Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We went out to a further western suburb to trick or treat with some friends of ours and their family. The neighborhood was incredible; masses of kids, strollers and parents packing the sidewalk.
Jamie went as a scary, scary vegetable. Here he is next to the funniest Halloween decoration I've ever seen - skeletal black flamingos. Tell me you don't all want a flock of those things. I think they even glow in the dark.

(What did the Fool and I go as? Why, sleep deprived zombies, of course. Not really. We were going to dress up as farmers, which I thought could be accomplished with jeans, plaid shirts and straw hats. But of course, I couldn't find a straw hat that said 'farmer' to save my freakin' life. Seven stores, we tried. I found two cowboy hats made for pinheads and two big purple fake fur pimp hats - not even close. The Fool found cowboy hats, pointed Chinese peasant hats (!?!) and sombreros. I suppose two Chinese farmers would be just as likely to cart around a giant peapod as not.)

And now, back to the autumn leaves sweater, which is completely captivating me these days.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Welcome to the new workplace

Jamie woke up, this time without shrieking, but just by opening his eyes and peering around at us, a definite improvement. The Fool made coffee, which I smelled, and which drew me out of bed, which was just as well, because I had to meet a freelance client at 10:30 a.m., which, pre-baby, used to be halfway through my morning and definitely do-able.
The Fool is working from home today because the furnace broke last night (an extra quilt and two cats kept the three of us very comfortable and warm), and in keeping with the urge to make warm, friendly food, I tried to make oatmeal without overflowing it in the microwave (I failed), then without slopping the spillage from the plate onto the floor (failed again) and then, insult to injury, stepped in it. (Ish.)
Out the door, running late, got to my meeting, stopped to pick up lunch for the two of us on the way home ... late.
The Fool had an online training to conduct, requiring my presence to mind Jamie while he lectured on, uh, computer and programming stuff, so when I got in, I saw this:

(note stylish moose pants for the working-from-home dad)
I ate my lunch on the floor with Jamie, accidentally inserting some background noise into the training.

ME: Angus! Cats don't eat Chipotle! Go away!
FOOL: Shhhhh!

Jamie nursed for a few minutes, fell asleep in my lap, and I got to knit a half dozen rounds before the Fool's call ended, and now I'm waiting to talk to one last person and send off my freelance assignment.
The heater is fixed, the house is warm, Jamie is happy and Angus is, thankfully, asleep. And I am about halfway done with this sleeve. Hooray!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Midwife Socks

It was somewhere around the 20th hour after Meg went into labor that both of us started knitting in the delivery room. Our midwife came in to check in on us, and seeing us both sitting there knitting, said something jokingly to the effect of, "I can't watch this..." and walked back out. I noticed that she was wearing Birkenstocks and was in sore need of some nice handknit socks. I casually inquired after her shoe size the next time we saw her.

So here are the socks that I knit for our midwife:

We don't have a picture of her modeling them, unfortunately, but she was a bit floored when Meg brought them in to her 6-week post-delivery checkup.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The one post that would make everyone happy....

... according to the various people who read this blog for various reasons, would be this: We knit Angus and Jamie technically difficult sweaters and make the two of them model their new garments while on vacation somewhere interesting and scenic. Possibly by asking Jamie to sit on Angus, or vice versa.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


"Oh, it's easy," I said at knit group a couple weeks back. 'When I finish knitting this part, I'll just cut it down the middle here and pick up stitches for the sleeve."
Silence. I wondered if maybe I'd said it wrong.
"You're going to cut that sweater apart and do what?" someone asked.
It sounded much more insane when it was put that way.
Nevertheless, I got my good sewing scissors out and steeked one armhole. When I'm done with this sleeve, I'll do the other, and then I'll do the big one that makes it into a cardigan (and opens the door for something like six miles of I-cord, but that's another blog post....)

Angus helped me. He made sure my steek didn't unravel by sitting on the sweater while I wound balls of yarn.

Finally, I kicked him off, but he made it hard.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Consolation Rhinebeck '08

Somehow, the New York Sheep and Wool Festival goes on without us. Last year, we went to Arthur, Ill. rather than Rhinebeck. This year, when airfare proved to be too high, we went to Madison, Wis.

(See! We were there! And Jamie is not asleep in his sling.)

We went to the wonderful Dane Co. Farmer's Market, held downtown around the Capitol building and bought leeks, wee potatoes, apples for applesauce and pie and eating for snacks (although we miscalculated and just ended up having enough for pie and snacks), and heirloom garlic and a delicata squash, which I read about in some fancy-pants food magazine and want to try cooking.

