Saturday, December 27, 2008

here's the piccy

of all us four.

A few weeks ago, molly posted a snap of everyone in her family, along with their kids, and i thought it would be a good thing to post one of the four of us. it's just the four of us, the kids weren't allowed in this, because ma already has two other piccys of us, when sean was a few months, then again when he was around twelve, and now he's thirty (yipes). so we're running a bit late on the elapsed time, but that's ok. it's actually quite nice, we're all got real live similes on our faces, because someone of us said something funny, (probably at another's expense!) hee.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

by the end, even the wise men were pooped

what a day. my whole family was over at me mam's. All four of us were there- even sean and i were both able to get the day off from the harrows of retail and service industries. Plus me sisters' husbands, and the great collection of kids. No one fought; not even the kids! Everyone left feeling safe, loved and singing holiday cheer. Yet, we were all as pooped as the wisemen (who knows where baltazar is. Perhaps he's still sitting at the last pit stop, unable to bear forging on home). Ma had to change up Christmas dinner at the last minute because there was a racket on Roast Lion (pork loin and eye of the round roasted in the same pan) so we had ham and chicken tenders. Nothing spreads holiday cheer like crispy chicken tenders with buffalo dipping sauce!

I love christmas. I love how secure it makes me feel. It's like the best day for positive reinforcement! i've got the best family, and even though we probably drive each other crazy, i wouldn't trade my family for anything in the whole wide world!

Merry christmas every one.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i'm a winter wimp.

i don't groove on winter. This particular winter so far has not been my friend. Last weekend, we lost power. This weekend, we have power, but we also have 19 inches of snow from the sky. Blech! How is this possible? every so often, i toy with the idea that i would like to move away from new england to a place where it does not snow so much. Of course, lisbon or dublin would be my first choice, but it's hard to score a work permit. perhaps somewhere south. For a time i thought kentucky or tennesee might be possibilities, but having just returned from there, i think i might have to reconsider. They are too.... foreign. That would be too stressful.

Snow- it's cold. it piles up everywhere, then it gets dirty and looks really gross. When it melts it makes a big mess. And when it snows, people inexplicably lose all their common sense. Myself included. Though i do my best to stay home with my neurosis, I try not to inflict my lunacy on others. Except this past weekend, i did decide to go to the grocery before the snow came. Well, it was only me and everyone else in town! and god forbid a person might have to walk a hundred yards to the door of the store. noooo! Instead, Let's all become Parking Spot Vultures. So the poor girl, stressed already by the thought of facing a whole long weekend of being trapped in the house with cabin fever toddlers, has to feel someone's hot lexus SUV breath down her neck while she negotiates with said toddler to get into the car seat, then put all the bread and milk into the trunk. All the while the blinker is flashing the maddening impatience!

It's funny how snow will turn otherwise pleasant, friendly and neighborly townies into crazed lunatics. Generally i try to keep a stiff upper lip regarding winter, but i have to admit, i lean toward the crazed side. Sigh. And yesterday was just the first day of winter. pooey.

Monday, December 22, 2008

nothing spreads holiday cheer

like a christmas clash album!

This gem (if a do say so meself) is a gift for my dear brother in law- he loves the clash. We even had a bit of hush at christmas a few years ago, because joe strummer died on 22 december, 2002. It only seems appropriate to give a gift of his music this time of year.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

CBS Football:

for the love of god, and all that is holy, would you shut the hell up!

Please, just tell me the pertinent details of the effing play. don't provide me with color commentary- How bout this: you aren't all the god damned colorful. SHUT UP! I do not care that you used to play offensive line, and the cold windy rains didn't affect your play. I do not care if that referee blew the call. SHUT UP. Tell me who's got the ball, what down it is, and how far to a first down. i'd rather dead air than to listen to you pillocks so shut up!

Monday, December 01, 2008

buttony sweater progress

so, over the holiday and then the weekend i knitted like crazy. i'm hoping i'll be able to wear the sweater soon. That has taken a bit of a sidetrack though, since i've run out of yarn. pooey! Here is where i stand right now:

since now i am in neutral with the project, i decided to weave in the ends and add on the buttons. i'm quite chuffed with the button band.

i really wanted to make a pullover sweater; yet still have it look like a cardigan, though i'm not really sure why. So early on i knew i would have to make some sort of trompe-l'oeil, something that looks like a button band, but isn't, then at the top and bottom separate the halves out so they look like halves of a cardie. My idea was just a sort of concept, but i'm quite pleased to report that it TOTALLY worked! Have a look here:

Friday, November 28, 2008

adding thread to your bobbin

hey all, perhaps this is useful. loading a bobbin is pretty universal, though your machine might be sort of different than mine, the concepts are the same.

