Knit Lit

Saturday Fill-In #100

1.  My stomach is too big for its own good.

2.  Cranberry sauce is what I ate the most of on Thursday.

3.  The yard is filled with leaves, again.

4.  Knitting on the couch is where I’d rather be at any given time.

5.  The smell of cinnamon apple reminds me of fall and winter.

6.  Uninterrupted knitting time is what I need right now!

7.  And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to Friday I waited until the crowds had died down and ventured out to shop, tomorrow my plans include today I indulged in my LYS’s sales and Sunday, I want to finally get some quality knitting time in!

fridayfillin-graphic2

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Swag

Still knitting on the mitered squares.  I just bound off and weaved in the ends of square number 24.  That is one half the amount I needed.  Yeah!  I can see the end in sight.  Unfortunately, my goal of five squares in my five off days is not going as planned.  I am four behind today.  It takes such a long time to get 8 squares and a scarf pinned to the blocking boards.  It also doesn’t help that Boy Child and I spent a good  of the day running errands. Oh, well.  Maybe I can get caught up tomorrow.

Since there has been a severe lack of knitting talk, I offer this.  Look at what I got in the mail on Monday:

2008-11-26-sweatshirt

2008-11-26-tee

How cute are those?  I ordered a large in the hoodie, and it ended up being very big on me.  I am hoping if I put it in the dryer it will shrink. I haven’t tried on the shirt, yet.  I’m saving it for Friday.  Hee!

November 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am green today

First, I did it.  I told the person at work I could not finish the project by Christmas.  I did not lie either.  I wouldn’t have been able to finish it.  I was not about to put that one ahead of my own Christmas knitting. My family always comes first.  So, I’m out of that.  Woo Hoo!

Second, I have been busy for the last little bit.  Remember that book I won from Crazy Aunt Purl.  It was this one.  It was one of the most eye opening things I have read in awhile.  It was the first time I heard about parabens.  These are the chemicals the beauty industry uses as a preservative in their products.  Now, I understand the need for preservatives in products.  However, what I did not know is this:

In the body parabens mimic our own hormones and disrupt the endocrine system. The hypothalamus, the ovaries, the thyroid-parabens affect virtually every system, even though their action is much milder than that of natural estrogens and other xenoestrogens (synthetic estrogens that mimic natural hormones).

Several years ago parabens, due to their estrogenic activity, were found to cause increased uterine growth in animals. The same study first linked parabens to proliferation of two estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells. Two years later, parabens were found in breast milk and breast cancer tumors. British scientists found parabens in breast cancer tumors of 19 out of 20 women with breast cancer. (Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours.Darbre PD, Aljarrah A, Miller WR, Coldham NG, Sauer MJ, Pope GS. Journal of Applied Toxicology. 2004 Jan-Feb;24(1):5-13. ) This study, actively criticized by chemical industry and synthetic beauty proponents, proves the ability of paraben preservatives to penetrate the skin and accumulate in living tissue, such as breasts.

The Green Beauty Guide

Can you believe it? They put that cancer causing materials in products we put on our bodies! Don’t believe me? Here is an example, Cover Girl Clean Foundation.  I was able to get the list of ingredients here.  Two yucky chemicals include Propylparaben and Methylparaben.  Yes the same ones that have been shown to cause cancerous cells.  All but 3-4 ingredients were either irritants or shown to cause bad things, including serosis of the liver. I had a nifty little chart that broke it all down, but WordPress ate it. Even Ivory soap contains Tetrasodium EDTA.  That contains formaldehyde! Not only is formaldehyde used to preserve dead people, it is a carcinogen linked to leukemia, pancreatic, skin, liver and lung cancer. Gross!

So, I have decided to eliminate synthetic chemicals in not only my beauty products but my cleaning supplies as well.  That’s right.  All my shampoo, conditioner, soap, and make-up went right into the trash. (I admit, I have kept my antiperspirant. I can’t sweat. Gross!)  I spent the weekend making my own products.

2008-11-24-beauty1

I am pretty satisfied with all of them, except the shampoo.  I used it for the first time today.  I loved the smell; however, it made my hair both dry and greasy if you can believe it.  Yuck!  I’m not giving up on making my own, though.  I’ll try another recipe after the Christmas knitting is done.  Until then, I’ll stick with this and this.  I’m also washing my face with this.  I have to say, I like it.

