Monday, February 27, 2006

As usual things are busy around here. Plus I have news! More on that in a minute.

Girl #2 and her Muz (translation: grandmother)

The parental units are visiting from Willy (Williamsburg, VA) this week. It has been a grand time. The husband and I actually had a weekend away this past weekend.

We went to Orlando to see Circ de Soleil on Friday. Huge fun.
You should go. Then we drove up the coast and stopped at all the little places we never get to see since we are too busy being parents and such. We ended up in St. Augustine and spent the night at the Casablanca Inn on the water. I love this place. We have stayed there three times. Once on our honeymoon in 1996. Then in 2000 while I was pregnant with girl #1, and then this past weekend. It is a great place, plus it has chocolate chip cookies out all the time. You can't beat cookies.

Yesterday afternoon we did a couple of national parks alond the coast...most notable Fort Matanzas, which is an old Spanish fort used to protect St. Augustine from attack. Very interesting, plus you get to take a boat to go see the fort.

Along the way I had tons of knitting time. Here's the progress:

I am almost to the top. I am adding two green elephants in the center just like the ones at the bottom. The back is going to be simple stripes...good thing since the baby shower is next week. I won't be able to go, but I'd like to get it up to Charlotesville in time.

And our news?

We're moving home!!!

Yup, we've decided to move back to Richmond. I have a contract pending with the county I used to teach in. If I am lucky I'll get to go back to the same high school. Although really I'd be happy anywhere. It's a great school district. I used to do a lot of teacher technology training in all the different schools, and I would be happy anywhere.

More about that later...gotta go entertain.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ding dong, the witch is dead...

Which ol' witch?
The wicked witch!

At last, the corporate taxes are done. And, the Daytona 500 is over. The cow fields are starting to empty of all the RV's and life is returning to normal.

Did I mention I met a gal the other day at the store...folks in her neighborhood rent out their houses for the week of the races. I thought that was a bit creepy until I found out they get
$6000 for the week. They do it again in the fall...not too shabby.

On the tax front I did a pretty spiffy job, if I do say so myself. The husband is SO lucky he married a math nerd...he is hopeless with such things.

But now that that is off my plate I actually have time to knit again! I didn't realize until this morning how much that was weighing on me. I am almost done with the cardigan on #2 needles (I have begun thinking of it as the "never again" sweater.

I also have quite a backlog of ideas. The parental until arive from Virginia tomorrow, so I am trying to quickly clean and such beofre they get here. The house has gotten a bit shabby with my constant working on the taxes. I actually spent an hour awake the other night wondering if one ran a knit design company if you would have to take Marcs depreciation on your yarn...this was not a healthy mental state.

In any case, I am rewarding myself with some fun sock yarn. I don't know what yet. It should be a good knitting week. Grandparents to occupy the kids, plus my stepmother is learning to knit, so that should be a blast.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Start your engines!

My first Anouk. She's almost three, and she's worn it since she was 18 months.

I suspect that about 90 percent of you are blissfully unaware that the Daytona 500 is approaching. Did you know it is next weekend? Did you know that events start NOW to build up for this?

Not a big fiber event, let me tell you. Although Bon Jovi is playing, and I’m sure you spinners out there could do some creative things with all that hair.

So why do I know about the Daytona 500’s approach? Because I live in Daytona and it is complicating my life.

I am signed up to help do the Valentine’s Day party at preschool. I am in charge of the goodie-bags. Try not to be jealous, I can't help the fabulous life I lead.

So today I grab the girls and we all head up to International Speedway (home of the racetrack) to go the craft store and the book store.

What should have been a two hour excursion took almost four. I had hoped to get a lot of knittin’ on the Anouk time this afternoon. Instead I am frantically putting up goodie-bags and trying to make dinner.

It is so tiring taking small children out in public. They are pretty well behaved, but with all the traffic they were pretty wiggly by the time we got to the bookstore. So I’m sure there were a few folks trying to find the number for social services as I fussed at them in the bathroom stall. I’m sorry if people think I’m too strict, but two year old should not scream while jumping off the benches in the magazine section while pretending to be super-grover. It is rude.

So, not much progress today, nothing worth taking a picture of. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Why do I torture myself?

OK, I admit it. I can get a wee bit obsessed.

I know I should be making dinner….I have to tutor tonight so we have to eat at 6, no later. And I know, it’s been like 4 days since I have folded laundry. Even the two year old has learned to pick out matching outfits from the basket. If I had to give a “State of the House” address to anyone right now it would be pitiful, and I don’t even have an opposing party to blame it on.

So why have I been knitting instead? Because I need something for my brain to do. My poor brain. It once taught recursive algorithms, and explained integral calculus. When I was working I even had a three week system of meal rotation…each week had a daily menu and an attached shopping list. Sad, really.

Now, I actually find myself doing factor trees in my head while I match up pairs of socks. (I have a thing for prime numbers.)

(And for perfection.)

Which is why I just unraveled the sides of the Elephant Anouk. I am not really working from a pattern, just inserting a motif where it seems to need one. I’ve been making really good progress too.

But then I noticed:

The sides are buckling! At first I tried to convince myself I could just “block it out”, as it were, but nope, my underused brain said “nope! No dice! Fix it fool!”

