Monthly Archives: May 2007

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Sets Some Goals

Hey, Anna-Liza here.

I was skimming through the WordPress Tag Surfer page and I saw knitintensity had an entry about a contest, which is to be found at Skeins Her Way. It requires one to set some summer knitting goals, which I had been sorta kinda thinking of anyway.

May 31st is the contest deadline, I’m afraid, so I’m getting in at the very last minute, and you may be reading this too late to enter, but, as I write this, it’s not midnight anywhere in the U.S. yet!

So, goals! You know, I’ve never been great at setting goals. When I set them, I tend to get distracted by all the stuff that happens on the way to getting there. And I always feel like a failure when I don’t make them. Especially if they are time-related!

Okay, yeah, set some goals.

1. I will finish my friend’s birthday present on time. That means by this Saturday evening. It’s going to be tight–I’ve modified the pattern enough to create a fair bit of extra work. However, I think it will be much better this way.

2. I will finish my Lace Wrap before September 1st. This sounds like a lot of time for the amount of work left, but it’s a lot of wool to have in my lap on hot days.

3. I will finish my current pair of cabled socks. I’ve got the second one on the needles, but I’m in danger of SSS if I don’t get moving on them soon.

4. I will pick one of the summer tops I’ve been considering and get it swatched and on the needles. I’m not quite willing to say I’ll get it finished in time to wear this summer, but at least I’ll get it finished by the end of summer. Probably oughta stick to tank tops to meet this one!

5. I will get the Backyard Leaves scarf done. Ms. English Hotcar has already finished two (TWO!!) in the time I’ve gotten a quarter done on mine!

 Okay, I think that’s plenty. I’m feeling a little light-headed now; maybe I should go for a nice lie-down.

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Knits and Battles the Endless Homework – Round 2!

Lyda here. Actually, it feels like Round #475,671. I guess that’s about right, since I’m coming up on the end of the spring quarter of school, and almost the end of the first year. Wow, almost halfway to my masters degree. I’d get all pumped up, but I just had a conversation with my brother the Wonderful-and-Available Engineer who is about to start work on his PhD. We believe in education in our family. I’m the last one to get a masters, as a matter of fact. Hey, I was busy raising my son the Sith Master before. But he’s 16 and (gulp) almost driving, so he can rule the Universe with the Dark Side of the Force without me now. (Actually, I’m on the Light Side myself, really. I don’t know how this whole Sith thing happened, but I blame the cat. It’s always the cat’s fault, yes?)

I’ve almost got the Endless Homework defeated again (although it certainly will rise again, ya’ll).  Enough that I looked around my apartment for the first time in a couple of weeks – scary, ya’ll! I’ve got a lot of stuff that needs doing, from cleaning and organizing, to writing my book reviews, to dealing with the bills, to finally planting the plants I bought a month ago for the garden.

So of course instead I sat and knitted last night for an hour or so on the Bumpy Stripe Scarf (newly named by the Sith Master, who said last night, “But it’s got bumpy stripes.”). It is two rows garter stitch, then stockinette stitch for 3 repeats, then two rows knitting. (Knit two rows; knit a row & purl a row x3; repeat.) (Hey, my second pattern! Although this is really Jane‘s pattern.) The garter stitch rows are the bumpy stripes. This is Jane’s solution to my frustration with the Evil Curling Stockinette.

This scarf is still on its first skein of yarn with 3 more to go, and I’m not sure I’m likin’ it because the edges are still a bit curly. Last night I thought, maybe I should just frog it and then garter stitch the damn thing. But how many times can you frog the same yarn? I mean, it’s going to disintegrate at some point, right? Or decompose back into its component fibers. So I am perservering.

Like little Natalie Wood, I’m repeating as I knit, “I believe, I believe, it’s stupid, but I believe….” It worked in Miracle on 42nd Street, so this will work for the Bumpy Stripe Scarf.

And if I really don’t like it when I’m done…

well, I can always frog it again…

Ribbit ribbit.

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Is a Hippie Freak

 … stealth variety.

Hey, Anna-Liza here. What do I mean by “Stealth variety hippie freak”? I am so glad you asked!

Oh, and the “stealth hippie” thing applies to Darlin’ K, too, pretty much. He’ll probably argue about it, though. “Stealth” is because, for large chunks of time, both of us appear to be mainstream, or at least mainstream-ish, generic-married-two-kids-trying-to-make-ends-meet kind of folks. At least, if you don’t look too closely.

If you scratch the surface (and not too deep), you’ll find out different. But you know, we both think of most of the things we do as normal, and have to try to remember that most people just don’t do things the way we do. At least, so I hear. When it comes to parenting, for example, we’re no-spank, family-bed, cloth-diapering (yes! And I launder them myself, wimps!) extended breastfeeding types. One of things that I love about living where we do is that I was never once hassled about nursing in public. We know people who go way, way, way further out on the hippie-parent curve than we do, but then we also know people who wouldn’t know what a cloth diaper was if they saw it on a baby.

