Next month:
April 2004

Off to sunny Florida!

Yeah, I wish... I just saw Katie off. She's heading to Florida for 10 days with a friend and former (as of his last day on Friday) co-worker. This was something they planned to do at Christmas, but it got put off. Now her friend is leaving for a stint in the Navy in a few weeks, so this is their last hurrah. They took my car, so I'll be driving the hippiemobile. Ali may get desperate and want me to teach her how to drive it (standard transmission); mine's an automatic and she's never felt the need to learn the other -- 'til now.

Katie took the digicam, so no pics of progress; perhaps I'll learn to use the webcam.

I took K&A shopping for phones last night. I definitely wanted Katie to have a phone for the trip and (wouldn't you know?) it's just a few weeks 'til their birthdays, and Ali wants one, too! I've been considering everything under the sun, and finally decided to go with prepaid -- Virgin Mobile to be exact. These are the first cell phones in our household; I have no idea how they will be used; I don't have money to throw away on unused minutes; this seemed the best way to test the waters. I bought the phones, they'll buy the airtime, I think we're all happy.

Birthday season is fast approaching, so it's nice to have these two things taken care of. They were all born in April, so it is a "season." Katie will be 19 on the 22nd, Ali will be 17 on the 16th, and Maddy will be 13 on the 25th; we'll be surrounded by teenagers! They are all so wonderful...

In knitting news, we ended up at Target (no knitting stuff) for the phones so I didn't get the circular needles that I need to finish the tank top. I sewed the shoulder seams and dealt with ends on Sonnet, instead. I still haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do about sleeves. I was able to try it on, though, now that there are shoulders, and I like it!


Oh yeah, I ordered some yarn from elann yesterday -- 17 balls of Schoeller Stahl Cecil (51% cotton, 49% acrylic) in Navy at $2.25 each. It looks like it's a pretty dark navy, but I may make this into the summer cardi that's destined to be worn with the tank.

I saw some tulips coming up by the deck this morning, and the grass is looking green rather than brown!

What are you wearing?

I sewed the side seams of the tank last night. I was wearing "jeans" (back to that in a minute) and that little top is going to look so great with anything denim! There's something about the light yellow and white in combination with denim blue! My next new project is definitely going to be a summery, cotton denim cardi to wear with it! I'll need a list (hopefully, short) of possibilities.

I was really drained last night, though, so I could barely even think about the knitting that still needs to be done around the armholes and neck -- and there's not much, really. I tried the tank on this morning when I was getting ready for work, and it fits nicely. The fabric is very soft and it drapes well. I believe it is the only yellow thing in my entire wardrobe.

So, back to "jeans." I was actually wearing denim pants -- with an elastic waist. I don't think they're really called blue jeans. In my 40-plus years of living and as the owner of many a pair of jeans, I've had maybe one pair that were even close to fitting correctly AND being comfortable. Of course I wore jeans all the time in my teens and early adulthood -- and suffered a pinch somewhere with each and every pair. One discovers the wonder of an elastic waist during pregnancy... From there, I was "fortunate" enough to ease right into the time when leggings (stretchy in all directions!) were all the rage. I'm sure I wore leggings a little longer than was fashionable, though not as long as some.

"Mom, are you wearing flairs??!" That was Maddy's reaction to my attire a couple of days ago. I was wearing a new pair of jeans -- yes, flairs, with a zipper and a button even, AND they're even hipsters. Yikes. It didn't take me long to discover that passion-killer underwear, which work fine with pants, is not the undergarment that goes with hipsters. Gawd. Now I have to go shopping for new underwear (I did find one bikini-ish pair WAY in the back of my drawer). "Bikini" has not been in my wardrobe vocabulary (under, over or stand-alone) for quite some time!  I wore this style of jeans before -- back in the day when they were called hip-huggers -- and once I get the underthing going, it'll all be good again.

"Yeah, I'm wearing flairs. So what?"


This is one view of our "Garden Room." The plants are all very anxious to get back outside! This room has SE exposure and is painted a nice, light, sunny yellow -- there is natural wood on the floor and ceiling, a big utility cupboard, huge windows, two doors and a doorway all in this tiny little room, so the yellow doesn't even have a chance at seeming too-too. The Garden Room is off the kitchen and in full view from my spot at the kitchen table. Even on the dreariest of days (and these past few are right up there), it can brighten my mood.

It will certainly be a while before the breeze will be blowing through any of those leaves, but in outdoor garden news, I saw sedum sprouts, and the snowdrops on the hillside will soon be blooming.

My husband and I went to see our second-born, Ali, perform in a regional vocal competition; she was part of a triple trio (minus one, or is that a double trio plus two?). I love hearing kids sing, and this was no exception. Our high school vocal director is amazing and it shows in competitions such as these (the judge couldn't think of anything the jazz choir could improve on!) and in the school concerts and musicals.

On Friday, Katie went to Milwaukee with a friend to attend a concert, and then drove to Madison to stay the night at my sister's before visiting with friends at UW. She was pooped when she got home! She's working today and then she and Al will be going to another concert tonight!

I have managed to do a bit more knitting on Sonnet over the weekend. I'm on the last stretch of garter stitch for the body. The yarn situation is tense...

