digital camera has gone amiss. I think I am going to have to send the little dog out on some convert ops to find it. No pictures today. Boo-whoo.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Knitting and Babies

In early November, I finished knitting a baby blanket for baby Michal, who is the daughter of my friends Melanie & Bryan. Melanie and I went to high school together when I lived in Arkansas and she is one of the sweetest, kindest, dearest people I know. Since I had moved to California well before she met Bryan, I have never met him but I am sure he is wonderful, too, or she wouldn't be married to him.

I was so excited to send the blanket off to Michal that I (woe of woes!) forgot to take pictures. Luckily, Mommy and Daddy understand the need for photographic documentation and so they graciously provided some pictures for us. (Granted, not the greatest pictures but pictures nonetheless. And with a baby!)

The blanket was knit using the most standard of standard patterns: the basic dishcloth, giant version. The body of the blanket is white Patons Be Mine and the trim was crocheted on after (using the full measure of my crocheting abilities) using Patons Allure in garnet. It is so unbelievably soft and easy to care for. I've knit other baby blankets from this yarn and, in spite of it being the lowly 100% nylon yarn, Be Mine is still great for blankets and the like. Babies love the softness, it is a quick easy knit and it holds up wonderfully to all sorts of baby spitting and drooling and washing.

Isn't she a cutie? I am working on arranging a trip to meet her in person. Hopefully that'll be soon.

Today my HP and I went and did a little Christmas shopping. Progress was made. I still have a considerable amount of shopping to do but I feel alot better about it now. I think I will actually have it all done before Christmas comes.

Today, the only knitting I've managed is a little work on a fun fur scarf. My sister, who is a brand-spanking convert . . . I mean knitter . . . bought one skein of lilac-ish looking fun fur and wanted to make something from it but got frustrated because she wasn't sure what do to with it. Freshly inspired by Laurie and her orange drop-stitched wonder, I took temporary custody of the fun fur and am working on a quick scarf. I am not holding out alot of hope about fun fur's willingness to be blocked.

If you are reading this before Monday, please keep me in your thoughts Monday. I'm stressed (and also excited) about it already. I'll let you all in on the news on Monday night (or maybe Tuesday) once I've gotten over that first hurdle.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

No News

Skeins of yarn purchased today: 2 (Honey if you are reading this, 0. I only said 2 to amuse my knitting friends.)

Knitting projects finished today: 1 (the ribbed hat)

New knitting projects started today: 3 (a pair of baby booties, another /*#%@! hat and a shawl)

Pictures taken of any of the above: 0

Elementary school band concerts attended: 1 (followed by one elementary school band sized headache)

Christmas cards mailed: 0

Christmas cards addressed: 84

Christmas cards remaining to be addressed: 6

Christmas gifts purchased: 8

Christmas gifts wrapped: 0

Comments to other knitting blogs composed in my head: 18

Comments to other knitting blogs actually composed and posted: 0

I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Mixed Messages

On the one hand, I have my Christmas tree up and completely decorating. I even managed to go out and purchase a new tree topper.

On the other hand, I haven't purchased even one gift. I have a husband, parents, parents-in-law, aunts-in-law, sisters, brothers, sister-in-law, brothers-in-law, and many nieces and nephews to buy for. That is just the family.

I have addressed all but about 10 Christmas cards. (This is momentous.)

I haven't done a morsel of Christmas baking.

I have Christmas stockings hung by the china cabinet with care. (We are sans fireplace.)

I have 4 boxes of Christmas decorations sitting untouched on the floor in our dining room.

Apparently I can't decide whether or not to be spirited this year. I am so busy with everything else that it is hard to get in the groove. There is so much going on - though nothing extraordinary. Just your run of the mill chaos like work and family obligations, feeling poorly and just wanting to rest and work . . . . it goes on and on. There are times that I wish I had lived in a different time. I think I would have made an excellent 1950's housewife.