I’ve also learned that the best thing to clean oily skin with is oil. Yes, oil.  It helps dissolve the built up grime and excess oil that clogs the pores.  I’ve been able to make my own for pennies.  I’ve also made my own scrubs for face and body.  Again, it cost me pennies on the dollar.  The best thing is that I know everything that is in it and that the majority of all the ingredients are organic.

So, that is what I’ve been doing all weekend.  Next on my list is lotion and lip balm. Stay tuned.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Green | 2 Comments

Friday Fill-in #99

fridayfillin-graphic2

1.   The last band I saw live was The Charlie Daniels Band.

2.   What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is being able to stay in one place and the food. The food rocks! (if you don’t celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)

3.   My Christmas/holiday shopping is easy, but Christmas knitting is keeping me from knitting what I really want and need to knit.

4.   Thoughts of five days off from work fill my head.

5.   I wish I could wear anything I wanted to work.

6.   Bagpipes make my head hurt.

7.   And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going Christmas shopping with Hubby, tomorrow my plans include making shampoo, body scrubs, soap, and all natural cleaning supplies (post next week on this project) and Sunday, I want to please, please put a dent in the number of mited squares I need!

November 21, 2008 Posted by | Friday Fill-in | 1 Comment

Lists and temptations

The marketing world is all about lists.  You buy something at the store.  Your name and purchase goes on a list.  You want a catalog from your favorite store.  You get catalogs from 10 new stores.  All from a list market people are collecting when all you are doing is shopping for milk.  Any who, I got a new catalog. It was for Free People apparel.  As I was thumbing through it, I saw this:

orange-cowl-1

I have been obsessed with it ever since.  I want one. I want one bad.  I know I can whip this up myself.  I have been holding off until I can get my Christmas knits done.  I’m not sure I can wait that long. That is not the only one that caught my eye.  I’m not quite as obsessed with this one, but it is still there lurking.

mobius-5 mobius-1

I have done alot of knitting wishing lately.  Don’t get me wrong. I have many a mitered square to show for my time.  I am enjoying them, but they are not a very satisfying knit.  I know the end product will be great, though.  I can’t wait to see the recipient’s face, too.  It is worth it.  Until then, I will take peaks at my obsession cowl.

November 19, 2008 Posted by | Holiday, Knitting, Yarn | 1 Comment

Word

From Cass to Julia to Bubblesknits to
Me.
Where is your mobile phone? purse
Where is your significant other? rocking
Your hair color? mahogany
Your mother? running
Your father? away
Your favourite thing? yarn
Your dream last night? gone
Your dream goal? happy
The room you’re in? great
Your hobby? knitting
Your fear? loss
Where do you want to be in 6 years? M.A.
Where were you last night? bed
What you’re not? cold
One of your wish-list items? yarn
Where you grew up? Mississippi
The last thing you did? drive
What are you wearing? dress
Your TV? on
Your pets? dream
Your computer? huge
Your mood? tired
Missing someone? boy
Your car? dirty
Something you’re not wearing? shoes
Favourite shop? amazon
Your summer? hot
Love someone? naturally
Your favourite colour? ocean
When is the last time you laughed? night
When is the last time you cried? unknown
***************************************************

It’s time to knit more  squares.  Ho, hum.

You.

November 18, 2008 Posted by | Random | Leave a comment

It needs to be said, or written, or both

Dear Me,

I know there are times you are not honest with yourself.  I also know that it hurts you to hear that, because honesty with oneself is very high on your personal “things I must be” list.  You are way too hard on yourself.  You can not see what a wonderful person you are, not to mention a great mom and wife.  Stop.  Before you protest, I want you to listen to what I have to say.  What?  Yes, yes. I know you are reading this letter not listening to it, but you know what I mean.  Stop it! You will not distract me with semantics.

The fact is you hold yourself to an unrealistic standard.  You are not Wonder Woman, child.  You are a regular person with regular feelings and obstacles.  What you are going through is life.  Yup, it happens to us all.  We muddle through the best way we can.  No one is perfect.  No one gets it right all the time.  You make the best decisions you can make with the information you have at the time.  It is not going to help anyone, lest of all yourself, to worry about what happened in the past and how you would do things differently now.  There is a flaw in that kind of thinking, dear heart.  You didn’t know then what you know now.  If you had to do it all over again, with the same information you had at that time, there is not one thing you would have done differently.  When you accept that fact, you will be better off.