When the weather was supposed to be sunny, it was not; and right now, we're supposed to be experiencing rain, but the sun is definitely winning out. It's spring!

Where's the sun?

I've heard rumors that the sun is supposed to shine this afternoon; I hope they're true. It's almost afternoon and all I can say is that it might be a bit brighter than it was at 10:00. Meanwhile, it has been warmer the past couple of days, but quite damp. I saw my first worm today (haven't seen a robin yet).

I made progress on Sonnet last night while watching the pairs' and men's finals in the World Figure Skating Championships. It seemed to start rather slowly and a bit lackluster, but it didn't take long for the competitors to show up. You know it's good when even Dick Button is speechless (as he was a time or two). Go Johnny Weir! I easily get caught up in the emotion and intensity (when it's there) and that was the case last night. I hope the women are as spectacular on Saturday night.

Sonnet. As mentioned earlier, I'm using some Cotton Top that I've had in my stash f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I'd originally bought it to knit a sweater for my husband, though I'm not sure we were even married at the time, so the reason I never knit it may have been a subconscious boyfriend-sweater thing. I recall that it was going to be mostly off-white with some tan stripes and a tiny bit of a reddish color for accent. I knit a scarf with the reddish stuff last winter, so that's gone. Sonnet is being made with the remaining two colors; the off-white for all the garter stitch and the tan for all the box stitch. I may run out of off-white... I just cast off for the second armhole, so it won't be long before I've finished the body and I'll be able to get a grip on the yarn situation. I think short sleeves might be an option, and my Sonnet would be more of a top than a cardigan; Patons Cotton Top is not a heavy yarn at all, and this could work.


I've had better days off...

On the bright side, I had lunch with my mom and she rode along with me while I ran a few errands. We just had to stop at a couple of shops, too! I used to see her at least three mornings a week when we'd go to Curves, but I started a new job at the end of December and my work schedule and Curves' schedule just don't mesh. When I can, I try to make a little "Mom Time" on my days off; I miss her.

So I did all that great day-off-stuff (seems to imply relaxation, doesn't it?) like balancing checkbooks and paying bills, doing laundry. I finally tired of sticking to certain spots of the kitchen floor, so also some cleaning...

I sat down to work on Sonnet while watching American Idol. Wow, I thought Matt sang his song so much better last night after being voted off than he did the night before. Singing a love song to Simon was kind of weird, though. I got sucked into that show big time last year (never saw a single episode the first year), and I guess I'm back. Jon Peter -- am I alone in thinking that he looks like he would fit right in on That '70s Show?

I got a lot done on Sonnet last night and I THINK I'm going to like it when it's finished. I just started on the second box stitch portion of the back (did one 4-row repeat). In more knitting news: I splurged a few weeks ago and joined Rowan International and received all my stuff on Tuesday. Yay!! It's all gorgeous and I can't wait to get started.

I did not get around to taking any pictures yesterday, as I'd hoped. The light was not so good. The next few days are supposed to be brighter -- and warmer!

Blazing sun

There's just nothing like a bright, sunny, very early spring day. I keep traipsing around the yard, even though I know it's just a bit early to expect anything fun. Two of my favorite things to watch for are the bleeding heart and the hostas. Once the bleeding heart starts to emerge, it practically explodes; it's a big ol' thing, and its vigor astonishes me every single year. I have quite a few different varieties of hosta and they grow pretty fast, also, but I especially love to catch them when they just begin to poke through.

I watched "crime time" TV (CSI Miami) by myself last night; my eldest daughter is usually my cohort, but she had other things to do. Too bad because her favorite character (Speed) had more of a featured role last night than usual.

Tomorrow is my day off and, hopefully, between having the oil changed, grocery shopping, laundry and other errands, I'll be able to take some pics and get them posted -- and do some knitting.

Movie madness

What Classic Movie Are You?

It was movie madness at my house last weekend. First, an old movie with Gregory Peck (*sigh*) and Greer Garson, followed by Bogart & Hepburn on the African Queen, and then Hepburn again with Cary Grant (another -- but not quite as dreamy -- *sigh*) in Bringing Up Baby, but I just couldn't finish a third movie! Needles were working the whole time.

Knitting: I recently finished knitting the "Beaded Pullover" tank top (without the beads), pattern 16C from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2003. I used a light yellow and white silk/cotton yarn that I've had in my stash for nearly 20 years -- it feels just wonderful and I can't wait to wear it. But first, I have to sew the side seams (shoulders were bound off using three needles) and knit a few quick rows around the sleeves and neck.

On the needles now is Sonnet which I am also knitting with yarn that I've had for nearly 20 years -- two colors of Patons Cotton Top. We'll see what happens... I just have to use up this yarn!

It's Spring!

'Tis the First Day of Spring! It's sunny and warm-ish (in a place where 45F on March 20th really IS warm). It seems like a good day to embark on something new -- my very first blog (there is a lot to learn and a lot to do...).

I have been inspired by the blogs of knitters around the world, and have learned so much from them. I can't even begin to imagine that my contribution would serve as inspiration to anyone. Here goes!