Before I give in to the mournful cries of the pattern-challenged Calmer hat, I do have a little (and I mean negligible) something to show you. It is a sunglasses cozy I knit for my niece's Christmas. It is just a small sort of side gift. It is made from two strands of Lamb's Pride Bulky (from the scrap pile) held together. It knit up super super quickly even for me (I couldn't sleep Friday night so I sat up watching tivo'ed Law & Orders and did this little tidbit.) Here it is prefelting:

And post felting (with the sunglasses).

As you can tell, sometime between early Saturday morning and late Sunday afternoon, I lost my grip on the digital camera.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Questions & Answers

Thank you all so much for your kindness and your encouraging words this week. It has been a long week and it means so much to know that there are people out there thinking of me and praying for me. Thank you, thank you!!!

The last few days have been slow on the knitting front. I am still working on that hat I started on Monday but other than that, no knitting. (This hat kick is strange, considering a. I live in a place where it is seldom cold enough for a hat and b. I personally do not ever wear hats. . .) So now I need some input on this hat. I am making this hat free hand. No pattern. A friend of mind described something she wanted in a hat and I am trying to make that. It is a basic K3, P2 rib, knit in the round. This is fine for the body of the hat (and it is actually working up nicely and very cozy in that
Rowan Calmer I bought over Thanksgiving weekend) but when the time comes to decrease, how should I do the decreases? (Yes, I realize I probably should have figured this out before I cast on but alas, I did not. . . .) My thought is that when it comes time to start the decreases, I will:

1. *K2tog, K1, P2* repeat to then end of the round
2. *K2, P2* a round
3. *K2, P2tog a round
4. *K2, P1* a round
5. *K2tog, P1* a round
6. *K1, P1* a round
7. *K2tog* a round
8. *K* a round
Repeat rounds 7 and 8 until there are only a few stitches and then, you know, pull the tail through a bind off....a la a normal hat.

So does that make sense? Has anybody done a hat similar to this? Do you have any thoughts? I'd appreciate some input.

Super Secret Knitting (Related) Project

Some of you may remember my
super secret knitting (related) project from back before Thanksgiving. They have all arrived at their new homes now so I thought I'd show them to you. I was happily surprised at how the idea came together.

I had:

-some nice lengths of scrap yarns that are too long to just toss and too short to really do anything with
-some dowel rods
-some styrofoam balls
-some large beads and notions
-some friends I wanted to send some nifty little treasures to

So these were born:

Yarn ball & homemade needles Christmas tree ornaments. Ann temporarily decorated her ficus with hers. I haven't seen pictures of the others in their 2 new homes but I know they made it there. Somehow, I neglected to make some for myself but I still plan to. You could make these pretty much any size your heart desires. I happened to have some golf ball sized styrofoam balls so I used those for bases and ended up with yarn balls about tennis ball sized, maybe a little smaller. The "needles" for those who care, ended up about a size 4 or 5.

And because I am a sucker for the photographic evidence, I'll leave you with a few more pictures.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

Do ya'll remember this book?

I love Judith Viorst. I have loved everything I have ever read from her. In addition to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Viorst is also the author of Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday and the book of poems for children If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries (and a myriad of other children's books, too numerous to list). She has also written many books for adults including Grown-up Marriage: What We Know, Wish We Had Known, and Still Need to Know About Being Married and I'm Too Young to be Seventy. If you come across any of her books you should read them or read them to your children or encourage your children to read them.

I am having an Alexander-esque day/week. I haven't been sleeping well (which isn't really new but is getting ridiculous) and work has been inordinately hard and tedious and I really just want to stay at home and decorated my freaking Christmas tree and maybe knit a little. 10 days ago, I found out I was pregnant and today I found out that I am not anymore. Which is hard because I wasn't really sure we were even ready to have a baby and it wasn't planned but I had gotten my heart and mind into and was starting to be excited. It is painful and soul-sucking to find out that I can't even be pregnant right.

