Monday, May 28, 2007

Bad Link!

I was looking/checking my list of links the other day, and the one about Bjorns isn't working! Nothing seems wrong in the HTML code, and the address that shows up in the window when you click is right.
Just in case I've messed up, LOL, here's the correct, whole, address: and hopefully I can get that fixed later.

The Last Post!

Well, hopefully, not forever! Surgery day is tomorrow, bright and early. We have to be out of the house by 5:15am. Ick. So, there'll be no posting, or knitting, for a few days! And I don't really have anything new to post today anyway. I knitted a toy ball on the weekend for Rob's co-worker, using a bright pink yarn that I had made a sweater for Lucy with. It's cute, although there was a mistake with the cast off/joining row, but oh well. I told him to give it to her today, I don't know if he did, I don't see it around and I forgot to take a picture.

Anywho...paused for the phone....hubby thinks I should wake Megan up so I can go to Wal-Mart and buy new pillows for his parents who are staying tonight. No way Jose, naptime is sacred, especially when said child awoke with a runny nose this morning!!

So, hopefully I'll be back by Sunday when I'll post Huey's birthstory in honour of his OMG! 7th birthday!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I've got Rhythm!

Who could ask for anything more?!
Who would have thought it'd take one college diploma and three university degrees to get this thing, the size of a business card, working?! The problem--the jacks on the back of the stereo were not 'output' they were aux/video....which someone one is supposed to know are for inputting only. I thought I'd try recording from my 'Walkman' using the headphone jack....and bingo! But of course, my home stereo uses a big headphone jack, so back to Radio Shack for another $8 converter thingy. And I KNOW it's not Radio Shack anymore, but I just can't call it 'The Source'. So now, I am transferring an eclectic mix of music from CDs chosen at random from my 250 CD collection...the downside is that I have to listen through the headphones so I'm pretty much stuck here at the stereo which is beside the computer....I can't watch TV or make dinner, LOL. And we can't figure out how to erase the crap we recorded last night when trying to get it to work. The microphone recording feature was interesting....and there is no way to input the names of songs. Everything is labelled with the date and time (which is of course, wrong).

Would you like to know how we fared when we gave up and decided to try burning a CD on the computer with pictures and other stuff....

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Just Want to Hear Some Music!

I have been considering an MP3 player for awhile. But with our computer situation, I didn't think it worthwhile--I'm not about to start downloading music with a cost, and I'm not about to download over 200 CDs onto my computer. Then I saw on advertised that says you can copy directly from your CD player/stereo---no computer needed! Yee Haw! Bought it!

Well.....I emailed the company's costumer service and had to wait till today for an answer.

Indeed, you do copy directly from the stereo. I ripped open the box. Step one. Install software. Step two. Charge battery by plugging into USB port. You can't do step two until you've done step one!
Now, I'm a thrifty shopper, and I noticed that another store also had this MP3 player at the same price, and at the bottom of the ad, was a blurb for a power converter. Okay, fine, I can go get that and charge it up.
Problem number 2....the line in/out plugs on my stereo are of the RCA variety, not the headphone stick type. The MP3 player comes with a cord with a teeny-weeny stick plug for the player, and a single, headphone size stick plug to go to the stereo. Argh. We have a portable CD player from the days before having a CD player in the vehicle. But where is it? We've been here a year. I knew exactly where it was before we moved. It wasn't in anyplace that it 'should' be, but I happened to open up one box, and there it was! Yee Haw!
Still got a problem. The cord now works, but I can't find the power adapter for the CD player!! I know we had one. It's not in the box with batteries, or in the box with other assorted cords and crap. All I want is to be able to listen to some flippin music while I'm recovering from the surgery so I don't have to listen to Rob being a full time single parent!
So, after taking Lucy to school, I take Megan to Staples. The young man finds me the MP3 power converter, and I show him the cords and say I need one with the red/white two separate plugs on one end, and a teeny tiny stick on the other end. No problem he says, hands me a package. As I'm checking out, I look at it and think, that looks just like the cord I brought to show that was too big. Yes, when I get home and look closely, it is too big. It's a normal stick. LOL.
I want my freaking music. I love music. I'm not technical about how I get it played. I won my first stereo through a chocolate bar called 'Choco-lotto'. I just need music and I've been severely deprived for the past couple years. I am so desperate, I am taking all three kids after school back to Staples to return/exchange the one cord, and if needed, to Radio Shack. Argh.

And speaking of music....Last night's American Idol....I never in a million years thought I would ever, ever, ever hear a giant black man from the south sing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." OMG. Of all the Beatles' songs to choose from for the medley, they made him sing that?!