Oh and you do know that June Cleaver, Samantha Stevens and Carol Brady were not real people, don’t you?  Yes?  Well, you sure don’t act like it.  Those women were on TV, where every problem is solved in 30 minutes or less.  Sweetie, you are not on TV.  You also have a job.  It is unrealistic for you to work all day and have dinner on the table at 6 o’clock in a spotless house, wearing heel and pearls.  It’s just not going to happen.  Those women did not have jobs outside the home.  I’m not going to say they didn’t work; they did.  But honey child, that was their job.  They had all day to cook, clean, grocery shop, do the laundry, join the PTA and whip up cookies in time for the kiddies to come home from school.  How do you expect to do that in 15 minutes?  You can’t.

Your family is not starving.  They are clothed.  The house is clean.  No, clutter does not constitute “dirty.”  It is stuff, not filth.  Everyone has stuff.  Now granted, your yarn stuff is more abundant than most; but I have been on the internet. Your, what do you call it, stash is no where near the largest out there.  Give yourself a break.  You have a hobby that produces a functional object at the end of it.  What about all those “sports” people.  They watch it; they play it.  They have nothing to show except 3 hours of their life gone.  Knitting brings you joy, scarves, blankets and sweaters.  It is okay to knit.  It is okay not to sweep, vacuum, mop, and dust every day.  Heck, it is okay to only do those things once a week.  I know what you are going to say. What about once every two weeks?  Well, sure.  Unless you are tracking in pounds of dirt, I’m sure you are fine. Give yourself a break.

This weekend, you finally got caught up on the laundry.  That’s right. All the laundry has been washed and  put away.  That is an accomplishment.  I can hear you right now.  “But I didn’t get the ironing done.”  So what?  What if you didn’t get the ironing done.  You got to watch a movie with your son.  In the grand scheme of things, what do you think he is going to remember? Is he going to tell his friends, “yeah, my  mom is great. She always had my clothes ironed.” No, he is not.  He is going to say, “I remember when I was little. Mom and I would sit on the couch, watch movies and eat popcorn.”  That is what you need to be focused on.  Do you really want people to remember you by saying, “she always seemed so stressed out, but she was perfectly pressed and her house always smelled clean.”  Is that what you want? Is it? No? I didn’t think so.  I think you want people to say that you always had your knitting with you and were happy.  You want people to remember the things you knit them and know that you loved them.

Also, and this is very very important, what other people at work think about you is not your concern.  You can not change what other people think about you.  Now, I know your personal quote.  I also know you have not been taking it to heart lately.  Let’s say it together.

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. – Bill Cosby

Take a minute.  Think about why you decided this is the quote you need to say to yourself everyday.  You can not please everyone.  If you do, you will fail.  You have to accept that you are not going to be friends with everyone.  It is okay to say no.  Yes, it is okay to tell that co-worker you thought was your friend that you no longer want to knit that coat for her granddaughter.  No, you really shouldn’t wait a couple of days and tell her you can’t finish before Christmas.  That is a cop-out. Be an adult and tell her you don’t want to do.  You don’t have to tell her it is because you don’t want to take on such a project for someone you don’t really like and have no respect for.  You can just tell her no.  I know, I know.  She is paying you, but you gave her that amount when you thought she was your friend.  There is no way your time is worth that small amount.  Especially since you have Christmas projects for your own family that are not done.  Just tell her no.  There will be other opportunities to sell something you have knitted.  Be Nancy Reagan and just say no.

I’m sure there is more, but your mind is starting to wander.  If you take anything from this, know that you are human.  You are not perfect.  You are never going to be perfect.  Your family loves you.  They love your imperfections as much as the rest of you.  Do you love them less because they don’t pick up their clothes or make noise when you are trying to sleep?  No.  You love every part of them.  That didn’t work?  You want to be the best?  Okay, what about Lucille Ball?  She was beloved especially for her flaws.  As a matter of fact, all the women characters you love are flawed.  You love them all because of their flaws: Scarlett O’Hara, Eve Dallas, Loreli Gilmore, Monica Geller.  Real women have flaws.  If you see one who seems perfect, they are either lying or hiding it very well.

You are a good person, a good wife and a good mother.  Remember that.