first, put your machine in neutral- on my little engine that could, i have to pull the whole purple wheel out away from the casing.

then un thread your machine so the spool is just sitting on the holder. then, find the turning point. on my machine it's the thing that looks like a screw just to the left of the tension lever. pull the thread around that, and then back toward the spool.

next, you take the thread, and thread it into the bobbin from the inside out, pull enough through so there's a bit to hold on to.

then you put the bobbin on the holder (you might need to slide the holder to one side or the other), and use the food pedal to spin it. you need to hold on to the little bit you threaded through, so it will be tight enough, and you don't want to go too fast, because it might tangle or go all wonky.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


to see about the feedback buttons. There are buttons you can click on all the ravelry posts. blogger has incorporated them too. there are lots of neat features here on blogger. some day i'll go through them and have a look at them all. then you'll be bombarded with on-line fripperies!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a return to football!

yay! you must have been wondering where have all my silly sports gone? well, i've actually just got back on a team. last night was our first game. we smashed them. it was something line 15 or so to just two.

i think dave and dan had the most- but i lost track. next up was probably mick or perhaps jon, i only had one. but that's ok! it was very nice to get back on the field. i haven't played for many weeks, so i am slightly out of shape (100% out of shape) but that's ok, i let the young studs do all the hard work, and i celebrate the win. Just kidding!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

a change of plans

for the buttony sweater! (hey, i'm nothing if not indecisive!)

So i did a bit of a swatch with bobbles over the weekend. Blech! they are a drag to knit. i'll try again when the yarn arrives, but i'm leaning toward no-go. then i considered a cable collar, and cables around the hem, and then more narrow cables along the sleeves. one something like leabhran's Coronet Hat.

but then i learned that cables often curl in, side to side- the crossover of the cable causes the pull. so that's not so appealing either.

so then i thought, perhaps a scallop edge might look neat. This one is
KnitsByRachel's Scallops Pattern Dishcloth (it's about half way down)

I'll have to try them both out.I'm sure i'll go with the scallop edge, or the bobble, as planned, since the cable is WAY more work. not the cabling itself, that's actually pretty easy, once you get your legs under you, but cables run vertically; and collars, hems, and sleeve edges run horizontally, so you have to knit the cables off line, then graft them on to the sweater. blech!

I expect the yarn to arrive today or tomorrow (hurry, kind postman!) so i'll have to give some ideas a try then. More news when it happens!

Actually, while looking for the owners of the pics, i found Coronet Cuffs.

Methinks they look pretty neat, I'm leaning a bit toward that pattern for the colalr and cuffs!

Friday, November 14, 2008

arrrgh! the suspense is killing me!

so yesterday i placed an order with my favorite online yarn shop thus far knitpicks. i got Wool of the Andes Kettle-Dyed

in the colorway soot.

but now the suspense is killing me! i simply cannot wait for the package to arrive! arrrrgh! i'm going to make myself another buttony sweater. I learned some valuable lessons from the last one so this one will be more successful i think.

initially i was going to post a long dissertation about my intended modifications to the buttony sweater. Dear readers fear not. I came to my senses before doing so, lest your eyes glaze right over.

Instead, have a look at this person's great posting Not for the first time i'm embarrassed by my lacking language skills. She did a really great job on hers, and her photos look soooo good. I hope mine turns out half as nice.

so the order is placed, i just need the string. Hurry kind postman, Please don't delay! i need to make that sweater, and i simply can't wait a day!

Your Knit Picks order shipped 11/14/2008! Your order number is 80894.

Items Shipped
Qty Item # Item Description Price
5 24289 Soot Kettle WotA @ $3.49 = $17.45

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hee. This makes me giggle

Candids are tricky things.

you can see that this sweater is a tiny bit too roomy. That's ok; according to my sisters, too roomy is way better than too tight.

Snaps of children's clothing on hangers is nice and all, but snaps of the children are better! i'm pleased, now i get to have Roo on my blog too!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Mini Minnesota Vikings Fan

my friend molly will have received the package by now so i think i'm ok to post this. so they like their vikings in minnesota, i like that, we like our patriots here in new England, it's like we're all kinfolk. Now, the grape-flavoured vest took far less yarn than i expected. But what to do with the rest? Allow it sit around, taking up space, mocking me for my poor planning and foolish, wasteful spending? No silly! Make it into something!

As a matter of fact, i also had some yellow leftover from kristen's sweater too. It's perfect Vikings yellow! How utterly serendipitous! So. I used the same pattern as kristen's. i'm a bit nervous, because i think the one for Riley Roo is a bit too large. but it's the 2-3 year size, and i followed the destructions exactly! Well, mostly i followed them exactly. i did the sweater top down, on one needle, rather than doing as pieces and seaming. it's really easy to do it that way. send a message if you need advice. I'd like to reemphasize my complete love of the Peace Baby!Pattern
It's well worth the investment of a donation to the worthy cause, and the pattern is really useful.

