Friday, November 19, 2010

November 19, 2010

Went to The Melting Pot in Somerville last night with friends from MOMS Club. Service was ok, not bad but could have been better. Food was good. Nicely seasoned, and we were all full when we left. Of course, my share of the whole thing, plus my two AWESOME chocolate martinis, came to almost $100 including tip. Not someplace I'd go every day, but perfect for celebrating a special occasion with a small group of friends. Only four of us showed up, and I think the experience would have been worse if we had more.

Progressing nicely on my commissioned hoodie. Still stalled on the Kara cardi, but I am determined to get it done before Thanksgiving. It's not that it's a complicated pattern (I'd never design anything complicated), it's just that I can't get into it anymore. But it's been sitting on my needles since August, so I need to get my ass in gear. Also, finally got measurements from MIL so I can continue on her cardi. Mmmmm, alpaca.

Hit AC Moore two weekends back and got over $150 of yarn for $90-something. Most of it was for the commission, but I also got some nice stuff to knit up for DS and for me.

Hoping to enjoy some peace and quiet today, but DH is home sick so we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sorry I've been gone so long

So...... I know it's been a long time. Part of it was life getting in the way, part of it was not having our own internet connection anymore, part of it was difficulty coming up with topics and titles, but most of it was just pure laziness.

What's New in My Life

DD is crawling now, so she's been getting into everything. That's her stuck trying to get to Brother's DVDs. She's vocalizing more, and even copying sounds that we make. Lately we've been telling her no, and sometimes she throws a tantrum, sometimes she pouts, and sometimes she just crawls away. And her first tooth finally broke through.

What's Off the Needles

DH has been bugging me for a while about seaming his sweater (like he's gonna need a heavy wool sweater this summer), so I finished it.

Also, I have everything done on DS's sweater except the zipper. Gonna go over Nana's one rainy day and figure out how to sew that baby on.
Finished socks for LK, but don't have any pics yet. Will post next time.

KIP (What's On the Needles)

I've got one very fuzzy bear made completely out of fun fur and one bear made with fun fur/RHSS mix. Both were supposed to be for Pam's contest, but DS wants to keep fuzzy cuz DH says he looks like an Ewok. Hopefully I'll finish the two by the end of the week so I can start on two blue ones that I have planned.

I'm still working on my Omega Psi Phi scarf. I got a lot done, but I think I'll frog it (again) to give myself more selvedge stitches to sew up so the double knitting doesn't bow out. There's also a matching hat planned. All my own designs. There's also an AKA scarf (Bernat pink and green camo) that is my "mindless" knitting project. Great for doctor's offices, driving to see in-laws, and anywhere else it's better to zone out than to stress about the impending event.

And finally, a sweater for DD. Dad's got one, Brother's got one, now the baby needs a sweater. I wanted something to throw on her on chilly nights, but I couldn't find anything in the stores that was as light as I wanted. I'm using Allegra Wermuth's Boheme pattern, but where she calls for DK I'm using worsted. Hopefully I've adjusted properly. I also bought the yarn for Interweave's Florentine Dress. Both are in shades of lilac, so I'm hoping they'll make a nice outfit. Thanks to Tricia for picking out the buttons.

No pics for these. Maybe next time.

Upcoming Events

  • The last day of school is Friday, so I'll have both kids all day long. The plan is to go to the pool MWF and stay home the other two days (so I can get stuff done, like knitting in peace).
  • DH and DS are going out to Pennsyltucky for the Fourth. I'm gonna see if I can drop DD off at Nana's so I can have a weekend all to myself. Whee!!!
  • DS's scout leader has kinda asked me to help her out next year. I'm not sure I'm cut out for it, as I've never worked that closely with a group of young boys before, but everyone I've talked to thinks I'll be okay. If anyone reads this before August, please comment and let me know what you think.

