Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Cardigan waiting for Baby

Gail... don't look. Knowing my luck, you will pick today to wander over here and read my blog, ruining the surprise. If for some reason, you have remembered that I blog about my knitting and you have stopped by to see what kind of trash I am writing about today, please click on a link before it's too late! Don't come back here until after that baby is born. It should only be a few more days... and then I can give you this.

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Finished Object: Jacket with Seed Stitch Bands
From: Debbie Bliss' Baby Knits for Beginners
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Dusty Rose, Dusty Lavendar or color 608
EMT (Emergency Material Technician): Vicki (your thank you note should go out in the mail tomorrow. I'm a loser... I am terrible at sending out cards and thank you's in a timely manner. Ask anyone in my family. They will rat me out)
Needles: Size US3 and US4
Date Started: May 5, 2005
Date Completed: May 29, 2005
My favorite thing: THE BUTTONS! Aren't they cute?

On such a gorgeous day, I decided to take a picture of my Lupines starting to bloom. These have transplanted themselves from another bed that is about 20 feet away. I wish that they bloomed all summer long.

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On such a beautiful day, I hung out laundry on the line all day (some of it was from yesterday. Funny how clothes on the line in the rain don't dry, no matter how long they are out there!) I also found time to fold the laundry, cook some food, take a nap, and then go fishing with DH and the girls.

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Alicia and DH were in the canoe, and Anna and I fished off of the dock. We caught 8 panfish (the last two were big enough to keep, but we let them go anyway. There is a lot of summer left). English Lake is about 5 minutes from out house. Actually there are about 9 or 10 lakes that are about 5 - 10 minutes away.

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Happy Summer!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Haven't we been down this road before?

Yep. I've been here before. Definitely. If you don't believe me, go back to May 12, 2004 and May 20, 2004 and read for yourself. The job I was offered in Cincinnati is open again; they want to interview me again and they are willing to make some contacts to get DH a position in the area also. A year later, and we seem to be right back where we started. This time, though, we have decided that we will make this move if both of us find positions.

Well, what about jobs in Wisconsin, you ask? Sixty. That's the number of active applications DH has out in Wisconsin right now. Sixty. And guess the number of calls to interview. Two. Two. What is that? Like 3%? There are more than 40 applicants for every opening, and from budget cuts, all of those people have already had school counseling experience. My DHs years of experience working with teenagers in a residential treatment center doesn't seem to count.

Yes, I will talk about knitting. I should be much further than I am on the last sleeve of the baby cardigan, but migraines took over Monday and Tuesday night, so I got little done. I didn't even leave the house. Tonight is better, and I plan to finish the sleeve, block it, and be ready to do the finishing tomorrow.

I know. Roller coaster. One day I'm up, the next I'm down. Seems to be the story of our life for the past year and a half. I'm ready to get off now, please.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Hope and Happiness

"Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be fish."


Yesterday was one of those days you fall into bed early knowing that it was a good day. And in the grand scheme of things, good days have been too rare lately. Things were so right Saturday that the feeling has carried over this morning as I drink the first cup of coffee and listen to everyone in the house sleeping.

I can't thank Vicki enough (there will be something sent off in the mail for you on Tuesday). I was completely shocked by her kindness, not that I didn't know she was kind. I did. But I never thought that my yarn emergency would get a response, especially on my blog. I don't have a lot of hits each day, so I never expected the blog to connect me with the yarn I needed. My post to the Knitter's Review was viewed several times, but the responses weren't able to give me a lot of information. Things seemed bleak.

I knew Vicki had sent the package, and my oldest daughter and I rushed to the mailbox on Friday to see if it had arrived early (she is waiting for a package with her basketball sweatshirt in it - both packages were due to arrive either Saturday or Monday). Yesterday, after watching two great soccer games in summer-like weather (one daughter lost, one won; both played extremely well) we came home and I darted off to the mailbox. There it was, a cute little box that fit perfectly into the mailbox. Obviously, Vicki had snuck over to my home and measured the mailbox to know the exact dimensions for this box to fit so well. She obviously also knew how much this would please me. The mail carrier had even lined up our letters alongside in a most compulsive way. He was obviously trying to apologize for the many times he did not deliver mail in the winter when the streets were too full of snow by appealing to my anal retentiveness sense of order.

I opened the box, and Vicki RAOKed me big time. Thanks, hun! Photos to come, but the bug on a rock is too cute! The girls immediately begged for the suckers, and I happily gave them their sugar and sent them off to run around and buy junk at the village-wide garage sales. Peace. In the house. For a long time. While DH cut the grass, the neighbor came over and asked if I would like him to edge the lawn. Would I like it? Oh. My. God. Ten minutes later, he was done and I was sweeping up the clippings on a gorgeous day. Have I complained about the people in my village? Well, forget that, this guy is kind.

I weeded happily (the garden beds are the best I have had in nine years - because I'm actually working them this year) and ran to the dump for recycleables and yard waste. My black-eyed susans and phlox have spread in one flower bed, and my balloon flowers, which I thought had died out, were peeking up at me in my other flower bed. Lupines are spreading everywhere, which is fine because I like them, and the lavendar is fighting hard to hold on this year. Vicki and I live about 45 minutes apart, but her garden is light years ahead of mine in the growth department. I'm still a rookie.

After my DH finished frying out (a native Sheboygan term for grilling out, BBQing, or cooking brats on the Weber), we ate and I was able to listen to the entire episode of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. The entire episode. Is it my birthday? No, it was just a good day. During the two hour show, I cleaned up the kitchen, finished weeding, and sat on the deck knitting away with the yarn Vicki had sent me. Perfect. Day.