Perhaps Molly will be able to email a snappy snap of the sweater in action, dear readers, so you won't be stuck with just an ugly maroon hanger.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

separating good carbs from...

better ones!

There is something sublime about tasty baked goods. like spaghetti and meatballs, they are comfort food, at it's most effective.

I love brownies, but i'm moderately particular about their texture. i like them to be dense and fudgey, but i also like them to have a bit of chewiness to them too.

so on sunday i had this inexplicable urge to make chocolaty brownies. I tried to talk myself out of it, but succeeded only in making the craving worse. I searched my cupboards for brownie mix. even an ancient box. nope, nada. Then i remembered an old every day food magazine dedicated to brownies. tada! but alas, it called for 8 oz of chips, and i only had about 4 (strangely, i did have cocoa in the house). no probs, i found a jar of nutella hazelnut spread tada!

so they came out fantastic! my oven runs a bit hot, so next time i'll have to cut back the temp, but these came out so nicely. it's 100% as easy as making them with a box. no more brownie box for me. the only added step is melting the butter and chocolate together.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween is different this year....

Last year we were here:

this year we are home, and it's nice but... I would like to be a dubliner. Or perhaps a dublin suburbanite. I dunno if you'lll be able to see the pics very well, i should have done a more thorough selection, but i don't to take any more out. As it is, there are tones of great things i've left out. Like Marianne and Dad completing the race, and the great cappuccino at the mall, whilst i was so jetlagged i almost tipped right over.

We had a fantastic trip, anyone who is worried about travelling with people should travel with marianne- she's swell. Travel with me Mam and Dad too- they're swell, even though on a couple of occasions i did my best churlish teenager routine, they didn't tell me off, not once!

I'm saving to go again, just you wait and see. the next trip will have a car i think. hooo hoo hoo! you'll know it's us by the white-knuckled co-pilot!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

do you know what today is?

I'll tell you. Today is one week for the US General Elections. The elections are important, it is your responsibility to vote- just as your right to free speech is a right, your right to vote is equally important. With great power comes great responsibility, no? You've got this great power- choosing the next president. you've got to fulfill your responsibility and make your voice heard.

Whether you're conservative or liberal, i think you'll have to admit that the past eight years have simply not worked well. Our budget is in ruin. Our international reputation is laughable. Our employment situation is frightening. Just about every single area of the health and future of our country and society is on the brink of collapse. Conservative or liberal, I don't think i'm saying anything profound when i say the last eight years have been a failure.

I'll not pretend i'm still on the fence, you already know that. I'm for Obama, and i think you should be too. His plans for the tumultuous economy, his goals for foreign relations, and his expectations for health care are more feasible. The purpose of this post is not to get you to vote for obama, it's to get you to vote at all (well, it's also to get you to vote for obama)

Should you still be on the fence, here are some handy sites:
Obama Official
McCain official
Bear in mind, these are the campaign sites, and should be a taken with a grain of salt.

there are an abundance of great news sites available, but the ones i like to use are these:
bbc's coverage
My friend Ernest says the economist is a good site as well. I've not used it very often, but he wouldn't recommend trash.

so the point of this is this: Voting is so empowering! Take advantage of it. do a bit of research, you'll find yourself becoming more aware of your world, and what you can do to change it. Google has a fantastic tool for finding where you go to vote, Find it here

I'll climb down now, from my stump. But before i go, i'll just quote Bob Schieffer (and his mom),
go out there and vote, it will make you feel big and strong

Friday, October 24, 2008

grape flavoured vest

So. I really want to make a vest for johnny. i know, it's a bit nerdy- a vest, but that's ok. i had a rowan pattern, but it was so hard- all sorts of “knit as for back until you get to here…, then proceed as follows” blah blah blah. Blech. So there is one in debbie bliss’s essential knits for kits, i’ve got that on order from the library, but i’m impatient, what can i say. so i settled on a lion brand pattern.

I went with only a single cable, on the right front. I like asymmetry in my sweaters. I also worked this on a single circular needle, rather than two straights. when i made the peace baby, i decided that i just don’t groove on seaming, and if i can avoid it, i shall.

Now, some mods to the pattern itself. the sizes don’t go quite high enough, so i sort of guessed on the number of additional stitches to cast on to fit a 6 year old. Too big is ok, he can wear it a bit longer. i just don’t want it to be too small.

i suppose it was a moderately boring project, as a mostly stocking stitch sweater will be. Knitpicks yarn is great to work with. It’s very predictable and dependable. i really like it.

