Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I Surrender

Years ago I read a story about Martha Stewart. It alleged that the domestic doyen had sent her family away one Thanksgiving just so she could decorate the house without distractions or interference. The purpose of this tale was to vilify the woman and make her look like a cold hearted perfectionist. However, now that I have children of my own, this all makes absolute sense to me.

Christmas decorating with children is a lesson in surrender. My tree has been up for about two weeks now and has been decorated and rearranged so much, if I didn't know any better I would think we have Christmas Elves in hiding who come out at night when everyone's asleep.
The younger children try to climb the tree and play with the ornaments, the older children disagree on the arrangement of decorations. So far we've lost 3 glass ornaments and one snowman statue to the overly enthusiastic 2 yr old and the creche under the tree now has the Christ child being watched over by angels, shepherds, Hello Kitty and a big plastic elephant.

Today was Christmas cookie baking day and I began to roll out my perfect little circular treats. My 4 year old lovely assistant wanted to pitch in as you can see from the picture above. Mangled globs of dough never tasted so good. If I want perfection I can go buy some Oreos, these are one of a kind.

The Christmas shopping is also done. Hip! Hip! Hoorah!! I was very disappointed in the Barbie selections this year. When I was little I loved getting clothes, clothes and more clothes for my Barbies, but now it's all about the dolls themselves and very few outfits are sold seperately. The doll selection was very limited as well. Whatever happened to "NASA Barbie" and "President Barbie"? Now you can choose between the My Scene Bling Bling dolls which look like little street walkers (I knew she should never have broken up with that nice Ken boy.) Think I'm being harsh? Go ahead click on that link. I dare you. Then click the doll for a larger image. I'll wait here. See?!

If that's not to your liking there's also a pregnant barbie that looks so angelic and chaste it must be a virgin birth. Personally I think they should sell the dolls together as "Cause 'N Effect Barbie". By next year I think we can look forward to "Abnormal Pap Smear Barbie" and "Who's Your Daddy: DNA Surprise Barbie". Big sellers for sure.

And last, but not least I've been sick. It hasn't been fun, but it has been a good excuse to grab a box of Kleenex, put my feet up and knit. I'm posting pics with nobody in them because I'm really not picture ready right now. Runny, red nose. Dark circles under my eyes. Maybe I'll post another picture later when I'm feeling better.
I finished the Marilyn's Not So Shrunken Cardi in KnitPicks Merino Style. I made it a little shorter than the original pattern and left off one row of decreases and made the sleeves just a tiny bit longer. I also left off the ruffles and worked 2 finished button bands with no holes. I'm on the lookout for a small pewter clasp that I can sew at the neckline. It has a retro-bolero feel that works nicely over some of my vintage dresses and it was fun learning how to work a sweater from the top down with minimal finishing.

Next to it is Blackberry from last months Knitty. This was just what I needed right now. A quick bulky knit with interesting details to keep me entertained. I used KnitPicks Andean Silk double stranded and it's so warm and soft. Ahhh. This is now the sweater I slip on in the morning when there's a chill in the air. I'm still on the lookout for the perfect broach to keep this one closed too. Clearly people, I need closure.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Is That What You're Wearing?

These are possibly my least favorite words that occasionally come out of my husband's mouth. It's a close race between that and, "I just threw in a load of laundry." Which usually means some article of Dry Clean Only finery has gone to meet its fate.

But the "Is that what you're wearing?" question is especially cutting when it involves something I've knit myself. For example this cabled newsboy cap from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. Knit up with under a skein of Naturewool . It was a quick, fun knit. I loved the way it looked and then that dreaded question struck.

Sure we were on our way to a gathering at his workplace which requires me to be not so much a human being as a calling card/accessory. And sure his workplace is a convent and we were going to meet one of the apparitioners of Medjugorje, but I figured if anyone could appreciate a handknit Rasta hat, it's a fella who supposedly meets the Queen of Heaven for a chat every night.

There are certainly times when a little style intervention is called for. Like those leopard print pants I wore onstage at T.T.'s with my old band when my entertainment lawyer/manager told me I needed to be more "styled". (don't ever take fashion tips from your attorney, ok kids.) My drummer told me I looked great, but then one of his most prized possessions are his vintage breakaway tuxedo pants.

Or if I decided to leave the house looking like this I would understand if some kind soul suggested I buy a full length mirror and learn to use it. Unless of course I had some inner ear problem which upset my balance and I really needed all those big pom poms to act like bumpers.

Speaking of celebrity fashion missteps, I've been contemplating all those pictures of Jessica Simpson while waiting in line at the grocery store and I've been racking my brain trying to think of who she reminds me of. Suddenly last night as I was cleaning one of the childrens' rooms it hit me. Seriously, If you got My Little Pony some cosmetic dentistry and a little time in a spray-on tanning booth, Jessica Simpson would have a new stand in.

But I digress. So I resisted the urge to respond to the "Is that what you're wearing?" question with, "Ha! Ha! No. This was just a clever ruse to make you THINK this is what I'm wearing. In fact I have a much cooler ensemble hidden under this one, which I will reveal at the last possible moment." and instead cut him some slack for wanting to put his best foot forward at a new job and removed the hat. The things we do for love.

Exhibit A: I collect old magazines from the 1940s such as True Romance, Modern Romance, etc. While flipping through a copy of Modern Romance I found this add for Lysol Disinfectant.
I know the print's probably too small to read, but it's explaining to lonely housewives why their husbands are staying away. It's because they should be using Lysol Disinfectant for feminine hygiene of course. I almost fell off my chair when I saw this. Did women really do this? The advert assures me that, "More women should use Lysol regularly for intimate bodily daintiness." so I'm guessing at least a few did. And if you did this would it leave your nether regions smelling like a pine forest? And however it smelled would this then trigger some kind of Pavlovian response in your spouse everytime you mopped the floor? I picture all these germ free housewives being chased around the coffee table whenever they try to get a little light housekeeping done. Maybe the slight against my hat wasn't such a big deal after all.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Sweater That Knit Itself

Ta Da! The Interweave Knits Greek Pullover is finished and it flew off my needles. It was designed by Sharon Shoji who also has a free twinset pattern available from the IK Knitscene site. I love this design, I love this yarn. I used KnitPicks Andean Silk in Hollyberry and knit it up on size 8 Addi Turbos. I had an awful time trying to get an accurate picture of the chiffon ruffle at the sleeves. For some reason on my camera, the fabric read much more pink than it is in person. I originally sewed a ruffle at the waist as well, but felt like one of Degas' little ballerinas and removed it. I prefer it sans ruffle. The waistline is not an area where I really want to add extra puff 'n fluff. In case you're curious as to how it looked with ruffles at the waist, I asked my husband to snap a picture of the back so you could see how it ties and this was the end result. No pun intended. You'll have to excuse him, he's easily distracted.

I hope to knit up another one in Cornflower Andean Silk, but this time I'll add a little length to the torso and maybe a picot hem. And for any of you Andean Silk knitters out there, it itches like crazy when it's newly finished, but softens up with washing and blocking.

Next up is the Hourglass Sweater in Cinnamon Andean Silk.

Also on the needles is a variation of the Marilyn's Not So Shrunken Cardigan from Wendy over at Knit and Tonic. No pics of that yet, but I left the body a little boxier and more cropped and I think I'm going to lengthen the sleeves to 3/4 length and skip the ruffles.
Also this little number from Debbie Bliss' Cathay book. I'm using Andean Treasure in Fog. This has been a nice break from all the endless St st I've been doing lately.

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