(I bought some of those potatoes near the top.)

We ate breakfast at the Hubbard Ave. Diner and got slices of pie for later, because even though I'm an advocate of pie for breakfast, I'm not gutsy enough to order that in a restaurant.
We went to yarn stores and came away with some Cascade, some Noro and a skein of Cascade sock yarn. I'm knitting the Embossed Leaves socks out of some Claudia's Handpainted, and these are turning out to be some really fun socks to knit. So fun, in fact, that I plan to make a pair in a green colorway to cover both seasons. The Fool is muttering about making Jamie some soakers for winter.
What? We had to go to yarn stores. It's a Consolation Rhinebeck tradition.
We visited Thorny for a while.
We went to the contra dance in town Saturday night, where Jamie made more friends.

(Mary is comfortable and warm, Jamie says. Nice to sleep on.)
The Wire Tappers played, and they were great fun. Then we went back to our hotel room, and ate pie.

(The band, and Bill, the caller, who is a good clogger although you can't tell from this photo.)
The next day, we stopped in Mt. Horeb on our way home. Mt. Horeb has a Trollway, which is a collection of troll statues along the main street, a troll-themed brewpub and the only mustard museum I have ever been in. We enjoyed all three.


(the Fool pauses on the Trollway)

(The world-famous mustard museum. Edward asked us to bring him some souvenir mustard. We got him some with whiskey in it, not what I thought was the weirdest flavor in the museum shop. That was chocolate merlot.)
And now we are home, and the Fool's dad is coming to see us at the end of the week, and hoo boy, do we have some cleaning to do.

(Also? I steeked!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thanks, ladies!

When I got to knit group last night, I got a wonderful surprise - all sorts of nifty baby presents from the women I knit with, in a basket big enough for, well, lots of things.
There's some stuffed critters, which Jamie will enjoy as soon as he works out how to grab, there are cute outfits and a monkey towel, and books too.
He says, "thank you!" and the Fool thought it was pretty cool also.
(Angus also says thank you, and how did you know to wrap everything in crinkly cellophane, his Favorite. Thing. Ever.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Oh, the diaper bag debate?

Usually, we're big fans of making do with what we have, repurposing items around the house, etc., but we decided to fix the diaper bag dilemma by throwing money at it. I went to REI and got a couple of these thingers, and they're great. All the diapering items have a convenient red pouch, and all the non-diapering items have their own pouch as well. I can carry my various items in the diaper bag, the Fool can find what he needs in a hurry - all is well and good.

... and we're off!

It's been a busy few weeks chez SockKnitters. We've been taking Jamie on a variety of urban and suburban adventures. He went back to the arboretum with me, where I was volunteering while I was pregnant, and spent a pleasant hour or so in the exhibits office, sleeping in his sling while I did some dry-mounting and laminating.
We went to a playgroup for new moms together. Three of the kids are old enough to sit up and play; the rest of them, including Jamie, sit in laps, nurse, nap and wiggle around while the associated mothers revel in adult conversation and eat brownies.

We went apple-picking with Edward and Rachel and made a great dinner to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary.

Jamie slept in his sling.

And we went downtown to the Field Museum on that really rainy weekend when the remnants of the hurricane swept through the Midwest. It was free day for employees and families of the Fool's workplace, and we had been meaning to take advantage of this for three years, so we decided, hell or high water, we would make it this year. Because we are also trying to be responsible about energy consumption, we decided to take the train downtown, walk to State Street and catch a bus to the museum. In the rain. With Jamie. And a recalcitrant secondhand stroller, since replaced.

The Fool and I visited the museum's excellent exhibit on evolution. Jamie slept in his sling. Probably just as well. Lots of scary dinosaurs.

Here we are in Millennium Park. Jamie slept in his sling.

The rain caused the cancellation of the Chicago Celtic Fest, so we did not get to see a bunch of Cape Breton musicians we really hoped to see. Here's the Fool, as close as he got to the concert.

We went to the Kalamazoo Irish Fest to hear the Fool play with his Irish band. Jamie slept in his sling, for the most part, but also woke up so we could dance together.

We had a stray cat visit the porch a few days ago, and because we love our animal friends (read: are big fat suckers), we put out a little food and a bowl of clean water. Angus and Mab kept our visitor company during dinner.

I've been knitting on my Kauni autumn leaves sweater, which is a great deal of fun. I've got a lot of momentum going on this project and while I am not ready to abandon my beloved cables, this stranded knitting has its good points. I don't think I'll ever be the Fair Isle fanatic the Fool is, though.

More adventures afoot, but first! I get a shower!