Argh! i finished a good bulk of this sweater, and the dumb thing wouldn’t fit over his noggin! arrrgh! No Problem. I undid one shoulder, and put buttons on it to so it can be opened up.

and then, guess what i learned! over a lunch break, i learned how to properly pick up stitches. My other attempts have been unhappy at best. but this time, like a great muse descended upon John Milton for Paradise Lost, so to did the knowledge for picking up stitches.

I finished this sweater in about a week. not too bad. i finished it last night before soccer. (incidentally, if you need a girl to play indoors, send a message) My newly acquired skill of picking up stitches helped me immensely. i’m going to send it out UPS to the recipient today.

Monday, October 20, 2008

alrighty then.

it's a long time since i've posted a snarky sports post, for a number of reasons. i'm trying to move away from the jerky fan syndrome. if last football season taught me anything, it's how to win and lose sportsmanly. The Uefa soccer last summer, and the olympics a few weeks ago have helped me evolve into a sports fan, more than a team fan (though i do still wish every yankee would trip in the batters box, and make errors in the field).

All that being said, For the love of god and all that is holy! would you please pinch hit for Jason Varitek! He is a Shitty Hitter! He was 1 for 17 in the first six games of the series! 1 for 17! Why would you ever use the three run homer the other night as an indication that he's got a hot bat? ARRRRGH! pinch hit for him for crissakes! who cares that kevin cash or that other guy will have to catch in the ninth? Papelbon is a top tier closer. If Paps can't figure out what to do without varitek calling his pitches, we've got additional problems.

The sox have painted themselves into a corner- we have a glaring deficiency in that position. Plus, since they have been so reluctant to spell varitek, none of our other catchers have had good opportunity to learn how to call the game the way he does. so we've doubly hurt ourselves. What will happen when Varitek's knees do finally call quits?

I know, i'm on a lonely island, everyone and their grandmother loves jason varitek, and what i'm saying is tantamount to heresy, but sweet georgia brown, he is a terrible hitter. fine, he calls a good game, and he keeps the infield together. Fine, he has good rapport with his pitchers. Fine Fine Fine. But he is almost a guaranteed out at the plate. He looked like a rusty gate in that AB in the 8th last night. How is that helpful? how is that at all helpful when the game is 100% on the line, and we need a hit?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

peace, paby!

I was apprehensive right from the start. Sunshine is much more egg yolk than i expected, and allspice is much more flat brown than i expected.

I’m wasn't at all sure the resulting sweater will be very nice. It certainly wouldn’t be very babyish. But i figured, i would have to continue on, with an amount of trepidation.

I knitted during the dodgers/phillies, and then the two sox/rays weekend games. Then i had to put it all on hold to help cover the pool, so not too much knitting was done. but i did get started on the embroidery, for which i did decide to go with embroidery floss.

Now, the yellow and brown are pretty…. well not very pretty. The yellow isn’t my favorite, and the brown isn’t either. So i really needed the embroidery to pull it all together. Embroidery isn’t really my strongest skill, but i do rather like the way it came out. I really do like the way the brown is tied in with the yellow now. I’m actually rather pleased with it.

I had a pretty hard time with the neckline. my skills don’t yet extend all the way to sewing icord as i go along. Plus, i’ve only got metal dpns; i knit very loosely on metal needles, so the icord was sloppy and taking a long time. So, i tried crochet around the edge. no go. looked terribly sloppy. So in the end i simply picked up the stitches all the way around and knit 2 rows then bound off. The button loop is half double crochet.

So, my thoughts: this is a great sweater, and a great pattern. it could become a go-to pattern for me. I would probably rework the instructions to be a top down, done in the round. Like many other people, i’m not crazy about seaming. i love the yarn, it’s very predictable and pleasant to work with. All in all, i think the project is a success.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fall birthdays snaps

my friend molly is great at posting super snappy-snaps and video of family functions. I'm working at it, but i'm not really a great photo hound, so sometimes my efforts fall a bit short of the endzone. My latest go was confounded because i had the camera set for night time snapshot. Well, Pooey.

but that's ok, i did manage to get a good one of the littlest googie with first birthday party muffin, appropriately mooshed into grossness.

You see, initially we planned to go apple picking to get cider doughnuts, peanut-caramel apples and a few for pies. Alas, the entire town of Stow had the same plan! Parking was a snarl, and I do not exaggerate when i say everyone and their grandmother were at the Honey Pot Hill Orchard. It also was terribly muddy.