I am tired and I am grouchy. When I am tired, I lose my inner monologue. That filter that normally makes me socially adept and prevents all the thoughts that run through my head from coming out of my mouth. I just told a co-worker, who I don't really like but I normally manage to keep my disdain for at bay, to shut the hell up because no one really cares what he has to say anyway. I think I hurt his feelings.

To add insult to injure, yesterday I found out that I have a cavity. In nearly 29 years, I have never had a cavity. WTF?

I haven't purchased even one Christmas present yet and I have only signed and address 5 Christmas cards.

Oh, and I am in a knitting rut. I am knitting another hat. It is for a Christmas present. When did I get so slap-happy about hats?

Sunday, December 04, 2005


So there we go. A little kitsch for the Ok! What Next?? neighborhood. Thanks, Sister!

Yesterday we got out Christmas tree. We had to cut some of the boughs off the bottom so that it would fit in the tree stand so I used the branches to make a hanging for my front door. On the coffee table in the living room, it looked nice. On the front door, it looks kind of sparse. I think I may need to take it down and spice it up a little....

Floral arranging isn't really my gig.

Today's knitting: three rounds on the Rowan Calmer hat, about half a sleeve on my mother's Christmas sweater and I ripped out a baby blanket that was 3/4 finished because I've decided I don't like the colors after all. Call me indecisive.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hats for Haji & A Christmas Tree for Me.

Ok. So I didn't get the new scenery up yet but I will. Soon. Maybe Monday. I'll have to ask the sister.

Blogland is such a quiet place on the weekends but I decided to take a break from vacuuming up the pine needles and cleaning the microwave and show you the pictures of the finished hats that I am sending along with the stuffed animals to Laurie's friend Haji in Afghanistan. Here is the lovely little purple wool guy and his goofy green variegated acrylic cousin, with the fringe. The green hat was knit on the recommended needles. The purple hat was knitted on size 7s. I would not do that again with that yarn. It was a little too tight and made my wrists ache.

As a sidenote, both a furry moose dog toy (which the Sally refuses to play with) and an empty wine glass work out nicely for posing hats.

My handsome prince is over at my parents' house helping my long-suffering father put up the four (yes, I said four) Christmas trees. Mama is known for going all out for Christmas but this will be her first year with four trees. Lucky for me, Daddy and the HP brought my tree to my house before setting off with the others. For the moment, the tree is in the middle of the living room. See?

I'll let you know if it gets to stay there. You see that lamp-table over there to the left? It normally lives where the tree is now. We'll see how this works out.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. (Did you notice? I've managed - at least temporarily - to procure the digital camera!!!)

Oh, and because I am camera happy, here is one more picture of the purple hat, from the top. I just think it looks nifty from the top. So here you go.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Misty Watercolored Memories

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Welcome to another exciting addition of Barely discernible Photographs.
First up, we have actually photographic proof that the weather has - at long last - taken a turn for the better. Well, in my opinion better and at the very least, it has turned seasonally appropriate. All that sunshine and mild to moderate temperatures were about to push me over the edge.

Also, here is the hat from that dreamy purple variegated wool that is destined for Afghanistan. It is going to be a lovely little hat. It is just a plain old K3,P3 ribbing at the bottom and then stockinette in the round. Boring but quick.

I worked on it a few minutes at lunch today but, then the phone rang and somebody came in to see me and "Kristy, I know you are on lunch but could you just look at this one thing?" so I gave up and decided to get back to the relentless pile of work strewn on my desk (see?). I am nearly ready to start the decreases on the hat so hopefully I can finish this one up tonight.

Tomorrow we here at Ok! What Next?? (home of me - the world's slowest knitter) will be rolling out a new look, courtesy of my very talented sister. I am so excited to see the finished design and hope ya'll will stop by and let me know what you think of it.

Seriously, I am going to have to either commandeer "our" digital camera as my own or I am going to have to have to sell a kidney (hey - I've got two!) and buy one for myself. I am weary of the milky pictures.