Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This always happens to me

As if it wasn't my own fault. I'm not very organized (understatement).

I'm ready to cast on DS's new Wallaby. I have the yarn. Can I find the (expletive deleted) pattern?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gonzo is out!!!!!

Taking bets on whether they recess appoint Barney for AG!

Doing the happy dance! (Yes, Heide)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I know, I know

Still no more vacation pix yet, sorry!

But I had to write about what a lovely time we had yesterday at Will Pillage for Yarn's Spin-In. A great group attended (but more would be even better...). Spindling and wheel spinning were taught, patterns and Ravelry and such were discussed and much peace was had by all. Or at least by me. Let's do it again soon!

One of the girls, K, has received her Kauni yarn and has kindly consented to measure a length of color for me, yay! So I can soon begin the yearlong Kauni spinning/knitting project. I will be attempting to spin my own Effektgarn with Bluefaced Leicester wool and Lanaset dyes.

Here's the plan:

20 ounces of wool, dyed in 8 colors by immersion (much easier than painting that much wool, especially when I want one color at a time most of the time).

I will spin this into fingering weight, Navajo plied yarn. I need to end up with (assuming here) about 35 metres of each color followed by about 6 metres of blended. Anyone want to check my math? If 2 oz (56g) of handspun = approximately 200 metres of fingering weight yarn, then 9g should be about 35 metres. I will have 20 oz of fiber dyed into 8 colors so that's 2.5 (70g) ounces per color. Split each color into 8 strips. That's 8 color repeats all together (which seems to be how the real yarn works, about 4 repeats per huge skein). I will dye extra fiber for sampling, etc., have no fear!

Then spin most of the color into singles that will 3 ply into fingering weight, reserving some for the blended portion. Combination draft that leftover portion with the next color then change to the next color. I will plan to get a full 8 color repeat onto a bobbin. Then I should be able to ply onto my plying bobbin and get a full 2 repeats of 3 ply in one skein.

Any opinions? I will certainly blog the whole process, successful or not, and end up with a sweater that I will wear regardless, since if it doesn't work in the knitting, I can knit something else with it! And I should end up with some nifty sock yarn left over, too!

Project starts (with dye experiments) Monday August 27th (the first day of school). Ooh, that's tomorrow! Stay tuned.


P.S. For anyone reading and who's been here for a while, the teacher placement thing worked out fine. DD is not with bully, DS is not with mean teacher, all is well. Thank you for all the support and good advice!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Spin In Today!!!

Will Pillage For Yarn's Ravelry Spin-in is this afternoon and I'm so excited! I can't decide what to bring (at least I found my empty bobbins), I'm sure I'll bring too much and dither when I get there. Want to join us? She has the information on her blog as well.

I will do a vacation wrap-up post when I get home later, though!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SCHIP and Compassionate Conservatism

In the interest of transparency, my family is covered under this program. So limiting it or changing it could affect us profoundly. We might have to go out and get minimum wage jobs (and make even less money) to get heath insurance coverage that is worse than what we have now.

Have you ever been in a life situation that made you panic? That made you wake up in the middle of the night, your heart racing and your mind struggling to think of just one more thing to do to fix it? Unable to go back to sleep so you start pacing the house hoping to be able to forget for just a little while? Well, I have. But so far not about health care for my children. Because we have been covered by the state health insurance program in California ever since my first child was born.

When my kids get sick, they can go to the doctor. When my DS needed surgery, he got it at Children's Hospital.

But I have experience with those panic attacks. And if we had no health care, every time they get the sniffles, I would be pacing the floor. How to pay for antibiotics if it's strep. And the trip to the Urgent Care to get the scrip for the antibiotics you can't pay for. I can imagine easily being panicked by the smallest thing. I can feel it now.

A compassionate person would know that anyone with children knows these panics, even with health insurance. We panic about their safety, whether we are messing them up with our attempts at good parenting, whether we are good enough. To add panic about their health care would be unbelievably cruel. Not compassionate. Not at all.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sorry, Sweetheart!

Didn't call home! Sorry!! Should have!!!

DD is really missing Daddy and ready to head home; we all are. It's been a very nice vacation but school starts a week from today and we have stuff to do and Daddy to hug...


Saturday, August 18, 2007

August 18, 2007

Yesterday was kind of mundane (for those of you who get to go shopping a lot, not us) but ended up being exciting (for those of us who never get any weather, not you).

We went to our favorite shopping center, with a J. Jill, and I got some really cute t-shirts in my very favorite colors, thanks, Mom!

Then off to lovely Red Bank where I scored 3 (mismatched but who cares) balls of Touch Me for...$15. Total. 2 balls of gold, 1 of red. I'm thinking a nice One Skein Wonder out of the gold and a sleeping mask for DD out of the red.

We also went to a fair trade import shop and got silly gifts for J and J, a birdbath, new glasses for a party here and earrings for ME!

Then we decided, as we have been trying for years unsuccessfully, to go to a local historic home and have the tour. Which was fine but we couldn't go upstairs, bummer. We saw the inside of an 18th century tavern. Then the rains came...and the hail...and thunder and lightning. DS decided he was "gonna die!!" We all got soaked to the skin. It took the kids a while to calm down and decide we weren't under attack. I of course thought it was fun. I love weather, always have. Growing up in tornado country, I guess.