Seeing and loving you for you,

Me

November 17, 2008 Posted by | Random | 1 Comment

Friday Fill-in

 And…here we go!

fridayfillin.gif

1.  Please feel free to give me any and all yarn you don’t want.

2.  When I see candles, I can’t help sniffing it occasionally them instead of doing whatever it is I need to be doing.

3.  My favorite thing to cook is nothing. I do not like to cook at all.

4.  Time is something I can’t get enough of.

5.  That’s the thing I love most about loooooving you.

6.  Politics and politicians always makes me think to myself, what the heck?

7.  And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to weaving in ends and blocking mitered squares, tomorrow my plans include returning a audiobook cd I left in my computer to the library and Sunday, I want to clear my closet of things that don’t look good on me, I don’t wear and don’t love!

November 14, 2008 Posted by | Friday Fill-in | 2 Comments

Esc

2008-11-13-job-cartoon

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Work | 1 Comment

Clap me a square

I was driving to work this morning and was thinking about why I could not seem to blog anything knitting related.  I knit everyday. I think about knitting or knitting related subjects a lot, at least every couple of minutes.  I like talking about knitting.  Why can’t I blog about knitting?  It came to me, and if I was a cartoon character, a little light bulb would have been floating above my head.  I have trouble blogging about knitting because of the pictures.  I am lazy about taking pictures.  I hate pulling out my camera to take a picture of what I have been working on everyday.  I can never seem to get one that shows anything adequately.  It is always too dark at my house when I get home.  Before, there was a very short window, about 15 minutes right after I got home from work, that allowed decent light for capturing the colors. Now that Daylight Savings has kicked in, there is no shot.  If I have no photos, it is hard to post about knitting. 

 

So, to combat this problem, I came into work early so I could take pictures of what I am working on now.  It turns out that my desk is a great background.  So, Ladies and Gentleman, I present … my knitting:

 

2008-11-12-wrap

 

This is the ever popular Clapotis.  I think I am the last person to start one of these.  I have to say that I am either ahead of the game or way behind.  Oh well.  I think I had to see one in person in order to see how truly beautiful this pattern could be.  The good people at Brooks Farms had a sample knit up at SAFF.  I knew that this was something I had to have.  It had enough drape that it can be worn as a large scarf or a wrap.  I am drawn to over-sized scarfs right now, so this is perfect.  I think it is going to be pushed to the back burner for awhile so I can work on this:

 

 2008-11-12-square-1

 

Mitered squares.  I have never done one before, and I am having such great fun with this project.  It is a Christmas present, so I have to be vague; but I love being able to play with colors.  They remind me of the leaves outside.  It is awesome to be working on you knitting and step outside and see the exact same colors in the trees.

 

2008-11-12-square-2

 

I am adjusting the pattern a bit from Kay and Ann’s instructions.  I am using the same decrease pattern on every right side row instead of alternating it.  Because I can only knit a couple of rows at a time at red lights and such, I kept getting lost on which one I should do.  I can’t see too much differnce in this one and the “right” ones, so I am going to stick with it.

 

While I am enjoying these, I think I have a new (hopefully brief) passion … stitch markers.  I wanted to have pretty stitch markers but could not bring myself to pay $20 for something I could make myself.  So, I decided to try to make my own.  They are awesome to use!

 

2008-11-12-stitch-marker

 

This one was one of my first attempts.  I have gotten better, but this is the one I have with me today.  All I want to do at night is make more!  I feel so artistic when I do!

 

Off the subject of knitting, I have to share a new product.  I am a Diet Coke junkie.  I am trying to cure my habit, but it is tough when lack of caffeinein the morning is essential to proper functioning for the rest of the day.  However, I have discovered something that gets my day started without having the jittery nerves that often accompany soda.

 

2008-11-12-cranergy

 

This stuff is great!  It is not too sweet, and it only has 50 calories in the 12 oz bottle.  Apparently the energy in Cranergy comes from green tea extract and B-Vitamins.  Great and wonderful pick-me-up.  This one is Raspberry Cranberry, but it also comes in straight cranberry.  The funny thing about this product is the packaging.  It comes in individual bottles and a large family size.  Usually, I buy the larger version because it is less expensive and less wasteful.  However, the individual bottles are actually more economical, at least where I purchase mine.  Either way, I think you should try it. 

 

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Knitting, Random, Yarn | 1 Comment