Closing Thoughts

After knitting other people's patterns for almost three years, I'm starting to get my own ideas. Eventually they will get out of my head and onto needles and paper. I'm charting the Omega Psi Phi scarf as I go, and I've been writing down some stuff for gauntlets and a matching ear warmer. To save on yarn for the more complicated stuff, I've enlisted the help of my cousin (size XS) and my neighbor (size S-M) to be my models for tops. I almost never get gauge in a pattern using the recommended needles, so if anyone uses my patterns in the future they will definitely have to do a tension swatch.

My First Posted Pattern

I won't claim credit for this. It's in my head, but it feels more like I'm remembering something I saw than my own idea. But here is the pattern for DH's scarf.


1 skein Red Heart Super Saver (or approx. 250 yds worsted)
US 7 needles, straight or circ
Gauge not important. It's a scarf for cryin out loud.

CO 39 st, or any preferred multiple of 6 sts + 3.
Row 1: K3, [P3, K3] til end of row
Row 2: P1, [K1, P1] til end of row
Rep rows 1 and 2 until desired length, ending on row 2.
BO in patt for row 1.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Warm and Fuzzy

Once again, I have missed a week. But I have a good excuse. I have started seaming the sweater.

As you can see, I've got one shoulder seamed as per the directions, and I've started the collar. BIL is starting to get jealous, cuz SIL has been working on his scarf  since last fall. But all my in-laws love how the sweater is coming out. I think BIL has been dropping subtle hints for a sweater of his own, but he isn't known for his subtlety, so I may be reading too much into this. But I told him I would make him a black and gold hat for his beloved Steelers. Depending on how finances and time goes, I may make him a matching sweater. His birthday is the end of November, so I have plenty of time.

Also, I've started a group on Ravelry for our local knitting group. Besides people I know personally, I've had three people join the group online. Unfortunately, I have yet to hear back from the library. Later on today, I'll give them a call and see if we can start this Sunday. Plus, I think SIL could use some socializing with others in a free setting. I know I definitely could.

It's been kinda fun reclaiming the power of motherhood. I'm not saying anything bad about any other parenting styles, but there is definitely something empowering about being a SAHM. I know my kids better than my parents knew me and my brother growing up. DH, the kids, and I went to the mall on Thursday. The mall has a setup where you can text a song and it gets played over the PA system. I picked the song and told DS I had picked his favorite song from the list and to guess which one it was. He got it on the first guess. That made me feel soooooo good as a mom. And then later on that night DS said "Mom, your knitting is magical." Tons of warm and fuzzies on that one. And instead of having DD in daycare and hearing second-hand what she did, I get to see her jabber at her toys and try to figure out how stuff works. And she is fascinated by my hands moving as I knit.
Even though I hate to clean, I love cooking and helping DS with his homework and talking with DH about his day at work and just having the time to be there for my family.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Am Now A Real Knitter

First, I wanna apologize for missing last week's post. I was having way too much fun having DH home for a change. Now on to the rant.

Real knitters have knitting groups.
I finally heard back from my local library about having a knitting group meet there. They are totally excited about having a group, but due to library  policy we can only meet twice a month. There's a Sci-Fi thing going on every second Sunday, so I figure the first and third should work for the knitting group. I just gotta do flyers now. The library will distribute press releases for us to if we write them, and free publicity can't hurt. All we need now is a name. I'm kinda partial to Sticks -N- String. Comment and let me know what you think.

Real knitters have stashes.
Thanks to Pam, I went to a fantabulous sale at the Stitching Bee in Chatham yesterday. It was definitely worth the hour drive. I got lots of yummy yarn, all for one dollar each.
I know, it's a lot of blue. DS's school colors are blue and white, and the PTA Prez has told me if I made stuff she would buy it. So I got some Lamb's Pride and some Berocco and some sock yarn I've never heard of, and I'll be knitting up inventory for the 2010-2011 school year. I also got a baby blue cashmere that I just may keep for myself. Sometime this week I'll post my stash on Ravelry, so you'll have to check it out.
I also met some really nice people at the Stitching Bee. Caroline was knitting a sweater for her grand-niece. It was the cutest thing, off-white with brown teddy bears. We talked about knitting looms and socks, and she gave me some great tips on doing intarsia. Judy was also great. She was helping customers at the sale, looking up inventory, and helping Caroline with embroidery, all at the same time.