Knitting. Yeah, I still do it. Yeah, I'm still blond. I was casting off Lucy's socks. I thought I had finished and broke the yarn. To discover I still had one more needle full.

This is a sweater for Lucy made from Bernat LuLu. I do not like asymmetry. I am sort of doing this sweater on the fly. I've done it before, but it had a V neck, this WAS supposed to be a round neck so I could add a hood. Oops. What was I thinking? This yarn has to be ripped ONE STITCH at a TIME!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Finding Me

Years ago (or so it seems) I got a pop-up for I did all the free parts, but I won't pay for the deluxe edition. I thought I was being clever by sneaking my email address into a profile question. Just recently I got an email to my other address from someone, so I thought I'd check out the website again and see what it says about me, LOL, and who else is there.
It's pretty stupid that unless you're a Gold member, you can't see who checked your profile, or email people...I see that it says that part of my profile is not available for general viewing because it might be obsence, or I might have an email address in it. Well, of course it isn't profane, LOL. So I changed it to tracykm AT yahoo DOT com instead of the other way. Lets see if anyone finds me now.
I also googled my married name and nothing came up :( So, maybe if I put it here, that might get noticed? Tracy Vetzal. There. Someone find me! I miss all my old friends, I should never have let my old boyfriend lead me away.....There are some folks I need to make amends with, some I'd just like to catch up with. And the next reunion isn't until 2011. LOL.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Little Game

Let's play another little game. Twenty pounds lighter or twenty years younger. I can't believe 20 years ago I was 16! I was starting to get a little wild, but not too outrageous, LOL. My 16th birthday sucked, and I had a rough couple months, then I started dating someone and started having fun again ;) But to be 16 in today's society....I don't know. I do wish I had tried to find someone to teach me to drive back then, I do wish I had kept in touch with those friends, I wish I hadn't thought that the first boyfriend that lasted more than 2 months meant he's 'the one'. But I wouldn't change too much else.
Twenty pounds lighter? Yeah, that'd be nice. I still wouldn't wear some of the young fashions out there now, but I'd give anything (uh, like $4500!) to have a body with better proportions. My butt is smaller than my belly and no matter what I weigh, that doesn't change! The strange thing is, the number on my clothes is about the same as when I was 10-15lbs lighter, which wasn't all that long ago, and back when I used to weigh what I do now, my clothes were quite a few sizes bigger. I know sizes have gotten bigger, but that much bigger?

Do I value age or appearance more? Experience or appearance? Brains or bod? What about you?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Little Late

It's been a crazy few days, quite hectic. My Mother's Day was not great--it was a day spent Mothering, instead of being honoured/thanked/whatever. I love my kids, but I spend ALOT of time with them. I would have liked to have had a bit of quiet time. I suppose I'll get that when I'm recovering from my surgery. But really, that doesn't exactly count--I won't be able to knit, or blog, or get photos in the photo album....

We've been getting the little Sears catalogues lately (bought something at Christmas, so we're on the list now). Anyone who is an odd bra size knows that bra shopping through the Sears catalogue is often the only way to go (although I never actually have). The prices are usually too much for me, and the larger sizes tend to be....sad. But we just got a catalogue, and there in the bra section is a CUTE little number, in the size I figure I actually am but have never found one to try on, and it's not $70!! It's only $23! It's so not fair! LOL. Then I look at all the cute ones I will be able to get ;)

Z tagged me for a chain game, 7 little known things about me. Mmmm...

1) I hate asking for help. I'm not bad at stores, or even asking for directions, but asking family/friends for help...lousy. And phoning people. I HATE phoning people. Even just to set up a doctor's appointment. We all need vision tests, Megan needs a hearing test, and I just can't get off my duff and do it.

2) I'm passive-aggressive. Although, I have noticed that really, I'm mostly passive, and little aggressive. Perhaps that's good, LOL, but I wish I could say some of the things I think!

3) I got my M (motocycle) Class license when I was 22-23. I had bought a Yamaha scooter in the summer of 92 and I had the learners permit for a long time (well, they're good for 90 days, I kept renewing!) until I took the test in the fall of 93 I think it was (or spring of 94). I got my G1 (general learners) in winter 98 (I had tried in my teens), passed the drivers test in Aug 98, and did the exit test in May of 2003, at the great age of 32, mother of two!! I have backed into one car, and rolled my little Geo Metro, but have never gotten a speeding (or other) ticket.

4) I took organ lessons for a long time. I really wanted a piano, but we got an organ. It was fun, and I wish I hadn't given it away.