Got home alive. We had another spate of thunder and rain on the way to dinner and yet another on the way home. Sheesh! But I read that California had one, too, so we didn't miss anything, anyway!

Too lazy to upload photos right this minute so you can imagine the knitting progress, as in not a whole helluva lot. Almost halfway down the second Bellatrix foot. If I get some time today, I should finish it. I've been trying to work while I'm here but my employer's FTP site is all messed up till Monday so work is off, it seems. It was going to take 15 hours to download 12 minutes of tape! And even then it wouldn't do it.

Mom and I have decided that we've had enough museum time and need to figure out how to go see the Harry Potter movie before we run out of days. So probably today will be the Colts Neck Fair and the beach. The weather is absolutely beautiful, breezy and cool and sunny. Feels like September is coming. I feel like buying notebooks and new boxes of crayons. Soon enough!

Have a lovely weekend!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14, 2007

Well, we had a great day once again! Although kids were disappointed because I wouldn't let them get souvenirs before they saw anything and then the souvenir shop was closed, oh, well.

We drove up to Port Liberte and boarded the ferry to Liberty Island:

It was hot on the upper deck but I convinced them to ride outside anyway.

The ferry stops first at Ellis Island, however, so we decided to go ahead rather than go back later (good choice).

We thought this display was neat. The photos of immigrants turn into an American Flag depending on where you're standing.

We boarded the ferry again to take a short ride to Liberty Island. Couldn't go into the Statue as you have to book ahead for a pass, but next time we will plan more. We did walk all the way around before having to stop for icy drinks. Got a good shot of the Lady. Wish I could say our country were still working the way it should, but maybe someday...

One more trip on the ferry, graced by the DD of Liberty, ice cream cone and all. We had a lovely day, thanks, Mom!!

Tomorrow we will probably stay local as we have more museum and science center plans for later in the week. I will leave you with a nice shot of fireworks from Saturday night.


Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13, 2007

Man, it's hard to have the energy to do photos during vacation! Tomorrow...

Saturday we first went to Allaire Village, a state park and historical restoration of a 19th century ironworks. We go every year. This year, though, we even took a hike through the flood plains and had a tour of the owner's mansion, very interesting and muddy!

In the afternoon, we went to the beach where DD was nuts for the surf, of course, and DS was more hesitant but was heard to say, "This is the life!" while raising his arms in the air with joy.

In the evening we went to the local Italian Festival where there were fireworks, candlemaking, rides (fast ones!), funnel cakes and souvenirs. A great time was had by all (especially DS on the fast rides).

Sunday was quieter although also fun. Outlet shopping, can't beat it. I snagged another pair of my very favorite Skechers Mary Janes and the kids got some nice stuff for school.

Today we went to the spray park and had lots of fun. I met another Girl Scout leader of a troop the same age as ours who wants to see if the girls would like to penpal or anything. She, like us, is having to discuss with her troop, though, as we're not supposed to decide stuff for them any more!

Then Grandpa took the kids shopping for video games and I attended a lovely local knitting group with Trek (thanks for the invite!). The ladies were very nice and there was even a cutie three week old baby! I bought some Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool Quarters in Goldrush colors to mark the occasion and will go there again when I come back. Some cushy socks from that, I suspect.

Tomorrow is...The Statue of Liberty!!

I promise pictures, truly.

And think of me doing the happy dance about Rove's resignation. Now all we need is a good prosecution!


Friday, August 10, 2007

August 10, 2007

Today we mostly stayed home. Windows were being washed all over the house and we didn't want to leave them home alone. Kids seemed very tired, though, a good day to veg out.

Tomorrow we will go to the historial Allaire Village in the early part of the day and then to the beach in the afternoon. I will take pictures!

Meanwhile, I uploaded a few photos but haven't figured out how to get rid of red eye in Paintshop yet so you get knitting.

First Bellatrix sock is finished, second is almost to the heel. I did my regular PGR heel rather than the one in the pattern, again. This is a nice mindless knit, although too big for the foot at 60 stitches in this yarn. Decreased to 54 after 4 repeats.
Second pair of Monkey socks is finished also. Wearing them today as it is rather chilly and wet. Might make still more of these as I have it firmly in my head now. I brought some more cotton blend sock yarn with me, just in case!
Finished the Lantern Festival yarn and started a sock toe. Completely forgot I was going to knit Pomatomus with this! But on 1's it's too flimsy a fabric for my taste. The yarn didn't really bloom at all. So off to the frog pond I go and a shopping trip for some more 0's is in order. Pomatomus is knitted with 2's, I can't believe it, but the tops will be fine regardless, I guess.
Will finish off with a picture of DS's birthday party in PA. He had a great time!
Thanks to the family for going to so much trouble and for getting him gifts that made him so happy!!
More later!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And we're back!

Back online, back to civilization (though country life was lovely), back to work I hope (I guess). Trying to get some work while I'm away.

We had a great time with the in-laws for a little over a week and have now moved on to my folks where we really must try to get the kids to bed before...are you ready? Midnight! Boy did they stay on California time.

I will upload photos tomorrow (to the new-to-me laptop, thanks D!!) and catch up on our activities. Future plans include: Statue of Liberty, Planetarium star show, "Order of the Phoenix," spray park, beach, catching up on everything.

And if the DH is reading, I love you!! Miss you already!!

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