So we decided to move to plan B. Plan B meant Nana Mary got apples from ferjulians, Other Nana went to get donuts from HoneyDew, i stopped for peanuts and caramel ice cream topper, and we all went to heidi's house.

It was fabulous B-Day party for the fall birthdays of the family. YAY!

Monday, September 29, 2008

snappy snaps

so, here are some more snappy snaps from my home town. The Assabet river is a meandery river, it's not terribly attractive, and it's got snapping turtles in there. But every so often, it puts on it's nice outfit and looks quite photogenic. The only thing missing from the snaps are the swans who live in the little islands down in the fog there.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On The Economy

now, I know, i'm not terribly smart. Especially in terms of money. I don't really understand what goes on on wall street or day to day at a mortgage bank. I don't really now exactly what they are all talking about.

But one thing i do know, if you don't have the cash, you can't afford it. If you only make $2000 a month take home capital, you can't afford an $1800 mortgage. So here's me; subscribing to a pretty sound economic policy, While all of the rest of the country, the money boffins, and the presidential administration en masse, were involved in this horrible and delusional vortex of business and even life on spec.

i'm really sorry, but I'm moderately hacked off that the people whom i entrusted to run the country and its finances didn't see this coming. I've been living within my means since i moved out on my own four years ago. Why the fuck hasn't everyone else? could it be because the ringleader of the current administration is short sighted?
It's human nature to for people take the lead of those in charge; and it's little wonder we became a nation of spenders and squander.

Over the years i've made a practice of saving and saving for major purchases. I've become more smart and logical about how and when i spend my money. I make informed decisions, and i do not by an Audi if i can only afford a VW. But the rest of the country seems to have been transfixed by The Precious.

People like myself, and joe schmoe iowa corn farmer have a lot to be hacked about. We are paying for people who had unrealistic financial ambitions. While it's immensely too bad they've lost their shirt, it's an absolute travesty that i should have to lose mine as well. I'm not above helping people, but i do have to express my complete and whole dissatisfaction with those who initiated, exacerbated, and are right now perpetuating the problem.

I'm not at all sure about this buyout program, and truthfully, i would like a debate to take place to help explain it to me. For the past six years we've had a smoke and mirror economy, and it's time for some transparency. Now is not the time to postpone a debate senator McCain, now is the time to lay your cards on the table. Show me what you've got, because if you think for one minute that I'm going to vote for you simply because you talk about change you are wrong. I want to know what you plan to do- break it down for me, simple economics style.

Monday, September 15, 2008

a gift for the happy couple

so, now that Ernest and Sarah have been married, i feel i can post the snappy snaps of the gift i made for them without letting the cat out of the bag. The wedding was on saturday, and i don't mind saying, it was fantastic. Easily one of the most fabulous, sweet, heartfelt, genuine, happy and fun weddings i've attended.

initially i wanted to do reusable fabric grocery bags, but mom gave it the thumbs down. oh dear. but i don't like to give cash for gifts. To me a gift is a gift, i like it when some thought is invested, both when i'm the recipient, and especially when i'm the giver. I like the gifts i give to have sentimental meaning, yet are more useful than decorative.

so, i settled on a quilt.

I do hope they don't mind the gift is handmade (some people do you know). I went with blue and white, because i thought they were the colors of the wedding, but as it turns out, the wedding was way more fabulously colorful than that; i could have used any color pallet and it would have been appropriate. but that's OK.

I personalized it for them, and put the date of the big event on there too.

Congratulations, Sarah and Ernest!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

seven years

so. it was a morning just exactly like this- chilly for the am commute, but promising to be a bright, warm and crisp, beautiful early fall day.

around nine or so i lost my internet. I remember being aggravated. then i remember martha telling me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. I remember calling my mom to tell her to turn on the news. I remember not getting a single shred of work done that day, and feeling on the verge of puking.

I remember that in a blink of an eye, life was different. The world was different. No-one is safe from a sucker punch. A girl can't insulate herself from the sting of the cute by turning her down. A mom can't really prevent her son from making poor decisions. A husband can't really prevent his beloved from dying. But one thing we all sort of forget is that we also can't avoid a sucker punch. As humans, we try to keep our wits, and make contingency plans, and make an effort to keep everything well thought out, so plays from behind are our only weak spot. A play from behind ultimately changed the entire world.

New york is different, The travel industry is different, the entire world is different. That girl and the boy who turned her down; the son and his mom who worries for him; the husband, his beloved. But mostly the families; They are all different. We are all different.

I am.

I don't know that there is anything to be gained from September 11. I like to think at the very least we could see first hand how racism and hatred are catastrophic; the most vitriolic and damaging of all personal values. But I don't know.

Yes i do.
I learned it.

