Thursday, June 23, 2005

Patience, My Little Grasshopper

It's no surprise to me that I have no patience. I've lived with myself for as long as I can remember -- and I've never had any.

So why now, as I've taken up knitting these past few months, did I expect anything else??
Let's look at my cardigan. What did I say recently? "I should finish the sleeves in about a week."

Um. This is how "complete" my cardigan sleeves are today. And we're way past the one week mark.

Is it a patience thing? Or a stupidity thing? Or a combination of both?

Let's tackle stupidity first:

To knit the sleeves, once you start decreasing, the circumference gets too small to continue with one pair of circulars. So you add a second pair. (Or you can go with dpns, but supposedly two sets of circulars are easier.) Easier? If this is easy, knitters may soon require PhDs to call themselves "knitters..."

No exaggeration -- I frogged the same 7-10 rows of knitting in the round with two sets of circulars AT LEAST 10 times. The yarn was getting thread-bare. I even went back to my LYS for help. And continued to frog even after getting help.

Now let's tackle patience.

While at the yarn store for yarn "instructions" last week, Norma and I did a little yarn purchasing, too.

She bought Rowan Biggy Print to knit a scarf called Pia. I bought some Rowan Big Wool because I wanted to make a cute sweater vest called Click-Clack to wear over a long-sleeved white t-shirt. Both came from Rowan's Big Wool Just Got Bigger pattern book.

The next day Norma sends a photo to my cell phone of her progress on the scarf.

My patience with my constantly-being-frogged-sleeve wore thin. I thought to myself: "Self, look how much progress Norma has made in less than 24 hours. You could knit up that big wool vest in NO TIME, feel accomplished, then go back to your hateful sleeves."

Yes. Of course I could. Because I'm neither stupid nor impatient.
Or so I thought.

Impressive, no?


The back is too long and the edging stitches are all screwed up so it will need to be redone from the armholes up. The front has now been frogged twice. Maybe three's a charm?

So thanks to my knitting stupidity and lack of patience, here I sit with two uncompleted sweaters and no feeling of accomplishment. Thankfully, I finally did get the hang of the double circulars. And while it's no speedy Gonzales process, I really can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And Norma?

Wearing her completed Pia scarf.

Rumor has it, she's considering purchasing more Biggy Print for yet another. Which I'm sure she'll finish before either my cardigan or my vest...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bakeries, Apple Pie and Father’s Day

When I was a little kid, around 5 or so, my dad and I would go to the bakery to pick up breakfast for the rest of our sleeping family. And he would teach me how to drive. In my feety pajamas.

There I was behind the wheel, turning at the corner and pulling up in front of the bakery. Of course, I was sitting on my dad’s lap, and he was really doing all the driving, but in my 5-year-old’s mind – I *was* the driver.

Granted, this was the late 60s. Seatbelts weren’t something anyone actually put on, airbags were still years away from development and there just weren’t that many cars on the road. I was driving. At 5.

My dad also taught me about apple pie. My dad and I seemed to be the only ones in the house awake in the mornings. Hence our secret driving trips to the bakery. Some mornings we’d just have breakfast in the kitchen together. One week in particular I remember that he kept eating apple pie for breakfast. I thought it looked SOOOO gross. And I told him so. Day after day. “Ewwe, Dad. That’s looks gross. How could you eat that? Ewe.”

But he just sat there with his boyish smile, shoving pie down the ole’ pie hole. Finally, after a few days of this, instead of just smiling, he said: “Pinky” (the nickname my sister gave me before I was born that has stuck long into my adult-life…), “have you ever tried apple pie?”

Me: “No. Gross.”

Jimbo: “Why don’t you try it? You might like it.”

Me: “No. Gross.” (As you can see, my vocabulary was very advanced at this young age.)

Jimbo: “Please. Just a bite?”

Me: (Never able to deny my favorite father) “Ok. Just one bite.”

Me: “OH WOW!!! THIS IS GREAT! Can I have a piece?”

Jimbo: “Nope. That was the last piece.”

And right there in the kitchen I learned a valuable lesson: Don’t scoff at apple pie until you take a bite!

My dad also taught me how to swim.

Or in this case, how to raft.

Years later, he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.

He looked so cute in his tuxedo. It was all I could do to not burst into tears and ruin my mascara.