In fact, this post was partly inspired by Stephanie showing a pic of a baby in wool soakers. I came back to the knitting subculture because I wanted to knit some soakers for my wee ones. I ended up only knitting one, which wasn’t a great success, but hey, at least I started knitting again! I’m going to frog that (completely unused) soaker and turn it into mittens or something.

We’ve both lived a long, long time in the Boulder/Denver area. (That designation really does mean something a bit different than just “Denver” or “Boulder”. There’s a subtle cultural shift involved). He’s been here pretty much his whole life. Me, I’m a recent transplant. I’ve only been here 18 years or so.

I mentioned the Boulder Creek Festival. We went and this year Darlin’ K came along to help wrangle the kids have some fun, too.  I love the Creek Fest. It is so much Boulder … not Denver at all … and I can’t really say what I love so much about it. I mean, I’m not really a big fan of crowds, and I’m constantly in budget-watching mode (should I repeat the joke? Nah.) so it’s not like I go buy jewelry or more hippie clothes or anything. But I love my people-watching, and this is a great place for that.

This year, Mr. R. decided he was no longer interested in the kiddie train ride (Mr. B. went) and he decided he’d rather sword fight with his dad. This involved foam-rubber swords and axes, a lot of joyful flailing about, and nothing resembling actual fencing. They had a great time. There was a stage almost next to the sword-fighting place, and at one point a woman was singing an aria. Not an opera fan, so I can’t tell you what it was, but she sounded pretty good (like I’d know). Mr. B. had fun in the various bouncy houses. And we watched a Nia demonstration (my favorite exercise class evah), and a Taiko drum performance, both of which were really good, and had some ice cream, and the kids played for hours in the creek (while I sat on the bank and knit on the birthday object I can’t tell you what it is yet).  And there was some really good music, too. I totally missed my favorite part, which is going to all the natural foods/body care/home care booths and getting coupons and samples. The kids were having so much fun I didn’t want to drag them away from what they were doing, and by the time I thought to ask DK if he could handle them on his own while I went sample-hunting, the booths were closing down. Oh well, I can do that part next year. (Last year I got awesome samples!)

Today, I was talking about this year’s Creek Fest with a friend who was there the same day we were. And it made me remember this one thing that happened there, back when I was pregnant with Mr. R. (who is 5. And a half. He keeps making me add the “and a half” and now I just have to say it). We have a friend I’ll call J who was doing a dance performance at the Creek Fest. DK is a firespinner and he’s a darn good one (no, I’m not biased, why?). The night before the performance, we saw J and he said he still needed some help with the performance, and would DK be willing to come firespin? (The link is to the website belonging to friends of ours. DK has worked with them before). DK agreed, and we duly showed up at the performance tent about 20 minutes before the show. J had said it was very improvised and there wouldn’t be a rehearsal, DK could just show up with his props and J would fill him in on the general outline, and DK could improvise from there.

Well. When we got to the tent, J looked at me (in my very preggers overalls, looking like a blue pumpkin) and said, “Oh, I wanted both of you!” I was to be the Generic Fertility Goddess. And DK was some form of Generic Fire God, I can’t remember what flavor.

Well, here’s where I get the idea that maybe I’m a hippie freak. Instead of saying “Are you out of your mind!?” I said, “But what can we do for a costume?” And a few minutes later, I was sashaying out on the stage, clad in nothing but three strategically placed scarves (and my, at the time, extremely long hair), holding a stone egg over my head and trying not to trip over anything, while appearing to have actual choreography. And DK was dancing around me with things on fire in his hands, and waving them around me.

Good thing he has long arms.

Pollyanna and the Frog Prince

Lyda again.

So, Thursday night I frogged the whole three skeins of yarn I had done on my second-ever project. The Evil Curling Stockinette was just too much for me.  Plus, I only had one more skein of yarn, and it was going to end up as another Random Rectangular Thing. Too big for a stereo cozy, not big enough for a table.

I’m going to start again, and cast on fewer stitches.  I’m also going to follow Jane’s advice, and do 3 rows stockinette then 2 rows garter and repeat.  That will defeat the Evil Curling Stockinette! Hah!

The Prince? With this much frog, there must be a prince somewhere, right?

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Free Falls

Lyda here. You know that song, “And I’m free…. I’m free fallin’…”

Free fall #1:  The job

Last Friday was my last day at my old job at the Huge Educational Institution. I gave notice that Monday.

It was time to go. It was way past time to go. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

I’m working as a temp again now, enjoying it about one million times more. The temp agency has a great staff and they are really excited about me and my skills.

Yeah, I got skills, baby!

Free Fall #2:  The party

Tomorrow night I’m supposed to go to a birthday party for one of my classmates.  At a ranch a couple of hours from home. With live bands and food and probably 300 people.