Hatred has no place for me. I will not foster it, and i will not tolerate it with those i hang around with. I sincerely hope others have banished hatred from their being, but i can't be responsible for that. I can lead by example; and i'm going to do so, I started seven years ago, and it's my responsibility and honor to carry on doing so.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dear unfortunate Tom Brady

this is a nice snappy snap, no? One to put on the fridgerator at their mom's houses.

too bad the world of Quarterbacks came crashing down all around us in the form of Kansas City Chiefs. Uh Oh. This could be very bad indeed. Even if it's not a surgery situation, it's a still pretty bad scene.

Friday, September 05, 2008

which words?

so i found this great thingy I found the link to it at the cotton and cloud blog, from the directions provided at the best handbag site online.

So which words do i use most often, well, i'm pleased to report they aren't curses, and they aren't really affiliated with complaining. that makes me smile, because i am sometimes concerned that i spend too much time whingeing.

so with out further blather... here's my wordle!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

the summer snap!

here is what i love about having a nifty camera that i couldn't really afford, but can keep in my pocketbook ready for action: I can grab snappy snaps when they magically appear.

I like to try to get the most from life, and capturing simple gems of niceness is one thing i like to do. So here's one that i'll share with you. i went to my Public Library yesterday, and as i was walking up the little knoll, this nice little picture of wood square appeared.

That's a worthy snappy snap, i don't mind saying.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blue 2.0

So. Last week, i posted the blue dress. my first go at sewing a project for a purpose. It went well, and the dress is totally wearable and very nice. the trouble is, on further observation, i feel it looks too much like a hospital gown- and while hospital gowns perform an honest, noble and necessary function- they aren't entirely appropriate for a wedding.

To that end, i tried it again. I went back to the fabric place in framingham to have another look at the blue fabric (it had to be blue because the stole that i've made is blue- and knitting takes me longer than sewing, so i really wanted to use that, as it was 7/8 complete).

alrighty, i really thought i was going to strike out on the fabric- am i the only one who thinks apparel fabric is really pretty nondescript and nothing to write home about these days? so on a whim, i decided to give the home dec dept a look round. and sure enough, i found this duponi silk sort of stuff- it's not too stiff, and it's quite nice- dressy and formal, without going overboard.

it's a tiny bit short, but this is the prelim shot, i didn't realize i was making it so short, and wonders of wonders, i didn't chop all the excess off before double checking. it's also way crooked, one side seam was 30" and the other was only 27" so i made both seams 27" and hemmed up to 26. so it still might be a bit short, but too late now.

I'm glad i did the Cotton one first- i got my legs under me, and was able to make this second version much better. this second version has fewer mistakes, and the craftsmanship is a bit better. on top of it, i was able to complete it in an afternoon- less than an afternoon, i started around 1.00 and it was compete around 3.30 or so.

All in all i'm very pleased with Version 2.0.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

blau, μπλε, azul, bleu, голубо, blu, 青い, blauw

Whatever you call it, Blue is the colour. It's my favorite. I drive a blue car, i have a blue living room, a blue blogspot background, and now, i've got a blue dress. this is the dress i made for sarah's wedding.

I used the pattern i mentioned before, but i did make some modifications. i made it so there are no gathers at the side. i really tried to make those look nice, but no matter which way i did it they still looked like i got my fabric tangled on the machine plate, and it didn't look nice. What i really love about the pattern otherwise is that it's totally doable. i won't go so far as to say it's entirely free of strife; it's a good pattern for someone of my skills- a good place to learn more clothing techniques but it wouldn't work for a person just starting out- the directions are not clear enough. there is some sewing intuition called into play.

the dress is super wearable, and even though i had a tiny miscalculation and went a little crazy with the shears on the hem line, and it's only because god was smiling on me that night that i didn't ruin the dress.

the other thing i like about the dress is that it looks like a wrap dress, which i find rather interesting, but it's not a wrap, there's a zipper in the back (which; incidentally, came out PERFECT!) so it's way easier to put on and more comfortable to wear than a wrap dress which ties.

so all in all, this part of the wedding outfit project is a cerulean success. now to complete the shawl.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

this fanny is still for manny, though i wish he would SHUT IT!

so i have to admit, it's becoming very hard to be a manny fan. He says some daffy things, and to some daffy people, and even i have to confess, i'm beginning to see (and be okay with) the very real possibility that manny isn't going to be a red sox much past this afternoon.

That is all i have to say, because it's so long and drawn out that i don't have the fortitude to type the entire thing, but if he's so unhappy, and he's such a detriment in the clubhouse, then the sox have no choice but to deal him.

For the record, i do not for one minute belive the current loss has anything to do with manny's behavior. if pro ball payers can't separate themselves from off the field activities for nine innings then they need to find new work.

