Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Best Buy is not a super-fun place to take a toddler

But at least we have a digital camera again. The Fool and I were giggling about how, when we got our first camera six years ago, 5 megapixels was the big fancy-schmancy deal, and now, even the cheapest cameras have 10 or 12.
Then Jamie and I continued on our way to buy lawnmower parts. Big Fish, a large stuffed salmon pillow that lives in the minivan for various and weird reasons, got a reprieve from his car-centered life, and was allowed to come in the lawnmower repair shop. Mainly, I was too tired to argue about why Big Fish could not be shown lawnmowers, as Jamie wished to do. I hope the visit inspired Big Fish to change the air filter and mow the lawn.
Today, I sat in the car while Jamie napped and Kitchenered socks. We had a busy weekend and I was an Irish band wife (sorta like a soccer mom) and so at the Fool's various gigs with Chicago Reel, his new Irish band, I watched Jamie beetle around various parks and knit socks. During sound check, Jamie and I walked down to the big fountain at Millennium Park, that you can wade in, and splashed around for nearly an hour.
By the second-to-last number of the band's 45-minute set, when Paddy and Denis were doing their dueling Irish tenors act, belting - and I mean belting - out "The Lowlands of Holland," Jamie said to me, "Mama, hold you," and so I picked him up, and he put his head on my shoulder, and by the end of the song, he was limp. By the end of the concert, after a big set of reels with stepdancers clattering around in hard shoes and a lot of applause from the audience, he was snoring softly in my ear and didn't wake up when we put him in the stroller.
That kind of behavior gets a person lots of knitting time to finish nearly-finished socks.
I'm not complaining. I'm just Kitchenering.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday night

No thunderstorms tonight, which is unusual for the week. We've had a lot of storms over the past few days - big, exciting ones with lots of thunder and lightning. Midwestern summer storms were one of the things I missed when I lived in Oregon. Jamie and I went to a park for playgroup this morning, only to find that the dark gray skies frightened everyone else off. Or we were at the wrong park. I decided, as we'd come all that way and it wasn't raining, he could go beetle around by himself and if the rains came, we'd run for the car.
It's all part of recovering from another eventful weekend. The Cosmic Otters and Rachel went to Lansing, Mich. for their Saturday night dance, which was loads of fun. Jamie played with some neighborhood girls who we hired to watch him, and as the dance is held in a church hall, there was a conveniently located Sunday school room nearby, with a lot of blocks and small tables and chairs - basically all the things he needs to be entertained.
The dancers were terrific fun to watch, and we had a really good time.
Rachel and I had an especially good time, because she had never been to ThreadBear before. We had the guys drop us off and told them we'd see them in 45 minutes. I've been in a bit of a knitting slump lately ... but now? Obviously, all I needed was a couple balls of sock yarn and some Cascade superwash for a fall sweater for Jamie, because I'm back happily making socks again. Also, all I needed, I guess, was a lot of blue yarn, because that was all I got. Except for this self-striping ball with some purple in it that's going to be my next pair of socks for playground knitting.
I bought a ball of dark indigo Pagewood Farms yarn that I'm really excited about. Lots of people in my knitting group love this yarn, and I'm looking forward to making something (Rachel got the purple ball) nifty - but probably not socks. I'm leaning toward Multnomah. And I'm leaning toward putting beads in the border, but we'll see when I get there.
The next day, after chatting with Sam-the-banjo-player, we stopped by Rae's Yarn Boutique as well, and had something like this conversation.
RACHEL: I really don't need any more yarn.
ME: Me either.
RACHEL: Let's just look.
ME: Right.
RACHEL: Oh, except I wanted some dpns.
ME: Isn't this red yarn pretty?
RACHEL: Oooh. And it's not blue.
ME: I know! And there's some with purple in it over there.
RACHEL: Ooh!
The Fool and Edward watched Jamie during the yarn-shop excursions, but the Fool got his fiber on as well.
Saturday night, after the dance, we were hanging out at our hostess' house. Sam-the-banjo-player came over to visit. His sweetie knits, so he's not totally unaware of the fiber arts.
THE FOOL: (Admiring a throw over the back of a chair at our friend Bonnie's) Wow, this is a cool stitch. I wonder what it is?
SAM: Knitted.
THE FOOL: No, I don't think so. That looks like crochet.
SAM: No, look at this. That's the yarn over. This is knitted.