That's Caroline at the table, working on the baby sweater.

If you get the chance, definitely check it out. As well as knitting, there was a lot of good stuff for needlepoint. The Stitching Bee is in a gorgeous location. The customer service is fantastic, as is the selection of yarn, books, and supplies. They also had some cool funky buttons behind the counter. It's on Main Street in Chatham, nestled between 287, 78, and the Parkway, so getting there is a breeze.

As for me and my knitting, I'm about halfway done the front of DH's sweater. I finished the back around Groundhog's Day, and I cast on the front during the snowstorm on Wednesday.  It's gonna have to be put on hold, though. My mom's sorority is having a conference the end of March and I want to make her a shawl in their colors. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Validation is great. Especially in today's dreary world when you're never sure if you're doing the right thing, for yourself or others. But a kind word and a warm smile work wonders.

First, talking with SIL about our upcoming trip to the Knit Kit, she was telling me how her and a friend at work were both learning to knit together. She said books were one thing, but she needed to see somebody do a technique over and over again for her to really get it. I told her I look up videos on the internet, and she says "I want to watch you. You're really good and you know what you're doing." Wow.
Now, SIL and I haven't always been friendly towards each other. Because of misunderstandings and half-truths from a third party, she thought I was taking advantage of her brother. But after five and a half years of being with her brother, we've finally gotten to the point where we can go on an outing together, just the two of us. This is our first time being together without either one of our husbands around, and I'm really looking forward to it. And to top it all off she wants to learn knitting technique from me. Totally awesome.

Second compliment. On the phone last night with Mrs. K talking about AK and how she liked her socks. Now, I'm expecting some nice but non-committal comment, but Mrs. K says "She loves them. And I'm jealous. I want a pair." When she agrees to have them in the same color as her daughter's, I can hear AK cheering in the background. Unbeknownst to the K's I'm also gonna check my stash to see if I have enough gray left to do a pair for Mr. K. My first pair of socks, and they went over great. And Mrs. K is the kind of friend who will tell me the truth no matter what, so I know she really likes the socks.

Third compliment, and the best one of all. While on the phone with Mrs. K, DH asks me if we have anything nukable. He just ate the last nukable thing ive minutes before he asked, so I tell him no and ask if he wants an egg. After getting off the phone, I fry him an egg and serve it on a 7-grain bagel w/mozzarella cheese. He looks at me with love in his eyes. "Aww, hun, thanks. You always take care of me, and you do a great job of it."

Ah, validation. Working on a relationship with SIL, my knitting, and being a good mother and wife. We all know hard work pays off, but it's hard to see progress without outside observations. Thanks to you all for making my week, and for letting me know that at least I'm doing some things right.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We Did It

Last night was DS's first ever Pinewood Derby. He placed first in two heats, and third in the other two. But he had a blast and his car was really cool. DS and DH worked hard on it, and it was a good father-son experience for them.

Before the Derby, I also finished one sock! My first sock ever!
I know I said I was gonna do the 2-on-1 method, but I had a brain fart and got my circulars at Wally World. The only circs they had in the store. I thought the package said 5 and I didn't read the length. Well, it was 5 mm, which is a size 8 for those of us who don't understand why American measurement can't be like the rest of the world. So the needles were too big and too short for what I had envisioned, so I made do. I did one sock at a time and scaled down the pattern. And instead of these being regular socks, they're now more like slipper socks. Here's my progress.

Thursday night.
Friday morning

And these two are Friday evening.

I'm now on sock two, which I can hopefully get done no later than tomorrow morning so I have time to wash the acrylic to soften it. Comment and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I need an Eight Day Week

Sorry it's been a while. The Gregi are over-booked, as usual.