Saturday, May 14, 2005


I interrupt your regular program for this knitting emergency.

See how beautiful this is?
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Well, it is a gift for my friend who is expecting her baby in four (count them) 1, 2, 3, 4 weeks. She won't get the gift though, because I am short of wool. I am starting the first sleeve and I am out of yarn. Why, you ask, did I not buy enough yarn to begin with?

Well. Here is the story.

I bought the yarn from the LYS and they only had 2 skeins in stock at the time. The person working didn't know if there was more in the back or not. It sure seemed like the two skeins would be enough for the sweater, and maybe if I had done a smaller size it would have been. When it was pretty clear that I wouldn't have enough, I called the LYS to see if they had more. Not only didn't they have more, but the person told me that the owner was in the process of selling and wouldn't be ordering anymore. YIKES! Ever since I have been cursing myself, saying

What an idiot. What an idiot. Rule number one in knitting - always buy enough yarn for a project.

What an idiot. What an idiot. I should have picked a different color that had more available skeins. IDIOT!

Can you help? Do you have Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino stashed somewhere? Do you know someone who does? Can you point me to a yarn shop that can match my dye lot? GGRRRRR!!

HELP! I'm pretty frantic.

I have left one last message at the LYS begging for their help in finding a match for my dye lot, but I don't know if I will be successful or not.

If you can help me, there would be a reward!

Here is the information:

I need 1 skein (cripes, only 1!) of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in color # 608 (sometimes called dusty pink, sometimes called rose, sometimes called dusty lavendar) in dye lot # 357.

Please help!

You will now be returned to your regularly scheduled program.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Maryland?? Almost!

I've used up three boxes of Kleenexes. Crying.

I could have gone. We were supposed to be in D.C. anyway - and it just happened to be the weekend of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I was shocked when I found out that we would be in the area that weekend. Then we changed our minds.

Crying. Big time.

Why were we supposed to go there? you ask?

Well, in the continuing saga of my husband's job hunt, I got a phone call from Prince William County Schools in Manassas, Virginia. I had blown them off because after seeing the cost of living and house prices, we really didn't think that we wanted to live there. Plus - there was that terrible experience last year when we tried to tell our parents that we were moving to Cincinnati and they freaked out. I don't think we can go through that again. Yet another reason is that they wanted do a second interview with me (my first was over the phone), but there were no interviews set up for my husband (they have six openings in guidance). I was very honest with them and told them that we wouldn't consider moving unless both of us had a job.

So why didn't we go anyway? you ask?

No kidding. Why not? Especially since today is a no school day and I took a personal day yesterday to be free to travel to Virginia.

Turns out that this weekend is also the weekend of my daughter's 3 on 3 basketball tournament that is in my community. The one that I am on the planning committee for. The one that both DH and I have signed up to work for tonight and all day tomorrow. Bummer! If we had gone to Virginia, we would have had to go in one day and leave the next. Leave before MS&W even started. Moments before.

To make matters worse, or maybe better, depending upon how you look at it, I met someone who will be there this weekend. In Wisconsin. By chance. What's up with that?

Black Sheep Spinners Guild had their monthly meeting on Tuesday, and with my head pounding full of a sinus infection, I went. Carol had a friend there. She was weaving baskets. Cool! They are beautiful. Turns out she is from St. Charles, Illinois and has a business providing hand dyed, hand spun yarns, knitting kits, and baskets. Her name is Stephania Isaccson and she told me that she will be a vendor at MS&W. Check out her website! Her baskets are beautiful, and unique. One is called a lazy kate basket because there are bobbin holders on the handle to use as a lazy kate. Just fill up the bottom with yarn or tools and spin away. I wish her well, even though I am a bit jealous to have met someone at my tiny guild meeting who will be at MS&W.

So. Instead, I am spending the day with my DH. The girls attend a different school district and they have school today. MWAAAAAHAAAAHAAAA! We are off to Kinko's and Barnes & Noble. We will make up more application packets for him, have a nice lunch date, and then treat ourselves to some quiet reading and coffee time at Barnes & Noble.

Maybe I can stop crying long enough to look at some knitting books.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Here it is... my prize

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Thank you baby Catherine (Elaine's daughter - Frog It) for letting me win my first contest... like ever. Like ever in my life. Really. Never even a BINGO game, and I was forced as a child to play hundreds of games of BINGO when I was a youngster as fund-raisers for my marching band. But now I won. I'm still in shock. I waited hours to open the box, just gently caressing the outside of it until my DH went insane and told me to open it before he did. I opened it slowly, savoring every second.

First I found this...

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Artful Yarns Fable in "Little Red Riding Hood" God... it's so nice that you have to see it from another angle.

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It's gorgeous. Now. What do I make with it? Huh? Any ideas? I'm thinking something scarfy/shawly like Charlize Theron wore in Sweet November.

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Her mother actually made them, and they were crocheted. After they became popular (they were featured in a fashion spread of some sort) her mother sold them for about $200 a piece. I want one. This rosy-red color would be perfect.

We wound up the little chicken, and it walked across the coffee table "laying" eggs. It was hysterical. The thing seemed to poop out the eggs more than "lay" them. Too cute!

Then there are the magnets. Perfect for a cat-lover, which I am. Thanks JenLa!

Oh.. and Eva posted a comment that I tried to send a response via e-mail and it bounced back. Three times.

I think the man from the union meeting is in his early fifties. There was no ring (I had to check - anyone that into supporting my knitting habit had to be seriously considered!) So I have to say that there probably is not a Mrs. Union Rep Person. And, as for his willingness to move to Arizona, wouldn't anyone from Wisconsin want to move there? I rest my case!