So I played with my next row of decreases and it turns out I did my decreases the wrong way! You wouldn’t think it made a huge difference, but it does. So I unraveled:

Already the fix is looking better. My poor brain can rest.

Oh, and on a side note, I have decided what the husband is getting me for my birthday (nice, huh?). I want to get some software so I have something besides Paint to doctor up these photos.

What do you all use?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Treats! Pictures!

I work on a strict treat system. For example, I try not to overeat, knowing that I allow myself one treat per day. It is much easier not to overindulge when you know there is something really yummy coming.

Well, I am going to do the same with the corporate taxes. They are taking HOURS, and I am pretty organized, math nerd that I am. So, I have decided as soon as they are filed I am treating myself to some Koigu. I have been wanting to try this for SOOOO long, and it might as well be a reward for something. Plus, my parents are visiting in late February. The husband and I are going for a weekend away. If I can get the taxes done and yarn ordered by then, I’ll have something great to knit on the trip!

Now, some photos (finally!)

The Webs yarn arrived today. Yes, I know it came with a friend, but I couldn't let it be lonely, and it is such a pretty pink.

Hopefully I can finish that cardigan soon. The color is not exact, but since it is just for seaming, the button band and collar I doubt it will show. I’ll have to play with the collar a bit. I know what I want it to look like, but it is going to take some doing. I am planning on having it in the same cable as the border:

I am doodling up a sketch for a new kids sweater. Some cables, top down raglan, cabled yoke…

I am thinking cotton, so it’s washable. I’d like a light color, but I also have that pink from Webs, so I might swatch in that.

Here’s a close up of the one piece purse from above:

Another shot. The handles are bamboo bracelets from target.

I am so loving this purse. It has been everywhere in the greater Daytona area in the last week. It gets lots of compliments. Plus it holds a ton:

I am still working on the pattern. It is remarkably simple, plus it is done in one piece, so there is no seaming. The only hassle is sewing in the lining, but that took less than 15 minutes to do. If the husband gets home before dark I;ll try to get an action shot. I tried to get Girl#2 to help, but at two years old she was monre interested in all the buttons I had just handed her.

Oh, and the elephants:

Not quite done, but getting there.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Stop Drop and Knit

You all always cheer a gal up. And that Cansmom, over at Bits of Knits….she just cracks me up.

I am so in love with her idea of “stop, drop, and knit”. It’s worth a t-shirt. Or knitted onto the side of a snappy felted bag! It just makes me laugh.

Now things are a bit silly here. I have been getting over a hundred hits a day for a few days…which is a lot for us. Apparently someone at one of those knitting message boards posted a link to the St. Louis scarf. Very kind, but a bit embarrassing, since it is not the favorite thing I have done.

In actual knitting news the elephants have bellies. Yes, I had about 30 minutes of knitting time last night. I am waiting until they are done to show you. Hopefully tomorrow evening I’ll get a good block of time.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Corporate Taxes are interfering with my Knitting

So the husband and I run a business. He does all the brute labor, and I am in charge of the books. I am actually one of the few people that kinda like doing accounting and taxes. Don’t like paying them though.

And I REALLY don’t like it when it cuts into my knitting time.

So, it is tax time at Casa Beak, so very little has been goin’ down here. Anouk is still exactly at the elephant’s knees. It’s been raining for days so no photos of the One Piece Purse.

Not even a swatch folks.

My girls have started asking me what’s wrong. Even the husband says I look pale.

I am all caught up on receipts, so tomorrow I have a good two hours set aside to knit and listen to this weekend’s editions of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” and “This American Life”.

Wish me luck, and I hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bourne Knitology

Sorry to have been incommunicado for the last week. We have had a visit from my snappy sister Sally, so we’ve been super busy showing her all the local sites.

She got to see the manatees:

(Manatees are the grey lumps in the water)

And St Augustine:
(Isn't my baby sister cute?!)

And about everything else Daytona has to offer except the Nascar and dog racing. It has been such a fun visit. Sally is at an exciting point right now. She had been the web guru at a big online retailer (can’t tell you who) and she has now founded her own company, We are so excited. She’s already so busy with web sites we thought she was going to have to skip Daytona, but fortunately she made it.

Did I hear you? Did you ask “but what about knitting?” Well, if I must.

1) I am ALMOST done with the caramel colored cardigan on #2 needles. (Never again will I knit a cardigan on #2 needles!) We watched the Bourne Supremacy the other night, and isn’t it funny that when you are watching something suspenseful that you knit faster? The problem is I have exactly two yards left of the yarn, and I still need to sew the seams and do the button band and collar. The new cone of yarn from Webs should be here by Monday. I really want to finish this before Florida winter is over.

2) The one-piece purse is done. Hopefully I will have snappy photos for you tomorrow. I am thinking it turned out so well I might try to sell the pattern. I have been using the purse for a week, and it holds a grand amount of stuff, plus I get complements galore on it….This might be the pattern to try to complete one of my New Year Resolutions.

3) Anouk is started. Thank you all SOOOOOO much for the advice on the elephant’s back. He has had a face lift and looks better. I have knitted up to the knees, so we’ll see how he looks in a day or so.