The Pinewood Derby is this Friday, so DH and DS have been working like crazy to get everything done. The final assembly will be tonight, and hopefully they're still under the weight limit.

A somewhat distant relative passed away and the services were Thursday. Went to escort Nana and reconnect with cousins I haven't seen in 15-odd years. Why is it that it takes a funeral to bring family together?

And yesterday DS seems to have had a stomach bug. Her food went in one end, then came out both ends the same consistency it went in. It's bad when taking care of your children makes you want to throw up.

So, after all that excitement, there is still no rest for the wicked. Tonight is PTA, tomorrow is Resident's Association, Thursday is Pinewood Derby weigh-in, Friday is the Derby itself, and Saturday Sunday is AK's (daughter of Mrs K) birthday party.

For AK's birthday, I picked up a cute outfit in her fav color, purple. I also bought some purple/pink/pastel colored yarn to make a pair of socks to go with the outfit. I've never made socks before, and I'm going to do these using the 2-on-1 method with circular needles. (BTW- Also bought another pair of needles) So wish me luck. I'll try to have pics posted regularly so you can see how they're coming along.

I feel bad about posting this, as the quality isn't that great. It feels forced and rushed, but I am commited to my once-a-week resolution. Plus, it's taken me two hours to write this cuz I'm also making Pork Chops Pizzaiola at the same time. Now I gotta go start the rice and wake DD up so she eats before the PTA meeting. Whew!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


First of all,thanks to Mrs. K for telling me about JoAnn Fabric, thanks to Pam for blogging about Knit Kit, and thank God for little miracles. Now on to the rant.

Yesterday was an adventurous day for the Gregi. First, DD went off to Nana's and I headed south to check out JoAnn Fabric in Princeton on Rte 1. Google has the location wrong; it's right before the QB Mall on the southbound side.
So I walk in and the first thing I notice is the great selection of fabric. Clean and organized, no bolts falling off shelves or cloth dragging on the floor. Second thing I notice is boxes of Lion Brand Yarn. Big boxes of Homespun and Vanna White. Of course I have to go check it out.
The boxes up front had yarn cheaper than the Michael's in North Bruns (closest to my house), so I decide to check out the rest of their selection. Yarn Sale! Pound of Love was on sale. Bernat's baby stuff was on sale. Wool Ease Thick and Quick (which I'm using for DH's sweater) was on sale. They even had some delicious sock yarn marked down, but I've never made socks, and don't own needles smaller than a US7. But I was thinking about it.
I make myself step back and look at the yarn section. JoAnn's has great price, great variety, but not a lot of quantity. There were tons of different colors of Homespun, but no more than three skeins per color. They only had two skeins of the Wool Ease I'm using for the sweater. JoAnn's is now my "go to" store for scarves, but I'll have to find another store for blankets and (hopefully) future sweaters.

So I finally got my fabric, and headed north after spending WAY too much time in that store. Into the land of customer service to return some overly pink clothes I got for DD from well-meaning friends of MIL. If any of you are reading this, DO NOT take all the tags off. I went to Penney's in EB, and they refused to takes things that they obviously carried because there was no JCP tag on them. They did take a onesie and a 3pc set for almost $30 in store credit. I got a nice onesie, a feetie, and two 3pc sets. The cashiers were nice, but I was stuck with four outfits that didn't fit and I didn't like.
I then went to Kohl's where the outfit I returned was marked down to $4.20. The customer service lady laughed at me, but I found two pairs of pants for $3 each and didn't mind throwing in the extra $1.80.

Now it's DD's turn for an adventure. I head home, pick up DS from the bus stop, get DD from Nana's, and head to SB to visit DD's buddy JB, to give them the unreturnable clothes. JB was born 19 days before DD, and her grandmother lives in my development, so the two have become friends. It was their first playdate, and it was adorable. They were smiling at each other and talking baby talk and playing on the mat together. At one point, DD had her hand stretched out and JB was sucking on her fingers. Awwww!
Here they are at Christmas (DD's the tiny one on the right)

And here they are yesterday.