And then, we headed for home the next day with a couple stops en route (Bell's Brewery, Sweetwater Donuts) and here it is, another hot week in which perhaps I will make the time to shop for a digital camera. Because Best Buy would be a super-fun place to take a toddler, right?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Knitters: Naturally agreeable?


Here in Illinois, they're just starting to try a former governor of ours on corruption charges, and so the news is full of stuff on his trial. Jury selection started, and among the candidates is a knitter. I thought this article was interesting - one analysis of the jurors suggests that the ex-military members might be more conservative, and the knitter might be more inclined to go along with what everyone else says.
I dunno ... I don't think it's fair to say that knitters, as a group, are generally agreeable. I think knitters are as prone to disagree about stuff as anyone else is. And if we were generally agreeable, would we really need three or four ways to knit socks?

The camera remains missing in action; Angus has begun to nudge and bite the Fool each morning until the Fool gets up, at which point Angus happily curls up on the bed in the Fool's vacant spot and falls asleep. Ah, summer.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Weekend away

The Fool, Jamie and I - without instruments or a gig - snuck off to Madison for a weekend. It was great!
I got to go to knit night at the Sow's Ear with Thorny and Renee, which was about 16 different kinds of fun, even though I was darning socks. Note to self: It's not enough to save the online newsletter article on darning socks to read later; one actually has to read it later and maybe print it out for reference.
Leaving for Madison was a little tough, though. Jamie is in the middle of some kind of mad angst, either growing molars or getting over a cold, or both, and so he was disinclined to leave my arms for even a minute, which made packing the car and loading the dishwasher impossible. So the tote bag of odds and ends that needed to go north with me got left on the kitchen counter, and we were without a) birthday presents for Thorny's kids; b) snacks for Jamie; and c) my knitting in progress.
Fortunately, knit night is held at a yarn store, and so I got some Hiya Hiya short dpns, which I had been wanting to try, and a couple balls of on-sale sock yarn. It's been very satisfying, knitting around and around on a plain old sock.
And now we are home, and the Fool is making muffins, and I'm sorting through emails I need to send and trying to corral the hamsters in my head long enough to see what this week will bring.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Summer reading

I'm listening to this pulpy audiobook in the car (can you have a pulpy audiobook? Anyway.) The premise is that there's this demon hunter who is a minivan-driving stay-at-home-mom by day. She has two kids, one teenager from her first marriage, and a second kid by her second husband (first husband was also a demon hunter and died mysteriously). The second kid is about Jamie's age. The husband knows nothing about his wife's secret double life.
What I was thinking as I put my laptop in the car and escaped the house, leaving a somewhat tetchy Jamie and the Fool behind to "enjoy" each other's company tonight, was: How did this woman get her toddler to sleep so well that she can sneak out to slay demons without worrying that her husband will be woken by a kid with a wet diaper or other small angst and notice that she is gone?!
Jamie would blow my cover in a minute.
The camera is missing. So you'll have to take my word for this:
* Bloomington, Ind. trip this last weekend - so fun! Two good gigs, a really delicious homemade rhubarb pie from our friends Katie and Eric, milkshakes.
* The quilt for my class is coming along pretty well. Lots of flowers.
* I'm on a bit of a sewing binge right now. I'm finishing UFOs and experimenting with new stuff. It's a lot of fun.
* Romeo! Romeo! Whyfor are you always getting it on with Winnie the Pooh? Jamie's poor bear is flat! Flat! (OK. I wouldn't put up a picture of the cat doing the nasty with a stuffed bear. But all the quilting stuff, I totally would show you if I could.)