Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Go Valders!

Bleacher butt has never felt so good!

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would not only spend 6 - 8 hours a week squishing into jam-packed bleachers to watch bastketball, but would enjoy it and actually ask to watch kids games that I wouldn't have to- I would have smacked you with my knitting needles. Basketball? I didn't care about basketball! Well this mother of two players and friend of a mother of two players has changed her tune.

When my oldest daughter started playing 3 on 3 a few years ago, I liked it because it meant a day of knitting while sitting outside with a cup of coffee. This was a sport? Ha! I only had to put down my needles three or four times during the day for about 25 minutes at a time to watch the girls run around with this orange thing, trying to toss it up in the air so that it would go down into the net thing. Then I clapped. Ok. Game over? Time for more knitting.

My husband was smart. He introduced me to the sport the right way. "Of course you can bring your knitting," he told me. "I don't mind." And he didn't.

From the outdoor 3 on 3, I progressed to the 5 player school team. Indoors. My husband told me that I could still bring my knitting, and I did. But I didn't have a lot of time for knitting. I talked with friends before the game and during halftime. When the game was over, we left. No cup of coffee in my camping folding chair. Only hard bleachers, cramped knees, and a numb butt. But I liked it. Of course it helped that my daughter's team was pretty darned good (and that's not just a proud mamma talking). This year, they have won all of their games and have a record of 8-0 with most of their games being won by over 20 points.

My daughter's good friend, Sally, who plays on the same team has a brother on the high school varsity team. They are pretty darned good, too. Don't believe me? Check it out! They are ranked 5th in the state right now for Division 3, and we have been to most of their games. They also win most of their games by more than 20 points. We even went to the games before they were ranked in the state. Before the bleachers were so cramped. Now, the whole village shows up. Honest. When you click on the team page you will see that the high scorer is R. Linzmeier. He is the brother of my oldest daughter's friend. Boy, can he play!

Now my youngest daughter is playing, too. This means that I spend 2 hours a week watching my oldest daughter play on her 7th grade team, 2 more hours watching the 8th grade girl's team, 2 hours watching the boy's varsity team, and 1 hour watching my youngest daughter at practice.

That's seven hours of time that I used to knit. No wonder these pair of socks are going so slowly. But it's worth it!

Go Valders.... Go Varsity Boys, 7th grade girls, and 4th grade girls!
I put down my needles in awe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I Give, I Give

At the start of the school year, we were faced with the challenge of being a family while living 3 hours apart during the week. No problem, I thought to myself. I'm a strong German-Russian woman (German-Russian women are known for their fiestiness, I think it's a proven fact. If you don't believe me, I'll get cranky and verbally beat you into submission) I can handle this challenge. I grew up in a single parent home, and if my mother could do it, I surely could.

I give. It's hard. It's January and the house has been cleaned twice since September (and neither of these cleanings was around a holiday), the laundry is only barely caught up, and I awake every morning to look foggy-brained at my list of things to do. Things to do AFTER WORK, of course. I plop my body into bed at midnight and fight for six hours of sleep only to do it again.


My hat's off to you women who live this life for years and years. I don't have the energy to get through the week, and I'm counting the days until summer vacation when there are two adults in the house again. Maybe I can take a nap!

So, with all that has been going on, the blog has sat in the corner waiting for my attention. I'm doing my best!

Most days I sit and think about the things that I hate most. This

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My husband leaving on Sunday afternoons to go back to work for the week.

And this:
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It looks like our cat doesn't like it much, either.

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Knitting News

I'm working on the first pair of socks that I have ever made for myself. Oh, joy! I love them!

I have figured out what I'm going to make for the 2006 Knitting Olympics
I'm going to kool-aid dye some wool, design and knit a pair of mittens for my daughter. And now guilt is also overcoming me and I'm thinking of adding a pair of mittens and a hat for Max, who grows bigger everyday without the handmade knitting that he deserves!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

A new year. I’m filled with anticipation and hope that this year will bring the things that have been so elusive in past years. Things like good health for me and all of my family, a job for my husband that will keep him closer to home, and time. Lots of time. Time for quiet and reflection, and quietly reflecting upon quiet reflection.

Even with the undeniable time restraint of 31,536,000 seconds (or if it’s easier to deal with - 525,600 minutes) that 2006 will consist of, I’m hoping to defy time and create some extra moments here and there. Moments to take a bath, or listen to Prairie Home Companion without interruption, or to spin, or to just sit and watch the clouds on a summer afternoon. I’m determined to find an extra second or two each day to just enjoy life.

So, naturally, today being the first day of this new year, I started right away, by doing what? By doing nothing for the entire morning. Nothing but sitting and surfing the Internet for podcasts (which I have immediately become addicted to – do you know how cool these things are? I can put NPR podcasts on my daughters i-Pod and listen to them whenever I want – AND there are about a billion and a half different podcasts out there to choose from. FREE!). I listened to Prairie Home Companion online (which, of course, was interrupted by both of my children for drastically important questions like, “Can I go outside?” and “Can I finish the crumbs of potato chips left in the bag?” and “Should I let the dog in? She’s scratching at the door.” The good thing about listening to a program on the Internet is that I can rewind it! But that is like having to reread the same line in a book when you are interrupted.) When my head finally cleared from the frenzy of podcasts and Prairie Home Companion, I searched for Mediterranean Cruise rates (always good to start planning ahead. In this case it’s probably 18 years ahead!), and I began planning my blog entry. I went back and skimmed through my 2005 blog year to and began to take note of all of my finished projects. I had forgotten about a few of them! Here is my knitting review for 2005. I made:

A felted cap for DH
Latvian mittens for me!
A pair of socks for my mom.
A baby sweater for a friend
Three helmet caps (two for my daughters and one for my niece)
One complete baby sweater set (a sweater, jumper, bonnet, mittens and booties) for my cousin in Germany
One sweater, a baby cap and booties for my friend in New Zealand
A Harry Potter scarf for my niece
A pair of mitten-gloves for my husband

Notice that there is only one item that I knit for myself? Yeah, I noticed that too. During those spare moments that I’m planning to create in 2006, I’ll have to knit some more things for myself – like a pair of socks! I’ve always wanted a pair, but have given away every single finished pair to others. No more!

Here is the final FO for 2005

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Start date: 12/26/05
Finish date: 12/30/05
Material: Lion’s brand Wool-Ease in Chestnut Heather (179) and Natural Heather (098) 1 skein of each
Pattern: Urban Necessity from MagKnits with embellishments to make them “folksy” for my DH.

You will notice the strand of yarn in one of the pictures. That was how much I had left of the Chestnut. It came awfully close – 37 inches (Yes, John. I actually measured the thing!) Knitters will understand my frenzy as the skein came to an end. I thought that if I knit more quickly, I could fool the yarn into lasting longer and I would be able to finish the project. It worked!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday break, and enjoy every moment that you create for yourself this year!