5) At 16 I got drunk with Paul Shaffer; the band leader from David Letterman's show. It was Canada Day at Molson Park in Barrie, I was there with my brother and my boyfriend, and we lied our way into the beer tents. Someone told us who he was; I never watch the show. We built a huge beer cup pyramid, knocked it down, and got kicked out of the beer tent.

6) I am lazy! I had planned to be a very active mother, but Huey was difficult to deal with--he didn't like schedules, he didn't like going places, he was unpredictable. I couldn't join in the other moms at a playgroup or else he'd fall off the slide, beat up some other kid. I tended to let him play on his own because whatever I did was wrong/annoying/fustrating... Although I hate having a messy house, I'm not fond of cleaning. Well, I don't mind cleaning--I like things to be clean, but I put it off. It's all the 'stuff' that bugs me. Toys on the floor, bowls in the family room, clothes everywhere...I'd rather knit.

7) I was a bit of a kitten? in my younger days ;) The last year of high school (gr 13) I had a romance with a guy 3 years younger, and one 6 months younger....the first year of university....{blush}....I was really shy, but those keg parties....I was perhaps a little reckless, but all's well that ends well! Betcha didn't know THIS one about me!

Oh yeah...knitting....nothing new to show...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Just call me Blondie

Blondness stikes again. I want to make the Lotus Tank, from the cover of last summer's (?) Interweave Knits. I made a test swatch with my substitute yarn. I even cast off and WASHED it. It was a touch on the big side, but felt good, and I didn't want to 'waste' more yarn doing another swatch. It languished on the table for awhile while I finished the two pairs of socks. I thought it was time to cast on the 200 sts. I can't find the circular needle I used and had left conviniently on my desk, but had stupidly picked up while cleaning/organizing my needles. I think it was 3.75mm. But it could have been 4mm. So, if I cast on anyway with 3.5mm, I assume that at some point I'll realized that I had used 4mm and was thinking of using 3.75mm to knit the tank instead. If I use 4mm needles, I'll realize that what I made the swatch in and I should have used 3.7mm. If I use 3.75mm it'll turn out that's what I did the swatch with.

Trying to be tidy bites you in the butt everytime!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blond knitter strikes Again.

Went to Zellers to see if they had any little circular needles. Of course, I forgot to check my own stash before I left. Got to Zellers and the appropriate area...the craft section is gone! Totally gone. About a dozen orphaned skeins/balls of yarn at the end of one shelf. No thread, no Velcro, no scissors, no Rit dyes, no Handicrafter Cotton, nothing. And, no staff to ask. When I got home, I sorted through my circulars, and found about 3 pairs in the one size I was going to go buy, LOL.

And....I realized the other night that I have a box full of 100% alpaca, in white (2 50g balls), grey, charcoal and BLACK, in fingering weight. But it was a gift from my SIL when she went to Peru, so I'm not using it to make a baby blanket to give away, although I could certainly make a shawl. A grey shawl might be elegant...or a cardigan on the standard gauge machine.

And here's photo proof that I'm supposed to be blond:

It's subtle, but you can see how the left foot goes tan/speckle/green/wide speckle, and the right foot goes green/speckle/tan/wide speckle. If the bands of speckle were all the same thickness, you wouldn't notice.

Fraternal twins again.

And here's a heel shot. Somehow the heels got off center compared to the toes, and I think one sock has three sts less than the other one. They are also a smidge too long--or more accurately, they are just a tad pointy. I started with 10sts or maybe 12. Normally, when doing top down, I'd end with 10 sts, but I guess the different toe makes a different shape. And, even though the tops are in ribbing (K2, P1), they bulge where they meet the foot. So, I have to keep my feet elegantly pointed out in front of me. Makes it hard to walk.

And here's some socks I made on the Singer 327. I did the ribbing by hand. We won't go into all the issues with these ones. Everything from plain stupidity to plain blondness. I haven't even tried them on since washing them. Hope they fit, LOL. I think my ankles must be thin compared to my heels and foot and calves.

Just before we all got sick, we had pork souvlakis. I went to clean up, and saw one on the floor, and one was missing. Now, Cooper (the dog) would never get something off the counter. I went hunting, and this is what I found! She seems to prefer pork over other meats. Crazy girl. Cranky girl today. And it's my night to go out :)

We live just outside of the "Greenbelt" (a political word for "land worth a lot, so let's limit what can be done so the rich can get richer and the poor have to driver further"), but Rob's commute takes him through it. There are a lot of gravel pits, as it's part of the Niagra Escarpment geological zone. I laugh, every time I see a big swanky house (oh, apparently Patrick Swayze lives here now), with a long gravel driveway, and a sign at the road that says "No More Pits". Anyway, Rob got nailed by a baseball sized rock

last week. Luckily he wasn't hurt, and he had needed a new windshield for quite a long time.