My husband named my dad Jimbo shortly after meeting him and meeting a pair of my shoes. "Huh," you say? It all came about because I had a (what I thought great) pair of black loafers with a kind of platform-y rubber sole. My husband thought they looked like shoes my dad would wear. The shoes became known as my Jimbo shoes, my dad became known as Jimbo, and the name just stuck.

This is my first father’s day without Jimbo. He passed away in February, one month before his 70th birthday. I miss him every day but know my memories of him keep him alive. I will continue to relish those memories, his funny sense of humor and the things he taught me about life.

And the apple pie.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.

James O'Connell
March 5, 1935 - Feb 1, 2005

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Cardigan, Oh, Cardigan

Back in March when I posted about taking on my first sweater project, a seamless sweater, I got a comment that said: "Once you knit a seamless sweater, you'll never want to knit any other kind."

I must admit, I did get kind of hooked. (Sorry, bad pun...)

I saw a pattern for this seamless cardigan and had to make it.

I bought the pattern here.

My progress so far:

All that's left to do are the sleeves and the neckline. Knitting is super slow, what with size 7 needles, but I'm hoping to be done in about a week.

Because I have yet another seamless sweater project waiting to be cast on. A v-neck.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

MyMy MeMe. Part One.

Inky Knits tagged me for my very first MeMe. You know, the series of questions you answer that are all about YouYou (or MeMe, but you know what I I mean...) Shortly thereafter, Kristy tagged me for a totally different MeMe. But since this one took forever to answer, I'm making no promises on how quickly MyMy MeMe, Part Two will follow.

Here's how it works:
Pick 5 of the following questions and then complete the sentences. Then pass it on to 3 more of your blog friends! (No tag backs allowed.)
If I could be a scientist?
If I could be a farmer?
If I could be a musician?
If I could be a doctor?
If I could be a painter?
If I could be a gardener?
If I could be a missionary?
If I could be a chef?
If I could be an architect?
If I could be a linguist?
If I could be a psychologist?
If I could be a librarian?
If I could be an athlete?
If I could be a lawyer?
If I could be an inn-keeper?
If I could be a professor?
If I could be a writer?
If I could be a llama-rider?
If I could be a bonnie pirate?
If I could be an astronaut?
If I could be a world famous blogger?
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world?
If I could be married to any current famous political figure?
Here are my choices:

If I could be a musician?
I’d be Madonna. Not because I want to make a book called “Sex” and be photographed walking nude down the street, but just because I think it would be quite the exciting experience to perform in front of a huge crowd screaming your name and dressing in the same clothes you made stylish. And if you’ve ever heard me sing – you’d know this would never happen!

If I could be a chef?
I’d cook just like Michael Chiarello. His family is from the same part of Italy as my grandfather and I love his style of cooking. Fresh. Flavorful. Simple. And he always has such fun dinner parties at his house on his television show. Every time I’m in Napa I wonder if I’ll run into Michael and get invited over to be a guest on his cooking show. There I’d be: smiling, sipping a glass of wine, tasting the dish he just made and saying, “Deelish, Michael. Mangia, mangia.”

If I could be a librarian?
I could never be a librarian. I’m too loud. And I like to laugh. I don’t own any dresses in a floral print. And I really don’t care to teach anyone about the Dewey decimal system.

If I could be an athlete?
I would be a gymnast. How cool would it be to fly around the parallel bars and actually know what you’re doing? Or to do a back flip on a balance beam without killing yourself? And how fun to make the finishing pose on the matt: “tah-dah!” Gymnasts have such grace and strength. I admire that.

If I could be a farmer?
Stacy the Farmer? Recipe for disaster. I hate direct sunlight. I hate bugs. I do not like digging in the dirt. Plus, I have two brown thumbs. And I suck at watering plants

Case in point.

The current state of my herb garden.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for....The next 3 lucky bloggers to be handed the MeMe baton: 20goingon40, rincaro, Ms. V.

Monday, June 06, 2005

No I Didn't. Nuh Uh*.

I did not just receive an email from Yarn Express with the subject: "Yarn Sale!"

No I didn't.

And I did not click on the
link inside the email that told me more about the "Yarn Sale!"

No I didn't.

And I did not fall in love with and subsequently purchase the super cute orange wool to make one of the sweaters featured with the yarn. 10 balls for $30! Merino Wool!!

No I didn't.