This is big stuff for me. Because there will be a bunch of people I don’t know. And a drive I’ve never made before (Have I mentioned that I have a Directional Deficency? Yeah, and there’s no telethon to help.) And probably dancing. And it totally goes against my usual hermit ways.

And oh yeah, there will be menz there.  Men – oh geez.  What have I got myself into?

The worst part is, I’d be going by myself, not knowing if any of my friends from class are going to be there.  Maybe I should call some of them, huh?

And since I have to drive back, I probably won’t have even one drink.

Of course, if I stay home, I’ll regret it. But I’d probably get a lot of knitting done…. hmmm…

So, not “jumping out of a plane” free falling.

But still scary, kids.

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Busy, Busy Weekends

Hey there, Anna-Liza here.

So last weekend was The Baby Weekend. The kidlets, Darlin’ K and I went to a friend’s baby blessing and barbeque (they grilled lamb and veggies, not baby, promise!) And the next day I went to a baby shower for DK’s cousin-in-law. I was sort of worried, since I don’t know his cousin-in-law very well and I’m always sort of awkward and weird at parties where I don’t know people, but it turned out great. I got to visit with DK’s aunt for a long time, and I love her to pieces. Also, at one point we were watching CIL open her ginormous pile of gifts, and four of us at one time were crafting–two knitters, one crocheter, and one needlepointer. I was trying to finish the baby hat that went with the kimono I’d wrapped and added to the pile, and one lady was crocheting a baby blanket, and one was needlepointing (or maybe cross-stitching, but it looked more like canvas than muslin) a pretty thing for the baby as well. The other person, who sat next to me, was knitting a sock using Magic Loop and a Cherry Tree Hills yarn that was just beautiful. She is, apparently, relatively recently married into the family, and it was so nice to sit next to another knitter in a gathering of relative strangers! DK’s mom was there, too–we didn’t get quite as long a visit, but I get to see her a little more often than his aunt, so I’m sure we’ll get all caught up soon.

 So anyway, got nothing done of a practical nature around the house last weekend. Next weekend looks like the same. DK and I would really like to go to this party/dance thing on Friday night, providing we can get sitters. A very dear friend is having a big birthday party Saturday night. A new friend has just invited me to her birthday party on Sunday afternoon (wine and knitting? How can I resist?). And, because I’m a doofus and didn’t check my calendar or with DK first, I volunteered to do some stuff for a workshop on Saturday that will mean I will get to my good friend’s party late, if at all.

So will we get stuff done this weekend? Hm. Probably only the bare minimum. I must wash a load of delicates or I will have no undies after about Tuesday. And I’d dearly love to weed out the tiny flowerbeds and maybe even get some annuals planted. But it’s Memorial Day weekend in the Boulder/Denver area, so that means …

The friends who had the baby-blessing-BBQ have invited us to a just-plain-BBQ on Saturday, and it sounds really relaxed and nice, so we’re going. And I really want to take my kids to the Boulder Creek Festival–it’s so much fun. There’s a kid-oriented area with a train ride and art booths, there’s an Art Tent, there’s a carnival area with a Ferris Wheel and such (not that you’ll ever see me get on a Ferris Wheel–I’m petrified of heights that move. Except for airplanes). And there’s the Rubber Duck Race on Monday.

Unfortunately, also on Monday there is this big Boulder event: the Bolder Boulder. It’s way cool, but it complicates things like traffic and parking and stuff. A lot of my friends have run in it. I haven’t, but then I don’t really get the whole “sweating on purpose” thing. And they don’t get the “playing with string for hours” thing. So we just don’t comment.

I finished the baby hat, all but weaving in the ends, last night. Ms. English Hotcar took a photo while it wasn’t quite done–I’ll post it when she sends it to me. Next deadline is the thingy I’m knitting for the friend whose birthday party I am now afraid of missing. And then maybe I’ll have the luxury of finishing a few of those WIPs that have been on the needles for (mumble mumble mumble).

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Writes Her First Knitting Pattern

Hi, Anna-Liza here. Lyda posted her “stereo cozy” pattern in the comments, but I figure that not everyone’s going to read the comments, and I think this moment should not slip unobtrusively by in our blogging history. 

Keep in mind, Lyda just learned to knit! I think this accomplishment deserves recognition. As you read the pattern (charmingly simple) note that she is picking up the complex technical language of knitters. Here goes!

“Okay, pattern for stereo cozy:
Knit two balls of yarn, discover that there are way too many errors, tink – woops, I mean FROG – entire thing.

Knit two balls of yarn again – discover that while it looks better, it isn’t long enough to be anything. Frog again.

Knit two balls of yarn with fewer stitches in each row – discover it is still too short to be a scarf, decide to give up. Bind off so you can use the needles for another project.

Take out largest glass. Pour marguerita into glass(salting rim first is optional). Drink.

Start new project.”

Personally, I always go for the salted rim option.