If Drew, and Crisp, And lowell' and varitek, and ellsbury's current hitting slumps are the result of manny's behavior, i'll eat my hat. If wakefield's getting shelled vs the yankees, and the same with Dice-k a few days ago are the result of manny being in their head, then they are not as good as we thought they were. Just as it takes a team to win a ball game, so too does it take the team to lose it.

That being said, I'm beginning to see that the list of cons with keeping manning is beginning to be longer than the list of pros. If manny were to zip it and simply pay ball, i don't think so much venom would be sent his way. But that ship has sailed, and now we're on the verge of sinking.

I don't expect the sox to pick up his contract options, and after yesterday, i think the possibility is even there to be dealt today. too bad, because this is also what we got out of manny:

* 9x Silver Slugger Award winner (1995, 1999-2006)
* 12x All-Star selection (1995, 1998-2008)
* 2x World Series champion (2004, 2007)
* World Series MVP Award winner (2004)
* Led AL in batting average in 2002
* Led AL in home runs in 2004
* Led AL in runs batted in in 1999
* Has the most career grand slams of any active player

in 2004 alone, he

• hit a two-run homer on April 25, providing the Sox all the offense they would need to win 2-0 and complete the three-game sweep in New York.

• went 4-for-5 with two homers and five RBI against Texas on July 10.

• hit grand slams on August 20 and September 10, giving him 17 for his career, fifth-most all-time.

• had two homers in the Red Sox' 10-7 win on August 31, as they opened a big series against Anaheim.

• led the American League in home runs (43), at-bats per homer (13.2), slugging percentage (.613), and OPS (1.010). He also ranked second in extra-base hits and at-bats per RBI, third in RBI, and fourth in total bases.

• joined David Ortiz to become the first pair of teammates in baseball history to each have 40 homers and 40 doubles in the same season.

2004 Postseason Highlights
• hit safely in all 14 of the Red Sox' postseason games. Dating back to 2003, he hit in 17 straight postseason games, tying the major league record.

• drove in at least two runs in each Division Series game, hitting .385 with two doubles, a homer, and seven RBI over the series.

• In the ALCS, Manny hit .300 with a double and three runs scored. He was 2-for-3 with three walks in Game 4, and was 2-for-6 in Game 5.

• went 3-for-5 with two RBI in Game 1 of the World Series. In Game 3, he hit a home run in the first inning to give the Sox a 1-0 lead. Then in the bottom of the inning, he helped Pedro Martinez out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by catching Jim Edmonds' fly ball and throwing Larry Walker out at home plate.

• batted .412 in the World Series and was named MVP. He became the first World Series MVP in Red Sox history, since the award was not given out before 1955.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

wedding outfit update

Alrighty, so i've got the pattern, and i've got the fabric. I've also gotten the invite, and the event takes place on September 13, 2008. That means i have just about six weeks to finish the dress and the shawl.

here are the latest photos of the shawl. It's more like a stole, since it's not as wide as i thought it would be, but i think it will look nice. I'm going to block it when I've used one whole hank of malabrigo lace weight- i think that will be an ideal length.

Incidentally, This malabrigo lace is much nicer than the frog tree i used on the last project. The price point is better also- frog tree is rather spendy, and it doesn't have nearly the yardage a hank of malabrigo lace, and the malabrigo is a bit less scratchy to me. but- live and learn, as they say.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

today's post is brought to you by the the number 4 and the letter k

sunny days, chasing the clouds away! Here is what i love about sesame street: everything.

There is no children's show that is more clever, creative, educational, and relevant than Sesame street. Any way you slice it, it is a show that fosters learning, tolerance and humility to children. Very often i wonder if more adults should watch the show more often.

What i enjoy about sesame street is how famous people enjoy working on the show also. there's a wiki list here.

And have a look at this great song feist did.

Right now i'm on my way to where the air is sweet.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This fanny is for manny.

I'm really sorry, shoving the travel secretary notwithstanding, it seems that people are more than interested in smashing manny ramirez to little tiny pieces.

have you seen this gem? I'm really sorry, but where is his credible witness? This is really beginning to be bothersome to me, when his own media seems willing to hang him out to dry. This could have been left exactly where it was posted, but no, TATB has to post the link, and make baseball and manny fans like me all agitated.

This seems to be as much hooey as crazy bob lobel dished a few days ago. Perhaps i'm missing something, and there is some credible person backing the guy up on this, but sometimes i wonder if people (the media) get off on making up stories about him.

I get it, manny gets a free pass sometimes; alright, often even. but come on. I'm aggravated with myself because i'm so heated up about it, because it's so far removed from useful sports reporting but WTF? If you are a sports reporter, report the fucking box score, and the fact that many was pretty good in the night's game. Don't fucking try to get your stupid fucking blog picked up nationally on the coattails and at the expense of a famous person.