That's glass all on the inside. Oh, I wanted to vent about my next apt. for the surgery and the stupid company Rob works for. But it's time to go knit :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Needle Pains

I thought I might get some 2.5mm circulars to use Magic Loop with the little sock I'm knitting for Lucy. With only 48 sts, it's annoying changing needles every 12sts. Last Thursday Rob was home sick, and so was Huey, so I got to take just Lucy to speech therapy in Shelburne, instead of both her and Megan. At first I was going to pop into the LYS there, but realized we really don't have much time after therapy. So I looked up another LYS to see if they listed the needles/sizes on line. They did, but only Addis were that small. I'm sorry, but I'm not spending $15+ for a circular needle for a $5 pair of socks. So I checked Wal-Mart; nothing. I was in Newmarket on Sunday and checked Michaels'. Nothing. In fact, their needle selection was appalling. They had 6 sizes of LionBrand circulars, and maybe 10 sizes of a cheap Bamboo brand. Nothing smaller than a 4mm (there might have been a 3.75mm). I know big needles are 'in' still, but so is sock knitting, and lace knitting. I used to buy needles at Zeller's (K-Mart) and they had such a huge selection, you had to double check to make sure you got the right length. I haven't been into the LYS in town (Scary place/people), or Zeller's here yet, so I'm still hopeful, but I am almost to the heel of the first one. Now, I know I could just buy the Addi, considering I have no circulars in that size at all....but....

I bought yarn. Sigh. I'm throwing off my average spending on yarn! I really didn't think I actually buy that much yarn, but since the start of the year, I've spent about $50/month ($73 this month though). I have been good about using most of what I buy, but I'm not getting much used up from the stash! Once I get the ribber for the Singer 327 set up, I hope to start cranking out socks, but a lot of my sock stash is basic Kroy colours that need colour or pattern work.

What did I buy? 10 balls in parchment of the Peruvian Baby Lace Merino, alpaca/merino at Rob wants me to make a baby blanket for his co-worker, and she's a high taste gal. So, that should use....ummmm....2 balls? LOL. The rest is for dyeing. Yeah, like in 3 years when Megan starts going to school, LOL. Oh, and I bought two balls in black for another shawl for me :)

Speaking of shawls, my Flower Basket Shawl is unblocking. I didn't think I over-stretched it, but I notice it seems smaller, and the ripples are showing on the back side again. Just a little, probably only noticeable to me. Interesting.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Blond Knitters Anonymous

Remember my toe up, heel flap sock? The one I said Mim must think I'm the stupidest knitter out there? Another DOH moment. I've been alternating between knitting each sock. I started the first one using the inside strand. I started the second using the outside strand because I didn't feel like breaking off the first one, and you cannot wind yarn on my electric ball winder using the outside strand if the inside strand is already connected to something (as in, a knitting project). Yes, blonde moment there too--both the "I should have wound half off before I started" and "maybe I can wind on the electric winder from the outside while the inside is still connected to XYZ".
But a new blonde moment! The yarn is self-patterning, with a flecked area, a beige stripe and a green stripe. When you knit from opposite ends of the ball, the pattern goes in the opposite direction! But I bet you knew that! I am casting off as soon as I cast off from here. I did one last night. The leg is in K2,P1 rib, and I did K2tog, pass back to LHN, rep. It was not stretchy enough! So I ripped it out and cast off in pattern as loose as I could. It's better, but not perfect.

I made this sweater for my mom, using the same yarn as for Lucy's Valentine's sweater. I used Knitware to do the math, although it is such a plain design that it wasn't really necessary. I made it on the KnitSmart machine. I got off to a rocky start, and for some reason it took me forever to convert the ribbing on the back (the first piece I made). But then I knew we'd being seeing my parents so I got my act together and wove in the ends the night before the visit, LOL. It doesn't go with the green jeans she likes, but oh well :) I think I used exactly 10 balls. I have a bag of 10 left, and I think I bought 20. I was going to weigh it but I forgot. And it fits her!

This is an angel baby blanket. In the "Slightly Crunchy Attachment Parenting" Yahoo group I'm in, a member had a pre-term stillbirth. She's in Indianapolis and my in-laws are going down, so I thought they could drop it off at the hospital. Then, a couple weeks ago, the leader of the Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph NINO group ("Nine In, Nine Out"--of the womb--but mostly they discuss babywearing) had a full term still birth, so I think I will send it to the Kitchener hospital.

