Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Need Disinfectant. Or an Exorcism.

Friday was the big Wax Museum day at Jr. Jr.'s school. All the kids in the third grade picked a historical figure to research, then they dressed up in costume and pretend to be that person in a Wax Museum. Parents and other kids from the school wander through, pressing buttons on their desks. When their button is pressed, the historical figures "come to life" and present their autobiographies. It's a lot of fun. The kids put so much work into their costumes and biographies. Even the shyest kids stand up tall and talk proudly. This year, Jr. Jr. chose Arthur Ashe as his historical figure. This presented some interesting costume issues, but we simply dressed him up in tennis gear. Beyond the obvious differences, the tennis clothes of today do not look anything like the tennis clothes in the late '60s and the '70s, so Jr. Jr. ended up looking more like Andre Agassi than Arthur Ashe:

But everyone understood :)

Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. When Jr. Jr. got off the bus, he walked straight home, crawled onto the couch and said, "I have a headache. I'm cold." Sure enough, he was running a fever. I gave him some Motrin. A half an hour later, he scootched close to me, said, "My head still hurts," put his head on my shoulder and fell asleep. When he woke up, he swore he was feeling better enough to go to his last basketball game, but I wasn't buying that. He spend a good amount of the evening throwing up. He was sick all weekend.

And then, on Sunday, the impossible happened. Sr. Jr. came back from a trip to the driving range saying his throat hurt. Wha? Sr. Jr. hasn't been sick in years. That's not an exaggeration.

So both of them stayed home Monday, and Sr. Jr. is still home. Between illnesses, blizzards, and more illnesses, I feel like I haven't properly been out of my house or done anything fun or interesting in months.

But I did get some time to knit on my Business Time socks at the doctor's office, at least.

I also finished the knitting on Pas de Valse. All I need to do now is weave in the ends, do the crochet edging, and wash & block that sucker. I'm skeptical about whether this one will last long-term. We'll see. Here's the current state of it:

But I'm procrastinating on finishing this one up by starting something new, of course:

This is the sleeve for Elegant Empire, using MadTosh's formerly-Worsted-now-DK in Silver Fox. The skeins don't all look the same, so I'm trying to plan how to use them to best effect. There are two skeins that are clearly lighter, with less gray. Those will be my sleeve skeins. I will intersperse the other skeins as needed to try to transition them in so that the change will be subtle.

In the meantime, I'm trying to keep a hold on my very tenuous grip on sanity.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hey, progress!

In little fits and starts, I've actually accomplished a couple of things lately.

First, I finished sleeve one of Pas de Valse and started sleeve two:

As you can see, I had the same problem with sleeve two that I did with sleeve one - holes in the pickup/short row area:

As soon as I'm done writing this, I'm getting back to this sleeve. I really want to finish this sweater and move on. I can't decide whether I will like this or not. I'm skeptical. The yarn is very soft, and I'm worried about pilling and stretching. But it is very pretty. The next sweater will be sturdier, I promise. I know which one I'm knitting, and what yarn I'm using. It's taking all my strength not to start swatching for it now.

In addition, I finished the first of my Virve's Stockings. I love these. They come all the way up to my knees, true knee socks. I was a bit worried about whether I'd have enough of the main blue color to finish both socks, so I did a contrast color toe, using a bit of the colorwork motif from the colorwork band to tie it all together:

It's hard to tell from the picture, but the color I used for the toe does appear in the colorwork band. I've also started the second sock, but I haven't gotten too far beyond the lace cuff. Stay tuned.

And... my vote for funniest political quote of the year goes to Marion Barry, the man with more lives than a cat, from this morning's Washington Post: "They may take my committee chair. They can't take my dignity." This is true. They can't take his dignity. He hasn't had any for years, decades, even.

I'm continuing to read Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel, the author of Wolf Hall. I'm enjoying this book, although I can't really say why. It's not a book I would really recommend to people, but it's holding my interest. Mantel is a good writer, there's not doubt about that.

I'm almost finished with the book, so I need to figure out what to read next. Recommendations, anyone? I'm not sure anyone's out there, but I'd love to hear some good book recommendations. My only request is for fiction recs.