Huge difference, right? And JB has a big sister who is the same age as DS, and they were having so much fun DS didn't want to leave. We all had so much fun that we made tentative plans to hang out Monday.

I've got a new LYS, DD's got a playdate buddy, and I can finally finish my blanket. I'll try to post pics and pattern tomorrow, seeing as MIL's going out to see her sister this weekend so it's gotta get done soon. Also, looking for a good scarf pattern. I wanna do cables on the self-striping yarn I picked up at JoAnn's for my uncle who's birthday was yesterday. E-mail or comment, let me know what ya got.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another UFO (Unfinished Object)

I finally finished knitting a project on needles. I was on a knitting high, until I tried to find flannel to sew to the back of the throw. Unknown to me, Rag Shop went out of business! WTF? Where am I supposed to find a decent variety of fabric?

Since I use Michael's as my LYS (the nearest good one I know of is in Bridgewater), I know they don't have any fabric beyond bandannas and felt. I drove to AC Moore in EB, got some good yarn for a sweater for DH (another rant for another day), and went looking for cloth. ACM has large squares for quilting and flannel pajama bottoms, but no bolts of anything. I almost bought the pj's with the intent of using those, but it wasn't worth the time and money.

I haven't spoken with anyone at Michael's, but according to Mary at ACM they have no plans to carry bolts of fabric at this time. She told me to try WalMart. Now, our local Wally World had a horrible selection of costumes this past Halloween. I bought a set of long underwear this past fall, got it home and realized the top was not in the bag. DH had ripped the plastic when he opened it, and Wally World refused to accept the return, claiming it had been washed and blaming me for the missing piece. You can understand my reluctance to look for fabric there, let alone buy it.

So, to ease my angst at Wally World and Rag Shop, Auntee gave me the address and number of a fabric shop in Somerset and Nana told me to try a place on 22 in Plainfield. This is way too much work for a 4ft x 2ft piece of flannel. So until I get a chance to hunt down some fabric, the throw is now a UFO. So back to the afghan and starting on my first sweater ever.

BTW - Battery in camera died, so no pics of afghan for now. Will update soon.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

2010 is finally here. I've been waiting for tis year all my life, as I hit the next big milestone of turning thirty. But for now I'm still 29.95

I've started blogs before, but never got past the second or third post. So first resolution: Post to my blog at least once a week. Between managing the lives of DH, DS, and DD, as well as trying to keep my own sanity intact, I can't commit to any more than that.

Second resolution: be a good housewife. Yes, I know it's unusual, but let me give you a little background. My mother and her mother (Nana) (who both live in NJ) worked outside of the home, and both were surprised with my decision to quit my job the summer of 2006 and become a SAHM. My dad's mother stayed home to raise her four kids, but she lives in VA and only has happy things to say to me. But that's another rant for another day.
Anywho... my mother not being domestically inclined and me not having a lot of SAHM role models growing up or now, being a housewife is a trial by fire. Trying to keep on top of laundry, cleaning, homework, appointments, cooking, and taking care of myself is very overwhelming, even at the best of times. DH, who's mom stayed home with him til 3rd grade, is appreciative, helpful, and uncomplaining as long as he has clean underwear.

Third resolution: get out more. I am what my Nana calls a Social Butterfly. I love meeting new people and doing new things and just being social. I just can't seem to find the time to do that anymore. I used to sing karaoke every Friday night with the guys from Mobile Music, but besides being tired as hell when 9pm rolls around, it's just not as fun as it used to be. So I need new stuff to do. When the weather's warm I want to take DD for walks in her stroller. I want to start a knitting group here in Deer Brook, or at least at the local library. And I need to spend more time with DD's godparents, who are wonderful people who put up with me taking forever to return phone calls.

Final resolution: keep up the good work. I quit smoking for DD, I've lost forty pounds over the last two years, and I finally got the filing under some semblance of control. I can't let things go back the way they were. I just gotta put one foot in front of the other, and hope that I don't wobble too much.