Thursday, July 31, 2008

Because I remember how much I loved summer and doing NOTHING, I always tend to underschedule Gus every summer. I think he would love camp and lessons and workshops and stuff like that, but we do enough of that when school's in, so even though there are days when we get on each other's nerves and I'm sure he misses the company of his 8-yr-old buddies, we generally get on well.

This summer, in lieu of camps and such, I declared that it would be the Summer of Personal Achievement. I wanted Gus to get his deep-end band at the pool, master riding a bike, master tying his shoes [I was the clueless single person who scorned moms who bought their kids shoes with velcro closures. And then I was the mom who bought nothing else.)

So anyway, Gus has been taking swimming lessons twice a week at the pool with long-suffering and patient Jim, who's in his second year of teaching Gus. They never seemed to make any progress, though Gus has loved the water since he was a baby, and Gus was sad because his friends could swim by themselves in the deep end and he couldn't. But something clicked this year. Today was Gus's last lesson because Jim is going to law school. Gus decided that today was the day and announced to a startled Jim when he arrived, "I AM READY TO ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE!"

So he took his Deep End Band Test (freestyle across the pool twice and treading water for 2 minutes), and he passed. HE PASSED!

Look at this face:

Please note deep end band on ankle. It is 5 hours later and he still has it on.

If one could actually burst with pride, there'd be pieces of me scattered all over Glenside.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This post is going to be all about knitting.

I picked up this book today and was BLOWN AWAY:

I can't even tell you how utterly amazing the sweaters are in this book. It was like Ms. Lisa Lloyd somehow got into my head and found sweaters in there that I couldn't even imagine because they are so perfectly perfect in every way. Like the gloves and mittens in my dear darling "Selbuvotter", I would make every single garment in this book. Maybe I will! Maybe I will make it some sort of lifelong Knit-Along. Most of the sweaters are aran-y or gansey-y, but they're just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Knitters out there, RUN don't walk and get this book!

Phew. Okay, now I've got that out of my system. I've been working on basic and easy cable scarf patterns for Momogus Knits. Here's one in chunky weight (Cascade 128 Tweed, one of my favorite yarns):

Here's the slightly modified worsted weight version (in Cascade 220):

(I must block your flippy edges.)

I've been mostly working on store samples for some of the new stores that have picked up my patterns, so that's been taking up most of my time, but I figure designing new Momogus Knits patterns counts as productive use of my time. Next up is a reversible cable scarf, in chunky weight and worsted weight. Then I've got to fiddle around with the Adult Cable Hat pattern to add chunky weight numbers.

ANYWAY, enough MK talk. I am intrigued by Ravelry's Ravelympics event. Inspired by Yarn Harlot's wildly successful Knitting Olympics a couple of years ago, Ravelry is doing the same sort of thing. You start a project during the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics and finish it by the Closing Ceremonies. As tempting as that as an excuse for starting a new project, I think I will probably do the corollary event, which involves taking a languishing unfinished object and finishing that during the Olympics. Lord knows I have enough of them.

Complicating things is the fact that we leave this Saturday for Vermont and my arm, though flirting with tendinitis, seems to be okay. We're venturing up to the Northeast Kingdom this year, so that means new yarn shops to explore, plus an extra 2 hours of driving/knitting time. Plus we're staying at a cabin on a lake, so after I've fished and canoed and splashed about the lake and made Gussie play 1400 games of Yahtzee, as is my way, I'll need to settle in for some nice quiet knitting.

Anyway, I have a few days to decide. Should I take the store sample knitting to work on or should I treat my vacation as a.....vacation and leave the sample knitting at home and treat myself to a nice new travel project? Or should I be good and work on the sample knitting (like, say, on the car ride up and back) and have a nice new project for when I get there? Or should I work on the sample knitting on the car rides and work on finishing up unfinished objects? Ugh. Let me know your thoughts.....

Friday, July 25, 2008

This and that.....

First of all, I'm here! I've been getting complaints that my posts are getting more and more infrequent. I hear ya already!!

Gus and I have been going to the pool every day, where I think about how I wish Aunt Laura were around to gossip with. She used to be my deep-end-treading-water-gossip companion. But Gus has been mastering freestyle and diving, and I've been blissfully treading water in the deep end and doing some unenthusiastic laps during his lessons.

I've made a blueberry buckle and a plum crisp with all the ding-dang CSA fruit. I can't keep up! Nothing has been as good as the cherry pie, but I'm enjoying trying. The plums were very sweet, so I didn't add much sugar, but somehow they got extra-SUPER-tart in baking. It was still good.

Blueberry buckle:

Plum crisp:

(though they have different names, they're basically the same recipe. I just liked calling something a "buckle")

I'm halfway through Book 20, which is the last complete O'Brian book. I found an O'Brian discussion group on Ravelry, of all places! I also found this mighty tome at Borders the other day. It is like gold to me:

The Phillies we won't talk about so much. I'm hoping Joe Blanton pitches a little bit better. I'm hoping Brett Myers pitches A LOT better. He is a mere shadow of his former self. The #@*$( Mets are in first place now. Maybe this will awaken the mighty Phillies bats again. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sorry, everybody - I sort of dropped off the face of the earth, blogwise. But I've been busy! Gus and I visited Aunt Laura in Baltimore last week for her birthday and saw the mighty Aquarium, among other things. The rays were wicked cool:

I painted the foundation of our house twice - and it's still not the right color! I also painted the trim and this made me realize how shabby the rest of the house looks, so I think I'll just have to paint the whole ding-dang house now. But no worries - there are few things that make me happier than a big painting project.

I have been knitting up mad Momogus Knits samples for myself and for some new stores that have joined the Momogus Knits empire, such as it is. We're in Michigan now! Here is Momogus Knits Easy Baby Cardigan and Easy Baby Cap. Rowan Cashsoft DK, with single-crocheted red edging. I love red and grey together:

I made a cherry pie (my first!) from sour cherries from our CSA (the wonderful Herrcastle Farm - plug, plug). It was DIVINE, if I do say so myself.

In sad news, I am on Book 19 of the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey-Maturin series. There is only one more, plus Book 21 which is unfinished! Gulp. I console myself that once I finish the whole shebang I can start over again with Book 1. Plus there are all sorts of auxiliary books about the series, so I can work through those. And then I guess I'll just have to go back to school so I can major in British naval history. I'm not kidding.

I can't remember a book or books that have gripped me like these. The other day Matthew was putting up the umbrella in our new patio table. It was a little dicey because it was so awkward and I said, sympathetically and I thought helpfully, "It's just like stepping a new mast on a frigate." I got a blank look from him and thought to myself, "If Jack Aubrey were here, HE would agree with me!"

Okay, so we all cast 2 million votes for my friend Pat Burrell, but he came in third. Stupid hard-playing Corey Hart and David Wright got named instead. Hrmph. Oh well, All-Star Game tonight. Get your pizza ready. I hope Hamilton's got some power left to get the NL over the AL for the first time in Gus's life*. That was some display of spooky power last night. After the first heartwarming moments I got very worried about the 71-yr-old coach pitching to him. His arm probably fell off today. Anyway, good stuff.


*Umm....I must have had a momentary brain anyeurism. If Hamilton (who plays for the Rangers) leads the NL over the AL, something has gone very very wrong....

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Vote for Pat!!!!