In the picture, it's actually sideways to how it's knit (on the standard gauge). The proportions are a little strange, I didn't know how big to make it. So I used almost all 200 needles, and did almost 350 rows. It looked long enough on the machine, but I think it could have had more rows. But I was actually getting a little bored. Using a punch card, and one colour, I don't have to do anything but move the carriage back and forth. It made a really nice tuck stitch pattern.

This is the knit side, in tuck, that's usually the wrong side, but I think it's kind of neat.This is the purl side. The blanket has curled terribly. Machine knitters often 'kill' acrylic items by steaming them heavily. Just before I was set to do this, I mentioned to one the yarn I was using and she wrote back to NOT kill it. But now what? I was thinking of satin blanket binding, but then I have to sew it on. I could crochet around it, but the yarn is like lace weight and you need more than one row of single or double crochet.

It's a really soft yellow, very pretty. The patio chair it's resting on is a grey mesh and I think it was showing through the blanket in the pictures.

We're not all quite back to health, but are soldiering on anyway. I couldn't stand one more day of having Huey home, LOL.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bad Babywearing

I got this picture in an email from my MIL, with a bunch of other cute baby pictures. This is admittedly a cute baby picture, but it is BAD babywearing! I can't believe that two people doing this found themselves together at the same time, where someone had a camera.
See the legs dangling straight? That means the baby is supported by the crotch. It's not funny when someone gives you a wedgie in grade 6, it's not fun when your own parent does it at 6 months. All the baby's weight is put on their lower spine, puting them at risk for spinal stenosis. And, a baby that age can't stand alone, and put weight on their legs...that means the baby is supported like this for who knows how long, in an unnatural position for their physiological age.
Second, see the baby on the right, see how low the support is; how far forward the baby is leaning? Not safe! And if this baby was on your front in this position it would be very painful on your shoulders and back.
Third, who knows what's going on behind you! It might not be another charming baby sticking their fingers in your baby's face! How can the baby retreat if it's over-stimulated, tired, cold?

Western society is supposed to be so advanced. We've got all these gadgets and gizmos to make life and baby raising easier. But in the end, is it good for the baby; is it good for our society? Sometimes I think the African woman with her baby tied to her hip with a simple piece of cloth has it right.

Magic Loop

Alone with my American Idols, I learned a new trick last night. The Magic Loop. Get your mind out of the gutter; I'm nowhere near flexible enough ;)

I was working on the beige sock, round and round and round. I've been working

Forgot what I was saying; I had to leave for a few minutes.

Oh, I've been using 5 dpn for socks now, trying to avoid the ladders between needles. But I was getting tired of switching needles every 12-15 sts. I don't have many circular needles in the smaller sizes, so using two (something I've done on very large projects) was out. I happened to have one 60cm 2.75mm circular, just the right size to try the Magic Loop. I even looked it up on the Internet. It's convenient in a way--no lost needles, and if you were making something that tapers, like a hat, I guess you could use the same one for the entire project. And it did seem faster. It was awkward at first to hold though, and after a while, my left hand started to hurt, so I set it aside.

I was planning to go out this morning and see if I can find a 2.5mm circular anywhere. But no....I have come down with something; food poisoning or a stomach bug. Huey is also feeling ill, but he's contained himself so far. Me....not so much.

I'm not a puker. I've had three incidents in the past 12 years, and I can't remember any before that either. The last time was when I was 30 weeks pregnant with Huey. I have a weak stomach, but a strong nose. Things just don't go past my mouth if my nose says no. We all ate exactly the same thing for dinner last night--pork Souvlaki from Sobey's. We've had them before. They were well cooked thanks to a diaper incident in the middle of making dinner. I started feeling ill before I went to bed, slept very poorly, but as soon as Rob got in the shower at 6am, it was all over. And wouldn't you know, Lucy and Huey both woke up very early this morning, and because we didn't go out to school....Megan slept in.

Things are still churning. Froot Loops are not a good snack when there's a possibility of them coming back up. The blue ones look like mold. I'm already disgusted at how dirty the toilets are, LOL.

I wanted to post some pictures but I couldn't find the camera cord because we are re-organizing. Getting grown up furniture :)

Off to lay down some more!
Megan's first birthday, Nov 17 2006

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sneak Peek!

OMG. Have you seen the sneak peek today (Tuesday) at I want all of it. The linen/cotton/rayon/whatever blend with the marled colours! The laceweight! 600yds for $! I've got to double check if you'd need one or two skeins for a good shawl, but I think one would do it. Or, one and a half, then you have some left for delish socks, or a little scarf, or gloves....OH! I want to make a baby blanket for a co-worker of Rob, someone who has champagne tastes....
Gotto to go drool. It's May now. I haven't bought any yarn in May!