God i'm so mad i'm swearing like crazy.

to be clear, i don't condone the shoving of the travel agent guy; but come on, all the other "incidents" lately have been 100% exacerbated by the media, including nesn (dennis eckersly)

Are we interested in a pretty tight AL and AL east, or are we only interested in manny? How bout this? he's one of only three players who had hits in anaheim, is that not more relevant?

that which doesn't kill me.....

blah blah blah.... Trouble is, this might do just that.

So Dear Sarah and Ernest are getting married in a few weeks! And since they are so kind, they've decided to let their soccer hooligan friends join them for the ceremony and reception. As is the case with all girls, (and probably for guys as well), i'm beginning to agonize over what to wear.

For me, shopping for clothing almost always ends in tears. It's so unpleasant- especially when one is shopping for an important event outfit. So, in an effort to avoid some unhappiness, i've decided to make a dress to wear. This could be a tall order. But on top of that i've decided to knit myself a shawl to wear instead of a sweater. yipes. This is a pie in the sky plan, and it could very well end in as many tears as shopping; but why do something the easy way, when you can make it oh so much harder for yourself?

So. i think it will be something like this one: B4723, though i've never used a butterick pattern before. Also, the fabric it calls for is not the kind of fabric i've purchased (This dear readers is why you should never buy the fabric first).

This is the fabric i've settled on. it's rather casual, D'you think too casual for a wedding outfit? I figure the cut of the dress will make up for the casual print, i hope? I'm planning on making it this weekend and next so perhaps i'll post photos and take a little opinion poll.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Boy we sure can squeeze a lemon

bob lobel publishied this gripping article in the globe today.

The thing is, Manny isn't the first loon in the sox clubhouse- he just happens to be the most talented loon. He's also not the first to say things to reporters about their contracts- papelbon has done it as recently as this past spring. A contract isn't based on a player's personality- if that were the case we would still have dave roberts, orlando cabrera and we would still be saddled with kevin millar and shea hillenbrand.

Contracts are based on performance- Manny's has been pretty consistent, and consistently good. Additionally, anyone who thinks a player in a contract season is going to throw an at bat (bob lobel) is on qualudes.

I don't appreciate the shoving incident any more then anyone else, but if I'm an asshole to a kid in the warehouse, I've got to appologize to the kid, not to the whole town. True, John henry has his hands full when dealing with manny and his personality foibles, but henry has benefited from manny as much as manny has from the free pass he gets. John henry's team is better with manny. the sox will not be as good without manny in the batting order. Henry will have to decide if the personality is too big a con for the long list of pros manny has to offer.

Sure manny gets a free pass often enough, but he sure enough does get a much greater ration of shit when people are hacked with him (and historically it seems lobel has always been keen to dish out rations). As fans we are never willing to look at things based on wins and losses. We want our players to do goofy spots on nesn, we want them to be good with our kids, hustle down the first base line. We want them to give interviews with cheer; and when they do, we want them to use good language. We want them to be likable.

That is naive and the recent article illustrates that the media is a major reason why it's perpetual. I want Manny back next season, and i'm willing to pay him an appropriate amount of money to hit bombs.

Monday, July 14, 2008

sox finish out the first half on top!

So, edgar and i went to the ball game yesterday. I scored a pair of tickets from a very gracious vendor, Source 4. we had a good time, the recent rennovations to fenway allow a nice breeze to blow in from right to left, so it's not nearly as hot as it used to get. But i'll be glad when they renno those old grandstand seats. yipes. I'm not terribly tall, and still there was nowhere for my short legs to go. the Sox won, despite papelbon's best efforts to give it away in the ninth.

I got a nifty new camera pecifically for the game, and boy am i glad, it takes fab photos!I a should have taken more of the batters, but i didn't, i'm a dumbhead. I also should have taken some of us (even if for no other reason but to get evidence of a yankee fan at fenway having a good time!) dear readers you'll have to be satisfied with game shots.
This of course is manny ramirez, he drives others crazy, but not me, this fanny is for manny.

here's pedroia catching the throw comin'down

and sally's future son in law ellsbury (she just has to figure out a way for him to get in touch with her daughter).

oh, i nearly forgot; dice-k matsusaka pitched.
He doesn't throw gas, so it's a bit hard to watch sometimes, because he's a moderately finesse style pitcher, I rather find hardball pitchers more comforting, but he got the job done, and he was very good, since the offense seemed to have phoned it in a bit. Note to Sean Casey- no more stretching singles into doubles, you aren't nearly as fast as your mom told you.